In Goethe’s play Faust, when the demon Mephistopheles is asked to reveal his true nature, he says that he is the spirit who always invalidates, who reduces something to nothing, and who undoes the acts of creation. Here’s a translation of Mephistopheles’s words:
“I am the spirit that negates.
And rightly so, for all that comes to be
Deserves to perish wretchedly;
'Twere better nothing would begin.
Thus everything that that your terms, sin,
Destruction, evil represent—
That is my proper element.”
Mephistopheles is like the twin forces of modernity: communism and capitalism. Like the communists and the capitalists, he is devoted to saying no to the facts of reality. He wants to obliterate the traditional systems and impose his own ideological agenda.
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