Monday, September 21, 2015

An Irony of the American Civil War and WWII

While the American Civil War was ultimately fought by many in the North to free the slaves, African-Americans were hardly free at the war’s end – and into my own lifetime there have been lynchings, segregation, and discrimination taking various forms.

WWII in Europe was fought when Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland and England and France honored their defense treaty with Poland. Yet at war’s end Poland (and all of Eastern Europe) was enslaved by the Soviet Union.    

Fallen humanity is not humane when it bumps up against self-interest – once the threat to ourselves is past we lack the will to persevere, to put our collective selves “needlessly” at risk; we do, however, have the will to rationalize away our failure to see things through to a moral conclusion. 

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