"The Water Cooler" forum, where I would post this reflection, is locked. That is why I am posting this offtopic here. Will The Water Cooler forum be open (to discuss “other” topics) be open soon?
Is man’s inhumanity to man avoidable?
Is moral sensitivity of people sufficient to protect world societies from mass murderers? Probably not. What else is essential? Elimination of extreme poverty and injustice. How can this be accomplished? Many sociologists have asked this question. Karl Marx was one of them. He believed that the “proletarian dictatorship” was the answer. I suspect that the 20th century will be named after this kind of dictatorship. The idea was tried in many countries and failed. It did not create justice; it replaced old tyrants with more brutal tyrants. Lenin, Stalin and Mao are well-known examples.
Is man’s inhumanity to man avoidable? Perhaps not, perhaps it should be accepted as part of human nature. If this is so then episodes of mass murder can be compared with other calamities, like epidemics, earthquakes and wars. But scientific understanding of epidemics has often resulted in great improvements. Likewise, constructing less vulnerable buildings, or avoiding certain locations, can minimize consequences of earthquakes. We do not accept natural disasters passively; we do everything possible to prevent them, or at least to reduce their undesirable consequences. Why should man’s inhumanity to man be accepted as unavoidable? Humanity is also part of nature. Most people want justice and deplore suffering. Shouldn’t this be the basis for working toward elimination of man-made calamities?
Are mass killings avoidable? Hitler’s holocaust was based on racism; Stalin’s and Mao’s slaughters were based on the concept of class struggle. Can we say that these two ideologies of intolerance are responsible for mass killings? Or should the tragedies be attributed to the evil nature of leaders? The two tyrants were not alone; it is impossible to kill millions without favorable social conditions. Can such conditions be identified? Can they be eliminated? How can this be done? I am not sure how to answer such questions. But I believe that all occurrences of mass genocide should be analyzed and exposed, not hidden or forgotten.
Mass murder occurs when brutal and sadistic criminals, to be found in every society, are promoted to positions of dominance, when propaganda is used to dehumanize the targeted population and when children are inoculated with intolerance and hatred. It occurs when victims (“inferior races” or “class enemies”) are excluded from the norms of morality, when ideological totalitarianism is imposed and when freedom is suspended. Fear and violence, the preconditions of genocide, are likely to be found in societies with large numbers of thieves and informants.
Stalin and Hitler were fanatical leaders inspired by a gang mentality and by the concept of “historic mission.” They believed that intolerance and large-scale brutality were necessary ingredients of social order. Each of them was also supported by the “cult of personality.”
Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
His profile ==> csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/my_profile.html