In January of 1944, Arthur Koestler wrote an essay in the New York Times to decry the disbelief, the "uniform mass disease" of "split thinking," which he believed was preventing Americans from grasping the reality of onoing Nazi atrocities -- "the greatest mass killing in history," he called it, estimating that three million Jews to date had been slaughtered.
The mental block he describes may surprise readers of subsequent generations who grew up keenly aware of Nazi atrocities -- at least until the present moment as Nazis have become synonymously blurred with Confederate generals, Trump supporters and birders.
The "dumb wonder," the "faint glassy eye," and the "dream barriers" Koestler saw as obstacles to understanding all around him, however, will be familiar, and especially to those among us Koestler identifies as "We, the screamers."
There are a few of us, escaped victims of eyewitnesses of the things which happen in the thicket and who, haunted by our memories, go on screaming on the wireless, yelling at you in newspapers and in public meetings, theatres and cinemas. Now and then we succeed in reaching your ear for a minute, I know it each time this happens by a certain dumb wonder on your faces, a certain faint glassy stare entering your eye; and I tell myself: Now you've got them, now hold them, hold them, so that they remain awake; but it only lasts a minute. You shake yourself like puppies that have their fur wet; then the transparent screen descends again, and you walk on, protected by the dream-barrier which stifles all sound.
In my most recent Patreon talk, "The Screamers,: I have picked up on Koestler's observations, which speak to an enduring flaw in the human condition. It is a flaw that is exacerbated in the face of Big Lies, erupting in debilitating disbelief when confronted with evil's machinations ranging from the Ukraine Terror Famine of the 1930s to the Covidian Tyranny today.