Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Genocide and Competitive Victimhood: "I'm More Pathetic Than You" is a Chump's Game

One of the wonders of the internet is getting regular updates on political outrages from around the world. Part of this week's trawl relates to "braid-chopping" in Kashmir, hair crime not as bad as scalping (clearly), but certainly as serious (I'm told) as forcibly cutting off the long locks of Chinese immigrants in the years of yellow peril hysteria.

Such stories are the steady product of networks of political "radicals" apparently striving to become the best-informed atrocity buffs in the semi-free world. But to what end? The endless search for the most discrediting detail in capitalist/imperial brutality is a fool's errand, somewhat like trying to determine which food conglomerate has the crunch, crunch, crunchiest pickles or the crisp, crisp, crispiest potato chips. These are technical details, a distraction from the main story. Who has the evil, evil, evilest genocide? There is no reason to investigate or even care. The Holocaust Industry claims, via the homicidal gas chambers thesis, that the "evilest" genocide was committed against Jews during WWII; in fact, purists insist that it's the only true genocide in history, a notion that simply gives Israel unmatched political capital to commit endless atrocities.

Competitive victimhood may ultimately force us to retire the word genocide from our political lexicon, as it seems to distort and distract more than illuminate. For example, David Stannard's "American Holocaust" makes clear that the "genocide" against the Indians of the Americas was a far more thorough elimination of peoples than what the Nazis accomplished, but it is rarely described this way, nor does it have anywhere near the stature of Jewish suffering under Hitler. And this is because organized Jewry has a patent on genocide. (See Deborah Lipstadt's "Denying the Holocaust" for an example of the Jewish exclusivist dogma that reigns supreme in victim studies.)

Even Stannard seems to recognize this, albeit unconsciously, for about half-way into his well-researched tome he starts quoting Elie Wiesel - favorably - without the slightest awareness that the man is a charlatan. In fact, Stannard goes to considerable lengths to imitate the Wiesel style, talking about literal rivers of human blood in the wake of Spanish massacres in the same way that Wiesel refers to geysers of blood spurting several feet in the air in the wake of Nazi atrocities in Europe. Sure.

The obsession with tit-slicing, baby-skewering, entrail-oozing, testicle-chopping horror, as though eliminating entire societies without such sickening details wouldn't be horrible enough, no doubt owes a great deal to centuries of Christian descriptions of the writhing of the damned in Hell. St. Thomas Aquinas described the ability to peer over the battlements of Hell to watch sinners being tortured for all eternity as the chief delight of being in Heaven. (This perspective makes it extremely difficult to morally distinguish the saved and the wicked.)

 Seven-and-a-half centuries after Aquinas we seem to regard one of the principal satisfactions of dissent as the opportunity to search out and relish knowledge of utmost depravity.  Sadly, we are increasingly atrocity-obsessed and analytically deficient, unaware that the search for the most diabolic form of evil is just another kind of status seeking via competitive victimhood. This cannot lead to peace, only further horrors.


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