The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Friday, November 22, 2013

Man and Machine: Part Four

The True Lesson of the Holocaust

In 1943, a French history professor who was a socialist, pacifist, and member of the resistance movement in occupied France was arrested by the SS, beaten and interrogated, and sent to Buchenwald, and later to Dora, where he was held until the end of the war in 1945. After the war he resumed teaching, and in 1949 published a book about his experiences in the concentration camps. (1) He followed that up with another book, a year later, in which he strongly criticized the published recollections of other camp inmates for containing inaccuracies and exaggerations. (2) From then, until the end of his life in the late 1960’s, he would write several other books in which he attempted to debunk other historians of the war and criticized several aspects of what had come to be the conventional historical account as being false.

Between the World Wars, a new school of American historians, the most famous member of which was Charles A. Beard, achieved distinction for its re-examination and re-interpretation of history. One member of this school, a professor of history at Columbia University, argued against the then-orthodox view that Germany was solely to blame for the First World War. This professor, like his friend and colleague Beard, was a classical liberal who opposed the growing support in American liberalism, and particularly in the Roosevelt administration, for Wilsonian interventionism and internationalism. As World War II approached, he argued that the Roosevelt administration was determined to drag the United States into another European war, and spoke out against this. (3) After the war, he read the French author’s writings and arranged for English translations to be published in the United States.

Meanwhile, a British autodidactic historian had become an international bestselling author for his first book, a 1963 volume about the Allied firebombing of Dresden. This was the first of many books about World War that were both popularly received and showered with critical acclaim. He focused his research upon the war, and especially the Third Reich, writing biographies of several of the German and Nazi leaders, including his magnus opus, a two-volume biography of Hitler that was released in 1977 and 1978, and was praised by Sir John Keegan as being “certainly among the half-dozen most important books on 1939-1945.” (4) While this historian did not make the same claims in his books that the French and American historians mentioned above had made, he made other controversial assertions and later accepted invitations to speak at conferences organized by those who accepted the accounts of the previously mentioned historians.

Then, in the 1980s, the Canadian government put two men, a Canadian born high school history teacher, and a German born graphic artist who ran a publishing house on the side, on trial for disseminating that French professor’s views. The former was charged under the “hate propaganda” provision that the Trudeau government had added to the Criminal Code, the latter under an older law against spreading false news. The critically acclaimed British historian, asked to testify at the trial of the graphic artist, was banned from Canada. He would later be arrested in Austria and sentenced to prison for his interpretation of history. A French professor of literature was also invited to testify at the trial and back in France would be beaten and hospitalized by thugs, and stripped of his academic position for his acceptance of the same interpretation of history. In the United States a small research institute and publishing firm was bombed by terrorists for the same reason, and back in Canada other terrorists plastered Toronto with maps to the graphic artist’s house and instruction on how to make a primitive bomb. The house was eventually subjected to an arson attack and early in the new millennium the graphic artist, who had relocated to the United States to live with his wife, was arrested by American immigration, turned over to Canadian authorities, ruled to be a danger to our national security in a closed hearing that violated all the fundamental principles our justice system was built upon, then deported to Germany where he stood trial and was sentenced to five years in a German prison for expressing his views on history in Canada.

Surely we all agree that it is morally outrageous that men would be subjected to terrorism, violence, and government persecution for advocating an alternative view of history. Would you still agree if I told you that the men of whom I have been speaking were, in order of first mention, Paul Rassinier, Harry Elmer Barnes, David Irving, James Keegstra, Ernst Zündel, and Robert Faurisson, and that the small research institute/publishing firm was the Institute For Historical Review? How about if I told you that the history they questioned was the conventional account of the Holocaust? Would you still agree that it is morally outrageous that they be subjected to violence and persecution for advocating an alternate view?

The fact that many people would not agree – or would at least hesitate in agreeing and try to qualify their agreement – demonstrates that the historical occurrence known as the Holocaust is more than just a historical occurrence; it is also a religious dogma. Suppose you were to challenge the conventional history of the United States by claiming that Clint Eastwood was actually president from 1981 to 1989 instead of Ronald Reagan. You would undoubtedly be ridiculed as a nut, but it is highly unlikely that you would be made the target of terrorist violence or subjected to state persecution. That is not the way we customarily treat people who are in error on a point of history, even if the error is huge and ludicrous. That is, however, the way the men mentioned above have been treated. Their dissent from conventional history is treated, not as an error, not as something worthy of ridicule, but as something morally reprehensible and requiring punishment. It is only the rejection of dogma that is considered to be evil, not dissent from history. (5)

Indeed, the very name given to the historical occurrence suggests its elevation to the status of dogma – holocaust is the Greek term for a sacrifice completely consumed by fire, a burnt offering. People like Rassinier, Zündel and Faurisson are called “Holocaust Deniers” by those that would deny them the protection of the rights and liberties enjoyed by others. This term indicates the nature of the offence – the denial of established dogma – for which they are to be stripped of this protection. It is not very informative about the content of what these men claim, nor is it intended to be. (6) Having committed the grievous sin of “denying” the chief dogma of the age, their words contain a moral contagion from which the general public is to be protected, and if a member of the populace wishes to know what these men said that warrants this kind of treatment, they are to be directed not to the contaminated words of the “deniers” themselves, but to the experts who have appointed themselves to the role of protecting both the dogma and the public from the deniers.

My purpose here is not to argue that the holocaust revisionists are right, or that their version of the events of the Second World War is closer to what actually happened than the conventional history. (7) Nor am I trying to make the point that religious dogma is bad. Religion is a basic element of social life. It is the community of worship, and it is the community at worship, and as such performs the function suggested by its Latin root, of binding the community together. Dogma, a core set of beliefs that is collectively held, authoritatively established, dissent from which estranges one to one degree or another from the community, is essential to that function. My point is not even that dogma should not be enforced by the means used against the revisionists, disgusting and distasteful though I find those means to be.

No, the point I wish to make out of all of this is that the Holocaust should never have been made into a religious dogma because as a religious dogma it is being used to teach all the wrong lessons. The Holocaust, like the atrocities committed by the Soviet Union, Red China, and other Communist states, is a product of the Modern Age. The goal of the Modern Age, when it is thought of as a long-term project, was two-sided. It was about the bending of nature and all of creation to the will of man through science. It was also about the emancipation of the will of man from traditional constraints. The scale on which the Holocaust was conducted, and the means by which it was carried out, were made possible by the science and technology of the age of progress. The decision to commit murder on that scale is a decision made possible by the emancipation of the will. The manner in which it was carried out, with all the cold, technical, efficiency of a machine, demonstrates just how much modern technolatry can turn man into an imitation of his own soulless creation, the machine. The lesson to learn from all of this is that we need much of what modern man was willing to give up to obtain the wonders of science and technology to keep us from becoming cold, soulless, machines. Instead, the new secular religion that has elevated the Holocaust into dogma, teaches the exact opposite lesson, that man needs to further throw off the “shackles” of the past, and embrace completely a future of reason, progress, and technology.

Like Judaism and Christianity, the new, unofficial, state religion of what used to be Western civilization, is built upon a special kind of history, or a special view of history, that is usually called by the German word Heilsgeschichte.

Heilsgeschichte, which literally means “salvation history”, is history in which God is the primary figure, working in and through the events of history to accomplish His purpose, the salvation of His people. In the foundational Heilsgeschichte of Judaism, God called Abraham out of the land of the Chaldeans and into the land of Canaan and promised to make a great nation out of his descendants. When those descendants, whom God had brought down to Egypt to escape a famine, had grown to become a people, they were enslaved and oppressed by Egypt’s Pharaoh. God delivered them from that slavery, raising up Moses to lead them out of Egypt into the wilderness of Sinai, where God entered into a covenant with them, in which they agreed to be His people, and He agreed to be their God. If they were faithful and obeyed Him, they would dwell in the land He had promised them in peace, if they were faithless and disobeyed, they would be driven from the land. The central redemptive act in this Heilsgeschichte was the exodus and especially what transpired on their final night in Egypt, when the destroying angel struck down the firstborn in every house in Egypt, passing over the Hebrew homes which had been marked with sacrificial blood. This event is remembered and celebrated every year in the Jewish Passover. It was, not coincidentally, on the Jewish Passover, that the central redemptive act in the Christian Heilsgeschichte took place.

The Hebrew Scriptures, which Christians call the Old Testament, contain promises and prophesies that God will again rescue His people in a way that will overshadow the exodus, that He will send them a deliverer greater than Moses, to establish His kingdom on earth, and that He would then make a newer and better covenant with them, in which He would write His laws upon their hearts rather than tablets of stone. The Christian Scriptures teach that these promises and prophesies have been fulfilled in the Christian Heilsgeschichte, that Jesus Christ was and is the promised Messiah, that the salvation greater than the exodus was accomplished by Christ’s death and resurrection, and that the New Covenant has been established by His blood. Christ’s death and resurrection, together comprise the central event of the Christian Heilsgeschichte, the crucifixion having been understood from the time of the Apostles to be the ultimate act of atonement that the Day of Atonement prefigured, the sacrifice to end all sacrifices that effectively takes away the sins of the world, the true Passover of which the original was a shadow.

Throughout Christian history various “theories of the atonement” have been put forward by theologians. These are explanations of how Christ’s death accomplishes man’s redemption. Although there was no consensus on the matter in the Patristic period, a popular theory that arose during that time was the ransom theory, that Christ’s death was a ransom paid to someone, usually thought to be the devil, who was holding man captive. Anselm, the eleventh century Archbishop of Canterbury was not satisfied with this theory, and so he offered the, well, satisfaction theory of the atonement as an alternative explanation. This theory considers man’s sinful rebellion against God to be an insult to the honour of the Sovereign of the universe, requiring that honour to be satisfied. Christ’s death offers to God that satisfaction. A modification of this theory was the penal substitution theory, taught by the Protestant Reformers, which is closely related to their concept of forensic justification. According to this explanation, the sins of man were transferred to Christ, Who paid the legal penalty for those sins, so that God could in turn transfer His righteousness to the sinner who believes in Jesus, declaring him to be just.

Another theory of the atonement is the moral influence theory of the atonement that was taught by Peter Abelard in the twelfth century. According to this theory, the atonement works through the positive example of the humility and love displayed by Christ, which inspires others to follow that example and change their lives. Outside of liberal circles this is generally considered to be the weakest explanation of the atonement but it is of particular significance to our discussion because the Holocaust is to the Heilsgeschichte of the new religion what the atonement is to the Christian and the way it is supposed to operate is best explained as a backwards version of the moral influence theory. Whereas in the moral influence theory of the Christian atonement it is the good example of the Victim that brings salvation by inspiration emulation, in the inverted version of the theory that is the Holocaust it is the bad example of the perpetrators that brings salvation by inspiring shock and horror and turning people away from the evils that brought it about.

As Judaism was built upon the foundation of God’s historical deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt, and as Christianity was built upon the foundation of God’s redemption of the world from sin in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, so the new state religion of what used to be Christendom is built upon the foundation of the idea that in the Holocaust the depravity and perversity of prejudice and hatred was manifested in such a way as to make mankind collectively declare “never again.” (8) While many Western governments have banned the teaching of Christian doctrine in state sponsored schools, all children in Western countries are now catechized in the lessons of the Holocaust from an early age. The new faith has erected sacred monuments all over the Western world. One is currently being constructed at the Forks in the heart of Winnipeg, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, a horrendous and hideous eyesore of postmodern architecture scheduled to open sometime next fall. The European Parliament and most European national governments have passed laws protecting the tenets of the new religion. Inquisitions have been created to root out and punish heretics. Some of these, like the Canadian Human Rights Commission are official institutions, formally established by the state with government powers. Others, like the Anti-Defamation League, are private institutions.

The regime that historically perpetrated the Holocaust exemplified several different kinds of evils. It was, for example, noted for suppressing dissent and silencing critics of the regime. Clearly, however, these are not among the evils to which “never again” applies. People have been given heavy fines and even sentenced to prison for expressing disagreement with the conventional history of the Holocaust while books putting forth arguments for why that history should be revised have been taken off library shelves, stopped at the border, and presumably burned. So some of the evils of the Third Reich are now actually committed in the name of the Holocaust and its lessons, against those who dare to dissent from the new faith!

If the new state religion of the West teaches that the Holocaust is an act of redemption that has superseded both the Jewish exodus and the Christian atonement and that it has done so by horrifying the world with the consequences of evil, the evil from which the world is thereby supposed to be delivered would appear not to include every kind of evil or even every kind of evil associated with the Third Reich. This means that it must be a specific evil or a specific set of evils. We do not have to look far to discover what that specific evil is, for it is emphasized every time a moral lesson is drawn from the Holocaust. The evil in question is prejudice.

There is a reason the teachers of the new religion have focused on prejudice over such other evils of the Third Reich as the evil of the police state or the evil of suppressing dissent. Prejudice is the faculty of the human mind that forms conclusions when the grounds for making a purely rational judgement are lacking. In the absence of such grounds, the mind forms its conclusions from information accumulated in the home and in the community from the opinions and actions of those we love and trust and who are closest to us. Since nobody can live their entire life based entirely upon purely rational judgments, prejudice is a necessary human faculty and is not intrinsically evil. It can err and be corrupted – but then so can reason. In its worst form prejudice is a dislike for other people over differences such as race and religion that hinders one from treating such people with justice. While this latter kind of prejudice is what the teachers of the new religion focus on when they condemn prejudice, their prejudice against prejudice arises out of the basic modern desire to see human life and the world in general organized according to patterns drawn up by pure reason. Thus they make the Holocaust into a warning, not just against corrupted and perverted prejudices, but against prejudice in general, and of all forms of thought that are neither modern nor strictly rational. They view ideas, sentiments, opinions, and feelings, formed in the home and drawn from tradition and culture with suspicion as the kind of thing that led to the Holocaust, and look to educational institutions administered by the state to root these ideas out and implant correct, rational, modern thought into young people.

This is exactly the wrong way of looking at it. Mankind was not made to live in a world built upon pure reason and he would find such a world, could it be built, which of course it cannot, to be utterly unlivable. It is natural for a man to be prejudiced in favour of the people he is closest to – his family, friends, neighbours, relatives, countryman over people who are strangers to him and there is nothing wrong with this prejudice so long as we remember that we have a basic duty to treat all men with justice and common decency. Nazi racial doctrine, far from being an exaggerated form of this prejudice, was instead the product of the modern era, of modern science, and of the modern unleashing of the will to power. The Nazi concept of race was the modern scientific concept. Traditionally, when a man spoke of his race he meant his immediate line of ancestors, not a large category of mankind, transcending national boundaries, and differentiated from other men by a shared set of physical characteristics. The latter concept was generated by the modern scientific compulsion to classify and to categorize everything. The Nazi idea of life as a struggle between the races for survival and domination is Darwinian.

Even Nazi anti-Semitism was a product of modernity and not merely a survival into the modern era of negative thoughts and feelings pre-modern Christians may have had towards the Jews based upon the longstanding mutual mistrust of Christians and Jews towards one another. As Dr. Jacob Neusner explained, anti-Semitism was a new phenomenon, and not the same thing as “casual bigotry, mere dislike of the unlike, let alone theological animus or a spiteful form of politics”, none of which could have caused the Holocaust. He wrote:

A political philosophy formulated in the world of late 19th-century Germany and Austria, anti-Semitism formed the ideological foundation of political parties and served as the basis for public policy. It provided an account of life and how the Jews corrupt it. It offered a history of Western civilization and how the Jews pervert it. It formulated a theory of the world's future and how the Jews propose to conquer it. (9)

There is a certain irony in the fact that by insisting that the Holocaust demonstrates the need for us to adapt a more rationally ordered, modern way of thinking, the new religion of the West is actually demanding that we embrace even further the kind of thinking that made the Third Reich and the Holocaust possible.

There is a lesson to be learned from the Holocaust, for those willing to learn it. The lesson is not that that we need to abandon prejudice for pure reason and embrace a modern way of thinking. If anything it is the exact opposite of that. The lesson contained in the Holocaust is a warning about the dangers of modernity, the dangers inherent in combining the pursuit of power through technical efficiency with emancipation from traditional constraints upon the exercise of the will. This is a lesson that can only be learned by placing the Holocaust in its proper historical context and not by elevating it out of that context and into the realm of Heilsgeschichte.

The Third Reich was an extremely modern regime that strove to re-organize German society, industry, government, and military the top down in order to maximize technical efficiency. It is this aspect of the Reich that her remaining apologists like to emphasize – “Hitler made the trains run on time”. It was notably on display early in the Second World War when the Germans used the Blitzkrieg tactic to quickly overrun their enemies.

Germany had been striving for technical efficiency long before the National Socialists came to power. In the early seventeenth century, Sir Francis Bacon wrote a treatise outlining a new methodology for learning about nature and the world. (10) He believed that the knowledge thus obtained would be the means for obtaining control over nature and the world. (11) Putting his ideas into practice, Great Britain obtained tremendous wealth and power over the next couple of centuries. The desire to emulate these achievements lay behind the nineteenth century unification of Germany, her industrialization, and her early twentieth century imperial ambitions. That this desire for scientific knowledge, technical efficiency, and the wealth and power that came with these things had entered into the German soul and become a national dream, was symbolically represented in literature as early as Goethe’s Faust.

Goethe himself was a representative of an earlier type of German civilization, one with roots in classical antiquity and medieval Christianity, that made the transcendental universals of goodness, truth, and beauty its ends, rather than science, technology, wealth, and power, and which found its highest expression in literature, music, and art. Today, looking back upon this civilization, it is often asked how the people of Bach, Haydn, Handel, Mozart and Beethoven could, less than two full centuries later, have chosen a gang of murderous, power worshipping, thugs as their government. Part of the answer must be Original Sin, that human depravity that is always there, just beneath the surface of even the highest of human civilizations, waiting to break forth in barbarism. The rest of the answer, however, is to be found in the Mephistophelean temptation of technical efficiency and the power it brings.

In Adolf Hitler and his cronies, the Germans found someone who promised both the final fulfilment of their century old dream of industrial wealth and empire and revenge for the humiliation that had been unjustly inflicted upon them by the victorious Allies after the First World War In power, the National Socialists set out to deliver on those promises. If technical efficiency is the use of scientific knowledge of nature and the world to make these most completely serve the will of man, the Nazis, who recognized no moral or other constraints upon that will and saw the efficient exercise of that will as essential to winning the struggle against other races, were more prepared than any other government to make full use of that efficiency. It is appropriate that the most memorable piece of Nazi propaganda, Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 film about the Nuremberg Rallies of the previous year, was entitled The Triumph of the Will.

In the Holocaust, you see the ultimate example of technical efficiency in service to a will that itself recognizes no limitations and no Master. The decision to terminate the existence of millions of people is made, an effective plan for doing so is drawn up, the means to carry out the plan is devised, and the system, from the railways that carried the prisoners to the concentration camps, to the gas chambers that killed them, and the ovens that disposed of the bodies, is put into place and set in motion, as one giant factory of death. Apart from the modern way of thinking and doing things, the subordination of nature to the will of man, and the emancipation of the will of man from the transcendental order of things, no amount of prejudice or even bigotry could have brought about the Holocaust. Furthermore, as the history of the Soviet Union and other Communist nations, whose ideology, whatever their practice, was officially egalitarian, shows, the combination of technical efficiency with an unfettered will, will produce large scale human atrocities apart from any official racial doctrines or hatreds.

It may have occurred to you that this modern way of thinking is exactly what our own liberal, democracies, have in common with Nazi Germany and the Communist powers and that if anything, it has grown even stronger in the decades since the Second World War. But don’t worry about that. Our governments would never allow themselves to become cold, soulless, machines and always treat people with justice and humanity.

Just ask Ernst Zündel.



(1) Crossing the Line.
(2) The Lies of Ulysses
(3) He died in 1968. His friend, libertarian economist and historian Murray N. Rothbard, wrote a detailed obituary that appeared in the final issue of Left & Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought and can be read here: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard165.html

(4) John Keegan, The Second World War, (New York: Penguin Books, 1989) p. 596.
(5) Sometimes this point is disputed by the claim that the revisionists are motivated by a desire to rehabilitate National Socialism. The Nizkor Project, for example, on its main website asks “Given the evidence why do people deny the Holocaust?” They then answer the question with a quote from the National Socialist White People’s Party “The real purpose of holocaust revisionism is to make National Socialism an acceptable political alternative again.” While clearly this is true in the case of the NSWPP themselves, it is absolute nonsense to suggest that such was the motivation of Paul Rassinier and Harry Elmer Barnes. Rassinier had been a leader of the Libération-Nord, the French resistance movement against the Nazis, and among his anti-Nazi activities prior to his capture by the Gestapo, he smuggled Jews to safety in Switzerland. Harry Elmer Barnes was a classical liberal, i.e., what would today be called a libertarian. Neither man possessed the slightest sympathy with National Socialist ideology and it is libelous to suggest otherwise. Barnes was a noted Teutonophile and if anything clouded his reason it was this. It is dishonest to equate a love of German culture and the German people with sympathy for the policies, practices, and ideology of the Third Reich, however. Teutonophilia is common, if not universal, among holocaust revisionists. John Sack, an American author, journalist and war correspondent of Jewish ethnicity and moderate, centrist political views was invited to address the conference of the Institute for Historical Review in 2000. He went, and in February 2001 his account of his experiences there was published in Esquire under the title “Daniel in the Deniers Den”. As he told the story, he went there prepared to encounter a conference full of hateful anti-Semites but found no trace of hatred or anti-Semitism. In his words “All in all, the deniers that day and that weekend seemed the most middling of Middle Americans. Or better: despite their take on the Holocaust, they were affable, open-minded, intelligent, intellectual. Their eyes weren’t fires of unapproachable certitude and their lips weren’t lemon twists of astringent hate. Nazis and neo-Nazis they were certainly not.” What did he think was their motivation? “Most deniers, most attendees in their slacks and shorts at the palm-filled hotel, were like Zündel: were decent people who, as Germans, had chosen to comfort themselves with the wishful thinking that none of their countrymen in the 1940s were genocidal maniacs” You can read Sack’s essay, which was selected by Stephen Jay Gould for republication in Best American Essays 2002, here: http://www.johnsack.com/daniel_in_the_deniers_den_1.htm My own impression of every holocaust revisionist that I have ever met has been in accord with Sack’s assessment.
(6) The phrase “Holocaust Denier” suggests that the person to whom it is applied claims that the entire history of the Holocaust was faked just as some people claim that the moon landing was faked. In fact, what they actually claim is that the total number of Jews killed was significantly less than six million and that wartime concentration camp conditions were the primary cause of death, rather than a systematic plan of racial extermination.
(7) Nor is my purpose to explain where and why they are wrong. My thesis concerns the moral lessons that have been drawn from the Holocaust and how they differ from the moral lessons that ought to have been drawn from the Holocaust.
(8) I have used terminology drawn from the history of Christian theological reflection upon the atonement to describe the role of the Holocaust in the new religion that has replaced Christianity in what used to be Christendom. Today, in former Christendom, questioning the sacred number of six million, for the victims of the Holocaust, will usually produce a stronger emotional response, even among those who purport to be faithful, believing, and practicing Christians, than, a denial of the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There has been much discussion of the theological significance of the Holocaust among the theologians of Judaism who, obviously, conduct their discussion using Jewish theological terminology. Dr. Emil Fackenheim, who escaped from the Third Reich to Britain, moved to Canada after the war and became a rabbi, and eventually made aliyah to Israel towards the end of his life, said that a 614th Mitzvah (commandment) had arisen out of the Holocaust, i.e., to remain faithful to Judaism and God, and so deny Hitler any posthumous victories. Other rabbis believe that the Holocaust requires a radical, reworking of Judaism’s picture of God, perhaps along the lines of the “God is dead” and “process theology” movements among liberal Christian churches. Most relevant to our discussion here, are the observations that distinguished academic rabbi Jacob Neusner has made regarding the role of the Holocaust in American Judaism. In the preface to his American Judaism – Adventure in Modernity: An Anthological Essay, (New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1978) he said that the “story of Holocaust-and-redemption, destruction and rebuilding, or death and resurrection (to use the appropriate religious terms)” had become “the central myth of American Jewish consciousness over the past ten years”. It had not figured much into American Jewish consciousness in the 1950’s and 1960’s, he said, but the 1967 War had changed that when a large number of American Jews perceived the nations of the world as having reneged on their promises to Israel, believed the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people to be imminent, then, when Israel triumphed, regarded it as divine redemption. Dr. Neusner was less than impressed with the changes that the new Holocaust-and-Redemption theology brought to American Judaism. He believed that it had led Jews to embrace things that they had traditionally been sceptical of such as messianism and political salvationism. “Judaism, in its theologians’ eyes’”, he wrote “is a religion of the present and the future, affirms life and looks not to Auschwitz but to Sinai. But the Judaism of Sinai was not much heard from. Hitler was represented as a negative symbol, rather than Moses as a positive one. So Jews were told to be Jewish not because God has called them into being, but in order ‘to spite Hitler’”.
(9) Jacob Neusner, “Sorting Out Jew Haters”, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, March 1995, p. 40.
(10) Sir Francis Bacon, Novum Organum Scientiarum, 1620.
(11) Sir Francis Bacon, New Atlantis, 1627. The purpose of Salomon’s House, the institution of research and learning depicted in this utopian novel, is “the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible.”



:



1 comment: