11 July, 2011

Germany is forgetting the lessons of history as it votes for eugenics

What is it that made the Nazi regime 'evil'? Was it only the mass slaughter of the Jews? Was it the military destruction that it brought to all of Europe?

I contend the fact that they were able to commit these atrocities was the logical conclusion to 'redefining' what it was to be a 'person' under the law. Germans, even in the 30's and 40's, were too sophisticated a nation to have accepted such patent evils against others who had previously been their neighbors and fellow citizens without 'conditioning'. To achieve such a terrible fact the population had to be convinced of the 'rightness' of such  heinous acts. Creating an acceptable zeitgeist which rationalized genocide, began as a necessary first step by opening people up to the possibility that they deserved to be viewed as being genetically 'superior' to others. It was necessary to convince people that what was evil was good was as a necessary first step.  Being able to establish the 'WE' vs 'THEM' paradigm ... with 'THEM' (the Jews, handicapped, infirm etc.) being 'scientifically' demonstrably inferior was the goal the Nazi propaganda machine set about promoting.

In the language of Eugenics, the disabled or genetic imperfect being less worthy of life when compared to the able bodied, it is a short journey from "I wouldn't want to live like that", to "people wouldn't want to live like that" before arriving at "they shouldn't be allowed to live". It is the application of the Neuhaus Principle: that which is first permitted will soon become compulsory. It was the way that exposed the Jews  to the holocaust. It is the way that the Germans are apparently starting to walk once again... at least according to the author of the source article.

What's your opinion?

John Smeaton, SPUC director: Germany is forgetting the lessons of history as it votes for eugenics

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