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

The banality of evil from a Jungian view
C.G.Jung / Contemporary / History / Philosophy / West

The banality of evil from a Jungian view


We’ve all heard the phrase “the banality of evil”, coined by the political theorist Hannah Arendt. Her 1951 masterwork, “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” about the parallels between Hitler’s Third Reich and Stalinist Russia, made her an intellectual celebrity. In her book, she argued that totalitarian regimes seek to dominate every aspect of everyone’s life as … Continue reading

A primatologist image of God: The Ultimate Chimp
C.G.Jung / East / Ethics / History / Religion / West

A primatologist image of God: The Ultimate Chimp


Maybe it’s because I am an “unchurched”, humanist religious person, but todays anti-religious tracts and rants do bore me.  However, a new book of  the primatologist Frans de Waal, raised hope for new insights: The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates. He made accidentally an interesting point – the reciprocal imago dei (God’s imago modelled after human) of todays … Continue reading

Burning Ahmed Baba and Alexandrian library – Is Sufism haram?
Astrology / Contemporary / Gnostic / History / Medival / Religion / Science / Sufism

Burning Ahmed Baba and Alexandrian library – Is Sufism haram?


In another defining act of intellectual barbarism, “Islamist extremists” (term borrowed by AP – Activists, Islam fighters nor Islamists won’t do) in Mali destroyed a number of tombs in the ancient city of Timbuktu, which in the last year fell under control of a separatist insurgency. Home of the prestigious Sankore University, Timbuktu was an intellectual and spiritual capital and a centre for the propagation of Sufism (an Islam faction) throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its three great mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia, recall Timbuktu’s golden age. “The destruction is a divine order,” said a spokesman from Ansar Dine, a radical outfit with alleged links to al-Qaeda. Ansar Dine or “defenders of the faith” in Arabic is group led by a prominent leader of the Tuareg rebellion in the 1990s which wants the imposition of strict Sharia law across Mali.The Associated Press Posted Jan 28, 2013 @ 07:32 AMSEVARE, Mali (AP) — Islamist extremists torched a library containing historic manuscripts in Timbuktu, the mayor said today, as French and Malian forces closed in on Mali’s fabled desert city. Continue reading

PTSD and Moral Injury seen from C.G. Jung – Achilles in modern wars
C.G.Jung / Contemporary / Ethics / History

PTSD and Moral Injury seen from C.G. Jung – Achilles in modern wars


The Newsweek article “A New Theory of PTSD and Veterans: Moral Injury” was probably the best article I ever read about PTSD – besides Shay’s Achilles in Vietnam. Yes most important factors may very well be moral injury, traumatic events and being betrayed by leadership.  But, there is more  – ethical, Jungian depth psychological and political circumstances: Villains don’t … Continue reading

Attraction of “Adolf Hitler and Obersalzberg” – shadows of the dictator
Contemporary / History

Attraction of “Adolf Hitler and Obersalzberg” – shadows of the dictator


In September we camped on the lake “Königsee” enjoying a few beautiful Indian Summer days. The Königsee is only a few miles away from Obersalzberg, once Hitlers mountainside retreat. There is now a luxury hotel “Intercontinental” in this area situated above the market town of Berchtesgaden in Bavaria, Germany, located about 120 kilometres southeast of Munich. After 1935 Obersalzberg became very fashionable under the National Socialists … Continue reading

C.G. Jung and George Orwell’s doublespeak
C.G.Jung

C.G. Jung and George Orwell’s doublespeak


George Orwell’s iconic 1984 stand as perfect examples of the societal structures Jung warns against. Granted, all dystopian literature set in a totalitarian future could fall into this category, but two of his books are probably the two best examples of the genre. Animal Farm, and Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-four show totalitarian systems and are highly relevant … Continue reading