Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The great contemporary heresy

Foreign policy "realists" and neocons share an important characteristic: they both subscribe to what C.S. Lewis called the great contemporary heresy: that evil is more powerful than good, and that good cannot survive without an admixture of evil to give it strength. Orwell identified the same basic psychological kink as "power worship," and thought it was linked to cowardice.

So when Vladimir Putin shows that a willingness to use violence and break civilized norms sometimes succeeds, people on the right who hate and fear him as much as I do jump to the conclusion that what America needs is leaders like Vladimir Putin, willing to "take risks" with other people's lives.

Well-stated by Mark Kleiman at "The Reality-Based Community."

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