Anamnesis (an’-am-nee’-sis): Calling to memory past matters. More specifically, citing a past author [apparently] from memory. Anamnesis helps to establish ethos [credibility], since it conveys the idea that the speaker is knowledgeable of the received wisdom from the past.
“It is a quite special secret pleasure how the people around us fail to realize what is really happening to them.” Adolf Hitler
I hate quoting Hitler. He was evil incarnate. He was a cold-blooded murderer. He was a racist. He exploited sensibilities already operative in Germany. He was a populist devoted to making Germany “great” again. He was an antisemite. Dissent earned a death sentence. His theatrical rallies struck the hearts and minds of attendees. Held at night with shining vaults of light and a jacked-up rostrum putting him above the attendees, an epoche was invited that blurred the distinction between theatre and real life allowing an amplification of feeling and a reduced sense of the reality of consequences, lost in the ethos of the “staged” performance and the persona of being part of national play—where “objectionable” or “morally abhorrent” is not what it appears to be if we remember why we’re doing it. The “people” believe that the glory of their past is being retrieved—that everything the star on the stage aims for and does induces the rebirth so ardently desired by the people, even if it calls for the murder of “others.”
But this is a lie. The biggest lie is the concept of “the people.” In practice, it excludes “people” based on criteria, promulgated by power, that lose their place at the table of brother- and sisterhood, that lose their right to the law’s protection, that lose everything due to: Sexual orientation. Race. Social status. Gender. Disability. And more.
Here, the failure “to realize what is really happening to them” affects the victimizers. They fail to realize that they are corroding their souls. Their collective participation in the night-time rallies themed around the National Socialist dream begins to spill into the streets, where opposing views are confronted with wooden clubs. It is a juggernaut, a force of nature, “our” destiny. And the salty tears of their victims flow under their feet unnoticed, as they look up to the leader and venerate his nationalist will—the murderer, the antisemite, the beloved demon who is making Germany great again.
So, do you know what is actually happening to you?
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Gorgias has inserted the bracketed words [apparently] and [credibility].
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