- This article was amended on 15 October 2015, to clarify that the high commissioner was speaking before addressing a United Nations Association-UKevent.
In Democratic Individuality, I argued that at a high level of abstraction, modern conservatives, liberals and radicals believe that the best economic, social and political institutions foster each person’s individuality. Their differences are largely empirical or social theoretical. All clash with modern authoritarians. I will take up practical issues such as torture and the lineage of the neocons and link them to larger issues in how we conceive a decent regime, locally and internationally.
The Holocaust overshadows German plans that envisioned even more killing. Hitler wanted not only to eradicate the Jews, he also wanted to destroy Poland and the Soviet Union as states, exterminate their ruling classes, and kill tens of millions of Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles). If the German war against the USSR had gone as planned, thirty million civilians would have starved in the first winter, and tens of millions more expelled, killed assimilated or enslaved thereafter. Though these plans were never realized, they supplied the moral premises of German occupation policy in the East. The Germans murdered about as many non-Jews as Jews during the war [some 20 million people were killed in the Soviet Union, so this guess is probably low about non-Jews], chiefly by starving Soviet prisoners of war (more than three million) and residents of besieged cities (more than a million) or by shooting civilians in "reprisals" (the better part of a million, chiefly Belarusians and Poles)."These numbers are probably guesses; in any case, Snyder gives no clear underpinning for them. Further, Snyder is part of a movement that corruptly sees a floating "anti-semitism" everywhere, and refuses to answer fact-based criticisms of the Israeli government's subjugation of Palestinians. In addition, he maintains that Iran's leader is nearly as bad as Hitler, though Iranians Jews are apparently active as citizens and mainly prosperous, though they choose not to be (perhaps cannot be) Zionists - see here versus here. Still, Snyder makes the deep point that where the Nazis smashed government entirely, as in the Ukraine or Poland, an even more extensive genocide than in Europe, in the chaos, ensued. For instance, the Ukrainian Nazis in Kiev, led by Stephan Bandera (there is still a big statue of Bandera there) murdered some 184,000 out of the 187,000 Jews who lived in that city (these figures are again rough; Snyder surprisingly omits Bandera)...The Right Sector, today in the Ukraine, admiring Bandar and condemned for torture by Amnesty International, was initially tolerated/mobilized as an "American ally" by State Department neocon Victoria Nuland. See here, here, and here