Guilt-based politics
0 comment Wednesday, July 23, 2014 |
Darrell Dow at the Dow Blog has a particularly fine post about 'Guilt, Atonement, and Foreign Policy.'
How has this desire for atonement driven American foreign policy? Through the systematic propagation of guilt, Americans have been indoctrinated with a belief that their history is little more than a series of power-grabs, a desolation of innocents. We are repeatedly assured that our history is simply an account of guilt toward Blacks, Jews, Chinese, Indians, Mexicans and ultimately the entire world.
The result of this defective history is a politics loaded down with guilt, in the face of which the populace assumes a posture of submissiveness. A foreign policy elite than is able to advance its interests by claiming a "humanitarian" justification for military adventurism, effectively placing guilt on one party in the midst of great complexity (e.g., Serbs vs. Bosnians, Russians vs. Georgians, etc.). Thus we are urged to atone for our sins by "saving" a "tyrannized" people from their "oppressors."
The other possibility is to heap the guilt upon ourselves and assume responsibility for every malady on all continents. All the guilt for the starving and oppressed of the world or the ruination and environmental degradation of the planet is thus placed squarely at our feet. Atonement in this scenario leads to foreign aid schemes and similar looting of taxpayers.
Good points. And so many of the Christians I know are heavily into guilt over poverty and want in the Third World, which they deal with by constantly fixating on the Third World in their charitable works, at the expense of charity nearer to home. But there isn't as much glory and applause and potential for patting oneself on the back with doing kindnesses to people right here at home.
But please read the rest of the post at Dow Blog.

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