August 4, 2010

The banality of evil

Someone who sees no resemblance between himself and his enemy, who believes that all the evil is in the other and none in himself, is tragically destined to resemble his enemy. But someone who, recognising evil in himself, discovers that he is like his enemy is truly different. By refusing to see the resemblance, we reinforce it; by admitting it we diminish it. The more I think I’m different, the more I am the same; the more I think I’m the same, the more I’m different … .
From Facing the Extreme: Moral life in the concentration camps, by Tzvetan Todorov