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Humanity, YOU FAIL.

Reader comment on item: Why the Japanese Internment Still Matters

Submitted by Akio (United States), Jan 15, 2005 at 03:49

The discussion of internment camps is riddled with logical inconsistencies and sophistry. It relies on belief, rather than concrete fact, and refuses to acknowledge the blatant inconsistency in targeting a small, already untrusted, obvious minority while refusing to take action against the large, influential, and far more ingrained German and Italian populations. Makes more sense, of course, when you consider that only the Japanese were depicted and propagandized as subhuman outsiders.

Considering the huge numbers of families who lost not only their freedom, but also all their worldly posessions, it is blatantly clear that the Japanese internment was far from the benevolent picture that Ms. Malkin attempts to present.


...Of course it makes no sense for the reasonable among us to discuss civil liberties - not because they are unimportant, but because they are clearly without value to many who agree with the value of the camps. He specifically agreed with the idea that civil liberties are in no way permanent - not in that they have limits, which is widely agreed upon, but that those limits may be drastically warped by changes in circumstance or leadership.

The key to understanding the morality of such strategies is the Rule of Law.

To assert that the Japanese internment, and more recent actions against Moslems, are moral requires an absolute negation to the Rule of Law, as the laws have no inherant value - The ruler need only convince themselves of the supposed necessity (or simple benefit) of their transmutations. This is contrary to the very essence of democratic society - a society in which the people are sovereign, and not subject to the whim of the ruler; a society in which the good of the whole is preserved through reasoned consideration of specific, limited, and comprehensible laws.

The Constitutionality of such interments and attacks on liberty is also, ultimately, a futile argument for us - the author has already made it perfectly clear that he considers the Constitution no more than a set of guidelines, to be followed when the government feels like it. This is, of course, contrary to the design of the Constitution, to impose true limits on the government - it is intentionally difficult to amend in order to prevent a tyrant from governing without the consent of the people. If the ruler does not have to abide by the Constitution, its prescriptions are meaningless.

So...

I want every single person who would consider agreeing with Pipes to think long and hard on that fact. ...

Let's draw another conclusion from this fact: specifically, that civil rights, the constitution, and any concept of libertarianism that reaches beyond the economic are now the domain of the left wing. To all the libertarian Republicans out there, I'm sorry - I like you guys, I really do, and though we have our disagreements we have basic principles in common. You just have to come to terms with the fact that your party's leadership has left you behind.

We at the University of Chicago are partly to blame for this Neoconservative movement, and it's really rather embarassing. The philosophy that drives Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Ashcroft is that of the U of C's Leo Strauss. I'm not just saying that - some of them went here, and the philosophy influences all of them.

So what does that mean? Well, it means that they consider knowledge, philosophy, political power, and even reason to be things that should not be extending to all of society. Rather, there exist elites who deserve to possess these, and an unwashed mass whose posession of these would drive the nation to ruin. It is one of the most anti-egalitarian complexes to raise its head since facism fell. So yes, we are currently ruled by people who think we (the populace) do not deserve power.

Think on that, you Old Conservatives, you Libertarians.

Too frequently we make decisions based on gut instinct, fear, or desire, without actually considering the consequences of those decisions.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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