Very recently got the news that Kim Jong Il, the tyrant of North Korea has died.
Am I celebrating? No
Is this because of some extreme fastidiousness about ever celebrating death because of empathy even for the evil? No but congratulations to those capable of such empathy.
Kim should have faced justice. he should have seen himself and his system rejected and despised. No doubt he was beyond repentance. Trials of such people are exhibitions of their own powers of denial and desperation to resort to the ranting which characterised their rhetoric in power. Nevertheless, a tyrant should live to see tyrannical power crumble and to feel the harsh winds of hatred and to be humber by the process of law. By dying before such things, maybe he could be said to have had a happy life and death. Where’s the good in that?
Aristotle thought we cannot measure someone’s happiness through the events of that individual’s life (Nicomachean Ethics). Happiness consists in good reputation after death. At least on that basis, Kim is a man of extreme unhappiness.
Back to working on liberty in Mill and Foucault. And all this soon after the death of Vaclav Havel. A bizarre coincidence.