Saturday, October 17, 2015
Oct. 17: Hitler and Mussolini - and us.
First, I have found a computer copy of Conjuring Hitler, the book on how Hitler's rise to power was engineered by Britain, the U.S. - with a little help from Canada. The purpose of it all – for Britain - was to maintain the profits of British big business. But, from 1870 on, Britain was worried that its empire was threatened by the rise of Germany and, later, Russia. It should also have been worried because the U.S. had ambitions to inherit the British Empire. But Britain desperately needed the U.S. as an ally. And that really sums up the history of the Twentieth century and of this century so far. This is what the wars were – and are - about. It's a very complex story; most stories about foreign affairs and war are complex with plots, schemes, manipulations, propaganda images by all sides. And, in this case, the author's writing style does not help at all. World Wars one and two were fought not because Germany was was evil, but because it was a rapidly rising industrial power that would soon put Britain into eclipse. There was a similar fear about Russia after its revolution. The U.S., in both cases, was eager to pick up the pieces of a collapsed British Empire for its own capitalists. Along the way, all sides either liked or hated each other with plots so complex that they often liked and hated at the same time. Even in 1939, as Britain fought Germany, it was also carrying on secret relations with both Hitler and Stalin. And even as the U.S. praised little Britain for its resistance to Hitler, and made a great noise of sympathy for Britain, it was selling war goods, like oil, to Hitler so he could bomb Britain. Even after Pearl Harbour, the U.S. did not declare war on Germany. Almost a month later, it was Germany that declared war on the U.S. Similarly, the U.S. is now alternately creating terrorist groups in the middle east as “rebels', then attacking them as terrorists. Cuba is another example of this sort of duplicity. Cuba rebelled because the U.S. refused to allow it to be a democracy. Instead, it was ruled by brutal dictators appointed by the U.S. When Castro kicked out the dictator, the first country he turned to for help was the U.S. And the U.S. turned him down cold. That's why he turned to Russia. And the reason why Russia tried to send nuclear missiles to Cuba was because the U.S. was setting up missiles on the Soviet Border. And the reason Castro wanted the missiles was because he was constantly under attack by the U.S. It sponsored an invasion of Cuba. It set bombs at resorts. It tried many times to kill Castro. It hired a killer to blow up a Cuban civilian airliner killing all aboard. (Isn't it horrible how that Malaysian airliner was shot down over Ukraine. I'll bet it was those terrible Russians who did it.) It tried to impoverish Cuba with trade sanctions. The reason the U.S. is making nice to Cuba now has nothing to do with a desire to make it democratic. After all, some of the U.S. buddies are among the world's most brutal dictatorships – like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. No. The U.S. is making nice because Castro is a hero all over Latin America. And the U.S. empire in Latin America is now under severe challenge so widespread that it's hard for special ops killers to keep up with the challenge. The U.S. is not back in Cuba to bring democracy. It's there because tiny Cuba has held out against it for over fifty years. And that is shaking the foundations of the empire – much to the dismay of Canadian and American companies working down there. You know – the ones the Irving press never tells us about. Foreign Affairs are complex, and often tragi-comedy. This book on our relationship with Hitler, and our role in bringing him to power, is, necessarily, a complex read. And, sometimes, it relies on speculation that makes me a little uncomfortable. But the basic theme is one that has been known, if ignored, for many decades. British and American politicians and capitalists (with Canada a very junior partner) were financing Hitler as early as the 1920s. They loaned him the money to begin building his war machine. They supplied him with the oil so vital to his army, navy and air forces. They protected him from criticism through the use of their news media and the cooperation of Hollywood; And, in the U.S. that help and protection existed until the end of 1942. On Nov. 11, we should, most certainly, remember those who died. We should also remember those who sent them to die, and why they sent them. We might, in particular, remember those who sent them to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine. https://archive.org/stream/ConjuringHitler/ConjuringHitler_djvu.txt We can dispose of the Irving press quickly. There's nothing worth reading in Section A news. The editorial is a long gush about a “historical and architectural treasure” for Moncton. It's a ghastly apartment building called 'Castle Manor” - which is one hell of snooty name for a common cube made of rocks with rows of boring windows, and no balconies. The castle bit comes from sticking a few rocks on top of the roof corners to look like a bad imitation of battlements. It's a pretentious and ugly buildng. Snobs with no taste and ignorant of architecture will just love it. But it has no historical or architectural value. As always, Gwynne Dyer has a good column. So does Jo-Anne Moore in writing about immigrants. She's right about the benefits of immigrants. I went to an elementary school stuffed with Syrians, Italians, Poles, Ukrainians, Greeks. It was a great experience. Later, teaching university, I taught Dutch, Chinese, Iranians, Palestinians, Israelis, Koreans, Vietnamese…..wonderful days. The only story worth reading is on B7, “Four Palestinians, including one assailant, killed by Israeli fire amid widespread unrest.” These outbursts have happened before. And each time they get worse. That's because Palestinians live without hope so long as Palestine is under Israeli occupation. They live in poverty, in isolation; they are living and, at the same time, dead. This outburst could be very bad because Netanyahu will do thing to set them free. His only response to the outburst is to use maximum force. That might stop this uprising – but that will just add to the desperation of the next one. And there will be a next one unless Netanyahu “cleanses” the Gaza Strip and Israel, itself, of Palestinians. Harper will just smile and say, “Israel is always right.” And he'll do nothing. Interestingly, Harper's Jewish vote in Montreal seems to be wobbling. North American Jews are becoming much more critical of Israel. And that takes us to what I said this blog would be about – Mussolini and Hitler as the great political pioneers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Canada, Britain, the U.S. and many other countries are based on the principles laid down by Mussolini and Hitler. Italy's Mussolini came first. He introduced a political system which included leading capitalists as members of the government. They had, and needed, no popular support. Just being leading capitalists got them into the government. (The same was done for some other groups.) This was the system Mussolini called 'fascism'. It was later imposed by a rebel general on Spain in the form of a dictatorship. Hitler sent help to the general with aircraft and tanks. When Britain, Canada and the U.S. did nothing, individuals from Britain, Canada and the U.S. went to Spain in thousands to fight fascism. They commonly found it difficult to get home again. Many were under police surveillance for years after. It was also common that they were turned down when they tried to enlist to fight in World War Two. The Americans were The Lincoln Brigade. The Canadians were the “Mac-Paps”, named after Mackenzie and Papineau who had led rebellions for greater freedom in the mid-nineteenth century. Oddly, the Canadian prime-minister of the time was Mackenzie-King, grandson of the rebel Mackenzie. But he was quite different from his grandfather. He was a loyal servant of the very rich and powerful, and a worshipper of Adolf Hitler. Hitler called his system 'National Socialism'. But there was nothing socialist about it. It was a partnership with the leading capitalists – rather like Mussolini's fascism but less formal. Ever heard of the three Ps – Public/Private/Partnership? It's a political favourite in New Brunswick – and quite common across Canada and the U.S. and Britain. I raises major capitalists to the status of partners with government. (I'm not a partner with government. But if I'd been born rich, I'd be a partner.) That's not democracy. That's fascism. After the election of premier Alward, J.D.Irving wrote in the Irving press that he (without being elected) was a member of the government; and so he would hold meetings to plan the economic future of New Brunswick. That's a text book example of fascism. Hitler also followed an old path that we now follow. The way to make people ignore reality and to follow you is to promote hatred and fear. You can pick just about anybody. And the anybodies become 'untermensch', an inferior race. That gives an excuse to kill them. Hitler chose Jews and Romanys and some others. But he certainly didn't invent racism as a policy. The British and French and Spanish and Portuguese had been using it for centuries to kill uncounted millions of people for their land and their slave labour. That's what Columbus was all about. That's why Canada has never made any serious effort to deal with the problems of native peoples. That's why most history books never bother to mention that aboriginals in our west were either murdered or deliberately starved to death. And I think it extremely unlikely that Canada or the U.S. will do anything useful in the future for this issue. Right now, we're in an awkward situation for untermensch. For domestic politics, to stir up general fear, Muslims are useful. But it doesn't work for foreign affairs because some Muslims are on our side – like those nice dictators in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. So, we've had to invent a sub-group – 'terrorists'. That's a tricky word because all people who go to war are terrorists. I mean – creating terror is the whole point of war – for both sides. Area bombing is terrorism – whether it was done by German Stukas or British Lancasters or American B-17s, The purpose of war is the scare the hell out of the other side. That's why the German Stuka dive-bomber had whistles under its wings – so those below would be terrified by the sound of its dive. The American bombers and sprayers that killed millions of innocent Vietnamese were terror weapons. Just about every war since 1900 (and some before) has killed more women, children, and civilians in general than soldiers. The two nuclear bombs were dropped on cities of no military importance. That was deliberate. It was to create terror by indiscriminate destruction. But our news media label only the other side as terrorists. Our news media also ignore the fact that many of the Muslim terrorist groups were initially trained and equipped by – us. They became terrorists only when they shot back at us. And that status can change from day to day. Our purposes of war, our reasons for it, and our general political/economic structures are largely identical to those of Hitler and Mussolini. But, as well, big changes have happened with bigger ones to come. Over the last 50 years or so, almost all significant powers in the world. like Russia and China, have copied us. All now are ruled entirely or almost entirely by big money. All are now, like us, oligarchies ruled, for the most part, by the very wealthy. Though the very rich now control governments, they don't really like them. There's always the danger that people will elect a government that will do terrible things – like encourage renewable energy or make them pay taxes. So we are entering a new phase which goes back to Reagan and Mulroney. In this phase, one simply makes government irrelevant. And the device to do this is free trade. Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with free trade. But there's a lot wrong in the form of it that we are seeing. Modern free trade deals almost invariably set terms in them to benefit the rich. Those terms loosen government regulation of business so it can feel free to destroy the environment, to keep people in poverty as almost slave labour, to privatize essential services like water, to limit or even eliminate business taxes….and so it goes on and gets even worse. (I have never seen a story about this in the Irving press.) In effect, big money is freed from any social obligations whatever. More and more, governments have to give up the right to govern – unless it's for maintaining armies or militarized police to kill people who object. Oh, and of course, under such deals, governments are commonly expected to maintain secret police to inform mine owners, factory owners, plantation owners of anybody who is getting out of line. The movement has been to remove the power of government to control big business in any way. (That's why Norbert Cunningham always talks about how businessmen are really, really smart and efficient – and government bureaucrats don't know what they're doing.) And the big deal that will make the rich more powerful than ever is just waiting – The Trans-Pacific Partnership. Unlike the rest of us peasants, the very rich will be free to do whatever they like. They will not be just partners with government. They will have no government and no need even for a nation. And we will complete the building of a socio-economic system that is the bastard child of Mussolini and Hitler. Of course, it's a system that contains the seeds of its own destruction. Greed will always do that. Tomorrow, I think I'll try some wrap-up thoughts on the election.