[The Rose Tree]

Sometimes, to some people, it makes more sense to die than to keep living. There is suicide; there is voluntary martyrdom; there is self-sacrifice. And there is killing. Many times, the four have combined in one act, but the proportions of each have varied greatly. These days, we see suicide carnages; in days past, we saw tyrannicides.

Sometimes, a manipulative leader encourages despairing youths to kill and die gloriously; sometimes, a man of study and reflection concludes a hopeless act of defiance must crown his career. To water the Rose Tree (see W. B. Yeats’s 1921 poem).

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