Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Fails

15 comments:

  1. Ok, I'm a dummy.

    But is the "fail" here that the Geman people had unrealistic expectations of the Nazis and were disappointed when the Americans and British bombed their cities to rubble and the Sovs romped through east of the Elbe raping everything female from 6 to 60?

    Or is the fail the expectations the German people had of the post-WW1 Weimar government and the dissapointment arriving in the form of the Nazis?

    Sorry I'm so dense today.

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  2. The former of the two, Chief.
    But there is a play here with imagery, and verbage, a background supporting the foreground.
    It's layered picture, hence the reason I picked it because the subject isn't the Nazi's, though they play the part of the costume to emphasize the imagery, but rather the subject is the German people, their attitude, and mentality that led them from fall of 1933, to May, 1945.
    In this scene, the narrow strip of road, between the crowds shows the Nazi leadership and entourage flesh pressing the crowds, but it's the people, the vast amount of people all out to express their patriotism.

    So in the end, my point is that unquestioned patriotism, whether 75 years ago in Europe, or 9 years ago in the US always leads to a bad end.

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  3. sheer-

    Disagree. "The People" didn't really have that much to say in this particular matter . . . What's the date of the picture? We are talking about a reactionary dictatorship established as a direct result of a monarchy being overthrown by military conquest and a republic imposed along with war indemnities.

    Hitler ran on "order at home" and essentially "a peace policy" as presented to the German people up until the end. The people had expected that this would all end without war, their reaction in September 1939 indicates that.

    You just have to watch some of his earlier speeches (him in a suit) and it says it all . . . the level and extent of the scam. He was addressing the war mothers, those who had lost their sons in the Great War. Germany did suffer 2 million war dead and hundreds of thousands more wounded.

    With the 1914 centennial coming up, Germany then from the perspective of today, doesn't look much different from Britain or France . . . Context.

    The "popular or people's" element? That was the significance of 1914 (in the negative sense) and 1989 (in the positive sense) . . . but not 1933-45.

    For more on this view see Hermann Rauschning, "The Revolution of Nihilism", Chapter 3 - The Suicide of the Old Order, 1939

    http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=793828

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  4. One additional point - this photograph is the product of a propaganda event.

    How is your view different from the effect that the producers of this propaganda wanted to achieve? . . . essentially unquestioning, mass support? Are you arguing that the Nazi propaganda reflects the reality of the time . . . ?

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  5. "Are you arguing that the Nazi propaganda reflects the reality of the time . . . ? "

    Yes,the people in that picture believed whole heartedly that they were entering into a new era...and not just those people, a lot of German people believed...more so than those who didn't.

    If they hadn't believed, if they hadn't supported, if they hadn't granted the right then six years later the Wehrmacht wouldn't have crossed into the Sudetenland.

    I am perplexed that I am pointing this out to you...is there something you see that I don't?

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  6. << So in the end, my point is that unquestioned patriotism, whether 75 years ago in Europe, or 9 years ago in the US always leads to a bad end. >>

    Sir, I beg to differ.
    Neither the Germans nor Americans were primarily motivated by blind patriotism.
    In both countries powerful interests and media stoked fear and hate to the point where previously unacceptable policies became common-place.
    The Germans were simply better at filling paperwork than say Russians or Laotians.

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  7. sheer-

    "Yes,the people in that picture believed whole heartedly that they were entering into a new era...and not just those people, a lot of German people believed...more so than those who didn't.

    If they hadn't believed, if they hadn't supported, if they hadn't granted the right then six years later the Wehrmacht wouldn't have crossed into the Sudetenland.

    I am perplexed that I am pointing this out to you...is there something you see that I don't?"

    --

    Yes, because I don't make any of these assumptions, except for maybe the "new era" part, but then "new era" could mean anything, simply putting people to work building the Autobahns or on other great construction projects. Even today one is amazed at how much (what has survived!) the Nazis were able to build in a relatively short period. What the people saw and supported were "order" after the turmoil of the later Weimar period, and jobs, not an aggressive foreign policy (once again their reaction at the beginning of the war - widely commented on at the time).

    The picture is from the 1936 rally at the earliest or perhaps that of 1937 or 38. That is after at least three years of power and Gleichschaltung. We are talking about perhaps the most repressive dictatorship in history and the rally participants are members of mass organizations brought in for the purpose of mass propaganda. Amazing isn't it how effective the propaganda still is?

    In East Berlin, the GDR used to stage impressive demonstrations on 1 May and 7 October as well, both full of smiling people shouting party slogans and showing full support for the Communist regime. The last such GDR sponsored rally was on 7 October 1989, a little over a month before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Hannah Arendt has pointed out - convincingly for me at least - that people within a totalitarian government don't see there as being any options, but following and waiting.

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  8. But that's danger, Hyper, and Seydlitz is that we draw conclusions from the end result, not from the beginning of the process.
    Certainly, everyone at the end of a terrible time bemoans the fate that they diligently worked towards, but no one is going to say, "oh hey yeah, it was a great idea till it all fell apart!"

    And since my "assumptions" are based on history, not of my making, but of the reportage, then it would seem my thinking is follows the weight of evidentary processes.

    And yes, there is the tyrrany of the minority over the majority, but there has to be a willingness of the majority to accept the dictates of the minority.

    But that doesn't happen here, and no amount of white-washing the facts of the beginnings with the confessions at the end after the results are in will deny how it all started.

    Oppression of the minority opinion is always existant in any political system, which means, by contrarian logic, the majority opinion is what propels the norm, not the minority.

    Certainly, the Nazi's employed harsh methodologies during the run up to their cross-country sight-seeing tour, but as a majority of the German population was already feeling threatened by the communists...they, the German people, as a majority, sided with the Nazi's against the communists.

    And then from there on out it was sunshine and spring time...and I noticed that you are amazed at the remarkable advances the Nazi's were able to make sociologically within the German nation.
    It takes a willing heart to make those changes.

    Now I will concede that midway through a portion of the German population were cowed, but we're not talking about the middle or the end of Nazi power, we're talking about the beginning. pre-WWII.
    An important distinction to be sure, but nonetheless, one that should be made.

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  9. sheer-

    Well, yes, I think you are drawing your conclusions from the end result, and you are following the assumptions based on the propaganda which has made an impression on you.

    "Amazed"? I was amazed by the amount of buildings they were able to construct, obviously putting a lot of people to work . . . my kids went to a daycare center - a pretty nice one actually in the center of Berlin - constructed in 1940. "Sociologically"? Notice the filters you are using? How exactly did you come up with that from what I had commented?

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  10. "Well, yes, I think you are drawing your conclusions from the end result,..."

    Actually, the end result begged the question of beginnings...my point is that no country, no matter how corrupt, degenerate, evil, etc...starts off that way.
    I'm sorry, the Nazis, and this is probably going to rankle a few readers, did not start off by saying, "Oh hells yes, let us do evil so everyone will know we're badass, mofo's who got tude!"
    They started off, like you pointed out, with amazing progress considering the mindset, and economy of Germany coming out of the depression.
    And so by amazed...I figure you were amazed as I was...how could a group of people, staggering from the depression, a divided society, internal quibbling between fractious political groups, and a weak-ass government go from that to stardom in less than a decade?
    Anyway, as to how I came up with that...sociologically...I "assumed" since we are talking about non-militarized portion of German society that you were commenting about how the Nazi government was able to get an entire populace on-board with their agenda.
    Kind of like a pedo grooming a target for their advances, so does a government groom it's population for future...um...adventures.

    Dam, I wish we were at a table...I could explain myself better...hell, I'd buy the first round...

    The Nazis had to put the nation back on track because there was no other way to further the nation until it's economy was healthy. But therein lay the challenge...their economy sucked air, massive unemployment, and the Deutsch mark couldn't buy a loaf of bread, much less enticing anyone to pick it up off the street.
    So, work programs, paid for by the government to get the people back working helped make those "propaganda" pics so...visually interesting.

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  11. Yes, it would be nice to sit at a table. And taken we are discussing a complex topic . . . so I shouldn't be soooo amazed, since you respond to the general and I took it as the specific . . .

    I suppose my argument comes down to this: as opposed to 1914 (for the bad) and 1989 (for the good) the German people didn't have much to say about 1933-45, rather were the object of manipulation and swindle. kinda like US today don't you think? In Germany's case, "Victims" if you will of a recent brutal past and saddled with a political system based on betrayal. The Treaty of Versailles assured that.

    There was/is no real existence of popular will as a instrumental force . . . in either country at either time.

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  12. I would add that in both 1914 and 1989, the German people were hardly alone in their manifestations of popular will, forming something in the way of epicenters . . .

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  13. "...the German people didn't have much to say about 1933-45,..."

    And I think this is where our disagreement hinges because you see a populace that has been bamboozled, hoodwinked, shaken-down, and mugged. It's popular will shanghai'by snake oil salesmen...whereas...I'm not so willing to grant that kind of absolution by way of ignorance of future consequences...every population, regardless of geographical and temporal placement has always faced this same quandry.
    History repeating itself.
    Perhaps, in my thinking, that what my point is is that a population that thinks of only the immediate, and does not fathom the long term consequences of their present actions...should be held accountable for the beginnings of their eventual, and inevitable predicament. Regardless of the sales job.

    A salesmen can't sell you anything that you don't already desire...because that is what the German people desire at the time when the Nazi's came a calling...from all outward signs, they wanted to be strong, proud, and significant.

    I am seriously going to have to make a trip to Europe to visit you and Al. See how's life on the other side of the pond.

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  14. Sheer-

    Please make the trip. Would be grand.

    www.scootgreece.com gives some photos of life in our neighborhood as enjoyed by a lively crew.

    Al

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  15. Greece and Portugal would be quite a trip - similar, yet different.

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