Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fascism Watch

Jonah Goldberg, posts the following quote over at The Corner:
"It is in the nature of civilization that it must be in constant conflict with barbarism. Very few empires have been the result of a deliberate ambition. They have grown, inevitably, because it has been found necessary to expand in order to preserve what is already held. The French had to annex Algiers because it was the only way in which the Mediterranean could be made safe from pirates. Empire moves in a series of 'incidents,' and these 'incidents' mean that it is impossible for a country to live in isolation. Barbarism means constant provocation."

From "We Can Applaud Italy" (1935), in The Essays, Articles and Reviews of Evelyn Waugh.
As the title of essay suggests, Waugh was attempting to defend Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia. Elsewhere in the essay, Waugh wrote:
In the matter of abstract justice, the Italians have as much right to govern; in the matter of practical politics, it is certain that their government would be for the beneŽfit of the Ethiopian Empire and for the rest of Africa. … It will be the supreme trial of Mussolini’s regime. We can, with clear conscience, fold our hands and await the news on the wireless."
As the author of the forthcoming book, Liberal Fascism, perhaps he might want to be a bit more circumspect about publicizing fascist apologias.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems acceptable to Mr. Goldberg to showcase an adoring quote about Italian Fascism. I guess that's okay. I mean, at least Italian fascisti weren't nazis, after all. Right, Jonah?

Duce! Duce! Yeah, Jonah. That's so much better than Seig Heil!, huh? 'Course, the Germans had those spiffy bands and neat uniforms.

Next time you do crayons, Jonah, I bet you'll draw some really neat ones that Americans could wear, huh?

Ultimately (according to the Italians, anyway) they were forced to round up and surrender their Jewish citizens to the Germans, right? I mean, once they were prodded, they got into the game with gusto, you betcha -- but it's not like they were actual nazis or anything. Right, Jonah?

They weren't so German, you know. They were Italians -- their hearts weren't in it. That's right, isn't it, Jonah?

Hey, Jonah... before I give you the Mordechai Rumkowski Award for 2007 (Jacky Abramoff won it last year): Does your mom feel that way, too? How about your grandparents? How about all the Goldbergs left in Europe between 1936 and 1945, Jonah; think they would feel that way?

(* Through 1944, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski was the appointed head of the Lodz Ghetto's Judenrat, and responsible for the civil well-being of those in the Ghetto. While there is some debate over whether Rumkowski was able to bargain with the nazis, prolong the existance of the ghetto and so save lives, there is plentiful evidence that Rumkowski personally benefited from his position: he lived in comfort and security while others starved; he used his authority to extort money, food, or sexual favors from Ghetto residents, all while treating their SS tormentors with utter subservience.)

(Yehuda Leib Gerst, a religious educator -- himself a survivor of the Lodz ghetto and in his thirties in 1943-44, wrote of Rumkowski: Toward his fellow Jews, he was an incomparable tyrant who behaved just like a Fuhrer and cast deathly terror to anyone who dared to oppose his lowly ways. Toward the perpetrators, however, he was as tender as a lamb and there was no limit to his base submission to all their demands, even if their purpose was to wipe us out totally.)

(The annual Rumkowski Award for 2007, Jonah. It's all yours. )