Are ideas more important than man?
The crisis is exceptional because it is in the field of ideation.
We are quarreling with ideas, we are justifying murder; everywhere in the world we are justifying murder as a means to a righteous end, which in itself is unprecedented. Before, evil was recognized to be evil, murder was recognized to be murder, but now murder is a means to achieve a noble result. Murder, whether of one person or of a group of people, is justified, because the murderer, or the group that the murderer represents, justifies it as a means of achieving a result which wIn the various crises that have taken place before, the issue has been the exploitation of things or of man; it is now the exploitation of ideas, which is much more pernicious, much more dangerous, because the exploitation of ideas is so devastating, so destructive.
We have learned now the power of propaganda and that is one of the greatest calamities that can happen: to use ideas as a means to transform man. That is what is happening in the world today. Man is not important - systems, ideas, have become important. Man no longer has any significance. We can destroy millions of men as long as we produce a result and the result is justified by ideas. We have a magnificent structure of ideas to justify evil and surely that is unprecedented. Evil is evil; it cannot bring about good. War is not a means to peace. War may bring about secondary benefits, like more efficient airplanes, but it will not bring peace to manill be beneficial to man.
As the crisis is unprecedented there must also be unprecedented action, which means that the regeneration of the individual must be instantaneous, not a process of time. It must take place now, not tomorrow; for tomorrow is a process of disintegration. Is it possible to change now? Is it possible completely to transform oneself in the immediate, in the now? I say it is.