They thought they were free or how Tyranny works and commemorating the dead on Anzac day

“The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think? Excerpt from “they thought they were free”.

Today Kiwi’s commemorate the dead. The soldiers that were send to “liberate” Europa and fight in colonial wars for Queen and country. And while it is a good thing to remember those who were either summoned whether they liked it or not or who volunteered to serve their country let’s today also think about the populations of those “enemy” Countries.

Let’s think about the Afghan population of whom 92 % had never heard about what happened on 911 but who are never the less in the process of being liberated because of it and have been for the last 11 years. Let’s think about the million or more Iraqis who died in another one of the US/NATO “liberation” wars and who had nothing to do with the events of 911 or Libya which is now embroiled in a tribal war after the US and NATO “liberated” them and while you commemorate you dead countrymen let’s spare a thought for the living ones training with US soldiers all the while that country is spoiling for an all out attack on Syria and Iran. To liberate them of course just to liberate them…

But let’s also think about what happens to the populations of the aggressors in those wars because much like the victims in the countries attacked by those countries the populations at home are their victims too because empire builders don’t care for the voice of the little people, the people who die in the wars as soldiers and cannon fodder and their families. they don’t care for the voices of the people whose lives are ravaged because all the resources are used not to make a peaceful living with ploughshares but with death and destruction and cannons.

The builders of empires deceive and corrupt and inevitably terrorise their own populations as much as the populations the countries they invade and their anger and evil will only subside when they die and the power they accumulate is taken back by the little people. That’s you and me and all who want peace and freedom for all.

Here is how it happened in Germany and while you read this have thought for the American population whose homeland security department is buying 450 million hollow points, toll booths, radiation pills and armoured vehicles stronger than the ones used in Afghanistan and Iraq.

——————————————————————————-

“What no one seemed to notice,” said a colleague of mine, a philologist, “was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

“This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

“You will understand me when I say that my Middle High German was my life. It was all I cared about. I was a scholar, a specialist. Then, suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the university was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires. And on top of that were the demands in the community, the things in which one had to, was ‘expected to’ participate that had not been there or had not been important before. It was all rigmarole, of course, but it consumed all one’s energies, coming on top of the work one really wanted to do. You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time.”

“Those,” I said, “are the words of my friend the baker. ‘One had no time to think. There was so much going on.’”

“Your friend the baker was right,” said my colleague. “The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?

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3 thoughts on “They thought they were free or how Tyranny works and commemorating the dead on Anzac day

  1. I think it is legitimate to point out that uniting with STalin to defend freedom was bizarre.

  2. When I was 15 I lived for a year in Enschede in the Netherlands and attended an international school as my Dutch was not so good. At the school were some Turkish students and there was an instant bond between us due to our shared history. Both sides suffered terribly at Gallipoli and my Turkish friends never understood why Australian and New Zealand soldiers were fighting on Turkish soil no matter how much I tried to describe importance of the Commonwealth in those days and of fighting for King and Country. Their war was not with New Zealand.

    At the same school were a few Arabic students. One day while discussing things political I asked why the Arab people didn’t like the United States. Hypocrisy was the answer. Amongst the people I was talking to there was a deep respect and admiration for the principles that the United States was founded on. It was sad, in their view, that those principles appeared to only apply to the American people.

    At today’s dawn service in Wellington, when I saw the Turkish flag I was reminded of my friends and the things we all had in common. I thought about the troubles in the world, the psychopathy of the Wall St backed US industrial/military complex and the way in which they profit from sowing division amongst the peoples of the world, by focussing on the differences between cultures and nations. This world being created is not what our ancestors died for.

    The crack of the guns reverberating off the buldings in the stillness of the morning caused me to wonder if that is what it sounds like for the those people in the Middle East and North Africa who have suffered at the hands of the madmen and their military. It must be demoralising when that sound is incessant. I can only imagine. It is something that I hope to never experience.

    If revolution is coming to NZ, and I believe the current path we are on is making it ever more likely, all these thoughts underscored the importance of why that revolution must be peaceful. We must focus on our common needs and a desirable future state. The French ambassador noted how war can bring two enemies together to be friends in peace, so why not just cut to the peace part? It is possible and we owe it to our ancestors who, in sacrificing their lives at Gallipoli, have highlighted the futility of conflict.

  3. Fascism is alive a well in NZ, with both central government and local government pushing frantically to impose the agendas of global corporations and money-lenders on the general populace.

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