syrakusos Posted January 5, 2010 Share Posted January 5, 2010 Among the many problems with war is that you become your enemy. I mean that both ways: you adopt the attributes of the other person; and you become your own enemy.Over in the discussion on Islam and Libertarianism, talk of punishment on Earth and in Hell prompted proposals to hang, draw and quarter Adolph Hitler.My questions are:At what point in his life would he have deserved that punishment?What did he do to earn it? I look to the Toland biography. Hitler was the same person at 45 that he was at 14 or 7. Should he have been killed while in Landsberg writing Mein Kampf? After Munich? Rheinland? If invading Poland was wrong, what about invading the USSR? (Poland, by the way, was a military dictatorship. You know that, right?)Then, like all second-handers, Adolph Hitler did not actually do anything himself. He "ordered" other people to do it, but he did not threaten them. He was powerless. He was only the highest expression of the Historical Idea of the Moment. Other people voluntarily did the things he suggested. In fact, if you read what he demanded and commanded, he was never very specific. "We must destroy our enemies!" is not a plan of action. The Wahnsee Conference was a plan of action. Operation Sea Lion was a plan of action. Hitler just ranted on stage and other people took that as their cue. Without followers, leaders are helpless. If you want to punish anyone, punish the millions of Germans. Draw and quarter six million Nazis and what have you become?Objectivists who think that retribution is justice are committing errors of social metaphysics and altruism by making the other person the object of justice. When you inflict suffering on another person, the harm is not just to them (though there is that), but the harm that you do to yourself. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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