Straw in the Wind

from the pages of Izvestiia-on-the-Potomac today:

The exchanges underscore the much-discussed chasm between the few moderate Republicans of prominence in the party and the likes of newcomers such as Cruz and Donald Trump, whom old Washington hands not only consider too extreme but uncouth and even dangerous. While GOP flamethrowers such as former congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota could be dismissed, Cruz, with his Harvard Law School and Supreme Court clerk pedigree — not to mention his appeal to many Republicans — cannot.

The close similitude between the declining German Empire in the first third of the last century and the American Empire today continues. The Völkisch political parties, nattering about the Loss of Greatness, could be dismissed, including the funnily-named National Socialist German Workers Party, until one came across the name of Goebbels.

Here now was one of the educated élite cleverly, insinuatingly, constantly spreading vicious propaganda. Writing in 1971 the then Grand Old Man of German Anglophone historians Geoffrey Barraclough, in the highly prestigious New York Review of Books, wrote:

It will be said that I am making mountains out of molehills. I think not. For the liberal ideology, like all other ideologies, inevitably produces blind spots that stand in the way of historical understanding.

Consider, as one last example, [Hajo] Holborn’s characterization of Goebbels as an “offensive guttersnipe.” I should not, admittedly, particularly have liked to have had Goebbels as a member of my seminar, but he was, after all, a graduate of Heidelberg University, and the German universities in 1921 — as anyone can discover by reading the excellent first chapter of [Fritz] Ringer’s book [Decline of the German Mandarins] — were not renowned for opening their doors to guttersnipes.

David Childs, as it happens, describes Goebeels as “intellectually very able,” and though his description and Holborn’s are not perhaps, mutually incompatible, the difference is interesting

Goebbels changed the face of Weimar-era German politics. We seem to be considering today another such politician.

Here in the (cough-cough) Land of the Free and the (hrmph) Home of the Brave, better said the Land of the Slave and the Home of the Drones.


cartoon lifted 19 Jan 2016 from truthout

cartoon lifted 19 Jan 2016 from truthout



About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Education, Elections, Empire, Fascism, Inequality, Ronald Reagan, Spiritual life, U.S. Constitution. Bookmark the permalink.

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