Elie Wiesel - Night
This is a story of a man and his father in a concentration camp. The scene presented is when the day is over and selection is called. Selection is when the sick, weak, and the old are marked to go to the furnaces.
Two old men are marked to go, but the leader of their unit tells them they won’t be going to die. They ask him to repeat himself and he gets angry for not trusting him. They don’t want to hope because hope can be taken away.
The next day Elie’s father is told to stay behind. Elie finds it hard to get through the day. They can take away his father.
For Bettelheim and Solzhenitsyn convictions are something they can take away from you as well. But once you have given up your convictions life slips away.
Combine this with C.W. Mills and the result is Heller. Just to unpack that sentence a bit… to succeed in our system we have to adjust our values, make a compromise here and there. The only problem is that giving up our values makes us hollow men and women (as TS Eliot would say).
The Nazis did it by taking things away, Capitalism did it by giving us more stuff.
The Solution: Stand up and say NO. No to burying people alive and no to going against our convictions because it is easier.