This passage from The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy got me thinking*:
"He understood what the priest could not. That what we seek is the worthy adversary. For we strike out to fall flailing through demons of wire and crepe and we long for something of substance to oppose us. Something to contain us or to stay our hand. Otherwise there were no boundaries to our own being and we too must extend our claims until we lose definition. Until we must be swallowed up at last by the very void to which we wished to stand opposed."
Not sure what I concluded. There's something in there about politics and fanatics and activists and framing debates, but it's not a coherent thought yet. Someone with a better sense of Canadian political history could make something of this, I think, though our federal leaders seem to rotate rather than reappear.
*and directly related to the title of this post: I just re-read The Dark Knight Returns, one of the best pieces of comic literature. A psychiatrist posits that Batman is actually responsible for all the deaths caused by his enemies, that Batman is manifesting the evil acts, perhaps to fulfill some latent psychotic drive within himself.