||ENDS AND MEANS IN CONFLICT 33 C. Authoritarianism, Reason of State, Superior Orders If men can be found who revolt against the spirit of thoughtlessness, and who are personalities sound enough and profound enough to let the ideals of ethical progress radiate from them as a force, there will start an activity of the spirit which will be strong enough to evoke a new mental and spiritual disposition in mankind. Albert Schweitzer59 Many people-many nations-can find themselves holding, more or less wittingly, that 'every stranger is an enemy'. For the most part this conviction lies deep down like some latent infection; it betrays itself only in random, disconnected acts, and does not lie at the base of a system of reason. But when this does come about, when the unspoken dogma becomes the major premiss in a syllogism, then, at the end of the chain, there is the Lager. Here is the product of a conception of the world carried rigorously to its logical conclusion; so long as the conception subsists, the conclusion remains to threaten us. The story of the death camps should be understood by everyone as a sinister alarm-signal. Primo Levi60 By whatever name, obedience, without doubt a virtue in proper place and perspective, can never be allowed to be the first principle of our moral order. A philosophy of means must always reject authoritarianism as the highest value. The Holocaust must teach us that much if nothing else. I do not believe that the German people were more anti-semitic than the people of any other European state prior toWorld War II. That is not the reason that the holocaust occurred in Germany. I should quickly add that neither do I believe that the greatest sin of modern time took place in Germany solely because of Prussian authoritarianism. Many events interacted, including ferocious anti-semitism, the after-effect of World War I and the shocking failure of leadership among the victorious states leading to reparations and war guilt placed upon Germany, depression and inflation, and so on. Nevertheless, all this would have produced a war but not a Holocaust without an authoritarianism which made 59 A. Schweitzer, My Life and Thought 281 (T. Campion trans.), (George Allen & Unwin Ltd.: 1924). 60 Primo Levi, If This is a Man 15 (Stuart Woolf trans.) (London: Sphere Books Ltd., 1987).