Godard is a Godless, Worshipful Communist

Was, whatever. Any perusal of his filmography — especially from the Era of ’68 — could have led me to that conclusion. But reading Godard on Godard, his collection of film criticism I earlier linked to, has rather shoved my nose in it, to a distasteful degree.

In his obscure five-run magazine Gazette du Cinema, Godard wrote a piece called “Towards a Political Cinema” sometime in 1950. It begins thusly:

One afternoon towards the end of a Gaumont newsreel, my eyes widened with pleasure: the young German Communists were parading on the occasion of the May Day Rally. Space was suddenly lines of lips and bodies, time the rising of fists in the air. On the faces of these young Saint Sebastians one saw the smile which has hunted the faces of happiness from the archaic Kores down to the Soviet cinema. One felt for Siegfried the same love as that which bound him to Limoges. Purely through the force of propaganda which animated them, these young people were beautiful. “The beautiful bodies of twenty-year-olds which should go naked”

Yes, the great Soviet actors speak in the name of the Party, but like Hermione of her longings and Lear of his madness. their gestures are meaningful only in so far as they repeat some primordial action. Like Kierkegaard’s ethician, a political cinema is always rooted in repetition: of history. The actor infallibly becomes what he once was, the priest. The Fall of Berlin and The Battle of Stalingrad are Masses for a consummation.

He at least has the honesty to acknowledge propaganda as propaganda, and to absolve it, as everyone does, by its intentions. Communists always get their alibi.

One wonders if it occurs to Godard that the little Saint Sebastian’s has little choice in whether they were there or not. Under communism, everything not forbidden is compulsory, and everything compulsory is to be embraced with the enthusiasm of addicts. After a while, this simply becomes conditioning. One also wonders if this did occur to him, and this is precisely the reason he likes it. By the effacing of the individual alone can New Soviet Man be built. That’s why the gulags and the trials and the mass starvation were not accidental, not unintended aberrations of Communism. They were precisely the point. By terror are the little virgins sacrificed to appease the great God History.

There is nothing about this philosophy that is not Satanic.

 

The Communist Alibi

One of the repeated questions of the modern age is why Nazis are our culture’s go-to villains, while Communists, no less accomplished in building pyramids of human skulls, are largely ignored or given a pass. I mean by the producers of culture; the intelligensia and the commentariat. I mentioned in my recent post about Oscars:

Which is why we don’t see films about the Holdomor, or Sherman’s March to the Sea. Hollywood will never ever shove Communists into the role of cartoon villainy that Nazis play, and Hollywood doesn’t give a damn about the South except when using them as a backdrop for films about Race. That doesn’t flatter the sensibilities of the Academy, so you won’t see them.

That offers one explanation for the ComPass: The Commies themselves were intelligensia and artists (young Stalin’s poetry was not bad, actually) and poseurs to art, so there’s a kinship even as they know on some level not to let the bastards actually take the reins. Even a PoMo fog machine like Derrida knew that communism was no less worthy of deconstruction than capitalism, but he still teared up when he heard the Internationale and he held up “Justice” as the one thing you couldn’t deconstruct.

There’s another reason, and for that we consult Camus:

…nor did they know that the negation of everything is in itself a form of servitude and that real freedom is inner submition to a value which defies history and its successes.
-The Rebel

That ol’ Albert on the Nazis, and he’s dead on, because the whole inner fuhrerprinzip was the eradication of anything like norms or rule of law. The State will do what the State has to do to survive, and anyone crushed thereunder, well, can’t make an omelette, etc. They were open about it. Kristallnacht is the result of a movement embracing shamelessness.

The Commies are no less ruthles, of course, and no less proud of their ruthlessness. The difference lies in messaging. Unlike the Nazis “negation of everything”, war for war’s sake, the Red Star brigade can always point to the high and grand utopia they were building as the grace for all of their sins. Fascists take their bullying and murder as a demonstration of their strength and victory, and thus make it an end in itself; Communists take theirs as an unpleasant reality on the road to Promised Land, and anyone who talks of the unpleasant reality and not the Promised Land is leading the peoply awry.

Hence, the Communist penchant for lying about what they do. For decades the Soviets pretended the Katyn Massacre a) never happened, b) was the Germans’ doing, and c) was so long ago, who even cares anymore? They always have an alibi, and they always have people willing to help them charge the gaslights. Which is why they so readily reached for the “That wasn’t TRUE Communism!” line for a few years. When you’re willing to sacrifice everything to achieve the end of sacrifice, what difference does the Truth make?

This may seem like I’m holding up Fascists as exemplars of honesty. I’m not. Those goons invented the Big Lie. But they did not provide themselves with an alibi. They did not imagine that they’d need one. At Nuremberg they stated that they’d followed their orders, and obeyed their laws and that was that. They called the legality of the Trials into question, and the hypocrisy of their accusers out (The governments behind the Gulag, Jim Crow, and the Irish Famine hardly deserved to be anyone’s instruments of righteousness. But neither did the Assyrians deserve to be God’s instruments. We play the roles we’re given), but they didn’t pass the buck.

Not that it would have mattered if they had. If Goering wasn’t guilty, then Aushwitz was no crime, and that absurdity could not be born by the mind of a civilized man. But Communists have never had to make that reckoning, because no one was in any position to force it on them. They got to retreat to their academic playgrounds and spin new alibis for themselves, comparing the realities of capitalism to the fantasies of Justice and Equality and flunk anyone who pointed out the fallacy.

I don’t know how it all plays out this time, with neo-nationalists rising on one side and neo-socialists on the other. But if God is on his Throne and we’re spared them all again, we should remember that the dog is not dead if the tail keeps wagging.

Woodie Guthrie was a Showboating Commie Stooge, and He Never Killed a Single Fascist

220px-woody_guthrie_nywtsI don’t blog about politics anymore. Politics is a numb suckhole of fools and swine stabbing at each other with bent knives. This is not about that.

This is about taking down a liar.

I could give a tinker’s damn about the policies of the Old Left, because the Old Left hasn’t been relevant for two generations. But I tire of the shallow iconography of ersatz revolutionaries.

Really what set me off was reading a Neil Hilborn poem about Ol’ Woodie, rhapsodizing that today he’d be a crust punk spraying his famous catchphrase on walls like Bastiat or some nonsense. I rather think that if Guthrie were alive today, he’d be shaming people for appropriating blues music and telling people on Twitter which of their opinions are Hate Speech. Party Men are like that.

Woody personified what Orwell wrote about the Socialists of England.

Many intellectuals of the Left were flabbily pacifist up to 1935, shrieked for war against Germany in the years 1935-9, and then promptly cooled off when the war started.

When the Nazi-Soviet pact was a thing, Woody Guthrie followed Pete Seeger’s lead with the rest of the Almanac Singers, and wrote songs about how war was bad and a phony capitalist lie:

Franklin D, listen to me,
You ain’t a-gonna send me ‘cross the sea.
You may say it’s for defense
That kinda talk ain’t got no sense.

Only after Operation Barbarossa was it time to kill Fascists. Which he did not do. He instead did everything he could to avoid Army service, eventually enlisting the U.S. Merchant Marine. Now, the Merchant Marine was hardly a safe service in WW2, and he was on a ship that took a few torpedoes off of Utah Beach in 1944. But the Sea Porpoise didn’t sink, and he was fine. A lot of guys on Utah Beach were not so lucky.

And yes, I get the idea that by rallying the people at home, by raising the spirits, he was doing his bit. It’s not wrong exactly, but there’s something slimy about that particular martial self-congratulation regarding it. Bob Hope did at least as much to keep the troops happy, but he never claimed to be winning the war himself.

So to that aesthetic bit of self-importance, no, that “machine” does not kill fascists. M-1 Garlands and Browning Automatic Rifles kill fascists. Sherman tanks kill fascists. And yes, Russian burp guns and T-34s kill fascists (when they aren’t helping them invade Poland). Your guitar just sings your self-conception disguised as communal spirit, helping to birth the culture of overgrown children who had the temerity to be angry when Bob Dylan picked up a Stratocaster. The guitar does nothing without the hand that plays it. And I know whose hand was playing yours.

Useful Idiot Jesse Myerson Gets Slapped Around Like a Red-Head Stepchild

By RS McCain.

Myerson is the bourgeois equivalent of the kind of semi-educated twerp who slicks his hair to that Fuhrer emo-flop and quibbles about exactly how many Jews died in the so-called holocaust.

Apologetics for an ideology with Communism’s body count ought to be a one-way ticket to a compound in Idaho, printing off mimeographed newsletters to be sold for a quarter with a dimebag of meth.

I blame Trotsky, because he invented the notion that Communism was pure and humane until Stalin got his hands on it. Which is inane. Stalin did nothing that Lenin (and Trotsky) did not do before him. All he did was (slightly) increase the scale. But Trotsky’s post-downfall bit of self-serving claptrap has allowed generations of the supposedly-educated to look at Stalin and Mao and Ho and Pol Pot and say “that is not communism.”

But it is.

McCain performs yeoman service in stuffing the myth Communism in It’s True Form and The Good Tsar Lenin back on the ash-heap of history where it belongs.

Not shown: Capitalism.
Not shown: Capitalism.