Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Jim Trudeau shares his thoughts upon visiting Dachau

on the radar has posted an excellent short essay, "Jim Trudeau shares his thoughts upon visiting Dachau".

For me it was yet another reminder that - no matter how much we believe we are the pinnacle of modernity and civilization - we are just a hair's breadth away from falling into barbarism. If anything, our arrogance as a society makes us more vulnerable to such a fall.

The people of Nazi Germany, the people of the Rwandan Genocide, the European invaders of the Americas, the lynch-mobs of the U.S., the soldiers in Abu-Ghraib, the slavers of Sudan - and the countless others who would take days to fully enumerate here - we have no fundamental difference from any of those people.

They were just ordinary people - manipulated into unimaginable horrors.

The only thing that can protect us from the descent into horror like that is a willingness to learn from history, and act on what we've learned.

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