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1933?
Vanity | January 24, 2009 | Nathan Ledford

Posted on 01/24/2009 5:24:41 AM PST by nathanbedford

Between the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 and the dawn hours of September 1,1939, there was time enough to birth a new generation in England and on the continent and to forget every lesson learned in the mud and blood of Flanders and Passchendaele.

And so were the English, French, and we Americans duped in 1933. Or were we all? Did we not seek to be duped? Churchill read Mein Kampf and so did others. Why was he nearly alone in taking a lesson from it? What is it in men that encourages us to rationalize evil? I certainly do not think it is a anything as prosaic as "unwisdom, carelessness or good nature" that ultimately accounts for it. I think there is a more sinister impulse implanted in men.

The signs were all there to see: the cult of personality; the intolerance of contrary opinion; the formation of extra-normal operatives such as political street organizations and youth organizations; playing on victimology; the creation of an us against them mentality; the demonization of opponents; the false sense of urgency; the immunity from the rule of law for the elites; the fawning of the media; the distortion of science; the tinkering with life in the laboratory; the mass psychosis.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: 1933; communism; corruption; cultofpersonality; fascism; godwinslaw; justabitoutside; marxism; nazipr0n; obama; socialism
Between the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 and the dawn hours of September 1,1939, there was time enough to birth a new generation in England and on the continent and to forget every lesson learned in the mud and blood of Flanders and Passchendaele.

.

The new generation, and, alas, the generation that had been tutored in the blood and mud of the trenches at the cost of 10 million lives, forgot their lessons, worse, they contrived rationalizations to turn history and common sense on their heads. Both sides of the trenches got their lessons wrong. The Germans concluded that losing war was intolerable. The French and the English concluded that war itself was intolerable. Thus, the Germans made themselves vulnerable to a homicidal megalomaniac who would create a cult of personality, deprive them of their discernment, and ruin them utterly even to the point of cannibalism. He would bring them to war, he would bring them to intolerable conditions, he would bring them to ruin. From beginning to end most of them would remain under his hypnotic thrall.

Alas, the English also got their lessons wrong too, they turned to the Lotus. Abhorring evil, they chose to cope with it by simply denying its existence. Or at least they would deal with it by returning good for evil, appeasement for aggression. Up to the very cusp of Armageddon they thought they could bargain with Faust. They saved their umbrage which should have been directed at Hitler and turned it on the Jeremiah, on John the Baptist, one of their own, who was vainly summoning them to the Shield and Buckler of their sacred honor.

Lest we Americans grow too smug, our humility should be increased by recognizing that we chose to cope with evil with a geographical cure: we would leave it in Europe. Our arrogance was reinforced by an accident of geography, we were separated from Hitler by an ocean and therefore we could say that we were separated from evil by our righteousness. Our self -deception nearly let slip the whole world into a new dark age.

In Volume one, The Gathering Storm, of his historic (the Actual publishing of these volumes was a matter itself of history) as well as historical account of The Second World War, Churchill identifies his theme:

How the English-speaking peoples

through their unwisdom

carelessness and good nature

allowed the wicked

to rearm

Living today in Germany, I am fascinated by the Teutonic way of seeing the world and am drawn to explore the "Hitler Zeit" or, the "Hitler Times", as they are now euphemistically described, with my neighbors. Yet, it would be boorish to barge into such a sensitive subject with people who are unfailingly polite. So I have contrived a game to draw them out, I ask them the following question: Who is the greatest man of the 20th century? Most often the answer I hear is, Adenauer. I suppose that is understandable, if not inspiring. Sometimes, I hear one from the following genre: Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Theresa. I take this as evidence of the leftist educational influence in Germany. I have never heard the name, Winston Churchill, spontaneously advanced in response to my question in Germany. At first I was surprised but now I understand that this is part of a tapestry that is best left folded over. The fault for the second world war lies not with the German people but with Adolph Hitler alone or in company with a few of his henchmen. The German people themselves, you see, were duped. In many ways I believe Germans have taken the wrong lessions from the second war as they did from the first. The problem is seen as the Nazis and so they must today be suppressed. Rather than defend liberty of speech, they adopt the Nazi tactic and suppress speech. They see a grave danger in Scientology and virtually outlaw it. But then they saw a greater danger in George Bush than in Vladimir Putin.

And so were the English, French, and we Americans duped in 1933. Or were we all? Did we not seek to be duped? Churchill read Mein Kampf and so did others. Why was he nearly alone in taking a lesson from it? What is it in men that encourages us to rationalize evil? I certainly do not think it is a anything as prosaic as "unwisdom, carelessness or good nature" that ultimately accounts for it. I think there is a more sinister impulse implanted in men.

The signs were all there to see: the cult of personality; the intolerance of contrary opinion; the formation of extra-normal operatives such as political street organizations and youth organizations; playing on victimology; the creation of an us against them mentality; the demonization of opponents; the false sense of urgency; the immunity from the rule of law for the elites; the fawning of the media; the distortion of science; the tinkering with life in the laboratory; the mass psychosis.

George Bush and Winston Churchill share a one admirable characteristic in common, both men repudiate pettiness. So Bush carried this normally noble character trait to a fault in turning the other cheek to his attackers to the destruction of his own administration. Churchill would not denigrate even Chamberlain personally. Yet there is no question that Churchill could identify evil. He saw it from the very beginning in Hitler. He might have misjudged Mussolini a bit in the early going, but Churchill nailed Hitler from the get go, from even before the day Hitler came to power in 1933. He was never deceived, either, about the murderous tyrants of the Kremlin and their evil, pernicious doctrine. I tell my German friends that I think Winston Churchill was the greatest man of the 20th century, "because he single-handedly saved the world- once from fascism and once, with others, from communism."

What is the point of all this? Well, it is high time that I got to the point. More than one Freeper has asked me to comment on the early doings of the Obama administration. Believe it or not, this is a vanity about that. Am I comparing Obama to Hitler? Yes I am. I would rather make the point by identifying parallels with communism, the Soviets, their gulags, their repression, mao tse- tung's cult of personality, the treatment in the press, their domination of academia. But I am writing this to persuade people so I pick Hitler rather than Mao, Hitler rather than Che Guevera, Hitler rather than Hugo Chavez, because in today's world it is politically correct to attack Nazis and unproductive to attack extreme leftism.

How dare one compare unfavorably our first black president, freely elected by the people, with one of history's most evil men, Adolf Hitler? I'll leave that for you to ponder. If this vanity slips out somehow from FreeRepublic, probably because it is identified as an execrable example of hate on the right, the debate will be confined to how the right must be censored, they will say that it is far more dangerous than, for example, Scientology (but perhaps with less influence.) But others with a more open mind might just open those minds further to the parallels between Obama and Hitler. They might consider what it was about the English state of mind after the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month which very nearly led them into gotterdammerung. They might consider how Churchill was shunned and dismissed as a war monger. They might see some parallels in our society today in the way in which we are treating our Jeremiahs, our John the Baptists. I am bound to say in sadness that I see no Winston Churchill in our midst but I do see that it is 1933 for Obama's America.

On October 25 of last year, before the election, I published this on Free Republic:

How conservatives can contrive to come out of the wilderness or whether they can come out at all cannot now be foreseen. Much depends on whether Obama merely perverts our institutions and traditional liberties or succeeds in subverting the Constitution à la Hugo Chavez. Obama has many tools short of violence and few institutional obstacles stand in his way. He has the overwhelming justification of the financial crisis which might well become a depression. He will pack the court. He will use the treaty making power to detour around our constitutional liberties. The propaganda machine will be overwhelming. The bright side, if it can be counted as such, is that all will not be well on the left. Hillary will exercise her ambitions, inevitably at the expense of Obama. Every special-interest group will be calling in their IOUs. In the long run, an extreme leftist coalition cannot hold together unless it moves beyond our constitutional government toward some sort of repressive regime. I look for Stalin versus Trotsky wars on the left with the potential for these internicine battles to spin out of control. Who knows where that will lead? Much depends on whether the left stays within the model of a representative democracy or seeks to extend its power with subversion of our historical liberties.

It is difficult to lift one's gaze above the machinations generated by Obama's new administration to see the path leading out of the wilderness for conservatives and for the country. I think it revolves around the word, liberty. There is every reason to fear that our economic times will closely resemble 1933. Will the political Times parallel 1933 as well? The portents are ominous. The absence of a conservative opposition to raise the standard even against the corruption of Obama's appointees is as dispiriting as it is revealing. We will be lucky, however, if the worst legacy of Obamaism is mere corruption. Yet, we have betrayed ourselves to be too callow even to stand up even against obvious corruption. Somehow, men must raise themselves up and defend their children and their children's birthright. They must recognize evil. They must fight for liberty if only for their childrens' sake. If we succumb to the cult of personality every child in the world is lost for we are the hope of the world.

Here is how Churchill ends his the first volume at England's darkest hour when England must stand alone against the overwhelming power of evil yet, indomitably, he ends on a note of hope:

During these last crowded days of the political crisis my pulse had not quickened at any moment. I took it all as it came. But I cannot conceal from the reader of this truthful account that as I went to bed at about 3 a.m. I was conscious of a profound sense of relief. At last I had the authority to give directions over the whole scene. I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial. 10 years in the political wilderness had freed me from ordinary party antagonisms. My warnings over the last six years had been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me. I could not be reproached either for making the war or would want a preparation for it. I thought I'd do a good deal about it all, and I was sure I should not fail. Therefore, although impatient for the morning, I slept soundly and had no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams.


1 posted on 01/24/2009 5:24:45 AM PST by nathanbedford
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To: nathanbedford

Read my Home Page.


2 posted on 01/24/2009 5:31:31 AM PST by Not a 60s Hippy (They are SOCIALISTS, not Progressive, Liberal, Left Wing, Democrats, Special interest groups.)
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To: nathanbedford
I think there is a more sinister impulse implanted in men.

Solzhenytsin spoke the truth when he observed that the battle line between good and evil runs through every human heart. Many people, and liberals by definition, seek to deny the capacity for evil in themselves. By refusing to acknowledge its presence they allow it to run amok and unimpeded, behind the flimsy figleaves of their bankrupt ideology. Hitler and his kind are made possible by the apathetic and by the left, not the right.

3 posted on 01/24/2009 5:39:54 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: nathanbedford

Churchill, an American on his mama’s side. :)


4 posted on 01/24/2009 5:40:44 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
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To: nathanbedford
Your screen name combined with your attacking "The One" will make all your arguments too easily brushed away as sophistry.

"Pretty clever for a skinhead" would be the likely comment.

I disagree with Obama because of abortion.

His mother chose life.

5 posted on 01/24/2009 5:53:44 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: nathanbedford

“Facts are better than dreams.”

. . bears repeating.


6 posted on 01/24/2009 5:58:08 AM PST by Twinkie (TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT!!!)
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To: nathanbedford
As usual, your posts are riveting because of the truth and language you use.

BTW, the pogroms have begun. So far, in word only...

WASHINGTON -- President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

7 posted on 01/24/2009 6:03:24 AM PST by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: nathanbedford

Reality is hard work. An alternate, happier, and easier “reality,” unchallanged because of speech restrictions, and socially and politically enforced conformity, attracts the left.


8 posted on 01/24/2009 6:03:29 AM PST by Woebama
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To: nathanbedford
Thank you sir.

What gets me, is after 8 years of “Bush = Hitler”, those same people are gleefully and ignorantly goosestepping their way into a new level of insanity.

And for what? Rhetoric? The hope of sticking it to the rich? The change of beating whitey down?

There's no massive unemployment lines. There's no soup kitchen lines overflowing with the hungry. The diseased aren't dying in the street. Yet like we heard in 1992, there are ignorant masses who believe that “It can't get any worse” when they elected Bill Clinton, just because the propaganda experts in the media told them that there lives are hell. Can't get any worse? Their lives are hell? Bull! they don't have the least conception how bad things can get.

There are too many ignorant sheep in this nation. Adolf Hitler (et.al)didn't just occur in a vacuum. He had people who were willing to follow him to hell. The only redeeming factor of those followers, was that they honestly were enduring real rough times. Not rhetoric.

Well, before I start getting too carried away, let me end by pointing at my recent tagline: Just contracts; just laws; just a constitution... . These are the things that keep us a civilized society. Yet those ignorant masses are willing to toss these items aside, and replace them with the personality cult; a form of government our forefathers revolted against in 1776. Oh, that governance can make trains run on time, or even build pyramids. But when the taint begins show on that personality, anarchy, destruction and death follow. This nation's sheep are one foolish lot...

9 posted on 01/24/2009 6:07:47 AM PST by LRS (Just contracts; just laws; just a constitution...)
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To: nathanbedford
Excellent and thoughtful piece of work. At the beginning, I said, this is too long to read now. By the end, I said, this was too important not to read now.

Congressman Billybob

Latest article, "Coming Soon to a TV Near You!"

The Declaration, the Constitution, parts of the Federalist, and America's Owner's Manual, here.

10 posted on 01/24/2009 6:12:09 AM PST by Congressman Billybob (Latest book: www.AmericasOwnersManual.com)
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To: nathanbedford
During the 30’s in Europe there was basically only two political and social movements that attracted European youth.
Fascism and Communism were the only options and liberal democracy was not even in the running.
People in Europe forget, or want to forget, that their were massive fascist and communist movements in most of Europe during the 30’s The fascists promised order and the communists promised a type of Utopia. The two movements were constantly at each other's throats and so weakened the European social and moral fiber of their countries that Hitler had little trouble conquering Holland Belgium and France in May 1940 and the rest of eastern Europe soon after.

In a country like Spain the results were deadly and resulted in nearly a million killed during the Spanish Civil war. Anybody interested in what could happen in this country when political movements get out of hand need only read what the state of economic and political ferment in Spain was like in the summer of 1936 on the eve of that conflict.

11 posted on 01/24/2009 6:45:31 AM PST by Larry381 (Join BlueServo and protect your border.(http://www.blueservo.net/))
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To: nathanbedford

Hitler would have gone nowhere in politics had Germany not been threatened by economic disaster (esp. runaway inflation) and communist takeover. Many Europeans, not just Germans, embraced some form of fascism in order to defeat communism. In drawing parallels with Hitler, we should also be thinking of how the Left in this country, aided by dopes like Bush, have set up our economy to fail and destroy the savings of the middle class.


12 posted on 01/24/2009 6:52:13 AM PST by hellbender
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To: nathanbedford

I would suggest that Obama is more akin to the Soviet Bolshevik Commies as opposed to the National Socialists, and would compare him to Lenin. Reason being is his views on race are more similar to the Soviet model as is his collectivist leanings in his views on how an economic system should be run. There is still hate between those two factions (Fascists v Commies) and unfortunately when the communist left (i.e. American left wing) attacks the classical liberal right, they invoke the Nazis, as to compare all whites / people on the right with Nazis by proxy. You’re against Obama? You’re a racist and Nazi. I hear it all the time.

As for Churchill, I definitely admire the man, but I credit Hitler’s doctor, who was injecting him with speed on a regular basis, for the destruction of Nazism. If he hadn’t done that, and Hitler’s judgement hadn’t been impaired, they may have very well won that war.


13 posted on 01/24/2009 7:12:07 AM PST by indestructable
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To: nathanbedford
The signs were all there to see: the cult of personality; the intolerance of contrary opinion; the formation of extra-normal operatives such as political street organizations and youth organizations; playing on victimology; the creation of an us against them mentality; the demonization of opponents; the false sense of urgency; the immunity from the rule of law for the elites; the fawning of the media; the distortion of science; the tinkering with life in the laboratory; the mass psychosis.

This all sounds like the "O", the LameStreamMedia, Princess Pelousy, Lord HAW-HAW Reid, Field Marshall "Herman" Ted Kennedy, Dennis "Goebbels" Kooksinitch, the Democratic Party et. al., the academia of the Indoctrinate Us.

14 posted on 01/24/2009 7:38:29 AM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: Larry381
It is true that the Conservatives in France in 1940 would rather see the Nazis in control of their country than the Communists. Many of them considered that there was no third alternative. One can only imagine how destructive this must've been on French morale.

As the Democrats have coarsened and polarized our political discourse since Ronald Reagan but especially since George Bush, it pushes the Republic ever closer to the point of polarization in which such Hobson's choices will be forced upon us.

The Obama cult seeks to shut down two-sided debate, which is one way of solving the polarization problem. This vanity is my way of groping toward making opposition to the cult of Barak Obama respectable.


15 posted on 01/24/2009 7:50:35 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Thank you for the very kind words. For my part, I've enjoyed your contributions to Free Republic enormously.


16 posted on 01/24/2009 7:54:24 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: raybbr
Thanks.


17 posted on 01/24/2009 7:58:16 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: grey_whiskers
Thank you for your insights about my screen name which I hasten to assure you I take quite seriously. In fact, before it using the screen name I was advised against it buy a friend who insisted, much as you have, that anything I wish to say could be blown away by the wind storm created by the use of the name and avatar of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Upon consideration, I nevertheless concluded to go ahead with the name and heavatar for the reasons which I have expressed in my about page. I would be glad if you would take the time to look at it and let me know whether you think it addresses these concerns.


18 posted on 01/24/2009 8:04:53 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nathanbedford

Psst ... actually the “Churchill” volumes were written by the “Syndicate” with Ismay as the lead. [See “In Command of History” by David Reynolds.]


19 posted on 01/24/2009 8:06:33 AM PST by jamaksin
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To: nathanbedford
I'm sorry, I'm afraid I gave *quite* the wrong impression.

I had in fact read your FR homepage maybe a year ago, and was surprised to learn that Forrest had started the KKK to chase out carpetbaggers, not persecute former slaves.

I was even more impressed to hear of what was more or less a deathbed conversion: God is far more merciful than humans!

My point was simply that in the eyes of those who most need your warning, your screen name alone would be enough to disqualify you, and stereotype all FReepers by association.

I'll bet you even voted for Sarah Palin! (wink)

The only point I disagree with you about, is that The One TM is not Hitler, but Chamberlain, or worse, Quisling (dare I say Marshall Petain?)

NO Cheers, unfortunately.

20 posted on 01/24/2009 8:14:29 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: hinckley buzzard
I am glad you picked up on the references to evil contained in piece. They were not put there by accident.

The ways of liberals are often mysterious to us and so one can be intrigued, perhaps morbidly so, by trying to understand what makes them tick. If we knew that, we might be able to make ourselves at least understood by them although I entertain little hope that many will be persuaded by reason.

In this endeavor one of the few commentators willing to grapple these issues, (actually one issue) liberals attitude toward good and evil and what makes them tick, is Dennis Prager who has written more than once on the subject.

Here is a reply I posted a couple of years ago in response to a Prager column in which he argues that all politics flows from whether one believes that the nature of man is good or evil (my introductory remarks appear in italics):

Our view of the essential moral nature of man, whether he is good or essentially evil, is profoundly important and indeed constitutes the bed rock upon which all political divisions break apart. The author of this piece is correct in his observation that conservatives have a negative view of the essential nature of man. But he miss -applies it. I invite your attention to a far more thoughtful article-at least as it concerns this subject-which appeared some years ago in free Republic authored by Dennis Prager. The article can be found at:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/814573/posts.

I offer some quotations from the article:

No issue has a greater influence on determining your social and political views than whether you view human nature as basically good or not.

I realized that perhaps the major reason for political and other disagreements I had with callers was that they believed people are basically good, and I did not.

Why is this issue so important?

First, if you believe people are born good, you will attribute evil to forces outside the individual. That is why, for example, our secular humanistic culture so often attributes evil to poverty. Washington Sen. Patty Murray, former President Jimmy Carter and millions of other Westerners believe that the cause of Islamic terror is poverty. They really believe that people who strap bombs to their bodies to blow up families in pizzerias in Israel, plant bombs at a nightclub in Bali, slit stewardesses' throats and ram airplanes filled with innocent Americans into office buildings do so because they lack sufficient incomes.

Second, if you believe people are born good, you will not stress character development when you raise children. You will have schools teach young people how to use condoms....You will teach them how to struggle against the evils of society – its sexism, its racism, its classism and its homophobia. But you will not teach them that the primary struggle they have to wage to make a better world is against their own nature.

Third, if you believe that people are basically good, God and religion are morally unnecessary, even harmful.

Fourth, if you believe people are basically good, you, of course, believe that you are good – and therefore those who disagree with you must be bad, not merely wrong. You also believe that the more power that you and those you agree with have, the better the society will be. That is why such people are so committed to powerful government and to powerful judges. On the other hand, those of us who believe that people are not basically good do not want power concentrated in any one group, and are therefore profoundly suspicious of big government, big labor, big corporations and even big religious institutions. As Lord Acton said long ago, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton did not believe people are basically good.

………………………

Finally, if you will indulge me at present another reply from 2002 which reacts to a Prager column dealing the recognition of evil:

GOD AND MAN IN THE SKINNER BOX

Attending college in the 60's, I was exposed to the writings of BF Skinner in a mandatory Psychology 101 class. At the time I was struck by the time and energy the department devoted to this man and his theories. Essentially, he put a chicken in a box and taught it to play baseball by rewarding it with feed. When the chicken pressed a lever on cue, or ran a base, it got a pellet. Skinner was able to train animals to a remarkable degree with this method of positive reinforcement. He also demonstrated that negative reinforcement, such as electric shocks, was not as effective as positive reinforcement in controlling animal behavior.

So far, Skinner has not done the world much harm and perhaps he has even contributed something useful if you are Siegfried and Roy. But it soon became clear that Skinner and my psych professors had ambitions grander than dog and pony shows when they required a reading of Skinner's Walden Two. Here Skinner extrapolates his findings from chickens to people and causes real mischief. Essentially, he postulates that the humsn animal is a TABULA RASA, neither good nor evil, which can be conditioned into good behavior. There are no evil people just poorly conditioned behavior. All that is required to have generations of well behaved human chickens is a grand enough Skinner box to positively reinforce positive behavior. Of course, it does not take a socialist to see that it would take more than a village, indeed it would take a federal burocracy, to build and maintain a big enough box.

The mischief comes in when this thinking invades the penal (whoops, I mean corrections)system or the educational establishment and so on. Praeger, in his wonderful essay, has alluded to the effects on education of this baleful presumption about the nature of man. He is absolutely right when he says:

`" No issue has a greater influence on determining your social and political views than whether you view human nature as basically good or not."

This is why liberals loathe believing christians. This is why liberals are collectivists and conservatives are individualists. This is why the Democrat party slices and dices the electorate into groups. This is why Patty Murray said what she said. The old adage that liberals love mankind in the abstract and as a group (read African-Americans) but despise them on an individual level finds its origins here. This is why believing Christians and believing Jews are finding that they hold much in common and have a common philosophical enemy in secular Jews and goyische pagans. The application of this insight is almost endless.

13 posted on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 2:53:31 PM by nathanbedford


21 posted on 01/24/2009 8:36:05 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nathanbedford

Excellent analysis! Thanks for posting.


22 posted on 01/24/2009 8:37:26 AM PST by Nevadan
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To: grey_whiskers
As I replied to Larry 381:

As the Democrats have coarsened and polarized our political discourse since Ronald Reagan but especially since George Bush, it pushes the Republic ever closer to the point of polarization in which such Hobson's choices will be forced upon us.

The Obama cult seeks to shut down two-sided debate, which is one way of solving the polarization problem. This vanity is my way of groping toward making opposition to the cult of Barak Obama respectable.

You're quite right, it is important that we reach the middle. It is of course too much to hope to convince the committed leftists. I see that the process of demonization has now been applied once more to Rush Limbaugh, and this time by the president himself. Although that should not be a surprise considering Clinton's remarks accusing him of racism and support of domestic terrorism after the Oklahoma bombing.

I'm not aware that the left has tried to convince the world through appeasement. As I said on my about page, it did not work very well for Senator Allen.


23 posted on 01/24/2009 8:50:42 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nathanbedford

The signs were all there to see: the cult of personality; the intolerance of contrary opinion; the formation of extra-normal operatives such as political street organizations and youth organizations; playing on victimology; the creation of an us against them mentality; the demonization of opponents; the false sense of urgency; the immunity from the rule of law for the elites; the fawning of the media; the distortion of science; the tinkering with life in the laboratory; the mass psychosis.


Repeat LOUD and OFTEN...................


24 posted on 01/24/2009 8:54:38 AM PST by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: nathanbedford
I'm not aware that the left has tried to convince the world through appeasement.

That will be -- in a whimsical fashion -- the topic of my vanity tomorrow. I'll ping you to it.

Cheers!

25 posted on 01/24/2009 6:53:32 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: nathanbedford
I am deeply impressed with your 2002 post on the view of human nature as Tabula Rosa and the implications for the views of individual freedom vs. collectivism, with a critique of Skinner thrown in.

Now if only someone could do a similar synthesis on Dewey and Freud...

Cheers!

26 posted on 01/24/2009 6:58:09 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers
NO Cheers, unfortunately.

Why are you so sour these days my good friend?

27 posted on 01/25/2009 1:42:43 AM PST by LjubivojeRadosavljevic
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To: LjubivojeRadosavljevic
Thanks for the kind words!

Simply put, I am quite worried that the US will plunge into an abyss.

If one compares things such as total household debt as a function of household income, or total goverment debt as a function of GPD, or a chart of housing prices NOW to a chart of stock prices before the depression...

The consequences are stark.

And in the 1930's, we were a young nation, with much growth and modernization to do.

Now the boomers are facing retirement, having indulged every fancy and an artificially (debt-based) high lifestyle, accustomed to getting what they want, and a government willing to mortgage the future to pay for short term wants of the indulged *now*.

Other similarities to the 1930's:

We face a rapidly-arming totalitarian state, and pretend that appeasement will work.

Like the 1930's there is a strong racial component to the dreams of our enemies.

And we no longer have the manufacturing base.

The "arsenal of democracy" is now located in our enemy's home country, and they have been supplying *us*.

We are outnumbered 3-1 in population, and no longer have the vast technological lead we once did.

I regard these things as ominous: Depressions and World Wars (like most calamities) remind me of ditzy teenagers in slasher flicks. You're watching (from decades' distance, or from your movie seat), seeing the fatal mistakes made which were in retrospect Oh-So-Obvious ("DON'T OPEN THAT DOOR! THE BAD GUY IS IN THERE. DON'T YOU HEAR THE SOUNDTRACK?!!") or ("Don't borrow to speculate in stocks! Appeasement of dictators doesn't work!"), and you wince. But to the people who lived through them, the mistakes weren't obvious until it was too late. Depressions and wars destroy entire generations' lives -- not just the standard of living, but deep psychical scars which last for decades. Two world wars and a depression in successive generations turned the Europeons into the eternal Diplomatists that they now are, and have set them up for usurpation by bloodless demographic conquest by Islam. (The US only lost 250,000 in World War II, not millions.)

That would be bad enough, but the reason for the "NO CHEERS" is that during these perilous times, the US seems to be fulfilling the Biblical phrase, "And a little child shall lead them." Everything mistakenly said about Palin being a lightweight fluff with no character, appears to be actually true of the sitting President.

Kyrie Eleison!

/rant finished>

28 posted on 01/25/2009 4:33:53 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: nathanbedford
...if you believe that people are basically good, God and religion are morally unnecessary, even harmful.

Here, and elsewhere, you've put your finger on one really crucial thing: the secularization--or better, "de-Christianization"--of our society is starting to have its effects on a mass scale. This de-Christianization, which is a phenomenon throughout the West, has now reached epidemic proportions in America. I think we can still fight it, but it's more of an uphill battle than it used to be.

For example, conservatives could always count on the default support of the "evangelicals." This group of Americans always held to the Bible-based, Protestant Christianity that set the moral tone of our cultural consensus. There were certain things that were right and certain others that were wrong. Pretty much everybody agreed with that consensus, whether they were Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or some other faith. Even the seculars tended to give it lip service.

Now however, the "evangelicals" are led not by the likes of the late Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts, but by Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and their like. The former haven't disappeared completely, but the latter now set the tone. Now, Warren, Osteen, et al aren't necessarily bad people, but they are much more under the influence of the new "get-along" ethos, rather than the "Old Time Religion" of Falwell, Robertson, et al. There is a distict possibility that over time, the current crop of evangelicals voters will simply give in to a creeping secularism. How to fight this? The attenuation of simple, Protestant Christianity may be reversible, but I'm now wondering if anything like the Moral Majority or the Christian Coalition is possible again. Just a thought.

The political calamities you've alluded to (the Nazi-Zeit, etc) all were proceeded by wide-spread secularization among the tone-setters of the societies affected. This process played out over centuries in Europe. We can go back to the French Revolution, the Reformation, or even the late Middle Ages. One of America's unique traits in the modern age was to preserve at least an effective core of Christian faith, while other societies were dissolving theirs. I wonder now if we aren't being caught up in the same tide of secularism as Europe was.

I'm curious: you now live in Germany. I lived there in the '90's (Nurnberg 90-92 in the Army and in Dresden from '96-99 as an English teacher and translator). One of the things that most impressed me was how secular those places were, even though they had all the monuments to their Christian past surrounding them (more so in Nurnburg, less so in post DDR Dresden). The contrast was even more striking in Prague, which is dense with monuments to Europe's Christian past, but even sparser in living faith in God. Do a thought experiment: Could a legistlature in any of these countries open its proceedings with a prayer, or could the highest court could be opened with the phrase, "God save this honorable court"? In my view it is unthinkable. I wonder if any of this comes up in conversation with your German neighbors?

The three post WW II leaders of Italy, Germany, and France (di Gasperi, Adenauer, and de Gaulle) were brilliant at overcoming the physical depredations of the war and setting up political institutions. But a third goal that each had hoped to acheive--the reinvigoration of Christianity--proved beyond them. That was probably inevitable and necessary. It's beyond the power of politics to bring about. Yet I think the sweeping secularization--better, de-Christianization--of the West is one of the central issues of the time, maybe the central issue.

Anyway, thanks for another thought-provoking post. I think we're all in some perplexity about what to think these days. At least we can all be perplexed together!

29 posted on 01/25/2009 1:08:26 PM PST by ishmac ("There are no permanent defeats in politics because there are no permanent victories." Lady Thatcher)
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To: ishmac
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

My observations here in Bavaria parallel your observations in northern Germany. I think you are right, America is about a couple of years ahead of Germany in Pop culture and 10 years behind on religious trends. I think that the visceral and almost involuntary negative reaction to George Bush had to do with his open profession of faith. Of course Clinton had ostentatiously done the same thing but everyone knew that he was lying about it so there was no need to react.

Obamas religiosity, I think, is a different matter. He paid no forfeit not only because people did not believe that he would be affected by serious commitment of faith, but mainly because he was immune from all criticism so long as he was able to portray himself as a white man campaigning in dark skin. As long as he remained non threatening, (i.e. he did not act like Jesse Jackson or Reverend Sharpton) then America was not inclined to ask hard questions. America marched to the polls as though overmedicated.

The Liberals have managed to stand the truth about faith on its head. The truth is that faith in a greater being is liberating but liberals have convinced the secular world that it is smothering. Since I believe the theme conservatives should strike in fighting the tsunami Obama represents is to emphasize liberty, the freedom of the individual, I think that the great liberating power of faith can actually be expressed in public without embarrassment. Conservatives of faith should confront liberals without embarrassment on these issues. Every time bondage of the self results in the destruction of some one like the governor of New York, spiritual hubris can and should be indicted. If preachiness is avoided and a vocabulary free of tainted religious terms is employed by way of euphemism for words like sin, repentance and redemption, some souls might be persuaded in some votes might be changed.


30 posted on 01/26/2009 6:38:13 AM PST by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat attack!" Bull Halsey)
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