Saturday, January 21, 2006

I am a Liberal

Watched The Cabaret today after a couple decades, a surprisingly good movie, I was surprised by it. And somehow I ended up thinking about the nightmares that gave birth to us, that we are not supposed to remember in any significant way: the hopeless prison that was Siberia, the living horror of Auschwitz. Those images are our bitter heritage. Yes, our hopes will collapse, any progress will no doubt turn out to be hollow, only good for selling a few movie tickets. But still the mere failing attempt is full of honour, full of gentleness. We have not built up the prisons, we have not done the slaughter and torture, we have dared to imagine something better. No doubt it is a doomed dream, maybe even the slow holocaust of history might have been a slight degree or two milder if it would never have existed. But it is something else, something absurdly gentle in this harsh world, something outside of our animal nature however permanent that will turn out to be.

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