Bernard-Henri Lévy on Evil

Question: What is Evil?

Bernard-Henri Levy: There is evil in the world. We all know that. What I could be praised of, even if I am not sure also, but it’s two things. Number one, yes, is to fight moral [relativism], multi culturalism, which means the strange attitude which consists in saying that a practice and attitude which would be a crime in America, or in France, should be admitted somewhere else. For example, to oblige a woman to veil her face or to encage her head should be criminal in America. Again, the formal and the real equality between men and women, suddenly, in Afghanistan or in Pakistan, it is okay. And those who pretend to condemn that are racist, neo-colonialist, neo-imperialist. So, what I say, either this attitude of moral relativism, appreciating an attitude differently according to the context and to the place where people are [rooted], this is one of my, or the thing… maybe one of the thing I try to do in “Left In Dark Times.” And the other thing… I don't know if it have to be praised, but which I tried to do, is to finish with or to show the terrible, perverse effects of the idea that the evil can be completely liquidated. This, for me, it is one of the topics of “Left In Dark Times.” This idea that evil does not really exist, that evil is in fact illness and that illness can be cured, if you find a good medicine, the chief doctor, if you identify the [wood] parasite, the proper virus and if you expel it from the social body, then you will have a good society. This idea that evil does not exist but you have only illnesses, this is a matrix. This is the core of the totalitarianism. Totalitarianism always begins with the idea that evil does not exist, that evil is an illusion, an appearance, and that’s why we have only illnesses which can be properly cured if you have a good chief of state, embodied with a good ideology, surrounded by your good council of experts and so on, and finding here are the Jews, there the bourgeois, there the people who wear spectacles, or the place, the free women, whatsoever. A virus identified as such, expelled from the society as if you take a tumor out of cancer razed body. This idea that evil can be solved in a political purity is one of the most terrible temptation of the mind of mankind of yesterday and of today, and this is also one of the targets of “Left In Dark Times.”

Bernard-Henri Lévy on the dangers of moral relativism.

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less