Trouble in (apparent) paradise

The Monmouth County (New Jersey) Prosecutor’s Office is apparently awash in money, enough to let them spend $400,000 on a 30-second TV spot featuring Hitler, burning crosses, lynchings and whatnot, with a voiceover announcing “no one is immune” and encouraging listeneners to report bias incidents to a hotline. The reason: a “a string of racist incidents,” including “threatening notes to black students” at one high school, a “racial comment” at another, and the dissemination of racist and anti-Semitic literature. So one possible crime, most likely a student prank, and a few unpleasant comments and leaflets and there’s a crisis justifying extraordinary measures. The article quotes the local official in charge to the effect that the announcements are intended to help create a climate in which “incidents like these [e.g., making comments and distributing leaflets] will not be tolerated.” Maybe this really is the top law-enforcement problem in the earthly paradise known as Monmouth County. Am I a cynic to doubt it?
Posted by Jim Kalb at August 24, 2002 11:23 AM | Send

Hitler is everywhere, this facination must be explored. Why WW2 prop everywhere! haha.

Posted by: Stephen on August 24, 2002 8:09 PM

To deviate from liberalism, to give a role to particularisms or the transcendent, is to deny the universal equality of all goals and so to privilege some wills and goals over others. From a liberal point of view that is, in the end, Naziism. Liberals know on some level that there are basic problems with their views and aren’t altogether comfortable with them. So they feel a horrible fascination and attraction to Hitler because for them he is the alternative.

Posted by: Jim Kalb on August 26, 2002 8:36 AM

Right. Because liberals deny both the transcendent and the place of the particular within a transcendent order, they assume that any assertion of particularity makes particularity an absolute—and hence Nazism. Yet they don’t have this concern when nonwhites assert their particularity.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on August 26, 2002 10:38 AM

I’m not so certain that, in the long run, scapegoating whites and Jews is ideologically all that different from scapegoating just Jews. Nazis were more exclusive and zealous in the end about who was ubermensch (oppressed and now ascendent) and who was untermensch (oppressor and therefore voiceless fodder); but is everyone really so certain that this isn’t just a matter of the developmental stage and available raw materials of the current ascendent form of liberalism? Isn’t it possible that because the final solution didn’t work when applied to just Jews, who were ultimately saved by zionist whites, that the upcoming solution-to-end-all-solutions won’t just be more inclusive? The baby doesn’t always have to look exactly like the adult, after all. I think Naziism is just liberalism all grown up; and teens always fear and despise adults.

I suppose it may be less obvious where the new ubermensch is to come from, although a hodgepodge of blacks, gays, palestinians, etc is in formation. Communism made the distinction purely along socioeconomic lines rather than race, so it ultimately had far more available victims. But I think that is more a matter of available raw material for the theory rather than fundamental ideological difference.

Posted by: Matt on August 26, 2002 11:33 AM

But the leading Nazis weren’t Jews while the leading liberals are white males, mostly even white gentile males. The blacks, hispanics, women etc. are mostly window-dressing.

I do think the promotion of black homosexual feminist etc. particularisms can be justified on universalistic liberal grounds: the point is not so much to make everyone the same as to abolish the significance of all differences. A first step is to abolish the authority of dominant particularisms by promoting the authority of a congeries of other particularisms. Then no particularism can call the shots and therapeutic liberal administrators step in to facilitate conflict resolution (i.e., decide all material issues).

Posted by: Jim Kalb on August 26, 2002 11:46 AM

In all cases though the goal is to emerge on the other side in a perfect world filled with the new superman and expunged of the old oppressors. I don’t disagree with Mr. Kalb’s comment but I’ll reiterate that the differences between Naziism, Communism, and modern managerial liberalism are not ideologically fundamental. The differences are merely in the available raw material for the theory to process.

Posted by: Matt on August 26, 2002 11:52 AM

Nothing wrong with a superman! But liberalism is against such things. It advocates no higher man just degeneration and sloth.

Posted by: Stephen on August 26, 2002 12:21 PM

Liberals do believe though in creating a new kind of human being immeasurably superior to the old model.

Posted by: Jim Kalb on August 26, 2002 2:15 PM

I would like to point out something else. While it is dangerous to draw a straight line with only three points and a fourth with the pencil still in the air, the precedents ought to make all of us pay sharp attention. The French Revolution was bloody but relatively small in terms of body count, because the available untermensch (the voiceless oppressor, remember) as raw material for the theory were relatively few in number. Naziism had a larger body count with a more populous untermensch, and Communism beat it by nearly an order of magnitude with its still more general conception of the untermensch.

Mr. Kalb points out correctly that the conception of the untermensch is broader still today. But if the body count in liberal massacres is proportional to the size of the untermensch class then Mr. Kalb’s observation is not a great comfort.

Posted by: Matt on August 26, 2002 3:06 PM
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