Levinas :

The 'small goodness' from one person to another is lost and deformed as soon as it seeks organization and universality and system, as soon as it opts for doctrine, a treatise of politics and theology, a party, a state, and even a church. Yet it remains the sole refuge of the good in being. Unbeaten, it undergoes the violence of evil, which, as small goodness, it can neither vanquish nor drive out.

last night tried to watch dirk de wachter give a talk at radboud university which wasn't easy because the technology was not cooperating. it's a rather weird little grab bag of bits and pieces, 'funny' personal stories and artworks the relevance of which were more than a little far fetched but nevertheless there were quite number of good things and if you understand dutch (or rather flemish) it's worth watching. for a start he looks like an uncanny cross between nick cave and charles aznavour.

i like de wachter's idea about the human longing to be held which he links to the earliest part of our lives in utero and something about that rings true, feels true.

also included is an observation apparently from later heidegger along the lines that waiting is the most authentic form of being. it ends rather poignantly with levinas's idea of small goodness. the above quote is not exactly the one de wachter was referring to but you get the general idea, to which i would add the problem of professionalization and the exchange of money.

there was a point where de wachter disagrees with sarte's idea that hell is other people and he takes himself to the cimetiere montparnasse in paris to tell him so. “no,” de wachter says to sartre in his grave, “i think hell is having no connection with other people.”

for me one of the (many) things that makes the human condition problematic is that both are true.