Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Bjorn looked up from his PC and reached for his ham sandwich. He felt agitated by Maria's words, and frustrated with the fact that he could not find a good counter argument. He had initially thought of Hitler and the Holocaust as the perfect proof of Maria's error. But he could not use it without either sounding silly or insinuating that the foreign minister was somehow comparable to Hitler.

Bjorn took a bite of his sandwich. "Surely, Hitler was responsible for the Holocaust," he thought. "Yet, Maria is right too. The executioners were the ones doing the killing, not Hitler himself, and there would have been no Holocaust without them."

But on the other hand, Hitler knew he wielded the power of authority, and he used it to kill. Surely, that was a crime. He held a magic spell, as it were, over his followers, and he ordered them to kill. However, this argument would only hold in a system where authority is a legal entity. It also assumes that Hitler's followers were indeed under some sort of spell and unable to think for themselves. To hold Hitler responsible for the Holocaust, it is necessary to appeal to the authority argument and assume his followers to be some sort of automates, unable to think or feel. In Maria's system, authority is not a legal entity and everybody is assumed to have free will. Maria, it turns out, has no way to blame Hitler for the Holocaust because she is denying herself the key assumptions necessary to argue in that direction.

Bjorn felt pleased with himself for having identified the source of Maria's standpoint. He took another bite of his ham sandwich. And while munching it, he could not help giving Maria credit for having at least applied her principles consistently. She had not treated Ane in any way different from the foreign minister. In Maria's world it was the fighter pilots that were responsible for the death's in Libya, and it was Ane's workers that were responsible for polluting the waters around her factory.

"But that's fascism," Bjorn thought to himself. "To blame the little guy for just doing his job while letting the big fish off the hook is no way to run a legal system." Bjorn could not quite believe that Maria was sincere in what she was saying. Going after the little guy, the way she did, could not possibly be out of any sense of justice. This woman was motivated by something far less honorable than justice, and considering her relationship to the local drug lord, it seemed quite obvious that she was really just out to protect her husband. She was sucking up to the foreign minister as a return favor for protecting David. "And why not consistently argue on behalf of the rich and the powerful?" Bjorn thought. "If you already sold your soul to the devil, you might as well get as much out of it as you possibly can."

Then the full scope of Maria's sinister plot suddenly dawned on Bjorn, and it was clear why he had reacted with such anger on reading her comments. Maria was going to hold Bjorn fully responsible for any and all actions committed in the line of duty. Bjorn was the little guy, and he would be held personally responsible for any damage or loss he might cause while merely doing his job. If he shot anybody, and it was not self defense, Maria would charge him with murder. If he confiscated anyone's property, he would be charged with theft.

Bjorn was not angry with Maria due to her apparent defense of Hitler. Bjorn was angry and frustrated with her because she was going to argue against him if he ever was to break the golden rule. Bjorn would not be allowed to use the argument that he was just following orders.

No comments:

Post a Comment