ARRIVISTES THRIVE UNDER FASCISM.
AGAINST FERGUSON, GODWIN, BYBEE, YOO, AND OTHER SERVANTS OF EVIL.
Propagandists, and apologists of fascism are often esteemed, well paid and have beautiful careers. Why so? Because, from the power of compound interest, wealth tends to gather in a few hands. To make society stable, wealth has to be redistributed. This has been true ever since material wealth became important, at least 10,000 years ago, in the most advanced parts. But sometimes the particular nature of the socioeconomy makes it function best as a dictatorship. The arch-typical example being the hydraulic dictatorships of the Middle East (Hence the later developed huge fascist empires, and authoritarian religions such as Judaism and its well known heresies, Christianism and Islamism). Sometimes society falls into fascism from lack of timely brain power to prevent an excess of greed by an oligarchy (Republican Rome).
In any case, wealth is power, wealth has power to fight back, and wealth often runs out of democratic control (this sort of views is often lent to Marx, but it is much older: the Greek historian Polybius had them 22 centuries ago, and his somewhat cyclical theory (which was not new, even at the time!) is superior to Marx's in many ways). From this blossoms a close association between fascism and plutocracy.
Paul Krugman deplores (in his blog, May 2, 2009) that "the most depressing aspect of the whole thing: further confirmation that we're living in a Dark Age of macroeconomics, in which hard-won knowledge has simply been forgotten. What's the evidence? Niall Ferguson "explaining" that fiscal expansion will actually be contractionary, because it will drive up interest rates. At least that's what I think he said; there were so many flourishes that it's hard to tell."
We are also living in a Dark Age of history. Out there, on the Internet there is something called "Godwin rule". It works this way: mention Nazism and you have lost whatever debate you were in. At least, so it is, among stupidocrats. In other words, mention the holocaust, and you are a loser. It's difficult to distinguish this from pure and simple holocaust denial and sheer Nazism. Nobody was more eager to have everybody forget the holocaust than the Nazis. As their armies retreated, the Nazis spent years forcing thousands of their victims to disinter millions of their previously all too swiftly buried victims. Then they crushed their bones, burned the remnants in carefully designed pyres, to leave no trace that could be used in a court of law.
But now that we have the Internet, it's much better. Malevolent idiots can be Hitler's best friends, and everybody feels cute, because it's so "cool" to be cool as ice: mention Auschwitz, and you have lost the debate, ha ha ha. It reminds jus of the old Hebraic religion: "You shall not take the name of the Lord (YHWH) your God (Elohiym) in vain, for the Lord (YHWH) will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." (Ex. 20;7.) In other words, the adulators of Godwin say: "We don't know much about history, but never shall we pronounce the name of our Lord Adolf Hitler in vain..."
Mr. Ferguson, a Harvard professor, is just as cute. He wrote some sort of enormous book "The War of the World", to say stricly nothing, except, basically, that, well, let's quote him:"World War Two, we have been told all our lives, was our greatest triumph, the moment when the forces of light, the Western democracies, prevailed over the forces of darkness, the Nazis... far from culminating in the triumph of the West, the struggle was part of the inexorable shift in the global balance of power toward the East." Thank you, Fergie boy: this is, nearly word for word, the exact thesis of Adolf Hitler himself. Heil!
Niall Ferguson is a British born historian who makes no distinction between fascism and democracy. He is a partisan of the old thesis that Britain should not have entered the First World War. He did not invent that counter democratic thesis, either. Bertrand Russell was a partisan of it, and spent 18 months in jail during the war for promoting it, while British kids were dying in the trenches, fighting fascism.
Ferguson's thesis is that basically the West went down, because it did not give in to German fascism (because, implicitly, fascism, and anything obsolete) is good. Ferguson is just an arriviste. He has a political agenda of the most extreme nature that turns the average neoconservative into a leftist, relatively speaking.
A similar approach is defended by Pat Buchanan: Britain should not have entered the Second World War, and should instead have let Nazi Germany do its thing (killing all the Slavs, all the Jews, annihilate France, etc.). Such people practice thought crime. Their eternal regret seems to be that German racially grounded fascism did not triumph, and that instead pesky Franco-British-American democrats won.
The pro-fascist theses of Ferguson and Buchanan are so incredibly wrong in all ways, it's hard to know where to start. But I have to say a word, because many people know no history whatsoever, besides that there were wars and that was bad, a psychological violin that revisionists and holocaust deniers know how to play very well.
In both cases, the fact Germany was ruled by fascists is ignored. The fate of republican France, the natural enemy of the fascist order in Germany is ignored. Also ignored is the fate of the rest of Europe: after all, the nation of poland was under Germano-Prussian subjugation and oppression, not to sau suppression. As the fascists that ruled Germany in 1914 and 1939 overwhelmed Europe, according to Ferguson and Buchanan, lives would have been saved as eternal peace, apparently another name for German fascism, came to rule.
On the contrary, German historians studying the period, firmly disagree and view the Second Reich as a dress rehersal for the Third Reich, and the later as ultimate evil, as it was. Indeed, as the fascist led troops invaded neutral Belgium in August 1914, they proceeded to commit war crimes against Belgian civilians and civilization (none of the troops of any of the democratic allies committed such war crimes). The strategic fact that once (fascist) Germany was the world most powerful regime, it would have attacked the remaining democracies (mostly the British empire and the USA) is also ignored.
Ferguson ignores cultural touches such as when Goering, the father of Goering, was governor of Namibia, he engaged in a deliberate holocaust of the natives. That's another marker of the fascist and racial extremism of the German fascists at the time.
People such as Mr. Ferguson are paid to present fascist extremism as middle of the road (by using "counterfactual" history, if need be). People such as Ferguson and Buchanan, with their fascism denying axiom ("there is no fascism, and they are its prophets, and democracy has no merit"), are further confirmation that we're living in a Dark Age of macro history, in which hard-won knowledge, knowledge won with the death of more than 100 million people, has simply been forgotten.
What are Ferguson and Buchanan after, who, or what do they serve? They serve greed, which is how, and why fascism is often brought up to this world to start with. Indeed greed without democracy to control it, requires fascism to keep on blossom further.
That's how the (Prussia and then) German empire engaged on its slippery slope, of ever growing fascism, that led it to its 1853 until 1945 adventure into Armageddon. The failure occurred from a democracy gap itself closely related to a massive failure of the mind of the nation. There were too many German intellectuals thinkers and artists who, like Wagner, embraced the process of fascization and racial hatred, and too few who, like Nietzsche, deconstructed and denounced it. We do not want to repeat this, so the quacks should be denounced now for what they are: people who are paid, and advance themselves, by promoting fascism.
Such individuals, these creatures of Evil, do not differ in their motivation from Yoo and Bybee lawyers to Evil itself who defined torture as "[physical pain that] MUST be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death". Short of killing you, Judge Bybee is not torturing you, please note. That's top American legal thinking, new wave. Of this mental trash some of the top judges in the USA are made.
It appears that Judge Bybee was promised an appointment to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest type of judges there is, short of the Supreme Court of the USA. But first (White House Counsel) Gonzales wanted him to do a little bit of dirty work in the Office of Legal Counsel. Of course there was never an explicit deal, but the torture was approved, and the judgeship was granted.
Such people are careerists. They are what the French and British call "arrivistes". Arriving to the top of society is their prime motivation, and obliterates all other considerations, and they organize their perception of possible knowledge just so as to pursue their brutish obsession with themselves, and their power. The average Nazi in the Nazi hierarchy (or that of any fascist state) was an arriviste. When she discovered this, Hannah Arendt uttered her observation about the "banality of Evil". But someone such as Elie Wiesel (who was in residence at Auschwitz) disagrees deeply with her. He thinks there is nothing banal about Evil. I agree with him. I think that what is banal, is to be civilized with the destroyers of civilization, and that is precisely the angle they use to promote themselves, and that dirty work they are the only ones willing to do.
Civilization cannot be banal. Civilization is a most exceptional thing. It is time to strike back. Those of us who are rich enough to have more than a career a la Eichmann, can use their ethical arsenal to pulverize Evil masquerading as banality. It's high time: if you are not going to fight for civilization, civilization will not fight for you.