There’s a pithy sentence deep inside Stephen Eric Bronner’s book on Camus:
“Realpolitik is not always incompatible with ethical ends; Hans Morgenthau and others could oppose the Vietnam War without supporting the terror of Ho Chi Minh. ”
Excerpt From: “Camus: Portrait of a Moralist.”
One forgets how hard Camus fought colonialism–a fight which earned him contempt from Sartre and so many other communist sympathizers in France. But ethical ends require knowing what not to support no matter your polemics.
So I’m thinking of this upon learning Donald and Melania Trump have contracted Coronavirus. I know what not to support which means I won’t cheer at their misfortune. I will wish them each a speedy recovery, knowing they’d never do the same for me.
“Nevertheless, many continued hoping that the epidemic would soon die out and they and their families be spared. Thus they felt under no obligation to make any change in their habits as yet. Plague was for them an unwelcome visitant, bound to take its leave one day as unexpectedly as it had come. Alarmed, but far from desperate, they hadn’t yet reached the phase when plague would seem to them the very tissue of their existence; when they forgot the lives that until now it had been given them to lead. In short, they were waiting for the turn of events. ”
Excerpt From: “The Plague.”
Covid is now the very tissue of Trump’s existence. What will he do?
I can condemn his politics and not celebrate his misfortune for it is ours.