Skip to comments.The brutish British: You think Nazism couldn’t happen here?
Posted on 01/04/2003 8:00:25 AM PST by Republic of Texas
I grew up believing that it couldnt happen here; that the intrinsic decency, good sense and ironical detachment of the British would have precluded Nazism or anything like it from taking root in our sceptred isle. Now I am not so sure. Utter vileness does not need a numerical majority to become predominant in a society. The Nazis never had an electoral majority in Germany, yet Germany offered very little resistance to their barbarism. Of course, it is highly unlikely that history would repeat itself in anything approximating the same form; but evil, unlike good, is infinitely multiform. We can invent our own totalitarian evil. There is little doubt that we have prepared the ground very well for evils triumph.
Despite years of unprecedented prosperity, a larger proportion than ever before of the population is dependent, or partly dependent, upon the state as provider. Only this week, an unmarried woman with three young children by the same man told me that when she asked him for money to buy them shoes that they needed, he told her to take a loan out from the social; that, he opined, was what it was there for. He had in any case made it abundantly clear that under no circumstances would he part with any money for the upkeep of his children, and so far had been as good as his word. The exact proportion of British fathers who have abrogated their parental responsibilities to the state in return for the right to use their income purely as pocket money to spend on their vulgar distractions is not fully known, nor that of mothers who accept this abominable arrangement; but it is not small and it is growing.
Not only are such people severely lacking in ethical standards, but they also live in permanent fear of the power that they have ceded to the state; and no one who has any dealings with the bureaucracy of welfare, child support, housing and so forth can be left in any doubt as to its power to grind people up and spit them out. Hedonistic egotism, fear and resentment form the character of a large proportion of our population, and it is a character that is ripe for exploitation. They have made themselves natural slaves.
Whenever I have dealings with British bureaucrats, an insistent question is at the back of my mind: is there any order you would refuse to obey? From my observations of their conduct, my guess is that, in general, there isnt; that they would prefer mass slaughter to the loss of their jobs and that, in the event of a post facto trial, all of them would fall back on the old excuse, I was only obeying orders. Let me give two examples. It is well known that moving very old people from where they are settled to a new location results in an increased death-rate among them; that is to say, it kills them. Recently, arbitrary government regulation has meant that many perfectly adequate residential homes have closed down, and their residents decanted into large and impersonal homes that meet the bureaucratic requirements, where many of them swiftly die. Is it likely that any British bureaucrat, at any level of employment, has resigned rather than implement this murderous policy in any individual case? No: better a hecatomb than a mortgage unpaid.
Recently, I received a circular headed New Ethnic Categories that began with the words, As you may know, we are required to monitor the ethnic origins of our staff. Who was this we of whom the circular spoke: no names, only The Human Resources Unit (Orwell could have done no better). And no decent reason for this fascistic practice was given; the we are required being the final and irrefutable argument in its favour. Again it is a fair bet that not a single peep of protest was uttered in the office of the Human Resources Unit when this circular was sent round.
Would anyone have mentioned the fact that the Dutch bureaucracys refusal to destroy census data on the religious affiliations of the Dutch population on the eve of the German occupation greatly aided the subsequent elimination of Dutch Jewry? It would have cut no ice anyway: let there be genocide so long as I have money to go clubbing at the weekend. Every public service has been weakened by the ethos of obeying centralised orders. Doctors, teachers, the police, social workers, prison officers, crown prosecutors, university dons have all been emasculated by the need to obey orders that they know are fatuous at best, and positively destructive or even wicked at worst.
The organised lying that results from centralised information-gathering not only blunts critical faculties and makes it impossible to distinguish true information from false, but also morally compromises those who participate in the process: everyone is made an accomplice of the central power, and so less and less does anyone feel able to make a stand. The more state employees conform to the rules laid down, the more helpless and degraded they become, which is the ultimate purpose of these rules. When you go to the doctor nowadays, you are not seeking his advice; you are finding out what the government has told him to do. Only appearances remain the same; the reality is changed utterly.
There has been virtually no resistance to this sinister process, no protest and few resignations. The public, gorged with bread and benumbed by circuses, is completely indifferent. I cant help thinking of the murder of psychiatric patients and the mentally disabled in Nazi Germany. Neither the public nor the medical profession protested to any great extent (though, instructively, those few doctors who did protest were not punished for it). This terrible crime was made possible, though not inevitable, by an entire cultural context.
We, too, are now creating a cultural context in which great state crimes are possible, though perhaps not yet inevitable. When I see the routine inhumanity with which my patients are treated by the state and its various bureaucracies, often in the name of obedience to rules, I think that anything is possible in this country. Yes, when I see the baying mobs of drunken young people who pullulate in our city centres every weekend, awaiting their evil genius to organise them into some kind of pseudo-community, and think of our offices full of potential Eichmanns, I shudder. Our fascism will no doubt be touchy-feely rather than a boot in the face more Kafka than Hitler but it will be ruthless nonetheless. Timeservers led by scoundrels: that is the future of this septic isle.
The UK is also catching up with the US regarding education. They lag about 5 years in implementing Outcome Based Education programs. For the first time a few days ago I saw an article that said 30% of Scottish parents would homeschool. Their standards have been dumbed down and the system is in disarray.
The Nazi's and their allied German National People's Party won 52.3% of the vote in the March 1933 election (which did include the Communists, Socialists, and Catholic Center Party also). Prior to that, they had been the largest single party since the 6th Reichstag Election in 1932. Because the Nazis were excluded from the Government prior to that time, and they and the Communists could prevent a majority government frombeing formed without them, the minister von Papen was picked by Hindenburg, beginning the march of undemocratic rule in Germany that culminated in Hindenburg finally relenting and asking Hitler and his allies to form a government based on a parliamnetary majority, which they did. Even today, most parliamentary systems do not elect parties with more than about 40% of the vote due to numerous minor parties, so not winning a majority is hardly out of the ordinary.
There was little resistance by ordinary Germans because the Nazi regime was brutish to only the misfits of German society like Communists and Homoexuals, and to the Jews. Otherwise, the Nazi regime was full of benefits to the regular German - new homes, jobs, new public works, etc. This is like saying there is little resistance by me to the war on terrorism by the US. Of course not. I'm not its target. It'd be different if I was an Arab.