Holocaust and Aleppo? Watching and doing nothing

“The reality of the inimitable is to constantly imitate. By seeing Hitlers everywhere we forget that he is dead and that what is happening before our eyes creates new singularities of Evil.”
– Alain Badiou


Where I find Badiou’s thinking spontaneously helpful is in Ethics and Politics:

“The Nazi extermination is radical Evil in that it provides for our time the unique, unrivalled measure of Evil pure and simple. The measure must itself be unmeasurable, yet it must constantly be measured. As the surpreme negative example, this crime is inimitable, but every crime is an imitation of it.

To get out of this circle, we obviously have to abandon the theme of radical evil, of the measure without measure. This attempt at the religious absolutization of Evil is incoherent.”

Alain Badiou: Ethik (Turia + Kant. Wien 2003). p. 87f (translated to English by A.K.)


The phenomenon of watching and doing nothing when remote events are streamed to our personal devices, how to approach it? This media spectacle demands from us constant action, to stand up and show solidarity. We might give it a like or share. It goes beyond our capacity of sustainable action, or a long-term strategy to pursue a change.

“Children are murdered every single hour”. We have no choice to deny that this is cruel.

The video from Arab Israeli Lucy Aharish expresses her shame as a citizen of the world. How to respond to the comparison between Holocaust and what is happening in Aleppo? Does the comparison help improving the situation? Does it help understanding the conflicting situation? I can’t see that. The way I see it currently is: Making the viewers feel guilty does not help the Syrian civilians and is not journalism.

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