I had an interesting conversation not long ago with an official soldier, I’d like to share it here:
- If you´re flying an airplane and you recieve the command to drop a bomb on a village where you know people with children live, would you do it?
- Yes. If it´s an order, yes.
- Would You feel responsible for the death of those people?
- No, I would just executing an order.
- So You wouldnt feel responsible as a killer?
- No! Of course not! Not at all. Im a soldier, that my job.
- Okay, so, what if You´re the one who´s giving the order, would you feel like a killer if you gave the order to drop that bomb?
- Well, I wouldn’t technically be a killer. So, Im not sure…
- You wouldnt get in touch with the results at all. You wouldnt even see any of the destruction or death caused by the bomb, you wouldnt even ever have seen that particular bomb maybe.
-Okay, so… What if you were the father of a child that was killed by that bomb? Who would you think is responsible? Who would you blame? The soldier that executed the killing? The commander who gave the command? The country the commander comes from? The nation it belongs to?
There was no answer to that. Of course it is not about who to blame, since it wouldnt be of much use. (we do it anyway though)
But there is something interesting about this conversation, because it made clear to me one of the key issues of our society:
People within the frames of a system are not responsible for their own acts - if those serve the given system. In that bombing example nobody would turn out responsible, because the system allows to step over basic human values in order to remain in power. But there is a problem: human consciousness in normal circumstances wouldn’t allow to do it because life is a basic human value - embedded in our souls. I need to take out the responsibility from the equation, it´ll also eliminate the guilt factor, and with that I deactivate consciousness. That way I simply replace the value “life” with the value “system”.
It will seem that i have stopped being responsible for “life” - generally. For my own life, and for that of others as well.
There is also something else: What Im not responsible for - I have no power over. This is a very important part of the power-play going on.
So yes, responsibility is power. It´s freedom to decide. Its freedom to think, to evaluate and to act accordingly. It´s not only a charge, its Power. People who are giving up on their responsibilities, are also giving up their own freedom. They are selling their free will for the illusion of remaining in the comfort zone of being children.
According to my values, in the example above everyone would have to assume their own responsibility:
To me the one who shoots, is a killer. I don´t accept the excuse of “only executing orders” because I believe in human values, and free will, I believe we are no robots, I believe we always have a choice. The one who gives the order; to me - according to human values - is unworthy of the power he´s given.
In order to reestablish human values we need to clear up the and trigger the question of responsibility for our own actions. Each of us responds for their own actions. Very simple put: It´s about time we grew up.
There is an interesting video to this, about the so called “Milgram Experiment” Derren Brown made a remake of it in one of his shows, I think it is interesting to see.