Sunday, April 24, 2011

Intelligence = War

I am dazzled by intelligence and talent, though the end point of what many of them work towards is not always good.  The best and the brightest led us into Vietnam and Germany had all the philosophers and scientists, and they perverted morality for their own ends, power.  Israel, too.  

The US, the beacon of freedom it is now, rests on a foundation of genocide and systematic discrimination, yet somehow is immune to criticism given the concessions it has made over the years, excellent PR and also benefited from perpetuating these crimes in an era when the UN did not exist and media and solidarity with foreign causes was not fashionable.  They could never get away with something similar today.

This is the inherent distrust China, and other countries have with the West.  They put in place rules, after breaking them, and then hold others to a different standard, forgetting history and preaching justice.  Who is the biggest polluter, the biggest war maker and the most unjust and cruel to its own people in recent memory? The West.  And now they come along and tell others to behave? 

But it's neither so simplistic, as the West has also evolved, changed and made all efforts to learn from its mistakes and work to make a better society, from the ashes of injustice and war.  And by many accounts the transformation is historic, and unprecedented and innovative.  It' hard to deny the rights afforded to many minority groups and the progress made on many fronts.  It's hard to remain unmoved and cynical in the face of such great change. 

There is a contradiction, a paradox and a tension that pulls us in many directions about what is true and good about Western Civilization.  I think this debate, this constant reflection is a strong suit, and one that will ultimately bring us to a better place.

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