Monday July 13, 2020

There’s no sign of a European Mandela

The South African leader showed the way for an entire continent. We could do with some of his qualities right now

28th June, 2015
2
Nelson Mandela with his wife Winnie after being released from prison in February 1990: the South African leader chose to forgive, rather than punish.

In her groundbreaking book Eichmann In Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt, the Jewish German intellectual who fled the Nazis, coined the expression “the banality of evil”. She reported on the Eichmann trial and, after closely studying the butcher of Auschwitz, she made the central point that, rather than being fanatics or psychopaths, many profoundly evil people are deeply normal.

This notion troubles us, because evil is always much easier to rationalise if we are comforted...

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