I know that the new generation today are not the same people from the past, however if every one thinks this, than after 50 years, or less, the nation who caused something terrible would be like, "I don't need to show that I'm sorry, because I am not the person who did." Eventually, the govenor of the nation would be careless, and forget what happened completely. The other nations who still might be repairing, can get angry, that will only cause more chaos.
Is every German a Nazi? Is every white person an oppressive colonizer? Should we calculate the percentage of how much we are to blame by how much English or French or Japanese or Turkish etc blood we have in us? Is it okay for people to lump together all white people into one category and to label them as the "invader", even in their country of birth?
Japanese, Germans, Turks, Italians, French, English, Spanish, Chinese, Russians, Portuguese, Cambodians, Arabs, and the countless tribal peoples of Africa-These are just a few examples of peoples once involved in slavery or genocide. If we try to punish everyone whose ancestors were involved in bad deeds we would have to punish everyone. Yet, even if everyone was "punished", history would remain the same. The idea that every white person owes every black person something because, in 1860, 5% of white in the US owned slaves is ridiculous.
Feeling guilty for the actions of your ancestors is very much nonsensical. If we're ever to embrace personal responsibility, that includes shedding the idea that "the sins of the father carry to the son" and other such nonsense that says, for instance, that since our great grandparents might have owned slaves, therefore we must pay for the damage done. I do truly feel for people who have been wronged, but punishing those who were not responsible isn't the way to fix it.
Societies and people need to realize that we can not change history no matter how hard we try. We need to accept that it happened, learn from it, and move on. It's unfair that people on both sides have to still go through it just because of what their ancestors did. If everyone would drop it and quit judging each other based on their color, things would go more smoothly in life.
Societies and people as a whole can only be responsible for what THEY do, not what others did long before them. How can they be? They weren't alive or even thought of yet, they couldn't control anything that went on back then even if they wanted to! This idea is just as bad as original sin is. If you were not alive at the time of the acts, you cannot be responsible for any of what happened or did not happened, bottom line.
Holding a current society responsible for the transgressions of a preceding society is not viable, even if there has been no change in the societal mores. If a society has not evolved from the actions of preceding generations then it is still only guilty of current wrongs. Societies develop or evolve from learned knowledge; if there is no interceding from outside forces then society has no need to change and past transgressions are not viewed as wrong. Most societies do change and it is not right to hold them responsible for their predecessors actions - especially if they no longer partake in those actions. On a small scale, to blame a modern society for a past societies actions would be no different than arresting an honest hard worker, today, for his grandfathers thieving ways.
Blaming current generations for the mistakes of their ancestors is wrong, but it is morally sensible for societies to attempt to make up for the mistakes of their ancestors. They should not be held responsible, but should rather feel responsible for anything wrong done. It makes more sense for us to develop a culture this way.
The difference between the past and present is... well... The past is History. We learn from it, we look at it as it was we dont down play what happened but we dont blame a natino or a society for something that their predecessors did. Take Germany as an example, the german people wish to forget the past; they acknowledge that it happened but there is no reason for modern societys to look down on them for something that they did not do or in anyway influence.