Never the Tribe

Reading Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem in the van.  No group in Europe comes out clean, although some come across as marginally better.  Obviously the Nazis are at the center of things.  But plenty of other countries, especially Eastern European countries, played a role in the Final Solution.  Even the French, for instance, who quit deporting Jews once they learned what that deportation truly meant, contributed.  The Nazis couldn’t have done what they did without collaboration.  In fact many Jews even collaborated with the Nazis towards achieving their sinister goals. 

The point of this all being that we should treat people as individuals.  Whenever we point the finger at an entire group of people, whether to point out something good or bad, we simplify things and lose our ability to see reality. 

I can’t help but feel that those that identify with a group or a tribe first of all, can’t help but one day be dissapointed.  Unless of course they are willing to blindly accept whatever it is that group may do.  And that is nothing but unthinking stupidity.  We should put people first at times, before ourselves, but never the tribe. 

I don’t feel that this is a particularly hard truth to arrive at.  But in America these days one never knows…


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