2 Comments

I like this part: "recognize a reconstructed social hierarchy, see through euphemisms, interpret a situation as one that warrants intervention (even if that “intervention” means just thinking freely, reading, listening and, when possible, speaking freely), perceive the self as morally competent, maintain a strong equilibrium, hold dear values that do not depend on the approval of others, and above all—love good and reject evil."

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Daniel. The righteous among the nations (those who were not murdered by the Nazis) were ultimately fortunate in that the regime that they worked to save Jewish people from collapsed after a relatively short and disasterous time. Today, we are dealing with a controlling phenomenon that is much milder. The mildness is a good thing because the harm that has been done cannot be compared to what the Nazis did, but it also means that quasi-totalitarian phenomena that present themselves as being "for the common good" are probably more resilient than actual totalitarianism. We recognize a reconstructed social reality; we recognize that our values our not quite aligned with the emerging zeitgeist, but the fact that normal and convenient life also goes on for many people makes it seem like we are living through normal cultural change. This is why thinking freely is so important. When we think freely, we are living not just in the world as it is, but also to some extent in the world as it should be. But maybe one day there will be a vaccine or a mask against thinking freely. . .

Expand full comment