I just saw the movie ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’. It’s an old Black and White era movie. Post the second world war, an American war tribunal is trying some German judges for aiding in crimes done against humanity leading to mass genocide during Hitler’s regime.
The movie is quite interesting and worth a watch for the intellectual movie goer. The movie presents an interesting scenario.
What do you do when the system around you(Government, society) collectively starts doing something very wrong? You know that the system is ruthless and will suppress anyone against it. People around you are afraid. They are losing their sense of right and wrong. Do you leave the system or do you stay with it to contain the wrong doing as much as is possible?
If you stay with the system, you might be able to do something with whatever powers you may have. They might have killed many more but your efforts save some of them. Still you might have to do somethings against your conscience because you have to work within the rules of the system. But you focus on the larger good.
Or do you just leave the system because it is wrong and have nothing to do with it. Then you will have no power and might have to just sit and watch the system continue with the wrong . You might be setting a good example for others to follow, hoping they might also leave and the system might become weaker and might break down someday.
I think the decision might also be influenced by other factors and situation. But taking the issue for what it is, I will do only what my conscience says is right. I would leave the system and look at other ways to stop it. We get from the situation what we expect from it. If I believe that the system is too strong and the best I can do is just contain the wrong to some extent, then that is what is going to manifest. On the other hand, if I truly believe that it can be stopped and try for it, some way will present itself to do just that and remove the problem completely.
What would you do?