Many readers of this piece will most likely take issue with me on my premise. We look at, or look back at instances of evil acts or evil beliefs, and cannot believe that the perpetrators were not aware of their evil. Evil is defined as ‘ Profound immorality and wickedness’. Let us look at one of the most evil eras of recent history: The Nazi regime in Germany. Did Hitler and his millions of minions not realize that their behavior was downright evil? Sadly, being a student of that time period in Germany, this writer says NO, those ‘ true believers’ in that cause did not see their actions as evil. Just as their American cousins during the period of slavery , they believed that Jews and Slavs were as subhuman as the blacks who came over in chains. When one sees another human being as NOT actually being human… terrible actions occur. The mindset delves deep into one’s subconscious and evil is accepted, because to the true believer there is nothing evil about what they do or feel.
Errol Morris, great documentarian ( 2003 The Fog of War) in 2018 sat with Steve Bannon, ultra right wing so called populist and enabler of Donald Trump , who actually helped run Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign. For 90 minutes in this filmed interview ( American Dharma) one could see just how misinformed and possibly evil this man is. Bannon is a true believer in what Q-Anon offers as the aggressive and sometimes violent remedy for what they call The Deep State. He actually uses the phrase ‘ The Elites’ even more than Chris Hedges does in his rhetoric. Of course, the difference between Bannon and Hedges is that in Hedge’s case the ‘ Elites’ are ALL the Super Rich enemies of working stiff America. Bannon serves the elites who run the Deep State, only focusing his animus towards the Democratic Party leaning portion. HIs main man Trump , part of this Deep State for decades, conned the Deplorables as Hillary Clinton labeled the low brow MAGA crowd. Bannon, in the documentary, seems to deeply believe that those folks are the ‘ Salt of the American earth’ . It is being proven that Bannon may have used more than his rhetoric to orchestrate the Jan 6th insurrection, where the violence he predicted was necessary.
When the Nazis corralled Europe’s Jews worse than one treats cattle, and slaughtered them in a similar manner, did they realize that what they were doing was Evil? Himmler, one of the architects of The Final Solution, having personally watched German police and soldiers shoot dead in execution style myriads of Jews, became distressed. His anxiety was not for the naked and freezing Jews thrown dead into the pits, but rather for the men who killed them. He did not wish for them to have panic attacks and other mental breakdowns. So, he devised the gas chambers, freeing his loyal men from torment. Bottom line: The Nazis, if given sodium pentothal, or truth serum, would , in this writer’s eyes, honestly dismiss what they were doing as being Evil. The carcasses , loaded ad finitum onto conveyer belts and into the fires, were no different than dead barnyard animals to be eliminated. Such was this sick and twisted mindset.
The Nazi killing machine was actually that of insane operators. In their convoluted minds they were cleansing the world of what they perceived as evil. These crazy men saw themselves as saviors of their people. Steve Bannon declares that he wants the whole current system destroyed , not caring for how much collateral damage in human form goes down with it. As they did in Vietnam, you destroy a village to ‘ Save it’. He labels himself a populist, and he made sure to condemn those terrible Neo Nazi white supremacists that caused the August 12th, 2017 Charlottesville Virginia riot. Yet, he surrounds himself with such types, always under differently named organizations. When you go to his podcasts, see for yourself who he shares his toxic water with. Shrewd dude to say the least. And what of those fools, the ones who followed and still follow Bannon and the Trump Cabal’s hypnotic calling for insurrection? Like the hundreds of thousands of men and women who wore the brown uniforms as Storm Troopers way back when, the fools do the rioting and violence whenever their masters direct them. To Bannon thuggery becomes patriotism. To this writer there is NO mental illness here with Steve Bannon. He is too bright a man to not know what have been the results of his machinations. There is NO ignorance of his evil here.
As is always the case,Mr. Farruggio’s analysis is spot-on. His” take” on Bannon’s type of evil is chillingly accurate .History will judge both Trump and his enabler,Bannon,as two of the worst cretins to ever inhabit the earth..
thanks miles. were you a professor at Brooklyn College? Is that where we met?