War and Peace
Trump by Another Name

The Turkey Coup Attempt

By Jonathan B. Wight

Turkey’s tilt towards an authoritarianism Islamic state law is deeply troubling. But this tilt has, presumably, the backing of the majority of voters, even if not the young, the well-educated, and the well-off.

What is more important—democratic freedom or religious freedom?

We face a similar choice in the U.S.: Trump once proposed a religious test for entry into the U.S.—Muslims need not apply.  If Trump were elected into office and his plan supported by Congress, would such a law constitute a Christianized version of the Islamic state?

Brave individuals confronting a tank in last night’s attempted coup calls to mind the protestor in Tiananmen Square.

What is interesting is the self-restraint of the tank commander, who could easily have killed these protestors.  Firing on one’s own people would be like having sex with one’s sister—repulsive, if one has an active moral imagination and moral sentiments engaged.

Yet Milgram’s electric shock experiments have showed that people are willing to repress their moral sentiments when someone in “authority” orders them to. Glad at least that despite the several hundred killed last night, the numbers were not in the thousands, or tens of thousands.


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