The Banality of Evil

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From the book , “Triumph of the Market”

by Edward S. Herman

The concept of the banality of evil came into prominence following the publication of Hannah Arendt’s 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, which was based on the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt’s thesis was that people who carry out unspeakable crimes, like Eichmann, a top administrator in the machinery of the Nazi death camps, may not be crazy fanatics at all, but rather ordinary individuals who simply accept the premises of their state and participate in any ongoing enterprise with the energy of good bureaucrats.

Normalizing the Unthinkable

Doing terrible things in an organized and systematic way rests on “normalization.” This is the process whereby ugly, degrading, murderous, and unspeakable acts become routine and are accepted as “the way things are done.” There is usually a division of labor in doing and rationalizing the unthinkable, with the direct brutalizing and killing done by one set of individuals; others keeping the machinery of death (sanitation, food supply) in order; still others producing the implements of killing, or working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of defense intellectuals and other experts, and the mainstream media, to normalize the unthinkable for the general public. The late Herman Kahn spent a lifetime making nuclear war palatable (On Thermonuclear War, Thinking About the Unthinkable), and this strangelovian phoney got very good press. ~

In an excellent article entitled “Normalizing the unthinkable,” in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists of March 1984, Lisa Peattie described how in the Nazi death camps work was “normalized” for the long-term prisoners as well as regular personnel: “[P]rison plumbers laid the water pipe in the crematorium and prison electricians wired the fences. The camp managers maintained standards and orderly process. The cobblestones which paved the crematorium yard at Auschwitz had to be perfectly scrubbed.” Peattie focused on the parallel between routinization in the death camps and the preparations for nuclear war, where the “unthinkable” is organized and prepared for in a division of labor participated in by people at many levels. Distance from execution helps render responsibility hazy. “Adolph Eichmann was a thoroughly responsible person, according to his understanding of responsibility. For him, it was clear that the heads of state set policy. His role was to implement, and fortunately, he felt, it was never part of his job actually to have to kill anyone.”

Peattie noted that the head of MlT’s main military research lab in the 1960s argued that “their concern was development, not use, of technology.” Just as in the death camps, in weapons labs and production facilities, resources are allocated on the basis of effective participation in the larger system, workers derive support from interactions with others in the mutual effort, and complicity is obscured by the routineness of the work, interdependence, and distance from the results.
Peattie also pointed out how, given the unparalleled disaster that would follow nuclear war, “resort is made to rendering the system playfully, via models and games.” There is also a vocabulary developed to help render the unthinkable palatable: “incidents,” “vulnerability indexes,” “weapons impacts,” and “resource availability.” She doesn’t mention it, but our old friend “collateral damage,” used in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, came out of the nukespeak tradition.

Slavery and Racism as Routine

When I was a boy, and an ardent baseball fan, I never questioned, or even noticed, that there were no Black baseball players in the big leagues. That was the way it was; racism was so routine that it took years of incidents, movement actions, reading, and real-world traumas to overturn my own deeply imbedded bias. Historically, this was a country in which human slavery was firmly institutionalized and routinized, with abolitionists in the pre-civil war years looked upon as violent extremists by the dominant elites and masses alike in the North.

The rationalizations for slavery were remarkable. A set of intellectuals arose in the South before 1860 that not only defended slavery, but argued its moral superiority on the grounds of its service to the slaves, to the disadvantage of the enslaving Whites! Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man, … is a superb account of how U.S. science at the highest levels constructed and maintained a “scientific” case for racism over many decades by mainly innocent and not consciously contrived scientific charlataury. The ability to put aside cultural blinders is rare. And it appears that what money and power demand, science and technology will provide, however outrageous the end.

Mainstream history has also successfully put Black slavery and oppression in a tolerable light. A powerful article by the late Nathan I. Huggins, “The Deforming Mirror of Truth: Slavery and the Master Narrative of American History, ” in the Winter 1991 issue of the Radical History Review, shows well how the “master narrative” in historiography has normalized Black slavery and post-1865 racism. Slavery was a “tragic error” (like the Vietnam War), rather than a rational and institutional choice; it has been marginalized as an aside or tangent, rather than recognized as a central and integral feature of U.S. history; and it has been portrayed as an error in process of rectification in a progressive evolution, rather than a terrible permanent scar that helps explain the Southern Strategy, the current attack on affirmative action, and the enlarging Black ghetto disaster of today.

Profits end Jobs in Death

Normalization of the unthinkable comes easily when money, status, power, and jobs are at stake. Companies and workers can always be found to manufacture poison gases, napalm, or instruments of torture, and intellectuals will be dredged up to justify their production and use. The rationalizations are hoary with age: government knows best, ours is a strictly defensive effort, or, if it wasn’t me somebody else would do it. There is also the retreat to ignorance, real, cultivated, or feigned. Consumer ignorance of process is important. Dr. Samuel Johnson avowed that we would kill a cow rather than forego eating meat, but visits to slaughterhouses have made quite a few people into vegetarians. A cover story of Newsweek some years ago, illustrating U.S. consumption of meat by showing livestock walking into a human mouth, elicited many protests-people don’t like to be reminded that steaks are obtained from slaughtered animals; they like to imagine that they are manufactured in factories, possibly out of biomass.

The bureaucratization of the use of animals for human ends is a large and controversial subject, but the potential for abuse is continuously realized as stock raisers, slaughterhouses, trappers, the Pentagon, the Animal Damage Control Agency, chemical, medical and cosmetic researchers, and academic entrepreneurs search for ways to improve the bottom line or fill in niches of “knowledge” that somebody will pay for. At the University of Pennsylvania a few years ago there was a Head Injury Lab, funded by the government, in which baboons were subjected to head injuries in the alleged interest of helping us (i.e., creatures with souls, the culmination of the evolutionary process, and the realization of the purpose of the cosmos). The lab was invaded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who among other things took away some records and films. The documentary which PETA made out of these materials, which showed these intelligent creatures having their heads smashed and rendered into zombies, also gave clear evidence that official rules of treatment of lab animals were violated, and, most important, that the participants’ attitudes toward the animals were insensitive and ugly. It was not hard to think of death camps watching the documentary of this lab in action. Yet the scientific community at Penn not only defends the use of animals against outside critics with passion and apparent unanimity, but has never to my knowledge admitted in public that the Head Injury Lab got out of hand.

In building weapons, contractors and the Pentagon have become quite sophisticated in spreading business over many states, to reach a critical mass of jobs, profits and legislators/media by congressional district to maximize the lobbying base for funding. Jobs are jobs, whether building schools or Peacekeeper Missiles or cutting down thousand-year-old redwood trees. I was slightly nauseated during the Vietnam War era by Boeing ads soliciting workers for its helicopter plant, touting itself as an “equal opportunity employer (EOE).” Maybe the Dachau camp management was also an EOE, for jobs that needed to be done and for which there was an effective demand.

Normalizing Shooting Human Fish in the Persian Gulf Barrel

In the Persian Gulf War of 1991 Uncle Sam was an EOE, and our boys and girls over there were doing their assigned jobs, repelling naked aggression in another Operation Just Cause. The war was forced upon us by Saddam Hussein’s rejection of the UN’s and “allies” insistence that he disgorge Kuwait, much as Bush “plainly” did not want war (Anthony Lewis).

Having made it Operation Just Cause No. 17, and a game with winners and losers, we could reasonably root for us-the moral force-to win. We were also defending Kuwait, and if once again the party being “saved” was “destroyed,” well, this was not our fault. Besides, there is the “principle,” of non-aggression, to which we are utterly devoted.

The media could thus focus on our brave boys, girls, generals, and officials to tell us all about their plans, moves, reactions, and miscellaneous thoughts. We could watch them in action as they took off, landed, ate, joked, and expressed their feelings on the enemy, weather, and folks back home in the Big PX. They were part of an extended family, doing a dirty job, but with clean bombs and with the moral certainty of a just cause.

The point was not often made that the enemy was relatively defenseless, and in somewhat the same position as the “natives” colonized, exterminated, and enslaved by the West in past centuries by virtue of muskets and machine guns … Our technical superiority reflected our moral superiority. If it all seemed like shooting human fish in a barrel, one must keep in mind that we were dealing with lesser creatures (grasshoppers, two-legged animals, cockroaches), people who don’t value life as much as we do, who allowed “another Hitler” to rule over them, and who stood in our way.

One of the effects of high-tech warfare, as well as the exclusive focus on “our” casualties, plus censorship (official and self), is that the public is spared the sight of burning flesh. That enemy casualties were given great prominence during the Vietnam War is one of the great, and now institutionalized, myths of that era. Morley Safer’s showing a GI applying a cigarette lighter to a Vietnamese thatched hut is used and referred to repeatedly as illustrating media boldness at that time because other cases would be hard to find. It caused CBS and Safer a lot of trouble (and he has been trying to make up for this sin ever since). Enormous government pressure and flak from other sources caused the media to provide grisly photos of enemy victims only with the greatest caution, and very infrequently, especially in light of the grisly reality. Capital intensive warfare in itself makes for distancing the public from the slaughter of mere gooks and Arabs. This is helpful in normalizing the unspeakable and unthinkable.

On February 5, 1991, the Philadelphia Inquirer carried an Associated Press dispatch by Alexander Higgins, “Marriage finds new expression in gulf: Honey, pass the bombs.” It is a little romance of a newly married couple, located at an air base in Saudi Arabia-and therefore regrettably obliged to sleep in separate tents-whose function is to load bombs on A-10 attack jets. It is a personal interest story, of two people and their relationship, with a job to do, in an unromantic setting. A fine study in the routinization of violence, of the banality of evil and the ways it is impressed on the public.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information Clearing House endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

Ain’t Nobody Gonna Like This One!

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What you think you know about Christianity is a lie. The gospels we use now are “rehashed” Roman Empire propaganda, not the pure word of Christ.

As much of Christ’s real words as possible were destroyed.

The real Gospels, Nag Hammadi, Thomas, Magdalene, some from the Dead Sea Scrolls, never to be released or translated, kept like nuclear secrets, Christianity today is a game.

The real Christian world is the Middle East. The first real Christians were from Palestine, all Jews who converted. Very few Jews left Palestine, there is no record of it, no “exodus” to the remote areas of the Roman Empire to live among the Visigoths in 200AD.

This is cartoon religion and less than cartoon history.

Christianity in the Western Empire, Rome, Britain, Gaul, disappeared. It first returned with St. Patrick in Ireland and Irish monks returned Christianity to what we call Britain, France and even Italy.

There was no pope in Rome. There was no Rome. Go there. It had been taken down stone by stone, abandoned, no water, no food supply, nothing left.

The Visigoths visit Rome to do their thing

Ninety five percent of the world’s Christians lived in the Middle East, Judea or Palestine, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Persia. For hundreds of years there was no Muslim religion.

Another unpleasant secret. Mohamed the Prophet reformed the Jewish religion, believed Christ to be a primary Prophet of Islam and established his religion on totally Jewish roots but accepting Christ and his teachings as paramount.

Read this at: http://www.adeadlymisunderstanding.com.

The real pope was the Bishop of Jerusalem but the power of the church increasingly moved to Constantinople, into the hierarchy of the Roman Empire who rewrote religion into politics, threw out holy writings and created a political religion that was designed to meld easily into the cacophony of Roman and Greek mythology, the many gods.

Didn’t Solomon worship many gods? When someone says “hold no other gods above me,” they are polytheistic, not monotheistic. To the Romans, Jupiter was the head god, to Solomon, Yahweh was, to the Greeks it was Jove.

To the Danes it was Odin.

The Twelve Trips

Sorry kids, but these were all polytheistic religions, especially Judaism. The issue was which god was in charge, not how many gods.

The other issue was “graven images” or worshiping animal shapes and pictures. Jews and Muslims are iconoclasts, they don’t do photos with god or the prophets.

The issue, of course, is that, when reviewing the holy books, there is mention of a messiah. Was it Christ? Christians say yes. Jews say Christ lives in “piss and shit” while Muslims believe he was a great prophet.

What reality is, we never are told. There were two Roman empires, one real one, the Eastern one, Greek, Christian after Constantine, somewhat Christian at least.

Constantine would have appointed himself god or at least pope if he had been able to get away with it. He was one of the great liars of all time.

The west was gone, destroyed by the barbarians, nothing remained. There were early Jewish settlements in France but Jews who worshiped Christ and built churches. These became the Cathars and were killed in the holocaust of the Albigensian Crusade. Read about them in something other than the Da Vinci Codes.

Magdalene died in France, according to those there, mother of Christ’s children, wife of Christ and founder of the Church. Millions of Catholics believe this and believe she is the real “Mary.”

Go to Spain or Southern France and learn of Christianity where thousands of years are treated as yesterday.

To Americans who call themselves Christians, they could more appropriately be called “Paulists.” The “Apostle Paul” was never an apostle, nor was “Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.”

Constantine had the real gospels destroyed. Wonder what he didn’t like about them?

Paul was a “convenience,” he fit the Roman religion well and was chosen to be the founder of the polyglot religion that became the Christianity that Muslims rebelled against.

Oh, they didn’t tell you that?

Then there are Jews. None were left in the “Holyland.” They didn’t take the bus to Warsaw but converted to Christianity, the official religion of the empire and later, many became Muslims, accepting Mohamed as a Prophet. We call those Jews, pure Semites, “Palestinians.”

Some are Jews, very few, some are Christians but were forced to flee the “Holyland” by, well, we aren’t allow to say, and others are Muslims by converting from Christianity to a version of reformed Judaism called Islam which allows Christ to be a great Prophet.

This allows the “messiah” issue to be sidestepped.

There were a few Jews who had settled in Roman cities but those cities were gone, the numbers of Jews we don’t know and the truth about where they settled in Europe very different from what we are told.

Those that remained, I am guessing, stayed near the Mediterranean, moved to Persia and Iraq or Morocco.

This is guessing, there is NO history.

None moved to Germany and Poland and became the current “post-holocaust” settlers of Israel. There is no historical support for that.

Some say that all European Jews were coverts, Khazars who were pushed west by waves of barbarians. All of this, especially attempts at fictional racist history, is pure fabrication.

There is no real study of any of this, politics took it over 2000 years ago and it only got worse and worse.

Everything is lies now.

What is clear is this: Those who talk of religion with few exceptions are nuts. Some are great men. Very few know the difference and this has made religion a bane on mankind, or this is how I see it.

Religion will survive. It is said that the Templars intended to join the 3 religions of the Book, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, into one through a great conclave. Popes have talked about it as have others.

Instead, religion has provided “cover” for terrorism, church bombings, wars between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and Jews against the world.

I wonder how many actually believe any of it. In France, only 11% are actually Catholic. I know many who go to church in America but say it is for “the good of their business.”

Few know their religion and fewer still believe.

The attraction is there, denial of death, eternal life, seeing long lost dead friends, pets, getting back your old cars, all of this is written into fiction about religion, ghost stories, phony fables, “bible stories” with no basis whatsoever and the books themselves, some of them are pure freakishness.

What is the story today? The “Holyland” is emptied of Christians, who made up 35% of the population not that long ago. They left for 2 reasons, one being that they feel pressure from the Muslim majority among their own Semites and secondly, that they are recognized as “non Jews” in Israel and subjected to being walled off, apartheid abuses and even violence.

One point I can be clear about, it is an Israeli policy to foster violence against Christians across the Middle East and blame it on Muslims.

Then again, Christians in Lebanon and elsewhere have been discriminated against by Muslims. It is very real and continually lied about. Problem is, it is easy to exploit.

One can see great evil in religions. One of the great ironies of religion is how well Israel gets along, secretly, with the Wahhabist sect which is the most insane form of Islam. They teach that Jews and Christians are monkeys, same as Judaism, under the King Torah, teaches Jews that “goyim” are cattle to be bred and slaughtered.

People who believe this scare the hell out of me.

People who teach these things, all of them, whatever religion, are war criminals and need to be kept away from the public.

There are laws and courts that cover this but only Jews are effective at getting their way. Problem is, they also build the car bombs that blow up churches and mosques that keep the wars going and then sell “security and counter-terrorism” equipment to stop their own deeds.

They have been caught so many times, the funniest spraying swastikas on synagogues, a recruiting method of their organizations.

During WW2, Zionists joined with Hitler because they wanted him to expel Jews to Palestine where they could then kill the British occupiers.

This is in every history book, an iota of truth that stands alone.

Who is to blame? Common men of good will exist in the majority in all religions, and in a greater majority outside all religion entirely. We call that “enlightenment.”

A few profit from war and hate and love to manipulate, breed fear, stage phony acts of terrorism and this has been going on forever. Every peaceful demonstration has “agent provacateurs” ready to throw bombs, always working for the police or that mysterious “New World Order” we hear so much about.

What is the extreme message, what would Christ or Mohamed say, what would a “righteous Jew” say ?

Those who preach hate should die by the sword.

Real international law enforced by real international courts, not the “joke” ICC or the phony United Nations and the gangsters that run well over 100 nations as “elected leaders” will ever take mankind to a world of peace, understanding and plenty.

This is why oligarchy, now called “the 1%” is never called what it really is, organized crime.

It is how “they” got to choose candidates, run the police, own the courts, control the news, twist entertainment into “hate speech” and breed war and fear.

We let them.

The message, of course, is that we can stop, but only if we become educated, if and when we stop lying, when we physically remove those who work to twist our thought, breed hate and live off our blood.

I suspect that if Jesus were ever to return he would nuke the whole place. Religion, as Fr. Malachi Martin once told me, proves only one thing, Satan exists.

He said he wished it were otherwise.

——————–

Malachi Martin, former Vatican Secretary of State and a best-selling author said the fastest growing religion in the world is Satanism. According to Martin, the most vulnerable populations were Catholic Jesuits, Jews, Evangelical Christians and certain sects of Islam. Iran recognizes Satanists, those who worship or consort with “jinns” as a security threat.

Western security organizations come upon continual references to Satanism and Satanic rituals among America’s oldest and most powerful families, within the military academies and throughout the news and entertainment industry.

Most secret societies are Satanists, the groups talked about in blogs as running the world or cultivating new and more “evil” leaders. Their rituals are all Satanic, disguised behind phony tradition and “hazing.” Blood sacrifice, child murder, these are common crimes among the powerful, crimes that surfaced during the Franklin affair. Pedophiles are not the issue, Satanism is… and child kidnapping and murder in Washington, is known of and accepted by all in government.

Does this explain a thing or two?

Almost all Satanists attend regular worship as Christians, Muslims and Jews, the use of “cover” a key part of their belief system.

Fr. Malachi Martin claims that many, some very powerful, some seemingly ordinary, but in numbers beyond imagination, are inhabited by demons and that religion is in denial of this.

If you meet someone “infested or possessed,” they will tell you, or could if they would, that they are the rational ones, the enlightened, that their “god” is the only real god and that “that other guy” went on vacation long ago. This is why so many Jesuits are Satanists, like the coven here in Toledo, look into Father Gerald Miller. Try to get past the edited versions.

I mention this only in passing. When I think of Dr. Aafia, kidnapped, raped, tortured, children killed, all done by American military officers, or of the Rodriguez torture policies or the look of Bush and Cheney I have moments when I fear Martin may be right and that my own rationalism and humanism may be hiding a supernatural world of endless evil that fills our lives every day and can never be described with conventional rational beliefs.

I read the Wikipedia of former General Paul Vallely related to a defense firm today. Is this a total lie, a “hit piece” by Wikipedia or is he “one of them.” If I am wrong about religion then are most religious wrong about something else?

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