Category Archives: historical

What if Beria Had Succeeded Stalin?

Background

I recently re-read Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness– A Soviet Spymaster, the autobiography of General Pavel Sudoplatov, who was, inter alia, the brains behind such complex secret operations as the acquisition, in the 1940s, of atomic and nuclear technology from the USA and UK; he also oversaw such sanguinary plots as –and most notoriously– the assassination of Trotsky in Mexico in 1940.

I last read Sudoplatov’s book in 1994, the year of its first hardback publication. On first reading, I did not, perhaps, pay enough attention to the part of the book near the end, dealing with Beria and the Politburo in general after the death of Stalin in 1953.

It might be said that to examine the beliefs and intent of Beria is otiose now that 65 years have passed since his death by summary execution. Also, unsurprisingly, few tears have been shed for him since his death. He was in many ways monstrous: this article is of course limited in scope by reason of, inter alia, lack of space. Beria’s crimes of a political nature were on a vast scale. His more personal crimes were also many and included the regular abduction and rape of women and girls, including some young schoolgirls. Having said that, his swift “trial” (in secret and without defence representation) and the immediately-following execution was a purely political action ordered by those with political records in many ways as bad (Khrushchev, for one).

I start from the following premises:

  • that Western and/or Westernizing conspirators funded and oversaw the Bolshevik coup d’etat in October 1917 (old calendar);
  • that the same cabals set up the Soviet system in the 1920s as a quasi-religious movement (in style) which was atheist (in content);
  • that the quasi-religious character of Bolshevism slowly started to dissipate after the death of Lenin in January 1924, replaced at first by a pseudo-intellectual Marxism-Leninism (incorporating a personality-cult), then by a revival of “Holy Russia” and nationalistic propaganda (mixed with the foregoing) during the war of 1941-45. Finally, there came a late efflorescence of the Stalin personality cult mixed with pan-Slavism between 1945 and Stalin’s death in 1953;
  • that in the (significant number) 33 years from 1956 (the year of Khrushchev’s Secret Speech denouncing Stalinism as a personality cult etc) to 1989, Sovietism continued to decay ideologically, until it finally collapsed into a pile of dust.

Beria, ideologically

Beria was born in Merkheuli, near Sukhumi, which latter was a prosperous resort in late-Tsarist times. His family was not poor. It may be important that (in contradistinction to Russia), the Black Sea littoral was part of the Alexandrine Greek polity and, later, the Eastern Roman Empire. A more cosmopolitan milieu than that of Russia and one which existed for more than a thousand years prior to the first foundation of Kievan Rus.

That area, Abkhazia (geographically a part of Georgia, though historically distinct), was the location of the legendary Golden Fleece and is said to have been the birthplace of wine.

In the Soviet era (from the mid-1930s), peasants were able to (in effect) own their own agricultural or horticultural plots of up to 0.5 hectare (about an acre or so). “Special districts” (particularly in Georgia) could have plots as large as 1 hectare (2.2 acres) officially and slightly more unofficially. By 1939, these small plots (only a few percent of the land area of the Soviet Union) produced at least 21% of all Soviet agricultural produce (and a far greater percentage of fruits etc). Some estimates from later times (the 1970s) put the real figure as high as 40%.

The “garden plots” or “household plots” had become important in Georgia/Abkhazia since the end of serfdom in 1865.

Beria (b.1899) thus grew up in a milieu quite different from his later Russian and Ukrainian colleagues.

Beria was, as a youth, involved, when a student in Baku (again, a very “capitalist” and cosmopolitan city which, after a long history, had boomed pre-1914 by reason of the oil finds), with both the Bolsheviks and the Azeri anti-Bolshevik Musavat movement, which had Muslim, Turkic and general reformist roots and ideology.

It has been alleged against Beria that he had been involved with British Intelligence in Baku in or around 1919. Not impossible. Baku was of huge strategic importance during the First World War.

Likewise, at his drumhead trial in 1953, it was alleged that Beria favoured soft relations with National Socialist Germany or was even a “traitor” who helped Germany militarily and diplomatically (see the Wikipedia article, below).

Anthroposophy and other Germanic cultural connections

Beria was friendly toward the writer Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, who was educated partly at Berlin University (graduating in 1918) and spent the war years in Germany and Switzerland as well as France. Gamsakhurdia may well have met Rudolf Steiner (d.1925) at that time, when Steiner was constructing the First Goetheanum (at Dornach, near Basel, Switzerland).

In the 1920s, Konstantine Gamsakhurdia was for 3-4 years a political prisoner in the Solovki concentration camp on the Solovetsky Islands. He would almost certainly not have survived the purges of the 1930s without Beria’s protection.

The son of Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, became President of Georgia in the first democratic elections following Soviet rule. He is generally considered to have been an Anthroposophist, and wrote, among other works, Goethe’s Weltanschauung from the Anthroposophic Point of View [pub. Tbilisi 1985].

Beria’s Preferred Policies

Beria was not an idealist, but a practitioner of Realpolitik, par excellence. This enabled him not only to implement Stalin’s repressions without conscience, but also to see the aspects of Soviet life that were not working.

Had Beria succeeded Stalin,

  • he would have brought back a large measure of private ownership, or at least operational ownership, into agriculture. That would have hugely improved Soviet agriculture, whereas Khrushchev’s Virgin Lands scheme was mainly an expensive and ecologically-negative failure;
  • because Beria was not an ideologue, he would have had no qualms in ending the Cold War early. He would have been, to cite Mrs Thatcher’s view of Gorbachev, someone “with whom the West could do business.” That might have meant no Vietnam War, no Soviet support for so-called “Liberation” movements in Africa, no Cuban Missile Crisis, no Berlin Wall;
  • while Beria would certainly have ruthlessly stamped down on domestic political opposition, he would not have repeated Stalin’s mistaken policy (implented partly by Beria himself) of arresting millions of people for effectively no reason;
  • Beria would have (as Sudoplatov notes) allowed the non-Russian republics a greater degree of independence, thus creating an earlier and more feasible “Commonwealth of Independent States” [CIS], albeit that they would not be “states” but autonomous or semi-autonomous republics.
  • Beria would have concentrated the KGB (its later name) and GRU on useful intelligence gathering and not on playing spy games and fomenting pseudo-Marxist revolts in Africa, Latin America etc.

Conclusion

While it might stick in the craw of many to conclude that Beria would have made a far better ruler of Russia than uneducated Khrushchev with his half-baked huge projects and his bang-shoe-on-table style of diplomacy, the facts speak for themselves.

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhumi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abkhazia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_plot#History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musavat

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goetheanum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthroposophy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Steiner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solovki_prison_camp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solovetsky_Islands

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantine_Gamsakhurdia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Lands_Campaign

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavrentiy_Beria

Literary Note

A British scribbler, one Alex Marshall (formerly of The Guardian, now at time of writing apparently “Europe Culture Editor” for The New York Times) wrote a book called The Caucasus Under Soviet Rule, in which he wrote that “Personally propagating a bizarre Rudolph Steiner-inspired cult of anthroposophy, [Zviad] Gamsakhurdia…[etc]”.

Poorly written, for a start: “Anthroposophy” requires upper-case “A”, just like, say, “Roman Catholicism”. Marshall spells Rudolf Steiner, “Rudolph”, just as those who make fun of Hitler often write his name “Adolph” in petty denigration; also, “a bizarre” should be (if written at all) “the bizarre”.

Marshall’s words sound like a polemic against Anthroposophy, that movement which has achieved so much (though that fact is still not well-known to the masses in the Anglophone countries). To write off Anthroposophy as “a bizarre cult” is itself bizarre: think biodynamic agriculture, Waldorf [Rudolf Steiner] education etc.

I note that Marshall’s book, at least according to some reviewers, contains a number of other factual errors.

In fact, Shevardnadze, who overthrew Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was a ruthless “ex”-Soviet apparatchik who reintroduced large-scale repression into already-chaotic Georgian political life. He was the preferred candidate of the New World Order, completely under the “Western” thumb. I myself was slightly acquainted at one time (c.1995) with one of Shevardnadze’s advisers, who –like me– was on the Committee of the Central Asia and Transcaucasia Law Association [CATLA], a body active in the 1990s and which was supported by the British Government and large London-based law firms with interests in those regions.

http://poli.vub.ac.be/publi/ContBorders/eng/ch0201.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduard_Shevardnadze

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zviad_Gamsakhurdia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthroposophy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Steiner

Update, 24 November 2018

I have located my copy of the book Beria, by Sergio Beria (Lavrenty Beria’s son), so may add to this blog post when I have reread the book.

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Special Blog Post, To Honour Professor Robert Faurisson [1929-2018]

A (arguably the) pre-eminent revisionist historian, and a man of great integrity, Robert Faurisson has died at the age of 89. Predictably, the usual tasteless jackals took the opportunity to gloat and laugh on the Twitter echo-chamber and elsewhere. (((They))) give themselves and their character away so easily. Ignore them.

The work of this courageous fighter for truth will now be disseminated to ever-wider readerships. I start that here and now by posting the English-language edition of his unpublished book about the “holocaust” controversy etc.

https://www.historiography-project.com/books/faurisson-on-the-holocaust/index.php

Notes

Faurisson’s Wikipedia entry (obviously, Wikipedia is tainted on certain topics by having been infiltrated by Jewish Zionists, but the more basic biographical facts are usually correct):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Faurisson

Biographical details from a more sympathetic source:

http://www.revisionists.com/revisionists/faurisson.html

Comment by the Jewish anti-Zionist Gilad Atzmon:

https://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2018/10/23/robert-faurisson-and-the-study-of-the-past

Books and other writings by and about Faurisson can be readily found on Amazon etc.

The Imperial Vacuum in the Middle East and Near East, and Its Consequences

Initial Thoughts

I have been reading about what appears to have been the appalling and unusually cruel murder of a dissident Saudi journalist, supposedly cut up while still alive by some kind of Saudi Arabian “security” team in the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.

This news item made me once again muse on the unsatisfactory position in the “Levant”, the Middle East and also what was once called the Near East.

The region is not one that I know well personally. I have been to Qatar twice on short visits, once in 2001 (when Doha was a rather pleasant and rather sleepy place) and again in 2008 (by which time it had become a horrible, dystopian and skyscraping sprawl). I spent less than a week in the Luxor Hilton in 1994, and another three months in Egypt in 1998 (Aswan, the Red Sea, Alexandria and the oasis of Siwa). I have also spent about 4 months in Turkey and Turkish North Cyprus.

The Gulf

What many younger people fail to realize is just how recent (in present form) are the phenomena we know as Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar etc. Take Abu Dhabi: when I was at school in England, aged 14, in 1970, there were a couple of rather unpleasant boys whose father was chief of police in Abu Dhabi, which was at the time a dusty desert enclave just beginning to profit from its huge hydrocarbon wealth. The British still supplied the senior military, police and other officials in Abu Dhabi at that time. Abu Dhabi, which had been known (right up to the Second World War) only for its pearls and for the slave trade, first struck oil in 1958 (or rather BP, as concession-holder, did). That first strike was followed by others, in 1959, 1962 and 1965.

The growth of Abu Dhabi in terms of population can be judged by the following progression: in 1960, the entire resident population of the city itself was 25,000. That grew to 50,000 by 1965 (though falling back to 46,400 by 1969). By 1995, the population was 398,695, and by 2014 was apparently 1,205,963, an increase of 31% even on the previous year! The latest estimate for the (entire) Abu Dhabi population (2018) is nearly 3 million! Abu Dhabi city (which contains about two-thirds of the entire population) was planned in 1967 for 40,000 inhabitants, which was changed in the 1970s (i.e. less than a decade later!) to a projection of 600,000. The present (2018) population of the city is said to number about 2 million. About 90% of the population of the emirate is foreign.

Qatar, likewise, is a very recent phenomenon in its recent form. Oil was discovered only in 1940, after which successive oil and gas finds in later decades transformed the small enclave once populated by a few thousand fishermen and pearl divers. The population of the entire sultanate in 1970 was 108,000, whereas in 2018 it is between 2.5 million and 3 million. As with Abu Dhabi and other Gulf Arab “states”, something like 90% of the population is foreign and that 90% does almost all of the work (from banking to street-sweeping), and has few rights.

I was once told, around 1977, by a construction person who spent his time in the Gulf, that he was engaged on constructing a new airport (I forget exactly where) there. He told me that the growth in the region (even then) had been phenomenal. I asked him where he thought that the Gulf Arabs would be by some date in the future (probably 2000, but I have in fact forgotten which year I specified) and he answered, cynically, “back riding their camels”! Well, he was wrong (if 2000 was the year), but I wonder whether he will be so wrong when looked back at from, say, 2050 or even 2030.

The Gulf “states” or statelets have no resilience: 90% of their population consists of expats, many of whom are from poor parts of Asia. The 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait showed that, for all their expensive Western military toys, the Gulf rulers and their forces are men of straw.

Some Gulf states are running out of hydrocarbons, others have understood that the demand for oil may have peaked with the development of other energy sources, and so have begun to diversify economically. However, in the end, the future for these socially-backward societies with their “ready-to-wear” (bought) Western toys and expertise may be not so good.

The Main Part of the Middle East

We have seen that, from the time of open proclamation of the New World Order [NWO] immediately after 1989, the NWO has destabilized the Middle East and North Africa. Israel is of course pivotal. The destabilization has, overall, helped Israel. Its major opponents militarily (Syria, Iraq) have been cast into chaos, Iran has been embroiled in conflict in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, Egypt has been further suborned and placed under NWO-controlled dictatorship, while even Libya (peripheral, but wealthy and always anti-Israel) has been broken up internally. There are now no regional armies able to pose an immediate threat to Israel, the “Zionist entity”.

Turkey

Turkey was, for much of the past century, a relatively static and relatively neutral player on the geopolitical stage. That was the genius of Ataturk, to make Turkey militarily-strong without (usually, much) using that power externally. Now, Turkey risks being drawn into the sphere of destabilization.

The Big Picture

The combined region of the Middle East and Near East has always been the stage for empires, among them the Alexandrine Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantine Romans, the Ottomans, the British; the French too (from Napoleon’s day until 1945). There were attempts by others to exercise imperial power: the Russians under both Tsarism and Sovietism; also, briefly, Iran under the Shah in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, beyond the strictly regional squabbling players, there are attempts at larger-scale control: Russia, the USA (i.e. the NWO), as well as, on a more limited level of power than the first two (and also than under the Shah), Iran again.

It is clear that the only solution to the problems of the regions, particularly of the core Middle East, likely to last long, will be the imposition of a supervening imperium which can subordinate all existing states to its control. That means that the Arab states and Israel would be ruled by this quasi-imperial power. It is equally clear that such an imperium does not exist. The Americans have huge destructive resources, but lack the imperial will and desire which would enable them to succeed the British, the Ottomans, Byzantium, Rome etc. That is also true of the Russians, who also can be described as largely “defensive” (wishing to defend their Southern flank as much as anything). The Iranians have not the power to make a substantial difference in this arena.

The conclusion is, to me, obvious: the future of the region is not another imperial or quasi-imperial chapter, but large-scale destruction only.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Dhabi

http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/abu-dhabi-population/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Qatar

 

There Should Have Been An Honourable Peace in 1939 or 1940

The Background

September the 9th, 2018. 79 years and 8 days since the famous German attack on the Polish radio station at then Gleiwitz; 79 years and 6 days since Britain (and so the entire British Empire) and France declared war on Germany; about 78 and a bit years since the German defeat of France, since the British retreat from Dunkirk; 78 years since the air Battle of Britain.

What weakens the usual System-history narrative about the history of those times is the a priori assumption or, if you like, a Grundnorm [basic underlying concept or belief, often unquestioned or deliberately made impossible to question], that the declaration of war by Britain and France was unquestionably both “the right thing to do” and unavoidable.

The typical, conventional System view, as displayed above, is of course grounded on an even deeper-held belief or Grundnorm, that is that the German government of Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP was so evil that it had to be destroyed. That view (at the time and really until the 1970s at least –talking about British attitudes–) was based on the opinion that Germany was again trying, for the second or third time in memory, and as a continental power, to take over mainland Europe. More recently, the more Jewish-influenced attitude has held sway, because of the Jewish control or veto over the worlds of publishing, academia, politics, msm etc in the West: that Germany had to be confronted and defeated because of its policy re. Jews.

The whole “Germany had to be defeated because of the ‘holocaust'” nonsense is of quite recent date. Not often (i.e. never) mentioned to the brainwashed masses or to their equally brainwashed offspring in British schools, is the fact that not one of the world leaders or the most important military leaders (e.g. Churchill) made any mention of “extermination programmes” or “gas chambers” in their spoken remarks or post-war written memoirs. The Jewish-Zionist element has taken control of the historical narrative and completely twisted it. That is why “they” hate any historical revisionism. They present a weight of mutually-quoting fakery as if it were a weight of evidence. In any case, even the Zionist propagandists do not claim any German “extermination plan” or programme for the Jews  until 1941.

Returning to war and peace in 1939-40, we see that the big picture shows a world far more than today split between European empires. The British Empire ruled between a quarter and a third of the world. Most of the rest (leaving aside the Soviet Union, the USA and China) was ruled by other Europeans: empires of the French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Belgians. The depredations of the early imperial days had begun to give way to the idea of stewardship. The native peoples were beginning to be looked after, the wildlife the same. All that (which became so positive in the 1950s) was ruined by the Second World War and its aftermath. Decolonization, globalist finance-capitalism etc have been disastrous for the peoples and environment of Africa, South America, Asia.

In Europe too, we see how disastrous was the decision to go to war in 1939. Immense destruction, huge loss of life (some estimates say 80 million), cruelties, hardship etc. Also massive economic dislocation.

We often hear half-baked nonsense about how “the war” stimulated inventions and technological progress. Most of this is either not true or is at best half-true. In both Europe and USA, huge strides were being made in the 1930s. What the war did was to change priorities: planes built for speed rather than comfort, housing built on a utilitarian rather than an aesthetic basis etc.

In the UK, much nonsense is talked about the Welfare State in this regard. In fact, social housing (which had existed in limited forms for centuries) was being created on quite a large scale in the UK of the 1930s, particularly in and around London. As for the NHS etc, that was already being prepared in studies etc, though the war may have concentrated minds and so on.

The Phoney War

The Phoney War, also called the Bore War and (in Germany) Sitzkrieg, lasted from September 1939 to April 1940. At that point, few people, even in the armed services of either side (meaning UK/Germany) had been killed. Any bitterness or venom (mainly on the British side and stirred up by relentless propaganda) was small compared to what existed later. There could, after Dunkirk, have been an honourable peace, an armistice. Germany could then have turned its full attention to destroying Stalin’s regime the following year. The Russian people would eventually have come to a concordat with the German Reich. Only the Jewish commissars etc would ultimately have lost out.

Conclusion

Britain lost out hugely by going along with Churchill’s ridiculous adventurism. Terrible loss and turmoil during the years of war, 10 years of “austerity” after the war ended. The perceived “need” (in fact a conspiracy) to import blacks and browns in the 1950s and thereafter in order to make up for those killed and injured in that wholly unnecessary war. Slow poisoning of the folk.

Britain and France declared war on Germany, ostensibly, to protect the independence of Poland. It never happened. Poland was split between the German Reich and the Soviet Union at first, later taken entirely by the Reich, then later still taken entirely by the Soviet Union. Instead of one or two weeks of war, Poland was strafed by 6 years of it. Only since 1989 has Poland regained anything like full political sovereignty. When I myself visited Poland on several occasions in the late 1980s, one still met older Poles who might mention those worthless guarantees of 1939.

Had an honourable peace been found in 1939 or 1940, the British Empire would have wound down more gradually, as would the other European empires. There would not have been so much war and misery across the world, the American cultural death-impulse would not have been so powerful and destructive; also, the environment would not have suffered anything like as badly. Above all, Europe would be fully European and have a fully-European future.

The 20th of July

I cannot let the 20th of July pass by without a few words. On 20 July 1944, discontented officers tried to kill Adolf Hitler. Transposed (arguably pointlessly) to a British context, that would be equivalent to discontented British officers trying to kill Winston Churchill and the King (Hitler being both head of government and head of state). In fact, it is at least arguable that both the UK and mainland Europe would have been better had that happened (in 1940, when Germany offered honourable armistice between the Reich and the British Empire but was refused by Churchill and his circle). There would then have been no devastation throughout Europe, certainly in Western Europe, no carpet bombing of German and other cities (eg some French ones, largely destroyed by Allied bombing and shelling: Brest, Le Havre etc).

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/10877137/D-Day-French-torn-over-criminal-British-and-American-D-Day-bombings-of-Caen.html

Above all, Stalinism might well have been destroyed or at least contained. Sovietism would not have been allowed to invade the East and Centre of Europe.

Do not imagine that there were no British senior officers who despised and hated Churchill. Lord Alanbrooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff and (from 1944) Field Marshal makes his distaste for Churchill’s charlatanry clear in his diary.  However, officers such as he were imbued with automatic-reflex loyalty to, not the head of government, but the King as head of state. They probably never thought of mutiny, still less assassination.

On the German side, most of the senior officers plotting against Hitler were content to do his bidding while the German forces were in the ascendant; when Germany started to fail, though, they thought in terms of surrendering on the Western Front, at the same time as holding on on the Eastern Front, thus saving Germany and much of the rest of Europe from what actually later happened, the savagery and barbarism of the Red Army engaged in wholesale murder, rape and looting, followed by the icy grip of Soviet socialism.

Those “disloyal” senior officers of the Wehrmacht (and some others, such as Canaris) were not motivated solely or even mainly by self-interest or their class-interest as aristocrats (not all were aristocrats; among the middle-class ones were Rommel and Canaris), but by a concern for what they conceived to be the ultimate focus of their loyalties– the future of the German state and German people, as well as, beyond that, European culture and civilization generally, threatened by Sovietism which, at that time, was Stalinism.

History is not black and white. National Socialism was a very fine movement overall, but not without flaw. The General Staff and other plotters likewise cannot simply be written off as “traitors” even though, from one point of view, they were. Their point of view, i.e. that Germany was losing the war on at least two fronts, was accurate to that extent. Where they went wrong was in assuming that the USA and UK (and their dependent entities, as well as hangers-on such as de Gaulle) would in fact conclude a separate peace, separate from the Soviet Union. That was pie-in-the-sky thinking. The Allies had already proclaimed, at Casablanca, that only “unconditional surrender” would be acceptable,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casablanca_Conference

so the plotters would have had to throw themselves entirely on the mercies of the Western Allies and Stalin, were they to have eliminated Hitler. Even so, it is arguable that that might have been a better result for Germany and the rest of Europe than what actually transpired in 1945. However, that is to look with the benefit of what is now known. At the time, things must have looked very different, especially in Germany itself.

Hitler might have won out, even at the last moment, in terms of the conventional battlefield. The new jet fighters might have turned the tide, had they existed in sufficient numbers; new tanks were outclassing Soviet and Western models; above all, the East-West tension that blew up as soon as Germany was defeated in 1945 might have, in that final year, spelled the end of the alliance between the West and the Soviet Union and given Germany what is now called wriggle-room.

Having said all that, Germany would have been devastated to an even greater extent had it continued to fight after, at latest, the Summer of 1945. The Jewish scientists who created the atom bomb did so on the basis that it would be used against Germany, not, primarily, Japan. Had Germany started to defeat the Western Allies and Soviet forces on the ground and in the air in mid-1945, Berlin and other cities would have been attacked by atom bombs and destroyed; admittedly, in the case of Berlin, Hamburg etc, let alone Dresden, the difference might have been only academic:

Dresden1945

[Dresden after the UK/US bombing, 1945]

The key point is that Germany was not making atomic weapons and had no means with which to do so. It had been checkmated.

So there we have it. I cannot approve (and my approval is irrelevant either way) the actions of the backstabbers of 20 July 1944: Meine Ehre heisst Treue, but the plotters of that time were not all-“good” or all-“bad” in motive or action. As Wolfram von Eschenbach says in the introductory part of Parzival, “blame and praise alike befall when a dauntless man’s spirit is black and white mixed, like the magpie’s plumage”…

History has its own judgment. As Schiller observed, die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht [“the history of the world is the judgment of the world”].

We honour the past but advance to the future.

Adolf-Hitler-1889-1945-German-statesman

 

Fake News, Fake History and Fake Memories: the UK in the 1970s etc

The Story

I went to school on the train endless strikes waiting on cold platforms for hours. Then returned home to a house with power cuts no heating hot food it was a nightmare for at least 10 years“— who can guess on what the lady I quote was, in a semi-literate fashion, commenting? The Second World War? Surely not: that only lasted for 6 years. The Siege of Leningrad? No, that lasted for a shorter period yet— 2 years, 4 months. What, then? In fact the lady in question was commenting, in the online Daily Mail, on the UK railways and, in the wider sense, on the UK generally in the 1970s.

Well, it certainly sounds like it was awful. The problem with that, though, is that it is in fact not true. The trains in England (where I lived; Wales and Scotland were similar) were not subject to “endless” strikes (though there were certainly far more than is now the case) and the station platforms were no colder than they are now. What about “power cuts”, “no heating [or] hot food”?

The Reality

The “Three Day Week” only lasted for 3 months (January-March 1974) and only commercial users of electricity were cut off or required to cease using electrical power. Most domestic users were unaffected. Newspaper printing, supermarkets and hospitals were also exempt. In other words, if the lady quoted at top is not simply making up her story of hardship (or failing to remember accurately), the reasons must lie elsewhere. Maybe her parents failed to pay their electricity bill! Only joking…In fact, two years before that, there had been announced (on 16 February 1972) a rolling programme of area outages (including domestic users) but peace broke out 2-3 days later (midday on 19 February 1972) so, again, few domestic users were affected, though a minority had seen limited outages earlier, in early February.

There was, also, the “Winter of Discontent”, which occurred in the winter of 1978-79, but in fact (in its acute phase) was only effective in January and early February 1979. In reality, we are talking about weeks rather than months. Neither domestic nor commercial users of electricity lost power; gas and coal users were likewise unaffected.

So there we have it: the lady commenting on these matters at top seems to be a victim of selective amnesia when she regards a decade of her childhood as having been an awful ten years without rail travel, heating, lighting etc. The “decade” in question turns out to have been affected for about 2-4 months out of 120…

In fact, the amnesiac lady is not alone. Time and again we read about how the UK spent much of the 1970s in the dark, in the cold, without public transport, without food, rubbish uncollected and dead bodies unburied. It’s nonsense, but many really believe it, even those who were there, which is worrying…I should add that I myself was there, having been born in 1956; by the way, those “dead bodies unburied” did exist briefly (for a few days) in the winter of 1978-79, but only in two or three small areas of Liverpool and Manchester. Less noxious rubbish did pile up, but not for very long and not everywhere.

This fake history, that the 1970s were a decade of “socialist” chaos and dislocation, is quite entrenched now. This canard has wings! The various “Conservative” newspapers in the UK repeat it as an article of faith.

Other Fake Memories

No, I am not going to blog, here anyway, about the “holocaust” scammers and delusionals. I want to focus on a few other things. One persistent idea (which I have even seen said and written by journalists and TV talking heads older than me) is that Britain had no decent food until about 20 years ago! It’s just nonsense! Another is that life was harder for people in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s than it now is. More nonsense. In, say, the 1970s, people mostly had secure jobs, which paid enough to live on; there were no such things as foodbanks; social security was far better overall, the disabled and unemployed were not bullied by DWP jobsworths; the mass immigration which is making the UK (especially parts of England) into a human zoo had not really begun to snowball; workers had fixed hours, which included decent lunch breaks of 1 hour (often interpreted generously); there was no such thing (for most employees) as being on call after hours, in the evenings or on weekends and holidays. In addition, it was far easier (for anyone qualified) to access higher education.

Conclusion

There is a wave of unreality around. I have a –perhaps idiosyncratic– theory that the various kinds of lies or lying fake “facts” that people are often now expected to believe (“holocaust” fakery, the idea that races and peoples are all somehow “equal”, the idea that National Socialism was “evil” etc) have affected the general sense of truth in society, so that many cannot detect lies, and indeed often lie to themselves as well as others about recent history and even about their own experiences.

Notes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Day_Week

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/16/newsid_2757000/2757099.stm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_Discontent

 

When Public Order Collapses

I suppose that few British people have ever seen the collapse of public order. The United Kingdom has at least been fortunate in that regard. The tumultuous events of the past century have left largely intact the Victorian legacy of “law and order” bequeathed by the 19th Century.

Britain has endured two world wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945), other and smaller wars overseas, a General Strike (1926), other periods of industrial strife (1930s, 1970s), acts of terrorism, periods of political violence (1930s, 1970s) and even a limited and slow-burn civil war in pockets (Northern Ireland, particularly 1970s to late 1990s), yet overall order (and the rule of law) has persisted. Even in Northern Ireland that has been so, though a barrister friend of mine visited a “Diplock court”–https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplock_courts— in the 1980s and told me of how surrealistic it was to see a criminal trial with all the panoply of the English law (bewigged and gowned barristers, a “red judge” in his wig and robes etc) but without a jury and, instead of court security or police officers, several soldiers carrying submachineguns and on guard.

This is of course in stark contrast to the experience of other Europeans. Russia of course is, as always, sui generis, with its 20thC revolutions (1917), civil war (1918-1922), political purges (1917-1948), invasion and vast wartime destruction (1941-1945), as well as the collapse of the Soviet system in the 1980s and early 1990s and the waves of gangsterism and Jewish-Zionist oligarchy that followed from 1991 onward until a degree of stability was attained under the Putin regime.

The older generation of mainland Europeans were almost all affected, at least at second-hand, by disorders: the Second World War swept across the continent leaving few countries untouched (and even some of those–Finland, Spain, Eire– had seen their own wars, civil wars etc). In fact, the only European countries of any size unaffected directly (though certainly indirectly) by the Second World War or civil upheavals were Sweden and Switzerland. Even Portugal, neutral during 1939-1945, later had a military coup and revolution (in the 1970s).

France, for example, was in the 20th Century invaded twice, had several all-France republics established, as well as the Vichy Government of 1940-1944; it also had considerable political and industrial conflict, huge destruction from air, land and sea (in 1940, from German attack, but more seriously from the Anglo-American invasion, bombing, shelling etc of 1941-1944). France also had the underground war of the OAS in the early 1960s, which very nearly brought down de Gaulle and the Fifth Republic.

Again, Poland has seen, from 1914 through to the 1980s, invasions, purges, wars, civil disorder, very great changes in the Western and Eastern borders of the country itself, near-starvation at times, economic collapse several times, destruction of much of its infrastructure, ruination of its currency.

The effects upon civic life and rule of law of all these events has been greater on mainland Europe than has been the case in the UK. On mainland Europe, the ways of life of the various countries has had to be re-established, sometimes several times over, usually with very significant changes. In the UK, the way of life has evolved quite slowly and –even as a result of WW2– without dramatic alteration overnight.

Why then, do I see civil disorder as a serious possibility in the UK?

First of all, Britain has taken in a vast horde of mainly non-European immigrants, most of whom have no racial, cultural or religious connection with anything that British history has produced. Even those non-Europeans born in the UK do not feel the same connection with the country that is felt by the real British (including those with other white Northern European ancestry and who were born here).

Secondly, the reaction of the Caribbeans and other non-Europeans to serious difficulty is to engage in street protest which can become riotous, as has happened several times even in the past decade.

Thirdly, the indigenous British have lost at least some of the resilience which sustained public order in previous times. By way of personal anecdote, I recall the “petrol crisis” of 2000, when I had not long returned from overseas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_protests_in_the_United_Kingdom. Having little choice but to travel across country, I saw at one motorway filling station scenes not far from the chaotic. This left a deep impression on me. Speaking personally, I have little faith in the ability of the System to maintain order, should a more serious or prolonged crisis hit the nation, if “nation” it still is.

I do not see the British now as a unified people, because of both cultural and directly racial/religious factors. A large and growing minority are really not British at all and have only tenuous connection with and loyalty to the State.

A fourth aspect is that the arms of the State are not now well-staffed. Police, Army etc. Could they handle large-scale disruption? I wonder.

It may be that the UK will have to undergo some of the vicissitudes endured in the past century by many of the mainland European peoples before a new system is established.