Mar 28Liked by Keith Kahn-Harris

Will Storr wrote a book in which he infiltrated a group of Holocaust deniers. As I understand it - I haven't read the book - he discovered they all had personal reasons for needing to deny or minimise the Holocaust - for examples, they had family members who were involved. No doubt some neo-Nazis deny the Holocaust cynically, but I would guess others, like Storr's deniers, do so as a psychological defence mechanism, maybe a way to reconcile their political beliefs with their self-image as a morally upright person.

That circle has been squared in other ways, too. I remember hearing Zizek talk about some SS commander - it may have been Himmler, but maybe not - who told his men that the greatest heroism was to take on the moral burden of performing terrible acts. He didn't tell them killing Jews was good; he told them killing Jews for a greater good was a noble self-sacrifice. I bet even the top Nazis thought they were only doing it because they had no choice. No one is the villain in their own story. The human mind is a sick and depraved thing.

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I'm sure you have never considered the possibility that you are wrong, and are convinced that everything you read from official sources is the cold hard truth. "Denial" is the vocabulary of the fanatic, utterly convinced that their version of events is 100% certain, and that contravening this in any way is heresy.

This may be the mindset of the Jerusalemite; but there are Athenians willing to consider alternative viewpoints, and we aren't going anywhere soon, as angry as that may make the Pharisees. I'm more than happy to be the Happy Heretic.

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