But only nearly as strong

It comes as the Revealer. Showing that no society can protect, never could—they are as foolish as shields of paper. They have lied to us. They can’t keep us from dying, so They lie to us about death. A cooperative structure of lies. What have They ever given us in return for the trust, the love—They actually say ‘love’—we’re supposed to owe Them. Can They even keep us from catching cold? from lice, from being alone? from anything? Before the Rocket can penetrate, from the sky, at any given point. Nowhere is safe. We can’t believe Them any more. Not if we are still sane, and love the truth.

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

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