Friday, December 9, 2016

Recommended Reading

I just read a really interesting piece on the subject of collective responsibility for atrocities, focusing on the holocaust and speculation about whether Trump and his administration are Nazis.

This analysis is full of amazing quotes that'll smack you right in the face.

"Thus, the question isn’t whether Trump and his ilk are Nazis; it’s whether Americans are, or would be willing to accept it if they were."

Are we willing to let ourselves become a neo-Nazi nation? Are we already?

In America, we learn that Hitler and the Nazis committed the Holocaust; in Germany, German children learn that they all participated in it, because the Germans came to believe that acknowledging their collective culpability as individuals was the only way to prevent it from ever happening again.


"History isn’t always written by the victors, especially if there’s a version that makes everyone feel a little less guilty."


But a large body of psychological research suggests that once we’re ordered to do something atrocious, we feel relieved of the burden of feeling guilty about doing it. As matters stand, we have to train college kids to intervene when they witness sexual assaults, because the most common psychological reaction to being a bystander to an atrocity is . . . to stand by.

Those quotes are even better in context, so go read the entire thing. And start thinking about what you need to do in order to not be a Nazi, or at best, a passive collaborator in a neo-Nazi empire.

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