Richard L. Rubenstein: The Cunning of History



S a very narrow view of history It is not like the American south created slavery and then that suddenly morphed into Nazism and the final solution yet this book tries to connect these things very closely History will give you plenty of examples even in the intervening period and then confusingly the author acknowledges the two were very different Maybe the US and the UK didn t do enough to stop the Nazis exterminating many Jews but it is another thing to say they are complicit and then also blame western religion for it Then he goes on a tangent or rant about Nixon in office around the time this was written and capitalism but his fears about a Malthusian future in the west have proved alarmist and incorrect living standards have improved in the west and the population has continued to grow and grow In that sense this is dated and the final half of the book is weak In an elliptical way the book sounds kind of forgiving of Nazism which is really uite offensive Read this since some of ideas particularly discussing antebellum slavery alongside the final solution clearly influenced William Styron in Sophie s choice Often the books with the largest amount of horrific reportage have the least insight There is some horrific reportage here but the level of insight is exceedingly high It isn t an overwhelming gross out full of corpses it s a calm search for some understanding of the meaning of what happened He gets much farther than one might expect Absolutely horrifying yet fascinating Far than strictly historical and descriptive this book has underlying philosophical implications Kant Rousseau Nietzsche Weber Hume and Heidegger come to mind. Ded deeply in a cultural tradition that stretches back to the Middle Passage from the coast of Africa and beyond to the enforced servitude in ancient Greece and Rome Rubenstein is saying that we ignore this linkage and the existence of the sleeping virus in the bloodstream of civilization at risk of our futureFrom William Styron's Introduction.

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Essential book for thinking about and understanding how genocides and other large scale organized mass atrocities have and will take place This short book or a long essay does not go into the specific details of what went on inside the death camps there are other books that do that This does not mean that you can fast read this little book whatever short descriptions of the unimaginable horrors that took place only 70 years ago do take a toll on your emotions And was I glad that I took my time reading this essay Surely the savagery cruelty inhumanity and degradation of the Holocaust can never happen Well don t be so sure Even though the book was written over 40 Really thought provoking Bleak cynical disturbing The author doesn t seem to believe in Marxism definately not capitalismor the innate goodness of mankind He also has some conspiracy theories but his take on bureaucracy and slavery is interesting This book really underscores how easy it was for the Nazis to carry out their Final Solution by precision discipline and technology Know how we know the horrendou In this book Richard L Rubenstein discusses the decidedly secular shift of First World nations and how religion has evolved to where humans view themselves as gods among man He outlined the procession as beginning with pagan beliefs centered on worshiping multiple gods residing alongside humans on earth later to be overtaken by Christianity and modern religions that take god out of the earth and place him in the sky beyond our reach and understanding The phase he theorizes we ve entered into now is where humankind after centuries of being detached from god and growing inc. Rubenstein is forcing us to reinterpret the meaning of Auschwitz especially though not exclusively from the standpoint of its existence as part of a continuum of slavery that has been engrafted for centuries onto the very body of Western civilization Therefore in the process of destroying the myth and the preconception he is making us see that.

Reasingly ignorant on spiritual matters begins to see itself as god like and no longer held accountable to superstitious religions This progression is further enabled and compounded by our latest century of unprecedented technological advancements This combination of events Rubenstein argues is responsible for grave in Really fascinating Argues that a holocaust of some kind was inevitable due to the capitalistic bureaucratized nature of Western civilization Demonstrates a historical progression leading up to the Holocaust of World War II and raises uestions as to the possibility of another systematic targeting of a particular group I may have to see if I can buy a copy somewhere ust to have on hand I m not sure how to rate this book How do you like a discussion of the Holocaust Do I say I like it because it made me think about it in a different manner Do I say I like it because it presents a coherent structure and sets forth reasonable arguments and reaches reasonable conclusions from a particular point of view if you start from the same given premise Do I not like it because I don t agree with the world view that allows the conclusions though each point in themselves is highly defensible Do I not like it because of its clinical detachment from emotion or that one of its major points is that the Holocaust was possible precisely because of a clinical detachment from emotionIt is easy to say what is not likable or hateful or ust plain abhorrent abou Starts with an interesting premise and has some interesting thoughts about the rise of bureaucratic power and the dehumanizing process needed to run the holocaust but to me the author ha. That encampment of death and suffering may have been horrible than we had ever imagined It was slavery in its ultimate embodiment He is making us understand that the etiology of Auschwitz to some a diabolical perhaps freakish excrescence which vanished from the face of the earth with the destruction of the crematoria in 1945 is actually embed.