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Some Thoughts on the Best Way to Destroy Pathological Ideologies: 4

In the previous post of this series, I made the point that pathological ideologies and their willing vectors never give up doing what they are doing unless the vast majority of them they are dead. I had made a similar point in a short series written almost five years ago (link 1, link 2). My point was that genocides committed during course of WW2 required a significant minority of people to be enthusiastic followers of whichever ideology they claimed to believe or practise.

With that in mind, let us consider a few thought experiments to understand the necessity of vectors for success or failure of pathological ideologies. On another note, please read the entirety of this post before commenting on it..

Thought Experiment # 1: Consider the artificially caused Irish Famine of 1845-1849. More specifically, let us consider whether the vast majority of deaths during those years were caused by a genuine lack of food or a system of governance which saw and treated most of the Irish as little better than stray animals. There are many villains in this story, some more well-known that others. Nowadays, many people rightly blame the laws passed by the British government in decades prior to that incident as well as their lack of response in response to human suffering. But were they the only villains, and more importantly- who enforced their laws in Ireland?

Well.. the unpleasant part of that famine and many others in the same era was the role played by local landed gentry and law enforcement personal in enforcing laws and regulations which caused the famine. Holding only the British government responsible for that famine gives a pass to all the Irish landlords, merchants, petty bureaucrats and law-enforcement types who made tons of money during the famine while their country men and women were starving around them. The Irish famine would not have been possible without the active and enthusiastic collaboration of many local CONservative-minded rich and petit bourgeois types who worked hard to make it so.

Now comes the ‘thought experiment’ part.. Imagine that the willing collaborators and their families kept on dying of an untreatable disease with extremely high mortality- which for an odd reason affected them almost exclusively. Imagine that the disease in question killed off over 50% of the collaborators and their families within a year. Now ask yourself, how long could the British government of that era keep on replacing all their faithful dead servants, if the new ones kept experiencing the same high rates of mortality? And why would even the most greedy and sociopathic types want to accept a job that came with almost certain death within a year.

Thought Experiment # 2: Consider Late Victorian Holocausts, especially in India. These are a series of famines which killed anywhere between 30-60 million people in the second half of the 19th century- and does not include tens of millions who died in similar artificial famines in the same countries between 1775-1850. These numbers, among many others, provide an interesting counterpoint to claims about death by famine under state communism in the first half (or so) of 20th century. If you believe that state communism caused the Ukrainian famine of 1930s and Chinese famine of early 1960s, one also has to accept that capitalism caused an equivalent of deaths in the 19th century.

But this post is not about whether capitalism caused these famines (it most certainly did) or whether racism played a major role in how events unfolded (shockers.. it did), but about who was responsible for causing the tens of millions of deaths. Once again, we can certainly blame the British government of that era, but doing so tells us only a small part of how things went down. Here is why.. you see, there were never more than 100 k British stationed in any part or the whole of India at any time from 1775-1947. In fact, there were less than 30 k people from the British Isles in India in most years. So, how can you entirely blame such large-scale events on presence of an absolute minority who never accounted for more than 1 in 500 individuals?

And once again, the answer to this apparent ‘mystery’ is that British had a huge number of local collaborators who were willing and enthusiastic about working for a system which was responsible for the death of millions of people who looked like them. Today, we often forget that policies which caused these famines also made many Indian merchant families rich beyond your wildest imaginations. Many Indians still do not want to face the unpleasant fact that the Indian army, police, local administrators etc which carried out the genocidal mandates for British colonial types were almost exclusively local and Indian. In other words, it was basically what happened during the great Irish famine but on a much larger scale and over multiple time periods.

Now let us perform a similar ‘though experiment’. Imagine a situation where willing Indian collaborators and their families kept on dying of untreatable disease with rates of mortality such that entire batches or recruits for various colonial institutions dropped dead within a year. Now ask yourself again, how long could the British government of that era keep on replacing faithful dead servants, if the new ones kept experiencing the same greatly enhanced rates of mortality? Also, would it be possible for them to be able to continue recruitment if the recruits knew they would be dead within a year? And would they be able to govern India without local collaborators?

The point I am trying to make in both thought experiments is that external state sponsored events such the Great Irish famine and large Indian famines were only possible only because a small but significant minority of local people were willing and enthusiastic about working for obviously pathological ideologies. Furthermore, timely removal of this small but significant minority from the realms of living would have effectively terminated those mass tragedies and prevented the untimely deaths of many millions of innocent people. The real question then is, what level of excessive mortality among a behavioral minority who are enthusiastic participants in a genocide is acceptable in order to prevent deaths of many times that number of innocent people.

In the next part of this series, I will use some more thought experiments to explain this concept in more detail.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. P Ray
    August 1, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    The “Irish famine” tragedy also came about because people in power thought they could predict the future:
    1. potatoes yielded more food per measure of space,
    2. the Irish were being forced off their land by even other Irish
    3. the potatoes caught a disease … that stopped them from producing
    et voila, famine.

    Maybe one of the reasons the Irish didn’t retaliate was because of the Christian faith, with the idea that “God will punish evildoers in the afterlife”.
    All well and good, but when Abrahamic religions don’t talk about compensating people for evil done against them in life, well, you kind of think allegiance to it is like a Ponzi scheme.
    “Just you wait, the good life in heaven is coming!”.

    • doldrom
      August 2, 2018 at 5:08 am

      What a load of crap. The Abrahamic religions are the ones that have brought the world the whole notion of social justice. The story about Abel and Cain are all about responsibility for any other human being. Hospitals were an invention of mendicant monks, and schools were pioneered by churches and monasteries.
      Justice before God’s throne in the after life is simply a projection of the justice in this life for those who somehow escaped or did not get justice due to the vagaries and vicissitudes of the present order. One of the most important things that kept Jews going before and after the holocaust was the idea of telling the world and seeking justice. The idea that “pie in the sky” is the opium of the people comes from Marx, himself an heir to a zealous social justice tradition.
      The vista of rewards/punishments beyond the present life generally functions to galvanize present struggle. Without clinging fanatically to this notion of ultimate justice, people are prone to resign themselves to the fact that life sucks, life is not fair, it is senseless to fight the way things have always been and always will be, how can you turn against the very warp and woof of the universe? Sacrifice for anyone else is predicated on believing in some greater good – for people with no conviction any sacrifice is an act of ignorant stupidity.

      • P Ray
        August 2, 2018 at 9:40 am

        The Abrahamic religions are the ones that have brought the world the whole notion of social justice.
        So can we blame SJWs on them too?

        Without clinging fanatically to this notion of ultimate justice, people are prone to resign themselves to the fact that life sucks, life is not fair, it is senseless to fight the way things have always been and always will be, how can you turn against the very warp and woof of the universe?
        Ya, I guess slavery is still legal in this world? Wait, no, it’s not … wow, I guess the warp and woof of the universe can change when enough people don’t support it, eh?

        Sacrifice for anyone else is predicated on believing in some greater good – for people with no conviction any sacrifice is an act of ignorant stupidity.
        Getting scared nobody will be a sacrifice for yourself? Maybe you should have thought about that before believing in the power of ULTIMATE CAPITALISM.

        P.S. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3307460/Does-growing-religious-family-make-MEAN-Christian-Muslim-children-altruistic-offspring-atheists.html
        Does growing up in a religious family make you MEAN? Christian and Muslim children found to be less altruistic than the offspring of atheists
        Children from households identifying as Christian and Muslim were found to be less altruistic in a series of test
        Those from atheist and non-religious families were more generous
        Negative relation between religiosity and altruism grew stronger with age

        Muh religion makes me sacrifice for the greater good indeed.

    • (((They))) Live
      August 2, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Most of the big land owners in Ireland at the time were not Irish, they would have been Anglo Irish but I doubt they would have even used that term, most were also protestant while the people who died were Catholic, there was also a language gap, its a complex in group/out group dynamic

      And no the Christian faith had nothing to do with the lack of an uprising in the 1840s, only someone ignorant of the 1916 rising and war of independence could make that claim

      • P Ray
        August 2, 2018 at 9:41 am

        And no the Christian faith had nothing to do with the lack of an uprising in the 1840s
        but then
        most were also protestant while the people who died were Catholic

        Do you read what you type? Catholics and Protestants are Christian.

      • (((They))) Live
        August 2, 2018 at 12:24 pm

        Yes I read what you typed, you claimed that it may have been their christian faith that stopped them rising up against their rulers, this is NOT true

        yes I’m well aware that Catholics and Protestants are Christians, its makes little difference both were happy to kill each other over religious difference in the past

      • P Ray
        August 2, 2018 at 12:54 pm

        Well, if you know what made them all nice and passive, you might just get a Ph.D. You can share that info here too …

        If you don’t then I’d then hazard a guess that it might have been “village mentality”, a variant of “If we stand up to our betters other people will talk?”

        Governments need that knowledge for their social control.

  2. doldrom
    August 2, 2018 at 5:17 am

    The same applies to occupied Europe. Without the collaboration of the entire civil servants and many opportunists as well as ideological supporters, the Germans would have had a very hard time “occupying” most countries. They in fact did have a harder time in precisely those countries which were less “organized” and where partisans could more easily operate outside of civil society.
    After the war, the entire population that did not expressly support the Germans (including a large part of the people “just doing their jobs”) immediately started to pretend that they were all on the side of the resistance, even though they were a miniscule fraction of the population. Everyone who had not been “bad” started to pretend they were on the side of the “good”.
    The villification of the bad actors does not serve to remember what is at stake on the stage of life. It serves to assuage and expiate the guilt of those who passively collaborated – which is the very prerequisite for such catastrophes to begin with.

    • P Ray
      August 2, 2018 at 9:49 am

      “He who does not condemn evil, commands it to be done” – famous atheist Leonardo da Vinci

  3. Craig
    August 2, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    “Well, if you know what made them all nice and passive, you might just get a Ph.D. You can share that info here too …”

    It’s in the book of Matthew. Don’t remember chapter and verse off the top of my head, but it’s the “Be-attitudes” with “the meek shall inherit the earth” and all that “turn the other cheek when you enemy strikes you” type stuff.

    • P Ray
      August 2, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      It’s true, but in a slightly different way:
      “The MEEKS shall inherit the Earth”

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