We seem to be impotent in the face of genocidal horrors — we can neither predict nor prevent them — and our human species may be lurching to extinction because of our own actions. My quartet of books, listed below, are an effort to produce a viable response to both of these challenges. They do so by trying to generate badly needed Basic Science. I do so as both a Holocaust survivor, who knows that we cannot take survival granted, and as a sociologist, who knows that our science of social behavior is alarmingly feeble.
The first and second books try to address the Holocaust, and other genocides, in the dispassionate manner of real science — in contrast to the prevailing focus on uniqueness that’s inherent in the approach of many historians.
The IMMEDIACY book begins by recognizing that from the moment of our birth to our last breath, every one of us must cope with the immediate world around oneself. We live a life of coping with much that’s unknown in the immediate circumstances in which we find ourselves. The book attempts to craft as social-psychology about such coping behavior.
We humans killed over 100 million of our fellow-human beings during the past century. And we are developing ever more effective ways of killing one another. It is all happening in the Social Space in which we humans live, and which we understand so very poorly. Yet our survival as a species may depend on better understanding of that Social Space. The fourth book tries to jump-start science about Social Space.
ORDINARY PEOPLE AND EXTRAORDINARY EVIL: A REPORT ON THE BEGUILINGS OF EVIL; (SUNY Press, 1993)
CONFRONTING EVIL: TWO JOURNEYS; (SUNY Press, 2004)
IMMEDIACY: HOW OUR WORLD CONFRONTS US & HOW WE CONFRONT OUR WORLD: (Self-published — Pentland Press, 1999: Discern Books, 2003)
OUR QUEST FOR EFFECTIVE LIVING: HOW WE COPE IN SOCIAL SPACE / A WINDOW TO A NEW SCIENCE; (Self-published, AuthorHouse, 2015)
Fred Emil Katz