Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

Post Can Collective Guilt Lead to Reactionary Backlash?
Created by John Eipper on 04/21/19 8:08 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:


Can Collective Guilt Lead to Reactionary Backlash? (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 04/21/19 8:08 am)

I feel obliged to comment on the April 20th response of Ángel Viñas and John E's observations on my post about historical grievances.

John asked, "what does it cost a people to look inward on their past and apologize for their transgressions?" He added, "the Germans famously did this, and now enjoy both prosperity and respect."

I believe the question is not whether it is morally or politically correct to apologize or to show repentance for past transgressions, but what is the real culpability of a people for the transgressions, crimes or brutalities their ancestors committed in the distant past? Why should they be ashamed or blamed for actions that were not under their control?

If that were the case, requesting apologies from everybody to everybody--which perhaps would be historically necessary--would be an endless process. To request apologies for ancient crimes reminds me of the primitive tribal laws, Venganzas de Sangre--blood feuds, a cycle of retaliative violence--that instead of forgiving past transgressions (a more Christian principle) aimed rather for revenge or in modern terms political or economic payoffs.

The German example cited by John is an excellent example of generational immediacy, of showing repentance by almost the same generation, or at least near descendants, that committed the crimes. The fact is that the younger German generations are uncomfortable about apologizing for Nazi brutality during WWII. In fact, one of the possible causes of the rise of the radical right movement in Germany might be the result of collective exhaustion of still being portrayed as the historical villains.

Regarding Ángel Viñas's disagreement about the "Ley de Memoria Historica" passed by the Spanish Parliament in 2007, I do not understand what he really disagrees with. My point was not whether victims of the civil war and Franquismo should remain anonymous, but that this law is used to exploit victimism as a demagogic political instrument of the left.

To be clear I am not a Franquista. I never sympathized with the repressive dictatorial regime, and I am not against a law supposedly aimed for victims' justice, or to honor the victims of the regime. Rather I am against using victims as a leftist political instrument. It is also a great risk to open up old resentments for political purposes, as presently might be happening in Spain.

JE comments: José Ignacio, Venezuela's turn is in the not-too-distant future. When the Maduro regime finally passes into history, how will the nation heal? There are three paths: 1) prosecution and retribution, 2) "indulto" or forgiveness and an attempt to erase the slate, or 3) a "truth and reconciliation" approach that seeks to uncover the crimes without punishment or vengeance. Which do you think Venezuela will choose?

Rate this post
Informational value 
Reader Ratings (0)
Informational value0%

Visits: 131


Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

Trending Now

All Forums with Published Content (42205 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications


Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy


Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series


Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust


Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire


Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 Violence War War Crimes Within the US


Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)


Geography Maps Tourism Transportation


1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who