Today has marked a complex juxtaposition of foreign political affairs and justice being performed domestically. Yes, the two colliding forces between the Council of Guardians in Iran confirming the victory of Ahmadinejad and the conviction of Bernie Madoff for a sentence of one hundred and fifty years. Iran may be doomed for the same amount of time if the elastic rubber band of Ahmadinejad’s hatred returns with a catastrophic backlash of hatred.
Identifying monsters, tyrants, and thieves has been an art form practiced by law enforcement agencies, mystics, and paranormal mediums. There is no typical bad guy anymore. There is no John Wayne to ride in on a white horse and stop the aggressors from hurting our families and friends. The next white horse we see may be one of those belonging to the four horseman of the apocalypse. If we have no definition, no profile for what evil is then how can we begin to contain its reign over the world.
The problem is; our government and we as a society rely on physical profiles to assess the potential for wrongdoing. When a person wearing a bandana and baggy jeans walks into a convenience store, we immediately (based on physical appearance) think that they are going to rob the convenience store. The truth is we do not look at context. Is that convenience store located in South Central, Los Angeles, or on Park Avenue in Manhattan? The context may determine the predator that inhabits that domain; it then becomes their cultural and social instincts that are ingrained in them since birth, which determines the outcome.
The outcome is studying over and over by psychologist attempting to trace the roots of evil from the act of evil and into the developing mind of those people or person that committed such an act. We determine the source of their evil and attribute it to some abuse or action against them as a child. I believe this lack of foresight and obsession with the past psychological effects of childhood abuse to be a philosophical farce. It has grounded itself in the last century as predominate way of thinking, but it will not fulfill the demand of evil in the modern world.
Evil has many faces and one man such as Madoff, sentenced to 150 years; does not vindicate the victims of his scandal. The confirmation of an iconic dictator by a corrupt ‘Council’ under the behest of the Ayatollah does not liberate the hundreds of thousands of people who fought for freedom over the last month. There is no face of justice anymore besides our own subjective view of those around us. May that view not be clouded by material corruption and lead our mind’s astray. Let the victims who have lost their freedom, whether material or cultural, serve to remind us that evil has many masks that are less apparent to the eye than they are to the mind.