Archive for December, 2008

Lessons in Ecofascism

Posted in Getting It Straight on December 12, 2008 by Darkman

I would like to draw your attention to a set of essays that I think are very important, if not required reading.  I have read only the first one so far.  I hope to digest the second and post some quotes from it tomorrow.  I am referring to Ecofascism:  Lessons from the German Experience.  These quotes are from the first essay, Fascist Ideology: The Green Wing of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents by Peter Staudenmaier.

Quote 1:

The chief vehicle for carrying this ideological constellation to prominence was the youth movement, an amorphous phenomenon which played a decisive but highly ambivalent role in shaping German popular culture during the first three tumultuous decades of this century. Also known as the Wandervögel (which translates roughly as ‘wandering free spirits’), the youth movement was a hodge-podge of countercultural elements, blending neo-Romanticism, Eastern philosophies, nature mysticism, hostility to reason, and a strong communal impulse in a confused but no less ardent search for authentic, non-alienated social relations. Their back-to-the-land emphasis spurred a passionate sensitivity to the natural world and the damage it suffered. They have been aptly characterized as ‘right-wing hippies,’ for although some sectors of the movement gravitated toward various forms of emancipatory politics (though usually shedding their environmentalist trappings in the process), most of the Wandervöge were eventually absorbed by the Nazis. This shift from nature worship to Führer worship is worth examining.

Quote 2:

Eschewing societal transformation in favor of personal change, an ostensibly apolitical disaffection can, in times of crisis, yield barbaric results.

The attraction such perspectives exercised on idealistic youth is clear: the enormity of the crisis seemed to enjoin a total rejection of its apparent causes.

Quote 3:

The authoritarian implications of this view of humanity and nature become even clearer in the context of the Nazis’ emphasis on holism and organicism. In 1934 the director of the Reich Agency for Nature Protection, Walter Schoenichen, established the following objectives for biology curricula: “Very early, the youth must develop an understanding of the civic importance of the ‘organism’, i.e. the co-ordination of all parts and organs for the benefit of the one and superior task of life.”

Quote 4:

To make this dismaying and discomforting analysis more palatable, it is tempting to draw precisely the wrong conclusion –namely, that even the most reprehensible political undertakings sometimes produce laudable results. But the real lesson here is just the opposite: Even the most laudable of causes can be perverted and instrumentalized in the service of criminal savagery. The “green wing” of the NSDAP was not a group of innocents, confused and manipulated idealists, or reformers from within; they were conscious promoters and executors of a vile program explicitly dedicated to inhuman racist violence, massive political repression and worldwide military domination. Their ‘ecological’ involvements, far from offsetting these fundamental commitments, deepened and radicalized them. In the end, their configuration of environmental politics was directly and substantially responsible for organized mass murder.No aspect of the Nazi project can be properly understood without examining its implication in the holocaust. Here, too, ecological arguments played a crucially malevolent role. Not only did the “green wing” refurbish the sanguine antisemitism of traditional reactionary ecology; it catalyzed a whole new outburst of lurid racist fantasies of organic inviolability and political revenge. The confluence of anti-humanist dogma with a fetishization of natural ‘purity’ provided not merely a rationale but an incentive for the Third Reich’s most heinous crimes. Its insidious appeal unleashed murderous energies previously untapped. Finally, the displacement of any social analysis of environmental destruction in favor of mystical ecology served as an integral component in the preparation of the final solution:

To explain the destruction of the countryside and environmental damage, without questioning the German people’s bond to nature, could only be done by not analysing environmental damage in a societal context and by refusing to understand them as an expression of conflicting social interests. Had this been done, it would have led to criticism of National Socialism itself since that was not immune to such forces. One solution was to associate such environmental problems with the destructive influence of other races. National Socialism could then be seen to strive for the elimination of other races in order to allow the German people’s innate understanding and feeling of nature to assert itself, hence securing a harmonic life close to nature for the future.

This is the true legacy of ecofascism in power: “genocide developed into a necessity under the cloak of environment protection.”

It is a long, somewhat difficult, somewhat disquieting read. Arm yourself with your favorite beverage and/or smoke, and be warned that it wasn’t written for fifth-graders.

That’s gotta hurt

Posted in Amerika on December 9, 2008 by Darkman

Arrested Illinois governor released after Senate seat scandal:

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested today on charges he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder in what a federal prosecutor called a “corruption crime spree.”

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald told a news conference prosecutors make “no allegations” Obama was aware of any alleged scheming.

Obama said today he is saddened by allegations that Blagojevich tried to trade favors for the Senate seat and said he had no contact with the governor or his office on the matter.

Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field, according to a federal criminal complaint. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper’s editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

“We were in the middle of a corruption crime spree and we wanted to stop it,” Fitzgerald said today, calling the corruption charges against Blagojevich “a truly new low.”

Federal investigators bugged the governor’s campaign offices and placed a tap on his home phone and Chicago FBI chief Robert Grant said even seasoned investigators were “stunned” by what they heard on the tapes.

Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero said the governor’s office did not have immediate comment on the charges but issued a statement saying the “allegations do nothing to impact the services, duties or function of the state.”

A federal judge this afternoon ordered Blagojevich released on his own recognizance.

U.S. District Judge Nan Nolan said “Good afternoon, governor” in greeting Blagojevich at the bond hearing. The governor was wearing sweat pants, gym shoes and an athletic shirt.

He was released on a signature bond that specifies that he’ll forfeit $4,500 bond if he doesn’t appear in court. Blagojevich also was ordered to relinquish his passport and his firearm owner’s identification card.

Read the whole thing, and remember that this is the political machine that produced The One.

Key word: lawful

Posted in The Most Fundamental Right on December 8, 2008 by Darkman

Obama: Don’t stock up on guns:

“I believe in common-sense gun safety laws, and I believe in the second amendment,” Obama said at a news conference. “Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear. I said that throughout the campaign. I haven’t indicated anything different during the transition. I think people can take me at my word.”

“Lawful” becomes “unlawful” at the stroke of pen, now doesn’t it, BHO?

Pinpricks

Posted in Police State on December 5, 2008 by Darkman

From firstamendmentcenter.org:

Mary Anaya said four armed deputies came into her house that day. She said she tried to keep them outside, even using physical force, but they came in and took Joel from the arms of her 12-year-old child.

“It was terror,” she said.

He was placed in the custody of the state Department of Health and Human Services.

A Douglas County juvenile court judge ordered the next day that the baby remain in foster care until the preliminary results came back and confirmed further testing wasn’t needed. Joel was returned to them Oct. 16, when the tests came back negative.

The high court, in the opinion written by Justice Lindsey Miller-Lerman, criticized the decisions that were made. While failure to do the required tests can be considered with other actions to conclude a child is being neglected, “failure to test under the newborn screening statutes, standing alone, does not establish neglect,” the judge wrote.

“There simply was no legal, factual, or logical basis to keep Joel in state custody after the blood sample was taken,” today’s opinion continues.

And yet…

But, she added, “What’s done can’t be undone. It’s only a small satisfaction that what was done to us was found to be wrong when there’s no consequences … it’s a small consolation.”

The court found that the actions of the four armed deputies were wrong, yet of course did nothing to punish them.

And there are other, less benign reasons for drawing a baby’s blood.  Don’t think there aren’t.

Chips in the Great Firewall

Posted in Information Control on December 3, 2008 by Darkman

Mice starting to win in the Beijing blogosphere:

Isaac Mao, 36, of Shanghai, credited as China’s first blogger, began using the term Great Firewall in 2005 to describe the frustrating structure of internet blocks and filters imposed by a government determined to move its censor-ship system into the digital age, and keep the world out. He was a pioneer in using proxy server technology to access overseas websites.

But while Western attention focuses on how much international content China still blocks, Mr Mao is excited by what has recently happened. His verdict: blogging has given Chinese people nerve.

“Two years ago nobody would have believed this was true,” Mr Mao says. But “as more and more social problems have emerged in China, people have had the chance to connect and share things that could not be seen before. Once there are enough bloggers nothing can be hidden.”

The number of bloggers in China doubled to 107 million in the six months to last June, according to the China Internet Network Information Centre. Total users rose 56 per cent from the previous year, to 253 million, giving China the largest online population in the world.

Mr Mao says he can see a tipping point coming. He believes that as a result of blogging, young Chinese brainwashed by their education system are now trying to think for themselves, work together and find smarter solutions.

[…]

While bloggers continue to be blocked and jailed, Mr Mao says this is failing to deter them. The sheer number of Chinese now blogging about minor matters, “puts the burden on the Government to try to check and monitor so much content. They can’t tell what is sensitive”. He thinks freedom of expression is as much about simple daily stories as it is about topics such as Tibet.

Read the whole article.  Appreciate the irony of this information freedom fighter’s family name.  And remember that there is freedom in information.

Half Witt

Posted in Amerika on December 1, 2008 by Darkman

NewsBusters brings us MSNBC Anchor Frets: Why Hasn’t Obama’s Election Ended Terrorism?

ALEX WITT: You know, John, and it’s interesting because there are many who had such an optimstic and hopeful opinion of things, and you certainly can’t expect things to change [snaps fingers] on a dime overnight, but there are many who suggested that with the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration there would be something of a lull in terrorism attacks. There had been such a global outpouring of affection, respect, hope, with the new administration coming in, that precisely these kinds of attacks, it was thought — at least hoped — would be dampered down. But in this case it looks like Barack Obama is getting a preview of things to come.

JOHN YANG: He’s — it’s a rude awakening, a very, sort of, sober reminder of what he’s going to be facing in just a few weeks. And there is some concern also, there had been some concern, that during this period, during this, the transition period, between Election Day and Inauguration Day, that the enemies of the United States, those who don’t care for the United States no matter who’s leading it, would try and test the United States, would try to take advantage of this period, and I think that may be one thing that we’re seeing right now.

A rude awakening? Only for those who have been asleep.