The Surest Defense Against Evil

From Joseph Brodsky‘s 1984 commencement speech at Williams College:

The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even — if you will — eccentricity. That is, something that can’t be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned impostor couldn’t be happy with. Something, in other words, that can’t be shared, like your own skin: not even by a minority. Evil is a sucker for solidity. It always goes for big numbers, for confident granite, for ideological purity, for drilled armies and balanced sheets.

Wonderful. Found in his collection of essays entitled Less Than One.

(hat tip: Robert Faggen)

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