Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Death of morality could kill us all

Most people are still ethical but we need to see that some dangerously are not

There is an alternative to the doom predicted in this headline: become an activist.

There is this naive daydream that somehow the richest and most powerful will not have us all killed (including themselves) just out of greed. That they are intelligent and moral enough to save us. We need to make known to all that this fantasy is a dangerous misconception.

Most people cannot accept — and so deny for themselves — that there are people who promote cigarette smoking because it’s their business. Promote war because they make weapons. Sell “medicine” that they know doesn’t work but does harm or make indispensable medication dozens of times more expensive, just out of ruthless greed. Lie to stay the boss. Lie that AIDS is not caused by a virus to have their name in the papers. Etc.

Yet, it gets worse. There are those who would not only sell their own mother but the whole of human survival for a few lousy bucks. Investing fortunes to hire people to flood the Internet with fake-science reports that climate change is a hoax and not happening.

An old example: Radioactive rain (which was denied to exist ‘not to cause panic’) from Chernobyl had poisoned the grasslands in the Netherlands. Therefore, milk from the cows that grazed it, became unfit for human consumption. It was many times more radioactive than the safety norm. A ‘solution,’ I remember, was found by mixing the radioactive milk with uncontaminated milk so that the mixture could pass the threshold. This made many Dutch people unbeknownst drink in radioactive atoms that nestled into their bones to sit there for decades, making them more likely to die of cancer. Yet, the milk was sold, sales were saved, and that was what counted. The people who did this were never charged with a crime.

The most recent example: A new virus that could kill millions emerges in China. Not only are the Chinese authorities late in taking measures to stop its spread in the Communist utopia. Airline companies continued flying on China for weeks, spreading the virus around the world. Plane (plain) greed.

More absurd is when people claim that morality makes them commit evil. “I will not be known as the one who betrayed Jerusalem” as a pretext to keep 100 years of Arab Palestinian violence against Jews going. Or, that there would be a “moral obligation” to pay every murderer of Jews. (Those who portray such thugs as having moral dilemmas are worse than them.)

We need to fight the overly naive pipedreams. “Certainly, people would not try to make money selling nuclear weapons to terrorists?” You better believe it. And bear in mind that some of the worst crooks wear suits and neckties and speak Oxford English. And don’t assume that you can always detect that they are lying. The most dangerous ones are the perfect liars.

We don’t need to get cynical about human beings. Most people are decent enough never to get on the front page of the papers. But about the rich and famous, we have to be extra skeptical when we ask if they are worthy to follow or not. In Dutch: “Scum rises to the top.” Hebrew: “Poop floats.”

Become an activist. Join the millions who spend their free time working for a better world. Don’t idle away in front of the TV. Yes, you are tired but a bit of fresh air and joint work with true idealists will pick you up.

“A lack of caring enables all evil, including the Holocaust.” (Eli Wiesel)

“The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.” (Albert Einstein)

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: G-d will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” (Pastor Dietrich Bonhöffer, a rare German church leader who kept speaking out against the Nazi regime.)

“The road to Auschwitz was not built by hate, but paved with indifference.” (Renowned Holocaust Scholar Sir Ian Kershaw)

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transformation was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” (Rev. Martin Luther King Jr)

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.” (Martin Niemöller)

Worse than rulers and shakers who, if not opposed will get us killed many times over, are the common human who doesn’t resist. I count on you.

And not just digital activism. You’ve got to get your butt out there.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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