Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Haunting Quote From Borges

Jorge Luis Borges
A remembered passage from Jorge Luis Borges grows louder in my head as disregard for facts grows in my country's government. This paragraph comes from his story "Deutsches Requiem," as translated by Julian Pelley. The words are spoken by a the character of a German convicted of war crimes after the Second World War and is the summation of a fascist and totalitarian worldview:
An inexorable epoch is spreading over the world. We forged it, we who are already its victim. What matters if England is the hammer and we the anvil, so long as violence reigns and not servile Christian timidity? If victory and injustice and happiness are not for Germany, let them be for other nations. Let Heaven exist, even though our dwelling place is Hell.
 I hope this philosophy grossly over-represents whatever philosophy informs the current administration. However, without respect for objective reality, with tightened nationalism and with disrespect of the impoverished, the path to that "dwelling place" looks broad and clear.

Again, I hope I'm wrong.

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