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75th Anniversary of the Doctor's Trial and Impromptu Philosophy
A reader going by the name of Ash reached out to me and shared his work on Nuremberg Trials.
The 75th anniversary of the verdict of the Doctor’s Trial is coming up, and I’d like to share his latest post (and please check out his entire Substack).
A melancholic philosophical interlude.
First, this, on the banality of evil and the ease of crime.
And now the interlude…
History is such a pensive quest!
Most (all?) people in positions of high state power seemingly love to kill and abuse. They routinely commit unthinkable things. They make regular people bleed, fight with each other, and lose their loved ones and their minds to suffering and war—and yet, the winners in high chairs get to wear noble halos as a prize, and the losers get to symbolize all things bad.
It almost never (never?) gets to a place where there is a broad rejection of mass murder as such. As lip service, maybe—when the opponent tries to be openly bad—but not in any meaningful way.
Like, for example, the German Nazi carefully studied American law, California Indian Missions and the reservation system to create their policies and camps—and Hitler admired the way the “Indian problem” was solved in the U.S.
So, in what way was it more noble or acceptable to murder the original people of this land than it was to murder Jews, Gypsies, Russians, gays, and various prisoners of war (and also the disabled, who were the first to die)?
It’s clear to me who the bad guy is—but who is the good guy?
And then there is this, close to heart. My grandparents were in the war and sacrificed so much. Every family in the Soviet Union gave so much to that war!!! There was so much pain!!! The war itself, and then the destruction, and the women who spent their lives without a man, raising kids by themselves, because so many men were killed, and the trauma it created for generations to come… so much pain!
And yet, it’s not like Stalin was the good guy. He—and Hitler, and most of them—were playing the proverbial geopolitical 5D chess and driving each other nuts—and they certainly didn’t care about some faceless cannon meat.
Would the good guy please stand up?
And, speaking of Nuremberg, forcing novel (or any) medical procedures on people is not right. It was not right then, and it is not right today. Why? First, because bodily autonomy is a thing, but also because the people praising those procedures are not gods—and even if they meant well (debatable, but let’s say), they could be wrong about the benefits and the risks. And then what?! That’s why informed consent exists in the first place!
So, not to be solemn, but I have a dream. My dream is that we judge the goodness not by temporal proximity, not by national origin or slogans or religion or creed, but by deeds.
And may we remember at last that abusing people for money or ambition is bad, no matter the slogan or the flag. It’s just bad. And methinks that power maniacs equally suck.
There has been too much pain.
It’s time to cleanse our souls and to wake up to our hearts.
Call me naive but is there any other way?
(Thank you for your support, I surely depend on it.)
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