Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting Mature and Realistic About History

I have come to really enjoy Ron Rosenbaum's reality-based critiques of history. Unlike the emotionally out-of-control people who bloviate on historical topics, he tends to stick to the facts and realistic interpretations. I think if we approach politics and history with this viewpoint, it becomes less of this baffling array of wildly divergent opinions that are basically products -- designed to be "unique" enough to merit their fifteen minutes of e-fame.


Isn't it obvious by now what this is about? Our need to prove that Hitler was not "normal," thus not like us, normal human nature thereby exculpated from producing a Hitler. It fills a need to reassure ourselves there is no Hitler potential in human potential. We're off the hook.

{ snip }

Downfall purports to offer the "inside story" of the last days of Hitler in his Berlin bunker and implicitly makes the case that the Holocaust wasn't the fault of the German people—no, they were victims, too!—but rather of one man, Hitler, and the small coterie of madmen and evil women surrounding him. Nothing to do with Germany's eager reception of exterminationist anti-Semitism.

{ snip }

There's no excuse now for this incessant dwelling on Hitler's sexuality, as if it tells us anything about the true nature of his evil. No, all the obsession can tell us about is the way the culture as a whole exhibits a refusal to face the profundity and complexity of evil and instead—with some honorable exceptions—prefers to escape responsibility for Hitler and the Holocaust by blaming it all on ludicrously unserious and ahistorical sexual mythologies, and the Freudian-influenced notion that all behavior has a sexual explanation at heart.

Slate


I've always thought it was stupid to blame Hitler's acts on his upbringing, medical issues, sexuality, or anything but his thought. He was an autonomous being like ourselves; even more, he was acting on what he thought was the right thing to do, just like today's green and civil rights activists, as Will Smith tried to tell us:


In a story published Saturday in the Daily Record, Smith was quoted saying: "Even Hitler didn't wake up [saying], 'let me do the most evil thing I can do today.' I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good.' "

The quote was preceded by the writer's observation: "Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good."

CNN


Interpreting this one level further:

It's stupid to blame the German people at all.

The forces of history created an opportunity, and Hitler fulfilled it.

WWI had forced upon people a dislike of the nation-state and the empires that, inspired by colonial wealth, formed alliances against one another to jockey for dominion of Europe.

The threat of disunity in a time for national unity made outsiders like Jews a target. They, after all, were not of the heritage, religion, language and some would say values of native Germans.

As Theodor Herzl, a Jew and Zionist, pointed out:


The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilised countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.


In other words, until there was a Jewish nation with a fixed geographical boundary -- like Israel -- Jews would always be subject to anti-Semitism, because they would always be outsiders in a world of nation-states.

While many leftists think the answer is multiculturalism, there is zero historical evidence to show multiculturalism can exist for long, and in the long term, it seems to do nothing but help dying cultures collapse inward.

A better solution is Zionism, so that Jews are always protected within a homeland. Of course, the left opposes this and the right is divided over the issue, so I always get in trouble when I say it, but it seems to me the obviously best way to prevent against future Holocausts.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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