Neutrality as kick in the pants

Though there are circumstances where neutrality is a virtue, such as when a person in a black robe is applying the blunt instrument of the law to a vicious conflict, there are many others where neutrality is a hard sidekick to the crotch.

One need only think of Switzerland’s puckish neutrality– we are fair, we are decent, we don’t take sides– standing suavely and stoically aside as Mr. Hitler did his very best to wipe out millions of people he hated.

The neutrality I’m thinking of is on a more personal level.   When seeking comfort from a friend, say the confirmation that you are right to feel aggrieved, for example, if you receive a neutral response, it will not comfort you.  It will ring, in the way these things do, and leave the unpleasant melody hideously repeating, never to be resolved — maybe I really am a jerk to feel hurt by that?   The confirmation from a loved one that you are right to be hurt is worth 1,000 Switzerlands brokering deals with scrupulous fairness between Nazis and those who hate Nazis.

Plus, sixty years later, you won’t likely learn of the neutral party’s complicity in war crimes, stolen art treasures and the laundering of loot plundered from people sent to their deaths by a regime that, arguably, by the logic of neutrality, is no different from the one fighting it.

This entry was posted in musing.

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