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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    antiracism demonstrators

    I can understand that the point here is that we should not justify moral means(nonviolence) for immoral ends(racism), then shouldn't "antiracism demonstrators" be changed to "racism demonstrators"? If the police don't punish racists in a peaceful way, then it is compatible with the theme here, but how are "antiracism demonstrators" related to the theme?
    Also my understanding of "The last temptation is the greatest treason" is "The last temptation(bad ends=racism) is the most evil thing". Isn't it?

    ex)It it true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling antiracism demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps the police have been rather nonviolent in public, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T.S.Eliot has said;"The last temptation is the greatest treason; To do the right deed for the wrong reason."
    Last edited by keannu; 16-Feb-2012 at 01:00.

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    #2

    Re: antiracism demonstrators

    The protesters are against racism. The police are preserving "the evil system of segregation."

    The police are acting in a non-violent manner. If they simply beat the protesters, then it would be easy to say "look at the evil police, acting in an evil way to preserve evil racism."

    But they're not acting evil. They are acting tolerant and non-violent.

    That's why the author say "it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends." He doesn't like that the police are NOT acting more evil in their support of evil.

    I think the TS Eliot quote is supposed to explain itself. The "greatest treason" is to do the right thing for the wrong reason.

  2. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: antiracism demonstrators

    Thanks a lot!! I could understand it.
    If "greatest treason" is to do the right thing for the wrong reason, what does "last temptation" mean? Just a metaphorical general meaning for any temptation? I thought that last=ends(evil racism).

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    #4

    Re: antiracism demonstrators

    The idea is that you are able to resist any number of temptations to do evil. But this one last, final temptation is the one you can't resist.

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