Club meeting

Dave Killion — September 8, 2011

First item - who was supposed to bring the beer?

The Victoria Book Club is meeting tonight, and we’ll be discussing the first four chapters of our current selection, “They Thought They WereFree: The Germans, 1933 – 45“. ┬áIt was recently suggested to me by a loyal supporter and friend of the club that the blog is plenty libertarian, but might benefit by being a little more ‘book’ and a little more ‘club’. This seems like good advice, and to that end, let me quote a few passages I found not only striking but also somewhat chilling –

In its issue of November 11, 1938, the Kronenberger Zeitung carried the following report, at the bottom of page 4, under a very small headline reading Schutzhaft, “Protective Custody”: “In the interest of their own security, a number of male Jews were taken into custody yesterday. This morning they were sent away from the city.”

That is the state writ large; hurting people while claiming to be acting in their interests.

As there were two Americas, so, in a much more sharply drawn division, there were two Germanys. And so, just as there is when one man dreads the policeman on the beat and another waves “Hello” to him, there are two countries in every country.”

“So, in the body politic as in the body personal, nonresistance to the milder indulgences paves the way for nonresistance to the deadlier.”

“It is actual resistance which worries tyrants, not lack of the few hands required to do the dark work of tyranny.”

“Local hoodlums could beat up Communists or Social Democrats, desecrate Jewish cemeteries or smash Jews’ windows by night; the local police, overseen by the Gestapo, would make a routine and invariably unsuccessful investigation of the assault; and the ordinary demands of decency would be satisfied.”

“You look every man in the eye, and, though your eyes may be empty, they are clear. You are respected in the community. Why? Because your attitudes are the same as the community’s. But are the community’s attitudes respectable? That’s not the point.”

So as you can see, there is a lot of good stuff in here, and I think that we’re going to have a great discussion.

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