Blumenberg Response 1
This book has many great discussions and responses to different historical metaphors, anecdotes, and gestures. After reading quite a few of them, one still stood out and spoke to me; for whatever reason I was able to relate to the first passage of the book.
The first passage discusses the idea of passing down the blame. The man curses the ocean and the ocean curses the wind. In turn, the wind would curse the earth etc. It seems the moral of the story is that you should not curse that which harmed you because it may not be of their doing. This moral lesson seems right. But, when thought about, there are examples in history where this applies that may shed another light on this moral “lesson”.
The Nazi Party fits this example perfectly. The top leaders of the Nazi Party ordered for the complete annihilation of different races, those with disabilities, and those who were different. In this case, the leaders acted as the Wind. But the people who actually executed the orders, the Armies and servants of the Nazi Party, acted as the ocean. Even at their trials, their defense was that they were forced to by their leaders. Just as the ocean cursed the wind, the soldiers cursed their leaders.
So the question comes, is the wind or the ocean to blame? In my opinion, both are to blame. Just because you are forced to do something does not mean you are immune from consequence. You still have a mind and free will. There is ALWAYS a choice. In that way, the ocean and soldiers are to blame.
In conclusion, I do not think the moral here is to not judge your aggressors. In fact, I think the moral is directed at the aggressors. It illustrates how ridiculous passing the blame is. Even when forced to do something, you must take responsibility for your actions. Don’t act as the ocean.