"Tomorrow belongs to me"
The film "Cabaret" is set in Berlin in the early days of the Nazi party. In it, a Hitler Youth member sings the song "Tomorrow belongs to me" and it inspires his audience. It is actually a pre-Nazi song that was altered for the purposes of the film but it certainly expresses Nazi thinking. The singers of the Horst Wessel Lied (the song of the brownshirts) certainly thought that the future belonged to them. And some genuine lines from the actual song of the Hitler youth are:
Uns're Fahne ist die neue Zeit. (Our flag is the new time)
Und die Fahne führt uns in die Ewigkeit! (And the flag leads us into eternity)
And we also had, of course Hitler's claimed "Tausend Jahr Reich" (Thousand year empire).
So it is interesting to put the following NYT article into historical context.
Is “Left” becoming a four-letter word? You’d think so lately with each day bringing more news of unconscionable conservative tilts in the electorate, while the drumbeat of the Democrats’ supposed death march to November gets ever louder.
For example, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey released this week found that a majority of Americans supported Arizona’s hostile new immigration law, even as most allowed that the law is likely to lead to more discrimination against legal immigrants. Apparently, for some, there is an acceptable level of collateral damage.
A May 7 Gallup poll found that 42 percent of people wanted a Supreme Court nominee who would make the court more conservative, as opposed to only 27 percent who wanted a nominee who would make it more liberal. That was before Elena Kagan was nominated. Afterward, 40 percent rated her as a good or excellent choice, but that was the lowest such rating in recent history, even 4 percentage points lower than Harriet Miers’s.
An Associated Press-GfK poll released this week found that a plurality of people still favor increasing drilling for oil and gas off the coasts even as an unprecedented natural disaster unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico. Environment be damned.
And Gallup released a poll on Friday entitled “The New Normal on Abortion: Americans More ‘Pro-Life.’ ” It buttressed the finding from last summer when, for the first time since the question began being asked in 1995, more people self-identified as “pro-life” than as “pro-choice.”
This string of bad news has only compounded an already palpable sense of loss and longing on the left, an enveloping fear of the inevitable: rejection. The right, and most importantly, the middle, unnerved by spending in a recession and unhinged by Obama in the White House, have not bought into the liberal vision of a new America. In fact, they’re increasingly weary of it, if not hostile to it.
So by most accounts, Nov. 2 is going to be a blue day in blue America. That is in part because of a sizable enthusiasm gap that favors Republicans.
Liberals may want to crouch in a corner, wait for the storm to pass, then resurface and survey the damage, but that would be avoidance rather than acknowledgement and acceptance.
Better to acknowledge that the anger and frustration felt across the country, however fanatical and freighted, must find release, and it will do so in November. Then you can accept it for what it is: not a failure of philosophy, but a fear of the future. That future can be deferred, but it will not be denied.
I am convinced that the right may win the day, but the left will win the age. That’s because the right is running an intellectually bereft campaign of desperation and disenchantment, amplified by a recession.
Great Recessions don’t last. Great ideas do.
So are his closing sentiments right? You may be surprised to hear that I think that he is indeed right. Whether redistributing the wealth and bringing everything under government control are "great" ideas is a laughable proposition but they are certainly ideas that seem inbred into human DNA. Even conservatives accept a watered-down version of such ideas. Actual libertarians are a tiny, though sometimes influential, minority.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan held back the tide for a while but it has all gradually crept back. Who would have thought that America would one day have a Government Motors instead of a General Motors?
Mussolini was right. In the 1920s he said that the 20th century would be the century of Fascism -- and so it turned out to be. In Mussolini's Italy, the government did not OWN all industry (that is the Communist folly) but the government CONTROLLED all industry. And, by way of laws and regulations, that is the case in all developed countries today. Freedom for businessmen to do as they please is roughly as restricted in the USA today as it was in Fascist Italy.
So, Yes. In the hands of both the GOP and the Donks, government control of all we do will continue its relentless advance. The Communist idea of the party directing the economic activities of the nation is dead. But the Nazi/Fascist idea of leaving businessmen to run business under tight government controls is triumphant. Both 20th and 21st century history is clear about that.
A tale of two cities
For some years now a set of pictures have been circulating via email which purport to compare Hiroshima today with Detroit today. The pictures of the Japanese city are actually of Yokohama, so saying that they are of Hiroshima is gilding the lily a bit. Yokohama is the port city of Tokyo so was also devastatingly bombed, albeit not with nuclear weapons. I guess pictures of devastated Hiroshima were more readily available than pictures of devastated Yokohama.
But the contrast between the terrible deterioration of a black-run city and the great progress of a Japanese city is certainly instructive. See here or here for the pictures. Race has nothing to do with it, of course.
Leftists AIM for chaos -- as a prelude to asserting their own control
And the incoherent assertions of postmodernism suit that just fine
One of the most chilling scenes in the Dark Knight is when the Joker philosophizes at Harvey Dent’s bedside in the hospital. The Joker is explaining the how and why of everything he’s done, and sums up his worldview thusly:
“Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!”
The postmodernism that fuels Obama’s policies does in fact seek to “upset the established order.” The existing hegemony is undesirable simply because it has the power, and must be replaced. That’s why America is no more “exceptional” than Greece or Britain. That’s why his stance on Iran and nuclear policy in general is so soft. That’s why we’re giving such a cold shoulder to Israel.
That’s also why the relationship between the American government and her citizens has been turned on its head. We’re getting our first taste of European statism and we’re not digging it. Obama is doing everything in his power to bring the American hegemon to her knees – from foreign policy and the “war on terror” to distributive-wealth practices, including, but not limited to, health care reform.
Leftists use one word to justify their wealth-distributive policies: “fairness”. Free-market capitalism has been pegged as the hegemonic demon to end all hegemonic demons. Thus, it’s appropriate to “upset the established order” of economics in order to ensure a “fair” society. Chaos is fair. Postmodernists and statists are always about “fairness,” and fairness stems from the chaos of a deconstructed system.
Obama is an agent of chaos, a pursuer of “fairness”. And he revels in it, just like the Joker.
So what are we to do? Rally at Tea Parties? Run for office? Start PACs?
How about none of the above? We conservatives need to get it through our skulls that politics – in general – is downstream of culture. There is something in our underlying cultural milieu that has allowed Obama to ascend to the Oval Office. We can’t win the long-term battle against statism and secularism on the grounds of “repeal.” Fighting in D.C. alone will get us nowhere.
We must be at work in our communities, amongst our friends and family, teaching and debating and explaining what postmodernism is and why it’s a dangerous worldview.
Postmodernism rests, essentially, on one basic “principle”: Everything is relative. Everything except, of course, the statement that everything is relative. Postmodernism undercuts itself right out of the gate. Right vs. wrong, good vs. evil are outdated paradigms that “we” have set up to further our power and oppression. That’s why the entire academic world (which is where Obama originated) convulsed when George W. Bush coined the “axis of evil” line.
Winning the long-term war for the soul of America and the stability of the world is no easy task when going up against a non-linear, illogical proposition like postmodernism. But if we put all of our eggs into the political basket and don’t seeking to redeem the culture, we might as well give up and enjoy our entitlement checks and free healthcare while we can.
Russian comeback in the Middle East
As I've predicted Russia is coming back into the region and it is going to play a very bad role. Moscow is linking up with the emerging Islamist alliance of Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Hizballah...
The Obama Administration says it is going to pull away Syria from Iran, but the two countries are coming closer together. Syria's open goal is to pull the United States away from Israel, but meanwhile Syria is finding still another ally to back its ambitions.
The recent visit of Russia's President Medvedev with a huge entourage was a major step toward reestablishing the old Soviet-Syria relationship. There were broad economic talks, including the possibility of Russia building a nuclear reactor for the Syrian dictatorship.
Acording to Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Russian parliamentary foreign liaison committee, quoted in the Syrian newspaper Tishrin, May 12, the visit, "Is a clear indication to everyone in the Middle East region and on the regional and international level that Syria was and will remain a strategic partner to Russia...." This includes a new round of arms' sales to Syria, which presumably will be paid for largely by Iran.
Even if the alliance remains limited, it will further encourage Iran and Syria to be covertly aggressive and hard line while sending still another signal to moderate Arabs that America is on its way down. Clearly, Russia's refusal to support more sanctions on Iran in any serious manner is part of this calculation.
Is it a problem for Russia that it faces internal Islamist terrorism but is aligning with Islamist forces? No, not at all. Iran has been careful not to back these revolutionaries in the north Caucasus. Iran even joins Russia in following a policy of supporting Christian Armenia against Muslim-majority Azerbaijan. By working with the Iranians Russia is reducing the possibility that they will support Islamist rebels against Moscow.
As in so many cases, this strategic factor appears nowhere on the administration's horizon.
Then there's Medvedev's visit to the newest member of the anti-American Islamist alliance: Turkey. In a joint statement the two countries' leaders said that Hamas should be part of any regional negotiations. Turkish President Abdullah Gul, a hardline Islamist who was so feared that he had to promise before the last parliamentary election not to be a candidate for president. His AKP party won and within a few hours Gul was stepping into that office.
Gul explained in his joint press conference with Medvedev, who said the same exact thing: "Unfortunately Palestinians have been split into two... In order to reunite them, you have to speak to both sides. Hamas won elections in Gaza and cannot be ignored."
What Gul wants--and Medvedev?--is that Hamas dominate the Palestinian unity arrangement. Consider that two sides are competing for leadership of a people. One of them is fanatical, extremist, terrorist, committed to permanent warfare and genocide. The other isn't exactly wonderful but is, at least at present, somewhere in the ballpark of being peaceable and reasonable.
So the ideal solution is to put them together and let them reach a common program? Not exactly. As for the "elected" argument, it is a matter of public record that Hamas won the election, made a deal for a coalition government, and then staged a violent coup to seize full power in the Gaza Strip.
Oh, did I mention that Russia is talking about building nuclear reactors for both Turkey and Syria?
Russia's bid for renewed power in the Middle East as a rival to U.S. goals and interests is one more thing that U.S. policy is simply not prepared to cope with, or even recognize. Will Russia align itself to a large extent with Iran and Syria to counter U.S. influence in the region and give itself special access to key trading partners? For if Moscow teams up with the radical Islamist alliance, especially after Tehran has nuclear weapons, this is going to worsen considerably an already gloomy strategic picture for the West.
But on top of all that, Russian Foreign Minister Serge Lavrov made an incredible statement that should send shock waves through U.S. policymaking circles. In calling on the United States not to take "any unilateral step against Iran," Lavrov is trying to restrict American pressures to what Moscow is willing to accept. In other words, he is acting as Iran's lawyer to tie America's hands.
Then he added that there were some people in Washington who do not believe international legislation takes precedence over legislation passed by the United States. In other words, he is asserting a new doctrine in which, in effect, the UN is a world government and the United States has no right to act on its own without approval.
The Obama Administration should act quickly to reject this doctrine. This is a trap which the administration's own policy has helped to lay by saying it doesn't believe in strong U.S. leadership. The proposed precedent would institutionalize that limitation in a way that is going to be very harmful in future.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)