Statue of Moses in Venezuela.

La maldad, la mentira y Venezuela

CAMBRIDGE – El presidente venezolano, Nicolás Maduro, ha vuelto a tener un problema conmigo. El canal nacional de televisión, controlado por el gobierno, recientemente emitió una conversación telefónica privada, grabada de manera ilegal, en la que yo propongo realizar un estudio para ver cómo rescatar la economía venezolana consiguiendo el apoyo de la comunidad internacional. El gobierno, sin éxito, editó la grabación para hacer sonar nefasto lo que yo digo, mintió sobre el significado de la conversación y sobre mí, y ahora piensa entablar un juicio en mi contra.

Esto me ha hecho pensar sobre el eterno problema de la maldad. ¿Es ella enteramente relativa o existen bases objetivas para definir una conducta o un acto como maldad? ¿Ocurren todas las confrontaciones entre partes legítimas -siendo, por ejemplo, la persona que uno considera un terrorista el combatiente por la libertad para otro- o se puede decir que algunas peleas realmente son entre el bien y el mal?

Como hijo de sobrevivientes del Holocausto, siempre he sentido una aversión intuitiva hacia el relativismo moral. ¿Pero, qué bases objetivas existen para afirmar que los nazis encarnaban el mal? Según lo señala Hannah Arendt, abundaban los individuos como Adolf Eichmann y ellos "no eran perversos ni sádicos", sino que, más bien, "eran, y todavía son, terrible y aterradoramente normales". Una normalidad semejante surge del retrato que Thomas Harding pinta de Rudolf Höss, el comandante de Auschwitz, un hombre orgulloso de haber sobresalido en el desempeño de la labor que se le asignó.

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