These days, as a result of the Judge Kavanaugh hearings and accusations, my Facebook feed is filled with a lot of rage and I understand and empathize with it. Still, we have to call it out for what it is: the “Killing Baby Hitler” fantasy.
As a binge consumer of all the time travel sci-fi TV series (read this blog), I have seen many versions of what Einstein called the gedankenexperiment or thought experiment. What if we would could go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Because WWII and state-sponsored genocide of gypsies, Jews, gays, dissidents, and genetic “defectives” were so destructive, people glibly assume that everyone would agree that it would be justified to travel back in time and murder baby Adolf Hitler. The question is almost always posed as rhetorical one despite the deep and troubling aspects of punishing what PK Dick called “pre-crime” in his Minority Report story.
The current political climate is fueled by this moral relativism that indulges a fantasy that the ends justify the means and that acting in alignment with hate and division don’t actually corrupt us morally and spiritually. What you do to another, you do to yourself.
What you learn from watching time travel TV is that karma and destiny are not easy fields to manipulate. Murdering children for crimes that they have not yet committed is dubious. There are many factors and points of intervention that would diffuse any coming storm without murder and we could also argue that more powerful forces in history render certain events almost inevitable.
I listen to the mainstream media from both sides and can understand both narratives. What is missing is the center, human perspective. Tribalism is at a fever pitch and the rule of common sense, civil discourse, and Constitutional principles are now deprecated as bygone idealism.
The phrase “by any means necessary” reportedly was coined by Sartre and elevated by Malcolm X. When I read the rage against Judge Kavanaugh despite the absence of any of the named material witnesses and participants to corroborate the accusations, I gather that the debate is not one of legalism, fairness, or facts. In the minds of many, the ends most certainly justify the means. They want to impeach Trump, protect abortion rights, and stop a rise of what they believe is an emerging fascist America.
Sadly, the struggle has abandoned the most effective tools of transformation such as discourse, electoral platforms, and the peaceful protest. Instead, those that are deranged by confusion and fear are resorting to doxxing, voter shaming, and openly harassing those that don’t agree. There are 25% who would never stray from the so-called Left and 25% who would never stray from the so-called Right. But the majority of people are in the middle and their consciences are still to be won over.
Quite literally, anyone that disagrees with this frenzied level of tribalism and moral relativism is a kind of baby Hitler and justifiably a target of social violence to many of my friends on the Left. At least the Right has payed lip service to honoring social justice, due process, and plurality of opinion. In a bit of irony, the ACLU is now running commercials comparing the accused Kavanaugh to Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby. But I suppose support in the forms of many millions of dollars from donors puts a magnet to the moral compass? Social justice politics reminds me of a bizarro-world these days. It’s like Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, but in reverse. It’s the women’s turn to accuse and hang the old patriarchs, I suppose. But rather than engage in a Hegelian dialectic of historical retribution, perhaps attendance to a principle of equal protection and equal opportunity are more in alignment with where we want to go as a species?
In the final analysis, if a person abandons their morals in favor of greater cause, they can be honored as as heroes and prophets, like Abraham dragging Isaac up the mountain for slaughter. But what gods and monsters are we willing to become to defend principles that might only be spun out of deceit and a banal lust for power?
Disclosure: I am pro abortion rights and anti murdering babies via time travel. Come at me, bro.
18 thoughts on “Killing Baby Hitler”
Thanks Dr. Ed put into words what I have been searching for. Strange place we have been living in
The majority of people still have morals, conscience, and thought…they just choose not to engage with barbed rhetoric
Ed, I agree with you — thanks for writing this!
Thanks, Deborah. Let’s get back to civil discourse and not assuming that silence means acquiescence to radical thought.
Ed, with all due respect, you are in woeful need of a deeper understanding of how our culture has been deceptively programmed on the “genocidal madman” Hitler and WW2 in general.
Suggest starting with a video documentary by Dennis Wise “Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told” at https://thegreateststorynevertold.tv/ and the illustrated book “The Bad War” by M.S.King http://tomatobubble.com/bad_war_back_in_print.html
Hitler was at the helm of some very bad stuff but there is plenty of room for other world leaders in the hall of shame
Apologetics for the Nazis. No thank you.
Implicit in the blog is the premise that Naziism is a preventable evil. Perhaps you misunderstood the message?
Dr. Park, No, I wasn’t commenting on that premise…merely on the fact that the video and book you were recommended are Nazi apologetics, filled with horribly distorted history and rants about ‘the Jews’.
Love the way you ended the above Ed: “Come at me bro” .
As my friends in the Marines would say: Simper Fi!
(P.S.: Your a guy who likes to use jargon with movie metaphors and quotes it seems. SO! You may have seen, and if so, like the ending to CessPool (Oh! Sorry) Deadpool II.
Best to you Ed! : > )
Well pondered… the egoistical world of dualities is vicious and we need to be vigilant about what consciousness are we using to perceive and experience what comes at us. Thank you for bringing more clarity and sharing your thoughts with us.
Thank you, Monica. I agree that dualism is the problem. We can all be partly right/wrong and nuanced. We must guard against choosing to believe lies
Would it have been morally justified to take that trip back in time to kill Hitler in 1933? 1940? 1944? How about Stalin at about the time he started his purges? Ignore the ‘Butterfly Effect’ for the purposes of this thought experiment.
What was implicit in my post is that the more ethical way to prevent Hitler from doing what he did was to patronize him as an artist. Based on time travel fiction, the likely outcome of that might be Hitler as an artist/dictator, other players facilitating the rise of Fascism. Perhaps having less punitive measures taken against Germany in the Paris peace conference would be a better way to prevent what you wish to prevent?
Hitler was an ultra-nationalist, who supremely resented the loss of the war and the inevitable resulting loss of territory, money and pride by the German people. It’s unclear whether buying some of his art would have changed what drove him. Of course, it’s also unclear what would be the result of ANY meddling with past events , so it’s probably a good thing that we are (at least currently) unable to do so. Yes, the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were fairly harsh. They were later modified starting in 1921 and the reparations were decreased, and actually suspended in fact by 1931, after which Germany paid no more. This wouldn’t have mattered much to Hitler, as the insult had already occurred. Even if the initial terms had been more favorable to Germany, it’s quite likely that AH would still have supremely resented them. Also, the Great Depression would still have occurred, and Hitler’s mobilization for war would still have revived Germany’s economy. Would the Nazi’s public support have been lessened with better treaty terms? It’s hard to say, because the actual implementation was not disastrous for Germany. Consequences are to be expected for starting a war of that magnitude and losing, regardless. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Treaty_of_Versailles Changing focus, do you believe that the actual plots against Hitler’s life in the 1940s such as Operation Valkyrie were morally justified?
I don’t think anything is morally justified. People do what they are going to do and tell themselves whatever story they want. I merely suggest that murdering people for things they might do is not a terribly great idea…who would be left?
I agree with you on the part about ‘murdering people for things they might do’. Such was not the case regarding the plots against Hitler in the 1940s, however.
If you want the true story of nazi Germany, read Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Your stuff is neo-nazi rubbish.