DRESDEN: The gruesome anniversary

bombing, warfare, World War II

Today (February 13th, 2015)  is the 70 anniversary of the firebombing of Dresden.  On that occasion the Allies set much of that city on fire, causing an estimated 25,000 deaths.

What strikes me most, in terms of my research is that at the beginning of World War II the Allies — America, Britain, France — expressed horror that Germany was bombing obviously civilian targets.  This, we said, was MORALLY outrageous.  Yet, by the end of that war, these same Allies were conducting firebombing of entire cities, such as Dresden (and Tokyo and other cities).   We now claimed that this was MORALLY  justified!

I have been studying how such  “Closed Moral Universes” come into existence and function to justify horrors, while excluding other moralities — even those you held in the past.   I believe the nature of that process is profoundly important.  I try to lay  the groundwork for understanding the process in my book, “OUR QUEST FOR EFFECTIVE LIVING: A WINDOW TO A NEW SCIENCE / HOW WE COPE IN SOCIAL SPACE.”