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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: Consensus is a matter of opinion.: Edit Log


Jul 15 2009, 2:53am

Views: 410
Consensus is a matter of opinion.

If Tolkien learned cynicism in WWI, he applied it to WWII. Remember his horror at hearing his fellow countrymen cheering at the sight of weary lines of German refugee women and children. And he wrote to his son that unfortunately orcs fought on both sides. And he likened aerial warfare to desperate hobbits learning to ride Fell Beasts. (This involved more than his dislike of technology; bombing cannot help but cause massive collateral damage among civilians.)

It is no small matter that Tolkien was ethnically German. He despised Nazism and everything to do with it, yet he could not see the German people as inherently different from himself, unlike so many who missed the whole point of what we were fighting for and viewed Germans as somehow fundamentally flawed, not like us. He couldn't retreat into the myth of Enemy as Monster; he had to deal with the seduction of initially decent human beings.

So it wasn't entirely a "good war" to him. Good and evil he saw clearly enough, and supported the opposition to evil by force of arms. That did not free the "good guys" from a responsibility to resist justifying bad means by good ends.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!

(This post was edited by Dreamdeer on Jul 15 2009, 2:56am)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Dreamdeer (Valinor) on Jul 15 2009, 2:56am

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