Regarding MK and CM

I didn’t want to actually spell out Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto in the title because that would be sort of … Googly or something. Anyway Jonah Goldberg has a post over at NRO about annoying adolescents who claim to have read MK, even though they haven’t read it, they just want to appear edgy. I agree – point Goldberg. He also says this:

In my experience it’s not quite the same with the Communist Manifesto. First of all that tract is actually readable and interesting. Moreover it’s relevant to a lot more discussions and is assigned in a lot of classes. I’ve met lots of smart lefties and righties who’ve read it and learned from it.

But it, too, is a talisman. It’s something certain types invoke to push buttons and seem like philosophical sophisticates or political outsiders.

Maybe he read them. Maybe he even enjoyed them. But I would bet he enjoyed the idea of enjoying them, the romance of being that kind of guy, even more. This was a sick, tortured soul and trying to find deep meaning in Loughner’s favorite books list is, I think, a fool’s errand.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve read both the books. I was obsessed with the notion of evil a few years ago, and read lots of studies/books about evil, as well as books that are considered evil. I maintain that we’d be doing the future of the Republic a great service if every student in the country had to read an abridged version of MK and the full text of the CM, and then spend the rest of the semester studying the fallout from these words.

MK is not as dense or impenetrable as Goldberg makes it sound. I think it helped me that before I read it, I read William Shirer’s masterpiece, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (best nonfiction book of the 20th century) to get a historical context of where Hitler came from and where he was going. Hitler isn’t a particularly good writer, but he’s just paranoid and out there enough to be interesting at times. If I need to insert the caveat that what Hitler did was evil, he was evil etc, you’re probably reading the wrong site.

Of course he was evil, but that’s not the point.

MK is divided into two parts, the first being the early 20th-century version of Hitler’s Blog, and the second being Hitler’s Dissertation; the first part is more readable and, although Jew-hating to the core, much less so than the second part. If you want impenetrable and unreadable, try Marx’s Das Kapital or William J. Clinton’s My Life.

Anyway…

The CM is more readable because it’s more like a tract than an actual book. A sophomore in high school fresh off the Twilight series could finish the book in under two hours. Unlike Hitler’s work, which crisscrosses the crazy galaxy in subject-matter, The CM is deadly focused – a subtle point it doesn’t make. What’s also interesting – and why I say both books should be taught in high school – is how any fool, like it or not – can see the rhetoric of Hitler and especially of Marx and Engels in the modern Democrat Party.

There, I said it.

No, Democrats aren’t Nazi Communists, nor are they Hitler-loving fascists. However, by making MK and – to a lesser degree – The CM taboo, the public has been disarmed of the information necessary to understand how National Socialism and Communism made the 20th Century such a bloody, dangerous place. While National Socialism has faded into the ether, the spectre of Communism still haunts it.

Class struggle? Check. Seizure of private property? Check. Abolition of inheritance? Check. State health care? Check. Seizure of industry? Check. Currency manipulation? Check. Centralization of communication and transportation? Check. From memory, my favorite idea has been by far the most effective: free education for all children in state schools, and the abolition of parochial schools.

Although the seizure of private property is a bit more nuanced today, you otherwise have a nice little platform for the modern Democrat Party, no?

The reason there’s so much squawking about calling Fred-6 a socialist or implying that something a Democrat is doing is a bit, um, pinko is because the shoe fits. Not every Democrat – I have friends, family and more than a few lovers (past tense) who are Democrats – thinks like this, and I’m not interested in them anyway. It’s those who seek power and, in doing so, act as a reflecting pool for the madcap, collectivist ideas of history that I tend to focus on.

Ignorance, no matter its politics, isn’t just dull or annoying, it’s dangerous. I still marvel at the number of friends I have who voted for Fred-6 without reading his books and knowing little about the man. I read them, and I’ve read other books about the man, as well as lots of other contemporary politicians. I’m reading Tim Pawlenty’s new book right now (thank you Kindle). Yet, it is impossible to have a serious conversation with someone about Fred-6 – the real Fred-6, whoever that may be – if they want to defend him yet didn’t bother to read his work, or read works critical of him. Same with Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Albert Gore and anyone else who seeks and/or exercises power.

If you won’t give them the benefit of the doubt by reading something beyond blog entries about them, then what’s the point of defending or criticizing them beyond the surface?

Same goes for MK and CM. Only a fool calls people with different politics Nazis and Pinkos, but if one can establish why they are using such terminology based on the founding works produced to support those ideologies, then why not? The American Left, especially since 9/11, has grown predictable in its hate speech directed at whomever the powerful opposition happens to be. Most GOP/Conservative types don’t have the patience for it, and they either veer Left or exit Right (George Bush did the opposite, strangely). Sarah Palin is the lone public figure who has endured the wrath of the Left without having any real power and has happily come back for more. Rush Limbaugh is similar but not the same.

Here’s the thing: if you think people who have earned money don’t deserve the money they’ve earned, you hold beliefs similar to the producers of the CM. If you think people who have got there by trickery, legacy and dishonesty, you hold the same beliefs as the creators of CM and MK. If you don’t think people’s children can be raised by their parents any better than the State, then you also share a great deal with these people. American Progressives who visited Germany near the end of hte 19th Century and early in the 20th Century were fascinated by the fact that they put four-year-olds into schools – now that’s as American as apple pie, and has been for a long, long time.

Instead, we have a nation of thinks of something like this when it thinks of Adolf Hitler:

Government seizure and redistribution of wealth takes many forms, but it all springs from the same wicked mindset that has plagued mankind for centuries: Some men want dominion over other men. They crave power. They have a hardon for human submission. They forever study, refine, implement and re-define tactics. They are amoral. They not only believe, but live by the code that the ends justify the means.

Rules for Radicals has received a helluva lot of press and sales the last couple of years, and anyone who bothers to read it will be stunned by the wicked genius contained therein, and once that shock subsides, they’ll be re-stunned when they understand that the Democrats have been using this playbook since the moment Michael Dukakis lost to George H.W. Bush. For people who love freedom, democracy, the ideas and ideals of our Republic, the book is a cancer. It is everything that is wrong with political discourse of the day.

That doesn’t mean it’s not brilliant.

Books and ideas whose purpose is to undermine the foundations of a given society are not de facto evil, not by a long shot. The question to ask when attempting to evaluate such a book is this: In a free society where ideas are permitted, published and profited from, how much dishonesty must be used to sell an idea in order for the public to buy it? The only time a Democrat politician gets in trouble is when they say what they really think, and even then, Conservatives have to luck out with a recording of it. The “bitter clingers” business certainly didn’t help Fred-6, nor did HRC’s idiotic notion of villages raising children do anything to raise her stock in a country whose people overwhelmingly believe it takes a family to raise children.

Ultimately, I get what Goldberg’s saying – hell, I don’t even disagree with him. I think where I differ with him is that it’s a shame more mature adults aren’t as well-versed in books that perpetrate the evil ideas held in MK and CM as are people who are finally discovering the beauty of so many of our founding Letters, and the work of people like Hayek.

 

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About godsowncrunk
I'm King B, the originator of the Jellywhite lyrical style and god's own crunk.

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