Nazi Literature In The Americas Quotes

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Goebbels was unbelievably ignorant of the world outside Germany. He appeared to know absolutely nothing of the history, the literature and the people of any foreign land. He understood no modern foreign language. His ideas of America, for instance, were childish. This was a weakness shared by all the Nazi bigwigs, beginning with Hitler, and it began to occur to me that it might have ominous consequences for the Third Reich, and unfortunately, for much of the rest of the world. There is nothing more dangerous in the shaping of foreign policy than ignorance - of foreign lands and people.
William L. Shirer (The Nightmare Years: 1930-40 (20th Century Journey, #2))
What cannot be cannot be, besides witch, it's impossible.
Roberto Bolaño (Nazi Literature in the Americas)
Conspiracy theories have long been used to maintain power: the Soviet leadership saw capitalist and counter-revolutionary conspiracies everywhere; the Nazis, Jewish ones. But those conspiracies were ultimately there to buttress an ideology, whether class warfare for Communists or race for Nazis. With today’s regimes, which struggle to formulate a single ideology – indeed, which can’t if they want to maintain power by sending different messages to different people – the idea that one lives in a world full of conspiracies becomes the world view itself. Conspiracy does not support the ideology; it replaces it. In Russia this is captured in the catchphrase of the country’s most important current affairs presenter: ‘A coincidence? I don’t think so!’ says Dmitry Kiselev as he twirls between tall tales that dip into history, literature, oil prices and colour revolutions, which all return to the theme of how the world has it in for Russia. And as a world view it grants those who subscribe to it certain pleasures: if all the world is a conspiracy, then your own failures are no longer all your fault. The fact that you achieved less than you hoped for, that your life is a mess – it’s all the fault of the conspiracy. More importantly, conspiracy is a way to maintain control. In a world where even the most authoritarian regimes struggle to impose censorship, one has to surround audiences with so much cynicism about anybody’s motives, persuade them that behind every seemingly benign motivation is a nefarious, if impossible-to-prove, plot, that they lose faith in the possibility of an alternative, a tactic a renowned Russian media analyst called Vasily Gatov calls ‘white jamming’. And the end effect of this endless pile-up of conspiracies is that you, the little guy, can never change anything. For if you are living in a world where shadowy forces control everything, then what possible chance do you have of turning it around? In this murk it becomes best to rely on a strong hand to guide you. ‘Trump is our last chance to save America,’ is the message of his media hounds. Only Putin can ‘raise Russia from its knees’. ‘The problem we are facing today is less oppression, more lack of identity, apathy, division, no trust,’ sighs Srdja. ‘There are more tools to change things than before, but there’s less will to do so.
Peter Pomerantsev (This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality)
Pronto comprendió que sólo existían dos maneras de acceder a él: mediante la violencia abierta, que no venía al caso pues era un hombre apacible y nervioso al que repugnaba hasta la vista de la sangre, o mediante la literatura, que es una forma de violencia soterrada y que concede respetabilidad y en ciertos países jóvenes y sensibles es uno de los disfraces de la escala social.
Roberto Bolaño (Nazi Literature in the Americas)
Winchester Story. The daughter of the famous Winchester, heiress to 15,000 dollars a day, heard a prediction that she would die when her house was completed - just revenge for the thousands of victims which the only too famous carbine had created in the West over a century. Then, like Penelope, she began to build a house without end, interminably adding bedrooms, staircases, annexes. She died in the end, in the 1930s, leaving behind this monstrous 150-bedroom house as a memorial to the holocaust of the nineteenth century.
Jean Baudrillard (Cool Memories)
A more sinister formulation is offered by Ayn Rand lieutenant Leonard Peikoff (in a book comparing pre-Reagan America to Nazi Germany that garnered fulsome praise from none other than Alan Greenspan): all the great cultural developments of the early twentieth century, he insists, whether in literature, art, education, philosophy, or journalism, were elements in a political project to remake American life along “progressive,” that is, German, lines.21
Thomas Frank (What's the Matter With Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America)
The foundation of Machiavellian philosophy and its deepest insight is a sense of proportion. It corresponds to the Grotian apprehension of the moral complexity of politics… This is the special picture of political life one gets from reading Machiavelli himself and ‘irony’ is a category of philosophical Machiavellians. The word is not, I think, found in Machiavelli, but political irony is in fact what he very lovingly studied. Irony is a Machiavellian category while tragedy is a Grotian category. ‘Tragedy’ implies a standpoint outside the political drama, in which we experience, for example, admiration for Othello's nobility, pity for his weakness, and terror at Iago's wickedness… Now, it is difficult to adopt a tragic standpoint about politics, because ‘politics’ implies a situation in which we are still involved, where we can still act and affect the outcome, and anyway where we do not know the outcome because the drama is unfinished. To become fully tragic, politics have to be dead politics, that is, history: the tragedy of Athens, and of the League of Nations… Irony is, so to speak, the factual skeleton of tragedy, stripped of its moral and transcendental clothing. In literature it is the warping of a statement by its context; a character means one thing by a statement but we know the context and outcome that he does not, and see it has a different meaning. As Banquo rides away to be murdered, as Macbeth has arranged, Macbeth says to him genially: ‘Fail not our feast’—‘My lord, I will not.’ This is Sophoclean irony and there are other kinds, more complex. Irony can be seen in politics when statesmen pursue ends that recoil upon them, and turn into their opposites. Hugh R. Wilson, in Diplomat between Wars, says that the policy of the USA was of ‘overwhelming importance’ to the League of Nations in the Manchurian crisis, which makes ironic America's fear of, commitment and involvement: however little she wanted to be committed she was certainly involved, and by refusing to commit herself at that time she made her involvement in the struggle with Japan all the more certain. It is equally ironical that Britain and France went to war in 1939 to restore the balance of power in Europe by destroying Nazi Germany, embraced the Soviet alliance for that purpose, and ended with Europe as badly unbalanced by Stalin's power as it had been by Hitler's.
Martin Wight (Four Seminal Thinkers in International Theory: Machiavelli, Grotius, Kant, and Mazzini)
Here are the ominous parallels. Our universities are strongholds of German philosophy disseminating every key idea of the post-Kantian axis, down by now to old-world racism and romanticist technology-hatred. Our culture is modernism worn-out but recycled, with heavy infusions of such Weimarian blends as astrology and Marx, or Freud and Dada, or “humanitarianism” and horror-worship, along with five decades of corruption built on this kind of base. Our youth activists, those reared on the latest viewpoints at the best universities, are the pre-Hitler youth movement resurrected (this time mostly on the political left and addicted to drugs). Our political parties are the Weimar coalition over again, offering the same pressure-group pragmatism, and the same kind of contradiction between their Enlightenment antecedents and their statist commitments. The liberals, more anti-ideological than the moderate German left, have given up even talking about long-range plans and demand more controls as a matter of routine, on a purely ad hoc basis. The conservatives, much less confident than the nationalist German right, are conniving at this routine and apologizing for the remnants of their own tradition, capitalism (because of its clash with the altruist ethics)—while demanding government intervention in or control over the realms of morality, religion, sex, literature, education, science. Each of these groups, observing the authoritarian element in the other, accuses it of Fascist tendencies; the charge is true on both sides. Each group, like its Weimar counterpart, is contributing to the same result: the atmosphere of chronic crisis, and the kinds of controls, inherent in an advanced mixed economy. The result of this result, as in Germany, is the growth of national bewilderment or despair, and of the governmental apparatus necessary for dictatorship. In America, the idea of public ownership of the means of production is a dead issue. Our intellectual and political leaders are content to retain the forms of private property, with public control over its use and disposal. This means: in regard to economic issues, the country’s leadership is working to achieve not the communist version of dictatorship, but the Nazi version. Throughout its history, in every important cultural and political area, the United States, thanks to its distinctive base, always lagged behind the destructive trends of Germany and of the rest of the modern world. We are catching up now. We are still the freest country on earth. There is no totalitarian (or even openly socialist) party of any size here, no avowed candidate for the office of Führer, no economic or political catastrophe sufficient to make such a party or man possible—so far—and few zealots of collectivism left to urge an ever faster pursuit of national suicide. We are drifting to the future, not moving purposefully. But we are drifting as Germany moved, in the same direction, for the same kind of reason.
Leonard Peikoff (Ominous Parallels)
Ich las, aber die Worte zogen vorüber wie unbegreifliche Käfer.
Roberto Bolaño (Nazi Literature in the Americas)
Lo que no puede ser no puede ser y además es imposible.
Roberto Bolaño (Nazi Literature in the Americas)