Endless Holocaust: The Cycle of Devastation and How to Break It
F. Anton Drozdov
- Holocaust: A Dialectical Understanding
- Historical Cycles of Holocaust
- Present Holocaust: The Israeli State and the Palestinians
- Breaking the Cycle of Holocaust: The Death of Capitalism
Holocaust: a term carrying such heavy gravitas that we shudder at the thought of it. Mass murder, exoduses, genocide. Though we tend to associate the concept of holocaust with the most recent of human rights abuses (think Nazi Germany), it is essential that the understanding of such concept be isolated, removed from personal conception, and stripped down to the most bare image of itself.
Holocaust can be considered a period of mass death, a time in which there are great human losses. So then , we may consider the crusades a holocaust, the rise of Genghis Khan a holocaust, the slave trade a holocaust, the Armenian slaughter a holocaust. So why then is our understanding of holocaust most impacted by culturally emphasized events, while others slide under the rug. Why is holocaust so common, so evident, tearing through the human race? And why is it essential that we tear down the pedestalization of one genocide over another?
The aim of such a publication is to raise an idea, the concept of endless holocaust. The notion that the suffering of humanity is not isolated to specific instances, but rather that there are periodic concentration of miseries, targeted at scapegoated racial, ethnic or religious groups. So then, we may able to finally comprehend holocaust; what it is, and how we may finally break the cycle of endless holocaust.
Holocaust: A Dialectical Understanding
At its very core, the idea of mass suffering can be attributed to the material deterioration of the proletariat. Where else does demagoguery arise from? The bourgeois grip over state power only remains powerfully in effect for such periods of time thanks to the weaponization of narrative, through the placating of the suffering masses byway of media control, hegemony. However, the progressive decline in social rights and material stability eventually takes hold, and the gravediggers of capitalism begin their work. The bourgeoisie is very well aware of this threat of worker solidarity and class consciousness, and so it deals its final card.
By drawing the attention of the masses not simply away from their suffering and strife, but towards a scapegoat, a perfect populous that serves as the sacrificial lamb at the hands of the overlords of capital, the bourgeoisie is then able to weaponize existing intolerance, mobilize it into action, into violence. It is essential that we acknowledge the pre-existence of such intolerances, as the capitalist mode of production cannot alone be credited with the materialization of racial, ethnic and religious intolerance. Rather, it acts as a source of amplification. Similarly, the bourgeoisie shall weaponize all other aspects of human suffering. And thus, we are left with an endless cycle of holocaust; one in which the ruling classes weaponize on past holocaust, subsequently bringing into creation a new holocaust, perpetuating the cycle of human suffering through the recreation of the conditions that brought it about in the first place.
While the working class suffers on what could be considered a daily scale, whether or not it may synthesize an understanding of it, it also suffers on the weekly, yearly, decadely scale. Taking the scale of time and expanding it then gives us the ability to understand human suffering not simply in the individual sense, but the collective one. What we are then exposed to is a broader view, one of endless suffering at the hand of tyrants, of bourgeois institutions weaponizing proletarian suffering when politically expedient, as a means to ignite a new era of human suffering. Why?
Perhaps, as I have mentioned earlier, it serves a purpose of revolutionary dispersal. In the pursuit of the removal of one tyrant, the proletariat becomes visibly distracted in its task, allowing yet another tyrant to enter the scene in the inevitable downfall of the former tyrant. It is therefore vital to also remind ourselves that the vicious individuality of capitalism extends to the bourgeoisie itself. The ruling class is unable to survive permanently, not only due to its vain creation of the conditions that shall destroy it, but that the possibility of class unity is never truly present. Once again, we take the scale of time and extend it.
On the daily basis, the capitalist may not seem conflicted in his interests to his fellow capitalist. After all, both bloodsuckers desire only to amass capital however they deem fit. Thus, the state apparatus serves both of them equally (generally, empirically and specifically different of course). Now, we shall expand the time scale to the tune of decades, perhaps even centuries, now spanning not only generations, but lifetimes as well. What we see is the capitalist fighting his fellow capitalist in the pursuit of the victory in the “free market”. Within the resource market, the capitalist shall claw his way to the top. Thus, class unity is an objective impossibility amongst the bourgeoisie. Given the opportunity, the capitalist shall betray their “brethren”.
This is explicitly apparent in the weaponization of human suffering. We might take the most apparent of recent instances of this phenomenon, the collapse of Nazi Germany and subsequent campaigns to “pay reparations” to the populations that suffered under the hands of Adolf Hitler. Whilst the fascist regime fell, in the wake of its collapse there remained the exterior bourgeois forces: the United States, the United Kingdom etc. How might we consider fascism defeated, if it was in fact still brewing in the remaining capitalist powers? Could we not simply acknowledge that a new bourgeoisie would take the sufferings of the Jewish, disabled and Gypsy populations, and perhaps weaponize it, as previously mentioned? Could we not, based on the previous assumptions, predict that the bourgeois forces would betray their fallen kin in Germany, and initiate their newest oppression in the continuation of their pursuit of endless profits?We in fact observe this exact phenomenon.
In fact, the weaponization was only that of the sufferings of the European Jewish populations. Why then would the bourgeoisie not exploit the sufferings of the Gypsy people, of the disabled and mentally ill?
Simple. There could never be the conceivable suggestion of a Gypsy state, nor a state for the mentally ill/disabled. Rather, the remaining bourgeois powers would exploit the sufferings of the Jewish people in order to manufacture their new imperialist weapon. The settler state of Israel.
The bourgeoisie would effectively blur the background, take the remaining sufferings and nullify them, as a means to weaponize a single demographic, effectively hurting not only the Palestinian people, but the Jewish people of the world. In their quest to appear anti-semitic, the bourgeois powers effectively created the most powerful source of antisemitism the world had yet seen. The international Jewish proletariat had now become responsible for an imperialist power, thousands of miles away from them. In their name began the newest era of capitalist, imperialist oppression.
The colonization of Palestine.
Historical Cycles of Holocaust
To understand the immediate implications of holocaust in the present, we must first understand basic instances of holocaust, of human suffering. Why such periods of misery occur, and their demises.
Important to note is that all historical periods of holocaust conclude in their demise. No oppressive force can hold itself up, precisely because it carries with it violent contradictions that nullify its ability to survive. How can the mass suffering and murders, the plights and plunders be considered reasonable routes for human society to subscribe to? It simply cannot, and it is proven as such through the demises of these periods. The regular occurrence, however, is a rather interesting phenomenon lending itself to Marxist analysis, by which we may understand why holocaust continues to plague human society.
First, whilst the historical texts of the victors are seldom presented in their necessary transparency, it would be criminal to consider the notion that slave society was not a period of holocaust. The periods of suffering endured in the empires of the past (e.g. Roman) must be considered as times of holocaust. Why they take place is also a simple question to answer. Once again we are compelled to address the relations of labor and capital.
In slave society, the ruling class forcibly enslaved members of the common classes, giving them no choice but to produce capital without wage compensation. Thus, the slaves were alienated from their labor. The foreign actions of slave societies of the past have also, historically, engaged in vicious warfare to expand their domains. Thus, we are introduced to the earliest forms of holocaust, namely colonialism. Empires plundered new land, enslaving the people they found, and slaughtering thousands in the wake of their terror. All in the name of resource control, of the amassing of capital.
Even yet, the narratives of the past are skewed to favor of the victors, regardless of whether or not the subject of criticism is of importance. We are rightfully told about the suffering endured to Genghis Khan and his armies, yet we are often presented romanticized images of the Roman Empire, given images of Pax Romana, of diplomatic control under the Caesars. However, if we are to distinguish between Genghis Khan and the Roman Empire, we in fact not make significant distinctions between them in their intents, only in their survival. The era of Genghis Khan was marked by his existence, perhaps a generation or two, while the Roman Empire lasted hundreds of years, prolonging the suffering of its victims to such a timeframe.
In the last 500 years, the list of the most significant holocausts would be criminally incomplete without the inclusion of the European genocides of the Native Americans, as well as the American slave trade. A 400 year period of misery, with casualties in amounts we may never know, far surpassing the millions. Beginning on the continent of North America, settlers bent on resource control of the land began their slaughters of the indigenous people, purging regions and massacring tribes. Then began their trade of slaves from Africa, adding millions more to a death count that had already become devastatingly large. Yet our understanding of holocaust excludes such events, which must come as no surprise, as the hypocrisy of capitalist superpowers like the United States then becomes evident, might the information become transparent. The World Future Fund writes the following, regarding the casualties:
The estimate of the number killed during the transatlantic slave trade varies anywhere between 6–150 million. The official UN estimate is 17 million (UN). However, we ourselves would be inclined to agree the figure of 60 million, given all the variables here, including the fact that during the entire period of the slave trade, Africa’s population did not increase. Some may argue that this is because Europe had advanced medicine and technology, while Africans didn’t. Yet during this era Asia wasn’t exactly at a sophisticated, technological level either. But their population nearly doubled. We believe the stagnation of Africa’s population is a byproduct of the transatlantic slave trade¹
It becomes apparent that such a great scale of human suffering being omitted as a holocaust is perhaps a great historical revision, for the sole purpose of upholding a specific image of holocaust, as a means to fuel a single narrative, that of the justification of the colonization of Palestinian land. Were the same standards applied to the United States as Germany post WWII, the nation would still be in the process of paying reparations for 400 years of immeasurable suffering. And yet, not a single word of reparations is uttered. Or worse, it is mocked, ridiculed as excessive and unnecessary.
In the context of holocaust, why then are certain periods of human suffering upheld as unique, and memorable, while others are then ignored, even erased and undermined? Why do memorials of suffering highlight the sufferings of the Jewish people at the hands of the Third Reich, but ignore the sufferings of the Armenians at the hands of the Turks? Once again, suffering is never truly acknowledged by the bourgeoisie and their institutions, lest it serves a politically convenient weapon.
Capitalism itself, in the present day, is the source of prolonged periods of human suffering, and yet the technical definitive constraints of holocaust are not applied. Note the following explanation by the late Fidel Castro:
The images we see of mothers and children in the whole regions of Africa under the lash of drought and other catastrophes remind us of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany…We lack a Nuremberg to judge the economic order imposed upon us, where every 3 years more men, women and children die of hunger and preventable diseases than died in the second World War.
To which Abraham Foxman, who served as the National Director of the bourgeois Anti-Defamation League for 28 years, directly responded to:
Poverty is serious, it’s painful and maybe deadly, but it’s not the Holocaust and it’s not concentration camps.
It is without question that the refusal to acknowledge the societal constructs of capitalism as deadly is simply the ruling forces’ methods of maintaining a fabricated faith in the system. Simply a way we may continue to deem violence as explicit action of harm by one individual onto another, but never by one system onto the individual. The holocaust of capitalism shall forever continue so long as capitalism survives, within it the concentration of demagoguery showing its teeth, bringing about periods of explicit suffering above what might be considered “the norm” for certain racial, ethnic and/or religious groups.
Outside of the great death toll of capitalism, why then are some holocausts upheld, and others ignored? Once again, above all else, if a holocaust proves politically convenient, it is devastating. If it does not, it is something we must forget, never mention. Regardless, the weaponization of a single atrocity to justify another shall only work to ensure future devastation, as present suffering only serves to embolden future suffering.
Present Holocaust: The Israeli State and the Palestinians
In the present, there is with us a new holocaust, a time of suffering and oppression, of colonialist invasion. That is the illegal presence of the Israeli settler state on the existing Palestinian land.
The weaponization of past human suffering now becomes centerfold. There is no public approval of the Israeli state without the industry that has capitalized on the suffering of the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis: The Holocaust Industry. As previously noted, the bourgeoisie, regardless of state allegiance, shall mobilize, if given the chance, in order to give capitalize on new territory, new resources. The Arab World was perfect.
In terms of capitalist progression, the violent spread of imperialist interests was simply one step away from discovering the endless supplies of resources in the Middle East, namely present oil reserves. And once it did, imperialism entered a new age. Gone was the space race, born was the Middle Eastern oil race.
In the wake of the Nazi Holocaust, there was little to no significant desire to publicly remember the atrocity. It was merely a horror that was best forgot. Even in the establishment of the state of Israel, there was little care given to it early on. It simply existed. In fact, its early invasions, namely the Suez War, was met with pushback by American leadership (President Dwight D. Eisenhower), who compelled Israel to evacuate the Sinai Peninsula.
Why then was the early response to Israeli presence in the Middle East vastly different to it some 15 years later, in the June 1967 war? The inauthenticity behind American and English “concern” for Nazi Holocaust victims is then revealed.
In June 1967, Israel displayed what it had not before. It was now militarily apt, and with that it carried a great deal of potential, an affinity to grow in the interests of the imperialist powers. And thus, the Holocaust Industry was born (a term often used by Norman Finkelstein). Twenty years after the conclusion of the Nazi Holocaust, it had made a miraculous revival, and with it one goal: to deflect any and all criticisms of the state of Israel. Concern for human rights abuses were simply forms, derivations of “Holocaust denial.”
In their seeming efforts to combat anti-semitism, the bourgeois institutions feigning alliance with survivors of the atrocities of the Third Reich began their crusades to loot the former Soviet bloc nations of Eastern Europe in the name of “reparations”, whilst actively empowering and weaponizing Israel under the same sheepskin. And so, the capitalization on human suffering to perpetuate the newest iteration of it had commenced.
Regarding the rise of anti-semitism in Europe, observe the following, from Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry:
The World Jewish Congress has “created an entire Holocaust industry,” a lawyer for survivors warns, and is “guilty of promoting. . .A very ugly resurgence of anti-semitism in Europe.” “Were it not for the United States of America,” [Stuart] Eizenstat aptly observed in his paean to Congress, “very few, if any, of these activities would be ongoing today.”²
So, in the process of combating intolerance and suffering, the bourgeois institutions, who had no interest in truly addressing such atrocities and suggesting reparations (if they had, what then would they have in order to pay reparations to the countless African-Americans impacted by the history of slavery?), brought about not only an intolerance to the Arab people, who they deemed hateful of Jews, but to Jews themselves, manufacturing an image of “greedy Jews,” who simply wanted to “loot European banks”, which the bourgeois institutions claimed victims had stored their assets in anticipation for war.
Observing the cycle of holocaust, what was then brought to fruition out of the creation of the illegitimate state of Israel was the rise in anti-Arabism, as well as anti-semitism. The potential for disaster doubled, and capitalism chugged along, bankrupting former Soviet states under the guise of “repayal and reparations”.
The weaponization of the Nazi Holocaust against criticisms of Israel carries on to this day, of course, as the conflict becomes greater and more tense. The industry of memorial has essentially desecrated victims of past atrocities, and simultaneously desecrated living Jews, making them solely responsible for the actions of Israel, regardless of whether or not they have personally expressed support for it.
A greater threat looms for Jewish people in America, however. Norman Finkelstein once again describes this succinctly below:
Organized American Jewry has exploited the Nazi Holocaust to deflect criticisms of Israel’s and its own morally indefensible policies. Pursuit of these policies has put Israel and American Jewry in a structurally congruent position: the face of both now dangle from a slender thread running to American ruling elites. Should these elites ever decide that Israel is a liability or American Jewry expendable, the thread may be cut — perhaps unduly alarmist, perhaps not. Predicting the posture of American Jewish elites should these eventualities come to pass, however, is child’s play. If Israel fell out of favor with the United States, many of those leaders who now stoutly defend Israel would courageously divulge their disaffection from the Jewish state and would excruciate American Jews for turning Israel into a religion. And if ruling circles decided to scapegoat Jews, we should not be surprised if American Jewish leaders acted exactly as their predecessors did during the Nazi Holocaust³
In the business of human suffering, we shall all be losers, regardless of the image we are presented. The bourgeoisie shall capitalize, reap endless profits as they see economically fit, and the proletariat shall repeatedly fall victim to the oldest trick in the book.
Breaking the Cycle of Holocaust: The Death of Capitalism
So then, what must we do? Certainly a heavy question to consider, but necessary to address. The unfortunate truth lies in the fact that endless holocaust shall continue to plague us so long as the systematic maintenance of the conditions for it to occur remain. The system, of course, being capitalism.
In a dialectical understanding of suffering, we consider that repeated and continuous human misery arises from the conditions perpetuated by capitalism (referring specifically to the last 200 years or so). There is no substantial initiative to combat sources of suffering, as the bourgeoisie maintain state power, enforcing the conditions of wage slavery onto the proletariat.
So then it is brought to question how humanity shall progress past the stage of suffering. How it shall transcend to a stage in which suffering is deemed socially unfavorable, in which it serves no purpose to the ruling powers. In other words, when the ruling powers dissolve.
Authority Against Misery
There shall inevitably be calls to fear of the presence of any authority in our transition to liberation from holocaust. Perhaps it is the fear of the state apparatus carrying out violence that creates a preconceived bias that prevents us from recognizing the purpose of the state. But then it must be also acknowledged that in the absence of any power, there shall be no force to properly combat oppressive forces regaining power and continuing the slaughter of the proletariat.
So then I present the necessity of a dictatorship of the proletariat. The notion that a dictatorship of capital carries the same intent as that of the proletariat is simply false to every degree. We must not compare the weapons, but the intents. The greatest tyrants have wielded the most terrifying of weapons, and yet so did the powers that fought them. Are we then to conclude that the tyrant and his foe are of the same? Nonsense!
In the uncertain period following proletarian revolution, the absence of clear worker power shall only serve as a void for the oppressor to fill. Such then is the need for a state apparatus, so far as to facilitate cultural reprogramming, away not only from the economic culture engrained within our minds, but to act as a hammer, striking down all potential forces of oppression that shall inevitably arise, or attempt to do so.
And so we herald the calls of the greatest revolutionaries. In the pursuit of liberation from our chains, we not only take away our servitude to the capitalist, but we take away his ability to maintain his endless holocaust.
And thus, we are free.
¹Death toll from the Slave Trade, The African Holocaust, 60 Million Dead at the Hands of White Christian Imperialism; World Future Fund, http://www.worldfuturefund.org/Reports/Slavedeathtoll/slaverydeathtoll.html
²Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry, pg. 134
³Ibid., pg. 149