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Wrath Of Good

by Patrice Ayme Sun May 31st, 2009 at 11:43:00 PM EST

Sheep, even when they bleat, do not a civilization make.


May 30, 2009 by Patrice Ayme

WHEN NICE DOES NOT CUT IT, NEITHER EMPATHY, NOR KNOWLEDGE ARE ENOUGH. ANGELS HAVE TO TURN INTO DEMONS.

Bob Herbert in the New York Times, following Elie Wiesel, courageously points out that: "The tendency to draw an impenetrable psychic curtain across the worst that the world has to offer is understandable. But it's a tendency that must be fought." (May 30, 2009).

It is so much easier to look away from victims," said Wiesel, an Auschwitz survivor, at the White House in 1999. "It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes.... But indifference to the suffering of others "is what makes the human being inhuman... The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees -- not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity, we betray our own."

All very true. Feeling the pain of others helps to get going.

Still, seeing the humanity of others is not enough to address horror in full. The torturers can easily pose as victims. They whine that they have to torture, or they will not be safe. They have to bomb the world, because there, somewhere, there is that man, those terrorists, the bad ones who did such and such...

Hence, even if we see the victim, and feel the pain, we have to see the torturer, and the executioner, for what they are, and then find the courage to ask the torturer, and the executioner, and the bomber, and those serious ones who send the flying robots, to cease and desist. And then if the torturer and the executioner do not stop, then what?

Some bring on even more empathy, and end up helping the executioners, as Hannah Arendt showed (enraging masses of treacherous, uncomprehending sheep). The passivity of Jewish organizations faced with Nazism, was indeed amazing: it often turned to collaboration. Mercifully, the oldest and strongest democracies had a better wisdom of history.

On September 1, 1939, France and Britain, the democracies, sent an ultimatum to Adolf Hitler: cease and desist within 48 hours, or we declare war. On September 3, 1939, around 11 am, the democracies, France and Britain, declared war to the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. Within a few days several nations of the British empire followed: Canada, Australia, India... Within days 45 divisions of the French army attacked, while the Poles were fighting for their lives.

What did the USA do in all this? Good question: an impenetrable psychic curtain had come down across the worst of the American soul. Indeed, American corporations went in overdrive in their collaboration with Hitler.

For example, the Ethyl Corporation of America rushed air fuel additive supplies to Hitler's Air Force, which had run out, and would have stayed on the ground, otherwise. That would have been disastrous for Hitler's army, which depended upon air power (Hitler's Air Force would lose about 5,000 planes in the next year of war against France and Britain!).

Soon, Hitler's ally, Stalin, attacked Poland from the east, and invaded. Meanwhile the Nazis air bombed flour mills, so that the Poles would starve during winter, which is rough under those continental latitudes. Just to make sure, the Nazis opened a huge concentration camp in the most insalubrious part of Poland, a swamp at Auschwitz. They stuffed it with Poles, and made it so that they would die in great numbers. The Nazis would kill six million Poles in the next 6 years.

A few months later, full of American technology and direct investment, fueled by the Soviets, Hitler got lucky, and, after a battle that killed a few hundred thousands people, invaded France.

And the USA waited... It was not clear whether the USA was waiting for the success of murderous racism, or the fall of Great Britain. The suspense lasted more than 2 years. Finally, dictatorial Japan attacked and then declared war to the USA on December 7, 1941. And what did the USA do? The USA waited some more. On December 11, 1941, Hitler declared war to the USA.

But what if Hitler and the Japanese military leaders had not been so stupid? Well, the USA did not intent to go to war in 1942. It was firmly intent to wait some more. Good things happen to those who wait. Let's not forget that Hitler's regime was racist (among other things, it sterilized Germans of partial African descent), and the USA was racist too. No doubt millions in the USA would have preferred a world racial order, and an alliance with those that tried to make it so.

In the same vein, although the holocaust of the Jews (and others) was known since the French government denounced it in fall of 1940, the Western Allies did not bother to threaten the Nazis about it (although the Nazis had made a big noise about the massacre of 23,000 Polish officers by the Soviets).

Morality of all this history? Arendt pointed out that: "Death begins its reign of terror when life becomes the highest good."

Conscience without the will to use force is only devastation of a beautiful soul. To fight Satan, cognition is not enough. To fight Satan, empathy is not enough. To fight Satan, demonic minds is what it takes. Otherwise it's all just about the pathetic whining of the weasel in the night.

Such is the paradox of ultimate goodness. To be truly good, it's not enough to be good.

The wrath of good cannot be foiled by death. Goodness is what gives meaning to death, and death is its ultimate instrument. The devil is in the details of the goodness,  and the goodness rests in detailing evil as needed. Too much whining about the victims is just self serving fluff, it is not what righteous warriors do. Right and might is what goodness makes.
*

Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/
http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
http://patriceayme.com

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The Wrath Of Good. . . . I've had sort of a biblical personal mantra for many decades: "Beware the anger of the innocent, for they will committ any atrocity in the name of justice."

::

Let's not forget that Hitler's regime was racist (among other things, it sterilized Germans of partial African descent), and the USA was racist too. No doubt millions in the USA would have preferred a world racial order, and an alliance with those that tried to make it so.

This is undoubtedly true, to a point, but it's not that simple. Americans are also suckers for the underdog as well, and eventually the American public came around. The still-living memory of the horrors of the trenches played it's part in the reluctance of the democracies to enter into another war. In 1914, troops marched off to the front amid cheering crowds and song, by 1939, the mood was grim.

The tragedy of the 1930's and 1940's is that Hitler embraced the notions of national supremacy, in all its senses. We still see expressions of this tendency today in Euroskeptics and their followers. In current US foreign policy circles, we see this as a call for taking measures to maintain and ensure "American leadership," which as we can see is not at all as benign as the underlying assumption has it.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 08:41:09 AM EST
the "American public came around": NOT. Japan attacked, declared war. Then Hitler declared war too. The USA was (near) totally passive... Huge support was given to Hitler by Wall Street (when I say this I generally get mail denouncing me as zionist in denial)

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I repeat, eventually, they came around. There was a general anti-semitic strain throughout all layers of society in America, true. However it largely disappeared after the war was over (too late, of course) - who is, after all, Israel's best friend in the world these days?

::

I've seen this figure elsewhere, and though I cannot speak to it's accuracy, I've no reason to disbelieve it either.

In the late 1930s, with the storm clouds of war again building up over Europe and Asia, the same drama was replayed. Conservative, small-town America could see that there would be another war and tried to keep the United States out of it. Kauffman concentrates especially on the America First Committee. "It was not in any way pro-fascist or pro-Nazi, though of course anyone who opposes a war in modern America gets tagged as an enemy symp," he writes. The America Firsters believed in the libertarian position that the country should be sufficiently armed to repel any attack on it, but stay out of the war unless attacked. Public polling in 1940 showed that about 80 percent of the people agreed. Kauffman doesn't go into Roosevelt's machinations to goad the Japanese into attacking, but once the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor, war was inevitable. Once again, the "just leave us alone" instincts of most Americans were trampled upon.

And here as well:

But if most intellectuals and a few politicians identified powerfully with the plight of the Republicans, when Madrid finally fell to the Nationalists on April 3, 1939, most Americans who paid the moment much heed at all were just as relieved that the war was over as they had been saddened by its outcome. Rossevelt had been entirely correct in his assumption that there was a powerful antiwar sentiment in the country, one which would not have supported an overt act against the Nationalists or for the Republicans any more than it would have tolerated involvement in the Ethiopian conflict. The loss of democracy in Spain was not worth a war.

(Emphasis is, of course, mine.)

The US decided that the going to war was not the way out of the decade long depression. Call that passive if you like. I call it the realization that America didn't (yet) have a life-or-death stake in the madness spreading across Europe, Asia and Africa. Whatever business US companies did with the Nazis, the US carried on business with whatever allied countries were available as well.

America was more concerned at the time in rebuilding the economy (which might mean doing business with whomever could pay) and thinking, for example, about what kind of interstate highway system to build. Americans weren't as concerned about Europe in 1939 as they were wondering if mom and pop were going to be able to keep the farm (21% of the workforce in 1930 were farmers, so if you weren't a farmer, you likely had relatives who were) or if they were going to be able to find or keep a job (so they could send money back to mom and pop). Did it take an attack on the US to jar them out of this? For a sane person, why wouldn't it?

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 12:23:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conscience without the will to use force is only devastation of a beautiful soul. To fight Satan, cognition is not enough. To fight Satan, empathy is not enough. To fight Satan, demonic minds is what it takes.

I disagree.

Why would demonic minds want to win over Satan?

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:39:51 AM EST
The outcome could never be victory.
by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:41:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was the whole paradox of Judaism as Hitler festered. And now why Israel was founded the other way (the philosopher Isaac Berlin said about the foundation of Israel:"They listened to Hitler, not to us"... Well, that was my answer to Berlin, and Bibi (not my prophet) would understand it...)

The way of the sheep is easy: only one decision to take: how fast can I run... The way of the demon is harder: it does not have to take orders from God (BTW, true reason why why Socrates was condemned...)

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 06:59:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't ask why you can do for Satan, ask what Satan can do for you.

In Judeo(-Christo-Islamism)God shares with Satan. In the Qur'an God gets really angry about being asked about that, and about his possible collaboartion with the Djinns...

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 07:02:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Conscience without the will to use force is only devastation of a beautiful soul.

and ghandi?

your definition of force may be really different than mine.

using negativity to fight negativity is black magic.

as soon as you use the diabolical tools, you become compromised, you might appear to win for a period of time, but you have hitched your wagon to the wrong star, imo.

cf, torture.

two wrongs don't make a right.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 08:44:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Respectfully, two platitudes don't make a right either... And Ghandi, well, what did he do? Free India from the big bad Brits who would have otherwise devoured India? Please don't underestimate the British will to be independent of India...
Ghandi's most personal contribution was the disasterwith the Muslims. So Ghandi spun his will, and left, what, ten million dead on the subcontinent in his wake? When did the Brits kill ten million Indians?

Sorry about the roughness of the thoughts...
PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 at 03:08:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
some of your thoughts are rough, patrice, it's true.

i was using ghandi as an example of moral force, and its use, through inspiring millions of desperately exploited people. putting his agenda under a microscope wasn't my intention!

i think another point to make is that force against totalitarianism is a martyr's job.

 snark is better for sinking dictatorships.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 11:27:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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