Modernity And Holocaust


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Modernity And Holocaust

  1. 1. Modernity and the Holocaust The world will never be the same… Key Issues in Information System Development Carlos Sampedro – [email_address] Albert Poghosyan – [email_address]
  2. 2. “ One drop, than second… makes one big drop, but not two…” “ Nostalgia”, AndreyTarkovski
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>“… highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me. They do not feel any enmity to me as an individual, nor I against them… Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life.” </li></ul><ul><li>George Orwell </li></ul>
  4. 4. So what is it? <ul><li>The Holocaust , also known as Ha-Shoah (Hebrew: השואה ), Khurbn (Yiddish: חורבן or Halokaust , האלאקאוסט ) or Porajmos (Romani, also Samudaripen ), is the name applied to the genocide of minority groups of Europe and North Africa during World War II by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. </li></ul>
  5. 5. So what is it? <ul><li>One way is to present the Holocaust as something happened to the Jews; as an even in Jewish history. Nothing to do with your history, or your reality... </li></ul><ul><li>It makes holocaust comfortable uncharacteristic for you and differ from another words such as genocide. Common example is to present the holocaust as culmination of anti-Semitism. (Something which could happen only with Jews.) </li></ul>
  6. 6. So what is it? <ul><li>Another way is pointing on opposite direction - is to present the Holocaust as product of modernity. The new and terrible technology, which has been developed by well dressed and completely in mind persons. </li></ul><ul><li>When viewed in this fashion, and accompanied with the proper citation of other historical horrors, it becomes all too convenient to see the Holocaust as ‘unique’ – but normal, after all. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Presentation <ul><li>So, we are going to present the idea of Holocaust/Genocide. </li></ul><ul><li>Present the logical development of technology of killing and perception of genocide by modernity. </li></ul><ul><li>Also we need to name several characteristics that, taken together, distinguish holocaust from other genocides in history. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Defining it <ul><li>Holocaust comes from Greek holokauston (“that which is completely burnt”), which was a translation of Hebrew ‘ōlâ (literally “that which goes up,” that is, in smoke). In the 20th century holocaust has taken on a variety of figurative meanings, summarizing the effects of war, rioting, storms, epidemic diseases, and even economic failures. </li></ul><ul><li>The term &quot;genocide&quot; was coined by Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), a Polish-Jewish legal scholar, in 1943, from the roots genos (Greek for family, tribe or race) and -cide (Latin - occidere or cideo - to massacre). The concept of the crime, which later evolved into the idea of genocide, was based mostly on the experience of Assyrians massacred in Iraq on 11 August 1933 and on the Armenian Genocide during World War I. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Difference of Holocaust from Genocide <ul><li>The important fact is that the difference between the Holocaust and any genocide is not that it was done with Jews, but the way it was done! </li></ul><ul><li>So… </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the people who actually carry out such work? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the circumstances in which other ‘good’ people allow them to do it? </li></ul>
  10. 10. And most important question! <ul><li>Is the Holocaust the failure or a product of modernity? </li></ul><ul><li>Many researchers assure us that the Holocaust was the failure, not a product of modernity… </li></ul><ul><li>But… </li></ul><ul><li>It is only too easy to over-react to the apparent bankruptcy of established vision – to try the ‘obvious’ exit from the theoretical impasse to… </li></ul>
  11. 11. Failure or Product? <ul><li>… to proclaim the Holocaust a ‘paradigm’ of modern civilization, its ‘natural’, ‘normal’ and maybe even common product… </li></ul><ul><li>“ Had Nazi Power prevailed, authority to determine what ought to be would have found that no natural laws were broken and crimes against God and humanity were committed in the Holocaust…” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Failure or Product? <ul><li>As it happen with Armenians in Ottoman Empire… </li></ul><ul><li>When somebody ask Hitler about what they are going to do with peoples opinion about Holocaust, he said: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Nobody remembers Armenians now, when Turks kill all of them, nobody will remember Jews…” </li></ul>
  13. 13. But anyway… <ul><li>The Holocaust was not and antithesis of modern civilization and everything it stands for… </li></ul><ul><li>It is really possible that the Holocaust could merely have uncovered another face of the same modern society whose other, more familiar, face we so admire. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Development of modernity <ul><li>Henry Feingold insists: </li></ul><ul><li>That the episode of the Holocaust was indeed a new development in long, and on the whole blameless, history of modern society; </li></ul><ul><li>A development we had no way to expect and predict, like an appearance of a new malign strain of an allegedly tamed virus… </li></ul>
  15. 15. Ethos of Dominant Europe <ul><li>The Final Solution marked the juncture where the European industrial system went awry; instead of enhancing life, it began to consume itself. </li></ul><ul><li>It was by dint of that industrial system and the Ethos attached to it that Europe was able to dominate the world. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Producing Death <ul><li>And that Idea of Dominant Europe demand new skills and technologies… </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly the technology of killing </li></ul><ul><li>Concentration camps was also a mundane extension of the modern factory system. </li></ul><ul><li>And instead of producing good, the raw material was human beings and the end-product was death. </li></ul><ul><li>Engineers design the crematoria; manager design the system of bureaucracy that worked with a zest and efficiency more backward nations would envy. </li></ul><ul><li>Perfect example of massive scheme of social engineering… </li></ul>
  17. 17. Producing Death <ul><li>All plan of Holocaust itself was a reflection of the modern scientific spirit gone awry: the development of technology as it was… </li></ul><ul><li>There is more than a wholly connection between the applied technology of mass production line and the applied technology of the concentration camps, with its vision of a profusion of death. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Failure of Civilization <ul><li>So what makes the holocaust much more disturbing is the awareness that if it could happen on such a massive scale elsewhere, then it can happen anywhere; it is all within the range of human possibility, and like it or not, concentration camps expands the universe of consciousness no less than landing on the moon! </li></ul>
  19. 19. Civilization? <ul><li>Holocaust is understood as a failure of civilization </li></ul><ul><li>Civilised society is the moral emerging form the pre-social Barbarity </li></ul><ul><li>Humanity is moving in the right way to avoid this to happen again, but … </li></ul><ul><li>Not fast enough </li></ul><ul><li>Holocaust showed weakness of human nature </li></ul>
  20. 20. Technology & Efficiency? <ul><li>Industrial society (technological) </li></ul><ul><li>Bureaucratic society (organisational) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of moral against efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Bureaucratization and efficiency blind the repulsiveness of its goal </li></ul><ul><li>Submission to organization (trained to be subordinated) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Organization Goal <ul><li>Jewish out of Germany </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Send them to Poland </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Became Jewish out of Europe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Madagascar Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Send Jewish to Madagascar </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unrealistic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea of Russia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Send them beyond Archangel-Astrakhan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Border with the German Ruled Europe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not materialization of USSR defeat </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New solution raises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stop Jewish emigration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More effective method to solve the problem </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Effective solution <ul><li>Extermination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bureaucratic process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solutions for problems implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes due expansion of organization goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific principles and process management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not irrational or reminisces of previous barbarity </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Moral Indifference <ul><li>Conditions needed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Authorized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Following orders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Officially admitted </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Routines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exact specification of roles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dehumanizing Victims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Propaganda </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Doctrinarian </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational Discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Obey commands </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not stimuli for other action </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Moral Indifference <ul><li>Everything and everybody have a function in the organization. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ghetto </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dehumanizing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting German goal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jewish efficiency & incorruptibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tool for German Administration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In situation of choice </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Moral Invisibility <ul><li>“ middle man” shields between action and actors’ sight </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many acts for actors exists only verbally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They never lived them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the other hand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who has done the act view it as someone else's action </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Moral Invisibility <ul><li>Distance between the act and its consequences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical or psychic distant, trying to avoid moral dilemmas and decrease moral choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar effect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making victims psychologically invisible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modern war: long distance weapons. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Holocaust: machine guns vs gas chambers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Consequences for civilization <ul><li>Elimination of violence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concentrating it under state control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safeguard social pace and individual security </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Double side of modern civilization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rationalisation – not moral evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem solving </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Race for technology development </li></ul>
  28. 28. Conclusion <ul><li>Civilization now includes death camps and Genocide among its material and spiritual products </li></ul><ul><li>as simple as Microwave and Rock Operas </li></ul><ul><li>All this seems as a natural development of our civilization… </li></ul><ul><li>And even if we could prove it – we wouldn’t, as it is too shocking… </li></ul>
  29. 29. Conclusion <ul><li>Rationalization and Bureaucratization allows great effectiveness without taking care about any kind of moral or ethical considerations. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Modernity and Holocaust <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Ok, Thank you </li></ul>