That sounds a little strong, right? After all, he's such a nice man!
That's what Hannah Arendt meant by "the banality" of evil. It is nice people who make possible the worst things.
"Nice" people made possible the holocaust.
|It's YOUR fault!|
The US has killed something like 20 million people since 1945 in unnecessary wars and supporting militaristic or fascist regimes. At this moment, women and children are dying in Yemen -- and the "nice" people of the US -- AND Canada -- whose governments support the Saudis don't seem to care.
|Banality by Banksy|
"Nice" is a disease. Rather, "nice" is Normopathy -- where an imagined reality allows us to enable all sorts of terrible things, without any remorse -- a kind of social psychopathy. The Nazis were "nice" -- to their friends and families. They thought of themselves as completely "normal", too. Ultimately, they were merely banal.
But normopathy breaks down when reality hits us in the face. Thank you Donald Trump.
Trump is NOT "nice". With him, all definitions of "nice" are turned topsy turvey. Yes, he is, in his way, anti-social and is hellbent on destroying the social contract. But maybe that is a natural corrective.
So we hate him. He upsets us with cognitive dissonance.
Look in the mirror -- is your hair turning orange?
As Bob Dylan writes, "Something is happening... and you don't know what it is". Can you be sure about anything now?
Maybe not even Justin. Is that a stain on his pink shirt? Why is giving American border agents rights in Canada that impact civil liberties? Why is he making racist comments about Indian kids? Is he really a liberal.? Why does he hate kittens? (Actually he doesn't -- he just prefers dogs.). What kind of porn' does he like?
Has Trump broken the mirror? Or has he put up a better one -- the full length kind that shows all your flaws. No matter. You can't rest easy. As I said: cognitive dissonance.
As we consider Trump's idiocies, the issues become clearer -- and more and more attention is being given to the neoliberal agendas which in effect created the Donald-- as well as, ironically, Justin Trudeau. One of those issues is the contradiction, corruption -- and banality -- of "liberal" parties like the Democratic Party in the US and the Liberal Party of Canada. If you voted for these people -- look in the mirror. Your fault.
Oh yes, these are chaotic times. And something is very, very wrong.
Little wonder there has been a spate of articles comparing Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's 1984. Alan Postman,quotes his father Neil Postman who, Amusing Ourselves To Death (1985) wrote:
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture.In the age of the Trivial -- the most trivial wins.
Trump -- who has just turned national politics into a reality show -- is proof that.
But: 51% of millenials no longer believe in capitalism. Which means maybe there is hope.
In the meantime, Trudeau will prove that he lacks his father's abilities. I grant that he would like to be like his father -- but he is more Margaret Trudeau Redux, who quickly established herself as self-indulgent, narcissistic -- in love with the trends of the moment. Pierre Trudeau was also self-indulgent and narcissistic -- but he has contrarian and individualistic and willing to buck trends.
Justin Trudeau is no Bad-Ass like Dad. In fact, Justin would have been the perfect High School President and he would put on a good Prom'.
Pierre Trudeau would have been in the parking lot in black leather on a bike, drinking from a flask with a skanky tattooed girl on the back.
Justin is ever so "nice", ever so "normal" . Remember high school. Teachers always predicted "great things" for people like him. But in the end, they were mediocrities. In the end, they were banal. And that, as we have seen, is the problem.