Source: The Local
People don’t always make the best choices, even if their aims are honest. Realizing this can be painful but it doesn’t debase our common morality. We have to try to do what’s right without presuming that our choice would automatically be so.
The Germans collectively made themselves so guilty for what happened between 1933 and 1945 that they’ve been trying to avoid being blamed for anything else ever since. They can’t stand to leave any trace of their existence and are compelled to calculate their choices decades in advance. It’s a particular form of German angst that was long confused with a general fear of concrete catastrophes. But aversion to nuclear energy, environmental destruction, global warming, war, contaminated food, and even having children are all based on the same fearful foundation: How do I avoid contributing to calamity?
This question at first sounds honourable enough. In times of war, in Afghanistan for example, the Germans hardly care what happens to their own soldiers, but are intensely worried about what their troops do to others. While the military brass in America, Britain and France usually have to justify their own heavy casualties, the biggest scandal in Germany revolves around a botched air strike called in by a German colonel that left scores of Afghan civilians dead. Other nations consider this a particular form of self abuse – the Germans love to flagellate themselves.