Question: Where does the capacity for "mass murder" originate? Mass murders are as common as war in human history. What’s called “the Holocaust” was just one of many mass murder “events.” It was anything but unique. Mass murder is even respectable and supported by respectable people, people deemed to be “decent.” For example, take the extermination of the indigenous peoples of “the New World” following its “discovery” by Europeans. Not only was this holocaust respectable, it was deemed a demonstration of European superiority, just as was the attempted extermination of indigenous people in the United States. Or take the Brits savagery in Kenya and other places, which were deemed demonstrations of the moral and political superiority of the British Empire and of the British people.
So where does the capacity for mass murder originate? In those people who are convinced that they are morally and politically superior. Trace mass murder back to its roots and you’ll find the morally and politically virtuous, respectable people, decent people.
I believe this is what Machiavelli meant when he pointed out how far it is from how human beings say they live, virtuously and decently, to how they actually live, unjustly, even savagely. The savages succeed and Machiavelli didn’t mean by “savages” primitive people. He meant the civilized people, and especially those civilized people who achieved greatness. The key to Hannibal’s greatness was his “inhuman cruelty.” The Israelis are demonstrating the truth in Machiavelli’s teaching.