June 30, 2011
IT IS A CRUEL WORLD (2)
'There are two kinds of people--those who know how easy it is to be dead, and those who think death can't happen to me.' --Doris Lessing, Landlocked: A Novel (Book Four of 'The Children of Violence' series) (1965) (New York: Harper Perennial, 1995).
Buruma, Ian, The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan ((New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994) (From the book jacket: "Buruma's lively and comprehensive account of our two major allies and their diverging approaches to their own pasts illuminates profound questions of moral responsibility and national identity.").
Burleigh, Michael, Moral Combat: Good and Evil in World War II (New York: Harper, 2011) ("Although the Nazi Party had its thuggish paramilitary element, it also appealed to the sober Protestant middle classes, who had experienced the catastrophe of inflation and concomitant family and social breakdown earlier in the 1920s. Though they formed the critical and decisive mass of Nazi supporters, they construed themselves as individuals of culture and ethical refinement, even as they were groomed into militarised professions. Being a lawyer or physician no longer entailed being an individual with a vocation in an autonomous, self-regulating profession; now it meant being a servant of the volkisch national-racial collective, with good and evil determined by whatever bolstered or subverted its interests as defined by the Fuhrer. Mere ambition was often responsible for an auto-radicalisation that was difficult to distinguish from outward conformity." Id. at 27. "Any decent person should respect the sensitivities of victims, although that is a relatively recent addition to the criteria relevant to writing history. Victims of mass political or religious violence do not appreciate being told that others suffer, any more than the parents or a murdered child derive comfort from being informed that many other children have been killed too. This is particularly so when the victims belong to a national or religious group, rather than a social class, which inherently lacks such intense common feeling and is not a recognized category in international law. The suffering of Chinese, Poles or Jews is more focused and enduring than that of Russian aristocrats, bourgeois or kulaks, a derogatory term for farmers who owned a few cows. But the ineffable uniqueness of suffering can also mutate into its sacralisation, a finite quantum that it is forbidden to subtract from or to diminish through revised totals or lateral comparisons. This is so when the sacral memory of suffering, or in the case of Germany guilt about having perpetrated such horrors, becomes an adjunct to, or a substitute for, transcendental religious identity or part of a state's legitimacy, as evident in Poland or Ukraine as it is in Israel." Id. at 78. "Men from the US 180th Infantry Regiment under the command of Patton came under sniper fire in the environs of Biscari in Sicily. At one point they captured forty-six prisoners, including three Germans. A major identified nine youngsters whom he wanted interrogated, handing over the whole group to a thirty-three-year-old sergeant called West. This man, a cook in civilian life, marched the men towards some olive trees. There he separated out the nine interrogates, asked for a sub0machine gun with extra clips 'to shoot the sons of bitches', and gunned down the other thirty-seven prisoners, including three who tried to run, and then methodically shot those who still showed signs of life. 'This is orders' was his sole comment. That afternoon the same unit captured another thirty-six Italians. A firing squad was formed and all of them were shot dead as alleged snipers. An army chaplain happened on the corpses of these men and some soldiers loitering near by told him they were ashamed of their fellow countrymen and were fighting 'against that sort of thing'. The chaplain complained to the divisional commander, Omar Bradley, who went to see Patton. So did two war correspondents who had also seen the bodies. Knowing the cat was out of the hat, Patton reported the incident to Marshall, alleging that the victims were snipers and that 'in my opinion these killings have been thoroughly justified'. Bradley disagreed and Patton was forced to issue the order, 'Try the bastards.' The officer who had ordered the firing squad in the second case was eventually charged and court-martialled. He simply cited Patton's own order 'kill devastatingly' and was quickly acquitted. The prosecution failed to examine him. Sergeant West who also cited Patton, was sentenced to life imprisonment, In fact, he as jailed (in North Africa) for a year and then, reduced to the ranks, returned to active duty." Id. at 380.).
Grossman, David, Death As a Way of Life: Israel Ten Years After Oslo, translated from the Hebrew by Haim Watzman, edited by Efrat Lev (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003) (From "Two Years of Intifada," September 2002: "More than 625 Israelis have been killed in a total of 14,280 incidents in these past two years. Some 1,370 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military forces. A total of 4,500 Israelis have been injured in terrorist attacks, and among the Palestinians, the numbers are much higher--the Palestinian Red Crescent organization reported two weeks ago a total of 19,649 wounded." "Yet each side is certain that the other side has not suffered sufficiently. That being the case, it's clear that the conflict has yet to exhaust the reservoirs of hatred, and has yet to bring both peoples to the state of exhaustion that will be necessary for them to begin making concessions Almost the opposite is true--the Palestinians' bloody terrorist attacks have led to a metamorphosis. The thirty-three years of Israel's repression in the territories that it conquered in 1967 (a conquest that was instigated, let us not forget, by hostile acts of Arab countries against Israel) have nearly been expunged from Israeli consciousness. It's very convenient for most Israelis to believe that now accounts with the Palestinians have been settled, and the blame for the current situation lies entirely on Palestinian shoulders." "And this may well be the root cause of the prevailing despair that any mutual understanding can be achieved, The Palestinians begin their timeline of the conflict from, at the latest, 1948, when the State of Israel was founded. Israelis, for the most part, place the starting point of their timeline at September 2000." Id. at 183-184. "Two years have gone by and there is no hope. The situation can be summed up in several ways. I choose to do so by citing two facts that stood out in the reports of the last month. The first: According to data provided by UN agencies, more than a quarter of Palestinian children now suffer from malnutrition as a result of the situation. The second: Israeli schoolchildren will soon be given special classes in early identification and detection of suicide bombers. Israelis and Palestinians who refuse to see the connection between these two facts ensure that for many years to come we will all be each other's hostages, agents of gratuitous and pointless death." Id. at 188.).
Hastings, Max, Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 (New York: Knopf, 2004) ("The fastidiousness of the Americans and British about the lives of their men was admirable in humanitarian terms, and reflected the fact that the Western allies possessed strategic choices about where and when to confront the Germans. Delaying D-Day until June 1944 represented a prudent, even self-indulgent decision, of a kind that was denied to the Russians. They were forced to maintain an unbroken struggle from June 1941 to the end, because their armies were continuously in the presence of the enemy. It was necessary for somebody, somewhere, to pay a heavy price to break down the mass of the Wehrmacht. Who can imagine the democracies, in any circumstances, bearing a loss akin to that of the 900,000 citizens of Leningrad who starved to death to sustain its defence? Even if Britain had been invaded, the inhabitants of its cities would have chosen surrender rather than eat each other. American and British leaders and generals required a degree of consent from their soldiers and their peoples. it would be wrong to underrate the degree consent even in Stalin 's Russia, the real patriotic passion that impelled most of its people to resist the Germans. In decisive contrast to the Russians' military collapse before the 1817 revolution, the national spirit of the Red Army grew with every day of the war. But it would be foolish also to deny the compulsion which underpinned the Soviet war effort, reinforced by draconian and usually mortal sanctions against those who faltered." Id. at 113-114. "Those who fulfil law-abiding and peaceful lives find it hard to grasp what it must be like for men who have committed unspeakable crimes against their fellow humans to return to an after-life in civilization. All men who participate in wars find themselves obliged to do things which, if they are decent people, they afterwards regret. That was the case with many American and British soldiers, and some German and Russian ones, after the Second World War. More than a few were traumatized for years by events in which they had participated. Other Germans and Russians, however, including those who must be categorizes as war criminals, suffered no guilts or doubts. They developed a mechanism for justifying their actions, and for expunging memories, which has served them well. How else could the mass-killers, so many of whom went unpunished, have continued to go to work, visit the local cafe, shop at the supermarket, watch television, kiss their children and grandchildren goodnight until death claimed them in their beds? It is necessary for mankind to be capable of forgetting, and for societies to know how to forgive. But it must be a matter for regret that many individuals who bore responsibility for terrible deeds escaped a reckoning." Id. at 511-512.).
Hasting, Max, Overlord: D-Day, June 6, 1944 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984) ("John Price, a medical orderly with the British 2nd Ox & Bucks, was moved to discover how desperately men wished to be reassured that they would survive, how much words meant to them even when they were suffering the most terrible injuries. For all the wealth of facilities that the Allies possessed, there was seldom a short-cut from pain. One day in the farmyard in the Orne bridgehead where he was based, Price was appalled to see a young lieutenant drive up in a jeep, shouting with the pain of terrible bowel wounds. They laid him on a stretcher on the bonnet, and Price sat beside him as they drove for the casualty clearing station, holding his hand until he died. When Robin Hastings, CO of the Green Howards, was at last wounded by mortar fragments on 27 June, Padre Lovegrove was touched that a man of such unshakeable courage and forcefulness suddenly showed fearful shock at his own vulnerability, and begged the orderlies who were tending him: 'Don't hurt me.' Hastings's temper was not improved when he met his detested brigadier as he was being driven to the rear by jeep. The senior officer demanded furiously: 'What are you doing back here? I think you're perfectly fit,' which as Hastings remarked acidly afterwards, 'showed what a bloody old fool he was'." Id. at 213.).
Jacoby, Russell, Bloodlust: On the Roots of Violence from Cain and Abel to the Present (New York: Free Press, 2011) ("Despite an ocean of words about violence--its origins, course, and prevention--something has gone virtually unrecognized: its primal form is fratricide. This observation contradicts both common sense and the collective wisdom of teachers and preachers, who disclaim that we fear--and sometimes should fear--the 'other,' the dangerous stranger. Citizens and scholars alike believe that the enemies lurk in the street and beyond the street, where we confront a 'clash of civilizations' with foreigners who challenge our way of life." "The truth is more unsettling. It is not so much the unknown that threatens us but the known. We disdain and attack our brothers--our kin, our acquaintances, our neighbors--whom we know well, perhaps too well. We know their faults, their desires, and we distrust them because of that. The most common form of violence is violence between acquaintances or neighbors or kindred communities within nations--civil wars writ large and small. From assault to genocide, from assassination to massacre, violence usually emerges from inside the fold rather than outside it. . . . " Id. at ix-x.).
Keegan, John, The Second World War (New York: Viking, 1989) ("Some 50 million people are estimated to have died as a result of the Second World War; it is in the nature of war-making that a exact figure can never be established. By far the most grievous suffering among the combatant states was borne by the Soviet Union, which lost at least 7 million men in battle and a further 7 million civilians; most of the latter, Ukrainians and White Russians in the majority, died as a result of deprivation, reprisal and forced labour. In relative terms, Poland suffered worst among the combatant countries; about 20 percent of her pre-war population, some 6 million, did not survive. About half of the war's Polish victims were jewish, and Jews also figured large in the death tolls of other eastern European countries, including the Baltic states, Hungary and Romania. Civil and guerrilla war accounted for the deaths of a quarter of a million Greeks and a million Yugoslavs. The number of casualties, military and civilian, were far higher in eastern than in western Europe - an index of the intensity and ferocity of war-making where Germans fought and oppressed Slavs. In three European countries, however, France, Italy and the Netherlands, casualties were heavy. Before June 1940 and after November 1942 the French army lost 200,000 dead; 400,000 civilians were killed in air raids or concentration camps. Italy lost over 330,000 of whom half were civilians and 200,000 Dutch citizens, all but 10,000 of them civilians, died as a result of bombing or deportation." "The Western victors suffered proportionately and absolutely much less than any of the major allies. The British armed forces lost 244,000 men. The Commonwealth and imperial comrades-in-arms suffered another 100,000 fatal casualties (Australia 23,000, Canada 37,000, India 24,000, New Zealand 10,000, South Africa 6000). About 60,000 British civilians were killed by bombing, half of them in London. The Americans suffered no direct civilian casualties; their military casualties, which contrast with 1.2 million Japanese battle deaths, were 292,000, including 36,000 from the navy and 9,000 from the Marine Corps." Id. at 590-591.).
Laurents, Arthur, The Way We Were: A Novel (New York: Harper & Row, 1972) ("First things first. I don't know of any justification for informing. None; the opposite, in fact. There's something really wrong with any country that grows informers. And the people who promote informing are as evil and disgusting as the people who do it. . ." Id. at 269.).
Lessing, Doris, The Four-Gated City: A Novel (Book Five of the 'Children of Violence' Series) (New York: HarperPerennial, 1969, 1995) ("But she had had no such luck; had been made a psychological cripple before she was twenty." "Like hundreds of thousands of others. Probably millions. There will be no way of knowing how many. These crippled, destroyed people will become another of our statistics, like the 'roughly' forty million dead of the Second World War, or the X million who die when there is a famine, though they could be kept alive on what goes into the dustbins of American or Britain." "Soon, probably in the next decade, the truth would have to be admitted. It will be admitted with bad grace, be glossed over, softened. And just as we now say 'they burned and drowned witches for a couple of centuries out of a primitive and ignorant terror' soon we will be saying: 'When they stopped torturing and killing witches, they locked people with certain capacities into lunatic asylums and told them they were freaks, and forced them into conformity by varieties of torture which included electric shocks, solitary confinement, ice baths, and forcible feeding. They used every kind of degradation, moral and physical. As the method of society for control and manipulation became more refined, it was discovered that the extremities of physical violence were less effective than drugs which deprived the victims of their moral stamina and ability to fight back; and more effective than the drugs, were techniques of persuasion and brain-washing, By these means these members of the population with capacities above normal (those people now considered to be in the main line of evolution) were systematically destroyed either by fear, so that their development was inhibited from the start (the majority) or by classing then with the congenitally defective . . .' " "Sometime quite soon Dr Lamb would say: 'Yes, it seems we made a mistake.' Dr. Lamb? Probably someone in the heart of that profession. There is a sound principle that the place to look for the reaction to anything is at the heart of that thing. Meanwhile, it is wise to keep out of the way." Id. at 546-547.).
Oates, Joyce Carol, A Widow's Story: A Memoir (New York: Ecco, 2011) (Oftentimes cruelty is personal. Oftentimes it comes down to simple a failure of personal common decency, such as making inappropriate request at an inappropriate time. A certain clueless insensitivity. "The unexpected side of widowhood is a lack of patience--a rise in irritability--(as irritability is the first rung on the stepladder of hysteria)--and so I am inclined not only not to reply to most supplicatory letters but to dispose of them outside, at the green recycling barrel. 'Leave me alone! Why can't you leave me alone!' Sometimes I am fooled--'fooled' is an apt term--by a letter that purports to be sympathetic. So sorry to have heard about the death of your husband but is soon revealed to be a request for one or another favor; several times, these requests have come form individuals whom Ray had published in Ontario Review. The most persistent is a New York artist who has asked me to write about his work for an upcoming exhibit catalogue and when I explained--initially, apologetically--that I was so exhausted, so overwhelmed with responsibilities in the wake of Ray's death, and far behind on my own work, that I simply could not do this, he wrote back to say But the deadline wouldn't be until November." Id. at 320 (format omitted).).
Pfaff, William, The Wrath of Nations: Civilization and the Furies of Nationalism (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993) ("This book is about the most powerful political force of the twentieth century, which is likely to prove the most powerful of the twenty-first century as well: nationalism. Nationalism is a profound, if often malign, expression of human identities, a negative fore, but also a positive one. It is an expression of love as well as of hate. It is a fundamental element in modern political life and international relations. It demands to be better understood." "The book describes where nationalism comes from, why, and when, and estimates where it is taking us. . . ." Id. at 13. "Nationalism is usually thought a primordial historical phenomenon, the emotional binding by which political communities originally emerged, and through which the ethnic community finds its historical expression and maturity. It also is usually taken to be an essential but passing stage in the march of history, necessary in producing the modern nation, but also to be left behind as more rational and progressive forms of political society take the place of the more backward." "This is not true. Nationalism is a phenomenon of the European nineteenth century. It is a political consequence of the literary-intellectual movement called Romanticism, a Central European reaction to the universalizing, and therefore disorienting, ideas of the eighteenth-century French Enlightenment." "Nationalism is not an ideology because it has no universality. It is impossible to be a nationalist as such, only a German or Croatian or American nationalist. However, nationalism occupies the moral and emotional ground otherwise held by political ideology. It is unreasonable, considered as a general phenomenon, while natural as a specific one. It is contradictory as well as preposterous as a general proposition that the values and interests of every country are superior ones, yet it is evident that all nations are the same as objects of loyalty of their citizens. Only a Serb can appreciate why Serbia is worth dying for, since Serbia otherwise represents nothing of more value or moment to the detached observer than does Croatia, or Guatemala, or Tibet." Id. at 14-15. "Nationalism, of course, is intrinsically absurd. Why should the accident--fortune or misfortune--of birth as an American, Albanian, Scot, or Fiji Islander impose loyalties that dominate an individual life and structure a society so as to pace it in formal conflict with others? In the past there were local loyalties to place and clan or tribe, obligations to lord or landlord, dynastic or territorial wars, but primarily loyalties were to religion, God or god-king, possibly to emperor, to a civilization as such. There was no nation." Id. at 17. "In defiance of experience, an unanalyzed belief in progress continues to lie at the core of western political thought today, even though there is no longer a generally persuasive 'scientific' theory of social improvement or transformation. The belief is unanalyzedbecause its verification and its replacement seems equally impossible task The implications of what has happened in contemporary history, and continues to happen, would seem to recommend an intellectual position of historical pessimism, hostile to social engineering and large programmatic reforms, even when the program is so modest as simply to enthronelaissez-faire--which has not worked either. But historical pessimism contradicts the principal assumption animating modern western political society: that it is going someplace, and doing so in an intelligible way." Id. at 39.).
Roiphe, Anne, Art and Madness: A Memoir of Lust Without Reason (New York: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2011) ("In my dormitory there were seventy-five copies of The New York Times delivered to a front table each morning. . . . Each morning I would take a copy of the Times and each afternoon I would look at the table on which the remaining seventy-four copies still sat until the housemaid threw them away. Joe McCarthy was ranting and pulling lists of Commies, saboteurs, and enemies of the state out of his pocket and roaring into microphones the names of traitors. A few ardent anti-Communists had started a campaign to get two art professors fired. They were gay, perhaps; they were liberal, most likely. They were probably not threats to the state but letters went out asking the alumnae to withhold contributions to the college until the traitors were fired. The president of the college was resisting the pressure. One day at chapel he spoke of the rights of the accused and he got angry and with a thunderous boom he slammed shut the large Bible on the podium before him. A campaign was started to get him fired because of his disrespect for the Bible. There was a naming-of-names issues, who would and who wouldn't. There was a fear among the least-political among us that we might be snared, ruined by a friendship with a fellow traveler. So soon after the war we had fought for our free way of life, thinking what you will and saying what you wanted came at an increasing risk to your future job possibilities, to your relatives' job possibilities. There was a probably ridiculous belief that J. Edgar Hoover was everywhere with listening devices and it was said that that his moles attended anything that might appear to be a political gathering. Riding my bike on the path, weaving between the sea of girls in Bermuda shorts and cashmere sweaters, I felt the breath of the government turning the fall wind colder and colder on my neck." Id. at 51-52.).
Sacks, Oliver, Migraine, Revised & Expanded (Berkeley, Los Angeles, & London: U. of California Press, 1992) ("The last two categories of migraine pattern we must consider are distinguished by having acquired special strategic significances of a peculiarly hostile type. The first of these is the aggressive migraine. . . . The emotional background is one of intense, chronic, repressed rage and hostility, and the function of the migraines is to provide some expression of what cannot be expressed, or even acknowledged, directly. Such migraines are intense emotional ambivalence, i.e., in relation to individuals who are both loved and hated. Such indirect expressions of hatred are particularly seen in the interaction of the migrainous patient with parents, children, spouses, and employers and revolve about the dynamic of demanded yet intolerable dependence or intimacy. . . . A particular form of this reaction is the emulative migraine, in which there exists an ambivalent and malignant identification with a migrainous parent; joining the parent in illness, competing with him, hoisting him with his own migrainous petard. It seems certain that many examples of familial occurrence of migraine (as of many other illnesses) require explanation in these terms, rather than in the simplistic terms of direct inheritance. . . . " "When the hostility is turned inwards, there is seen the last pattern of the habitual migraine we must consider, repeated self-punitive attacks. Such patients are deeply masochistic, spiteful, chronically depressed, covertly paranoid, and sometime overtly self-destructive . . . . The migraine rarely suffices as an expression of the inner feelings, and is likely to be accomplished by other expressions of self-hatred. These patients, in many senses, require, as desperately as they will resist, therapeutic intervention, but this (if it is allowed by the patient) is more likely to be successful than in cases of dissociative migraines with hysterical features." "There are, of course, innumerable special uses of migraines which may cut across the broad categories we have constructed. Particularly common, and sometimes the occasion of cruel misunderstanding or punishment, are those attacks which may occur in children forced to attend schools they detest: any form of functional illness--repeated attacks of migraines, of vomiting, or of diarrhoea, of asthma, or of hysterical symptoms--may serve to shield the child from some of the rigours and horrors of school life, while drawing attention to miseries which dare not, or cannot, be voiced directly." Id. at 215-216.).
Smith, David Livingstone, Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2011) ("In this book, I use the term ['dehumanization'] to refer to the act of conceiving of people as subhuman creatures rather than as human beings. This definition has two components: When we dehumanize people we don't just think of them in terms of what they lack, we also think of them as creatures that are less than human." Id. at 26. "In this book, I will argue that when we dehumanize people we think of them as counterfeit human beings--creatures that look like humans, but who are not endowed with a human essence--and that this is possible only because of our natural tendency to think that there are essence-based natural kinds. This way of thinking doesn't come from 'outside.' We neither absorb it from our culture, nor learn it from observation. Rather, it seems to reflect our cognitive architecture--the evolved design of the the human psyche." Id. at 101 "Our intuitive moral psychology seems to conform to the following principle: We grant moral standing to creatures to the extent that we believe that their essence resembles our own." Id. at 223. "Dehumanized people are never thought of as charming animals like butterflies and kittens. That's because dehumanizers always identify their victims with animals that motivate violence. The thinking goes something like this: Rats are vermin, and should be exterminated. So, if Jews are rats, then they should be exterminated, too. Jews are rats. Exterminating Jews isn't cruel. In fact, its morally good to exterminate rats because they harm human beings by spreading filth and disease--so, it's morally good to exterminate Jews." Id.).
Smith, David Livingstone, The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2007) ("Psychopathic thugs do not fight wars. Ordinary people do, and although war is all about killing, we do not like to think of our ordinary people--'our boys'--as professional killers. As Bertrand Russell once observed, we are quick to say that they give their lives for their country but not that they take lives for their country. To do so would be to upset the moral order of things. However, we have no such reservations when it comes to the enemy. There are no heroes on the other side, no brave patriots making the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The enemy is ruthless and diabolical; he is a terrifying, cold-blooded killer. 'When our own nation is at war with any other,' observed David Hume in the year 1740, 'we detest them under the character of cruel, perfidious, unjust and violent: but always esteem ourselves and allies equitable, moderate and merciful. If the general of our enemies be successful, 'tis with difficulty we allow him the figure and character of a man'." "Notice that Hume remarked of the enemy that it is only 'with difficulty that we allow him the figure and character of a man.' This is perhaps the first published observation of dehumanization in war. Nowadays it is widely accepted that we tend to picture our enemies as less than human--so widely accepted, in fact, that it has become a cliche. Like all cliches, we seldom if ever pause to consider it seriously. I think that the notion of dehumanization in war contains a profound and extraordinarily import insight into human nature. . . . [I]t is easy to see how dehumanizing the enemy would provide an elegant solution to the problem posed by our innate aversion to taking human life. Perceiving the enemy as nonhuman would liberate us from inhibitions against killing them. A perceptual shift of this nature would enable human beings to take the live of others as casually as they would swat a mosquito, poison a rat, or impale a writhing worm on a fishhook." Id. at 183-184. "There are various forms and degrees of dehumanization. United States soldiers in Iraq sometimes call Iraqis 'hadjiis,' 'ragheads,' or 'camel jockeys.' These are derogatory terms that create psychological distance. Clearly, it is easier to do violence to a raghead than it is to harm a full-fledged human being. But these are not especially nasty epithets. They may contribute to an attitude of callousness, but they do not inspire hate, fear, or repugnance. Not all instances of dehumanization are so moderate. Soldiers sometime imagine their enemies as dangerous, subhuman beasts. As Vietnam War veteran Bob McGowan explained to CNN, 'They're subhuman. They're animals. They're going to rape our women and kill our children. . . . Kill them.' This is a step beyond dehumanizing the enemy: it is demonizing them." "When we demonize others, we perceive them as having having a dangerous nonhuman essence. . . ." Id. at 185 (citing Bob McGowan, CNN Presents: Fit to Kill, October 26, 2003).).
Toynbee, Arnold J., A Study of History, an abridgement of Volumes I-VI by D. C. Somervell (New York: & London: Oxford U. Press, 1947) ("When we Westerners call people 'natives' we implicitly take the cultural colour out of our perception of them. We see them as wild animals infesting the country in which we happen to come across them, as part of the local flora and fauna and not as men of like passions with ourselves. So long as we think of them as 'natives' we may exterminate them or, as is more likely to-day, domesticate them and honestly (perhaps not altogether mistakenly) believe that we are improving the breed, but we do not begin to understand them." "But apart from the illusions dues to the world-wide success of the Western Civilization in the material sphere, the misconception of the 'unity of history'--involving the assumption that there is only one river of civilization, our own, and that all others are either tributary to it or else lost in the desert sands--may be traced to three roots: the egocentric illusions, the illusion of the 'the unchanging East', and the illusion of progress as a movement that proceeds in a straight line." Id. at 36-37. "War has now become 'total war', and it has become so because parochial states have become nationalist democracies." "By total war we mean a war in which it is recognized that the combatants are not only the selected 'chessmen' called soldiers and sailors but the whole populations of the countries concerned. Where shall we find the beginnings of this new outlook? Perhaps in the treatment meted out at the end of the Revolutionary War by the victorious British-American colonists to those among themselves who had sided with the mother country. These United Empire Loyalists were expelled bag and baggage--men, women and children--from their homes after the war was over. . . . This first example of 'totalitarianism; is significant, for the victorious American colonists were the first democratized nation of the Western society." Id. at 286-287. "Habits of 'frightfulness', acquired by the English in their prolonged aggression against the remnant of the Celtic Fringe in the Highlands of Scotland and the bogs of Ireland, were carried across the Atlantic and practiced at the expense of the North American Indian." Id. at 413. "When universal education was first inaugurated it was greeted by the liberal opinion of the day as a triumph of justice and enlightenment which might be expected to usher in a new era of happiness and well-being for mankind. But these expectations can now be seen to have left out of account the presence of several stumbling-blocks on this broad road to the millennium, and in this matter, as so often happens, it has been the unforeseen factors that have proved the most important." "One of the stumbling-blocks has been the inevitable impoverishment in the results of education when the process is made available for 'the masses' at the cost of being divorced from its traditional cultural background. The good intentions of Democracy have no magic power to perform the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Our mass-produced intellectual pabulum lack savour and vitamins. A second stumbling-block has been the utilitarian spirit in which the fruits of education are apt to be turned to account when they are brought within everybody's reach. Under a social regime in which education is confined to those who have either inherited a right to it as a social privilege or have proved a right to it by their exceptional gifts of industry and intelligence, education is either a pearl cast before swine or else a pearl of great price which the finder buys at the cost of all that he has. In neither case is it a means to an end: an instrument of world ambition or of frivolous amusement. The possibility of turning education to account as a means of amusement for the masses--and a profit for the enterprising persons by whom the amusement is purveyed--has only arisen since the introduction of universal elementary education; and this new possibility has conjured up a third stumbling-block which is the greatest of all. The bread of universal education is no sooner cast upon the waters than a shoal of sharks arises from the depths and devours the children's bread under the educator's eyes. In the educational history of England the dates speak for themselves, The edifice of universal elementary education was, roughly speaking, completed by Forster;s Act in 1870; and the Yellow Press was invented some twenty years later--as soon, that is, as the first generation of children fro the national schools has acquired sufficient purchasing-power--by a stroke of irresponsible genius which had divined that the educational philanthropist's labour of love could be made to yield a royal profit to a press-lord." 'These disconcerting reactions to the impact of Democracy upon education has attracted the attention of the rulers of modern would-be totalitarian national states. If press-lords could make millions by providing idle amusement for the half0educated, serious statesmen could draw, not money perhaps, by t the power from the same source. The modern dictators have deposed the press-lords and substituted for crude and debased private entertainment an equally crude and debased system of private propaganda. The elaborate and ingenious machinery for the mass-enslavement of semi-educated minds, invented for private profit under British and American regimes of laisse[z] faire, has been simply taken over by the rulers of states who have employed these mental appliances, reinforced by the cinema and the radio for their own sinister purposes. After Northcliffe Hitler--though Hitler was not the first in his line." Id. at 292-292. One should shudder to think what Hitler would have done with the cable-television and the Internet.).