The Evil of Mediocrity and Bystanders

Trycia 2022-11-10 05:20:55

60 years ago, Hannah Arendt, a well-known Jewish political thinker, reported on Adolf Eichmann, the Israeli government's high-ranking Nazi official in Germany and the chief responsible for the "Final Plan" of the Holocaust, as a staff writer for The New Yorker. 's trial. And later put forward the famous concept of "banality of evil". In Arendt's view, this kind of evil exists widely in modern life, and its mediocrity is shaped by the unintentional actions of countless individuals. Under the shroud of this banal evil, the individual will forever succumb to the situation or system of the times, acquiesce in the immoral behavior and even become the practitioner of this immoral system. At the same time, their unease of conscience has also been relieved by the protection of the system and the identification of similar individuals, that is to say, the external affirmation strengthens the legitimacy of the individual's inner consciousness of doing evil, and erases the negative consequences of unthinking evil deeds. guilt. In "Foxtrot" this film is full of such banal evil. The army condolence team responsible for conveying the news of soldier Jonathan's death ignored the grief of the deceased's relatives and just wanted to use a mechanical process to complete their task; the army's information office miscommunicated the death news, the deceased was another Jonathan, but characterized his angry father as a result. For "schizophrenia"; while the father, who berated the army for inaction and bureaucracy, just turned away after expelling the condolence team, and turned around to transfer his son home from the front line; the correspondent at the border sentinel liked to tease and embarrass the passing car owners. The frontier commander educates his soldiers to completely forget the four young men they killed by mistake, because they are acting on orders, war is war, and there are many such bullshit things in wartime, and it’s okay to treat everything as if it didn’t happen. best results. It seems that all the mediocre evils can be wiped away like the giant excavator in the film that easily covers up the four fresh lives that were accidentally killed, as long as you are willing to give up the right to judge your personal value and regard yourself as A screw, a cog in a huge ideological machine. But the film's ending shows that our banal evil will eventually spill over into us. There is a camel in the film that always unknowingly traverses the border of Israel. The reason why its "deviance" is allowed by the soldiers is that it has no sense of borders and does not distinguish between good and evil. Here the camel is the symbol of all those who carry out banal evil. At the end of the film, the munitions car carrying soldier Jonathan fell from a high slope in order to avoid the camels on the road. Jonathan, who was "resurrected from the dead", died again, and his parents lost their beloved son again. Everything was like dancing with a foxtrot. Just like back to square one, and it's all just because of that clueless camel. Andy, author of the movie "The Martian" Weir wrote a novel called "Egg", which contains this sentence: "As long as you harm others, you are also harming yourself; every act of kindness you do will fall on yourself." The novel is set Each person is actually the God of his own universe, and he is every life in the universe in the past, present and future, and "every person who has existed or will exist". Looking at life from this perspective, the behavior of mediocre evil eroding the bottom line of individual morality is a moral forced landing on the absolute spiritual realm of all mankind. There is also a very interesting point in the film that refers to the evil of mediocrity, that is, when my father exchanged a second-hand pornographic book with his family's ancestral Hebrew Bible when he was young, according to himself, he was "pulled like a zombie." Go to the store on Allenby Street and watch yourself hand over your Bible." In several places in the film, we use vertical top-down and rotating lenses to present us with this kind of onlooker perspective. Under the heavy pressure, the spirit is highly detached and dizzy. At the same time, this kind of bystander can also be regarded as a kind of justification for the individual's wickedness. By dissolving the subjectivity of the self into the deep human nature, the cloud of war, and the unity of thought, it tries to avoid a series of evil consequences brought about by evil deeds. In the poem "To the Bystander" by Nobel Prize-winning Jewish poet Neri Sachs, we can easily break through the hypocrisy of this bystander, and prove that the evil of mediocrity is poisonous to the minds of ordinary individuals. To bystanders Someone has died before your eyes. On your body you can feel the gaze of the dead, just as we can feel the gaze from behind. How many white eyes are watching you when you come out of your hiding place to pick violets? The branches of the ancient oak tree entwined each other in agony, how many arms raised up in the tree begging? How many memories grow in the blood of the setting sun? O turtledoves chirping in the night, no lullaby humming--someone once wanted to pluck the stars from the sky, but now only the old well can do it! You onlookers, though you did not raise the butcher's hand, but you never shook the dust off your longing, you stood still, watching the man become light. Since the 20th century, under the raid and siege of various new values, the general collapse of morality has become a common problem faced by human society. As Mr. Luo Xiang said: a person who obeys the law may be a scum, not to mention that the law is only the minimum requirement for human behavior, and there are many evil acts in the dark place that the law cannot regulate. produced. And only when individuals begin to awaken, refuse to stand by, refuse the temptation of mediocre evil, and take on the moral responsibility of being human with awe, can this piece of morality be reshaped.

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