As part of my daily dose of Cherry Vile, I have been reading three charming books:
Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination by Ben Kiernan and
Denial of Death and Escape from Evil, both by Earnest Becker.

Kiernan’s book describes how we kill each other with great skill and enthusiasm while proclaiming we will never let it happen again. He lists some common features in human culture that seem to set the stage for genocide. Just for the record, they’re still setting the stage and putting on the play.

Becker’s two books suggest that our fear of death makes us easy pretty to follow “heroic” leaders who lead us on great causes. These causes often lead to mass murder.

Becker pulls together and tries to integrate thoughts from a variety of philosophers, psychologists, and anthropologists in a way that impresses me.

 I suspect he brewed and drank Cherry Vile by the gallon.

Unfortunately, after doing the prep, he perhaps forgot to go in for the actual procedure.

He died of colon cancer around the age of 50, just as he was really hitting his stride as a depressing thinker, leaving a non-profit foundation with his name on it in Seattle, to carry on his work. (Brewing cherry vile, I guess is what they carry on).

 I haven’t joined yet, but I probably will one of these days.)

 

 

 

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