Skip to comments.From Russia with Euphemisms
Posted on 02/14/2014 2:51:49 PM PST by cornelis
Hannah Arendt coined the term the banality of evil to describe the galling normalcy of Nazi mass-murderer Adolf Eichmann. Covering his trial in Jerusalem, she described Eichmann as less a cartoonish villain than a dull, remorseless, paper-pushing functionary just doing his job.
The phrase banality of evil was instantly controversial, largely because it was misunderstood. Arendt was not trying to minimize Nazisms evil but to capture its enormity. The staggering moral horror of the Holocaust was that it made complicity normal. Liquidating the Jews was not just the stuff of mobs and demagogues but of bureaucracies and bureaucrats.
Now consider the stunted and ritualistic conversation (controversy is too vibrant a word for the mundane Internet chatter) about the Soviet Union sparked by the Winter Olympics. The humdrum shrugging at the overwhelming evil of Soviet Communism leaves me nostalgic for the Eichmann controversy. At least Arendt and her critics agreed that evil itself was in the dock; they merely haggled over the best words to put in the indictment.
What to say of the gormless press-agent twaddle conjured up to describe the Soviet Union?
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
53 million babies have been killed in America as a matter of convenience and the press and politicians and judges just shrug. The media even opts to not cover rallies with hundreds of thousands of persons in attendance.
What to say of the gormless press-agent twaddle conjured up to describe the USA?
Gormless: thank you Corny, never too old to increase ones vocabulary.
“Slave-owning, destroyers of the environment, empire-building, 1%....”
The tyrant is powerless without subjects.
Lays it all out with citations to original sources. Highly recommended.
Scientism don't believe that.
C.S.Lewis, in an introduction to The Screwtape Letters, said much the same thing- the real evil, or at least the genesis of real evil in its human form, was often begotten not in rage, sadism and fury, but in bland meeting rooms and documented via mind numbingly boring memos. there was a TV movie ‘Conspiracy’ about the Wannasee conference that was quite interesting,too.
That’s a big pill. Did you read it?
It was a few years ago, but yes, I did. The grand total is 80-100 million dead in the 20th Century due to communism, most in the Soviet Union and China.
Generally, people do not begin to grasp the horror of their situation until too late: that is, until they realize that thousands of their fellow humans have been murdered for reasons that are utterly irrational. Irrationality, hiding behind sober reason and a belief that the inexorable march of history demands the sacrifice of millions to assure a happy future for billions, seems essentially more irrational and dangerous that the kind of irrationality that, in and through myth, admits to its own existence, comes to terms with the "positive powers," and, at most, sacrifices animals. --Vaclav Havel
Ditto. I now have a favorite new word.
Please, don’t thank me. Thank Goldberg. He’s describing the the imperial poobah’s emmisaries, I think.
Both Lewis and Tolkien deal with evil in a studied way. I always thought that Tolkien had not just the war but his colleagues in mind in writing his LOR trilogy.