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MODERNITY AND THE HOLOCAUST PDF

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There are two ways to belittle, misjudge, or shrug off the significance of the Holocaust for sociology as the theory of civilization, of modernity, of modern. Modernity and the Holocaust. A. I). Moses. In his book, Murder in Our Mat: The Holocaust, Industrial Killing, and. Representation.1 the historian h e r Bartov has . Abstract When Zygmunt Bauman first published Modernity and the Holocaust. ( ) it elicited a variety of reactions among historians and sociologists. In his.


Modernity And The Holocaust Pdf

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DownloadZygmunt bauman modernity and the holocaust pdf. Free Download e- Books HKEY LOCAL MACHINE software microsoft shared tools msconfig. there is no inherent potential for a Holocaust in modern, rational, society. Rather, With the publication of Modernity and the Holocaust, Zygmunt Bauman drew. Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust (Polity Press, ). It is only in moments of raw awareness that any of the uncountable large and small scale.

The journalist asked himself a question; which of the two incarnations each of these Januses was clearly capable of was the true face, and which was the mask? He concluded that the question was wrongly put.

Both were possibilities that the character of the victims contained all along -- they simply surfaced at different times and in different circumstances. Yet the other was always present, though normally invisible.

The partners would have continued to enjoy their marriage, unaware of the unprepossessing qualities some unexpected and extraordinary -- 7 -circumstances might still uncover in persons they seemed to know, liking what they knew.

They were dormant heroes, often indistinguishable from those around them. John R. Roth brings the same issue of potentiality versus reality the first being a yet-undisclosed mode of the second, and the second being an alreadyrealized -- and thus empirically accessible -- mode of the first in a direct contact with our problem: Had Nazi Power prevailed, authority to determine what ought to be would have found that no natural laws were broken and no crimes against God and humanity were committed in the Holocaust.

It would have been a question, though, whether the slave labour operations should continue, expand, or go out of business. Those decisions would have been made on rational grounds. We suspect even if we refuse to admit it that the Holocaust could merely have uncovered another face of the same modern society whose other, more familiar, face we so admire. And that the two faces are perfectly comfortably attached to the same body. What we perhaps fear most, is that each of the two faces can no more exist without the other than can the two sides of a coin.

Often we stop just at the threshold of the awesome truth. And so -- 8 -Henry Feingold insists that the episode of the Holocaust was indeed a new development in a long, and on the whole blameless, history of modern society; a development we had no way to expect and predict, like an appearance of a new malign strain of an allegedly tamed virus: The Final Solution marked the juncture where the European industrial system went awry; instead of enhancing life, which was the original hope of the Enlightenment, it began to consume itself.

It was by dint of that industrial system and the ethos attached to it that Europe was able to dominate the world. As if the skills needed and deployed in the service of world domination were qualitatively different from those which secured the effectiveness of the Final Solution.

And yet Feingold is staring the truth in the face: [Auschwitz] was also a mundane extension of the modern factory system. Rather than producing goods, the raw material was human beings and the end-product was death, so many units per day marked carefully on the manager's production charts.

The chimneys, the very symbol of the modern factory system, poured forth acrid smoke produced by burning human flesh. The brilliantly organized railroad grid of modern Europe carried a new kind of raw material to the factories. It did so in the same manner as with other cargo.

In the gas chambers the victims inhaled noxious gas generated by prussic acid pellets, which were produced by the advanced chemical industry of Germany. Engineers designed the crematoria; managers designed the system of bureaucracy that worked with a zest and efficiency more backward nations would envy. Even the overall plan itself was a reflection of the modern scientific spirit gone awry. What we witnessed was nothing less than a massive scheme of social engineering In the words of Stillman and Pfaff, -- 9 -There is more than a wholly fortuitous connection between the applied technology of the mass production line, with its vision of universal material abundance, and the applied technology of the concentration camp, with its vision of a profusion of death.

We may wish to deny the connection, but Buchenwald was of our West as much as Detroit's River Rouge -- we cannot deny Buchenwald as a casual aberration of a Western world essentially sane.

The machinery of destruction was the organized community in one of its special roles. Rubenstein has drawn what seems to me the ultimate lesson of the Holocaust. It was an advance, let us add, in a double sense. In the Final Solution, the industrial potential and technological know-how boasted by our civilization has scaled new heights in coping successfully with a task of unprecedented magnitude.

And in the same Final Solution our society has disclosed to us it heretofore unsuspected capacity. Taught to respect and admire technical efficiency and good design, we cannot but admit that, in the praise of material progress which our civilization has brought, we have sorely underestimated its true potential.

The world of the death camps and the society it engenders reveals the progressively intensifying night side of Judeo-Christian civilization.

Civilization means slavery, wars, exploitation, and death camps. It also means medical hygiene, elevated religious ideas, beautiful art, and exquisite music. It is an error to imagine that civilization and savage cruelty are antithesis In our times the cruelties, like most other aspects of our world, have become far more effectively administered than ever before.

They have not and will not cease to exist.

Both creation and destruction are inseparable aspects of what we call civilization. I have keenly searched the works of sociologists for statements expressing similar awareness of the urgency of the task posited by the Holocaust; for evidence that the Holocaust presents, among other things, a challenge to sociology as a profession and a body of academic knowledge.

When measured against the work done by historians or theologians, the bulk of -- 10 -academic sociology looks more like a collective exercise in forgetting and eye-closing.

By and large, the lessons of the Holocaust have left little trace on sociological common sense, which includes among many others such articles of faith as the benefits of reason's rule over the emotions, the superiority of rationality over what else? However loud and poignant, voices of the protest against this faith have not yet penetrated the walls of the sociological establishment.

I do not know of many occasions on which sociologists, qua sociologists, confronted publicly the evidence of the Holocaust. One such occasion though on a small scale was offered by the symposium on Western Society after the Holocaust, convened in by the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Social Problems.

Rubenstein presented an imaginative, though perhaps over-emotional attempt to re-read, in the light of the Holocaust experience, some of the best-known of Weber's diagnoses of the tendencies of modern society.

Rubenstein wished to find out whether the things we know about, but of which Weber was naturally unaware, could have been anticipated by Weber himself and his readers , at least as a possibility, from what Weber knew, perceived or theorized about. He thought he had found a positive answer to this question, or at least so he suggested: that in Weber's exposition of modern bureaucracy, rational spirit, principle of efficiency, scientific mentality, relegation of values to the realm of subjectivity etc.

There is just no sentence in his presentation that I can accept. He refrained, -- 11 -however, from confronting the substance of Rubenstein's suggestion. In all probability, Guenther Roth is not the only sociologist who would rally to the defence of the hallowed truths of our joint tradition at the expense of the adverse evidence; it is just that most other sociologists have not been forced to do so in such an outspoken way.

By and large, we need not bother with the challenge of the Holocaust in our daily professional practice. If at all discussed in sociological texts, the Holocaust is at best offered as a sad example of what an untamed innate human aggressiveness may do, and then used as a pretext to exhort the virtues of taming it through an increase in the civilizing pressure and another flurry of expert problem-solving.

In other words, I propose to treat the Holocaust as a rare, yet significant and reliable, test of the hidden possibilities of modern society. The meaning of the civilizing process The etiological myth deeply entrenched in the self-consciousness of our Western society is the morally elevating story of humanity emerging from presocial barbarity. Contrary opinions of contemporary social theorists see, for instance, the thorough analyses of multifarious civilizing processes: historical and comparative by Michael Mann, synthetic and theoretical by Anthony Giddens , which emphasize the growth of military violence and untrammelled use of coercion as the most crucial attributes of the emergence and entrenchment of great civilizations, have a long This version of Total HTML Converter is unregistered.

By and large, lay opinion resents all challenge to the myth. In view of this myth, long ago ossified into the common sense of our era, the Holocaust can only be understood as the failure of civilization i. Obviously, the Hobbesian world has not been fully chained, the Hobbesian problem has not been fully resolved.

In other words, we do not have as yet enough civilization. The unfinished civilizing process is yet to be brought to its conclusion. If the lesson of mass murder does teach us anything it is that the prevention of similar hiccups of barbarism evidently requires still more civilizing efforts. There is nothing in this lesson to cast doubt on the future effectivenes of such efforts and their ultimate results. We certainly move in the right direction; perhaps we do not move fast enough.

As its full picture emerges from historical research, so does an alternative, and possible more credible, interpretation of the Holocaust as an event which disclosed the weakness and fragility of human nature of the abhorrence of murder, disinclination to violence, fear of guilty conscience and of responsibility for immoral behaviour when confronted with the matter-of-fact efficiency of the most cherished among the products of civilization; its technology, its rational criteria of choice, its tendency to subordinate thought and action to the pragmatics of economy and effectiveness.

The Hobbesian world of the Holocaust did not surface from its too-shallow grave, resurrected by the tumult of irrational emotions.

It arrived in a formidable shape Hobbes would certainly disown in a factory-produced vehicle, wielding weapons only the most advanced science could supply, and following an itinerary designed by scientifically managed organization. Modern civilization was not the Holocaust's sufficient condition; it was, however, most certainly its necessary condition. Without it, the Holocaust would be unthinkable. It was the rational world of modern civilization that made the Holocaust thinkable.

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The civil service infused the other hierarchies with its sure-footed planning and bureaucratic thoroughness. From the army the -- 14 -machinery of destruction acquired its military precision, discipline, and callousness. Industry's influence was felt in the great emphasis upon accounting, penny-saving, and salvage, as well as in factory-like efficiency of the killing centres.

It was indeed the organized society in one of special roles. Though engaged in mass murder on a gigantic scale, this vast bureaucratic apparatus showed concern for correct bureaucratic procedure, for the niceties of precise definition, for the minutiae of bureaucratic regulation, and the compliance with the law.

To a degree much too high for comfort, the designation faithfully reflected the organizational meaning of activity. Like all other activities amenable to bureaucratic rationalization, it fits well the sober description of modern administration offered by Max Weber: Precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge of the files, continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction and of material and personal costs -- these are raised to the optimum point in the strictly bureaucratic administration Bureaucratization offers above all the optimum possibility for carrying through the principle of specializing administrative functions according to purely objective considerations And yet the Holocaust is so crucial to our understanding of the -- 15 -modern bureaucratic mode of rationalization not only, and not primarily, because it reminds us as if we need such a reminder just how formal and ethically blind is the bureaucratic pursuit of efficiency.

Its significance is not fully expressed either once we realize to what extent mass murder on an unprecedented scale depended on the availability of well-developed and firmly entrenched skills and habits of meticulous and precise division of labour, of maintaining a smooth flow of command and information, or of impersonal, well-synchronized co-ordination of autonomous yet complementary actions: on those skills and habits, in short, which best grow and thrive in the atmosphere of the office.

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And so the emigration of German Jews was chosen first as the practical solution to Hitler's objective; it would resulted in a judenfrei Germany, were other countries more -- 16 -hospitable to Jewish refugees. When Austria was annexed, Eichmann earned his first accolade for expediting and streamlining the mass emigration of Austrian Jewry.

But then the territory under Nazi rule began to swell.

A separate reserve for the future Jewish principality' was designated around Nisko, in what was, before the conquest, central Poland. To this, however, German bureaucracy saddled with the management of the former Polish territories objected: it had already enough trouble with policing its own local Jewry. And so Eichmann spent a full year working on the Madagascar project: with France defeated, her far-away colony could be transformed into the Jewish principality that failed to materialize in Europe.

The Madagascar project, however, proved to be similarly illfated, given the enormous distance, the volume of necessary ship-space, and the British navy presence on the high seas. In the meantime the size of the conquered territory, and so the number of Jews under German jurisdiction continued to grow.

Gradually yet relentlessly, the thousand-year Reich took up, ever more distinctly, the shape of a German-ruled Europe.

Under the circumstances, the goal of a judenfrei Germany could not but follow the process. Almost imperceptibly, step by step, it expanded into the objective of judenfrei Europe. With the downfall of Russia reluctant to materialize, and the alternative solutions unable to keep pace with the fast-growing problem, Himmler ordered on 1 October the final stop to all further Jewish emigration. The rest was the matter of co-operation between various departments of state bureaucracy; of careful planning, designing proper technology and technical equipment, -- 17 -budgeting, calculating and mobilizing necessary resources: indeed, the matter of dull bureaucratic routine.

It was also affected by the widely described bureaucratic tendency to goal-displacement -- an affliction as normal in all bureaucracies as their routines.

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Kaye and B. Google Scholar 6. Google Scholar D. Google Scholar 7. Katz, The Holocaust in Historical Context, vol. Volume two has not appeared at the time of writing. Google Scholar 8. Bauman, Postmodern Ethics Oxford: Blackwell, , p.

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Modernity and the Holocaust

Google Scholar Good surveys of the literature are D. Bessel Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, , pp. Moses and D. Stone London: Routledge, , pp. Exceptions are S. CrossRef Google Scholar I take this concept from G. See D. Dunning and S. Horkheimer and T.

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View Preview. Learn more Check out. Citing Literature Number of times cited according to CrossRef: Volume 43 , Issue 3 August Pages Related Information. Email or Customer ID. Forgot your password? Forgot password?From the viewpoint of American Literary History, it is clear that these questions open up a range of comparative or transnational possibilities. In the Final Solution, the industrial potential and technological know-how boasted by our civilization has scaled new heights in coping successfully with a task of unprecedented magnitude.

Even without a clear means provided by the leaders. In general, we try to cure the social body of ills rehabilitate criminals, for example. The delegitimation of all but inner-organizational rules as the source and guarantee of propriety, and thus denial of the authority of private conscience, become now the highest moral virtue. Thus, in a very important sense, the self identify of Christians at this time depended on the Jewish people.

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