Mark Twain spent time in Austria, wrote an essay “Concerning the Jews“. That is a Jewish summary of his essay, which Twain thought one of his best social commentaries.
“The Jewish Problem” or “The Jewish Question” was much on the minds of Christians, and animosity had spread through modern times by many different routes, but in common with today, free-lance authors wrote propaganda and sold it to interested parties, e.g. intelligence services, Free Masons, and political groups, who needed justification or excuses for a wide range of policies and actions. The Prague Cemetery is a novel by Umberto Ecco based on that evidence and puts you into the social and political ferments of the times.
By early modern times, all Christian Europe was pretty prejudiced against Jews, Twain’s was a modern voice of tolerance. But prejudice against all minorities persisted at least through the 1960s in older Americans, is largely gone now in middle-class America.*
Europe needed the Jews. As Twain noted, they developed many things, ran many things, owned a lot, had connections everywhere. Really, the first of the seriously multi-cultural people of modern times and successful because of it. They were small populations, usually less than 1% of a country, so cultivated the arts of peace. They were outsiders everywhere, so worked with everybody, judged people for who they were, tested their judgments with bets in many kinds of alliances. Their banking and trading and courier services worked for everyone everywhere. They had an information advantage.**
Even better, they were HONEST and could TRUST each other. They kept their word and expected you to keep yours. Twain said that the consistent criticism was Jews were sharp with contracts, but were honest, meaning were focused on both sides fulfilling the contracts. Twain is very clear that that is their large advantage over non-Jews, and that, in his opinion, the resulting success and the envy that produced was the original motive for the hatred of Jews.***
That dominance of everything that required honesty and trust and intelligence resulted in Jews being a large part of big-city events. By 1925 in Berlin, Jews were 4% of the population. Jews dominated the law, medicine, academia and sections of business. Jews were integrated into the society and had social prestige in their professions, 25% of Jews were marrying outside of their faith, Rabbis were lamenting the inevitable disappearance of the race and religion.
The prejudices persisted in the less sophisticated parts of society, so Hitler had a good chink in Germany’s psychology to insert his propaganda levers, and the story of international banker Jews betraying Germany and causing the loss of WWI was a big lever. “The Jewish Problem” was accepted very widely, and books like Hitler’s Willing Executioners and many others show how completely the propaganda was accepted and the Final Solution acceptable. There were no shortages of people willing to help implement Hitler’s plans, and extreme brutality and torture were ordinary for them.
This was not new behavior : large-scale massacres go back as far as governments and religions, e.g. Pope Innocent III’s massacre of about a million French Cathars for their heresy. Disputes about selling indulgences split the Catholic church several times, and large numbers were killed. Much modern behavior in old and new world is quite terrible by any civilized standards, truly embarrassing to me as a fellow human.
Exactly as shown by Zimbardo and Milgram, ordinary people ordinarily act as expected by peers and superiors, morality has little to do with it. You cannot depend up on the humanity of your fellow humans when they are organized on behalf of the modern state. Actually, organized on behalf of any idea that makes itself superior to individuals, so that those who understand it are doing you a favor shoving their solutions for problems down your throat, please do not object, we will need to use force.
That fact should alarm you very much, if you aren’t already. The solution to The Jewish Problem was organized bit by bit, changing attitudes all the way, but part of a long-term propaganda effort integral to building state power. Note that, while Germany’s rulers were innovative in the use of the modern media such as radio, they didn’t brag about innovations in the technique of government, just the perfection at scale and integration of media and repetition so as to be most convincing. They perfectly well knew how to organize a propaganda campaign aimed at a Final Solution, and did that systematically over years.
Do you think your government incapable of herding you in any chosen direction? I assure you, the CIA and Mossad are quite practiced at the long-term political opinion campaign, it is why the neocons own both countries, they have been very skilled at creating images of an enemy that is an existential threat, those evil Muslims. Many people have talked about the restriction of political opinion that has come with that propaganda campaign, AIPAC has enormous political power in the US. Oppose Israel’s interests, and AIPAC will fund primary challengers in your district. Rome had this problem of political and commercial interests from the provinces corrupting their already corrupt politics. Corrupt systems are especially easy to take over from the outside, the US had plenty of fans willing to help.
A couple of points: Recent history suggests that, if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life being ashamed of your bestial behavior, do not allow yourself to hate and surround yourself with people who do not allow themselves to hate.**** Then stay out of organized groups, except for a neighborhood militia that includes everyone as good buddies. If you can’t trust everyone as good buddies, you aren’t doing a neighborhood right.
Also, if you don’t want to be one of the very many people killed by their own government, about 200M in the 20th Century, or one of the 160M people killed in wars at least partially caused by their government, you shouldn’t allow your country to hate.
In 2015, these very specifically mean “Reject hatred of Islam and its people”. “The Muslim Problem”, as it is referred to, and a net search will convince you of its reality better than any link I can provide.
Anti-Palestinian and anti-Islamic propaganda has been a consistent tactic of Israel’s for 50 years. Remember Leon Uris? Many many NYTimes Best Seller books, widely and approvingly reviewed in MSM, that made Israel a favorite in the US and made their opponents less than fully human, “The Haj” as an example. Mossad, as do all intelligence agencies, has established publishers and news agencies to foster such propaganda. One I read about some years ago, and can’t find a link to now, placed translations of Arabic articles in the Western media, selecting the most extreme opinion and translating them in the most extreme way.
So another measure of propaganda’s effectiveness, the questions you never get around to asking. Why do we insist on negative sum games? The thing about negative sum games is, you can lose. In fact, for real-world games above the level of our small societies, you will lose, that is built into nature.
There is no negative-sum approach to problems in this world that can possibly produce good results, not even for the winners, and the losses will be proportional to the duration and violence of the negative-sum contest. A violent negative-sum contest here in the US of A can be neither controlled nor anything about it predicted. There are far to many ways for people in a modern high technology society to hurt each other. Guns are handy, but there are no shortages of weapons.
This Israeli-neocon foreign policy is a danger to civilization. It is causing massive disruptions around the world, and the authoritarian policies it is fostering here at home, the extreme approach to rule that was 911 and continue with the increasingly-aggressive policing, is not good for anyone, anywhere. It is not good for our rulers, it will make their lives much too exciting before this cycle of history is complete.
We cannot win wars, the technology of local defense makes that too expensive. If we can’t win overseas in poor countries not having access to modern technology, how can our government expect to win here, where people who support the Constitution are spies in its ranks. Snowden was one of many. The government cannot keep secrets forever, and so loses support continuously, and over-reactions will accelerate that process. The government side will be decisively defeated if our government begins a Civil War.
Pearl Harbor was a semi-false flag, allowing the Japanese to carry out an attack that the Pentagon and State Department knew was coming after a long series of diplomatic moves that guided the Japanese to that opening gambit. That allowed rounding up all of the Japanese in America, stripping them of property and putting them into camps for the duration of the war.
So, 50 years of Israeli-neocon propaganda has made Americans understand that we have a Muslim problem. Realizing that our Israeli-neocons want to use that for the next stage of their takeover of the US government, and given 1993 WTC, OKC, 911, … what do you predict will happen next?
* I notice much more prejudice and virulence in comments whose authors are clearly less educated, although there are certainly a few educated writers who are clearly unhinged, completely disconnected from external reality.
**Twain’s essay got some things wrong and made enemies among the Jews and everyone else for his defense of Jews. He predicted that reaction, also, but I guess they didn’t have fact checkers in those days and inter-library loan hadn’t been invented.
***In all of those things, btw, Jews were in competition with the Catholic Church, which still runs extensive businesses and at least one bank.
**** The Amish are wise people, in this regard, they don’t allow themselves to hate. The Buddhists try and fail, and I don’t see that most other religions even try. Searched for “preachers for loving Muslims”, they exist, but it isn’t a trend, dates are sparse.