See this movie. Best original, “dystopian near-future” flic made in last decade. Will probably make you feel really uncomfortable for 2 hours. I still have no idea what it was about or what the message was. But it was really good. I walked in by accident. They have some good ideas.
Parallels Between Israel and 1930s Germany
by Uri Avnery, May 21, 2016
I feel compelled to write about the general’s speech after all, because I was there.
As a child I was an eyewitness to the last years of the Weimar Republic (so called because its constitution was shaped in Weimar, the town of Goethe and Schiller). As a politically alert boy I witnessed the Nazi Machtergreifung (“taking power”) and the first half a year of Nazi rule.
I know what Golan was speaking about. Though we belong to two different generations, we share the same background. Both our families come from small towns in Western Germany. His father and I must have had a lot in common.
There is a strict moral commandment in Israel: nothing can be compared to the Holocaust. The Holocaust is unique. It happened to us, the Jews, because we are unique. (Religious Jews would add: “Because God has chosen us”.)
I have broken this commandment. Just before Golan was born, I published (in Hebrew) a book called “The Swastika”, in which I recounted my childhood memories and tried to draw conclusions from them. It was on the eve of the Eichmann trial, and I was shocked by the lack of knowledge about the Nazi era among young Israelis then.
My book did not deal with the Holocaust, which took place when I was already living in Palestine, but with a question which troubled me throughout the years, and even today: how could it happen that Germany, perhaps the most cultured nation on earth at the time, the homeland of Goethe, Beethoven and Kant, could democratically elect a raving psychopath like Adolf Hitler as its leader?
“You may have noticed that more and more we live in a society where anything goes and nothing matters. We got there through the incremental eradication of boundaries, especially in social categories and behaviors. Some people find this exhilarating and others find this disturbing. I happen to believe that the elimination of boundaries is not altogether a good thing. We would probably benefit, I think, from more and firmer boundaries than squishier and fewer of them.” -JHK
[actually black lives matter, right?…hashtag]
when they are too democratic.
-by Andrew Sullivan
And so, as I chitchatted over cocktails at a Washington office Christmas party in December, and saw, looming above our heads, the pulsating, angry televised face of Donald Trump on Fox News, I couldn’t help but feel a little nausea permeate my stomach. And as I watched frenzied Trump rallies on C-SPAN in the spring, and saw him lay waste to far more qualified political peers in the debates by simply calling them names, the nausea turned to dread. And when he seemed to condone physical violence as a response to political disagreement, alarm bells started to ring in my head. Plato had planted a gnawing worry in my mind a few decades ago about the intrinsic danger of late-democratic life. It was increasingly hard not to see in Plato’s vision a murky reflection of our own hyperdemocratic times and in Trump a demagogic, tyrannical character plucked directly out of one of the first books about politics ever written.
Spare me. 7000 words in New York Magazine. Sullivan is very confused about what he thinks about anything on any given day. Nausea turning to dread? Sounds like he might have a drug problem. This is just to showcase how much smarter Sullivan is than everybody else. I’ve only read about 3000 words. Interesting but pointless. You can arrange these ideas and words an infinite number of other plausible ways. He is wrong about why Obama won.
Politically, we lucked out at first. Obama would never have been nominated for the presidency, let alone elected, if he hadn’t harnessed the power of the web and the charisma of his media celebrity. But he was also, paradoxically, a very elite figure, a former state and U.S. senator, a product of Harvard Law School, and, as it turned out, blessed with a preternaturally rational and calm disposition. So he has masked, temporarily, the real risks in the system that his pioneering campaign revealed. Hence many Democrats’ frustration with him. Those who saw in his campaign the seeds of revolutionary change, who were drawn to him by their own messianic delusions, came to be bitterly disappointed by his governing moderation and pragmatism.
Messianic delusions? He made more sense than anybody else, was the only one who opposed the Iraq Invasion (Sullivan was for it), and was black. The black thing was the most important, because if he was white he wouldn’t really have anything that special going on. America had lost interest in Bush’s fuckup in Iraq by 2007 and Bush wasn’t running anyway. Even with the fuckup in Iraq Bush won in 2004 – remember? If Obama had been white, he would have been another nobody. Edwards or Clinton would have won the nomination. Sorry, that’s the deal. For Sullivan not to even mention this is where the real delusion lies.