In a recent exchange with Seversky I summarized his view of the Holocaust as follows: “I personally disagree with the slaughter of every single Jew and homosexual, but that is just my view and if someone has a different view I cannot say their view is objectively bad and mine is objectively good. The only thing that matters is who is stronger.” Sev responded:
Essentially right. I don’t believe there are any objective moral standards against which all other moralities can be measured. The moral code that will ultimately prevail will be the one that offers the broadest guarantees and protections to the greatest numbers of people. Extreme exclusivist ideologies or theologies are ultimately doomed in the same way that the Nazis were.
I would like to focus on this statement: “The moral code that will ultimately prevail will be the one that offers the broadest guarantees and protections to the greatest numbers of people.”
No, if the only thing that matters is who is stronger, there is no meaningful moral code. There are only the strong and the weak. And the former impose their views on the latter without regard to “guarantees and protections.” Sev writes as if there were some sort of necessary relationship between strength and benevolence. What an odd thing to say. History is one long lesson that the opposite is usually the case.
Sev continues: “No matter how good [the Nazi] army was they were never going defeat the overwhelming numbers brought against them. That was always going to be their downfall”
The outcome of the war in Europe was a near run thing, especially in 1940. Germany’s defeat appears inevitable only in retrospect. But set that aside for a moment. Over the course of 75 years, the Soviets killed tens of millions of their own people. Yet the communists were never more than a tiny fraction of the population. The same is even more true of Maoist China. Yet, Sev writes as if there were some sort of necessary relationship between the number of people who do not wish to be killed or oppressed (always a large majority) and the chance that their views on the matter will prevail. For hundreds of years the Roman Empire saw a tiny fraction of the population enslave large majorities of the rest of population. Again, history is one long lesson that Sev’s view is false. Throughout recorded history, it has usually been the case that ruthless minorities have oppressed weak majorities.
In summary, Sev is wrong when he says the Holocaust was not objectively evil. If it was not, the word “evil” has no real meaning. He is also wrong when he says that systems that offer the greatest protections for the most people will inevitably prevail. He is also wrong when he says that majorities will always prevail over oppressive minorities.
These are not close questions. As is so often the case, the real issue here is not the facts of the matter. That Sev has failed to learn the overwhelming lessons of history is not really up for serious debate. No, the far more interesting question is the psychology of the matter –Why would anyone in their right mind would hold such views?
Of course, Sev is not alone. Many times we have seen materialists take to these pages to express their Whiggish view of history, as if the ratcheted progression from barbarism to liberal democracy was somehow inevitable and irreversible. Why do they do it? When it comes to history, why do materialists often make Pollyanna look like Eeyore?
The answer lies in the dissonance caused by their belief in a nihilistic absence of objective morality where there is no justice in any meaningful sense and the weak inevitably succumb to the strong. They live on the edge of the abyss. But they cannot allow themselves to believe they live on the edge of the abyss or that the abyss even exists. Their psychological well being completely depends on pretending their views do not lead to a nihilistic law of the jungle, because strength will always be used for good. Every time you see a materialist express his Whiggism, you can be sure he is simply averting his gaze from the abyss while pretending it does not exist. I suppose it helps them sleep at night, but as Sev has demonstrated for us, as is often the case with those who deny reality, it causes them to say some insanely stupid things.
Not only are they Pollyannas, their refusal to face the ineluctable conclusions that follow from their premises makes them, as I have previously discussed, simpering cowards.