Liberty next to…

Liberty next to religion has been the motive of good deeds and the common pretext of crime.

Lord Acton
The History of Freedom (1877)

 

This is one of the truest facts of life that I have come across. There are so many examples of this: in the Russian Civil War, after the November “Revolution” (more like coup d’etat), both the White Army (more right wing members- though there were some left wing members opposed to Bolshevism) and the Red Army (mainly Bolsehviks- the “defenders” of the revolution) were fighting in the name of liberating the people from the oppressive, despotic Bolshevik or Tsarist regime respectively. And in the name of liberty the crimes committed were atrocious, and it is for fear of disgusting myself that I do not delve further. Is it not ironic how both regimes were so similar? Yet they saw themselves as enemies- this unfortunately is often the case with politics. Party interests before the nation’s. Even today crimes are being committed in the face of liberty- Russia has annexed Crimea because it is “what the people wanted”. It is just sad that people exploit this promise of liberty for their own self interest- in the case of both Hitler and the Bolsheviks who exploited a social crisis with the Great Depression of 1929 and a number of social problems exacerbated by war in Russia.

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