How Societies Turn Cruel – feat. Sargon of Akkad

How Societies Turn Cruel – feat. Sargon of Akkad

Hey, what’s up guys? It’s Dan.
Welcome to the show. So, a couple of months ago,
while surfing the interwebs, I stumbled over a video by YouTube’s
anti-feminist Mesopotamian emperor, titled “TYT vs the Nazi Menace.” This video came out shortly after the news
broke that the Trump administration was separating children from
their parents at the border, and the progressive news network
TYT did a little piece on it, pointing out how practices like these,
combined with the extremely hostile rhetoric of the Trump administration, are reminiscent of the Nazis’
rhetoric and practices. Now, don’t worry, we’re not gonna
watch Carl’s full response, since it’s mostly pretty self-defeating stuff, but I’ll show some clips to sum up Carl’s
contention with comparisons like these. The link to the video is in the description
so you can listen to everything in context. [Carl:] It’s strange, as a foreigner
watching American media, watching the descent into absolute
lunacy from the left-wing media. The side of politics that doesn’t generally
give a shit about the family unit all of a sudden is really, really, bothered. “Kids are being separated from their
parents at the border! Oh, won’t somebody think of the children?!” [Ana:] Attorney General Jeff
Sessions is frustrated that so many critics are comparing
the zero tolerance policy of separating children from their
parents, who then get prosecuted for misdemeanors, to Nazis. [Carl:] *Chuckles* I wonder why that is, Ana.
I wonder if it’s because it’s a completely irrational comparison. And I wonder if it’s, in fact, devaluing the term “Nazi”. I mean, the Nazis weren’t just people
who enforced their own borders. There was actually a lot more to the Nazi
Party and their philosophy than that. If you can believe it, Ana. It’s almost like calling people who are
keeping your borders secure “Nazis” just because they believe in borders
and who else believed in borders? That’s right, fucking Nazis… It doesn’t make them the same, you lunatics.
You absolute fucking howling— [Dan:] Okay, I think you get the idea. And now quite recently, he did another
video reiterating that opinion when it comes to comparing the U.S.
detention facilities to concentration camps. Now, before we move on, I should tell you
why this video comes out now and not earlier. After stumbling upon the first video, I
thought to myself that this would be a great opportunity to talk about the validity
of Nazi comparisons and if I think those hold any water with
respect to the current Trump administration. And there are numerous reasons why
I had to scrap several attempts and was almost not going to do
a video like this at all. The first one being that talking
about the rise of the Third Reich, and especially the Holocaust, in this way is much different from trying
to explain other historical events, like why the First Crusade
happened, for instance. These topics bring with them a
tremendous amount of responsibility, and for me as a layman to attempt to explain
these very socially weighted and complex events really implies a great deal of
arrogance on my part. And while I always try to frame my videos as my
opinion at the time, or as points to be considered, I can’t negate that what it boils down to is the appearance of a lecture. Another, even bigger reason is that to portray
Germany’s descent into Nazism as a cautionary tale, it’s somewhat necessary
to explore how people thought at the time, shifts in their moral axioms, and
inner justifications for their crimes. In doing so, it’s very easy for me to come
off as wanting to humanize the Nazis, and I want to make it extra clear that
it’s not my goal to shift responsibility or excuse any of their actions. But sometimes it’s necessary to take an
analytical approach to show how we are no different from the people living in
Germany before the Nazis seized power, and even after. With that said, given the current conversation
about what a concentration camp is, my two cents might be interesting
to some of you, but I need to reiterate that I’m only able to provide a very narrow
view on the discussed subjects since I’m neither an expert on the Third
Reich nor a social psychologist. So please, take this as what it is. The last disclaimer would be that this
is not a response video, per se. With Carl Benjamin, I just have the luxury
of having all kinds of terrible right-wing arguments or attitudes condensed
into one or two videos. His points just serve as a jump-off point
for us to talk about a broader subject, so there isn’t going to be a lot of debunking today. Now with that disclaimer out of the way,
let’s talk about concentration camps and, after, about if comparing the current
U.S. to Nazi Germany holds any water. It’s easy to see why a congresswoman
calling the U.S. detention facilities “concentration camps” would cause
such an intense debate in the U.S., considering that the education
system focuses so much on concentration camps in the
context of Nazi Germany. And, naturally, if that’s what you associate
with the term “concentration camp,” you would say “no, this comparison
doesn’t make sense.” And let’s watch a short clip
of what I was just talking about. [Carl:] And then Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
stomps on in with her socialist… socialist Gucci boots, and it’s just,
like, oh my god. The fact that you keep these illegal immigrants
on the border while they’re being processed in what we will call detention facilities,
which I think is most accurate… “They’re concentration camps!” Alexandria, my dear. These are not concentration camps. Concentration camps are not something
that people try to get into. They want to get there. They’re trying to get to those
“concentration camps.” Which makes them the opposite of what
actual concentration camps are. You know, actual concentration camps
are actually a way of killing people, Alexandria. They’re a way of genociding people.
Or turning them into work serfs. Which, again, is not what the
detention centers are doing. They’re actually saving lives! It’s actually the total opposite point, where all these people can be processed:
you know, let in or sent home, whatever. But obviously, Vox: “I’m a Jewish historian. Yes, we should call border detention centers ‘concentration camps.’ It isn’t just accurate, it’s necessary.”
No, it’s wild hyperbole. There is not going to be a genocide of Native,
er, Central Americans under Donald Trump. This is not a way of killing them off.
This is a way of keeping them safe while we figure out what’s going on with
them. I say “we”, well… while the border agents and whoever is
involved with it figure out what to do, in line with the law and the process. Usually, now would be the time to
go over this point by point, showcasing reports about awful conditions and preventable deaths in these camps, allegations of forced labor and sexual
assault including minors, maybe some footage that would contradict
how awesome it is to be there and interviews with people on the ground
saying how desperate they are to leave, but with this one, we’re going
to try something else. Let’s try a hypothetical. Stick with me on this one. I promise this will all make sense. Imagine there is a country somewhere,
and this hypothetical country is currently facing a large influx of asylum
seekers or immigrants for whatever reason. These newly arriving people don’t
speak the same language and are from a part of the world that is
seen as fundamentally different than the country they’re trying to get into. As always, the usual social tensions arise,
and the typical debates are being had about how to handle the situation.
And the political right of this country calls for swift deportation and denying
these people asylum, saying, “We can’t take in the whole world,” etc.
You know how this goes. The debate goes back and forth, and the
usual articles are being published showcasing each side of the argument. Here’s how one of these might look like: “The increasing immigration of
this new group of people is gradually becoming
a serious problem. Although one may be far from wanting
to deny these unfortunate ones the right to asylum, it must not be forgotten
that a large proportion of these arrivals are made up of people whose immigration
and settlement in our country meets justified concerns. Pity for them must not
blind us to the fact that they are largely unfit for
integration into our society.” Naturally, there are also voices in the
press arguing for the opposite, and opinion pieces like this
are also published: “In the public, increasing
voices can be heard that demand legal measures against the
newly arriving asylum seekers (…). These people are deemed black marketeers,
smugglers and criminals, or as work-shy. All these arguments are aimed at taking
the strongest measures, i.e. to cram them into concentration camps
or force them to leave the country. A measure that destroys so many livelihoods
should not be based on bold allegations. Even less it should be based on demagogic
agitation that doesn’t live up to the facts nor is capable to effectively remedy
existing damage. (…) Truly, the recovery of our country cannot
be brought about by the use of force against a small, defenseless
fraction of the population.” Eventually, the authorities respond
to increasing right-wing pressure and set up facilities to concentrate
asylum seekers and immigrants without citizenship to ensure
swift deportation. Shortly after they are set up, though,
reports of unsanitary conditions and inhumane treatment spark public
protests, and a female politician decides to tour some of these facilities
to get a picture of the situation. The conditions she witnesses in these
camps are absolutely appalling to her, and in front of Parliament, she claims that
detainees are forced into wooden barracks infested with bugs, and that the air
in these buildings is unbearable. At night they only have sliced-up blankets
to protect themselves from the cold, and she also talks about the detainees
being served substandard food, including rotten potatoes.
Continuing, she says, “It’s not just our responsibility, but
the one of every upstanding person to bring this shame to an
end as fast as possible,” and closes her report with categorizing
the previous occurrences as, “severely damaging to the
reputation of our country.” A different public figure also
decides to tour these facilities and comes to the opposite
conclusion, stating: “All in all, we can say that this whole thing
has been blown out of proportion and is used for political
agitation, by the left.” Okay, enough of this.
What was this all about? Well, I just thought it would be funny
showing a number of events from a different time and place, considering how
much it echoes the current situation in the United States, without you
knowing where this happened. But enough of the funniness;
here comes the gut punch. As you can probably already guess, our
hypothetical country is not hypothetical at all. It’s very real, and this all happened in the
early 1920s in the country of Germany. I had to switch a few words for the quotes,
like replacing “Germany” with “our country,” but the rest is all kept the way it was. The
news piece opposing the asylum seekers was published in the Karlsruher Tagblatt
on the 3rd of January 1920, and the opposition piece was written by
Albert Einstein a couple of months later. The female politician touring these
camps was Mathilde Wurm of the Independent Social Democratic Party, and
the quote about the concentration camps being totally fine and used as a political
tool by the left also is a real quote. Now, why does this even matter? Apart from being one of the more
interesting historical parallels, it matters because the immigrants
in this case were Jews fleeing persecution in the Russian Empire
and seeking refuge in Germany. It also matters because these were
the first camps on German soil to literally be called
“Konzentrationslager.” Not that it should matter, since facilities
with the name “concentration camp” have been around since the
Spanish-American War. And if you don’t know the difference between
a concentration camp and a death camp, maybe just, you know,
shut your face about it. So yes, these are concentration camps. Anyway, the reason why I like this
German example so much is because in retrospect, we can clearly
see it as being a stepping stone to the eventual genocide of the
European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators
about two decades later. And not just Jews, of course, but other minorities
like Romani, who were also stuffed into the same earlier-described
concentration camps in the 1920s. And keep in mind that when Germany’s first
domestic concentration camps were set up, the country had a left-leaning government
which openly condemned antisemitism. The Nazi Party barely even existed at
this point. It was far from entering the national parliament. So now would be the
time to write your comment about how the U.S. concentration camps already existed
under Obama to “totally own me” or whatever. About two to three years
after being established, Germany’s first domestic concentration
camps would close their doors again, because the conditions continued
to spark public protests, and operating them became too much
of a fiscal burden for the government. Be that as it may, the arguments
from the right when it comes to human rights abuses in the name of
immigration enforcement don’t change over time, it seems. “If these camps are so horrible, why
don’t they just stay where they are?” “This is just a political ploy by the
open-borders left,” etc. And I can only speculate what these people
feel on the inside, but the smug scoffing when someone brings up past atrocities
to say, “you know, maybe we’re going down a dark path and cramming
vulnerable minorities into a confined space and then neglecting them,”
comes from a total inability to see societal violence on a continuum. Before we jump into that, though,
I couldn’t resist to point out at least one thing in the video we used
as a jump-off point for this topic. Near the end, our narrator shares an
article written by Paul Joseph Watson which suggests recently-resurfaced photos
of AOC at a facility for minors are staged and taken an empty parking lot, because
there are no children visible, like, two feet away from the
fence, or something? Now, of course, because it’s Paul Joseph
Watson, it’s a bunch of nonsense, and Snopes has since debunked the
article and verified that the photos were indeed taken at
the Tornillo tent city, which housed 2,900 minors before
it was shut down in January due to safety and health risks. It wouldn’t be a Sargon of Akkad video
without a conspiracy theory, I guess. Anyway, back to what I was saying. Besides the ones I already listed, the
main reason about showing a parallel between 1920s Germany and 2019
America is to hammer home the fact that large outbursts of violence against
minorities should be understood as the end of a process, with
lots of steps preceding it. When it comes to collective
acts of violence, they are not unexplainable sudden eruptions,
but recurring social processes with a start, a midsection, and an end. Not being able to understand
how these events unfold is laid bare in the responses
to Nazi comparisons. And what it seems to boil down to is,
“why are you invoking the Nazis? It’s not like the U.S. puts
people into gas chambers.” I can’t even really blame people for
setting the bar as high as committing an actual genocide, because it’s
really hard to imagine a modern democratic country sliding into what
looks like a collective race insanity, as in Germany in the 1930s and 40s.
It’s hard for me, too. And it was hard to understand for the
people immediately after the fall of the Third Reich, as well. How could
a modern country that brought forth so many advances in culture, science,
and equality just 180 like that in such a short amount of time? It’s not like Germany was an
exceptionally antisemitic country, compared to the rest of Europe. “A historian once speculated on what
would happen if a time-traveler from 1945 arrived back in Europe
just before the First World War, and told an intelligent and well-
informed contemporary that within thirty years a European nation
would make a systematic attempt to kill all the Jews of Europe and exterminate nearly six
million in the process. If the time-traveler invited the contemporary
to guess which nation it would be, the chances were that he would
have pointed to France, where the Dreyfus affair had recently
led to a massive outbreak of virulent popular antisemitism. Or it might be Russia, where the Tsarist
‘Black Hundreds’ had been massacring large numbers of Jews in the wake
of the failed Revolution of 1905. That Germany, with its highly
acculturated Jewish community and its comparative lack of overt
or violent political antisemitism, would be the nation to launch this exterminatory campaign would hardly have occurred to him.” This question of what happened in
Germany was one of the many things people hoped to be answered
by the Nuremberg trials. You know, “let’s just ask the higher-ups of
the Nazi regime, or at least analyze them.” After all, some of the main perpetrators,
like Hermann Göring, were in the hands of the Allies, and pretty
much the entire Western world was curious how they
justified their actions. These were the guys who had planned and
executed one of the most horrible crimes in human history, and cultivated all
these ideas about sub-humanity and the destruction of Bolshevism
and the struggle between the Aryan and the Jewish race—really some
insane stuff to an outsider. And learning about the scale of their
crimes led many people at the time to conclude that these people
must have lost their minds and that there wasn’t much
humanity left in them. The court psychologist at Nuremberg
was a guy named Douglas Kelley, and he conducted pretty detailed psychological
tests with these main perpetrators. One test he promised himself conclusive
results from was the Rorschach test: you know, showing someone an abstract
inkblot and then interpreting their answer. They’re not used as much anymore, but at
the time they were seen as extremely reliable. So, he conducted the tests and sent the
results to leading Rorschach experts to get an idea of the “perpetrator
personality,” for lack of a better word. Now, for a psychologist of any prestige,
really, this must have been a dream assignment. Everyone wanted to know what was up with
these guys, and to get a shot at being the one who deciphers the personality of
the Nazi leadership, who could say no to that? Surprisingly, all of them could. Not one of
the ten experts responded to Kelley’s inquiry to isolate distinct character
traits from these tests. There were some excuses, but it really
didn’t make sense that all ten psychologists would pass on this
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. About 30 years after this, a colleague of
Douglas Kelley gave away the real reason nobody responded to their request,
and it’s not because they didn’t even look at the material that they were given.
They all did, most likely. But they also knew that the world was
expecting them to find a common personality structure of the very worst kind,
and the material simply didn’t offer that. You can ask yourself if you wanted to be the guy
to be handed the material for someone like Hermann Göring—head of the Luftwaffe,
head of the Four-Year Plan—and then respond with, “Well, to me this guy
looks pretty normal, actually.” Only Kelley himself had the guts to
write, in his closing statement: “From our findings we must not only conclude
that such persons are neither sick nor unusual, but also that we could find them today
in every other country on earth.” That’s kind of unsettling, isn’t it?
Not something you would want to hear from someone psychoanalyzing some of
the worst criminals in human history. Now, you might say, “Well, these people
were just pushing papers around and having meetings. It’s not like they
were the ones pulling the trigger.” Sadly, we simply can’t find any refuge in
that explanation either, because in 1980, two guys named George Kren
and Leon Rappoport took a look at the psychology
of members of the SS— —the grunts of the Nazi regime, so to say— and concluded that the vast majority of
the leadership and their subordinates would have passed the psychological tests of the
U.S. Army or Kansas City Police with ease. They put the number of outright
psychopaths in the SS at 10% at best, which really isn’t that high,
all things considered. Another example that caused perplexity
among a lot of people was the evaluation of Adolf Eichmann, often described
as the “architect of the Holocaust,” when he was put on trial
in the early 1960s. One of the consultants evaluating him
claimed that Eichmann was, by all accounts, normal, and added, “At least, more normal
than I am after examining him.” A bit after that, a different clinical
psychologist by the name of Molly Harrower dug up the material
Kelley had gathered at Nuremberg and decided to give it another try. She mixed the material of Göring and the
others with a couple of unremarkable profiles and sent them to a bunch of experts, but this time they didn’t know who
the people they should analyze were. She also asked them to take a guess of what
these people did in their day-to-day lives. And at least this time the majority
responded, but no one even came close to guessing what kind of material they
had been given, with the speculations ranging from civil rights advocates
to the material being taken from psychologists themselves—pretty
mind-boggling stuff. On a somewhat unrelated note, 4 of the 5 top Nazi officials who were able
to avoid a death sentence at Nuremburg all saw a chameleon in one of the Rorschach pictures. Not going to do anything with that fact;
I just thought it was interesting. Anyway, it’s not only that the vast majority
of people in the Nazi regime, or the ones committing crime in its name, were,
psychologically speaking, normal people; even the worst of the worst didn’t even feel
bad about their actions afterwards, and that’s even scarier, if you ask me. And most of these people went on to live
relatively normal lives afterwards, working as bakers or police
officers, and didn’t— —or don’t, because some of them
are still alive to this day— suffer from insomnia,
depression, or anxiety. Contrary to their victims, by the way,
who suffer basically their entire lives, if they managed to survive. And here’s where we get into the stuff
that’s really hard to process, so if you feel like rather not hearing
some of these people try to remove themselves from their responsibility,
maybe skip the next part. When we look at how the perpetrators
talk about what they did, it becomes very clear that they have a
self-image that would baffle anyone who is confronted with the
list of all their atrocities. Take this quote, for example: “Let the public continue to regard me
as the blood-thirsty beast, the cruel sadist and the mass murderer; for the masses could never imagine the
commandant of Auschwitz in any other light. They could never understand that he, too,
had a heart and that he was not evil.” As the quote already gives away, this was
written by the commander of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, in his biography.
Responsible for over a million deaths, and probably one of the most evil
people in history, but even he doesn’t see himself as a bad person. It’s baffling,
really, and leaves one kind of hopeless about human nature. At least it does me,
when reading quotes like this. Here’s another horrific, but sadly not
unusual, example of this attitude: “I made the effort, and it was possible for me,
to shoot only children. It so happened that the mothers led
the children by the hand. My neighbor then shot the mother
and I shot the child that belonged to her, because I reasoned with myself that after all,
without its mother the child could not live any longer. It was supposed to be, so to speak,
soothing for my conscience to release children unable to live
without their mothers.” This was said by a police officer sent to
Poland, and the real weight of the statement kind of gets lost in translation, because
the German word that he used, here translated as “release,” also means “redeem”
or “save” when used in a religious sense. And this quote really jumped back into
my mind when I read an article about a former ICE spokesperson who tried to garner
sympathy for the deportation goons in saying, “These are parents themselves.
I know people aren’t sympathetic to deportation officers, but they have
a rough time with this too and I think more so under this administration.” Although, I should explain the similarities here. Nazi propaganda never framed the act of
killing the people they deemed subhuman as an act that you should
enjoy or feel good doing; they only framed it as necessary. And here’s where the real dynamic of
societal violence comes into play. The earlier quote from the police officer
saying he did his best to only shoot children is said in the context of him trying to
appear as a good, upstanding person. He is living completely outside
our moral axioms. This is what racist propaganda
does to a society: Being able to commit acts of cruelty, be it killing someone or stuffing
them into a concentration camp, becomes an act of virtue,
and the perpetrator is framed as acting righteous, because he is able to
overcome his or her own doubts and still do what they are
told is necessary. Now, I get this might all sound very
abstract, and it’s hard to imagine oneself going through that process, so I’ll give you an
analogy that really helped me understand it. Imagine someone offering you money to
hurt another person with a sharp knife, maybe unintentionally killing
them in the process. It’s not someone you know, but I think it’s safe
to say that most of us would not take that deal. But if you apply a different frame of reference,
it turns the entire thing on its head. For the example just given, think of
yourself not as a random person but as a surgeon who is supposed
to perform an operation. That kind of changes everything.
And the whole thought process now active in your mind of, “Well, of course
cutting people open is wrong, but it’s done for a good cause,” “It’s not like
the surgeon enjoys what he’s doing, but the end result counts,” etc., is what
the Nazis and other murderous regimes utilize to make their foot soldiers commit
atrocities. And you don’t even have to be a diehard antisemite for the societal
process to change your perception. This police officer was part of a
conscripted police battalion who were too old to have been through
Nazi socialization or the brainwashing. They also hadn’t been desensitized by war,
and they all came from the city of Hamburg, which was, and still is, one of Germany’s
most left-leaning cities. On top of that, the members of this police
battalion were explicitly given the choice to not take part in the killing of
innocent people by their superior, but still, the vast majority of them still did it. I didn’t come up with that surgeon
analogy myself, though. It’s from social psychologist Howard
Welzer, who wrote a book with the very straightforward title, “How normal people
become mass murderers”, which I can’t recommend enough. The last question that’s still unanswered is,
how does a society even get to that place where its frame of reference
becomes that twisted? At the beginning, there’s always some
sort of grouping taking place: a subset of the population is
defined as something else, and then a categorization is
filled with meaning. Typically that’s because of racism,
but that’s rarely enough, and just because a racist is elected
into office doesn’t mean there’s a genocide down the line. Although,
of course, it emboldens those attitudes and gives people who are already
racist more self-confidence, because there’s less of a social stigma
around calling Mexicans “rapists” if the president has already
done it, for instance. Anyway, for large acts of violence to occur,
it always requires a bunch of people to be either apathetic or provide
cover for what is happening. And how one becomes that person
is arguably even more important than the type of person we talked
about before. Now, another analogy: Imagine it’s the first day
of a new school year. Before the teacher comes in, the school
bully shows up and singles out one of your new classmates
and briefly makes fun of him. Let’s say that happens every day for a couple
of weeks, and gets more intense over time. Now, of course, you could say something,
but, you know, you’re happy that you’re not the one being singled out. You don’t
want any attention directed towards you. And nobody else says something, so why
should you? “Kind of sucks for that one kid, but, you know, who doesn’t experience
something like that in school,” you tell yourself. Now, the year goes on, and your one
classmate is increasingly bullied until, on the last day of school, the bully comes
in, punching your classmate in the face. You and the other classmates are now
way less likely to report this to a teacher than you were at the beginning of the year.
That is because we tend to rationalize decisions we made with some sort of
ambivalence after the fact, to fit it to our own self-image. Therefore,
subconsciously it often appears easier to reaffirm a previous decision by
repeating it, rather than questioning it and thus admitting that all your previous
decisions might have also been wrong. This is how actions that were previously
unthinkable become possible over a very short amount of time. The job of something like Fox News or
YouTube’s “rationals” in this analogy is to play the role of the guy who, if
somebody does say, “hey this kid is getting bullied; I fear he might receive some
physical abuse if we don’t do something,” to respond with, “This is ridiculous. I can’t believe
you would smear the school bully like that. And in fact, I consider this deeply offensive to all
the victims of physical abuse around the world.” The just-described process is also why
so many people seem to disregard their stated principles, like free
speech or anti-corruption, when it comes to someone like Trump,
because they’d rather be a hypocrite than admit that they were wrong. It starts
with, “you know, Trump is an idiot, but I really dislike Hillary, so yeah.” Then,
“I’m a Trump supporter not because of specific policies, but because he makes
the left so mad,” until you find yourself saying stuff like, “as long as children in
concentration camps are not screaming at the top of their lungs, I don’t see much
of a reason to be concerned.” [Francis:] Nobody on the right side of
history thought this was the answer to a flawed policy: *sound of a wailing child* [Carl:] I’ll tell you what, Francis. A child’s
whiny cry would have a lot more traction with me if I wasn’t a parent.
But I’m afraid at this point I have become inured to the whiny cries of children,
because children give that kind of whiny cry all the time. Can’t have a biscuit? Whiny cry.
Doesn’t want to go to bed? Whiny cry. Doesn’t—can’t find its favorite toy?
Whiny cry. I’ll tell you what, Francis, I’m actually really
relieved that that’s the kind of cry that you exposed me to, because if it
had been a high-pitched, sustained cry of fear and pain, then I would’ve been like,
“Yeah, okay, something’s really wrong.” Historians like Richard Evans, who wrote
the Third Reich trilogy, which is fantastic, typically don’t start their analysis with
Hitler’s first electoral victories, but go back as far as Bismarck. They talk
about the spreading of scientific racism in the 1890s, or local antisemitic
politicians pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in
political discourse. First you stretch what is acceptable to say,
then you push what is acceptable to do. The discrimination of Jewish refugees in
Weimar, laws like prohibiting Jews from owning dogs under the Nazis—these
are just as much part of the genocidal process as is pulling the trigger
years down the line. This is why Nazi comparisons are
not only valid, but necessary. An example apart from immigration
where I would consider this perfectly valid would be the attack on trans people
by the Trump administration: removing them from their jobs if they serve
in the military, rolling back protections against housing discrimination. There are
countless examples of this administration going out of its way to harm this
community, and a lack of pushback against government action like this will only
lead to more severe actions down the line, as it did in Germany and
so many other places. The sheer horror of what fascism
looked like in the past can blind us to the emergence of fascism and
radical nationalism in new forms. Of course, when hearing the word
“fascism,” we think of the mass party, Brownshirts marching through the streets,
and people throwing the Hitler salute. But just because that is missing, we
shouldn’t be tricked into thinking the far right has adapted and accepted
the idea of minority rights and democracy. In an earlier version of this script, I had
a couple of lines here saying that it didn’t take much for the
German right to pivot from, “it’s just those Jewish refugees
we don’t want in the country,” to “actually, it’s all Jews.” And we
shouldn’t expect the American right to have any qualms about
something similar either. But reality outpaced the script, and that
pivot has already happened, in parts. Typically, I like to end the video
in summarizing the point of all my previous rambling
in one or two sentences. But this time, I’ll have to tag in
historian Timothy Snyder, who summarized these points
better than I ever could, so I’m just going to use what he said. “To forbid analogies makes the Holocaust
irrelevant to future generations. If an American child can
identify with Anne Frank, an American child might ask what it is like for
immigrant children to be separated from their parents. To forbid analogies is to forbid learning,
and to forbid empathizing. That, sadly, is the point.” Thank you for watching, everyone. Another feel-good video from me; my apologies. But that script was driving me nuts,
so I just had to get it out. I’m glad I even have the opportunity
to release this video, because, as some of you already know, this entire
channel was temporarily removed from YouTube a couple of
weeks ago for some reason. I assume it got caught up in some
kind of automated process, which is to be expected, given the
subject matter of some of my videos. Shout-out to all the very nice people
making some noise on my behalf when that happened, because I’m not
sure the channel would have been reinstated without your help.
Be that as it may, now I’m back, and I promise next time I’ll do
something more lighthearted. This whole channel-being-
deleted affair really made me appreciate my patrons a lot more than I
already do. Because, despite demonetization or videos being deleted/locked in certain
countries, I don’t rely on YouTube to keep this afloat, because it’s
crowdfunded by some of you guys. A big thank you for that. And I’m definitely
going to record a commentary track for this one, because there’s still
a bunch of stuff I had to cut that might be interesting to some of you. If you want to see that video, the link
to Patreon is in the description. This video was really just
a long-winded way of saying people are shaped by their surroundings.
But to me, that always seemed very abstract, and I could never imagine
myself being shaped in that way. As always, I encourage you to check out
the source material in the description. That was it for today. I hope
to see you the next time. Until then, have a good one.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

100 thoughts on “How Societies Turn Cruel – feat. Sargon of Akkad

  1. Hey pals,
    just wanted to let you know that this video, like most of my stuff got demonetized due to its subject matter so if you find this stuff valueable, consider shooting me a buck on Patreon 😉

  2. Great freudian slip when Sargon refers to US Border Security as "we". We, of course, know who "we" refers to in this case. Guy's gone off the fucking deep end.

  3. Does anyone have some good English-language sources about those early concentration camps for the Eastern European Jews mentioned in the video?

  4. that children's cry sounded just defeated, tired and hopeless. if it was a vigorous, high screech, i'd feel more hopeful for them, that'd imo mean they still had the stamina to scream, and the hope that they could influence others, the guards etc with the screams

  5. As a parent I have to say there is a difference between the annoying 'whinny' cry of a child and the cry when something is really wrong. And if you can't tell the difference when you are a parent then you are not paying attention.

  6. "Liberals, who have always been against the family." Whut?

    Isn't "bleeding heart liberal" an actual term? Aren't liberals the party more known for "thinking of the children" (and the marginalized, poor, etc.), at least among the American conservative/liberal dichotomy?

    Oh yeah, these far right goblins think if you support gay marriage and women's reproductive rights, you are "anti-family," or something. That's right. Right out of Alex Jones' playbook. 👍

    Shit, one minute in, and Carl is already tedious, ignorant, and hateful. Mind-boggling that people listen to stuff like that for fun. He makes me want to claw my eyes out, even hearing his dopey voice for a minute.

  7. Nice job on the freudian slip by Carl! What a complete piece of human shit.. The "children wailing" part is one of the worst arguments I've ever heard. I would never believe I would actually hear something like that in my lifetime

    "yada-yada-yada. There is not going to be a genocide of native Americans.. Uuhnnnnnnnn… Central Americans.. Under Donald Trump.. "

  8. I like how everything he critics the anti left channels even even thoy he can be consired a anti right channel. Most of his vids critics the out spoken people like in this one sargon(he is a laughting stock at this point pretty much what he says it not taken seriously) also how most of his vids is in basic making the right wing seemed as a nationalist socialist. Whats funny its that this 3 arrow guy got debunked by a small 600 sub youtuber. I did a 10 min research and already found evidence on how nazis a nationalist would lean to the left wing. Ok if you go and see several frech nazi propaganda posters. (This posters would be use to make people from france after being invaded to convince people to lean with the nazi cause) (thank you french class) if you read the several propaganda posters the nazis would use words as "social justice" , "social", they would also be pro abortion and would try to welcome people from europian countries especially from italy(research italy during this time as its history has been buried) to help the cause of equal ideas. Such words its obvious which party (left or right) uses thia words like social justice. Socialism does not mean nazism nationalist socialism is nazism. If i had to mention the propaganda wanted people with a left wing thinking(of its time) on their ranks and not a right wing as its jewish community would represent that. If you compare the left wing with a socialist republic as the word republic is there like our gov, you are comparing our gov to the ussr who also killed millions of jews.

  9. Sorry to be a pedant but the first 'concentration camps' were in South Africa, used by the British against the Boer (refugees from religious persecution).

  10. I wonder, how will this viewpoint age? Will it fade as scaremongering or will it be vindicated? The former is more likely but i would wager that the former will prove to be truer. …and worse, that scaremongering will numb people to any instantiation of the latter. well done.

  11. Still amazes me how an obviously dumb as shit person like Carl can have an audience at all. His arguments are childishly bad.

  12. I remember I used to watch Sargon about 3-4 years ago during the whole Trump election and thinking "lol, triggered SJWs, attack helicopter memes.". If I could go back in time I would smash my younger selves head in with a brick and pray it doesn't kill me to.
    But what I remember about Sargon is he was just some LoL trigger the libs shit poster who pretends to be smart. But fucking Hell what happened to him? "Those kids aren't crying hard enough, they just sound like they want their toy on the outside of the cage they're put in. The need to be crying like they just broke their arm or else it's not a problem at all, let the symphony of children's screams continue.", being honest they could probably be screaming and crying like they just understood what death was after their mother got domed in front of them and Sargon still wouldn't think it's a problem. What a fucking monster.

  13. Dear Mr. Arrows, I've only discovered your channel within the last six months or so and quickly consumed all of your content. You're really good at it and are one of my tops for sure. I have one major problem though, YOU NEED TO PUT OUT MORE CONTENT MORE OFTEN!! Please consider this going forward and quit your job immediately. Thank you for your time, Jeremy

  14. 30% of the migrant families are fake per DNA test. These are not our citizens. They are not being exterminated or forced into labor. They are released in 21 days and get on welfare. We are paying for all their benefits. If they came legally they would never be detained. None of our border agents or ICE officers shoot kids and their mothers while in detention. Our border patrol are buying onesies and changing diapers. Gang bangers motto is rape, murder, rob, something close. US citizens deserve subsidized housing. We support our fellow citizens. We owe illegals nothing. They take and will bankrupt us.

  15. Is Bernie Sanders a nazi for being against open borders which is a Koch brother policy, when Obama deported more immigrants than trump has were we under a genocidal fascist regime? This whole narrative is completely bullshit and frankly it’s polarizing America more & more no wonder their riots if people actually believe they’re living under the third Reich my God. A lot of those pictures with kids in cages were taken when Obama was president!!

  16. None of these detention centers are pushed on the basis of white or Aryan identity politics that’s why it’s different trump says immigrants are good hardworking people and then he calls MS13 animals and rapist and from statistics and evidence they are in humane people. Ive talk to friends who used to live in Mexico Coahuila the city Saltillo and legally came here and the shit he tells me about the cartels and gangs, who run northern Mexico btw, is terrifying. I feel awful kids are being separated and I wish we could solve this and give an easier path to citizenship, we can but it will require more funding for, more staff, and new facilities and improve the conditions of the ice facilities. they are bad because of the overwhelming demand it is not done on purpose to make Hispanics suffer. Congress tried to pass bill to renovate ice detention centers and make them more suitable but the democrats stopped the bill because they don’t want to enable ICE??

  17. Excellent work! Is there an English translation of Steffen's work "Geflüchtet, unerwünscht, abgeschoben"? (I'm assuming this is where you got your quotes from at 7:54 – 10:00). I would very much like to read this.

  18. How is everything that is not socialism….NAZISM and cruel. Honestly dude you are a one trick pony. Human rights violations.

    So what are we supposed to do oh great leader. Let them all in .right

    Yours truly a black nazi aka conservative

  19. ffs you know you're in 2019 when people compare detention centers to concentration camps. A few days back I was talking to some people about china and the detention camps there – I was reticent to call them concentration camps because I'm a mature sensitive person. Not mainstream politicians or youtubers in 2019 where sensationalism sells!

  20. Hey Dan, Sargon made a response to your video, and it's completely braindead, he has some really bad takes like "English speaking countries could never become fascist because of the magna carta and MUH LIBERALISM", he also says you're a german "projecting your inner fears" onto other countries, and that the german mindset is "intrinsicly" geared towards collectivism. It's really dumb and pseudo-intellectual, it'd be nice to see him knocked off his high horse. Best wishes 🙂

  21. I think the moment when Sargon was talking about Concentration camp definitions my brain sparked into fire or something, lividly glaring at the screen. Dear lord.

  22. This is probably the best youtube video I've ever seen. You beautifully set up reasoning with evidence in a way that ended up demolishing the right-wing argument. This video was just a damn masterpiece, It's like seeing art, I'm really, really impressed with your argument abilities and your channel

  23. Yea Americans. Be more like Europe. It’s awesome in Europe and we let all immigrants in. Zero consequences other than super delicious and diverse restaurants and not at all complete ethnic suicide.

  24. There's a lot wrong with this video and I could do a detailed break down of why. But there's one very simple theme that runs through the whole thing which really gets to the heart of this non-argument. Which is that immigrants aren't treated significantly worse than any other criminal in the united states, and that few of these complaints are specific to the ICE camps that aren't also applicable to domestic law enforcement. Like AOC using the term "concentration camps" in the first place this whole thing is an appeal to emotion in order to manipulate you by overriding critical thinking, you all fell for it hook line and sinker. The reason these emtoional manipulations are used is because these people like AOC do not have any actual arguments, so they're backed into a corner and are forced to use moral outrage as a way of bypassing your ability to question them.

    The pinnacle of all of this was of course children crying, which is nothing specific to ICE camps at all. If you're a citizen and you're also a parent and you break the law then you're arrested and detained and your children are also detained as well and then handed over to child protection services if necessary. It's sad that children are effected by parents who deliberately break laws and my empathy for children is that they're dragged into this when they've done nothing wrong. But children need to be detained when their legal guardian has broken the law so that they can be looked after, given shelter, food, water and the care they need. It doesn't matter if you're a citizen of the country or an illegal immigrant, if a child is separated from their parent they're going to cry.

    If the argument is "listen to this crying child isn't that awful", then you could make the same argument about fellow citizens who happen to be parents. "Oh you can't arrest them for breaking the law, it'll make their child cry!". It's immediately obvious in that context that the argument is idiotic. And that's why none of this from the left is ever an actual argument, it's always something emotionally manipulative like the sound of a crying child so you switch off your ability to think. As Sargon quite rightly pointed out, children cry at many different things, often extremely trivial things or things done for their own good and so in and of itself is not an argument for anything. It's all emotional manipulation, and for people who want a serious discussion about these matters, it's not going to work.

  25. Also, the term "concentration camp" was used by the British for camps set up in South Africa during the Boer War in which Boer settlers (men, women and children) were kept in squalid conditions. Many died of malnutrition and disease.

  26. Would you also consider debunking far left topics? I find your content interesting but you're only going after right-wing topics without even explaining why you disagree with their moderate ideas. It comes across as if you condemn the entire right-wing politics because of a small extreme minority, and want to categorize as many people as possible in it.

  27. As the saying goes: throw a frog in boiling water and it'll jump out. Throw a frog in warm water and slowly raise the temperature, and the frog will cook.

  28. Love your stuff. Always well thought out and presented well. And here’s yet another. Sargon crossed the bollocks event horizon ages ago.

  29. The most dangerous statement of modern civilization:

    "Yeah… but this can't happen to us".
    "We are different"

    "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" refers to not only the vigilance against external threats, but first of all against oneself.

    Be watchful who wants to turn you into an accomplice to their crimes.

  30. I literally forgot Sargon even exists till i randomly saw this video in suggested a minute ago. It just occurred to me that Sargon has been buried under the fucking jail by the algorithm. I used to get frequent suggestions to watch his content. He is just a ghost on youtube now if you don't look for him.

  31. Carl is hanging down soo low on the fruit tree that people are having legitmate discussions on whether he's a fruit or vegetable…

  32. The Russian Empire wasn't a thing by the 1920's when Germany was a democracy. So If you're saying that the camps were set up to deal with the Jews coming in from the Russian Empire you'd be false. If you meant to say Soviet Union or USSR than fair enough.

  33. concentration camp


    plural noun: concentration camps

    a place in which large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labour or to await mass execution. The term is most strongly associated with the several hundred camps established by the Nazis in Germany and occupied Europe 1933–45, among the most infamous being Dachau, Belsen, and Auschwitz.

    From Oxford

    The camps in the U.S are not housing Political Prisoners or Persecuted Minorites to provide forced labor or await a mass extermination.

  34. Sadly, while I think there were a few good pieces of information presented, I think there were also quite a few oversimplifications made, as well as a few references that I believe are inaccurate. It seems that, as many other channels, instead of being a source for knowledge and truth, it is beginning to seem like this page is merely anti-right. I will continue to follow in the hopes that I am incorrect, but if not, then I will follow understanding the channel for what I perceive it to be. Either way, it’s good to have extra perspective. I just wish there was more balance instead of being pro one side or anti. I still wish your channel much success though, brother. Cheers

  35. "They'd rather be a hypocrite than admit they are wrong," is something they need to teach little kids in school, so we can raise a new generation that doesn't fall into that mind trap. To not feel stupid is one of our deepest instincts and our whole planet needs to examine this and evolve past it. Thanks for being amazing, Three Arrows!

  36. …that there was a time I actually followed Sargon makes me want to punch my younger self in the face… as well as gag at myself… tho the latter might be for a couple of reasons, not just the rabbit hole that is that part of YT.

    Anyway, happy that he isn't actually a guest in this vid…

  37. Me, trying to speak german: Ich… Ich bin…
    german guy: it’s alright my friend, I know it’s hard to speak a foreign language; English is not my first language and I’m rather mediocre at it

  38. At first I was pretty sure that the hypothetical country was Germany during the migrant crisis; then I was sure that it was Britain during the 1930s reacting to the influx of refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.

  39. "And if you don't know what the difference between a concentration camp and a death camp is, maybe, just, you know, shut your face about it."

    Like Sargon would ever.

  40. Work like this is invaluable in the process of political and philosophical discussion. Good work on the justification for your particular perspective on the border camps and historical analysis of the buildup to the Nazi regime in Germany.

    I certainly don’t agree with your conclusion—for the juxtaposition between illegal migrants today and Jews of the past is not an accurate one, given that no particular minority is being targeted, there’s no financial or military crisis which allows for an easy scapegoat, and the US as a whole is politically and ethnically in a different position than Weimar Germany—it’s good to hear well-crafted arguments from the other side.

    Keep up the good work.

  41. Do you people really think that leaving those kids with their (alleged) parents? Considering the circumstances, separating kids and adults would be completely unacceptable. The children camps are not optimal because of the lack of funding (which the Democrats blocked), but some sort of separate detention centre is the only way to go, unless you want to open the borders which would cause havoc. Calling it by the tainted name of concentration camps is a cheap political strategy, propagated by people who don't give a crap about nation states in general

  42. Hi, I greatly enjoy your videos and find it a pity you got demonetized on youtube. Several youtuber are already moving over to and, you could consider upvoting your videos there too. These are censorship resistant platforms hosting political content from either side.

  43. They have literally concentration camps. of course a nazi comparison is warranted. thats not to say its the facist states of america now its just to say beware of the beginnings.

  44. That closing remark from Douglas Kelly is pretty haunting. Especially when you can go through the comment sections on far-right or far-left websites and see how casually people joke about killing everyone who disagrees with them.

  45. After watching through your video I can sit here and say that I at least can understand where the comparisons come from and where you see the issues between America and 1920s Germany a question then becomes what exactly are we supposed to do about the people who are flooding our borders? Because they aren't exactly giving us a whole lot of choices as far as what to do with them are we supposed to just let them in? We have to know where people are coming from we have to document who is coming in we have to know what your intentions are within our country just as it is for all other Sovereign Nations so what exactly is the proposal for handling people who are flooding our borders and demanding to be let in despite the fact that they are breaking our immigration laws?

  46. Carlgon: Concentration camps are about killing people.
    Me: You're thinking of death camps.
    C: They're about slavery and serfdom.
    M: Those are work camps

  47. I love how he 1: can't remember whether Central Americans or Native Americans are being thrown in concentration ca- sorry, "detention centers", and 2: realized how much he fucked up when he said "… while we figure out what" as if he's in on it, and immediately tries to cover his own ass. xD

  48. Just browsing through the comments and I can't believe how many people still think anyone who disagrees with them is a Nazi. What is this 2016?

  49. It says something about how callous and genuinely evil Carl truly is when he hears children crying when he knows that that child was recorded in a facility without their parents or likely any adult supervision. It's a child who is crying because they're scared and alone in an unfamiliar place, but he couldn't possibly give less of a shit because he knows that they're brown and having sympathy for people who are different from him is clearly something Carl is incapable of at this point.

  50. It sounds like the method of processing or deporting illegal immigrants has been magaged in an unethical way due to the nature of the organizations it was delegated to. It is entirely feasible for it to be done properly without mistreatment. The fact that the right idea, was done in the wrong way, doesn't make it a bad idea. Its is kinder to maintain a border securely, than to allow people traffickers and syndicates to exploit people, to 'help' them get acorss the border, to be forced into black market slavery in the US, or raped and mistreated by the criminals. It is a problem worth solving, but it seems Trump was in error in who who delegated to run the facilities.

  51. The funny thing about sargon is the left wing and the right wing hate him. He's just that much of an idiot

  52. I'm ashamed to admit I used to be a diehard Trump fanboy, but videos like these have dragged me out of my echo chamber to realize what's going on. Regardless of your stance on immigration, we should be able to agree that US detention facilities need serious reform.

  53. I find the argument that only 10 percent of the ss to be psychos to be odd. They must have been assuming the us police and military isn't full of psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies, which, is FAR from the reality..

  54. " Sorry children, but unless your screams exceed the 126.4 decibel threshold and continue on or beyond that volume for at least 45 seconds at consecutive 2-hour intervals, then nope, not mistreatment. Sorry x "

  55. This is probably my favorite YouTube video ever. Which is kind of sad given the horrors that it mentions, but the work behind it is just so well done and good intentioned that I had to say that. Well done "Dan of Deutschland", as some mesopotamian dick would say.

  56. Sargon of dumbass doesn't realise that the border force and militia groups are shooting at the these people. There is actual video footage showcasing this on youtube

  57. Usually, societies are turned cruel. Racism is a fine tool of the bourgeoisie. You need to ban interracial marriage because people have a tendency to intermarry.

  58. Woah, akkad, not surprised his biased, smug, witless coverage doesn't contain the REASON these South Americans were immagrating in the first place. Fat bastard very clearly never experienced any oppression. American foreign policy directly contributed to the downfall of those South American countries.

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