Cromwell as Christ, triumphing over evil
in the shape of the Whore of Babylon
the beast of the apocalypse.
|Countless educated people throughout the West would unthinkingly describe Hitler or Stalin or Saddam Hussein or the Ayatollah Khomeini as ‘evil’. The objection to what may seem a harmless rhetorical habit is that by using the term ‘evil’ we are not simply articulating a moral judgment; we are implicitly endorsing a traditional apocalyptic world-view. When we do this, we subtly mobilize almost all the projections and delusions which have always attended such views.The great danger of demonizing other regimes or their leaders in this way is
that, in the crusading zeal which results, we may find ourselves adopting
strategies which actually exacerbate or deepen the very moral wrongs we seek,
justifiably, to oppose.