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Let us assume for a moment (I
have no difficulty with this
but you might) that Hitler
in Mein Kampf was serious
about the restoration of
the peasant and the artisan (rather
attractive, isn't it?) and yet
to defend your peasants you need guns
and to have guns you need
heavy industry and for that
you need workers, and for that
you need food and was that
not what Stalin thought,
launching in 1929 the forced
collectivisation, the famine, the
'holodomor', he whose idea
was also peaceful, also, in its own way,
beautiful. There is a logic
at work in the world, a
principle that (I believe) is not
the principle of evil but
of Good and Evil, ever
inseparably entwined and often
indistinguishable. In this
forest, is there
a path, a possibility
of decision? That
(in theory) is what
Jesus gave us. Not
that we believe the Church
has escaped that
terrible logic, that
knowledge of good and evil, but
that a door has opened that leads
out of the world, out of the
battlefield where all the
good things of the world
slaughter each other - but where
are we to find the door - Jesus being
multifarious - there being so many
Jesuses, so many doors.


And so we return to
Hitler's dream. Hitler sleeping,
dreaming. Hitler has
mythical status as
the embodiment of evil. Hence denial
of the story of Eden, the tree
of the knowledge of Good
and Evil, and hence
incomprehensible. What
does he who is all evil, if
he is all evil, dream?
'How do you sleep at night?"
Sleeping and then waking
to the tasks of the day.
Planning the day. What evil
can I do today? Oh no.
He wakes to necessity.
He has a choice
not between good and evil but between
and good-and-evil. It is
a matter of degree. Hitler and Stalin saw
beyond the battlefield the field
of corn, beyond
the collapse of nations the collapse
of the nation -
the greater the power the greater
the necessity. I have often wondered about
the longing of powerful men
for powerlessness - for sleep,
for intoxication - the freedom
of the powerless - leaving one wondering could cruelty
be born of envy?


So perhaps the path is the path
preached by all the religions - the path
of irresponsibility - the path
of the unnecessary man -
the poet, the monk, the philosopher. Heidegger says
that the necessary needs the unnecessary, but alas
we could also say
the unnecessary needs the necessary. He cannot escape
the path of practicality, the path
of devastation. We are all
tied together - their
good and evil is our
good and evil. Combatting evil and protecting
the powerless, we,
the virtuous, of necessity,
find ourselves burning
Hamburg, making
a hecatomb of Dresden.