Defying Evil: Albert Camus and His Century

albert_camusxTyrants conduct monologues above a million solitudes
Albert Camus, The Rebel

I disagree with Bernard-Henri Lévy: the 20th century did not belong to Sartre. From the point of view of the Evil perpetrated, it was Lenin’s century. But if one takes honesty, truth, or Good as criteria, then it was Camus’s age. When we are assaulted by so much unsettling news, when we despair as we witness the rise of moral misery, when nihilism resurrects in front of our own eyes (but did it really lay dormant throughout all these years ravaged by ideological fantasies?), it is time to return to Albert Camus.

We often talk about “the treason of the intellectuals,” but we often forget that there were intellectuals who did not betray. Solzhenitsyn was no traitor. Neither was Havel. The Romanian political and religious thinker, Nicolae Steinhardt, did not abandon his principles even when tortured physically and psychologically.

Camus was born a century ago on November 7, 1913. He died on January 4, 1960 in a tragic and absurd car accident. His work remains proof that one can live, think, and write with dignity without acquiescing in infamy. He diagnosed the malady of our times; he called it the plague. He knew that despite any illusions to the contrary, the totalitarian plague is always latent — ready to devastate both the soul and the society.

I remember one sentence in The Rebel, which in fact is the cardinal principle warning us against utopian radicalisms: “None of the evils that totalitarianism claims to cure is worse than totalitarianism itself.”

In times when seemingly there was no chance to challenge the advance of communist totalitarianism, when important Western intellectuals became mouthpieces for the so-called “campaign for peace,” Camus was among the very few who voiced the truth. He was one of those who unambiguously denounced the falsification of fundamental values such as Good and Evil.

In those dark times, there were some intellectuals who refused to capitulate. They supported the struggle for political cultural freedom. One should list here intellectuals such as Raymond Aron, Arthur Koestler, Eugene Ionesco, George Orwell, Manès Sperber, Karl Popper, Karl Jaspers, Czeslaw Milosz, Ignazio Silone, Sidney Hook, Lionel and Diana Trilling, Isaiah Berlin, Dwight Macdonald, Nicola Chiaromonte, Ghita Ionescu, or the group from “Partisan Review” (Philip Rahv and William Phillips).

Impressed with the sincerity of Camus’s political and philosophical positions, Hannah Arendt described him as one of the few honorable people in 1950s Paris. In contrast with Jean-Paul Sartre, Francis Jeanson, Simone de Beauvoir or Maurice Merleau-Ponty, to give some examples, Camus did not have any reasons to be ashamed when, in February 1956, Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin’s heir, condemned “the cult of personality,” which in fact was the beginning of the condemnation of a system that was criminal from its very inception.

For Camus, the totalitarian horrors, Dachau and Kolyma, were part of a global monstrosity provoked by the utopia of total social engineering, of the Crystal Palace meant to justify the Great Terror or the hysterical Kristallnacht. Nobody diagnosed as precisely as the author of The Plague the genealogy and the consequences of twentieth century demonic nihilism.

In her book Camus: A Romance (Grove Press, 2009), Elizabeth Hawes fascinatingly reconstitutes, with great empathy, a spiritual, truly moral exemplary itinerary. Starting from searching the truth about Camus, discussing with his friends, relatives, and closed ones, the author seeks and finds the truth about herself. When many do not hesitate to talk about “Sartre’s century,” there are some of us who (maybe because of it) argue in favor of Camus’s moral pre-eminence. Political thinker Jeffrey Isaac has shown how Hannah Arendt and Albert Camus gave voice, in times that humiliated subjectivity, to the ethics of revolt. Along similar lines, one should remember historian Tony Judt’s volume about Camus, Raymond Aron and Léon Blum, The Burden of Responsibility (University of Chicago Press, 2007).

I remember well what it meant for my generation, during communism, the publication of the novels The Stranger and The Plague, as well as of the essay The Myth of Sisyphus. We were fascinated with revolutionary infatuation, with violence and purification. Likewise, some of us were deeply moved by The Rebel, a book that circulated clandestinely, which we considered the perfect complement to Dostoyevsky’s The Demons.

While Sartre and even Marleau-Ponty justified the Moscow show trials or communist terror in general as expressions of “the cunning of Reason,” Camus rejected those spurious rationalizations, considering them immoral and irresponsible. Sartre’s reply to The Rebel was a 300-page text in 1952, The Communists and Peace, a manifesto of ethical abjection and political abdication before Stalin’s disciples and/or agents. To Camus’s sorrow, Sartre also coordinated a negative campaign of reappraisals in the pages of the magazine where Camus had published two chapters of The Revel: in Temps Modernes. Sartre entrusted the besmirching of his former friend to a zealous and opportunistic young man eager to please his master, Francis Jeanson.

There were very few who stood by Camus’s side. Among them there was Jean Grenier, his old philosophy professor, and poet René Char. Sartre himself intervened with a short, but extremely sarcastic text. He accused Camus of a supposedly supreme sin – that he wandered the Republic of Letters on a “portable pedestal” from which he lambasted Marxism for its responsibility in totalitarian crimes. Once asked what he would do if France was occupied by the Red Army, unfazed, the author of Being and Nothingness answered: “I will continue writing just as I did during the Nazi occupation.” Even later, Sartre continued to celebrate Marxism as “the definitive philosophy of our times.”

During those years of shame and helplessness, Camus saved us. Sartre was a great thinker but profoundly cynical. Camus was a great thinker but committed to truth. He was a writer who rescued human dignity in a century devastated by concentration camps, gas chambers, mass graves, by Auschwitz, Katyn and the Gulag.

For Camus, the philosophy of the absurd was one of resistance. Sisyphus never gives up; he continues his struggle, hoping against hope that someday he will prevail. Camus discovered in the very heart of revolt an element of thoughtlessness – the immoderation which he chose to explain rather than justify. The supreme virtue he commended, to the despair of Marxists and left-existentialists, was moderation. He denounced the Stalinist camps and he paid for his courage. He was exiled from the sectarian “fraternity” of Sartrian existentialism. He opposed torture irrespectively of who employed it. He contested capital punishment when many feared to do so. He was equally a great writer and a great moralist. Slandered and belittled by the metaphysical snobs of an honorless epoch, Camus remains one of the solid references of antitotalitarian consciousness.

Albert Camus was one of exiled Romanian intellectuals Monica Lovinescu’s and Virgil Ierunca’s favorite writers. This was so exactly because he combined, in a tragic synthesis, ethics with aesthetics. Camus’s death, a thinker whom they loved and identified with on grounds of his unwavering fidelity to the truth, was a terrible blow. André Marlaux was right: “Death turns life into destiny.” That year, 1960, news from Romania were even worse as any hope of reuniting with Monica’s mother (who was imprisoned for refusing to collaborate with the communist regime) vanished and totalitarianism reigned unchallenged in Bucharest. To use the title of a novel by Victor Serge, “it was midnight in the century.”

Albert Camus, Nadezhda Mandelstam, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Yelena Bonner, Vaclav Havel, Leszek Kolakowski, Andrei Sakharov, Yuri Glazov, Monica Lovinescu and Virgil Ierunca were honest intellectuals despite the hardships of a humiliating epoch of totalitarianisms. Their legacy is that of modest virtues that prevailed over countless sins.

In Monica Lovinescu’s words:

“Honesty, the duty to question certainties, the endorsement of relative but concrete values, the unrest of never-ending doubt. No salvos, no trumpets, no headlines. Only the necessity, by way of such seemingly tentative methods, to defend human beings from ideological fantasies that kill more inexorably than violence itself.”

When so many indulged in lies, hypocrisy, double-think, and double-talk, these intellectuals cultivated truth, dignity, and honor.

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  • davarino

    I dont usually quote the Bible in my comments, but it is uncanny how today so many people are doing what is right in their own eyes. As if there is no ultimate truth, or righteousness. Once you fall for that and realize its fallacy, its to late, the totalitarians have taken over and then there is no recourse.

    • tagalog

      Isaiah 5:20: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

      • catherineinpvb

        No such thing as ‘new wisdom’. A great reminder; and good bumper sticker (car ‘facebook’) as well.

    • J.

      moral-relativism/post modernism will be the foundation of sand that the “useless intellectuals” of the upcoming generation will be built on. Leading the way to a selfish, cynical, and abject future. Which ironically is the product of a society governed by a despot. It’s sad to see that so many kids even adults who are still in the mindset of adolescence, share the same perspective that there is no good or evil, only what you define it to be. Christianity has held this country together only for it to be rejected by it’s inhabitants. The stone that the builder refuse shall the be the cornerstone.

      • truebearing

        America has become a nation that cherishes its vice more than its freedom. Self-indulgence leaves no room for God and arrogance no light by which to see. As a divided nation, we grope in the darkness, concerned mostly with saving ourselves, the chain we think will hoist us binds us instead.

        • J.

          Amen! It is the will of the God that discipline in the form of destruction and chaos must come, so everyone may come to repentance!

  • darnellecheri

    “And he knew, also, what the old man was thinking as his tears flowed, and he, Rieux, thought it too: that a loveless world is a dead world, and always there comes an hour when one is weary of prisons, of one’s work, and of devotion to duty, and all one craves for is a loved face, the warmth and wonder of a loving heart.” -Albert Camus, “The Plague”

  • Texas Patriot

    Bravo. Albert Camus was a giant, and we would do well to remember his amazing contribution to Western thought as we go about the business of reinventing what it means to be a conservative. Truth is indispensable. Respect for human beings is indispensable. And the moral imperative of economic competition and economic growth is indispensable. Against these indispensable conservative values, we find ourselves pitted against the 20th Century’s lingering garbage heap of the politics of lies and disinformation, the politics of ad hominem personal attack and personal destruction, and the politics of political corruption and personal favoritism. In this toxic environment of political devolution and despair, there is hope for Authentic American Conservatism, and it has to with the conscience and courage of the individual to stand against the tsunami of lies and hatred, to recognize the true, the beautiful, and the good in every human being, and to speak it plainly regardless of the political cost. And in that regard, Albert Camus should be an inspiration to us all.

    • cathnealon

      It should be noted that Solzhenitsyn railed against the intellectuals who separated themselves from the suffering people by way of their moral superiority. He saw then turn tail and run like roaches to France and England and then pronounce from afar the ‘truth’ about Stalin and communism.

      When this regime starts rounding up people becaue they have had enough of our free expression on blogs and online sites, who will run and who will stay? Many like Beck say they will die for freedom and America but he has also said it’s ‘God , family, country.’ Just like he left New York he will leave the country if necessary. Solzhenitsyn also wrote about those who go along with the Lie to feed their families and keep their jobs. This is the majority-very few are willing to die. I see a great exodus of those with the means and money to get out. The rest will suffer in Camus’ silence because they want to stay alive. Alas, Camus represents what is wrong with the good guys. It’s their atheism/agnosticism –as if they can really defeat Evil without God. Sadly, tyrants know there are only one or two great Christian Bonhoeffers or Solzhenitsyns of scattered among us.

      • Texas Patriot

        The good news is that there’s no longer anywhere where to run to. Either we stand and fight for the truth, or we will surely die with the lie.

        • tagalog

          America is, and has been for some time, truly the “last, best hope of Earth.” Nowhere to go from here.

        • catherineinpvb

          There is a great message – a simple truth – to be shared here. Even in a bumper sticker. . ‘No where to hide;’fight for the truth. . .die with the lie; says it all ; at least per ‘nutshell’ wisdom; given where we are today. Maybe ‘see it’? Use it. ;/)

      • Justin.Time

        Well said.

      • catherineinpvb

        Think there are many here; ‘about us’. . .who are ‘nameless heroes’. . .just as there were throughout Europe during Nazi Occupation and Holocaust. (And as well; those ‘everyday’. . .) As to those who stand in public; above the crowd; we are fortunate to have those who do,in fact. The test of mettle is never done, of course; but hope we can insure, at least; a recidivism of the ‘evil rising’, now taking hold in our Government; which only up’s the ante per the challenges that come with it. . .every ‘next day’. . .

        (As for Beck. . .and ‘God; Family; Country; can only offer that he never said New York. And given; who will reside – per vote yet – as their ‘next’ Mayor; hope more – those who knew better – can/will do same as Beck; and Rush, for that matter.)

      • Daniel

        These are great points you’re making here. Camus was by far the most humanitarian of the existentialists because he could not cross certain absolutist boundaries for a utopian ideal. Referencing the late great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Dietrich Bonhoeffer adds to your post.
        “To not speak in the face of evil is to speak. To not act in the face of evil is to act.” DB
        “He who proclaims violence as his method necessarily must accept the lie as his principle.” AIS

    • GoReadAlbertCamus

      I really, really hope you’re joking because there’s not many things I’ve read in my life as laughably clueless as this. Albert Camus was a staunch atheist and vehement anticapitalist. There would be nothing he would be disgusted more with than being associated with American conservatism. He supported the anarchist revolution in Spain in 1936 and in his book The Rebel advocates a syndicalist economy, i.e. workers running factories without bosses. You think this is his support for “moral imperative of economic competition and economic growth”?

      You should really read one of his (nonfiction) books before you go and do something so unbelievably ridiculous as imply that Albert Camus supports capitalism and conservatism.

      • Texas Patriot

        I disagree. Above all Camus was a realist. He knew that bread doesn’t grow on trees, that people have to work for a living, and that anarchy and chaos rarely produce anything.

        The world is a competitive place and although the forms of business enterprise may vary and continue to evolve according to various factors, it’s still necessary to produce a better product at a lower price in order to survive.

        My advice to you is to read Barry Goldwater’s classic “The Conscience of a Conservative.” I think you will be surprised how different Authentically All-American Conservatives are from the pseudo-conservative capitalist stereotypes you obviously have in mind.

        • truebearing

          You can’t revise history and reinvent Camus, or change his beliefs, simply by saying “I disagree.” His body of work speaks for itself.
          The closest he gets to the most radical libertarians is his support of anarchy, but that doesn’t make him a libertarian.

          • Texas Patriot

            Camus was a man of truth and love, and those are two things you will probably never understand.

          • truebearing

            Again with the non sequitur response…your specialty.

          • Texas Patriot

            Real conservatives plumb the depths of truth in all things. Phony conservatives believe what they read in the newspapers.

          • truebearing

            So, by your own definition, you admit to not being a true conservative. Very honest of you.

            Now tell me again how Goldwater and Camus are somehow compatible.

          • Texas Patriot

            That’s something you would never understand. But the answer is clear. Both men were realists and humanists.

          • truebearing

            Goldwater was a humanist?????

            As to my challenge for you: You can’t do it, and you know it, so you’re crawfishing out. That’s fine with me, but if you are going to pretend you have knowledge, the least you could do is display some of it.

          • Texas Patriot

            TB: “Goldwater was a humanist?????”

            Of the highest order. Conservatism is ultimately about doing what is best for human beings. And that’s what the modernist neo-conservatives (i.e. not at all conservatives) have no clue about.

          • joe

            Huh? Not so. Humanism is simply the fallacious belief that humans are basically good. Certainly not foundational to conservatism. “Doing what’s best for human beings” is utilitarianism. That, too, is not necessarily conservatism. We conservatives believe in small government – even it it’s bad, i.e., painful, for the mob. I think maybe you are off base somewhat.

          • Texas Patriot

            Authentic American Conservatives don’t regard their fellow citizens as “the mob” or “the masses” or in any other dehumanizing and nihilistic way, and Barry Goldwater was nothing if not an Authentic American Conservative who put the best interest of the American People before all things.

          • joe

            Unlike you, I make a distinction between supporters of the republic and “the mob”. Apparently, in your philosophy, one’s cognitive starting point is “to be nice”. If we had only been nice to Hitler. Had we just been more accommodating toward Stalin. Idi Amin would have refrained from despotism had his “fellow citizens” been nice. Perhaps you should get a clue. There has never been, and there never will be a moral mob. Mobs brought those vile wastes of human skin into power. Authentic republicans are not required to be nice. They are required to understand the significance of the individual over and above the mob and that they own their selves and the property they acquire under the auspices of an agreed to governing document. They subscribe to moral absolutes – one of which is NOT being nice.

          • Texas Patriot

            Joe: “Apparently, in your philosophy, one’s cognitive starting point is “to be nice”. “

            On the contrary, my philosophical starting point is death to tyrants. On the other hand, as a practical matter, there are really too many tyrants in the world for us to try to manage all of them effectively, so my basic argument is that we should be doing whatever it takes to make America the “shining city on a hill” that John Winthrop talked about and the “last best hope of earth” that Abraham Lincoln talked about, and that, if it comes to pass that we have no alternative but to deal with a tyrant, we should do so quickly and effectively, with a minimum loss of American blood and treasure.

        • truebearing

          Camus was greatly influenced by Kierkegaard, who began existentialism as a Christian perspective. Camus, Sartre, and the other existentialists denied God’s ontological status, hence the empty, dreary, hopeless version of existentialism they promoted.

          Camus’ Sisyphus never gave up, but existed in a world were he was limited to his puny and finite mortality, devoid of Grace. He continued to do the same thing, hoping for different results, while having no reason to believe anything would change other than getting progressively more tired. That interpretation of man’s lot certainly puts Camus at odds with Einstein, who famously suggested that doing the same thing repeatedly, but expecting different results is the definition of insanity (paraphrased). Camus vision of a noble man with no rational, or irrational, reason to hope is also at odds with Kierkegaard’s perspective, where faith is the hope. To understand Camus, one must understand Kierkegaard.

          • Texas Patriot

            Soren Kierkegaard was a great theologian, and one of the truly imaginative thinkers of the 19th Century. But being born a hundred years before Albert Camus, he was largely spared the kind of grotesque humanitarian disasters that plagued so much of the 20th Century. Ultimately Kierkegaard was a man much more inclined toward the theoretical than the actual, the absurd rather than the real, and the literary rather than the pragmatic.

            Having been born at the beginning of the deadliest and most inhumane century of the modern era, Albert Camus and Barry Goldwater were realists who could ill afford flights of fancy, escapist existentialism or absurdist fantasy, who understood very well man’s capacity for evil, and whose highest moral imperative was the search for truth in the defense of human dignity and human freedom as that struggle unfolded within the deadly nihilist reality of the 20th Century.

            No amount of theology, no amount of theoretical existentialism, and no amount of absurdist irony can obscure the grim human catastrophes that swept around the globe and flooded the consciousness and traumatized the minds of all reasonably sentient and aware human beings as a direct result of the the totalitarian purges of Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, Communist China and the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. Unfortunately, the highly imaginative and lovely existentialist theories of Soren Kierkegaard were of little value or solace in the context of the grim reality forged by the insane totalitarian fantasies of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, and Pol Pot.

            What the 20th Century required above all things was courage to face the truth and the compassion to regard the freedom and the dignity of the individual human being above all things, and in that regard, no two men stood taller or blazed a more glorious and courageous trail than Albert Camus and Barry Goldwater.

            The lesson to be learned from these two seemingly disparate but actually quite similar 20th Century moral and intellectual giants is simply this. Those who choose to walk the path of radical freedom must be prepared to accept the radical truth that all men are created in the image of God, or they will surely lose their way.

      • Fritz

        Workers running factories without bosses is more of a co-operative enterprise rather then a socialist one, if you want to be technical about it they are in effect no different then shareholders of the company. Such operations do exist even here in North America, take a Hutterite colony for instance. They also exist in Argentina, there have been several cases where the former employees of a bankrupt company successfully made the case before a bankruptcy court that they should take over the operation and ownership of a factory. But these are not classless institutions where everyone get the same pay regardless of skill level, and they still have supervisors and foremen. Also who says that if lets say the employees over at Ford owned and operated the company that they would not still try to compete with Toyota, Chrysler, and G.M to sell their products?

  • Race_Dissident

    A lovely and very timely piece, professor Tismaneanu. And thanks to it, I am no longer ignorant of a good man, Albert Camus.

  • tagalog

    “None of the evils that totalitarianism claims to cure is worse than totalitarianism itself.”

    Taken together or separately.

  • carpe diem 36

    happy birthday Mr. Albert Camus.

  • Chezwick

    Thank you, Vladimir, for offering today precisely what is very, very rare indeed here at FPM,…POSITIVE INSPIRATION! I’m not familiar with the work of Albert Camus, but I assure you, within a couple of months, I will be.

  • Mladen_Andrijasevic

    Yes, there are a few people we can actually be proud of – George Orwell, Winston Churchill , Albert Camus , George F. Kennan and Vasily Grossman.

  • DilloTank

    Thank you. Very informative to those of us who learned absolutely nothing worth knowing of the history or the 20th century in college.

  • herb benty

    Wow, “None of the evils that totalitarianism claims to cure is worse than totalitarianism itself.”……..had to jot that down. ACA, EPA making CO2 a dangerous gas, unlimited mass immigration, ad nauseum. I wonder if we can get progressives to read Camus?

    • Fritz

      I find that most so called “Progressives” are woefully ignorant of history, most are also woefully ignorant when it comes to the division of powers amongst various levels of government in the U.S and Canada. This is why they believe in so called “new ideas” that are actually old ideas that have failed everywhere else they were tried. Or you have politicians like the late Canadian NDP leader Jack Layton campaigning on policies like “hiring more doctors” when hiring doctors is a provincial responsibility, or city politicians campaigning to ban genetically modified organisms.
      The one that perplexes me with the left is that they advocate contradictory objectives like unlimited mass immigration, but want a cradle to grave welfare state like they believe exists in Scandinavian countries (which doesn’t really exist in the way they think it exists) But they overlook things like the fact that these countries have relatively small and culturally homogenous populations.
      They also overlook the fact that even with things such as gay marriage and a generous social safety net, they are socially conservative in many ways. No Scandinavian country has state funded abortion on demand, illegal drug use is greatly discouraged, and prostitution is very illegal. In short they do not support hedonism and libertines.
      What’s more, in the case of Sweden at least, you do have property rights, if the government denies you the right to use a portion of your property they have to compensate you for it. So they can not pull an EPA and engage in de-facto expropriation by declaring that there is some endangered species on a corner of your land.

      • herb benty

        That’s why “Progressives” , NDP etc., are in fact, communists. They just use a “cover” title.

  • barrycooper

    I am a huge fan of Camus. I spent the summer after my junior year in high school doing a close reading of The Rebel. I lacked the intellectual depth to really get what I was reading, but what was inescapably clear to me with Camus was that he was committed to his core with doing the right thing, with facing down darkness and finding in the blackest night a reason to carry on, to again do the right thing, if necessary against the opposition of the whole world.

    It moves me that you honor him. That picture: I wrote to the publisher for one, and that is what they sent.

    • truebearing

      Camus, and all of the existentialists, were heavily influenced by Soren Kierkegaard. If you want to understand them, you may want to first read him.

      It is significant that the existential movement broke from Kierkegaard in an immense way: he was a Christian, and God was central to his perspective on our existential reality, whereas Camus, Sartre, et al were atheists. Note the underlying positivity of Kierkegaard versus the pervasive depression, emptiness, and malaise of the Existentialist perspective. It isn’t a coincidence that the atheistic existentialism is do bleak with God removed.

      • barrycooper

        I am not an atheist, and certainly share your belief. What I liked about Camus, though, is that EVEN THOUGH he found no reason to believe in God, to believe in any form of transcendence, he still tried to find reasons to believe in human goodness.

  • truebearing

    I see you know nothing about Kierkegaard either, and you ignore how much he influenced Camus, who was an atheist existentialist. Kierkegaard was a Christian, not an existentialist. His existentialism was intended to provide context for the spiritual issues that face man. Camus and the existentialists borrowed a part of Kierkegaard’s work, then turned it into an atheistic ideology. The scope of his thinking was far narrower than Kierkegaard’s and devoid of any insight into human spirituality.

    I’m not surprised at your ridiculous reply. You have a bad habit of making stupid, uninformed comments, including the ones where you showed your utter lack of understanding of Camus. One minute you’re a Christian, the next you’re spewing praise for an atheist…inaccurately.

    • Texas Patriot

      TB: “I see you know nothing about Kierkegaard either, and you ignore how much he influenced Camus, who was an atheist existentialist. Kierkegaard was a Christian, not an existentialist.”

      I said he was a great theologian. To be a theologian in Europe 19th Century almost certainly meant that you were a Christian. What kind of theologian did you think I was talking about?

      TB: “His existentialism was intended to provide context for the spiritual issues that face man. Camus and the existentialists borrowed a part of Kierkegaard’s work, then turned it into an atheistic ideology. The scope of his thinking was far narrower than Kierkegaard’s and devoid of any insight into human spirituality.”

      Camus was the kind of man who consciously or unconsciously put Christ’s teachings into practice without talking about them. Therefore his Christlike views of the plague upon mankind in the 20th Century are probably unrecognizable to you.

      TB: “I’m not surprised at your ridiculous reply. You have a bad habit of making stupid, uninformed comments, including the ones where you showed your utter lack of understanding of Camus. One minute you’re a Christian, the next you’re spewing praise for an atheist…inaccurately.”

      And for my part, I’m not at all surprised at your superficial views of what it means to be a Christian.

  • Zeb

    If you are trying to categorize Camus with American conservative values, or libertarian values, you have a deep misunderstanding of his work. In fact, to put any label on his work can only taint it. He was above that nonsense. And yes, there are plenty of liberals who read and adore Camus (probably more than conservatives, honestly). He was a writer for everybody, so stop polluting his memory. He stood against thoughtless political labels, hence his split with Sartre, who wanted to support communism no matter what atrocities were being committed. That does not make him a conservative in any fashion, though.