Know your ultimate enemy : the dream.

It’s about having an honest conversation.

That’s what I’ve come to think blogging is. Yes, you can muck around showing how slick or amusing you are but unless you’re genuinely trying to talk to one or two other human beings out there, who perhaps may only exist in your mind’s eye, you’re just adding a bit more volume to the background noise of the internet. You have to take the view that apart from them, nobody out there is listening, so you can talk freely and at your own pace.

To take that thought one step further, once you accept the very real possibility that you might well be talking into an empty void, you don’t really have to care from then on about how the viewpoint you’re expressing will be received and of course, how you choose to express it is your own business. It flows. You’re a free man.

Given that freedom, I’m going to be picking my way through a minefield with this difficult conversation, which touches on so many things I love and yet deals with so many things I hate. Sometimes what has to be said, and just isn’t, has to be said by someone. I’m content with being the one on this occasion.

More importantly though, the free blogosphere, as opposed to those house trained blogs owned and run by the big mainstream media, is now the last remaining place where controversial topics can be honestly examined without being spiked by risk averse editors or descended upon by an army of outraged thought police. It’s where consensually forbidden avenues of thought can be explored fully, so you read on at your own peril.

From the time I was a young child, I read voraciously. Initially I read anything and with that total lack of judgement that any child does when discovering a hobby they totally enjoy. At the time, reading was not actually a pleasure in itself, it was an enabler, an access mechanism to other things which interested me. What I lacked in terms of cleverness, was more than made up for by sheer enthusiasm.

After ploughing through all those great comics, stirring adventure books for boys, and my sisters’ stirring adventure books for girls, my reading became a bit more directed. As I grew, it slowly moved into the classics, history, science and the various arts which appealed to me. Looking back on it, I was in so many ways just a child ticking boxes. A lot of them I thought I understood but actually I didn’t. A deeper understanding came along much later.

Around the same time, I’d discovered music and the same brute force indiscriminate approach meant I’d listen to pretty much anything. I feel blessed to have a host of old and new musical friends, who’re something more than the background music to my life. In retrospect, the upside of such manic concentration on what I liked, was it simply never occurred to me to wonder what other people might think of my tastes; a trait which has persisted to this day. If I like reading it or listening to it, what gives anyone else some divine right to make any qualitative judgements about it?

A young hungry mind is like a small fire. The kindling soon runs out and demands bigger and more wood, so I’d always be browsing the second-hand bookshops for anything interesting within range of my school kid’s earnings or trolling the library for freebie input. In one of those wonderfully innocent moments that only a wonderfully innocent young person can have, I concluded I’d pretty much exhausted what my surroundings had to offer by way of anything new, so I went looking for fresh and exotic fare.

Hitherto, that’d been a splash of French culture, as it was for most of my contemporaries who might have been similarly inclined. Most of them of course didn’t, because that sort of stuff could earn you a rough time from the usual assorted Neanderthals, who’re the occasional hazards of every childhood.

After a few unsatisfactory dips into various areas, I finally settled on German Kultur. It was a totally new and slightly frightening land; here be dragons. It was slightly frowned upon, which of course made it all the more attractive to any young kid, but at the same time it had a certain artisan-like solidity to it that appealed to my down to earth nature. In a curious way, their literature and art didn’t feel like it was stuck in the nineteenth century, it hadn’t stopped but seemed to have continued evolving into modern times. I liked the immediate post-war writers like Heinrich Böll and Thomas Mann and continued my meandering explorations deeper into their classics.

There’s nothing intrinsically superior about any one country’s culture over another, they’re just different. It’s all good food, with just the style of cuisine varying. For any Shakespeare, there’s a Goethe, an O’Neil or a Voltaire. For any Baudelaire, there’s a Schiller, a Whitman or a Blake. Different cultures are like different languages. Each one uses a different structure to express mostly the same thoughts but each one has its own subtle ornamentation; reflexive verbs, a continuous tense, verbs that drift to the end of sentences and even two deliciously different words for something as simple as the verb to be.

My father had infected me with the poetry bug and I just knew there was no way anyone could move Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, WB Yeats or any of the others into another language without losing some of the emotive payload, so not wishing to miss out on that, I embarked on the occasionally painful business of learning the language. I persisted with the endeavour and over the years, have been rewarded several times over for sticking with it. There’s no better way of really getting to know your own language.

However, the more I got into it, the more it gradually became a pressing concern to find an answer to that dark question that hung over the whole thing. How could the eminently civilised culture that had produced the likes of Mozart, Goethe, Schopenhauer, Schiller and Dürer, ever have descended to producing the horrors of Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Jasenovac and so many other death camps?

I read most of the current books on the subject, but while they all dwelt on the day-to-day mechanics of industrial murder, they never actually seemed to address that central question without being blinded by the understandable hate that inevitably follows from such a brutal war so freshly won. For the writers of the books and their generation, it was a whole new and unimagined level of inhumanity that’d happened in their lifetimes, something totally unexpected, and I understood that. For me, it had that slight distance of modern history, which fortunately took some of the emotional sting out of it and lent a measure of objectivity they perhaps couldn’t have.

The general explanation was that there was something innately evil about all Germans.

I’d hitch hiked around Germany, staying mostly in youth hostels, where after doing the usual communal chores, you could spend the evening chatting together in a local bar or restaurant. As far as I could see, the kids were no different from any of my other friends and on the occasions when the topic of the war came up, readily agreed that terrible things had been done. At the same time, they couldn’t see why they should feel responsible or feel guilty for the rest of their lives about things that happened well before they were born. In their position, I would have felt the same.

Their parents generally didn’t like to talk to them about those years but when pressed, had nothing terrible to hide. They were just ordinary people blown about by the winds of war. In later years I learnt in conversations with people of that generation the reason for their reticence wasn’t because they’d done anything horrible, but that it was just a terrible time they wanted to forget and move on from.

They’d lived in fear for year after year under a brutal dictatorship. They feared the dreaded anonymous denunciation by their neighbours and even their own children. They feared someone in their family or close family might offend the regime, because they would be punished as well. They feared the bombers by night and they feared the bombers by day. The feared the terrible rumours of what had happened at places like Dresden might just be true. They quite rightly feared the terrible wrath of the advancing Red Army, bent on vengeance for the millions of Russians who’d been butchered in the Great Patriotic War.

Despite what the propaganda machine told them, they knew the Russian Front was devouring their husbands and sons at a horrific rate, and that was even before the expected invasion by the allies in the west. By 1943, most of them knew in their secret and necessarily silent hearts the war was already lost but it dragged on for another two agonising years until a few days after Berlin itself fell.

They rebuilt their destroyed country and it all began with the women clearing the rubble, because the men were all gone. Long lines of them passing brick after brick to each other to build artificial mountains like the Teufelsberg or Devil’s Mountain in Berlin. They were the same women who would then go on to endure casual and unpunished rape for two years after the war’s end, and if it suits your sensibilities, keep on believing it was only brutish Russian soldiers who did such things.

It wasn’t what little they received from the Marshall plan which brought about the so-called post-war industrial miracle of Germany, but ordinary people working brutally hard to put ordinary life back together from the smoking ruins. The bitter reward they all received for that was always having the lingering finger of suspicion hanging over them for the crimes against humanity the fanatics had committed.

When you go through an experience like that, it alienates you from those who haven’t, especially your as yet unborn children. Their new and brighter lives you try to leave untarnished by your silence. You simply have no common basis for communication with anyone else, unless they’ve been through it. On the other and more grievous side of the hurt coin, it’s for that reason that I think some concentration camp survivors, who emigrated to Israel after the war, set up a number of their own kibbutzim purely for fellow survivors. They were way beyond neat and tidy ideas like survivor guilt and perhaps just wanted to live in a community where nobody felt guilty about not sharing their experiences.

I knew there were still monsters hiding in that generation but as far as I could see, not that many. What was clear though, was that the simple explanation of some inherent evil was just wrong. I’m not a particularly clever person but I very definitely am a particularly persistent one. The problem went on the back burner but never went away. I kept on chewing on it and I never let go of a problem like that.

An answer gradually became apparent as I understood more about history, politics but above all human nature.

It was the time of the great depression and the Germany economy had been harder hit than most because of excessive reparation payments stemming from the Great War. Any business that hadn’t already gone bankrupt was on life support, money was worth nothing because of hyperinflation and unemployment was rampant. The Nazis came to power through a mixture of inept politics by the mainstream parties of the Weimar republic and the simple promise of being able to fix things. Once in power via a one-third share of the vote and a few coalitions, they never allowed a free election again.

To give the devil his due, the situation did improve but that was mainly against a background of a worldwide recovery and more particularly the economic policies put in place by the Minister of Economics, Hjalmar Schacht, who was subsequently fired because of his opposition to the Nazi’s expansion plans. I’ve heard the argument advanced that Hitler would be remembered as a great Chancellor, if he’d just been content with what had already been achieved by the mid thirties but that just ignores his essential nature. He was a fanatic and fanatics can never stop; they’ll keep pushing for more and more until a war breaks out. That was plainly visible to most astute observers at the time.

Any electorate who’re enduring terrible economic conditions, are always ready to be sold the same dream – I will stabilise the situation and bring back the good old days. What was new about the dream the Nazis sold was that it had an essentially paranoid subtext. The Germans were part of a golden race, called the Aryans, destined to rule over all other races but at the same time, they’d been brought low by another race, the Jews, who were their mortal enemies.

The activists swallowed the dream whole. As the apparent success of National Socialism became visible with improving times, it became more reasonable to actively pursue the elements who’d caused the bad times. The denunciations in the mainstream media became gradually more vile. Suitably qualified scientists wrote erudite papers proving Aryans were a superior breed and Jews were the human equivalent to vermin. The first easy step on the road to the Final Solution is to dehumanise the opposition.

All Jewish professors were removed from universities on the flimsiest pretexts without a peep from their colleagues and shortly after the Rassenregeln or race rules legislation was passed. Soon, not only was university entrance barred to them but any position of authority or any decent profession. All they owned was confiscated, which actually meant looted. They became an extensible threat. Anyone else in a position of influence who didn’t bend the knee to the regime was deemed to have been infected by Jewish ideas and could therefore be dealt with similarly.

The pseudo science of Eugenics melded with a deliberate and perverted interpretation of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the Nazi sympathisers in academia and science, swung right behind the ideas of that bastard mutant and lent it a spurious authority for the common person. State approved scientists are always well rewarded. It was now settled science and whatever happened to the Jews, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, disabled, mentally handicapped and other inferior races or defective types was just natural selection in action.

Children were sucked into political education organisations like the Hitler Youth, so they too could embrace the dream. They grew up to blow up half of Europe.

Every single organ of the mainstream media blasted the same message at the populace. Any dissenting journalists were soon weeded out and a lot of them fled their own country. They had lots of company in doing that, not least talented scientists who went on to work on the Manhattan Project, which they knew was always intended to deliver a nuclear bomb on Germany, their homeland.

By the end of the thirties, the nightmare subtext of national socialism had gradually split society into two factions; the true believers and everyone else.

The true believers had thrived and were in ruthless control of every organ of state, from the Reich’s chancellery right down to the local parish organisations. They just knew they were a part of something new and glorious. The young middling educated class was fatally susceptible to the dream because it provided a way out of all those slick, articulate but conflicting viewpoints by all those other clever people. It means no more sorting through which one is right, no more doubts about which side of the question they have to be on, an end to uncertainty.

Suddenly it’s been simplified. It’s all about reducing the complication, boiling it down to one thing, perhaps even a few simple phrases. Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer – one people, one empire, one leader. Shout it loud brothers and sisters, shout it proud, the more you shout it, the truer it becomes. Join us children of a higher destiny on our great crusade to bring about the thousand-year Aryan Reich. All that’s left is to get the faint hearts amongst us on our side, and we’re going to do that, whether they want it or not. Sacrifices to achieve the dream will have to be made.

For the ordinary people, who weren’t that interested in politics, the dream of the true believers slowly mutated into the nightmare of living in fear of them. If you’re not with us, you’re against us and they soon knew enough to keep their thoughts to themselves. As Hitler the blunderer steered the country into the situation he always promised he wouldn’t, war on two fronts, young men were conscripted to fight against the obviously unbeatable triumvirate of America, Russia and the British Empire. Fighting for your country became neatly conflated with fighting for National Socialism, courtesy of Joseph Goebbels.

Do a Google image search of Nazi crowds and if you look carefully, you can see the joy in the faces of the true believers. They’re happy and awaiting the coming state of bliss. Once you put the dream inside their heads, you really don’t have to do much in the way of excusing the methods by which that dream can become a reality. It was a succession of just do this one slightly distasteful thing and the dream will come one step nearer. It was a beguiling path to hell taken one small step at a time, one compromise, one look away, one little don’t want to know. Basic moral boundaries both of commission and omission were crossed, but it was all for a greater good.

The real enemy was a dream inside people’s heads and the truly terrifying implication was that it could have happened anywhere to any nation and it still does, in places like the killing fields of Cambodia.

I’ve always thought the so-called science underpinning the theory of global warming was quite frankly laughable. It will become a latter-day example of pathological science and there are a lot of heavyweight science blogs out there who’ve been doing a fine job of pointing out exactly that. If the implications of such a nascent branch of science had stayed safely confined in some dull corner of research or academia, I wouldn’t have been too concerned.

Unfortunately it was being used as an imperative to shape public policy in so many areas and was therefore lending itself to political ends. It ceased being about science and became all about politics.

At the same time, the same frightening pattern of the all engulfing dream emerged. The prostitution of science by eager activists, a media blasting one false message, the suppression of dissent, the true believers on the one true and intolerant path to salvation, the political radicalisation of youth, the witch hunt through academia for objectors, the dehumanisation of the opposition and the refusal to look at the damage to other people their dream involved.

There it was, the same old whore dressed up in new finery and here it was shaping up to happen all over again, but not in one particular nation, but as a global movement. For reasons I’ve gone into elsewhere, it has foundered and is now in its death throes. The back of the cur is broken and it’s now crawling along the highway to AR5, which will be its last effort to save itself.

The echoes of what it might have become are still there though. The BBC interviewer nodding vigorously as some intellectual proposed tattooing a bar code on denier’s foreheads, a Canadian newspaper calling for its readers to report to them for publication the names and addresses of neighbours who used sprinklers on their lawns.

It’s the dream in their heads which is our ultimate enemy and what we’re up against. The fight against the damaging policies put in place in the name of global warming is the defining moral imperative of our age. We must in the end throw buckets of ice-cold water on top of that dream they love and show them the human cost of where any pursuit of it will ultimately lead.

For me, the final straw was being equated to a holocaust denier by the very people I think are most responsible for conducting one in the developing world.

As I said at the start of this piece, there are a lot of mines and I’m sure I’ve trod on several of them. The only one that concerns me is that it might have reopened still painful memories for some people out there, for which I apologise. As for the other mines, take your pick.

On stoking anti-German sentiment or racist stereotypes, all I can say is that I’ve lived and worked in Germany on more than one occasion and met too many decent people and made too many valued friends to intend any such harm. The idea that someone is inherently evil because of their nationality, race, colour or creed is the sort of comfort blanket stupidity that I leave to brainless bigots too afraid to get to know another group of strangers they fear.

On a reread, it could be viewed as me somehow excusing or balancing out war crimes, but I’m certainly not. If there was a moral war fought in the twentieth century, it was WWII and it had to be fought to a definite conclusion to make an end of more than one inhuman regime, even at the price of a Dresden or a Nagasaki. Moral or not, war is never a tidy business. It’s rarely a straight choice between good or evil but more usually about exercising premeditated violence to save as many as you can and hoping God will forgive you, not for making a wrong decision, which you leave to the smug armchair pundits of history, but for choosing the lesser of two cruelties. Nobody gets out of it clean.

Sadly, the biggest perceived taboo it tramples all over is transgressing the fabled Godwin’s law, which is interpreted by the simpletons of the blogosphere to mean that once you mention the Nazis in any debate, you’ve automatically lost. Sorry, but that’s just a decomposing rabbit pulled out of a by now tattered top hat by someone who’s actually behaving like a new age Nazi, in the hope of escaping being called out as such.

Just as Joliet Jake couldn’t stand Illinois Nazis, I can’t stand green Nazis, nor any other colour of them. It’s a phony argument that foul creatures use to hide behind the true implications of their politics. They crawl out from under some rock and scampering up atop it, stand arrogantly on their hind legs and crow arrant nonsense. Shining the burning light of truth on them soon sends them scuttling back under the slimy rock where they belong. I’ve no apologies to make for doing that, it’s more of a public service, so screw Godwin, his law and the hoss he rode into town on.

I’m just a hop, skip and a jump away from my peasant origins, but thankfully not too far. Fascism, Communism and Environmentalism are just homicidal waves that sweep over us and we are obliged to endure them but we abide because there’s lots of us and they always perish in the end. Sure, all of them will murder a lot of us but we always know they’re the transients. We were here before them and we’ll still be here long after they’ve turned to dust. We will survive because we’re nothing in their eyes, they just posture and think it means something but history will not be kind to them, because I know we’re the nobodies whose descendants will write those history books in the end.

The next war of this particular kind will be some way off I think, but it will come and trusting to the good sense of future generations, I leave it to them to spot it for what it is and fight it to a successful conclusion, confident in that recurring lesson from history that ordinary people always overcome the forces of crusading inhumanity in the long run, no matter what suit of plausible clothes it first comes disguised in.

We always take a bashing at the start, but we always hang on in and beat the crap out of them in the end. Just ask Adolph, Benito or Tojo.


Related articles by Pointman:

Click here for all articles in the know your enemy series.

The real bastards.

The Nigger Word.

How environmentalism turned to the dark side.

The Climate Wars.

Click for a list of other articles.

47 Responses to “Know your ultimate enemy : the dream.”
  1. Lesley says:

    Thanks Pointman – your views are, as always, very interesting and, surprisingly, comforting. I can remember, years ago, suddenly coming to the realisation that the Germans and the English (me) were very similar. At the time I felt the only difference was that we were not as regimented as the Germans which saved us from going down their road – but actually it just took a little longer. Perhaps we have just been very lucky – because if the Internet had not been there we could well have moved far further along the same route that the German slid down in the 1930’s.


  2. Petrossa says:

    A sad but painfully true painting of reality. Well worded. Nothing to add but to hope that this ill wind will blow over without too many victims


  3. Blackswan says:

    Pointman by name, Pointman by nature …

    You walked through that minefield unscathed and trod a path that enabled many of us to follow you safely. In this modern age of instant messaging, ten second sound-bites, instant gratification and global communications, there are not too many true ‘thinkers’ among us. Such a deep and reflective point of view as yours is evidence of your curiosity, compassion, perseverance and respect for the inherent decency of ordinary people and I thank you for your company on our own roads of discovery of the many vexed and complex issues to be found on this blog.

    It’s about time that Godwin character got his nose bloodied. There are so many parallels between the Reich of the 1930s, the indoctrination of our young and the fanaticism of Green zealots, invoking so-called ‘Godwin’s Law’ is a great mechanism for the gatekeepers to shut down dissent and argument.

    This is a great essay P – thank you.


  4. donaitkin says:

    Once again, a well-written and thoughtful read. I found it difficult just to enter Germany and Japan, twenty years after the war but having done so, and done so many times, discovered the great truth that people are people.

    Not sure about the extreme AGWers, though.


  5. hazze says:

    Once u sell ppl that dream..that simple dream…u just have the means to what u need..control of the State…whitout that…ure dreamselling is worth nothing…The State…its the vehicle we get runned over with…nazis,facists,greens,commies…they all want the power of the State. We gotta take the wheels of that machine…if we really want a State…lets construct one that cant be used for all evil purposes.


  6. meltemian says:

    Great essay Pointy, I don’t think you trod on too many toes either.
    Funny thing guilt; one of my close friends was born in Germany nearly 10 years after the war, she moved to England at the age of 23, became a British Citizen and yet she still feels guilty about the Nazis now. Why??


  7. 1957chev says:

    Reblogged this on Mothers Against Wind Turbines and commented:
    Amazingly well-written article….explains alot about the green-scam!


  8. 1957chev says:

    Thanks for the excellent article, Pointman. A reality check for the naive people who still believe the faux-green agenda, is a noble one!


  9. theyouk says:

    Spot-on and brilliantly written.


  10. TinyCO2 says:

    In another time you’d either be recognised as a great sage or a great troublemaker 😉 A pity modern philosophy can’t think outside the box like you any more.

    Recently the BBC had a programme where they wondered why, with the huge recession and bankers’ bad behaviour, there hadn’t been a mass swing towards labour and communistic leanings. They concluded rather sadly that people were just too comfy. The public have become cynical about the idea of ‘freeing the people’ and since most basic needs are met in the western world, there isn’t the drive to rebel like there used to be. The riots last year in the UK were less about freedom and more about free stuff. The anti capitalist movement is probably plotted somewhere in a Starbucks or Wetherspoons pub.

    Protests are now a like a child packing her teddy and proclaiming that she’s leaving only to be picked up in Daddy’s car an hour later having only gone to the first main road and stopping because the big wild world is scary and tough on the feet. Thus we hope the protest is sufficient and we don’t actually have to suffer hardship or risk anything. Risking all is only worth it when your all doesn’t amount to very much. I’m waiting for some enterprising group of immigrants to offer themselves as protestors for a fee. Rent a crowd, marchers, chanting and masks included. Posters, banners and fighting, extra.

    Do we still have it in us to return to the extremes of the past? Certainly but the green brigade wouldn’t spark it. The Nazi movement worked because they offered a better life. They blamed the Jews and others for German hardships and appealed to the German pride in themselves. They put forward the idea that they were better than everyone else. Ironically it’s modern, capitalist Europe that has proved them right, and not Hitler’s ugly version. Their green vision of the future was much more humane but falters because it is a step back towards a past nobody wants. Efficiency and hard work will only take you so far and then the raw need for energy kicks in. The cheaper the energy, the cheaper the product and those pesky customers have their own priorities. Green doesn’t feature in the hearts of consumers. So green is a fall from the top of the prosperity heap for the Germans. Moral superiority comes a poor second to financial supremacy.

    Greens and reds are also not good bedfellows. Communism promised a fair share in prosperity and yet capitalism has come closest to offering it. The green ideal is a step backwards to where we did more manual labour, ate less, travelled less and had less. Now I’m not sure we wouldn’t be happier in such a world but it needs to come from a search for a simpler life, not one that emits less CO2. The appeal from communism was that everyone would be equal and even with the proof that such a plan failed, the greens fail to realise that fairness should be at the heart of anything trying to emulate it. How can greens not know that the Al Gores of this world are damaging their brand?

    The historical model that might give greens a boost is the religious one. The West is too far gone to adopt it but the poorer countries might be conned. It’s a convenient stick for dictators to blame their country’s ills on western CO2/prosperity. Why not? Western scientists even provide the evidence to convict us. But the very thing that condemns us also protects us. Money, trade, infrastructure, the wealth to engage in war and win. Russia and China are now our unwitting allies. While they may use the green stick to beat us with too, they want what we’ve got. They’re not going to abandon their own ambitions to support a green jihad, lest they become the next under the spotlight. The true threat might be religious fanaticism. Something that can spawn suicide bombers could certainly drive people to think that CO2 is the emissions of evil people. But modern communication is the hero that fights for us. In the same way that communism has failed, religious zealotry is beginning to pall. When you an see other nations having so much… fun in this life you begin to wonder if you’re a mug to wait for the next. The second Egyptian revolution is a good example. They thought they wanted a Muslim led society until they got one. Then they realised that zealots are nuts and the things in life they enjoyed were even less forthcoming under a religious leader than under a secular one. I keep my fingers crossed that eventually the common people of the Muslim world will realise that the true barrier to their comfort is the fruitcake they look up to and like the communists of the past, they’re missing out on the capitalist life.

    Do I think the green vision will win? Maybe. When it’s right for us. I see western society as having reached young adulthood. We spend our cash on rubbish, just because we can and get drunk a lot and sleep around. Hopefully we’ll grow up and find less crazy ways to spend our lives. Or maybe we’ll just invent inter planetary travel and not have to.


  11. Tim Churchill says:

    I can remember my mother telling of staying with a German family in the early 1930s and saying how upset she was at their attitude to Jews. She said they seemed otherwise reasonable and intelligent. Propaganda seems to work very effectively if it’s done little by little.


  12. nzrobin says:

    Great article Pointman. A well paced piece through the mine field. Very happy to follow your lead and see what you have to say.

    I think what you have explained is ‘noble cause corruption’. Just replace ‘noble cause’ with ‘dream’.

    And what about religion? Just another noble cause maybe?


  13. Sarah says:

    ‘German guilt’. Fascinating subject. I enjoyed your thoughts.
    Having had the Nazi/right wing/evil capitalist slur thrown at me (see recent Australian elections) for voting Liberal and daring to say out loud that policy should not be based on pseudo science, I find your comment so refreshing and gleefully pleasing.
    The green conspiracy has taken a resounding blow to the gut here in Australia. The population has rejected the last 8 years of waste, green policy and tokenism. Booted the panderers to the curb. Good riddance! Just as you say, ordinary people will inevitably curb the ridiculous and enforce common sense. Only the fanatics remain, baying for blood and revelling in being on the bottom again. Nothing like feeling self righteous and persecuted to truly lift the spirits and add that spicy touch of venom!


  14. This expresses what I have known and felt about this errant cause. The only thing I am still pondering is why it repeats; why we do not learn from history, and why we do not seem to recognize it when it comes back again and again.


  15. johanna says:

    In fairness, I do think that you should have mentioned that both anti-Semitism and eugenics were relatively mainstream throughout Europe and in the UK and the US in the first half of the C20th, and that anti-Semitism has an even longer history. The ground was already prepared, and the Nazis were just exploiting existing sentiment. In countries like Poland, anti-Jewish public sentiment made what they did much easier than if the populace had no particular views one way or the other.

    In the UK, the revered Agatha Christie’s early novels contain plenty of throwaway lines about the untrustworthiness of Jews. And, superb barometer of public feeling that she was, she was in no way an outlier.

    In the case of the UK, it is also worth noting that the very close personal and professional links between the then small world of academe in Germany and the UK was a powerful mitigating influence. How could these highly civilised and learned people be warmongers and butchers?

    This observation reinforces your central point, however. While the Climate Catastrophe dragon may be in its death throes, the source has not been dealt with, and will rise again. It is the mindset that humans are a pox on the planet, separate from “the environment” which lies at the core of the problem. Hence, the Sustainability lobby and associated groups will continue to impede human progress by appealing to middle-class guilt (as you explained so well in an earlier post about conning people).

    The real enemy in the macro sense is the propagation of the notion that modern Western society is a greedy, polluting plot against the planet. Knowingly or not, those who subscribe to this myth are just handing over power to countries and cultures and third world elites who care not a whit for such nonsense.


  16. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    It is so easy to reblog, especially when the words are so close to one’s own. Pointman says what needs to be said, and says it well. I blog to record. This is worth the record, and I hope it gains many cross references. Perhaps soon the search-engine databases will be organized into useful information, rather than just a mining tool. If so, Pointman’s words will show more useful than average.


  17. watermelon says:

    Interesting post. There are indeed lots of similarities. The big difference between nazism and environmentalism is imo that the former strongly favours one group (Aryans), raising suspicion of common self interest from that very group driving the agenda. Whereas environmentalism in the end (at least in theory) favours animals and plants above human beings, thus suggesting true altruism amongst its followers.
    Don’t know which of the two is worse in its ultimate form..


    • Blackswan says:

      In the past two decades the cult of environmentalism draped itself in a thin veneer of concern for plants and animals that persuaded whole flocks of turkeys to vote for Christmas. It successfully concealed the black heart of the movement which was always about wealth re-distribution, compromised political classes, societal control and an entirely new revenue stream never seen before.

      Taxing the consumption of Energy created a new class of carpetbaggers with an eye for the main chance scrambling for a seat on the Gravy Train, but the middle classes and the poor have simply been forced to pay up or slip into fuel poverty, a life-threatening reality in the harsh winters of the north.

      While Nazis were made to answer for their war crimes, who will make this new generation of Green Fascists answer for their crimes against humanity?


  18. A.D. Everard says:

    Pointman, you’ve got it exactly right, and if some people can’t handle that or feel uncomfortable, that’s their problem.

    I am so relieved we have turned this tide back – and I have to say I’m shocked, too, at how eager so many of those fanatics were and are, and how quickly they wanted to destroy everything around them, not making the slightest connection that it would bring them down, too – their electricity, their food, their land, their rights, their lives. Even now, they are keen for it. That widespread eagerness for blind self-destruction is a terrifying thing.

    Thank you for your remarkable and accurate insights into the darker sides of human nature. It’s important for us all to be aware.


  19. T. Morrison says:

    Terrific post tying together an extensive chain of events and clear parallels. .

    One link that was left a bit loose was why the public accepted the Jewish restrictive laws in a Germany that had broadly accepted Jews in public and private positions for decades. The answer to this ties back to 1918 when the post-World War I chaos set the scene for Communist uprisings across Europe in which the leadership was very visibly Jewish. Kurt Eisner and his troops briefly set up a Bavarian Communist state in a Munich uprising. Rosa Luxembourg was killed after leading a less successful one in Berlin. Bela Kun led a Communist government in Hungary that held power for months.

    The effect of these events was to terrify the European public, which had already seen Russia go into Communist darkness (and where Lev Trotsky was a visible leader, as well.) These fears came into play in enabling Hitler to target Jewish university professors in the first restrictive laws.


    • Hamish McCallum says:

      No doubt the Jews prominent in the Spartacists and other Communist groups did, to some extent, sharpen prejudice among those who feared them; but German anti-semitism has much deeper roots than that. An interesting paper here argues that areas in Germany with bad records of anti-Jewish violence in the Middle Ages were precisely those where political support for the Nazis was strongest and where deportation of Jews for extermination was most thorough.


  20. Peter Whale says:

    Your thoughts struck a resonance on so many points that I never found the minefield I went from one stepping stone to the next and bounced off your words. Thanks for making me think in a more expansive way.


  21. Hamish McCallum says:

    As always, Pointman, a thought-provoking and eloquent piece: thank you.

    I’ve long felt that environmentalism is primarily an aggressive religious phenomenon, although its adherents like to dress up their beliefs in “scientific” clothing. I assume they do this to conceal the irrationality and vicious misanthropy of those beliefs from themselves, as much as from others.

    As your recent posts have highlighted, there is of course a distinction between simple believers, those who aspire to be part of the priesthood, and the opportunists who buzz around all things “environmental” like flies on a turd. They are all bad, but (in my book) the would-be priests are worst of all.

    There are inescapable parallels between the terrifying fantasies of (say) Paul Ehrlich and those of any number of Mediaeval millenarian heretics: for anyone who is interested, I very strongly recommend “The Pursuit of the Millennium” by Norman Cohn. Once read, it is impossible to see the Greens in the same way again.

    And for anyone who has any doubt about where these people would take us if they could, read the appendix about the Anabaptists of Munster…


    • Mindert Eiting says:

      Yes, Norman Cohn’s book is among the best I have read about this subject. It is available on the internet by google books.


  22. John says:

    Excellent article.
    I think the link between Nazism and the greens needs to be teased out a little more. Both philosophies are reliant on authority telling people the ‘truth’ so that ordinary people don’t have to think about exactly what they are doing. Most Germans just went along as the Nazi party came to power. They were largely content and trusted their democracy. There is an excellent essay by Martin Durkin on this very topic. It’s essential reading for someone interested in this field.
    The link is :-


  23. There seems little doubt that Environmentalism carries the ‘gene’ of the totalitarian urge, a gene that is now being expressed. Yet it seems positioned halfway between religion and political utopianism. As Lord Lawson has pointed out, it is no coincidence that global warming has taken root most strongly in areas of the world that have become highly secularized. On the other hand its political arm is strongly aligned with the left, but it carries behavioral elements of National Socialism as well. We see these elements not only in some the nastier habits we associate with the Germans of yore, we also observe them in the rise of rent-seeking corporations that nurse at the public trough, all justified by the climate obesssion. You will find notable players in climate serving on the advisory board of outfits like Deutsche Bank, reflecting the strong ties between the movement and money. Furthermore, as the late French philosopher Jean-Francois Revel pointed out, at the end of the day the only real difference between Socialism and National Socialism is that the first is based on class and the second on race.


    • johanna says:

      I’m not at all comfortable with many elements of this analysis.

      It launches out with the metaphor of the ‘gene’ of the totalitarian urge. This is unscientific bilge of the kind which the writer claims to deplore. So why use it as your lead metaphor?

      Next, Lord Lawson is mentioned, and as there is no citation, I don’t know what he actually said. But I do know that Australia, a pretty secular Western country, has just kicked out the warmists in an election. We are neither religious or utopian in our culture.

      Then there is the reference to “the nastier habits of Germans of yore.” Apart from telling us your opinion of “the Germans of yore”, whoever they may be, this bit of casual mudslinging advances us no further. But, of all the trough-guzzlers, you singled out Deutsche Bank. Hmm.

      Finally, you cited an obscure French philosopher who said something about politics which is just his opinion.

      So, you half-believe in genetic determinism, hate Germans, like French philosophers and think that the rise of the Nazi Party was based on race.

      You’ll have to do better than that here, pal.


      • Blackswan says:

        In December 2009 our new Prime Minister Tony Abbott, then in Opposition, declared Anthropogenic Global Warming to be “absolute crap”. It didn’t take him long to concede that; “Climate Change is real and we will take steps to reduce carbon emissions”.

        Sworn into Office today, the Liberal Party website says;

        “We will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions inside Australia, not overseas – and also establish a 15,000-strong Green Army to clean up the environment.”

        Abbott has also said he believes that industries trading in carbon certificates will enable them to continue to conduct their businesses viably.

        By any measure, it’s a bit of a stretch to say that we “just kicked out the warmists”.

        When Abbott has dispensed with the services of Tim Flannery (paleontologist) as Climate Commissioner, Will Steffen (chemical engineer) from the Climate Commission or Ross Garnaut (economist) who wrote Labor’s Climate Change Policy Review as being any sort of authorities on climate, then I might be reassured.

        While he’s at it, he can put an industrial sized broom through the CSIRO …

        The very Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation whose pontifications on climate change are cited as justification for government policy has been proven to need a serious reassessment of its ethics. They have lapped up hundreds of millions of dollars in Green grants.

        Kicked out the warmists? I don’t think so – not yet anyway.


      • johanna says:

        Blackswan – Abbott has put Flannery’s Climate Change Commission on the list of 33 warmie organisations that will be abolished asap. So, Flannery is on the way out (along with Steffen and the rest of the handsomely remunerated Commissioners).

        The former head of the Department of Climate Change has been sacked. His predecessor, now at Treasury, has announced his retirement.

        Abbott has instructed his Department to prepare legislation to repeal the carbon tax as a first priority.

        For someone who has been in office less than 24 hours, this is not bad going.


      • Graeme No.3 says:

        Napoleon said that he wanted Generals that were lucky…
        It looks like Tony Abbott is the lucky PM, with the confusion(?) in the IPCC forthcoming report giving ample reason not to run round imitating Chicken Little.

        Ross McKitrick recently pointed out that “this is obviously no time for entering into costly and permanent climate policy commitments based on failed model forecasts”.

        Tony Abbott mightn’t keep up to date with the climate debate but he would certainly be aware of the recent up-surge in scepticism in Germany and the UK, and the continued resistance to AGW in the USA. And the effect of coal seam gas on emissions and prices in the USA.

        Don’t buy any shares in companies wanting to build wind farms or large PV arrays.


      • Blackswan says:

        Johanna – Abbott’s previous stance of CAGW being “absolute crap” won him the Opposition leadership in 2009 against Malcolm Turnbull’s Goldman Sachs-style endorsement of Labor’s Climate Policies. Abbott’s subsequent conceding that Carbon Dioxide was an atmospheric pollutant, the emissions of which must be reduced, was a ‘bridge too far’ IMHO.

        As Confucius probably said; “Man who straddles barbed wire fence is bound to ruin his future”.


      • As for “gene,” it is no metaphor at all. The idea that ideas propagate and reproduce much like genes is treated seriously by people who are not offended by the concept. Take a shot at understanding the concept, starting here A little effort will find Lord Lawson’s piece in the Spectator where he first mentions the relationship between secularism and greenism The “Germans of yore” will be understood by anyone except you to be the ones who caused some issues in the mid 20th. And this historical fact has nothing to do with anyone’s opinion of the folk today, or any particular individual. Revel may be obscure to you, but I dare say he is a familiar voice to anyone interested in understanding how the European left avoided any backwash from the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

        The rest of your rant is reductio ad absurdum. But none of the above is serious. What would be serious would be a lack of comprehension that there are strong moneyed interests well embedded in Western establishment institutions and that they will not agree that they are out of the climate business just yet.


    • johanna says:

      The difference between a gene and a meme is pretty straightforward. Mixing them up in the context of a discussion about eugenics and anti-Semitism is not just a bit of playful hipsterism. We are having a serious discussion which includes real people who died here. Your comment displays, at best, sloppy thinking.

      Saying that “everyone knows what I mean” after being questioned about a gross generalisation fits in perfectly with the above. If you are referring to specific people, then why talk about “Germans” on the assumption that everyone knows what you mean? Spell out what you mean, or expect to be misinterpreted.

      I am neither German nor Jewish, but like Pointman and many others, have struggled to try to understand what happened during WWII. Your flippant and ill-considered remarks are, to use the old joke, about as welcome as a pork chop in a synagogue (just in case you thought I was in the PC brigade).


  24. petra says:

    A speed reader of your blog would miss so much. “An” answer rather than “the” answer.


  25. Blackswan says:

    Great news – Day 2 of the Liberal Government and our Climate Commission is actually being demolished with the Flim Flam Man fired.

    “PROFESSOR Tim Flannery has been sacked by the Abbott Government from his $180,000 a year part time Chief Climate Commissioner position with the agency he runs to be dismantled immediately.”

    After six years of Labor rule, after numerous policy reversals and the gross betrayal of the electorate, new Liberal Prime Minister Abbott has pledged to earn the trust that has been afforded him and his Ministry. Cynicism has been at an all-time high and it’s wonderful news that we are actually seeing some integrity restored to our Parliament.

    We’ve learned to our cost that we can’t take anything at face value or believe assurances given by anyone without real action to demonstrate that election promises are not simply more propaganda to win government. For the first time we have some real hope of seeing the end of the Green Fascists who only achieved 8.2% of the vote in this election, half what it was 3 years ago.

    Maybe we’ll get to be ‘The Lucky Country’ once again.


  26. PaleoSapiens says:

    In addition to the views of Pointman, there are a lot more involved contexts of WWII to understand. WWII can arguably have been decided by the battle at Khalkhin Gol. The site is on the Manchurian-Siberian border and was between the Japanese and Soviets (July-August, 1939). This is apparent in proverbial 20/20 hindsight and brings a broader perspective to the context of the times.

    There is something succinct to add in understanding historical context here though, relevant even to recent events. It is the general human tendency to trade security/stability for freedom. Note how fanatical movements fully exploit this trait.

    To roughly quote Benjamin Franklin, “Those who give up a bit of freedom for a sense of security, wind up having neither…”

    Having a feeling of security is a very powerful force. Just ask someone in Northern Colorado …recently affected by the flooding. More aptly, ask those forced to decided between eating or heating their home.


  27. stan stendera says:

    I haven’t been here for a while. My loss. There is one good thing about my dereliction in attendance, when I finally got here I have several posts to read. Joy.
    I am green with envy …No, Stop, Green has become a bad word. Let’s start again: I am turning blue with envy at your skill as a writer. What a brilliant, thought provoking post. And what wonderful music while I type my comment!!!


  28. J.S.Bridges says:

    Interesting –

    Also seems particularly appropriate, as the outline of how Naziism rose – and fell – would seem to fit quite well with how Liberalism/Socialism – the Leftist “community-is-all-individualism-is-fatally-flawed” meme – has gradually overtaken this Nation of ours – these presently-united States…and is proceeding to destroy said Nation, blindly, fanatically, in service to the “true believers” and their fellow-travelers, the “useful idiots” of the MSM, academia, much of the “entertainment” industry, etc…and will eventually end by destroying themselves – most probably in another “civil war” (a genuine oxymoron if ever there was one – real war is the antithesis of civility).

    Apres Liberalism, le deluge, yes?…


  29. You linked to this post on Dr Roy Spencer’s blog, where he wrote that he’d from now on call the AGW proponents Global Warming Nazis.
    Thank you for that link – what a great post, which rang so many bells for me!
    I loved this: “trolling the library for freebie input. ” – that’s what I was doing as well,e specially when still in school.
    One aspect of the Third Reich which has fascinated me for a long time was who and why did people resist? This didn’t start with the 1944 assassination attempt, of cinematic “Valkyrie” fame. There was a long history leading to this, and one factor stood out: most of those in the German Resistance were Protestant Christians. There are even connections between two outstanding men who are unsung today, one being Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the other Henning von Tresckow.
    I am now regarding all of us who have been ‘resisting’ AGW as a little bit akin to those people: not being taken in by that Big Dream, asking questions about the attitudes and acts of those who promulgate that Big Dream, checking how it relates to what we see around us.
    To use the title of a recent autobiography of a German journalist – we have been and are all saying “Etiam si omnes – ego non” .
    Thanks for that wonderful essay – from someone who also had to read everything printed she could lay her hands on … and still does …


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