All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. – John Stuart Mill

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

John Stuart Mill

The black-and-white approach of categorizing everything as either good or bad isn’t a practical one. No one is completely evil. Similarly, it is impossible to find a ‘good’ man who never did something wrong.

That being said, it is hard to deny the preponderance of negativity – or evil, as some people like to call it – in this day and age. You see it in various forms and manners – from petty thefts to major riots, from roadside arguments to drunken brawls, from eve-teasing to harrowing molestation incidents, and the list goes on. This ‘evil’ is everywhere – TV, magazines, newspapers, books, and even around us. And yet most of us choose to turn a blind eye to it, even if it is tormenting our next-door neighbor. All this while, we remain blissfully ignorant of the fact that we might be its next victims.

However, raising our voices against the evil isn’t the same as rioting or engaging in protests that do more harm than good to the people we claim to represent. It can be done through something as simple as a silent protest against, or even a boycott of the wrongdoers and those that stand with them. This isn’t the same as espousing the quixotic Gandhian ideals – no, you shouldn’t turn your left cheek after you’ve been slapped on the right. Violence sometimes is a necessary evil. What this rather means is to leave force as a last resort. In most cases, speaking out against the evil in numbers should be – and is indeed – enough.

John Stuart Mill was an English Member of Parliament, philosopher and political activist. Mill once said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” It is noteworthy that these words are also attributed to Edmund Burke and John F. Kennedy.