Humanity’s Inhumanities

 

Long time no see Ricochet. Long story. Not interesting. I’ve taken to reading the material of many of the journalists who have gotten the boot from the mainstream media (or mainstream media adjacent). Bari Weiss is one of them.

She recently had an article discussing the Gina Carano firing, and then hiring, and her defense of Gina and the possible rethinking of that defense. It’s a good article. You should read it.

But there’s one point I must disagree with, and here I will make the 2021 obligatory statement that I’m a racist white middle-aged nominally Christian male who bears responsibility with my ancestors for all the world’s ills. So, I can opine on nothing.

But opine I will while I can (as anonymously as I can, because I’m a racist white middle-aged nominally Christian male who isn’t looking for trouble and is a bit of a coward).

I deeply respect the many deeply religious Jewish members here, and I hope you understand that what I say below isn’t to lower the importance of something but to heighten it.

In her article, she says:

“What Carano wrote — or likely repeated and shared — was wrong because the Holocaust is a singular evil.”

Now, I get why she wrote that. I consider it to be one of the top three evils perpetrated by humans against other humans. But unfortunately, it’s not even singular in the 20th century in terms of the level of evil. (Hello, my communist friends!)

But the whole point of what Gina Carano tweeted was that you just don’t go from waving hello across the white picket fence to your neighbor on Monday, and waving goodbye to the train taking them to a concentration camp on Tuesday. Well, the average person doesn’t at least. And there were lots of average people involved in the Holocaust or ignoring the Holocaust while it was happening or ignoring it even now.

And the path to turn someone from that friendly neighbor into something less than human starts somewhere, and we would really want to stop it from going further before the trains start to roll. No matter who happens to be on the trains.

Thinking of it as a singular evil to me makes it seem like it’s a one-off. That people can let down their guard because it can’t happen again. Now, Ms. Weiss is not trying to make that case. But people reading her piece may take that away from it.

When I first learned of the Holocaust in grade school, I thought that it certainly couldn’t happen in America. By the time I was in high school I thought it might happen here, but it was less likely.

Now, I know it could happen here. Or anywhere humans are. And that we must guard against it. Even from ourselves.

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  1. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Events as bad as the Holocaust have happened all throughout history.  Most people can tick off several examples off of the top of their heads — the genocide of the Armenians, the genocide of Ukraine, the Chinese Cultural Revolution — differing in the identity of participants, in numbers, and in methods, but not in the basic reason, the desire to eliminate a hated group of people among, in many cases, the citizens of their own country. 

    A group of people becomes the object of such hatred usually because it supposedly oppresses other people in some way.  German Jews became an object of hatred partly by being good at what they did, successful, and wealthy.  We can see the same sort of hatred being directed against certain groups in America today.

    • #1
  2. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    To your point: “And the path to turn someone from that friendly neighbor into something less than human starts somewhere, and we would really want to stop it from going further before the trains start to roll. No matter who happens to be on the trains.”  says it all, and it is happening in different forms all over the world right now.  Please see my latest post and watch the documentary that I have linked at the end of it – it is hard to watch in my opinion, but has a better and I would even say, happy ending.  Your post is so relevant to what is going on – thank you for your well-put thoughts!

    • #2
  3. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Maybe it could be thought singular in the sense of originating and being committed by leaders of a leading Western Christian oriented nation. Other than that, what makes it singular? Weiss did not get to that point. Would she be using singular to refer to the victims, the perpetrators, or the methods? There are numerous aspects that would need more explanation to clarify what is meant.

    @Maguffin I agree with your questioning that point.

    • #3
  4. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Maybe it could be thought singular in the sense of originating and being committed by leaders of a leading Western Christian oriented nation.

    Socialism, including the fascist iteration, is at its base, atheistic.  Before Hitler worked his final solution, he had to usurp the church.  He replaced the leaders of the Lutheran church with syncophants.  He succeeded in getting the Catholic church to turn a blind eye.  I don’t know details of Catholic resistance.  Several Lutheran leaders who resisted were arrested, killed.  One of the most compelling histories of WWII is the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  He returned to Germany to serve his people.  He was hanged days before his prison camp was liberated.  

    So by the time the Third Reich began administering the “final solution,” Germany was de facto atheist.  

    BTW there are those who insist that Jesus was a socialist.  This reveals a breathtaking ignorance of the Gospel and the church.  

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Quietpi (View Comment):

    So by the time the Third Reich began administering the “final solution,” Germany was de facto atheist.

     

    But this was not the case when the pattern behind Hitler and Nazi behaviors first appeared. It took much preliminary work.  Was this work complete by the time Hitler rose to power?  That same kind of work is underway by the Left in America and has been shown overtly in the religious discrimination related to the pandemic lockdowns. 

    • #5
  6. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Events as bad as the Holocaust have happened all throughout history. Most people can tick off several examples off of the top of their heads — the genocide of the Armenians, the genocide of Ukraine, the Chinese Cultural Revolution — differing in the identity of participants, in numbers, and in methods, but not in the basic reason, the desire to eliminate a hated group of people among, in many cases, the citizens of their own country.

    A group of people becomes the object of such hatred usually because it supposedly oppresses other people in some way. German Jews became an object of hatred partly by being good at what they did, successful, and wealthy. We can see the same sort of hatred being directed against certain groups in America today.

    Sometimes oppressors hate others because of the wrong they (the oppressors) have done to them. 

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

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Sometimes oppressors hate others because of the wrong they (the oppressors) have done to them.

    Another way to look at it: It’s easier for the oppressed to forgive their oppressors than for oppressors to forgive the oppressed.  

    • #7
  8. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Yes, when I first read Carano’s tweet, I thought, But didn’t the Germans start with prohibiting the Jews from working?  Wasn’t that why the first male Jews were politely removed and moved to work houses — by train?

    • #8
  9. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Immaculee Ilibagiza wrote in Left to Tell her experiences in the Rwandan genocide. One part that I’ve always remembered is the neighbor who had her family over for tea only weeks before he joined a mob to kill people like her.

    There are different lessons one might draw from that. People act differently as individuals than they do in groups, especially when acting against a group rather than an individual. People limit their anger to conversations while that is what is expected and restricted by law, but perhaps not when violence is normal and tolerated by government. Daily encouragement by politicians and media to dehumanize opponents, while misrepresenting them and blaming them for all ills, eventually leads to treatment not befitting human dignity or exhibiting charity.

    Whatever particular lessons one draws from such examples, the general lesson is clear, and yet difficult to accept: a society can turn to barbarism with shocking suddenness.

    Another recent example is Venezuela.

    My grandfather remembers folks saying that “Venezuela isn’t Cuba,” as they dismissed warnings from wise citizens who said that Chavez’s socialist policies would usher in destruction.

    • #9
  10. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Evil uses evil to promote greater evil.  For example, statist economic policies create economic damage which statists use to justify even more evil and destructive statism.

    Germany hadn’t sufficient agricultural land to feed itself.

    In a peaceful world, one free of statists, this was no problem at all.  Compared to other nations, Germany had a comparative advantage in producing manufactured goods relative to agricultural goods. As even the Classical economists like Ricardo had already discovered, it was mathematically the exact complement of their comparative disadvantage in producing agricultural goods relative to manufactured goods, compared to these same countries.

    All they needed to survive and prosper, and create prosperity for these other nations, was free trade.

    But give the statists in other countries the despotic power to implement mercantilism, and the most productive country on the continent, Germany, is faced with starvation.

    How does a productive industrial country governed by statism deal with this evil?  There is only one way: more statism, in the form of autarky.

    But how does a highly productive industrial country with insufficient agricultural resources to feed itself achieve the statist’s solution of autarky?

    The German statists had a German word for the answer to the problem created by other countries’ statists, their mercantilists.  We American conservatives know the history of Nazi Germany, so we remember this German word that described the need of the German Volk for landFor room to live that was not inside the current borders of the German polity.

    The economic impetus for war had nothing to do with racism.  War has always been the logical result of the statist suppression of the peoples’ right to free trade.  Respect the right of the individual to trade freely what he rightfully owns, and war is deprived of its economic oxygen, and nationalism hasn’t the ability to sustain it.

    • #10
  11. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    For a long time, many people thought that Germany was a uniquely cruel country and the Germans were a uniquely violent people. I wish that was true. All humans populations have the capacity to dehumanize other groups. Almost everyone reading this sentence would have cooperated with the Nazis and if they owned slaves in the antebellum South, they would not have freed them.

    I understand that some might feel that Gina Carino treated the Holocaust too lightly. I don’t think she did because among the most important lessons of the Holocaust is how quickly we can dehumanize people. We are made of the same humanity as the German Nazis and we should always be aware of that.

    • #11
  12. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Maguffin: Now, I know it could happen here.

    I believe the digital isolation of conservatives and our interet communications platforms is the first step.  Once we lose contact with one another (and the outside world in general), no one will hear us scream as we’re herded into the railroad cars . . .

    • #12
  13. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Words cannot express my lack of interest in The Mandalorian or any of the other ersatz Star Wars material, or even Gina Carano herself for that matter.  But I will happily pay for her new project when it becomes available, just to send a message.  And I might even watch it.  :-)

    • #13
  14. Maguffin Inactive
    Maguffin
    @Maguffin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Words cannot express my lack of interest in The Mandalorian or any of the other ersatz Star Wars material, or even Gina Carano herself for that matter. But I will happily pay for her new project when it becomes available, just to send a message. And I might even watch it. :-)

    I enjoyed the Mandalorian tremendously, more than most shows in the last few years.  

    I don’t like boycotts.  So, I am not boycotting the Mandalorian.

    However, I don’t like going where I’m not wanted.  And it’s obvious that Disney doesn’t want the likes of me as a customer anymore.

     

    • #14
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Words cannot express my lack of interest in The Mandalorian or any of the other ersatz Star Wars material, or even Gina Carano herself for that matter. But I will happily pay for her new project when it becomes available, just to send a message. And I might even watch it. :-)

    I enjoyed the Mandalorian tremendously, more than most shows in the last few years.

    I don’t like boycotts. So, I am not boycotting the Mandalorian.

    However, I don’t like going where I’m not wanted. And it’s obvious that Disney doesn’t want the likes of me as a customer anymore.

    i.e., you didn’t leave Disney; Disney left you!

    • #15
  16. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Words cannot express my lack of interest in The Mandalorian or any of the other ersatz Star Wars material, or even Gina Carano herself for that matter. But I will happily pay for her new project when it becomes available, just to send a message. And I might even watch it. :-)

    I enjoyed the Mandalorian tremendously, more than most shows in the last few years.

    I don’t like boycotts. So, I am not boycotting the Mandalorian.

    However, I don’t like going where I’m not wanted. And it’s obvious that Disney doesn’t want the likes of me as a customer anymore.

    I too hate boycotts. I prefer not caring about Gina Carino unless she quotes Thomas Sowell or John Locke. But this isn’t just about one lady being a conservative. It’s about the freedom to work in Hollywood and have alternative opinions. It will eventually be about the ability to work anywhere and not be cancelled. I hate that politics has to intrude on our fun but I support the boycotts of Disney and Disney + plus. 

    • #16
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