Viewing posts tagged trotsky
7 years ago
On 'A Town Called Mercy'
The ends can justify the means, but there needs to be something which justifies the ends.
Jex experiments on people in order to create a cyborg supersoldier. His motive is to end a war which is killing his people. But were his people the attackers or the attacked? That this is ignored tells us a great deal about the writer/s but deprives us of the possibility of making moral sense of the story. It is ignored, presumably because it is considered irrelevant. Yet, the whole point of the story appears to be the question of whether Jex is a bad man or a good one... with the answer being, of course, "yes". But I'd argue that the wider social context of Jex's actions (beyond just saying that 'it was war') is as important as it is obscure.
The notion - that war is, as Jex puts it, "a different world" in which normality shifts drastically and morality becomes fuzzy - is, for a start, a somewhat glib truism. Like all such glib truisms, it can be pressed into service (i.e. "Yes, an invasion will ...