O my friends, there is no friend.
(O mes amies, il n’y nul amy.)

…The apostrophe, whose form overruns and comprises in itself the alleged statement, resembles at one and the same time an act of recalling and a call, an appeal. It resembles an appeal because it makes a sign toward the future: be my friends, for I love or will love you…, listen to me, be sensitive to my cry, understand and be compassionate, I am asking for sympathy and consensus, become the friends to whom I aspire. Accede to what is at the same time a desire, a request, and a promise, one could also say, a prayer. And let us not forget what Aristotle said about prayer: it is a discourse (logos), but it is a discourse that, somewhat in the manner of a performative, is neither true nor false. There are no friends, that we know, but I beg you, make it so that there will be friends from now on. What is more, how could I be your friend, and declare my friendship for you (and the latter consists more in loving than being loved), if friendship did not remain something yet to come, to be desired, to be promised? How could I give you my friendship where friendship would not be lacking, if it were already there? More precisely, if the friend were not lacking? If I give you friendship, it is because if there is any (perhaps), it does not exist, presently. For the apostrophe does not say, ‘there is no friendship,’ but rather, ‘there is no friend’… Friendship is never a given in the present; it belongs to the experience of waiting, of promise or of engagement. Its discourse is that of prayer, and at stake there is what responsibility opens to the future.

-published in American Imago, 50:3 (1993: Fall)

And as a man is equal to the church, and equal to the state, so he is equal to every other man. The disparities of power in men are superficial; and all frank and searching conversation, in which a man lays himself open to his brother, apprizes each of their radical unity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “New England Reformers” Lecture at Amory Hall, 3/3/1884. (In Essays: First and Second Series, p. 376).
The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. Knowledge has no light but that shed on the world by redemption: all else is reconstruction, mere technique. Perspectives must be fashioned that displace and estrange the world, reveal it to be, with its rifts and crevices, as indigent and distorted as it will appear one day in the messianic light. To gain such perspectives without velleity or violence, entirely from felt contact with its objects — this alone is the task of thought. It is the simples of all things, because the situation calls imperatively for such knowledge, indeed because consummate negativity, once squarely faced, delineates the mirror-image of its opposite. But it is also the utterly impossible thing, because it presupposes a standpoint removed, even though by a hair’s breadth, from the scope of existence… . The more passionately thought denies its conditionality for the sake of the unconditional, the more unconsciously, and so calamitously, it is delivered up to the world. Even its own impossibility it must at last comprehend for the sake of the possible. But beside the demand thus placed on thought, the question of the reality or unreality of redemption itself hardly matters.
Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia (New York: Verso, 2005), 247.

"Law Like Love" by W.H. Auden:

Law, say the gardeners, is the sun,
Law is the one
All gardeners obey
To-morrow, yesterday, to-day.

Law is the wisdom of the old,
The impotent grandfathers feebly scold; 
The grandchildren put out a treble tongue,
Law is the senses of the young.

Law, says the priest with a priestly look,
Expounding to an unpriestly people,
Law is the words in my priestly book,
Law is my pulpit and my steeple.

Law, says the judge as he looks down his nose,
Speaking clearly and most severely,
Law is as I’ve told you before,
Law is as you know I suppose,
Law is but let me explain it once more,
Law is The Law.

Yet law-abiding scholars write:
Law is neither wrong nor right,
Law is only crimes
Punished by places and by times,
Law is the clothes men wear
Anytime, anywhere,
Law is Good morning and Good night.

Others say, Law is our Fate; 
Others say, Law is our State; 
Others say, others say
Law is no more,
Law has gone away.

And always the loud angry crowd,
Very angry and very loud,
Law is We,
And always the soft idiot softly Me.

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