Sunday, December 10, 2023

Politics and Vicious Circles


Politics and Vicious Circles

Peter Schultz


            Political life creates vicious circles. The Nazis treated Jews as deplorables for social, political, and genetic reasons. Now the Israelis are treating Palestinians as deplorables for social, political, and genetic reasons. As we were reminded recently, deplorables abound in political life. No political society has ever existed without recognizing, categorizing, and defending against “aliens,” that is, the deplorables. And, so, on the level of politics, within the confines of political life, there is no way out.


            Which may be what led Plato to assert that “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Similarly, Machiavelli saw no way out; that is, he saw no way out unless humans came to understand that inhumanity is deeply embedded in, lies in the roots of political life.


            Some will say that what we are witnessing in Gaza and Israel today is madness. I, however, will just call it politics. 




            In reaction to Volker Ullrich’s Hitler. Focusing on the Jews in Nazi Germany hides the political. The Holocaust hides the political, thereby redeeming or affirming the political. Insofar as the political led to the Holocaust, this is disastrous. Talk about a vicious circle: affirming the political to avoid other holocausts will ultimately lead to more holocausts.

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