Christopher Hitchens debates reparations in 2001: "Beware when someone tries to make 'the best' the enemy of 'the good.'"
Christopher Hitchen's Thought Experiment on Reparations:
- Was there an original traceable offense?
- Was there a taking, a theft, a rape, a dispossession, a confiscation?
There isn't a thinking person that can say “no” to that. The evidence is very clear. And it mounts with every chapter of historical inquiry.
- Did it consist of (as I said ) a confiscation?
- Can it be made, therefore, good?
- If not all of it can be made “good,” can some of it be made “good”?
- Can ANY of it be repaired? Again, don't make the “best“ the enemy of the “good”
- Is the anything that can be rescued from this terrible story?
- Is there anything that can done once it's been recognized?
We can not possibly undo … I don't actually think we can imagine the scope of what it would take to undo the damage that has been done to Africa, especially West Africa by colonization, colonial division, plunder, slavery and rape. We can't undo the forced underdevelopment of Africa....the amputation and dismemberment of Africa.
Christopher Hitchens about Reparations for slavery ( 2001)