Over at BlackFive, Grim posted a piece which has become ... kinda controversial.
It's called "On The Virtues Of Killing Children" and you ought to read it.
It reminded me, strongly, of an old post of mine which I'm reproducing here.
LES MAINS SALES
So I was stuck in traffic riding my motorcycle to the client site today, which meant that the ride was more contemplative than usual (if I'm riding through traffic, I can't think about anything but riding…).
And I was thinking about Avdeon Carol’s post, and what it is that I find so grating about many people (not including her at this point, since I don't know her well enough) who share the general ‘attitude space’ I'm trying to talk about.
And I had an idea I just had to try out on you guys.
A long time ago, I talked about the moral importance of hunting…that I felt it somehow wrong for people to both eat meat that they buy in the store and yet somehow they deny their responsibility for the life that was taken for their consumption. For me, having hunted somehow solves this problem…I have taken the responsibility, I have had my hands up to the elbows in the bloody mess, and changed something from an animal to meat for my table.
But when I read much of what comes from the left, I'm left with the feeling that they want to consume the benefits that come from living in the U.S. and more generally the West without either doing the messy work involved or, more seriously, taking on the moral responsibility for the life they enjoy.
We enjoy this life because a number of things happened in the world’s (our) history. Many of them involved one group dominating (or brutalizing or exterminating) another, or specific actions (Dresden, Hiroshima) whose moral foundation is sketchy at best.
"Do you think one can govern innocently? Purity is a matter for monks, clerics, not for politicians. My hands are dirty to the elbows. I have shoved them in filth and blood," Hoederer says in Sartre’s ‘Dirty Hands’.
Part of political adulthood is the maturity to realize that we are none of us innocents. The clothes we wear, money we have, jobs we go to are a result of a long, bloody and messy history.
I see my job as a liberal as making the future less bloody than the past.
But I accept the blood on my hands. I can't enjoy the freedom and wealth of this society and somehow claim to be innocent. I don't get to lecture people from a position of moral purity. No one spending U.S. dollars, or speaking with the freedom protected by U.S. laws gets to.
Posted by Armed Liberal at December 11, 2002 11:19 AM