The Needed Evil

Blog Post Number 57 Written: 01-20-2022 Uploaded 05-05-2023

I read something my father had written shortly before I was born, and at the time of me reading it, it stuck a chord with me. I don’t remember the exact words, he had been talking heatedly about something he was very passionate about. But, paraphrasing here, it went something along the lines of. “The forces of good, must be nastier than the forces of evil, in order to be better than, to outlast, to survive the evil.”

Which makes a kind of sense, right? In order to defeat evil, to beat whatever the wrong is, you must be eviler than evil, you must be better at it then the person doing the wrong. In order to beat invading soldiers, you need better soldiers. The only way to stop violence is with more, faster, harder scarier violence, a bad guy with a gun is best stopped by a good guy with a gun.

Granted when he wrote it, it was three or four sentences and put together with more passion. But I think I made my point. This concept after some brief Grokking made plain sense to me and I didn’t think any more of it. Not for a couple years. It wasn’t until later after doing some reading on phycology and ethics and listening to some pod casts by associated college professors and such, that I was struck, nearly like a physical blow, as this concept was pushed another level deeper into my waking, understanding consciousness.

To be honest, it’s been a few months and I no longer remember the exact path of my cognitive process that led me to this conclusion, but I can share with you the conclusion.

In order for a person to be good, genuinely and earnestly good, and not just pleasant and nice because that’s what they’re supposed to do. More good than just going through the motions, or when it’s convenient but going out of your way to help others, to actually do good and instigate change. In order to be a real force for good, you must by necessity first be evil.

Look inward, be honest, with yourself, because in order to be honest with the world, you must first be honest with yourself. Look into your soul. How mean are you? How big is your capacity to hate? How easily can you be pushed into violence? To steal, to lie, to subvert, to be evil?

Let’s use the Nazi’s as an example. The sensible world universally agrees the holocost was a terrible thing, one of the greatest crimes against humanity. In the same era we had the Stalinist Regime, and Mao in China. All three of those combined, directly lead to the torture, abuse, dispossession and murder of tens of millions of people, have scarred the world, have scared history and left a black stain on the collective memory of the educated man for the better part of a century and who knows how many more centuries stretching into the future. Now let’s talk about the people who committed those crimes, and no I don’t mean just Hitler, or Stalin or whoever, but everyone involved. The men driving the trains to the concentration camps, the men patrolling the perimeters, manning the machine guns, running the furnaces and gas chambers, holding the rifles, forcing millions of people to dig their own mass graves at gun point. Those people the average enforce, the face of evil, not just the poster child of it.

After the end of the second world war, lots of phycologists were involved, lots of Nazi’s were interviewed, some in part of the trial for their war crimes, and only a few were found to be mentally unstable, to be truly socio pathic murders, not significantly higher than the average percentage to be taken from a random population sample. The overwhelming majority of those murdering, raping, burning, pillaging baby killers, were normal people. People like you and me. They had simply been given a little nudge, and that was all it took for them to fall of the cliff.

Now put yourself in the shoes of those men. How easy is it to think into the old primitive ways, to fall back into the simplicity of dividing the world into “US” and “THEM.” Especially when everyone else is doing it, when the whole country is rousted with the rhetoric and the propaganda. Take a moment, and think honestly about yourself, look inward. Would you have stopped it? Would you have supported it? Would you have quietly gone along so you didn’t stick out and get labeled as one of ‘them’? Humans are amazing at rationalizing their actions. A man who locked hundred of people inside the gas chambers never felt a drop of guilt, after all he didn’t kill them. Sure, he marched them in there at gun point and locked them inside, but he didn’t open the valves, he didn’t active the gas, he didn’t kill all those people.

How many died? And how many were complicit in those deaths? Just as many if not more when you think about it, it wasn’t just Germany allowing the rise of nationalism, but also the Russians letting the soviets disappear people to gulags and far off frozen lands, if they were lucky. Or the Japanese army as it raped and burned it’s’ way across China almost unabated prior to their attack on the United States and formal entry into the second world war. Those were all normal people, millions of them.  Sure, maybe you’re nicer than average, I hope so, I would like to think that my stories and content attracts good people. But the ‘average’ human is not a nice person and is little safer to be alone with then it is to be looked in a cage with a chimp in a zoo. I can’t remember who, but somewhere I heard the quote that “The only difference between humans and monkey’s is that we wash our hands after we throw our poop at each other.” You ever seen what a chimp can do to a human with its bare hands?

We’ve all seen what humans can do to other humans, the average person is fairly evil.  Now, we’ve compared ourselves to these other people, these historical references of evil, of hate, and destruction and murder, and fully realized, there was nothing special about the people who committed those atrocities. They look and talk, and work and sleep and eat just like everyone else.

Now if you’ve been honest with yourself, you’ve probably admitted some scarry and surprising things to yourself, about yourself. Don’t hide it, don’t run from it, don’t lie about it. That isn’t helping anyone, not you, not anyone you meet, not the rest of the world. You have to realize, not only are you like that, but so is everyone else. Some might be better, some will certainly be worse.

Once you admit that to yourself, and realize everyone, the whole world is that close to evil, that the veneer is that thin. Then you are ready to be a good person, to become a force for good, an agent for change.

Once you realize we are so close to the brink, that creates some fear in you, doesn’t it? That is the motivation to be good, to spread happiness, and smiles and kindness. Because now you realize what the alternative is, not just in the world, in other people, but in yourself. It becomes personal, and everything, every little act can become a step in the right direction, a won battle in the war against evil, in the struggle for us to survive as a species and not tear ourselves apart in some ways that are all too easy to imagine.

That is why, Evil is necessary, and before you can become good, you must be evil. The light is easiest to find, when you are in the darkness.

Thanks for stopping by, I’ll see you out there.

Published by chacerandolph

Science fiction author and Avionics Technician

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