Evil is never intended as evil. Indeed, the contradiction inherent in all evil is that it originates in the desire to eliminate evil. “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

Evil arises in the honored belief that history can be tidied up, brought to a sensible conclusion. It is evil to act as though the past is bringing us to a specifiable end. It is evil to assume that the past will make sense only if we bring it to an issue we have clearly in view. It is evil for a nation to believe it is “the last, best hope on earth.” It is evil to think history is to end with a return to Zion, or with the classless society, or with the Islamicization of all living infidels.

Your history does not belong to me. We live with each other in a common history.

Infinite players understand the inescapable likelihood of evil. They therefore do not attempt to eliminate evil in others, for to do so is the very impulse of evil itself, and therefore a contradiction. They only attempt paradoxically to recognize in themselves the evil that takes the form of attempting to eliminate evil elsewhere.

Evil is not the inclusion of finite games in an infinite game, but the restriction of all play to one or another finite game.

James P. Carse Finite and Infinite Games October 1, 2008
Posted on October 1, 2008