In the belly of the beast we’re all living,
And into the belly of the beast,
They all want to come.
There is an axiom among common men,
That the closer you get to the gun pointed at you,
Then the sooner you should have started to run.
The thing I like about Hannah Arendt is that she defined the face of evil for what it really is, an abstraction. It is not Eichmann’s face who has mistakenly been placed in our minds as evil’s poster boy archtype. To accept that rendition misses the point of her remarkable insight.
Rarely, do we recognize evil because we humans, whether intelligently or not, haven’t ever moved beyond archetypes, prototypes and stereotype classification frameworks, call them mental cages if you want, for those who don’t think but only react to what they believe is good and evil.
The rigidity of thinking in america is about as banal as anything can be, beginning in our belief of american supremacy and exceptionalism that every american is imbued with but also the religious, cultural, and economic beliefs from which all of us use to make sure we fall into the proper hierarchy, our own self-interest, our survival backups, because as individuals we are really nothing. No one survives on their own but depending on each person’s ability to deny or abstract where or how they survive, where the meat and potatoes come from, where the shit goes, who cleans up the messes, and who makes them, none of us is unique, a product of the american up by your own bootstraps mentality that prevails in american individualism.
As I write this at the beginning of 2021, a year already designated in people’s minds as HOPE RENEWED, another one day high in covid deaths is set in the country, surrounding so many of us who are ensconced in a lifestyle, though not entirely exempt from the dark outside, much like revelers in Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, this natural dilemma primarily affects poor, disadvantaged and economically disabled human beings.
I am not blind to the good of individuals but I am not blind to the insidious, banal motivations of the powerful, those who shoulder none of the responsibilities in society as well deny their own outlaw culpability, belief they are above the law or beyond the law because they make the law.
It's said that the liberal class and it’s somewhat resistant agenda is merely to give voice to what is seen by many as flaws in the institutions that surround, confound, and control us, but, also, to provide protection for those institutional flaws by telling us that change is the heart of our democracy when, in reality, change comes hard, hardly ever comes but we always have hope.