Saturday, January 05, 2019

Never again?

(Inspired via a link from the Drudge Report)

Much has been written of man's inhumanity to man during the Second World War. Historians have attempted to quantify it with numbers-so many Jews killed, so many dead on the Eastern Front, this many died in bombing raids.  While the numbers are, to the best extent possible, true, there's a problem with them. When you say 5-6 million Jews died, it's a number. The human mind had a difficult time dealing with such a number. A quote has been attributed to Stalin: "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." Five or 6 million deaths is, to "normal" people, beyond compression. It's a number, a statistic, rendered meaningless by it's scale.

What about smaller numbers? Can the human mind deal with a smaller number, still in the thousands, more readily? Say, 10-15,000? That's still a little hard to deal with.

What if we can liken it to a town? "It's as if the entire population of Someplace, USA died." Does that help the human mind comprehend the number?

What if I told you a small city, say Traverse City, Michigan, was going to see every person who inhabits it die today. Maybe 1 person would survive, but even that is doubtful. How about then?

What if I told you that man's inhumanity to man was so great that a Traverse City would die today, and tomorrow, and the next day, for the next three months? That in 19 months, the rough equivalent of  113 Traverse City's would die? And that in all cases the deaths would be cold, calculated and carried out with industrial efficiency? Can you believe that any subset of our race is that...casually evil?

Well, it happened in Poland between February, 1942 and November, 1943. The Third Reich sent 1.7 million Polish Jews to their unmarked graves.

"But that was an exceptional period in history." "Can't happen again," you say? I'm calling bullshit on that. The human race is not improved that much in 75 years. In Rwanda,, 800,000 died in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. In Cambodia, communists killed 1.7 million, give or take, in the years 1975-79. 1,000,000+ Germans will killed in the aftermath of World War II. I could continue on with smaller instances of 500,000 or less, but hopefully you get the point of these numbers.

It can happen again, and it likely will. Don't think that the US is immune-we aren't. We have, as stains on our history, instances where our country's government pursued genocidal efforts right here. Thankfully, there have been none recently.

But given the ever-declining tone of what passes for public discourse in this country, we are laying the foundations for it. As Michael Bane has noted in his podcasts, gun owners are constantly being "othered" by liberals and their allies in the press. There are groups who seek to other white males, conservatives, libertarians, rural residents, members of the military and police and probably people who wear white shoes after Labor Day.

There are a lot of things to be concerned about these days. The economy, politics, our future as a nation and world power. But spare some time to consider genocide and what leads up to it, and watch for the signs here.

You're going to be very disturbed if you do.

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