reply to Ledyard Sensei. Sort of OT
Ledyard Sensei wrote "In my opinion making the choice to die rather than inflict injury on an attacker represents an anti-evolutionary step. Look at the Jewish peoples of Europe who were almost exterminated because they were nice, law abiding, and civilized. They had lost the ability and will to defend themselves and they paid the price. the only reason there were any who survived is that there were other people who had not lost that ability."
Sorry Ledyard sensei, I agree with the meat of your post but your example is plain wrong. As in all cultures and societies, only a small fraction within a group of people are willing to die to defend themselves or others. The Pre WWII jews had that same percentage (dissidents, local militia and police) who were quickly weeded out and killed by the nazi party. After that militant group is separated, it is quite easy to herd the rest of the group into slaughter or whatever you want to do with them. With the jews it was even easier as they were such a minority in Germany (and Europe), probably outnumbered something like 15 to 1.
If something like the Holocaust happened in the USA, do you think it would be any different? Say a dictator somehow got power (with our OVERWHELMING voter turnout), used the military or federal bureaus to enforce his rule. The first folks he would go after would be the dissidents (ie. intellectuals and local martial artists, militia and local police). After that, everyone else would probably just fall into step. Historically this has happened way to often.
Remember the Cossacks were in the same boat as the jews, and thanks to Stalin, there are none of them left. (but they fought well)
When it comes right down to it, ours is a tradition not only of enlightenment and character building, but also to be defenders to those (which is about 95% percent of all humans) who are unable or unwilling to defend themselves. O'sensei spoke quite often of the responsibility within our training. This is the reason I take such pride in working with police officers.