Nice people …

15 Jan

My FB post elicited the exchange below. It alludes to two comments not shown. One is by Mick, who’d cited Niemoller’s famous words, ‘first they came for the Jews ..’  The other is to a video targeting Meryl’s attack on Donald at the Golden Globes. Apologies for yoga & organic  stereotype. I do both (and am considering a return to veganism due to the Auschwitz conditions of our meat and dairy industries). Fast way to make my point is all.

The rest is self explanatory.


The fact Pastor Niemoller was confessing, rather than merely dispensing homilies of the kind we love to blue-tac above our workdesks, not only humanises his words but gives them added power. I’m no Christian but do believe redemption possible while we still breathe.

As for Barack Obama, do you want the 1200 word assessment? Or the thirty-eight worder?

5 thoughts on “Nice people …

  1. Arguably the most effective response to the criticism to this point can be found here:

    http://press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html

    Which in one way can be viewed as a mea culpa by someone who actually lived through 1930’s Germany and who considered themselves “nice person.”

    What Meyer alludes to here is that what happened then and in that place – accross Europe as well as in Germany- was down to the at least passive and often active contributions of “nice people.” It was why is relatively straightforward for the Nazi’s to hold onto many of the States they successfully defeated militarily and occupied until forced out by the allies. It is why we should not be complacent as even though it was the case that mainland Europe fell at that time Britain contained it’s own contingent of nice people at every level who would have acted no differently. Indeed it is why WW2 still features, even after almost eighty years, high in our cultural and collective memories. Not because we stood alone against Germany whilst too many in societies on the European mainland were nice people who viewed opposition to right wing authority as some kind of troublemaking at best and terrorism at worst but the real silent majority of that generation in this country were actively prepared to stand alone against fascism and tell the nice people in our own society they were having none of it.

    Of the many fundamental weaknesses of fascism in that form at that time perhaps the one feature which undermined it was in not providing a “choice”. From the perspective of its corporatist base this was inefficient. To maintain control and continuity of control requires, from a systemic perspective, overall control of any and all opposition by allowing a form of faux political “choice” . A fact which too many who today who see themselves as at the progressive point on the political grid have forgotten in their headlong rush to flush their critical faculties down the lavvy. This is Chomsky ‘s manufacturing consent 101 and two many self proclaimed progressives and nice people have not even bothered to look at the material never mind deliver, in a practical sense, on the essay.

    Indeed, one wonders how many “nice people” our society contains, particularly in the “progressive” category who could rise to the challenge of the questions posed in this piece:

    https://off-guardian.org/2017/01/11/when-blood-is-a-lie/

    Looking to the present and not too distent future the question also arises as to how many “nice people” exist within our society who might passively accept, silently concur, inwardly cheer, briefly clap from the safety and comfort of a living room or other private space, or get out their pen (green or otherwise) or device to pen a missive to the papers, Facebook, or online expressing in the usual weasel words some kind of acknowledgement to the sentiments expressed by the comments highlighted in this piece:

    http://www.thecanary.co/2017/01/13/top-tory-lobbyist-suggests-striking-rail-workers-terrorists-bizarre-online-rant-tweets/

    On present evidence confidence cannot be that high of us emulating the position taken by those generations who held and advanced the line up to and during the war. Seems nice people have better things to do like hanging around Meadowhell or vegetation to Strictly Come Baking in the Sun.

  2. Thanks Dave. You link to OffGuardian’s piece on the factory in Egypt where propagandists were caught red handed – literally since they were using paint as blood – making fake videos to show ‘atrocities’ committed by Syrian forces in East Aleppo. It isn’t just that by such means has a warped narrative on Syria been constructed to legitimate the dirty war on that country. It’s that, as I commented a few days ago below the piece:

    “Media – corporate, social, alternative – are at the epicentre of struggle. And that fake blood takes real lives. It’s the means by which Islamist terror can appeal for ‘western help’. And hasn’t the middle east had enough ‘western help’ to last a hundred lifetimes?”

  3. i want to be clear, honest, self-aware, empathic, aware of cruelties and injustices, willing to do something about them, I want to be unafraid of expressing myself, prepared to accept when I have said something inaccurate or hurtful, reflect on it and do what I can to make things right. What I never want to be is nice!

  4. You’re a good friend Sue. All my friends are good people. Which means strong people. It takes guts to be a true friend.

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