Saturday, July 29, 2006

"On the Clash of Civilizations"

Father passed away long before Samuel Huntington coined the phrase, but he had been aware of the concept. "In theory, all evil is the same," he would say. "In practice, choosing intelligently between evils can make the difference between life and death.

"Assume, for instance," he continued, "that you are a European Jew in the year 1944. As such, you must support everyone in the world against the Nazis, including the Communists. Once the Nazis are defeated, you can support everyone in the world against the Communists, including the Fascists. Once the Communists are vanquished, you may turn against the Fascists, and so on."

"Does it ever end?" I asked.

"Are you serious?" asked Father. "How could it possibly end? Evil is inexhaustible."

-George Jonas Beethoven's Mask