samedi 3 août 2019

David Deutsch on "the need to preserve the legitimacy of hurting Jews, for being Jews"

Richard Landes, historien.  Extrait:
"I went to visit a twitter friend, the physicist David Deutsch [David Deutsch est un physicien israélo-britannique né à Haïfa en 1953, professeur de physique à l'université d'Oxford. Il s'est spécialisé dans le domaine de l'informatique quantique. Il est notamment connu pour l'algorithme de Deutsch-Jozsa.]. He’s writing a book about patterns of irrational thought that sabotage human creativity and progress. He has a chapter on the Jews in which identifies a pattern (he calls it “the Pattern”) concerning the Jews. The key to people’s behavior in this regard, he argues, is the need to preserve the legitimacy of hurting Jews, for being Jews. This legitimacy is much more important than actually hurting Jews. And it targets only the Jews. It is not, accordingly, either a hatred or a fear, a form of racism or prejudice in the conventional sense, even though it can lead to those feelings and attitudes. But it is actually unique. No other group can substitute for the Jews as the target whom it is legitimate to hurt. 
Now I know that I could have demanded evidence to “prove” the point (as might you of me), but I also know how vaporous the evidence for these kinds of motivations. (I think we should use scare quotes around political, or any social “science.”) Here, however, was an elegant almost mathematic formulation from a physicist, that nonetheless focused attention on what I think needs so much attention: the psychological. (Although that might be my, not his view). Still, it had an uncanny resemblance to Patterson’s point about killing. The (hopefully few) exterminationists want permission to kill; a (far more numerous) group, just wants permission to harm. They don’t even have to do it… just want it affirmed on the level of collective social emotions. 
Of course, this summary is a pale reflection of the sophistication of his thought and its implications which challenge the idea that antisemitism is a form of racism or hatred. This “Pattern,” Deutsch argues, is not merely an instance of a generic phenomena (like racism, etc.). Rather, it is
an irrational pattern of thinking about right and wrong, which targets only Jews and has no close parallels in other irrationalities or immoralities.”
(From his draft chapter which he just sent me.)
One of Deutsch’s points is that the legitimacy of harming Jews, plays a role ranging from minor to decisive in moral identity formation: “woven into the fabric of many religions, political philosophies, and national identities…”"
Lire l'article complet @ Augean Stables, le blog de Richard Landes

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