Friday, February 01, 2013

NRO is... New Reich Online?

Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was - and to which the president is - implacably opposed, but it is hardly "senseless." By the early 1930s, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the "unification of all Germans," a demand for "land and territory for the sustenance of our people," and an assertion that "no Jew can be a member of the race." Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded. 

Did I just read what I think I just read?

32 comments:

Robin said...

I think you are missing the point she's trying to make. Which is to ridicule the vacuous rhetorical use of "senseless".

She's saying that the Holocaust (and other Nazi actions) made sense to someone - and that one's understanding of history and how such evil acts occur is weakened by calling them "senseless" rather than understanding how/why such evil made sense to someone.

And in the last paragraph, she is ridiculing Obama for calling the Benghazi attack "senseless" after initially claiming that it was the result of outrage over an anti-muslim film.

Anonymous said...

I think the Nazis were far more sinister because they were NOT senseless.

They didn't go to a random school or movie and kill people for no reason except body count.

They didn't put people in the gas chamber based on even or odd numbered street numbers.

So, yeah, they had an evil ideology kind of like Stalin did too, or Mao, and thus its EVILER than senseless mayhem.

Though I suppose if you were not a Jew or not a Kulak then random senseless killings would be more scary.

Aaron said...

I think the trouble is semantics. I can see "senselessly" used to mean without any purpose, or I can it used to mean "with a purpose, but that purpose makes no sense to me."

I think that its a mistake to dismiss other cultural viewpoints, no matter how irrational they appear to us, simply because they will be motivated by said beliefs.

But in any case, a cudgel has been found to beat the other side, and thus it must be used! I can see Russia from my house!

Aaron said...

Then again, so many people in the comments are angry...so maybe I need to read the article again. It can't just be semantics can it?

Aaron said...

"Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded."

This is the line that causes most of the problem...and yet...Hitler was fucking popular.

yeah, we all want to claim he was crazy and everyone was tricked and no one was a Nazi party member.

Senseless is defined as "meaningless" so I think that word is okay. Sensible...that's the word that sticks in the craw and is wrong.

Aaron said...

I read this article again, this time sober. I still don't see it as defending the Nazis in any way shape or form. And yet, the comments are full of people claiming this is what the article did. Some are probably deliberately obtuse, but I think some of the problem is where you draw the line at senseless.

You can argue that any violence for a cause that will fail is senseless. Thus killing foreigners in an Algerian gas plant is senseless violence, because, let's face it the Islamists are not going to achieve their goals through such actions. (This is arguable, but its at the closer end of the complete random "senseless" violence we could agree on, like shooting up a movie theater.)

Now, the Nazis failed, so you could say the entire world war was senseless violence. But isn't that taking them a little too un-serious? I mean rolling tanks into Poland, occupying it, rounding up certain ethnic groups, building death camps, etc...that's shows some strong purpose, which to me means it was not senseless - it had meaning.

But I think people want to use senseless to mean "bad things that should not have happened in a good world" which I can understand, but I think is sort of platitudinous.

And for this article, the word sensible should have at least been in quotations.

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Cool, I wondered where Sunny Leone had gotten to.

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Aaron said...

Oh...just spam.

My final pithy comment was going to be:

This is like someone arguing the nazis were lawful evil and not chaotic evil and people saying "did he just say they were lawful? Sounds like approval!"

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