Understanding Evil: Lessons from Bosnia

By Keith Doubt | Go to book overview

6. EVIL’S AGENCY

For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come
to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

—John 3:20

What is the relation between an intellectual’s work and an intellectual’s life? Is it fair to measure one against the other? Does the knowledge of how an intellectual debased his or her life contribute to a critical understanding of an intellectual’s work? Shall we keep the two separate? Shall we fail to consider the two together?

Mihailo Marković is a world-renowned Yugoslav philosopher recognized for his writing on humanism, social democracy, and human rights. He was a leading member of the editorial board of Praxis and director of the famous Korčula Summer School. His biography as a military officer in Tito’s partisan army made him a charismatic figure among intellectuals in North America and Europe. In 1975, the Serbian Parliament brought charges of political deviance against Marković and seven other academicians; they were removed from their university positions on charges of corrupting the youth. The group became known as the Belgrade 8; protests from American professors such as Noam Chomsky, Daniel Bell, and Stanley Hoffman did not change the Yugoslav government’s decision against the group. Praxis was banned (Secor 1999).

An earlier version of this chapter was published as “Intellektualna Izdaja i Bosanskohercegovačka Muka” in Odjek.

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Understanding Evil: Lessons from Bosnia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Part 1- Witnessing Evil 1
  • 1- Evil as Action 3
  • 2- Evil’s Direction 8
  • 3- Evil’s Reason 16
  • 4- Evil’s Vanity 25
  • 5- Rape as Evil 35
  • 6- Evil’s Agency 39
  • 7- Evil’s Disfigurement of Language 52
  • Part 2- Understanding Evil 63
  • 8- Postmodernism’s Relation to Evil 65
  • 9- Psychologizing Evil 80
  • 10- Ritualizing Evil 91
  • 11- Theorizing Evil with Socratic Nativeté 107
  • 12- Sociocide: a New Paradigm for Evil 119
  • References 139
  • Index 147
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