It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
And the treachery of their leaders
I often had wondered how it was possible for the nation of Germany, a nation of good people — artists, musicians, scientists, doctors, fine upstanding people — could not only stand by, but actively support Hitler’s destruction of Jews.
Who were these people, I wondered, who could see their neighbors, even their friends, and their friend’s children, being dragged from their homes and stuffed into cattle cars, to be taken to their deaths?
What kind of people could step aside and watch such terrible human suffering, and do nothing but invent excuses for it?
And what of the police, and the soldiers, and the concentration camp guards, who implemented this shameful act. Didn’t they have wives and children? How was it that they had no empathy, no compassion?
Were those people an aberration, a strange group of inhuman humans who just happened all to be gathered in Germany and Poland and Austria and the rest of collaborating Europe?
Perhaps, one could say the people didn’t object because they feared for their own lives, and for some that may have been true.
But for most, it was the anti-semitism ironically taught in their Christian churches — the churches of Jesus the Jew — that made the Holocaust acceptable to the mainstream.
The churches taught believers to hate Jews, and Hitler tapped into that latent hatred.
Hatred always justifies immorality. Hatred justifies everything.
I wondered, “Who were these haters,” and now I have my answer because I see the same people here in America.
I see the cowardly politicians, and their leader, Donald Trump, tapping into that hatred, and I see the American people who support his hatred, even without fear for their lives.
These are people who have been taught to hate non-whites, and especially to hate non-white foreigners.
Children are not born to hate. They must be taught.
And once taught, there is no limit to what their hatred will justify.
There was a time when I thought Trump’s compulsive lying would lose him followers, but I was wrong. His followers do not care that he lies to them.
Hatred has proven stronger than truth.
There was a time when I thought Trump’s compulsive immorality would be rejected by the so-called “religious” right, but hatred has proven stronger than decency.
There was a time when I thought Trump’s laziness, greed, position reversals, megalomania, and incompetence would cost him votes, but hatred has proven stronger than reality.
And most recently, I thought that Trump’s mistreatment of children would, at last, be scorned by his followers, but hatred seems to be proving stronger than human compassion.
In Trump-land, virtue is derided as weakness, when the reality is, it takes strength to be compassionate. The fearfulness of the weak is revealed by their cruelty.
Hatred, blind irrational hatred, is the most enduring emotion of cowards.
The Trump credo: For the treatment of a non-white foreigner, who seeks sanctuary in America, there is no punishment sufficiently cruel.
Simply deporting them, cold-blooded as that is, is not cruel enough in the minds of haters.
No, their children must be ripped from them, some under the pretext that the children will be given a shower (as Hitler did in Auschwitz).
And even that is not cruel enough.
The terrified children, some sick with contagious diseases, must secretly be packed together on planes and stuffed on buses, then sneaked in the middle of the night to distant locations, where no one can find them.
And even that is not cruel enough.
When they arrive, their attendants are instructed not to hug the frightened infants, who so desperately need reassurance and love. The children are instructed they must not talk to anyone, lest they never see their parents again.
And even that is not cruel enough.
I see the GOP, the party of law and order, justifying these outrages against people and their children who only seek shelter from the storm: “They broke the law.”
Law, without compassion, is tyranny.
I see Breitbart, the excuse-maker for the worst of the GOP, demonstrate their lack of human compassion.
They deceitfully refer to people concerned about what is being done to children and families as “Open border activists,” as though being human means one does not want any border security.
I see Donald Trump demonstrate his hatred for not only non-white immigrants, but also for the “due process” provisions of the U.S. Constitution, when he says, “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.”
And when I see millions of Americans agreeing with Trump’s nativism and bigotry, I no longer am mystified about Europe’s experiences with hatred and tyranny.
Now even our right-wing Supreme Court has approved a ban on people from Muslim nations, another conservative decision that will live in infamy.
Just as Hitler told his followers they are the “master race,” Trump told his followers, “You’re the super elites.” Like Hitler’s followers before them, Trump’s followers screamed in joy at being allowed into his select society, while disallowing all others.
I see our once brave, welcoming nation now being turned into a cringing, cowardly disgrace, fearfully hiding behind a Wall — a Wall that never can be high enough or long enough — selfishly rejecting those who are beset, who beg only to have a chance at life.
America is a huge lifeboat, 330 million strong, and we have plenty of room for millions more. We, as Americans, must not be led to spur the drowning men, women, and children, who ask for our help and compassion in their time of peril.
Shame on those of us who would reject the unfortunate immigrants, whose lives we easily could save.
Trump is Trump, almost a caricature of the greedy, scheming, egomaniacal, banana republic dictator. History has seen the like of him. His legacy will be shame — for him and for America.
And any nation will have a certain number of people who will follow a cult leader, a bigot, a martinet. These people have inferiority needs that can be met only by stomping on others.
But we must pray there are enough moral, compassionate Americans who have strength of character, and who, in future elections, will undo the vast harm befalling our nation.
Law without compassion is tyranny.
America now has fallen from grace and succumbed to weakness. But if you vote your conscience, we will become strong, again.
9 thoughts on “Law without compassion is tyranny”
Well said. Thank you very much
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Terrific piece. This is exactly the revelation I have had. I will never again wonder in disbelief how Hitler could have happened, beyond the extent that I still wonder in disbelief how such people can exist, or ever existed.
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I admit to often having been an apathetic voter in the past. But not this year. Let’s hope there are millions who feel the same way. Thank you Rodger..
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Thank you Rodger
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This is what happens when haters rule:
Jeff Sessions reportedly wants to make it almost impossible for undocumented immigrants to qualify for asylum
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I come from a conservative/libertarian background and while watching people debate MMT I decided I need to find out more about it if I was going to weigh in. And looking for more information on MMT I found your blog.
I thought the idea was crazy. However I could tell by how you wrote that you were not crazy or a crank and that you certainly sincerely believed what you were saying.
So I stuck around and went from one post to another as the topics interested me and then in one of the comment sections you mentioned to a person that they should read ALL your posts to get a firm idea as to what you were talking about. Being semi-retired and with time on my hands I thought that was a grand idea, so I did. 2143 posts later I’m dropping this comment to tell you that I find the logic of MS to be inescapable.
I used to be a gold standard guy, and frankly I still love the stuff, however it turns out I’m actually a keep-inflation-in-check guy. And since that can be done with MS and MS has benefits that the gold standard does not it is only logical to change my views.
Coming from the POV I used to have, I was totally against any kind of government provided healthcare. What I didn’t realize was that payment for and management of could be, and must be separated. Also I thought tax money was used to fund it, of course you showed me the error of that thinking.
I had three problems with government provided health care:
1. It was socialist. But it isn’t if the government is only paying and not running the process of provision or micro-managing others.
2. It was redistributive. Obviously it cannot be if it’s paid for by newly-created money as needed and federal taxes don’t pay for it or any other thing.
3. Even if it’s not socialist it’s still statist.
Now I’ve been a right-libertarian for over 30 years ( I got started through opposition to the drug war, not because I read Atlas Shrugged though) so “statism” has been a big boogeyman for me for many decades.
However a few things have come to my attention that showed me “statism” isn’t something most people want to dispense with.
First, the continuing failure of Libertarian candidates in elections. Sure there are things that are moving in a more freedom like direction but overall Libertarian candidates and the platform they represent get crushed on election day.
Second, in another context, I read that things don’t last unless they are “robust”. People must be getting value out of whatever it is, or else it would fade away. Despite all the evil that has been done by people in government, the institution itself continues on and that means people continue to find value in government and based on the last 5000+ years will continue to do so, at least in my lifetime.
So why work to get rid of government or severely limit it? Instead, work within the framework of government and set up conditions where people can live much better lives than they do now.
Third, I read a book by Charles T. Goodsell called The Case for Bureaucracy (2nd. Ed.) which changed my mind about how folks viewed bureaucracy. I thought most people were like me, disgusted, angered, dissatisfied and so forth with having to deal with government institutions. Turns out that studies don’t support that view. In fact many people actually have a positive view of government and bureaucracy! Now my edition is from the 80s but he has one from just a few years ago and I assume he would not have written it if people’s views had changed.
I took from all this that people want to have a neutral but potent body between them and whatever else is out there. And they value this so much that they’re willing to put up with the problems that can come from bureaucracy.
Therefore my view of “statism” changed.
So I went through those view shifts and then stumbled upon your site. And thusly you have a convert.
I do have some questions however:
Can you tell me the name of the legislation that mandates that the Treasury sell bonds to match the government’s deficit spending? Searching Google is not delivering me that information.
Coming from my right/libertarian POV I view most regulations as being enacted on behalf of bigger or incumbent businesses to stifle newer or smaller businesses. I gather you view them as the civic authority mandating best practices.
Like me you don’t want businesses to engage in injurious practices but we come at it from different angles. However convincing people that my POV is the correct one has failed. Not just by me but from the laissez-faire /libertarian movement as a whole. Your view, then, has won in the battle of opinions.
However, it is, in general, still true that smaller companies are harmed more by regulations than larger companies as a smaller company has to devote a higher proportion of its resources to comply than does a larger company.
So would you be open to using MS and deficit spending to have the Federal government pay for the costs of regulatory compliance for all companies? That way the regulations are obeyed but no company gains an advantage over any other company.
On guns: Is it all guns or just self-loading guns and their increased rate-of-fire that are the issue with you, because bolt, lever, and pump-action guns along with double-barreled shotguns and single-shot rifles and shotguns don’t figure very much in crime or mass-shootings.
In any event, a country that embraces MS will not likely have much crime as people will have a much better chance at enrichment (however they define that) than they do now and thus won’t have the desperation that leads to bad choices. Also with MS paying for Medicare-for-All this would include mental health care that should divert a lot of potential spree or mass shooters from that evil path.
There is a way to reduce the number of guns in the country and no new law would have to be passed and not even the most fanatical of Second Amendment supporters could credibly object.
In the past local governments would stage “gun buybacks” and over some small reward, typically $50-100 gift cards for each gun turned in. There are two things wrong with this, one trivial and one major.
First the trivial, it’s not a “buyback” it’s a buy-up. No one bought the guns from the local government.
The more important issue is the small amount of a reward. That’s nowhere near enough to cover most of the potential use-cases for firearms ownership.
Therefore I propose the Federal government could and would buy-up a large percentage of firearms if it used its MS power to pay $5000 per gun. That would be a hard offer to turn down for anyone. My little collection is probably not even worth $2500 total so unless I was swimming in money I would be sorely tempted. Even criminals who use their guns to rob people would be tempted by an easy 5K now versus the uncertain reward of a crime and the attendant risk.
I correspond with people at different firearms-enthusiast forums and many, many folks have a dozen or more AR or AK pattern rifles (which seem to be the type anti-gun folks are fixated on). Even they, as hard-core as they are, would find a 5K per-gun deal hard to ignore.
So just by using the power of MS a lot of firearms will find their way peacefully into the shredder.
You’ll have to exempt single-shot and double-barreled guns of all types as those are easy to make and you’ll have folks making them just to sell. And that doesn’t solve anything.
Also you won’t get collectibles worth more than 5K but those are not a problem crime-wise.
What about climate issues?
I’m one who doesn’t believe in catastrophic climate change. I think it’s a scam by 1% types to gain control of all the energy sources and thus determine who can get energy and who cannot. And thus who gets to live well and who does not. It’s the same as gap theory concerning monetary wealth. Those that have rule those that don’t. Make people desperate enough and they’ll sell themselves cheap just to live.
In one of her books (can’t remember which) Jane Jacobs pointed out that areas that relied on extensive irrigation systems tended towards tyranny as those who controlled the water controlled the lives of everyone who needed the water to survive. Whereas in areas that had higher rainfall or more easily sourced water it was much harder to prevent people from growing crops and thus they were more independent of any central power.
So that’s how I see this whole climate thing. It’s the irrigation template all over again.
All that said, because of MS there’s no reason to stop researching new ideas and subsidizing companies to try to work up solutions to problems. And even if they mostly fail who knows what kind of other things might be discovered along the way.
And that’s quite enough for now,
Wow, that was a great reply.
Catastrophic climate change is not a religion to be believed or not believed. It is the consensus of the scientific community, the vast majority of whom are not interested in “gaining control of all energy sources.” Are you a climatologist? If not, you have to ask yourself why you disagree with the vast majority of climatologists.
Also, the current U.S. government is controlled by an incompetent dictator wannabe. He, like you, doesn’t “believe” in climate change. His “reasoning,” if one an call it that belief in climate change hurts big business — exactly the opposite of your hypothesis.
The excuse for allowing unfettered ownership of guns comes from a reading of the 2nd half of the 2nd Amendment, while claiming the first half of the Amendment has no meaning whatsoever. Ironically, this reliance is promulgated by self-described “originalists” who demand strict obedience to the exact wording of the Constitution — except with regard to the 2nd Amendment.
I meant for it to be in the top most entry on the page. Didn’t see that I missed by one.
On climate stuff I was pointing out that it doesn’t matter what *I* believe. Spend the money! Find the answers! I don’t have to argue about it anymore.
If I’m right then there was no harm done by the research or the setting up of companies to try to fix things. And who knows what else we might discover in the process.
But if I’m wrong, and I accept that as a possibility, then the research has happened anyway and I didn’t get in the way and make things worse/prevent things from getting better.
So as of now I’m withdrawing from climate arguments.