Sunday, October 14, 2012
[Start][Previously on]

The Shadow of Heidegger

Let’s speak of evil. Everything leads us to this uncomfortable, ineffable concept. The beast is within us. Let’s not lose time. Let’s leave aside all theological elucidation. Or politics: Hobbes, Master, man is the wolf of man, but there’s something worse than evil. And it has just been said by the little Argentinian poet: insolent evil. I’ll tell you what I understand by it.

Don’t you want to rest? Are you following me or are you already tired. Look, here we have the good local wine of the region. What if we had a drink? What if we got drunk enough to face what is coming? Yes, I know. I’ve moved away from the Luger, but you won’t do anything. Watch me, I walk freely around the room. Can you reach, given the ambulatory cause, the Luger? Don’t try it. I’ll reach it first, from wherever I am, even if I hide under that chair. I’m younger. And I know, more than you, what I want. Besides, a man of your genius would have already figured out the truth, at this point, unconcealable: I’m not here to kill you, or to hurt you. Why, then, would you so something like that to me? You have nothing to fear, nothing to defend yourself from; only from one thing, only from an image, but no, not yet. I insist: shall we have a glass of this good and noble German wine? You won’t even answer that? Such an innocent question also merits your ontological silence?

Let’s continue.

Let us speak of evil. Or not, of something more specific: of insolent evil. When is evil insolent? When it is humiliating, or offensive; when it seeks to break man, to break subjectivity, to eliminate all possible identity. The end of all violence is in offending the person. Offend it until it is converted to a thing; into a hated thing, worthless, in the garbage. A man is a man when he has a center and that center is his identity. That identity is all that a man has done to be who he is. It is his most valuable thing he has because it’s his most genuine work: himself. The insolence of evil attacks that self-evaluating flank. As long as we believe we are worth something we won’t allow ourselves to be murdered like animals. As long as we believe we are worth something still, rebellion will appear as our most genuine, saving possibility. But no: Evil seeks to destroy all that makes of a man . . . a man. From here on, regard his insolence. Destroy. Break. Humiliate. Torture. Show them in their absolute nakedness. Show them, man, women, children, as scraps. Stripped of their clothes, scrawny, terrified, they can only cause pity or the infamous but devastating laughter of the executioners. It ennobles you if you want to do it. Don’t look at it from far away. Don’t look at it with disgust. Hold it like this.


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