Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The enduring, tragic legacy of WWI.

Europe’s and especially Germany’s welcome to hostile invaders has its roots, as does so much evil, in World War I. As we [commemorate] that awful tragedy, we should continually remind ourselves how deeply it still warps our societies, to the point where they commit suicide. The West’s lost belief in itself and its willingness to become a doormat for other cultures and religions comes straight from the Somme, Ypres, and Verdun. The absence of any Western country beyond Hungary to stand up to the invaders is part of the price for the fall of the Houses of Hapsburg and Hohenzollern. It is not hard to envision Kaiser Wilhelm’s orders to his troops in the face of today’s invaders, nor his reaction to the fact of Germany being led by a Hausfrau.[1]
The characterization of Bundescanceler Merkel as a Hausfrau is gratifying to me with my disdain for certain female politicians who infest the Western world but it hardly seems an apt characterization. I know of nothing about Merkel to indicate she's had a domestic orientation at any point in her life.

Rather, the true objection to her is that she's got the stink of the GDR on her and exhibits a maddening apathy when it comes to protecting the interests of native Germans (not "Germans" named Abdul al-Jihadi). Too, I've never read of any ideas coming from her lips that reveal a remarkable intellect or erudition on her part. This amusing video seems more the truth of the matter. A malevolent nonentity with a maternal exterior who is or was just recently in Turkey to grovel before President Urgebegone to tell him she would now like to fast track Turkey's accession to the E.U.

Just what Europe needs at this moment -- more Muslims!! Is this not quintessential Angela?! Whoever wrote that name on her birth certificate is a war criminal.

In actuality, it's more than her being just a political hack. Merkel's mad policy to keep the borders of Germany and the E.U. wide open to the Muslim invasion amounts to treason, as Mr. Lind's article below makes quite clear.

At any rate, Lind's idea that the West's surrender to barbarism has its roots in the slaughter of the First World War is more persuasive to me than the more recent talk of "pathological altruism." If for no other reason than that altruism requires humans to take action on behalf of their beliefs and I think the better view is that humans are not prone to activism, just aren't that altruistic, and certainly aren't acting to further any kind of Christian altruism here. In W. Europe, at least, Christianity seems quite a spent force. If it's not Christian altruism at work, I'm at a loss to put my finger, James Madison-style, on where altruism is to be found in secularism.

So loss of nerve is a plausible explanation for Western passivity in the face of a mortal threat.

The active force that is able to operate with such ease in this enervated, pathetic, dispirited Europe is cultural Marxism, the precision guided missile of leftist, Marxist hatred for Western civilization and all its glory. It is the perfect complement to loss of faith in Western civilization, making its destructive passage through the remnants of Western civilization a wholly unobstructed one. An opportunistic infection when the immune system has weakened.

Merkel's roots in a communist political structure probably gave her a taste for whatever cultural Marxism has for sale these days, not to mention her simply living the dream of communist hatred of free societies. Not everyone who sat in classrooms for their daily dose of communist indoctrination seethed with resentment at the stupidity and malice of it all.

[1] "The View From Olympus: Invasion by Immigration." By William S. Lind, 9/23/15.


Weetabix said...

The thing I still can't figure out is, what do Marxists think will replace the "evil" western societies when they allow their destruction by muslims? It surely won't be some worker's paradise.

Col. B. Bunny said...

That's the $64 question. They either don't think past their next latte or they think the lesser breeds will be quite controllable after the hated bourgeoisie are put in their place. Heck, Bernie can't even foresee the result of a 90% tax rate even after all that we've seen about government interference with the market here and in other socialist countries. The continued functioning of the capitalist engine, i.e., free markets, is just assumed like the sunrise tomorrow. I suppose Western civility, rule of law, and prosperity are just givens.

Strange times.

Historian said...

Any farmer knows that to breed a population with desired characteristics, one kills the animals that have undesired traits and allows the animals with desired traits to breed. The wars of the 20th century, especially World Wars 1 and 2, combined with taxation and social policy have significantly reduced the human population willing to fight for abstractions, and have obstructed the reproduction of the individualists in that population. Some may object that these deaths were a small fraction of the total population, but consider what happens to bread made without yeast.

Moreover, this ignores the larger issue of punishing the productive and making it harder for them to reproduce. Such are generally the more intelligent and innovative members of any culture. While the overall intelligence level of a culture may change little overall, without the tiny fraction of innovation, a culture stagnates. When subjected to outside competition, it lags behind and is eventually overwhelmed. QED.

Col. B. Bunny said...

That's an appealing hypothesis. A casual comparison between the youth of Germany, France, and England in 1918 and what I see in the youth of America is almost conclusive proof of its correctness. A friend sent me a link to an article about professors having to deal with excessive neediness on the part of their students. One student summoned the campus police to her dorm room because of a mouse. More to the point, I see no understanding of the core principles of the U.S. in the young. Are they that abstract and abstruse?

The young have no difficulty with abstractions, I fear, as an hour on the web reading about today's campus follies will demonstrate. Phallocracy, patriarchy, sexism, microagressions, rampant homophobia, racism all the more terrible for the absence of objective evidence of it. The kids can ramp it up in a heartbeat.

I'd have to go back and look at the beginning of the Great War with your idea in mind that the soldiers then were motivated by abstractions. No sarcasm here. I just read somewhere yesterday that one of the things that made some young Englishmen enlist was the execution of an English nurse in Belgium. I have it in my mind that what the Germans did in Belgium may have been distorted at the time by British propaganda, which was bad enough at other times, but it seems like that execution actually took place.

Looking back to Vietnam times, I thought at the time that few of the men I met in the service thought much about what we were doing there in Nam. The vast majority were patriotic and served willingly enough because it was their time but I think they saw their service as a rather dangerous interruption to their pleasant civilian lives. I hasten to add that I was very interested in the politics of that war but did not really become convinced of the rightness of that cause until I read Solzhenitsyn five years after I got back. Johnson and Nixon utterly failed to make the case for the war they could have had they channeled Solzhenitsyn and plenty of others who preceded him. We suffer to this day from our unwillingness to confront the extent to which we were penetrated by communists from the 1920s. But that's another story.

What makes people limit their births seems to have more to do with the availability of birth control. Some women just prefer smaller families and the deleterious influence of feminism, with its celebration of female "emancipation" and career, certainly had some influence on that as well. Still, the tax burden has increased dramatically on the productive (as wages have declined) so that women have in some cases been forced into the market place where one's energy to raise children might easily be diminished.

A commenter on an earlier post of mine here thought, if memory serves me, that socialism has had an enervating effect in teaching that capitalists and the bourgeoisie are responsible for one's life's difficulties and that one has a "right" to the earnings of others because one has a pulse. Maybe that was my wonderful idea....

I think that's where I'll place my bet. Primarily a moral decay (personal irresponsibility, theft by legislature) which had a secondary effect of punishing the productive through the exactions levied on them.

Historian said...

With respect, Colonel, being motivated by or understanding abstractions is one thing, but being willing to *fight*, to kill other humans and by extension, risk death for things like 'Duty, Honor, Country' or the rights of Man is another thing almost entirely. Today's children are not taught these things, for the very large part. In 1918, fighting in a war was a way to prove your manhood- read the "Emma Gees" or "a Rifleman Went to War". Fighting was socially acceptable. Today's culture reviles the thought of actual combat, of fighting. Simply stating one's love of hunting, for example, is likely to result in a horrified change of subject.

When I was a child, my parents taught me that I should never start a fight, but if one started, I was to WIN it. My *mother* expected me to come home victorious. My father, who served in the OSS, taught me to ignore pain and discomfort. I was expected to defend myself and ignore injury. Today, a parent espousing this idea would be likely to run afoul of the authorities and have their children removed from their custody. 50 years ago, children brought their rifles to school with them on the school bus, and polished their shooting skills in elementary school. My grade school gym had an armory and a firing range in it. Possessing fighting skills was a part of the culture then. Today? Perhaps those values have not entirely faded in flyover country, but they are fading.

As you point out, this is due in large part to the Communist penetration of this culture, and the Marxist takeover of the education system which started with John Dewey around the late 19th Century- see "The underground history of American Education" by Gatto.

The two working parent family is not altogether new, but the frequency of two working parents has risen over the last three decades, not to mention the expense of having children, not simply in lost wages and salary, but in medical care. 50 years ago, it used to be that the average working blue-collar tradesman could afford to have a large family; so could a middle class professional family, with the father working and earning a salary, and the mother working at home. In 1960, doctors made about the same salary as engineers or other professionals. At that time, one could actually work his way through college, too. Today, it is exceedingly difficult to raise children on two salaries, let alone one, and there is tremendous economic pressure to have few or no children, especially with the return on investment income at historically low percentages, thus limiting the feasibility of retirement.

Certainly, birth control, especially the pill, has something to do with the decrease in family size, but birth control was available long before the 1960s. The rubber condom was patented in 1855, and US case law legalized condom use in 1918; diaphragms and sponge use in the US dates to the same time period.
See link here-
In my view, Progressives/"liberals"/SOcialists/Communists have created a socioeconomic matrix that is increasingly hostile to innovative industrious individualists, and to their reproduction. As a student of Objectivism, and a Libertarian, I would agree that morals, ethics and philosophy generally have a great deal to do with this, but I reiterate that AWAREMESS OF THE PROBLEM is not sufficient. One must be willing to stand up and fight for what is right, not simply to decry the evil.

With warm regard to you, and all who serve the Light,

Col. B. Bunny said...

I have my doubts about abstractions as motivating people. Patriotism (i.e., "your country") is perhaps a motivating abstraction (no sarcasm there). But even that is a feeling that springs out of a sense that what one sees locally is valuable. A threat to what one values is worth fighting against. It's more of a visceral response than an intellectual one. I always knew I would serve in the military because it is just what a young man did to my way of thinking. I still think that, of course.

Proving one's manhood is something that does motivate people. It is closely related to having a thirst for adventure and/or just to get away from the farm. I read a bunch of individual German accounts of service on the Eastern Front because I was bone tired of reading how this regiment did this and that corps did something else. One fellow clearly joined the Wehrmacht for adventure, to get away from the farm, and because he was a patriotic German. End of story.

What perplexes me about today's American man is the absence of that visceral outrage at being invaded. You would not have tolerated someone poking their finger in your chest. It would simply have infuriated you and prompted a violent response. Today, politicians, the media, Muslims, and border jumpers/job stealers do that to American men figuratively with neither an outpouring of rage nor any kind of resistance. The same in Europe. As I endlessly and tiresomelessly observe, Europeans will NOT lend electoral support to the nationalists who DO want to fight. Those parties advance by millimeters only. The French ought to be outraged at the prosecution of Le Pen now underway. All of Europe ought to be up in arms, literally, at the massive invasion taking place. But the Europeans are placid, even hostile to patriots who try to rouse them to action.

I know of few young men in my experience who did not snort at the idea of military service, not to mention the idea of rejecting the betrayal of the Constitution since 1932 and even since the passage of the insane 17th Amendment. The Court did the best job of that but with the 17th it was the citizenry who were more than happy to remove the protections of the original.

Bottom line, I don't see that there's any fight left in the American. Even women in the past stiffened many a spine, let it be said. Now they're besotted with lunatic feminism for the most part.

All of the things we have mentioned apply. Just at this moment we face a perfect storm of pathological thinking and subversion. It's a bad time to have the yeomen plopped in front of the TV watching ESPN.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Warm regards to you as well.