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Destructions of Works of Art

Reader comment on item: L'Institut d'Égypte – In Memoriam
in response to reader comment: Mo vs. Mao

Submitted by Ronald Ng (Singapore), Dec 28, 2011 at 22:36

In reply to the question raised by Ianus, my answer would be no. The difference he has cited regarding the destructions as wrought in China and by fanatical Islamists is just one of duration of periods of fanaticism. The basic flaw in those societies is the rigid adherence to some dogma. The unthinking adherence to the dogma of the superiority of the Aryan race led to the wholesale destruction of the Jews in Nazi Germany; the wholesale adherence to the dogma of Mao's Class Struggle led to the Cultural Revolution; the wholesale adherence to the dogma of a monotheistic god and the right to advance that belief led to the Crusade and the Islamists' action. In short, and to paraphrase Edmund Burke, "all that is necessary to turn a good man to evil is to give him a set of dogma and the certainty that he is right, and while following those dogmas he is performing good."

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