Archive for March 14th, 2012

The War and the Jews by Joseph Goebbels

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The naivete, not to mention ignorance, with which certain European circles see the Jewish Question in the fourth year of this gigantic struggle is astonishing. They cannot or will not see that this war is a war of the Jewish race and its subject people against Western culture and civilization. Everything that we Germans and Europeans, defenders of the principle of a moral world order, hold dear is at risk. The above-mentioned circles are too inclined to see the Jewish Question as a humanitarian issue. They make their judgments on the feelings of the moment rather than on the knowledge and insight resulting from clear and calm reason. It is clear that if during this war we show the least weakening of our determination to resolve the Jewish Question, the result will be the gravest danger to our people and Reich and all of Europe.

Jewry wanted this war. Whether one looks to the plutocratic or the bolshevist side of the enemy camp, one sees Jews standing in the foreground as instigators, rabble-rousers and slave drivers. They organize the enemy’s war economy and encourage plans to exterminate and destroy the Axis powers. England and the USA recruit from among them bloodthirsty and vengeful agitators and political lunatics, and they are the source of the terror commissars of the GPU. They are the mortar that holds the enemy coalition together. In the National Socialist Reich, they see a power that resists their drive for world domination both militarily and intellectually. That explains their rage and deep hatred. Do not think that the Old Testament tirades of their newspapers and radio are merely political propaganda. They would carry it all out to the letter, should they have the opportunity.

Our state’s security requires that we take whatever measures seem necessary to protect the German community from their threat. That leads to some difficult decisions, but they are unavoidable if we are to deal with the threat. This war is a racial war. The Jews started it and they direct it. Their goal to destroy and exterminate our people. We are the only force standing between Jewry and world domination. If the Axis powers lose the war in Europe, no power on earth could save Europe from the Jewish-Bolshevist flood. It may seem surprising that such a small minority possesses such great power and is such a deadly danger. But it is so. International Jewry uses certain criminal methods to gain world domination that are not evident to uneducated nations. The same is true in private life. The Jews do not enjoy economic success because they are more intelligent than non-Jews, but rather because they follow a different moral code. They attempt to conceal their methods for as long as possible, until it is too late for the affected nation to defend itself. Then it takes a revolution to dislodge them. We know how difficult and tiresome that is.

We constantly hear news that anti-Semitism is increasing in enemy nations. The charges being made against the Jews are the same ones that were made here. Anti-Semitism in enemy nations is not the result of anti-Semitic propaganda, since Jewry fights that strongly. In the Soviet Union, it receives the death penalty. Jewry does all it can to oppose anti-Semitism. The word Jew itself, for example, is hardly to be found in the otherwise so talkative English and USA newspapers, not to mention the Bolshevist press. Still, anti-Jewish attitudes are growing among the enemy public. This is an entirely natural reaction to the Jewish danger on the part of the affected peoples. In the long run, it does the Jews no good to plead in parliament and the newspapers for tougher laws against anti-Semitism, or to haul out the highest secular and spiritual dignitaries, among them naturally the Archbishop of Canterbury, to say a good word for the poor innocent persecuted Jews. They did that in Germany before 1933 too, but the National Socialist revolution took place nonetheless.

None of the Führer’s prophetic words has come so inevitably true as his prediction that if Jewry succeeded in provoking a second world war, the result would be not the destruction of the Aryan race, but rather the wiping out of the Jewish race. This process is of vast importance, and will have unforeseeable consequences that will require time. But it can no longer be halted. It must only be guided in the right direction. One must also be sure to strike the weapon of public deception from Jewry’s hands, which it is desperately using to save its skin. One can already see that in the face of approaching catastrophe the Jews are shrinking into the background. They send their pet Goy to the fore. It will not be long before they will not want to do it any longer, and wash their hands in innocence.

As one has to grant, we have some experience in these matters, and are taking action to be sure they do not succeed. The Jews will have to answer for their countless crimes against the happiness and peace of mankind, and one day the whole world will give them the penalty that they are suffering today in Germany. We speak without resentment. The time is too grave to spin naive plans of revenge. This is a world problem of the first order that can be solved by the present generation, and must be solved by them. Sentimental considerations have no part here. We see Jewry as the embodiment of a general world decline. Either we will break this danger, or the peoples of the world will break under it.

No one should say that winners are boastful. At present, we are the victors only in our own nation. Our victory at home, however, drew upon us the diabolic hatred of World Jewry, whose advance members the Jews still with us see themselves as. They want to see the Axis powers defeated, for that is the only way for them to regain their old privileges. It makes sense for us to secure our rear so that we can continue the battle before us with full energy and enthusiasm. When dealing with the Jews there are only two choices: to surrender to them or to fight them. We have chosen the latter. As our enemy attacks without mercy, so do we. The future will prove who is right. Developments to far, however, seem to be more in our favor than the enemy’s. Opposition to the Jews, not friendship with them, is growing around the world. We are convinced that at the end of the war, Jewry will face a humanity that fully understands the Jewish Question.

Recently a leading London newspaper, which is wholly under Jewish control, printed an article that wondered at the alarming increase in anti-Semitism. It received many letters in response, and had to admit that only a tiny percentage took the Jewish side. The pro-Semitic letters, though the newspaper did not say this, probably were written by the Jews themselves. The others made the strongest attacks on Jewry, and the readership forced the paper to print some of them. They included all the insults one could hope for. This anti-Semitism is not racially grounded, and its roots are not at all clear, but one may still establish with some satisfaction that healthy popular instincts are beginning to manifest themselves even in enemy nations, Things are not much different in the United States. One of the letters encouraged the newspaper to send reporters to streetcars and trains. There they would hear numerous opinions about the Jews that deserved more than ironic dismissal.

That is the way it normally begins. The Jews in England are reacting in the usual ways. First they look injured and unjustly persecuted. In the synagogues, the rabbis encourage people to be more careful in public, and to avoid provocative behavior. Then they rent a few respected, but buyable leaders from society, business or religious life to make their case. Their well-paid job is to condemn anti-Semitism as a cultural disgrace that is the result of enemy propaganda. They call for stronger laws against it. The poor Jews whine in public about everything they have done for the country, what wonderful and patriotic citizens they have always been and will continue to be, the important offices they hold, etc. The innocent citizen is persuaded by a flood of words that he must have been mistaken in always seeing Jews behind all major political or economic crimes. Soon they find some high church leader who is ready to condemn anti-Semitism as anti-Christian. By the end, not the Jews, but their enemies are responsible for every national misfortune. Then the game starts all over again.

One has to grant that extraordinarily clever tactics are being used, and that it takes some intelligence or sound instincts to see behind the Jewish facade. But here, too, the jug carries water until it breaks. International Jewry’s attack on the culture and moral order of the world is cleverly concealed, but not cleverly enough so that it cannot be seen through. One must keep at their heels, and give them no rest when they begin to tire. They are virtuosos at the art of transformation. They can appear in a thousand forms, yet are always the same. If one has caught them, they claim injured innocence and send their guard of pity on ahead to beg for mercy. But if one extends them even a finger of pity, they chop the whole hand off. They must therefore be kept in the fear of the Lord.

We know that they hate us from the depths of their souls. We take pleasure in their hatred. There is nothing that they would not do to us if they had the power. We cannot therefore give them even the slightest bit of power. More than that, it is our duty to tell the world of their nature and their depravity. We must again and again prove their sick role in beginning and carry on this war. We must attack them incessantly, accuse them without pity of the crimes of which they are guilty, until the nations begin to wake up. That may take a long time, but it is worth it. We are dealing with the most dangerous enemy that ever threatened the life, freedom, and dignity of humanity. There can be no mercy. We have pity only for the countless millions of our own people and those of other European nations who will be given over to the hate and destructive will of this devilish race if we become weak and give up the battle. Those Philistines who today are so eager to protect the Jews would be their first victims.

We must all keep alert. We must be on guard against the insidious cleverness of the international world enemy. In the depths of his soul, he realizes that this war that he so frivolously began, expecting it to be the last step to world domination, has instead become a war for his racial existence. He desperately seeks to stop the inevitable march of events. It will do him no good. We will keep at him. In the end, the Führer’s prophecy about World Jewry in 1939, which they laughed at then, will come true.

The Jews laughed in Germany too when they first saw us. They are not laughing any longer. They chose to wage war against us. But that war is turning against them. When they planned a war to totally destroy the German nation, they signed their own death warrant.

Here, too, world history will be the world court.

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South Africa: UCT’s Admissions Policy Unearths Middle-Class Black Angst

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Social scientists would be hard-pressed to find a better lens into identity, privilege and race in post-apartheid South Africa than the University of Cape Town‘s admissions policy debate. One of the many discussion points it has raised is that of a black middle-class yearning to redefine being black.

South African universities have become, wrongly so, some argue, places where issues of inequality, poverty and the redress of decades of apartheid come to a head. In January this year, when Gloria Sekwena, a 47-year-old mother of two, was killed in a stampede of students and parents hoping to gain last-minute admission to the University of Johannesburg, it highlighted again that university education is still viewed by most as the sole route out of poverty toward economic prosperity.

Higher education minister Blade Nzimande said, after the incident, “The problems of applications for admissions are symptomatic of a larger challenge. Universities alone cannot, nor should they, cater for all post-school education. This annual crisis requires that we change the widely held perception by most South Africans that universities are the only acceptable option for post-school studies.”

That view, for now, remains unchanged. As a result the limited places available each year at the country’s universities remain highly contested and the methods used to determine who is allowed in, the subject of fierce debate.

To its credit, the University of Cape Town has welcomed and at times stoked discussions over its own admissions policy, which currently gives preference to students who self-identify as black African, Indian, coloured or Chinese.

For now, the policy says, these groupings best identify who was disadvantaged by apartheid’s race-based discrimination and must be provided measures to redress the discrimination and its resulting inequalities.

To say this view has divided opinion would be a gross understatement, which is why the university last month invited members of the public to make written submissions to a commission set up to help the council and senate review the admissions policy as they do every year.

The commission, chaired by Judge Craig Howie, a member of the UCT council, received 85 written submissions by last Friday’s deadline, Gerda Kruger, the head of communications and marketing at the university, said. Among them was one from the Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (Daso), a fierce opponent of race-based admissions policies.

Daso argued it was sometimes too late to compensate for 12 years of poor education at university. The ideal approach to determining university admission would be a test that measures academic potential, as this is widely distributed across the school-going population regardless of race. It concedes that this approach is complex and would be slow to implement, but “even in the absence of an assessment that accurately tests for potential, there is still no reason to remain with a race-based admissions policy”.

Upper- and middle-class students who attend the same schools should be treated the same, regardless of race, it argues.

On Tuesday night, at the newly built Obz Corner residence, UCT students squeezed into a room in the common area to hear Lindiwe Mazibuko, the Parliamentary leader of Daso’s motherbody, speak on race. It might be startling for some to hear this because Mazibuko and the DA are often accused of pretending race does not exist.

Quite the contrary, Mazibuko does not shy away from talking about race.

She started her talk by saying that race is arguably more fundamental in post-apartheid South Africa than matters related to public policy, “because policy making unfolds within the context of this (the race) debate and the outcome will determine the success of our entire nation-building project”.

Mazibuko’s take on race transcends the topic and goes to what she said is a truth greater than the policies of any political party: “The only way we will build one united nation is if every community, be it formed upon political, racial, ethnic, religious or any other lines, makes it a part of their daily life to defend the rights of other communities.”

She attributed the re-racialisation of South African society, after the heydays of the now mythical Mandela-era, to former president Thabo Mbeki, who appealed to the basest notions of African nationalism in his attempt to invert the colonial discourse.

Race, however, is polarising and has the potential to stifle and choke rational decision making, she said.

The UCT admission policy is one such place where Mazibuko believes race has stifled rational decision making, as it has led to the replication of the same assumptions made under apartheid. Then and now, different race groups are treated as though they are somehow homogenous when in reality they likely are not.

Class, like race and culture, is not immutable. We cross these barriers every day of our lives, Mazibuko said.

The 31-year old has, since her meteoric rise to lead the DA in Parliament, become the poster child of sorts to the children of a black middle-class that, even under apartheid, crossed the barriers of which she spoke. Now of university-going age, these children are searching for a way to uncouple black from an automatic association to disadvantage, poverty and in need of a leg-up.

“People are not just the colour of their skin. The measure for disadvantage should encapsulate a number of things. A black girl from the rural areas and a black girl from a private school in Sandton have not really been afforded the same opportunities,” said Sethu Tshabalala.

She shared this view with Daso, which has replicated it a pamphlet and a video of what it says UCT students really think of the admissions policy.

Tshabalala, like the other students of colour featured in Daso’s gloss, are from well-resourced, private or independent schools like Clifton College in Durban and Reddam House in Johannesburg.

Moratwa Jwale, a fourth-year medical student, questioned the haste shown by her fellow students of colour in discarding race as a measure of disadvantage.

She believes the motivation for opposing a race-based policy comes from personal interest, not from what policy would best address the education system’s inequality.

She said she was unapologetic about benefitting from the race-based policy because she puts in the work regardless. Even without the race-based policy, questions would still remain over black students’ achievements because it’s not the policy that’s perpetuating stereotypes. Racial stereotypes exist in society and removing race shields people from having to confront them, Jwale said.

While she completed her schooling in a British school, her foundation years were in an under-resourced school in a township near Klerksdorp.

This made her different from the white students in her high school class, despite it having been in another country. So assessing her level of disadvantage by looking at the school she went to, as Mazibuko suggested should be done, would disguise much.

“Take me out of the equation. Look at the majority of black students outside of school. Even if they sit in the same classes as white students, their home lives are different because, like Lindiwe said, poverty in South Africa is still a majority black phenomenon,” she said.

Jwale has also made a written submission to the council. She agrees that race as a pure measure of disadvantage is probably not enough, but says it would be foolhardy to discard it completely.

She was not the only one to hold that view in the room of mostly black students. When any question challenging Mazibuko was raised – and there were many – it was met by rapturous applause. Mazibuko, though, revelled in it.

One student asked her, getting to the nub of what many were grappling with, “How and why do you call yourself black? What does black mean to you?”

“Black is not some kind of prize people can award me if I behave in a certain way, if I talk with a certain accent, if I recite izithakazelo zakwa-Mazibuko, if I went to a certain school. Black is simply what I am. It’s not a goal to be reached.

It’s not a moral value. It cannot be changed anymore than the fact I am a woman,” Mazibuko said, seemingly off-the-cuff. She, too, has obviously asked herself the question.

“It is a demographic box which has meaning because of the history of the country I live in. It ends there. It doesn’t define who I am as a human being. It amounts to an unalterable descriptor of me; it doesn’t amount to a description of my character, my worth or my value as a human being.”

But for many others who’ve yet to transcend the barriers of class and culture, black continues to mean significantly more than just a tick in a box. And as the Mazibuko generation pulls black in one direction, where does this leave them?


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Race, Republicans and Realignment

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

So long as I’m arguing with Jonathan Chait about the nature of the Republican Party, I should say something about his recent case for treating white ethnocentrism as the core of contemporary conservatism. Here, from his sometimes-perceptive, sometimes-less-so essay on the Republican Party in 2012, is Chait’s race-based read on the making and unmaking of a conservative majority:

… the dominant fact of the new Democratic majority is that it has begun to overturn the racial dynamics that have governed American politics for five decades. Whatever its abstract intellectual roots, conservatism has since at least the sixties drawn its political strength by appealing to heartland identity politics. In 1985, Stanley Greenberg, then a political scientist, immersed himself in Macomb County, a blue-collar Detroit suburb where whites had abandoned the Democratic Party in droves. He found that the Reagan Democrats there understood politics almost entirely in racial terms, translating any Democratic appeal to economic justice as taking their money to subsidize the black underclass. And it didn’t end with the Reagan era. Piles of recent studies have found that voters often conflate “social” and “economic” issues. What social scientists delicately call “ethnocentrism” and “racial resentment” and “ingroup solidarity” are defining attributes of conservative voting behavior, and help organize a familiar if not necessarily rational coalition of ideological interests. Doctrines like neoconservative foreign policy, supply-side economics, and climate skepticism may bear little connection to each other at the level of abstract thought. But boiled down to political sound bites and served up to the voters, they blend into an indistinguishable stew of racial, religious, cultural, and nationalistic identity.

Obama’s election dramatized the degree to which this long-standing political dynamic had been flipped on its head … Today, cosmopolitan liberals may still feel like an embattled sect—they certainly describe their political fights in those terms—but time has transformed their rump minority into a collective majority. As conservative strategists will tell you, there are now more of “them” than “us.”

In a follow-up blog post last week, he made a version of the same point, arguing that “the glue holding together the contemporary Republican agenda – the fierce defense of entitlement spending on the elderly, the equally fierce opposition to welfare spending on the young, the backlash against illegal immigration, the nationalist foreign policy, the cultural traditionalism – is ethnocentrism. Republicans are defending the shared cultural prerogatives of a certain group of people.”

I’ll go this far with Chait: Conservative identity politics is a real phenomenon, and its various tropes (a “real America” menaced by Europhiles and “takers”) owe a great deal to a Jacksonian, Scotch-Irish understanding of Americanness that’s always been more tribal than ideological. Certainly it’s impossible to listen to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh for any length of time without hearing hints of what you might call a politics of white grievance – not white supremacism, but a “who’s looking out for us?” resentment that resembles nothing so much as the left-wing identity politics of a figure like Jesse Jackson. And I’ve argued before that the changing demographic composition of the United States is likely to make debates over taxes and entitlements more polarizing than they otherwise would be, by making the old-young gap a white-brown gap as well.

But there are also problems with leaning too heavily on race and ethnicity as explanations for party platforms and coalitions. For one thing, the racial element, once cited, tends to crowd every other truth — encouraging partisans to impute the lowest possible motives to their ideological rivals, and to sidestep legitimate debates by casting their opponents as purely tribal actors in thrall to a “stew of racial, religious, cultural, and nationalistic” appeals. The racial element in the crime debate, for instance, was invoked by liberals throughout the 1970s and 1980s as a means of delegitimizing conservative arguments about criminal justice. But conservatives werelargely right about crime in the 1970s and 1980s and liberals were very often wrong. Likewise the immigration debate today: Restrictionists may or may not have the better of the argument (I think they do, in many cases), but either way Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s birtherism tells us very little about what our immigration policy should look like. So too the debate over higher education funding, cited in Chait’s follow-up: Complaining that stingy old people don’t want to invest in our multiracial future is a good way to evade the question of what, exactly, all our existing higher education spending is really buying us. And I could go on.

A second problem is that race-centric theories of politics often break down as soon as you move from the general to the particular. The broad liberal narrative of a Nixon-era Republican Party that exploited racial tensions to win over white Southerners has some truth to it, for instance. But as Gerard Alexander has argued, the Republican takeover in the South started in the periphery rather than the Deep South, among younger voters rather than older ones, among New South transplants rather than Old South segregationists, among upper-middle class suburbanites rather than rural whites, and so on. Apart from the unusual 1964 election, when the Republican nominee was explicitly associated with opposition to the Civil Rights Act, whites in the least racially-polarized areas of the South moved toward the Republican Party first; the Bull Connor/George Wallace demographic followed later.

The same complexities show up in Republican politics today. If defending the privileges and prerogatives of white seniors were as essential to contemporary conservatism as Chait suggests, you would expect the most right-wing and Tea Party-identified Republicans to be the most committed to “the fierce defense of entitlement spending on the elderly.” But from Rick Santorum to the DeMint-Paul-Lee troika in the Senate, more conservative figures in the party tend to be more committed to phasing in entitlement reform sooner rather than later, and the Paul Ryan plan’s senior-friendly promise to preserve Medicare as-is for the over-55 population looks more like a play to the center than to the base. Likewise, Chait’s “old white people” analysis would lead one to expect that Santorum, the last not-Romney True Conservative left standing, would be cleaning up among seniors in the primary campaign and losing among the young. But in most recent primaries, the opposite has happened: Santorum is winning younger voters, while the more moderate-identified Romney wins the elderly.

Finally, in a polarized country, a racialized read on politics can easily cut both ways. To show you what I mean, I’ll conjure up a race-centric portrait of the liberal future that mirrors Chait’s race-centric portrait of the conservative past (and that helps explain why a politics of white grievance resonates with many Americans). Describing trends in American politics between the 1980s and the present, Chait writes that time has transformed the Dukakis-era “rump minority” of “cosmopolitan liberals” into a “collective majority.” But the word “collective” is doing most of the work there, since obviously cosmopolitan liberals themselves are still just a fraction of the electorate. In reality, the realignment he’s describing is primarily being driven by America’s rising minority population, rather than by the (much more modest, and possibly tailing off) growth of liberal white college graduates. And this minority population is mostly a rising Hispanic population, whose votes the contemporary Democratic Party tends to court not with dog whistles or racial codes or vague identity-politics appeals, but with very explicit and specific promises of special legal treatment (in hiring, government contracting, college admissions, immigration policy, etc.) based on their ethno-racial background. If these promises help cement a new Democratic majority, then (to repurpose Chait’s analysis) the new progressive era he envisions will depend, no less than the conservative era that preceded it, on “ethnocentrism” and “racial resentment” and “ingroup solidarity.” If anything, the racial element will be even more explicit: Chait’s emerging Democratic majority will be less a rational coalition of ideological interests and more a kind of a race-based spoils system, in which progressive elites exploit a system of racial preferences designed to provide temporary assistance to the descendants of slaves to supply a permanent form of race-based patronage for America’s fastest-growing ethnic group.

Is this an unfairly reductionist take on liberalism, the Hispanic vote and Democratic coalition politics? Absolutely. But it’s no more reductionist or unfair than Chait’s race-based analysis of what makes modern conservatism tick.

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Comics worth reading presents Incorruptible volume 2

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Eastern Iowa comic fans almost certainly know the name Mark Waid. Over the past 20 years Waid built his name as a great comic writer on titles like The FlashKingdom Come and Justice League of America. In 2009, he set that all aside to create his own superhero universe at Boom Studios with Incorruptible and Irredeemable.

Incorruptible was designed with one specific idea in mind: flip the concept of Irredeemable on its head. While the earlier series featured the Earth’s greatest hero The Plutonian and his turn on mankind, Incorruptible focuses on the Plutonian’s most powerful villain, Max Damage, as he sets out to become a hero. Much like Irredeemable, Boom Studios collects Incorruptible in 4 issue trades, the first 4 of which are now available at the Cedar Rapids Public Library

Incorruptible Volume Two picks up not very long after the last volume ended. Jailbait is on the run and Damage recruits a look alike to help him keep her alive. He accomplishes the task before he mounts his own rescue operation.

Over the course of the issue, Max battles a white supremacy group and Annie, his replacement Jailbait, quickly starts to take an ongoing role in Max’s new life after her family is murdered by the same supremacists. She becomes the real standout of this collection: a broken woman that is really just trying to find a way to continue her life.

Horacio Domingues takes over on art chores for this volume. His lines are clearer than Diaz’s, but his style is a bit cartoonier. It gives the book a strange mixture of realism in a more animated style, but it never gets loose enough to derail the rather adult storyline.

Incorruptible volume two is available in trade paperback for $16.99 at most major print retailers and comic shops. Cedar Rapids area readers can pick up a copy at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Other Eastern Iowans should check with their local library. Fans nationwide can pick up issues (#s 5-8) digitally through Comixology for only $1.99 each.

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