YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

April 19, 2014

‘Totalitarianism’ (2)

pimpsup-hosdownOn April 17, I wrote this popular blog: https://clarespark.com/2014/04/17/totalitarianism/. It was preceded by a related blog that also was popular: https://clarespark.com/2012/09/05/proto-fascism-and-the-democrat-peoples-community. The blogs on ‘totalitarianism’ got lots of views probably because it was not widely known at that time that there was a pseudo-democratic movement afoot to eliminate the Electoral College and substitute the trappings of a popular democracy, in effect, reversing the Constitution and eliminating the notion of a constitutional republic in favor of [mob rule, urban domination]. In other words, such details as the marketplace of ideas, checks and balances, and separation of powers would be obsolete and “anti-democratic” because they are ultimately controlled and defined by “the big money”—or so such blue-state politicians as Andrew Cuomo would have to argue.

We have seen the signs of such a transition to authoritarian statism already: the expedited passage of the Affordable Care Act (and then lawlessness in its implementation), the increasing power of the executive branch, the takeover of academe by “Democrats” who shamelessly proclaim themselves the police force that will patrol dissident factions (i.e., the Tea Party and all those who fear Big Government: see https://clarespark.com/2014/04/12/the-organization-of-american-historians-taking-sides/), and the turnaround of Brandeis University in the case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali—an insult supported by the Harvard Crimson staff, devoted as they are to multiculturalism, as opposed to the clash of civilizations thesis advanced by Hirsi Ali, who unequivocally states that there are no moderate Muslims. Similarly, the Secretary of State John Kerry’s deluded hope that he might broker a peace between Arabs and Israelis, reflects the assumptions of multiculturalism, as opposed to recognizing that there are some “differences” that are not only irreconcilable, but cannot be settled by mediation or “inclusion.” (And what the Left wants is a binational state, i.e., the end of a majority Jewish state, and the return of Jews to dhimmi status.) Soon we will all be requested to bow and scrape before our Platonic Guardians or the new nomenklatura.

Ever since I read Barack Obama’s two books in 2008, I have feared a bloodless transition to either fascism or communism. (Why bloodless? The population is so pacified/brainwashed, and force so unevenly distributed that I do not expect significant resistance.) BUT, I do not equate the two forms of statism, and have written extensively about this distinction in the past: The revolution of Communism promised to fulfill the promise of the Enlightenment with its ideal of individual emancipation, while Fascism (in all its variants) was a counter-Revolution that erased the Enlightenment, substituting the judenrein “people’s community” for the independent individual endowed with civil rights. Now look at the discourse of the Left and its stronghold in the Democratic Party: its key words are “families” or “the people” or “community”—entities that, in contrast to terroristic Republicans/Israelis/Goldfingers, are noted for their tender care and outreach to “the oppressed.”

One explicator of this crucial difference between fascism and communism was the late communist historian Eric Hobsbawm. See https://clarespark.com/2013/10/28/hobsbawm-israel-the-totalitarian-idea/. Sadly, Hobsbawm lacked the critical distance not to bash Israel and finance capital, as have other leftists, Karl Marx for instance in his early essay on “Money” as “the universal pimp.” But my most persuasive argument against the use of the word “totalitarian” is this: why are artists and dissidents murdered, locked up, or bought off in these omnipotent societies if it is so easy to impose total control on the population in societies with a tradition of cultural pluralism and at least a measure of free thought? Who but intellectuals benefit from this emphasis on the Soviets as compared to the Nazis and all their atrocities?

Two authors stand out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Nolte#The_Historikerstreit. Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Origins_of_Totalitarianism (Hannah Arendt’s “great book”). Whatever their motives, such books and arguments take our attention away from the dynamics of Hitler’s rise to power and the unspeakable consequences of the Third Reich. As I write this, the factions that make up the right wing in America (not to be confused with the European Right) are still fighting with each other. Until the magnitude of the crisis that confronts us is broadly recognized and addressed in solidarity, excising those fringe groups and behaviors that really ARE racist, terroristic, populistic, and lawless (the Klan, Neo-Nazis, usually blamed by the Left on “the Right”), there is little doubt about who wins and who loses. If we get to 2016 without a coup (call it what you will), I will be the most surprised of anyone. plato

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March 15, 2014

Is America a Christian state?

Haman

Haman

A relative of mine surprised me by observing that since the USA is fundamentally a Christian state, so why should not Israel be a Jewish state? (He was reacting to John Kerry’s –and Obama’s–opposition to the notion of a Jewish state in the current “negotiations.”)

During my days at Pacifica radio, there was an anonymous crank caller who started every comment with the allegation that “Western Christian civilization” was in jeopardy if the various 1960s movements made significant headway. I thought then that he was nuts, but now I am coming around to seeing what he meant, and how valid an observation his was.

Take the much vaunted “Judeo-Christian heritage” that supposedly defines this country and its founding. It turns out that such a benign construction of interfaith comity appeared during the 1940s and 1950s, with occasional outcroppings in later years. Such a fantasy could only have taken hold by professional harmonizers (including many assimilated Jews), determined to overlook the degree of antisemitism in the Christian Bible (only “the Gospel according to John,” says Benzion Netanyahu), and in misunderstandings of how ordinary Christians view the Old Testament. Many of those of us descended from immigrant Jews would rather not know for the sake of getting along, even if it means ignoring the growing antisemitism not only after the Great War, but in the lead up and execution of WW2. We are often oblivious to the depraved indifference to the Holocaust in progress, at a point where it could have been stopped or alleviated. We don’t notice that the “atheists” derided by Bill O’Reilly on Fox News have Jewish names. Every single one. And guess who the “secular progressives” signify to such as O’Reilly? (This is a hunch that I cannot prove.)

Here is how I described the “binary opposition” of Christian versus Jew” in another blog describing a Nazi exhibit der ewige Jude in 1937:

No European myth is benign or even neutral with regard to Jews or to the liberal values that “moderates” want to defend, nor can it be otherwise. All Jews, including the “eternal” ones, are “bad”; the antithesis of Christian and Jew corresponds to the antipodes of Christian [organic] conservatism* and Jewish [classical] liberalism: (heartfelt) mysticism and (heartless) science, trust and withering skepticism, loyalty and betrayal, community and mob, busy bee and parasite, garden and wasteland. “Good Jews” like Lessing’s Nathan the Wise, Cumberland’s Sheva, Walker’s Schechem, and Dickens’ Riah who appeared in the humanitarian literature of the late eighteenth and early to mid-nineteenth century were good only because they were more Christian than the bourgeois Christians who were behaving like Shylock and Fagin; capitalism purged of its Judas red-beards would presumably lose its heartless and exploitative character. Christian landlords would never evict a tenant, Christian bankers would never foreclose a mortgage: this demented idea is fundamental to the völkisch revolution of Nazism,[2] but was not their invention. Nazi anti-Semitism, then, was only partly about the considerable material advantages in expropriating Jewish property and expelling Jewish rivals: Nazis, to maintain their credibility as redeemers and protectors, would have to plunge a stake in the heart of the “demon Thought” (to use Byron’s expression). For the antifascist critical mind is not found in a guilt-ridden Adam shrinking from conflict with illegitimate authority or from the perception of other irreconcilable conflicts. Instead, the anti-Semitic/ anti-intellectual mind anxiously mystifies group antagonisms by positing (an unattainable) harmony as “normal.” Brandishing images of solidarity, the fascist bonds people only to “romance” in a false utopia necessarily maintained through deceit, terror and catharsis.

So hip liberal television writers may freely mock Southern conservatives such as the extremist “Sally Langston” in the popular television series Scandal, but ignore the pervasive theme of Amor Vincit Omnia (a habit inculcated in united happy families?) in liberal theories of conflict-resolution.

amorvincitomnia2

Enter “hate speech” or “hate crimes”. We should be loving one another, we should be walking in the steps of Christ in all our dealings with “the Other.” “To know all is to forgive all.” And who inflicted repression of “free speech” on us? None other than the putatively Jewish critical theorists, all “Jews” or renegade “Jews” whose chief aim in life is to control “the goyim.” (See https://clarespark.com/2011/10/21/did-frankfurters-kill-the-white-christian-west/.)

Is it any wonder that with all the curriculum reforms urged upon us by liberals, conservatives, and radicals alike, no one is pressing for a systematic study of antisemitism in the West, including the USA, the every-day variety that stops short of mass murder, but feels no compunction about inflicting mild to serious traumas on its “Jews” who remain strangers in a strange land?

amorvincitomnia3

Happy Purim, even though the Israeli Left still doesn’t get it: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/rabbis-round-table/.premium-1.579731. I could have entitled this blog “Is John Kerry the new Haman?”

February 25, 2014

The Myth of Jewish Solidarity

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 8:21 pm
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populistantisemitismIt matters not whether any particular “Jew” is assimilated or not. Were a Nazi-type regime to take hold in America, all “Jews,” assimilated or not, would be rounded up as “Jewish” by reason of blood inheritance. They would all be labeled as enemies of the People. This blog is about persons of Jewish descent who single out other “Jews” as Bad Jews and as the enemy of all correctly thinking “moderate” conservatives (see https://clarespark.com/2010/11/16/good-jews-bad-jews-and-wandering-jews/). This at a time when global antisemitism and criticism of Israel seems to have achieved a crescendo that reminds some frightened Jews of the 1930s. My argument centers around two claims: 1. One strategy to take the heat off the comparatively few conservative Jews is to identify all other “Jews” with the crazy Left.  The liberal elite I have identified in prior blogs is rarely nailed on the intellectual Right. redjew 2. Assimilated Jews who favor the Democratic Party as the route to upward mobility should be argued with, insofar as they concur with Obama and John Kerry’s unrealistic expectations for a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, but liberal Jews should not be held up to obloquy: they are probably unschooled in the magnitude of European and American antisemitism, the history of the Mid-East, and/or the founding of Israel in the late 1940s; moreover they believe they hold the moral high ground, like other liberals.

Notwithstanding attempts of some organic conservatives to paint the Left (both Leninist and liberal) as generically Jewish, the original PC contingent was devoid of Jews, but heavily populated by WASP liberal elites (following Christian Socialism in Britain), notwithstanding the efforts of some far Right antisemites to paint the [German “Jewish”] Frankfurt School of critical theory as instigators of political correctness and the thought police. (See https://clarespark.com/2011/10/21/did-frankfurters-kill-the-white-christian-west/.)

My opinion: It should surprise no one that one way for Eastern European Jews to escape murderous antisemitism was to support the antiracist communists, who promised an emancipating internationalism that would eliminate all forms of racism and antisemitism. Similarly, immigrant Jews in America would be attracted to purported antiracist movements in the US, along with the union movement that defended their garment worker parents. As Ralph Bunche reported to Gunnar Myrdal, it was primarily Jews who supported civil rights for blacks in the interwar period. (Bunche was at that time on the Left, and 1930s leftist factions opposed racism and antisemitism. See https://clarespark.com/2009/10/10/ralph-bunche-and-the-jewish-problem/. )

All attempts to polarize American society toward irrationalism should be resisted by Jews and their allies. There still exists a sizable group of rightists who are indeed white supremacists and incorrigible antisemites. Some, but not all, are in the South, and even those who are “friends of the Jews” may be adherents to apocalyptic, chiliastic fantasies such as the imminent “Rapture.” You probably will not find among this cohort support for the introduction of subjects in the schools that help students to identify the multiform manifestations of antisemitism throughout the history of the West. (See https://clarespark.com/2010/11/14/the-abcs-of-antisemitism/ .) barbiejew I have written previously about assimilated Jews and their antagonists.  Here is a sampling of relevant prior blogs, by no means exhausting this subject matter. https://clarespark.com/2013/12/07/ben-hecht-v-ben-urwand-the-un-jewish-left-and-assimilated-jews/ https://clarespark.com/2013/03/30/philip-roth-the-following-and-identification-with-the-aggressor/ https://clarespark.com/2012/02/24/malkin-dolan-and-the-empire-state-building/ https://clarespark.com/2013/09/15/authenticity-and-the-bottled-up/ https://clarespark.com/2013/07/21/minding-antisemitism/ https://clarespark.com/2011/06/03/neo-isolationists-and-the-jewish-problem/ https://clarespark.com/2010/04/03/liberals-and-jewish-racism/

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