The experimental findings of the Nazi “laboratories” can be reduced to a single statement: total domination over man requires philosophical disarmament—after which, nothing much, and little human, is left of the victim.
In the ultimate stage of the lust for power, domination must really be total, i.e., it must seem to be metaphysical. No entity or law of any kind can be allowed to stand in the way of any of the ruler’s whims, however casual or contradictory. The prisoner’s absolute obedience is used to satisfy this wider demand, also. The victim’s fawning compliance with orders which defy every conceivable fact of nature is taken as the defeat not only of human independence, but also of nature as such. The victim’s submission to utter senselessness becomes the defeat of sense. His obeisance to absurdity becomes the refutation of logic. His acceptance of lies becomes the overthrow of truth. His surrender of all his values, including his life, becomes the smashing of values and of life itself.