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.

Why Can’t You Idiots Read? Camille Paglia and Taylor Swift

In an otherwise blandly professorial discussion of “girl squads” for the Hollywood Reporter, Camille Paglia sent some shade at Taylor Swift:

In our wide-open modern era of independent careers, girl squads can help women advance if they avoid presenting a silly, regressive public image — as in the tittering, tongues-out mugging of Swift’s bear-hugging posse. Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props, an exhibitionistic overkill that Lara Marie Schoenhals brilliantly parodied in her scathing viral video “Please Welcome to the Stage.”

It’s vintage Paglia, with sensible advice hiding behind the tartness, and perhaps an unstated annoyance that she has to talk about these current stars rather than barbering about Madonna for the 8,000th time. But because the media is populated by semi-literates, the Google page for “taylor swift camille paglia” currently looks like this.

2015-12-14.png

It’s exhausting to have to point this out, but at no time did Taylor Swift get called a “Nazi Barbie”. Let’s go back and read the sentence:

Swift herself should retire that obnoxious Nazi Barbie routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props…

In this sentence, “Nazi Barbie” is a phrase modifying the word “routine”, which is the object of the verb “retire”. The subject of the sentence is “Swift”, and she is advised to do something. What is she advised to do? She is advised to retire something. What something? A routine. What routine? A routine of wheeling out friends and celebrities as performance props. This is the routine that is is acidly attacked as “Nazi Barbie”.

What does that mean? Well, we could ask Paglia what she meant, but this is the internet, so let’s decide that for her. What do girls do with Barbies? They play with them, dress them up, create adventures for them, etc. Is there a connection between this activity and what Paglia depicts Swift as doing with her friends and compatriots? Do you see it? Do you then see that “Barbie” is not being used as a perjorative to describe Swift?

As for “Nazi”, it’s just there for spice. In her author bio, Paglia complains of Swift’s “twinkly persona” that evokes “fascist blondes” from her youth. Paglia has a thing about blondes, emotionally and sexually, so she’s vulnerable to making pedestrian aesthetic connections of blondes and fascism. When she uses these words, she’s operating under the deconstructed definition of “fascism” as “something not desired”, as Orwell noted in 1946. For that reason, I think it fair for Jewish anti-Defamation groups to take her to task for connecting the Third Reich with a nondescript pop singer. Godwin’s Law is what it is, but professors should know better.

Everyone else is misconstruing Paglia’s remarks for clicks. It happens every day, and I sometimes wonder if the dogs of the press even notice that they’re doing it anymore.

Say Good-Bye to Catholic Hospitals

So says Cardinal George of Chicago (h/t Ace):

The cardinal does not not speak as someone who can, with the stroke of a pen, order all Catholic Hospitals to shut down. Rather, he lays out the dynamic that will happen if the HHS contraception mandate is not rescinded:

What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the Church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the Church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down …

So, for the sake of contraceptive drugs, which have been around for fifty years, the President is going to set in motion a chain of events that will unmake a tradition that has done the nation inordinate good.

In a pluralistic society, we ought to be able to have A) contraceptive drugs, and B) Catholic hospitals. But the president is insisting that we cannot have B if B refuses to embrace A. And that is the bluntest form of tyranny. Ace puts it rightly:

There can be no separation of church and state when the state has its fingers in every pie.

There can also be no separation of business and state, economy and state, free speech and state, sex and state, parenting and state, education and state, or health and state. Because there is no separation, fundamentally, of citizen and state.

The state is all. Individuals only matter to the extent they serve the state and the state’s agenda.

Because the state’s agenda is for our own good.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

When the Fascists Come, They Come for the Children First.

When I was in middle school, they used to take us down to the multi-purpose room and make us watch plodding videos about nutrition (vegetables good, sugar bad), and then preach to us about the kinds of things we should be eating. I remember one day when the teachers asked whether we should be drinking whole milk or skim.

“Skim” replied the students on cue. “Whole!” I cried alone amid the din.

Because skim milk looks and tastes like water with food coloring, and because the hell with them. Learn how not to look like a Dover cow in a pantsuit before you tell my 65-pound, slim-jean-wearing ass that it doesn’t need all that fat.

However two-minutes-hate that may seem in retrospect, it pales in comparison to what the food fascists have done in North Carolina.

The mother, who doesn’t wish to be identified at this time, says she made her daughter a lunch that contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips. A state inspector assessing the pre-K program at the school said the girl also needed a vegetable, so the inspector ordered a full school lunch tray for her. While the four-year-old was still allowed to eat her home lunch, the girl was forced to take a helping of chicken nuggets, milk, a fruit and a vegetable to supplement her sack lunch.

The mother says the girl was so intimidated by the inspection process that she was too scared to eat all of her homemade lunch. The girl ate only the chicken nuggets provided to her by the school, so she still didn’t eat a vegetable.

Mix one part bureaucratic officiousness, one part totalitarian busybodying, and splash generously with unintended consequences. Yields 1 serving of Leviathan Stew.