Official philosophers, paid to philosophize by institutions of advanced learning, tend to hopelessly small thoughts, most rewarding to their employers, who are always looking for ever more efficient ways to make us all stupid and divided. Indeed, those employers profit from great propaganda, and the best propaganda is the one setting the concept, universe, parameters, of the debate. A Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, profits from the New York Times’ soapbox. Says he in “My Parents Mixed Message On The Holocaust”:
“I am a philosopher. My calling, at its very basic level, obligates me to question the beliefs with which I was raised. But on this topic — how to live — I was given two answers. Which view do evidence and reason command?
“I accept the legacy of my father. But it is impossible for me to shut out my mother’s concerns. Maybe the reality is that all groups are at war for power, and that to adopt an ethic of common humanity is a grave disadvantage. Maybe we should do what we can, but prioritize the safety of our families.
History speaks strongly on my mother’s side. So does my anecdotal evidence. I am white Jewish-American; my sons and wife are black Americans. I cannot retreat from my commitment to these groups. Being interested in the equal dignity of other groups is an additional burden.
It takes work to feel the suffering of Palestinians when I hear of the anger they bear toward my fellow Jews, even though I recognize its clearly justifiable source. It takes much more work to feel the suffering of poor white Americans when I hear it coupled with a thoroughly unjustifiable racism directed against my children. Is it work that I should be doing? Or should I be doing the work of attending primarily to the flourishing of my children?”
I sent a comment to the New York Times. It was censored. Of course. Here it is:
You call your sons “black Americans”. This makes them into what you call a “group”, and others call a “race” or a “tribe”.
Therefore you racialize and tribalize your own sons.
This is most strange, as your sons are actually, at the very least, half white Jewish-Americans. So why not call them “white Americans”?
But there is more. As most “black Americans”, even Michelle Obama, have already some “white American” ancestry, your sons are most probably more white than black. So why not call them what they are? White Americans?
Because racists anti-”black Americans” would call your sons “black Americans”? So you adopt the racist discourse to conceptualize your own sons?
To be a racist, one needs to discriminate AGAINST a “group”. To do so, one needs first to discriminate BETWEEN “groups”. Indeed, first, the “group” has to exist. Thus, to define a group by exerting enough discrimination to distinguish it is, by itself, discriminatory.
[End of comment censored by NYT. By the way, Jason the Philosopher, above, is author of “How propaganda works”]
This hostility to “racially” based discrimination is highly practical: all French Jews were not officially classified as “Jewish” by the state in France, as French law prevents the official establishment of religion or race, thus polls thereof. Thus, in France, there cannot be “groups” based on “race’, “religion”, etc. Consequence: during the Occupation of France by the Nazis, most French Jews escaped “the holocaust” (“only”, 75,000 were assassinated by the Nazis, most of them foreign Jews who had escaped to France, and whom the USA had refused to accept as refugees).
By contrast, The Netherlands required Dutch subjects who were Jewish to register as such. Conclusion: it was very easy for the Nazis to find them. Most Dutch Jews died. 125,000 of them.
In a broad perspective, classifying people under “religious” or “racial” appurtenance perpetuates religious discrimination and “racial” strife. As the USA is extremely mixed
Oh, last but not least, there was more than just one holocaust in the history of humanity. And some were more thorough. For example, the Cathars were fully (holo) burned (caust). Literally (once, in a particular mass assassination, 2,000 Cathars were burned, alive, together!) Judaism does not have the right to own the concept of “holocaust”, and to refuse to share it with any other “group”.
Doing so, monopolizing the concept and usage of “holocaust” would be an offense against countless groups, reason, and knowledge. Not a good way to avoid a repeat, or, at the very least, hostility.
As Voltaire pointed out ironically, official philosophers are not there to find the truth, but to comfort power. One does not find wisdom by following the money. Racism starts with discrimination, and, apparently, Yale philosophy professors are paid to discriminate between human groups. Not coincidentally, the famous “Skull and Bones” society was founded in Yale in the early Nineteenth Century. It inspired the Nazis, and even some of the most dreadful SS propaganda.