Evil: Glamour and Banality
The colorless behavior of Eichmann, the architect of Hitler's concentration camp program, has given rise to the term "the banality of evil." Here was someone who was very ordinary in his behavior who had engineered one of the worst atrocities ever to have taken place. Looking over the long term we see evil taking all kinds of forms, some more banal some less so. For this we can look in the government of which Eichmann himself was a part.
The reason the term "banality of evil" took off was as a counterweight to Catholic phrase"the glamor of evil." The Catholic term implied that evil people are glamorous, and Eichmann was an obvious example to the contrary. Whereas Hitler of course had a much more glamorous style to go along with the Catholic idea on this matter.
The reality of course is that both Hitler and Eichmann were evil, they just had different roles in evil. Hitler was the leader and Eichmann was the bureaucrat. Hitler had glamor because to be a leader one needs to have glamor, whereas there is no glamor needed for someone working behind the scenes to quitely engineer a policy. So that while "banality of evil" does not apply to all evil, neither does "glamor of evil." Evil can be banal and evil can be glamorous. Same is the case with the good.
Wrongful generalities will always find refutations by counterexample, and this is the case both with the Catholic notion on this matter and with the existential notion on this matter. There is no reason to see either glamor or banality as being correlated with evil or good. For every evil colorless person there are any number of colorless people who are not evil. For every evil glamorous person there are any number of glamorous people who are not evil either.
Hitler and Eichmann both exemplified two out of many possible forms of evil. They played two different roles in a wrong; and the fact that they did does not mean that either glamor or banality are doomed to always doing wrong. There was glamor to Martin Luther King, Thomas Jefferson, Susan Anthony, Nelson Mandela and many other good leaders. And there is banality to any number of honest hard-working people who are not exterminating an ethnicity.
We therefore will not find evil correlated positively either with glamor or with banality. There are evil leaders and there are evil bureaucrats. There are also both leaders and bureaucrats who are not evil. Instead we will see glamor being positively correlated with leadership and banality being positively correlated with support positions. There are evil leaders and there are evil bureaucrats. The leaders will be glamorous and the bureaucrats will be banal.
And we will also see people - both glamorous leaders and colorless bureaucrats - who are not evil at all and to whom either generalization does not apply.