A Francine, a chara agus a chairde eile
I would like to pick up your point about responsibility for things which
happened in the past.
I really cannot agree that I can/should be _responsible_ in any way for acts
over which I can have had no influence.
For example, I deplore the behaviour of Cromwell in despoiling so much of
England (trying to avoid getting into an argument about Ireland). But I
didn't vote for him! I don't feel a shred of responsibility. When I visit
the great cathedrals and see the results of the vandalism of his time, I may
be moved to make a contribution to the restoration of the original beauty -
but that doesn't mean that I accept that I am to blame.
Where I do have a responsibility is in using the little influence which our
"democratic" systems and the multinationals allow me, to work to ensure that
similar outrages do not occur again.
I acknowledge the evil which has been done in the past. If I have profited
from it indirectly, then I may have a moral obligation to make restitution.
However, I am no way to blame.
I also question the motives of those who continue to stir up old hatreds.
It saddens me that they prefer conflict to constructive progress. I thank
my lucky stars that present-day Europe seems to have consigned such
attitudes to the dustbin of history.
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