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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 3/15/16

They Just Didn't Know Any Better! A Modest Proposal on Historical Relativism and Universalism---(Irony)

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.Our people.. .Honest mistakes.. .They just don't know any better..
.Our people.. .Honest mistakes.. .They just don't know any better..
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Have you ever noticed how people with anti-White-privilege are relentlessly and remorselessly racist against the International Community, and fail to respect how generous we are towards them?

Everybody knows Churchill and Cecil Rhodes made some errors that don't fit our high standards; but you know, everybody was racist back then!

And as we all know and agree, you can't blame Francis Galton, or Margaret Sanger, or Bertrand Russell for supporting eugenics. Don't you know that these people were very progressive in their time, so it's ridiculous to judge them by our current superior standards of enlightenment?

And 100 years from now, people will look back in amazement at any honest mistakes the US State Department have made in foreign policy. They will grimly nod and say, 'OK, if we are going to judge people in the early 21st century by our own standards, we who are fortunate enough to live in a highly advanced and civilized society, well, where will it end? It's a hell of a slippery slope, isn't it?'

It is indeed. But I'm going to fill in a few of the blanks anyway.

I honestly can't believe that so many people judged Hitler so harshly for the Holocaust. His intentions were good, and it's not his fault he didn't realize that, as Noel Coward once so charitably put it, 'Sterilization simply isn't done!' Hitler was a man of his time, so how dare these ethnocentric bigots expect Hitler to know what only we, at our current lofty vantage point in the 22nd century, clearly understand?

Oh and while we're at it, I just have no idea why people are moralistically condemning Stalin. Have you any idea how backward and impoverished Russia was at that time? How on earth can you expect someone living at such an early, unenlightened stage of world history to know right from wrong; at least as we understand it today?

After all, it may well be the year 2116 now, and we all agree what is reasonable and unreasonable; but in 2216, the goalposts will have shifted, and the new generations will have to reflect anew on what is right and wrong for them.

How dare these narrow-minded, ignorant bigots presume to impose their own personal subjective and entirely historically contingent morality on people way back then, who quite clearly didn't know any better? Stalin did many things that we might not fully approve of today, if at all, but it's setting a bit of a high bar to expect a leader in the early and mid-20th century (no later!) to know that imprisoning your enemies in Gulags isn't a constructive and reasonable way to deal with political dissent.

And after all, everyone was an authoritarian in those days, right? Can you name me but one person who would have been likely to object to what Stalin was doing? Oh, come on! Just get a grip, would you? You are really, really naive, if you expect Stalin to have understood that, by our lights, in this glorious and enlightened 22nd century of ours, that you shouldn't really do things like that.

I just cannot for the life of me understand why ethnocentric and present-centric bigots are always looking down upon and judging people from a long time ago in history. You can't judge people of past times by the same standards of today; that's just a sign of self-indulgent arrogance. Hitler was a man of his time. Stalin was a man of his time. So were Pol Pot, Ayatollah Khomeini, Idi Amin, Kim Jong Eun, and pretty much any fascist, neoconservative, liberal interventionist, political Islamist or Christian Dominionist, nationalist, 'terrorist' or MRA. I simply have no conception of how the self-congratulatory, arrogant racists of our beautiful and sagely 22nd century can find the nerve to moralistically condemn people 'way back when' who simply couldn't have known any better, and who couldn't possibly have known their actions wouldn't be in keeping with the high standards of ethical and civilized behavior we've come to demand and enjoy from our own people.

Just who the hell do these racist, historically chauvinistic moral universalists think they are?!

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Jonathan Ferguson is a socio-economic liberal with strong libertarian leanings in some key issues.

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