Saturday, November 1, 2008


To paraphrase Arendt (Responsibility and Judgement, 111), the greatest evil is committed by no-one. Today the Good has vanished and we live in the era when evil is opposed only by innocence. But innocence is only the alibi of of a systemic evil for which no-one takes responsibility, of which no-one is agent. Each of us 'needs' a car, 'has no alternative', respects the 'rights' of shareholders. At every level the alibi persists, while millions die – innocently. Only if they protest, with arms, against their deaths, do they lose their innocence and become either victims or evil. Innocence is so deeply ensconced – from the paedocracy of television (Hartley) to the construction of paedophilia as the ultimate evil – that we are come to the idiot moment where all of us claim to be either children or villains. For the children among us there is only wide-eyed surprise at the results of our inaction – for lack of action and action without consequence is the prerogative of infants – while the handful of genuine villains confront their own despair, as did Saul. A world in which we must be either nietzschean aristocrats or Eichmanns is not a world

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