Sunday, September 24, 2006
Ariel Dorfman on Complicity
In this morning's Washington Post:
This is one powerful argument, but one that the majority of us (complacent Americans) will never read, never contemplate. Sad, sad, sad, but we continue to denigrate the hopes and dreams of our heroic ancestors. We have shirked our duties and continue to miss every opportunity to do the right thing.
It's as Jefferson said of slavery:
"There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to his worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who permitting one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patriae of the other. ... And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever..."
I also think that the death penalty is of the same corrupting ilk. What kind of person is willing to kill another? A murderer. So we allow sadistic persons to carry out our laws, and we allow the legal process to be corrupted by the cries for vengeance from the so-called victims.
The fact that we as a society are morally corrupt causes me great pain.
YEP..I am really SICK of this Pro-Torture/Re-Definition Group of bAdmin supporters. Put up a post in response to these kind of folks who commentated over at Glenn Greenwalds.
(If yer interested- and don't mind the blog-whoring...it's Here.)
But at the same time I *wonder* if the best strategy for DEMs is to use and Expost-Facto Strategy: To lay low on the Torture thing - hell, they should even vote for it TO take it OFF the table as an issue...until AFTER the election.
Then they can FORCE the GOP to address economic and other election issues...since they would have *apparently* agreed to be tough on terrorist - and avoid all that painted-in-the-corner nonsense.
An Expost-Facto Strategy! *wink* (YES pun intended.)
Are we so morally sick, so deaf and dumb and blind, that we do not understand this?
Um, "yes"? How hard a question is that?
Please consider signing the Statement of Conscience at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.