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There is a global war on morality

DEAR EDITOR:

The United States and much of the world is in crisis. It is a crisis that erupts when society’s moral norms are challenged and usurped by political ideological beliefs. Individuals and countries, then, act in what is in the best interest of the existing political climate and not historical and societal morality. It is the consequence of telling oneself that actions perpetrated in the furtherance of an ideology supersede common morality and render it obsolete.

This phenomenon has been seen many times through history; the Nazis in WWII Germany, the Stalinists in the 1940s Soviet Union, Maoists in the 1950s, Pol Pot’s exterminations and hundreds of lesser-known tragedies.

It plays out today in the havoc wrought in Ukraine by Russian forces under a nationalistic doctrine championed by Vladimir Putin. Unwavering, unquestioning fealty to an individual or ideology will invariably bring conflict and potentially war.

This process is defined, in George Orwell’s novel “1984” as “doublethink.” He notes, “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality. But by the exercise of doublethink, he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated.” Orwell continues further, “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies.”

Using this concept of doublethink, it becomes very easy for groups of people — or even entire societies — to substitute the reality of morality with that of the ideology du jour.

Let this not happen here in our United States. The future of the world depends on it.

STEPHAN J. STOYAK

Liberty

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