Friday, July 23, 2010

23rd June
Listening to the "Leningrad" symphony yesterday; watching the Stalingrad episode of "The Eorld at War" today.
(A bit surprised at this sudden interest in the history of warfare)
The worthwhile question, i think, has to do with trying to understand the collective madness that makes such atrocities possible.
There is the madness of the leaders themselves - Hitler, Stalin - but the greater, collective madness that propelled such monsters into power and maintained them there.
Except, of course, it also pushed them into even deeper and more self-destructive madness
(Hitler waving his hand over the map at conferences, vaguely, without precision, and refusing to take practicalities into consideration. Saying he wanted to se "less professionalism" and more "Third Reich spirit" in his generals. Because they all opposed him. Probably it was this madness that in the end saved us, though at catastrophic loss of life)
The question is whether this spirit, this collective madness, which Tolstoy I think tried to describe (War and Peace) and Koestler too (Darkness at Noon)which has us all in iys grip and against which we seem to struggle in vain...
what monstrosities is it giving birth to?
And will it end up destroying us?


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