Relatively uninhibited philosophizings on self and kosmos whenever the mood strikes...
Monday, July 17, 2006
A Certain Blogger
A certainbloggerwrites: “If you live in the light, then the darkness is visible. But if you yourself live in horizontal darkness, then it’s a case of a very dark night in which all the cows are black. It's just a "cycle of violence," tit for tat. To quote one of the most morally idiotic statements ever made, "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."
Our blogger implies that he and the majority of his regular readers live in the light rather than the darkness that Leftists, Islamists, and much of the rest of the world inhabit. I wonder, then, how he and they see the violence of vengeance that plagues the Middle East and most of the rest of the world to varying degrees. If they don’t view it as an endless cycle of “tit for tat,” how DO they view it? As progress? Do they see progress in the Middle East? In the “drive-by” shootings of urban gangs? Anywhere else where people repay bloody violence with bloody violence year after year, decade after decade? Or is there progress only when someone is willing to take a leap of faith and break the cycle of revenge?
Our unnamed blogger may sneer at Gandhi’s famous maxim quoted above as “morally idiotic,” but to me it seems supremely wise, and “an eye for an eye” seems idiotic. For if no one is willing to break the cycle of revenge, won’t it continue until there are no more “eyes” to take on either side?
In that same post, our blogger writes: “I’ve never given it much thought as to why people are uncomfortable naming the subhumans in our midst, but it must be because of the experience of nazi Germany. For nazi Germany represented the case of a subhuman ideology attempting to extinguish a divine one. It is as if the Left came away with an entirely backward lesson: that it is bad to call anyone evil or subhuman. But you will notice that when this happens, it is not as if evil disappears. It just gets relocated and projected into things that are patently not evil. Thus the deep moral confusion of the Left that sees George Bush or Israel as evil, even subhuman.”
Perhaps our blogger should have given it more thought, for he seems to contradict himself. He says the Left learned from Nazi Germany the distorted lesson that we shouldn’t call anyone “evil or subhuman.” But then he turns around and reports that Leftists call George Bush and Israel these things. I guess the Left didn’t learn the lesson our blogger says they learned after all.
Our blogger suggests that the lesson we should have learned from Nazi Germany is that there are “subhuman” or “infrahuman” “monsters” “in our midst.” Yesterday, there were Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot. Today there are Hamas, Hezbollah, the “Iranian mullahs,” the “chinless wonder who rules Syria,” Kim Jong Il, and Castro. All are “pure evil.” All are “subhuman monsters.” They and their followers should be eradicated with the military grade “chemotherapy” of bullets, bombs, and missiles. And then the pure goodness characterizing our blogger and his community will prevail and Earth will become heaven, or something like that.
I don’t see it that way. I believe that the Nazis should have taught us all the lesson our blogger says it both did and didn’t teach the Left. It should have taught us that when one group of people sees another as “subhuman” or “infrahuman,” this is when it gleefully perpetrates the most horrible evils against the group it has dehumanized, and, in so doing, it dehumanizes itself. Not literally, mind you. A human being can’t make other human beings or itself truly inhuman, subhuman, or infrahuman. Human beings are human beings, no matter how they behave. Human beings love and hate, make love and make war, heal and destroy, do wondrous good and perpetrate unspeakable evil. All are the very human behaviors of human beings.
But when human beings see and despise other human beings as “pure evil” or “subhuman” “monsters,” as our blogger would have us see and do the Islamists, the communists, and maybe even Noam Chomsky, you can bet that you’re going to see them commit the worst of human behaviors, usually, ironically, in the name of goodness or God. And then the other group will take its revenge. And the murderous cycle will continue until someone understands the profound moral truth and wisdom of Gandhi’s words.