disgusted, but not quite shutting up

" . . . the inside of the stadium in Liberty City"


Just when I think I've been doing pretty well with my own campaign of "inner emigration"* [because, basically, we are clearly not a democracy; I don't think anything else we can do will make a difference; there are no institutions left in place to turn this country around; etc.], something gets me going again. This time it's Barry, with whose frustrations ["I rarely post about politics anymore. I'm too disgusted."] - and limits of patience - I am totally in agreement.

* For discussions of the subject, see a discussion centered on Thomas Mann and his contemporaries, and one devoted to the experience of Karl Amadeus Hartman.

[image from colinfahey.com]

Thanks for posting the links to the essays which were interesting/informative on many levels. I had not heard of the term “inner migration.”

In my opinion, Mann’s timing was off, way off. A day after Germany surrenders, with every city laid waste and still smoldering by redundant allied bombing campaigns, his article appears in the Frankfurt Presse, presumably (I don’t speak German) ripping into German people for their collective guilt. What a mean guy!

This is not to say that Mann’s point of view regarding collective responsibility wasn’t relevant, as I believe it was. Rather, it is to note the author's self-indulgence in lashing out in anger at his fellow country men, women and children, many of whom who were, no doubt, still starving, homeless and injured. This assessment of Mann is consistent with Henry Hatfield‘s critique, really a compliment, that, "Regarded as a whole, Mann's career is a striking example of the repeated puberty". http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/tmann.htm

As for bashing “inner migration” itself there are artists who stayed in Germany for whom it does not detract one iota from their life’s work. On the contrary, it adds to their courageous and iconic status. Right off the bat, Kathe Kollwitz is called to mind.

I see a slight parallel in Mann’s perspective with that of Ward Churchill’s, “little Eichmen’s working in the World Trade Center”. Many leftists were able to read his essay with a degree of objectivity, perhaps agreeing in part or rejecting in whole, his central thesis. There could have been no such detached consideration given had the article been written on 9/12/01. Bill Maher would not have invited him on his show. What in the world was Mann thinking on 5/10/45?

There was something else that stuck with me from the reading you linked to. A known fact, but it struck me in a novel way: the Nazi regime lasted 12 years. A lot of damage, historically irrevocable, and irreversible, can be done in so short a time. We still have three and half more years of the Bush junta.

Finally, I picked up a second hand book last year, “The Inability to Mourn: Principles of Collective Behavior” by Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich The German authors lived in Germany before, during and after the Nazi era and were psychoanalysts. The book is powerful and prescient. The authors are concerned about the collective rejection of guilt. From an American perspective, the principles apply. Having rejected the guilt of our genocidal debacle in Vietnam, we are free to continue to invade and slaughter the populations of other nations.

This is the kind of input which makes a "comments" section worth maintaining, in spite of all the spam and the nuts, mostly people who don't know how to read - or write.

And I hope I'll always be (nearly) as pleased with reasonable comments which argue against these posts.