Thursday, February 23, 2012


"Are people feeling guilty nowadays? Well, if I were asked to lay my finger on one of the most striking differences between the social climate of Europe and the West as it is today and as it was, say fifty years ago, I think I should have to specify the presence in it almost everywhere of a vague, uneasy feeling of guilt. There is and atmosphere of guilt....Responsibility is food for the will, guilt is food for the feelings only....confused feelings of guilt tend to beget paralysis rather than energy.

"Those who are old enough to remember the years between the wars will recall the skillfull use Hitler made of just that paralysis in the 30's, when even young people, who were in their cradles at the time it was signed, were somehow made to feel guilty about the unjust provisions of the Treaty of Versailles."

He then goes on to say:

"Feelings of guilt tend to turn rather easily into feelings of hatred and contempt. We may feel a bit guilty ourselves, but we are very sure that a whole lot of other people are much more guilty, and probably ought to be destroyed."--Owen Barfield

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