We need to know and learn from history in ordered to not repeat it, but is a child guilty for the sins of their parent? Are individuals collectively guilty for the historical actions of the nations they are part of? What's their responsibility?
I think one should avoid collective guild by taking responsibility. In this case, the collective responsibility of living up to the mistakes, horrors, errors and intentional bad behavior of your ancestors. You have this responsibility by virtue of having been born, which you had no choice about, so the burden may seem unfair, but it is unavoidable. In short, leave the world a better place by struggling and sacrificing and trying to avoid the mistakes of the past, this is the best way to overcome the burden.
This makes me ponder those who do the reverse, as a badge of honour. I am referencing people who believe they are "antifascist" because their grandparents fought the Nazis so they transpose this "heroism" upon themselves as if violence for a political goal is difficult and requires bravery. I am, however, quick to point out that while fighting Nazis was a good thing it did not automatically confer greatness/goodness on those who did so. The USA, at the time, was an apartheid country. Essentially we had soldiers of an apartheid nation whom would lynch a black man for drinking out of the wrong water fountain, because they thought him inferior, fighting Nazis who put Jews in death camps because they too thought them inferior. Who was the "good" guy? Who was the "bad" guy? Answer: History is written by the victors...hence neither side was good merely varying flavours of bad with a similar base motivator of foisting their minority groups to the "gallows" for society's failings. Bestowing honour or guilt upon one's self for the actions of the past is pure folly grounded in fanciful notions of the past.
Excellent article. However, I think the warnings contained within are now, as in the past, being ignored. Laws and policies that were enacted as a result of one of the worst time periods in history are being ignored. Specifically the Nuremberg Code that prohibited medical experimentation without consent, and make no mistake the vaccines that have proven to be failures are experimental.
As to the the issue of collective responsibility. Whether an individual be the descendent of slave holders, murderers, mass murderers, or perpetrators of genocide the corruption of blood is no more rational than licking a frozen galvanized flag pole, again. Corruption of blood is a moronic relic of tribal culture that is being recycled like virtually ever other past crime of ignorance and pure evil. Worse still is those efforting to legislate it ignore the fact that every race in existence has a one time been both Master & Slave.
I loved this whole article. But what stood out most to me was this:
"We need to understand that evil does not come to us obviously dressed up as evil. Evil can be charming and tempting. Evil can even look like ‘good’ sometimes."
That's the question we must always ask: is what I'm calling good actually a mask for evil?
I don't have to tell you all the ways the Woke Left (of which I used to be a part) hides evil acts behind a mask of goodness.
But there is one thing members of the Woke Left do that is uniquely despicable to me: they emphasize the horror of historic slavery while actively enabling modern day slavery.
The very same people who demand reparations for historic slavery have attacked a law (FOSTA) that allows modern day victims of slavery to sue powerful websites that profit from sex trafficking.
In other words, reparations for historic slavery is good, but reparations for modern day slavery is
I'm an economic progressive, but the whole "Squad" can fuck itself as far as I'm concerned. Their opposition to FOSTA was the determining factor in my switch from being a Democrat to an Independent.
I literally wept with relief when the Republican candidate defeated the pro "sex work" candidate for city attorney in Seattle.
Those who support decriminalized sex buying are supporting sex trafficking. Full Stop.
It shouldn't take a study by the London School of Economics to make it clear that decriminalized sex buying increases sex trafficking, but here it is: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/45198/1/Neumayer_Legalized_Prostitution_Increase_2012.pdf
Sex trafficking could not exist without sex buyers, and since there is never enough willing "supply" to meet demand, anything that increases demand will increase trafficking. Obviously.
But in their opposition to FOSTA the pimp lobby and their supporters have made themselves perfectly clear: if fighting against sex trafficking is going to interfere with the profits of the sex industry, we will refuse to fight sex trafficking. Let the web sites be used to sell as many raped kids as they please, with zero consequences.
Of course people like Ro Khanna claim they oppose FOSTA to protect adult "sex workers" (instead of protecting trafficked kids? And that's supposed to be "good"?)
I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Ro represents Silicon Valley and that FOSTA threatens Section 230 of the CDA.
Anyway, collective guilt is clearly an empty performance that helps no one.
But it's far easier to express collective guilt than it is to take collective responsibility, so people choose collective guilt instead.
Fighting sex trafficking is extremely hard. It's painful, it's messy, and it implicates those who are afraid of confronting the dark underbelly of sexual "liberation" (liberation for whom?). It also threatens our personal lives, and the myth of the nice upper middle class sex buyer (our husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers?).
A name as harmless as "john" can't be describing a sex offender. Can it?
Are we masking something evil?
Thank You for another thoughtful article.
This is really elegantly stated - it feels like a mine field best avoided, but to do that we need another framework.
We have an f-word rule in my house. My impulsive 10-year-old will get surprised and yell 'Fuck!' I'm ok with that, as long as he understands the consequences of saying it in public. As soon as he trots out the word 'Fair,' though, we've got problems. At least 90% of our public and political discourse today boils down to "but it's not fair!"
The only correct answer is - "You're right. It's not fair. Never has been, never will be." Fair is a subjective concept. What seems fair to me, won't be fair to you.
If I could suggest a way out of the very real collective guilt dilemma you describe, it would be to decide collectively what future we want together, and then (only then) acknowledge the past, accept the present, and talk about ways to get there. Guilt is corrosive, and we have really important and urgent work to do.