Sunday, May 16, 2010



"Tomorrow belongs to me"


The film "Cabaret" is set in Berlin in the early days of the Nazi party. In it, a Hitler Youth member sings the song "Tomorrow belongs to me" and it inspires his audience. It is actually a pre-Nazi song that was altered for the purposes of the film but it certainly expresses Nazi thinking. The singers of the Horst Wessel Lied (the song of the brownshirts) certainly thought that the future belonged to them. And some genuine lines from the actual song of the Hitler youth are:

Uns're Fahne ist die neue Zeit. (Our flag is the new time)
Und die Fahne f├╝hrt uns in die Ewigkeit! (And the flag leads us into eternity)

And we also had, of course Hitler's claimed "Tausend Jahr Reich" (Thousand year empire).

So it is interesting to put the following NYT article into historical context.
Is “Left” becoming a four-letter word? You’d think so lately with each day bringing more news of unconscionable conservative tilts in the electorate, while the drumbeat of the Democrats’ supposed death march to November gets ever louder.

For example, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey released this week found that a majority of Americans supported Arizona’s hostile new immigration law, even as most allowed that the law is likely to lead to more discrimination against legal immigrants. Apparently, for some, there is an acceptable level of collateral damage.

A May 7 Gallup poll found that 42 percent of people wanted a Supreme Court nominee who would make the court more conservative, as opposed to only 27 percent who wanted a nominee who would make it more liberal. That was before Elena Kagan was nominated. Afterward, 40 percent rated her as a good or excellent choice, but that was the lowest such rating in recent history, even 4 percentage points lower than Harriet Miers’s.

An Associated Press-GfK poll released this week found that a plurality of people still favor increasing drilling for oil and gas off the coasts even as an unprecedented natural disaster unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico. Environment be damned.

And Gallup released a poll on Friday entitled “The New Normal on Abortion: Americans More ‘Pro-Life.’ ” It buttressed the finding from last summer when, for the first time since the question began being asked in 1995, more people self-identified as “pro-life” than as “pro-choice.”

This string of bad news has only compounded an already palpable sense of loss and longing on the left, an enveloping fear of the inevitable: rejection. The right, and most importantly, the middle, unnerved by spending in a recession and unhinged by Obama in the White House, have not bought into the liberal vision of a new America. In fact, they’re increasingly weary of it, if not hostile to it.

So by most accounts, Nov. 2 is going to be a blue day in blue America. That is in part because of a sizable enthusiasm gap that favors Republicans.

Liberals may want to crouch in a corner, wait for the storm to pass, then resurface and survey the damage, but that would be avoidance rather than acknowledgement and acceptance.

Better to acknowledge that the anger and frustration felt across the country, however fanatical and freighted, must find release, and it will do so in November. Then you can accept it for what it is: not a failure of philosophy, but a fear of the future. That future can be deferred, but it will not be denied.

I am convinced that the right may win the day, but the left will win the age. That’s because the right is running an intellectually bereft campaign of desperation and disenchantment, amplified by a recession.

Great Recessions don’t last. Great ideas do.

So are his closing sentiments right? You may be surprised to hear that I think that he is indeed right. Whether redistributing the wealth and bringing everything under government control are "great" ideas is a laughable proposition but they are certainly ideas that seem inbred into human DNA. Even conservatives accept a watered-down version of such ideas. Actual libertarians are a tiny, though sometimes influential, minority.

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan held back the tide for a while but it has all gradually crept back. Who would have thought that America would one day have a Government Motors instead of a General Motors?

Mussolini was right. In the 1920s he said that the 20th century would be the century of Fascism -- and so it turned out to be. In Mussolini's Italy, the government did not OWN all industry (that is the Communist folly) but the government CONTROLLED all industry. And, by way of laws and regulations, that is the case in all developed countries today. Freedom for businessmen to do as they please is roughly as restricted in the USA today as it was in Fascist Italy.

So, Yes. In the hands of both the GOP and the Donks, government control of all we do will continue its relentless advance. The Communist idea of the party directing the economic activities of the nation is dead. But the Nazi/Fascist idea of leaving businessmen to run business under tight government controls is triumphant. Both 20th and 21st century history is clear about that.

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