Monday, July 16, 2007

You could say this about Ellison too 

In commenting on Betty Williams' statement that she "would love to be able to kill" George Bush, but non-violently (this makes it so much better), Eric Falkenstein observes that while Williams means well, her view is nonetheless evil:
Evil isn't Snidely Whiplash or the Legion of Doom who explicitly state an intention to hurt people (and are comic characters). It's people with really good intentions operating under extreme confidence against other people's will, creating a greater good such as the no-Bush world, or rule 'by the people'.

It's good to know what evil really is: good intentions, enthusiastically applied, on a bad theory. These people are creating utopias or protecting some principle, and the mere sadists are just opportunists. The idea that killing a politician who won two democratic elections, because one disagrees (strongly!) with them is based on the premise that Bush actually stole the election, or that he is in fact cynically trying to favor big business knowing this merely sucks the life out of average people, or some other caricature. ... As Nietzsche said, no one lies like the indignant, and they lie to promote a greater good. It is facts that matter, because facts constrain theories, and if you assume the wrong facts, your theory that explains those facts is wrong, and an extreme application of that theory is evil.
And nobody does indignant like the StarTribune's editorial board, still shilling for Ellison.