Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The Reign of The Passive


This date marks the enactment of laws altered to the purpose of murdering a section of the population to an extent that it turned into a genocide. The onset was named The Kristallnacht as in the name of the glass of their shop windows shattering as the sound of their lives and livelihood were removed from daily German life on November 9, 1938.


Firuz Kutal, October 25, 2016.
Bana ne? = It is not my business, it is not my problem


Anxious, unemployed, protest voters had been one means of installing the powers, which then went on to take steps to enact the genocide. Meanwhile the protest voters turned into passive, fearful sheep. 

Today we have once again been witnessing protest voters coming out in flocks, this time in the US and while we have nothing good to expect from the demagogue they elected, we ought to remember George Orwell's words cited today by David Remnick in The New Yorker "that the relative freedom we enjoy depends of public opinion. The law is no protection (...) If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them".

Looking back and 1938 and what came after, the disposition of the private citizen has been intensely discussed ever since. Did they know? In his postscript of If This Is a Man Primo Levi makes an equally clear position as Orwell: Oh yes, how could they otherwise - I am paraphrasing - the murder took place on a scale that everyone would have been linked to someone in the know or the action. Only they chose not to know. They chose ignorance. The one who knew was quiet, the one who did not know did not ask and the one who knew did not answer. They taped their mouths shut and closed their eyes. They nursed their ignorance, as Levi concluded: Considering their deliberate passivity I consider them unconditionally guilty.

As it happened the two present cartoons came about at the very same day a few weeks ago. The happy colors of lameness of Erdogan's Turkey, in which large droves of journalists, writers - cartoonists - and teachers and and... have been arrested with the remains of the public looking passively on: "It is not my problem".

From an Iranian perspective Mana Neyestani has portrayed the political prisoners with those willfully ignorant, who sanctioned the imprisonments. They make up the prison chains - drawn with a simple line of white on stark black in contrast to the textured nuances of the life they assist to kill off.

We have nothing good to expect from the US in the coming years. They have now officially joined their lookalikes in places such as Turkey and Iran. But we shall not for one minute regard them as innocent in what may take place. And we have the cartoonists to prove it.



Mana Neyestani, October 25, 2016.
"To our political prisoners, excuse us all of the recent arrests".



The cartoons shown are courtesy of Firuz Kutal and Mana Neyestani and must not be reproduced without their permission.


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