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Discussion 1 to Meditation 308
Re: The Future Jew

by: Hugo

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Though I agree utterly that people should remember the horrors of the Holocaust and all genocide, I'm not sure how much this stops future genocides: like WW1 being called "the war to end all all wars", genocides have continued since the holocaust (Rwanda; the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia).

People often ask "what would you have done if living as a gentile in Nazi Germany?" I suspect many would have done nothing. Education for defence against genocide seems more effective, in less developed/less democratic countries where genocide could conceivably take place.

In Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon, one of the characters working in the early days of the internet saw the internet as a method of distributing this education:

"'Definitely later. For now, the key point is that the Crypt is all-important. I can take all of my ideas and put them into a single pod of information, but almost every government in the world would prevent distribution to its citizens. It is essential to build the Crypt so that the HEAP can be freely distributed throughout the world.

'HEAP?'

'Holocaust Education and Avoidance Pod.'

'Oh, Jesus Christ!'

'This is the true meaning of what you are working on,' Avi says, 'and so I urge you not to lose heart. Whenever you are about to get bored stamping out those license plates in the Philippines, think of the HEAP. Think of what those Nahuatl villagers could have done to those fucking Aztecs if they'd had a holocaust prevention manual--a handbook on guerilla warfare tactics.'"

"Randy says, 'You asked me earlier what is the highest and best purpose to which we could dedicate our lives. and the obvious answer is "to prevent future holocausts."'

Avi laughs darkly. 'I'm glad it's obvious to you, my friend. I was beginning to think I was the only one.'

'What?! Get over yourself, Avi. People are commemorating the holocaust all the time.'

'Commemorating the holocaust is not, not not not not not not, the same as fighting to prevent future holocausts. Most of the commemorationists are just whiners. they think that if everyone feels bad about the past holocausts, human nature will magically transform, and no one will want to commit genocide in the future.'

'I take it you do not share this view, Avi?'

'Look at Bosnia!' Avi scoffs. 'Human nature doesn't change, Randy. Education is hopeless. The most educated people in the world can turn into Aztec or Nazis just like that.' he snaps his fingers.

'So what hope is there?'

'Instead of trying to educate the potential perpetrators of holocausts, we try and educate potential victims. They will at least pay some fucking attention.'"

I don't think genocide is possible in the UK or most of the developed world. But it will definitely happen again in other countries, and other governments are very, very rarely quick enough to send aid.