(Warning graphic content. Reader discretion advised.)
For the Nazis, the eradication of the Jewish population of Europe was a complex problem of arithmetic, science and logistics. It was never about ethics or the morals of mass murder. The challenge was numbers. They needed a solution, a final solution. How could they dispose of such huge numbers? That was the Nazi's only question. They wanted to kill millions, not only Jews but communists, Gypsies, homosexuals, and others. Deciding whom to kill or imprison was never really the issue. Anyone they deemed less than human, was the easy answer to that easy question. Nazi "science" so called, embraced a fundamental genetic distinction between themselves and such sub-humans. Choosing the victims and dismissing any ethical issues around killing them was hardly ever the questions. The means to do it was the real Nazi dilemma.
The horrific international machine of murder devised by the Nazis, arose from one philosophical proposition; the assignment of "less than human" status to several strata of society, beginning with the Jews. The real challenge was a matter of how to do it fast and efficiently. Once the ticklish little matter of morals was brushed aside, the problem for the Nazis became finding the means to concentrate such large numbers in central locations, an economical instrument for putting so many to death (bullets were after all expensive) and a way to dispose of so many bodies. But these were questions of planning and logistics, not ethics. The Nazis saw what they did, not as mass murder, but as the " final solution" to an international problem.
There was one challenge the Nazis did not foresee and struggled to deal with at every death camp. No one in the Nazis hierarchy knew what to do about the emotional distress inside the people who carried out the plan. Evidently the Nazi planners of the final solution never considered that disposing of millions, even those deemed sub-human, might emotionally and psychologically impact the people doing the murdering.
Alcoholism, low morale, and depression were rampant among the guards at the Nazi murder mills. The Nazis wanted to brutalize their victims but could not seem to do it without the brutalization of their own. No one can. When victims are made less than human, the perpetrators lose their own humanity inch by inch. The Nazis did not speak of killing persons, but only of "numbers processed," of "quotas met" and "logistical challenges overcome."
This necessarily produces a vocabulary of euphemisms and cold, dehumanized bureaucratic numbers. Once the humans who are being killed in their hundreds of thousands are reduced to numbers, human compassion is squeezed out of language used to talk about them. The Nazis did not report on how many adults or women or babies were murdered. They reported on units processed.
At some point, of course, the economics of genocide always begin to take into account a cost/benefit analysis. What does it cost to get rid of these "undesirables" and how might profit be realized from the process? So reports up the chain of Nazi command failed to mention gold pried out of the teeth of murder victims. Instead, the reports were of "revenue recouped from enemies of the state."
Recently secretly video-taped recordings of Planned Parenthood have caused a firestorm of protest and counter charges that shows no sign of let up (view video here). In fact, I suspect that more footage is soon to be released. I doubt if the organization that made the recordings has spent all their ammunition. I also doubt that Planned Parenthood and its supporters will take this lying down.
Amidst all of this furor, the president of Planned Parenthood apologized for the "tone" of the physician ( the head of Planned Parenthood medical services) on that video. She made no attempt to deny the harvesting of organs or their distribution; only the good doctor's callous tone. The problem is the callous brutality of the "tone" was utterly predictable. Once the decision was made that these babies were not real humans but something else, something less, something sub-human, they could be killed with cold, scientific efficiency. It was therefore not only predictable but inevitable that those whose job it became to "remove" the little undesirables would also be brutalized by the process. Such brutalization was always bound to be manifest in their vocabulary. The talk of financial benefit from the victims is hardly surprising. Tiny unborn humans have no gold teeth to be extracted but they do have internal organs that can be cut out and sold.
Planned Parenthood's outrage and denial over these videos is also entirely predictable. Holocaust deniers always claim videos were highly edited and that it wasn't nearly as bad as it seems on film. The monstrous ethics of harvesting unborn babies' organs and selling them apparently does not touch the callous hearts of the supporters of Planned Parenthood. To such as they, the ethics of exposing the practice to the public.... Now that is reprehensible.
Barbarity breeds barbarity. Heartless, compassionless actions so cauterize the souls of their perpetrators that inventing a cold and clinical vocabulary to describe it is absolutely essential. Units. Revenue. Recouped losses. The removal of the unwanted and less than human who drain society's quality of life. Things, not humans. Tissue, not tiny human hearts and brains. That is the language of scientific barbarism. It's been coming for a long time and it will get worse.