Posts Tagged ‘collaborators’

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

August 1, 2018 11 comments

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?