We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Monday, June 11, 2018
Churchill and WW Two: The Man and the Myth
Faulkner knows history very well, but it is sad that his writings will be read by a small fraction of the people in the West. They will get their understanding of history from movies like this current one, Darkest Hour, and all the other "historical" films that capitalist movie studios produce.
Some topics that Faulkner didn't emphasize enough was the split in the ruling classes of the Western capitalist nations between support or opposition to the fascists. Mostly these ruling classes supported the fascists. This was only a little more than a decade after Russian revolutionaries established the Soviet Union. When fascist powers reared their ugly head in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, the other capitalist (pre-fascist) nations stayed "neutral" in contrast to the fascist nations of Germany and Italy which provided massive military support for the reactionary Spanish conservatives against the elected government of Spain.
I have read widely sources that described what went on in the 1930s and I am convinced (see this and this) that there was a conspiracy by capitalist ruling class to promote and prepare Hitler and the Nazis to move to the east to attack and destroy their arch nemesis, the Soviet Union. This was during a time when Western capitalist nations were plagued by an economic collapse and when Western workers increasingly were aware that there was full employment in the Soviet Union which was industrializing at a rapid pace.
My doubts about the standard history I received in US schools occurred when I learned that suddenly in 1929 Hitler turned against his Brown Shirts (SA) and supported the SS who wore black uniforms. I couldn't understand why he would turn against his own supporters. But I now think that ruling capitalist classes of the other countries began to see that the Nazis could be used to attack and destroy the Soviet Union. The SA consisted largely of working class people; so the capitalist agents bargained with Hitler, promised abundant financial backing by major industrialists like Fritz Thyssen, and created the SS which consisted of more upper class Nazis.
(Incidentally, I think the Nazi's and others hatred for Jews stemmed from the fact that the leaders of Bolshevik revolution in Russia were mostly Jewish.)
Hitler's megalomania can be explained by the fact that he was conscious of his powerful backing, and only became a threat to the Western capitalist countries when he attacked Britain. Britain and the other capitalist allies were forced into collaboration with their arch enemy, the Soviet Union, to prevent Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers from taking over the domination of the world from the British Empire and its capitalist allies. That is when arch-imperialist, racist Churchill re-entered the stage of history and became the hero of capitalist history. (Earlier he backed aggressively the efforts of the British to crush the Soviets immediately after their revolution, but failed because Britain's armed forces were too exhausted to do so.) True to his obsessive anti-Soviet views, he always sought to delay FDR's efforts to launch a second front in continental Europe to take the pressure off the Russians (read Roosevelt and Hopkins by Robert E. Sherwood).
I recently read a book by Terry Parssinen entitled The Oster Conspiracy of 1938. Although he takes the same standard view that the Nazis were totally home grown, he was curious enough to uncover the much neglected, and in my opinion deliberately neglected, history of this first revolt against Hitler and the Nazis. The standard view holds that it was all the fault of Neville Chamberlain and his "appeasement" policies. But what he uncovers could also support the argument that the Western capitalist ruling classes refused for political reasons to support a vigorous anti-Nazi movement which consisted mostly of German generals and some diplomats in Germany. I see this as further evidence that the British capitalist ruling class and others saw the German fascists as useful for their plans to destroy the Soviet Union. I think the facts that he uncovers furnish more support for this alternative explanation than the conventional version of these historical events.