“Evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb.” (Dark Helmet, Spaceballs (1987 Mel Brooks movie)
Beneath the fold here, for those of that kind of bent, is a musical piece, Opus 84 by Ludwig Van Beethoven, otherwise known as Egmont. It is the overture only, about eleven minutes. We were just listening to it today as we traveled up into the hills to view the change of colors.
Egmont is based on a play by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe of the same name. The reason I bring it here is not to go all hoity toity on you, but rather because I read the play some time back, and can only now place it in perspective.
In the play, Lamoral, Count of Egmont, is introduced to us via his aides, making decisions that affect the people he governs. He is eminently generous, kind, and fair. When it is suggested to him, for instance, that he can raise additional needed revenue by taxing pensioners, he notes that pensioners probably have more need for the money than him. These words, to my knowledge, have never been uttered in real life by any taxing authority anywhere.
That kind of goodness in a public leader sends off messages, and plotting begins probably immediately to end his life. Egmont is called to a meeting with the Grand Duke of Alba, which is really just a trap. He is arrested and imprisoned. His mistress, Klärchen, tries desperately to rescue him. Silly me, as with Ned in Game of Thrones, I thought there would be some last-minute intervention to save poor Egmont, but no, he hangs, and Klärchen commits suicide. It’s not a happy ending.
The reason I am playing with this topic is because I am currently reading Political Ponerology by Andrew M. Lobaczewski (1921-2007). “Ponerology” is a term coined by him and certain Polish acquaintances, and is defined as the study of evil in human society. I’ve noted that with Covid and with Climate Change we are dealing with evil people, unhinged and able to do almost anything they please without repercussion. Lobaczewski optimistically wants to know better what makes people evil so that we can understand them and contain them. He knows he is dealing with psychopaths, and if you, dear reader, do not see psychopathy behind Climate Change and Covid, then it is time to smell the coffee. These are evil people, and they intend to do us great harm. I do not know if it can be reduced to mere misanthropy, or if they are so infused with agitation and rage that suggesting they merely hate humanity just doesn’t cover it. They loathe us. They want us dead and gone.
Egmont is about good versus evil, and how evil usually triumphs. For Egmont, no good deed, no sense of justice, no sacrifice made for his people goes unpunished. There is a sense of despondency I feel when I look around and see how bought in most people are, and I only offer that I do not want to harm, much less kill anyone. I am a good person, as are most people, even if hopelessly naive.
There is no fitting end to this blog post. I just have to stop writing. Enjoy the music, if classical music is your bent!