Article is 2 years old, but still rings so true today.
Every generation is tested by great evil
by Dennis Prager
August 7, 2002
would appear that every generation confronts a major moral test. A great evil presents itself as a good, and the world that is not victimized by that evil is tested: Can it recognize the evil and confront it?
The pattern is eerily and depressingly repetitive.
The evil takes hold.
The evil has myriad defenders even among otherwise decent people.
The evil is vanquished after destroying an uncountable number of lives.
After the evil is vanquished, there is virtually unanimous agreement that it was indeed evil.
We can identify four examples that have confronted Americans and other Westerners in the last two centuries.
One was slavery and racism. A great number of Americans and others saw little wrong with slavery. How did even some otherwise decent people defend such an obvious evil? They believed that skin color determined a person’s worth and destiny. To almost all Americans today, including the children of those who believed in racism, this belief is as bizarre as it is evil.
A second example was Communism. Many people living in free societies actually believed that Communism was a moral good. No matter how many millions of innocent people Communist regimes murdered, no matter how much Communism deprived people of elementary human rights, many people living outside Communism could not call it evil. Recall the uproar President Ronald Reagan provoked when he labeled the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” Yet, within just a few years of Communism’s fall, it was hard to find any Westerner – outside of universities where Communism had always had its greatest support – who did not routinely call Communism evil.
A third example was Nazism. As difficult as it is to imagine now, even Nazism had many admirers in free countries. These people saw the economic turnaround made by Germany under Hitler and either ignored, belittled or sympathized with its totalitarianism and antisemitism. Because Nazism only held power for 12 years, as opposed to Communism’s much longer history, it had little time to engender the widespread support that Communism did. Nazism was finally vanquished, but only after murdering two out of every three Jews in Europe and many millions of other innocents. And since its fall, Nazism has almost universally become synonymous with evil.
The fourth example is taking place at this moment…