In Alex’s opinion, Deltoid, the newspapers, and the State are fundamentally mistaken in their belief that wickedness represents a perversion of goodness, as opposed to an equally valid, alternate state of being. Goodness, these institutions believe, is a naturally occurring phenomenon, yet they argue that evil, the opposite of goodness, somehow requires a rationally explicable cause. When Deltoid leaves, Alex scoffs that “[t]his biting of their toe-nails over what is the cause of badness is what turns me into a fine laughing malchick [boy]. They don’t go into what is the cause of goodness, so why of the other shop? . . . More, badness is of the self . . . and that self is made by old Bog or God and is his great pride and radosty [joy].” If God created man’s potential for goodness, Alex argues, then God must have also created man’s potential for evil. Virtue and wickedness are both natural elements of humanity, and, in Alex’s eyes, a government that attempts to eradicate one is a government that rejects the human self, which is God’s most beloved creation.
The problem with Deltoid’s government, as A Clockwork Orange presents it, is that it operates on the assumption that humans are morally perfectible. P.R. Deltoid promotes the State ideology that, through education and reform, humans can always become virtuous and good. Because he firmly believes this theory of human nature, Deltoid finds Alex puzzling. Alex has the right environment yet continues to be incorrigible in his violent, criminal behavior. Deltoid can’t understand how Alex could sanely and soberly choose his actions and derive pleasure from them. And though it is dangerous to wholly attribute Alex’s violence to a carefully considered ideology, his criminal actions do have political ramifications. Since good behavior reinforces the social order—an order that Alex believes to be fundamentally flawed—Alex resists the State and affirms his individual will most clearly when he misbehaves. In Alex’s eyes, his commitment to evil becomes the only legitimate choice available to him, as well as a potentially authentic way to live under a repressive, totalitarian regime.