Genocide and Proximity

We often ask ourselves how we could have let genocides happen in history. But then we ask how we could have been subject to so much ignorance, hubris, prejudice and wild fancy. Genocide reveals to us our insistence on likening ourselves to all people's throughout time, and the accompanied disgust which comes with this insistence. Out of pity, we take on the responsibility of the entire universe. We make ourselves into divine giants in order to heal the world and are constantly surprised when we then happen to back into and step pensively into disasters caused by our very girth. Our absolute impotence in the face of history is coterminous with our desire to identify ourselves, beyond reason or any foreseeable benefit, with our neighbor. One escapes the other if one can identify with it instead of associating with it. When our neighbors are all relics of the past, we pick up dead husks and invest into them what we suppose would be our own reasons, to match our own personalities, for carrying out atrocities we never did and never could carry out. One then only humanizes monsters by making oneself a bit more monstrous. We start seeing the world with monstrous eyes-not eyes which simply see functions of actions, but eyes veiled with adopted passions, leftover sentiments and pieces of propaganda reinterpreted like old laws unfit for new hours. We assign people and things motivations so as to be both emotive forces in history and to freeze the current moment, which we are willing to concede is horrible but not so bad as the worst case scenario, with which we are still willing to identify ourselves even at the expense of the nagging, ever pervasive suspicion we harbor deep down: that we are all wholly other to one another, that we, in the end, cannot say quite what we're capable of simply by comparing our actions to the actions and motives of others. We are fooled by history's weight. We believe that we must lift it up all at once or throw all of it to the side. Can one still touch without taking?