When facing the walls, fences, and guards that corralled them into the concentration camps and human slaughterhouses of the past century, do you think the victims regretted how impolite they’d been to their captors before finding themselves here? Since the spread of the industrial revolution across the world, our lives have consistently been more and more civilized. The German people had an intense commitment to propriety and gallantry, before and even while the government was liquidating their neighbors, in a calm and orderly fashion. And who were these civilized German people to loudly discuss and condemn these atrocities, thus disrupting the peaceful state of public relations and discourse?
Absurdity is a funny thing. We are all very much oriented to take in the world as a comprehensible and more or less transparent state of affairs. Sure, it’s complex but managing to navigate this life as it’s given to you is a natural and efficient mode of being. However, behind the curtains of placidity persist states of affairs that shake and defy our accepted models of the world. When this glimpse behind the theater show of public life is attained, some are simply unable to process it, while others distort and integrate it back into their picture of the world. But truth is not escaped. We have, then, several modes of response to absurd truths: Blindness, distortion, acceptance.
It is an absurdity that children are being locked in cages as a result of minor criminal infractions committed by their parents. Everyone either knows this, refuses to know it, or is incapable of seeing at all. We may all easily grasp and be motivated into action when faced with the suffering of a solitary child. No one is blind to the existence of unjust and unnecessary suffering when directly confronted by an instance of it, but we look away or tell ourselves stories that negate the near-comic villainy of institutions and representatives of our “normal world.”
Civility is only a virtue for those who recognize and deal forthrightly with the politely-masked atrocities that invisibly litter the world around us. When we look beneath our feet and see no solid ground beneath us, we do not characterize patient acceptance as a sensible response. We are rightly fucking freaked out and, if we survive, do not suffer the continuation of whatever baffling behavior or force led us here.
We must now speak openly of this gravity well that has pulled our civilization into the orbit of totalitarianism, before laws of nature fate us into final collision with a world we’ve told ourselves only exists in the most unbelievably farcical chapters of history books.
When people willingly replicate, enforce, and further the cause of ethnic cleansing and nationalist sycophancy, it is not enough to respectfully object. We must laugh at them as the devotees of a naked and bumbling emperor. To uphold decorum is not civilized while blatant lies servicing unspeakable cruelties are exalted to the status of ultimate truth. It is cowardly. It is a way of life fit for those who live in their own excrement and celebrate the comfort. Don’t expect any civilized person to look at your shit covered existence and treat it as anything else.
When your world has been reduced completely to the gruel you’re fed and the treatment you’re subjected to by people who clearly identify themselves as your oppressors, you’ll wish you spoke up. You’ll wish you did not calmly sit by while they pedaled nonsense to obscure and dress up a way of life you stupidly thought dead or unrealizable. All things are possible, and what possibility has actualized itself more throughout human existence than the domination of unchallenged absurdity over the silent, civil masses who are incapable or unwilling to disrupt the normalcy imposed on them?
We are in a unique position. The curtains have been drawn back the past few years. We have the ability to freely witness and react truthfully against evil that has festered beneath the projected surface of normal life. Civil opposition is for those too barbaric to recognize the evil eating away at the last vestiges of a world that will sanction opposition beyond the muling of cattle. There is no virtue in patiently awaiting the emptying of concentration camps and respectfully objecting to deliberate slaughter. You are only maintaining the order of the line leading your people back to a past you thought beyond possibility.