Nurse Ratched the antagonist of the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was named the fifth-greatest villain in film history by the American Film Institute.
I would contend that by the end of the film, most viewers have grown to utterly despise Nurse Ratched.
But what makes Louise Fletcher’s depiction so stirring, is that she doesn’t provide us with a well-acted cartoon villain, twirling her moustache as she plots to lobotomise McMurphy and accidentally causes the suicide of Billy Bibbitt, the son of one of her friends.
It’s because she is so implacably committed to helping them – a desire she uses to justify to herself her monstrous behaviour.
She tortures them with the approval of her own conscience (to quote CS Lewis) and as a result will never stop.
Progressives do the same – there is no intervention in the lives of their countrymen that they cannot justify on these grounds. They genuinely want to help us in our suffering, and so feel the intrusions they must levy on our liberties are warranted.
Of course this is why they react so viciously when opposed – anyone that would seek to prevent them from helping people is preventing the alleviation of suffering, and therefore must be evil.
They cannot perceive their own errors (the delightful Dunning-Krueger Effect) and so see only their own virtue.
And like Nurse Ratched, because they earnestly desire to help us, they will torment us not just with the approval of their consciences, but without end.
And this is also the State, which is the urges of progressiveness writ large – the desire to help, coagulated into policies and laws, fuelled with power and influence and sent out into the world to control and subjugate all peoples in the name of morality.
And that’s how great evil arrives in the world – not by cartoonish figures who are clearly evil and successfully oppose all resistance. But well-meaning ghouls, who assure their victims that they want the best for them.
As McMurphy discovered, it’s a terrible thing to fall into the hands of such do-gooders.