see url: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-42236608
It is an old question. I have pondered this one for years. How far
does the boss's orders extend? I have always adopted the principle that
the boss has the right and duty to issue orders to his/her employees,
because it is the nature of the relationship. As an employee, as a trade
unionist, and as a manager, and as a self-employed person and owner of a
business, I have also adopted the principle that he/she must do so
wisely...and within the law. However, following the law does not resolve
one from acting in a way which is inhumane. Making a law which offers
immunity in cases of murder, torture, rape, deception, a "get out of
jail" card, in reference to the game of Monopoly, does not mean that one
can do anything one likes, just for the sake of it, for the craik.
We all know that if one disobeys the boss often enough, he/she will
reprimand, punish, or eventually fire one...with or without a
reference. And one also knows that generally the State, via courts and
tribunals, legislatures, whatever the social system and its pretences or
practices regarding democracy, will concur. There is always a balance
between whether one makes a genuine mistake, or an error of judgement,
or with intention, and somewhere down that line, lies the balance
between blame and conscience, and the severity of the act. Whether a
democracy is a benign dictatorship, or the dictatorship of the
proletariat, it is still a dictatorship. Control at any cost...which
leads to another principle of philosophy...Does the end justify the means?
Should one kill, murder, torture, rape, imprison, make people into
slaves, so that the political, economic, social system can be saved for
posterity by those who are in charge, and convinced that they are doing
the right thing, for the benefit of the people, in the long term, to
protect their future rights and way of life? Does this somehow absolve
those people in charge and those acts? That is, of course, a question
which we all have to find out for ourselves. And it doesn't matter what
era we live in...it returns time after time. I have no answer...but at
least I think about it...:-).
Nazi Germany and the Nuremberg Trials extended this principle to Nation
States. That famous phrase...You have the right not to obey orders, the
mantra of the trials, pursued by the victors, the Americans and the
British and the French, which told those who obeyed orders which were
inhuman had the perfect right NOT to do so. The trouble was that the
person who issued the order qualified the order with, if you don't shoot
your grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, daughter, son, cousin,
sibling, stranger, ethnic or religious person, I will have you shot
instead. What is one to do? Can one make an agreement with a fascist?
What guarantees does one have that the fascist will not only get you to
kill another human being, but, even if you do, that those you were
ordered to kill, will not be, under his orders, killed anyway? That
sort of decision has been faced by human beings throughout history, but
was epitomised in the concentration camps of Hitlers Germany...but it
has also happened many times in the "civilised" era, from Genghis Khan,
to the religious persecutions of Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims,
Hutu and Tutsi s and other on the basis of ethnicity. gender, age and
the wheel of fortune.
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_genocide
World wars are littered with My Lai's.
Food for thought...and that is what I consider Cryptome to be all about...