"The thought that the Communists are going to spit all over us isn't any more pleasant to me than it is to you. But I've thought it all over very carefully: we have no choice." He cut Dubreuilh off with a gesture, he wasn't going to let him speak before he had had his say. "Being a non-Communist either means something or it means nothing. If it means nothing, let's become Communists or go pick daisies. But if it does have a meaning, that implies certain duties– among others, to be able, if necessary, to tangle with the Communists. To humor them at any price without joining them outright is to choose the easiest kind of moral comfort. It's plain cowardice."
Dubreuilh was tapping impatiently on his desk blotter. "Those are moral considerations; they don't touch me," he said. "I'm interested in the results of my actions, not in what they make me appear to be."
"It isn't a question of appearance..."
"But it is," Dubreuilh said brusquely. "The heart of the matter is that it bothers you to appear as if you're letting yourself be intimidated by the Communists."
Henri stiffened. "It would bother me very much to let ourselves be intimidated by them. It would go against everything we've attempted for the past two years."
Dubreuilh continued tapping his desk blotter, and Henri added sharply, "You're putting the discussion on a rather strange level. I could just as well ask you why you're so afraid of displeasing the Communists."
"I don't give a damn about pleasing or displeasing them," Dubreuilh said. "I don't want to start an anti-Soviet campaign, especially right now. I think that would be criminal."
—Simone de Beauvoir, Les Mandarins, p. 401