Abandon All Fear

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Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

[Ideologies] Right-Minded Individuals

Posted by Lex Fear on May 25, 2007

This Post Is Rated: M for You will probably be Mildly offended. But you won’t be able to explain why.

A while back Bryan Ferry was quoted in The Grauniad about his comments praising Nazi aesthetics.

“I apologise unreservedly for any offense caused by my comments… I, like every right-minded individual, find the Nazi regime, and all it stood for, evil and abhorrent.”

I found it interesting he referenced right-minded individuals (no, I don’t mean politically). I find it interesting because it causes me to wonder, do right-minded individuals really find the Nazi regime abhorrent? I think to verify that, we would need to know who would be considered a ‘right-minded individual’. We also need to establish what exactly was abhorrent about the Nazi regime?

Nazism, defined by Wikipedia is:

I haven’t listed every single reference on Wikipedia (one hotly disputed section argues that Nazism was anti-capitalist which is a joke), nevertheless these are the main associations with Nazi ideology. You will notice that ethnic nationalism, anti-liberalism, anti-communism and nationalism are on this list. Strangely enough, you can find examples of large groups of people who support these ideologies alive and well today (particularly in regards to the American government).

So is it really right-minded to oppose these ideologies? I suspect that many ‘right-minded individuals’ were caught up in the Nazi rhetoric before we could look back in hindsight knowing it was all evil and abhorrent. After all, how else would Hitler rise to power if he was not charismatic and good at blending a patriotic and religious message?

Perhaps being ‘right-minded’ is not enough… or perhaps it’s not about being ‘right-minded’ at all. The problem with using a term such as ‘right-minded’ is that it can only be defined in relative terms. Instead of acknowledging what is essentially evil or abhorrent, we define it as evil and abhorrent only as long as the majority of what we consider ‘right-minded individuals’ find it evil and abhorrent.

See how easy it is to fall into the trap of circular reasoning?

Why am I making such a meal of this? Because it’s quite apparent to me that “I, like every right-minded individual” is a rhetorical statement.

It’s important for us to analyse what makes an ideology evil, and to stand against it as a matter of principal. We should not stand against an ideology simply because someone we dislike believes in it, or everyone agrees it’s wrong – otherwise we will not recognise true evil when it stares us in the face.

Posted in Doublethink, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Opinion, Pharisees, Propaganda, Quoteyness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »