Saturday, March 5, 2011

Performing artists feel guilt about Gaddafi

This act of conscience by well known singers who took money from Gaddafi's regime in Libya is interesting. Why express shame now? Surely they must have known how oppressive it was back when they performed the gigs.

Their motivation is that it was wrong to accept money from a dictator, since it was stolen from the people. Given that, is it much of a moral improvement to pass that money on to charity as they are doing? If you were intending to cancel out the wrong committed, then shouldn't you give the money back to Libyans, in particular those fighting for freedom and democracy?

I'm also wondering how many in the Hollywood left are reconciling this. I'm sure most of them - or at least some - think that what these singers have finally done is a good thing. But prominent liberals in the entertainment industry constantly argue that the USA is a greater force for evil than Libya ever was. Which begs the question: Why do they accept money from their own country's government and economy?

That question might worry a thoughtful and principled person. But not those guys.

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