Heroic Evil

Men cause evil by wanting to heroically triumph over it.

Ernest Becker, 1975

Simple statement of the problem(*). Taken from Roger Griffin’s 2007 “Modernism and Fascism“. Reading this slowly, because it is intellectually / technically wordy, but also because several other recent reads referred to it (including McGilchrist IIRC, though I’d bought it before I’d read the latter.). A study of what made modernism and the responses that lead to the (re-)invention of transcendent narratives – eg eternal beauty – when these are dismantled by enlightenment thinking. Depressingly true. So far (1/3 through) Nietzsche, particularly Zarathustra, is a major source for Griffin.

Never did write a complete review of McGilchrist’s “The Master and his Emissary“. Excellent read (incidentally a title also taken from Nietzsche), but most of my thoughts distributed in various blog comment threads, not just this one.

Come back right-brain, all is forgiven, incidentally also a theme of this latest summary by Alan Rayner of his approach to The Hole of Education.

(*) And still further incidentally, when I read the quote, I thought immediately of why I cannot stand Ayn Rand, and flicked to the index and bibliography to discover she was not one of Griffin’s references. I only had that in mind because there are Rand fans talking about a film release of her Atlas Shrugged.

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