Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rationalizing a Faustian Contract

Here's an old poster from World War II:



How times have changed.

Thanks Digby.

I was struck by this comment posted by Grandmere Mimi some time ago on Wounded Bird:
The fact is that many in the country believed that torture was justified. I hear folks say the same thing today. Avoiding even the mention of the repugnance, immorality, and illegality of torture, I ask them about the innocent who were rounded up willy-nilly and tortured first and released later, the response is, "Too bad for them. We had to do it to stop the terrorists." Then I say, "But they were not terrorists. They were innocent and subsequently released!" that changes nothing in their thinking. It had to be done. 
That could describe the views of a lot of my family.  My explanation for this glad embrace of Faustian reasoning is frightened white people. "Just so long as it's happening to them and not to us."  As my friend David Kaplan says, America at its worst is a plea bargain with history on behalf of the white middle class.

3 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

I'll quote Fran again, "Jesus I'm sick of these people." And you know, sometimes I get really depressed about all of it, as I am today.

Of course, the US was never as good as our fond memories would have it. There's the elephant in the living room thingy of slavery upon which the land of the free was founded - a mere peccadillo, of course.

JCF said...

"It's not illegal if the President does it"

Let's simplify Tricky Dicky even more:

"It's not wrong, if *I* do it."

This is the human condition, in a nutshell.

Everything is allowed, because lil ol' God's Elect ME is doing it.

[It may be said, that more mature cultures than the US of A acknowledge this Basic Human Truth. Here in 'merka, we still like to posture that "City on a Hill" crap.]

Saying a prayer, here, for MP and everyone he's pissed off today. Just because I can. :-(

Counterlight said...

What happened to MP today? Did he forget his medication or something?