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The Normality of Evil

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Posted By: Judy W., 10/25/2023 7:28:38 AM

It is perhaps the fate of startling wisdom to become a repeated cliche. This is certainly what has happened to Arendt’s formulation regarding the ‘banality of evil’. What was a remarkable insight into the mediocrity and insignificance of men capable of astonishing evils (and hence the capacity of anyone of us to do the same) gradually became part of the furniture of discussions on totalitarianism. And like furniture, we would sit on it without paying it much attention. So yes, we all knew that Himmler was a failed chicken farmer. We all knew that much of the architecture of evil was conducted by little grey men with little grey souls.


He goes on to point out some evils that have become "normal" -- including everything that has been done against Trump and his followers.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: pros7767 10/25/2023 8:13:55 AM (No. 1585515)
Excellent article! Thanks for posting OP!
15 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: NorthernDog 10/25/2023 9:34:31 AM (No. 1585565)
This explains why white liberals are not bothered by rampant crime, poverty, and poor education amongst the urban populations. That quickly changes when evil spills over into their own neighborhoods - as is happening in Washington D.C. now.
11 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: Aubreyesque 10/25/2023 12:55:09 PM (No. 1585714)
I blame reality TV. Seriously! The lowest common denominator just so watchers can feel superior to the actions of the idiots getting 15 mins of fame. I especially point to the Kardashians who were VERY aggressive in marketing what was essentially porn. Thats it, that's all theyre known for: famous for being famous and riffing on that ad infinitum. Our attention has been grabbed and held by a madam and her street walking daughters. And then there was Honey Boo Boo....(you add to the list) Banal and without moral compasses.
3 people like this.

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It is perhaps the fate of startling wisdom to become a repeated cliche. This is certainly what has happened to Arendt’s formulation regarding the ‘banality of evil’. What was a remarkable insight into the mediocrity and insignificance of men capable of astonishing evils (and hence the capacity of anyone of us to do the same) gradually became part of the furniture of discussions on totalitarianism. And like furniture, we would sit on it without paying it much attention. So yes, we all knew that Himmler was a failed chicken farmer. We all knew that much of the architecture of evil was conducted by little grey men with little grey souls.
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