Theodore Dalrymple (“The George Orwell of the Right”) on how abstraction and ideology can turn doctors into monsters:
“…such an ideology is likely to appeal not so much to the uneducated masses, at least to the extent of acting on it, as to the educated classes.
“It needs a high degree of abstraction to believe that bombing an airport terminal in Glasgow will conduce to anything but the death of people at random. In their day-to-day dealings, no doubt the plotters were perfectly decent and kindly, possibly even feeling sympathy for the sufferings of the people whom they met in their training and practice as doctors. But just as the dissecting room can overcome natural repugnance, so can an ideology overcome all the social inhibitions against killing people.
“As Solzhenitsyn pointed out in a different context, it is ideology that allows people to commit the most terrible acts in the belief that they are bringing about a better world. It blinds them to the most obvious moral considerations; it renders the most absolute evil good.”
Read the whole essay here.
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