‘It Can’t Happen Here’

How can we point the accusing finger when we ourselves are so compromised by evil?

On several occasions at the end of WWII, army commanders who liberated German concentration camps forced local people to file through, under guard, meet some of the prisoners, and witness for themselves the horror of it all. For most of those people the experience must have been deeply traumatic, and it is said that some were driven to suicide by the shame and shock of reality. Our attitude has very commonly been “so it should be traumatic — serves them right!” When you see the record of those places on film, your anger rises to choke you. It is easy to feel vengeful towards civilians who lived near the camps and didn’t know, or pretended not to know, what was really going on.

On calmer reflection, though, we might decide that most of them probably were ignorant of the details, because the human capacity for self-deception and the denial of unpalatable truths is a highly developed mechanism. Certainly, most Germans could not fail to be aware that so-called enemies of the state disappeared from time to time. But in challenging times you don’t ask too many questions and you’d prefer to think that such removals were justified and humanely carried out.

According to Australian human rights activist Dr. Joanna Howe, in the ten years 2010 to 2020, in Victoria and Queensland alone, 724 babies survived abortion and were left to die — hungry, thirsty, abandoned, alone. This is just the tip of an iceberg, a mountain of human rights violations that are lawful and even commended in several of our states so far and probably soon in all the rest. As a nation, denying these things altogether or pretending that they are not important, we have lost all claim to moral superiority. How dare we point the accusing finger at 20th-century figures when we ourselves are so compromised by evil? Or at German villagers who didn’t know what was going on, or at least persuaded themselves that it couldn’t be too bad, that such things “don’t happen here.”

As a nation we permit and practice pre-natal infanticide on an enormous scale. Let’s abandon that lame word abortion (like that other weasel word women’s health, it conceals reality) and call it out for what it is. Post-natal infanticide will come next, as inevitably as night follows day.

Many readers will perhaps feel that I focus too closely on this issue, neglecting more serious threats to the survival of our rich civilized inheritance. But to my mind there are no threats more serious than the killing of the innocent, and the lying and deceit that strives to keeps it hidden.

I suppose we do have one better excuse than the German villagers: They were shown actual evidence of atrocities, whereas today’s media go to great lengths to keep the truth of “abortion” hidden from us. On public television you can watch any number of warm-hearted veterinarian shows, and witness any number of veterinary procedures, but they’ll never let you see a human “termination,” because if they did the tide would turn.


David Daintree was President of Campion College (Australia’s only Catholic liberal arts college) from 2008 to 2012. In 2013 he founded and is now Director of the Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies, under the patronage of the Archbishop of Hobart.

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