Muse by Craig Ranapia

Read Post

Muse: Guilt By Association Copy

82 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • Rich Lock, in reply to ,

    Being human is biological. personhood requires a self construct.

    So you are making a distinction between being human and being a person?

    Given the huge spectrum of human personality characteristics, and our extremely poor current understanding of how our individual personalities and mental traits develop (nature/nurture, etc.), that does seem to me to be a potentially extremely slipppery slope you’re standing at the top of.

    Hitler, obviously had a personality disorder.

    If his personality disorder was so clearly obvious, then why didn’t the hundreds of thousands of people who saw and heard him speak on a daily basis over the course of years, and who willingly followed him as their leader, see it?

    Also, ‘The Nazis’ didn’t begin and end with Hitler. It wasn’t a cult. As I say, there were hundreds of thousands of people who created a framework and then interacted within it on a day-to-day basis. ‘We were only obeying orders’ has been tried and dismissed as an acceptable excuse. But these humans were people: they had families and friends that they loved and were loved in return, they had a society that functioned on a micro and macro scale, they communicated and organised. And persuaded each other to do some terrible, vile things.

    Unpicking the individual strands of what made them do what they did is hugely complex and has provided whole careers for legions of historians, sociologists and psychologists. Societies are made up of people, just like them and just like us, and they can end up going in some pretty dangerous directions if we don’t keep a close eye on our baser instincts.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to ,

    Do you disagree?

    I think that 1) diagnosing people with mental illness over the internet (especially the dead type) is always a losing game and 2) from what I know of Hitler, he was many things (charismatic, obsessed, not a very good artist), but I’ve never heard anyone seriously proposing he had a specific mental disorder. And even if he did, that disorder wouldn’t have caused what he did.

    Do you think every person in Rwanda who took part in the genocide there, as a perpetrator or abettor, was “not complete” as a human? They were actually hacking people to death with machetes, not just ordering deaths - and there were rather more than one of them. The nasty secret about humanity is that we don’t need mental illness to explain the awful things we do. In some circumstances, they come pretty naturally. That’s why it’s so important to remember how, and why – otherwise we stumble into it all over again. Genocide isn’t a twentieth-century invention. The twentieth century is just when we bothered to come up with a name for it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to ,

    Redacted. Lucy said it much better than I did, so, "What Lucy said".

    And now I bow out, not wanting to take this any further, as I see too much potential for it to turn bad.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to ,

    But what I was trying to point out, is that some people are incapable of achieving compleat personhood. These humans are sometimes called psychopaths, and at least one of them was in the nazi party. And I have reviewed my internet diagnoses of Hitler and conclude that he was an absolute monster.

    I'm saying he was a human being - not a shining example of humanity, to put it mildly, but part of the human race, and any time you resort to "but he was just a psychopath" you lose the ability to understand how he built a widely-supported movement that allowed him to take control of a large and powerful country. Otherwise, the next one comes along, and we reassure ourselves that they aren't a total psychopath, they can't be that bad...

    (Of course, I'm sure plenty of genuine psychopaths were attracted to and part of the Nazi party, but they hardly made up the whole of it - and that's rather the point.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to ,

    The placing of the actual car wreck in an art gallery would be disturbing, but by replicating the object like this, is more palatable.

    Conjecture. For you may be so, but for someone like me who has written a car off, may be not so. I see the accident I had and seeing as I can be a tough lil' britches I'd walk past, but as you've pointed out, not everyone can for various reasons. Just as theDamien Hirst sliced up Cow and calf, "Mother and Child Divided" artwork actually affects me more than the crash I had. Not that I have an opinion as to it's creation though which once again allows me understanding of someone's wish to own a book.Albeit one that some find offensive. And part of history that was offensive to many.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    When I first arrived in New Zealand and was tiki-touring the country in around 2002-2003, I was really very surprised by the number of antique shops that openly displayed genuine Nazi/Wermacht artefacts, nearly always stuff that grandad had brought home from Italy or wherever as a souvenir after the war.

    A relative of mine owned an SS officers full clobber – hat, arm band, jacket, belt and pants – that he proudly “liberated” from a German officer trudging his way home/to a prisoner of war camp in Italy in 1945. He was certainly no Nazi. He kept it as a momento of victory, of the moment when a soldier from New Zealand could force a member of the most feared organisation of the so-called master race to publicly disrobe. And indeed, the humiliation of being striped and left naked by your conqueror is a powerful piece of symbolism.

    In this country, thousands of innocent miles from the vile turpitude of the European race wars of the first half of last century and a robust contributor to the victory over Fascism in WWII, the trappings of the defeated Nazis were generally regarded by the generation that fought the war as simply the defanged curiosities of the beast we helped slay, mere curios whose meaning has been proudly rendered powerless by our prowess at arms. The casual debasement of the solemn symbols of your enemy can be a powerful reminder of their defeat. For example, in the way the Moscow army museum displays the banners of the SS exactly as they were thrown to the ground at the feet of Stalin in the Red Square victory parade in 1945 or the way Charlie Chaplin comically parodied the mannerisms of Hitlerism.

    Kim Dotcom doesn’t strike me as a bloke who would have thought to deeply about owning a signed copy of Mein Kampf. I think the chances he sees his ownership of the book as a symbol of the defeat of fascism as approaching nil, just as I think the odds that it signals he is a closet Nazi are practically nil. Not everyone is a bookish worrywart angsting over the symbolic meaning of something, and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Dotcom isn’t the first and won’t be the last person who simply thinks owning something associated with a notorious criminal would be way cool.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic,

    Do as the dirt-diggers say, not as the dirt-diggers do. (HT The Ruminator):

    So the @nzyoungnats seem to have a real problem with Jews. After last year’s Sieg Heil, this year we’ve got this…

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

This topic is closed.