What Does the Holocaust Teach Us as Americans?

 

Periodically on this site, people have voiced their annoyance about the reminders that are posted regarding Holocaust Memorial Day, which is observed today. In Israel, everyone stops for two minutes at the sound of sirens to honor those lost. Those of us old enough to have been taught about the Holocaust in school or by our parents already know the story, yet there are some who would prefer not to be reminded of this tragedy. Given how blessed Jews are to live in this country, how often does the story need to be repeated?

In a survey conducted in 2020, an alarming number of respondents knew little about this period:

The survey, touted as the first 50-state survey of Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z, showed that many respondents were unclear about the basic facts of the genocide. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered, and over half of those thought the death toll was fewer than 2 million. Over 40,000 concentration camps and ghettos were established during World War II, but nearly half of U.S. respondents could not name a single one.

Yet we can still ask, why do we have to remember this terrible event? Jews need to remember because throughout our existence we have been the scapegoats of countries and civilizations. In many cases, we were determined to “fit into” the wider community, wanting to be appreciated and accepted as dedicated citizens and contributing members of society. Our desire to fit in and in many cases assimilate has come back to haunt us, as one country after another has decided throughout history to humiliate, ostracize, and in some cases kill the Jews. Yet today, many Jews have still decided that they want to be like everyone else; many Jews on the political Left are one example. And some societies still refuse to accept our allegiance and dedication to their countries; anti-Semitic acts frequently occur in European countries.

* * * * *

But I would like to propose that in recent years and now in 2021, the Holocaust has a lesson for all of us; our entire country has slowly been telegraphing the message that unless we succumb to the dominant forces of Leftism, we could be in danger. In fact, those opinions are being stated publicly, saying that we must be “de-programmed” or even killed. If you listen carefully, you will notice a few parallels to the rhetoric before World War II:

  • These people are evil.
  • They are irredeemable.
  • They are hateful and greedy.
  • They are racists and white supremacists.
  • They don’t care about saving the earth.
  • They don’t care about equality or fairness.
  • They are irrational religionists.
  • They are arrogant and think they are better than us.
  • They are potential domestic terrorists.
  • They love guns and violence.

And this list is incomplete.

If you compare this rhetoric to those used against the Jews in the past, you will find many similarities.

I would also suggest that if we try to convince the Left that we are good human beings; if we try to fit in as American citizens and be widely accepted; if we point to our acts of charity and generosity—the Left simply may not care. They are convinced that we are every worst stereotype of evil that people can imagine. And more.

So, what can we do?

First, we have to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. We are not just talking about the future of our country; we are talking about potential action against us as individuals. So when you hear of people being censored, fired from their jobs, driven off the internet; when you hear stories of proposed gun buy-backs, religious organizations being discriminated against; virulent attacks on free-speech—what are we to think?

I am not suggesting that people be paranoid. But we must be vigilant. We must speak out against injustice. We must continue to write, publish and gather together to discuss the actions of the Left and condemn them as often as we can.

Or there will be no rights to protect.

* * * * *

We can’t take our rights for granted. We cannot assume that our freedom is so woven into the fabric of our country that it can’t be lost. Like the Israelis today, let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on the lives lost to protect our freedoms, and how we can prepare for the months and years ahead.

Let’s take a lesson from the Jews.

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  1. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Put simply, the more people go around believing that civil war is inevitable, and acting and talking in ways that live out that belief, the more they conjure that hellish reality into being. Frankly, they’re summoning demons. “Its Cousin” cannot happen here unless people want it to happen here, and far too many people now seem to want it.

    I hope it’s clear that I don’t think civil war is inevitable. Is it possible to send out a cautionary call regarding what is happening in this country, without appearing to want a civil war to break out? My call is a call to vigilance, not a call to war, to acknowledge what is going on, not to attack the other side.

    Sure, and I understand what you hope to do.  

    But all a cautionary call can do, really, is inform others who are already attuned to listen, and to stay vigilant of themselves as much as they do of others.  The culture itself must change, though, and that means engaging with it correctly, and with what means you have, to model for people what a better way and better life looks like.

    I’m not the first to note this, and Rene Girard expressed it best, but people largely and unthinkingly operate on mimicry and scapegoating.  We need to escape that brutal cycle by refusing to live by it.

    • #61
  2. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):
    Leftist domination is worse than the risk of civil war…..also, the French Revolution was not a worse manifestation of civil war than the American Civil War.

    How many more died in the French Revolution? Did we have a Committee of Public Safety loading barges of the “wrong” people, then deliberately sinking them in the Potomac? Did we have all this going on while zealous Jacobin armies raped and pillaged in a brutal cut-throat civil war and crackdown against a royalist region?

    Since we’re barely a week into the new regime, I’d keep my water wings handy…

    • #62
  3. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):
    Leftist domination is worse than the risk of civil war…..also, the French Revolution was not a worse manifestation of civil war than the American Civil War.

    How many more died in the French Revolution? Did we have a Committee of Public Safety loading barges of the “wrong” people, then deliberately sinking them in the Potomac? Did we have all this going on while zealous Jacobin armies raped and pillaged in a brutal cut-throat civil war and crackdown against a royalist region?

    The question is how many less died in the French Revolution; total estimates for the 13 years that could be included in the umbrella of the French Revolution was 400,000, while the total number of combatants who died in the American Civil War was about 620,000.  The death toll from the Reign of Terror was around 50,000.  The populations at the times of these respective wars was 26 million in France, 31 million in the United States.

     

    • #63
  4. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Back in the 80s when I taught a pre-confirmation class at my church, I was shocked to find that the kids had no clue about the Holocaust. I was probably telling them about Corrie Ten Boom and things like that. I even had them watch the movie, even though it wasn’t as good as her book. But they had no idea of the context, so I had to step back and try to teach about that, too.

    When we had parent-teacher conferences I mentioned this problem to one of my children’s teachers in the public school, and she agreed this part of history education was lacking. I doubt it was because of anything I said, but I noticed that very soon after, schools started to do a better job of teaching about it. But that was a while back, and I don’t know what it’s like now.

    In the RC Church confirmation is generally at 7 years old.  I lived in Germany on a U.S. Military base when I was trained for confirmation by a Catholic Priest who was also an Army chaplain, and whose parish included military dependents (and dependents of civilians working for the military).  Presumably the Catholic Bishop who presided was also in the U.S. Military.  This was in the mid-1960’s.

    Ironically (because I was in Germany) I don’t remember being knowledgeable of the Holocaust per se at the time though I was vaguely aware that there were concentration camps.

    When we moved to New Mexico, I don’t remember the Holocaust being referenced.  I learned about it from a fictional novel, Exodus by Leon Uris, probably when I was maybe 12 or 13 years old.  The Holocaust wasn’t discussed that much, but then there were not that many Jews or synagogues in the region, and I don’t know of any in the town I lived in.

    I doubt it was anti-Semitism, just lack of exposure.

    And when you’re a child living in a safe middle class community, the idea is to let children be children, and learn about evil gradually.  Perhaps we overdo it.  For example, I was also exposed to the mostly unvarnished Grimm’s Fairy Tales, but today children’s exposure to that kind of thing is sanitized.

    • #64
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):
    Leftist domination is worse than the risk of civil war…..also, the French Revolution was not a worse manifestation of civil war than the American Civil War.

    How many more died in the French Revolution? Did we have a Committee of Public Safety loading barges of the “wrong” people, then deliberately sinking them in the Potomac? Did we have all this going on while zealous Jacobin armies raped and pillaged in a brutal cut-throat civil war and crackdown against a royalist region?

    Joseph Fouché was a member of the Commission of Republican Supervision at Lyon in November 1793. Lyon had rebelled against the Revolution and an example needed to be made. On the first day of festivities, 60 men were led out of the city in chains and blasted by cannon charged with grapeshot. On the next day, 208 or 209 more met the same fate. It was determined at this point that grapeshot wasn’t efficient enough, so the Commission resorted to the guillotine and firing squads. The total reached some 1600-1700 by May, 1794. Lyon was perhaps the worst, but there were others. Omelets and eggs, you know. Vive la révolution!

    • #65
  6. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    In the RC Church confirmation is generally at 7 years old. I lived in Germany on a U.S. Military base when I was trained for confirmation by a Catholic Priest who was also an Army chaplain, and whose parish included military dependents (and dependents of civilians working for the military). Presumably the Catholic Bishop who presided was also in the U.S. Military. This was in the mid-1960’s.

    Ironically (because I was in Germany) I don’t remember being knowledgeable of the Holocaust per se at the time though I was vaguely aware that there were concentration camps.

    In our Lutheran congregation (and many others) confirmation was toward the end of 8th grade. My class was 5th and 6th graders. 

    Schools did start to include the Holocaust in the history curriculum for children of that age.

    I’ve told this before, but I officially became aware of some of the horrors of the world soon after I turned five, when my mother came into my bedroom and told me about the Midnight Knock on the Door, and that it could happen someday in our country, too.  I do remember being five at the time, and my best guess now is that it was the news of Beria’s execution that provoked that little discussion.

    It wasn’t completely new news to me because before that I would listen to my mother and her father talk about things. 

    I can’t tell you what vocabulary I used for thinking about it at the time, but I did think Mom was laying some heavy stuff on young little me. I’ve always been glad she did.  I vaguely remember having one bad dream about it, but I wouldn’t quite call it a nightmare.

    I wouldn’t try to teach those things to somebody else’s five-year-olds, but five-year-olds are probably able to handle more than we think. 

    • #66
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I worry that the lesson from the Holocaust is a very unpleasant one for us.  The lesson may be the people of different cultures, languages, world views, and religions cannot live together peacefully.  The differences will be a constant source of conflict.  This is a depressing thought.  Perhaps I’m getting cynical in my dotage, but my ongoing study of history suggests that this may be the case.

    I do disagree with something that you said in the OP, Susan.  I don’t think that Jews assimilate.  Jews seem uniquely impervious to assimilation.  Historically, I think that many individuals did assimilate, but upon doing so, they essentially ceased to be Jews.  So the continuing, self-identified Jewish community consists of those who did not assimilate.  A notable fictional example of such assimilation is Tevye’s third daughter, Chava, who marries a Christian man and is banished.  A notable historical example is the great British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli.

    There is an example of assimilation in the Old Testament, which I know is close to your heart, Susan.  It is the story of Ruth.  Remember what she says: “Your people will be my people and your God, my God.”  That is assimilation.  That is what Jews have not done, when they move into other countries.  Historically, they have remained a people apart.  They do not adopt the religion of the host country, do not intermarry, do not eat the same food, and often do not even eat with non-Jews.

    Many of these restrictions have broken down among American Jews, but this generally seems to occur among those who essentially cease to be Jews and reject their faith.  They seem to be on the path to assimilation, and their Jewish heritage, faith, and culture will not be passed down to their children.

    I’m not entirely without hope for coexistence in America.  The extent of conflict between groups will depend on the degree of difference in their beliefs, values, and cultural practices.  There are many similarities between Judaism and Christianity, so the extent of conflict may be minimal and manageable.

    The big conflict that I see now involves the strange, new, rising religion that I call “Wokeism.”  James Lindsay claims that so-called “antiracism” is a religion, but I don’t think that this captures the full ideology (though I think that so-called “antiracism,” which is actually anti-white racism, is a part of Wokeism).  Wokeism is badly incompatible with Christianity, and with devout Judaism, and even with Islam.  I’m not optimistic about the compatibility of Islam with Christianity, either.

    Another potentially unpleasant lesson from the Holocaust is that conflict between groups becomes more severe in times of economic distress and political turmoil.  This seems natural, to me, and there’s not much use in complaining about it.  It’s better to adopt policies that might help us avoid such hard times.

    How depressing.  I’m probably going to need a triple-shot to sleep tonight.

    • #67
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I worry that the lesson from the Holocaust is a very unpleasant one for us. The lesson may be the people of different cultures, languages, world views, and religions cannot live together peacefully.

    I don’t see how you’d get that idea from the Holocaust. People of different cultures, languages, world views, and religions have often lived peacefully together. Certain differences may be irreconcilable, but there are a lot of different identifiable groups that manage to live together without completely assimilating. 

    • #68
  9. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I don’t see how you’d get that idea from the Holocaust. People of different cultures, languages, world views, and religions have often lived peacefully together.

    I wouldn’t say often. Or at any rate, not for very long, unless you include internal peace helped by wars against an enemy abroad, (so, how do you define of “peaceful,”) and on the proportions of the various groups. Since there was often a despotic form of government, on the ruler. 

    • #69
  10. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    https://rushbabe49.com/2021/01/27/today-is-holocaust-remembrance-day-and-i-remember/

     

    • #70
  11. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Susan Quinn: those opinions are being stated publicly, saying that we must be “de-programmed” or even killed. If you listen carefully, you will notice a few parallels to the rhetoric before World War II:

    Eight out of those ten you could have heard (and perhaps still hear) being said about Muslims, and there are variations on that list that are said about many minority groups (the Gays, the Trans) and cultures (African American culture, Arab culture) and even political positions (Marxists).  What is different in this instance is that these kinds of things are being said about each other in America by two groups (Left and Right) which are so large (and so evenly balanced).  What is striking is how few of us even notice how nasty and destructive these lists are until one of them’s aimed at us.

    The rhetoric is obviously an expression of bigotry (and there are many such bigotries, our capacity for these is truly amazing).  Oddly enough I watched a fringe indy type youtube video on bigotry.  It’s very non-Ricochet, it’s by a trans woman, it’s non-CoC compliant and it adds insult to injury by being one and a half hours long!!  But it has excellent production values, is full of interesting ideas, starts with a Harry Potter themed cameo and imho is well worth watching.  Perhaps seeing the issue discussed in a context in which one isn’t closely invested could be helpful?   In any case, if you’re interested here it is.

    I’m surprised that nobody’s mentioned one of the most obvious lessons of the Holocaust: when people flee in fear give them shelter if you can.  That’s a lesson the West has internalised, though we still struggle with it in practice.

    • #71
  12. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    I don’t see the dangers of a new pogrom or holocaust here so much as an actual civil war, and when too many on both sides are reducing the “other” to unthinking villainy and stereotype, and actually hungering for some grand conflict to “right the wrongs”, that sort of civil war only becomes increasingly likely.

    The Jews in Europe were badly outnumbered, culturally distinct and identifiable, and often clustered into population centers. The numbers on the American Right and Left are practically a dead heat, and very mixed. That makes any prospective civil war not something like our Revolution, or our big Civil War, but something far worse – a French Revolution or Spanish Civil War, or (God forbid) Rwanda.

    Both sides need to ratchet it down – and the “wrong side” refusing to do so is no excuse at all for us to mimic and mirror them.

    Leftist domination is worse than the risk of civil war…..also, the French Revolution was not a worse manifestation of civil war than the American Civil War.

    You are much too kind to the French Revolution- it is easily responsible for more deaths than the US Civil War:

    1) reign of terror ~50K

    2)War in the Vendee ~250K (anti Catholic pogroms are bloody)

    3) Haiti- ~350K

    add in the millions of deaths from the “Wars of the French Revolution” ( Napoleon et al) and you easily exceed the 600K-1M from the US Civil War

    • #72
  13. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Many important lesson of the Holocaust are poorly remembered:

    1) Solzhenitsyn was right- the line of evil runs thru every human heart. In Germany all to many readily acquiesced in accepting the evil and believed  any plausible deniability they could grab. The old adage “for evil to triumph all that is required is for good men to do nothing” is true. One of the dangers of wokeism is it externalizes all evil onto others and has no method of reconciliation and no limits to its confidence in its judgment- while lacking almost any sophisticated understanding of history and human nature. The woke assume they are on the “right side of history“ and error has no rights-so it can be ruthlessly eliminated.

    2) the civil atmosphere is important- everyone remembers the brownshirts marching in the streets in the late 20s and early 30s- but forget it was years of street clashes between Communist street thugs and far right street thugs beforehand that radicalized politics and led to the collapse of the centrist parties. The far left and far right wish to impose a binary choice on the public- but we must stress that is an evil illusion- both extremes are evil. This is important now b/c the BLM/Antifa types and Proud Boys are engaged in similar street theatre now- and BOTH parties need to step up and denounce street violence especially from their side of the political spectrum. So far the Democratic Party and MSM (but I repeat myself) has been especially duplicitous in its denouncing violence. Ever since the new left arose the left has a history of “no enemies to the left” thinking.

    3)Utopianism leads to the gallows. Without being limited/guided by transcendent truth the future is bleak indeed.

    • #73
  14. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    MiMac (View Comment):
    2) the civil atmosphere is important- everyone remembers the brownshirts marching in the streets in the late 20s and early 30s- but forget it was years of street clashes between Communist street thugs and far right street thugs beforehand that radicalized politics and led to the collapse of the centrist parties. The far left and far right wish to impose a binary choice on the public- but we must stress that is an evil illusion- both extremes are evil. This is important now b/c the BLM/Antifa types and Proud Boys are engaged in similar street theatre now- and BOTH parties need to step up and denounce street violence especially from their side of the political spectrum. So far the Democratic Party and MSM (but I repeat myself) has been especially duplicitous in its denouncing violence. Ever since the new left arose the left has a history of “no enemies to the left” thinking.

    AMEN!

    • #74
  15. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Zafar (View Comment):
    What is striking is how few of us even notice how nasty and destructive these lists are until one of them’s aimed at us.

    Indeed.  

    • #75
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MiMac (View Comment):

    Many important lesson of the Holocaust are poorly remembered:

    1) Solzhenitsyn was right- the line of evil runs thru every human heart. In Germany all to many readily acquiesced in accepting the evil and believed any plausible deniability they could grab. The old adage “for evil to triumph all that is required is for good men to do nothing” is true. One of the dangers of wokeism is it externalizes all evil onto others and has no method of reconciliation and no limits to its confidence in its judgment- while lacking almost any sophisticated understanding of history and human nature. The woke assume they are on the “right side of history“ and error has no rights-so it can be ruthlessly eliminated.

    2) the civil atmosphere is important- everyone remembers the brownshirts marching in the streets in the late 20s and early 30s- but forget it was years of street clashes between Communist street thugs and far right street thugs beforehand that radicalized politics and led to the collapse of the centrist parties. The far left and far right wish to impose a binary choice on the public- but we must stress that is an evil illusion- both extremes are evil. This is important now b/c the BLM/Antifa types and Proud Boys are engaged in similar street theatre now- and BOTH parties need to step up and denounce street violence especially from their side of the political spectrum. So far the Democratic Party and MSM (but I repeat myself) has been especially duplicitous in its denouncing violence. Ever since the new left arose the left has a history of “no enemies to the left” thinking.

    3)Utopianism leads to the gallows. Without being limited/guided by transcendent truth the future is bleak indeed.

    Could not have said it better, @mimac! Thank you!

    • #76
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Sure, and I understand what you hope to do.

    But all a cautionary call can do, really, is inform others who are already attuned to listen, and to stay vigilant of themselves as much as they do of others. The culture itself must change, though, and that means engaging with it correctly, and with what means you have, to model for people what a better way and better life looks like.

    I’m not the first to note this, and Rene Girard expressed it best, but people largely and unthinkingly operate on mimicry and scapegoating. We need to escape that brutal cycle by refusing to live by it.

    Thank you for this comment, @skipsul. I hope that I am living my life in a way that you suggest (see bolded). I think for a lot of us it just feels like a passive approach, but I guess we risk too much if we become aggressive. We’ve also seen how easily people will fall in line to mimic the latest trends, and don’t show much discernment about their alignments.

    • #77
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    And when you’re a child living in a safe middle class community, the idea is to let children be children, and learn about evil gradually. Perhaps we overdo it. For example, I was also exposed to the mostly unvarnished Grimm’s Fairy Tales, but today children’s exposure to that kind of thing is sanitized.

    These are valuable factors to explore, @alsparks: what is the right age or level of maturity to explain these things to children, and how much information is the right amount. Now that I think about it, I think Uris’ book inspired me, too. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t damaged by the Grimm Brothers! ;-)  Besides, they were fairy tales!

    • #78
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do disagree with something that you said in the OP, Susan. I don’t think that Jews assimilate. Jews seem uniquely impervious to assimilation. Historically, I think that many individuals did assimilate, but upon doing so, they essentially ceased to be Jews. So the continuing, self-identified Jewish community consists of those who did not assimilate. A notable fictional example of such assimilation is Tevye’s third daughter, Chava, who marries a Christian man and is banished. A notable historical example is the great British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli.

    It begs the question, what is assimilation? To what degree does a Jew need to give up his or her heritage to fit in? The Orthodox/Chassidic community is a very small part of the Jews. We have orthodox Jews at Ricochet. They dress like everyone else, work jobs, raise families, participate in their communities. Although their clothes look like everyone else’s, they have to meet certain requirements. They may not eat at your home if they keep kosher. Does that mean they are not assimilated or only partially assimilated, and are they to be criticized for those decisions? To what degree do they have to give up their “Jewishness” to be considered assimilated? I only observe some of the Jewish laws. I married a non-Jew and my folks loved him, as do I. Am I assimilated? Am I not assimilated? 

    • #79
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I don’t see how you’d get that idea from the Holocaust. People of different cultures, languages, world views, and religions have often lived peacefully together.

    I wouldn’t say often. Or at any rate, not for very long, unless you include internal peace helped by wars against an enemy abroad, (so, how do you define of “peaceful,”) and on the proportions of the various groups. Since there was often a despotic form of government, on the ruler.

    A country composed of predominantly one ethnic group has been a rare thing in parts of the world that are organized into states. Poland became such a country after WWII, after the Jews had been killed and the Germans and Ukrainians kicked out. But that’s not common. 

    • #80
  21. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    MiMac (View Comment):
    This is important now b/c the BLM/Antifa types and Proud Boys are engaged in similar street theatre now- and BOTH parties need to step up and denounce street violence especially from their side of the political spectrum.

    Enrique Tarrio, the head of the Proud Boys was recently outed as a “prolific informant” for the FBI (making inquiring minds want to know if he was also an agent provocateur.) Was a lot of what Proud Boys have been up to lately at the instigation of the .gov?

    The FBI should hav had similar informants in ABR, though their upper cadres are probably harder to infiltrate than the Proud Boys’; certainly a guy who tried it at lower levels in the runup to the Trump inauguration protests found it challenging.

    “BOTH parties need to step up and denounce street violence ?” Republican leaders appear to feel the need and have been falling all over themselves to denounce it and a lot of them are joining the Left in tying it to Trump. The DOJ is on track to implement measures to further politicize law enforcement to Leftist ends.

    Next, if you’re going to analogize the Proud Boys to the Brown Shirts and ABR to the Red street thugs of Weimar Germany, where was ABR on January 6? Those spontaneous expressions of The People’s Will certainly stopped conveniently for the Dems. When ABR began to worry the Biden campaign, by some strange coincidence things calmed down.

    Michael Yon described the ABR operatives who were in DC on 1/6 as the “A Team” and not the usual prospects being groomed, cannon fodder, and their handlers who mix it up with Proud Boys and the like. It’s almost as if there were a well coordinated plan being carried out.

    It’s early times to tell yet, but ABR seems to be upset about something and Portland is heating up again. Maybe the Dems are welshing on their promises? Not to worry. If counseling patience doesn’t work, they’ll denounce street violence.

    Verbum sap. And so far, Republicans look like the saps.

    • #81
  22. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    And when you’re a child living in a safe middle class community, the idea is to let children be children, and learn about evil gradually. Perhaps we overdo it. For example, I was also exposed to the mostly unvarnished Grimm’s Fairy Tales, but today children’s exposure to that kind of thing is sanitized.

    These are valuable factors to explore, @alsparks: what is the right age or level of maturity to explain these things to children, and how much information is the right amount. Now that I think about it, I think Uris’ book inspired me, too. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t damaged by the Grimm Brothers! ;-) Besides, they were fairy tales!

    I was raised on Bible stories, and not very sanitized ones, either. I don’t know if Grimm has anything to top those.  

    • #82
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I can’t tell you what vocabulary I used for thinking about it at the time, but I did think Mom was laying some heavy stuff on young little me. I’ve always been glad she did. I vaguely remember having one bad dream about it, but I wouldn’t quite call it a nightmare.

    Back in, say, 1963, the year 1953 was a more distinct memory to me than it is now. But I may have been a bit disappointed that I didn’t have more bad dreams about the Midnight Knock on the Door. The North Dakota plains are an austere place–the austerity of it all came back to me while I did a bicycle ride to my old birthplace home five years ago.  (I posted on Ricochet about that ride in September 2015 while I was doing it, but not about this topic.) Maybe taking part in such a dream was different than all that austerity in that it was exciting and dangerous, and above all, important. It was part of the grown-up world.  But at my age now it’s hard for me to put myself back in that frame of mind, so I’m not sure.

    I do remember more distinctly when we were getting ready to move to Nebraska in 1956. I was staring at a big wall map of the U.S. (I spent a lot of time looking at maps anyway) and thinking that now we were at least going to move to a state that had an interesting outline shape.  Dad had recently turned down a “call” to be a pastor of a church in South Dakota, and that had sounded exciting, too, but the outline shape of South Dakota is not a big improvement over North Dakota’s. Nebraska was a step up.

    I’m pretty sure I never until now compared that excitement with the excitement of being sent to the gulags or worse. 

     

    • #83
  24. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    @ontheleftcoast- I am not sure what your point is. The analogy to the Holocaust/Nazi Germany is that the extremes DO NOT want the more centrist elements on “their side” to win either. Hence the desire to radicalize the center and force a binary choice- either the far left or the far right. BLM/Anitfa doesn’t want the Democrats to maintain power-they are using them as a patina of legitimacy  & trying to push far leftward-just as the Proud Boys want to try to use Trump supporters as a shield while they actually discredit and supplant them in the public square. The extreme elements are NOT allies of the two parties- they will try to use the party nearest to them as a means to gain power-but once in power will eliminate them as fast a possible. In fact, for the extreme elements once comfortably in power, the party closest to them is the bigger threat- remember Lenin went after the Menesheviks as soon as who felt he didn’t need them. The Proud Boys-whether manipulated or not, are happy to see Trump discredited-they see him as a tool of the system. They want those who oppose the entrenched system (“the swamp”) to see them as the only alternative.

    One of the dangers of our current situation is that some politicians see the violence or threat of it as useful (NO justice-No peace is at least implied threat of violence). Therefore, they do not denounce the violence clearly-ie the urban democratic party machine. By allowing the violence to fester they are aiding the radicalizing of the public square-with potentially disastrous results. You do not allow a fire to smolder near explosives-but the NYT, WashPo, CNN and others do so. As an example-using implied threats as extortion is Al Sharpton’s MO. By allowing this behavior to ferment they risk unleashing other violence and a downward spiral in our political life.

    • #84
  25. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    the Holocaust genocide was the worst because it was based on ethnicity.

    And strictly speaking, if you look at the root of the word genocide and take its meaning literally, it’s not genocide unless it is based on ethnicity. Not all mass murder on an industrial scale is genocide. There are some people who try to broaden the definition of genocide to include things other than genocide, though. 

    • #85
  26. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    MiMac (View Comment):

    ontheleftcoast- I am not sure what your point is. The analogy to the Holocaust/Nazi Germany is that the extremes DO NOT want the more centrist elements on “their side” to win either. Hence the desire to radicalize the center and force a binary choice- either the far left or the far right. BLM/Anitfa doesn’t’t want the Democrats to maintain power-they are using them as a patina of legitimacy & trying to push far leftward-just as the Proud Boys want to try to use Trump supporters as a shield while they actually discredit and supplant them in the public square. The extreme elements are NOT allies of the two parties- they will try to use the party nearest to them as a means to gain power-but once in power will eliminate them as fast a possible. In fact, for the extreme elements once comfortably in power, the party closest to them is the bigger threat- remember Lenin went after the Menesheviks as soon as who felt he didn’t need them. The Proud Boys-whether manipulated or not, are happy to see Trump discredited-they see him as a tool of the system. They want those who oppose the entrenched system (“the swamp”) to see them as the only alternative.

    Other examples abound.  Hitler was happy to liquidate the SA once he didn’t need them any more either.  Stalin purged those who had prospered and helped stave off disaster when Lenin loosened up controls.  The Jacobins happily purged their own moderates.  The Haitians purged their remaining middle class in the latter stages of their revolution, and on and on and on.

    • #86
  27. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I worry that the lesson from the Holocaust is a very unpleasant one for us. The lesson may be the people of different cultures, languages, world views, and religions cannot live together peacefully.

    I don’t see how you’d get that idea from the Holocaust. People of different cultures, languages, world views, and religions have often lived peacefully together. Certain differences may be irreconcilable, but there are a lot of different identifiable groups that manage to live together without completely assimilating.

    I think that you are historically incorrect about this.  Conflict seems to be the rule, though often the problem is simmering rather than boiling, generally because one group has the upper hand for the moment.  The examples are legion.  A few:

    • Our own Civil War
    • The troubles in Ireland
    • The English Civil War
    • The long conflict between the English and the Scots
    • The Chinese and the Uighurs
    • The Chinese and the Taiwanese
    • The Chinese Cultural Revolution
    • The India/Pakistan/Bangladesh split
    • The ongoing fighting in Nigeria
    • The Hutus and the Tutsis
    • The conflicts in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire
    • The Balkans
    • The Basque in Spain
    • The Catalonians in Spain
    • The split of the Czechs and Slovaks, not once but twice, in just the 20th Century
    • The Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the Caucasus
    • The Kurds
    • The Yazidi
    • The Israeli-Palenstinian conflict
    • The civil war(s) in Syria
    • The civil war(s) in Lebanon
    • The Turkish occupation of part of Cyprus
    • Even the Dutch and the Belgians split
    • The religious persecution of nonconformists in England that led the Pilgrims to flee
    • The Reformation generally
    • The Bolshevik Revolution
    • North and South Korea
    • North and South Vietnam
    • Cambodia and the Killing Fields
    • South Africa
    • The Arab revolt against the Ottomans (the Lawrence of Arabia story)
    • The ongoing conflicts between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Iran, Iraq, Saudi, Syria, and elsewhere
    • Even the Canadians, with Quebec

    That’s just a handful, mostly recent.  We can go back into ancient history:

    • The Trojan War
    • The conquests of Agamemnon (remember that he conquered many other Greeks before launching the Trojan War)
    • The Peloponnesian War
    • The Etruscan attack on Rome (memorialized in Horatius at the Bridge)
    • The conquests of Alexander
    • The ongoing wars between the various Greek empires after Alexander — Seleucids vs. Ptolomys, for example
    • The Latin war (fought by Rome)
    • The Samnite wars (Rome)
    • The Social War (Rome)
    • The Punic Wars
    • The Jewish Rebellions (against the Romans)
    • The Reconquista in Spain
    • The Crusades

    I don’t see many examples of long-term peace.  Switzerland is a rare exception.  Often, open conflict is minimal for long periods of time, then there is an outbreak of violence during times of stress.

    • #87
  28. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I think for a lot of us it just feels like a passive approach, but I guess we risk too much if we become aggressive.

    It does feel like passivity, but it’s not that exactly.  This isn’t a call for being spineless, but it is a call to stand on principle and show love, even if it costs you.

    If you look back at the 1960s civil rights movement, you can see how this worked, even as other more militant elements constantly decried what they mistook for the same passivity.  Martin Luther King was right over the long run.

    • #88
  29. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    MiMac (View Comment):

    @ontheleftcoast- I am not sure what your point is. The analogy to the Holocaust/Nazi Germany is that the extremes DO NOT want the more centrist elements on “their side” to win either. Hence the desire to radicalize the center and force a binary choice- either the far left or the far right.

    You’re behind the times. The extremes are increasingly in charge in the Democrat Party. Just because they are dressed better and get lots of air time on CNN doesn’t make them less extreme. You mentioned Sharpton; he is an elder statesman of the Party and has been a party power broker for decades. He has no counterpart on the Republican side. The symmetry you want isn’t there.

    • #89
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I worry that the lesson from the Holocaust is a very unpleasant one for us. The lesson may be the people of different cultures, languages, world views, and religions cannot live together peacefully.

    I don’t see how you’d get that idea from the Holocaust. People of different cultures, languages, world views, and religions have often lived peacefully together. Certain differences may be irreconcilable, but there are a lot of different identifiable groups that manage to live together without completely assimilating.

    I think that you are historically incorrect about this. Conflict seems to be the rule, though often the problem is simmering rather than boiling, generally because one group has the upper hand for the moment. The examples are legion. A few:

    • Our own Civil War
    • The troubles in Ireland
    • The English Civil War
    • The long conflict between the English and the Scots
    • The Chinese and the Uighurs
    • The Chinese and the Taiwanese
    • The Chinese Cultural Revolution
    • The India/Pakistan/Bangladesh split
    • The ongoing fighting in Nigeria
    • The Hutus and the Tutsis
    • The conflicts in the old Austro-Hungarian Empire
    • The Balkans
    • The Basque in Spain
    • The Catalonians in Spain
    • The split of the Czechs and Slovaks, not once but twice, in just the 20th Century
    • The Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the Caucasus
    • The Kurds
    • The Yazidi
    • The Israeli-Palenstinian conflict
    • The civil war(s) in Syria
    • The civil war(s) in Lebanon
    • The Turkish occupation of part of Cyprus
    • Even the Dutch and the Belgians split
    • The religious persecution of nonconformists in England that led the Pilgrims to flee
    • The Reformation generally
    • The Bolshevik Revolution
    • North and South Korea
    • North and South Vietnam
    • Cambodia and the Killing Fields
    • South Africa
    • The Arab revolt against the Ottomans (the Lawrence of Arabia story)
    • The ongoing conflicts between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Iran, Iraq, Saudi, Syria, and elsewhere
    • Even the Canadians, with Quebec

    That’s just a handful, mostly recent. We can go back into ancient history:

    • The Trojan War
    • The conquests of Agamemnon (remember that he conquered many other Greeks before launching the Trojan War)
    • The Peloponnesian War
    • The Etruscan attack on Rome (memorialized in Horatius at the Bridge)
    • The conquests of Alexander
    • The ongoing wars between the various Greek empires after Alexander — Seleucids vs. Ptolomys, for example
    • The Latin war (fought by Rome)
    • The Samnite wars (Rome)
    • The Social War (Rome)
    • The Punic Wars
    • The Jewish Rebellions (against the Romans)
    • The Reconquista in Spain
    • The Crusades

    I don’t see many examples of long-term peace. Switzerland is a rare exception. Often, open conflict is minimal for long periods of time, then there is an outbreak of violence during times of stress.

    Even in many of the examples you give, there was a lot of living peacefully together in between the conflicts.  I don’t think your list contradicts my statement.  Wars of outright conquest are not an example of people living together peacefully, but if you look at what was happening to ordinary people in those days, you’ll probably find a lot of it.

    Take the example of Poland and the Holocaust. Poles, Germans, and Jews were living together before the war. Sometimes they were living in separate villages, and sometimes not. Their living together was not the cause of the Holocaust, and the Holocaust was not the inevitable result.  So I still don’t see how you make the claim that the lesson of the Holocaust was that different people can’t live together, when these people obviously did live together and interact with each other.

    I’m currently reading a book about Upper Silesia, which makes the point that most of the differences that resulted in some measure of antagonism were class difference, until outside players tried to turn the conflicts into an issue of Germans vs Poles. (This book has little to say about Jews.)  This is the book: Nation and Loyalty in a German-Polish Borderland: Upper Silesia, 1848–1960

    • #90
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