Sunday, August 07, 2005

The power of fear


Quoth Jorge:

"How about commenting on why war makes many people abandon their principles?"

Because they're afraid, that's why. At least, that's how it looks. Not cowardly ... just genuinely convinced that, in order to stop Group A who has attacked them, Group B must be closely watched, and Group C cut down before either can become part of Group A.

The urge to identify with a Group D that bands together for self-defense, and to treat the individuals in Group A, Group B and Group C as potential (and perpetual) threats, is a very strong and natural reaction. It's the pack instinct. It's also wrong, both morally and practically, because people aren't groups, they're individuals ... and because there's a limit to just how many of the sins of some members of one group may be ascribed to the other members of that group.

As soon as it's "them" versus "us" instead of "him" versus "me," innocents start getting hurt.

Obviously, I am not as on top of my writing game right now as I was three hours ago. But hey, I'm still here.

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