- Counter-Currents Publishing - http://www.counter-currents.com -

The Reality of Evil


Arno Breker sculptures in 1945

1,770 words

French translation here [2]

I suppose I am a 45-year-old child. When you’re small, you think that all adults are good and have your best interests at heart. This innocence is one of the things that make children lovable.

It’s also one of the reasons we are so horrified by cases of child abuse, neglect, and molestation. The thought of that innocence being shattered so violently is abhorrent to us. Most children, of course, lose their innocence in less dramatic ways: they come to slowly understand that not everyone is good. Some people are flawed, and some are downright evil.

My problem is that I’ve found it hard to come to terms with just how flawed people are, and, especially, with the reality of human evil. It’s not that I am unaware of human shortcomings and human wickedness. It is as if I only accept these things in the abstract. When confronted in my daily life with actual instances of vice and evil, I am always taken by surprise. I very often go through a period (which gets briefer as I get older) of wondering if I have interpreted the other person’s behavior correctly – and often I even wonder whether I myself have done some wrong which has brought this behavior on. (I am always my own worst critic.)

I don’t think that the root of this problem is simple insecurity or lack of faith in my own judgment. Instead, it has more to do with an inability on my part to put myself in the evildoer’s place and achieve some understanding of how it was possible for them to do what they did. To concretize this a bit, sometimes on my job I encounter other individuals being obviously, grossly petty, dishonest, and vindictive. When confronted with their acts, at first I am always in a state of disbelief, and often, as I have said, I question my own perceptions. The reason for this is that I cannot understand how someone could behave in such a fashion, and still be able to look at themselves in the mirror.

Like anyone else, I have moments where I am tempted to act in ways that are petty, spiteful, and dishonest. But I pride myself on being a very self-aware person. I am generally – not always, but generally – aware of my own motivations. And I have a keen vision of the sort of person I want to be, and be seen as (by myself, predominantly, and by others). When, for example, I see a person being spiteful out of what is quite obviously envy I wonder how they can allow themselves to behave in such a way — when their actions provide such a crystal-clear glimpse into the depths of their soul. Aren’t they concerned that the person to whom their spite is directed will recognize that it stems from envy, and hold them in contempt? Don’t they have a vision of themselves, an ideal, that is incompatible with such small-minded behavior?

An even more disturbing question also now occurs to me more and more: are they perhaps simply unaware of their own motivations? But here’s the most disturbing question of all: might they be entirely aware of their motivations, and simply not care? If you are looking for a definition of evil, gentle reader, this is it. Evil is the conscious doing of what one knows to be wrong; the conscious and deliberate effort to do harm or make mischief, just because one knows it is harmful and mischievous.

Evil is worse than “bad,” as everyone intuitively knows. A philosopher once explained the distinction along the following lines. If someone burglarizes my home and steals my TV, my computer, my watch, and my collection of Third Reich memorabilia, that’s bad. If someone breaks into my home and steals all the above, and kills my cat, pisses in my refrigerator, and paints hateful words on my walls, that’s evil. Thieves are bad, but they don’t generally do what they do because they want to harm us; they just want our stuff without having to work for it. They’re crooked, but not twisted. The second example I’ve given is one where the actor is evil: he does wrong just because he knows it is wrong, and because he wants to cause harm. That’s twisted.

The first novel I ever really loved was Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. The chief villain of that novel is Ellsworth Toohey, an architectural critic who tries to destroy the career of Rand’s hero, Howard Roark. Toohey is portrayed as self-consciously evil: he is moved to destroy Roark because of Roark’s greatness; because he, Toohey, knows he could never create anything of beauty or importance himself. In one of the novel’s most memorable scenes, Toohey makes a lengthy speech in which he makes it crystal clear that he is perfectly aware that he is motivated by envy, and that he doesn’t care. When I first read The Fountainhead at the tender age of twenty, I found Toohey an implausible character. Now I’m not so sure.

Toohey is, of course, an embodiment of Nietzsche’s “slave morality.” (Rand was heavily influenced by Nietzsche – more so than her followers would allow – and even planned at one point to introduce each section of The Fountainhead with a quote from Nietzsche.) Motivated by resentment, the “slave types” effect a transvaluation of values, denigrating all that is great, noble, and beautiful, and celebrating the weak, the defective, and the ugly. Nietzsche saw Christianity and modern leftism as expressions of slave morality. In other words, they are expressions of envy and resentment. Rand had a nice way of defining envy, worthy of Nietzsche: “hatred of the good for being the good.”

And this is really why recognizing the reality of evil is so important for our cause. I have found that the most vexing question for right wingers is why it is that so many of our own people seem bent on destroying our people and our culture. I remember a conversation I had years ago with one of the most prominent right wingers in the country in which again and again he expressed his bafflement with the suicidal self-hatred of whites. It is tempting to think that such individuals are “misguided.” And, of course, some are: the ones who have been to college and have had political correctness rammed down their throats, and who know nothing else.

But what of the professors who taught these people? What of the racial hucksters of the SPLC? What of the people who shut down the American Renaissance Conferences? What of the German legal authorities jailing individuals for violations of political correctness? (To say nothing of the legal authorities in Canada, England, France, Austria, etc.) What of Tony Blair and his minions, who removed restrictions on immigration with the deliberate intention of destroying the last remnants of traditional British culture? What of the American politicians who do nothing to stop illegal immigration, when their own people are unable to find jobs? What of the American politicians who gladly send Americans off to fight and die for Israel, rather than forfeit their lucrative and powerful positions? What of the college admission boards actively discriminating against whites? What of the American college presidents who shut down German Studies departments to make way for departments of “Latino/Latina” studies?

Our mission – saving our people and our culture – actually depends upon keeping clearly in mind that evil, “plain, naked, smirking evil” (to borrow another phrase from Rand), is the best explanation for most of these phenomena. To entertain the idea that those responsible may be merely “misguided” is a dangerous error. First of all, we must come to recognize – as I, in my life, have had some difficulty recognizing – that evil is a reality. As I get older and reflect more and more on the predicament we are in, it becomes ever clearer to me that our enemies are, for the most part, evil and not merely wrong.

Second, as a matter of “strategic policy,” it is better to assume the worst about our opponents. To do otherwise is far too risky. There is just too much at stake here to give our enemies “the benefit of the doubt,” to wring our hands over what their motivations might be, and to be charitable. I think there is a great temptation to be too charitable to our enemies and the system they represent, simply because the possibility that they and it are irreparably and irredeemably evil is so terrible a thought that many of us shrink from it. But we must not shrink from this. And when we do actually win – and we will win – we must resist the temptation to be magnanimous (one of the most noble, but potentially dangerous inclinations of our people). When that time comes we must keep squarely in mind that our victory is a victory over evil, and we must not forgive and forget.

Make no mistake, we are not fighting for a world in which people will have the “right” to teach and propagate the false doctrines that are currently destroying us. Those doctrines must be expelled utterly from all public discourse and heavy penalties must be imposed upon those who would still espouse them. The organizations that have been formed to spread these anti-white, anti-Western, anti-male ideologies must be destroyed. The institutions that have been hijacked to propagate these ideas (the schools, the churches, etc.) must be completely overhauled and the chief propagators expelled. In short, we must take a page, or two, or two hundred, out of the communist playbook and ruthlessly purge purge purge.

None of this is possible if we take the attitude “Oh, Aaron may be a communist but he sure is nice guy,” or “Andrea may be a feminist but she sent me such a nice card when my collie died.” All of us have to wake up to the fact that we fighting the biggest, toughest, most important battle we have ever faced, and that if we lose we lose everything. We will not succeed unless we keep squarely in mind that ours really is a battle of good versus evil. Ours is a battle to save beauty, nobility, and greatness from the fang-bearing, beady-eyed, life-hating forces of envy and resentment. It’s as simple as that.

Sometimes human beings aren’t complicated at all. Sometimes they are simply evil. And healthy individuals and healthy peoples must be keenly and constantly aware of this fact.