How to Assist Evil ? Are we just moving at the same design of past Evils?

June 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

 
How to Assist Evil
Walter E.
Williams 9 April 2014
“Engineering
Evil” is a documentary recently shown on the Military History channel.
It’s a story of Nazi Germany’s murder campaign before and during World War II.
According to some estimates, 16 million Jews and other people died at the hands
of Nazis (http://tinyurl.com/6duny9).
Though the Holocaust
ranks high among the great human tragedies, most people never consider the most
important question: How did Adolf Hitler and the Nazis gain the power that they
needed to commit such horror? Focusing solely on the evil of the Holocaust
won’t get us very far toward the goal of the Jewish slogan “Never
Again.”
When Hitler came to
power, he inherited decades of political consolidation by Otto von Bismarck and
later the Weimar Republic that had weakened the political power of local
jurisdictions. Through the Enabling Act (1933), whose formal name was “A
Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich,” Hitler gained the power
to enact laws with neither the involvement nor the approval of the Reichstag,
Germany’s parliament. The Enabling Act destroyed any remaining local autonomy.
The bottom line is that it was decent Germans who made Hitler’s terror possible
— Germans who would have never supported his territorial designs and
atrocities.
The 20th century
turned out to be mankind’s most barbaric. Roughly 50 million to 60 million
people died in international and civil wars. As tragic as that number is, it
pales in comparison with the number of people who were killed at the hands of
their own government. Recently deceased Rudolph J. Rummel, professor of
political science at the University of Hawaii and author of “Death by
Government,” estimated that since the beginning of the 20th century,
governments have killed 170 million of their own citizens. Top government killers
were the Soviet Union, which, between 1917 and 1987, killed 62 million of its
own citizens, and the People’s Republic of China, which, between 1949 and 1987,
was responsible for the deaths of 35 million to 40 million of its citizens.
In a distant third
place were the Nazis, who murdered about 16 million Jews, Slavs, Serbs, Czechs,
Poles, Ukrainians and others deemed misfits, such as homosexuals and the
mentally ill.
We might ask why the
20th century was so barbaric. Surely, there were barbarians during earlier
ages. Part of the answer is that during earlier times, there wasn’t the kind of
concentration of power that emerged during the 20th century. Had Josef Stalin,
Mao Zedong and Hitler been around in earlier times, they could not have
engineered the slaughter of tens of millions of people. They wouldn’t have had
the authority. There was considerable dispersion of jealously guarded political
power in the forms of heads of provincial governments and principalities and
nobility and church leaders whose political power within their spheres was
often just as strong as the monarch’s.
Professor Rummel
explained in the very first sentence of “Death by Government” that
“Power kills; absolute Power kills absolutely. … The more power a
government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and
desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its
foreign and domestic subjects.” That’s the long, tragic, ugly story of
government: the elite’s use of government to dupe and forcibly impose its will
on the masses. The masses are always duped by well-intentioned phrases. After
all, what German could have been against “A Law to Remedy the Distress of
People and Reich”? It’s not just Germans who have fallen prey to
well-intentioned phrases. After all, who can be against the “Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act”?
We Americans ought to
keep the fact in mind that Hitler, Stalin and Mao would have had more success
in their reign of terror if they had the kind of control and information about
their citizens that agencies such as the NSA, the IRS and the ATF have about
us. You might ask, “What are you saying, Williams?” Just put it this
way: No German who died before 1930 would have believed the Holocaust possible.
Walter E. Williams is
a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about
Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and
cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.

If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.
Thomas Jefferson

I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government. Jefferson, Thomas

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Thomas Jefferson
If this be treason, make the most of it!
Patrick Henry

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!”
–Patrick Henry

 

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