July 9, 2014

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I MUST CONCLUDE THAT EVIL MAY HAVE ORDINARY AND RATIONAL ORIGINS:” William Brustein

“What, then, should we conclude about evil from this examination of the social origins of the Nazi Party? Should we deduce from this study that the great evil may be brought into being when people do not examine the ramifications of choices made on the basis of rational self-interest? We certainly must. Yet any anticipation of the societal consequences of individual choice making is almost certain to fail. Evil may be wrought regardless of how deliberate people are in scrutinizing the political consequences of their choices. It is highly unlikely that the millions of self-interested German citizens voting for or joining the Nazi party in 1932 could have realized at the time that they decision would culminate first in dictatorship, then a world war, and finally the murder of millions of innocent people between 1939 and 1945. Thus, I must conclude that evil may have ordinary and rational origins. This apples to pre-1933 Germans as much as to all other peoples.”

 

William Brustein, The Social Origins Of The Nazi Party, 1925-1933

Pp 184

 

May we observe that perhaps making political choices based only on perceived self interest may lead to… evil?

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editor @ 10:44 pm

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