Could you imagine if you were alone with a young Nazi and, like, arguing with him, what would you say?
I would probably have a great deal in common with a young Nazi. Ya know. I believe in a life of discipline, I believe in a life that is…convicted, in other words, in a life that is contracted to a certain kind of end, a life that is…imbued with a certain significance. I believe in those aims. I believe it’s unfortunate that the fascists are the only one producing this kind of appeal and I urge the intuitions of the center, the liberal, the conservative intuitions that we believe represent the highest ideals of the west, I urge them to produce rhetoric and invitation to the youth that has the same kind of vitality and significance that the right wing is beginning to be able to present.
Leonard Cohen’s unconventional, insightful answer to a softball question, “Could you imagine if you were alone with a young Nazi and, like, arguing with him, what would you say?” From a 1990s Paris TV interview (once but no longer available on YouTube). This transcript found at Leonard Cohen on young Nazis, posted Jan 2, 2010 at America Departed.
Credit Due Department: Thanks to Esther Park who alerted me to the French TV interview, triggering an unrequited search for the video that did result in the discovery of the above transcript.