sasha at asksasha.com
Wed Jun 26 15:50:41 MDT 2013
> I mean, I don't know about you guys, but if I heard there was a clinic down
> the street that was killing 4 month old babies by the thousands every year,
> I wouldn't stand outside with a sign chanting. I'd go in and wreck shop!
> And I'd presume people would say that, although my actions were extreme,
> they were still _rational_.
Are you so sure about that? If you had grown up in a culture that,
let's say, taught that a child only kind of has a soul until he is one
so killing him before that is only kind of bad but not too bad, there
was no popular support for wrecking the shop, and there was a system
in place that would make sure you got executed for doing so, you would
need an extraordinary amount of inspiration and courage to see through
the lie you've been taught and to act on the vision. I am laying
aside the argument whether in that situation physically wrecking the
shop would be the most effective thing to do, and by "wrecking the
shop" mean "to oppose in a way that is morally correct and effective
but puts your life in serious jeopardy".
When Hitler set up his operation of mass killings, most people in his
country did not oppose him. Neither was Stalin opposed in his evil. I
do not have a connection to the Hitler's culture except through the
memory of the relatives who experienced the German invasion of the
Soviet Union, but I do have a connection to the Stalin's culture and
understand it somewhat.
I asked my mother and my aunt who is my father's sister - how could
you go through school happily and willingly reciting - "Thanks to
comrade Stalin for our happy childhood" when your fathers were in the
labor camps being put there by comrade Stalin? Their answer was that
at the time they did not see the connection.
It is amazing how our sense of right and wrong can be influenced by
the crowd and popular opinion. Especially when we begin to believe
that such concepts cannot be defined universally, and apply only on a
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