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Gilad Atzmon: Deceptive Cadence

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    Re-Arranging the 20th Century part 2: Deceptive Cadence Is the Personal Political? Gilad Atzmon Sunday, February 26, 2006
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2006
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      Re-Arranging the 20th Century part 2: Deceptive Cadence


      Is the Personal Political?
      Gilad Atzmon
      Sunday, February 26, 2006
      http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2006/02/gilad-atzmon-re-arranging-20th-century_26.html


      Though there is a clear tendency amongst some major Western institutes
      to impose the personal as a political message all in the name of
      liberty and humanism, it is rather crucial to mention that this very
      political apparatus achieves exactly the opposite effect. Politically,
      it silences the very personal.

      Once the personal becomes political, the singular voice loses its
      importance and authenticity disappears. Once a society willingly
      endorses discourse based on a `correct' collective empathy, first, the
      so-called `empathy' is reduced into a mere `call' rather than a vivid
      sensation, but most importantly, the voice of the genuine sufferer
      fades into the void.
      In other words, within the Western liberal apparatus the singular
      voice often gets lost. If humanism is indeed a universal value, then
      the particular and singular becomes a public asset, the victim serves
      an instrumental role, he conveys a universal message. Once the
      personal becomes political, morality becomes a private-like discourse
      of righteousness. Rather than a general ethical abstract rule grounded
      on a true reflection, we would start to hear some ad hoc, self-centred
      and half-baked moral arguments. This may explain why rather
      occasionally, yesterday's victims turn into today's oppressors. For
      instance, it may explain why it didn't take the Jewish State more than
      three years after the liberation of Auschwitz to ethnically cleanse
      85% of the Palestinian indigenous population. Seemingly, the Jewish
      State has never matured enough to ethically endorse the moral lesson
      of the Holocaust. The reason is simple: as far as Israel is concerned,
      the Holocaust has never been realised as a general abstract ethical
      insight. Instead, it was grasped solely from a collective
      Judeo-centric perspective. The personal pain was properly politicised.
      A humanist would expect that young Israeli high school students who
      visit Auschwitz and confront their ancestors' suffering would tend to
      empathise with the plight of the oppressed, and would identify with
      the Palestinians who are caged behind walls and starved to death at
      the hands of a nationalist racist regime seeking Lebensraum. Indeed
      the truth is shocking, less than a year after their visit to Auschwitz
      those same Israeli youngsters join the IDF, outwardly, they learned
      their political lesson in Auschwitz. Rather than taking the side of
      the oppressed i.e., Palestinians, they apparently willingly endorse
      some SS Einsatzgruppen tactics.
      Deir Yassin, a few hundred metres away from Yad Vashem's imposing monument

      But it isn't only the Palestinians who happen to suffer from the
      politicisation and industrialisation of the Holocaust personal
      narrative. Once the Holocaust had become `the new Jewish religion', it
      was the real, genuine victim who was robbed of his own intimate
      personal biography. The very private disastrous narrative has now
      become collective Jewish property. The real singular Holocaust
      survivor, the one who lived the horror, has been robbed of his very
      personal life experience. Similarly, within the extremist militant
      feminist view, which refers rapist qualities to the entire male
      gender, the genuine female rape victim is losing her voice. She is
      fading into the mass. Within the radical feminist political discourse
      the rape victim isn't special at all: if all men are rapists, all
      women are victims.

      Finkelstein's `Holocaust Industry' teaches us that once world Jewry
      adopted the Holocaust as its new institutional communal bond, the
      Holocaust was rapidly transformed into an industrial affair. The real
      victims were left behind. The funds and reparation money that were
      allocated for their recovery and the restoration of their very human
      dignity one way or another found its way to some Zionist and Jewish
      organizations. Somehow, this makes a lot of sense. Once the personal
      Holocaust narrative has become a collective political faith, almost
      everyone is entitled to be an ordinary disciple or even a priest.
      Consequently, we are now entitled to deduce that within the
      politicisation of the personal narrative, no one is left to own a
      biography. We are left with a collective ecstasies mindset that draws
      its power from a set of communally shared floating personal accounts.

      Going along with the hermeneutic line of thought we may conclude that
      the political becomes personal.

      The Political is Personal, The Crucial Role of Jewish Neurosis

      The bizarre emergence of the so-called Israeli `3rd generation', young
      Holocaust post- traumatic Israelis, is exactly that. It is a form of a
      new collective religious worshiping. To be a 3rd generation is to join
      a belief system. To be personally traumatised by a past one has never
      entertained. It is to assimilate within a heavily orchestrated
      political precept. In fact, the 3rd generation are locked within a
      vicious trap that leads towards total alienation: the more those young
      Israelis who were born a few decades after the end of the last great
      war claim to be traumatized by the Nazis, the less the rest of
      humanity can take them seriously. The less they are taken seriously,
      the more those young Israelis feel deprived of minimal human dignity
      and respect. The more they are deprived, the more they are fixated
      onto their new politically imposed notion of trauma.

      In a way, this is exactly the path towards religious isolation. The
      so-called `3rd generation' are entangled within a narrative that leads
      towards a form of total alienation, a clear detachment from any
      recognised human cultural environment or reality. It is the religious
      zeal i.e., trauma, that shapes that reality. One would expect that
      this form of collective neurosis would mature into a cultural
      separation wall between Jews and others. Surprisingly enough, not only
      did this not happen, if anything, it is the other way around. The
      Jewish discourse is integrated as a central part of Western
      consciousness. While some Jews would insist upon liberating themselves
      from the Holocaust burden that imposed a clear stain of hopeless
      impotence on their collective identity, the Western political system
      needs the Holocaust and the Jews to be the carrier of its narrative.
      Furthermore, the West needs the Jewish neurosis. It is the myth-like
      shaped narrative that facilitates the political and the commercial
      hegemony in a world that loses its contact with any genuine abstract
      categorical ethical thinking. The Holocaust is taking the shape of a
      belief system and the traumatised Jews are serving as its altar.

      From a Western perspective, the Jews have an instrumental role in
      maintaining the liberal fundaments filling it with some devastating
      vivid poetic expressionism. This may explain why Holocaust denial laws
      are imposed in several countries, especially in countries where
      Zionist and Jewish lobbies' influence is relatively minor. The Israeli
      scholar Yeshayahu Leibovitch, himself an observant Jew, noticed many
      years ago that the Jewish religion is dead, and that the Holocaust is
      the new religion uniting Jews around the world. I am inclined to agree
      that the Holocaust is now shaped as a religion. It is there to replace
      an anthropocentric ethical thinking. The Holocaust religion is there
      to rob the Western being of genuine ethical humanist thinking all in
      the name of humanism.

      The emergence and the evolution of the Holocaust belief system is the
      subject I will try to explore next.

      The Scientific, the Technological and the Religious

      I would like now to look at the evolvement of three major 20th century
      Western discourses: the scientific, the technological and the religious.

      The scientific discourse can be defined as a highly structured form of
      `knowledge seeking'. Within the scientific worldview, man confronts
      nature and tries to get to the bottom of it. The technological
      discourse, on the other hand, is far less concerned with knowledge
      gathering, it is rather orientated around the transformation of
      knowledge into power. The technologist would say, `It's of no concern
      to me whether you are applying Newtonian mechanics or Einstein's
      relativity theory, just make sure that you get me to the moon, (you
      may as well make sure that it doesn't cost too much).' On the face of
      it, both the scientific and the technological discourses set man apart
      from nature. Both discourses imply human detachment from nature. The
      reason is pretty simple, if man can get to the bottom of nature, then
      man must be somehow greater or at least a different quality to nature.
      From a technological point of view, if nature and the knowledge of
      nature are there to serve man, then man must somehow be superior to
      nature.

      Seemingly, these two discourses dominated the 20th century
      Anglo-American intellectual discourse. And since it was the
      Anglo-Americans who dominated our universe at least since the end of
      WWII, we are entitled to argue that these two thinking modes have been
      dominating the entire Western discourse for more than a while. In
      other words, to be Western in the 20th century meant to think
      scientifically and to act technologically. Accordingly, growing up in
      the West would mean, first learning to admire the scientist and to
      worship science, then gradually learning to applaud and consume
      technological innovations.

      Academically speaking, it was the positivist school that insisted that
      we should become more scientific and far less philosophical.
      Historically at least, it was the Vienna Circle, a group of
      philosophers and scientists who aimed at eradicating any traces of
      metaphysics out of the body of scientific knowledge. For the logical
      positivists, `logical rules and empirical data are the only sources of
      knowledge.' Needless to say, logical positivism was an attempt to
      strike against the diversity of human reality. As some of the readers
      of this paper would hopefully agree: emotions, feelings and aesthetic
      pleasure can be equally as important as sources of knowledge and even
      scientific realisation, not to say insight. Nevertheless, the logical
      positivists wouldn't agree, they were full of contempt towards
      quasi-scientific knowledge. Psychoanalysis, for instance, was like a
      red rug to a bull, it was totally unacceptable. Logical positivism
      wasn't just an attack against emotional and spiritual expression, it
      was also a clear offensive on German philosophy. It was an unambiguous
      assault on German metaphysics, Idealism and early Romanticism.

      In 1936, following the Nazi incursion of Austria, there were no
      positivists left in Vienna, due to their ethnic origin they had to
      flee. Most of them found shelter in Anglo-American universities. I do
      believe that the overwhelming positivistic tendency within the
      post-war English speaking academic world has a lot to do with the
      forced immigration of those Jewish-German positivists. And yet,
      America has never been a scientifically orientated nation. Not `many'
      scientific revolutions took place on the other side of the Atlantic.
      America is the land of open opportunities and science was no doubt a
      great opportunity.

      Rather than internalising the spirit of science, America was very
      efficient in transforming science into political and economic power.
      It was quick in allowing a bunch of exiled European scientists, most
      of them German Jews (as well as one Italian married to an Jewish
      woman), to build its first atomic bombs. It was very quick in
      embracing German rocket scientists who were enthusiastic enough to
      blast monkeys into outer space. The American intellectual world has
      never been too enthusiastic about abstract theoretical, not to say
      philosophical, questions. The very Germanic question `Was ist?' didn't
      really make it to the Anglo-American academic world. On the contrary,
      America has always been concerned with technological challenges. In
      other words, it is enthusiastic about the different mode of
      transformation of knowledge into power. America is all about
      technology, it is pragmatically orientated. Even within art, where
      America happens to contribute some major works of modern art and
      music, it didn't take long before a market value was tagged. At the
      end of the day, it doesn't really matter what you may know about the
      origin of knowledge as long as you drink Coke, eat McDonalds, buy a
      Charlie Parker album and dream of owning an original by Kandinsky.

      It is within this very pragmatic approach that led to the rise of a
      new form of contemporary unique religious discourse. While the
      scientific and the technological approaches set man aside from nature,
      the new Western religion re-locates man deeply within nature. The new
      Western subject, very much like the rock and the tree, lacks any
      substantial sense of self-awareness or critical tendencies. Willingly
      and enthusiastically, the newly formed Western being tends to accept
      some readymade reality perceptions. Within this newly emerging
      mythological faith, Democracy is one God, the Holocaust is another.
      These two Gods support each other. Democracy is the blind praise of
      human liberty a la Natan Sharansky whom George W. Bush and Condoleezza
      Rice repeatedly quote. Holocaust, on the other hand, is the story of
      the ultimate persecution and everlasting revenge a la Simon
      Weisenthal. Democracy is the matter, the noticeable and manifested
      glory with white houses and glass skyscrapers. The Holocaust is the
      spirit, the Holy Arc, that thing which you follow in the desert but
      can never enter, question or challenge. The Holocaust God is standing
      at the very core of the argument for democracy that allows the
      Anglo-Americans to insist upon `liberating' the very few countries
      that still hold some energy resources or are found to be located
      strategically close enough to these resources.

      As we can see, the two Gods, Holocaust and Democracy, are cleverly set
      in a complementary relationship. The message is clear: unless
      Democracy is in place, a Holocaust is inevitable. Apparently,
      Anglo-Americans are using democracy as a political argument to
      violently expand their economic global hegemony. The less we are
      convinced by the democratic goddess, the less we believe our elected
      politicians and their illegal wars, the more we are dependent on an
      external supernatural paradigm. Auschwitz is exactly that paradigm. It
      is the ultimate supernatural narrative in which ordinary human beings
      become killing machines. It is the Auschwitz narrative in which the
      most culturally advanced nation is becoming a willing executioner a la
      Daniel Goldenhagen.

      The Holocaust God is there to sketch the alternative doomed reality.
      But as bizarre as it may sound, it is democratic America that has been
      lethally applying science against innocent civilians for over six
      decades. Whether it is Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima, whether it is
      Vietnam or Iraq among many more places, the same story repeats itself:
      Anglo-Americans are killing en masse in the name of Democracy. There
      is always a clear valid moral cause behind their kill. Allegedly,
      lately they liberated the Iraqi people from the tyranny of the
      `Hitler-like' mass murderer Saddam. Yet, it is crucial to mention that
      although the Americans and their puppet Iraqi legislators had enough
      time to collect more than enough forensic evidence to incriminate Mr
      Saddam Hussein, they were unable to do so. On the face of it, Mr
      Hussein's charges in court are negligible compared to the charges that
      can be already established against Bush or Blair. Obviously, what is
      true about Saddam is applicable to the other `Hitler-like` Milosevic.
      As we happen to learn, for the time being, very little as been
      established to convict the former Serbian leader, a man who was
      repeatedly presented to us as a mass murderer. Again, I am far from
      being judgmental here, I just follow the legal proceedings against
      these two `Hitler-like' ex-tyrants.

      Here we come across the beauty and strength of religious belief. It is
      always flourishing in the regions of blindness. You can indeed love
      God as long as you cannot see him. You can join the party and hate
      Saddam as long as you know very little about him or Iraq. Worshipping
      and hatred alike are blind tendencies. Similarly, the strength of
      Auschwitz is due to its incomprehensibility. Auschwitz is feasible as
      long as it infeasible. Auschwitz is the modern-day burning bush, it is
      counterfactual. You can believe in it as long as you cannot comprehend
      it, as long as it doesn't make sense, as long as it is beyond
      contemplation. Like a Holy Arc, you would follow it in the desert just
      because you aren't allowed in. Auschwitz is the sealed sacred secret
      of the Anglo-American emerging religion. It is the unseen face of God
      delivered in a form of personal accounts. Once you question it, you
      challenge the future of Anglo-American life on this planet. Once you
      question Auschwitz, you become a modern-day Antichrist. Instead of
      doing that, you are highly recommended to kneel down and to approve
      the newly emerging burning bush mythology.

      History

      Within the Jewish orthodox apparatus history in general and Jewish
      history in particular are totally redundant. Simply, there is no need
      for such an intellectual endeavour, the Bible is there to set the
      Judaic thinking parameters. Judaically speaking, Saddam, Chmelnisky,
      Hitler and even Arafat are nothing but a mere repetition of the
      horrendous Biblical Amalek. With the Bible in place, there is no need
      to question the empirical and forensic validity of the different
      burning bushes and the Holy arcs. The Jewish belief is based on blind
      acceptance. To love God is to obey his rules. To be a Jew is never
      ever to question the fundaments. Apparently, there is no Jewish
      Theology. Instead, Jews have their Talmud: a collection of laws and
      rules. This perception is far from being stupid. It is rather logical
      and consistent. If God is indeed a supreme transcendental entity that
      exceeds any notion of space and time, then man is doomed to fail in
      comprehending him anyway. Thus, rather than philosophising on
      fundaments, Rabbis are mainly concerned with regulations. They are
      there to say what is Kosher and who is a sinner. Similarly, within the
      newly emerging Anglo-American religion, no one is supposed to raise
      questions concerning the Holocaust or WWII. Moreover, no one is
      supposed to ask what freedom, liberty, human rights and democracy
      really mean. The question of whether or not we are free beings is far
      too philosophical. Rather than suggesting an answer, we are confronted
      with the Rabbinical icons Blair and Bush who restrict of our freedom
      all in the name of freedom.

      Let's leave the Iraqis out. Are we, the so-called West, liberated?
      Within the new Israelite Western religion, blindness is the way
      forwards. On the face of it, the complexity of the WWII narrative with
      its contradictions and discrepancies just contributes to its magical,
      fantastic and supernatural qualities. We better learn to accept the
      Hollywood take on WWII rather than adopting some silly sceptical
      approach. Indeed, it is the contradictions and discrepancies that turn
      the Holocaust into a vivid human story shaped as a religion. It is the
      inconsistencies that turn the Holocaust into a modern-day burning
      bush. Let's face it, you cannot see God but you can clearly hear the
      voice of democracy and freedom echoing from within the cloud of smoke.
      Indeed the political is what is left out of that which was personal at
      one time.

      Appendix 1

      With their trousers halfway down I can see these three outlaws:
      Irving, Zundel and Rudolf, the three rightwing historical revisionists
      who happen to be locked behind bars. They are surrounding our precious
      shrine, rudely they are pissing over our emerging democratic miracle.
      Vulgarly, they question the validity of the personal narrative;
      foolishly they aim at establishing a rational, dynamic, lucid
      empirically grounded narrative based on forensic evidence. The three
      criminals are applying logical-positivistic methods. Pathetically,
      they follow the tradition of Carnap, Popper and the Vienna Circle. I
      wonder whether they realise that they happen to follow an academic
      tradition set by a Jewish secular Germanic school. Those ugly
      revisionists are aiming at truth-values, correspondence rules,
      empiricism. Shame on them, let them rot in hell. They fail to see that
      the West has moved forward. Listen you revisionists, you missed the
      train, we aren't scientific anymore, we aren't even technological. We
      are now deeply religious and we aren't even theological about it. We
      are Evangelical, we take things on their face value and don't ask me
      whose face is it. We want to believe. We are now religious and we will
      make sure that you do not interfere.

      Appendix 2

      Rather than suggesting a preferable historical narrative, I aim at
      grasping what history is all about. What are the conditions of the
      possibilities of any knowledge of the past? I am not an historian and
      I am not intending to be one, I am interested in the conditions that
      shape the historical narrative. When it comes to the history of the
      20th century, we are locked within a strict tale that was imposed on
      us by the winners. True, history is the tale of the winners and yet
      the winners were and still are: capitalist, colonialist and
      imperialists. The question to be asked is how come the European left
      that traditionally opposed the above, tended to blindly buy the
      twisted tale of those `colonialist' `capitalist' winners? I assume
      that the fact that Stalin was amongst the winners has something to do
      with it. The fact that the left was itself chased by Hitler is
      probably another reason. Yet, USSR is itself part of our past, Stalin
      is gone and Leftists aren't chased by Hitler anymore. The European
      left is now entitled to think freely. Supposedly we are now at liberty
      to re-view our knowledge of the past, we are entitled to re-ask
      questions and to try to re-solve some major discrepancies to do with
      WWII. I am not talking here about a truthful historical account,
      because unlike David Irving and his bitter academic opponent Richard
      J. Evans, I do not know what historical truth is. But I do understand
      what narrative is and I even realise what consistency means. I argue
      that not only are we entitled to revise history, we must do so and I
      will mention two reasons: A). If the left or what is left of it, won't
      jump into this boiling swamp, WWII history and Holocaust scholarship
      will be left in the hands of the European radical right (politically
      and academically). I tend to believe that at large, this is already
      the case. While left academics are mainly concerned with signalling
      out Holocaust deniers telling us what is right and who is wrong, it is
      the revisionists who engage themselves in detailed archive work as
      well as forensic scrutiny. B). Those who dropped bombs over Dresden
      and Hiroshima have never stopped killing in the name of democracy.
      They are now engaged in a murderous occupation of Iraq and they are
      even planning to expand to Syria and Iran. If we want to stop them, we
      better re-visit our past and revise our image of Anglo-American
      democracy. We must re-arrange the 20th century. For the sake of a
      better future we must revise the past.

      Appendicitis

      It is rather clear that at least from an Anglo-American perspective
      Hitler wasn't the enemy. Stalin, the Communist tyrant, was their real
      foe. Hitler had a very precise role. He was there to bash the eastern
      Communists on behalf of the West, he was there to flatten the Reds and
      so he did for a while. This may explain why no one in the West really
      tried to stop Hitler in the 1930's. From an Anglo-American point of
      view, the moustached man fitted in rather nicely. It may explain why
      Hitler himself didn't eradicate a third of the British army in
      Dunkirk. Why should he? These British soldiers were his allies to
      come. May I suggest that the fact that Hitler was actually serving
      Western interests explains why the Americans who joined the war in
      1942, didn't engage with him in a battle over central Europe until
      June 1944. Rather than fight Hitler in the main ground, they engaged
      in battles in North Africa and in Southern Italy. The reason is
      simple: They wanted Hitler to exhaust Stalin. They didn't want to
      jeopardise his holy mission. Once Hitler lost his 6th Army in
      Stalingrad, the Western perception of Hitler's role changed dramatically.

      Once it was clear that Hitler was losing to Stalin, there was a
      necessity to keep the Reds as far as possible from the British
      channel. Though the Allies presented themselves as the liberators of
      France, in fact they were raiding the beaches of Normandy speeding up
      to stop Stalin in central Europe. This may explain the devastation the
      Allies left behind them in Normandy. Liberators hardly slaughter the
      liberated, Anglo-Americans are apparently different.

      From mid-1943, the Allies enjoyed air superiority over Germany and
      yet, rather than dismantle the German army and it logistic targets,
      they concentrated on carpet-bombing German towns, killing hundred of
      thousands of innocent civilians with phosphorus bombs. After the war,
      Albert Speer was quoted saying that considering the Allies' air
      superiority, a bombardment of German industrial infrastructure and
      logistic targets would have resulted in German military collapse in
      less then two months. I assume that the military reason behind the
      Allies' carpet bombardment is devastatingly simple. The Allies didn't
      want to disturb the German Army that was fighting Stalin. Meanwhile,
      the Allies had many bombs and they had to drop them somewhere. Around
      850,000 German civilians died in those murderous military operations.

      Anglo-Americans do believe in attacking their enemies' soft bellies.
      This is why British and Americans arrived at the war with tactic
      bombers (Lancaster, B-17 and B24). Within the Anglo-American tactical
      philosophy, heavy pressure of civilian population would benefit the
      offender. This may explain the fact that it was Churchill who was the
      first to use Blitz tactics, launching a heavy bombardment on Berlin in
      August 1940. In fact it was that move that led Hitler to retaliate and
      to divert Luftwaffe efforts from Britain's southern airfields to
      London and other populated British cities (September 7, 1940). Indeed,
      it was Churchill's cold decision that saved Britain from a Nazi
      invasion (Operation Sea Lion). Yet, we should never forget that it was
      Churchill who brought German retaliation to the British streets. This
      fact hardly finds its way into British history texts.

      Within the victorious narrative, the use of atomic bombs was necessary
      in order to shorten the war. Within the Anglo-American narrative,
      nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki sounds almost like a humanitarian
      effort. Apparently, there is an historic chronological fact that
      doesn't find its place into the English-speaking history curriculum.
      Two days after the Hiroshima bomb (August 6, 1945) the Soviets entered
      the war against Japan. It was that event which led the Americans to
      nuke Nagasaki just a day later. Clearly, the industrial liquidation of
      thousands of Japanese civilians was there to guarantee a rapid,
      unconditional Japanese defeat to the Americans and to them alone.

      I tend to believe that the Holocaust narrative that is forcefully
      imposed on us all is there to silence some alternative interpretations
      of WWII events. I do believe that if we really want to stop
      Anglo-Americans from killing in the name of democracy we better
      re-open a genuine debate.

      Stopping Bush and Blair in Iraq, stopping those warmongers from
      proceeding to Iran and Syria is a must. If history shapes the future,
      we need to liberate our perspective of the past, rather than arresting
      revisionists, we simply need many more of them. We must let go; we
      must Re-arrange the 20th century.

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