Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

This post was inspired by this post by Rachel Lucas (H/T to David).

From her post:

The first thing that surprised me about Auschwitz is that it is not as secluded these days as I expected; it is just right there in what seems like the middle of this average small town. It’s just…right there. It is jarring. There’s a busy parking lot about 50 yards from the “front door,” a lot that is filled with buses and cars and noisy tourists. Again. Very jarring.

It was the most surreal moment of my life so far. There I was, facing this object I’ve seen in a thousand photographs, something that is attached in my mind to pure abject despair and massive human suffering…and it’s surrounded by happy tourists. It was almost like a Disneyland version of hell, just because of all the serene camera-toting tourists. Of which I was one, I know that, but still. It was nothing short of the worst case of cognitive dissonance I think I’ll ever experience.

There was such natural beauty visible to any human standing in the middle of Birkenau that day. It was as if nature was asserting herself over all the despair and ugliness. Look how green I can be, feel this perfect air, listen to this thunder, there is always something good that will come out of something awful.

How will you know when the plane, train or bus you are told by the government to board is headed to “the camp”? The sun will look no different on that day. The clouds won’t have your eulogy written in them. And the nearby buildings will look the same as it did the day and the week before. Will you fuss about your children’s clothes that just got dirty because they rubbed up against the lamp post? Will you worry if you packed enough underwear for your trip? Will you curse under your breath because you forgot to bring sunscreen or an extra jacket?

I will know when it is the government telling me I must get on a plane, train, or bus or report to a particular location. I won’t be worrying about dirt on anyone’s clothes or what I didn’t bring. I’ll be worrying about getting a good sight picture and alternate exit routes.

How will you know whether the medicine the government doctor gives you to ease your pain is in your best interests or the governments best interest? Will the treatment prescribed be for the good of society as a whole or will it be for the good of the individual?

I will know when the doctor gets his paycheck from the government and cannot get a job with similar compensation in the private sector.

How will you know when gays, blacks, Japanese, Muslims, or Jews are in danger of being sent to the camps?

I will know when the government demands that information be put in lists–whether that list is in the form of an ID card or a census. But census data can’t be legally used for 70 years, right? I’ve got news for you. U.S. census data was used to find Japanese citizens and send them them to the “War Relocation Camps” in 1942.

Just because you have never broken the law or injured another doesn’t mean those in power won’t think of you as a terrorist. Are you a gun owner? To some that means you are a potential threat to society. They may think 10% of gun owners “shouldn’t have guns”. But how can they determine which 10%? Just to be safe they have to send them all to the camps, just for a little while until they can sort them out, right? It is for the good of society. The world will be a better place soon. It’s will hurt for just a little bit. Sort of like an inoculation, a little jab and it stings for a few seconds and then everything will be better. It’s only 10%.

How will gun owners know when it’s time to start shooting? The sun will look no different on that day. The clouds won’t have their eulogy written in them…


4 thoughts on “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

  1. EVERYONE should view Claude Lanzmann’s documentary Shoah–a history of just how in-the-middle-of-everything/out-in-the-open the Holocaust was, and how everyone knew exactly what was going on. It is very long, but Mr. Lanzmann went into staggering detail for a reason: because the details are quite simply staggering.

    EVERYONE should read IBM and the Holocaust, a history of how the Third Reich engineered a strategic alliance with IBM to create organizing and database technologies and methods for processing all the minutiae of identifying, marginalizing, ghettoizing, transporting, stealing the property of, and slaughtering millions of people. If they could do all that with just punch cards, imagine what can be done with today’s data processing technology!

    EVERYONE should check out JFPO’s book. Death by Gun Control. I just read it for the first time and was deeply impressed. Some parts of it don’t appeal to me (like the religious stuff). But I was absolutely staggered to read how a) the US Gun Control Act of 1968 was a direct re-write and even translation of the Nazis gun control act of 1938, and b) how much of today’s gun-grabbing rhetoric completely echoes the Third Reich’s.

    Expect the Spanish Inquisition.

  2. Forgot to include this:

    I feel compelled to note in the interest of disclosure (though not distancing) that I am not Jewish. I do not mean to speak for anyone else, but these histories demonstrate how mundane, visible, automated, and posing-as-benign democide can be.

  3. I have to admit, I am somewhat surprised that the person you were alluding to missed the allusion entirely… Well, perhaps not surprised, but at least intrigued…

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