Saturday, June 09, 2012

The means justify the ends?

In history courses in the late 20th century, we often heard the words "the ends justify the means" to color the perpetrators of the that era's worst crimes.  The quote attributed to Stalin, "You have to break some eggs to make an omelet" comes to mind, for example.  A similar mindset was discernible in the actions of 1960s terrorists:  the Weathermen, the Manson Family, etc.  So what if we're murdering people and trying to blow up buildings?  It will all lead to peace and harmony and socialism eventually.

 In my post "activism" days, I have been observing the way they (and me, in the past) held so close to their chests the conviction that even if  the  implementation of their idealistic plans ended up a disaster, no one should suggest that their plans were wrong.  It's a literary opposite, but with consequences that could be just as dire, of "the ends justify the means":  "the means justify the ends!"