He declared that 'national socialism was based on Marx' Socialists have always disowned him. But a new book insists that he was, at heart, a left-winger
In April 1945, when Adolf Hitler died by his own
hand in the rubble of Berlin, nobody was much interested in what he had
once believed. That was to be expected. War is no time for reflection,
and what Hitler had done was so shattering, and so widely known through
images of naked bodies piled high in mass graves, that little or no
attention could readily be paid to National Socialism as an idea. It was
hard to think of it as an idea at all. Hitler, who had once looked a
crank or a clown, was exposed as the leader of a gang of thugs, and the
world was content to know no more than that.
Half a century on, there is much to be said. Even thuggery can have
its reasons, and the materials that have newly appeared, though they may
not transform judgement, undoubtedly enrich and deepen it. Confidants
of Hitler. such as the late Albert Speer, have published their
reminiscences; his wartime table-talk is a book; early revelations like
Hermann Rauschning's Hitler Speaks of 1939 have been validated by
painstaking research, and the notes of dead Nazis like Otto Wagener have
been edited, along with a full text of Goebbels's diary.
It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his
associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too. The title of National
Socialism was not hypocritical. The evidence before 1945 was more
private than public, which is perhaps significant in itself. In public
Hitler was always anti-Marxist, and in an age in which the Soviet Union
was the only socialist state on earth, and with anti-Bolshevism a large
part of his popular appeal, he may have been understandably reluctant to
speak openly of his sources. His megalomania, in any case, would have
prevented him from calling himself anyone's disciple. That led to an odd
and paradoxical alliance between modern historians and the mind of a
dead dictator. Many recent analysts have fastidiously refused to study
the mind of Hitler; and they accept, as unquestioningly as many Nazis
did in the 1930s, the slogan "Crusade against Marxism" as a summary of
his views. An age in which fascism has become a term of abuse is
unlikely to analyse it profoundly.
His private conversations, however, though they do not overturn his
reputation as an anti-Communist, qualify it heavily. Hermann Rauschning,
for example, a Danzig Nazi who knew Hitler before and after his
accession to power in 1933, tells how in private Hitler acknowledged his
profound debt to the Marxian tradition. "I have learned a great deal
from Marxism" he once remarked, "as I do not hesitate to admit". He was
proud of a knowledge of Marxist texts acquired in his student days
before the First World War and later in a Bavarian prison, in 1924,
after the failure of the Munich putsch. The trouble with Weimar Republic
politicians, he told Otto Wagener at much the same time, was that "they
had never even read Marx", implying that no one who had failed to read
so important an author could even begin to understand the modern world;
in consequence, he went on, they imagined that the October revolution in
1917 had been "a private Russian affair", whereas in fact it had
changed the whole course of human history! His differences with the
communists, he explained, were less ideological than tactical. German
communists he had known before he took power, he told Rauschning,
thought politics meant talking and writing. They were mere pamphleteers,
whereas "I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers
have timidly begun", adding revealingly that "the whole of National
Socialism" was based on Marx.
That is a devastating remark and it is blunter than anything in his
speeches or in Mein Kampf.; though even in the autobiography he observes
that his own doctrine was fundamentally distinguished from the Marxist
by reason that it recognised the significance of race - implying,
perhaps, that it might otherwise easily look like a derivative. Without
race, he went on, National Socialism "would really do nothing more than
compete with Marxism on its own ground". Marxism was internationalist.
The proletariat, as the famous slogan goes, has no fatherland. Hitler
had a fatherland, and it was everything to him.
Yet privately, and perhaps even publicly, he conceded that National
Socialism was based on Marx. On reflection, it makes consistent sense.
The basis of a dogma is not the dogma, much as the foundation of a
building is not the building, and in numerous ways National Socialism
was based on Marxism. It was a theory of history and not, like
liberalism or social democracy, a mere agenda of legislative proposals.
And it was a theory of human, not just of German, history, a heady
vision that claimed to understand the whole past and future of mankind.
Hitler's discovery was that socialism could be national as well as
international. There could be a national socialism. That is how he
reportedly talked to his fellow Nazi Otto Wagener in the early 1930s.
The socialism of the future would lie in "the community of the volk",
not in internationalism, he claimed, and his task was to "convert the
German volk to socialism without simply killing off the old
individualists", meaning the entrepreneurial and managerial classes left
from the age of liberalism. They should be used, not destroyed. The
state could control, after all, without owning, guided by a single
party, the economy could be planned and directed without dispossessing
the propertied classes.
That realisation was crucial. To dispossess, after all, as the
Russian civil war had recently shown, could only mean Germans fighting
Germans, and Hitler believed there was a quicker and more efficient
route. There could be socialism without civil war.
Now that the age of individualism had ended, he told Wagener, the
task was to "find and travel the road from individualism to socialism
without revolution". Marx and Lenin had seen the right goal, but chosen
the wrong route - a long and needlessly painful route - and, in
destroying the bourgeois and the kulak, Lenin had turned Russia into a
grey mass of undifferentiated humanity, a vast anonymous horde of the
dispossessed; they had "averaged downwards"; whereas the National
Socialist state would raise living standards higher than capitalism had
ever known. It is plain that Hitler and his associates meant their claim
to socialism to be taken seriously; they took it seriously themselves.
For half a century, none the less, Hitler has been portrayed, if not
as a conservative - the word is many shades too pale - at least as an
extreme instance of the political right. It is doubtful if he or his
friends would have recognised the description. His own thoughts gave no
prominence to left and right, and he is unlikely to have seen much point
in any linear theory of politics. Since he had solved for all time the
enigma of history, as he imagined, National Socialism was unique. The
elements might be at once diverse and familiar, but the mix was his.
Hitler's mind, it has often been noticed, was in many ways
backward-looking: not medievalising, on the whole, like Victorian
socialists such as Ruskin and William Morris, but fascinated by a far
remoter past of heroic virtue. It is now widely forgotten that much the
same could be said of Marx and Engels.
It is the issue of race, above all, that for half a century has
prevented National Socialism from being seen as socialist. The
proletariat may have no fatherland, as Lenin said. But there were still,
in Marx's view, races that would have to be exterminated. That is a
view he published in January-February 1849 in an article by Engels
called "The Hungarian Struggle" in Marx's journal the Neue Rheinische
Zeitung, and the point was recalled by socialists down to the rise of
Hitler. It is now becoming possible to believe that Auschwitz was
socialist-inspired. The Marxist theory of history required and demanded
genocide for reasons implicit in its claim that feudalism was already
giving place to capitalism, which must in its turn be superseded by
socialism. Entire races would be left behind after a workers'
revolution, feudal remnants in a socialist age; and since they could not
advance two steps at a time, they would have to be killed. They were
racial trash, as Engels called them, and fit only for the dung-heap of
That brutal view, which a generation later was to be fortified by the
new pseudo-science of eugenics, was by the last years of the century a
familiar part of the socialist tradition, though it is understandable
that since the liberation of Auschwitz in January 1945 socialists have
been eager to forget it. But there is plenty of evidence in the writings
of HG Wells, Jack London, Havelock Ellis, the Webbs and others to the
effect that socialist commentators did not flinch from drastic measures.
The idea of ethnic cleansing was orthodox socialism for a century and
So the socialist intelligentsia of the western world entered the
First World War publicly committed to racial purity and white domination
and no less committed to violence. Socialism offered them a blank
cheque, and its licence to kill included genocide. In 1933, in a preface
to On the Rocks, for example, Bernard Shaw publicly welcomed the
exterminatory principle which the Soviet Union had already adopted.
Socialists could now take pride in a state that had at last found the
courage to act, though some still felt that such action should be kept a
secret. In 1932 Beatrice Webb remarked at a tea-party what "very bad
stage management" it had been to allow a party of British visitors to
the Ukraine to see cattle-trucks full of starving "enemies of the state"
at a local station. "Ridiculous to let you see them", said Webb,
already an eminent admirer of the Soviet system. "The English are always
so sentimental" adding, with assurance: "You cannot make an omelette
without breaking eggs." A few years later, in 1935, a Social Democratic
government in Sweden began a eugenic programme for the compulsory
sterilisation of gypsies, the backward and the unfit, and continued it
until after the war.
The claim that Hitler cannot really have been a socialist because he
advocated and practised genocide suggests a monumental failure, then, in
the historical memory. Only socialists in that age advocated or
practised genocide, at least in Europe, and from the first years of his
political career Hitler was proudly aware of the fact. Addressing his
own party, the NSDAP, in Munich in August 1920, he pledged his faith in
socialist-racialism: "If we are socialists, then we must definitely be
anti-semites - and the opposite, in that case, is Materialism and
Mammonism, which we seek to oppose." There was loud applause. Hitler
went on: "How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-semite?" The point
was widely understood, and it is notable that no German socialist in
the 1930s or earlier ever sought to deny Hitler's right to call himself a
socialist on grounds of racial policy. In an age when the socialist
tradition of genocide was familiar, that would have sounded merely
absurd. The tradition, what is more, was unique. In the European century
that began in the 1840s from Engels's article of 1849 down to the death
of Hitler, everyone who advocated genocide called himself a socialist,
and no exception has been found.
The first reactions to National Socialism outside Germany are now
largely forgotten. They were highly confused, for the rise of fascism
had caught the European left by surprise. There was nothing in Marxist
scripture to predict it and must have seemed entirely natural to feel
baffled. Where had it all come from? Harold Nicolson, a democratic
socialist, and after 1935 a Member of the House of Commons,
conscientiously studied a pile of pamphlets in his hotel room in Rome in
January 1932 and decided judiciously that fascism (Italian-style) was a
kind of militarised socialism; though it destroyed liberty, he
concluded in his diary, "it is certainly a socialist experiment in that
it destroys individuality". The Moscow view that fascism was the last
phase of capitalism, though already proposed, was not yet widely heard.
Richard remarked in a 1934 BBC talk that many students in Nazi Germany
believed they were "digging the foundations of a new German socialism".
By the outbreak of civil war in Spain, in 1936, sides had been taken,
and by then most western intellectuals were certain that Stalin was
left and Hitler was right. That sudden shift of view has not been
explained, and perhaps cannot be explained, except on grounds of
argumentative convenience. Single binary oppositions - cops-and-robbers
or cowboys-and-indians - are always satisfying. The Molotov-Ribbentrop
pact was seen by hardly anybody as an attempt to restore the unity of
socialism. A wit at the British Foreign Office is said to have remarked
that all the "Isms" were now "Wasms", and the general view was that
nothing more than a cynical marriage of convenience had taken place.
By the outbreak of world war in 1939 the idea that Hitler was any
sort of socialist was almost wholly dead. One may salute here an odd but
eminent exception. Writing as a committed socialist just after the fall
of France in 1940, in The Lion and the Unicorn, Orwell saw the disaster
as a "physical debunking of capitalism", it showed once and for all
that "a planned economy is stronger than a planless one", though he was
in no doubt that Hitler's victory was a tragedy for France and for
mankind. The planned economy had long stood at the head of socialist
demands; and National Socialism, Orwell argued, had taken from socialism
"just such features as will make it efficient for war purposes". Hitler
had already come close to socialising Germany. "Internally, Germany has
a good deal in common with a socialist state." These words were written
just before Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union. Orwell believed that
Hitler would go down in history as "the man who made the City of London
laugh on the wrong side of its face" by forcing financiers to see that
planning works and that an economic free-for-all does not.
At its height, Hitler's appeal transcended party division. Shortly
before they fell out in the summer of 1933, Hitler uttered sentiments in
front of Otto Wagener, which were published after his death in 1971 as a
biography by an unrepentant Nazi. Wagener's Hitler: Memoirs of a
Confidant, composed in a British prisoner-of-war camp, did not appear
until 1978 in the original German, and arrived in English, without much
acclaim, as recently as 1985. Hitler's remembered talk offers a vision
of a future that draws together many of the strands that once made
utopian socialism irresistibly appealing to an age bred out of economic
depression and cataclysmic wars; it mingles, as Victorian socialism had
done before it, an intense economic radicalism with a romantic
enthusiasm for a vanished age before capitalism had degraded heroism
into sordid greed and threatened the traditional institutions of the
family and the tribe.
Socialism, Hitler told Wagener shortly after he seized power, was not
a recent invention of the human spirit, and when he read the New
Testament he was often reminded of socialism in the words of Jesus. The
trouble was that the long ages of Christianity had failed to act on the
Master's teachings. Mary and Mary Magdalen, Hitler went on in a
surprising flight of imagination, had found an empty tomb, and it would
be the task of National Socialism to give body at long last to the
sayings of a great teacher: "We are the first to exhume these
teachings." The Jew, Hitler told Wagener, was not a socialist, and the
Jesus they crucified was the true creator of socialist redemption. As
for communists, he opposed them because they created mere herds,
Soviet-style, without individual life, and his own ideal was "the
socialism of nations" rather than the international socialism of Marx
and Lenin. The one and only problem of the age, he told Wagener, was to
liberate labour and replace the rule of capital over labour with the
rule of labour over capital.
These are highly socialist sentiments, and if Wagener reports his
master faithfully they leave no doubt about the conclusion: that Hitler
was an unorthodox Marxist who knew his sources and knew just how
unorthodox the way in which he handled them was. He was a dissident
socialist. His programme was at once nostalgic and radical. It proposed
to accomplish something that Christians had failed to act on and that
communists before him had attempted and bungled. "What Marxism, Leninism
and Stalinism failed to accomplish," he told Wagener, "we shall be in a
position to achieve."
That was the National Socialist vision. It was seductive, at once
traditional and new. Like all so- cialist views it was ultimately moral,
and its economic and racial policies were seen as founded on universal
moral laws. By the time such conversations saw the light of print,
regrettably, the world had put such matters far behind it, and it was
less than ever ready to listen to the sayings of a crank or a clown.
That is a pity. The crank, after all, had once offered a vision of
the future that had made a Victorian doctrine of history look exciting
to millions. Now that socialism is a discarded idea, such excitement is
no doubt hard to recapture. To relive it again, in imagination, one
might look at an entry in Goebbels's diaries. On 16 June 1941, five days
before Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, Goebbels exulted, in the
privacy of his diary, in the victory over Bolshevism that he believed
would quickly follow. There would be no restoration of the tsars, he
remarked to himself, after Russia had been conquered. But Jewish
Bolshevism would be uprooted in Russia and "real socialism" planted in
its place - "Der echte Sozialismus". Goebbels was a liar, to be sure,
but no one can explain why he would lie to his diaries. And to the end
of his days he believed that socialism was what National Socialism was
-The Lost Literature of Socialism by George Watson
Bloggers Note: It is amazing that educated people still refer the Nazi Party to "Right Wing" Groups when in reality Anarchy is the closest to "Right wing" as you can get. Names and labels abound with no logical discourse on the matter at hand.
By Thomas Sowell
There may be something to the claim that all people want to be free. But it is a demonstrable fact that freedom has been under attack, usually successfully, for thousands of years.
The Federal Communications Commission's recent plan to have a "study" of how editorial decisions are made in the media, placing FCC bureaucrats in editorial offices across the country, was one of the boldest assaults on freedom of the press. Fortunately, there was enough backlash to force the FCC to back off.
With all the sweeping powers available to government, displeasing FCC bureaucrats in editorial offices could have brought on armies of "safety" inspectors from OSHA, audits from the Internal Revenue Service and many other harassments from many other government agencies.
Such tactics have become especially common in this administration, which has the morals of thugs and the agenda of totalitarians. They may not be consciously aiming at creating a totalitarian state, but shameless use of government power to crush those who get in their way can produce totalitarian end results.
The prosecution of Dinesh D'Souza for contributing $20,000 to a political candidate, supposedly in violation of the many campaign finance laws, is a classic case of selective prosecution.
Thugs who stationed themselves outside a polling place in Philadelphia to intimidate white voters were given a pass, and others accused of campaign finance violations were charged with misdemeanors, but Dinesh D'Souza has been charged with felonies that carry penalties of years in federal prison.
All of this is over a campaign contribution that is chicken feed, compared to what can be raised inside of an hour at a political fundraising breakfast or lunch.
Could this singling out of D'Souza for prosecution have something to do with the fact that he made a documentary movie with devastating exposures of Barack Obama's ideologies and policies? That movie, incidentally, is titled "2016: Obama's America," and every American should get a copy of it on a DVD. It will be the best $10 investment you are ever likely to make.
(Editor's note: You can watch it in its entireity at the end of this column. But please finish the column, first.)
It doesn't matter what rights you have under the Constitution of the United States, if the government can punish you for exercising those rights. And it doesn't matter what limits the Constitution puts on government officials' power, if they can exceed those limits without any adverse consequences.
In other words, the Constitution cannot protect you, if you don't protect the Constitution with your votes against anyone who violates it. Those government officials who want more power are not going to stop unless they get stopped.
As long as millions of Americans vote on the basis of who gives them free stuff, look for their freedom — and all our freedom — to be eroded away, bit by bit. Our children and grandchildren may yet come to see the Constitution as just some quaint words from the past that people once took seriously.
The arrogance of arbitrary power is not confined to the federal government. An egregious case in Massachusetts involves a teenage girl from Connecticut named Justina Pelletier, who was being treated for a rare disease by doctors at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
When her parents brought this 15-year-old girl to an emergency room in Boston, the doctors there decided that her problem was not medical but psychological. When the parents objected, and sought to take her back to the doctors who had been treating her at Tufts University, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families charged the parents with "medical child abuse," and were granted legal custody of the teenager.
Once given arbitrary power over Justina, the DCF bureaucrats kept her all but isolated from her parents for more than a year. To add insult to injury, a judge issued a gag order, forbidding the parents from discussing the case publicly.
Only after Megyn Kelly on the Fox News Channel brought this case to national attention did the Massachusetts bureaucrats back off and turn the teenager's medical care back to the doctors at Tufts University. Whether her parents will get to see their daughter freely again is still up in the air.
Arbitrary power is ugly and vicious, regardless of what pious rhetoric goes with it. Freedom is not free. You have to fight for it or lose it. But is our generation up to fighting for it?
Link for 2016 Obama's America HERE
In such noble company ever seen
Old comrades with whom I dine tonight
Reflecting those yesterdays by flickering candle light
When once young lions mastered their domain
Suffering, enduring, time and time again
Brothers in arms, young and old, all of them
Together again in a noisy but happy den
Recalling deeds from trickling time of sands passed by
No matter what, our Regiment’s motto always the cry
Fond images of our fallen so very clear
Still smiling, laughing, determined, showing no fear
Remember how they too wore the badge with pride
As we faced the unknown, all together, side by side
If only I could find words to explain
With such brothers, I would do it again and again
Rise now and join me before life is spent
Salute today’s column which goes where we once went
Let’s raise full glasses and drink to our beloved Regiment
Goebbels never doubted that he was a socialist. He understood Nazism to be a better and more plausible form of socialism than that propagated by Lenin. Instead of spreading itself across different nations, it would operate within the unit of the Volk.
So total is the cultural victory of the modern Left that the merely to recount this fact is jarring. But few at the time would have found it especially contentious. As George Watson put it in The Lost Literature of Socialism:
It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too.The clue is in the name. Subsequent generations of Leftists have tried to explain away the awkward nomenclature of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party as either a cynical PR stunt or an embarrassing coincidence. In fact, the name meant what it said.
Hitler told Hermann Rauschning, a Prussian who briefly worked for the Nazis before rejecting them and fleeing the country, that he had admired much of the thinking of the revolutionaries he had known as a young man; but he felt that they had been talkers, not doers. “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun,” he boasted, adding that “the whole of National Socialism” was “based on Marx”.
Marx’s error, Hitler believed, had been to foster class war instead of national unity – to set workers against industrialists instead of conscripting both groups into a corporatist order. His aim, he told his economic adviser, Otto Wagener, was to “convert the German Volk to socialism without simply killing off the old individualists” – by which he meant the bankers and factory owners who could, he thought, serve socialism better by generating revenue for the state. “What Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish,” he told Wagener, “we shall be in a position to achieve.”
Leftist readers may by now be seething. Whenever I touch on this subject, it elicits an almost berserk reaction from people who think of themselves as progressives and see anti-fascism as part of their ideology. Well, chaps, maybe now you know how we conservatives feel when you loosely associate Nazism with “the Right”.
To be absolutely clear, I don’t believe that modern Leftists have subliminal Nazi leanings, or that their loathing of Hitler is in any way feigned. That’s not my argument. What I want to do, by holding up the mirror, is to take on the equally false idea that there is an ideological continuum between free-marketers and fascists.
The idea that Nazism is a more extreme form of conservatism has insinuated its way into popular culture. You hear it, not only when spotty students yell “fascist” at Tories, but when pundits talk of revolutionary anti-capitalist parties, such as the BNP and Golden Dawn, as “far Right”.
What is it based on, this connection? Little beyond a jejune sense that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists are nasty. When written down like that, the notion sounds idiotic, but think of the groups around the world that the BBC, for example, calls “Right-wing”: the Taliban, who want communal ownership of goods; the Iranian revolutionaries, who abolished the monarchy, seized industries and destroyed the middle class; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who pined for Stalinism. The “Nazis-were-far-Right” shtick is a symptom of the wider notion that “Right-wing” is a synonym for “baddie”.
One of my constituents once complained to the Beeb about a report on the repression of Mexico's indigenous peoples, in which the government was labelled Right-wing. The governing party, he pointed out, was a member of the Socialist International and, again, the give-away was in its name: Institutional Revolutionary Party. The BBC’s response was priceless. Yes, it accepted that the party was socialist, “but what our correspondent was trying to get across was that it is authoritarian”.
In fact, authoritarianism was the common feature of socialists of both National and Leninist varieties, who rushed to stick each other in prison camps or before firing squads. Each faction loathed the other as heretical, but both scorned free-market individualists as beyond redemption. Their battle was all the fiercer, as Hayek pointed out in 1944, because it was a battle between brothers.
Authoritarianism – or, to give it a less loaded name, the belief that state compulsion is justified in pursuit of a higher goal, such as scientific progress or greater equality – was traditionally a characteristic of the social democrats as much as of the revolutionaries.
Jonah Goldberg has chronicled the phenomenon at length in his magnum opus, Liberal Fascism. Lots of people take offence at his title, evidently without reading the book since, in the first few pages, Jonah reveals that the phrase is not his own. He is quoting that impeccable progressive H.G. Wells who, in 1932, told the Young Liberals that they must become “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis”.
In those days, most prominent Leftists intellectuals, including Wells, Jack London, Havelock Ellis and the Webbs, tended to favour eugenics, convinced that only religious hang-ups were holding back the development of a healthier species. The unapologetic way in which they spelt out the consequences have, like Hitler’s actual words, been largely edited from our discourse. Here, for example, is George Bernard Shaw in 1933:
Extermination must be put on a scientific basis if it is ever to be carried out humanely and apologetically as well as thoroughly… If we desire a certain type of civilisation and culture we must exterminate the sort of people who do not fit into it.Eugenics, of course, topples easily into racism. Engels himself wrote of the “racial trash” – the groups who would necessarily be supplanted as scientific socialism came into its own. Season this outlook with a sprinkling of anti-capitalism and you often got Leftist anti-Semitism – something else we have edited from our memory, but which once went without saying. “How, as a socialist, can you not be an anti-Semite?” Hitler had asked his party members in 1920.
Are contemporary Leftist critics of Israel secretly anti-Semitic? No, not in the vast majority of cases. Are modern socialists inwardly yearning to put global warming sceptics in prison camps? Nope. Do Keynesians want the whole apparatus of corporatism, expressed by Mussolini as “everything in the state, nothing outside the state”? Again, no. There are idiots who discredit every cause, of course, but most people on the Left are sincere in their stated commitment to human rights, personal dignity and pluralism.
My beef with many (not all) Leftists is a simpler one. By refusing to return the compliment, by assuming a moral superiority, they make political dialogue almost impossible. Using the soubriquet “Right-wing” to mean “something undesirable” is a small but important example.
Next time you hear Leftists use the word fascist as a general insult, gently point out the difference between what they like to imagine the NSDAP stood for and what it actually proclaimed.
By Charles Krauthammer, Published: February 20
“The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. Take a non-climate example. It was long assumed that mammograms help reduce breast cancer deaths. This fact was so settled that Obamacare requires every insurance plan to offer mammograms (for free, no less) or be subject to termination.
So much for settledness. And climate is less well understood than breast cancer. If climate science is settled, why do its predictions keep changing? And how is it that the great physicist Freeman Dyson, who did some climate research in the late 1970s, thinks today’s climate-change Cassandras are hopelessly mistaken?
They deal with the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans, argues Dyson, ignoring the effect of biology, i.e., vegetation and topsoil. Further, their predictions rest on models they fall in love with: “You sit in front of a computer screen for 10 years and you start to think of your model as being real.” Not surprisingly, these models have been “consistently and spectacularly wrong” in their predictions, write atmospheric scientists Richard McNider and John Christy — and always, amazingly, in the same direction.
Settled? Even Britain’s national weather service concedes there’s been no change — delicately called a “pause” — in global temperature in 15 years. If even the raw data is recalcitrant, let alone the assumptions and underlying models, how settled is the science?
But even worse than the pretense of settledness is the cynical attribution of any politically convenient natural disaster to climate change, a clever term that allows you to attribute anything — warming and cooling, drought and flood — to man’s sinful carbon burning.
Accordingly, Obama ostentatiously visited drought-stricken California last Friday. Surprise! He blamed climate change. Here even the New York Times gagged, pointing out that far from being supported by the evidence, “the most recent computer projections suggest that as the world warms, California should get wetter, not drier, in the winter.”
How inconvenient. But we’ve been here before. Hurricane Sandy was made the poster child for the alleged increased frequency and strength of “extreme weather events” like hurricanes.
Nonsense. Sandy wasn’t even a hurricane when it hit the United States. Indeed, in all of 2012, only a single hurricane made U.S. landfall . And 2013 saw the fewest Atlantic hurricanes in 30 years. In fact, in the last half-century, one-third fewer major hurricanes have hit the United States than in the previous half-century.
Similarly tornadoes. Every time one hits, the climate-change commentary begins. Yet last year saw the fewest in a quarter-century. And the last 30 years — of presumed global warming — has seen a 30 percent decrease in extreme tornado activity (F3 and above) versus the previous 30 years.
None of this is dispositive. It doesn’t settle the issue. But that’s the point. It mocks the very notion of settled science, which is nothing but a crude attempt to silence critics and delegitimize debate. As does the term “denier” — an echo of Holocaust denial, contemptibly suggesting the malevolent rejection of an established historical truth.
Climate-change proponents have made their cause a matter of fealty and faith. For folks who pretend to be brave carriers of the scientific ethic, there’s more than a tinge of religion in their jeremiads. If you whore after other gods, the Bible tells us, “the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit” (Deuteronomy 11).
Sounds like California. Except that today there’s a new god, the Earth Mother. And a new set of sins — burning coal and driving a fully equipped F-150.
But whoring is whoring, and the gods must be appeased. So if California burns, you send your high priest (in carbon -belching Air Force One, but never mind) to the bone-dry land to offer up, on behalf of the repentant congregation, a $1 billion burnt offering called a “climate resilience fund.”
Ah, settled science in action.
That which does not kill us makes us stronger. – Friedrich NietzscheThe original Conan the Barbarian (1982) is one of the most important spiritual parables of our time, and reveals the wellspring from which strength flows.
Although at first glance merely a simple action film, the original Conan the Barbarian was written and directed by John Milius, the screenwriter of Apocalypse Now,who was part of the same wave of film school graduates that produced George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola.
“Conan is a movie that has definitely got a singular vision in it,” Milius states. “Directors don’t do that today. They just shoot the movie. It’s all how slick it can look, as opposed to whether you like this movie or not. It does have it’s own morality. It does have it’s own code of behavior.”In the commentary track director John Milius says, “it’s really not just a simple story. It’s about what makes us what we are.” Conan is a movie about transformation and how pain, wounding, and trauma can fuel personal growth and ultimately create a stronger version of man.
Spoilers follow. If you haven’t seen the film and plan to watch it, bookmark this article and come back to it after watching the film, because I’m going to be breaking down key scenes, including the finale.
The Riddle of SteelIn the first scene of the film, Conan’s father implores young Conan to learn “the riddle of steel,” establishing the theme of the film and setting him on the quest of his life.
Conan’s Father: The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one – no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.Immediately afterward, Conan’s village is raided by Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and Conan’s family is killed before his eyes. The scene is staged brilliantly. By showing his mother’s beheading in a shot on young Conan, Milius captures the feeling of loss and abandonment that will drive Conan for the rest of his life. Her hand slips out of Conan’s. He turns and she is gone.
[Points to sword]
Conan’s Father: This you can trust.
A modern more gore-obsessed director might focus on the sword impacting his mother’s neck and blood spurting out, but this film understands that the true impact of this scene is on Conan’s emotional world.
“I always like it that he doesn’t look at her. He looks at his hand, because that’s all that’s left,” says Milius. “And he (Thulsa Doom) looks at the blade, because steel is true.” Thulsa understands the Riddle of Steel. Conan is yet to learn.
Once Conan looks from his sense of loss to Thulsa his path is set for life. This one trauma will cause all the other events of the film, sending Conan on a lifelong quest to avenge his family and kill Thulsa Doom.
From here, Conan sets off on a series of adventures. He is sold into slavery, fights in a Coliseum, experiences women for the first time, and is tempted by a witch – each adventure building his strength and preparing him for his final confrontation.
Thulsa Explains SteelWhen Conan meets Thulsa again in the third act, after slaying his pet snake, Thulsa explains the Riddle of Steel to Conan.
Conan: The riddle… of steel.What Thulsa reveals is that strength is not an external power, but an internal one that Conan received in his early life trauma. The loss of his parents fueled something in Conan that allowed him to overcome all the trials of his life and drove him to build himself into a great warrior. He was wounded, but he has healed stronger.
Thulsa Doom: Yes! You know what it is, don’t you boy? Shall I tell you? It’s the least I can do. Steel isn’t strong, boy, flesh is stronger! Look around you. There, on the rocks; a beautiful girl. Come to me, my child…
[he coaxes the girl to jump to her death]
Thulsa Doom: That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it? Look at the strength in your body, the desire in your heart, I gave you this! Such a waste. Contemplate this on the tree of woe. Crucify him!
This principle of healing stronger is at the core of strength training. When you lift heavy weights, you actually tear your muscles. Your body heals the damage by filling in the tear with new tissue, making the muscle bigger and stronger. It’s thematically fitting that Arnold Schwarzenegger was cast as the lead in this film, since he not only embodies the physique of Conan, but as a person lives this principle of strength.
It’s also fitting that Conan is crucified in the next scene. Crucifixion was actually a common punishment in the ancient world, but most modern audiences associate it with Christ. Although Christ’s crucifixion involved intense suffering, most Christians understand this suffering was necessary for His transformation, and ultimately lead something greater.
Similarly, only after confronting suffering for the first time did Buddha began meditating under the Bodhi tree. Before he saw death firsthand, Buddha was content to live as a Prince. Although not a necessity, suffering can be the catalyst for transformation.
Conan Becomes SteelIt’s fitting that the final confrontation between Conan and Thulsa takes place at the top of a temple, surrounded by religious followers. Only during this confrontation does Conan come to understand the riddle of steel.
Thulsa Doom: My child, you have come to me my son. For who now is your father if it is not me? I am the wellspring, from which you flow. When I am gone, you will have never been. What would your world be, without me? My son.In this moment, Conan realizes that everything he is and has become is the result of Thulsa taking his family at a young age. Notice the language Thulsa uses – “I am the wellspring from which you flow.” Film dialogue is often short and functional. It’s rare to see a film willing to indulge this kind of poetry, but the film Conan the Barbarian does so frequently.
Later film versions of Conan have assumed the character is just about bad-ass fantasy action. While this adds to the appeal, in Milius’s version Conan’s strength comes from his emotional wounding. Doing the character of Conan without this would be like trying to write a Batman movie where his parents never died, or a Spider-man film where Uncle Ben never tells him that with great power comes with great responsibility.
Most of the popular superhero films dominating the box office follow the central theme of Conan’s Riddle of Steel, with emotional trauma causing the hero to transform into a more powerful version of himself. However, unlike those characters Conan moves beyond his emotional wounding, to reach what Joseph Campbell calls in his classic work on myth the “freedom to live.” Conan knows killing Thulsa will end his quest, but he no longer needs the pain Thulsa caused to transform.
When Conan lifts Thulsa’s severed head over the crowd, rather than emphasizing the moment with the film’s powerful score, there is silence. We hear only the foley of Thulsa’s head rolling down the steps. Thulsa’s followers quietly disperse, extinguishing their flames in the water below Conan’s throne, a powerful visual metaphor for the end of Conan’s quest.
Conan rides off into the sunset. An image of Conan as a king teases a sequel, but at this point, he is a king within. Conan does not need trauma or wounding anymore, but he could never have reached his full power without it – without the riddle of steel.
The Spiritual Lesson Of ConanPeople who discover self-development, the red pill, spirituality, bodybuilding, entrepreneurship, or any of the other paths of personal growth discussed on this site often began their journey due to suffering.
Many men take the red pill because their previous approach to women failed. They are drawn to weightlifting because they used to feel small. They are drawn to healthy eating because they used be fat. They are drawn to meditation because their minds were chaotic. They are drawn to building a business because they used to be a wage slave. They are drawn to self-development because their lives used to be a mess.
What Conan implies is that without that suffering, we might never have been put on the path the to let go of it, and that rather than being embarrassed by our former hardships, we can be grateful for what they really were – an opportunity to transform into stronger versions of ourselves. Had we never been weak, we might not have become strong.
This is the Riddle of Steel.
Bloggers Note: This is another example of why Conan is such a great movie for men. See the previous Conan post HERE.
By Walter E. Williams
Evil acts are given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions, such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution, caring for the less fortunate, and the will of the majority. Let's have a thought experiment to consider just how much Americans sanction evil.
Imagine there are several elderly widows in your neighborhood. They have neither the strength to mow their lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks nor the financial means to hire someone to help them. Here's a question that I'm almost afraid to ask: Would you support a government mandate that forces you or one of your neighbors to mow these elderly widows' lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks? Moreover, if the person so ordered failed to obey the government mandate, would you approve of some sort of sanction, such as fines, property confiscation or imprisonment? I'm hoping, and I believe, that most of my fellow Americans would condemn such a mandate. They'd agree that it would be a form of slavery — namely, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.
Would there be the same condemnation if, instead of forcing you or your neighbor to actually perform weekly household tasks for the elderly widows, the government forced you or your neighbor to give one of the widows $50 of your weekly earnings? That way, she could hire someone to mow her lawn or clean her windows. Would such a mandate differ from one under which you are forced to actually perform the household task? I'd answer that there is little difference between the two mandates except the mechanism for the servitude. In either case, one person is being forcibly used to serve the purposes of another.
I'm guessing that most Americans would want to help these elderly ladies in need but they'd find anything that openly smacks of servitude or slavery deeply offensive. They might have a clearer conscience if all the neighbors were forced (taxed) to put money into a government pot. A government agency would then send the widows $50 to hire someone to mow their lawns and perform other household tasks. This collective mechanism makes the particular victim invisible, but it doesn't change the fact that a person is being forcibly used to serve the purposes of others. Putting the money into a government pot simply conceals an act that would otherwise be deemed morally depraved.
This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, confiscation and intimidation, to accomplish what are often seen as noble goals — namely, helping one's fellow man. Helping one's fellow man in need by reaching into one's own pockets to do so is laudable and praiseworthy. Helping one's fellow man through coercion and reaching into another's pockets is evil and worthy of condemnation. Tragically, most teachings, from the church on down, support government use of one person to serve the purposes of another; the advocates cringe from calling it such and prefer to call it charity or duty.
Some might argue that we are a democracy, in which the majority rules. But does a majority consensus make moral acts that would otherwise be deemed immoral? In other words, if the neighbors got a majority vote to force one of their number — under pain of punishment — to perform household tasks for the elderly widows, would that make it moral?
The bottom line is that we've betrayed much of the moral vision of our Founding Fathers. In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who had fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison rose on the floor of the House of Representatives to object, saying, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." Tragically, today's Americans — Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative — would hold such a position in contempt and run a politician like Madison out of town on a rail.
Bloggers Note: The USA is NOT a Democracy, but a Republic. If we continue to act a democracy our country is doomed. Our Founders knew this, too bad we do not.
Emily Upton February 17, 2014
(From Today I Found Out)
There are all sorts of rumors surrounding brown eggs and white eggs. Some people say that brown eggs are better for you and contain more nutrients; some people think brown eggs taste better; some think that brown eggs are better for cooking things like quiches, while white eggs are better for baking cakes (or vice versa, depending on who you talk to).
We here at Today I Found Out are all about uncovering the truth amongst all of the myths, and so here is the fascinating difference between brown eggs and white eggs:
Brown eggs are brown. White eggs are white.
Seriously, brown or white, they are the same on the inside, with one minor caveat which we’ll get to in a minute that has nothing to do with whether the chicken is a brown egg layer or white. But besides that caveat, a brown egg or a white egg will give you the same amount of nutrition, they taste the same, and they are equally delicious in quiches and cakes.
The two also have more or less the same shell thickness. The differences in shell thickness that you may have observed likely has to do with the age of the chicken- young chickens lay eggs with shells that are typically harder than older chickens’ eggs, but this is true for both white and brown egg layers.
How the rumors started about brown eggs being “better” is thought to be because they are often more expensive at supermarkets. If something costs more, it has to be better quality or better for you, right? Not in this case (and not in many others either- increasing the price of something, sometimes drastically, is an occasionally used marketing trick to get people to think one product is better than a comparable cheaper product. Sometimes that’s true, but many times it’s not.)
As for egg prices, brown eggs cost more in part because the hens that lay them usually eat more, which means the hens cost more to keep per egg. You see, white eggs are most often laid by white or light coloured hens with white ear lobes, while brown eggs are most often laid by red-feathered or brown / dark-feathered chickens with red ear lobes. (This is not a universal truth, just a general rule. Further, the chicken’s ear lobes are really the indicator here, not the feathers, but there is a very strong correlation between ear lobe colour and feather colour, so feather colour can be a decent indicator too. Ultimately, egg colour is determined by genetics, but the ear-lobe / feather colour thing is a good, though slightly flawed indicator.)
In the end, red-lobed chickens tend to be larger than their white-lobed counterparts, which is why they eat more. The farmers need to get reimbursed for the extra feed somehow, so they up the price of the brown eggs.
This also explains why white eggs tend to be more popular in supermarkets. White-lobed chickens cost less for farmers to keep, which leads to cheaper eggs, which leads to grocers buying more white eggs to put on the shelves to offer this product cheaper to customers. White eggs are simply more cost-effective.
There is also a commonly touted myth that brown eggs taste better, and that’s why they’re more expensive. As noted, this white egg / brown egg taste difference is a myth.
But the potential difference in taste from one egg to another does lead us to our one caveat, though it isn’t anything to do with the colour of the egg—rather, it has to do with the chicken’s diet. Many chickens raised at home are brown-egg layers, while most of the chickens raised for commercial use are white-egg layers. The different diets affect the taste of the eggs and even the colour of the yolk, similar to how diet can drastically affect the taste of the meat of some animal.
However, if you were to take one of those brown egg-laying chickens and raise it on the same food as a white egg laying chicken, their eggs would taste the same and be otherwise indistinguishable aside from the colour of the shell. If their diets are the same, the yolks will even be identical in colour. Today, chickens raised for commercial purposes, whether layers of white eggs or brown, are all getting fed the same thing, with perhaps just a slight variance from company to company. If you’ve had some brown eggs from a neighbor or a chicken of your own that’s fed a different diet than commercially fed chickens eat, then there may be a difference in taste. It just doesn’t have anything to do with the colour of the egg.
So, if brown egg-laying chickens are more expensive to feed and to keep, why do farmers keep them around? The answer is that so many people buy into the “brown eggs are better” myth that brown eggs are still a viable business option. As long as people keep buying the more expensive eggs and are willing to pay marked up prices beyond factoring in the extra feed, farmers will keep raising chickens that lay them.
Of course, these days some of the most hotly debated arguments aren’t over white vs. brown eggs, but over the superior quality of organic vs. not organic eggs, or free range vs. cage eggs. While differences in diet can affect the taste, if you’re wondering about quality of the egg or nutritional value, a study done by D.R. Jones et al. through the Agricultural Research Service and published in Poultry Science in 2010 found that, ultimately, there is very little difference in the quality of eggs produced in these different ways. The small differences they did find “varied without one egg type consistently maintaining the highest or lowest values.”
So, in the end, while there are small ways the composition and taste of chicken eggs can be influenced, the colour of the egg shell isn’t one of them.
“Both for practical reasons and for mathematically verifiable moral reasons, authority and responsibility must be equal - else a balancing takes place as surely as current flows between points of unequal potential. To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy. The unlimited democracies were unstable because their citizens were not responsible for the fashion in which they exerted their sovereign authority... other than through the tragic logic of history... No attempt was made to determine whether a voter was socially responsible to the extent of his literally unlimited authority. If he voted the impossible, the disastrous possible happened instead - and responsibility was then forced on him willy-nilly and destroyed both him and his foundation-less temple.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers