Never Be a Bystander

In the history of humanity, when there are parallels in the present to past terrible times, we honor the memory of those who suffered horrifically by learning what brought forth their suffering. When we say “Never again” those words have meaning, not when we mindlessly call people Nazis or communists, but when we understand what generated the suffering of millions.

In 2020, Marian Turski, an Auschwitz survivor, reminded his audience that the death camps were a culmination of a process that began with propaganda.  He also warned that we are already becoming accustomed to thinking that we have a right to exclude, stigmatize and alienate people from society, a right that once led to the attempted annihilation of a race of people.  

When the anointed sense that the people have become insensitive and complacent, that they no longer respond to their tactics of division, they are in a position to accelerate the process of evil even faster.  The rest follows in swift succession: the ban on employment, travel prohibition, forced medical procedures, etcetera.

Turski ended his talk with some very sound advice:  Don’t be complacent, whenever you see historical lies. Don’t be complacent, whenever you see the past being misused for current political purposes. Don’t be complacent, whenever any kind of minority is discriminated against.

The essence of democracy lies in the rule of the majority. But democracy itself lies in the fact that the rights of minorities must be protected. Don’t be complacent, whenever any government violates already existing, common social contracts. Remain faithful to the Eleventh Commandment, NEVER BE A BYSTANDER.   

There are universal lessons to be learned when we allow bureaucrats to exercise power backed by the coercive force of government.  Politicians and bureaucrats are especially dangerous when they believe they are anointed to coerce others. 

In his book, The Vision of the Anointed, Thomas Sowell warned that “what is seldom part of the vision of the anointed is a concept of ordinary people as autonomous decision makers free to reject any vision and to seek their own well-being through whatever social processes they choose.”

The anointed want unbridled power; they are certain they have the knowledge they need.  “The hallmark of the vision of the anointed is that what the anointed consider lacking for the kind of social progress they envision is will and power, not knowledge.”

They believe they have been ceremonially “anointed” to rule over the unwashed masses that in their minds are ignorant of what they truly need.  They are certain that if problems remain, it is only because others obstruct them. They have all the answers therefore; problems exist only because other people are not as wise or as caring. 

The anointed desperately work to keep us in the dark. Lessons from history and the consideration of alternative paradigms would provide light and light destroys darkness.   

Perception is, in essence, reality. What is perceived is usually widely believed. Unfortunately, as the lines between illusionary reality and objective reality are blurred, as the state sponsored narrative of truth continues to hold rein, society is governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, and ideas and values are suggested by the anointed. And, as long as the people believe that the current anointed can be trusted, the lessons of history will not be learned.  We will continue to deny our responsibilities to oppose anyone claiming to be the anointed. 

“The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from ‘society,’ rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by ‘society.”   Thomas Sowell

Source:  From Darkness to Light by Barry Brownstein, American Institute for Economic Research; The speech by Marian Turski at the memorial ceremony on 27 January 2020 in Auschwitz, Never be a bystander whenever a minority is discriminated against; How Truth was Destroyed So Americans Would Crave Propaganda by Don Via Jr., The Free Thought Project

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