Download Social Theory after the Holocaust by Robert Fine, Charles Turner PDF

By Robert Fine, Charles Turner

This number of essays explores the nature and caliber of the Holocaust’s effect and the abiding legacy it has left for social idea. the basis which informs the contributions is that, ten years after its e-book, Zygmunt Bauman’s declare that social idea has both didn't tackle the Holocaust or secure itself from its implications is still real.

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64 One such rare moment of life for Améry was when he faced torture by the Gestapo. Gestapo men in leather coats, pistol pointed at their victim – that is correct, all right. But, then, almost amazingly it dawns on one that the fellows not only have leather coats and pistols, but also faces…like anyone else’s. Plain, ordinary faces. And the enormous perception at a later stage, one that destroys all abstractive imagination, makes clear to us how the plain, ordinary faces finally become Gestapo faces after all, and how evil overlays and exceeds banality.

The use of an Israeli national court was justifiable in the absence of an international court or a successor court to Nuremberg and in light of the fact that Eichmann’s job was to organise the killing only of Jews. , etc. 46 For Arendt, the trial of Eichmann was one of the means by which the abstract conception of universal responsibility, which was drawn from the experience of the Holocaust, could be made concrete and actual. 47 What Arendt expressed was a growing sense of lost opportunity: that the precedent set by Nuremberg was being ignored in the era of cold war, that the universalistic import of crimes against humanity was being corralled back into a nationalist frame of reference, that the ethical significance of the Holocaust was being lost to a moral division of the world between them and us, good and evil, which served only as an index of a world purged of all political profundity.

57 What I do wish to raise, however, is the subtext of this terminological turn as a situated response to new ways of ‘mythologising the horrible’ and endowing perpetrators with ‘a streak of satanic greatness’ that were emerging in the 1960s in the shape of what I earlier referred to as ‘Holocaust piety’. The experience of watching and hearing Eichmann was the trigger for Arendt’s re-affirmation of a humanist tradition according to which only good is radical and evil is merely the deprivation of good with no independent reality of its own.

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