Sunday, 14 February 2010

The soul of man under Socialism

by Oscar Wilde

The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible.

There is also this to be said. It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property. It is both immoral and unfair.

Under Socialism all this will, of course, be altered. There will be no people living in fetid dens and fetid rags, and bringing up unhealthy, hungerpinched children in the midst of impossible and absolutely repulsive surroundings. The security of society will not depend, as it does now, on the state of the weather. If a frost comes we shall not have a hundred thousand men out of work, tramping about the streets in a state of disgusting misery, or whining to their neighbours for alms, or crowding round the doors of loathsome shelters to try and secure a hunch of bread and a night's unclean lodging. Each member of the society will share in the general prosperity and happiness of the society, and if a frost comes no one will practically be anything the worse.

Upon the other hand, Socialism itself will be of value simply because it will lead to Individualism.

Socialism, Communism, or whatever one chooses to call it, by converting private property into public wealth, and substituting co-operation for competition, will restore society to its proper condition of a thoroughly healthy organism, and insure the material wellbeing of each member of the community. It will, in fact, give Life its proper basis and its proper environment.

The virtues of the poor may be readily admitted, and are much to be regretted. We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful. They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Charity they feel to be a ridiculously inadequate mode of partial restitution, or a sentimental dole, usually accompanied by some impertinent attempt on the part of the sentimentalist to tyrannise over their private lives. Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table? They should be seated at the board, and are beginning to know it. As for being discontented, a man who would not be discontented with such surroundings and such a low mode of life would be a perfect brute. Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. Sometimes the poor are praised for being thrifty. But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less. For a town or country labourer to practise thrift would be absolutely immoral. Man should not be ready to show that he can live like a badly-fed animal. He should decline to live like that, and should either steal or go on the rates, which is considered by many to be a form of stealing. As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg. No; a poor man who is ungrateful, unthrifty, discontented, and rebellious is probably a real personality, and has much in him. He is at any rate a healthy protest. As for the virtuous poor, one can pity them, of course, but one cannot possibly admire them. They have made private terms with the enemy and sold their birthright for very bad pottage. They must also be extraordinarily stupid. I can quite understand a man accepting laws that protect private property, and admit of its accumulation, as long as he himself is able under these conditions to realise some form of beautiful and intellectual life. But it is almost incredible to me how a man whose life is marred and made hideous by such laws can possibly acquiesce in their continuance.

Under the new conditions Individualism will be far freer, far finer, and far more intensified than it is now. I am not talking of the great imaginatively realised Individualism of such poets as I have mentioned, but of the great actual Individualism latent and potential in mankind generally. For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses. It has led Individualism entirely astray. It has made gain not growth its aim. So that man thought that the important thing was to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be. The true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is. Private property has crushed true Individualism, and set up an Individualism that is false. It has debarred one part of the community from being individual by starving them. It has debarred the other part of the community from being individual by putting them on the wrong road and encumbering them. Indeed, so completely has man's personality been absorbed by his possessions that the English law has always treated offences against a man s property with far more severity than offences against his person, and property is still the test of complete citizenship. The industry necessary for the making of money is also very demoralising. In a community like ours, where property confers immense distinction, social position, honour, respect, titles, and other pleasant things of the kind, man, being naturally ambitious, makes it his aim to accumulate this property, and goes on wearily and tediously accumulating it long after he has got far more than he wants, or can use, or enjoy, or perhaps even know of. Man will kill himself by overwork in order to secure property, and really, considering the enormous advantages that property brings, one is hardly surprised. One's regret is that society should be constructed on such a basis that man has been forced into a groove in which he cannot freely develop what is wonderful, and fascinating, and delightful in him in which, in fact, he misses the true pleasure and joy of living. He is also, under existing conditions, very insecure. An enormously wealthy merchant may be - often is - at every moment of his life at the mercy of things that are not under his control. If the wind blows an extra point or so, or the weather suddenly changes, or some trivial thing happens, his ship may go down, his speculations may go wrong, and he finds himself a poor man, with his social position quite gone. Now, nothing should be able to harm a man except himself. Nothing should be able to rob a man at all. What a man really has, is what is in him. What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.

With the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true, beautiful, healthy Individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols for things. One will live. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. It is a question whether we have ever seen the full expression of a personality, except on the imaginative plane of art. In action, we never have.

It will be a marvellous thing - the true personality of man - when we see it. It will grow naturally and simply, flower-like, or as a tree grows. It will not be at discord. It will never argue or dispute. It will not prove things. It will know everything. And yet it will not busy itself about knowledge. It will have wisdom. Its value will not be measured by material things. It will have nothing. And yet it will have everything, and whatever one takes from it, it will still have, so rich will it be. It will not be always meddling with others, or asking them to be like itself. It will love them because they will be different. And yet, while it will not meddle with others, it will help all, as a beautiful thing helps us by being what it is. The personality of man will be very wonderful. It will be as wonderful as the personality of a child.

Full jobbie, here

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

This socialistic idealism will never be. True, if we could correctly alter the economic mode of man, this might cause us to suffer like humans and not suffer like animals, as we currently do. People are too selfish. Once in power, the 'Iron law of Oligarchy' ensures that a new exploitive class will emerge.

Anonymous said...

The socialists underestimated the durability of capitalism....The Great Depression didn't result in a communist revolution in America or western Europe. Although the crisis may have led to Atlee's reforms or Roosevelts compromises to stem off a Red tide, no socialist revolution occurred. Then the capitalist countries experienced a 25 year boom, utilyzing Keynes. The Western societies proved too flexible, Gramsci noted.

Mitterand tried to nationalize the banks...and ended his term with unemployment much higher than when he took office.

Julius Nyere admitted the failure of his expiriment in Tanzania.

China has ceased to be hope for the proles and peasants.

The Soviets are gone...they could not price things well or deliver the goods. When I studied in Russia, there was very little nostalgia for the past.

The "friendly" fascistic trend in America is accelerating under Obama. One civil right after the other is under siege. Wealth is being stolen from the people and concentrated in the investor class and bankers. Rascism is being pushed by the power elite, to divide and conquer. The utter failure of the Left is obvious- what passes for leftism is really just paranoid deluded PCism, beholden to corporate cartels.

the_last_name_left said...

This socialistic idealism will never be.

Well, it would be mysticism to insist it was impossible.

You're making an argument about human nature. Show me any competitive or selfish "law" of behaviour, and I'll find you a comparable altruistic social one.

and socialism isn't "idealist".....it's materialist. Once the conditions to provide for all have been developed, capitalism is obviously anachronistic. Idealist (non-materialist) socialists are called "utopian".

The socialists underestimated the durability of capitalism....The Great Depression didn't result in a communist revolution in America or western Europe

Underestimated? Maybe. I don't see how that indicts socialism.....rather it indicts humanity and speaks of how durable capitalism is. It doesn't surprise me in the least that reports of capitalism's demise have been (often) exaggerated. But likewise, don't pretend it's the end of the story already.

Although the crisis may have led to Atlee's reforms or Roosevelts compromises to stem off a Red tide, no socialist revolution occurred.

Well, one can see Atlee and New Deal as a response to a rising red tide. I think all that was a great victory. Not the end.....only a genuine beginning.

Then the capitalist countries experienced a 25 year boom, utilyzing Keynes.

And reconstruction........following WW2.

Personally I see a lot of the angst about at the moment as being ultimately driven by the loss of those gains made by Welfare State. People don't seem to realise that's what is disappearing. Or rather, Americans don't. Many Europeans do. But they often won't even vote left....? Again - it indicts people.....not "the left" necessarily.

I don't like to excuse "the people" all the time. They get what they vote for......

China has ceased to be hope for the proles and peasants.

well......i dunno. It is no socialist paradise, for sure. But no hope there? Hmm - why not? There's always hope. Indoctrination must have some effect.....especially when the content is "good" as some of it must be. What happens as China matures.....and all her little commies grow up? Who knows?

When I studied in Russia, there was very little nostalgia for the past.

Well, I hear from Soviet-era East Germans that there is considerable regret. Not for secret police....but for jobs, housing, high quality education, secure employment, food, community, a sense of purpose, blah blah blah.

(young) students might not be the sole best people to ask.

Wealth is being stolen from the people and concentrated in the investor class and bankers.

as ever. the numbers get bigger.....always the same essential deal though?

People can vote to address this.....but often they don't, preferring tax-cuts, the drumbeat of war, cakes and circus etc.

If this is what people choose......who would wish to forcibly oppose it?

What just happened in USA? They elected another Republican in Sen Kennedy's old patch! Like that's gonna change something? A protest vote against Obama goes to the Republican? Right.....

the_last_name_left said...

One civil right after the other is under siege.

I dunno......the right to drive past my house and fly over my country polluting as you go hasn't seemed to be curbed any.....

We can publish a webpage saying whatever we like......

We can stand for election......

Do people vote for those who really care about civil rights? Or do the people prefer promises of cakes and circuses?

People care more about X-Factor.....it seems.

The utter failure of the Left is obvious- what passes for leftism is really just paranoid deluded PCism, beholden to corporate cartels.

errr - dunno what Left you are on about there.

Beholden to corporate cartels? elaborate, or withdraw?

And what is your own position..........? (seeing as you clearly aren't left - what are you? why didn't you say anyway.....seing as it is kinda relevant....?)

Anonymous said...

I meant the seeming switch from a labor oriented left to the 'New Left', and then their descent to what passes for leftism now, esp. in the US...an exxagerated concern for so called social justice issues blinds many- since, say, the Democrat party is viewed as being very pro minority, pro gay marriage, pro some environmental causes, etc... then people become blind as to who actually owns that party- the same people who own the Republican party ....Exxon, Monsanto, Goldman Sachs...the workers can never be free under either party, but there are 'leftists' who support the (corporate) Democrats. PC ism seems to have some originating links to our ruling finacial overlords.

I know socialism is material. I meant the idealism associated with Oscar Wildes dreaminess of a better world..I could have worded that better.

I agree- the gains of the welfare state have been so rolled back, we are in a serious plight.

as far as China goes, their leadership has become cut throat money changers and traders....a small clique has figured out how to terrorize over a billion people into submission...China must have a another revolution if they are to significantly improve the conditions of the average person.

Civil rights are under terrible assualt- in the US, the government is now beginning to openly say that it can listen to your phone calls without warrants. Third parties cannot even enter presidential debates, etc. the police are out of control with their radar guns and tickets, and they beat people up for no cause more than they use to.

socrates said...

I tend to agree with anonymous. It's as if the Democratic Party has co-opted the progressive label, and that they really couldn't care less about the social welfare. Clinton rolled back some programs for the poor. He's the one who ushered in the idea of triangulating.

On the other hand, there is a definite difference between left and right. We are caught in a catch-22. If we support third party candidates, we are throwing a vote in a way to the Republicans. However, if we continue to go the lesser of two evils route with the Democratic Party, they will persist in taking the progressive vote for granted and campaign for the middle of the road to right of center votes.

That's how I see it.

Anonymous said...

Well, last name left..., its true, examples of selfishness vs. altruism for 'human nature' abound. I always liked the findings of Prince Kropotkin, when he was in Siberia or Lapland....that co-operation was the norm for survival- not aggressive competition.

As far as china and her little commies growing up and helping out, China is communist in name only. My chines friend told me that Mao was taught in school as beig a great military leader, but he is considered to be a poor leader in economics and all other spheres, Deng Xoaping changed a lot of things.......china is not a revolutionary state, the counter revolutionaries apparently won.

I put some blame on Gorbachev for the end of the communist dream...the soviets already were dealing with the effects of iron law of oligarchy, and the Brezhnev stagnations....then...Glasnost let the nationalist genie out of the bottle...the centrifugal forces cracked the 15 republics of the union...what Gorbachev did : he took away the fear. When he took away the fear that people had about protesting, this allowed the Lithuanians to snap off the Soviet Union...Gorbachev didn't send in the tanks...at that point in time, though,its unlikely he could have prevented the breakup.

Earlier, he took away the fear regarding the east bloc, and we saw what happened. (Another factor was pressure in the Soviet oil marketsand revenues, plus the arms race. but thats digressing)...

a basis of Marxism was flawed- surplus value theory of labor does not really describe how a cost/price/value gets attached to an item...the economist Marshall showed this around 1895....an example would be the value of a diamond.
Its price is not really related much to how much toil the miner went through...I know that that is a very gross simplification, though....

People say that Stalin hijacked the revolution...they would have preferred Trotsky, since he was more 'humane'(?)...but Trotsky was in the process of betraying comrades when he got whacked. Also, during the revolution, he militarily opposed the experiment that Nestor Mackno had set up- Mackno had a region under control where 'state' authority was minimal, yet the people had full civil rights and were close to practicing authentic communism....yet Trotsky helped smash the experiment, due to Macknos 'independence' (?) This episode showed Trotsky's true colors...

and lets not forget, Lenin had a wild secret police long before Stalin did....and Lenin dumped war communism and embraced the merchants again when he introduced his NEP.....

the long time leader of the French communist party (I forget his name, Marchais??) near his death, he said he had been a fool to so closely embrace the Soviets (he was one of the very few western communist leaders to endorse Brezhnev's invasion of Prague in 1968)....

anyway, I salute the ideals of the slain Communards during the Paris Commune of 1870-1.....down with rent lords ! cancel all debts now! ha...

.( the red of communist flags is symbolic of the blood of the aprox. 30,000 (?) Communards killed when authorities re-took Paris)

I think Rosa Luxemberg had a better grasp of the economics involved in the project...she could have adapted (?) ...if she had been able to seize power in Germany in 1919...and had not been murdered (murdered by or with the help of 'liberals' or social democratic types, as well as the right)...the world might have been a much different place now...who knows? They say the same thing about 'The Events' of 1968....what if?

the_last_name_left said...

S: I tend to agree with anonymous. It's as if the Democratic Party has co-opted the progressive label, and that they really couldn't care less about the social welfare.

For sure, but we have to face facts:

consider that massachussets election?

A Republican was elected! As a protest vote? Or what?

What is the Democratic Party supposed to do when even tentative reform is met with the election of an opposition member?

I find it really very difficult to imagine how one can make an argument that the fault is with the Democratic Party for not being radical enough. On what basis can that argument be made? I'm open to being convinced......but I really can't see it at the moment. It seems an inversion of the reality: people have elected to support anti-reform Republicans.

Instead of blaming the Democrats, why not accept people get what they want? And if they actually wanted something more than the democrats can offer, they'd stand a chance of getting it. There's no point in the Democrats tacking left if they can't get support for it. So they don't. Seen from such a perspective, responsibility lies with "the people"......as it should, and surely must do (ultimately).

There simply isn't an incipient socialist revolution in America.......we should accept it.

People can elect whoever they like......and presumably they do. On the other hand, grumbling about "our leaders" is easy.

So why blame the representatives and not the people who elect them?

Anonymous said...

I don't feel as though the people can be blamed so much. They are born into a slick propaganda machine...


Marginal utility theory and gulags aside, I do miss the Soviet Union....

...you spoke of sense of purpose...for inspiration and pride, try the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale...

Despite what anyone might think about the Yugoslav wars of the 90's...or Slobodan Milosovic ....he wasn't a bad guy. I was there.

the_last_name_left said...

@anon - thanks for the post. I'm far more interested in your subject matter than I am capable of commenting on it. My failing - not your subject matter. ;)


anon: ...the world might have been a much different place now...who knows? They say the same thing about 'The Events' of 1968....what if?

yeah, but to be fair, we don't know it would have been any better. It is easy to imagine it could have been, but it's so easy to just imagine.

Whatever reality we had inherited today, we could easily imagine it better. Or more easily....worse. (speaking as a British citizen)

Rosa Luxemburg's is a sad story. I find her quite heroic, though I don't profess to know much about her. (She's always someone "on the list" I want to look more into.)

Likewise the rest of the stuff you mention: I don't have much (anything) to contribute to a discussion on socialist theory.......I am simply not up to the task.

For example, the issue over the Marxist theory of value being a theory of price, and the transformation issue, which is what you're alluding to with MArshall? I'd be lieing to say I fully understand the debate.... I don't.....though I have studied economics and was a part-qualified accountant....so I understand something of the debate. I also know that there are rebuttals of the rebuttal - one particularly strong argument appeared fairly recently.....but I've forgotten the dude's name. I'll have a look when I have more time. It's interesting. I'm happy to accept I don't really have the mental equipment to engage with Marxism and/or economics on that level. Maybe it's just a rationalisation, but I don't feel the transformation issue is central anyway. Nor any other strictly mathematical part of the doctrine....... rather i believe the entire project is "right"....the justification in formulae is ...errr....work in progress, I guess. lol. I'm quite happy to go into the failings of the theory though. Just as I am to expound its successes, which I think are.......huge.

I don't believe in the "iron law" stuff either. I think people take all that the wrong way. They are tendencies, not pre-determined laws.

And I'm no Vanguardist either. I see (some of?) the argument for it......but I don't like it and I reject it. Nevertheless, I am more than happy to admit it was actually Lenin and the Bolsheviks whom headed a national revolution .......not I. So....whose opinion is worth more? Not mine :) I'm perfectly happy to admit my inexperience and inability and to recognise lenin did a better job than I ever could or would (as a revolutionary, theorist, whatever....) However, I disagree very strongly that the means justifies the end. I think the means ARE the end.

I can't say much about China because I simply know nothing about it. I never got close to exhausting material on russian revolution let alone anything on China! I think the oriental names are a big put-off.....whereas I enjoy struggling with Russian names. I'm interested, but I can't offer anything on it, sorry.

the_last_name_left said...

I put some blame on Gorbachev for the end of the communist dream...

Hmm. But if it wasn't communist anyway.....

And it certainly wasn't the end of the communist dream......I still dream. And I know others who do.

It could be seen as a step toward eventual communism?

...what Gorbachev did : he took away the fear.

Taking away fear can hardly be considered the cause of "the end of the communist dream" as fear doesn't feature in the dream.

At the very least, we have to remember it isn't the end of the story yet. There's no reason to expect all these issues to be resolved in our own lifetimes......and if they aren't (they aren't) it isn't necessarily a rebuttal of Marx, or socialism, or anything. Surely?

IMO capitalism is far from exhausted. It might fail beforehand in some crisis......but it's far from exhausted itself. There's obviously so much further it can go......if it avoids catastrophe.

As gruesome as aspects of Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact were......Lech Walesa could claim "we took over the country and only broke a window". There's something profound and sad in that, imo. No bloodthirsty reds clawing to stay in power......they simply gave it all up.

If only they had shown that same humility and respect when they had walked into their positions as when they left them?

People say that Stalin hijacked the revolution...they would have preferred Trotsky, since he was more 'humane'(?)

Oh, I feel for sure. But I wouldn't want to romanticise Trotsky.

the_last_name_left said...

during the revolution, he militarily opposed the experiment that Nestor Mackno had set up

I don't know anything about Mackno off the top of my head, sorry.

There are lots of things I think should have been done differently. But.....it was a revolution, facing annihilation. I can complain about this that and the other......but....Lenin and Trotsky are the people who did it. If my disagreements had instead held sway.....maybe nothing at all would have been achieved. And what of my criticisms then? Moot.

The Red Army - Trotsky's army - is usually attributed with all the deaths of the russian civil war. Why does the opposition to the revolution never get given the blame for them?

And the case is surely definitely clear that Trotsky's "authoritarianism" was of a different scale to that of Stalin's, and it occurred in quite different context: Trotsky was operating through revolution civil war and continual crises......Stalin later built bureaucracy and the gulag. stalin was general secretary all the while.

But still, even shooting a royal family is pretty despicable......because they're a family, not because they're "royal". I don't mean to defend such stuff....i disagree with it......but gotta break eggs to make omelette and all that? Who is to say? My own position is a preference for consensus and non-violence. So would I allow the destruction of socialism by violent, selfish, greedy thugs? Hmmm. How to square that circle?

and lets not forget, Lenin had a wild secret police long before Stalin did...

Hmm - scale, scope, context? I don't mean to say Lenin was perfect......but....I can't agree his secret police were the equivalent of Stalin's.

I don't tend to agree that the seed of Stalin was in Leninism anyway. Lenin was dead 1924, just 6 years after revolution. Trotsky was expelled in 1927.

It's an interesting topic......but one I can offer no insights upon. Like most of this stuff....

the long time leader of the French communist party (I forget his name, Marchais??) near his death, he said he had been a fool to so closely embrace the Soviets (he was one of the very few western communist leaders to endorse Brezhnev's invasion of Prague in 1968)....

lots of people were made fools. it can be hard to understand their naivete today.

lots of clever people......wrong. misled. whatever. should give pause to the dogmatic....

[i best stop here]

the_last_name_left said...

anon: I don't feel as though the people can be blamed so much. They are born into a slick propaganda machine...

yes, but.......that is their position. Would that things were different.....but they're not.

I don't mean to suggest that "the people" should be despised for their choices......but neither should they be excused as if they are frightened and abused little children.

I find the whole thing of treating people as some brainwashed mass quite insulting. (I'm not saying you are doing this btw)

"Sheeple" is the common term atm. It seems to miss the point somehow.....as easy as it is to see the world like that.

If people are actually Sheeple....then that's down to them, isn't it? To a degree personally - and certainly as a class? If people can't raise themselves - despite the conditions facing them - then they will get what they are given.

The notion people are "brainwashed" seems to relieve them of some responsibility. And anyway - we're left with the same results ie peoples' behaviour.....whether they are brainwashed or not.

socrates said...

I don't want to hijack your dialogue. Speaking of which, isn't it about time for Larry to spam his Operation Northwoods' schtick? p:> I'll try to be brief.

I find it really very difficult to imagine how one can make an argument that the fault is with the Democratic Party for not being radical enough. On what basis can that argument be made? I'm open to being convinced......but I really can't see it at the moment. It seems an inversion of the reality: people have elected to support anti-reform Republicans.

I don't think this is cut and dried. Like Anon says, folks are born into a slick propaganda machine. This was more about voting against Coakley than supporting a right winger. It was a way for folks to say to the old boy's network, stop taking us for granted.

If a better candidate had run, say Joseph Kennedy, he would have won 80% to 20%. As you know, I've been getting into figuring out the satanic panic of late. Coakley was responsible for an innocent man (Gerald Amirault) staying in prison for extra years for crimes he never committed. Coakley did that in a cynical maneuver to look tough on crime. Why should anyone vote for someone who makes those kinds of decisions? Coakley is bad news.

Brown will be in for a couple years. All the Democrats will have to do is find a warm body to run against him, anyone with an ounce of decency, and that person will be the next Senator from Massachusetts.

The 60 votes versus 59, well, if you think that one vote is so precious, perhaps you are the one who needs to prove that. And you'll also need to prove that the general populace is aware that the one vote makes such a profound difference.

Obama needs to make a sharp left turn and soon. The more he acts Republican-lite, the less there is actually a difference between the two parties, and the so-called sheeple will be more likely to vote Republican. They will forget 2000-2008 and which party was more responsible for America's fall from grace. Ironically, the man who lost to Coakley in the primary came out against the Patriot Act. Cuapano is his name. He never would have lost the general election. It's not that we need third parties per se. It's that the Democrats need to relinquish power to progressives. The Blue Dog Democrats have ruined this country. They have stolen the heart and soul of the Democratic Party.They now resemble a moderate Republican one. It sounds like you are out of touch with American politics.

the_last_name_left said...

S: This was more about voting against Coakley than supporting a right winger. It was a way for folks to say to the old boy's network, stop taking us for granted.

So they voted Republican....? Like I say, it just doesn't make sense to me.

I can't see how it's evidence the Dems aren't going leftwards enough.

And if people voted against the old boy network....as a protest....then what happened to the "slick propaganda" this time? It didn't work......or....did it?

Coakley was responsible for an innocent man (Gerald Amirault) staying in prison for extra years for crimes he never committed. Coakley did that in a cynical maneuver to look tough on crime. Why should anyone vote for someone who makes those kinds of decisions?

Fair enough. However, Amirault was 2001, and yet

Coakley was elected Massachusetts Attorney General in the 2006 general election as a Democrat....with 73% of the vote.

Amirault can hardly be the cause.

Brown will be in for a couple years. All the Democrats will have to do is find a warm body to run against him, anyone with an ounce of decency, and that person will be the next Senator from Massachusetts.

Next time? But then we're further down the line, things will change elsewhere......and where will healthcare reform have gone by then?

And Coakley won the Primary for Candidature. (How does that work? It's a political appointment from upon high, or is it an election?)

So....Mas. - Ted Kennedy's former seat - elected a Republican.....in the midst of a furore over healthcare reform.

So how will the rest of the country vote!?

The NYT has:

The election left Democrats in Congress scrambling to salvage a bill overhauling the nation’s health care system, which the late Mr. Kennedy had called “the cause of my life.” Mr. Brown has vowed to oppose the bill, and once he takes office the Democrats will no longer control the 60 votes in the Senate needed to overcome filibusters.

There were immediate signs that the bill had become imperiled. House members indicated they would not quickly pass the bill the Senate approved last month.


Will the delay in passing the bill make the bill more radical.....or less?

Beyond the bill, the election of a man supported by the Tea Party movement also represented an unexpected reproach by many voters to President Obama after his first year in office, and struck fear into the hearts of Democratic lawmakers, who are already worried about their prospects in the midterm elections later this year.

Hmmm. I just don't see any of this as evidence suggesting a leftward tilt would garner more support. Maybe it would.....but I think it's very hard to believe.

the_last_name_left said...

That seat, held for nearly half a century by Mr. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate, will now be held for almost three full years by a Republican who has said he supports waterboarding as an interrogation technique for terrorism suspects, opposes a federal cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions and opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants unless they leave the country.

Crikey. Some fucking protest vote!

Looks like a huge victory for the right. It really doesn't fill with me any sense that America is longing for a leftwards tilt. Yes, they want all sorts of things which the left traditionally values.....but....they won't do what it takes to even get started going there. And when it comes down to it....they have seemingly far greater resistance than attraction to anything even vaguely looking like "socialism".

If you wished to argue that's because of slick propaganda and all the rest of it, fair enough. But as evidence suggesting a more leftward tilt is needed to gain wider support I think it's wanting.

Why would a more leftward tilt not increase resistance? What's the evidence it would muster greater support than it generated resistance?

Maybe it would, but I just don't see any evidence for it. I wish I could....

[btw - I'm just saying this is my opinion -- I'm not asserting this as fact. Who can ever really know what decided the votes and abstentions of an entire state.....? This vote strikes me as a huge defeat and in no way makes me believe a more leftwards tilt would garner mass support.]

Until they become conscious they will never rebel,
and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.

the_last_name_left said...

Just looking through some pieces on Coakley....and the elction.

From a New York Post blog:

Perhaps losing so many independent voters will alert the Democrats that continuing to pursue strongly left-wing positions, including amnesty for all undocumented residents, is not a road to election victory.

From the Boston Globe, an editorial (endorsing Coakley and urging support) says:

A vote for Brown is hardly a symbolic protest against congressional gridlock and the ways of Washington. It's a vote for gridlock, in the form of endless Republican filibusters, and for the status quo in health care, climate change, and financial regulation. That's what will happen if Brown gives the Republicans the additional vote they need to tie up the Senate.

Those are the real stakes in this campaign.


The Washington Examiner:

It looks like Brown could actually win the January 19 special election and provide, as he has promised to do, the 41st and decisive vote against the Democrats’ health care bill.


Judging by the poll numbers, it seems the biggest factor is a disappearance of Democrat votes.....especially amongst the young and urbanites.

So....yeah - an obvious interpretation is it was abstention as protest. A loss of faith, maybe. Nevertheless, the result is a Republican victory, a boon to the TeaParty, and the end of Dem majority in Washington.....

Great! What a successful protest! The reform won't go far enough - so stop it all together?

Would going further left have won the seat? Will it win elsewhere?

the_last_name_left said...

I'm unconvinced. I think it would just sharpen the divide. I think the more radical left misses the fact of popular deep-seated opposition to anything "socialist". For one thing, there's the seemingly prevalent confusion in the public mind about socialism equating to fascism. As silly and crude a thought as it might be, it exists - the opposition and resistance to leftward policy reform is real. And people still stay home, abstain and allow the voting-in of an anti-reformist, pro-water-boarding Republican...... I think the abstainers will be disappointed if they were hoping to produce a more leftward tilt.

Having said that.....what alternative is there now? To retreat to the new centre which Mas seems to have suddenly moved even further right? Or to re-capture the lost vote.....by going further left?

I suspect neither will work. And that's the problem. Game over. People will re-elect Repubs....and then complain nothing changes (even as it gets worse.)

This is interesting - from a Rasmussen poll

Despite the fact that Massachusetts voters are lukewarm in evaluating their own experiment with health care reform, 51% favor the national plan proposed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. Forty-seven percent (47%) of Massachusetts voters oppose that plan.

50-50....but how do Democrats feel about it?

Given the strong Democratic leanings of the state, it is no surprise that Massachusetts voters are quite a bit more supportive of the President’s plan than voters nationwide.

Hmm. well......even though the left might be disappointed with the reform, MA voters (whom we're supposed to believe are lefties disappointed with the plan) support Obama's plan more than elsewhere.....and even they have elected a Republican. Oh dear.

61% of U.S. voters say Congress should scrap that plan [the present healthcare reform bill] and start all over again.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds just 28% who think it is better to build on the health care plan that has been working its way through the House and Senate.


I dunno anything about Rasmussen - Armey's Freedomworks seem to like it (but maybe that's only because it's saying what they want to hear)

Lots of polls there....

Feb 9-10 (2010)
Favor - 39%

Oppose - 58%



Jun 27-28 (2009)
Favor - 50%

Oppose - 45%

But is this waning support because the bill isn't "left-enough"? What's the evidence?

I find this very interesting issue.

the_last_name_left said...

This is an interesting one:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Forty-five percent (45%) of U.S. voters favor the $825-billion economic recovery plan proposed by President Barack Obama/


I bet those figures have changed now......even though the Bill didn't (?)

Then there's this

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters say it is more important to cut taxes for 95% of Americans as Obama pledged on the campaign trail than to raise taxes on those who earn more than $250,000 per year.

The support for raising taxes on the wealthy comes mostly from the poor and the wealthy, apparently. The middle class want tax-cuts. Shock?

And

53% say that it’s always better to cut taxes.

Republicans overwhelmingly say it’s always better to cut taxes, and so do 50% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Democrats are evenly divided—38% say tax cuts are always better while 34% disagree.


So are we to believe that whilst 2/3 want tax-cuts....a more leftward program would attract more popular support?

Maybe - but it shows a sort of irrationalism in the public if true. Surely?

I just don't see a great support for the things the left is disappointed to have lost. Of course the left wasn't getting to get all that it wanted.....nobody was going to. But within a year people have started sitting on their hands....and have handed a major victory to the Repubs. Because it wasn't "left" enough? Hmmm. I'm really skeptical.

[I'm "out of touch with American politics"? lol - for sure - I have never claimed otherwise. My view is what it is....and it's the view of someone who doesn't and hasn't ever lived in USA. It's worthless? Y.... ]

socrates said...

I'm going to try to explain it simply. Americans for the most part are a stupid lot. They are easily susceptible to propaganda.

If the Democratic Party had gone real left, job creation, tax cuts for the middle class and poor, lower unemployment, get us out of war, restore civil liberties, etc., then that would have garnered them power for fifty years at least.

This was one special election due to the death of Teddy Kennedy. Things have gone south. Obama continues to push for war, he's bailed out rich people, our economy sucks.

Economics, war, just look at the life and death issues, and there's your reason the Democrats lost the seat. Sure, if people were more clever, they'd always vote for the lesser of two evils. But they're getting slick propaganda that the two parties are the same, and the Democrats are making it seem that might be closer to the truth than total bullshit.

socrates said...

Money talks. I'm not expert or even close on Political Science, but while elections may not be rigged completely, it does seem somehow fixed. It's like a switch gets turned on, and all of a sudden the ptb's get their way. Coakley over Cuapano. Obama over Hillary. Bush over McCain. The problem with this election was Joe Kennedy didn't run. He's selfish or something. If he had run, he'd have won. And he's a really good guy. Cuapano had some good ideas, but for some reason, the slick propaganda campaign is able to hide what is best from the voters. It's a fucked up world. This isn't biological science. There's room for a lot of interpretation here, and unfortunately most of the crap the American people hear is processed talking heads bullshit. Seriously, if you go left and succeed, no one is going to be talking about socialism. Having a good economy with low unemployment is the objective. That could easily be done. All that money put into war, the military, and bailing out the rich could be redistributed to the masses. Job creation. I mentioned the Civilian Conservation Corps a few months back. That's what's needed. To provide jobs, positive nationalism, clean up the environment, get us the fuck out of wars. That's got nothing to do with ideology and word games. It's common sense. The Democrats are Republican lite. The progressives have been pushed into a small section of Vermont or something. Now you've got me all verklempt.

Anonymous said...

A binary suspiciousness blinds...causing one to make connections that are not so...the truth isn't necessarily found in black and white.

I recognize that the Soviets were not exactly 'communist'...but as long as they existed, then I could go to bed at night knowing that at least Wall Street didn't have complete control. Plus, they aided more genuine movements (Tupamoros,et al)...they had other advantages that they lost when they were deactivated. I put much blame on Gorbechav- he should have taken a hard line and kept the nationalists in check. but 'Gorby'couldnt help himself, he was a plant? hmm?

Friends of mine go to Cuba sometimes... one has met Fidel in person. Fidel is a great man, one of the greatest of the 20th century- Batista was pig from hell, he had to go, and Cuba would be a near paradise now if not for the embargo, but ending it now will only drive ten million goofy tourists to her beaches, which is not really a good thing. Fidel's brother, Raoul, is not so good, he is intimately linked with the Chinese military and their business enterprises, which I dont like.

I said the erstwhile Serbian president, Mr. Slobo M., was not a bad guy-this is where the binary suspicion must end. The real story never got out, most of the charges against him were fabricated or exxagerated.....he fought the good fight agianst the heroin/human trafficker mafioso structure that was run by a banker/CIA clique.... which might be linked to RUIM, which has made Israel a base or colony for gangsters.
(I stayed in Belgrad on Slobo's dime back then, so I guess i'm biased, ha) ....

socrates said...

Tlnl, I'm not going near that last post by Anonymous. I'll let you handle it. I just banged out a new one at DFQ2 called National Wingnut Appreciation Day. It's a critique of Larry Simons promoting holocaust denier David Dees. I'd like to see Simons at a minimum lose the Dees links. He should also lose Rense.com. While I see your point that Alex Jones also spreads anti-semitism through his associations and coded language, I would be somewhat impressed with Larry if he got rid of the blatant neo-nazis he directly links to. The key word, however, is somewhat. I feel Larry Simons is a lost cause. I will pray for his soul. p:>

the_last_name_left said...

I don't think there is much chance of even getting Larry to pause to consider something. He's totally "My way or the highway....." Definite material for totalitarianism, imo.

I am just off to read your piece now, on David Dees. I didn't recognise the name, but I recognise his pictures.

His pictures are very good, in so far as they effectively communicate, and they're obviously very popular. But what it is they communicate is almost always disturbing - holocaust denial, anti-semitism, liberalism as fascism, socialism as fascism, world (masonic/jewish/neocon) conspiracy etc. All the same memes pursued by the people who find him so "amusing" - conspiracy theorists, Troofers, UFO'ers, all the usual Rense bullshit. Right?

That picture you used - the holocaust denial one, where the woman's reading "Did 6 million really die?" and getting zapped by "The DarkForces of Zion" or whatever..........

Sure, it's understood to be an attack on the supposed use of the holocaust as a defence of Israel.....and is meant to make people uncomfortable that the "thought police" won't let them read the truth.....errr....what some people think is the truth.

But the subtext is that people defending the history of the holocaust against (fascist) revisionists are anti-social elements working for a (zionist) ruling class......

When actually, defence of the (history of) holocaust is standing with humanity and against malevolence of fascism, violence, racism, dehumanisation, totalitarianism etc.

Holocaust denial is ALWAYS a sop to Nazism. It's ALWAYS Nazi apologia, whether intentional or not.

And again that clever but wholly dishonest suggestion that "we need a real investigation"....(implying the millions upon millions of pieces of evidence so far gathered are products of corruption, are worthless, or don't exist at all.)

As for Anonymous........well.....over at Leaving AlexJonestown he was defending Alex Jones, and his use of Eustace Mullins, Carto, Reverend Pike, Jim Tucker, Rivero etc. HERE. He tried to turn the conversation around to Israel.....surprise? And suggested I should spend my time attacking Israel rather than Jones.....hmmm. He wouldn't answer my questions about whether his views were white nationalist, fascist, nazi, or anything. Yet here he is seemingly touting a somewhat leftie line.....although he is of course veering into world jewish conspiracy, if you notice.

Well, there's left-anti-semitism too...and Russia hardly has a history of embracing jews. The Doctors Plot.....pogroms..."jewish communism"......the protocols....

So, I don't know where Anon is coming from, or what he believes. He won't say.

socrates said...

How do you know it's the same guy?

So I take it the person at that link is a Canadian lady who's into the schtick we are. That's cool.

A really cool anonymous showed up at DFQ2. It's not that we are alone. It's that we kind of put more into it than nearly everyone else. We were the right blokes at the right time.

The RenseWatch dude seems like he got the job done then quit. He seemed into free speech, and that he just couldn't stomach the trolls.

Larry's a crazy dude. He had me going a while back when he seemed to be seeing the light that Alex Jones is a dork. But then he went back into his camp like nothing changed.

His rationale for supporting Dees is all wrong. He has no awareness of how our associations shape how we are overall trusted. It looks like 5,800,000 Jews were killed in the Holocaust. So there should be no questioning of the 6 million number. If only 300,000 were killed, then yeah, it would seem to be worthy to deny it.

These fockers want an excuse to pin everything on the Joos. They want it to seem like they didn't need a haven as in Israel. Anti-semitism is historic. Close to 6 million died, not 300,000, or even four million. The plan was to wipe out the Jewish people, and too many in the world let it persist, even the United States. We've all got blood on our hands, and these conspiracy theorist jackasses are making things worse, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

I'm under the impression that the flawed Versailles Treaty of 1919 is mainly to blame for the events in Europe circa 1933-1945.

Oliver Stone just said what everyone should know- bankers "enabled" Hitler.

so what?

Up above, I saw a reference to a "William Carto"...who, or what, is a William Carto?

socrates said...

Someone is asking about what is a Willis Carto, though he refers to him as William. This is the disinfo strategy of asking social critics to reinvent the wheel.

Anonymous said...

Slobo was in a desperate struggle...Yugoslavia was targeted by the US (In 1884, Reagan signed an executive order designed to literally destroy Yugoslavia. The IMF and World bank were to be part of the tools to do the deed-debt as a weapon, you know)...when the breakup came in 1991-2, Slobo found himself at war with Croatia and Franjo Tudjman...so here we had a struggle between Socialism (Slobo), versus (World)Banker inspired "Ustashe's" in Zagreb and elseswhere-New York, et al.... Michael Parenti wrote some good material about this issue. I was in Belgrad during the war and supported the Serbs, although I understood and could not exactly condemn the general Croat position.

Chip Berlet is sympathetic toward the Tea Party movement; he calls them an example of the productive middle class, who struggle against an exploitive parasitic elite.

btw...when I grew up, I was told our family practiced the same faith that is found in the Old Testament...I was taught to refer to people outside our group as "Gentiles."

socrates said...

Yes, Hitler was a misunderstood man who was manipulated by the Jooish bankers. We know this because of great patriots such as Michael Rivero and Willis Carto. Jesus H Fricken sassafrassa.

Anonymous said...

Reagan was old, but not that old...I meant 1984, not 1884

Anonymous said...

no, i'm asking- can anyone tell me who william carto is. ive never heard of him

Anonymous said...

I dont know who michael rivero is either.

whats up with this "Jooooish" term?

and there is such a thing as non jewish bankers. "Banker" is generally not code for "Jew"

the_last_name_left said...

I don't see why you think Berlet is sympathetic to the tea-party movement.

Try this:

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/religiousright/2218?page=2

Berlet puts the tea party movement in context with the far-right, militias, conspiracy theories.

Who is WILLIS CARTO?

He's perhaps THE leading far-right, conspiracist and anti-semite propagandist in N America.

He founded Liberty Lobby....published pseudo-academic journals promoting holocaust denial.......he now publishes American Free Press (AFP) much used source of Alex Jones, Mike Rivero, the 911 Troof movement, patriot/militia movement.

Carto has a long history of mixing with genuine Nazis, fascists, racists and anti-semites.

His MO seems to be to exploit conspiracism to insinuate wider anti-semitic and fascist themes into the discourse: a grand project to promote the far-right, racism, anti-semitism, conspiracism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_Carto

I have several pieces on him, and his use by Alex Jones, Rivero etc....

http://the-last-blog-left.blogspot.com/2009/07/ethics-of-911-troof-compromised-by.html


Willis Carto publishes the AFP:

"The AFP is....the spin-off publication of the now defunct domestic neo-fascist organization, The Liberty Lobby, founded by American quasi-Nazi and conspiracist, Willis Carto. Formerly known as The Spotlight, The AFP is a perfect example of the "old wine in new skins" PR campaigns that many neo fascists and Third Positionist organizations have undertaken over the last few decades (perhaps best embodied by the current suit-and-tie public face of former (?) Klansmen and American Nazi, David Duke). While the pages of The AFP do not openly endorse things like Nazi-skinheads, Aryan Nations summerfests, Holocaust denial books and organizations, or sell Third Reich marching music CD's and Tapes, (unlike its former incarnation, The Spotlight) the fact that they proudly announce that their publication is "brought to you by the former staff of The Spotlight, who are now the publishers." should be more than enough reason for any serious researcher to keep a light year's distance between themselves and such a crackpot publication. Well, that and the piss-poor journalism advanced by its roster of rambling, reactionary, closeted and not-so-closeted Swastika-saluting scribes. Again, can someone tell me why Avery and his pals are relying so heavily on the neo-fascist AFP as a main source for LC2E? Could it be that they themselves, along with a growing number of so-called "alternative" researchers are, in some way, anti-Semites, or simply just fools? Is there a difference?"

the_last_name_left said...

As for Slobo......I don't regard him as an arch criminal. I like Parenti....and I've read some of his stuff on FRY. (I have Parenti's functions of fascism in one post here.....very good. I love Parenti, he's excellent.)

I have also followed Chomsky on Yugo, and his exchanges with Jared Israel from TENC.net

I wouldn't dare to claim I know the "real facts" of the matter......it always seems an incredibly complex situation, and I'm simply not equipped with enough knowledge about the place to make any definite conclusions.

I certainly don't simply buy the Blair line, for example.

I don't understand why you brought up Versailles. I don't think we can blame Versailles for Hitler's own actions. Sure, it was part of the wider context which Hitler and all the other actors were operating within, but.....Hitler's actions were his own - he could easily have acted differently.

the_last_name_left said...

Mike Rivero is publisher of the conspiracist website WhatReallyHappened.com

Rivero is a holocaust denier, a publisher of anti-semitism and racism; a promoter of racists, nazis and anti-semites; a supporter of the american militia/patriot movement with ties to the para-military organisation SpecialForcesUnderground.

retired Green Beret Steven Barry commands a secret army of racists within the military' s elite forces from a ramshackle house just outside town.

Or so he says.

He has led the Special Forces Underground since 1992, when he founded the anti-Communist, anti-Jewish, white-supremacy group while he was on active duty. He also edits the group' s quarterly newsletter, The Resister.

http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/news/military/commandos/20000918-0010_mz1n18racist.html

Rivero linked to a nazi demo in support of Ernst Zundel - Rivero described it merely as "Swedish FreeSpeech March" -- by Nazis!?

Rivero promoted the NomoreWarsForIsrael conference - which was a front for the far-right, racist and neo-nazi wings of the patriot movement. They exploit the palestinian cause as a vehicle to promote their anti-semitism. They think it legitimises them - but it certainly succeeds at confusing people, which is their intent: they can fly their anti-semitism under an anti-war banner.....they can hide their anti-semitism and racism behind "anti-zionist" banners.

Check my earlier posts on Rivero.....plenty of details about all this there. One of my sites is down atm.....most of my Rivero stuff is on there, I think, though much of it is here too.

Thanks for the interest, btw.

the_last_name_left said...

there is such a thing as non jewish bankers. "Banker" is generally not code for "Jew"

Sure. But we are talking about its use in context.

The context needs to be specific.....and in this case, we're talking about its use by anti-semitic conspiracism, alongside holocaust denial and promotion of fascist memes, organisations, personalities and agenda.

In such context "international banker" clearly isn't necessarily as neutral as you suggest.

What do Stromfronters/Nazis understand by the term?

What does Alex Jones' audience understand by the term?

Clearly, much of these audiences view "bankers" as euphemism for "jews"....and jewish culture, of course (by which they mean usury, and supposed jewish responsibility for capitalism/banking etc)

the_last_name_left said...

on "bankers" and anti-semitism.

Anti-semitic criticism of "bankers" works on at least two levels.

1) a criticism of bankers - a very popular position atm, and one whose legitimacy is exploited so that....

2) the anti-semitism can fly under the radar, yet still reach its target.

Obviously those engaged in number 2 rely on number 1 as defence/legitimisation.

This is exactly what it appears Alex Jones is doing, and that his entire scheme is to exploit this methodology more generally.

It is also Willis Carto's scheme....abeit more obviously fascist and racist.

That's why I call Alex Jones (and Rivero et al) Stormfront Lite.

The Protocols without explicit reference to jews. The audience understand what the euphemism means. Those that don't are still progressively exposed to more and more fascist memes.....forming an unwitting audience for fascist propaganda and agitation masquerading as legitimate "criticism".

Jones for examples provides an avenue for fascism directly into some left-wing discourse, as Jones is mistakenly considered leftwing by some - even amongst the left itself.

Such avenues are closed to more overt racists and nazis. Thus Jones' function.

That's my criticism.

Anonymous said...

No Versailles treaty, then probably no Hitler.
The treaty created the atmosphere or circumstances for him to come to power. If the terms of the treaty had been different and less punitive, the thirst for recovery and revenge would have been less, and this would have dramatically lessened the appeal of an obscure artist/ vagabond/ soldier from Austria.

I view "bankers" as a profession, and not an ethnicity...lets imagine that "International bankers" are mostly Jews...and a "rightwing" global coup occurs, and imprisons these bankers, yet does nothing against middle class or working class Jews, except, say, maybe ban Jews from becoming 'International bankers'... Would that make these right-wingers antisemitic?
Or anti-some semites? Or just anti-bankers, most of whom were semites?

Now, if these rightwingers were to crticize Jewish culture the way they critique the banker thing, and also advocate a change in laws... apartheid, deportation, or genocide, then yes, that is anti semitic, and that is very bad. I guess they do do these things, i just haven't read about the Carto's and the Riveras enough to say. Im certain those people you mentioned must never eat bagels...

the_last_name_left said...

maybe ban Jews from becoming 'International bankers'

obvious racial discrimination - against jews, ie anti-semetism.

Rivero, and the rest of them (Alex Jones perhaps excluded) like to grumble about supposed "undue Jewish influence".

I just ask anyone to consider what the implications of this are.

How will they attempt to redress this supposed "unde influence"?


Restrict Jews from particular jobs? A la Nazi Civil Service law? Quotas? What?

How will they determine what qualifies as "Jew"?

Well, now you have your need for Nuremburg

See this chart for how to distinguish Jews

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7d/Nuremberg_laws.jpg/350px-Nuremberg_laws.jpg

The problems are obvious? Yet just complaining about "undue Jewish influence" hardly seems to inexorably lead to Nuremburg laws.....yet it obviously does.

No Versailles treaty, then probably no Hitler.

Yes, but no Bismark - no Germany. No Germany, no WW1.....no WW1 no Versailles.

So........no Bismark's mother - no Bismark. It's all her fault?

Come on?

Granted that Versailles is certainly considered a definite factor. It seems obvious it is. It was perhaps too harsh. Sure.

But still, Hitler didn't have to reclaim the Ruhr, and he could (and should) have been stopped at that point.

Then we have the Anschluss. Czechoslovakia. Poland.

The rebuilding of the German navy, army, and airforce......

None of that was allowed by Versailles - so how can we blame it on Versailles? Because it wasn't allowed - NOR WAS IT ENFORCED - this made Hitler do it.....and therefore we should blame Versailles for Hitler's action? I can't see that at all, sorry.

And there is no justification granted by finding Versailles harsh and vindictive sufficient to cover an attempt at the destruction of world jewry, the conquest of Lebensraum, a remaking of society along racial lines. No justification is granted by the iniquities of Versailles for all that - none whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Well, Versailles should have never made Germany give up the Ruhr. when Hitler took it back, the Brits were already feeling guilty about the treaty. to enforce it just then, would have increased the German need for a future revenge.

If the Mr. House's treaty had been less punitive, and the markets had not been gyrated -through manipulation or other activities, in 1923 and 1929, then no Hitler.

its academic now.

the_last_name_left said...

Well, Versailles should have never made Germany give up the Ruhr.

Well, ok - you are entitled to your opinion.

when Hitler took it back, the Brits were already feeling guilty about the treaty. to enforce it just then, would have increased the German need for a future revenge.

It would have completely - and easily - have removed the immediate threat posed by Hitler and Nazism, and may likely have caused the complete collapse of the entire Nazi endeavour, and thereby have prevented Austria, the selling out of the Czech, Poland, everything else.

The whole point of Versailles' treatment of the German industrial heartland was exactly to prevent German re-armament -- it was intended to emasculate the threat Germany posed. Pretty reasonable consideration at the end of WW1.....

If it had been enforced......likely Hitler was finished. The generals were already aghast....the easy success and acclaim Hitler gained by retaking the Rhineland consummated his position enormously, and also proved that the allies were not prepared to defend themselves again. This, again, played into Hitler's hands.

So it seems kind of perverse to blame the harshness of Versailles as the cause of Hitler, when its NON-APPLICATION was so essential to, and so enabling of Hitler's overall undertaking.

If the Mr. House's treaty had been less punitive, and the markets had not been gyrated -through manipulation or other activities, in 1923 and 1929, then no Hitler.

hmmm - too simplistic?

doubtless you could get more mileage out of offering your reasons as contributing causes of Hitler - rather than suggesting they were directly responsible, and if they'd not happened would have meant "no Hitler."

come on? market gyrations? directly responsible for Hitler? I don't think social and political developments work in such a direct and mechanistic/deterministic way.

For one thing - there's absolutely no reason why dispute over a harsh Versailles should find expression in terms of anti-semitism. There's no reason why Versailles need necessarily be seen as part of "world jewish conspiracy".

No reason why dispute of Versailles requires a totalitarian state to express it - one based on a racial conception.

There's no reason AT ALL why Versailles would bring such things about. If the German sense of injustice over Versailles was expressed in less lehal and aggressive forms.....likely they'd have a much better end result. Sure - Hitler's trashing of Versailles functioned to serve "the german nazi state".....but of Germany? And because Germany responded to a harsh settlement (of an earlier war they had lost....yet held a great deal of responsibility for) by turning to Hitler's authoritarianism, racism, expansionism and murderous psychosis.....we're supposed to blame the Treaty! Not Germany? Not Nazism? Whoa!

There's absolutely no doubt that there was much German resentment over Versailles. That isn't controversial?

But don't forget there was much resentment of Germany and the first world war....within France and Britain...and Russia.

We could just as easily say one way to have avoided Hitler was for France and Britain to have conceded WW1. Well, you know, they didn't. How were they have to known it during WW1? It just gets a bit silly?

They didn't know the future - and Versailles did happen. Germany hated it - unsurprisingly. Who loves terms dictated in defeat? It's a bit kinda "tough shit!" isn't it? I mean - what do people expect? Don't go invading countries, huh?

So, Versailles was a factor.....but so was defeat in WW1. And there are so many contingencies - if x didn't happen, y wouldn't have. Versailles isn't the mother-lode of all explanations for Hitler and Nazism. Not at all (imo). But "market gyrations"? Hmmm. What do you mean?

the_last_name_left said...

In light of what we are supposed to consider as "responsible for Hitler" - the Versailles Treaty - it's worth taking a look at Brest-Litovsk where the Germans signed a Treaty with the new Soviet regime, the delegation led by Trotsky.

How does it compare to Versailles?

IF it does, how come it didn't produce Hitler in Russia?

And why should we expect Germany to be offered terms so much more amenable and humane than she was prepared to inflict on others?

Yeah - sure - one can claim one's self to be more forgiving - but we're talking about international peace treaties after war in which millions of people have died.

You might be more forgiving, but why expect others to be under such circumstances?

The germans weren't in their settlement with the putative Soviet Union. Russia was forced to cede huge concessions......in land, labour, wealth.

Furthermore -

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk lasted only eight and a half months. Germany renounced the treaty and broke diplomatic relations with RSFSR on November 5, 1918 because of Soviet revolutionary propaganda.

Hmmm. Poor hard-done-by Germany?

It seems unfair to blame Versailles for Hitler when Versailles seems un-extraordinary in terms of contemporary events and attitudes.

Doubtless it contributed - but....similar contemporaneous terms elsewhere didn't generate Hitler....or Nazism. And what didn't contribute? So many things did..... I think it's impossible to lay the blame on any single event.

Anyway - at least we have reached a position where things like VErsailles seem impossible nowadays. A friend of mine has a (E) German wife. There isn't the least hostility between us. Rather it's bizarre that there would be. It's quite amazing how people can avoid the deepest sort of cultural and historic resentment. Can't but help be hopeful in such circumstances, I think.

So in that sense, yeah, it doesn't really matter. But my interest is "academic" - of sorts, anyway. ;)

Anonymous said...

Was Versailles Jew brokered and drafted?

the_last_name_left said...

Were there white christian men there?

It was MAN-BROKERED!

I blame men.....it set the stage for the world domination of men. The proof is everywhere.

Oh lordy.