Discussion in 'What's On Your Mind?' started by RB, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne Original Member

    This is one of those cases in which "Godwin's Law" really doesn't apply...it really IS 100% appropriate to introduce Nazi comparisons at this point. As in: yeah, the Nazi prison guards were "just trying to get by" too.
  2. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I don't know..... the comparison makes me a little squeamish.

    Some personal info:.... my s.o. is Jewish and lost a lot of his family in the war.

    He and I lived in Munich for a time, which made his parents very uncomfortable. They made us promise to go to the concentration camp at Dachau as a reminder - which we did. It was a place that hurts you on a deep level; where you speak in whispers, not because of an official policy, but because the place demands it.

    So.... much as I hate the TSA, I can't quite go there.....
  3. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I see the comparison as apt because of what Hannah Arendt famously termed the banality of evil. (And because, as I've said so many times, Zimbardo, Milgram, Asch.)

    No one is saying that the TSA and Nazis are equivalent. We're saying that we're on a very dark path in this country, the same kind of path that Germany was on in the '30s. That fascism comes in many forms, and if we don't recognize that, we are in danger of being led to even darker places. In other words, it's an analogy, not an equivalence. At least that's how I see it.

    When you have people -- practically overnight -- accepting and even defending, publicly, outright, the actual physical molestation, to the point of sexual assault, of their fellows just to get on a plane, that is, frankly, a breathtaking development.
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  4. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    At this point I think certain aspects of Nazism are pertinent and certain aspects are not.

    Obviously, TSA has not (yet?) been directly responsible for 11 million deaths. Comparisons to the Holocaust, though it is inextricably associated with Nazism, are not pertinent.

    However, the methods the Nazis used in sifting the population, tightening their control, and managing government are more readily visible in what DHS/TSA is doing. It seems terribly politically incorrect to "pick and choose" which aspects of such an emotionally-charged historical event we consider significant but the reality is that it may be necessary for the preservation of liberty to do so. If we treat the Third Reich as an all-or-nothing package deal when drawing parallels between it and our own time, we are necessarily required to disregard those parts which are pertinent (government policy, See Something Say Something, NDAA) in the process of disregarding those which are not (Final Solution, death camps).

    I think that, so long as we remain diligent and discerning in how we make our comparisons, we can safely point out those patterns which highlight the "march to tyranny" without falling into the trap of drawing direct comparisons between smurf-clerks and the concentration camp guards who directly physically partook in the mass-scale murder of innocent prisoners.
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  5. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Bravo, Celtic Whisper. Well said.
  6. LeeAnne

    LeeAnne Original Member

    Celtic Whisper, you nailed it. And Sunny, just to be clear, I totally understand your point, and perhaps I could have been more specific in my comparisons. I am not attempting to equate what the TSA does with the Holocaust - I'm attempting to draw a comparison in two different areas:

    1. Nazism, and (as Celtic eloquently puts it) the "march to tyranny" that I see already happening in our nation. As I've said before in other threads, I'm sure that the regular citizens of pre-war Germany had no clue what was ultimately going to happen...just as so many of our citizens today can't envision it. But the historical precedence is there - when a government begins to treat its citizens as criminals, and slowly strips them of their basic civil rights in the interest of "security"...well, yeah, that's what the Nazi's did. And tyranny resulted.

    2. TSA employees and Nazi prison guards. Many Nazi prison guards did not directly commit murder, but they just "did their job" as they watched their superiors and co-horts do horrific things to other humans. Of course, some of them DID directly commit murder, as part of just "doing their job." And again, I don't mean to equate murder with sexual assault...but the fact is, they are both crimes against humanity. While sexual assault doesn't kill us, it sure scars us for life. (And I'm here to tell you that's true.)

    I do think these are valid comparisons, and in fact I think they are important ones that need to drawn, and heard by all American citizens, if there is any chance of stopping it.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The Nazis mastered evil on multiple levels. For a comparison with TSA, you have to pick the right evil for a good match, which many of us feel is the Sturmabteilung, or SA. The SA mostly passed into history in 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives, when Pissy's mentor Ernst Rรถhm met his maker.

    The only concentration camp I've been to is Sachsenhausen outside Berlin. "Creepy' doesn't begin to describe it. All the nice people we encountered in the neighborhood, including at some houses & a bus stop just outside the camp? Their grandfathers' generation ran the camp.
  8. RB

    RB Founding Member

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  9. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    No, and I didn't hear that being said.

    I agree, we're on a dark and similar path, and we should recognize the various forms of fascism.

    And most people here are very thoughtful, amazingly so, so I wasn't pointing fingers, it was just something that I felt needed to be said.
  10. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    That's exactly how Dachau was too.
  11. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    I found Dachau to be an eerie place when I visited there. Suburbs all around, and then that memorial. (On the train from Munich, when the conductor announced "Dachau", the whole passenger compartment errupted in a chorus of "Durchfahren!") I don't think making comparisons to that era is intended to cheapen what happened there, or suggest we are in imminent danger of a repeat. BUT, the human animal is amazingly consistent, and is known to be manipulatable in a number of now well known ways. So when you see patterns, or hints, of the "beginnings" of these types of things, it is probably best to err on the side of safety. Better to over-react than to let these things take root. Especially when we seem to be well past the "beginnings" stage, when the US Senate unilaterally suspends habeus corpus for whoever falls under the despised class of person du jour. History repeats itself, but not exactly. Patterns, not particulars.
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  12. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Thank you. I'm going to start using that.
  13. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Yeah, I like it a lot too.

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