That's How It Goes, Everybody KnowsBanfield's sentiment reminded me of Darwin's musing on a similar matter, quoted in the epigraph of Gould's The Mismeasure of Man: "If the misery of the poor be caused not by laws of nature but by our institutions, (then) great is our sin."
By: Bernard Chazelle
Everybody knows. By now everybody knows we're slaughtering women and children in Afghanistan. We even worry about it. No, not worry in the sense, "OMG we're slaughtering women and children! How evil can we be?" Worry in the sense "How can we win that thing if we piss off the natives?" The Times explainsthe trade-off between the short-term gain of eliminating enemy fighters and the larger danger of alienating the general population.
That's Jack the Ripper wondering if bumping off all those prostitutes might not end up hurting his popularity in London. Note how the Times's quote strips our "knowledge" of the slaughter of all morality. It's a chess game, really, with its "gains" and "dangers." In a poignant op-ed today, the Irish writer John Banville wonders what it means "to know."If children were sent to orphanages, industrial schools and reformatories, it must be because they were destined for it, and must belong there. What happened to them within those unscalable walls was no concern of ours. We knew, and did not know. That is our shame today.The rationalization is the same. The shame is not. In fact a whole academic field was created for the specific purpose of "deshaming" our imperial conquests. It's called "International Relations." Read Banville's piece. (For the writing alone, and for the rest, it's worth it.)
That's Jack the Ripper wondering if bumping off all those prostitutes might not end up hurting his popularity in London.I'd kill for an analogy like that...