Mater’s Musings #12: History

Inspired by a post yesterday by thefrollickingmole which read, in part:

Our older nurse liked the conversation, as it brought up issues she had thought about a bit, the younger chap was full “coercion is fine for the greater good”.

I thought I’d put down something that has jumped out at me during this whole, sorry Covid event. Whenever I turn on an electronic device, someone is telling the assembled masses a version of two things:

  1. Go home, sit down, shut up – it’s the law, or
  2. Go home, sit down, shut up – it’s unfortunate, but it’s for the greater good.

Combinations and permutations of these two concepts also seem to be acceptable for the virtue enriched.

Let’s address these individually.

“It’s the law!”. I’m too old to know everything, but not too old to remember that Hitler’s ascent was, and still is, referred to as the Legal Revolution. Everything about it was legal, strictly speaking. The laws he enacted were legal, strictly speaking. It might be beneficial for some people to ponder this for a minute.

If they need a little more context:

“That applied also to Reich Justice Minister Gürtner. Once he had seen with his own eyes that Hitler’s will stood behind the liquidation of the mentally sick, and that it was not the work of party underlings operating without authority, he gave up his attempts on legal grounds to block or regulate the killings. To a courageous district judge, Lothar Kreyssig, who had written frank protest letters to him about the crass illegality of the action, and on being shown Hitler’s authorization had exclaimed that even on the basis of positive legal theory wrong could not be turned into right, Gürtner gave a simple reply: ‘If you cannot recognize the will of the Führer as a source of law, as a basis of law, then you cannot remain a judge.’ Kreyssig’s notice of retirement followed soon afterwards.

The exchange between Gürtner and Kreyssig shows how far the acceptance of ‘Führer power’ had undermined the essence of law. The genesis of the ‘euthanasia action’ that Hitler authorized in writing in October 1939 provides, beyond that, a classic example of the way ‘working towards the Führer’ converted an ideological goal into realizable policy.”

– ‘Hitler’, Ian Kershaw, 2009

As for the ‘greater good’, well that little gem has been used by nearly every tyrant in history. Never a truer word has been spoken than:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Perhaps I’ll ‘elucidate’ further by means of a couple of passages.

“Reich Doctors’ Leader Wagner pushed forward discussions on how the population should be prepared for such action. Calculations were published on the cost of upkeep of the mentally sick and hereditarily ill, instilling the impression of what could be done for the good of the people with vast resources now being ‘wasted’ on ‘useless’ lives. Cameras were sent into the asylums to produce scenes to horrify the German public and convince them of the need to eliminate those portrayed as the dregs of society for the good of the whole population. The National Socialist Racial and Political Office produced five silent films of this kind between 1935 and 1937.”

– ‘Hitler’, Ian Kershaw, 2009

And just to top it off, how about a bit of Solzhenitsyn:

“We would prefer to say that such people cannot exist, that there aren’t any. It is permissible to portray evildoers in a story for children, so as to keep the picture simple. But when the great world literature of the past–Shakespeare, Schiller, Dickens – inflates and inflates images of evildoers of the blackest shades, it seems somewhat farcical and clumsy to our contemporary perception.

The trouble lies in the way these classic evildoers are pictured. They recognize themselves as evildoers, and they know their souls are black. And they reason: “I cannot live unless I do evil. So I’ll set my father against my brother! I’ll drink the victim’s sufferings until I’m drunk with them!” Iago very precisely identifies his purposes and his motives as being black and born of hate.

But no; that’s not the way it is! To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.

Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble – and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb too. The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology. Ideology – that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others’ eyes, so that he won’t hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors.”

– ‘The Gulag Archipelago’, Solzhenitsyn, Vol 1, P173/74

20 thoughts on “Mater’s Musings #12: History”

  1. As for the ‘greater good’, well that little gem has been used by nearly every tyrant in history.

    Quite.

    And it works most effectively when the “good” is either ill-defined or when it is stated clearly, nonsensical. This is where we find ourselves. Impossible timeframes and targets, shifting goalposts, obviously deceitful leaders using fear and coercion as a tactic to make people bend to their will.

    I don’t think we’ve quite reached the “ideology” stage yet. We’re still at justification. At least in the public sphere. What our leaders are thinking privately is anyone’s guess.


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  2. calli says:
    August 28, 2021 at 7:19 am

    True, Calli.

    We don’t actually know if our “leaders” are doing all of this from a well intentioned but dreadful ignorance, or if they are determinedly driving towards a dystopian goal for us (but not for them and theirs of course!). I suspect some, at least, are hell-bent on the dystopian model.

    The other disturbing thing is the number of commenters on articles at places like the Paywallian who are demanding the locking up, deleting from public life, denying of medical care or jailing of the unvaccinated or even the “hesitant” – and demand it in the name of “the greater good”. I doubt they have a clue about history, even that from less than a century ago.


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  3. The other disturbing thing is the number of commenters on articles at places like the Paywallian who are demanding the locking up, deleting from public life, denying of medical care or jailing of the unvaccinated or even the “hesitant” – and demand it in the name of “the greater good”.

    Don’t be deceived by comments at any of the legacy media publications. All these avenues for expression are firmly moderated to suit the moderator’s world view. They are not a snapshot of the readership.

    Even social media is heavily biased and controlled. This is a mirage. People adopt the prevalent thinking because they don’t want to be a perceived outlier in their social group. It’s weak, but a fact. Quietly ask around what people really think but don’t dare say and you may get something different.

    The longer this goes on, and the greater the bombardment of “messaging” the more will bend to Management’s will, because they see no real alternative.


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  4. “Don’t be deceived by comments at any of the legacy media publications. All these avenues for expression are firmly moderated to suit the moderator’s world view. They are not a snapshot of the readership.”

    Quite so…however this biased moderation contributed to me cancelling my sub. Anyway I get the Oz free through my work computer so I read it during the week however I no longer post comments. Moderation at the Oz is so bad…it’s actually censorship designed to suit the mod’s progressive ideology. And it got worse last year….with Covid and the US election.

    A month or two ago I warned Tim Blair about his Daily Telegraph blog being invaded by progressive trolls…because I’d noticed certain familiar troll names popping up on his blog that I’d seen at Andrew Bolt’s blog and I’d also at the Oz. What happens at the Oz and at sites like Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt is that progressive trolls, who usually have their subs paid for by GetUP and other progressive activist groups, swamp right-wing or conservative sites. It’s a deliberate attack…designed to destroy right-wing commentary. They’ve already succeeded with Bolt’s blog, it’s now unreadable and gone, most conservatives or libertarians or right-wingers have just given up or walked away. But the good thing with Tim Blair’s site is that he actively monitors his own blog and he’s clearly had a word or two to the DT moderators because whilst there are left-wing trolls who get through…..95% of the comments are centre-right or right-of-centre. And just to confirm the bias at the Oz with the mods…..about six weeks I read a piece about Trump (who else)…..and there was one progressive nutty commentator called “CharlyB” who posted over sixty inane anti-Trump comments on the one piece. Now I know for a fact that if a right-of centre commentator such as myself had tried to post the equivalent number of comments those comments would be rejected by the moderators. It’s all very well asking people to ignore trolls but there also has to be some force field applied to those trolls so that they don’t destroy the sites because there not interested in engaging or discussing…….they’re only interested in destruction.


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  5. Any moderator worth their salt would stop thread bombing, Cassie. For that is what it is. Possibly a mate of the moderator, or the moderator themselves using a VPN.

    Blair has always been a bit different. Even so, sitting behind the paywall has nobbled his commenter-ship severely. It might have given News a smidgen of monetisation initially, but long term it’s a loser.


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  6. Here’s a list of the activities I could freely engage 72 days ago:

    Travelling to work every day without a face nappie
    Drinking in a pub with friends
    Driving my car around just for the hell of it
    Driving down to my sister and BiL’s place in Thredbo for a long overdue WEB
    Trice weekly runs
    Attending a mate’s 50th with 60 other people
    Visiting friends in the Eastern Suburbs and various other Sydneystan locales
    Attending various live music gigs
    Bunnings Saturday morning pilgrimages

    All gone. Now it’s reached the point where I have to watch like a hawk when putting my rubbish out (sans face nappie) in case some staggeringly stupid pigs aren’t driving by ready to whip out the fine notice pad.

    I came within a whisker of beating the hell out of some stupid ol’ bastard a couple of weeks ago who had the gall to have a go at me for not wearing a face nappie while lugging my groceries home on a sunny Tuesday.

    What the f*ck have these hitlerist imbeciles done to us and how the hell do we right these monstrous wrongs? Apart of course, from the long overdue implementation of HOP Time, which regrettably may be the only solution to this fascist insanity.


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  7. We don’t actually know if our “leaders” are doing all of this …

    I suspect “See how many lives we saved.” is seen as an easier sell, then defending against
    “See how many lives they lost.” when it comes to the next election campaign.
    It’s not much more than that.


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  8. Andrew’s is an ideologue and resentful loser turned bully.

    The rest just seem to be useful idiots and opportunists doing the bidding of the globalists – assume they’ve been personally compromised in some way also.

    I suspect the CCP probably have a hotline into WA via Twiggy and they’re feeling economically insulated.

    Depressing.


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  9. “Rabzsays:
    August 28, 2021 at 9:20 am”

    All delivered to us on a platter by slimy Federal Liberal and state Liberal governments.

    You couldn’t make this shit up. The truth is that “they’re all in this together“…..to take our liberties away…well those liberties are gone now…..and to imprison us……to destroy us and to lambast people who protest because those people actually have to get up and go to work….as selfish and boofheads. I swear I will never forgive the Liberal Party of Australia for what they’ve done. At least in the US there have been some brave GOP Governors who’ve refused to go along with this insanity…such as Ron DeSantis….but we here in Oz…we have no one in power who is standing up for ordinary Australians.


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  10. Definitely an uptick in older folk getting up on their haunches and having a go at the maskless in the last few weeks – assume propaganda in the media has generated this.

    Middle aged school mum we know was abused standing in her own front yard by a grey nomad ambling past the front gate last week.

    Bringing out the worst in people.


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  11. Agree 100% Cassie. I was struggling to understand Gladys about face, but now I think her initial ‘fortitude’ was just the controllers hedging their bets and post the State elections where incumbents were rewarded for totalitarianism they decided they could just go all in on black.


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  12. People adopt the prevalent thinking because they don’t want to be a perceived outlier in their social group.

    Calli,
    You think that in private they may say different. I think the way they rush to comment and back each other up on social media means they are totally committed to joining the lynch mob. . The stupidity they display will not go away. The hate they have for anyone not having their views is amazing. They WOULD have concentration camps if they could.
    Personally, I no longer feel any loyalty to my country , government or society.
    They have all turned against me, I feel free to return the favor.
    moderated

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  13. Quietly ask around what people really think but don’t dare say and you may get something different.

    happened yesterday

    Was in Babylon all day and inspected 3 sites, ran into a work colleague and got coffee, spent the afternoon on calibration and commissioning stuff on a 4th site

    The coffee bit was most interesting.
    We and a half dozen other caffeine seekers are milling about a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop and my friend asked me what I “really thought”

    Then I let go full of contempt and derision on the idiocy of everything from the madness of PCR testing shit-farms to self-interested mongs trying to dictate what medical procedures I must undergo

    Loudly too.

    You’d reckon that maybe there’d be just a little bit of tut-tutting or perhaps, one disapproving look from one of the eaves-droppers

    nup. not a thing

    nada


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  14. Bringing out the worst in people.

    You can’t help but think that’s the intention.

    I restrained myself from beating the ol’ bastard precisely because I didn’t want the worst angels of my nature to prevail.

    Our civilisation (if it could be dignified with such a term) is on its knees. Once it keels over, all hell will break loose.


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  15. Was listening to BBCworld last night and they interviewed the author of ‘Nudge’ –

    https://www.amazon.com/Nudge-Final-Richard-H-Thaler/dp/014313700X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=nudge&qid=1630108560&s=books&sr=1-1

    and not once did it seem to occur to the interviewer to ask why some people get to decide they have the wisdom/authority/power to decide how to ‘nudge’ the rest of us. Says who? By what standard? Who decided you were the ones to decide? etc.

    “What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.” (C S Lewis)

    Fauci’s comment, that if you criticise him you’re criticising ‘The Science’ was a massive tell. ‘The Science’, ‘Experts say’ – we’re drowning in it.

    Great post, Mater, and excellent comments to follow. It feels like those who see it can’t miss what’s going on, but others fall for the whole shebang and can’t/won’t?? see the same old, same old pattern of history unfolding before their eyes.


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  16. History is horrible. That’s why Horrible Histories is the best show on TV. (Ch23, varying times). One of the charactwers is Death, he sings a song, “stupid death, stupid death, it’s funny cos it’s true, stupid death, stupid death, hope next time it’s not you”. And then he details interesting demises. I anticipate they will need lots of new episodes in the not too distant future to detail the interesting demises of our overlords.
    And don’t get me started on the latest round of nurses.
    All I see/hear on TV is save the babies, koalas, bears et al – the message being “you’ve got it good compared to these”. Propaganda 24/7.


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  17. Cassie, quite right about censoring at the Oz. I very rarely post but I’ve concluded that either I’m black banned or my posts are too pithy because they just don’t make it. For example this morning I addded to this comment that was made about forced vaccination of NSW school teachers.

    More than 5000 teachers could be out of work by November as the NSW government enforces a “no jab, no job” mandate for school staff with a comment underneath it.
    Good luck with that Glad, not one union in this country will support a government sacking an employee for not having a jab. Hope you like stop work meeting on the steps of Macquarie street

    I added my comment:
    Informed consent? Not a chance. Nuremberg code? What’s that. Oh forget it.

    And the good old Oz won’t stand for any cheek. They won’t have my sub any longer. And I gave up on Bolt a long time ago and I rarely look at Tim Blair not being willing to subscribe to the Tele. Certainly vastly different from Tim’s days before the Tele.


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  18. calli says:
    August 28, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Any moderator worth their salt would stop thread bombing, Cassie. For that is what it is. Possibly a mate of the moderator, or the moderator themselves using a VPN.

    Blair has always been a bit different. Even so, sitting behind the paywall has nobbled his commenter-ship severely. It might have given News a smidgen of monetisation initially, but long term it’s a loser.

    Like many people, I stopped reading Blair and Bolt when they went behind the paywall.

    I guess management made the decision that that numbers stacked up.

    We have no information about whether they were right.


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  19. There are some sound comments here, and kudos also to Mater for the continuing contributions.

    I’m tempted to instigate a conversation about leadership versus management, but that would be both digressive and a bit twee.


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