In speaking of the ethico-political as the core—not only of academia, but of life in general—I am making both a formal and historical claim. The formal claim, which I will deal with in this third part, is that the ethico-political complex ought to stand as judge to any system of thought; the historical claim, to be dealt with in the fourth and final part, is that it always has. The complex of questions that makes up the ethico-political question stands at the center, whether welcomed or berated into the background, of all human life and culture. How I am to live and how we are to govern our lives together—the ethical and political, respectively—form the criterion of judgment which stands behind all judicial systems, and indeed, all governments, societies, cultures, individual lives and communities.
What exactly, however, is the ethico-political? Is it simply a series of penetrating, but answerless, questions? How then can it function as judge over people and systems? If it remains indeterminate, it will forever be ineffective. It will fail to prevent another Auschwitz. The German “final solution” to the question of their relation to the Jewish people was an answer to the ethico-political; however, it was a demoniacally twisted and distorted answer, born from the caverns and crevices of hell itself. What is the true answer to the question of our relation to others? I propose, fairly simply, the answer is Christ. The ethico-political is Christic, Christ-shaped and Christ-like. The crucified God stands in judgment over Auschwitz, over any government, society or culture that would return to that dark hall, reinvoking its demons. Christianity, properly conceived, is the true critical theory. The road away from Auschwitz leads to Golgotha.