Sunday, November 3, 2013

From the sublime to the subliminal : from fearing panthers to fearing pathogens

If you are an economic, scientific and military superpower as  American, British , Germany and Japanese imagined themselves to be in the 1930s, who could you realistically fear and blame for all your problems ?

And how can you turn tiny neighbouring nations into fearsome enemies, so as to morally justify your invasion and enslavement of their lands and people in the name of pious self-defense ?

You couldn't seriously fear any nation, even one as big as 1930s Russia surely ?

Is to laugh !

But Communism ? Yes, oh yes : directed by the Russians but operating within every modern nation- invisibly - "Die Morder sind unter uns" indeed.

Equally small, mobile and invisible invisible were the Jews found in every modern country as well.

The peoples of modern superpowers no longer feared any awesomely sublime enemies : no longer feared big panthers, wolves, tigers.

Didn't fear big hurricanes, droughts, famines.

Didn't fear big earthquakes and volcanoes.

Didn't fear big God or his alter ego , the big Devil.

Feared no Deity or Nation; feared not Sublime (large) Nature.

This lack of fear of anything awesome and sublime, this lack of credible eternal enemies and internal scapegoats had become  a widespread problem in the decades between 1870 and 1890.

Conveniently then, when that old warhorse ,The Germ Theory, was offered up for the umpteenth time it was not instantly rejected as was the norm.

Instead, grateful elites worldwide fell upon it like onto a life raft after a shipwreck.

No longer was the Russian wolf pack at the Aryan gate : no longer was the feared enemy big and thus highly visible and intent on a clearly signalled frontal attack.

Now the new enemy was so small and weak as to be virtually invisible.

In fact, precisely because they were so invisible and appeared to be so weak and harmless, they were all the more effective as a secretive Fifth Column inside our walls - a commensal enemy, living ! here ! among ! us !

Throughout history it is clear that it has always been extremely safe for people to blame everything on very big powerful but also very external enemies (gods, earthquakes) : enemies that usefully don't own powerful big local businesses or form massive voting blocs.

Even more popular - because this time you actually get to publicly execute those you wish to blame for everything  - are minorities among you of the poor, powerless and disliked (minorities of the rich, powerful and disliked needn't apply).

While it is easy to blame somebody obviously big and powerful , like a god, for big disasters , it gets much harder to blame the small and the weak ,particularly when they are also few in number.

You must convert the weak into local agents of someone external and powerful : so elderly impoverished spinsters, with no powerful human local friends, are burned alive as witch-agents of the external Big Ole Devil.

Tiny poor minorities of Jews are converted into agents of Wall Street capital or (and or) (and) Moscow communism.

As they were earlier persecuted for being agents of the Devil.

Now the awesome power of the Devil and his witches was a fact proven by the Church's greatest Doctors back in the days when Theology ruled .

They had just been unproved.

Now Pasteur and Koch had recently proved , as a scientific fact in a scientific age, that it was instead invisible germs that killed working class people - rather than them dying because of witches or because they were worn down by doing too much work with too poor amounts of food , heat and shelter.

So it was once again credible that beings small and weak and few could overcome the big and mighty and many.

Now impoverished rural Polish Jews couldn't be realistically be presented as a military or economic threat.

But if they married or even just had close prolonged contact with Aryans, it was claimed that these few Jews could spread their poisonous racial values like a highly contagious germ into the Aryan bloodstream, just as a few original germs can bring down a mighty nation in an epidemic.

Germs do really exist - and witches really do fly on a broomstick   in fairy tales.

But it is a unproven metaphorical leap to claim as a fact that some humans are not merely like germs or witches but actually are germs and are witches.

But this was not a error made only by Nazis and Germans : most of the smartest  people in the world in the Modern Era made this leap from metaphor of rhetoric to quasi-scientific fact....

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