Thursday, June 18, 2009
Does it matter if you're murdered by a Nazi instead of a Communist?: The False Dichotomy of "Right Wing" versus "Left Wing."
Cartoon at the time of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, 1939.
On 1 July 1946, a nine-year-old boy named Henryk Blazczyk left his house in Kielce, Poland, without telling his parents that he was going to visit family friends in a village almost 25 kilometers away. His parents became frantic and searched everywhere in Kielce without success. That night, his father Walenty reported the boy missing to the police. On the evening of 3 July, Henryk came home.
Afraid of punishment, Henryk spun a tale to deflect blame. Jews, he indicated, had kidnapped him and placed him in a cellar. He had escaped with the help of another boy. The next morning, 4 July, Henryk, his father and a neighbor reported this story to the police. On the way, Henryk embellished it a bit when he pointed out a Jewish community building/hostel on Planty Street where he said he had been held and indicated a man standing outside it, Singer Kalaman, as his abductor.
The police took him seriously, patrols were dispatched, and Kalaman arrested. In the process, townspeople heard from the police that the rumor about children being held in the house was true and that they were searching for murdered Christian children.
At first, the crowds that gathered watched passively. Then the authorities got involved, especially the local chief of the Department of Public Security, the political secret police, and his Soviet advisor. To reinforce the police, 100 soldiers led by five officers were dispatched to the house on Planty Street. All were told that Christian children had been abducted and murdered by the Jews there for use as "leavening" in matzoh bread. Tensions rose immediately.
With the secret police looking on, the crowd began demanding the Jews be killed. The soldiers and police went into the building, ordering all Jews to surrender their arms. Some gave them up, but not all. After they were disarmed, the pogrom began. Forced out into the street, Jews were shot and beaten to death over a five hour period. Members of the crowd, the police and the military took part while other just watched. Violence spread through the town as Jews were tracked down and attacked, even being pulled from trains passing through Kielce.
The madness lasted until about 3 p.m. when other troops from a nearby school run by the Interior Ministry and from Warsaw finally succeeded in restoring order. At least 42 Jews died in the pogrom, including a mother and her baby who taken from their home and beaten to death in the street. Wounded Jews being transported by ambulance to the hospital were waylaid and beaten again, some of them fatally. Among the dead were the Chairman of the Jewish community in Kielce, Severyn Kahane, shot by police while appealing for help, young Zionists who wanted to leave Poland for Palestine and Jewish soldiers who had fought in the pre-war Polish army, the guerrilla Home Army and even those who had fought with communist partisan bands. One woman was killed simply because she was helping wounded Jews. 3 soldiers and policemen were killed in self-defense by Jews before they were murdered.
In Poland, Communism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism, historian Michal Checinski states that the pogrom was instigated by the Soviet advisers present in Kielce. "The political opposition suffered by gaining a bad reputation abroad [...] the attention of Western media was turned away from the rigging of an important national referendum by the Polish authorities. The Soviet Union achieved an important political goal when mass-emigrating Polish Jews overflowed the Displaced Persons camps in the western zones of Germany and Austria and, at the same time, undermined British rule in Palestine."
22,000 Jews had lived in this medium-sized city in southeast Poland before the war. When the city was liberated from the Nazis by the Soviets, only 2 remained alive in hiding. With war's end some 150 to 200 Jews filtered back to Kielce. Of these, 42 were killed and 40 wounded by the 4 July pogrom. The rest left quickly. Indeed, the Kielce pogrom started an exodus of Jews from post-war Poland. It is estimated that of the 244,000 Jews who had returned to their homes in Poland after the war, only 80,000 remained by 1951.
Kielce was no stranger to pogroms, having suffered one in 1918 during which 4 Jews were killed and more than 230 wounded. The victims of the 1946 pogrom were descendants of the victims of the 1918 outburst. Almost all of them were Holocaust survivors or veterans of the guerrilla war against the Nazis.
Pity the Jews of Kielce. In 28 years they had been murdered by Christian Polish monarchists, German Nazis and their Polish minions and, finally, by Polish communists overseen by their Soviet masters.
So, tell me. Which was worse, being killed by monarchists, Nazis or Communists?
Ask the dead and they will tell you: there is NO difference.
There are no "right wing" or "left wing" distinctions when it comes to government-sponsored violence. From Auschwitz to the Gulag to the killing fields of Cambodia to Mao's Cultural Revolution, a bullet in the brain of an innocent is still a bullet in the brain of an innocent, regardless of the excuse. Whatever its espoused ideological roots, government murder is collectivism.
Collectivism is a term used to describe any moral, political, or social outlook, that stresses human interdependence and the importance of a collective, rather than the importance of separate individuals. Collectivists focus on community and society, and seek to give priority to group goals over individual goals. . . Specifically, a society as a whole can be seen as having more meaning or value than the separate individuals that make up that society. Collectivism is widely seen as being opposed to individualism. -- Wikipedia.
This whole left-right paradigm came about accidentally anyway. During the early French Revolutionary era of 1789-1796, this referred to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France. The aristocracy sat on the right of the Speaker (traditionally the seat of honor) and the commoners sat on the left. And while this may have made sense in late-Eighteenth Century Franch, it does no longer.
From the point of view of the victims, the only political continuum that makes sense is that of collectivist tyranny on one end and the individual religious and political liberty, free markets, right to property, right to arms and rule of law represented by the constitutional republic. Take your left-right line, if you like, and pull each end down and make it a circle, ends touching. Now at the bottom of the circle you have Stalinism, Maoism, Hitlerism and Mussolini's fascism cheek by jowl. That is where they belong, together. By their fruits ye shall know them, and that is how we should classify them.
Farther up each arc of the circle you may place monarchism, socialism (remember, the difference between socialism and communism is that the Commissar has a gun). Throw tribalism in there. Arrange your militarists, monopolists, Christian theocrats and Islamofascists as you please. At the apex of my circle is the minarchist constitutional republic.
There government is small, safe and unburdensome. That government does not execute people for reasons of the collective unless they've committed a real crime against another citizen. And people are citizens there, not slaves, not servants, neither "Lords" nor "Comrades."
Indeed, the only forces served by the adoption of the left-right continuum are those of the collectivists. Only in such an artifical construct could bolsheviks pretend to be the enemy of predatory imperialist monopolists, Nazis pretend to be the bulwark of Western Civilization againt Stalinism and the Ku Klux Klan pretend to be defending "patriotic America" from the Nation of Islam, and vice versa. They are all power-hungry murderers seeking excuses for more murder to slake their tyrannical hunger.
The left-right continuum is a lie, crafted by liars for the purpose of recruiting the gullible to their murderous causes. On a slightly less criminal use of the left-right lie, we have the recent crop of "the right wing extremists are coming to get your momma" column from the likes of Bonnie "Round up all the haters" Erbe, Tim "Roiling Hatred" Rutten, and Sara "Bring on the Civil War" Robinson.
By their lights, using the right-left continuum, I am a "right-wing extremist." I am a Christian. I have been an ardent advocate of the armed citizenry for two decades now. In the '90s I was a leader of constitutional militia. In 2005, I helped work the border with the Minutemen. I am a small "r" republican. I believe in the constitutional republic of the Founders, in individual liberty, free markets, God and the deterrence of tyranny through preparedness. Not in that order. I am proud to say that I have been on the enemies lists of three consecutive White Houses now. I vehemently opposed the PATRIOT Act. I despise Rush Limbaugh, Dubya and Sean Hannity. I have fought -- literally fought at street level -- green-teethed Ku Klux Klan sheetheads, neoNazis and anti-semites all my life. During the Clinton Administration, we in the Constitutional militia movement had to embarrass the FBI into arresting some of the Aryan Republican Army bank robbery gang who were being allowed to walk the streets of Philadelphia free as birds. Just ask Eric Holder about Michael Brescia, he'll remember. For my pains I was called "anti-government" and blamed for the Oklahoma City bombing, as was Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and others. This technique is by no means original. It too is part of the collectivist lie.
I despise collectivism in all its forms. And yes, the Bush-hating, 911 Truther, Holocaust-denying anti-semite and Nazi who killed the guard at the Holocaust Museum was a collectivist, just like fascists are collectivists, socialists are collectivists, and communists are socialist collectivists with guns. So for that matter are tribalists, Jihadis and other religious fanatics. The Holocaust Museum shooter isn't one of ours, Mr. and Ms. "Progressive."
He's one of yours.
He was and is a collectivist.
And the likes of Erbe, Rutten, Robinson, and yes, Obama, would lump me in with my life-long enemies because it serves their lie, and bolsters their argument for my repression, and, carried to its conclusion, sanctions my official murder. They are liars just like Henryk Blazczyk was a liar, only they're adults and they lie on a grander scale.
There are people on my side (well, they say they're on my side anyway) who say we have to apologize for the vehemence with which we defend our liberty and property and who say we must "tone down our rhetoric" and apologize for collectivist haters getting the wrong idea from our message.
This is ludicrous on its face. Why should I tone down my rhetoric or apologize for neoNazi terrorists like James von Brunn and Scott Roeder when I have been fighting them almost all my life? To do so would be to buy into the lie myself, and cede the moral high ground of the fight for individual liberty to lying ideological crossdressers.
I reject the left-right lie, and all the types of tyranny that it camouflages.
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