Susan Cooper

hannibal at hannibal at
Thu Oct 30 02:18:17 EST 2003


I'd actually say that it's the last part of Robyn's paragraph (which 
Charlie may disagree with, and on which I abstain leaning toward Robyn) 
which is vital, here, to wit: 

It *is* elitist to feel morally superior in the matter of not attacking 
a small and defenceless child, mob-handed, simply because of the 
skin-colour of the child, and to find such attack indefensible, *if*, 
as Robyn suggests, there is no reflection on methods (or, I would add, 
continual self-reflection about the reality of moral superiority). 

I quite agree with you about the importance of continual moral self-reflection (speaking as yet another person with a Quaker upbringing...). I'm not sure that 'elitism' is the best word to describe its absence: moral obtuseness perhaps, though elitist attitudes might be one of the results. Anyway, where I took slight issue with Robyn's original post wasn't in denying the importance of that. It's simply that I think that Will anyway, and arguably Merriman too, do indeed reflect on their methods, and at times regret their necessity, but nevertheless find them to be necessary. The whole ends-and-means aspect that we discussed a week or two back.
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