We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Ted Dalrymple" (Dr. Anthony Daniels) is, as readers know, a retired Brit Psychiatrist with experience in the prison system (as a physician, not as an inmate).
With or without prison experience, Psychiatrists, priests, and police officers have the experience to view people with a jaundiced eye, knowing perhaps better than most about what dark thoughts and motives lurk in the human soul because they are not in denial about the nature of human selfishness, deception and self-deception, envy, manipulativeness, sin, and evil.
In A Word to the Wise, Dalrymple questions the very premise of the idea of "man's inhumanity to man," from the Poles' treatment of their Jews to the modern British welfare state.
The Good Old Days, edited by Klee and others, recounts similar bland acceptance of horrifying crimes as everyday during WWII. All tribes of humanity have pretty regularly done evil to their neighbors. For some reason, a few limited areas are occasionally wise, and even fewer are occasionally good. (NW Europe, then the Anglosphere.) But even the best of those is pretty horrifying in its acts.
I think Dalrymple's assessment of the switch in dependent mentality to "getting paid" is true, and I also see it first hand. My take is that to have no dignity in society is so frightening that we will accept even a false dignity rather than face the abyss. Why should they face the truth just because we think they should for our sake? They are indeed often born without gifts of personality or intelligence, are not trained in drive or skills while growing up, and face poor prospects now. The world, and especially the economy, is getting away from them. We conservatives like to pretend there are jobs for everyone. What if it is not so? What if there are only jobs for 5 of 6 of the poor, and next decade 2 of 3, and 1 of 2 the decade after that? We can point to those who have jobs to shame the others in hopes of motivating, them, but what if it's just not true?
Assistant VIllage Idiot
If you would like to hear more about the Poles this is an excellent account.
As long as one tribe sees a different tribe as "other", holocausts, genocides and other atrocities will continue. Honor and dignity are individual traits and not necessarily compatible with the concept of "other".
Competition is also a factor - the very act of competing for a resource or territory or simple social dominance can create conditions that lead to "inhumanity". Just look at our political situation currently - no need for further proof.
"Gross’s answer is uncompromising: he thinks it was statistically normal. He does not make any claims of statistical exactitude, which would clearly be impossible; but he present evidence which, in his opinion, shows that what he says is so.
Gross insists that such anecdotal evidence, assuming it is not made up of whole cloth, is of as of great importance as more abstract statistical evidence would be, and I too have taken this view in my own work."
sure, if you cherry-pick interviews, cherry-pick photos, add a back-story unsupported by anything but the author's interpretation six decades after the fact (but "It is impossible to say"), admit that no systematic analysis was made, argue by innuendo -- is the criticism of the Poles that they murdered the Jews or that they occupied residences of Polish Jews murdered by the Nazis which, apparently to the author, is tantamount to murdering Jews -- you can present any axiomatic claim as TRVTH.
I could cherry-pick my own stories and present a much different version of history. here's my interpretation of the photograph: just out of frame are burial parties that will reverently dispose of the ashes, and the civilians shown are overwhelmed with grief. as the author concedes, "It is impossible to say".
contrary to the author's belief, there are legitimate histories and trial evidence of the civilian participation in the Holocaust which cannot be denied. this writer - who boasts of the deficiencies supporting his claim -- does not contribute any insights worth considering.
so man is kinda sorta inhuman to man and welfare rewards a non-work ethic. no kidding, sherlock.
that essay is less "though provoking" than my cat's breakfast.
comments under the article; two are interesting; one points out exceptionally lucid alt interprets of the author's evidence bits, the other quotes GK Chesterton to arrive at, Israel may be behind the indictment of WW2 Polish culture.
But the commenter leaves out the huge fact of the Katyn Forest --how much less that crime would be if the victims had deserved it.
That would point the finger at a known master specialist in meme warfare, the KGB, i'd think.
Anyhoo, the commenter quotes Chesterton talking about the problem of a practice that would include quoting Chesterton being quoted to support one or the other side of a future issue.
--me, i think the 22,000 leaders of Polish society that Stalin murdered in the Katyn, were the people whose role in Polish culture was to protect it from the human potential for evil, and so would've protected it from its own dregs, which then, post Katyn, went after the group that the Nazis had lifted all protection from.
So, looking for the center of the evil, our WW2 ally was in it (via Katyn alone) along with the Nazi, and whether or not some Jews in Israel would like their stolen belongings acknowleged, is absurdely irrelevant to the issue at hand, not to mention entirely normal and justifiable.
Yet, look at the little ray of darkness emanating from the comment using the great catholic philosopher Chesterton's name.
PS, to blame human nature is true enough, except that it contradicts its own premise. Human nature then has to be blamed for goodness too, as well as evil. Ergo, there's a choice, and we're back to square one.