Thursday, April 9, 2020

On the Meaning of Evil

In Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward, a character visits the zoo and finds an empty cage with a notice saying that the monkey that used to live in this cage was blinded by an evil man who threw tobacco in its eyes. The character is shocked because in communist ideology, the word “evil” is generally associated with the traitors and the agents of American imperialism who plot against the Soviet Union. That an evil man would do something as immoral and meaninglessly cruel as throwing tobacco into a monkey’s eyes fills the character with disbelief.

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