Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Moral Environment and Responsibility

“Avarice and envy do not come from a system; they are put into the system and change it. Conceptions that blame systems for the failures of people confuse cause and effect. Peter Drucker, who was forced out of Austria by the advance of Hitler’s forces, has called it a contradiction to ascribe anti-Catholic or anti-Semitic measures to the pressure of governments on the unwilling masses. He does not believe it possible for totalitarian regimes to act against the will of a people determined to oppose them. Similarly, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has refused to absolve the Russian people, including himself, from the crimes that occurred under Stalin (or those that still occur). Resistance has always been possible, he says, and with enough participants, may be effective. It is even more clear that the citizens in democracies cannot be absolved from the crimes and stupidities of their leaders. There is no refuge in the cry that the system is responsible.” (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, p. 106).

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