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View Diary: The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking (125 comments)

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  •  the hidden lesson of World War II: (12+ / 0-)

    Is that democracies can and do go mad.

    Not all - but often enough that, like flu, no society is immune to the deadly siren song of the mob.

    And telecommunications, which were plenty effective by 1930s-era paper and telephone and radio, made mobs of millions possible.

    Just imagine what contemporary social media and television could make happen.

    •  I remember, back in 2008, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, cskendrick, ColoTim, SadieSue

      reading transcripts of presidential campaign primary season speeches rather than watching them on TV or online.

      See, when I was in high school, a history teacher got fed up with some comments we were making about the German populace during Hitler's rise to power.

      So he made us watch a video of Hitler giving a speech, sans subtitles. And even knowing who he was, even knowing what he must have been saying because here and there a German word would resemble the same term in English, more than half of us caught ourselves nodding along at least once before the clip was over.

      And the only comment he made was something about 'and you know what he did after that', with the clear implication that the everyday Germans had no clue until things started happening.

      Lesson learned. Charisma is powerful and a skilled orator can trick you with vocal and body language tricks that transcend language barriers. Even if your mental definition of 'evil' has his picture by it and you judge afterlife theological frameworks by whether or not they let him avoid eternal torment for what he did.

      SOTU, I'll watch. Speeches outside of election season, I'll watch. If I have a decision to make as a voting citizen and a speech is going to inform my decision at the polls, give me a transcript. I may watch anyway, but my decision is going to be based on words on a page.

      Because I was one of the kids caught nodding, and I don't want to be 'caught nodding' some time when it counts, if it ever counts in my lifetime.

      Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

      by Cassandra Waites on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:55:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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