Rethinking the Banality of the Good
Ethics / Philosophy / West

Rethinking the Banality of the Good


The most evil man in the world right now, seems to be a retired lieutenant colonel of the Russian KGB, who is determined to reestablish the Soviet empire, to invade world and was likened to Hitler by a leading politician of a superpower. To others, President Vladimir Putin is a judo-chopping, IMF-taming, U.S.-defying global hero. But according to the controversial biography of Stanislav Belkovsky, a star columnist at a Moscow tabloid, former speechwriter and insider, Putin represents the “Banality of the Good” (quote). The striking similarity with Hannah Arendt’s remark, one of the 20th century’s great political thinkers did catch my eye and let me finish his book, which has its weaknesses. Now if “being good” is all, after a string of rumours and dirty laundry, which may or may not be true, what Stanislav Belkovsky, sworn enemy of Putin, came up against him, there must be something unworthy with all of us, not belonging to the élite. I long fancied to write a psychological study of Putin, motivated by the C.G. Jung interview of H.R. Knickerbocker 1938 in the Cosmopolitan , reprinted in C.G. Jung Speaks (page 115-135). To qualify the banality of the good (or the evil) I will follow C.G. Jung’s method, the money flow and the little I really know about the person Putin – that is some minor direct account, my own remote observation, his own account and what his enemies say. Continue reading