Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The elusive Mr. Conrad …

… John Gray - Homo Duplex | Literary Review | Issue 459. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Conrad was a sceptic who believed that the human world was fuelled by illusions. He felt strongly about a number of the political issues of his day, such as the threat posed to Europe by Russian autocracy, and was horrified by the rapacity he witnessed being inflicted on the local population when he travelled through the Belgian Congo in 1890. But nothing could have been further from his way of thinking than high-minded dreams of a world without tyranny or empire. In his view, no change in political systems could eradicate the universal human propensity for savagery. He was suspicious of all large schemes of improvement.

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