Today’s flavor comes from an unintentional thematic stew. This morning I read an article about the early 20th century eugenics movement, watched part of the second episode of The Man in the High Castle, and read a Republican’s vow to work against a Trump presidency they feel would be “the greatest threat to American democracy since the Great Depression”.
All three touch on fear and disgust toward those who are different, a desire to eliminate those who are deemed impure, and a belief that a pure society is achievable.
Whether the inferior foe is “the feeble-minded”, non-Aryans, or Muslims and Mexicans, the proponents of these ideas believe that they can be removed from society. The means vary—sterilization, genocide, or really big walls—but the stated end goal is the same: “We won’t have to deal with those people anymore.”
But here’s the problem for these would-be purifiers: keeping all your followers excited enough to maintain your power means perpetuating the masses’ agitation over the aliens in their midst—and that means you can’t run out of aliens. Even if you eliminate that first foe you rallied them against, there has to be another or they don’t need you anymore.
There can be no complete success. The perfect and pure society never comes because totalitarian power never wants to step down.
Consider the opposite then: an openness toward those who are different, acceptance of multiple ways of being in the world, and an acknowledgement that any society of more than one person will always contain diversity.
Power, goals, and the definition of success are much more open under this scenario. The existence of difference doesn’t equal failure.
And that prompts King George from Hamilton to sing in my ear the surprise of the former point of view when it encounters the nimble success of the latter.
George Washington’s yielding his power and stepping away
I wasn’t aware that was something a person could do
Are they gonna keep on replacing whoever’s in charge?”
I’m voting xenophilia.