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#202192 - 11/29/11 08:40 PM America: Jekyll and Hyde
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
I have been reading a re-print of a book that was extremely well-respected in Britain at the beginning of the Second World War. It is titled, Germany: Jekyll and Hyde, and I think it still has something to say to our time. It was written by Sebastian Haffner, a German journalist who married a Jewish wife and became an exile in England before the outbreak of war. Since I also am an exile from a violent, corrupt regime, I found what he had to say very revealing.

At the time he wrote, there were two views dominant in Britain about Nazi Germany. One view was that the war was not against the German people, but a war for their liberation. The other view was that "the Germans now had the government they had always wanted and were all Nazis at heart. The purpose of the war, according to this line, was not to liberate the Germans but to render them and their country innocuous for all time coming."

When I look at the United States, the war-making, corrupt nation from which I come, I think a combination of these two views is proper. First, the United States must be rendered innocuous for all time to come, then, and only then, can its people be liberated.

Haffner had become convinced "not merely that the Reich was an entity too big and strong for the rest of Europe to live with, but that its existence ensured certain disastrous patterns of German behaviour: arrogance, expansionism, the worship of force." Obviously, a view which can be applied to the United States today.

Haffner detested people who, in his view, did not know the meaning of respect. At one point, he lets himself go in a scathing physical caricature of the Nazis: "These corpulent, fleshy, flabby men with clumsy gait, unwrinkled fat faces, cold fish-like eyes and brutal, shapeless mouths are a fearful living picture stalking about as a warning. That is how men look to whom nothing is sacred. That is what they come to."

The comparison to all too many of America's rulers is all too apparent.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#202819 - 12/03/11 07:48 PM Re: America: Jekyll and Hyde [Re: numan]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
More home-truths about Nazi Germany (and present-day America) from this interesting 1940 book :

"The essential characteristics of the Nazi leaders are boundless corruption, boundless efficiency, and boundless cynicism."

"But it is not only these seven prominent leaders who have stolen large fortunes from the State, Party, and other public coffers. The upkeep of all the Reich Governors, Gauleiters, high SS and SA leaders, reaches a financial peak only possible on the basis of the freest disposal of public money. Almost all these men come from the petty bourgeoisie and almost all lead the life of magnates."


Edited by numan (12/03/11 07:51 PM)
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#202917 - 12/04/11 11:52 PM Re: America: Jekyll and Hyde [Re: numan]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
What strikes one about the United States is that, after the Second World War, the United States took up where the Nazis left off, and developed their totalitarain system to its logical conclusion. In fact, the Nazis won the war---in the United States.

The Americans took up the superior technology of the Germans---rocket ships, jet airplanes, tank warfare, aerial blitzkrieg, submarine warfare---economic and social organization---autobahns [for moving military hardware], propaganda and its co-ordination with the mass media, the subordination of all economic activity to the military-industrial complex, the National Security State, the rampant, arrogant nationalism, incredible corruption, utter contempt for the people they ruled.
Can you recognize America from this 1940 book?

The Nazi leaders have not worked at all for Germany. They do not love Germany. They are entirely indifferent to her, and never take the trouble to know or question her. To destroy her would mean nothing to them.
The Nazi leaders love Germany in the way an inconsiderate racehorse owner "loves" his horse; he wants it to win the race, nothing more. To this end it has been trained and ridden as hard and as inconsiderately as possible....Whether it comes to grief or is henceforth lamed for life---thereby losing its happiness, character and national identity---are questions that do not concern him....
They have treated Germany like a conquered land, a colony to be used and abused without consideration, to be exploited to the full, and its national spirit, happiness, and well-being to be ignored....
Never, in a word, has a ruling class felt so little love for their country.


THE BIG LIE---invented in Germany, but made bigger, fatter, quicker AND CHEAPER in America.


Edited by numan (12/04/11 11:55 PM)
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#203083 - 12/06/11 08:50 PM Re: America: Jekyll and Hyde [Re: numan]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
"An immense cleavage splits the whole nation into two irreconcilable camps....The adherents and the adversaries of the regime are more foreign to one another than different races or different species of animals. They speak different languages. Black to one is white to the other. Understanding or discussion is impossible between them."
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#203390 - 12/08/11 09:17 PM Re: America: Jekyll and Hyde [Re: numan]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
Another gem from 1940, about the Nazis. Sound familiar?

...these people are the most unreasonable in the world. Their mentality is not simple and clear but incredibly complex and confused; an astonishing mixture of lofty idealism and low cunning, mistrust and innocence, greed and readiness for sacrifice, cruelty and sentimentality, decency and infamy, astuteness and stupidity...harmlessness and maliciousness....

On the one hand, are millions of normal, civilized [people], as private individuals often decent and sympathetic, frequently lovable, sometimes highly educated; on the other, are the unforgettable atrocities of our age crying out to heaven, atrocities committed in the names of these normal and civilized people, often with their connivance, generally with their consent, always without their expressed disapproval....

The political imagery of such people is often indistingushable from that of the loyal Germans....On both sides are found the same touching innocence as to the real essence and meaning of Nazism; the same somewhat shabby, weak ethical judgment that confounds immense crimes and atrocities with petty excesses and delinquencies; the same cheap political taste; the same predilection for gaudy show and phrases; the same ill-understood patriotism; the same national sports-team mentality; the same readiness to be deceived by others and themselves; the same feeble sense of reality.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#304613 - 12/23/17 11:16 PM Re: America: Jekyll and Hyde [Re: numan]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 333

Machiavelli is most noted for his short treatise The Prince, which he wrote for a limited political purpose, to exemplify the best way to unify the war-torn Italy of his time.

His much more solid work, The Discourses on Livy, he wrote as a guide to the survival of a republic once it is formed. How sad that Machiavelli is not better known for this work!

Unlike virtually all of the political commentators of the past, who valued agreement and civic concord in the structure of the State, Machiavelli stressed the value of strenuous struggle and disagreement in the contending forces of the Republic.

This aspect of Machiavelli's thought was well known to the Founding Fathers of the American Republic: how not so, since these Terrorist Insurrectionists had done so much to create civic discord in the America of their time! ---

This predilection of the Founding Fathers was built into their ramshackle Constitution, and was certainly borne out in the intestine discords of succeeding American history. However, in more recent times, the ever more powerful oligarchs of America have bent every effort to destroy this essential element of American Constitutional arrangements and end the beneficial class warfare which has been necessary to all real advances in American society.

Machiavelli's comments on the similar destruction of the Roman Republic are instructive:

"It seemed that in Rome there was a very great harmony between the Plebs and the Senate (the Tarquins having been driven out), and that the nobles had laid aside their haughtiness and had become of a popular spirit, and supportable to everyone even to the lowest. This deception was hidden, nor was the cause seen while the Tarquins lived, whom the nobility feared, and having fear that the maltreated plebs might not side with them (the nobles) they behaved themselves humanely toward them: but as soon as the Tarquins were dead, and that fear left the Nobles, they begun to vent upon the plebs that poison which they had kept within their breasts, and in every way they could they offended them...."

If we equate the Tarquins with the Soviets and communists, the nobles with the oligarchs, and the plebs with the American populace, then it is clear that while the oligarchs were forced to behave with a certain minimal humanity toward the populace after the Second World War until the collapse of the Soviet Union --- in fear that the restive mob might turn toward socialism and receive support from the socialist countries of the world --- once that brake was released, the inherent greed and ruthlessness of the oligarchs raged unchecked and has led us to the present situation of near collapse of the American political system.

As Machiavelli advises us, only by returning to a rough, healthy equality of the contending forces of society can the United States escape the fate of the Roman Republic and its collapse into autocracy.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they are deceived

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#304616 - 12/24/17 01:49 AM Re: America: Jekyll and Hyde [Re: matthew]
Greger Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 13886
Loc: Florida
Quote:
...only by returning to a rough, healthy equality of the contending forces of society can the United States escape the fate of the Roman Republic and its collapse into autocracy.


Welp...it looks like we're screwed then.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."ó Oscar Wilde

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#304622 - 12/24/17 08:24 AM Re: America: Jekyll and Hyde [Re: numan]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7398
Loc: North San Diego County
Fortunately, I plan on being dead by the time the poor start eating the rich.

As Louis said: "Apres moi, le deluge."

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#304623 - 12/24/17 02:19 PM Re: America: Jekyll and Hyde [Re: pondering_it_all]
Happy Birthday logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8731
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
I just took the time to read all of the old posts in this thread, which I find to be hair-raisingly spot on. But the identification and graphic description of the problem is completely devoid of strategies to deal with the problem. This may be because the root of the problem is irrationality in a large group of people - a form of delusion that cannot be cracked by reason, or facts (as we are so well aware these days).

It seems the only strategy that stands a chance is personal action. This is most commonly seen as political action and "fighting back" - actions that I do not dismiss. But actions to actually change the way we do the business of our everyday lives are very scant. We avoid such changes because it is inconvenient, or because they "do not pay" (raising our own food), or because of perceived risk (local investments are unreliable, don't want to take a chance that my 401K tanks so I'll stick with the stock market, thanks anyway...). So we continue to drift down the river of no return, sipping martinis and wondering aloud what that roaring sound is coming up the canyon.

By personal action I mean engaging in triple-bottom-line living, not just theorizing. Not a jumping in with both feet (though that technique of transition is coming when we turn around the last bend to see that the downriver roaring is coming from a waterfall), but engaging as an earnest parallel to our mainstream lives. Transitioning with purpose and intent over a period of time - eddying out before the waterfall.

Here is a link to a candidate for govermor in NM who really nails most of the issues that people can actually support, whether he gets elected or not. I suspect he will not, but I am supporting him early in order to get the good ideas into broad discussion and to affect the positions of the candidate who probably will win. Many of his triple-bottom-line initiative ideas we have been working on for many years (in some cases decades), and I have offered to let him use what we have done as examples in his campaign.

If enough people get behind these ideas with personal energy and finances, we can bring them into powerful reality. Or we can sit back passively and let whatever happens, happen.

Or maybe get rich off Bitcoin speculation and be free of it all...

_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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#304830 - 01/03/18 10:29 PM Re: America: Jekyll and Hyde [Re: numan]
matthew Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 333
'
From Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy:

"...the people is nothing else other than a brute animal, which ((although by nature ferocious and wild)) has always been brought up in prison and servitude, (and) which later being left by chance free in a field, (and) not being accustomed to (obtain) food or not knowing where to find shelter for refuge, becomes prey to the first one who seeks to enchain it again. This same thing happens to a people, who being accustomed to living under governments of others, not knowing how to reason either on public defense or offense, not knowing the Princes or being known by them, return readily under a yoke....

A CORRUPT PEOPLE COMING INTO THEIR LIBERTY CAN MAINTAIN ITSELF FREE ONLY WITH THE GREATEST DIFFICULTY

...But there is no more striking example to be seen than that of Rome, which after the Tarquins had been driven out, was able quickly to resume and maintain that liberty; but after the death of Caesar, Caligula, and Nero, and after the extinction of all the line of Caesar, she could not only never maintain her liberty, but was unable to reestablish it. And so great a difference in events in the same City did not result from anything else other than (the fact that) the Roman People in the time of Tarquin was not yet corrupt, and in the latter time (Caesar's) it became very corrupt."


The society of the USA became fatally corrupt after the Second World War, due to the unconstitutional establishment of the National Security State and the cancerous entrenchment of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Any brief period of revolt against their masters, such as took place during and after the Vietnam War, must inevitably come to nothing due to the thorough-going corruption of American society at all its levels and nearly all its aspects --- just as a return to republican virtue became impossible in Rome after that society succumbed to the power of the Emperors.
.
_________________________
Once, weapons were manufactured to fight wars; today, wars are manufactured to sell weapons

It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they are deceived

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