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Is it moral to be subversive?

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Is it moral to follow someone and their cause, and even commit terrible acts for said cause, with the ultimate goal of subverting them and their cause?

A fictional example is Severus Snape acting as a double agent in the Harry Potter series (this has become general knowledge by now), and a real life example is Wilhelm Canaris, who led the Abwehr (secret intelligence agency) of Nazi Germany and helped bring down Hitler's reign.

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Yes, Admiral Canaris was a member of the German Resistance, part of an organized effort to overthrow not only Hitler, but the entire Nazi regime. Of course it was moral, he was part of a secret opposition group fighting against the Nazis (secret to the Nazis, he cooperated with British Intelligence).

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Is it moral to follow someone and their cause, and even commit terrible acts for said cause, with the ultimate goal of subverting them and their cause?

I think it depends on context. Both of your examples are set in a time of war, and the principles that govern actions in wartime aren't necessarily applicable to other situations. To take a (somewhat silly) hypothetical case -- I would not consider it moral to pretend to be a statist politician, argue statist positions, pass statist legislation, use the resulting power-base to get elected President, and then declare "Hah, I'm actually pro-freedom, suckers!" Generally speaking one cannot justify an immoral means by appealing to a moral end.

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Hi,

I'm new to the forum.

Good question and answers.

Wouldn't one first ask what will be the value gained and what may be the total cost (F. D'Anconia)?

In the above examples: Canaris was found out and executed(paid a price), one can only imagine the fate of the politician who proclaims

"Hah, I'm actually pro-freedom, suckers!"
to a group of collectivist types.

If the value to be gained is exceeded by the cost of your life .....then there's the question of risk(gambling)........................

uh, excuse me.....nice meetin' you guys, I have to go read more Rand. :huh:

Edited by TruckDriver
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Hi,

I'm new to the forum.

Good question and answers.

Wouldn't one first ask what will be the value gained and what may be the total cost (F. D'Anconia)?

In the above examples: Canaris was found out and executed(paid a price), one can only imagine the fate of the politician who proclaims to a group of collectivist types.

If the value to be gained is exceeded by the cost of your life .....then there's the question of risk(gambling)........................

uh, excuse me.....nice meetin' you guys, I have to go read more Rand. :thumbsup:

Of course you must make a value judgement before acting. Though an important factor to consider is whether or not it is worth living in a dictatorship.

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