YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

July 4, 2015

Patriotism, perfectionism, excessive parental expectations, and OCD

Super Patriot, figurerealm.com

Super Patriot, figurerealm.com

This blog is about the unexplored connection between “my country, right or wrong” (super-patriotism), America-hating, conservative objections to “perfectionism,” overpraising our children’s accomplishments, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD, a condition associated with both high achievers, and extremely anxious and depressed persons immobilized by the fear of making a mistake).

I am writing it on Independence Day because many conservatives look to the Constitution as holy writ, rather than as a document conceived by men who were creatures of their time. For these super-patriots the Constitution was perfect, even inspired by the (perfect) Divinity. It follows that any and all attempts to historicize this document must be initiated by sinister, demonic forces, out to destroy religion as such.

OCD runs in my family, though some of us have its symptoms more severely than others. In historicizing my family history, I have taken into account how immigrants, especially Jewish immigrants, have coped with competing in a society where modernity sits lightly, where populist antisemitism continues to ride high, and where immigration (often) has been tightly controlled.

As children, we had to be high achievers, even without the constant stimulation that the upper classes have achieved here and in Europe– such as devotion to high culture, engagement with world and local affairs, extensive travel, and tutors in many foreign languages at an early age.

In my particular family of origin, there was not much of that, even though my parents had high expectations of achievement, as if my genetic inheritance, my father’s precocity in medical research, and my mother’s descent from distinguished rabbis, would compensate for their neglect. In other words, I early discerned that I was on my own and fled to books.

But “neglect” had its advantages, for I was not “pushed” to be perfect. Nor was I indoctrinated in any particular ideology, unlike those veterans of authoritarian families who had to be flawlessly obedient to the ways of their ancestors, and who would be threatened by any engagement with America’s imperfect past.

I have never encountered an 18th century thinker who expected perfection from their efforts to achieve independence from Britain. Indeed, the classically-educated Constitution-makers favored a republic, not a democracy, such were their suspicions of “the people” (http://clarespark.com/2009/08/24/the-people-is-an-ass-or-a-herd/.)  And yet there are right-wingers who discard the Enlightenment as having made unreasonable demands on “human nature,” which is ever likely to get out of hand.

I have mentioned the super-patriots, but they have their opposite numbers on the Left: America-hating essentialists, the purveyors of identity politics as if America was a single individual with a uniformly horrid and shameful past. Such persons also demonize America, refusing to acknowledge any progress whatsoever in compensating for past, historically determined, mistakes. Rather, we are typified by Charles Manson.

Some  of our presidential candidates on the Right are playing to the super-patriots, ending their appeals for votes with the utterance “We are the greatest country in the world.” They have their counterparts on the Left, who argue that their statist measures will beat the devil, and establish an error-free heaven on earth.

Here’s a toast to a more independent, historically-savvy, appraisal of our country’s past and present. Happy Fourth of July, 2015. Long may our striving toward improvement persist, for we were a great and unprecedented experiment in living with the search for truth, justice, independence and interdependence, for all.

OCD imagined by soulation.org.

OCD imagined by soulation.org.

July 3, 2015

Let’s Pretend

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 6:52 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
Nila Mack, director of radio series

Nila Mack, director of radio series “Let’s Pretend”

The United States of America are united

Masochism builds character

We are free to speak to lots and lots of people

Romantic love never fades

Time heals all wounds

Our opinions are never irrational

There are no racists in America, especially not the Founding Fathers

Race is not socially constructed

The New Deal was a howling success and ended the Depression

All liberals are secretly communists

Liberals are liberal

Multiculturalism and internationalism have, or could, end(ed) racism

Happy Fourth of July

David Chestnutt ill.

David Chestnutt ill.

July 2, 2015

Are secular societies devoid of “virtue”?

Rationalism defended by Nirmukta

Rationalism defended by Nirmukta

(This is the second of two blogs on the gay rights decision by SCOTUS this week.http://clarespark.com/2015/06/27/gay-marriage-and-what-liberty-signifies/)

I was stunned to read these lines in Dan Henninger’s weekly op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, July2, 2015: “In the North, on campuses and in sophisticated circles, we are rapidly becoming unchurched, secularized. Which raises a question: Where will a predominantly secularized society learn virtue?”

I should not have been shocked, for I am aware that WSJ, like Fox News, is run by the moderate men, whose ersatz moderation masks their organic conservatism. That is, they are not embarked on a search for truth, let alone virtue; rather, they want national unity (no matter how illusory): political stability and social cohesion above human rights and facts. (See http://clarespark.com/2013/09/17/the-illusion-of-national-unity/.)

The moderate men are thus aligned with the “ethical state,” a state that is antagonistic to the Enlightenment and its materialism and preference for individual human rights over group-think. According to these organic conservatives, mystical bonds unite warring factions, with the management of opinion-elites who scaled the Olympian heights by their discreet and mostly unseen, or deliberately hidden, stratagems.

There is no contradiction between secularism and virtue except in the minds of various hysterics. Secularism as understood by the US Constitution guarantees that there is to be no established religion.(I recall from my reading of the Federalist papers that God is mentioned only once.) This disturbs ultramontane Catholics and communists alike, for pluralism and individuality, like scientific evidence,* is damnable and a threat to aristocratic or bureaucratic leadership and their version of social control. Meanwhile, a few cranks fulfill the worst fantasies of ultraconservatives by Romantic identification with Satan, or by seeking to banish all religious artifacts from public spaces.

Such militant atheists are then deployed as weapons in the culture wars, distracting the public from pressing issues such as education reform, health reform, a high divorce rate, the real or imagined threat of climate change (a controversy that only science can solve), and foreign policy.

Here is how one Orthodox Rabbi suggested that we move on toward more pressing issues: https://www.facebook.com/RabbiShmuleyBoteach/videos/10153022077966089/.

It is my own view that the gay rights decision raises the dread specter of blurred gender identity, but that horse has already been beaten to death on this website. Artists will know what I mean.

*It is objectively true that we are interdependent with each other and with Nature.

Newton imagined by William Blake

Newton imagined by William Blake

June 27, 2015

Gay marriage and what “liberty” signifies

Mediaite sign pro-gay marriage

Mediaite sign pro-gay marriage

The SCOTUS decision legalizing gay marriage throughout all the states, despite voter opposition in many instances, has aroused furious debate, including the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, which is semi-hysterical in nature. This blog situates the SCOTUS decision within the culture wars, and argues that “liberty” and “freedom” are terms that do not invoke a common meaning between factions.

I will not go into the mixed motives that inform defenses of both heterosexual marriage and same-sex marriages (androgyny; misogyny; resentment of male power; defense of, or opposition to, state’s rights; deference to ancestors; monogamy; bisexuality; hyper-masculinity; to mention only a few factors).

Some social conservatives, not content with the religious pluralism inherent in the separation of Church and State, may wish to impose their beliefs on others. Already some comments suggest that “democratic debate,” not decrees from Big Government under pressure from a particular interest group, should have decided the issue, as if social conservatives would suddenly relinquish their belief systems in recognition of rational argument, or similarly would abandon their beliefs in the slippery slope toward perdition (if gay marriage is okay, what is next: polygamy? pedophilia? bestiality? children of gay parents diverted from heterosexual into gay relationships?)

I have argued before that there is no reconciliation possible between libertarians and social conservatives through “democratic debate,” for their conceptions of “liberty” are incompatible. Traditionalists are defending the submission to their gods as “liberty”, while libertarians believe in choice dependent on the individual and her or his unique proclivities.

We have been having this fight since the Enlightenment. It is yet another irreconcilable conflict, like antebellum slavery/Reconstruction or abortion rights today.

(For related blogs, see http://clarespark.com/2014/01/23/androgyny/, or http://clarespark.com/2012/05/10/androgyny-with-an-aside-on-edna-ferber/, or http://clarespark.com/2013/03/27/power-in-gay-andor-heterosexual-attachments/.)

Satyr and Goat

Satyr and Goat

June 26, 2015

Another Missed Opportunity: James Pagano M.D. on SCOTUS’s bad decision

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:09 pm
Tags: , , ,
James Pagano, M.D.

James Pagano, M.D.

[This is Dr. Pagano’s fourth guest blog: see links at the bottom of the page]

Twice now the Roberts court has reinterpreted the plain language of the ACA in order to keep it in force.  The first slight of mind was the bizarre decision that a tax wasn’t really a tax.  Now we learn that when congress specifically stated that  subsidies should go only to those buying insurance from an exchange set up by a state, what it really meant was the subsidies were available to everyone, regardless of whether the exchange was established by the state or the Feds.  As daft as our politicians may be, I’m fairly certain they have the intellectual wherewithal to have said as much had that been what they meant.

One of the duties of the Supreme Court is to protect the people from congressional malpractice.  The ACA is a clear case.  Thousands of pages, unread by most who voted for it, written in language intended to confuse, excluding from its reach those who wrote it, and sold to a gullible public through a series of bold-faced lies.  Rather than protect the people from this atrocity the Court has chosen instead to protect congress from itself.

The majority decision, written by the same logical contortionist who declared a tax wasn’t a tax, stated that the duty of the Court is to find ways to protect the actions of congress, not ways to un-do them.  This is frightening, implying as it does that an out of control, single party congress, like the one that passed the ACA, can do pretty much whatever it wants and get legal cover from the Supreme Court.

But enough of the whining.  You’ve heard all this before and you either agree or don’t and nothing much is going to change your opinion.  Instead let’s consider what might have been.  Imagine, if you can, an alternate universe in which the price of something is closely tied to its cost.  Those of you in business will recognize this as one of the fundamental relationships in life.  Those of you working for the government, try to hang on for a few minutes longer.  I think you’ll have some fun.

So, in this alternate world people pay for things they want or need with money.  Actual cash.  Soap, apples, cars, homes, you name it.  Even health care.  And because people are paying with real money, they expect the prices they pay to be closely tied to the cost of providing whatever goods or services they are purchasing.

In this world the government has wisely noticed that of all the things people want or need, healthcare is one of the most important and should be available to all its citizens.  It has also noticed that healthcare can be expensive.  The politicians in this world thought long and hard.  Finally, they devised a plan.  What they came up with was this:

All citizens would be allowed to create special savings accounts where money could be put aside to cover health care costs.  This money would be tax-exempt, and the accounts would be generous—say ten thousand dollars a year per person.  Those who could afford this would do so unassisted.  Those who could not would get help from the government.  These people would get health care credit cards, for an annual amount means-tested to bridge the gap between what they can afford and the ten thousand dollar maximum.

To supplement these accounts people would also be able to buy insurance.  If, for instance, someone suffers a bank-breaking illness or injury the supplemental insurance will pick up where the ten grand leaves off.  For those without the money to buy supplemental insurance the government will provide Medicaid.  While the choices of providers accepting Medicaid might be limited, care would nevertheless be available through a network of providers and through hospital ER’s.  Kind of like it was in this world before the ACA.  Come January 1st new health care credit cards are issued and those who found themselves on Medicaid at year’s end can once again have control of their health care lives.

If you are lucky enough to have money left over at the end of the year, guess what?  You get to keep it!  It stays in the bank, drawing interest.  (In this world interest rates actually reflect the real cost of money…).  And, since the maximum amount you are required to spend out of pocket each year is ten thousand dollars, that left over money becomes a retirement account.  When you reach retirement age you can roll it over into an IRA.

A world in which people make their own choices and spend their own money, with a government there to support the truly needy.  Insurance companies relegated to actually providing insurance against catastrophic losses.  Prices set by providers, drug makers, imaging centers and hospitals to reflect cost plus a modest profit.  Why?  Because they are all in competition for the same customers.  Imagine ads in the paper offering an MRI for $350, (about what it’s really worth, as opposed to the $9000 charged by hospitals, to be negotiated by various insurers), followed the next day for an ad by another imaging center for the same MRI, but for $325.  But that’s in the other universe.

Back in this world we are now saddled with a system wherein government and insurance companies set prices and ration care, the newly ‘insured’ are turning to Emergency Departments in ever-increasing numbers for their primary care needs, (patient volume in my ER is up about 35% almost entirely due to Obamacare patients with Medi-Cal managed care insurance and nowhere else to go), where the treatment options will be limited and innovation stifled.

We have lowest common denominator health care and will be paying Cadillac prices for it.  We have patients disconnected from their healthcare choices who will remain blissfully ignorant in the arms of a bloated federal government.  And the worst is yet to come.  Still, there are people seemingly ecstatic that the law was allowed to stand.  ‘The ACA is now embedded in our society!’, or something to that effect.

It’s about as absurd as my telling a patient, “Congratulations, the cancer is now inoperable.”  What a shame.

June 25, 2015

Surviving in the age of judicial activism

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 8:21 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Health_Spending_Shutterstock_Scott_Hales

[For a medical professional’s view of alternatives to ACA, see http://clarespark.com/2015/06/26/another-missed-opportunity-james-pagano-m-d-on-scotuss-bad-decision/.%5D

Like all aging persons I am obsessed with maintaining my youthful vigor and mental alertness. It is not easy, partly because there is no agreement among physicians or other health care professionals about, to give one example, the sources of anxiety and depression, with the latter mental states ostensibly the causes of inflammation and preventable early death, not to speak of disabilities.

When I started graduate school in the early 1980s at UCLA, I remember that Student Health told us (through all their handouts) that we were responsible for managing our health. But what does that mean, exactly? Besides the obvious preventive measures of diet and exercise, what were we supposed to do, say, about constant typing or sitting or the hazing inflicted by faculty members (I am not mentioning sports that stress the skull and joints)?

This personal problem is now made more acute by the Supreme Court decision today, that supports Obamacare as written, despite widespread opposition, much of it from doctors!

Such libertarian measures as eliminating any Big Government control entirely do not solve some of the basic problems, and I do not refer just to doctor shortages or rationing. I will suggest some unresolved issues that even the most well-meaning measures for expanding health care do not take into account. 1. Not all doctors are equally competent, though with increasingly standardized protocols of treatment, it may be possible for less quackery. 2. The nation is divided over contentious issues such as vaccination, abortion, “normal” sexuality in general, and the role of government in regulating the food industry. 3. Many parents do not want their children to learn hygiene and physiology at an early age, some out of prudery, others in fear that schools will usurp their proper role in controlling the education of their children.

I should state my own biases. I do believe in self-management and personal responsibility (and more, I remain worried about worker health and safety), but some problems intrinsic to health are contested or ambiguous. As I grow older, I realize that we are not rational creatures, but more pushed around by our emotional conflicts. Until we face up to the public and academic resistance to depth psychology (except insofar as it serves “the ethical state”) no amount of legislation or federalism will improve the health and life chances of the American people. Nor will a retreat into mysticism.

We need to rehabilitate “materialism” so that it applies to science and economics, not to consumerism.

Materialism_and_misery

 

June 24, 2015

Hate speech, revisited

John Gast: American Progress, 1872

John Gast: American Progress, 1872

I have written many times about “hate speech” tracing its origins to the liberal establishment which had several big reasons to institutionalize the demand for politeness: 1. The ideological impulse to explain the rise of Nazism/race riots to rabble-rousing new mass media (http://clarespark.com/2015/05/16/what-is-hate-speech-and-where-did-the-notion-come-from/); 2. The belief that speech creates reality (derived from Plato and the social democrats who suppressed material explanations for social conflict; 3. The notion originating with internationalists that conflicts can be resolved with better communication (and the warring parties subjected to “neutral” mediation on behalf of the ethical state/UN, of course).

It is a common error on the Right to attribute the notion of hate speech (a.k.a. political correctness) to communists hiding under every bed and in every college classroom. What most fail to do is to face squarely the history of expansion in the United States, performed at the expense of slaves and Mexicans. Patriotism in the interests of national unity or Manifest Destiny is the preferred alternative, even if, in some quarters, the Civil War is still raging, with some Midwestern and Southern whites holding on the symbols associated with the good old lost cause.

Here is the irony of attributing hate speech and PC to the Reds. It was mostly New Leftist professors who, with anti-imperialist zeal, invented “whiteness studies,” in the process failing to follow the lead of the Old Left that made class the category that mattered most to the revolution. You would think that such careful analysts writing in the tradition of Marx would have foregrounded the objective study of class, but no, they followed Lenin and Woodrow Wilson in the spirit of internationalism, ignoring the fictional categories of “race” and “ethnicity.” (See http://clarespark.com/2011/03/26/race-class-and-gender/ and http://clarespark.com/2014/06/07/marx-vs-lenin/, but even Alexander Saxton, my dissertation director, a proudly unreconstructed Stalinist, yielded to his contemporaries in promoting “whiteness studies,” as if all white people either all had the identical economic interests, or were hopelessly and permanently racist. (Saxton was especially disappointed in the white working class, apparently.)

KKK

This has put me, the director of the Yankee Doodle Society, in a quandary. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the composer Joseph Byrd and I reconstructed antebellum American popular music in the sentimental tradition, using the original lyrics, without expunging the N word. We produced one recording for a local company (Takoma), focusing mostly on Stephen Foster, Henry Clay Work, and George Root, but then got a corporate and then several government grants to produce not only the music of these and other composers agreeable to the middle class, but also we reconstructed the cultural context of such music. We ended up with a set of six-sided LPs and a mammoth 10 and a half-hour documentary played on Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles three times, all unexpurgated, unlike recent reconstructions of Stephen Foster that simply erase the “hate speech.”

The music by itself was distributed by Musical Heritage Society for ten years, and during that time, I got an offer from a Neo-Confederate distributor who would have been willing to cut us in on the profits. I never answered his letter.

The fact is that further distribution of these materials, which are unique and brilliantly performed by top musicians and actors, could lead to abuse by racist groups. As long as I can’t control the context, I hesitate to release them, for minority groups in this country have enough to contend with, without further insults dredged up from the American past.

hate-speech2

What would you do in my place? I am sitting on several boxes of recordings that should be heard, but not by irredentists of any stripe or locale.

Iwantmydaddy

June 19, 2015

Multiculturalism and the Charleston Massacre

RoofcapturedThe Wall Street Journal completed an editorial on June 19th, 2015 with “…the reality that evil still stalks the land.”

The notion that racism can be overcome by moralistic arguments is grotesque and misguided. What ever happened to clashes of economic interest, for instance, labor competition? Oh, I forgot, we don’t do materialism any longer. That would be too “modern.”

Instead the event has been interpreted through a medieval religious framework: Human nature is evil; this world belongs to the Devil. “Reality” is too mysterious or deceptive to penetrate—again the (lying) Devil’s work, and he is out to get us.

Entirely missing from this discourse is the assumption that “multiculturalism” (MC) is an effective remedy against “racism.” (I will use the abbreviation MC for multiculturalism in the rest of the blog.)

This entire website has been devoted to the insight that MC was a product of German Romanticism, aka German Idealism in the late eighteenth century (Loren Goldner, a leftist, warned me about it years ago, then I read the intellectual history of the concept in English translations for years, noting how the liberal establishment institutionalized MC as a weapon against “racism.” For links to prior blogs on the subject see http://clarespark.com/2013/07/02/groupiness-group-think-and-race/).

H. Strickland Constable, Harper's Weekly 1899

H. Strickland Constable, Harper’s Weekly 1899

Briefly, the collectivist notion that racially or ethnically defined groups can peacefully co-exist is an evasion of all the material considerations that actually divide groups. 19th C. “scientific racism,” supposedly transcended in the new dispensation, persists when we imagine that all whites, all Jews, all blacks, all Latinos, etc. each share a common, indivisible rootedness and world-view, incomprehensible to other groups. Nostrums such as “tolerance” or “diversity” supposedly avert conflicts that are only understood (by enlightened persons) through analyses of clashing material interests within the “collective” entity. Marxists and advocates of free market societies disagree about how to resolve such clashes, but no materialist would deny that they exist..

The better historians understand that ideology attempts to create consensus through scapegoating. Dylann Storm Roof, perhaps egged on by deteriorating “race” relations, blames blacks for “taking over the world.” This is racist ideology, pure and simple. Although family relationships should never be discounted, we don’t have to look only for mental illness specific to his family history as psychiatrist Keith Ablow declared on Hannity (March 18, 2015, the day that Fox News Channel mostly focused on the massacre made even more somber by its taking place in an historic black church). Ideologies provide the representations that feed into specific cases of mental illness.

woodrow.cooper_md

There is blatant racism, acted out by the shooter, but there is the more subtle racism inherent in MC. We are one species, and MC, the moderate (Wilsonian) solution to war and conflict, has joined other völkisch movements, in confusing well-meaning progressives with a bogus solution to hateful aggression. When the arguably racist but “internationalist” Woodrow Wilson called for “self-determination” he didn’t refer to individuals, but to the group-think/collectivism inherent in cultural nationalism (http://www.e-ir.info/2014/04/17/what-is-self-determination-using-history-to-understand-international-relations/).

MC is a mental illness (i.e., it distorts reality), and it is hegemonic in America and in the United Nations too.

photo Keith Bacongco

photo Keith Bacongco

June 15, 2015

Hillary Clinton and second wave feminism: Looking Backwards

Suffragettes, NYT, 1921

Suffragettes, NYT, 1921

Mrs. Clinton’s most recent rollout relied on two elements of sentimentality*: the log cabin rags-to-riches theme made famous by the Jacksonians, and the tribute to her mother and grandmother in the closing moments of her speech, thus linking her to the white-garbed, very pure tail end of first wave feminists who struggled for Votes for Women.

This is what the second wave of feminism hath wrought: a woman riding on the coattails of a former president, and a woman demanding to be the first person of her gender to hold the highest office of the land.

Forget her silence about trade deals and foreign policy, even though, were she elected, she would be commander-in-chief of the military, whose connection to foreign relations needs no mention here.. Because any famous woman will do, especially if she mouths aging communist platitudes such as income inequality. After all, the second wave feminists came out of the antiwar movement that has never lost its glamour for Hollywood producers and writers—just look at the highly touted series Aquarius, alleging darkly that unspeakable atrocities were visited on the peasants of Viet Nam, and developing the theme that Charlie Manson was in league with murderous, crypto-gay, impure Republicans.

“Rags to Riches” late 19th C.

The Clinton speech took its own swipe at (reactionary) Republicans as the enemies of the Progress that she associates with “the workers” who are now magically absorbed into the “middle class” that she so aggressively defends, as if we remained mired in the Middle Ages when small producers were the objects of elite defenders of the status quo.

It is the role of ideology to create consensus, but at what price?

* Sentiment reformism bases its appeal on a purified, transformed heart, evading the appeal to a change of mind, by contrast, rational appeals based on increased understanding of policy. Sentimental reformism is hence irrational.

Movie poster, 1941

Movie poster, 1941

June 13, 2015

Hitler’s Second Book (1928), his war aims, and multiculturalism

1944 Hitler Stamp

1944 Hitler Stamp

I had already read an earlier edition of Hitler’s Second Book (1928), and wondered if my summary of his international program was correct. I had described his program as German domination of an international system of völkisch states. In this blog, I will quote some passages from Gerhard L. Weinberg’s 2003 edition (transl. Krista Smith) that bear out my prior summary. My intention is to show Hitler’s indebtedness to earlier theorists of national character (i.e., “rootedness” and cultural nationalism as articulated by J. G. von Herder http://clarespark.com/2010/10/18/the-dialectic-of-multiculturalism-helvetius-herder-fichte/, and http://clarespark.com/2010/07/20/german-romantic-predecessors-to-multiculturalism/); but also to compare Hitler’s vision of the “racial community” with the multiculturalism that was institutionalized during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration in 1935 (described here: http://clarespark.com/2011/06/16/the-antiquated-melting-pot/).

[Hitler:] Peoples that do not understand [the racial] value, or for lack of natural instinct no longer feel it, then begin immediately to lose it. The mixing of blood and the decline of the race are…in reality an  under-appreciation of one’s own cultural value in comparison to that of foreign peoples… [Such a people] renounces the power that lies in the harmony of its blood and the cultural life that springs from it…Then the Jew can move in, in every form, and this master of international poison concoction and racial debasement will not rest until he has completely uprooted and thereby corrupted such a people.…For this reason, the internationalist [i.e., universal ethics, or “universal thinking”–Hitler’s term C.S.] disposition can be viewed as the deadly enemy of this value. Instead, the commitment to one’s own people’s value must be in line with and determine the collective life and behavior of a people.” (p.33, my emph.)

Internationalism as diversity

Internationalism as diversity

[Hitler:] I am a German nationalist. That means I am openly committed to my Volkstum. All of my thoughts actions belong to it. I am a socialist. I see before me no class or rank, but rather a community of people who are connected by blood, united by language, and subject to the same collective fate. I love the people and hate the current majorities only because I do not see them representing either the greatness or the happiness of my people. [p.48]

[Hitler:] The general European democracy will either be replaced by a system of Jewish-Marxist Bolshevism, to which state after state falls victim, or by a system of free and unfettered nation states which, in the unrestricted play of forces, will impress upon Europe the stamp of their character according to their population and importance. It is also not for fascism as an idea to be isolated in Europe…. (pp225-226]

[Clare:] I wrote this blog because 1. long ago two major scholars accused me of distorting “cosmopolitan” Herder, who was allegedly concerned only with “culture,” not “race”(note that Hitler says that culture springs from blood: I attribute the same blood and soil belief to Herder); and 2. though Hitler’s Second Book was mostly about Lebensraum (i.e., the conquest of Eastern Europe, already articulated in Mein Kampf), his long term intentions for all states to become fascist are made clear in his conclusions; and 3. Hitler was no “socialist” in the sense we use today. For German völkisch thinkers, “socialism” connoted solely the willingness to sacrifice oneself for “the people’s community.” Today’s populist demagogues come to mind.

WW2 poster

WW2 poster

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