Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jews and Toulouse

HT to my FB friend Leah for a link to this story about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and the increasing number of European Jews  --most of whom live in France and the UK-- fleeing to Israel. To the ancient and native unease with the people of Israel in their midst is now added the absolutely unapologetic passions of the growing Islamic umma. Although he was a "French national", I doubt very much whether Mohammed Merah felt himself to be anything other than a Muslim.

The telling remark is here:

To quote psychiatrist Zvi Rex: “Europe will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” Europe doesn’t want to live under the psychological burden of Auschwitz forever. The Jews are living reminders of the moral failure of Europe. This leads to the projection of guilt on Israel and the remaining European Jews.
“Europe will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” Ironic, but true, I think. And not just the simple awful facts of the Nazi-organized attempt to exterminate them, but the way that event was mythologized afterwards. By mythologized I do not mean fabricated, but given a particular role in the shaping of a transcendent meaning-creating story.

The standard mythology of World War II situates Hitler and the Nazis as the absolute culmination of evil in human history. And not just because of the savage intra-European war, but because of the asserted centrality within it of the Final Solution. With typically Eurocentric bias and a cosmic case of negative inflation, modern Europe branded itself with the mark of Cain, an ineradicable and unforgivable sense of shame centered on the image of Auschwitz and even sanctified with its own special sacred Old Testament title, The Holocaust.

Although Jewish theological, philosophical and political responses to the events of the war varied, in the standard narrative taken up by most of the post-war Europeans, the Holocaust exhausted any Euro claim to moral authority and required civilizational repentance. But since it was an unforgiveable crime, no amount of expiation could atone for it. It meant constitutional and unending shame for the Gentiles and by its magnitude disallowed any conscious thought of how the Jews themselves might have had any role in it besides morally innocent victims.

The liberal civilizational mythology grants to any group or individual who gains victim status absolute moral authority and freedom from blame or responsibility. All its victims are purely innocent. And to the oppressor group it grants no escape from complete moral responsibility, passed on from generation to generation. So who would be surprised if, after a time, the cause of your shame --whom you resented to begin with--becomes the renewed object of your hatred?

An Elie Wiesel might, on first dolorous hearing, prove moving and humbling. But after decades of listening to him, how many would have admitted to the predictable desire to make him shut up? Just as one ought to careful never to be so benevolent and charitable that the recipient feels always indebted and eventually resentful of you, so it is with wrongdoing. Make the perpetrator sufficiently ashamed and he will one day come to wish he had finished the job.

Furthermore, since Europe only accelerated its shedding of its Christian faith after the war, there was no God to forgive or to temper the magnitude of human failing by reminding us that we are neither the origin nor the end of history. The sense of Providence which allowed Europeans to cope with a chaotic world was erased, by them, at the very moment when they needed it most. And the events which provoked the deepest hunger for a path to forgiveness were the very ones which wiped it out.

(My impression is that the more "advanced" the European group, the more affected they have been by this event. The Germanic peoples and the French seem far more vulnerable to this highminded wound than the peoples of the South or the East.)

Even on an individual basis, in therapy, psychological interpretations are more art than science. So on a large cultural and historical basis, they are even riskier. But I wonder if Europe's bizarre, truly bizarre, importation of tens of millions of deeply alien Muslims over the last fifty years has been partly fueled by a double unconscious drive: to commit suicide in atonement for their guilt and at the same time to wreak vengeance on the people who have come to symbolize it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds as if what's needed for Europa's enormous 'negative inflation' in ego is indeed a new religion.

A return to theistic Christianity could expiate guilt and deflate the European ego by the doctrine of bondage of the will via sin, but the cost of non-anonymous Christianity is connection with the Old Testament as holy Scripture and the reprobation of the Jews mention'd by Hegel in his Phenomenology of Spirit.

At present Europe's ego is staggering along with relief provided only by confidence that Americans are far worse, not to mention Europe's constant strong support for the abolition of Apartheid. Plus wishful thinking that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians constitutes "Apartheid" and is perhaps approaching the level of Auschwitz.

What would be better is a religion that maintains Moses' method of control by ostensible threats to speak with God (Machiavelli, Prince VI), but while deeming the Old and New Testaments as maintain'd by Jews and Christians gravely corrupt in the form we have them.

Even better if this religion could be infused with strong proofs from the Protocols* that the Holocaust was a hoax, while also dissolving the earlier European anti-semitism that focus'd on blood and genealogy.

*If you statistically add up the number of Jews in all world censuses after 1945 the total more or less equals the number of Jews in all world censuses before the war -- except for such quantity of population decline as might be anticipated to occur, however regrettably, during six years of war. (This is my guess as to the method. Plus, raising the question whether photos are fake. Or heaps of bodies are misleadingly identify'd as "Jews" without proof. Plus the sort of argument that proves the pyramids must have been built by aliens with advanced technology: the available means of moving and cutting such enormous stones means the Egyptians would have required a thousand years and a slave population five times as large as the entire population of the ancient world; so also the means for "exterminating" so many Jews so quickly simply weren't available in Mitteleuropa during the fog and heat of Operation Barbarossa, the real holocaust for the Lebensraum Gods according to Mein Kampf.)

Accordingly, no need for Jehovah to protect Gentile Europe with a mark of Cain for fratricide. Yet with their intensifying fratricidal treatment of the Palestinians, surely the Israeli Jews will soon need a mark of Cain to protect them from revenge as they are driven out from the Eretz, so that they can go on to found great cities etc as Cain and his progeny did. ...

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