Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb
Not a byproduct, more like a microcosm that reflects the people, as a whole, on a deep level. And also, not that government absolutely cannot be separate. We could think of plenty of governments that weren't all that much a microcosm of the people (some of the governments of Medieval Europe come to mind). But this is always a matter of degree, and in our case, the degree of separation is practically nil.Originally Posted by FluffyNinja
It's funny that you should mention that as an example, because it was study of the Third Reich that began to change my mind towards what I think now. Consider: Hitler, Goebbels, Goerring, Heydrich, Himmler, etc. didn't themselves, on their own, kill the 9-12 million people that perished in the holocaust. Those people who died were killed by a very large number of ordinary people, and the direct killers were in turn aided by a political and social infrastructure that involved an even larger number of ordinary Germans.Originally Posted by quote
Antisemitism in Germany went back a long way (since at least the 12th century). There was a ripe hatred and distrust of Jews among the German people. The Nazi propaganda machine was hard at work to push their specific agenda, but given the enormity of the crime committed, it didn't really take very much of a push. The German people elected the Nazi party and Hitler had very high marks among the German populace until late 1944, as it became clear that Germany would lose the war.
Now, some Germans were against the Nazi agenda (and some, heroically so), just as, it turns out, not everyone in the Nazi government, military, or police force was wholly with the program. But the fact remains that if it had been the top Nazi leadership trying to push military adventurism, fascism, and genocide on a completely unaccepting populace, it never would have worked. The Nazis hardly would have gotten into power if they hadn't been elected. And it can hardly be said that people didn't have a good idea what they'd do if they were elected. Fascism and a totalitarian government were explicit planks of the Nazi platform, as was antisemitism. Their brownshirt operatives had been carrying out small-scale and unofficial, but frequent and widespread, pogroms against the Jews since the late 20's.
No, the Khmer Rouge was an example of a well-separated government. And if it were the case that the people in our government rolled into town on the back of a wave of military force and then they started wiping out large segments of the populace, that'd mean our government was also highly separated.Originally Posted by FluffyNinja
Hopefully I've clarified my position.Originally Posted by Fluffy Ninja