Will Good Men do Nothing?

By |2019-09-27T15:00:05+00:00September 27th, 2019|World|

The UN was told this week that China is murdering their religious and ethnic minorities, and harvesting their organs. The very fact that something this abhorrent is happening eighty years after the beginning of the Second World War, when we sought to banish this evil from the world, ought to terrify everyone.

The West has been so caught up in its own internal struggle – between grandiosity on the right, and self-flagellation on the left – that we have remained ignorant, wilfully or otherwise, of the very fascism against which it has defined itself returning. China is, at this stage, a fascist system – there is no other word for it.

Just over two hundred year ago, Edmund Burke reminded us that all is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing. The irony is, if that were said today, we’d wring our hands over the definitions of good and evil, and even over the use of “man”. The West has turned in on itself, and neither side is innocent of this ignorance. On one hand, we have those who, terrified by the memory of Iraq and Afghanistan, are reticent to enter into another conflict, or accuse Western nations of imperialism if they try and do good abroad; on the other, we have the obsession of with smaller and smaller states until there is nothing left but a husk, with no military to speak of anyway. Sure, Obama’s famous riposte to Romney in 2012 that the nature of war has changed is true, but that change has been wilful, and has led only to an impersonal and methodical Western military system wherein every act is decided in the safety of briefing rooms and carried out in air-conditioned trailers, miles away from the consequences of these actions.

If anyone can hear these things and still not defend the Hong Kongese from their oppression at Xi Jinping’s hands, I despair. We need a West more prepared to stand up, not only for itself, but for good people the world over. President Trump might think he is taking China on in the economic sphere, and he might be right – but there is absolutely no excuse to ignore the absolute barbarity of harvest organs from your own citizens. (Therein lies the problem – these poor people have been stripped of any legal citizenship, if it ever existed in Maoist China).

The parallels to the systemic murder of the Jewish population of Eastern Europe hardly need elucidating: we are witnessing (albeit in fragments due to China’s terrifyingly successful censorship laws) a 21st century holocaust. A friend of mine reminded me recently of William Wilberforce’s proclamation to the House of Commons in 1791, and I believe it is essential in this circumstance to bear it in mind; “you may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.”

 

Photo by William Murphy on Flickr.

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