Saturday, February 2, 2008

A Crucial Question, Two Important Answers




Sir John Keegan:
"The world's preeminent military historian."











Professor Gerhard Weinberg:
"One of the world's foremost scholars on
Hitler and Nazi Germany."






Recently Radarsite had occasion to pose the following question to both Sir John Keegan and Prof. Gerhard Weinberg:
"Considering the number of revisionist histories which have been published in these past few decades, attempting to depict the Second World War as merely a morally-neutral conflict between nation-states over competing self-interests, do you still believe that that war was indeed a battle between Good and Evil?"

Both men answered with an unequivocal, Yes. Despite all of the intervening arguments to the contrary, both of these acknowledged experts still viewed WWII as a battle between the forces of Good and the forces of Evil -- although, Prof. Weinberg added that the forces of Good had had to make temporary common cause with another force of Evil (the Soviet Union) in order to achieve its ultimate victory.

Why is this an important question today?

In our present PC society, where almost every moral stance has been eroded and weakened by those currently-popular concepts of moral equivilancy, it is crucial for this beleaguered country of ours to accept the fact that Evil does exist. And, to believe that that is what we are currently fighting against; and that, as flawed as we may be, we are indeed the forces of Good.

10 comments:

  1. Hiya Roger.............In our present PC society, where almost every moral stance has been eroded and weakened by those currently-popular concepts of moral equivilancy, it is crucial for this beleaguered country of ours to accept the fact that Evil does exist. And, to believe that that is what we are currently fighting against; and that, as flawed as we may be, we are indeed the forces of Good...Nothing short of brilliant!

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  2. Wow. Thank you very much Angel.
    I'm glad you thought that that was as important as I did.

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  3. Churchill's ParrotFebruary 3, 2008 at 7:19 AM

    My Dear Roger,

    We have taught ourselves to be tolerant of the intolerable. As this is impossible, something has to break. Would that it be our embrace of the Evil in Mickey Mouse clothing - Political Correctness - rather than Western Civilization and its advocacy for the rights of all mankind i.e. THE GOOD!

    We agree entirely with Womanhonorthyself's apprasial of your point. We would add that the question which prompted it as well as the historians to whom you chose to put it, demonstrate your brilliance as well. As always - well done sir!

    Cheers,

    Charlie

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  4. Thanks everyone. The two answers were obtained by very different means. The first was a letter sent to Sir John in England care of his publisher (I don't think Sir John likes computers - lol). Weeks, and then months went by and I had almost forgotten having written to him, when I received a handwritten letter his home in England. Before the question about Good and Evil, I had asked him some other questions pertaining to the Nazis' embrace of the powers of darkness and their use of black in all of the symbols, which he kindly answered in detail.

    With the eminent Prof. Weinberg, however, I had had the pleasure of carrying on a nice correspondence with him during this past summer about WWII by email.

    Both men, tellingly, showed no hesitation or equivocation in their answers, and they both agreed on the premise of Good vs. Evil.

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  5. Actually, a case could be made that "moral equivilancy" is rapidly playing itself out - and not just in the West.

    In a certain mohammedist bloc for example - in Pakistan it is totally cool for girls to fly jet fighters - while in Saudi girls driving cars is totally uncool.

    Since "equivilancy" cuts both ways it will be a much harder sell in the future.

    Like Al Qaeda's recent use of innocent weaponry versus free nations that use intelligent weaponry which by the very definition is designed to minimize and often prevent innocent casualities.

    Tolerance of intolerance is dying off - and in the ME of all places. Consider - anywhere AQ siezes power their tormented subjects snitch to armored troops of the woman worshipping West.

    Or Palestine - parts of which legitimately voted in a Caliphate of sorts - tire of promises of war, want and weariness - recent polls show an amazing 62% would prefer to live in Little Satan instaed of a future sha ria preachers paradise.

    Intolerance is losing - indeed, it never really had a chance.

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  6. Thank you GSG, I love your unflagging optimism, and I believe in it too!

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  7. Excellent article Roger. Evil does exist and so does the ever popular concept of moral equivalency. We must understand, however, that those who embrace ME cannot recognize that it is ME any more than they can recognize the presence of Evil.

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  8. Excellent point Faultline. Thank you.

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  9. Can one be secular and believe in evil? The widespread abandonment of religion in Europe and on the left makes one wonder if the point of contention here is more a matter of whether all sides can agree that human beings are prone to calculated depravity. In a micro sense we all look to treat each other with compassion and respect, but in a macro sense our history is one of continuing murder and mayhem. How do we explain this? The Left will argue that our actions are inspired by culture (the poverty equals crime argument) while the Right argues that humanity has an innate predilection towards selfishness and self-preservation (if not evil in a broader sense). If you're a leftist, the solution to 'evil' is humility and government programs. To fight it is to become it, as war creates a culture of aggression that feeds on itself (see Gandhi's advice to the Jews).

    My longwinded point is to say that the Left and the Right may agree that evil exists - it's hard to deny. But in dealing with it's permanence, the left seeks to delude itself so as to create an environment where evil suffocates, overcome by love. There has never been a pacifist world where this environment has been allowed to exist, so the idealism continues to thrive in the imagination, and this is why threats to its realization are confronted with calls to face the evil within oneself before judging others. Hence, the move toward relativism.

    Religion and it's insistence on original sin might prepare a person to expect depravity and approach it accordingly, since it's not going away. Secularism, paired with the notion that humans can be perfected, inherently leads to the equivocation of evil, being man-made and so perishable.

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  10. It is a present surprise indeed to see Reuters pick up and publish this excellent article! Congratulations, Roger, on a task well performed.

    The extreme clarity of your thinking and the passion with which it is expressed are greatly appreciated by your audience. Yours is a voice I hope will never be silenced.

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