Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: nazis


Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (1970) is a notorious treatise in which Albert O. Hirschman hinges on a conceptual ultimatum that concerns any form of human grouping. The idea is that people have essentially two ways to express dissatisfaction: they can voice (complaining) or they can exit (withdrawing from the relationship). For example, the citizens of a country may respond to increasing political repression in two ways: protesting or emigrating.

Voting by feet is an extremely effective form of protest, especially these days. There are many interesting examples from the past. In the summer of 1990 Hungary opened up its borders with Austria and huge masses of East German vacationers drove their Trabants over the border, determined to stay. Interestingly, however, exit is not always an option; not even when it is encouraged. The right to leave one’s country cannot be exercised unless there is concomitant access to some other one. In 1930s, determined to rid Germany, the Nazis sought a way to expel the Jews; but in the face of their unability to do so, and encouraged by the unwillingness of western democracies to receive them, they resorted to mass murder.

Perhaps for this reason, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Helsinki Agreement impose on liberal democracy the obligation to keep their doors open to a substantial extent so as to render not only immigration, but also emigration, always possible.

Animal rights and nazism

Some people used to joke about the links between vegans and nazis. I am taking this for what it is: a joke, a bad joke if you will.

Still, as for every other joke there is some truth in it. Just to give you one (creepy) example, today I came across the twitter profile of this guy, who proclaims himself a “White Nationalist, also an atheist, animal rights activist, full-time foot fetishist, and Adolf Hitler’s #1 admirer. Heil Hitler!”. Holy shit, I though.

Mind you, I am not suggesting that all the vegans and animal rights activists are like this guy. Not at all. This is only one example and it does not mean a thing. But it seems to me that there exists some weird connection between people with dangerous right wing sympathies and the most extreme forms of practicing veganism and defending animal rights. It must be something about purity and the claim that giving rights to animals will produce a kinder, gentler society, I guess. I think this is a topic that deserves to be investigated more seriously.

On a slightly lighter tone, talking about food practices: I had several discussions on the reasons of being vegetarian. I agree with most – not with all – of the arguments brought by vegetarians, and in particular with the one related to the massive pollution that derives from mass production of meat. I am trying to reduce my consumption of meat, but I realize it is just too hard for me to become a vegetarian. Conclusion is: I admire my vegetarian friends, but I cannot resist to make fun of them from time to time.