Posts Tagged ‘Nuremberg Stadium’

Lobster on the Rhetorical Similarities between Tony Blair and Oswald Mosley

August 21, 2016

The Blairites have been falsely accusing anyone they can of being an anti-Semite. Most of those smeared have been so libelled simply because they were opponents of Israel’s oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. The victims of this disgraceful smear, as I have pointed out time and again, include Jews and anti-racist activists like Tony Greenstein, Rachel Nesbitt, Jackie Walker and Ken Livingstone. One of the most disgusting examples of this was last weekend, when Mark Foster, a Jewish donor to Labour, denounced Momentum and the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn as Nazi ‘stormtroopers’.

This is more than a little hypocritical, considering the Israel lobby’s own attempts render Israel’s racist policies against the indigenous Arab population off-limits through the abuse of such accusations, and the appalling contempt the founders of the state of Israel had for Arab Jews and European Jews, who wished to stay in their traditional European homelands. Chaim Weizmann and David Ben Gurion wished to see increased Nazi persecution of European Jews during the Second World War, in order to encourage them to emigrate to Israel. One of the two even said that if there was a choice, between all of the Jews in Europe emigrating to Britain, and being saved, or half of the European Jewish population emigrating to Israel, while the other half were murdered by the Nazis, he’d prefer the latter.

They considered the Mizrahim, Arab Jews, culturally inferior, and only took them in because there was a shortage of labour after their expulsion of the Palestinians. They were segregated, given the lowest-paid and most menial of jobs to perform, and taught in special schools in order to remove any trace of their inferior Arab culture. This included the theft of Arab Jewish children from their parents, who were then given to childless European Jewish couples to bring up.

Lobster has also been a persistent critic of Tony Blair and New Labour. It has also not been shy of pointing out the similarity between Blair and the Nazis. For example, Blair’s warmongering in Iraq is exactly the same war crime committed by the Nazi leader Ribbentrop. And Blair’s rhetoric was also very close to that used by Oswald Mosley when he was the leader of the British Union of Fascists. So close is this resemblance that Robert Henderson published an article on the similarity, ‘New Labour, New Fascism?’ in issue 38 of the magazine, for Winter 1999. He opened with the statement

Tony Blair’s rhetoric is heavily if unconsciously littered with fascist buzz words: NATION, NEW, RENEWAL and so on. But there is a greater similarity than single words: Blair frequently expresses ideas which have a remarkable similarity to those of Oswald Mosley. To demonstrate this, I have compiled a series of quotes from Blair and Mosley.

He then provides a series of quotes, and challenges the reader to decide which is Blair and which is Mosley. There was a key at the bottom of the article giving the answers. All the quotes from Mosley were taken from Eugene Weber’s Varieties of Fascism, shortened to VoF. Those from Blair came from Iain Dale’s, The Blair Necessities, and were abbreviated to BN.

Here are the quotes. See how you do. There is obviously no prize, but I feel that if there was one, it should consist of a speech in the winner’s favour by Tom Mann at the Nuremberg Stadium.

1. It combines the dynamic urge to change and progress, with the authority, the discipline and the order without which nothing great can be achieved.

2. It is largely from family discipline that social discipline and a sense of responsibility is learnt.

3. Our challenge to be a young country is not just economic, it is a social and moral challenge.

4. I believe we have broken through the traditional barriers of right and left; they were are developing a new radical economic approach for the left and centre.

5. Above all it is a realistic creed. It has no use for immortal princip0les in relation to the facts of bread-and-butter; and it despises the windy rhetoric which ascribes importance to mere formula.

6. One Britain. That is the patriotism for the future.

7. The steel creed of an iron age, it cuts through the verbiage of illusion to the achievement of a new reality…

8. It is no good waving the fabric of our flag when you have spent the last sixteen years tearing apart the fabric of our nation.

9. A young country that wants to be a strong country cannot be morally neutral about the family.

10. We have in unison in our case the economic facts and the spiritual tendencies of our age…

11. We need a new social reality.

12. We seek to establish a new ideal of public service, and a new authority based on merit.

13. It must be absolutely clear to the British people that we are apolitical arm of no one other than the British people themselves.

14. The mild tinkering with the economy proposed by the Social Democrats nowhere near measures up to the problem. A massive reconstruction of industry is needed… The resources required to reconstruct manufacturing industry call for enormous state guidance and intervention.

15. We will protect British industry against unfair foreign competition.

16. There is nothing odd about subsidizing an industry.

17. It is true that within the old parties and even within the old parliament are many young men whose real place is with us and who sympathise with our ieas. The real political division of the past decade has not been a division of parties, but a division of generations.

18. The market collapsed: its guardians, the City whizz-kids with salaries fractionally less than their greed, now seem not just morally dubious, but incompetent. They failed miserably, proving themselves ut5terly unfit to have such power.

19. Politically, the fall-out from the events of the past two weeks will be immense. There will be few politicians standing for election next time on a budget advocating ‘free markets’.

20. The new establishment is not a meritocracy, but a power elite of money-shifters, middle men and speculators… people whose self-interest will always come before the national or the public interest.

21. The case advanced in these pages covers, not only a new political policy, but also a new conception of life. In our view, these purposes can only be achieved by the creation of a modern movement invading every sphere of national life.

22. We will speak up for a country that knows the good sense of a public industry in public hands.

23. A nation at work, not on benefit. That is our pledge.

24. Social aims without economic means are empty wishes. By uniting the two we can build a better future for all of our people.

25. In our project of national renewal, education renewal must be at the forefront. Our watchwords will be aspiration, opportunity and achievement.

26.I want a negotiated settlement and I believe that given the starkness of the military options we need to compromise on certain things.

27. It is the primary responsibility of any government to defend the country. That much is obvious. But my contention here is that a strong defence capability is an essential part of Britain’s foreign policy.

28. To change our country, we must show that we have the courage to change ourselves.

29. I think that you should always put the national interest before any section of interest in your party.

30. Our task now is nothing less than the rebirth of our nation. A new Britain. National renewal…The task of building new Britain now to come.

31. We ask them (our supporters) to rewrite the greatest pages of British History by finding for the spirit of their age its highest mission in these islands.

32. Without an active interventionist industrial policy… Britain faces the future of having to compete on dangerously unequal terms.

33. [We aim to] convert the existing chaotic survival of laissez-faire liberalism into a planned economy serving the needs of the State as a whole.

Key

1. VoF p. 170.
2. BN p. 18 1993
3. BN p. 19 1995
4. BN p. 14 1996
5 VoF p. 170.
6. BN p. 13 1996
7. VoF p. 171
8 Bn p. 13 1996
9. BN p. 12 1995
10. VoF p.172.
11. BN p. 19 1996
12. VoF. p. 111.
13. BN p. 28 1996
14. BN p. 39 1982
15. BN p. 39 1983
16. BN p. 40 1983
17. VoF p. 172
18. BN p. 41 1987.
19. BN p. 41 1987.
20. BN p. 42 1994
21. VoF p. 171.
22 BN p. 521988.
23. BN p. 65 1995.
24. BN p. 65 1995
25. BN p. 69 1994
26. BN p. 89 1982
27. BN p. 90 1997
28. BN p. 94 1993
29. BN. p. 98 1996
30. BN p. 106 1995
31. VoF p. 175.
32. BN p. 57 1988
33. VoF p. 116.

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Cameron Joins the Borg for the Sun

April 6, 2015

Star Trek’s Borg: The Future of the Conservative Party

On Saturday, I reblogged an edition of Russell Brand’s The Trews, where he takes apart a promotional video for David Cameron made by the Sun. Apart from the general horrendous bias of the video and its flagrant omissions of what Cameron has actually inflicted on the poor, sick and unemployed of Britain, it was also notable for the weird extremes its sycophantic tone took. It wasn’t enough to show Cameron’s working day, lobbing him soft questions, and trying to present the butcher of the poor and homeless as somehow warm, cuddly and caring.

David Cameron as Nature Documentary

No! They had to take viewer identification to a completely new level. They fixed Cameron up with the type of camera they usually fix on animals in nature documentaries, so you could experience what it was like to be him as he walked down 10 Downing Street’s hallowed corridors.

This presented the highly amusing spectacle of the prime minister being wired up in the same way the Beeb has put cameras on wild birds, seals and walruses, and, most recently, cats and dogs. There’s even a form of camera that can be purchased by ordinary members of the public, who want to put it on their pet to see what their pooch is doing. It was one of a number of doggy gadgets that Warwick Davis tried out on the One Show. This ended up with the nation’s favourite Ewok yelling down the computer screen as his canine best friend decided that it would take a dip in the house’s fish pond.

With Cameron similarly wired up to the TV, all that was needed was a voice-over by David Attenborough giving details of his territorial behaviour, nesting, and mating rituals.

There is a more serious side to this. The camera placed on Cameron to present his pov takes the whole exercise into the issue of cultural hegemony, the Fascist cult of the leader, and the potential loss of individuality and personal freedom through the internet.

Cameron’s Camera and Marxist Theory of Hegemony

Marx claimed that the ideologies informing and governing societies, such as religion, were constructed in order to disguise and legitimate the power of the economically superior ruling groups. This was developed by the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci into his theory of hegemony, in which the ruling classes grip on culture and its manipulation is part of the process through which they rule.

Part of this involves the lower orders and subordinate groups taking over and viewing everything through the eyes of their social superiors. One of the problems in history is that frequently the only materials that survive from past ages, is that produced by the ruling class of aristocratic White males. Thus the view of the past can be skewed very much towards the viewpoint of the governing aristocracy. If you look at culture generally, it frequently, but not always, was made by members of the ruling classes, and so reflects and promotes their class interests.

This isn’t always the case, and there are severe flaws which have effectively discredited Marxist aesthetics, which puts everything down to class. Nevertheless, it is broadly true in many cases.

This exercise with Cameron’s personal camera took this to its ultimate extreme. Not only were you being asked to identify with Cameron’s worldview, but you were also being manipulated into identifying with him personally, as a real, embodied being walking the corridors of power. This is as close a personal identification you can get with modern technology, failing having galvanic stimulators strapped onto your body, so you can carry out every movement he does.

The Fascist Leader Cult

Absolute glorification and identification with the leader is also one of the central tenets of Fascism. The cult of a charismatic leader was supposed to bring the ordinary citizen into a more personal, dynamic relationship with their government than was possible in democracy, with its grey, stultifying, boring bureaucracy. In practice, the reverse was true, and the cult of the leader proved far more boring and bureaucratic than the democracy the Fascist leaders had overthrown. And particularly as the Fascist apparatchiks were generally mediocrities and non-entities, carefully selected for their lack of talent and charisma so that they would never challenge the authority of the Fuehrer or Duce.

This was partly the purpose of the Fascist spectacles – the speeches from balcony and rallies in Nuremberg Stadium: to reach out to the masses and propagandise them through the leader’s personal charisma and oratory. And Hitler in particular stressed his personal connection with ordinary Germans and the submerged masses. In one of his speeches, he declared ‘everything I am, I am through you. Everything you are, you are through me.’ People and Fuehrer thus in Nazi rhetoric and ideology were almost indissolubly linked, the one a personification of the other.

Cameron’s donning of the camera to present his personal view took that concept, and attempted to make it technological reality.

We are Borg. Your technological and biological distinctiveness are at an end. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

Remember the Borg in Star Trek? This was their answer to Dr Who‘s Cybermen. The Borg were a race of humanoids, who had taken cybernetics almost as far as it would go. They had become cyborgs, combining the organic and machine. This technology had made them so interconnected, that they had lost all individuality. Only the Borg queen had an individual identity. The rest were merely drones, serving the collective, which was itself a gestalt intelligence or hive mind, like a giant anthill.

Star Trek’s producers state that when they created the Borg, they did so deliberately to play on American fears of collectivist societies, like those of the Japanese. And, we might add, like Communism. But the part of the Western political scene now that has the most totalitarian ideology is that of the Conservative right. Through sanctions, workfare, work coaches, fitness to work assessments and so on, the Tories and their Lib Dem enablers have created an extensive bureaucracy of surveillance and control, which is intended to monitor almost every aspect of the benefit claimant’s life. It harks back to the utilitarians’ ideology of control in Jeremy Bentham’s prison design. These were to have panopticons, a watch room from where every corridor and the movements of all the criminals in the prison could be observed and monitored. This, it was believed, would allow the authorities complete control over the prisoners and facilitate their reform.

The same ideology now permeates the Tories’ views of the poor and benefit claimants. At the moment the personal cameras are just being used to get people to identify with their leaders. How long before someone wants to use them to monitor us in the next extension of totalitarian power from a party determined to ‘discipline and punish’?