“The Origins of Totalitarianism” by Hannah Arendt

Arendt’s chilling analysis of the conditions that led to the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes is a warning from history about the fragility of freedom, exploring how propaganda, scapegoats, terror and political isolation all aided the slide towards total domination. A nonfiction bookend to Orwell’s ‘1984’.” The NYT

Author – Hannah Arendt

Genre – Non Fiction- Politics, History.

Subject – Nazism/ Stalinism/ Totalitarianism

Published – 1951

Award – National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction (1952)

( Long read/ abridged form of the text )

About the author

Hannah Arendt (1906 – 1975) was one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. Born into a secular German-Jewish family in Hanover, she was forced to leave Germany in 1933 and lived in Paris for the next eight years, working for a number of Jewish refugee organisations. In 1941 she immigrated to the United States and soon became part of a lively intellectual circle in New York. She held a number of academic positions at various American universities until her death in 1975. She is best known for two works that had a major impact both within and outside the academic community. The first, The Origins of Totalitarianism, published in 1951, was a study of the Nazi and Stalinist regimes that generated a wide-ranging debate on the nature and historical antecedents of the totalitarian phenomenon. The second, The Human Condition, published in 1958, was an original philosophical study that investigated the fundamental categories of the vita activa (labor, work, action). In addition to these two important works, Arendt published a number of influential essays on topics such as the nature of revolution, freedom, authority, tradition and the modern age. At the time of her death in 1975, she had completed the first two volumes of her last major philosophical work, The Life of the Mind, which examined the three fundamental faculties of the vita contemplativa (thinking, willing, judging).

She was taught by the philosopher Martin Heidegger with whom she developed a romantic relationship, complicated by his later affiliation with Nazi party. She received her doctorate in Philosophy from University of Heidelberg and began researching antisemitism. In 1933, she was arrested and briefly imprisoned by the Gestapo, after which she fled Germany for Paris, where she worked for the immigration of Jewish refugee children into Palestine. In 1937 she was stripped of her German citizenship. In 1940 she married the Marxist philosopher Heinrich Blucher .She was detained in an enemy internment camp the same year as an enemy alien. After that she left France for US and became a citizen 10 years later.

In US, she was the research director of the Conference on Jewish Relations, executive director of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction in New York city and a visiting professor at several universities. In her book ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem ‘,she coined the famous phrase ‘the banality of evil ‘.

Preface to antisemitism

Two world wars, separated by local wars and revolutions have ended in anticipation of a third world war. Future is unpredictable and political forces cannot be trusted. It is as though human kind is divided into two groups, the omnipotent and the powerless. There are only extreme responses, desperate hope and desperate fear or reckless optimism and reckless despair. There is no adequate or balanced response to horrors. It holds that progress and doom are two sides of the same medal. The traditional elements of the political and spiritual world has dissolved and to yield to the process of disintegration has become a spurious grandeur of historical necessity.

Comprehension of whatever is happening around us needs us to face the reality without denying its existence or submitting meekly to its weight. Arendt writes about comprehending the phenomenon of Jewish question, and antisemitism becoming the agents of a world war and establishment of death factories. She adds, ‘if it is true that in the final stages of totalitarianism an absolute evil appears, it is also true that without it we might never have known the truly radical nature of evil . We can no longer afford to take that which was good in the past and simply call it our heritage or to discard the bad and simply think of it as a dead load which by itself time will bury in oblivion. The subterranean stream of western history has finally come to the surface and usurped the dignity of our traditions.’ This is the reality and all efforts to escape from the grimness of the present into nostalgia for a still intact past or into anticipated oblivion of a better future are in vain.

Arendt differentiates antisemitism, a secular 19th century ideology from religious Jew hatred. She criticizes the interpretation of modern antisemitism as no more than a secularized version of popular medieval superstitions and no less fallacious than the notion of a Jewish secret society that has ruled or aspired to rule the world since antiquity. She cites Norman Cohn’s Warrant For Genocide The Myth of Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of Elders of Zion.(pg 13). There was a rift in understanding Jewish history between late Middle ages (15th century)and modern times more marked than the gulf between Roman antiquity and Middle ages. Jews began to think at this time that the difference between Jewry and nations was of an inner nature and more likely to be. racial in origin. Arendt draws this observation from Jacob Katz‘s book Exclusiveness and Tolerance, Jewish-Gentile Relations in Medieval and Modern Times. (Pg 14). She infers that this shift in the evaluation of alien character of Jewish people among Gentiles was a sine qua non for the birth of anti semitism later in the Age of Enlightenment.

Interest in history of Jewish-Gentile relations was nonexistent prior to 1850s which coincided with the rise of antisemitism. Arendt quotes that the first modern Jewish historian J.M Jost in Germany was much less prone to the prejudices of secular Jewish historiographers who wrote later. She writes about the fallacies of Jewish and non Jewish historiography written during this period isolating the hostile elements of Christian and Jewish sources like the massacres and catastrophes. Jewish historiographers, with their polemical and apologetic bias, traced Jew hatred in Christian history. These spokesmen succeeded in convincing the general Jewish public the non-fact that Jewish separateness was due to Gentile hostility and lack of enlightenment. Judaism was touted superior to other religions. . This self deceiving theory accompanied by the belief of passivity of the Jewish people suffering Christian persecutions amounted to modernization of the old myth of chosennesss and was bound to end in complicated practices of separation upholding the ancient dichotomy. So much of irony for those who manipulate political facts and historical records. Arendt notes that the only common thing between Jews and non Jews is a mutually hostile past which was religiously predetermined rich in cultural achievements and abundant in fanaticism and crude superstitions of uneducated masses.

Nowhere and at no time after the destruction of the temple did Jews possess their own territory and their own state. They had always depended on their existence on the protection of non Jewish authorities though some means of self protection was granted to Jews in France and Germany, the right to bear arms, in the thirteenth century. In violence, Arendt writes, Jews were helpless and vulnerable. Still in medieval times the alternative of submitting to baptism and thus saving themselves from persecution remained open to Jews even when the cause of violence was not religious, but political and economic. Historiography has always dealt with Christian dissociation from the Jews than the reverse. Jewish dissociation from the Gentile world, especially from the Christian environment occurred because of a voluntary separation for the survival of the people and not upon the hostility of Christians and non Jews. Only in the19th and 20th centuries after emancipation and assimilation had antisemitism played a role.

Arendt writes that the history of antisemitism fell into the hands of non Jewish crackpots and Jewish apologetics and was carefully avoided by reputable historians. This was true for the elements that later crystallized into totalitarianism. They had hardly been noticed by the learned or by the public since they belonged to a subterranean stream of European history where hidden from the light of public and attention of enlightened men they gathered an unexpected virulence. The final catastrophe brought these subterranean trends into the open, but there was a tendency to equate totalitarianism with its elements and origins like antisemitism, imperialism or racism. This is a misleading fallacy. Totalitarianism is far from antisemitism, racism, imperialism or communism. Totalitarianism uses and abuses their own Ideological and political elements until the basis of factual reality from which these ideologies originally derived their strength and propaganda values, for example class struggle or conflicts of interests between Jews and neighbors, have all but disappeared.

She quotes that the only direct and unadulterated consequence of 19th century antisemitic movement was not Nazism but, on the contrary, Zionism. She also mentions that this doesn’t mean that the Jewish self consciousness was a product of antisemitism. It has always been the survival of people against the odds of dispersion since the Babylonian exile. Arendt criticizes the existentialist interpretation of the Jew by Sartre as someone who is regarded and defined as a Jew by others.

Arendt gives an example for distinction between pretotalitarian and totalitarian antisemitism in the ludicrous story of Protocols of Elders of Zion. Nazis used this forgery politically and propagandistically for totalitarianism and antisemitism . Antisemitic history can explain why the improbable tale of Jewish imperial ambitions had the plausibly to be useful as anti Jewish propaganda.

Arendt’s book tells about the Jewish history in Central and western Europe from the time of court Jews to the Dreyfus Affair in so far as it relevant to birth of anti semitism and influenced by antisemitism. The emergence of the first antisemitic parties in 1870s and 1880s opened the antisemitic road that ended in final solution.

Preface to Imperialism

The power politics in the imperialist era shifted from localized, limited, predictable goals to limitless pursuit of power. Arendt writes that this domino theory is apparent in American foreign policy to wage war in any country, a new version of the old ‘Great Game ‘ whose rule dictated whole nations as stepping stones or pawns. Kipling implies this imperialist power politics by the figure of the secret agent in Kim, When everyone is dead the Great Game is finished. Not before. The only reason why his prophecy didn’t come true was because of the constitutional restraints . The initiative of overseas expansion has shifted from England and western Europe to America and continental expansion in close geographic continuity no longeyr comes from Central and Eastern Europe but is exclusively located in Russia.

Expansion is no longer justified as thewhite man’s burden , or tribal consciousness to unite people of similar ethnic origins. They are euphemistically covered in terms like ‘commitments to client states’, ‘responsibility of power ‘, or ‘solidarity with national liberation movements ‘. Imperialist development by private investment in distant lands is surpassed by economic and military foreign aid. American dollar imperialism, the private capital invested for profit in foreign countries, is over. The foreign aid now given in the form of humanitarian assistance, which is political by nature and not motivated by profit, but has disappeared due to corruption in the respective countries,is no longer the superfluous capital that could be invested in the home countries, but the amount the haves could afford to lose. Arendt writes only the very rich and powerful countries can afford to take the huge losses involved in imperialism nowadays.

The imperialism practiced by America has intimate connection with the rule by ‘invisible government ‘and secret services. While the European imperialism had checks and balances in the form of constitutional restraints in the home countries, the rise of the invisible government in the US whose reach into domestic affairs, cultural, educational and economic sectors of the citizens’life, shattered the hopes of constitutional development .

David Wise in his book ‘The Invisible Government ‘, quotes Allan W Dulles’ (the first civilian director of CIA and the longest serving director to date) ” Intelligence in US has enjoyed since 1947a more influential position in our government than intelligence enjoys in any other government in our world “. Dulles in his book, ‘ The Craft of Intelligence ‘ says that “the government has to fight fire with fire. The CIA had to be modelled upon the Soviet State Security Service, which more than an intelligence or counterintelligence agency is an instrument for subversion, manipulation, and violence, for secret intervention in the affairs of other countries “. Arendt mentions that it’s an error to believe that the creation of a net of secret services in the US after WW ll was an answer to the direct threat of its national survival by the espionage networks of Soviet Russia. On the contrary, the war had propelled the US to the position of the greatest world power and it was this power than the national existence, that was challenged by the revolutionary power of Moscow directed communism.

Population growth in less developed countries play a part in imperial power politics. The widening gap in riches ,education, technical know how between developed and lesser developed countries of the world makes the chances of imperialism to rise by the latter turning for help to the former. This objective situation turns foreign aid to an instrument of foreign domination that puts the all countries that need help for their decreasing chances of physical survival before the alternative of accepting some form of government of subject races or sinking into anarchic decay.

Arendt, in this book, explores how European imperialism led to totalitarianism in the 20th century. She mentions that imperialist rule seems half forgotten in presence of the horrors of totalitarianism, but the contemporary imperialist practices of US and Soviet Union brings imperialism back to relevance, though she stresses that imperialist policies need not always end in disasters of totalitarianism.

Preface to Totalitarianism

The firm establishment of totalitarianism rests on mass support. Scholars and statesmen deny this, scholars by believing in the magic of propaganda and brain washing. Evoking the German public opinion who were well aware of the massacre of Jews in Poland Arendt stresses that the mass support for totalitarianism comes neither from ignorance nor from brainwashing.

Arendt differentiates Mao’s totalitarianism from that of Stalin and Hitler. Mao’s thoughts didn’t run along the lines laid down by Stalin and Hitler. He was not a killer by instincts. Nationalist sentiments, prominent in revolutionary upheavals in formerly colonial countries, was strong enough to impose limits on total domination. The Chinese Communist Party after its victory had clear totalitarian tendencies. These traits became prominent with Sino-Soviet conflict. China insisted on rehabilitating Stalin and denouncing Russian attempts at detotalitarization as revisionist deviation . The counter ideology of anti communism, failed to differentiate various communist one party dictatorships from the different forms of authentic totalitarian governments in China. Different elements should like considere, drunkenness and incompetence in Russian ruling class, but absent in German ruling class, the gratuitous cruelty in German concentration camps, largely absent from Russian camps where prisoners died of neglect rather than torture .

Arendt differentiates totalitarian governments from dictatorships and tyrannies

Antisemitism as an outrage to commonsense

One of the explanations for antisemitism is nationalism and xenophobia associated with it. But the fact is that antisemitism grew in proportion as nationalism declined and the European system of nation states crashed.

The Nazis had contempt for the narrowness of nationalism and provincialism of nation state. They repeated time and again that their movement, international in scope was more important than any state. All the previous years of the history antisemitism stands as evidence against its identification with nationalism.

Arendt writes that it’s hard to explain the rise of antisemitism with decline of nation states. Tocqueville, the French aristocrat, diplomat, political scientist, political philosopher and historian gives an example in his book,explaining the violent hatred felt by French masses to the aristocracy at the onset of Revolution. Edmond Burke, the Irish statesman, economist and philosopher remarked that the French Revolution was more concerned with the condition of the gentleman than with the institution of the king. The loss of power of aristocrats was not accompanied by the loss of fortune . When they had power including those to exploit and oppress, they were respected. Thus the main cause of resentment of the masses was neither exploitation nor oppression, but wealth without visible function.

Antisemitism reached its climax when Jews lost their public functions and influence and left with nothing but their wealth . When Hitler came to power the German bank, where the Jews held key positions for more than a hundred years, were cleansed of them (judenrein) and their numbers in the country were declining rapidly. The Dreyfus Affair happened in the Third Republic when Jews vanished from important positions. Similarly Austrian antisemitism happened in the post war Austrian Republic due to the loss of influence and prestige of Jews through the disappearance of Hapsburg Monarchy. What makes men obey or tolerate real power and hate people who have wealth without power is the rational instinct that power has a certain function and use .

Antisemitism took root with the decline of Western and Central European Jewry . This defies the commonsense explanation of violent hatred or sudden revolution springing from great power and great abuses. Arendt rejects the scapegoat theory whereby Jews are always implied as scapegoats. She writes that the theory insinuates that no evil was done. Jews become one out of the many groups involved, the scapegoat ceases to be the innocent victim whom the world blames for all its sins and through whom it wishes to escape punishment. She rejects it as one of the many theories motivated by escapism. But she also adds that the rise of terror as a major weapon of government has lent it a credibility than ever before.

She notes the difference between modern dictatorships and past tyrannies in that nowadays terror is not used to frighten and exterminate opponents, but as an instrument to rule masses of people who are perfectly obedient. The arbitrariness of terror is notable in that it strikes without provocation, victims are objectively innocent and noone, not even the executors can be free of fear. This happened in Nazi Germany against the Jews. In Bolshevik Russia, the arbitrariness of terror is much advanced in that they theoretically never admitted practicing terror and it was not limited to racial differentiation. And anybody in Russia could suddenly become a victim of police terror.

Though a victim of modern terror shows all the characteristics of a scapegoat, objectively innocent, and thus there is a tendency to discharge the victim’s responsibility since nothing he had done or omitted matters or has any connection to his fate. He is presumed to be caught up in the terror machine and is unable to change his fate. In order to establish a totalitarian regime, terror must be used as an instrument in carrying out a specific ideology followed by a majority. The point Arendt mentions is that, Jews, before becoming the main victims of modern terror, were at the corner of Nazi ideology. Such an ideology, to persuade and mobilize people, cannot choose its victims arbitrarily. This fact goes against the scapegoat theory. For a forgery like Protocols of the Elders of Zion to become the text of a political movement, for a majority of masses to believe it, these facts are more important than the circumstances of the forgery.

So the scapegoat theory is an escapism for the seriousness of antisemitism. Another theory that Arendt rejects is that of eternal antisemitism. Jew hatred is regarded natural reactions to an eternal problem. This was adopted by professional anti semites and it gives the best possible alibi for all the horrors. Jew hatred and killing are justified beyond the need for an argument here. Arendt criticizes its advocacy and adoption by many unbiased historians and also an even greater number of Jews. This has a clear escapist basis for the perpetrators and the victims who discard their share of responsibility.

Arendt writes about the birth and growth of modern antisemitism. It happened in course of Jewish assimilation, and secularization when when the old religious and spiritual values of Judaism withered away. Jews were threatened by physical extinction from without and dissolution from within. Jews, concerned with the survival of their people hit on the consoling idea of antisemitism as an eternal guarantee of Jewish existence. Faith in chosennesss, secularized travesty of idea of eternity, Messianic hope, the Christian brand of hostility were a powerful agent of preservation spiritually and politically. Though their assimilation had bypassed Christianity religiously and culturally, they mistook modern anti Christian antisemitism for old Jew hatred and revival of the so called Dark Ages. Thus they fatally underestimated the unprecedented dangers that lay ahead. Lack of political ability and judgment and ignorance or misunderstanding of their own past were indeed due to the very nature of the Jewish history, a history of a people without government, country or language. In this respect, Jewish history is unique in that even with a well defined history, well circumscribed plan, Jews avoided all political action for 2000 years. The consequence was that the political history of the Jewish people became dependent on unforeseen, accidental factors and the Jews stumbled from one role to another and accepted responsibility for none.

Thus antisemitism, far from being a guarantee for survival of Jewish people, became a threat of extermination. Eternal antisemitism theory has also outlived its refutation by reality. It stresses the inhuman innocence that so strikingly characterizes victims of modern terror. The advantage that the author sees over scapegoat theory is that it answers the uncomfortable question, why the Jews of all people?. The problem with these two theories are that they deny Jewish responsibility. This is a negation of human behavior resembling the government arbitrary terror liquidating any human activity. The doctrines translate the events in extermination camps as simply due to Jew hatred, irrespective of what they had done or omitted to do, regardless of vice or virtue. The murderers themselves were absolved as people obeying orders, with passionless efficiency, innocent instruments of inhuman impersonal course of events which the doctrine of eternal antisemitism considered them to be.

These doctrines sound plausible to the multitude, but are not the historical truth. They stand in the way of the historian’s search for truth. He, like anyone, is likely to succumb to its persuasive force. Historians must be careful in handling generally accepted opinions that claim to explain whole trends because the previous century had produced an abundance of ideologies that pretend to be keys to history but are nothing but desperate attempts to escape responsibility .

Plato in his famous fight against ancient Sophists discovered that their universal art of enchanting the mind by arguments had nothing to do with truth but aimed at opinions which are changing and valid only at the time of the agreement and as long as the agreement lasts . Plato also noted the insecure position of truth in the world,“from opinions come persuasion and not from truth “. Arendt differentiates ancient and modern Sophists as thus. The ancient ones are concerned with a passing victory of the argument at the expense of truth, while the modern ones want more lasting victory at the expense of reality. One destroys dignity of human thought while the other destroys dignity of human actions. The old manipulators of logic are concern for the philosopher and the modern manipulators of facts stand in the way of historians. Facts are used and misused to prove this or that opinion.

If opinions are discarded, the components of history are revealed, facades come crashing down, those which a few decades ago we thought were indestructible essences. Modern antisemitism according to Arendt, is due to the development and decline of the European nation states, growth of antisemitic movements, and downfall of nationally organized Europe. The source of which could be found in Jewish history of the relationship between Jews and the state, hostility between certain groups of the society and Jews and how in the final stages of disintegration antisemitic slogans proved the most effective way of inspiring and organizing great masses of people for imperialist expansion and destruction of the old forms of government.

Arendt writes, that if the steady growth of the modern mob , the declasses of all classes ,produced leaders who found in the Jews, the focus of a political ideology, a key to history and a central cause of all evils then the previous history definitely contained clues for the hostile relations between Jews and the mob. The Dreyfus Affair was a kind of dress rehearsal.. It revealed the hidden potentialities of antisemitism as a major political weapon. The preparatory elements of modern antisemitism are dealt with in subsequent sections which were not fully realized until the decay of nation states and development of imperialism.

The Jews, the Nation-State and the Birth of Antisemitism

During 17th and 18th centuries, the court Jews were granted rights, privileges and liberties. Called Juden in Prussia, their standard of living was higher than other fellow Jews who were still better off than non Jews, though they still lived under medieval restrictions . At the height of development of nation states in the 19th century the Jewish inhabitants were granted equality of rights, something contradictory since their citizenship was from governments which had made nationality a prerequisite citizenship and homogeneity a characteristic of the body politic. Following the French Edict of 1792, emancipation edicts broke down feudal order, and a nation within a nation was not tolerated. Jewish restrictions and privileges were abolished along with special rights and liberties. During the late 17th century when an unprecedented need arose for state credit for economic and business interests, no group among European population was prepared to grant credit to the state or take part in state business apart from the Jews with their age old experience as money lenders and their connections with the European nobility. Clearly the state treated the Jews with privileges and as a separate group Emancipation of the Jews in the 19th century on one hand was due to the political and legal equality granted by nation state and on the other hand due to gradual extension of specific Jewish privileges starting first with individuals and small well to do Jewish groups and later extended to the whole of Western and Central European Jewry due the ever growing demands of state business.

At the same time emancipation of Jews meant equality and privileges, destruction of old Jewish community autonomy and conscious preservation of Jews as a separate group in the society, abolition of special restrictions and special rights and extension of rights to a growing group of individuals . Even though equality of condition deprived old ruling classes of their privilege to govern and the oppressed classes certain rights, it also gave rise to a class society and separated nationals socially and economically. There was equality before law and a society based on inequality of the class system. Political equality existed side by side with class inequality .Jews were the only exception to this general rule. They did not form a class of their own. They were neither workers, middle class, landholders nor peasants. Their special protection from the state and their special services to the governments prevented their submersion in class system. In the society, they became well defined, self preserving group within one of the classes, aristocracy or bourgeois.

The nation states interest in preserving Jews as a special group and preventing their assimilation into class society coincided with the Jewish interest in self preservation and group survival. Consistently Jews neglected their chances for capitalist enterprises and businesses. For example, the government attempts under Frederick ll of Prussia to incorporate Jews into a mercantile system failed. Similarly in 1911,the Paris Rothschilds sold their shares in oil wells of Baku . The Jews were exclusively engaged in launching state loans and in the international movement of the capital, they never tried to create Industries. Jews were defined by the body politic of the state, but socially in a void. Their social inequality was due to the relationship with the state, either they were overprevileged with special protection from the government or under privileged, lacking certain rights and privileges withheld by the state to prevent their assimilation.

The intimate relationship between state and Jews rested on the indifference of the bourgeois capitalists to finance the state or in politics. That came to an end at the end of 19th century when with the rise of imperialism capitalist business in the form of expansion could no longer be carried out without the active political help and intervention by the state. Imperialism undermined the foundations of nation states and introduced a competitive business spirit in the European comity of nations. Jews thus lost their exclusive position as state lenders and in state business to imperiallistically minded bourgeoisie capitalist businessmen. Their importance declined except for some individual financial advisers or inter European middlemen who were rich and did not need the Jewish community and so they cut themselves off completely from the community. The communities were no longer financially organized and the Western Jewry disintegrated with the nation states during the decades preceding the outbreak of first WW. The rapid decline of Europe after the war deprived Jews of their former powers and atomized them into a herd of wealthy individuals. But Jewish wealth became insignificant in the imperial age . European solidarity disappeared and the non national inter European Jewish elements became an object of universal hatred because of useless wealth and contempt because of their lack of power.

As early as 18th century, even before the French Revolution, the wealthy Jews were useful to the state and enjoyed privileges and equality. Bismark who was antisemitic in his youth after becoming chancellor of the Reich became friends with wealthy Jews and protected the Jews against court Chaplain Stoecker’s antisemitic movement in Berlin. Similarly William ll of Prussia, once anti Jewish as crown prince, changed his stance once he inherited the throne. The privileges of wealthy Jews were considered by them as the price of their services to the state and the reward for greater risks . Most were conscious of the privilege of equality and were reluctant to share this with their less wealthy fellow Jews. At the end of 18th century and at the height of their wealth, the Berlin Jews managed to prevent an influx of Eastern Jews from Eastern provinces since they did not want to share their equality with their poor brethren who they did not consider equals. Similarly at the time of French National Assembly the Bordeaux and Avignon Jews protested violently against the French government granting equality to the Jews of Eastern provinces. It was clear that the Jews were not thinking in terms of equal rights, but of privileges and special liberties only.

The owning bourgeois capitalists changed their initial estimates of unproductivity of state business at the end of 19th century, with imperialist expansion, the perfection of instruments in violence by the state and its absolute monopoly of them This made the state an interesting business proposition and the Jews gradually lost their exclusive and unique position. By the middle of the 19th century some states could get along without Jewish finance. After 1830s public credits became less of a risk so that Christian banks began to handle this business in increasing measure . The nationals’ growing consciousness that their destinies were dependent on their countries prompted them to grant credit to the government. Equality was symbolized by availability of government bonds to all nationals,which was considered a secure form of capital investment because the state could protect the citizens ‘ properties by waging wars. Though the Jews began losing their financial clout with the state, the fact that they inter European element with an international status without territory or government remained important during national conflicts end wars. While the need of nation states for Jewish services developed slowly and rationally, the rise of Jews to political and economic significance was sudden and unexpected to themselves as well as to their neighbors.

Jewish moneylender had lost his former importance by the end of Middle Ages and they had been expelled from cities and trade centers to villages and countrysides in early 16th century. Their reemergence as money lenders came in the 17 th century when during the Thirty Years war they could guarantee necessary provisions to the mercenary armies of warlords in faraway lands. Slowly their significance increased and every feudal household now needed a court Jew. These feudal lords did not represent any centralised authority, the money spent by Jews and the properties handled by them were the private properties of the master and the Jews could not become involved in political matters. When the feudal lord became prince or king, the significance of court Jew changed too, but stll remained alien to politics around them, handling their private business, loyal to their masters. This was the only tie of Jews and the aristocracy ever and it disappeared in early 19th century. Its only remnant for Jews in Austria and France was a penchant for aristocratic titles. But for the non Jews, a liberal antisemitism took shape and they lumped the Jews and nobility together in some kind of financial alliance against the rising bourgeoise. This had some justification in Prussia and France since the rich Jews enjoyed the privileges of nobility, the general Jewry was not emancipated, and afraid of losin their rights and privileges the court Jews used the same kind of arguments against equality as the asistocrats. By the 18 th and 19th century the privileged Jews with special titles who had lost their ties with the Jewish comunities, modelled themselves on aristocrats. But this was of little importace since it was the aristocrats themselves especially in Prussia , who happened to become the first class that produced an antisemitic ideology.

Their usefulness as purveyors of wars due to them being international elements and not bound to any national cause, usefulness in peace treaties and as financial advisors and providers of news to their connection to Jews everywhere involved them in the political matters of states. The last war financed by Jews was the Prussian- Austrian war of 1886 when Bleichroeder helped Bismark after the latter was refused finance by the Prussian parliament. But Bleichroeder’s role in the peace negotiations between Germany and France in 1871 was more significant than his help in war. The Peace Treaty of Versailles was the last in which Jews played a prominent role as advisors. THe last Jew who owed his prominence in national scene was Walter Rathenau, the ill-fated foreign minister of Weimar Republic. He paid with his life. The antisemitic governments eliminated Jews from the international scene of war and peace, they were of value only as long as the aim was a peace of compromise or modus vivendi. When the war aimed at annihilation of the enemy, the Jews became uselessand they disappeared from the political scene. There is an argument that Jews would have become Nazis easily had they been permitted to join the movement, exactly like they had enlisted in Italy’s Fascist party before they introduced the race legislation. Arendt dismisses this as only half true and true only with respect to the psycholoy of individual Jews.

The first contradiction, which determined the destiny of European Jewry was between equality and privilege. The second one was that, the Jews, the only non national European people were threatened than any other by the sudden collapse of the system of the nation states. The Jacobins, or Metternich or Bismark were all concerned with the balance of power in Europe, they were not interested in monopolizng the continent or annihilating their neighbours. With the catastrophic defeat of people of Europe began the catastrophe of the Jewish people. The dissolution of the precarious European balance began with the elimination of the Jews, and to understand this, much more than nationalism or revival of old prejudices were involved as reasons. The breakdown of European solidarity was at once reflected in the breakdown of Jewish solidarity. The few European authors who were aware of the grandeur of Jewish European existence had no special sympathies to Jews. Among them was Diderot, the only 18th century French philosopher who was not hostile to Jews and who recognised them as a useful link between Europeans of different nationalities. Wilhem von Humboldt, who witnessing their emancipation through French Revolution remarked that Jews would lose their universality when they were changed into Frenchmen. Nietzche, out of disgust to Bismarck’s German Reich coined the term ‘good European’ for the role of Jews in European history.

Of all Europeans, the Jews were the only stateless ones. Even without a political tradition or experience, unaware of the tensions between society and the state and the obvious risks in their political role, they were eager to make alliances with governments and states. The only experience had been in Roman Empire, where they had been proteted by the Roman soldierand in the Middle Ages when they received protection against the masses from the monarchial and church authorities. They were prejudiced that the authorities, especially high authorities were favorable to them and the lower officials and the common people were hostile. Their allegiances too changed quickly as the government changed. The French Rothschilds in 1848 had 24 hours to transfer their services from the government of Louis Philippe to the new short-lived French Republic and again to Napolean iii. Arendt refuses to see this as a bourgeois behavior. She writes that the Jews never had any interest in power or ambition to follow success. She adds that though some like Disraeli dreamed of a secret Jewish society, others like Rathenau indulged in half antisemitic tirades against the wealthy traders without power or status. She asserts that the innocence of the Jews like Rothschilds were not understood by non Jewish statesmen or historians . They mention that war wont happen without the Rothschilds wanting it. Or as historian J.A Hobson writes in his 1905 book, ‘Imperialism‘, ‘does anyone seriously suppose that a great war could be undertaken by any European state , or a great state loan subscribed, if the House of Rothschild and its connections set their face against it?’. Metternich believed that the French Rothschilds played a greater role in France than any foreign government. Arendt contends that Rothschilds had no political idea as the other Jewish bankers of what they wanted to carry out in France. They allied with any authority and showed preference to Monarchial governments(like Walter Rathenau) than republics as they mistrusted the will of people constituting republics.

Arendt writes that the Jews were ignorant of the actual conditions in Europe and ignored the growing tensions between state and the society. In last years of the Weimar Republic they formed a ‘State party’ whose name itself was contradictory and anybody would doubt their loyalty as facade for sinister forces plotting to take over state. They did not know how to evaluate antisemitism. The different classes of the society that came into conflict with the state became antisemitic because the only social group that represented the state was Jews. The only class immune to antisemitism were the workers who were absorbed in class struggle and equipped with a Marxist explanation theory never came into direct conflict with the state, but only with another class of society, the bourgeoisie, which the Jews did not represent. The political emancipation of the Jews at the turn of 18th century in Central and Western Europe and the resultant equality of all worried the court Jews and state financiers like the Rothschilds about the dangers emancipation, mainly, the threat of nationalization of Jews thus losing their inter European advantages .The Rothschilds decided establish internationally the five sons of the founder Meyers Amschel Rothschild established in the five capitals of Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Britain. The Rothschilds were much less dependent on nobility or a particular prince but worked in Frankfurt under the authority of a distant emperor of Vienna. They started lending during the last years of Napoleonic wars from 1811 to 1816 and enjoyed the monopoly in handling the state loans for Europe. Initially, there were only individual wealthy money lenders, advisers and court Jews and no well defined Jewish groups doing these functions. But the Rothschilds monopoly on money lending made it possible to draw on Jewish wealth into state business and paved the way for inter European cohesiveness of Central and western European Jewry. An unorganized connection among the scattered Jews became a systematic disposition by a single Rothschild firm unifying them and possessing complete information and opportunities for organization. This family thus became the ultimate symbol of Jewish internationalism in an Europe of nation states whose frequent conflicts never for a moment shook their solidarity.

The popular notion that the Jewish people were tied by bonds of blood and family ties came into being by the reality of this one family and the fateful consequence was that when race problems came to the forefront of political scene the Jews fitted all ideologies and doctrines which defined a people by blood ties and family characteristics.

In the centuries of their spiritual and religious dissolution, to resist assimilation, Western Jewry became family conscious and conscious of their survival in an alien and hostile environment and their own view of themselves as members of a big Jewish family was reflected in the antisemitic picture of the Jews as a family closely knit by the blood ties. This fact paved the way for the early rise and continuous growth of antisemitism in the 19th century. The images and arguments for antisemitism were remarkably similar in different national states. They had an intimate relationship to the truth that they distorted. The elements that were used in the propagation of antisemitism were a mixture of facts and fictions.

  1. All the Jewry were considered an international trade organization, a world wide family concern with identical interests everywhere
  2. A secret force behind the throne which degrades all visible governments into a facade or marionettes whose strings were controlled by the Jews
  3. Because of their close relationship to the sources of power Jews were identified with power
  4. Their aloofness from society and concentration on a close family circle augmented the suspicion of their working for the destruction of all social structures.

Early Antisemitism

Modern antisemitism in Central and Western Europe had political rather than economic reasons. Whereas in Eastern Europe (Poland and Romania) the complicated class conditions led to Jew hatred. Here Jews, who were the clear economic sources were against capitalist development, industrialization and they remained a consumer and not producer. So the supposed development of a middle class from industrialization was not possible.

In Prussia antisemitism flared up after the defeat by Napoleon in 1807,when Reformers changed the political structure so that nobility lost its privileges and the middle class won their freedom to develop. The Reformers including the Prussian philosopher diplomat Wilhelm von Humboldt advocated the Jewish emancipation(emancipation edict of 1812)and equality. The Jews that lost their special status and privileges included wealthy ones and nobles The reformers through out the 18th century had sympathy for the poor Jews and wanted to educate them into the civil service. The wealthy nobles lost their usefulness . Special Jewish services became a sacrilege and the edict changed a feudal state into a nation state . Aristocracy reacted bitterly with outbursts of antisemitism. Its most articulate spokesperson was the conservative ideologue Ludwig von der Marwitz. A social boycott of Jews followed. Aristocratic antisemitism was due to the closer economic connection between Jews and nobility, opposition to their new middle class values that placed family over nation. Whereas liberal anti Jewish writers considered their family centrism a hindrance to the development of innate personality, self respect which were qualities that the liberal middle classes employed in their fight against the concepts of birth, family and heritage.

Aristocracy started the long line of antisemitic political argumentation. They openly opposed egalitarian nation state. After the Congress of Vienna, th nobility won the influence back on the state and aristocratic antisemitism changed into mild discrimination. Distinct line was drawn between moneyed needed Jews and the growing Jewish intelligentsia were discriminated against. For example Bismarck wanted to protect only the moneyed Jewry against Stoecker’s antisemitic propaganda. According to him his friend, the Jewish Prussian banker Bleichroeder did not complain about attacks on the ordinary Jews. It was the interests of the state that were significant when the Refoener’s zeal of equality was equivocated by government officials who protested equality for Jews. After the Congress of Vienna the eastern provinces of Prussia, where poor Jews had lived for centuries, was returned and apart from some intellectuals nobody cared to give them equal status, not least the wealthy Jews . That the Jewish emancipation had to be carried out against the wishes of wealthy Jews was a common knowledge in the 18th century. They wanted to keep the power with themselves, keep the national Jews in isolation pretending that this separation was part of the religion. When emancipation was an accomplished fact for the Jewish masses by 20th century, the power of the privileged Jews had disappeared .Thus the state combined a policy of benevolence towards rich Jews, legal discrimination against Jewish intelligentsia and furtherance of social segregation .

Aristocratic antisemitism remained without political consequences and subsided in the decades of the Holy Alliance *(coalition of the monarchist powers of Austria, Prussia and Russia in 1815 when they were negotiating second peace treaty of Paris after the final defeat of Napoleon). After the Congress of Vienna liberals and radical intellectuals opposed to Metternichs police regime and the reactionary Prussian government led to antisemitic outbursts. Jews, since their opposition to the government was not less, the intellectuals attacked them more than they attacked the government. Leftist antisemitism distinguished Jews into individual Jews, brethren and Jewry as a group concerning themselves with restoration of aristocratic privileges, equal opportunity for all Jews that limited their admission to public services. They did not yet understand why the government preserved and protected Jews as a separate group. They deduced a political context and coined nationalist phrases like ‘state within the state ‘ and ‘nation within the nation ‘. But this radical antisemitism was short lived and inconsequential in Prussia just like the aristocratic antisemitism.

Radical antisemitism established a theoretical and literary tradition of antisemitism whose influence can be recognized in the famous anti Jewish writings of young Marx. BUT Arendt rejects the accusations of antisemitism against the jew, Karl Marx. She contends that the Jew Karl Marx could write in the same way as the radical antisemites is the proof for how little this kind of antisemitism had in common with the full fledged antisemitism. Marx was embarrassed by these arguments against Jewry just like Nietzsche was embarrassed by his arguments against Germany . Though it is true that Marx never wrote or uttered any opinion on Jewish questions in his later years, that was due to his preoccupation with class struggle, problems of capitalist production and his utter neglect of political questions. Arendt adds that the strong influence of Marxism on the labor movement of Germany is one of the reasons why the German revolutionary movements showed so few signs of anti Jewish sentiments. The only leftist antisemite of any importance was Eugen Karl Duehring, a German philosopher, economist, socialist, critic of Marx, antisemitic and racist.

The beginning of modern antisemitism dates back to the last third of 19th century. In Germany it started among the nobility who opposed transformation of the Prussian monarchy into a full fledged nation state in 1871. Bismarck, the prime minister and founder of German Reich who maintained close relationship with the Jews was denounced as being dependent upon and accepting bribe from Jews like Bleichroeder. In their attacks against his abolishing the feudal remnants, he was denounced as a paid agent of Bleichroeder, though it was just the opposite. Though aristocratic antisemitism was powerful to influence public opinion, it was not strong enough Their spokesman was Court Chaplain Stoecker, less gifted representative of conservative interests than his predecessors, the romantic intellectuals. He discovered the power of antisemitic propaganda in filling empty halls, but his enthusiastic audiences were lower middle class people, small shop keepers, trades6,artisans and craftsmen whose anti Jewish sentiments were not yet motivated by conflict with the state.

The First Antisemitic Parties

The rise of antisemitism in Germany, Austria and France in the the last 20 years of the 19th century was preceded by financial scandals like the Panama Affair which involved bribery by government officials and parliament members of France Besides nobles, government officials and Jews the lower middle classes also lost their small savings invested for profit. This group turned antisemitic.

The lower middle classes or petty bourgeoisie were descendants of guilds of artisans, tradesmen who followed a safe closed system of business without competition under the protection of the state. They blamed their misfortune on the Manchester System of capitalism and free trade which deprived them of the protection by the state. Since an outstanding feature of free trade was access of Jews to all professions, the petty bourgeoisie thought of them as those applying the Manchester system. This resentment was propagated by certain conservative writers too. The tradesmen without receiving help from the government, had to lend money from the Jewish bankers, who appeared as exploiters of misery and misfortune. Unlike the workers who had a Marxist education on the double function of capitalists in making profit by exploiting them and giving them an opportunity to produce, the tradesmen were not enlightened and he considered the bankers as parasitical. This leftist movement of propaganda against the bankers due to their Jewish history turned antisemitic especially in France, to a lesser extent in Austria. For the first time the Jews came into direct conflict with another class without state interference. The social resentment of lower middle against the Jews turned into economic and political resentment since these Jews were on their way to political power.

Friedrich Engels once remarked that the protagonists antisemitic movements of his time were the noblemen and its chorus of howling mob the petty bourgeoisie. This is true in Germany,Austria and France. The aristocracy in a desperate bid allied themselves with the conservative Church, the Catholic Church in Austria and France and the Protestant Church in Germany and the mob was just a means to give their movement resonance, but later they discovered that antisemitic slogans were highly effective in mobilizing large strata of population.

The followers of antisemitic Court Chaplain Stoecker ,realized the propagandist potential of antisemitic slogans, separated from his Berlin movement and founded parties in Reichstag ,opposed the government with the help of opposition party Social Democrats. These small antisemitic parties got their mandate from Hessian peasants whom they proclaimed to defend against noble Jews, landowners and lenders. The antisemitic parties aspired to be above all other parties, to become representative of the whole nation, to take possession of the whole state machinery and to substitute themselves for the state. The supreme political authority was wielded by the government and no single party possessed powers to question that The leftist revolutionary movements fought a social class of bourgeoisie but never directly challenged the government. In contrast the antisemitic parties took interest in foreign affairs, their revolutionary impulse was directed against the government and aimed to destroy the political patterns of nation states. Thus antisemitism became an instrument for liquidating not just the Jews but the body politic of the nation states as well.

The claims of antisemitic parties coincided with early stages of imperialism. The imperialist parties in Germany without active antisemitism were liquidated by the antisemitic movements. The antisemitic parties fought the Jews in the society like the workers fought the bourgeoisie, and through social struggles entered political struggle and by attacking the Jews, they were openly attacking the State itself since they were the secret power behind the government. The imperialist parties failed in fighting a social struggles as they could not identify one. The second highly significant characteristic was that the antisemitic parties started as supranational organizations. By this they meant not just political rule over the nation but an inter European government above all nations. This was clearly to fight the inter European group of Jews, the secret manipulators of the political destiny of all nations. The first international anti Jewish Congress took place in 1882 in Dresden with delegates from Germany, Austria Hungary and Russia. By the end of 19th century the people felt that the national organization of Europe was antiquated and this feeling supported the international workers socialist union. But they remained passive and uninterested in foreign policy like imperialism It was a kind of self protection since as far as economic interests were concerned, fall of empires in any one country would impact not just the capitalists and bankers but also the workers. The antisemitic parties on the other hand started with problems of foreign policy and promised solutions to domestic issues on a supranational basis.

The supra nationalism of antisemitic parties aimed to force open the limits of the nation states and its sovereignty and they needed a chauvinistic propaganda for a supra national structure for universal monopoly of power and instruments of violence. The socialists were concerned with the class struggle and they became aware of the existence of Jews as a political factor only when confronted with antisemitism as a competitor on the domestic scene. Unprepared to integrate Jewish issues into their theories they were afraid to touch the Jewish question and left the issue to the supra nationalists.

The effects of the swindles in France ran their course and an era of prosperity happened in Germany putting an end to the harshness of antisemitism in the last 80s of the 19th century. This was only a temporary respite and the hatred would redouble in force and violence after WW l. The antisemitic parties of Germany, after initial success, fell back into insignificance.

Leftist Antisemitism

19th century antisemitism can best studied as a political movement in France and as an ideological force competing for acceptance of public opinion in Austria. In Austria, Jews rendered services to the state, the Dual Monarchy of the House of Hapsburg kept all its nationalities together and the Jewish state bankers survived the collapse of the monarchy. Though Danube Monarchy did not have a homogeneous population, a necessity for a nation state, it had to adopt certain institutions of nation states. The modern class system grew along nationality lines, certain nationalities began to be identified with certain classes and professions. German became the dominating nationality, and bourgeois became the dominating class.

The Jewish nationality could not merge with others in the same way as it could not become a nationality. Jews in nation states, through their special relationship to the state was alienated from the classes that came into conflict with the state and which turned antisemitic .Similarly, Jews in Austria due to their special relationship to Hapsburg Monarchy came into open conflict with the different nationalities that turned antisemitic. But the conflicts and Jew hostility were different in Austria, Germany and France. In Austria, at the outbreak of first WW, every single nationality and class was in opposition to the state, so imbued with active antisemitism more than anywhere else in Central and western Europe.

German nationals became hostile to state, that accelerated after foundation of the Reich and discovered the usefulness of antisemitic propaganda after the 1873 financial crash. The antisemitic propaganda was to catch the middle class votes. The German Liberal Party under the leadership of Schoenerer was a lower middle class party with a left wing out look, though it did not achieve a real mass basis, it was successful in University campuses in the 1880s organized a student union based on antisemitism..At first the party was against the state license renewal for the Austrian railroad procurement by the Rothschilds and Schoenerer fought for nationalization of Austrian Railroad. Rothschilds procurement of the renewed license was clearly to the disadvantage of the state and the public. Schoenerer was a member of the Austrian Reichstrat and he collected 40000 signatures against the renewal of license and this placed the Jewish question in limelight of public interest. Thus Schoenerer’s agitation in this matter became an actual beginning of antisemitic movements in Austria. The movement was much stronger than the German Stoecker agitation in that it was led by a man who did just stop the use of antisemitic propaganda as an election weapon, but he developed the pan-German ideology which influenced Nazism than any German brand of antisemitism.

In Austria, a second antisemitic party the Christian Socials under Lueger defeated the socialist party of Schoenerer. They were a Catholic party, while Schoenerer attacked the Catholic church and its influence on Monarchy. Because of this Lueger could align themselves with conservative reactionary elements in Germany and France. In post war Austria they became the most influential group. But for a long time their antisemitism was equivocal, hostility to intelligentsia and friendliness to Jewish business class. The party was nationalist and was well suited to take over the state machinery when Austria became a nation state and was reduced to German nationality. The Hapsburg was a German house and the Christian Socials never attacked them like the antisemites in France attacked the Third Republic. . And they never antagonized the Jews like the socialist party did.

The backbone of Schoenerer’s movement was in the German speaking provinces of Austria without any Jewish population where hatred of Jews never existed. But the pan German movement and violent antisemitism survived in provinces, while it subsided in urban centers since the provinces never reached the prosperity of the urban centers which reconciled the urban people with the government . The Austrian pan German movement was against and not loyal to their own country and government and was loyal to Bismarcks German Reich . So their concept of nationhood was Independent of state and territories and the ideology was imperialist..But the pan-German party in Germany was suspicious and never reached out to the Austrian party. Schoenerer s Austrian movement aimed more than rise to party as power or posession of state machinery. It wanted a revolutionary reorganization of Central Europe in which Germans of Austria and Germany would rule and keep the other Slavonic nationalities under semi servitude and control.

The Dreyfus Affair brought into open all elements of 19th century antisemitism of France. It survived within a 19th century ideology but never quite fitted into 20th century political conditions. When after the 1940 defeat, French antisemitism got its supreme chance under Vichy government it was antiquated and had no influence on Nazism. The main reason was that the French antisemitic parties, though violent in France, never had supranational aspirations. Complete break down of the state worship in Austria, Germany and France contributed to movement against the government and thus Jews. In France, the decline in state worship happened much earlier and so it was easier to attack the Jews along with the state whereas in Central Europe the Jews were attacked in order to attack the government.

French antisemitism is older than in European counterparts as is the French emancipation of Jews. The representatives of the 18th century Age of Enlightenment who prepared the French revolution, liberation and radicalism despised Jews as barbarians of Dark Ages. Only conservative writers were friendly with Jews. Liberal writers, French clergy and French aristocracy added to the anti Jewish sentiments. The struggle between Church and the state in France was very old. 18th and 19th century leftist movements in France were strongly antisemitic . French socialists were anti clerical. And clergy supported antisemitism. So the socialists took a stand against the antisemitic propaganda in Dreyfus Affair. Leftists were long against the Jewish money lending for peasants. The Jewish bankers were stronger in French economy than in capitalist countries. France s industrial development, though briefly rose during Napoleon lll, lagged far behind other nations, so socialist tendencies had considerable influence. The antisemitism among lower middle classes of France occurred earlier than in Austria and Germany. In 1848 Toussene published an antisemitic pamphlet against the Rothschilds, received enthusiastically by the left wing press. His sentiments were not much different from the antisemitic sentiment of young Marx in his essay on the Jewish question or that in the letters from Paris that Boerne had written 15 years before. These Jews mistook Jewish bankers for capitalists.

The popular anti Jewish feeling nourished by an economic conflict between Jewish bankers and their clientele was short lived. The only brand of French antisemitism that remained strong and outlasted economic and social antisemitism was due to a general xenophobia. After the first WW,foreign Jews were differentiated from native Jews in Austria, Germany and France. Those Jews from the Eastern Europe, were treated as foreign Jews in Central and western Europe. Polish and Russian Jews were foreign in Germany and Austria. Romanian and German Jews were foreign in France. Jews from Posen were viewed with contempt in Germany, Galician Jews were hated in Austria and Alsacian Jews were hated in France. But the xenophobia reached its importance in the domestic scene only in France since there the Rothschilds were the butt of ant Jewish attacks than anywhere else and since they had migrated into France from Germany, upto the outbreak of World war ll, they were being suspected of harboring sympathies to the French national enemy.

Nationalistic antisemitism in France was never a monopoly of reactionaries and chauvinists. France had produced an outstanding antisemite, a prominent novelist Louis Ferdinand Celine wrote with an Ideological imagination that the original French antisemitism lacked. He claimed that the Jews had prevented the evolution of Europe into a political entity, had caused all European wars since 843,and had plotted the ruin of both France and Germany by inciting their mutual hostility. Celine proposed this fantastic explanation of history in his book written at the time of Munich Pact. His earlier pamphlet which did not include this history, did not differentiate between native and foreign Jews, good and bad Jews but went straight to the core of the matter and demanded massacre of all Jews. Celines first book was favorably received by France s leading intellectuals who were half pleased on the attack on Jews and half convinced that it was a new literary fancy. For these reasons French home grown Fascists did not take him seriously, but Nazis always knew that he was the true antisemite in France. French politicians considered him a charlatan and crackpot. The result was that the Germans had to use the inadequate supporters like Doriot a follower of Mussolini and Petain an old French chauvinist for their vain efforts to persuade the French people about the extermination of Jews. The 19th century French antisemitism was ineffective to the new political purposes of the 20th, they were ready to cooperate with the Nazi Germany.

Only a Franco-German alliance would have enabled France to compete with England in the division of the world and to join the successful scramble for Africa. France a antisemitism had been nourished by French German conflict, so the Jewish issue was kept off from the colonies and imperialist policies despite the fact that the conditions in Algeria with a mixed Arab Jewish population would have offered an excellent opportunity. French nation state was destroyed by German agression, there was a mockery of French German alliance on the basis of German occupation showed the bleeding strength of France from the past.

The Golden Age of Security

The period between the temporary decline of antisemitic movements and the outbreak of the first world war is called the Golden Age of Security (The phrase is by the author Stefan Zweig in his book ‘ The World of Yesterday, an Autobiography, 1943′). The political structure during the period, though outmoded continued to function in spurious splendor and monotonous stubbornness. With equal stability, the anachronistic despotism of Russia, a corrupt bureaucracy in Austria, a stupid militarism in Germany and a half hearted Republic in crisis in France survived under the shadow of the world power of the British Empire. All of them faced growing domestic opposition but there was no earnest political will for radical change. Europe was busy expanding economically and industrially and this produced a steady weakening of political factors. Everything went on because nobody cared. In the words of the writer, philosopher, critic G K Chesterton, everything is prolonging its existence by denying that it exists ‘. He has described the British state of affairs in his 1927 book The Return of Don Quixote.

Political weakening of European nation states was paralleled with economic forces becoming prominent in the international play of power. Power became synonymous with economic capacity and both economic capacity and industrial capacity became prerequisites of power. The businessmen convinced the statesman to use state s means of violence for protecting business interests and national property. The German industrialist, liberal politician and writer during first world war, Walther Rathenau remarked that 300 men who knew each other held the destiny of the world in their hands.

The Jews were deluded by the appearance of security in this so called golden age since antisemitism seemed to be the thing of the past. That was due to the less attention being paid to the Jews by a government losing power and prestige. Political representation became theatrical in Austria theatres became the focus of national life whose public significance became greater than the parliament. The theater appeared more realistic than the parliament. The state needed less of Jewish services of Jewish bankers due to the influence of big businesses on the state. This caused shift in Jewish occupation. Loss of Jewish banking communities led to loss of centralization and monopoly of the Jewish wealth. Jews moved into Independent businesses like grain and food, garments which became prominent in all countries, pawnshops, general stores, department stores. Only a few Jewish bankers were involved with the state in important financial positions with little or no connection to the broader strata of Jewish middle class.

Another shift in Jewish occupations happened in Central and western Europe. The sons of well to do businessmen deserted their father’s businesses and this birthed the Jewish intelligentsia and Jews in liberal professions in fantastic pace. This was feared by the nation states. Jewish sons of well to do parents crowded into cultural occupations, more marked in Germany and Austria where a great proportion of cultural institutions like newspapers, publishing, music and theater became Jewish enterprises. Break from traditional Jewish preferences and occupation resulted in a break from tradition and intellectual assimilation and nationalization of an important strata of western and Central European Jewry. This indicated emancipation of Jews from state protection.,assimilation with the Gentiles, consciousness of a common destiny with their fellow citizens and loosening of Jewish ties that made them an inter European force. Socially, the Jewish intelligentsia were the first who as a group needed and wanted admittance to non Jewish society. They were the ones who faced social discrimination from the Gentiles, a paramount problem for them, but had been an inconsequential matter to their fathers.

These intellectuals, for a road into society, was forced to accept the social behavior patterns set by individual Jews who had been accepted into the society in 19th century as an exception to the rule of discrimination. They soon discovered the radiant power of fame (mentioned by Stefan Zweig). What distinguished the Jewish pursuit of fame from the general fame idolatry was that Jews were not interested in fame for themselves. They liked to live in the aura of fame than to become famous. They became critics, organizers, reviewers and collectors of who and what was famous. The radiant power of fame was the social force by which the socially homeless were able to establish a home. The Jewish intelligentsia became a tie binding the famous individuals into an international society. As political factors weakened Jews could now become representatives of a nebulous international society which was the only one where national prejudices seemed no longer valid. Paradoxically the international society seemed to be the only one that recognized the nationalization and assimilation of its Jewish members

As a group the Jews wanted neither money nor power. But the circumstance brought Jews into prominence. Jews became a symbol of society and an object of hatred for all those whom society did not accept. Antisemitism, having lost ground were elaborated by charlatans and crackpots into a weird mixture of half truths and wild superstitions which emerged in Europe in 1914,the ideology of all frustrated and resentful elements. Jewish question turned into a catalyst for social unrest until the disintegrated society recrystallized ideologically around a possible massacre of Jews.

The Jews and the Society

Arendt writes that the Jews ‘ political ignorance was responsible for them taking root in businesses, favoring authority and prejudices towards others and the same ignorance blinded them to the political dangers of antisemitism causing oversensitivity to discrimination. But political antisemitism developed because the Jews were a separate body whereas social discrimination developed because of growing equality of the Jews with the other groups.

Arendt mentions that the equality of condition is an uncertain venture. When conditions become more equal the differences that exist between people could be less explained, thus groups and people become more unequal. Equality might not be any longer seen as an omnipotent being like God or an unavoidable common destiny like death. Whenever equality becomes mundane thing it either becomes a working principle of a political organization or an innate quality of an individual in a society. When a society leaves little space for special groups or people this perversion of equality from political to social concept becomes dangerous since their differences become all the more conspicuous. Arendt stresses that equality demands that one person recognizes the other individual as equal. The reluctance to grant each other basic equality creates conflict. Thus the new concept of equality makes modern race relations more difficult since we deal with natural differences.

The Jewish condition was surprisingly equal and different. They were equally resented and attracted to. Discrimination never produced a political movement against or for the Jews. But helped in poisoning the social atmosphere between Jews and Gentiles. But in the US, the equality of condition had been taken for granted. Here, outside the sphere of civic, political and economic equality, discrimination is the only means of distinction. Thus it could become the crystallization point for a political movement. Arendt mentions that one of the most promising and dangerous paradoxes of the American Republic is that it dared to realize equality on the basis of the most unequal population in the world, physically and historically. She writes that it’s possible that social antisemitism might one day become a dangerous nucleus for political movement. In Europe it had little influence in the rise of political antisemitism.

Between Pariah and Parvenu

The balance between the society and the state was precarious and for Jewish admission to society, they brought about a peculiar law. Only exceptions from Jewish masses were admitted to the society but those who still shared the humiliating political conditions. This paradox or ambiguity of being an exceptional Jew , I.e, they were Jews yet presumably not like Jews was the basis for assimilation and emancipation of Jews. The Jewish question was understood as a social one by those who advocated emancipation but it was the enemies who understood it as a political question. Only educated, cultured and tolerant Jews were invited for assimilation and and the demands for a abolition of prejudice existed only among the educated Jews. Thus the Jews were exhorted to be educated not to behave like ordinary Jews, but they were accepted only because they were Jews because of their foreign, exotic appeal. The 18 th century new humanists wanted to show the origins of Jewish people as alien and exotic than they were so that the demonstrations of humanity as an universal principle might be more effective . For the enlightened Berlin of 19th century, Jews like the German architect Erich Mendelsohn and the German Jewish physician and philosopher Markus Herz were demonstrations of the dignity of man. Thus the quote by the outspoken friend of Jews, the German philosopher, theologian poet and literary critic, Johan Gottfried Herder that was used and later misused, ” strange people of Asia driven into our regions “.

The French Jewry were emancipated long before the German ones, who had no hope or desire for it at that time. But few decades at the turn of 18th century the enlightened Prussian intelligentsia turned their eyes to the Jewish community in Berlin. Much of this was due to the work of the German writer, philosopher, and dramatist Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.


By: Isidore SingerM. Friedländer

German poet and critic; born Jan. 22, 1729, at Kamenz, Upper Lusatia; died Feb. 15, 1781, at Brunswick.

Toleration and a striving after freedom of thought led him to condemn all positive religions in so far as they laid claim to absolute authority, and to recognize them merely as stages of historical development. A natural consequence of this principle was his sympathetic attitude toward the Jews; for he deemed it inconsistent with the dictates of religious liberty to exclude for religious reasons a whole race from the blessings of European culture.

In his comedy “Die Juden,” one of his earliest dramatic works, he stigmatized the dislike of the Gentiles for the followers of the Jewish religion as a stupid prejudice. He went herein further than any other apostle of toleration before or after him. The full development and final expression of his views on this problem, however, are found in his drama and last masterpiece, the poetic drama “Nathan der Weise” ( Nathan The Wise)(1779), Lessing thus beginning and ending his dramatic career as an advocate of the emancipation of the Jews.

The figure of Nathan, modeled in the main on that of his friend Moses Mendelssohn, was bound to convince the world that the tenets of toleration and humanity could be enunciated even by a representative of the race so bitterly hated by the world. The legend of the three rings, in which Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are allegorically represented as brothers, each deeming to possess the original magic ring, but all of them having, in reality, been cheated of it, clearly indicates that Lessing wished to represent the Jew as a man, and not Judaism as a dogmatic system. The prize of supremacy is not awarded to this or that confession, but to humanity and morality, which are not bound to any particular faith.

Nathan der Weise (1779), Lessing’s “dramatic poem” in iambic pentameter. This is a didactic play of a theological and philosophical nature, combining ethical profundity with many comic touches, and is a work of high poetic quality and dramatic tension. Nathan der Weise symbolizes the equality of three great religions in regard to their ethical basis, for the play celebrates man’s true religion—love, acting without prejudice and devoted to the service of mankind. Among the representatives of the three religions—Islāmic (Saladin), Christian (the Templar), and Jewish (Nathan)—only the Jew, in whose character Lessing paid tribute to his old friend Moses Mendelssohn, lives up to the ideal of full humanity; he alone is capable of complete self-abnegation and has the courage to speak the truth even to the mighty. The fact that the main characters discover in the end that they are blood relatives serves to underscore their common membership in the larger family of mankind.

Lessing’s “Nathan” had a liberating effect on the Jews in more ways than one. In the first place, the mere fact that he chose the Jew Nathan as his mouthpiece could not pass unnoticed, and was sure to act as a hindrance to persecution; and, secondly, he stimulated the ethical consciousness of the Jews themselves, who could not fall below the standard set up by a noble non-Jew.

While Lessing condemned the belief in positive revelation, he accepted its general concept, seeing in the dogmatic teachings of both the Old and New Testaments efficient educational instruments for the moral elevation of mankind.

In short, Lessing raised Judaism in the esteem of the European nations not only by showing its close connection with Christianity, but also by demonstrating the importance of Mosaism in the general religious evolution of humanity. It was really Lessing who opened the doors of the ghetto and gave the Jews access to European culture. In a certain sense he awakened Moses Mendelssohn to the consciousness of his mission; and through Mendelssohn Lessing liberated Judaism from the most heavy chains of its own forging.

As a Biblical critic Lessing is equaled by none of his contemporaries, and by very few of his predecessors.}}}

The play, due to its interpretation or misinterpretation,held Jews as new specimens of humanity that had become examples of mankind. But Lessing himself had no such illusions. His last letter to Moses Mendelsohn stated that he wanted the shortest and safest way to European country without Christians or Jews. Mirabeau, the leader of the early stages of French Revolution was strongly influenced by this idea and used to cite Mendelsohn as an example. Herder hoped that educated Jews are free of prejudices and certain political judgments and that education is the true road of emancipation of Jews from Judaism so that Jews could become purely humanized. At about the same time, Goethe wrote a review of a poem by a Polish Jew that he had found shallow mediocrity against the expectation for something genuinely new.

Thus the newly westernized, educated Jews were faced with the demoralizing demand of being an exception to their own people, recognize the sharp differences between them and others and ask the separation to be legalized by the government, they were also expected to be exceptional specimens of humanity. This constituted the the true ticket of admission to the cultured European society. But this doesn’t apply to Moses Mendelssohn who was unlike Herder, Goethe and other members of the younger generation. Though he was revered for his uniqueness his firm adherence to Jewish religion made it impossible to break with the Jewish people. Unlike the younger generation he didn’t share the contempt towards uneducated Jews and so he did not consider himself an exception. He had scholarly ties with Gentile and Christian scholars.He had explicitly disavowed all the ulterior motives and had expressed his satisfaction with the conditions in which he had to live though he was aware that he still belonged to the lowliest inhabitants of Prussian king’s domain. Lessing described Prussia as Europes most enslaved country was stated as a benevolent country by Mendelssohn, a touching and surprising contentment from a person who did not even get the protected status of a regular Jew.Thus he was indifferent to political and civil rights of Jews

The educated Jews, and the intellectuals that gathered in the salons of the Jewish women in Berlin were indifferent to the conditions of the regular Jews. After the Prussian defeat of 1806, the Napoleonic legislation was Introduced into large regions of Germany, that included the Jewish emancipation. Thus the indifference changed into a fear that the emancipation of regular Jews would create equality and wipe out the distinction upon which the social status of cultured Jews was based. Out of this fear of equality, when emancipation came to pass, the most assimilated Jews escaped by conversion to Christianity. Interestingly these people found it bearable to be Jews before emancipation but dangerous after emancipation.

Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, a novel which was to become a great model of middle class education was closely associated with assimilation of Jews into the society in Germany. Making oneself educated to present one’s individuality and advancement from the modest status of a burghers son to a noble man, formed the theme of the story. In Germany the Jewish question was held as a question of education. This had its consequences in the educational philistinism of middle class Jews and non Jews, resulting in crowding of Jews in liberal professions. The German salons brought together many enlightened aristocrats, middle class intellectuals and other actors, on the fringe of society. In Berlin salons, nothing really mattered but personality, uniqueness of character, talent and expression. By 1800s the aristocrats and intellectuals became antisemitic and the innocence, splendor and camaraderie in the Jewish hostess’s salons were gone. The real turning point of the social history of German Jews came in 1808,when the government passed the municipal law giving full civic though not political right to Jews. In 1812, after the defeat of Napoleon Prussia regained its eastern Jewish territory and Jewish masses and gave political rights to poor Jews and left the municipal rights previously given to privileged protected Jews, intact.

After the emancipation, the exception Jews who once were a small percentage became part of Jews as whole and not exceptions. Emancipation and loss of Prussian provinces in which majority of Prussian Jews lived had tremendous social consequences. The remaining Jews in Prussia had lost the native background against which they had been measured as exceptions. They were simply Jews once again. All strata of society against the state now considered all Jews including the former projected Jews, now assimilated, as enemies for whom the state was taking exceptional measures in favor. This was exactly what the former exception Jews feared. The aristocrats and intellectuals who frequented the Berlin Jewish salons, left the place and directed their contempt at the German Jews whom they knew very well. Having lost the exceptional status, these Jews had to prove that although he was a Jew, he was not a jew. It no longer sufficed the he was an exception from his backward brethren, but he had to stand out to be congratulated, from the Jews as a whole.

Satirical antijewish pamphlets depicting Jews as philistines and upstarts circulated around 1802. This inspired the great romantic poet Clemens von Brentano to write a witty paper in which the Jews were identified as philistines. Thus the Jews became social pariahs wherever they had ceased to be political and civil outcasts. Only Jewish intellectuals assimilated, like the first educated jew Moses Mendelssohn who was admitted to the non Jewish society despite his low civic status. The court Jews, businessmen and Jewish bankers were not socially acceptable nor did they try to. They were proud to be successful against misery and poverty of their brethren, the same things would become a token for their security later . The wealthy Jews not only ruled over the poor brethren in the name of protection, but forced them to follow strict religious and other orthodoxy that they themselves shunned . Thus the poor Jews became doubly dependent on their wealthy brethren and the state. The Rothschilds withdrew donations from a Jewish community in Frankfurt when reformers wanted their children to receive education.

The Jewish notables ruled the Jewish communities, but stood as far outside the Jewish societies as they did outside the Gentiles. With limited social opportunities their social contracts were out side the society and economic rise was Independent. This isolation and independence gave them a feeling of power and pride. This pride and later class arrogance of the privileged Rabbi, princes among their own people made them feel primi inter pares. Class arrogance came with business connections among Jewish state bankers of different countries and inter marriages. Thus the Jews became an international caste.The Jewish notables wanted to dominate the Jewish people and therefore had no desire to leave the people, while the Jewish intellectuals, son of Jewish businessmen wanted to leave the Jewish people to be assimilated into the society. Both of them considered themselves exceptional, the exception Jews of wealth regarded themselves as exceptions from the common destiny of the Jewish people and recognized by the government as exceptionally useful. The exception Jews of education felt themselves exceptions from Jewish people and also as exceptional human beings and were recognized as such by the society.

Assimilation led to conversations to Christianity and mixed marriages. The Jewish family served more as a conserving force than Jewish religion. Though many German Jews were baptized, for generations they remained Jewish, never leaving their Jewish family and surroundings. The first generation of educated Jews wanted to sincerely lose their identity as Jews. Ludwig Boerne, a German Jewish political writer and satirist wrote, “ some reproach me with being a jew, some praise me because of it, some pardon me for it, but all think of it “. The intellectuals were greatly hurt when they learned that the governments who give every privilege and honor to a Jewish banker condemned Jewish intellectuals to starvation. The conversions which occurred due to fear of being lumped together with the Jewish masses, now became a necessity for daily bread. These intellectuals bitterly opposed the state and society, their rebellion was violent against Jewish bankers. The anti Jewish denunciations of Marx and Boerne should be understood in the light of the conflict between rich and intellectual Jews, as per Arendt. The conflict between intelligentsia and rich Jews existed in full vigor in Germany only. In Austria there was no Jewish intelligentsia before the end of 19th century when it felt the first impact of antisemitism. These Jews like their wealthy brethren trusted the Hapsburg Monarchy s protection and became socialists when Social Democratic party came to power. Karl Kraus, the Austrian writer and journalist like Boerne, Marx and Heine denunciated Jewish businessmen and Jewish journalism as an organized cult of fame, but he was isolated in a country where no Jewish revolutionary tradition existed. In France the small number of Jewish intellectuals were not important in intellectual life and emancipation survived all changes of government and regimes.

In Germany the people not only accepted Jews but were eager to associate with them during assimilation. Bismarcks remark about ‘ German stallions be paired with Jewish mares‘ is the most vulgar expression of a prevalent point of view. Though this situation produced rebels out of educated Jews, in the long run it would produce a specific kind of conformism than true rebellion. The intellectual Jews had to conform to a society that discriminated ordinary Jews, but was easy to live for the educated Jews. In order to rationalize this ambiguity the Jewish intellectuals needed to pretend to be a man in the streets and jew at home. This was due to the fact that they were normally different from the other men in the street and Jews at home equally. Thus instead of being included in a nationality or religion Jews were identified based on the behavior patterns of assimilated Jews, thus Judaism became a psychological quality . The jew of the apologists were endowed with attributes of those of pariahs ,which certain Jewish rebels in the fringe possessed, humanity, kindness, freedom from prejudice and sensitiveness to injustice. But they neither belonged to Jewish society nor the salons. The Jews in general as described by the professional jew haters showed the characteristics of parvenus, inhumanity, greed, insolence, cringing servility and determination to push ahead.

The ambiguity of social position of the Jews was exactly why they became attractive. For the Jews themselves this ambiguity led to the Jewish question losing political significance. The average Jews neither a parvenu nor a conscious pariah could feel a sense of difference which was interpreted as strangeness or social alienation . They were indifferent to political questions. The bourgeois society in its search for entertainment and interest in the individual in so far as he differed from the norm discovered the attraction of the mysteriously wicked and secretly vicious. This feverish preference opened the doors of the society to Jews, for within the framework of this society Jewishness after having been distorted into a psychological quality, could easily be perverted into a vice. The Enlightenment s genuine tolerance and curiosity for everything human was being replaced by a morbid lust for the exotic, abnormal and different. One great man that the elaborate self deception of exception Jews produced was Benjamin Disraeli.

The Potent Wizard

(This title is taken from a sketch of Disraeli by Sir John Skelton in 1867)

Arendt introduces Benjamin Disraeli as innocent in mind and imagination and a careerist. He combed his hair oddly, his manner of expression and verbiage was queer and he longed for admission to higher society more than any Jewish intellectuals did. He came from an assimilated family. His father baptized him, he had few connections with Jewish society, knew nothing of Jewish religion or customs. He wanted to distinguish himself from all contemporaries. He began to shape his lucky strangeness. He stated, ‘what is crime among the multitude is vice among the few’. He knew how to transform the crime of Jewishness to an attractive vice by displaying exoticism, strangeness, mysteriousness, magic and power. Disraeli himself attributed his sincerity and unreserve to not being bred among his race and being nourished in great prejudice against them. Arendt tells that the good conscience of Disraeli was in part due to being born an Englishman. The difference between the Jewish masses and their well to do brethren dawned in England only at the end of 19th century when the pogroms in Russia initiated modern Jewish immigrants. The English exception Jews were not so aware of their special status as their continental brethren. Disraeli felt very proud of the Rothschilds influence in defeating Napoleon, and as a baptized jew he was never a spokesman for any Jewish community, he was the only jew who represented the Jewish people politically.

As all the newly assimilated Jews, Disraeli harbored pride in being a Jew and ignorance in Jewish past and present, though he was outspoken. He thought of himself as the chosen man of chosen race. The proof of this was his later becoming the prime minister of England and close friend of the Queen, from a less liked man regarded as a charlatan and pariah to earning genuine popularity. It was more difficult to be admitted to a London society like the Grillions dining club than to conquer the House of Commons. The Queens primary in the English society was undisputed though she had lost the political prerogatives. In 1850,one of his colleagues in the Conservative party, Robert Cecil wrote an article in the Tory Quarterly Review attacking Disraeli, plainly speaking what others were saying about him in private and noone would say in public. Disraeli had the advantage that finally nobody spoke in private what had been told in public. Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish historian, satirist, essayist, philosopher and mathematician rejected a title from Disraeli calling him ‘ a cursed jew, worst man who has ever lived ‘. Arendt writes that Carlyle, who had interpreted the whole world’s history according to the 19 th was ideal of the hero ,was clearly in the wrong about Disraeli. His longing for aristocratic society, and not political or economic ambitions, made him join the Conservative party.

The secularization of assimilated Jewry also caught up the Jewish intelligentsia with it. The fateful aspect of Jewish secularization was the concept of chosennesss of Jewish people was separated from Messianic Hope. In Jewish religion these two were two aspects of God’s redemptory plan for mankind. Messianic hope gave rise to final solutions to political problems, establishing a paradise on the earth believed by the Jewish intellectuals. Out of the belief of chosennesss by God arose a fanatical delusion that Jews are more intelligent, better, healthier and more fit for survival. Actually the fathers of the Jewish intellectuals were a bit more practical in dreaming of the paradise on earth as return to Palestine. Arendt writes, that it was the conceit of the exception Jews, too enlightened to believe in God and too superstitious to believe in themselves that tore down the pious hope which had tied Israel to the rest of the mankind.

Secularization produced a paradox significant in the psychology of modern Jews. Assimilation meant the liquidation of Jewish national consciousness, transformation of national religion into a confessional denomination where the half hearted and ambiguous demands of the state and society were met by ambiguous devices and psychological tricks. Assimilation engendered the real Jewish chauvinism. By chauvinism we understand it in the words of Chesterton, ” the individual is himself the thing to be worshipped. The individual is his own ideal and his own idol “. From that point on the old religious concept of chosennesss was no longer the essence of Judaism it became the essence of Jewishness. This paradox is exemplified by Disraeli. He was an English imperialist and a Jewish chauvinist. His imperialism was not the single minded resoluteness of British expansion for expansion’s sake. The Manchester businessmen at that time were in furious opposition to colonial adventures. Israelis notion of Jews role in politics date back to the time when he was a writer. Arendt mentions that Disraeli was not a gifted writer and he remained an intellectual whom chance made a member of Parliament, leader of his party, prime minister and a friend of the Queen of England.

In his first novel Alroy(1833), Disraeli wrote of a plan for Jewish empire where Jews ruled as a separate class. He was ignorant of the actual power conditions of his time. He learned that Jews never intended for political nationality in any form eleven years later after mingling with prominent men. In his new novel Coningsby, he replaced the dream of Jewish empire with a fantastic scheme according to which Jewish money dominates rise and fall of courts and empires and rules supreme in diplomacy. He never gave up his second notion of secret and mysterious influence of the chosen men of the chosen race which became a pivot of his political philosophy. But the Jewish bankers were less interested in politics. For Disraeli, Jewish wealth was only a means to politics. Disraeli was convinced that he was dealing with a Jewish secret society, wealthy enough to take over the world’s destinies in its hands. Unfortunately, this belief in Jewish conspiracy kept together by a secret society had the greatest propaganda value for antisemitic publicity and outran all traditional European superstitions about ritual murder and well poisoning. In Disraelis eyes as well as the eyes of reputable charlatans after him the whole game of politics was played between secret societies,not just by the Jews but every other group opposing the social and political system. As late as 1870 he would still talk seriously of ‘forces beneath the surface’, and ‘ secret societies and their international energies, Church of Rome and the eternal conflict between science and faith at work to determine the course of human history ‘.

The naivete of Disraeli connected all secret forces with Jews, the first Jesuits were implied to be Jews, Russian diplomacy was implied to be carried on by Jews, the Revolution in Germany, head of communists and socialist groups, atheists, low castes of Europe, all connections were attributed to Jews. Also that all these were to destroy the ungrateful Christendom. This singular delusion anticipated Hitler’s most ingenious publicity stunts, the secret alliance between Jewish capitalists and Jewish socialists. Though the scheme was fantastical and imaginary, it had a logic of its own. The not infrequent instances where the son of Jewish millionaires become leaders of workers movement and the closely knit family ties mirrored Disraelis image of calculated revenge on Christians. But the truth was that the inclination of the sons of Jewish millionaires towards leftist movements was precisely because of the lack of class consciousness like the other ordinary bourgeois families. The banker fathers never came into open class conflict with the workers and the workers too did not harbor any antisemitic sentiments that the other classes exhibited. The only true possibilities of assimilation in most countries was offered only by the leftist movements. Disraeli s propensities to tie politics with Jewish secret societies later convinced many intellectuals. Gaining a place in the fashionable English society was more difficult. Though the admission was Independent of party distinctions, the clubs were extremely important in the formation of political elites and they escaped public control. Admissions to members of other classes were restricted and thus to the outsider, they remained mysterious.

Disraeli’s ambitions never suffered even while he experienced political defeats and he remained the most commanding figure of the London society. In his biography by Moneypenny and Buckle, the six volume The Life of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, a correct evaluation is given of Disraelis triumph. It states, ” he not only scaled the political ladder to the top most rung and shaped the whisper of the throne, he also conquered the society in Salons of Mayfair. His social triumph was no less difficult an achievement for a despised outsider than his political triumph and was perhaps sweeter to his palate”. Disraeli was the forerunner of the new social strata, who was born outside the framework of society and could never understand its rules. They found themselves in the state of affairs where the distinction between politics and society were blurred and narrow class interest always won. The outsider perceived this as an achievement by a consciously established institution. This whole society game needed only a resolute political will to transform its half conscious play of interests and purposeless machinations into a definite policy. This was what occurred in France during Dreyfus Affair and in Germany during the decade preceding Hitler’s rise to power.

Disraeli knew little of Jewish bankers, he so deeply admired. Though the exception Jews were excluded from the bourgeois society, they shared the same political principle that political activity centered around the protection of property and profits. Disraeli saw only a group of exception Jews with no political organization, with business connections and his imagination proved the rest. For example, the Jew Henry Oppenheim who had learned that the Khedive of Egypt was anxious to sell the shares of Suez Canal, offered the sale to the English government and the sale was carried through with the help of four million Sterling loan from Lionel Rothschild. Disraelis racial convictions and theories about secret societies sprung from his desire to explain something mysterious and chimerical. Out of exception Jews, he could not make a political reality but he could transform the chimera of exception Jews into public fears and to entertain a bored society with highly dangerous fairy tales. A race fanatic, Disraeli hated the political equality and nationality concepts in nation states. He presumed that Jewish race might offer social and political refuge to Jews against equalization. He clearly modelled the race concepts after the aristocratic caste concept of the nobility that he knew better than Jews.

Between Vice and Crime

The The French Revolution started in the 19th century witnessed the struggle against the degeneration of citoyen into bourgeois and reached its nadir in the Dreyfus Affair. After first WW, the glorious century of the nation par excellence was over and Paris was left without political significance and social splendor. The decline of France started with the scramble for Africa and competition for imperial domination in Europe, a decline by economic expansion of other nations and internal disintegration. The same happened in Weimar and Austrian Republics years later. 19th century antisemitism reached its climax in France, but was defeated as it remained a domestic issue. It reappeared in Germany and Austria after WWI ,but the social effects in the German and Austrian Jews were less sharp. The psychological phenomena was less sharp partly due to the strong hold of the Zionist movement on Jewish intellectuals in these countries..Zionism in the decades after WW I and before that owed its strength less to political insights and it did not produce political convictions. It was more concerned with the critical analysis of psychological reactions and sociological facts. It’s influence was pedagogical and went far beyond the members of the Zionist movement, according to Arendt.

As an example of the role of Jews in non Jewish society the best one are the salons of Faubourg Saint Germain. Marcel Proust, half Jewish, spent his life exclusively in society. His autobiography was the events reflected in the society and reconsidered by the individual. The society had emancipated itself from public concerns and politics was part of social life. Bourgeois values triumphed. Proust was a true exponent of this society involved in its fashionable vices. Proust, ‘the greatest witness of dejudaized Judaism ‘ interconnected in the ‘darkest comparison which ever has been made of Western Judaism, the vice of Jewishness and the vice of homosexuality which in their reflection and individual reconsideration became very much alike indeed . Disraeli discovered that vice is the reflection of crime in society. Once society accepts human wickedness, it is changed from the act of will into a psychological quality which man cannot choose or reject but which is imposed upon him from without. In assimilating crime and transforming it into vice, society denies all the responsibilities and establish a world of fatalities. The moralistic judgment as a crime for every departure of the norm at least shows some respect for human dignity. But if crime is considered as a fatality, everybody will be suspected of some predestination to it. According to Proust, ‘ punishment is the right of the criminal of which he is deprived if the judges assume predestination and are more inclined to pardon murder in inverts and treason in Jews.’. Arendt writes that it’s an attraction to murder and treason which hides behind such perverted tolerance and in a moment it can switch to a decision to liquidate not only the actual criminals but all who are racially predestined to commit certain crimes. She stresses that such changes take place when the legal and political machine are not separated from the society.,so that social standards can become political and legal rules. Arendt writes that the broad mindedness that equates crime and vice if allowed to establish its own code of law will prove more cruel and inhuman than laws that respect and recognize man’s Independent responsibility for his behavior.

The Faubourg Saint Germain as depicted by Proust admitted inverts because it felt attracted to vice. Something very similar happened with Jews. Individual exceptions, ennobled Jews had been tolerated and welcomed, but prejudices still remained. Homosexuality was criminal and Jews were traitors. They only revised their attitudes toward crime and treason. The outcasts and pariahs were the only ones in a fin-de-siecle society who were capable of passion. Proust leads the readers through the labyrinth of social connections by the thread of passion. Salons had not yet associated themselves with crime openly. This was the difference between salons and the mob that cried Death to Jews. On the one hand the salons did not want to participate in jew killing but at the same time professed an antipathy for inverts and Jews. This equivocal situation placed Jews in an equivocal place where they couldn’t confess their identity openly and yet couldn’t hide it either. Thus they exposed and concealed, half confessed and lied, showed humility and arrogance all at once. Thus Jewishness for the Jew was a physical stain and mysterious personal privilege both inherent in racial predestination. The society’s lookout for the strange, exotic and dangerous admitting monstrosities is described by Proust in his book, The Guermantes Way. He describes the reaction of society at a ‘Russian or Japanese play performed by native actors, the painted paunchy tightly buttoned personage of the invert, reminding a box of exotic and dubious origin from which escapes a curious odor of fruits the mere thoughts of tasting it which stirs the heart ‘., ‘ THe man of genius supposed to emanate a sense of supernatural and around whom society will gather as though around a turning table to learn the secret of the Infinite. In this atmosphere of necromancy, a Jewish gentleman or a Turkish lady might appear as if they really were creatures evoked by the effort of the medium ‘.

The exception Jews never formed this exotic, strange and monstrous attraction to the society. They were considered foreign upstarts. Much better suited were the unknowns, not representative of the Jewish community, someone like Proust s Swann with an unaccountable flair for society. Much more enthusiastically admitted were those like Bloch belonging to a family of little repute lower among the superior Jewish castes. After the Panama Scandal the native French Jewry who sought the society of antisemitic and monarchist salons found themselves in the same category as Jews they would never have invited to their houses. Though Benjamin Disraeli was an exception jew, his secularized self interpretation as a chosen man of the chosen race which foreshadowed how Jewish self interpretation was to take place, was indeed oddly similar to what the society expected of Jews. And without this societal expectation Jews would not have been able to play their dubious roles. Far from accepting Disraelis convictions, the society and Jews were ignorant of the Jewish history. Interestingly, wherever the Jews were educated, secularized and assimilated, they lost that measure of political responsibility that their origin implied. Jews without religious and political connotations became a psychological quality of Jewishness that could only be considered in categories of virtue or vice. Jewishness was perverted as a vice due to the prejudice which considered it a crime . The perversion was made possible by the Jews who considered it an innate virtue. Arendt writes that assimilated Jewry were reproached with alienation from Judaism. She mentions that assimilation was equally apparent in Eastern European countries as well. But the usual notion of Jews of western and Central Europe as dejudaized is misleading. She quotes Proust s picture where Jewish birth never played a decisive role in private life and everyday existence in Jews as among the assimilated Jewry. The Jewish reformer changed the national religion into a religious denomination thus understanding religion as a private affair. The Jewish revolutionary pretended to be a world citizen in order to get rid of Jewish nationality. The educated jew strived become a man in the streets and jew at home. Each of them converted a national character into a private affair . Their private life thus became the very centre of their Jewishness. The fact of Jewish birth lost its religious, national and socio economic significance. Jews were obsessed by Jewishness like one is addicted to vice.

Proust a innate disposition is the personal private obsession by Jews which he mistook for racial predestination . As an onlooker the behavior of Jewish clique showed the same obsession as by the inverts A society that was clannish and no longer tolerating outsiders as individuals, but as cliques justified this. The society disintegrated into cliques demands a certain amount of acting or appearance from cliques, not from individuals. The Faubourg Saint Germain salons were an ensemble of cliques that presented extreme behavior patterns like inverts showcasing their abnormally, Jews representing necromancy or black magic, artists manifesting supernatural and superhuman contact, aristocrats showing the difference from the bourgeois. Proust also notes that the newcomers shun interaction with their cliques except in issue like the Dreyfus Affair. The reason was that they thought their distinction like Jewishness or homosexuality would lose its distinction in their own cliques. Non aristocrats admired aristocrats and they admired Jews and homosexuals. The members of the cliques used mysterious sign language especially for the newcomers, which Proust reports at length. Inverts who were masters of this language at least had a real secret but the Jews used this only to create an atmosphere of mystery. The signs ridiculously indicated something universally known. Like, a Jew in a corner of a princess ‘s salon was not allowed to openly admit his identity but without this meaningless quality he would not have been able to climb into that corner. By the end of 19th century aristocracy in Berlin and Paris had lost its eagerness for culture and was curious about new specimens of humanity with a scorn for the bourgeois and middle class . They lost their political position and privileges with the establishment of Third Republic and they urged for social distinction as an answer for political equality. The French aristocracy maintained itself by social clannishness. Their contempt for middle class standards was the motive for admission individuals and groups of socially unacceptable classes. In Prussia aristocrats mingled with actors and Jews and in France this led to the social prestige of inverts. The Republics had no political hierarchy and there was equality and so the society became secretly hierarchical though it looked outwardly democratic. Aristocratic society became a thing of the past and it pervaded the whole social body, not just in France, by leading a fashionable social life.

In this fin-de-siècle society ( decadent society at the end of 19th century), it the antisemitism of Dreyfus Affair which opened the society door to Jews or the discovery of Dreyfus ‘s innocence that put an end to their social glory. In The Sweet Cheat Gone, the 6th volume of In Search of Lost Times, Proust explains this contradiction, ” This was the moment when from the effects of Dreyfus s case there had arisen a social antisemitic movement parallel to a more abundant movement towards the penetration of society by Israelites The politicians had not been wrong in thinking that the discovery of the judicial error would lead to a fatal blow to antisemitism. But provisionally at least a social antisemitism was on the contrary enhanced and exacerbated by it”. Jews could play the role society had assigned to them only as long as the same society was convinced that they belonged to a race of traitors. The proof of Dreyfus s innocence had temporarily raised Jews from contempt, but it subsided as quickly as the political antisemitism. Jews of Germany and Austria were seen to be guilty of first WW not identified as an individual act and the mob evaluated Jewishness as a crime. Arendt writes that if there is any truth in scapegoat theory of antisemitism, it is the psychology of philosemites when antisemitic legislation forced the society to oust Jews . They purged themselves of the viciousness and stigma which they had mysteriously and wickedly loved. These admirers finally became their murderers in death factories, the percentage of educated classes among the murderers a amazingly high. Scapegoat theory explains the incredible disloyalty of those strata of society which had known Jews intimately and had been most delighted and charmed by Jewish friends.

As far as Jews were concerned the transformation of crime of Judaism into the fashionable vice of Jewishness was dangerous in the extreme. They escaped the crime of Judaism by conversion, but from Jewishness there was no escape. A crime could be punished, a vice can only be exterminated. The societal interpretation of Jewish birth gave the catastrophic thoroughness for the antisemitic devices. The Nazi antisemitism, though had roots in race for political purposes, its application for Jewish question was a social phenomenon, the convictions of which virtually constituted a consent by public opinion. Though the deciding forces of the fate of Jews were without doubt political, the reaction of the society had something to do with the cruelty, the calculated and organized assault on every Jewish individual. The hunt for Jews in general can’t be considered as a mere political movement, hidden under the surface were social movements which are unaccounted for in the political and economic history are not recorded by historians, but by the penetrating and passionate forces of poets or novelists,men who society had driven into desperate solitude and loneliness of apologia pro vitaly sua. A mere political antisemitism might only have resulted in anti Jewish legislation and even mass expulsion but hardly wholesale extermination. Ever since the threat to French Jewry due to the Dreyfus Affair, society at first reacted to political antisemitic movements by philosemitism. When the declasses of capitalist society ready to unite and establish mob organizations of their own, their propaganda rested on the assumption that the same society which had shown its willingness to incorporate crime in the form of vice into its structure should now be ready to cleanse itself of viciousness by openly admitting criminals and by publicly committing crimes.

The Dreyfus Affair

Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer of the French General Staff was accused and convicted of espionage for Germany in 1894. It was later proved to be a trap when Dreyfus’s handwriting was forged to write the letter to the German officer. He was released after 7 years. The passions against him never subsided, he was attacked openly in the streets . The Affair remained ripe, evenafter his innocence was proved, during the first and second world war. Anti Dreyfusards published manuals and attacked plays on the Affair. The government of Laval could not provide protection during the plays exhibited during the 1930 s. This was triumph for the A time Dreyfusards. When Dreyfus died in 1935, the general press was afraid to touch the issue, the leftist papers spoke for Dreyfus’s innocence and the right wing of Dreyfus’s guilt. The Dreyfus trial of the 19th century was followed keenly all over the world since a simple miscarriage of justice could arouse political passions and inspire trials and retrial. The doctrine of equality before law was firmly implanted on the conscience of civilized world such that a single miscarriage of justice could provoke public indignation from Moscow to New York. The wrong done to a single Jewish officer could provoke a vehement and United reaction from the world than all the persecutions of German Jews a generation later. Czarist Russia accused France of barbarism. Kaiser’s entourage in Germany expressed indignation. American public organized protests and a boycott of Paris World Exposition scheduled for 1900. The sole exception was the Catholic journals that agitated all the countries against Dreyfus. The dramatis personae of the case seemed like those of a Balzac book, the class conscious generals frantically covering up for members of their own clique and their antagonist Picquart with an ironical honesty. Emile Zola with his impassioned moral fervor and empty pathos and his melodramatic declaration on the eve of his flight to London that he had heard the voice of Dreyfus begging him to bring the sacrifice. Arendt writes that the old time enthusiasm of the mob for Esterhazy, who had forged the letter in Dreyfus’s handwriting and hatred for Zola had died down along with the fiery passion against aristocracy and clergy which alone secured the final release of Dreyfus. During later coup d etat of the General Staff officials like the Cagoulard Affair, they didn’t have to fear the mob since the separation of Church and state France was not clerical minded and so lost anti clerical feelings just as the Catholic Church had lost its political aspirations. Petain’s attempt to convert the Republic into a Catholic State was blocked by the indifference of the people and the lower Clegg’s hostility to clerico fascism.

The political implications of the Dreyfus Affair survived in the 20th century because of the hatred of the Jews and the suspicion of the Republic, Parliament and the state machine. The latter was thought to be under the influence of Jews and the power of the banks. The term anti Dreyfusard still encompasses all things anti Republic, antidemocratic and antisemitic. It comprised of the monarchism of Action Francais, a French far right monarchist political movement, National Bolshevism of Jacques Doriot ( a French politician during and before WW II), and Social Fascism of Deat. The Third Republic fell not because of the anti Dreyfusards who were numerically unimportant but because she never any more true Dreyfusards, noone who believed that democracy, freedom, equality and justice could any longer be defended or realized under the Republic. Even Georges Clemenceau,prime minister of France in Third Republic who had opposed colonization and advocated separation of Church and State, no longer believed in these towards the end of his time. When the Republic fell, it did so into the lap of anti Dreyfusards. The Petain clique had little influence from German Fascism. The clique followed slavish adherence to old formulas 40 years before. Germany truncated her by the demarcation line, France s leaders of Vichy crippled her with the old Barre s formula of autonomous zones. They were the first to introduce antisemitic legislation much promptly than Vidkun Quisling, the Nazi collaborator and Norwegian politician. They boasted that the legislation differed from those of the Reich and they did not have any need to import it from Germany. They sought to mobilize the Catholic clergy against Jews .In contrast, it was the very bishops and synods that Vichy regime wanted to turn into political powers who voiced the most emphatic protest against the prosecution of Jews. As Georges Bernanos, the French author, monarchist and anti elitist pointed out in 1931, the Dreyfus Affair belonged to a tragic era, which was not ended by a war, but it reveals an inhuman character, preserving among a welter of unbridled passions and flames of hate, an inconceivably cold and callous heart. Though the sequel to the Affair was to be found not in France, the reason why France fell an easy prey to Nazi aggression is not far to seek. Hitler’s propaganda spoke a familiar language that was never quite forgotten. The Caesarism of Action Francais and the nihilistic nationalism of Barres and Maurass never succeeded as they lacked the social vision translate into popular terms the mental phantasmagoria which their contempt for intellect had engendered. For almost 30 years from the beginning of 20th the old legends of Jewish conspiracy was a conventional one in tabloids and dime novels. The Protocols of Elders of Zion were still not known. Arendt writes that Dreyfus Case was not one just of forgery of documents, and its hero is not Dreyfus, but Clemenceau and it begins not with the arrest of Dreyfus, but with the Panama Scandal.

The Third Republic and the French Jewry

Between 1880 and 1888 the Panama Company under leadership of De Lesseps who had constructed the Suez Canal went bankrupt . It somehow raised a successful amount of private loans, more significant considering the carefulnes of French middle class in money matters. Its public loans were backed by the Parliament and the building of Panama canal was a national enterprise. When the company went bankrupt, the foreign policy of the Republic suffered a blow and half a million middle class French men went bankrupt. The company had already been bankrupt for several years . For new public loans he had to bribe the Press, half the Parliament and all the higher officials. This was made possible by middle men who had commanded exorbitant commissions. The very thing that originally inspired public confidence in the enterprise namely parliament s backing of the loans proved in the end to a factor which converted a sound private business into a colossal racket. There were no Jews among the bribed members of the parliament or the company board. But, Jacques Reinacch, a French banker of Jewish German origin and Cornelius Herz, a French American doctor, business man, electrician and politician of Jewish German descent, distributed the bribe to the members of the Chamber. Reinacch worked on the right wing of bourgeois parties and Herz on the radical anti clerical parties of petty bourgeois. Reinacch, the secret financial counselor of the government during 80 s handled its relations with the Panama Company. Herz served Reinach as liaison with the radical wing of the parliament, thus understood the extent of corruption there and started blackmailing Reinach. Quite a small number of Jewish businessmen worked for both. The quarrel between both the men lent the Panama Scandal an air of gangsterism. Reinacch recruited the aid of former police inspectors in placing a price of ten thousand francs on the head of his rival. The commission that Reinacch and Herz received increased with the uncertainty of the company. Later on the company received little money. Harrassed by Herz, Reinach finally committed suicide. Shortly before his death, he gave Libre Parole, Edouard Drumont‘s antisemitic daily, the list of suborned members of the parliament, the so called remittance men. The consequences due to this on French Jewry could hardly be exaggerated. The paper transformed from politically insignificant to one of the most influential papers in the country . The list of culprits were published in small installments.

The Panama Scandal which according to Drumont, rendered the invisible visible, disclosed that the members of parliament and civil servants were business men and that the intermediaries between the private enterprise and the state were almost exclusively Jews. Upto the establishment of the Third Republic, the handling of the state finance was monopolized by the Rothschilds. They were powerful enough to dissolve rival Jewish financiers like Credit Mobilier by Pereires brothers and to bankrupt Catholic Union Generale whose purpose was to ruin Jewish bankers. After the peace treaty with Germany in 1871, the finances of which were managed on the French side by Rothschilds and German side by Bleichroeder, the Rothschilds came out against the Republic, supporting the monarchists . The Haute Banque (elite subcategory of private banks in France during 1815-1830 comprising of Jewish and Protestant business classes) was complicit in the Orleanist movement ( 19th political label for those supporting constitutional Monarchy). Arthur Meyer, a baptized jew, who belonged to the most virulent section anti Dreyfusards was one of spokespersons. Rothschilds who accommodated themselves in whatever political systems in the state for the first time set the Jewish financial power in opposition to current regime.

The political influence and social status of the Jews had for centuries been due to the fact that they were a closed group that worked directly for the state and the state protecting them in return. So long as the state remained distant from the people, Jews were dependable for the state as they did not belong to the society. The parliamentary system of the Third Republic allowed the liberal bourgeoisie to take control, to which the Jews never belonged and they did not need the Jewish financial services as it possible to achieve financial expansion through the parliament. The leading financial Jewish houses retracted to the antisemitic salons of aristocracy dreaming of financing reactionary movements. Meanwhile newcomer Jewish plutocrats like Reinach and Herz took part in the commercial life of the Third Republic. Rothschilds lost influence among the cabinet members and the Jews. The Jewish plutocrats realized that the Republic was not a united people’s uprising sequel, but a regime doubtful whose capacity was doubtful . Within three years a society brought to the brink of ruin was clamoring for a dictator,and it got one in President General Mac Mohan, who turned out to be a parliamentarian and he resigned. All the elements of the society like opportunists, radicals, coalitionists and right wingers tried to defend their vested interests through corruption. According to Leon Say, a 19th century French statesman, diplomat and economist, after 1881, swindle became the only law. The bureaucracy gained control of the public funds the Budget Commission was governed by private interests. Though economic status of the members of the parliament was dire.

At this period of the French history, every political party had a jew,the rights group anti Dreyfusards had Arthur Meyer, Boulangerism had Alfred Naquet, the opportunists had Reinach and radicals had Dr. Cornelius Herz. The Jewish capital had helped the Jews a productive role in the economy of Europe, without whom the 18th century development of the nation states and civil service would have been inconceivable. People like Reinach and Herz made the relations between politics and business more scandalous and mysterious. Since they were Jews it was possible to make scapegoats out of them, the Jewish parasite on a corrupt society and to prove all Jews were corrupt termites on the healthy body of people. It never mattered to the people that the corruption of the body politic started without Jewish help, that the policy of bourgeois businessmen and their ideals of unlimited competition had led to the disintegration of nation states and that the ruling classes were incapable of protecting their own interests or their country. The antisemites who called themselves patriots introduced a national feeling whitewashing one’s own people and condemning all others. The newcomer, newly naturalized French Jews filled the gap between commercial world and the state. The dissolution of the state disrupted the closed society of Jews, they got absorbed into different cliques in accordance with their political leanings and social connections and maintained certain relations with the state machine and continued to manipulate the business of the state. Thus in spite of opposing the Third Republic, it was the Rothschilds who under took the Russian loan, though Arthur Meyer, a baptized and avowed monarchist was among those involved in Panama Scandal. The Jews who previously constituted a strong close knit group were split into cliques, mutually antagonistic but all bent on the same purpose of helping society to batten on the state.

Army and Clergy against the Republic

The The French army, a heritage from the Second Empire was immune from corruption, the Republic never dominated it even while the monarchist sympathies and intrigues came into open in Boulanger crisis. The officers sons of aristocrats, were under the influence of clergy who were anti Republican and reactionary. The army was exclusively a reactionary bulwark against Republic and democratic practices and it was the tie of the caste system that promoted this. The army was an entity outside the nation not subjected to civil authorities, a caste ridden power whose loyalties could be turned in directions none could foretell. It never actively took part in coup d etat against the Republic and the monarchism was only an excuse for preserving itself as an independent interest group ready to defend its privileges. Contemporary historians and journalists have tried to interpret the conflict between military and civil powers during the Dreyfus Affair in terms of antagonism between businessmen and soldiers. The German jew, Maximillian Harden, the antisemitic historian Walter Frank, and the French author Georges Bernanos represented the antagonism in these terms. Arendt writes that such an interpretation was not true.

The popular skepticism which saw the Republic and democracy lose order, security and political will lead to the popularity of the Catholic Church and not due to any religious revivalism. The hierarchical system of Church seemed as an escape from chaos. Georges Bernanos, Charles Maurrass, and Edouard Drumont ,all antisemitic, Catholic, monarchists have mentioned this especially by Bernano who had written on Drumont and the origin of cerebral Catholicism. The staunchest supporters of the church were cerebral Catholics or Catholics without faith who dominated the monarchist and nationalist movement. Catholics clamored for more power to all authoritarian institutions. This was laid down first by Drumont and later endorsed by Maurras. A large majority of Catholic clergy were deeply involved in political maneuvers. When Victor Basch, a Hungarian jew, Zionist, French politician asked for retrial of Dreyfus, his house was stormed under the leadership of three priests. Henrik Didon, the French Dominican preacher, writer and educator called on students to ‘ draw on sword, terrorize, cut off heads and run amok’. During Dreyfus crisis, it was not the regular clergy or ordinary religious orders of Europe that Influenced the political line of catholic church. The antisemitic trends in Vienna, Paris and Algiers was an immediate consequence of Jesuit influence. The Jesuit magazine was for decades the most outspokenly antisemitic and one of the most influential catholic magazines in the world. It carried antisemitic propaganda long before Italy was Fascist and it’s policy was not affected by a time Christian attitude of the Nazis.According to the Society of Jesus Convention of1593, all Christians of Jewish descent were excluded. Since the beginning of 19th, the directions of Church s international policy had passed to Jesuit priests. Since 1820, the independent national churches were unable to resist the Jesuit dictated orders of the Pope. The Church had become what Robert Bellarmine, the great Jesuit controversialist (1542-1621)had demanded it should become, an absolute monarchy whose policies can directed by Jesuits.

Rothschilds, an antisemitic jew entered the aristocratic antisemitic salons as the state apparatus dissolved. The Dreyfus family, who belonged to Alsacian Jews, who moved to Paris when Alsace was seceded and other non prominent Jews too entered the social climb. The Alsacian Jews were considered by jewish bourgeois of Paris as nationalist. The Dreyfuses of 1894 were antisemitic giving them the appearance of traitors among their race. The exaggerated patriotism of Drefuses dissociated themselves from Jewish immigrants. They assimilated by adopting its own brand of antisemitism. By adjusting to the French aristocracy, they tried to launch their sons to higher military careers as the aristocrats. Friction arose here. Though the admission of Jews to high society was tolerated, when the Jews began seeking equality in the army, Jesuits opposed who told,by the will of Church Catholics only must be allowed to hold the chief commands. Jews in army also came up against the caste spirit The Jews found in Jesuits their first un appeasable foes. The Jesuits realized how powerful a weapon antisemitism could be, a major political concept. This was the first attempt and only one prior to Hitler to exploit the major political concept of antisemitism in a pan European scale. Ironically the Jews did not aspire any political shares in the management of the state. The hostility towards the Jews was common in the army. When Esterhazy made his revelations on the Dreyfus case in England that compelled a revision of the case,the antisemitic press suggested that he had been paid by the Jews.

There are two hypotheses in Dreyfus Affair, one that it was a by chance judicial error which lit up a political conflagration and the other that the General Staff planted the forged evidence to brand a jew as a traitor. The latter one is favored by the fact that Dreyfus was the first jew to find a post on the General Staff that could have aroused fury and consternation. Instead of withholding the details of case the officers of the GENERAL STAFF cheerfully supplied the details to Libre Parole. The Panama Scandal was fresh in public mind followed by increasing Jewish distrust from the Rothschilds loan to Russia . The skepticism of the radical and socialist press on Dreyfus, colored by its anti Jewish feelings was strengthened by the tactics of Dreyfuss family in securing a retrial. Instead of open condemnation they resorted to backdoor maneuvers. They spent their cash lavishly. Finally the Dreyfusards, Clemenceau, Zola, Picquart and Labori could only save their good names by dissociating their efforts publicly from the concrete aspects of the issue . To rely on parliament or society for a just fight could have been a lost cause considering the corruption in parliament, dry rot of a collapsing society and the clergy s lust for power. Everyone from clerical and aristocratic families, to anti clerical and radical petty bourgeois wanted to see the Jews removed from the body politic. The parliament saw the Affair as an opportunity to regain its reputation for incorruptability. Last, slogans like ‘ death to Jews ‘ and ‘ France for French ‘were discovered to be a magic formula for reconciling the masses to the existent state of government and society.

The People and the Mob

It was commonly believed that voice of people was the voice of the God and as Clemenceau scornfully expressed, the task of a leader was to follow the voice shrewdly. Here, Arendt points out the fundamental error of regarding mob and people identically rather than mob as a caricature of people. Mob has the residue of all classes and people contains all strata of society. People iin revolutions shout for true representation while mob clamor for strong man or great leader.. For, the mob hates society from which it is excluded as well parliament where it is not represented Arendt says that plebiscites are an old concept of politicians relying on the mob. One of the intelligent leaders of A ti Dreyfusards . Paul Deroulede clamored for a Republic through plebiscite. Mob rule, assailing the Jews, destroying the shops of Jews were admired and encouraged by the high society and politicians. The relatively large number of intellectuals and even Jews in the list of Henry Memorial proposing cruel ways to eliminate the Jewish question is surprising. If Bernanos with reference to Dreyfus Affair describes antisemitism as a political concept, it was clearly tried in Berlin by Ahlwardt and Stoecker, in Vienna by Schoenerer and Lueger. Mob hatred of Jews was more clearly proved in France. Mob, excluded from society and political representation sees it necessary to extraparliamentary action, targeting influences hidden from view and work behind the scenes. Jews fell into this category as did the superstitions about Freemasonry and Jesuits before them. None of these groups were secret societies bent on dominating the world by gigantic conspiracy. Nevertheless it is true that their influence was exerted beyond the formal realm of politics in lobbies, lodges and confessional, three pivotal points of politics in the eyes of European mob ever since the French Revolution. Each group hurled charges of secret conspiracy for world domination at the other. The slogan secret Judah by some Jesuits who chose to see world conspiracy in the First Zionist Congress of 1897. Similarly the concept of secret Rome by anti clerical Freemasons and also some Jews.

Led by Jesuits and aided by the mob the army paved the way for a bloodless coup d etat. The antisemitic press stopped men s mouths by publishing Reinach s list of deputies. Picquart ,the high officer in the intelligence office of the General Staff was divorced from the social clannishness and end justifies means principle. Clemenceau at last became convinced that Dreyfus was innocent. At the beginning of the struggle some well known writers and scholars rallied for the cause like Zika, Anatole France, E. Duclaux, Gabriel Monod, and Lucien Herr. Some young intellectuals too joined Clemenceau. Not a single politician stood by his side. Clemenceau s approach was not directed against a particular miscarriage of justice, but based on the a abstract ideas of justice, liberty, and civic virtue. Clemenceau persisted in his support. Though a antisemitism had gained ground after the Affair, it was only after Clemenceau and Zola began to write articles that the mob stirred into action. There was student demonstrations after Zola s first article, publisher of a pro Dreyfus magazine was beaten up in the streets, the judges that set aside the verdict were threatened. The mob was organized by the General Staff, to Libre Parole through articles, its editors, mobilizing students, monarchists, adventurers and plain gangsters. Zola a windows were stoned. The slogan death to Jews swept. the country..Antisemitic riots broke out everywhere. in France. Under the leadership of Jules Guerin, French journalist and antisemitic activist, antisemitic troops appeared on streets and attacked pro Dreyfus meetings. Police were complicit. Guerin, a police stool pigeon became the founder and head of Life Antisemite. He was a kind of criminal hero, high society adulated him and behind him stood two aristocratic members, Duke of Orleans and Marquis de Mores. The modern tendencies of the Ligue included Fort Chabrol, heavily protected and guarded where the members gathered . Another notorious antisemite was Max Regis, the instigator of Algerian pogrom. In his youth he once called upon a cheering Paris rabble to ‘ water the tree of freedom with the blood of Jews ‘. He achieved power by legal and parliamentary means, had himself elected as the mayor of Algiers and used this position to unleash Jewish pogroms. It was to him that the polished and cultured Edouard Drumont, the most famous French antisemite owed his seat in parliament.

Arendt writes about the collapse of European intelligentsia that started with the philosophy of pessimism and delight in doom of Barres, Mauras and Daudet who despised people, that identified mob with the people through their theories, thus organizing the mob who became agents of concrete nationalism . Their theories converted mob leaders to national heroes .Arendt writes that no party including the socialists were ready to make an issue of justice. Socialists stood for the workers, opportunists for liberal bourgeois, coalitionists for Catholics and radicals for anti clerical petty bourgeois. Socialists were concerned with the interests of their class . The nihilism was shown by anti Dreyfusards and Dreyfusards alike. More than whether Dreyfus was innocent or guilty,,all were concerned about who will win,the army or its foes. Not just the mobs,but a considerable section of the French population were uninterested in the injustice meted out to one group of population. The mob of anti Dreyfusards acted with the open consent of all sections and people. At last Clemenceau through his articles and Jaures through his speeches redolent of passion for human rights, the former convincing the latter that infringement of rights of one man was an infringement of rights of all. Still, the socialists rallied for Dreyfus not from sympathy or justice for the man, and not for justice and freedom of the Republic, but because the wrong doers happened to be the inveterate enemy of the people, the aristocracy and clergy and they had to be convinced that their own class interests were at stake. Still, a large number of socialists regarded it a mistake to meddle in the internecine quarrels of bourgeoisie or to save the Republic.

Emile Zola was the first to wean the workers from a mood of indifference in his indictment of the Republic. A great lover of people, his real achievement was the resolute and dauntless courage with which he stood up to challenge, combat and conquer the masses. Clemenceau on Zola, ” men have been found to resist the most powerful monarchs and to refuse to bow down before them, but few have been found to resist the crowd, to stand up before the misguided masses, to face their frenzy without weapons and with folded arms to dare a no when a yes is demanded .Such a man was Zola “. Five days after the Paris socialists held their first meeting calling for the revision of Dreyfus case, 32 socialist officials declared Dreyfus as class enemy and not a concern for them. A socialist meeting branded antisemitism a new form of reaction and when Paris strikes broke out in October, the German ambassador Munster informed Berlin that the workers were out for higher wages and they never bothered about the Dreyfus case. The 300,000 French men who devoured Zola s articles and editorials of Clemenceau were a heterogeneous group, from lower classes with in no specific party or religious community who didn’t know each other and had nothing in common. Out of Clemenceau s experience in Dreyfus Affair grew despair of people, he identified mob with the people and forced himself into a grim aloofness.

The disunity among French people found its political expression in Labour party and socialists. The parliamentary bourgeois parties were against Dreyfus showing that it no longer represented the true feelings of the electorate. Clemenceau a plea for justice was echoed by heterogeneous minorities . The fight against the army and the corrupt complicity of Republic was the dominating factor of French internal politics and foreign policy from 1897 until 1900. The anti Dreyfusards and Dreyfusards had to work along extraparliamentary lines, the former used the streets and the latter resorted to press and courts. French political life during Dreyfus Affair was carried out outside the parliament. Before 1900, the mood in Parliament became a bit favorable to Dreyfus. This was solely due to those who had learned to regard politics as the professional representation of vested interests. The Dreyfus Affair also revealed that the people wanted representatives to look after their own special interests than to function as a statesman . So it was unwise to mention it in the election propaganda. Nobody cared to see the Affair dragged into the election. The reaction of the Catholic bloc against Dreyfus and Jews in general was unanimous. The Jesuits influenced a nti Jewish opinion among aristocracy and army and the Assumptionists influenced middle and lower classes. They centred the agitation against the Republic around the Jews against the ‘ machinations of international Jewry ‘. The Catholic press throughout the world turned against Dreyfus following an international line to the Dreyfus case. The Catholic press declared that Jews must be excluded from France, Germany, Austria and Italy. Catholic politicians were the first to realize the relationship of power politics to colonial ambitions and link antisemitism to imperialism declaring that Jews were agents of England and linking Anglophobia to antisemitism. The initial stimulus of Dreyfus Affair came from London when the Congo Nile mission of 1896-98 caused some degree of dis quietude and the Catholic press defended Jesuits. The Dreyfus case where Jews constituted the central figure was a welcome opportunity to play their game. Jews were blamed for England ‘s take over of Egypt from France and Rothschild imperialism for Anglo American alliance (article of McDermott titled ‘Mr Chamberlains foreign policy and the Dreyfus case’), Dreyfus was pardoned due to French public opinion turned around through fear of boycott of 1900 Exposition. It was strange that only an interview with Pope Leo Xlll was enough to stop the spread of antisemitism throughout the world. In the US where non Catholics championed for Dreyfus, the Catholic press had spread antisemitism after 1897, which subsided overnight following the interview was Leo Xlll.

The Jews and Dreyfusards

The role played by the western Jewry in antisemitism is significant. The emancipated Jews had to be more jingoistic than native French men and had to break their solidarity with the non emancipated brethren. That was the reason why only three dozen or so men in France were ready to defend their martyred brethren while thousands were ready to stand guard over Dreyfus in Devil’s Island . This was mentioned by Bernard Lazare, French literary critic, political journalist, polemicist, anarchist and among the first Dreyfusards, in his book ‘ Job’s Dungheap ‘. When Dreyfus Affair broke out, the Jews were in the midst of a disintegrating assimilation with no political wisdom, assimilating among the elements of society in which the political passions were smothered under the dead weight of social snobbery, big business and profit. The antipathy was directed against the poor unassimilated brethren, the same tactics used by the Gentiles against the so called Ostjuden or Eastern European Jewry. The assimilated Jewry dismissed the political antisemitism and pogroms in Russia and Romania. They never understood that more was at stake than just social status in Dreyfus Affair. These were the reasons why so few wholehearted supporters of Dreyfus were found among the French Jewry. The Jews included his family shrank from starting a political fight. Dreyfus was forced to a accept a guilty plea for clemency, so that the whole case could be presented as a judicial error in which the victim happened to be a jew. He was induced to renounce a retrial. Clemenceau was a true friend of Jews who sought equality of justice for the Jews and saw the Affair as a fight of oppressed against the oppressors . He recognized and proclaimed before the world that the Jews were one of the oppressed people of Europe. He spoke for the Jews in Algiers in whose behalf the Rothschilds will not voice the least protest.

The final act of the Affair was a deus ex machina Due to the fear of boycott of 1900 Paris Exposition the same parliament that had a year before rejected retrial ,passed a censure of the anti Dreyfusards government by a two thirds majority. The new parliament under president Loubet pardoned Dreyfus .The socialists became eligible for government posts, Millerand the first socialist minister received the portfolio of commerce. It was a defeat for Clemenceau who was not able to pass a retrial instead of clemency. The socialists like Jaures welcomed the pardon since they got a place in the government and representation of special interests. Dreyfusards were actually defeated as they could not pass the desired retrial. Clemenceau a own government in 1906 could not achieve that. A good sequel was the separation of the Church and the state and the ban on parochial education which brought an end to political influence of Catholicism in France. Similarly the intelligence services were subjected to ministry of war, a civil authority, thus robbing the army of its black mailing influence on cabinet and Chamber depriving of any justification in conducting police inquiries on its own.

The closure of Dreyfus case marked the end of clerical antisemitism. Both Jewish question and political Catholicism were banished from practical politics. The only visible result was the birth of the Zionist movement.,the political answer Jews had found antisemitism and the only ideology taken seriously by them .Bernard Lazare, a true representative of Jewish interests asked for equal rights on both sides and impartiality of law. This led him to isolation in death.


The Political Emancipation of the Bourgeoisie

The three decades from 1884 to 1914 separate the 19th century which ended with scramble for Africa and birth of pan movements from 20th century which began with the first WW. This is the period of Imperialism. Europe was quiet and there were developments in Asia and Africa. The main event of the period was the political emancipation of the bourgeoisie. Bourgeoisie, even after establishing as a nation state, had left all political decisions to the state. When the nation states proved unfit for further growth of the capitalist economy the fight between state and society transpired into a fight for power. The German bourgeoisie staked everything on the Hitler movement and aspired to rule with the help of mob, thus destroying the nation but the mob took care of politics and liquidated the bourgeoisie with all other classes and institutions.

Expansion of the Nation States

Cecil Rhodes had once said, ” Expansion is everything and I would annex planets if I could “..An ambitious businessman and a megalomaniac, Rhodes insight of the insanity of imperialism never changed his policies. Eugen Richter, the German politician and journalist in Imperial Germany and an advocate of liberalism in German Reichstag said, ” world politics is for a nation what megalomania is for an individual “.. He opposed Bismarcks proposal to support private companies in trading and maritime stations. Richter in Germany, Gladstone in England and Clemenceau in France opposed imperialism and seemed to lose touch with reality of economics and trade in world politics. The colonies in Africa were surrendered and exchanged between the imperial powers. The German author Huebbe Schleiden who said, “patriotism is best expressed in money making ” and Rhodes who said, “national flag is a commercial asset “, knew by instinct rather than by insight that imperialism would destroy the political body of the nation states. Empire building has fallen into disrepute for a good reason. They had been carried out successfully by the Roman Empire on heterogeneous people by imposing on them a common law. The nation state based on a homogeneous population lacked a unifying principle and had to assimilate rather than to integrate, to enforce consent rather than justice and thus degenerate into tyranny. Expansion is the political idea of imperialism, the concept is not really political but meant the broadening of industrial production and economic transactions characteristic of the 19th century.

Imperialism was born when the ruling classes in capitalist production came up against national limitations to its economic expansion. The bourgeoisie turned to politics out of economic necessity .The constant economic growth of the capitalist system needed expansion as the political goal of foreign policy . The bourgeoisie succeeded in persuading the national government to enter into the world of politics the slogan ‘ expansion for expansion s sake”. Imperialism was a struggle for completing empires, the competition balanced by mysterious economic laws that relied heavily on political and police institutions. It was a competition between fully armed business concerns called empires. Competition needs political power for control and restraint. Arendt writes that nation states are least suited for expansion since the consent of its base cannot be stretched indefinitely. This is won with difficulty from conquered people. No nation states with clear conscience try to conquer foreign people since the convictions of conquering people arise from the bad conscience of imposing superior law upon barbarians. The law was an outgrowth of unique national substance not valid beyond its own boundaries. Thus nation states as conquerors had aroused national consciousness among the conquered people and also the desire for sovereignty. This quashed genuine attempts at empire building. Thus French Algeria could not impose their laws on Arab people, but had to respect Arab laws producing a nonsensical hybrid of nominally French territory whose inhabitants were not French citizens. Similarly the method of conquest for Empire building by British failed with Ireland which denounced the dominion statue in 1937, breaking ties with England. Ireland refused to participate in war. The Irish example proved how ill fitted UK was to build an imperial structure in which many different people could live contentedly together. It was a common past and common law that tied the member states of UK together. The Tudors did not succeed in incorporating Ireland to Great Britain. The British nation proved to be adept not at the Roman art of empire building but but the Greek model of colonization. Wherever in the colony they settled the British colonialists remained British, they didn’t forfeit their nationality. The federated structure of Commonwealth built on the reality of one nation dispersed over earth do not yet admit non British people as full fledged partners in the concern of commonwealth. The eminent South African writer Jan Disselboom wrote bluntly about the attitude of the commonwealth people, “Great Britain is merely the partner in the concern. Those parts not inhibited by the same races were never partners in concern. You can either have the white dominion or Dominion of India, but not both “.

The contrast between a nation s body politic and conquest as a political device has been obvious since the failure Napoleonic dream to unite Europe under French flag. Conquest was sure to result in either awakening of national consciousness and rebellion or to tyranny by the conqueror. Tyranny must destroy the national institutions of its own people to stay in power. In contrast to British, the French tried to build an empire in the Roman sense by spreading the French civilization, by incorporating overseas possessions into a national body, by treating people as brothers and subjects. The result was a brutal exploitation of overseas possessions for the sake of nation. France used the force noire or black forces in the colonies to defend her against enemies. Henri Poincare, the French mathematician said in 1923, “France was not a country of forty millions, but one of one hundred millions”. Clemenceau insisted at the peace table in 1918 that he cared about nothing but an unlimited right of levying black troops to assist in the defense of French territory if France were attacked in the future by Germany. Similarly the Dutch defeat of Napoleon had restored the Dutch colonies to Netherlands. The natives were reduced to slavery for government in Holland. Later this system was abandoned The Dutch system had many similarities with the French like granting European status deserving natives, introduction of European school systems and other devices of gradual assimilation. The Belgian imperialism was totally different, it was not a story of expansion of the nation or bourgeoisie but that of the Belgian king personally, unchecked by any government, unconnected with any institution. Both Dutch and Belgian imperialism are atypical. The Netherlands did not expand during the 80s but only consolidated and modernized their old possessions. Compared with the nationalistic imperialism of these countries, the British imperialism misused the mandate system by indirect rule in its colonies . They left the conquered people to their own devices staying aloof and refraining from spreading British law and culture. This did not prevent the natives from developing national consciousness and clamoring for sovereignty and independence. Anyway this strengthened the the new imperialist consciousness of superiority of man over man, of a higher breed over lower breed. This mentality exacerbated the native’s fight for freedom, blinding them to the benefits of British rule. The British administrators did not believe that they were capable of governing themselves without supervision and in turn the natives felt that they were excluded from and separated from the rest of mankind for ever.

Arendt writes that imperialism is not empire building and expansion is not conquest. Edmond Burke, Irish statesman economist and philosopher called the British conquerors as the breakers of law in India .The later administrators and civil servants had little in common with these people .They wanted the African to be left African but few who had not yet outgrown their boyhood ideals (role of such ideals, their development and cultivation is described in Rudyard Kipling’s Staley and Company) wanted to become a better African, whatever that meant. They never imposed the administrative and political system of their own country to the government of backward population. In true imperialist structures the institutions of the mother country are integrated into the empire. In imperialism the national institutions are separate from the colonial administration though they are allowed to exercise control. Such a separation resulted from the arrogance of the administrators who like the old statesmen felt that no nation had the right to impose their laws upon foreign people. Arendt sees this restraint of national institutions and politicians to whatever benefits the non European people had derived from western domination. In the 19th century the overseas possessions of the British empire were settlements or plantations or colonies like Australia, trade stations and possessions like India and maritime and military stations like Cape of Good Hope. In the era of imperialism, these possessions underwent a change in government and political significance.

That a nation state defined by boundaries and limitations of possible conquest can expand for expansions sake was absurd. The first historian to differentiate between Empire and Commonwealth by using the term imperialism was J A Hobson. A nation state expanding around the world was compared with ancient empires conquering and the difference between commonwealth and empire was neglected..Contemporary historians clothed the capitalist ventures of a few businessmen searching around the globe for investment opportunities, appealing to the profit motives of the rich and gambling instincts of poor,in imperialism with the old grandeur of Rome and Alexander the Great. This disparity between cause and effect was betrayed in the famous remark that the British empire was acquired in a fit of absent mindedness. The business men convinced the incorruptible politicians that imperialism was the only way to conduct world politics. They came to believe that maritime stations and raw materials access which were necessities could be conducted by annexing the parts and expanding rather than by old methods of trade and commerce. They believed Cecil Rhodes telling them that trade in the world must be done by expansion and retention of the world. The politicians became accomplices in imperialist politics and were the first to be blamed and exposed in imperialism. Same with Clemenceau who desperately worried about the future of French nation and turned imperialist in the hope that colonial men power would protect French citizens against aggressors.

TThe colonial administrators who had free hand in controlling the territories resented the parliament and free press in the European nation states. The misnomer ‘imperial factor ‘ was used for the concept that the natives were protected and represented by the imperial parliament. Thus imperialism was credited with a sort of justice. The misnomer lies in British rule of SOUTH AFRICA in an incident of war against the Boers when the local governors Cecil Rhodes and Jameson involved the imperial government of London against its intentions. The conflict between the representatives of the imperial factor which is also called the national factor and the colonial administrators are ripe in the history of British imperialism. The imperialists were resentful that the government of India should have to justify its existence and policy before the public opinion in England which made it impossible to proceed to measures of administrative massacres had been tried before in the middle east as a radical means of pacification after WWl. T.E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) in an article, ‘France, Britain and Arabs ‘ in The Observer in 1920 wrote ” The British reinforcements bombards the Arabs with artillery, aeroplanes and gunboats. It is odd that we don’t use poison gas. Bombings are patchy ways of getting women and children. By gas attacks the whole population of offending districts could be wiped out neatly and as a method of the government it would be no more immoral than the present system “.

The same hostilities prevailed in Germany too between national representatives and colonial administrators in Africa. Carl Peter, in 1897, was removed from his post in German south east Africa because of the atrocities against the natives. In 1905, when the tribal chiefs addressed their complaints to the Reichstag they were thrown to jail by colonial administrators and the German government intervened. Instances where the administration had to resign for protecting natives were also there. The imperialists knew very well that the nationalists of the body politic of nation states were incapable of empire building. They were aware that if the nation states were allowed to pursue imperialism with its own inherent laws it would end in the native’s rise to nation hood and defeat of the conqueror. This was the reason why the French method that combined national aspirations with empire building were much less successful than British methods which after 1880s was openly imperialistic although restrained by the mother country with its national democratic institutions.

Power and Bourgeoisie

Imperialist expansion was followed by superfluous money which no longer could be productively invested with in national borders. Thus export of money was followed by export of power ,a reversal. Uncontrollable investment in distant countries transformed the society to gamblers transforming the capitalist economy to financial speculation and profit of production to profit in commission. Thus the preimperialist era consisted of swindles, financial scandals, and gambling in the stock market. The pioneers in this development were Jewish financiers who had earned their wealth outside the capitalist system and needed by nation states for internationally guaranteed loans. The tax system by the state made them fearful of extinction. Naturally they were the first to be tempted to export their money which could not be profitably invested in domestic markets. The government themselves whose help was needed for investment in faraway countries preferred the Jewish financiers to new comers in international finance .

Once the Jewish financiers exported the wealth the shareholders did not take the risk to insure the tremendous profits. The commission earning financiers with out enough power to insure them had to depend on the power of the state. Thus export of government power followed.. The position of Jewish financiers weakened. The leadership of imperialist business transaction was taken over by native bourgeoisie. Thus started the career of Cecil Rhodes in South Africa supplanting all Jewish financiers. In Germany, Bleichroeder was supplanted by Baron Hirsch when 14 years later Germany began the construction of Baghdad railroad by the imperialist enterprise Siemens and Deutsche bank. The government’s reluctance to yield power to Jews and the Jews’ reluctance to engage in business with political implications coincided well that despite the great wealth of Jewish people no struggle for power developed. Though the national government had misgivings on the tendency to transform business into a political issue, to avoid the sacrifice of a great part of the national wealth, they expanded their influence through instruments of violence. The first consequence of power export was that the state’s instruments of violence, the police and army, which existed beside and controlled by the national institutions were separated from this body and promoted to national representatives in uncivilized or weak countries. In these backward regions violence was given more latitude. The economic and ethical laws no longer stood in the way of greedy wealth owners and political power made money beget money. Only unlimited accumulation of power could bring about unlimited accumulation of capital.

Foreign investment which started as an emergency measure became a permanent feature protected by power, the imperialist expansion became an end in itself of nation states. The administrators of violence, though away from their mother countries wielded considerable influence in body politic at home, functionaries of violence thinking only in terms of power politics. The imperialist political philosophy developed in the directions of violence and power as the conscious aim of body politic and the ultimate goal of any definite policy. Violence was administered for power’s sake and not for law’s sake that turned into a destructive principle. While the administrators in the past era of moderate imperialism didn’t incorporate conquered territories and preserved the backward communities their totalitarian successors dissolved and destroyed all politically stabilized structures. The export of violence made servants into masters, accumulation of violence at home made them active agents of destruction .Power as an essence of political action, expansion as its aim was brought about by an economic factor. Unchecked power was met with universal applause and the dissolution of body politic met with little opposition because the resultant power perfectly answered the hidden desires and secret convictions of the bourgeoisie, long excluded from government by the nation states and by their own lack in public affairs and finally politically emancipated by imperialism. Imperialism paved the path for the political rule of bourgeoisie. Imperialism made politicians and statesmen out of business men, statesmen had to speak the language of business men in terms of continents. Thus bourgeoisie convictions were extended to foreign affairs and then to domestic politics.

Thomas Hobbes, a 16th century philosopher in his book, Leviathan desribed the structure of society and legitimate government arguing for rule by absolute sovereign, and avoiding war by a strong undivided government. He derived public good from private interests and for private good, conceived a commonwealth whose basis and ultimate end is the accumulation of power. Hobbes indicates that private interests are the same with public. This sits well with the bourgeoisie. Hobbes s theory coincides with the totalitarian pretense of having abolished the contradictions between individual and public interests. Contradictorily totalitarianism claims nonexistence of privacy. Hobbes a descriptions fit a bourgeoisie man, judged by society according to his value or worth given to his use of power. According to Hobbes, power is an accumulated control that lets the individual to fix prices,regulate supply and demand to his own advantage. The individual can pursue his interests with the help of some kind of majority, so desire for power must be fundamental for power leads to everything else. He points out that all men are equal in strength, and the raison d etre of state is the need for the security of the individual. The process of never ending accumulation of power for protecting never ending accumulation of capital determined the progressive ideology of the late 19th and foreshadowed the rise of imperialism. The 18th century notion of progress in pre revolutionary France by criticizing the past to a means of mastering the present and controlling the future culminated in the emancipation of man. The bourgeoisie society did not want Liberty and autonomy of men but was ready to sacrifice everything and everyone for the superhuman laws of history. The imperialists themselves were aware of the implications of their concept of progress. The author Bennett Clarke Kennedy of Indian civil service who wrote under the pseudonym A Carthill said, “One must always feel sorry for those persons who are crushed by the triumphal car of progress “. The only trace of 18th century concept of progress appears in Marx’s dream of a classless society which in Joyce’s words was to awaken mankind from the nightmare of society. Expansion for accumulating power acquired a perpetual motion, an irresistible process that as Cecil Rhodes feared, unable to stop and stabilize from the human condition and the limitations of the globe thus beginning a series of destructive catastrophes once it has reached the limit.

In the imperialistic epoch the philosophy of power became the philosophy of elite who discovered that the thirst for power could only be quenched through destruction. This was the reason for their nihilism in the early 20th century in France and Germany where the superstition of progress was replaced with the superstition of doom. It took three centuries for Hobbes to succeed. This was because of the French Revolution centered around man, ,due to which the bourgeoisie couldn’t fully develop. As per Hobbes, every man or thought who does not conform to the generation and accumulation of power is a nuisance. His distrust of western traditions of political thought is obvious in that he justified tyranny throughout. Though tyranny was not new in the West, it had never been honored with a philosophical foundation. Hobbe’s Leviathan actually amount to permanent government of tyranny. Hobbes was the true philosopher of the bourgeoisie because he realized that the acquisition of wealth conceived as a never ending process can be guaranteed only by the seizure of political power, for the accumulation process should sooner or later force open all existing territorial limits. He foresaw a dynamic political organization for the never ending process of power generation . He even foresaw a new type of man that would fit into such a society and its tyrannical body politic, idolatry of power by this human type, a power thirsty animal, who had surrendered his natural forces, virtues and vices making him meek, not rising against tyranny and who submit to any existing government, not stirring when his best friend falls an innocent victim to an incomprehensible raison d etat. Members of the commonwealth just become cogs in the power generating machine, leaving individual persons powerless. The ultimate destructive purpose of the Commonwealth is indicated by the equality in the ability to kill, living with nations in conditions of perpetual war, conducive to their benefits and devouring weaker structures until it comes to a last war by Victory or Death. By ‘Victory or Death ‘ Leviathan can overcome all political limitations and envelop the whole earth in its tyranny. But the last war proceed to destroy itself.

The Alliance Between the Mob and the Capital

When imperialism entered the scene of politics with the scramble for Africa in the 1880s,it was promoted by business men, aristocrats, welcomed by educated class like patriotic professors and publicists regardless of their political affiliation and unmindful of their economic interests seeking honorable and profitable employment for their sons. It was opposed fiercely by the government in power. Imperialism produced the deceptive feeling of security. All the European countries felt the instability and disintegration of their body politic that the solution was imperialism. And the European comity nations silently allowed the evil to spread until it destroyed everything good and bad. The capital and money was superfluous, there were crises and depressions preceding the era of imperialism, the production dependent on supply and demand collapsed within the borders of nation states and the capitalists had to find new markets outside which were not yet subject to capitalism and could provide a new non capitalist supply and demand. Many authors describe an obvious connection between the crises in the 1860s in England and Europe and imperialism, there was revival of interest in emigration due to a depression in British trade and industry although some other authors mention the anti imperial sentiment of mid Victorian era. Marx mentions the original sin of robbery that made possible the original accumulation of capital. The catastrophic break down in production threatened not only the bourgeoisie but the entire nation and the accumulation of capital had to be followed by further accumulation lest the motor of capitalism suddenly die down. Rosa Luxemburg, the 19th century Polish German Marxist, philosopher, economist, anti war activist and revolutionary socialist, states about the political structure of imperialism. According to her, the historical process of accumulation of the capital depends on the existence of non capitalistic social strata and imperialism is the political expression of the non capitalist world. This dependence of capitalism on a non capitalist society is the basis of all aspects of imperialism.,result of over saving and mal distribution ,overproduction, under supply Anderson raw materials and need for new markets. Lenin calls imperialism the last stage of capitalism.

At first, the capitalists tried foreign investment without expansion or political control which led to scandals, swindles, and stock market speculation since the foreign investment grew more rapidly than domestic ones. Domestic enterprises used fraudulent methods and attracted people, who in the hope of miraculous returns invested and later lost everything. The classic examples are the Panama Scandal in France and Grundungsschwindel in Germany and Austria. The capitalists were left alone, excluded from production only to return later. The initial foreign investment without expansion or political intervention, alienated the bourgeoisie from the national body and was counter to the past tradition of nationalism. But the swindles and gambles forced them to demand state protection, the established tradition of bourgeoisie to exclusively consider the political institutions as instruments of protection of individual property. So the cry for strong state powers by capitalists with vested interests in foreign countries. Thus export of capital favors imperialist policies. Consequently, the attitude of bourgeoisie towards the state changed. At first, it was hostile to state in its fight against economic mercantilism and political absolutism. They argued for an economic life free of state intervention. But the expansionist policy caused a revolutionary change in the mentality of bourgeoisie, it ceased to be a humanist and pacifist. Expansion served to preserve capitalist society socially and increase profits economically. The bourgeoisie producers were needed by the nation as well. Along with superfluous capital, the idle human debris eliminated from the producing society, superfluous human capital was also exported especially to dominions of Canada and Australia and United States. Thus followed the concept of expansion, export of government power and annexation of territories of foreign investment.

South Africa was a British possession since the beginning of the century as a maritime post to India. The importance of this old trade station decreased with opening of the Suez Canal and administrative conquest of Egypt. Unexpectedly, diamond fields were discovered in 1870s and gold mines in 1880s leading to make South Africa the ‘culture bed of imperialism ‘. Profit at any price conflated with the old fortune hunt drew the mob of prospectors, adventurers and big city scum to the Dark Continent. From then on the superflous mob accompanied the bourgeoisie capitalists even if nothing was discovered, but only opportunities for investment appeared. Thus, imperialism, the product of superfluous money and superfluous men produced the most superfluous and unreal goods like gold. All parliamentary parties were complicit in imperialism. The British Labor Party was complicit as justified by Cecil Rhodes predictions. In Germany, the liberal Socialist Party and not the conservative right who promoted the naval policy that contributed to the outbreak of the first WW. The alliance between mob and the capital was a new phenomenon in Marx’s terms and was in conflict with the doctrine of class struggle. Even the outbreak of first WW didn’t break the complicity of Socialists who were still probing the economic laws of imperialism when imperialists had long since stopped obeying them. The weakness of popular opposition against imperialism and the broken promises of liberal statesmen are ascribed to opportunism and bribery. But Gladstone s promise of evacuation of Egypt was broken not from any of these. Expansion was the life saver of national cohesion,thus allowing the imperialist to become parasites on patriotism.

The imperialist adventure was more a eternal solution for economic interests and depended less on nationalism and the sum total of individual interests which the bourgeoisie convinced everyone as a sound basis of body politic . Thus, even the non imperialist statesmen were easily persuaded when a common economic interest appeared on the horizon. Though contradictory, nationalism developed a tendency toward imperialism, the ill fitted nations bridging the abyss between the two by tribal nationalism, oppression and racism Hobson called imperialism a perversion of nationalism. In it nations transform the national rivalry into cut throat struggle of competing empires. The imperialist politicians were indifferent to domestic politics especially in England. The officials of civil services were chiefly responsible for confusing imperialism with nationalism. Regardless of class interests or politics they were servants of nation and the authority of nation state depended on economic independence and political neutrality of civil servants. So decline of the nation states started with the corruption of civil servants by owning classes. Division of classes and disintegration of nation states forced them to form a clique of their own and they escaped this by ruling foreign people in colonies where they pretended their heroic nationalism as services to British race. As James Mill mentioned, the colonies were no longer an outdoor relief for upper classes but a backbone of British nationalism which discovered in the domination of distant countries and rule over strange people as the only way to serve the British interests. The peculiar genius of each nation showed itself in the way each dealt with subjects. The same was true of Dutch colonial services. Serving as East India Civil Service officials was the highest honor. The truth was that far from home, they could remain as an English man, French or German and identity with their nationals while at home they were entangled in economic and social loyalties that they felt more close to a member of his class in a foreign country than a man of another class in his own country . Thus expansion gave nationalism a new lease of life and became an instrument of national politics. This shows the desperate state of European nations before imperialism, their fragile national institutions.

The alliance between capital and the mob is found at the genesis of every imperialist policy. In Britain this alliance was confined to overseas possessions since the British imperialists drew a sharp line between domestic and foreign policies to avoid the boomerang effect of imperialism on the homeland. In Germany, Austria and France the alliance took effect at home giving rise to pan movements. They combined domestic and foreign policies to organize the nation for looting foreign territories and permanent degradation of the alien people. The rise of the mob from capitalist was observed carefully by historians of 19th like the Swiss historian of art and culture, Jacob Burkhardt and the German historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler. They failed to understand that mob couldn’t be identified with the industrial working class or people as a whole but mob is the refuse of all the classes. Though this might seem that mob has abolished class differences and those standing outside the class divided nation are people itself ( Volksgemeinschaft a ms Nazis call). The historians correctly understood the irresponsibility of the mob and their possibility converting democracy into despotism whose tyrants would rise from the mob and lean on it for support. Historians failed to understand that mob was a byproduct of bourgeoisie, inseparable, bourgeoisie s admiration for mob, its retreat on morality, bourgeoisie a taste for the anarchical cynicism of the mob. Dreyfus Affair demonstrated that and the difficulty in placing heroes among anti Dreyfusards in either class.

Balzac s novels give a clear expression of the kinship between bourgeoisie and the mob. The insight acquired by the bourgeoisie during crises and depressions preceding imperialist era made them accept the revolutionary changes in the moral standards that Hobbes realism had proposed and which was later proposed by mob and its leaders. Thus the original sin of accumulation of capital needed additional sins to keep the system going by shaking off the restraints of western traditions. The German bourgeoisie finally openly confessed its relationship with the mob calling it to champion their property interests. The mob bourgeoisie alliance is different in different European countries . The bourgeoisie of England and Holland developed quietly and enjoyed security and freedom from fear. In France, bourgeoisie a enjoyment of supremacy was interrupted ba revolution that made the mob capital affiliation happen earlier here. In Germany the bourgeoisie did not develop its full potential until the latter half of 19th century but the rise was accompanied by working class movements. German bourgeoisie was least secure and too ready to shed its hypocrisy. France produced only relatively small mob because of revolutionary tendencies and relative lack of industrialization and so the bourgeoisie looked for help to Hitler’s Germany. The political principles of the mob in imperialist ideologies and totalitarian movements strongly resemble bourgeoisie political attitudes cleansed of hypocrisy and Christian traditions. It’s this relationship of principles that made the nihilistic attitude of the mob intellectually attractive to the bourgeoisie.

The cause and effect disparity characterized the birth of imperialism. The superfluous wealth needed jobs help to find safe and profitable investment . The mob was always been a basic force in the structure of bourgeoisie hidden by nobler traditions and blessed hypocrisy that the 17th French author La Rouchefoucauld called “the compliment of vice pays to virtue “. Unprincipled power politics needed Unprincipled people, large in number surpassing ability of state and society to control them. The fact that this mob could only be used by imperialist politicians and inspired by racial doctrines made it appear that imperialism was the remedy for domestic social and economic problems. Though Hobbes s theory do not contain modern race doctrines that stir up the mob, it provided the political thought which is a prerequisite of race doctrines, that is exclusion of the idea of humanity regulating all international laws. This led to engagement in perpetual war of all against all which is the law of the nature. Hobbes offer the best possible theoretical foundation for naturalistic ideologies that hold nations to be tribes separated by nature without any connection with each other, without solidarity, and having only the instinct for self preservation..In the idea of humanity, the most common conclusive symbol of the common origin of mankind is no longer valid. Hobbes endless process of power accumulation caused the mob to transform nations on the basis of race, with no bond between individuals in an accumulating society during accumulation and expansion.

Arendt writes,” Racism will doom the western world and for that matter the whole human civilization. When Russians become Slavs, French men assume the role of commanders of force noire, when English men have turned into white men, Germans to Aryans, that itself will signify the end of western man. No matter what learned scientists say, race is, politically speaking, not the beginning of humanity but its end, not the origin of people but their decay, not the natural birth of men but his unnatural death “.

Race-thinking before Racism

Race -thinking existed in many parts of the spiritual world long before being adopted by the Nazis as a propaganda and a strong political war machine. Hitlerism exercised a strong international and inter European appeal during 1930s because of the powerful trend of racism in the public opinion everywhere. Though racism was not a new or secret weapon never before was it used expediently and with consistency as by the Nazis. During the German-Russian pact, Nazi propaganda machine stopped all attacks on Bolshevism but didn’t give up the race line. The roots of race thinking were deep in the 18th century and it emerged in all western countries simultaneously in the 19th and since then a powerful tool of imperialistic policies. The dignity and importance was accorded the race opinions as though it was a major spiritual contribution of the western world from the end of 19th. Until the days of scramble for Africa race thinking was just one of the many free opinions fighting for the consent of public opinion. Only a few of them developed into full fledged ideologies strong enough to attract and persuade majority of people and differing from a single opinion in that it claims to possess a key to history, solution for all the riddles of the universe or the intimate knowledge of hidden universal laws which were supposed to rule nature and man. Only two of those became full fledged ideologies, one that interprets history as an economic struggle of classes and the other that interprets history as a natural struggle of the races. The appeal of both to the large masses were so strong that they were able to enlist state support and establish as official national doctrines. Not only intellectuals but the great masses of people would not accept a presentation of past or present facts that was not in agreement with these ideologies.

The persuasive power of ideologies appealed to immediate political needs as a political weapon and did not arise from Darwinian scientific facts or historical theoretical doctrines. But ideologies like racism changed its political sense and the scientific aspects developed as a result of the desire to provide watertight arguments. Also scientists were fascinated with its persuasive power who abandoned scientific research and hurried to preach their interpretation of life and world. Thomas Henry Huxley, the 19th century biologist neglected research of his own and was busy in the role of Darwin’s bulldog barking and biting at theologians. Thomas Henry Huxley  (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) was an English biologist and anthropologist specialising in comparative anatomy. He is known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his advocacy of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution Ernest Haeckel ( 16 February 1834 – 9 August 1919) was a German zoologist, naturalist, eugenicist, philosopher, physician, professor, marine biologist, and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology, including ecology,phylum, phylogeny,and Protista. Haeckel promoted and popularised Charles Darwin’s work in Germany and developed the influential but no longer widely held recapitulation theory (“ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”) claiming that an individual organism’s biological development, or ontogeny, parallels and summarises its species’ evolutionary development, or phylogeny. The Nazi botanist Heinz Bruecher applauded him.

A typical example of what scientists and historians were capable of could derived from these instances. The German historian of art writing during WWI, Josef Strazygowski, in his book wrote the Nordic race to be composed of Germans, Ukrainians, Armenians, persians, hungarians, bulgarians and Turks. The Society of Medicine of Paris published a report on the discovery of ‘polychesia’ or excessive defecation and ‘bromidrosis’ or body odor in German race and proposed urine analysis for detection of German spies. German urine was found to contain 20%of non uric nitrogen against 15%in other races. It was these ‘scientific preachers’ and not scientific findings that today not even a single science left in whose categorical system race thinking has not deeply penetrated. This has made historians to hold science responsible for race thinking as cause and not consequence. This was also the reason why many harmless authors were mistaken as full fledged racists Many anthropologists have advanced these starting points for their full fledged racist doctrines. A typical example is a naive hypothesis by Paul Broca, the 19th century French physician, anatomist and anthropologist who assumed that the brain had something to do with the race and the shape of the skull to be the best way to get the contents of the brain. The ridiculous assumption was used to propagate racist theories. Similarly the concept of Aryanism proposed by philologists has seduced propagandists and inventors of race thinking. Aryanism overstepped the limits of pure research, but was not initially racist in its objective . In the words of the French writer, journalist and critic, Ernest Seilliere, ‘Aryanism was a kind of intoxication. It wanted to include in the same cultural brotherhood as many nations as possible . Modern civilization believed it had recovered its pedigree and an organism was born which embraced in the same fraternity all nations whose language showed some affinity with Sanskrit “. These men were still in the humanistic tradition of the 18th and shared its enthusiasm about strange people and exotic cultures. Here Arendt clearly says not to lay the blame on any specific sciences, but certain scientists who were hypnotized by the ideologies. The doctrine, Might is Right, took two centuries from 17th to 19th to conquer natural science and produce the law of survival of fittest .

Racism is a main ideological weapon of imperialistic politics. The old misconception is racism as a kind of exaggerated nationalism. Race thinking and class thinking were regarded as mental preparation for national war and civil war. The first WW wa6a curious mixture of old national and new imperialistic conflicts. But racism could be the most ingenious device ever invented for a civil war. Racism cut across all national boundaries and race thinking rather than class thinking was an ever present shadow accompanying the development of comity of European nations until it grew to destroy those nations. Racists have the worst record of patriotism.

A Race of Aristocrats against a Nation of Citizens.

During the 18th century France an interest for different, strange and savage people was characteristic. Travelers reports brought home Chinese paintings and literary works like Lettres Persanes (Persian Letters (French: Lettres persanes) is a literary work, published in 1721, by Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, recounting the experiences of two fictional Persian noblemen, Usbek and Rica, who are traveling through France.)were produced… The enthusiasm for Herders new specimens of mankind filled the heroes of French revolution who liberated people of every color under French flag and culminated in the message of fraternity. Yet the germs of racism originated in France. The Comte de Boulainvilliers ,an18th century French nobleman interpreted the French history as one of German origin who conquered the old inhabitants, the Gaules and had settled down as the ruling class. In order to regain primacy for nobility Boulainvilliers proposed that his fellow noblemen deny a common origin with the French people and break up the unity of the nation .Centuries before actual development of imperialistic racism he considered the original inhabitants as natives or subjects to the descendants of conquerors who by right of birth were to be called French men. He was deeply influenced by the Might is Right philosophy of Baruch Spinoza ( born Baruch Espinoza later as an author and a correspondent Benedictus de Spinoza, anglicized to Benedict de Spinoza; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1 was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin. One of the early thinkers of the Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy. Inspired by the groundbreaking ideas of René Descartes, Spinoza became a leading philosophical figure of the Dutch Golden Age.)

He translated Spinoza s magnum opus Ethics and in his political ideas, the might was changed to conquest. Boulainvilliers theory still dealt with the superiority and privileges in his people due to a deed, I.e, conquest and not race. But it invented two different people within France to counteract the national idea represented by the monarchy. He was an anti national at the time. He is representative of the many nobles who did not regard themselves as representatives of the nation but as a separate ruling caste. This anti national trend later exercised their influence in the milieu of emigres. Boulainvilliers ideas found usefulness as a political weapon when the French revolution forced the French nobility to emigrate into Germany and England. Another Comte, Comte Dubuat Nancay, ,a spokesman for French feudalism hoped for creation of a kind of Internationale of aristocracy of barbaric origin and only the German nobles were expected to help . Here too the origin of French nation was supposed to be identical with that of Germans and the French lower classes were not free by birth but by affranchisement by grace of those who were free by birth, the nobility. A few years later the French aristocrats tried to form an Internationale of aristocrats in order to stave off the revolt of those they considered to be foreign enslaved people. It never occurred to them that they were traitors and were convinced that the French revolution was a war between foreign people.

One of the rather dubious aristocrats, Comte de Montlosier expressed his contempt for the people risen from slaves, a mixture of all races and all times. With change in time, the ideas of conquest determining the destiny of men changed too,. It’s interesting that in this class struggle of noble men with the bourgeoisie, they discovered that they belonged to another nation, had another genealogical origin, closely tied to international soil than France. All French racial theories have supported the Germanism or the superiority of Nordic people against their own country men. Similarly the men of French revolution identified with the Latinism of Roman Republicans. The fact is that the French men were to insist earlier than Germans or English men on the idea fixe of German superiority. Historical Aryanism has its origin in the 18th century French feudalism and was supported by 19th century Germanism. Finally, Comte de Gobineau developed the opinion of Germanic nobility into a full fledged historical doctrine exalting history into the dignity of a natural science. Thus race thinking completed its first stage and began the second stage whose influence will extend to 1920s.

Race Unity as a Substitute for National Emancipation

Race thinking in Germany didn’t develop before the defeat of old Prussian army by Napoleon. It owed its rise to Prussian Patriots and political romanticism rather than nobility and their spokesman. In contrast to the French brand of race thinking as a weapon for civil war and splitting of nation German race thinking was invented in an effort to unite the people against foreign domination. Germans didn’t look beyond the borders for allies but wanted to awaken in the people a consciousness of common origin and excluded the nobility. Also German race thinking accompanied the long frustrated attempts to unite the German states, so it was closely connected to national feeling and so it was difficult to distinguish between nationalism and racism. Arendt says that due to the nationalistic connection to German race thinking, even historians who identify the 20th century German brand of racism with the peculiar language of German nationalism have strangely mistaken Nazism for German nationalism thereby helping to underestimate the tremendous international appeal of Hitler’s propaganda. The particular conditions of German nationalism changed only after 1870 when the nation was unified and German racism and German imperialism fully developed. In contrast to France, Prussian noblemen were closely connected to absolute monarchy and sought recognition as the legitimate representatives of the nation as a whole. The Prussian noblemen were not frightened by the bourgeoisie that might take over the government Race thinking developed outside the nobility as a weapon of certain nationalists who wanted the union to all German speaking people and thus insisted on a common origin It was only after 1814 that the definition of common origin was described in terms of blood relation, family ties, tribal unity or of unmixed origin. These definitions were found in the writings of Catholic Josef Goerres and nationalistic liberals like Ernst Moritz Arndt or F.L. Jahn. This shows the failure to rouse national sentiments in people, out of a lack of common historical memories and apathy to common destinies in future. So a naturalistic appeal was born that addressed to the tribal instincts of people as a substitute for the glorious power of French nationhood. Goerre s doctrine, ‘every race is separate, complete, whole ‘ was invented as Ideological definitions of national unity as a substitute for nationhood. It was this frustrated nationalism that led to Arnndt s statement that ‘ Germans who apparently were the last to develop an organic unity had the luck to be of pure, unmixed stock, a genuine people ‘.

Arendt writes that organic naturalistic definitions of people are an outstanding characteristic of German ideologies and German historism. These were not yet actual racism as the men who spoke in racial terms still upheld the Central pillar of genuine nationhood, the equality of all people. For example in the same article in which FL Jahn compares the laws of people with laws of animal life (pg.217), he also insists on the genuine plurality of the people in whose complete multitude alone mankind can realized. Similarly Goerres despite his naturalistic definition of people followed a true national principle when he stated ‘ no branch has a right to dominate the other ‘. And Arndt expressed his strong sympathies for Poles and Italians in their liberation struggle. German national feelings were not the fruit of a genuine national development, but a reaction to foreign occupation when consequently national doctrines acquired a negative character, destined to create a wall around the people, to act as substitutes to frontiers which could not be clearly defined geographically or historically. In the early form of French aristocracy, race thinking had been invented as an instrument for internal division and turned out to be a weapon for civil war, the early form of German race doctrine was invented as a weapon for national unity and turned out to be a weapon for national wars. After the decline of French nobility, the idea was revived by the foes the Third Republic. After attainment of national unity in Germany, race thinking was revived by the modern imperialist schemers in order to appeal to the people and hide their hideous faces under the respectable cover of nationalism. There was another source of German racism, far from politics but with a strong bearing upon later political ideologies, political romanticism. It was accused of inventing race thinking as it was accused of inventing every other possible irresponsible opinion. The romantic literati, with their playfulness of modern thought found new and original opportunities for new and fascinating opinions. As the 18th century German Romantic poet, Novalis put it, ‘the world must be romanticized to bestow a high sense upon the common, a mysterious appearance upon ordinary, and dignity of unknown upon the well known “. One of the romantic objects was the people who could be changed at a moment’s notice to state or family or nobility or to whatever that happened to cross the minds of these intellectuals or asked for by a paying patron.

For modern German scholars romanticism proved to be an excellent pretext in its unlimited idolization of the personality of the individual whose arbitrariness became the proof of genius. The arbitrary game of ideas was made the centre of outlook of life and world. The inherent cynicism of romantic personality worship is well represented by Mussolini who arbitrarily described himself as” aristocrat and democrat , revolutionary and reactionary, proletarian and anti proletarian, pacifist and anti pacifist “. Romanticism was ruthlessly individualistic so that everyone was free to create for himself his own ideology. Mussolini carried it out with the greatest energy. In this anarchic game where everyone was entitled to personal and arbitrary opinions, more characteristic was the fundamental belief in personality as an ultimate aim in itself. In Germany where the conflict between nobility and the middle class was never fought on the political scene personality worship developed as a means for social emancipation. The governing class disliked the merchants so it was not easy to find means of winning self respect . The classic example is the Bildungsroman,Wilhelm Meister, in which the middle class hero is educated by noble men actors since the bourgeoisie in his own social sphere is without personality. German intellectuals, who belonged to middle class fought a battle for social status. Thus they formulated a new concept of innate personality, given by birth and not acquired by merit. Liberal writers boasted of true nobility. I6a pamphlet against the nobility the liberal writer Buchholz wrote, “True nobility cannot be given or taken away “. The discriminatory potential of innate personality soon became obvious in social antisemitism. It was the lack of innate personality, the innate lack of tact, productivity, innate disposition for trading which separated the behavior of Jewish colleague from the average businessmen . In its attempt to summon up some pride against the caste arrogance of the Junkers(member of land owning aristocracy of Prussia and Eastern Germany which exercised substantial political power under the German empire and the Weimar Republic),the bourgeoisie looked down on other people. Example is the small literary work of Clemens Brentano the 19th century German romantic poet novelist, who wrote for and was read in the ultranationalist club of Napoleon haters. He contrasts the innate personality, the genial individual and philistine who he identified with French men and Jews. Thus the German bourgeoisie attributed all the despised factors by nobility to French men and Jews. They took for themselves the innate personality, exactly the same as the the Junkers claimed for themselves.

Though the standards of nobility contributed to rise of race thinking, the aristocrats themselves did hardly anything to shape this. The only Junker to develop a political theory of his own, Ludwig vin der Marwitz, never used racial terms. He considered that nations were separated by language and he was against expansion of national frontiers. It was Adam Mueller, the 18th century German romantic political economist who used purity of descent as a test for nobility and Haller proposed as a natural law that the weak should be ruled by the strong . The insistence of common tribal origin as an essence of nationhood by German nationalists during and after the war of 1814 and the emphasis by the romantics on innate personality and natural nobility prepared the way intellectually for race thinking in Germany. The former gave rise organic doctrine of history with its natural laws and the latter gave rise to the homunculus of superman with its destiny to rule the. These trends together gave rise to racism in Germany, but it first happened in France and was not accomplished by middle class intellectuals as in Germany, but by frustrated noblemen like Comte de Gobineau.

The New Key to History

The Inequality of Human Races’, an essay published by Count Arthur de Gobineau in 1853, became the standard work of race theories history after 50 years. The pessimistic work starts with the sentence, “the fall of civilization is the most striking and most obscure of all phenomena in history “.He found one single reason for the fall of cultures. Benjamin Disraeli was also equally fascinated by fall of cultures and he was a believer in race. Without influence of Darwinism, Gobineau introduced history into natural sciences. Gobineau was fascinated by the fall of civilization and laws of decay. While Spengler predicted fall of western civilization, Gobineau predicted the definite disappearance of man. Gobineau, 30 years before Nietzsche was concerned with the problem of decadence . The difference was that Nietzsche possessed the basic experience of European decadence writing about it along with Baudelaire in France, Swinburne in England and Wagner in Germany whereas Gobineau was hardly aware of the ennui or tedium vitae . Gobineau was only a heir of the exiled French nobility who accepted the theories about the origin of French people (bourgeoisie from Gallic Roman slaves and noblemen Germanic). He could also have been an impostor. But his significance was that in the midst of progress ideologieshe prophesied doom in slow natural catastrophe. The intellectuals like Robert Dreyfus in France and Thomas Mann in Germany took him seriously. Gobineau owed his belated fame to the pessimistic mood, the despair of last decades of the 19th century . But as Josef Conrad writes he was not a forerunner of a generation of merry dance of death and trade. He was neither a statesman who believed in business nor a poet who praised death. He was a curious mixture of a frustrated noble man and a romantic intellectual who invented racism by accident. He revised the old doctrines of his teachers that best men are always at the top of the society and explained why noblemen could not even hope to regain their superior position. Thus he identified the fall of caste with the fall of France and then the whole of western civilization and finally mankind. Thus he asserted that the fall of civilization was due to the degeneration of race which was due to a mixture of blood. He was admired by writers and u intellectuals later for that. This did not fit in earlier with the progress doctrines of might is right and survival of the fittest and Gobineau was not taken seriously at that time even after he sided with the American slave issue and building his theory as conflict between white and black..He had to wait 50 years to become a success among the elite. His works claimed widespread popularity during first WW with its wave of death philosophies. His words became almost a revelation to the younger generations.

Gobineau created an elite, a race of princes,the Aryans instead of the aristocracy. This concept of race made it possible the organization of innate personality of German romanticism. He didn’t believe in pure breed, but asserted that physical superiorities could evolve in every individual no matter what his present social situation. From superior race, an elite evolved to rule over the inferior races. From a single political event of decline of nobility, Gobineau drew two contradictory consequences ,the decay of human race and the formation of new natural aristocracy. Gobineau saw in the race-elite a bulwark against democracy and patriotism. France, whether kingdom, empire or republic was based on equality of men and the only country during his time when people with black skin enjoyed civil rights, so he gave allegiance not to French people, but to English first and then Germans. Seilliere became an ardent fan of Gobineau. Upto the time when Nazis established themselves as race elites French racism was more consistent, never falling into the weaknesses of patriotism. The loose race talk’s by French authors after 1870s followed anti national pro Germanic lines. In Gobineau a opinion, semites were white hybrid race bastardized by a mixture with blacks. The anti national trend of Gobineau served to equip the enemies of French democracy and later of Third Republic. The elite concepts equipped international intelligentsia.

The Rights of English men vs Rights of Men

The English race thinking appeared during French Revolution and could be traced back to Edmond Burke (Anglo Irish statesman, author, orator,political theorists and philosopher) violently denounced it as the most astonishing crisis that had hitherto happened in the world. His works influenced German political thought as well and there were resemblances in English and German race thinking as contrasted with the French one. Both the countries had defeated France and discriminated against the ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity as foreign inventions. Social inequality was the basis and national character of English society and rights of men were uncomfortable with British Conservatives So, Disraeli found ‘the rights of English men ‘. The 19th century civil servant Sir James Stephen wondered about the degree to which the French allowed themselves to be excited about such things. This was one of the reasons why the English and Germans developed race thinking along national lines until 19th century end whereas the same followed anti national lines from the beginning in France. Burke argued against the abstract principles of French revolution and claimed and asserted liberty as an entitled inheritance, a policy of English constitution, derived from forefathers, and transmitted to the posterity as an estate like land and wealth. The concept of inheritance applied to the very nature of liberty has been the ideological basis from which English nationalism received its curious touch of race feeling ever since the French Revolution. From a middle class writer, it was a direct acceptance of feudal concept of liberty. Burke enlarged the principle to include the whole English people establishing them as a kind of nobility among nations. He claimed that franchise was the right of English men. In England nationalism developed without serious attacks on old feudal classes since the English gentry, from the 17th century onwards, had assimilated the bourgeoisie and even common men who could attain the position of a Lord. By taking away the caste arrogance of nobility, a responsibility for nation as a whole was created, but at the same time the feudal concepts like inheritance of rights easily influenced the political ideas of lower and middle classes . The consequences of the assimilation of noble standards were that the English brand of race thinking was obsessed with inheritance theories and eugenics.

The European people were always irritated by the physical differences they found between people from different continents as clearly evident in many 18th century travel reports. Voltaire in his Dictionairre Philosophique noted that difference (pg 230). The Christian tenet of equality and unity of all men based on the common descent from original set of parents were doubtful to give cover to the 18th century enthusiasm for diversity while having to witness tribes without expressions of human reason or passion and had developed human institutions to the lowest levels. Those Americans and Europeans with an intimate knowledge of African tribes in their overseas possessions, caused the relapse of forms of social organization that were thought to have been liquidated by Christianity. But even slavery, established on a racial basis did not make the slave holders race conscious before 19th. Actually it is interesting that through out the 18th century American slave holders considered slavery as a temporary institution and wanted to abolish it gradually Most would have said with Jefferson when he said “ I tremble when I think that God is just “. In France the black tribes were assimilated and educated and in 18th century, to use Tocqueville s phrase,’believed in the variety of races and unity of human species ‘. In America and England, where people had to stay together after abolition of slavery, things were less easy..These nations were thus the first to deal race issues excluding South Africa, a country which influenced western racism from 1880s after the scramble of Africa. These three were the nations to first deal with the race problem in practical politics. The abolition of slavery in the British possessions in 1834 sharpened the conflicts instead of finding a solution. This was especially true in England where the rights of English men were not replaced by rights of men. The highly confused public opinion was a fertile soil for the various naturalistic doctrines. The first doctrine was polygenism. Polygenism is a theory of human origins which posits the view that the human races are of different origins (polygenesis). This view is opposite to the idea of monogenism, which posits a single origin of humanity. Modern scientific views no longer favor the polygenic model, with the monogenic “Out of Africa” hypothesis and its variants being the most widely accepted models for human origins. Historically, polygenism has been used to advance racial inequality. It challenged the Bible as a book of pious lies. Polygenism denied any relationship between human races. Though it didn’t stipulate predestined racial superiority it isolated people by a deep abyss of physical impossibility of human understanding and communication . According to polygenism, East is East and West is West and the twain shall never meet. It prevented intermarriage in the colonies and the mixed origin people were not considered human beings but to a monster whose every cell is a theater of civil war according to A Carthill.

19 century race thinking was taken over by another doctrine, Darwinism. This also began from the principle of inheritance and strengthened the difference that separate races and the struggle for existence. It followed the Might is Right doctrine. Though Might-Right doctrine was used by aristocracy as a language of conquest, Darwinism translated into the bitter language of poor struggling for daily bread. Darwinism was an overwhelming success since it provided on the basis of inheritance ideological weapons for race and class rule and could be used for as well as against racial discrimination. Darwinism, though neutral, has led to all kinds of pacifism, cosmopolitanism as well as to the sharpest forms of imperialistic ideologies. Interestingly during 1870s and 1880s, Darwinism was in the hands of the utilitarian anti colonial party of England and Herbert Spencer, the first philosopher of evolution believed natural selection to benefit the evolution of mankind and to everlasting peace. Politically it offered two important concepts, struggle for existence leading to survival of fittest and the indefinite possibilities that seemed to lie in the evolution of man from animals, that paved the way for the science of eugenics. The doctrine of survival of the fittest with its implications that the top layers were the fittest,died as the conquest doctrine while the ruling classes of England and English domination in colonies were not absolutely secure. The genealogy of man from animals survived and Eugenics promised to overcome the troubles of uncertainties of survival doctrine. In Germany, this possible consequence to applied Eugenics was stressed after Oswald Spengler, a historian and philosopher, published Decline of the West. Ernst Haeckel, the zoologist and eugenicist, promoted Darwinism in Germany. His statement, ‘mercy death would save useless expenses for family and state ‘ is quite characteristic. This effort to develop man to god was warned almost a century before evolutionary theory by Voltaire. In his Dictionairre Philosophique, he asks” the most perfect spirit created by Supreme Being, can he become God? Is there an infinity between God and him? Is there not obviously a void between monkey and man?”. ( ph 234). Selected inheritance was believed to result in hereditary genius and aristocracy became the natural outcome of pure breeding not politics. This curious divorce of morals from beliefs among the scientists and intellectuals of the western world seemed to be caused less by certain ideas than a series of new political events. At the end of the 19th century, writers and zoologists treated political topics in terms of biology and zoologists wrote books like Biological views of our foreign policy. (ph 234). All these works put forward new ways to control and regulate the survival of the fittest according to the interests of the English people.

The middle class wanted scientists to prove that great men with achievement and character, and not aristocracy ,were the true representatives of the genius of race. Both in English and German race thinking, it was the middle class writers and not nobility who had tried to extend the benefits of noble standards to all classes. It was nourished by true national feelings. Thus Thomas Carlyle’s ideas on genius and hero should be considered that of a social reformer than as doctrines by the Father and British Imperialism. Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish historian, satirical writer, essayist, translator, philosopher, mathematician, and teacher. In his book On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History (1841), he argued that the actions of the “Great Man” play a key role in history, claiming that “the history of the world is but the biography of great men”. His hero worship had the same sources as personality worship of German romanticism. It was the same assertion and glorification of innate greatness of individual characters Independent of social environment. Those Imperialists who were influenced by Carlyle were not preachers of outspoken racism. Carlyle himself in his essay Nigger Question was concerned with means to help West Indies produce heroes Charles Dilke whose book Greater Britain is taken as the beginning of imperialism was an advanced radical who glorified British colonists as part and British nation. J R Seeley‘s book Expansion of England respect Hindus as foreign people and distinguishes them clearly from barbarians.

As in Germany the English nationalism was promoted by the middle class intellectuals. Germans needed an ideological wall to substitute for historical and geographical facts due to lack of unity, but the British separated from the surrounding world by natural frontiers devised the theory of unity among people who lived in far flung colonies through common descent, origin and language. Dilke wrote of Saxondom to win back these people especially of America which separated. Dilke acted as though the War of Independence in America was not a war between two nations but a civil war. The strong concept of nationalism, national mission was strong in England. But none of these nationalists were concerned with discrimination of other people as lower races if only for the reason that the countries they were talking about ,Canada and Australia, were almost empty and had no serious population problems. It was Benjamin Disraeli with his belief in races and race superiority as determining factors of history and politics, who had no interest in colonies and the colonial deadweight, who wanted to extend the British imperial power to Asia, and strengthened the position of great Britain in the only colony with grave population and cultural problem. He made the Queen of England, the Empress of India, laying the foundation for British rule in India. India governed by ruthless conquerors whom Burke called the ‘breakers of law in India ‘ was given a permanent government by administrative measures . This had brought England very close to the danger against which Burke had warned, ‘the power of House of Commons is indeed great and long may it be able to preserve its greatness as long as it can keep the breakers of law in India from becoming makers of law in England ‘. Disraeli intended to establish a caste in a foreign country whose only function was rule and not colonization and racism became an indispensable tool for this . Race thinking was a source of convenient arguments for political conflicts. Racism sprang from political constellations and experiences that would have been utterly strange even to devoted defenders of race like Gobineau or Disraeli . It was the scramble for Africa and the new era of imperialism that exposed western humanity to new shocking experiences that would have necessitated the invention of racism as the only possible explanation for its deeds. Arendt writes, that the existence of race thinking as an opinion helped boost racism, boasted as a tradition to hide the destructive forces of racism. Without the appearance of the national respectability or sanction of a tradition, racism might have disclosed its incompatibility with all western political and moral standards of the past even before it was allowed to destroy the comity of European nations.

Race and Bureaucracy

Two new devices for political organization and rule over foreign people were discovered in the first decades of imperialism, race and bureaucracy. Race as a substitute for nation and bureaucracy as a substitute for government. Both were discovered in the Dark Continent. Race had always attracted the worst elements of western civilization while bureaucracy was discovered by and attracted the best, clear slighted strata of European intelligentsia, knights who grew out of a military discipline. He fulfilled his task in a world dominated by the old trinity ‘war,trade and piracy ‘(Goethe), not for the sake of its own riches but for another country s wealth. Bureaucracy was the organization of the great game of expansion. In the end racism and bureaucracy formed a combination for the full range of potentialities of power accumulation and destruction. For example, Lord Cromer became an imperialist bureaucrat from an ordinary charge d affairs in Egypt who combined administration with massacres, administrative massacres as Carthill put it. Also race fanatics of South Africa exterminating for the purpose of a rational political community.

The Phantom World of the Dark Continent

The colonial enterprise of the seafaring European people included colonization of sparsely populated territories like America and Australia which adopted the legal and political institutions of the mother country and trade stations in Asia where there were no ambitions of permanent rule conquest, decimation of native populations or permanent settlements. South Africa was not the open land like Australia, but already a settlement by the great Bantu population . The northern shore of Dark Continent populated by Arabs, already in the European sphere of influence was too populated to attract settlers and too poor to be exploited European countries tried to reach beyond the Mediterranean to impose their rule on Arabic lands and Christianity in Moslem populations but never attempted to treat it as an overseas possession, although they frequently aspired to be incorporated into their respective mother countries. Italy and France followed these age old traditions. But in 1880s, England went to Egypt to protect Suez Canal without intention to conquer or incorporate. England, not lying on Mediterranean shores could not have been interested in Egypt as such but needed the canal as a way to the treasures of India.

Imperialism changed Egypt from a country coveted for her own sake to a military station for India and a stepping stone for further expansion. Whereas the Cape of Good Hope, since the 17th century, was a trade station on the way from trade in India, abandoned when trade in India was liquidated. Again, at the end of 18th century, after the British East India Company defeated Portugal, Holland and France and won trade monopoly with India, the occupation of the Cape followed . If imperialism had followed the old trends of colonial trade only, England would have abandoned the South African Cape as soon as Suez Canal opened in 1869. South Africa was never claimed by the radical defenders of Saxondom or by the romantic dreamers of Asiatic empire. The discovery of gold mines and diamond fields in 1870s and 1880s, though would have had little consequence in themselves, acted as a catalyst for imperialist forces. Though gold had no role in industrial production, a superfluous metal dug out with the superfluous money by superfluous men. Thus the South African gold rushers were from a civilized society, a residue of the superfluous capitalist society . The superfluous men, Bohemians of the four continents, who had much in common with the old adventurers had been spat out of a society which no longer needed them. They were simply victims of events with which they had nothing to do. Like Mr. kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, they were hollow to the core.m, reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity and cruel without courage. (Pg 247). Outside all social restraints and hypocrisy, against the backdrop of native life the gentleman and the criminal felt the closeness of men who shared the same color of skin. Their own phantom like existence was realized, a play of shadows against the native life.

The Boers were descendants of Dutch settlers who in the middle of 17th century had stationed at the Cape to provide fresh vegetables and meat for the ships on their voyage to India. A small group of French Huguenots followed them in the course of the next century. They were completely isolated from the current European history. The two main material factors in the development of Boers were the extremely bad soil which could be used only for extensive cattle raising and the very large black population organized in tribes and lived as nomad hunters. The bad soil made close settlements impossible and prevented these Dutch peasant settlers from following the village organization of the homeland. Large families isolated by broad spaces of wilderness were forced into a kind of clan organization. Only the ever present threat of black tribes which outnumbered the white settlers deterred these clans from active war against each other. The solution to the double problem of lack of fertility and abundance of natives was slavery. The thoughts and habits of Boers were influenced by slaves. Hottentots, climate, and geography. Slaves, drought, Hottentots, isolation, cheap labor and land combined to create the institutions and habits of the South African society. The sons and daughters of those Hollanders and Hottentots looked upon labor on the fields and all hard physical toil as functions of the servile race. Slavery domesticated some of the natives though the initial fright on seeing the savages , inability to accept them as fellow men remained the basis for slavery and a race society.

Mankind has only a legendary knowledge of prehistoric tribes. They don’t have precise historic records or history their own. More than a surviving specimen of the first form of human life, they seemed like the post historic survivor’s of some unknown disaster which ended a civilization . Such races were found in hostile natural world, they differ from others not by skin color but by behaving like a part of the nature, treating nature as their master. They had not created a human world, a human reality and nature was the only overwhelming reality. Compared to nature they appeared as phantoms, unreal and ghostly.. Thus they were natural human beings who lacked the human character and human reality, that when the Europeans massacred them they somehow weren’t aware that they had committed murder. But senseless massacre was a tradition among the natives. Extermination of hostile tribes was not abolished even after a black leader united several tribes under his leadership. King Tchaka who at the beginning of 19th united Zulu tribes in a disciplined and war like organization did not establish a people or nation of Zulus. He only succeeded in exterminating more than one million members of weaker tribes. The true history of South African colonization describes the growth and not the settlement of Europeans. Slavery by Boers was a kind of adjustment of European people to black race. There was no body politic, no communal organization, no civilized feelings for fellow human beings. Each Boer family lived in complete isolation and ruled the black savages in utter lawlessness. Living on the labor of the natives, they came to occupy the position of tribal leaders and it was the natives themselves who recognized them as a higher form of tribal leadership and a kind of natural deity to which one had to submit. The Boers were rebellious but not revolutionary. Only the slaves actually worked. There were disadvantages of slave labor like lack of initiative, laziness, neglect of tools and general inefficiency, so their work barely sufficed to keep their masters alive and never reached the abundance that nurtured civilization . It was this absolute dependence on the work of others and contempt for labor and productivity that transformed the Dutchman into Boers. The limited wealth in the poor unprosperous country became privilege of white men who turned the distinctions of race and color into devices for social and economic discrimination.

While the English and other western society considered slave holdings as pride and signs of wealth and prosperity Boers were alienated from this. In the Cape, slavery was a sign of unenterprising economy that led Barnes and other observers to the conclusion that South Africa is a foreign land, un British . Boers,lazy and unproductive, treated the natives as raw materials and lived on and off them. They vegetated on the same level as black tribes. The horror of Europeans on first confronting the natives was stimulated by the inhumanity among humans who were as much a part nature as wild animals. The Boers lived on their slaves exactly as the natives had lived on unprepared and unchanged nature. The Boers in their fright and misery decided to use these savages like animals and ended up in their own degeneration into a white race living beside and together with black races from which they would differ only in skin color. The poor white Afrikaners who in 1923 formed 10% of the total white population with the same standard of living as the Bantu tribes is a warning example of this possibility. Their poverty is due to their contempt for work and adjustment to the nomadic ways of life of the black tribes. They were unable or stubbornly refused to learn agriculture, wandering from one area to another, tilling the soil until it was no longer fertile, shooting wild game until it ceased to exist. Together with their slaves, they came to gold and diamond mines whenever the black workers departed, the natives were hired as unskilled labor and the Boers demanded charity as the right to white skin. Their race consciousness is violent today because the race concept seem to define their own condition more adequately than the former slaves who were well on their way to becoming workers, a normal part of human civilization.

Racism was used as ruling device before imperialism exploited it as a political idea. The horrifying, alien experience made the whites deny the human nature of natives who insisted on their human nature. Now the white men insisted themselves to be more than human, chosen by God as gods of black men, a logical conclusion to avoid common bond with black men. Christianity failed to curb the perversion. The Dutch Reformed Church were against the influence of Christian missionaries and stood with Boers in this, even opposing by law, intermarriage between Dutch and English in Cape. The Dutch Reformed CHURCH and Boers denied the Christian doctrine of common origin of mankind and changed the passages the Old Testament, reinforcing the Darwinian doctrine of racial superiority in the Bible and believed themselves to be chosen people like the Jews, but chosen not for the divine salvation of mankind, but the lazy domination over another species condemned to lazy drudgery. To the Boers, the God of the Old Testament was a national figure like he was to Jews,the separation and degradation of natives were ordained by God and it was a crime and blasphemy to argue to the contrary. Thus the God s will on earth as the Dutch Reformed Church proclaimed and still proclaims today is in sharp and hostile contrast to the missionaries of all other Christian denominations. To this day Christian missionaries are traitors for Boers, the white man who stands for black against the white. Boer racism has a touch of innocence due to the complete lack of literature and intellectual achievement. It was a desperate reaction to desperate living conditions and as such inconsequential. Everything changed with arrival of British who had little interest in the Cape as a colony or plantation which was still a military station in1849..The British did not consider the natives as a different animal species,, attempts to abolish slavery after 1834, and attempts to impose fixed boundaries upon farms land provoked Boers to violence and escaped the British laws by treks into the interior wilderness abandoning their homes and farms. These treks caused consternation in the British. Boers had transformed into a tribe and had lost the European feeling of territory behaving exactly like the native blacks. They fled attempts at settlements and felt at home wherever the herd took them. The true Vortrekker (a member of one of the groups of Dutch-speaking people who migrated by wagon from the Cape Colony into the interior from 1836 onwards, in order to live beyond the borders of British rule.) hated boundaries. The Great Trek, unique in the history of colonization, was a defeat in the British policy of intensive settlements.. The Boers extended through all of South Africa and it made for ever impossible the segregation of black and white races in separate areas. By taking the Boers beyond the reach British law, the Great Trek enabled them to establish proper relations with the natives. More than just protest, it became a rebellion against the British administration and the foundation for the Anglo- Boer racialism of the 20th century.

Rootlessness is characteristic of all race organizations, as a conscious aim it was based on the hatred of a world that had no place for superfluous men leading to their destruction as a political goal. But in the case of Boers it was the natural result of early emancipation from work and human built world. Similarly there is a striking similarity between Boers interpretation of chosennesss by perversion of Christianity and pan movements. In the case Boers, the chosennesss was a natural outcome of living in an environment where they had no power to transform into civilization and thus they discovered no higher value than themselves. Whereas, the Pan German, Pan Slav and Polish Messianic movements were conscious instruments for domination. No matter whether racism is natural result of a catastrophe or a conscious instrument for bringing it about, it is always closely related to contempt for labor, hatred of territorial limitations, general rootlessness and an activistic faith in one’s own chosennesss. Early British rule in South Africa did not realize the reality of the Boers attitude and that European supremacy could hardly be maintained except through racism since the the European settlement was outnumbered. In 1939, the total population of Union of South was 9.5 million of which 7 million were natives and 2.5 million were Europeans. More than 1.25 million were Boers, about one third were British and 100,000 were Jews. The British worried about the acclimatization of Boers to savage life, inability to lure them to civilization even by profit motives, who considered a folly to sacrifice productivity and profit to the phantom world of white gods. To them, the Boers had lost their meaning and appeal in a society where nobody wants to achieve anything and everything had become God.

Gold and Race

The diamond fields ofKimberley and the gold mines of Witwatersrand was in this phantom world of race. English, Americans, Australians,germans, Russians many of them adventurers, speculators, traders, saloon keepers, gamblers, barristers, army and navy officials, sons of good families a disparate motley passed through the mines where money flowed. Thousands of natives joined them first to steal diamonds and lag their earnings on rifles and gun powder but later worked for wages and became the inexhaustible cheap labor. The abundance of cheap labor made the mob realize that they did not have to do the digging even. It was not the diamond or gold but the abundant cheap native labor that attracted the mining and industrial enterprise and tempted the adventurers to permanent settlement , this human raw material that promised permanent emancipation from work. The mob acted as supervisors and skilled labor like engineers had to be imported from Europe. This gold rush was financed by the superfluous wealth of ordinary European economy and the Jewish merchants acted as middle men. The only section that did not want a share in this was the Boers who hated the uitlanders ( a British immigrant living in the Transvaal who was denied citizenship by the Boers for cultural and economic reasons.) who did not care for citizenship and obtained British protection thus strengthening the British influence on Cape. Boers reacted as they had always done, they sold their diamond laden possession in Kimberley and farms with gold mines near Johannesburg and once more trekked to the interior wilderness. They were slow to understand that the new people for gold rush were different from the original British settlers and missionaries, that they had lost their share in gold and diamond, the new mob was like them unwilling to work and unable to establish a civilization and so these new mob would spare the previous British officials ‘ insistence on law and Christian missionaries irritating concept of human equality.

The Boers feared and fled what never happened, namely the industrialization of the country. They right in that normal production civilization could have disturbed the way of life in a race society and liquidated the privileges of race. But gold and diamond were unlike other merchandise in having an irrational nonfunctional place in the economy , being an object of speculation and it became the lifeblood of half of South Africa s population and financed one half of the government expenses. The Boers feared the presence of uitlanders because mistook them for the British settlers. The uitlanders came solely to get rich quickly and only those who did not succeed remained or those like the Jews who had no country to go back to. Neither group tried to establish a community after the model European countries as the British settlers had done in Australia Canada or New Zealand. The Transvaal government was more like an unlimited company of twenty thousand share holders giving concessions and acting as agents of mining magnates. Similarly a series misunderstandings led to the British Boer war. What the Boers wrongly believed to be a culmination British government lengthy quest for United South Africa was actually prompted by investment interests. The Boers did not lose more riches than what they had already lost before the war , but gained the consent of all the European elements including the British government to the lawlessness of the race society.. Today all sections of population, British or Afrukaaner, workers or capitalists, agree on the race question . The Boer war could be attributed to indecision of the British government between its obligations to natives white communities. The Boer war compelled the British to abandon their humanitarian position toward the natives and gave an upper hand to Boers on peace negotiations, thus permitting to continue the race position..The Nazi Germany and its conscious efforts to transform German people into a race strengthened the political position of the Boers considerably. Germany s defeat had not weakened it.

The Boers hated and feared the financiers more than the other foreigners as they somehow understood the function of financiers as turning gold hunt into permanent business. And that the war was prompted by the foreign investors who demanded government protection . The men who introduced violence into the shadowy business of diamond and gold hunt were not the financiers but those who had risen from the mob like Cecil Rhodes who believed less in profit than expansion for expansions sake. The Jewish financiers had no role in this, as they were not owners of wealth but representatives, and had neither political influence nor economic power and use of violence in speculation gambling. The Jewish financiers, though not a decisive factor in imperialism, were representatives in it. Instead of trade in goods and profits from that trade in capital emerged in an unprecedented scale, giving them a prominent position in addition to profits from foreign investment in the form of commissions. Thus traders and merchants lost their primacy to financiers. This increase in profits from foreign investment and decrease in foreign trade profits characterizes the economic side of imperialism. Thus investment demanded a much more conscious long range policy of exploitation than mere trade. The peculiarity of the financier is that he earns the profit in terms of comission that gives an unreal, phantom like existence. Though they didn’t exploit any one they had least control over the whether they turned out to be common swindles or sound enterprises.

It was the mob elements among the Jewish people that turned financiers. The discovery of gold mines in South Africa coincided with the first modern pogroms in Russia so a trickle of Jewish elements went to South Africa who were met with the few Jewish financiers who had already been there and who took an interest in the newcomers as their representatives. The Jewish financiers came from every country of Europe, superfluous, and different from the Jewish notables into whose ranks they could not be assimilated. The influence of these notables had decreased after 1820. In1870s and 80s the Jewish financiers became superfluous in all European capitals who tried their luck in the international stock market gamble, much to the dismay of the noble Jewish families, who had become too weak to stop the unscrupulous activities and so were happy when these financiers went to foreign lands. The Jewish financiers were as superfluous as the wealth they represented in industries and mining. In South Africa,,the merchants were about to lose their profits to financiers, when the new Jewish arrivals, Barnatos, Beits, Sammy Marks removed the old Jewish settlers easily from their position than in Europe. Early Jewish settlers in South Africa in the 18th and first part of 19th century were adventurers, traders and merchants…The most prominent like DePass brothers turned to Industries such as fishing, sealing and whaling and the Mosenthal family to ostrich breeding. Later they were forced into diamond business where they never achieved the prominence as Barnatos and Baits. The Jewish origin added a symbolic flavor of homelessness and rootlessness and an element of mystery. Together with this, their international connections stimulated popular delusions of secret international Jewish political power all over the world, even more virulent in South Africa than Europe driving Jews in the midst of a race society and singled out by the Boers for special hatred as a secret society and a different race, a devilish one. This hatred was all the more violent due to the fact that the Jews with their own older and more authentic claims of chosennesss would be harder to convince than Christians who denied the principle. Judaism was a direct challenge and rival. Long before Nazis consciously built the antisemitic movement in South Africa the race issue had invaded the conflict between the uitlanders and Boers in the form of antisemitism. The importance of Jews the gold and diamond industry did not survive the turn of 19th century.

When the gold and diamond Industries reached the stage of imperialist development, absentee shareholders demanded their governments political protection from their home countries ,something the Jews could not due to no home country to turn to, and they could not hold their economic position making their position in South African society insecure. The economic security and permanent settlement South Africa could be held only if they achieved some status in society like admission to exclusive British clubs. Thus they were forced to trade their influence for position of gentleman as when Cecil Rhodes bought his way into Bernardo Diamond Trust after amalgamating De Beers Company with Alfred Beits Company. Bernato sold his shares to Rhodes to get introduced to Kimberley Club. He enjoyed living as a gentleman for eight years and then committed suicide. (https://www.nytimes.com/1897/06/16/archives/barney-barnatos-suicide-wrenched-himself-from-a-man-detailed-to.html). More than just the diamond mines, it thanks to the Jews that Rhodes, an adventurer and newcomer was accepted by England s banking business run by Lord Rothschild as the path from one jew ( Alfred Beit from Hamburg) to another (Rothschild) was an easy one. Not one of the English Banks would have lent a single shilling on the security of the gold shares had it not been on the confidence of these Jewish diamond merchants from Kimberly, their co religionists. The gold rush became a full fledged imperialist enterprise after Rhodes dispossessed the Jews, taken the policies into his own hands and became the central figure of Cape. 75% of the dividend paid went abroad to absentee share holders, a large majority to Britain thus interesting the British government in his business affairs persuading them for expansion and export of instruments of violence to protect the investment. He became an influential figure in Cape too and introduced the imperialist economic policy of neglecting other industries by not just the gold mining companies but by the government itself. South Africa concentrated its peacetime industrial energy on the production of gold , the investor putting money into gold mines due to quicker and bigger returns. South Africa had tremendous deposits of iron, copper, tin, lead, platinum, asbestos, manganese, mica, chrome and graphite, coal, other factories producing consumer goods, all known as secondary industries which were discouraged due to lack of interest by the investing public and discouragement by the gold mining companies and government . But by this policy, Rhodes introduced the most potent factor in the eventual appeasement of Boers by neglecting other industries and providing the solid guarantee for avoidance of solid capitalist development and against ending the race society.

It took several decades for the Boers to understand that imperialism was nothing to be afraid of since it would not develop the country. In South Africa, imperialism was willing to abandon the laws of capitalist production and egalitarian practices so long as the gold mines gave enough profits. Thus South Africa became the first example of a phenomenon that led to abolition of a law of mere profitableness and the first example of a phenomenon when the mob becomes the dominant factor in the alliance between mob and capital. Boers remained the undisputed masters and race consideration was given priority, sacrificing profit motives for a race society at a terrible price. The government dismissed Bantu employees from railroads and increased white wages to 200%. Public opinion forced change’s in the hiring practices of private employers. Native municipal employees were replaced with whites, the Color Bar Bill excluded black workers from mechanical jobs and forced an increase in production costs. The violent antisemitism survived the disappearance of Jewish financiers and indoctrination of racism among Europeans. The Jews adjusted towards racism and behaved as such to blacks. Here too not all Jews were racists towards blacks. There was a marked difference in the early settlers until the end of 19th century. For example, Saul’s Salomon was a negrophilist member of the Cape parliament, a descendant of the early settlers. But the Jews broke with one of the most powerful traditions of the country. The Jewish financiers who had lost their positions in the gold and diamond business did not leave the country, but settled down to build up the secondary Industries like manufacturing furniture and clothes,shop keeping, doctors, lawyers,and journalists. The emigration of Jews from South Africa was considerably less. Thus the Jews introduced a factor of normalcy and productivity into South African economy. So when prime minister Malan introduced the bill to expel all Jews from the Union, he had the enthusiastic support of all poor whites and the whole Afrikaaner population . This transformation of Jewry confirmed the fear of Boers and they hated Jews much more for turning the economy into a productive society and endangering the phantom world of race. Practically the whole European population in South Africa hated Jews. In contrast to Nazis for whom racism and antisemitism were political weapons for the destruction of civilization, it was a natural consequence of the status quo in South Africa . When ever the interior supply was temporarily halted cheap Indian and Chinese labor were imported to South Africa. More than 100,000 Indian coolies were imported to sugar plantations in Natal in the 19th century, Chinese labourers in mines in 1907. Soon a change in attitude of Europeans were seen towards people in Asia, they were treated in the same way as the African savages for the first time. There was no excuse or comprehensible reason for treating Asians like that. The race notion was modified as higher and lower breeds, the race principle slowly supplanting the older notion of alien and strange people in Asia . In Asia, thus racism was a3 much more consciously applied weapon for domination and exploitation than in Africa.

Of greater importance was the experience in African race society that taught the mob that through sheer violence, an underprivileged group would create a class lower than itself without a need for revolution and for that they could band together with ruling classes and that foreign or backward people offered the best opportunity for such tactics . African colonial possessions became the most fertile soil for the flowering of Nazi elites. The mob had mastered the creation of master race here . Here they were cured of the illusion that historical process is necessarily progressive. The Boers trekking away from everything was proof. It taught the mob that economic processes also needn’t be progressive. If man had once progressed from a life of hunting to pastoral pursuits to a settled life of agriculture, the Boers demonstrated that they could originate from a land that had once taken the lead in intensive cultivation and gradually become a herdsman and hunter. The Boers had sunken back to the level of savages to remain their undisputed masters.

The Imperialist Character

Of the two main political devices of imperialist rule, race was discovered in South Africa and bureaucracy in Algeria, Egypt and India . Race was a barely conscious reaction to the African tribes that frightened the Europeans, whereas bureaucracy was a responsibility for protection of hopeless inferiors . The exaggerated sense of responsibility in the British administrators of India had its basis in the fact that British empire had been acquired in a fit of absent mindedness. Those confronted with the job of keeping what had become theirs by accident, had to find an interpretation that could change the accident into a willed act. Such historical changes of fact have been carried through by legends since ancient times and the legends dreamed up by the British intelligentsia have played a decisive role in the formation of bureaucrats and the secret agents of British services

Rudyard Kipling was the author of the imperialist legend, the topic, British Empire. The legend was different from reality, but it deluded the best sons of England to its services. For the legends attract the best, ideologies attract the average and whispered tales of gruesome secret powers behind the scenes attract the worst. Kipling’s foundation legend starts with fundamental reality of the people of the British isles who wins over the water, wind,land and sail to rule the world. His ‘The First Sailor ‘ 1891 in Humorous Tales explains why. The book is so close to ancient foundation legends in that it presents the British as the only politically mature people caring for and burdened with a world in the midst of barbarians. There was a certain reality in England herself which corresponded to Kipling’s legend and that was virtues like chivalry, nobility, bravery, though they were utterly out of place in a political reality ruled by Cecil Rhodes or Lord Curzon. The fact that ‘white man’s burden ‘ is either hypocrisy or racism has not prevented a few of the best English men from shouldering the burden in earnest and making themselves the tragic and quixotic fools of imperialism. As real as the tradition of hypocrisy is in England, the tradition of dragon slayers who ventured to faraway lands to slay numerous dragons, is equally real. There is more than a grain of truth in Kipling’s story ‘ The Tomb of his Ancestor ‘. In the story, the Chinn family serves India generation after generation as dolphins follow in the line across the open sea. They shoot the deer that steal the poor man’s crop, teach him better agricultural methods, free him from superstitions, and kills lions and tigers in grand style. Their only reward is a tomb of ancestors and a family legend believed by the whole Indian tribe according to which the revered ancestor has a tiger of his own, a saddle tiger which he drives round the country. Unfortunately this riding was a sure sign of war or pestilence. So that Chinn the youngest, a not very important underling in the hierarchy of army services, but very important for the Indian tribes, had to shoot the beast of his ancestor so that people could be vaccinated without fear of war or pestilence.

The Chinns are luckier than most folks, as Kipling writes. They were born into a career that gently and naturally leads them to the realization of the best dreams of youth. When other boys have to forget noble dreams, they translate the dreams into action and pass on the noblesse to succeeding generations. Though the British government pays them for the services there is a strong possibility that they end up serving the poor tribes. At least the tribes are convinced of this. The higher services are hardly aware of younger Chinn’s dream like double existence . He is at home in both the worlds. The point here is that these queer quixotic protectors of the weak who played their roles behind the scenes of official British rule were not so much the product of the naive imagination of the tribes as of the dreams which contained the best of European and Christian traditions.l even after they had already deteriorated into the futility of boyhood ideals. Only those who had never been able to outgrow the boyhood ideals and therefore had enlisted in colonial services were fit for the task. Imperialism, to them, was nothing but an accidental opportunity to escape a society in which a man had to forget his youth if he wanted to grow up. English society was too glad to see them depart to faraway countries, a circumstance that permitted the toleration and furtherance of boyhood ideals in public school systems. The colonial services took them away from England and prevented their conversion of boyhood ideals to mature ideas of men . Strange and curious lands attracted the best of England s youth since the end of 19th century, deprived her society of the most honest and most dangerous elements and guaranteed a certain conservation or petrification of boyhood noblesse which preserved and infantilized western moral standards.

Lord Cromer, secretary to Vice Roy and financial member in the preimperialist government still belonged to the category of dragon slayers. Led solely by a sense of sacrifice and duty , he declined in 1894 the post of Vice Roy and refused ten years later the position of Secretary of state. Instead he became the British Consul General of Egypt from 1883 to 1907. Cromer went to Egypt for the sake of India, to hold his loved India by planting a foot on the banks of Nile. Egypt was only a means to an end, a necessary expansion for the sake of security of India . Rhodes ideas of expansion by saving the Cape colony was far advanced. For him expansion was everything. India South Africa or Egypt were stepping stones for an expansion limited only by the size of earth. Though there was an abyss between the megalomaniac Rhodes and educated man of sacrifice, Cromer, both arrived at roughly identical results and were equally responsible for the Great Game of secrecy. The striking similarity with both were that both considered their positions as a means for some higher purpose and not an end in itself. They were similar in their indifference and aloofness, in their genuine lack of interest in their subjects as much the same attitude as that of cruel despots in Asia or exploiting conquerors.. Aloofness became the new attitude of all members of British services, a more dangerous form of governing than despotism. The integrity of British administration couldn’t tolerate the last link between the despots and subjects, formed by bribery and gifts. I integrity and aloofness together constituted an absolute division of interests . The exploiters and exploited, oppressors and oppressed, corruptors and corrupted sharia sort of tertium comparationis, they still share the same goals in the same world and it was this that aloofness destroyed. Cromers career is fascinating because it marks the turning point from old colonial to imperialist services. He was uneasy about the hybrid form of government in Egypt without precedent and suggested either occupation or evacuation. This hybrid form of government would later characterize all the imperialist enterprises. His sound judgment was the same as Lord Selbourne s early insight in South Africa, that a race society as a way of life was unprecedented. Nothing could better characterize the initial stage of imperialism than a combination of these two judgments on the conditions in Africa, a way of life without precedent in the south and a government without precedent in the north. Cromer later reconciled himself with the hybrid form of government and later wrote an essay, Government of the Subject Races, the main lines of what might be the philosophy of the bureaucrat.

In the essay, he started by recognizing the personal influence on public affairs than a legal or written political treaty, an informal influence that could be altered at a moments notice and not involving the home government.. That needed highly trained, reliable staff, loyal and patriotic beyond personal ambitions or vanity and a propensity for secrecy or working behind the scenes. Cromer possessed all these qualities. He felt the freedom from restraints of the parliament, press and the political institutions, a necessity for this. He resented growth of democracy and democratic instead dangerous and considered bureaucracy as a government of experts, minority free from the pressures of inexperienced majority who can’t be trusted. He wrote against the cheap imitation of the political principles of their own home country and according to him that was the principle defect of the French system. During the considerations for the administration of Sudan after annexation, he insisted in keeping the whole matter outside the French influence, not as a monopoly in Africa for England but due to the lack of confidence in their administrative system. Noone who as full of vanity and self glorification as Rhodes. He too had the same idea of rule through secrecy as Cromer. Rhodes insisted the creation of a secret society in his many wills which was supposed to be organized, supported by accumulated wealth, having between 2000 to 3000 people with dreams of the Founders and he opened the society to members of Nordic race, so that his aim was not so much occupation of the world as the expansion of the Nordic race that would establish a bureaucratic government over all people of the earth. It’s well known that Rhodes secret society ended up as the very respectable Rhodes Scholarship Association to which even today not just English men, but members of all Nordic race like Germans, Scandinavians and Americans are admitted. Expansion was not driven by the specific appetite for a specific country, but as an endless process in which every country would serve as a stepping stone. Someone entering this unending maelstrom of expansion will cease to be what he was and become bureaucratic instruments in the policy of imperialism. Bureaucracy as a form of government and replacement of laws with changing decrees made it possible for the identification of man with the forces of history. The only law was the law of expansion. And the main actor, the one who pulls the strings of history behind the screen. Cromer shunned all written instruments like treaties, even proclamations of annexation in order to be free to obey only the laws of expansion. The bureaucrats shuns the laws because laws inherent stability threatens to establish a permanent community in which nobody could possibly be a god because all would have to obey a law.

The two key figures In the system, the bureaucrat and the secret agent were proud of their origin from the dragon slayers. A bureaucrat two decades after Cromer s death knew that administrative massacres would keep India with in the British empire but was sure that he would not get support from the home country. The Indian system of government, like no trial by jury, was suspect in England. The men of formal law in England felt uneasy in the success of Indian experiments and thought that if bureaucracy and despotism worked so well in India, at some point that could be used as an argument for introducing the same system there. The Indian government knew well that they would have to justify their policies before the public opinion in England and that the public opinion would never tolerate oppression. The British secret services could also lay claim on the foundation legend, the legend of Great Game as told by Rudyard Kipling in Kim. The best example secret agent is T E Lawrence . With the outbreak of first WW, Lawrence was sent to the Arabs of near East to rouse them into rebellion against their Turkish masters and make them fight on the British side ,he came into the very midst of the Great Game. He worked to stir a national movement among the Arab tribes that ultimately was to serve British imperialism. He pretended to be one among the arabs for this and lose the English self, in the secrecy of self effacement rather than getting fooled by the justifications benevolent rule over backward people. He became part of this Great Game incarnating as a force of Arab national movement. He allianced with forces bigger than himself, kings and ministers and in the end of war, abandoned the pretenses of secret agent and tried to recover his English self. From the Great Game with no publicity, in his 20s, above kings and prime ministers, making or playing with them, he came home with an obsessive desire for anonymity and a deep conviction that nothing he could possibly do with his life could still satisfy him.

Lawrence realized that it was not he who had been big, but the role he assumed and the bigness was the result of the Game and not a product of himself. He decided that he was not going to be respectable again. He has been the phantom of a force and became a phantom again when the force was taken away from him. He was frantically looking for another role to play, of which George Bernard Shaw asked him in1928, ” what is your game, really? “, suggesting that this role in army or him looking for a job as night watchman were not authentic. He didn’t want to be identified as Lawrence of Arabia. He refused easy roads to respectability, never lost his awareness that he had been only a function and so must not benefit in any way from what he had done in Arabia. Honors were refused, jobs offered were declined, even he did not write any paid pieces under the name Lawrence. He was a mere functionary in the Great Game of ulterior motives.

European mob discovered what a lovely virtue white skin could be in Africa. The English conqueror in India became an administrator who no longer believed in the universal validity of law, convinced in his own innate capacity rule and dominate . The dragon slayers turned into white men of higher breed or into bureaucrats and spies playing the Great Game of endless ulterior motives . The British Intelligence Services, especially after WWI, attracted England a best sons who preferred serving mysterious forces than their own country. Now the stage seems to be set for all possible horrors. Lying under anybody’s nose were many elements which gathered together could create a totalitarian government on the basis of racism. Administrative massacres were proposed by Indian bureaucrats while African officials declared that no ethical considerations like the rights of man will be allowed to stand in the way of white rule. Though imperialism sunk to some level of vulgarity the moderation in the midst of insanity paved the way for what Churchill called the liquidation of His Majesty’s Empire and which eventually turned out to be transformation of the English nation into a Common Wealth of English people.

Continental Imperialism, the Pan Movements

Nazism and Bolshevism owe more to the imperialist Pan Germanism and Pan Slavism, where their strategies follow the programs of conquest before or during the first WW. Neither Stalin nor Hitler has acknowledged this but neither have hesitated to admit their indebtedness to the ideologies and imitation of slogans.. Hitler mentioned this in Mein Kampf. The birth of pan movements happened in the middle of 19th century and crystallized in 1880s with imperialist expansion. The central and Eastern European nations with no colonies and little hope for overseas expansion demanded their right for colonial possessions if not by sea, by land in Europe itself. They wanted to expand from their centre of power like Russia and against the ideas of rule of sea by England. The main difference between continental imperialism and overseas imperialism was that in the former there was no distance methods and institutions of colony and nation and the consequences were immediately felt in Europe.

Continental imperialism shared the contempt for narrowness of nation state with overseas imperialism but differed in its enlarged tribal consciousness which was supposed to unite all people of similar folk origin Independent of history and no matter where they happened to live. Continental imperialism thus had a closer affinity to race concepts and race thinking. Ernst Hasse of Pan German League proposed to treat Poles, Czechs, Jews, Italians in the same way as overseas imperialism treated natives in non European continents. The embracing of racism differentiates the Pan German League from earlier colonial societies. Pan Germans already before the first WW talked about the distinction between people of Germanic origin in another European country and people of non Germanic origin in Germany . When Austria was incorporated into the Third Reich Hitler addressed the German people of Austria with typically Pan German slogans, ” wherever we may have been born we are all sons of German people “. Continental imperialist racism was Ideological and quickly became a convenient political weapon whereas the overseas imperialist practiced racism on authentic experiences. There was a close association between Pan German ideology and racism of Gobineau and H S Chamberlain. Continental imperialism was overshadowed by tangible economic benefits of overseas imperialism One thing both of them shared was the awareness of foreign policy issues, a propaganda asset, which was forgotten by the older ruling class of nation states who were overburdened by domestic issues. Pan movements ‘ influence on intelligentsia, like the Russian intelligentsia being Pan Slavic, and Pan Germanism in Austria starting from students movements are notable. The student movements,, didn’t just mirror the general political climate, but was the starting point of Pan German movement which later found its way to general politics. Another difference from the overseas imperialism was the lack of capital support, there was no flow of superfluous money or men since Europe did not offer colonial opportunities to either. Among the pan movements leaders there are no business men or adventurers, but you find intellectuals, free professions, teachers and civil servants.

While overseas imperialism with its anti national tendencies gave a new lease of life to antiquated institutions of the nation states, continental imperialism was hostile to political bodies, its leaders adept at revolutionary rhetoric and rebellious . Overseas imperialism offered panacea to the residues of all classes, continental imperialism had nothing to offer except for ideologies and a movement. That was quite enough at a time which preferred a key to history than political action when men in the midst of communal disintegration and social atomization wanted to belong. The visible distinction and advantages of white skin against black and brown skins in colonies could be matched with the imaginary distinction between the Eastern and Western or Aryan and non Aryan. Arendt s point is that a complicated ideology and an organization that furthered no immediate interest proved to be more attractive than a tangible advantage and common place convictions. Despite the lack of success, the pan movements had stronger attraction than overseas imperialism due to its appeal to the mob, that withstood failures and program changes and foreshadowed the later totalitarian groups which were similarly vague in their actual goals and subject to changes in political lines. A general mood kept the pan movements together than a defined aim. Overseas imperialism placed expansion as its aim but pan movements lacked even this anarchic element of human planning, but had an all embracing mood of total predominance, of touching all human issues, a pan humanism as Dostoyevsky put it (cited by Hans Kohn, the American historian and philosopher who pioneered the academic study of nationalism). In overseas imperialism the initiative almost always lay with the representatives of business except in South Africa where a clear cut mob policy developed very early. In pan movements, the initiative always lay with the mob constituted by intellectuals. They lacked the ambition to rule the world or total domination, but they were adept in Ideological and organizational propaganda using race concepts. Their foreign policy, a Germanized Central Europe or Russianized Eastern and Southern Europe were the starting points of the world conquest programs of Nazism and Bolshevism indulging in the Germanic people outside the Reich or Slavic brethren outside Holy Russia which generated a smoke screen of national rights to self determination, easy stepping stone for further expansion. Interestingly, the totalitarianism governments inherited an aura and holiness evoking Holy Russia or Holy Roman Empire to arouse superstitions in German and Slavic intellectuals. Such pseudomystical nonsense enriched by countless and arbitrary historical memories provided an emotional appeal that transcended the limitations of nationalism and from it grew a new kind of nationalistic feeling the violence of which acted as a motor to set the mob into action. The Slavophile K S Aksakow writing in the 19th century took the official name Holy Russia

This tribal nationalism characteristic of Central and Eastern Europe was more or less like chauvinism now thought to be connected with nationalisme integral or Integral nationalism of Maura’s and Barres around the turn of the century with its romantic glorification the past and morbid cult of the dead. It didn’t hold French men born and raised in another country, without knowledge of French language and culture to be ‘born French men ‘. The peculiar identification of nationality came only with tribal consciousness . Chauvinism is extroverted and concerned with the visible spiritual and material achievements of the nation whereas tribal nationalism is introverted and concentrates on the individuals own soul as the embodiment of national qualities. Chauvinism concentrates on something that really existed in the past whereas tribal nationalism deals with nonexistent psuedo mystical elements and measures a people, its past and present using the yardstick of exalted inner qualities and inevitably rejects its visible existence traditions, institutions and cultures. Politically, tribal nationalism insists that its own people is surrounded by a world of enemies one against all, that a fundamental difference exists between this people and all others, claims its people to be unique, individual and incompatible with all others and denies the very possibility of common man kind.

Tribal Nationalism

Pan movements found fertile soil in Austria Hungary and Russia . Austria Hungary had both Slavic and German irredentists ,so both Pan Slavic and Pan German movements concentrated on its destruction. Pan movements had an entirely new position on antisemitism. Suppressed minorities like Slavs in Austria and Poles in Czarist Russia, because of their conflict with the government, were likely to be antisemitic, due to the discovery of the hidden connection between the state and the Jews. The antisemitism by these minorities do not wholly explain the antisemitism of pan movements as the mainstay of their national ideology. The sudden emergence of antisemitism as the centre of a whole outlook of life and world lies in the nature of tribalism rather than political facts and circumstances. Severed from actual experiences concerning the Jewish people antisemitism followed a peculiar logic of an ideology. Tribal nationalism was different from the nationalism of the fully developed Western nation states. When nation states came into being after the French Revolution, migration came to an end . In Eastern and Southern European countries the establishment of nation states failed because they could not fall back upon firmly rooted peasant classes. The western nationalism which culminated in general conscription from the peasant classes was a product of firmly rooted and emancipated peasant classes. Whether Republic or Constitutional Monarchy,,the supreme function of the state was protection of all inhabitants no matter the nationality and acted as supreme legal institution too. The tragedy of the nation states began with the rising national consciousness which interfered with these functions and in the name of will of the people the state was forced to recognize only nationals as citizens, to grant civil and political rights to those who belonged to a national community by right of origin or fact of birth. The state was transformed into an instrument of nation from an instrument of law..Conquest of state by the nation was facilitated by downfall of absolute monarchy and class development. The enlightened despotism of the absolute monarch was to serve the interests of the nation as a whole. This common interest was in constant danger with the abolition of king and sovereignty of people. There was permanent conflict among class interests and the struggle for control of state machinery led to permanent civil war. The only remaining common bond between the citizens of a nation state seemed to be national, that is, common origin sentimentally expressed as nationalism.

TThe secret conflict between state and nation came to light at the very birth of modern nation state when French revolution combined Rights of man with demands for national sovereignty. The rights were claimed as inalienable heritage of all human beings and as the specific heritage of specific nations, the same nation was subject to laws and declared to be sovereign, bound by no universal law. The practical outcome of this contradiction was that human rights was protected and enforced as national rights and state lost its legal, rational appearance . State became a nebulous representative of the nation which was supposed to be beyond or above law. Nationalism was essentially the expression of the perversion of the state into an instrument of the nation and identification of the citizen as the member of the nation. The relationship between state and society was determined by class struggle. To enforce the will of the nation, the state had to move towards a centralized administration which monopolized instruments of violence and power possibilities. Nationalism became the cement for binding the state and the society, nation and the state, and between nationals. Native citizens of the nation state looked down upon the naturalized citizens, those who received their rights by law from the state and not from the nation. They never went far to propose the pan German distinction between aliens of the state and aliens of the nation because nationalism was controlled by law in so far as the state remained a legal institution. Tribal nationalism developed from an atmosphere of rootlessness of oppressed people scattered throughout central and Eastern Europe developing into pan movements . Pan movements started with absolute claims to chosennesss. Nationalism is frequently described as an emotional surrogate of religion. Russian Pan Slavs abandoned their liberal nature and affirmed the Christian nature of the Russian people since they claimed to be true divine people of modern times, staunch defenders of Holy Russia. According to Dostoyevsky, ‘the Christian nature of the Russian people make them Christopher among the nations who carry God directly into the affairs of the world. ‘. Austrian Pan Germans laid similar claims to divine chosennesss, though they had a similar liberal past and remained anti clerical and anti Christians. Hitler, a self confessed disciple of Schoenerer stated, ” God the almighty has made our nation, we are defending his work by defending its very existence “. This was not propaganda or abuse of religious language, but it gave the pan movements the momentum and influenced the development of modern totalitarian movements.

The Pan movements preached the divine origins of their people as against the Jewish Christian faith of divine origins of man. According to the nationalists, man received the divine origins through membership of people only, he forfeits this on changing his nationality and falls into metaphysical homelessness. The two fold political advantages of this concept were one, nationality became a permanent quality untouched by history, emigration, conquest or dispersion. And two, all differences between individual members of the people disappeared, social, economic or psychological. The equality of men in Jewish Christian tradition of common origin of men translated to equality of rights of all men. 19th century progressivism demonstrated that men cannot be equalized by rights but by circumstances and education. Racism denied the common origin of men and introduced the concept of divine origin of one people as contrasted with all others. This finality is the common denominator between pan movements philosophy and racism. The tribalism of pan movements with its concept of divine origin of people owed its appeal to the contempt of liberal individualism.,the ideal mankind and dignity of men. There is a sense of mutual reliability among all members of people. Tribalism and racism are realistic, destructive ways of escaping the predicament of common responsibility of mankind. The system of rule in Austria Hungary and Czarist Russia served as examples of tribal nationalism based on oppression of nationalities. The Dual Monarchy gave enough freedom to some nationalities to oppress other nationalities and this became the ideology of the pan movements. The secret of survival of House of Hapsburg in the 19th century lay in careful balance support of a supranational machinery by mutual antagonism and exploitation of Czechs by Germans, of Slovaks by Hungarians and of Ruthenians by Poles. The attainment of nationhood at the expense of the other and oppression with governments help characterised the pan movements.

Austrian pan movements could educate masses into spirit of high treason against the Austrian government, which provided Austrian pan movements with popular support they always lacked in Germany and Russia proper. It was easier to induce the German worker to attack the German bourgeoisie than the government. It was easier in Russia to arouse the peasants against the squires than against the Czar. The German worker considered the government as a symbol of national unity and the Russian peasants considered the Czar as a representative of God and the governments of both countries were not weak like in Austria, where the pan movements could make political capital out of revolutionary unrest . Hostility to state as an institution runs through the theories of all pan movements Slavophiles opposed Russian state and they felt their superiority in Russian people s indifference to the state. This made the liberals to reconcile themselves with despotism. Pan Germans insisted on national over state interests and the only permanent factor in the course of history was people and not state and insisted that national needs determines the political acts of the state. These remained high sounding phrases in Germany and Russia until first WW, but had a real aspect in Dual Monarchy whose decay generated a permanent spiteful contempt for the government . Most of the leaders of pan movements belonged to liberal progressive parties. The Pan German League firmly believed in efficiency of strong nationally minded public opinion and initiating national policies through force of popular demand . But the mob organized in pan movements and inspired by race ideologies, with their enlarged tribal consciousness and lack of patriotism resembled a race. Pan SLAVISM was formed by and permeated the whole of Russian intelligentsia with very high literary sophistication and philosophical speculation.

Pan Germanism founded bySchoenerer and supported by german Austrian students, perceived the possibilities of antisemitism as an instrument of foreign policy and disrupting the state. Jewish people were suitable because of their closeness to Hapsburg Monarchy and them being a different nationality. Thus the violence of the Austrian brand of antisemitism. Tribal consciousness as the emotional motor of pan movements was fully developed before antisemitism. Pan SLAVISM turned antisemitic only in the last decade of 19th century. Shoenerer had announced hostility to Jews when they were still members of his party. In Germany, the Stoecker movement demonstrated the usefulness of antisemitism to the Pan German League members. The Slavophiles occasional antipathy to Jews turned into antisemitism among Russian intelligentsia after assassination of Czar in 1881,when a wave of pogroms organized by the government brought the Jewish question into public attention. There was some affinity between the pan movements theories about people and the rootlessness of Jewish people. The Jews, homeless were able to keep their identity through centuries, was proof that no territory was needed to constitute nationality. If the pan movements insisted on state being secondary to people, organized throughout countries and not being represented in visible institutions, the Jews were perfect examples for a nation without a state and without visible institutions. Tribal nationalities pointed to themselves as the centre of national pride, they were not incarnations of Germany, but Germanism, not of Russia, but Russian soul. Similarly, Jewishness of assimilated Jews was a kind of personal individual embodiment of Judaism and the peculiar pride of secularized Jews who had not given up the claim of chosennesss, really meant that they believed they were different and better simply because they happened to be born as Jews, regardless of their Jewish achievements and traditions.

Jewish brand of tribal nationalism and the jews outside the pale of society and nation was facilitated by the example of other Western nations and the other uprooted masses whom racism mobilized, who were also outside the pale of society and the nation states . They found competitors in the Jews, who constituted a society of their own precisely due to lack of visible representation or political outlet and could become a substitute for the nation. The factor that drove the Jews to the center of racial ideologies was the pan movements claims of chosennesss of people clashing with Jewish claims. Historical fact that the Jewish concept of establishment of mankind had nothing in common with the tribal theories of pan movements divine origin of one’s own people and were not of any concern to the mob. But the only fact known to the pan movements people was that the Jews had divided the world into themselves and others and in this dichotomy, Jews appeared the luckier competitors who had inherited something and were recognized for something that the Gentiles had to build from scratch. The chosennesss of the two groups are exemplified by the statements of these people. Steinberg says of Jews, ” Jewish history take place outside all usual historical laws “. The 19th century Russian philosopher, Pyotr Chaadayev calls the Russian people an exception people. The 19th century Russian philosopher, Nikolai Berdyaev stated bluntly that Russian Messianism was akin to Jewish Messianism. The spokesmen of the pan movements were not troubled with the realistic question of the Jewish problem in terms of their number and power and to make this the mainstay of jew hatred in their ideology. They did not know how to utilize their Ideological mainstay for political organization . This time lag between formation and organisation and application of pan movement ideology was demonstrated by the forgery of the Protocols of Elders of Zion by Russian secret police agents in 1900 upon the suggestion of Pobyedonostzev the political adviser of Nicholas II, and the only Pan Slav ever in influential position. Until 1919, it remained a half forgotten pamphlet when it began its triumphant procession through all European countries and languages, its circulation some 30 years later was second only a Mein Kampf. The police would later become the central institution of the society and the power would be organized according to the Jewish principles laid out in Protocols. Stalin discovered the potentialities for rule that the police possessed..It was Hitler, shrewder than Schoenerer, his spiritual father, who knew how to use the hierarchical principle of racism. The leaders of pan movements were unable to see that antisemitism could form the necessary link between domestic and external methods, they were unaware of how to establish their folk community’s completely uprooted and racially indoctrinated horde.

That the pan movements s fanaticism hit upon Jews as the ideological centre was the beginning of the end of European Jewry and Arendt says it was the most logical and bitter revenges history has ever taken. From the enlightened assertions of Voltaire, Ernest Renan( French Orientalist and Semitic scholar, expert of Semitic languages and civilizations, historian of religionphilologistphilosopherbiblical scholar and critic.), and Hippolyte Tain (19th century French critic and historian),the Jews s concept of chosennesss, identification of religion with nationality, claimto absolute position in history and singled out relationship to God, brought into western civilization an unknown element of fanaticism (inherited by christianity with its claim to exclusive possession of truth) on one side and on the other an element of pride that was dangerously close to racial perversion. Though, politically, it was of no consequence that Judaism and Jewish piety were free of and even hostile to the heretical Immanence(of God permanently pervading and sustaining the universe) of divine. Religion and nationality in the Muscovite kingdom grew up together as they did in the consciousness of ancient Hebrew people. In the same way as Messianic consciousness was an attribute of Judaism, it was an attribute of Russian orthodoxy also. Tribal nationalism is the precise perversion of a religion which made God choose one nation, one’s own nation. This ancient myth together with the only people surviving from antiquity had struck deep roots Western civilization and using this, the mob leader could summon up the impudence to drag God into petty conflicts between people like winning an election. The racists feared the chosennesss of Jews by God, whose success was guaranteed who might be the final victors in world history.. The Jewish concept of bringing about the kingdom of God was resented as the attempts for successful conquest of the world by Jews. The fear and hatred were nourished by the fact t6,christianity, e religion of Jewish origin had already conquered Western mankind.. Thus chosennesss was interpreted as not a myth for the realization of the ideal of common humanity, but for its final destruction.

The Inheritance of Lawlessness

Open disregard for law and legal institutions and Ideological justification of lawlessness was characteristic of continental than overseas imperialism which was due to the lack of geographical distance to separate the illegality of their rule from the home country institutions and also due to the fact that pan movements originated in countries which had never known constitutional governments like Russia and Austria Hungary. Contempt for law was characteristic of all pan movements, more in pan slavism. The two despotisms, Russia and Austria Hungary, the only ones left in Europe at first WW, ruled over multinational territories directly through a bureaucracy, and had parliament without legislative functions or serious opposition. The administration ruled through decrees, such that power becomes the direct source of legislation, decrees remain anonymous instead of laws which could be traced to specific men or assemblies, and power enforcing law by decrees needed no justification. Nicholas II s administrator Pobyedonostzev s contempt for law was the eternal contempt of the administration for lack of freedom of the legislator hemmed in by principles and inaction of executors law restricted by its interpretations. The administrators feel superior to legislators entangled in legal niceties and thus has to stay outside power. Law is powerless compared to the decrees as per the administrators . Decrees do not exist unless applied, need no justification, an incarnation of power itself. People ruled by decrees never know what rules them because of their incomprehensibility and the carefully organized ignorance of specific circumstances and their practical significance in which administrators keep their subjects. Colonial imperialism ruled by decrees, sometimes it is called regime des decrets. In overseas imperialism the administrators of the natives were imported and usurpers and this mitigated its influence on subjects. Only where, as in Russia and Austria Hungary, native rulers and bureaucracy were accepted as legitimate government, could rule by decrees create the arbitrariness and secretiveness that hid its expediency.

Advantages of rule by decree include domination of far flung territories with heterogeneous populations and oppression, superior efficiency, it prevents political reasoning by the people through withholding information, is fast, overcome the local customs , helpful in Central administration by overriding local autonomy. Rule by law is called rule of wisdom because it is deduced from generally accepted principles. Rule by decree is called rule of cleverness because it reckons with ulterior motives and aims. Government by bureaucracy is different from the outgrowth of the deformed civil services which accompanied the decline of the nation states especially in France, a parasite in body politic with its own class interests, useless with its only purpose that of chicanery and prevention of economic and political development. French accepted it as a necessary evil, but never allowed it to rule over the country. The French administration, though inefficient and vexatious, has not created an aura of psuedomysticim which is the stamp of bureaucracy. Since people it rules over never really know why something is happening and laws can’t be rationally interpreted only the events remain, which are subject to interpretation with endless possibilities, unlimited by reason and unhampered by knowledge. Such an interpretative speculation was characteristic of all branches of Russian pre revolutionary literature where the whole life assumed a mysterious secrecy and depth, having a dangerous charm due to its inexhaustible richness. For example the interpretation of suffering had a larger range than the action for suffering, releasing all human imagination whereas action is constantly checked and led into absurdity by outward consequences and controllable experiences.

One of the glaring differences between old fashioned rule by bureaucracy and the totalitarian brand is that the prewar rulers were content with mere radiance of power and control of the outward destiny of people and left the inner life and soul intact. Totalitarian bureaucracy with an absolute power intruded into the private individual and his inner life brutally, the result being that the inner spontaneity, social and political activity of people were killed followed by a total sterility under totalitarianism. Pan movements still didn’t lead to total sterility. For the Western world, the Eastern soul appeared richer, psychology profound, literature meaningful than shallow Western democracies. The psychological and literary adventure from from the depths of suffering did not happen in Austria Hungary, since its literature was German language. Austrian bureaucracy caused its greatest modern writer, Franz Kafka to become a humorist and critic of the whole matter. He was aware of the superstition fate that possessed people living under bureaucracy, their tendency to read superhuman meanings into happenings whose rational significance is beyond knowledge and understanding. He was aware of the attractiveness of such people, their melancholy and beautifully sad folk tales. He exposed the pride in necessity of evil and the conceit that identified evil and misfortune with destiny. The ability of Kafka was that he was able to identify this very early, he used his imagination to draw conclusions what reality had neglected to bring into full focus. The zeitgeist is typical in his story, The Castle (1930), story of Barnabases which reads like a travesty of a piece of Russian literature. (Pg 321).

Only the Russian empire offered a complete picture of rule by bureaucracy. The interesting feature here was the inspiration of the chaotic anarchy and hazard into a philosophy that saw in accidents, Lord of Life, apparition of Divine Providence. That was due to one, the vast country populated by primitive people without any experience in political organization who conjured up the philosophy. And two, the Russian intelligentsia. Pan Slavs had always insisted on the interesting conditions of Russia against the shallow boredom of civilized countries , looked as though the Divine had found an intimate Immanence in the soul of the unhappy Russian people. Deification of sufferings served as a rationalization for people that are not masters of their destiny. Steinberg stated “ it was the accident that has become decisive of the Jewish history and accident in the language of religion is called Providence “. In unending literary variations, Pan Slavs compared the profundity and violence of Russia to the superficial banality of the West which did not know suffering or sacrifice and behind whose sterile civilized surface were hidden frivolity and triteness. According to one Russian writer, Pan SLAVISM causes an implacable hatred of the West, a morbid cult of everything Russian, the salvation of universe can come only through Russia. The totalitarian movements owed much of their appeal to the vague and embittered anti Western mood that was especially in vogue in pre Hitler Germany and Austria, but had seized the general European Intelligentsia of 1920s. The exiled Russian intelligentsia exerted influence upon the spiritual mood of the disturbed Europe. This literary attitude proved to be a strong emotional factor in preparing the ground for totalitarianism. The exiled Russian intelligentsia spreaded all over Europe in Sofia, Constantinople , Berlin, Paris and London. They and their disciples published books and edited magazines that were read in all European countries, the Russian spirit has become the European spirit.

Pan movements saw bureaucratic regimes as possible models of organization. Pan Slavs admired the Czarist bureaucracy as a tremendous machine guided by a single man, the Czar who is God on earth. Pan Slavs were less opposed to the state compared to pan Germans. The reason was that Czar s position in Russia differed from European monarchs in that Russian despotism never developed into a rational state in the Western sense but remained fluid and anarchic and unorganized. It had a halo of unique holiness. The Russian Czar was distinguished from the rest of the rulers as he was the successor of Caesars of the Eastern empire, the founders of the very creed of Faith of Christ. Pan SLAVISM did not have to invent a new ideology unlike pan Germanism, but could interpret and make a mystery of Czarism as anti Western, anti constitutional, anti state expression of the movement itself. This mystification of anarchic power inspired pan slavism with its most pernicious theories about the transcendent nature and goodness of all power. Power was conceived as divine, men were dedicated to its service for the love of God and any law that might restrain its limitless and terrible strength was sacrilege. In its arbitrariness, power was held to be Holy. According to Pobyedonostzev, power exists for the love of God, the law is a snare to people and authorities, authority is weakened by law and crushed by the fear of responsibility. The government was the supreme power in action and thus the pan Slavs only had to adhere to this power and organize popular support, a colossal herd obedient to the arbitrary will of one man ruled not by law or interest but kept together by the cohesiveness of their numbers and conviction of their own holiness. Although idolization of power played a less articulate role in pan German movement there always was an anti legal tendency. As early as 1912, the movement proposed the introduction of protective custody, that is, arrest without legal reason which the nazis later used to fill the concentration camps.

The movements differed from Russian despotism in that they had to make propaganda which the established bureaucracy hardly needed and did this by introducing violence . There is patent similarly between mobs during the Dreyfus Affair and the Russian pogrom groups like Black Hundreds in which the wildest and least cultivated dregs of old Russia were gathered and kept contact with majority of Orthodox episcopate. The concretization of ideas of pan movements was first conceived by Hegel in his theory of state history and further developed by Marx s theory of the proletariat . Russian Pan SLAVISM was as much influenced by Hegel as Bolshevism was influenced by Marx. But both of them did not intend to flesh out the ideas in human beings. The vulgarity of the mob leaders concretized the ideas for organization masses. The leaders told the mob that they would become the lofty embodiment of the ideal by just joining the movement. Pan Germanism was superior in organizational theory and it shrewdly deprived individual Germans of these qualities if he did not adhere to the movement, thus foreshadowing the spiteful contempt that Nazism expressed for the non party members of German people. Whereas Pan SLAVISM assumed that all slav souls possessed these qualities whether or not they were members of the movement. But Stalin’s ruthlessness introduced into Bolshevism the same contempt for the Russian people that Nazis showed towards Germans. It is the absoluteness of the movements which separate them from party structures and serve to justify their claim to overrule all objections of individual conscience. The particular reality of the individual appears against the background of a spurious reality of general and universal, shrinks into a negligible quantity or submerged in the stream dynamic movement of the universal itself. In this stream the difference between ends and means evaporates together with the personality and the result is the monstrous immorality of Ideological politics. All that matters is embodied in the moving movement itself. Every idea, every value has vanished into a welter of superstitious pseudoscientific Immanence.

Party And Movement

Continental imperialism was hostile against the nation states and organized masses outside the party system and failed to expand the territories much. Overseas imperialism annexed territories but failed to change the home country s political system. The ruin of the nation states was brought about by the movements which competed with the party system. Movements could undermine only multiparty systems. Great Britain, which has two party system didn’t produce any movement of fascist or communist orientation. Both continental and overseas imperialist groups had the slogan of ‘above all parties ‘ and represented national purpose, nation was supposed to act as a whole Independent nation classes and parties. Continental systems representation of the nation as a whole was the monopoly of the state . The movement s profound distrust for parties was widespread in Europe at the turn of the century that in the days of Weimar Republic, each new group sought legitimization and appeal of the masses by insisting that it was not a party but a movement. The actual disintegration of European party system was brought about by the totalitarian movements. The pan movements were forerunners of totalitarianism since they discarded the elements of snobbery like wealth and class in Britain and education in Germany and took advantage of the popular hatred of institutions like parliament. After first WW, people in Germany talked about freedom from parties lack of respect of parliament. Only country where the political institutions were stable was Great Britain. This political stability of Great Britain as opposed to the decline of continental nation states is due to the difference in the two party Anglo Saxon system and multiparty continental systems. It was not the material factors that caused the difference in England since after the war, England was very impoverished, unemployed, and open to the shocks of liquidation of imperialist government in India by Labor party. It was not the social system either. The main difference was the party s function within the body politic. One party represents the government and rules the country becoming identical with the state. The opposition party checks the integrity and power of ruling party against a dictatorship. There are no indulgences in lofty speculation of power and state. The continental multiparty systems supposes that each party is a part of the whole, and the state is above parties. So one party rule there signifies dictatorial domination of the party above others, clearly different from the state. The ministers are chosen not according to competence but to party alliances in contrast with the British system where the best man is chosen from the large ranks of one party. One man or one party need not assume responsibilities in multiparty systems. No government formed by multiparty alliance feel fully responsible. So in cases where one party attains a majority in multiparty systems, it will not assume responsibilities and become a dictatorship. Continental party system has particular interests, economic or others. With the exception of French parties which date back to French revolution no European countries knew party representation before 1848. All parties were based on protection of interests. The German Conservative Party developed to protect the interests of big landed property. The Dutch parties were founded on broadening of franchise and subsidizing of private education. The Anglo Saxon party was based on national interest. Since the time period of Anglo Saxon parties are limited in forming the government, no theoretical justification or ideologies are developed.

The continental parties separated from state and power, was trapped in the narrowness of private interests and ashamed from this developed justifications that led each one into ideologies claiming that the particular interests coincided with the most general interests of humanity. The Conservative German Party was not content to defend the interests of the landed property but to do so needed a philosophy according to which God has created man to till the soil by the sweat of his brow. The same is true for the progress ideologies of middle class parties and labor party s claims that proletariat is the leader of mankind. These parties organized for private interests and individuals and not for public affairs. The Anglo Saxon party acted in concert for all bound by common opinions, common affections and common interests. In continental state philosophy, citizens were recognized in so far as they are outside party thus forming an individual unorganized relationship with the state. Patriotism meant an abandonment of party and private interests in favor of government and national interests.. Such a nationalistic deformation was inevitable in a system that created political parties out of private interests so that public good had to depend on force from above or vague generous self sacrifice from below which could only be attained by arousing nationalistic passions. In England there was no such antagonism between private and national interests. The more the party system corresponded to private interests the more urgent was the need for nationalism. In case of continental parties it is easier for a one party dictatorship to seize the state machinery where state is above parties and so above the citizens s reach when compared to England where the citizens acting in concert through party can win power legally and run the state. The farther the citizens are removed from sources of power the mystification of power is easily achieved, much easier in bureaucratically ruled countries where power transcend the capacity of understanding of the ruled. This alienation of masses from the government was the reason for their hatred and disgust with the parliament. In Germany state was above the party, so party leaders surrendered their party allegiance the moment they became ministers and charged with official duties. In Germany the state emasculated the parties . Against this spirit of old Prussian civil service, the Nazis asserted the priority of the party since they wanted dictatorship. Goebbels demanded that each party member who becomes a state functionary had to remain a National Socialist first and cooperate closely with the party administration. In France, ruled by party alliances, state was liquidated without organizing the party into a body capable of governing. In France, the parties suffocated the government.

Due to the decline of repute of continental parliament and parties among the people, the movements that claimed to be above parties and outside parliament, became popular, appeared sincere and competent. But the true purpose of the movement was to promote one particular interest and to make one group the master of the state machine. This happened in Italy under Mussolini which until 1938 was a nationalist dictatorship that developed from a multiparty democracy and became totalitarian afterwards. After many decades of inefficient and muddled multiparty rule, the seizure of the state for the advantage of one party can come as a great relief because it assures, at least for a limited amount of time, some consistency, some permanence and a little less contradiction. The Nazi’s seizure of power was misinterpreted as one party dictatorship similar to Fascist Italy and so helped by the business men and the elite who believed it good by supporting Hitler who would rule to the advantages of their own class and disadvantage of others. The fascist party dictatorships insisted that they constituted a movement, but was proven false when they seized the state machine and filled the government positions with party members. The nazis and bolsheviks identified their party with the state tying to the state structure and thus ceased to be a movement..The totalitarian movements and pan movements were not parties above parties, but movements aiming for destruction of the state. Nazis pretended to conquer the state for one party dictatorship emulating Italy, but turned totalitarian. The pan movements in Germany never knew how to profit from the popular hatred of party system. They lacked a real nationalist ideology. The pan Germans failed to understand that the masses interest in superstate powers like the Jesuits, Jews and Freemasons did not spring from nation or state worship but from envy and desire to become a superstate power . In Latin European countries like Italy, Spain and Portugal who worshipped state and nation and whose national development was hindered by the power of the Church, due to the wisdom of the Church, they recognized that Fascism was neither anti Christian nor totalitarian, but only established separation of Church and State. Thus the initial anti clerical flavor of fascist nationalism subsided.

The industrial revolution of 19th century dissociated capital and labor in industry giving rise to a capitalist class of employers and the property less industrial proletariat. In Italy this was followed by clash of their interests. Mussolini s idea of Fascist corporate state was to overcome the national dangers of a class ridden society, to solve the antagonism between state and society and by incorporating society into state. Fascists seized the state machine, but did not think above it. The main difference between Fascist and totalitarian movements is in their attitude towards army. The Nazis and Bolsheviks destroyed the spirit of army by subordinating it to the political commissars or elite formations. Fascists used it as an intense instrument of nationalism. It’s the Italian Fascism which is the only example modern mass movement within the framework of state inspired solely by nationalism which transformed the people into patriots. All the movements worked by hatred of state. In Austria Hungary this was an expression of patriotism for the oppressed nationalities. Here parties were formed along national lines. The economic and social status here depended on nationality, so nationalism, a unifying force in other nation states became an internal disruptor here. The parties were held together by specific nationalities and so no definite goals could be deduced from the sentiment of tribal belonging. The pan movements transformed parties into movements which would move from day to day, never needing a specific goal, and so could change the policy from day to day without harming membership. The only thing important in movements is that they keep moving. Thus Austrian pan Germanism discovered that movements needed dynamism and a general mood for mass appeal than laid down outlines..The Nazis used to describe the 14 years of Weimar Republic as sterile followed by their era of movement.

Pan German movement in Austria and Germany differed in their attitude towards the state. The party above parties seized the state machine (as in Mussolini s Italy) and true movements wanted to destroy the state. The party system ceased to work after first WW, the class system of Europe broke down and totalitarian movements came into fore. They were either anti fascists, anti bolsheviks or both. Pan Germans rallied to Nazism and pan Slavs to Bolshevism. The decay of the continental parties went hand in hand with the decline of the nation states. Migration to France for labor disturbed the homogeneity. At the outbreak of second WW, 10% of France s population was foreign and naturalized, the northern mines were worked by Poles and Belgians and agriculture in south by Spaniards and Italians. The state people had only a relative majority outnumbered by the combined minorities. This undermined the class basis of party system which were now organized along national lines. In other countries inflation and unemployment caused the break down of party along class lines. Between the two World Wars movements attacked the state and classes. Fascism and Nazism denounced class system as an invention by Marxism, so that even the Communists had to abandon the rigidity of their class appeal. The older parties felt closer to source of power than to masses, thought that they would remain as masters of violence with the supreme institution of the nation state, the army remaining a decisive element. Many paramilitary formations sprung up and revolutionary movements threatened the parties and state. The army was not a reliable bulwark against revolutionary unrest. In France, the army showed its unwillingness to help those in power, two times, first in 1850 when it permitted the mob of Society of December 10 to carry Napoleon III to power and second during the Dreyfus Affair when it could easily have established a military dictatorship.

The break down of European party system occurred in a spectacular way with Hitler’s rise to power. At the moment of outbreak of second world war the majority of European nations had adopted some form of dictatorship and discarded party system. In France, Hitler’s rise to power, accompanied by growth of fascism and communism changed party lines. The French Right, upto then strongly anti German and pro war, after 1933,became pacifist and pro German. The Left switched from pacifism to a firm stance against Germany. The parties split internally on the only one political issue, who was for and who was against Germany, each party with a peace faction and a war faction. The consequence was that Hitler could freely choose from all parties to erect puppet regimes. Against this disintegration of old party lines, the Fascist and Communists stood United,the former advocating peace and the latter preaching war at a price of national ruin. Both movements counted on leadership and membership that wouldn’t be disturbed by sudden changes in policies. That was demonstrated in the German Russian nonaggression pact when Nazis had to drop their slogans against Bolshevism and Communists had to return to pacifism which they had denounced as petty bourgeoisie. The Communists made a second vote face less than two years later when Soviet Union was attacked by Hitler.

The break down of the party system in pre Hitler Germany was interesting and violent. That came into the open during the last presidential elections of 1932. The two movements which fought the parties and parliamentary system presented as candidates, Hitler for the Nazis and Thalmann for the Communists. All The parties suddenly agreed on one candidate, the old Hindenburg who enjoyed matchless popularity, showing how much the old parties wanted to identify themselves with the old time states, state above parties. In the face of the movements the difference between parties had become meaningless, their existence was at stake. Thus Hindenburg became the symbol of nation state and party system while Hitler and Thalmann competed with each other to become the true symbol of people. The electoral posters didn’t praise Hindenburg as such but alluded to the instances where Nazis and communists made common cause, in order to convince al loyal party members, Right or Left, that the preservation of the status quo demanded Hindenburg. They quoted, ‘a vote for Thalmann is a vote for Hitler and vice versa ‘. In The 1932 Germany almost half the germans were unemployed. The candidates of the movements appealed to voters who wanted change even if it happened at a price of destruction of legal institutions. Hindenburg was a symbol and the status quo. In the general atmosphere of an electorate frightened by every party, movement and unemployment, the class divisions of the party blurred for the defense of status quo. The rank and file of the movements was also heterogeneous. The percentage of middle class voters increased in the German socialist party after the first. Within the parliament the Left and Right were busy organizing the famous transportation strike on the streets Berlin in 1932. The continental parties existed only after 1848 so that its reign lasted only four decades. The last two decades of 19th century saw the political developments in European nation states in opposition to parliamentary parties. The imperialist leagues set themselves above parties for the identification with the nation states, pan movements attacked them. The totalitarian movements in contrast set themselves above state and people, ready to sacrifice both for the sake of ideology. Parties could not be revived after the second WW and the movements gained great appeal even after the defeat of Nazism and the threat of Bolshevism to national independence. The leadership of the movements has maintained authority under the most trying circumstances. Despite the nationalist slogans the movements occasionally adopt to hide their true intentions, and inspite of the people knowing that they were regional branches of international organizations, they were least disturbed when it became known that their policy served the foreign policy interests of another nation, sometimes a hostile power even. In contrast to the old parties, the movements have survived the war and have remained alive and meaningful to their adherents.

The Decline of Nation States and the End of Rights of Man

The first WW exploded the European comity of nations beyond repair. Inflation destroyed the whole class of property owners beyond any hope of recovery. Unemployment reached fabulous proportions. The civil wars which ushered in and spread over twenty years of uneasy peace were bloodier and caused migration of people unwelcomed anywhere. They remained homeless, stateless scums of earth. Before totalitarianism attacked and destroyed the European civilization, the consequences of the first WW had created instability , shattered the facade of European political system and laid bare the hidden frame. These visible exposures were suffering of groups of people to whom the rules of the world ceased to apply. Nothing illustrate the general disintegration of political life than the pervasive hatred. This was more visible in defeated nations and in newly established states after liquidation of the Dual Monarchy and Czarist empire. The last remnants of solidarity between non emancipated nationalities in the belt of mixed populations evaporated with the disappearance of a central despotic bureaucracy which had served to gather them together and divert the diffuse hatreds and conflicting national claims. Now everyone was against everyone.,Slovaks against Czechs, croats against Serbs, Ukrainians against Poles. This was not just conflict between nationalities and state. The Slovaks not only sabotaged the democratic Czech government in Prague but persecuted the Hungarian minority in their own soil . Among the Poles too fighting occured between themselves and also with the state. Out of liquidation of the two multinational states of prewar Europe, Austria Hungary and Russia two victim groups emerged whose suffering was different from others between the two world wars. They were worse off than the dispossessed middle classes, unemployed, small rentiers, pensioners. They had been deprived of social status, possibility to work, right to hold property, all Rights of man. Whereas the stateless and minorities had no government to represent or protect them and were forced to live under the law of exception of Minority Treaties ( which the governments had signed under protest and never recognized as a law) or lawlessness.

With the emergence of minorities in Eastern and Southern Europe and with stateless people driven into Western and Central Europe a completely new element of disintegration was introduced in postwar Europe. Totalitarian politics made denationalization a powerful weapon and the inability of nation states to guarantee human rights, made it possible for the persecuting governments to single out the scum of and earth, Jews, Trotskyists etc. They were received as such as undesirables. The official SS newspaper the Schwarze Corps stated explicitly in 1938 that if the world was not convinced that Jews were the scum of the earth, it soon would be when unidentifiable beggars without nationality, money or passports crossed their borders . The early persecution of German Jews by the Nazis was an attempt to spread antisemitism among those friendly to Jews rather than an effort to get rid of Jews. A circular from Nazis to all German authorities abroad shortly after November pogroms of 1938stated ‘ the emigration of only about 100000 Jews has sufficed to awaken the interests of many countries to Jewish danger. Germany is interested in maintaining the dispersal of Jewry, which invoke the opposition of native populations and therefore form the best propaganda for German Jewish policy. The poorer and more burdensome the imigrating Jew, the stronger the country will react’. This factual propaganda worked better than Goebbels rhetoric not only because it established Jews as scum of the earth, but also because the incredible plight of an ever growing group of innocent people was like the practical demonstration of the totalitarian movements cynical claims that no such thing as inalienable human rights existed and that affirmation of democracy to the contrary was prejudice, hypocrisy and cowardice. The very phrase human rights became for all the evidence of hopeless idealism or fumbling feeble minded hypocrisy.

The Nation of Minorities and the Stateless People

The nation states were weakened from outside by lack of sovereignty, rise of imperialism and pan movements, but the internal disintegration began only after the first WW with appearance of minorities created by Minority Peace Treaties and a constant refugee movement due to revolutions. The pre war generation of statesmen attempted to regulate the nationality problem in Eastern and Southern Europe through establishment of nation states and minority Treaties. Even countries with old and settled national traditions national traditions could not handle the new problems of world politics. It was doubtful whether it could be imported into an area which lacked the very conditions for the rise of nation states, namely, homogeneity of population and rootedness in soil. To assume that nation states could be established by peace Treaties was preposterous. According to Kurt Tramples, ‘one glance at the demographic map of Europe should be sufficient to show that nation state principle cannot be introduced in Eastern Europe ‘. The Treaties lumped together many people in single states, called some of them state people and entrusted them with the government and silently assumed others like Slovaks in Czechoslovakia or croats and slovenes in Yugoslavia were equal partners in government, which they were not. The struggle of slovaks against Czech government ended with the Hitler supported independence of Slovakia. The Yugoslav constitution of 1921 was accepted in parliament against the votes of all croats and slovenes. The Treaties created a third group called minorities . Mussolini correctly observed after Munich crisis ” if Czechoslovakia finds herself in a delicate situation, it is because she was not just Czechoslovakia, but Czech,Germano, Polono, Magyaro, Rutheni, Rumano, Slovakia “. The result was that those people to whom states were not conceded, whether minorities or nationalities, considered the Treaties an arbitrary game that handed out rule to some and servitude to others. The newly created states on the other hand, which were promised sovereignty with Western nations, regarded the Minority Treaties a breach of promise and discrimination because only new states and not even defeated Germany, were bound to them.

There was a power vaccuum in Austria Hungary after dissolution of the Dual and in Poland and Baltic countries after liberation from Czarist despotism. Butthe main reason for creating new nation states there was that the minorities had never had national freedom or self determination similar to colonial people. The same role of western and Central European proletariat, the oppressed group whose emancipation was significant in European social system, was played by the minorities in Eastern Europe, a people without history. Historical consciousness played a great role in formation of national consciousness. The emancipation of nations from dynastic rule and aristocracy was accompanied by emancipation of literature and language from international languages like Latin and French and the growth of national languages and popular vernacular. Thus it seemed that people whose languages was mature for literature had reached national maturity. The liberation movement in EASTERN European nations started with philological revival. The political function of these movements were to prove that people who possessed a literature and history of their own had the right to national sovereignty. Both the workers movements of the West and the revolutionary liberation movements of the East were represented by the un historical strata of Europe who strove to secure recognition and participation in public affairs. To conserve the European status quo, national self determination and sovereignty were granted to all European people. The alternative of which would have been to condemn them to the status of colonial people, something pan movements had always proposed..There was a clear cut similarly between colonial and minority exploitation like the economic protectionism against minorities in Central Europe.

The minorities problem and problem of stateless people were not solved with establishment of nation states after first WW in place of autocracies. They were contrasted against the people with a national government. These nationalities became hostile to their imposed government and the government in turn oppressed them. These people were convinced that true freedom, true emancipation and true sovereignty could be attained only by full national emancipation and that people without their own national government would be deprived of human rights. The French Revolution had combined the declaration of Rights of man with national sovereignty. The Minority Treaties themselves suported this, which did not entrust the government with the protection of different nationalities but charged the League of Nations with the safe guarding of their rights . The Minority Treaties were developed for the assimilation of the minorities. The states tried to forcefully assimilate the minorities. The factor strongest against assimilation was that the minorities never felt the state people to be numerically or culturally superior. The minority nationalities embittered by the League’s idea to not grant national rights, banded together in a minority Congress calling itself Congress of Organized National Groups in European States. All nationalities and not just minorities would join them, their number grew to outnumber state people. The inter regional aspects of the minorities which the League had ignored, made them put their national interests above that of respective state governments. The Congress was dominated by two nationalities, Germans and Jews. The German minorities in Romania and Czechoslovakia voted with the German minorities in Poland and Hungary. The Polish Jews sympathized with the Romanian Jews. National interests and not common interests of minorities formed the true basis of membership in Congress. Only the harmonious relationship between Jews and Germans kept it together. In 1933, when the Jewish delegation demanded protests against the treatment of Jews by the Third Reich, a move which they had no right to make since the German Jews were not a minority, the germans announced their solidarity with Germany *(antisemitism had become rife by then),the Congress sank into insignificance after the Jewish delegation had left.

Minority Treaties were guaranteed by an international body, the Legaue of Nations. Minorities had existed before it was recognized as a permanent institution by the League, that millions of people lived outside legal protections and needed a guarantee of their rights from an outside body and Treaties were needed to establish it as amodus vivendi and that all that was something new in European history. The first minorities arose when Protestant principles of freedom of conscience suppressed the principle of cuius regio eius religio (the religion of the ruler dictates the religion of the ruled). The Congress Vienna in 1815 secured the rights of Polish population in Russia, Prussia, Austria, rights that were not just religious. It was characteristic later Treaties, those of independence of Greece in 1830, independence of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1856, Congress of Berlin in 1878 concerned with Romania. All these Treaties speak of religious minorities and not national minorities which granted civil but not political rights. The minority Treaties said in plain language what until then had only been implied, namely only nationals could be citizens, only people of the same national origin could enjoy full protection of legal institutions, persons of different nationalities needed some law of exception unless they are completely assimilated or divorced from their origin. The statesmen of the League insisted that the law of the country could not be responsible for different nationalities. Thus the system of protection created within the states a group of inhabitants who would regard themselves as permanently foreign to the country. They thereby admitted and proved practically that the rise of stateless people completed the transformation of the state from an instrument of law into an instrument of nation. Thus national interest had priority over law long before Hitler could pronounce, ‘right is what is good for German people’. The language of the mob was the language of public opinion cleansed of hypocrisy and restraint. In so far the the establishment of nation states coincided with the establishment of constitutional governments, they had always been based on rule of law. When the balance between nation and state, between national interest and legal institutions broke down, disintegration of nation states started, precisely at the moment when self determination was recognized for all European people. At the time of the Minority Treaties, it was argued in their favor that the older nations like France enjoyed constitutions that were founded upon Rights of man and so they did not need additional laws or treaties even if there were minorities inside their borders. Only newly established succession states needed them. This changed after arrival of stateless people in France.

The minorities were only half stateless. De jure they belonged to some political body and enjoyed the elementary rights right to residence and work . The secondary rights like speaking ones own language and staying in own cultural and social milieu were in jeopardy and so protected by an outside body. The framers of the Treaties did not foresee the problem of widespread population transfers or undeportable people. After second WW the states started massive population transfers in the hope of solving the minorities problem. The fault was not just in the Minority Treaties, but the establishment of succession states itself there was no territory in the region to which several nationalities could lay claim. Czechoslovakia transferred the German minorities after second WW. The most consequential mass phenomenon of contemporary history was statelessness . Every political event from first WW added a new category of stateless people. The problem became prominent after first WW. Before that some countries like the United States had laws of denaturalization. During the war many European states amended laws to denaturalize . The stateless people created so was very small, but the precedent it created helped produce stateless people in interwar period. Mass denaturalization was introduced by Nazis in 1933 against naturalized German Jews which preceded denationalization of citizens of birth in similar categories and laws that made these possible through decrees. US had accepted many stateless people and placed all foreigners on equal footings and considered the newcomers as citizens of their own regardless of their national allegiance.Other examples exist in Belgium, denaturalization of Armenian refugees by Greek government, in Soviet Union many remained stateless, a considerable portion went overseas and many got citizenship in different countries through marriage. The oldest group of stateless people produced by the peace Treaties of 1919, the dissolution of Austria Hungary and establishment of Baltic states were complicated in that their real origins could not be determined sometimes.. People sometimes took refuge in statelessness after first WW in order to remain where they were and avoid being deported to their homelands where they would be strangers like the many Polish and Romanian Jews in France and Germany. These aparatides (stateless people) received littleattention when they were joined by post war refugees forced out of their countries by revolutions and denationalized by victorious governments back home . Such mass denationalizations were new and unforeseen. They would ratherlose its citizens than harbor people with opposing views. It became clear that sovereignties of neighboring countries could conflict at peace time too and sovereignty was possible as long as the comity of European nations existed, as long as the spirit of solidarity and agreement lasted. Sovereignty is nowhere more absolute than in matters of emigration, naturalization, nationality and expulsion. The silent acknowledgment of common interests between the comity of European nations restrained the nation sovereignty until the rise totalitarian regimes. Sometimes the degree of totalitarianism could be measured against the extent to which the governments use the sovereign rights of denationalization, though iits interesting to note that Mussolini s Italy was reluctant to treat the refugees that way. There was actually an Italian law in 1926 against abusive emigration. But this changed after 1929. There was hardly any country in Europe between the two World Wars who didn’t introduce new denaturalization and denationalization laws. First law of this type was in France in 1915 which concerned naturalized citizens of enemy origin who had retained their original nationality.

The paradox between the inalienable rights of citizens of the most prosperous and civilized countries and the situation of the right less stateless is ironical. Thus the internment camps prior to second WW became the solution and rule rather than exception for the stateless displaced people. The term statelessness was changed post war to ‘displaced persons ‘ for ignoring its existence and liquidating it since the term statelessness was an acknowledgment of loss of protection from the government and the need for international agreements to protect their legal status. This meant repatriation to countries of origin which refuse to recognize them as citizens or receives them for punishment. Mass repatriations were the norm in totalitarian regimes and the statesmen ignored it as evident from the lack of statistics. There were one million and more dejure stateless while more than 10 million were defacto stateless and international conferences failed to discuss the actual extent or reason of statelessness. Even free democracies like the USA seriously considered depriving native Americans who were Communists of their citizenship. The sinister aspect is the innocence in which this is effected like the Nazis who insisted that all Jews of non German nationality should be deprived of their citizenship prior to or on the day of deportation. For german jews this was not needed since in the Third there was a law according to which all Jews who had left the territory including those deported automatically lost their citizenship. The arrival of a large number of stateless people damaged the Right of asylum which conflicted with the international rights of the state . The right of asylum cannot be found in any written law, constitution or international agreements and the Covenants of the League of Nations didn’t even mention it exactly like the Rights of man which never became law and led a shadowy existence. The UN in 1954 attempted to obtain a legal status for the dejure stateless and gathered representatives from 20 states but with the explicit assurance that they wouldn’t be bound by any obligations. The only guardians of the rights of asylum were human rights protection societies. A French sponsored one with branches all over democratic Europe behaved as if the question was of saving the individuals persecuted for their political convictions and activities . That assumption was already pointless in the case of the millions of Russian refugees and absurd for Jews and Armenians. The society stumbled into functions better fulfilled by charities which refugees had built up themselves with the help of compatriots. When the rights of man became the object of an inefficient charity organization the concept of human rights was discredited a little more.

The refugees were impossible to be rid of or transformed to nationals of the country of refuge. Repatriation and naturalization were not working with the Russian or Armenian refugees as examples and so these countries refused to recognize statelessness in the subsequent waves. They kept reminding the League of nations to liquidate the refugee work because they feared that the smallest positive gesture might encourage countries in getting rid of the unwanted people and many might emigrate on their own too. Among the minorities Jews and Armenians ran the greatest risk and showed the highest proportion of statelessness. The Minority Treaties did not necessarily offer protection but also served as instruments to single out certain groups for eventual expulsion. The stateless people had shown a stubbornness in retaining their nationality, a new kind of behavior of European national in Ideological struggles. More people volunteered to fight in civil wars abroad like what happened in Spanish civil war. The refugees didn’t care to be naturalized and did not band together for common interests like the minorities did. The International Brigade was organized according to national battalions in which Germans felt they fought against Hitler, Italians against Mussolini, Spanish against Franco when they helped the French against Vichy. Of all classes of European immigrants the least easy to assimilate were the Eastern and Central European and southern European s. The people, no longer had citizenship or any connection or loyalty to their country of origin, no government, but retained a strong attachment to nationality. They had infiltrated as refugees and stateless persons from east to west.

The real trouble started with repatriation and naturalization. Both failed because neither the country of origin or any other agreed to accept a stateless person. A man without a state was an anomaly outside the law, an outlaw, he was at the mercy of the police who did illegal acts to diminish their country s burden of undesirables. The state insisting on iits sovereign right to expulsion was forced by the illegal nature of statelessness into illegal acts. Lawrence Preuss, the international law scholar of University of Michigan stated “the initial illegal act of denationalizing government puts the expelling country in the position of an offender of international law because its authorities violate the law of the country to which the stateless person is expelled. The latter country cannot get rid of him except by violating the law of a third country. The stateless person either violates the law of the country where he resides or he violates the law of the country to which he is expelled “. The consequences of this smuggling was petty wars between police at the frontiers which deteriorated international relations or an accumulation of jail sentences for the stateless who with the help of the police of one country has gone illegally into the territory of another. Sir John Fischer Williams, the British international law professor concluded in 1927 that denationalization is contrary to international law. In the international conference of Hague in 1930 only the Finnish government maintained that the loss of nationality should never constitute punishment nor be pronounced to get rid of an undesirable person through expulsion. Attempts at establishing legal status for stateless people failed in international conferences. The only practical substitute for the non existent home land was an internment camp. This was the only country the world had to offer stateless. The nation states legislation only reckoned with nationals, people born in its territory and citizens by birth. So naturalization proved to be a failure while the state had to handle mass applications for naturalization. Two instances of mass naturalization in the near East were exceptional, one involved Greek refugees from Turkey whom Greek government naturalized en bloc in 1922 because it assures actually a repatriation of a Greek minority and not of foreign citizens. The other was of Armenian refugees from Turkey to Syria, Lebanon and other Turkish countries, a population with which the near East had shared common citizenship a few years ago. Instead of naturalizing at least a small proportion of new arrivals, the arrival of masses of new comers caused cancellation of already naturalized people. The wave of refugees found members of their own nationality already settled in the country to which they immigrated like the Armenians and Italians in France and Jews everywhere. So a certain retrogression set in those already assimilated. Help and solidarity were offered by the older group by appealing to the nationality they had in common. By appealing to their national conscience and solidarity the number of unassimilated aliens increased. For example, 10000 Italian refugees were enough to postpone indefinitely the assimilation of one million Italian immigrants in France. Mass denaturalization shattered the possibility of assimilation. The difference between a naturalized citizen and a stateless resident was not great in that the former was deprived of important civil rights and threatened with the fate of the latter at any time.

European governments were helpless despite their established legal and political institutions. Statelessness spread like a contagious disease. The living conditions for all deteriorated, it became difficult to distinguish stateless refugees and resident refugees in the 1930s. The governments eliminated the naturalized citizens from certain professions for upto 10 years, they had no political rights too. Once the government used its right to repatriate a resident alien against his will he started to find refuge in statelessness. A smart cunning that enemy aliens had discovered during first WW ,statelessness became an advantage for the alien..France, Europe’s greatest immigrant reception area since she had regulated the chaotic labor market by calling in alien workers in times of need and deporting them during unemployment and crisis, taught her aliens a lesson about advantages of statelessness. The mass repatriations by Laval government after 1935 saved the stateless, the so called economic migrants and groups of earlier origin, the Balkans, pole6,Italians and Spaniards mixed with the wave of refugees into a tangle that never could be unraveled. The legal national institutions suffered damage when a growing number of residents had to live outside its jurisdiction without right of residence or right of work for which they had to transgress law, liable to jail sentences without committing crime. The entire hierarchy of values in civilized countries was reversed in his case. Since he was an anomaly for which the general law did not provide it was better for him to become an anomaly for which it did provide, that of a criminal. If someone benefits by committing a crime that means he has been forced outside the pale of law. If a small burglary improves his legal position, at least temporarily, it means he is deprived of human rights. A criminal offense becomes the best opportunity to regain some kind of human equality. This exception is provided for by law. As a criminal even a stateless person will not be treated worse than another criminal. Only as an offender against the law he can gain protection from it. As long as the trial and sentence last he will be safe from the arbitrary police rule against which there are no lawyers or appeals. The same man who was in jail because of his mere presence in the world who had no rights and lived under the threat of deportation or who was dispatched without trial to some kind of internment because he tried to work and make a living, may almost become a full fledged citizen because of a little theft. Even if he is penniless he can now get a lawyer, complain about his jailers and he will be listened to respectfully. He is no longer the scum of the earth but important enough to be informed of all the details of the law under which he will be tried. Arendt mentions the example of a Japanese American. Any sentence meted out to the criminal will be of small consequence compared with an expulsion order, cancellation of work permit or a decree sending him to internment camps. The Japanese American who was in jail when the United States army ordered the internment of all Americans of Japanese ancestry, would not have been forced to liquidate his property, he would have remained right where he was armed with a lawyer to look after his interests and would have been lucky to receive a long sentence. The jail sentence guaranteed him the constitutional rights that nothing else, no protests of loyalty and no appeal could have obtained for him once his citizenship had been doubtful.

A more difficult way to rise from an unrecognized anomaly to a recognized exception would be to become a genius. A conformist society has only recognized one form of individualism, the genius, it did not matter to the bourgeoisie society if he was an outlaw. The loss of citizenship deprived people not only of protection but also of identity, solved when they reached a degree of distinction. The nation state transferred the law and order situation for controlling the stateless to the police, the first time for police in Western Europe to receive authority to rule over people Independent of government or ministries. In France the expulsion order from the police was serious than that from the ministry of interior. As the influx of refugees increased the strength of police Independent of the state increased too with the nation transforming to a police state. The police power was at its peak in totalitarian regimes, they dominated vast groups of people beyond the pale of law. The Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany distinguished Reich citizens from nationals (second class citizens without political rights) which led to the nationals of alien blood losing nationality by official decree, not just Jews. The increasing influx of refugees to non totalitarian states led to lawlessness organized by the police which led to coordination of the free world with the totalitarian legislation. Concentration camps were provided for same groups in all countries though the treatment of their inmates differed, the selection of the groups always left to totalitarian regimes. Thus long before outbreak of war, police in the WESTERN countries, under the pretext of national security, established close connections with the Gestapo and GPU in such a way that there existed an independent foreign policy of the police, Independent of government. The relationship between Gestapo and French police were never more cordial than at the time of Leon Blums anti German government. The police organizations were not prejudiced with totalitarian government since they knew the eminent role of police apparatus in all totalitarian regimes, their elevated social status and political importance. So Nazis met with little to no resistance from police of other states and Nazis could organize terror with the assistance of local police due to their powerful position and unrestricted domination of stateless and refugees.

Jews played a significant role in the minority movement because they were not a majority in any states, needed protection and their excellent international connections. The first apatrides were Jews who became stateless because of the inability of succession states to place them under minority treaties. The stateless Jews were first expelled by German government and the other minority states followed suit with expatriating Jews since they were the only nationality with no other protection than a minority system. The notion of statelessness was not just a Jewish problem though the states pretended so to ignore the problem. Hitler’s solution to Jewish problem, first reducing them to a non recognized minority ,then driving them to statelessness and finally gathering them from everywhere to extermination camps was an eloquent demonstration to the rest of the world how to liquidate the problem of minorities and stateless. The solution of Jewish question produced new categories of refugees, the Arabs and happened in Palestine and India later on a large scale. After the Peace Treaties of 1919 and 1920 the refugees and stateless had attached themselves as a curse to the newly formed nation states. Without legal equality the nation states cannot exist, unequal laws become rights and privileges, something contradictory to nation states. The stateless were not treated as legal and ruled arbitrarily by police decrees, the states were tempted to deprive all citizens of legal status and rule them with an omnipotent police.

The Perplexities of the Rights of Man

The declaration of Rights of Man at the end of 18th century was a turning point in history . In the new secularized and emancipated society men were not sure of their rights which until then had been guaranteed by social, spiritual and religious forces. Throughout the 19th century whenever individuals needed protection human rights were invoked. Since the Rights of Man were inalienable no authority was invoked for its establishment. But man was a member of people. But the abstract human being who seemed to exist nowhere or uncivilized savages did not enjoy this right and so the question of human rights was blended with the question of national emancipation. Only the sovereignty of people seemed to insure human rights. The implications of identification of rights of man with rights of people in the European nation state system came to light when minorities appeared whose rights were not safe guarded by ordinary nation states. The rights of man was supposed to be independent of all governments, but the moment human beings lacked their own government in authority or institutions protected them. When an international body arrogated to itself nongovernmental authority to protect the rights, it failed as the government opposed it as encroaching its sovereignty. Concerned nationalities themselves didn’t recognize a non national guarantee and preferred to turn to the protection of national mother country. Examples of confidence in national rights were the consent of 75 percent of German minorities in Italian Tyrol to resettle in Germany before second WW and rejection of Jewish refugees in an Italian DP camp of an offer of mass naturalization by the Italian government. This behavior was not fanatic nationalist sentiment, but they no longer felt sure of their elementary rights if these were not protected by a government to which they belonged by birth.

The stateless people as the minorities were convinced that a loss of national rights was followed by loss of human rights, so they looked more into reintegration to a national community of their own. The Russian refugees, Poles, Jews and Germans developed a fierce violent group consciousness and to clamor for rights . Worst was that the societies formed for protection of rights of man were by marginal figures like international jurists without political experience whom the political figures of importance did not take seriously. Neither radical nor liberal parties incorporated into their programs a new declaration of human rights, so the victims shared a disdain for the powers that be. Rights of man was never a political issue before the French and American revolutions proclaimed it as fundamental in civilized societies. Human rights became the slogan of protectors of under privileged. Civil rights of citizens were supposed to embody human rights, so the political parties did not include them in their programs even when an urgent need arose to protect human rights in the 20th century. Those who were no longer citizens of any sovereign state did not get the rights of man anymore, which no one was able to define or distinguish from the civil rights. The first loss that the stateless suffered was loss of home country and impossibility of finding a new one. Very few chances of finding new homes rested on nationality, eg, Spanish refugees were welcomed in Mexico. The second loss of the rightless was loss of government protection, loss of legal status in their own, but all countries. Citizens carried their legal status wherever they went. Thus the stateless people were in a worse position than enemy aliens protected by their government through international agreements. The new refugees were persecuted because they were born into wrong kind of race or class or drafted by the wrong kind of government.

Though the persecutions were under some political pretext, the refugees stood out in their innocence, their greatest misfortune, the mark of their rightlesness . Actually the few thousand Soviet citizens who voluntarily left Soviet Union after second and found asylum in democratic countries did more damage to the prestige of Soviet union than the millions of refugees who belonged to the wrong class. The authentic political refugees, few in number, enjoyed the right of asylum in many countries and this right acts as a genuine substitution to national law. What is noteworthy here is that it is easier to deprive an innocent stateless person of legality than someone who committed a crime. Arendt writes that jurists may find it even more difficult than a layman to recognize the deprivation of legality, of all rights to an innocent with no longer any connection to crimes. They are used to thinking of law in terms of punishment which deprives one of certain rights. Concept of human rights are perplexing. Be it the right to life liberty and pursuit of happiness according to the American formula or equality before law, liberty, protection of property or national sovereignty according to the French, these are rights of citizens whose loss does not entail absolute rightlesness compared to the rightless outside the pale of law. For example, a soldier is deprived of his right to life during war, criminal of his right to freedom, but these doesn’t mean loss of human rights. The calamity of the stateless is not just the rightlesness but they no longer belong to any community, not that they are not equal before law but that no law exists for them, not that they are oppressed but that nobody even want to oppress them. They became superfluous with no one to claim them and in the last stage their right to life is threatened. The Nazis started their extermination of Jews by first depriving them of legal status, cutting them off the world of living by herding them to ghettos and concentration camps before they set the gas chambers in motion after finding that no country would claim them. A point of complete rightlesness was created before the right to live was challenged.

The irony of right to freedom in the refugees and stateless is interesting. They might have more freedom of movement outside the pale of law than a lawfully imprisoned criminal. They might enjoy more freedom of opinion in internment camps of democratic countries than in a despotism or totalitarian regimes. But even under conditions of totalitarian terror, concentration camps were the places where a remnant of freedom of thought and discussion still existed like in Buchenwald or the freedom of mind that reigned in some of the Soviet places of detention ( mentioned in the book by Anton Ciliga, ‘The Russian Enigma ‘). But the deceptive physical safety of being fed by the state of refuge or a welfare agency or the so called freedom of opinion does not change the fundamental rightlesness. No law forces the nations to feed them, freedom of movement is without right to residence which even a jailed criminal enjoys for a short time and the freedom of opinion is a fools freedom since nothing they think or opine matters. The fundamental deprivation of human rights is manifested by loss of a place in the world, something more fundamental than freedom and justice. Unless he commits a crime his treatment by others doesn’t depend on what he does or doesn’t do. This is the extremity of rightlesness, people are deprived of right to action and not freedom and right to opinion and not right to thought. We become aware of the right to have rights, that is, living in a framework where one is judged by one’s actions and opinions and right to belong to an organized community only when millions of people emerged who had lost that right. That was not from lack of civilization, backwardness or mere tyranny.

Human rights were considered the general characteristics of human condition like speech, thought and community which no tyrant could take away. Aristotle thought of man as the commanding power of speech and thought and man as a political animal living in a community. Plight of slaves was somewhat similar who didn’t have the right to speech or thought, so Aristotle didn’t count them as human beings. Slavery’s offense was not that it took liberty away but it took the possibility of fighting for freedom. Slavery’s crime against humanity was that it became an institution in which some men were born free and others slaves. It was man who deprived the fellow men of freedom, but the sanction was attributed to nature. But even the slaves belonged to some form of community. It is not the loss of specific rights but the loss of a community willing or able to guarantee any rights was the calamity that had befallen the people. Loss of community resulted in loss of human rights and dignity. According to Edmond Burke the rights of man spring from within the nation. According to this the abstract nakedness of being nothing but human was the greatest danger. Because of this, rhey were afraid of being considered savages or beasts, they regarded their nationality, the last sign of their former citizenship as their remaining tie with humanity. Highly developed political communities like ancient city states or modern nation states always insist on homogeneity to eliminate the differences that arouse hatred, mistrust and discrimination. The alien is a frightening symbol of difference, a realm in which man cannot change or act and so he has a tendency to destroy. If a Negro is considered just a Negro his deeds are explained as from his Negro qualities he has become some specimen of animal species. Their ever increasing numbers threaten the political life.


A Classless Society

The Masses

Totalitarian movements command and rest upon mass support. Neither Hitler nor Stalin could have maintained their leadership if they had not had the confidence of the masses. Hitler’s rise to power was legal in terms of majority rule. Their popularity was indisputable. The popularity is not more attributable to masterful and lying propaganda than ignorance and stupidity. Propaganda of totalitarianism starts by boasting about the past crimes and outlining future ones. The Nazis were convinced that evil doing has a morbid force of attraction. Bolsheviks do not recognize ordinary moral standards and that has become the mainstay of Communist propaganda. Mob is attracted to evil and crime . Arendt writes that the disturbing factor in the success of totalitarianism is the selflessness of its adherents. A Nazi or a Bolshevik is unlikely to waver in his conviction of crimes against people who do not belong to the movement or even when the monster devours his own children or he becomes a victim himself. This is a specialty of the Russian brand of totalitarianism. Confessions are demanded from communist sympathizers to prove it by their own actions. Trotsky gives a theoretical justification for this behavior, “we can only be right with and by the party. The English says, my country right or wrong, we have historical justification in saying, my party right or wrong “. This stubbornness of conviction which outlives experiences and cancels self interest isn’t fervent idealism since idealism spring from individual decisions and convictions and is subject to experiences and arguments. The Nazi author Andreas Pfenning rejects the notion that the SA were fighting for an ideal . Ernst Fraenkel in his famous book ‘The Dual State: A Contribution to the Theory of Dictatorship ‘ writes that in SS indoctrination pamphlets the word idealism has been studiously avoided. No idealism was demanded of the members but utter logical consistency in questions of ideology and the ruthless pursuit of political struggle. The moment the totalitarian movement collapses it kills the remaining convictions in the followers. Post war Germany offers examples. The American Negro troops were not received with hostility inspite of the massive racial indoctrination undertaken by the Nazis. Equally startling is the fact that the SS didn’t fight against the Allies to the last man. Within the movement, the fanaticism of members lacked conviction of experience or argument.

The totalitarian movements aim at and succeed in organizing masses and depend on the sheer force of numbers. The movement was almost impossible in countries where population was small. The Moscow dominated Eastern European governments were examples of Moscow directed totalitarian movements, not native ones. The only exception was Tito of Yugoslavia who broke with Moscow. After first WW, a deeply anti democratic, pro dictatorial wave of semi totalitarian and totalitarian movements swept Europe. Fascist movements spread from Italy to Central and Eastern European countries. Mussolini who was fond of the term totalitarianism didn’t attempt to establish one..Proof of his non totalitarian form of Fascist dictatorship is the surprisingly small number of sentences meted out to political offenders. Many were released after found innocent, something inconceivable under Nazis or Bolsheviks (form the book Dictatorship and Political Police: The technique of Control by Fear). Mussolini contended himself with dictatorship and one party rule. Similar non totalitarian dictatorships sprang up in pre war Romania, Poland, Baltic, Hungary, Portugal and Franco Spain. The Nazis contemptuously commented on the shortcomings of the Fascist allies and admired the Bolsheviks and Communist party of Germany. Nazis hated the Eastern European races. Goebbels told that National Socialism had deep roots while Fascism was superficial and Mussolini was not a revolutionary like Hitler or Stalin. Himmler delivered the same opinion that National Socialism and Fascism cannot be compared as ideological movements. Hitler in early 20s recognized the affinity between nazi and communist movements. He told that in National Socialism the Left and Right come together. Rohm the chief of SA recognized the sincerity, conviction and willingness to bring sacrifice for their cause which united Nazis and Communists. During second WW, Nazis readily recognized Russians as their peers. The only man for whom Hitler had unqualified respect was ‘Stalin, the genius ‘. Hitler never intended to defend the West against Bolshevism, but was always ready to join the Reds for destruction of the West even while struggling against Soviet Russia. Stalin trusted only one man and that was Hitler (according to the 1956 speech of Khrushchev on Stalin during the 20th party Congress ). Stalin was repeatedly warned of the imminent attack by Hitler on Soviet Union. Even after the Soviet military attache in Berlin informed him the date of the attack, Stalin refused to believe that Hitler would violate the treaty *same speech by Khrushchev).

In all the smaller European countries non totalitarian dictatorships were preceded by totalitarian movements. The totalitarian movements organized the masses until it seized power but the small population size forced the would be totalitarian rulers into familiar patterns of class or party dictatorship. There was not enough human material for domination in these countries and there were loss of population too. For example, the dekulakization in USSR in the early 1930s cost about 8 million human lives and some 30 million people were missing by 1937. This was the reason why Nazism, upto the outbreak of war and expansion over Europe, lagged so far behind the Russian counterpart in consistency and ruthlessness. The German people were not numerous for a totalitarian rule, which the Germans would have known had they won the war. But the sacrifices would have to be paid not just by the inferior races only but by the Germans too as Hitler’s postwar victory plans show. This was evident in the Reich Health Bill drafted by Hitler himself in which he proposed to isolate from the rest of the population all families with heart or lung ailments to be physically liquidated. Institutional authority was to be expanded to the police namely to ship people innocent of any offenses to concentration camps . This negative population policy with its aim at extermination matched the Bolshevist party purges. It was only during the war after the conquest in East furnished large masses of people and made extermination camps possible that Germany was able to establish a truly totalitarian rule.

Arendt writes that the chances of totalitarian rule are frighteningly good in the lands of traditional oriental despotism, in India and China where there is inexhaustible material to feed the power accumulating and man destroying machinery of total domination and where man’s typical feeling of superflousnes which was an entirely new phenomenon in Europe, unemployment and population growth has been prevalent for centuries in the contempt for value of human life. Moderation of rule or less murderous methods were not due to the government’s fear of popular rebellion in Europe. But depopulation was a much more serious threat there. Only when the great masses are superfluous or can be spared without disastrous results of depopulation is totalitarian rule as distinguished from totalitarian movements possible. Totalitarian movements are possible where there are masses, not held together by common interests who by their sheer numbers or indifference or both cannot be integrated into any party or organization. They are neutral, politically indifferent people who never join a party or hardly ever go to polls. They formed part of the nazi movement in Germany and the communist movements of Europe after 1930. The Austrian writer Franz Borkenau described the situation correctly, “the Communists had only modest success when they tried to win influence among the masses of working class, their mass base mived more and more away from the proletariat “. They recruited members from the masses of indifferent people that the parties had given up as too apathetic or stupid for their attention. They had never appeared in political scene before which allowed for introduction of new political propaganda namely indifference to arguments of political opponents, a membership outside the reach and never spoiled by the party system. They didn’t need to rrefute political arguments and preferred methods which ended in death not persuasion, spelled terror not conviction. Their disagreements originated from deep natural, social or psychological sources beyond the control of individuals and power of reason. They were not competing with parties but dealing with people who were hostile to all parties.

The success of totalitarian movements among the masses meant the end of two illusions of democratically ruled countries especially European nation states and party systems. The first was that people in a democracy take active part, form a majority and belong to some party. On the contrary the movements showed that politically neutral and indifferent masses could form the majority and a democracy could function according to rules actively recognized by a minority. The second illusion was that the politically indifferent masses didn’t matter and was truly neutral. That was disproved and made apparent what no other organ of public opinion had ever been able to show that the democratic government had rested as much on the silent approbation and tolerance of the indifferent and inarticulate sections of people as on the articulate and visible ones. The totalitarian movements convinced the people that parliamentary majority was spurious, not reflecting the reality of the country thus undermining the self respect and confidence of government who also believed in majority rule. There is a general belief that totalitarian movements use and abuse democratic freedom in order to abolish them..Arendt says this is not just devilish cleverness from leaders or childish stupidity from masses. Democratic freedom is based on equality of all citizens before law which acquire meaning when the citizens belong to groups or social or political hierarchy. The class system, the only social and political stratification of European nation states broke down in ‘one of the most dramatic events in German history ‘ according to William Ebenstein in his book ‘The Nazi State ‘. That favored the rise of Nazism just like the absence of social stratification in Russia s immense rural population helped the Bolshevik overthrow of democratic Kerensky government. Maxim Gorky famously described these rural masses as” great flaccid body destitute of political education, almost inaccessible to ideas capable of ennobling actions “. Post second WW events in European nations were the same in pre Hitler Germany, I.e, breakdown of class system whereas Russian totalitarian movements took the shape of revolutions.

The competitive and acquisitive society of the bourgeoisie had produced apathy and hostility towards public life not only among themselves but also among the exploited class excluding them from active participation in the rule of the country. The long period of false modesty when bourgeoisie was content with being the nominating class in society without aspiring to political rule which it gladly left to aristocracy, was followed by the imperialist era during which the bourgeoisie grew hostile to the national institutions and began to claim and organize itself for political power. Both the early apathy and later demands for monopolistic dictatorial direction in the nation’s foreign affairs were rooted on their individualism, success or failure in ruthless competition than a citizens duties and responsibilities. Bourgeoisie attitudes are useful for dictatorship in which a strong man takes upon himself the responsibility for conduct of public affairs. But this is a hindrance to totalitarianism which cannot tolerate any form of individualism much less bourgeoisie individualism. The 19th century mob organization and 20th century totalitarian movements are not much different. The mentality of mob leaders closely resembled bourgeoisie. The difference was that individualism characterized the bourgeoisie s and mobs attitude, but totalitarian movements were against that, so could be thought of as anti bourgeoisie. The masses which originated from break down of class society is different from the mob, a product of the capitalist society. Their similarity is limited in that both share one characteristic of being outside social ramifications and political representation. The masses unlike the mob, do not inherit the standards and attitudes of dominating class, but reflect the standards and attitudes towards the public affairs of all classes, the influences and convictions shared by all classes of society alike. Social status, membership in class was necessary for individual political participation in a nation state except in an emergency like war, when he was considered to be a national regardless of class or party membership. Other wise he was not allowed to participate in public affairs or felt directly responsible for his conduct. Class rose to prominence in community and was accompanied by educating it’s members for political jobs and positions. This led to the growth of a citizenry that prevented individual and personal responsibility for the rule of a country. This apolitical nature of nation states population came to light only when the class system broke down.

The break down of class system was followed by break down of party system, since the parties could no longer represent class interests. Having lost their neutral apolitical supporters who had felt that no parties took care of their interests, the parties turned Ideological, psychological propaganda, became apologetic and nostalgic in their political approach. The first signs of break down of the continental parties was not the desertion of old party members but failure to recruit younger members, the loss of silent consent and support of the unorganized masses who suddenly shed their apathy and went wherever they saw an opportunity to voice their violent opposition. The break down of class walls created a great unorganized structureless mass of furious individuals. The birth of this new negative solidarity made the unemployed workers hate the powers that be in the form of Social Democratic Party, the small property owner in the form of centrist or rightist party and the former middle and upper class in the form of traditional extreme right. After the first WW the numbers of these dissatisfied and desperate men increased in Germany and Austria where inflation and unemployment added to the military defeat. They existed in all succession states and supported the extreme movements in France and Italy since the second WW. The psychology of European mass man developed in this atmosphere. It was a self centered bitterness based on no common interests. Selflessness, the feeling of being expendable became a mass phenomenon. Heinrich Himmler knew this mentality among the SS men that he organized, in his speech said, ” they are not interested in everyday problems but in Ideological questions of importance for decades and centuries. He knows he is working for a great task which occurs but once in 2000 years “. A mentality like which Cecil Rhodes some 40 years before thought in continents and felt in centuries. Eminent European scholars had predicted from the early 19th century onwards the rise of mass man,mass behavior, mass psychology of the affinity between democracy and dictatorship, mob rule and tyranny, emergence of demagogues, gullibility, superstition, and brutality.

Contrary to popular notion, the masses didn’t result from growing equality of conditions, spread of general education and its inevitable lowering of standards and popularization of content. America the classical land of equality and general education knows less of the modern psychology of masses. Highly cultured people were attracted to mass movements sooner. Individualism and culture did not prevent the formation of mass attitudes, thus it was blamed on morbidity and nihilism of the modern intelligentsia, upon the typical intellectual self hatred. The masses grew out of the fragments of a highly atomized society held in check through membership in a class whose cracks had been cemented with nationalistic sentiments. It was natural that these masses tended towards violent nationalism to which mass leaders have yielded for purely demagogic reasons. The most gifted mass leaders have arisen from the mob rather than masses. Stalin came from the conspiratory apparatus of the Bolshevik party with its mixture of outcasts and revolutionaries. Hitler’s early party composed of misfits, failures and adventurers represented armed bohemians who the bourgeoisie should have been able to use successfully. Actually the bourgeoisie was as much taken in by the Nazis as the Rohm-Schleicher faction of Reichswehr which also thought that Hitler whom they had used as a stool pigeon or the SA they had used for militaristic propaganda and paramilitary training would act as their agents and help in establishing a military dictatorship. Both considered the Nazi movement in terms of political philosophy of the mob but overlooked the Independent spontaneous support given to new mob leaders by the masses. The mob as the leader of masses was no longer the agent of bourgeoisie or any one except the masses. The totalitarian movements depended on the atomized and individualized mass. To change Lenin’s revolutionary dictatorship into full totalitarian rule Stalin had to first create artificially that atomized society which existed for Nazis in Germany by historical circumstances.

The October Revolution s easy victory occurred in a country where a despotic and centralized bureaucracy governed a structure less mass population. Without the instincts of a mass leader Lenin seized upon the possible differentiation, a stratification which he believed would bring some structure into population. He was not a good orator and had a passion for public admission and analysis of his own errors which was against the rules of ordinary demagogy. He legalized the expropriation of landowners by rural masses and established an emancipated peasant class which since the French Revolution had been the firmest supporter of Western nation states. He tried to strengthen the working class by encouraging independent trade unions. He organizedas many nationalities as possible furthering national consciousness and awareness of historical and cultural differences even among the most primitive tribes of the Soviet Union. In these practical political matters Lenin followed his great instincts for statesmanship rather than the Marxist convictions. He was more frightened by the absence of social structures than by the centrifugal tendencies of the newly emancipated nationalities or even by the growth of a new bourgeoisie out of the newly established middle and peasant classes. It was the outbreak of civil war that defeated Lenin’s plan to concentrate supreme power in the hands of Soviets and instead passed it to the hands of party bureaucracy. But even this development would not have led to development of totalitarianism . A one party dictatorship only added one more class, the bureaucracy which according to the social critics of revolution ‘possessed the state as a private property (Marx)‘. The anti stalinist splinter groups criticize the development of Soviet union on the Marxist formulation of bureaucracy as the dominating and ruling class of Soviet union. After Lenin’s death, the different classes needn’t have necessarily led to a class struggle, agriculture could still have developed on collective, cooperative or private basis and the economy was still free to follow socialist, capitalist or free enterprise pattern. But these classes and nationalities were in Stalin s way when he began to prepare the country for a totalitarian government.

Stalin had to fabricate an atomized and structureless mass and liquidate the remnants of power in the Soviets who still played a certain role to prevent the absolute rule by party hierarchy. He first undermined the national Soviets through the introduction of Bolshevik cells from which alone the higher functionaries to central committees were appointed. By 1927 90% of village Soviets and 75% of their chairmen were nonparty members. The executive committees of the counties were made of 50% non party members whereas in the Central Committee 75% of the members were party members. In the book A History of Bolshevism the author A. Rosenberg describes how the party members of the Soviets by voting in conformity with the instructions from permanent officials of the party destroyed the Soviet system from within. By 1930s the last traces of communal institutions had disappeared and replaced by centralized party bureaucracy whose tendency towards Russification was not different from the Czarist regime except that the new bureaucrats were no longer afraid of literary. The Bolshevik government started liquidation of all the classes, starting with property owning class, then middle class and later peasants. Due to their numbers and property the peasant classes were the most powerful class in the union until then. They were more cruelly and thoroughly liquidated through artificial famine and deportation under the pretext of expropriation of the kulaks and collectivization. This was completed in the early 1930s. Many millions were dead or deported. Collectivization presented a new peasantry bound by common interests which was important in the country’s economy owing to its numerical and economic position and presented a danger to the totalitarian rule. Two years before Stalin died he had plans to dissolve the collectives transform them into larger units. He couldn’t carry out that plan which would have had chaotic consequences to economy more catastrophic than the liquidation of the peasant class.

The next class to be liquidated were the workers who were weaker and offered less resistance than peasants whose expropriation of factory owners during the revolution unlike the peasants expropriation of land owners, was frustrated by the government who confiscated factories as state property. Under the Stakhanov System completed in 1938 the Russian worker class officially became a gigantic forced labor force. {The term Stakhanovite (стахановец) originated in the Soviet Union and referred to workers who modeled themselves after Alexey Stakhanov. These workers took pride in their ability to produce more than was required, by working harder and more efficiently, thus strengthening the socialist state. The Stakhanovite Movement was encouraged due to the idea of socialist emulation. It began in the coal industry but later spread to many other industries in the Soviet Union. The movement eventually encountered resistance as the increased productivity led to increased demands on workers.}. Then followed the liquidation of the bureaucracy which helped to carry out the previous liquidations. From 1936 to 1938 Stalin purged the whole military and administrative aristocracy of the Soviet society. The bureaucracy with the party functionaries was now at the same level as the workers, it too had become part of the multitude of forced laborers. This followed the liquidation of the highest police officers. None of these liquidations had political motivation or raison d etat, bone of these people were hostile to the regime . Organized opposition had ceased to exist after Stalin by 1930 outlawed the rightist and leftist deviations inside the party. Dictatorial terror as opposed to totalitarian terror threatens only authentic opponents but not harmless citizens without political opinions had been grim enough to suffocate political opinions and life even before Lenin’s death . The liquidation of classes made no political sense and was disastrous for Soviet economy. The consequences of the artificial famine in 1933 and the Stakhanov System in 1935 to speed up individual output, its disregard for teamwork in industrial production resulted in imbalance of young industry. The liquidation of bureaucracy, the class of factory managers and engineers deprived industrial enterprises of what little technical know how the Russian technical people had been able to achieve . Mass atomization in Soviet society was achieved by skillful and repeated purges. To destroy the family and social ties, the acquaintances are threatened with the same fate by the device of guilt by association. So as soon as a man is accused his former friends are transformed to his bitterest enemies, they volunteer information in order to save their skin and rush in with denunciation to corroborate the non existent evidence against them to prove their own trust worthiness. In this scenario the most elementary caution demands that one avoid all intimate contacts. The Bolshevik rulers succeeded in creating an atomized and individualized society the like of which was never seen before, by this device.

Totalitarian movements are mass organizations of atomized, isolated individuals. The most characteristic feature is the demand for unconditional, unrestricted loyalty from individual members. Where totalitarian rule has not been preceded by totalitarian movements like in Russia and unlike in Germany, the movement has to be organized afterwards and conditions have to be artificially created to make total loyalty, the basis for total domination. Such loyalty could only be expected from a completely isolated individual with out family or social ties derives his sense of place in the world by belonging to a movement. Total loyalty is achieved by emptying the concrete contents of party programs inherited from earlier non totalitarian stages of development . Hitler’s greatest achievement in the organization of Nazi movement which he built up from the obscure crackpot membership of a nationalistic little party was that he unburdened the movement of the party s earlier program not by changing or abolishing it but by refusing to talk about it which was soon outdated. Stalin the socialist program of the Bolshevik party was a much more troublesome burden than the 25 points of an amateur economist and a crackpot politician. Gottfried Feder s famous program for Nazi party with its famous 25 points had played a greater part in the literature about the movement than in actual movement itself. Stalin achieved the same results after abolishing factions of Russian party, by zigzagging Communist party lines and reinterpreting Marxism. One could follow the party line by perfect obedience to Stalin. Himmler s ingenious watchword for his SS men was ‘my honor is my loyalty ‘ indicating an absolute devotion and obedience which transcends the meaning of mere discipline and faithfulness. Ignoring a party program is not necessarily a sign of totalitarianism . The first to ignore programs and platforms of party was Mussolini in his Fascist philosophy. He replaced it with inspired leadership and action alone, the actuality of the moment the chief element of inspiration. But Fascism s goal was to seize power and establish an uncontested ruler through external measures of state and instruments of violence. But totalitarianism dominates and terrorize human beings from within thus eliminating the distance between the ruler and the ruled. Power play no role or a secondary role only. Totalitarian leader is a functionary of the masses, not a power hungry individual imposing tyranny on masses who depends on the will of the masses he embodies as the masses depend on him. Hitler who was fully aware of this interdependence expressed it in a speech to SA,” all that you are you are through me, all that I am, Iam through you alone “. Hitler was of the opinion that not just the act of giving and executing orders, but someone in command thinks by giving or executing orders thereby eliminating the distance between thinking and acting as well as rulers and ruled.

Neither National Socialism nor Bolshevism asserted that the goals were reached with seizure of power and control of state machinery. Theirs was a movement constantly kept in motion namely domination of each single individual in each and every sphere of life. National Socialism as an ideology strove to shape the way of individual German by its fundamental values. The seizure of power through violence is not an end in itself but the means to an end and seizure of power in a given country is a welcome transitory stage and never an end of movement. The goal of the movement is to organize as many people as possible and keep the movement in motion. There is no end of movement.

The Temporary Alliance between Mob and the Elite

The unquestionable attraction the movements exert on the elite and not just the mob is disturbing. The totalitarian leaders and rulers bear the characteristic trait of the mob like the meticulous, calculated correctness of Himmler than the hysterical fanaticism of Hitler, like the stubborn dullness of Molotov than the sensual vindictive cruelty of Stalin. Like the mob men and adventurers of the imperialist era the leaders of the totalitarian movements had in common with their intellectual sympathizers the fact that both had been outside the class and national system of respectable European society even before the system broke down. The violent dissatisfaction with the prewar era led to desire to see the ruin of the whole world of fake security, fake culture and fake life. War was seen more as a personal struggle. Ernst Junger the first WW German soldier in his famous memoir Storm of Steel describes this. That generation remembered war as prelude to break down of classes and transformation into masses . War became symbol of death, the great equalizer. The passion for equality and justice, the longing to transcend narrow, meaningless class lines, to abandon privileges and prejudices seemed to find in war a way out of the old condescending attitudes of pity for the oppressed and disinherited. The mass man selfless, yearned for anonymity, for being just a number and functionary of the cog . War wiped out individual differences. Even national distinctions didn’t limit the masses, the first WW had extinguished genuine national feelings in Europe. Nazis based their propaganda on this community of fate and won over a great number of veteran organizations in Europe thereby proving the meaninglessness of national slogans. The general intellectual climate in postwar Europe was anti humanist, anti liberal, anti individualist and anti cultural. Michael Bakunin confessed, “I do not want to be I, I want to be we”. { Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin[a] (/bəˈkuːnɪn/;[4] 30 May [O.S. 18 May] 1814 – 1 July 1876) was a Russian revolutionary anarchistsocialist and founder of collectivist anarchism. He is considered among the most influential figures of anarchism and a major founder of the revolutionary socialist and social anarchist tradition.[5] Bakunin’s prestige as a revolutionary also made him one of the most famous ideologues in Europe, gaining substantial influence among radicals throughout Russia and Europe.} . The Russian communist revolutionary Sergey Nechayev in his manifesto The Revolutionary Catechism preached the evangel of doomed man, with no personal interests, no affairs, no sentiments, attachments, property, not even a name of his own. {https://www.marxists.org/subject/anarchism/nechayev/catechism.htm}. Dostoyevsky used Nechayev as the inspiration for his novel The Possessed. These anarchist intellectuals witty praise of violence, power and cruelty was preceded by the scientific proofs of imperialist elites that the struggle against all is the law of universe, that expansion is a psychological necessity. In the Catechism of the Revolutionist,there is a system of complete disregard for the tenets of simple decency and fairness in the revolutionists attitude towards others that it went down in Russian history under the name of Nechayevshchina. The literary standard was high, they no longer needed scientific demonstrations of genetics and had little use of works of Gobineau or Chamberlain. They read Marquis de Sade , one of the favored authors of the literary avant garde in France since 1930. To them violence, power and cruelty were the supreme capacities of men who had lost their place in the universe. They took part in anything that the society had banned and elevated cruelty to a major virtue because it contradicted society’s liberal and humanitarian hypocrisy.

These revolutionaries were similar to the 19th ideologists except for their greater authenticity and passion. They had been touched by misery, hurt by hypocrisy, no longer escape to exotic lands, from misery, meekness, frustration and resentment. The feeling of being caught up in the trappings of society added a constant strain and yearning for violence. With the imperialist escape to exotic lands not any more possible, without the consequent identification with an Arab national movement or rites of an Indian village, the immersion in the superhuman forces of destruction seemed a salvation from the automatic identification of banal pre established functions of society . Thus they were attracted to the activism of totalitarian movements that corresponded to the war experience of the front generations, of constant activity. Activism seemed to answer the troublesome question, ‘who am I’. If the society’s answer was you are what you appear to be post war activism replied’ you are what you have done ‘. An answer which after the second WW was repeated and slightly modified by Sartre ,’you are your life ‘. These answers were eventual escapes from social identification, from the multiplicity of interchangeable roles and functions which society had imposed. The point was to do something heroic or criminal which was unpredictable and undetermined by anybody else. The activism of totalitarian movements was its preference for terrorism and that attracted the mob and intellectuals alike. Their terrorism was different from that of the earlier revolutionary societies who used it to eliminate oppressive personalities. Totalitarian terrorism was a kind of philosophy to express frustration, resentment and blind hatred, a kind of political expression using bombs and the publicity that recognizes one’s existence. It was this that led Goebbels long before Nazi defeat to announce with delight that Nazis in case of defeat would know how to slam the door behind them and not to be forgotten for centuries .

What the mob wanted, as Goebbels asserted wasaccess to history even at the price of destruction. His conviction was that the greatest happiness that a contemporary can experience today is either to be a genius or serve one. This was the mob conviction, but not of masses or elite. The elite enjoyed anonymity to the point of denying the existence of genius. All the art theories of the 1920s like those of the Bauhaus tried to prove that the excellent is the product of skill, craftsmanship and logic and not genius. The mob accepted the genius idolatry of bourgeoisie world. Despite this, the elites were pleased whenever the underworld frightened the respectable society into accepting it on equal footing, to see those excluded unjustly in the past force their way into the society even at a price of destruction of civilization. Elites were not outraged by the monstrous forgeries of historiography which were propagandistic of totalitarian regimes. They considered traditional historiography as forgery as they excluded underprivileged and oppressed from the memory of mankind. There was no longer any hope for justice. Marx’ s attempts to rewrite world history in terms of class struggle fascinated even those who didn’t believe in his thesis because of his original intent to find a device by which to force the destinies of those excluded from official history into the memory of posterity. The alliance between the mob and the elite rested on the delight with which the elites watched the mob destroy respectability. Forgeries, backstairs literature about Jesuits and freemasons, etc. became recognized and official history was revealed as joke and an outward facade. The intellectual elite despised official historiography as lies. They found that gigantic lies and monstrous falsehoods could be established as unquestioned facts and that man could change his own past at will and that the difference between truth and falsehood ceases to be objective and become a matter of power and cleverness, pressure and repetition. Stalin and Hitler were not just skilled in the art of lying but they were able to organize masses into collective units to back up their lies with fascination. Thus forgeries received the sanction of history when the masses stood behind them.

The totalitarian doctrines were at variance with the generally accepted intellectual, cultural and moral standards. Admission of the worst and disregard for pretenses became the new style, mistaken for courage. The mob attitude was that of bourgeois cleansed of hypocrisy. Homosexuality of these circles were also an expression of their protest against society. The bourgeoisie who claimed to be guardians of western traditions while did not possessing them in private, saw it revolutionary to admit cruelty, amorality and disregard for human values. The intellectual elite thought it could shock the society by presenting an exaggerated picture of its own behavior. Significant here was the reception to Brecht’s play in pre Hitler Germany. The play presented gangsters as respectable businessmen and respectable businessmen as gangsters. The irony was lost when the respectable businessmen considered this a deep insight into the ways of the world and the mob welcomed it as an artistic sanction of their gangsterism . The bourgeoisie were fooled by its own hypocrisy for so long that it had grown tired of the tension and found wisdom in the expression of banality. The only political result of Brecht’s play was to encourage everyone to discard the mask of hypocrisy and to accept the standards of the mob. Some 10 years later, in France, the antisemitic French author Louis Ferdinand Celine published three pamphlets Trifles for a massacre in 1937, School for Corpses in 1938 and The Fine Mess in 1941. He proposed massacre of all Jews in it. Andrew Gide was delighted in the pages of his magazine, The New French Review not because he wanted to kill Jews, but because of the blunt admission of such a desire and the contradiction between Celines bluntness and hypocritical politeness that surrounded the Jewish question every where. This delight was not even spoiled Hitler’s real murder of Jews. Aversion against the philosemitism of liberals had much to do with this reaction than hatred towards Jews. The attraction that the totalitarian movements had for avant garde artists was never destroyed by Hitler’s and stalin’s opinions about those art and persecution of modern artists, showing elites lack of sense of reality. It closely resembled the absence of self interest among the masses. This temporary alliance between mob and elite caused the similarities between their problems and those of masses. Closely related with this was the totalitarian movements spurious claims to have abolished the separation between private and public lives . Since Balzac revealed the private life of public figures of French society and Ibsen’s dramatization of Pillars of Society double morality was one of the main topics of novels and plays. This was actually the reflection of the 19th century struggle between the private interests of bourgeoisie and the public good felt by the responsible citizens. The totalitarian movements asserted their superiority over the continental parties in that they carried a Weltanschauung (the world view of an individual or group) by which they would take possession of man as a whole. The role of Weltanschauung in the formation the Nazi movement has been stressed by Hitler many times in Mein Kampf. The totalitarian movements followed the bourgeoisie s political philosophy which asserted that the political institutions served only as a facade of private interests. The elite were attracted to radicalism..Marx’s hopeful predictions of withering away of states and emergence of a classless society were no longer radical. Nicolai Berdyaev in his The Origin of Russian Communism states that Russian revolutionaries had always been totalitarian and the attraction of Nazi and Communist intellectuals with Soviet Russia was that their revolution was a religion and philosophy and merely a conflict concerning the social and political side of life. The breakdown of classes in Europe brought about the same conditions as in Russia so that their revolutionaries began to take on the Russian revolutionary fanaticism which looked forward not to change the social or political conditions but to the radical destruction of every existing creed, values or institutions. Mob took advantage and brought about a short lived alliance of revolutionaries and criminals which were present in Czarist Russia.

The mob, bourgeoisies underworld hoped that the masses would help them to power. But the masses proved much better material for the ruthless machines of domination and extermination by coordinating the philistines,they were capable of much greater crimes than professional criminals. The few protests against the Nazis mass atrocities against Jews and Eastern Eastern Europeans were voiced by representatives of the mob ( PG 443 ). Himmler, the most powerful man in Germany after 1936 was not an armed bohemian, but a normal individual, not a bohemian like Goebbels, sex criminal like Streicher, crackpot like Rosenberg, or a fanatic like Hitler or an adventurer like Goring. In his book The House that Hitler Built, the English author, Stephen H Roberts described the courtesy and normalcy of Himmler. Same as a Bolshevik propaganda in which stalin’s mother said of him, ‘ an exemplary son,I wish everyone was like him ‘. Himmler proved his ability to organize masses into total domination by assuming that most people are neither bohemians, fanatics, adventurers, sex maniacs, crackpots nor social failures but job holders and good family men. Bourgeois believed in the primacy of private interest. The philistines, who retired into private life were the bourgeoisie isolated from his own class, the atomized individual produced by breakdown of bourgeoisie. Himmlers mass man to commit the crimes were philistines who worried about his private security and was ready to sacrifice beliefs, honor and dignity on the slightest provocation. They thought of nothing but safeguarding their private lives . The elite intellectuals who were seduced by and inspired totalitarianism had no influence on it later whatsoever. When the totalitarian movements assumed power these elites were shaken off even before the regimes proceeded towards their greatest crimes. The reason was that, intellectual, spiritual and artistic initiatives were dangerous to totalitarianism more than political opposition. The persecutions of higher forms of intellectual activity by new mass leaders sprung from their natural resentment towards something that they couldn’t understand, a total domination did not allowing for free initiative in any field of life, for unpredictable activities. Totalitarianism in power replaces first rate talents regardless of their sympathies with those crackpots and fools whose lack of intelligence and creativity is the best guarantee of their loyalty.

Bolshevik policy was surprisingly consistent in this respect. Picasso was not liked in Russia even though he was a communist. Andre Gide reversed his attitude after seeing the Bolshevik reality in Russia in 1936 which convinced Stalin of the uselessness of creative artists. Carl Schmitt, whose theories of the end of democracy and legal government make arresting reading. He was replaced by the Nazis own brand of legal theorists such as Hans Frank, Gottfried Neesse and Reinhardt Hoehn. The last to fall into disgrace was historian Walter Frank, a convinced antisemite and nazi party member before it came to power. What was notable for the elite or the mob that embraced National Socialism was that the selection was no accident. Concerning the selection, the Nazis made their own decisions regardless of accident of opinions. The same was true for the selection of Bolsheviks for the secret police. The members of NKVD were claimed from the ranks of party members without the slightest opportunity to volunteer for their career.

The Totalitarian Movement

Totalitarian Propaganda

The masses had to be won by propaganda. Terror could be used to a limited extent only in constitutional governments. In totalitarian governments propaganda and terror constitutes two sides of the same coin. In Kohn Bramstedts book Dictatorship and Political Police:The Techniques of Control by Fear he explains that terror without propaganda would lose its psychological effects whereas propaganda without terror does not contain its full punch. Not just political propaganda but the mass publicity contains an element of threat. Terror can be fully effective without propaganda in political terror of tyranny. Terror is in need of propaganda when it need to coerce from within, not from outside, when the regime wants more than power . The Nazi theorist Eugen Hadamovsk wrote in 1933 that propaganda and violence are never contradictions. Use of violence can be part of propaganda. Arendt writes that when totalitarianism possesses absolute control it replaces propaganda with indoctrination and violence not so much to frighten people as to realize its ideological doctrines and practical lies. For example, more than just asserting that unemployment doesn’t exist in Russia, they abolish unemployment benefits as a part of propaganda. This refusal to acknowledge unemployment realized the old socialist doctrine, he who doesn’t work shall not eat. Another example is the rewriting of history of Russian revolution by Stalin by propagandistically destroying the older books and documents and their readers and authors. The super purge decimated a whole generation of Soviet intellectuals which came to an end by 1938 when the new official history of communist party was published. Similarly Nazis used antisemitic propaganda in Eastern European occupied territories to win control over the population. They neither needed nor used the terror to support the propaganda. When they liquidated the pPolishintelligentsia, that was not due to their opposition, but according to Nazi doctrine Poles had no intellect. When they kidnapped blue eyed and blonde haired children they didn’t intend to frighten the population but to save the Germanic blood. The Operation Hay began in 1942 with a decree by Himmler concerning the individuals of German stock in Poland stipulating that their children should be sent to families that are willing to accept them for their good blood. In 1944 the German army actually kidnapped 40000 to 50000 children and transported them to Germany.

Totalitarian propaganda addresses and makes its appeal outside the country and also to those segments of the population inside who are insufficiently indoctrinated. Hitler’s speeches to his generals purported to serve this cause in which he entertained them with monstrous lies. When in his 1942 speech he talked about resettlement of all Jews in Siberia or Africa or Madagascar, in reality he had decided on the final solution in 1940 itself and ordered gas ovens to be set up in 1941. Himmler also knew that. The outside sympathizers included those within the party too who were not ready to accept the true aims of the movement, who were in need of propaganda to be dominated. Hitler was often brutally sincere in communicating his true aims, thoughsometimes that was unacknowledged by a community not ready to accept the reality. Propaganda was reserved for the foreign branches of the movement abroad and indoctrination for those at home in general. Sometimes when both of these conflicted which happened in Russia when Stalin fought against Hitler, which got him into the camp of democracies the propaganda was explained at home as temporary tactical maneuvers. According to Khrushchev a report, Stalin never believed Hitler would attack Russia. Ideological doctrine for the initiated inside the movement and unadulterated propaganda for the outside world depended on the size of the movement and outside pressure. The smaller the movement more energy will be spent on propaganda and greater the outside pressure on totalitarian regimes the more actively will the dictator engage in propaganda.

Propaganda is a psychological warfare. Terror continues beyond that. Propaganda completely disappear or is even prohibited where rule of terror is brought to perfection as in concentration camps. According to Himmler education in concentration camps consists of discipline and not any kind of ideological instruction. Propaganda is the instrument of totalitarianism while terror is the essence of its government. Terror as a counterpart of propaganda played a role in Nazism than Communism,. Nazis struck the functionaries instead of prominent figures thus proving to the population of the dangers in mere membership as a power propaganda. They were not prosecuted by police or courts which conveyed the population that power of Nazis were greater than those of authorities and it was safer to be a member of Nazi paramilitary than a loyal Republican. Nazis learned as much from American gangsters as their propaganda. The emphasis of totalitarian propaganda on scientific nature of its assertions has been compared to advertising techniques which use science to monopolize their products. A soap manufacturer who uses science to advertise it as the only soap preventing pimples and thus leading to marriage prospects indirectly monopolize the power to deprive the girls not using the soap, of marriage prospects in future. Thus both the business publicity and totalitarian propaganda are surrogates for power. It’s interesting to note that the obsession of totalitarian movements with scientific proofs ceases once they assume power. The Nazis dismissed even those scholars who were willing to serve them . The Bolsheviks used their scientists for unscientific purposes and forced them into the role of charlatans. But the essential difference between mass advertisements and mass propaganda is that businessmen don’t pose as prophets and do not demonstrate the correctness of their predictions. The scientificality of totalitarian propaganda rests on iits insistence of scientific prophecy as distinguished from the old fashioned appeal to the past. Both socialism and racism pretended that they had discovered the hidden forces that will bring good fortune in the chain of fatalities. The Nazis really believed in and did not just use as propaganda, such doctrines as, ‘ the more accurately we recognize and observe the laws of nature and life so much the more we conform to the will of almighty. The more insight we have to the will of almighty the greater will be our success ‘. The relationship between National Socialism and Christianity is found in pamphlets issued by the SS for Ideological indoctrination of its cadres. These were variations of certain phrases taken from Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Stalin’s creed was similar. ‘ The more accurately we recognize and observe the laws of history and class struggle, mmore do we conform to dialectical materialism. The more insight we have into dialectical materialism the greater will be our success ‘.

TTotalitarian propaganda elevated Ideological scientificality and its technique of making statements in the form of predictions to a height of efficiency. This is from an obsession with science which has characterized the Western world since the rise of mathematics and physics in the 16th century and the origins of scientism. Science became an idol that magically cures the evils of existence and eliminated the unpredictability individual action and behavior. Totalitarian movements use socialism and racism by emptying them of utilitarian content, the interests of class or nation. More than the content, these concepts were presented in the form of infallible predictions. The mass leaders were presented as infallible based on their superior intelligence and correct interpretation of forces in history or nature, forces which neither defeat nor ruin can prove wrong. The leaders make their predictions come true. The Nazis brought about as complete a destruction of Germany as possible at the end of the war to make true their prediction that the German people would be ruined in case of defeat. The propaganda effects of infallibility, leaders posing as interpreting agents of predictable forces has encouraged in totalitarian dictators a habit of announcing their political intentions in the form of a prophecy. Famous examples include Hitler’s 1939 announcement in German Reichstag that, ‘ I want today once again to make a prophecy. If the Jewish financiers succeed once more in hurling the people into a world war the result will be annihilation of Jewish race in Europe ‘. Similarly Stalin in his 1930 speech before the Central Committee of Communist Party represented the physical liquidation of intraparty right and left deviationists as dying classes. The liquidation is fitted into a historical process in which man only does or suffers what according to immutable laws is bound to happen anyway. As soon as the execution of victims has been carried out, the prophecy becomes a retrospective alibi. Nothing has happened that hasn’t been predicted. The method of infallible prediction becomes foolproof only after the movements seize power. The propaganda is marked by extreme contempt for truth and facts, in their opinion facts depends on the power of man who can fabricate it. Hitler’s phenomenal untruthfulness, his indifference to facts, Khrushchev’s mentions of stalin’s reluctance to consider life’s realities best expressed in his periodic revisions of Russian history, are examples.

The Nazis perfected conspiracy theories on mysterious secrets and sects that were imitated by the Bolsheviks too. Bolsheviks during Stalin era accumulated conspiracies like the Trotskyist conspiracy in1930, the 300 family conspiracy in the 1935s, and Jewish cosmopolitanism. The propaganda becomes effective since the masses don’t believe in visible facts and trust their imagination. Totalitarian propaganda thrives on escape from reality to fiction, from coincidence to consistency. The revolt of masses against realism, common sense and plausibility was the result of their atomization, loss of social status, communal relationships in whose framework commonsense makes sense. Nazi propaganda profit from the longing of the masses for consistency. The Soviet secret police were eager to convince their victims of crimes they did not commit so that the very logic or consistency in the story becomes overwhelming. The dividing line between fiction and reality is blurred by the monstrosity. Such an artificially fabricated insanity can be achieved only in totalitarian world. For totalitarian regimes confessions are not indispensable for punishment. Confessions were a speciality of Bolshevik propaganda just like legalizing crimes retrospective and retroactive legislation was a Nazi propaganda. Bothaimed for consistency. The totalitarian movements shut the masses off from the real world. The rumors and questions hits the sore spots of the gullible masses, from where the lies derived an element of truthfulness and experience to bridge the gulf between reality and fiction. The terror sustained lying fictions of totalitarian regimes are cruder, impudent and more original than movements. It takes power and propaganda skills to circulate a revised history of Russian revolution in which no man by the name of Trotsky was ever commander in chief of the Red Army. The lies of the movements are subtler . They succeed best when the officials have surrounded themselves with an atmosphere of secrecy. The lies then acquire an atmosphere of superior realism in the eyes of the masses because they touch upon real conditions whose existence is being hidden. Scandals in high society, corruption of politicians, everything that belongs to yellow journalism becomes a weapon of more than sensational importance.

The most efficient fiction of Nazi propaganda was the story of Jewish world conspiracy in Germany and Austria. The discussions on Jewish question was avoided by all parties and the mob was convinced that Jews were the true representatives of the powers that be and the Jewish issue was the symbol of hypocrisy and dishonesty of the whole system. The Jews became conspicuous as their influence and power diminished. In 1917 the German government tried to use Jews for the tentative peace negotiations with the Allies. Instead of going to the established leaders of German Jewry, the government went to a minority Zionist faction, which was a mistake. The Zionists did something that no Jewish bankers had done before. They set their own conditions and told the government that they would negotiate only a peace without annexation and reparations. The old Jewish indifference to political issues were gone, it was not aloof from the nation and had political ideas of their own. When the monarchies were replaced by Republics in in Central Europe, the Jews there disintegrated just like what happened in France after the establishment of the Third Republic. Jews had lost their influence. Hitler created the shrewd picture of class struggle in which Jewish businessmen exploits workers. The Nazi party demanded proof for non Jewish descent for membership and despite the 25 point Feder Program the Nazis were still vague about the actual measures against Jews once they came to power. The Feders program contained the standard measures of all antisemitic groups like expulsion of naturalized Jews, treatment of native Jews as aliens. Nazi oratory was stronger than the programs. In the book Essays on Antisemitism, the author Walderman Gurion notes that the programs lack originality when compared to the oratorical skills in which they were presented. The higher the rank in SS, the farther the family tree had to be traced. SS applicants had to trace their family tree back to 1750. The Nazi Primer, an instructional book intended for the Hitler youth and the young readers to indoctrinate them into Nazi philosophy, includes distorted science, history and literature to propogate Aryan ideals. The elite and police of Bolsheviks at NKVD also demanded proof of ancestry from its members. By the same token Bolshevism changed the Marxist doctrine of inevitable final victory of the proletariat by organizing its members as born proletariats and making other class origins shameful and scandalous. The totalitarian tendencies of Mccarthyism in the US showed most glaringly in the attempt not merely to persecute known Communists, but to force every citizen to furnish proof of not being a Communist.

The ingenious use of slogans were apparent in the Nazi movement. The term National Socialist German Workers Party offered a semantic solution, where German and Worker connected nationalism of the Right with internationalism of Left. The Nazi party also avoided specific terms for their government like democracy, Republic, dictatorship or monarchy. It was supposed to rest on the mutual loyalty of Fuhrer and people with Hitler addressing himself as not the head of the state but leader of the German people. For Hitler state was only a means for conservation of the race and according to Bolsheviks state was an instrument in struggle of classes. Nazis used the forgery, Protocols of Elders of Zion as a model for the future organization of German masses .Hundreds of copies were sold in post war Germany and was popular in spite of the proof for its forgery. The Protocols are noteworthy in its cheap Machiavellianism, and the crackpot manner in which it touches on the important political issues of the time. They were anti national and considered the nation state as a colossus with feet of clay, discarded national sovereignty and believed in a world empire on a national basis through organization. Their strength rests on elements of superstition like the uninterrupted existence of international sects like Freemasons. There is similarity between Protocols and Monica Secreta, first published in 1612 and still sold in 1939 on the streets of Paris which claims to reveal Jesuit conspiracy that justified all villainies and use of violence, a real campaign against established order . The political back stairs literature that had existed since the French revolution also insinuated about secret sects. The heroes of French Revolution were insinuated as agents of freemasons .The people of French Revolution were considered to be a peculiar nation born and grown in darkness in the midst of all civilized nations with the aim of subduing them all to its domination. There were extensive anti freemason crackpot literature in France like the antisemitic ones to appear later. Protocols told about a global conspiracy that appealed to the masses since it corresponded well with the new power situation. Hitler promised to transcend the narrow limits of nationalism by world conquest. Only world powers had the chance of survival which should frighten the small nations. Protocols showed a way out by the power of organization.

The Nazi propaganda was in supranational in contrast to intensely national jew. Himmler stated that ‘we owe the art of government to Jews ‘. Thus the Protocols presented world conquest as a practical possibility and nobody stood in the way of German victory but the Jews who ruled the world without instruments of violence, an easy opponent. Nazi propaganda concentrated on the concept of Volksgemeinschaft . This Aryan community was based on equality of all Germans in terms of their nature that Germans are different from and unlike other people. But when Nazis came to power this concept gave way to contempt of germans. Hitler stated in 1923 that one third of Germans are heroes, one third cowards and the rest traitors.. After the 1930s this became severe. Hitler counted those Germans not in his camp as worthless and those who criticized him as lucky to be alive. He was eager to enlarge the ranks with Aryans from within and outside Germany.. The Volksgemeinschaft was a propagandistic preparation for Aryan racial society. This concept was different from the classless society of Communist propaganda and advantageous over it in that while a classless society leveled everyone to the status of a factory worker,,Volksgemeinschaft with its connotations of world conquest held out an immediate hope that every German could eventually become a factory owner. It is interesting to note that the two totalitarian movements of our time, new in methods of rule and ingenious in the form of organization have never preached a new doctrine or invented a new ideology which was not already popular. Hitler in his Mein Kampf states that it was not the passing success of demagoguery that wins the masses, but the visible reality of the power of a living organization contrasted with the dead bureaucratic party. Hitler’s brilliant oratorical skills did not win him a position in the movement but misled his opponents into underestimating him as a simple demagogue. Stalin was able to defeat the great orator of Russian Revolution. Propaganda is not the art of instilling an opinion in the masses but the art of receiving an opinion from the masses. There is a serious error among historians in interpreting Hitler’s and Stalin’s leadership as charismatic. Both contradicted words from actions and vice versa. What distinguished totalitarian leaders from dictators is that single minded simple minded purposefulness with which they choose the elements from existing ideologies fitting a fictitious world. The fiction of Protocols was as adequate as the fiction of Trotskyite conspiracy in their plausibility . Their art is in transcending reality and in generalizing fiction thus creating a world fit to compete with the real one. Generalization is made possible by the consistency of fiction and strictness of organization that survives the explosion of specific lies like the power of Jews even after their slaughter and the sinister global conspiracy of Trotskyists even after their liquidation in Russia and murder of Trotsky.

Once the propaganda slogans are integrated into organizations, they can’t be eliminated without wrecking the whole structure. Racism was for Nazis no longer a debatable theory of dubious scientific value, but was being realized every day in the hierarchy of the organization. Similarly Bolshevism no longer needed the ideologies but the functioning of Comintern was more convincing. The superiority of the totalitarian ideologies over those of parties and other movements was that they were no longer dealing with issues over which people might have opinions, but with real, untouchable elements like racism and antisemitism. Himmler used to select the SS from photographs with Aryan physiognomy. When a career dependent on something like that questioning racism or antisemitism was akin to questioning the existence of the world. Propaganda adds the power of organization when compared to the feeble power of arguments based on realities that the totalitarian movements promised to change. Reality or counter propaganda is not acceptable to the masses, so that the totalitarian propaganda could be disproved only by a stronger or better reality. If propaganda fails, its weakness become more visible and without the force of the movement the masses cease to believe in the dogma. The fictitious world that sheltered them is destroyed and the masses revert to isolation or sink back to superfluousness. The masses are fanatical as long as the movement exists and will not follow the example of religious fanatics and die the death of martyrs. They instead give up the movement and look around for other fictions or wait until the former fiction regains enough strength to establish another mass movement.

Totalitarian Organization

Totalitarian movements woven around a lie or fiction depends on propaganda and organization in contrast to other fascist, or communist movements which use terror and propaganda. Both nazi party and Communists divided the masses into sympathizers and members. Sympathizers were those who were considered fluctuating for a membership, a reservoir for drawing party members to be counted on election day. The early communist inspired organization of sympathizers like Friends of Soviet Union and Red Relief Association were a gathering of sympathizers for financial and legal help. Hitler constantly enlarged the ranks of sympathizers while keeping the number of party members strictly limited. The notion of minority of party members surrounded by majority of sympathizers later became front organizations, which was ni less essential for the functioning of the movement than the actual membership. The front organizations form a protective wall around the members at the same time connecting them to the people outside, between the lying fictitiousness of members and the reality of the normal world. This isolates the party members from the impact of reality than a mere indoctrination. The sympathizers have the same convictions, but in a normal, less fanatic or more confused form. To the party members it seems that all except whom the party has not singled out as enemies are their secret allies who can’t summon up the necessary strength of mind and character to draw the logical conclusions from their own convictions. The world gets its first glimpse of the totalitarian movements through its front organizations who appear innocuous fellow citizens of a non totalitarian society. Through them the movement makes their fictitious lies generally acceptable, spread their propaganda as mild, respectable forms until the whole atmosphere is poisoned with totalitarian elements, which appear to be normal political reactions or opinions. The front organizations surround the totalitarian movements with a mist of normalcy and respectability that fools the membership about the true character of the outside world and the outside world about the true character of the movement thus acting as a facade between these two.

The elite formations of the movement are related to and separated from the ordinary members just like the movements are separated from the outside world by the sympathizers. The ordinary members of the Nazi or Bolshevik party belong to the surrounding world still, their professional and social relationships not yet determined by the party. But in contrast to sympathizers if their is a conflict between his party allegiance and private life the former is supposed to be decisive . The members of the elite militant group on the other hand is wholly identified with the movement, he has no professional or private life Independent of it. Such a hierarchical system blunts the impact of one of the basic totalitarian tenets, that the world is divided into two gigantic hostile camps, one of which is the movement and that the movements must fight the whole world, preparing for the indiscriminate aggressiveness of the totalitarian movements. This hierarchy of militancy reduces the shock of terrifying totalitarian dichotomy and is never fully realized. This type of organization prevents iits members from being directly confronted with the outside world whose hostility remains to be an ideological assumption. The members are so well protected against the reality of non totalitarian world that they constantly underestimate the tremendous risks of totalitarian politics. The totalitarian movements attack the status quo more radically than any other movements or parties. This pattern can be repeated indefinitely and keeps the organization in a state of fluidity. The formations inside the Nazi party is an example. The SA was founded in 1922. In 1926, the SS was founded as the elite formation of SA and put under Himmlers command. From the SS, again more militant groups were selected, first the Shock Troops and then Death Head Units,the guards of concentration camps which later merged to form Waffen SS. From the General SS the Security Service and the Race and resettlement officials were selected. The SS went about recruiting from foreign workers and native populations. From the SA me, most of those conscripted to SS did not report ( ph 482). This kind of fluctuating hierarchy with addition of new more radical layers is a well known method of secret police or espionage services. The fluctuating hierarchy without actual power makes it possible to degrade a rank or group that wavers or shows signs of decreasing radicalism by the insertion of new more radical layers, hence driving the older group automatically in the direction of front organization and away from the center of the movement. Thus the Nazi elite formations were inner party organizations. The SA rose to the position of a super party when the party appeared to lose its radicality and was in turn superceded by the SS for similar reasons

The SA and SS were not military formations, but founded for the specific purpose of defense of leaders and ordinary party members. They were instruments for the Ideological fight of the movement against the widespread pacifism in Europe after the first WW. The pacifists had denounced all military institutions as willful murderers. The SA and SS were not militarily trained to fight against regular troops, but were model organizations for arbitrary violence and murder. Militaristic propaganda was more popular in post war Germany than actual military training. The uniforms of these paramilitary groups did not enhance its military value, but was a clear indication of abolition of civilian standards and morals, somehow these uniforms eased the consciences of murderers and made them receptive to unquestioning obedience and unquestioned authority. Despite the militaristic trappings, the inner party faction of the Nazis who wished to merge SA with the Reichswehr ( unified armed forces of the Weimar Republic from1919 to 1935) were the first to be liquidated. Rohm, the leader of SA stormtroopers who wished to merge it with Reichswehr, after Nazis took power, was killed by Hitler because he tried to transform Nazi regime into a military dictatorship, something that Hitler was trying to avoid. Rohm’s political convictions agreed little with the Nazis. His attitude was nontotalitarian, he envisioned a Fascist dictatorship modelled after Italian regime in which Nazi party will become the state. This was exactly what Hitler was trying to avoid. There was always a possibility of SA/ Reichswehr plot against the rule of SS and police and so Rohm was killed to avoid this. Rohm was a real soldier whose war experience would have made him indispensable to a serious military training program. So Hitler chose Himmler, a man without the slightest knowledge of military matters as reorganizer of SS . Like the stormtroopers imitated the army, a series of fake departments were modelled inside the Nazi party like the department of foreign affairs , education, culture, sports etc. None had any professional value, but held a perfect world of appearances in which every reality in the nontotalitarian world was duplicated as a humbug.

The technique of duplication was useless for the overthrow of the government. But it proved fruitful in the work of undermining actively existing institutions that might have challenged the Nazis. When Nazis seized power they were ready to destroy existing teachers organization and lawyers club with with the nazi sponsored ones. They could change overnight the whole structure of the German society and not just political life precisely because they had prepared the exact counterpart within its own ranks. The paramilitary formations were separated from the outside world, a total separation from normalcy of total militancy. The stormtroopers were not assigned in their home communities and the active cadres of SA in pre power stage and SS after taking power were frequently exchanged so that they could not get used to and take root in any other part of ordinary world. The Death Head Units of the SS were guided by the above rules and they were not sent to streets alone or displayed their Death Head insignia in public. They were organized in the model of criminal gangs used for organized murder . The murders were publicly paraded and admitted by the upper Nazi hierarchy, so the open complicity of the members made it impossible to quit. While the front organizations lend an air of respectability and inspire confidence, the inner circle make the party members aware that he has left for good the normal world. Himmler in his speeches to the SS always stressed the committed crimes and their gravity He mentioned the liquidation of Jews among themselves often stressing not to talk publicly about it and to forget the liquidation of Polish intelligentsia though frequently heard. Goebbels too stressed to burn the bridges on the Jewish question, since those who had done so will have much greater determination than those who are still able to retreat. The admission of crimes by the leadership is achieved even in the prepower stage leaving no doubt that they were committed for the ultimate good of the movement. The Nazis acquired power by organized violence by artificially creating civil war conditions. For the Nazi movement, organized violence is the most efficient protective wall surrounding the fictitious world whose reality is proved when a member fears leaving the movement than he fears the consequences of his complicity in illegal actions and feel more secure as a member than an opponent. This feeling of security due to the organized violence is important to the integrity of the movement as the fear of its terror.

The leader is separated from the elite formation by an inner circle who spread around him an aura of mystery. The totalitarian movements had kept the private life of their leaders from public in contrast to the publicity values which all democracies find in parading the private lives of presidents, prime ministers and kings in public. Stalin was often described as ‘ the mysterious host of Kremlin, impenetrable personality, communist sphinx, enigma, insoluble mystery’ etc… His abilities are in spinning intrigues, changing the personnel, handling inner party struggles for power rather than demagogic or bureaucratic organizational qualities. The difference from a dictator is that he doesn’t need the violence of SA or SS to secure his position. Rohm, chief of SA was Hitler’s enemy. Stalin won against Trotsky who not only had a far greater mass appeal, but as chief of Red Army held in his hands the greatest power potential in Soviet Union at the time. If Trotsky had chosen to stage a military coup he might have easily defeated Stalin, but he left office without the slightest attempt at rallying in his defense the army he had created and led for seven years. Trotsky was the greatest organizational talent, not Stalin. He was the ablest bureaucrat of Russian Revolution. In totalitarian movements such personal abilities though needed in the prepower stage, becomes insignificant later. Then the will of the leader is partys law and the hierarchy is trained to communicate the will of the leader to its ranks. When this has been achieved the leader becomes irreplaceable because the movement would lose its raison d etre without his commands. The leader claims responsibility for every action by members and this total responsibility is the most important organizational aspect of leadership principle. Each functionary is not only appointed by the leader but is his walking embodiment. This identification of the leader with subordinates and who uses the subordinates as scapegoats, have them criticized and maintain a distance from subjects and subordinates. In the language of the Nazis the Reich rests on the mutual loyalty of the leader and the people. If the leader wants to correct his own errors he must kill those who had carried it out since a mistake can only be a fraud, the impersonation of the leader by an imposter. Stalin was distinguished in throwing his misdeeds, crimes and political errors on the shoulders of those whose discredit and ruin he was plotting.

The totalitarian movements have adopted the principles of secret societies, they are called secret societies in broad daylight. Hitler extensively discusses the model of secret societies for totalitarian movements . But before the pre power stage hardly anything was kept secret. It was only during war when the nazi regime became fully totalitarianized and party leadership was surrounded by military hierarchy that the elite formations were instructed to keep everything connected with the final solution, a secret. Secret societies too function in hierarchy, regulate the lives of members held together by allegiance to a mysterious leader surrounded by a group of initiated. As secret societies, the totalitarian movements also share the dichotomous division of the world between sworn blood brothers and an indistinct mass of sworn enemies. The terms sworn brothers, sworn comrades, sworn community etc are repeated throughout Nazi literature because of the appeal to juvenile romanticism which was widespread in German youth movement. Himmler introduced them as central watchwords of SS. This absolute hostility to the surrounding world is different from the ordinary partys tendency to divide people to those who belong and those who do not. Parties and open societies consider those who expressly oppose them to be their enemies while the secret societies principle is, whosoever is not included is excluded. According to Hitler, it was not necessary to be enemy of Germans to be killed, it was enough to be a jew or some other racially unfit. Instead of simply excluding Jews from Nazi membership they demanded proof of non Jewish descent from members. When 80 million Germans set out to look for Jewish ancestors those Germans who passed the test belonged to a group of included which stood against a group of imaginary multitude of ineligible. The same principle was followed by the Bolsheviks through repeated party purges which reaffirmed those who were included.

The most striking similarity between the secret societies and totalitarian movements lies in the role of the ritual. The marches around the Red Square in Moscow, the nazi ritual of blood banner, ppompous formalities of Nuremberg party days, the mummified corpse of Lenin all introduces an element of idolatry. The idols are not psuedo religious heretical tendencies, but organizational devices to hold the people together through the common experience of secret rituals. Both Stalin and Hitler were members of modern secret societies before they became totalitarian leaders, Hitler in the secret service of Reichswehr and stalin in the conspiracy section of bolshevik party. They are the natural outcome of conspiracy fiction of totalitarianism whose organizations were founded to counteract secret society of Jews and Trotskyists. The totalitarian movements imitate all paraphernalia of secret societies except the necessity to safeguard a secret. It was no secret that the Nazis wanted to conquer the world and Bolsheviks wanted a world revolution. The Nazis modelled their secret society after the example of the secret society of Elders of Zion. For the Bolsheviks the fictitious global conspiracies changed from Trotskyites, 300 families, various imperialisms to rootless cosmopolitanism. From the Bolshevik aim of a one party dictatorship, Stalin introduced totalitarian fiction to Bolshevism. Stalin changed the Russian one party dictatorship into totalitarian regime and revolutionary communist parties all over the world into totalitarian movements by liquidation of factions, abolition of inner party democracy and the transformation of national communist parties into Moscow directed branches of Comintern. Secret societies and the conspiratory apparatus of revolutionary parties are characterized by absence of factions, suppression of dissident opinions, and centralization of command. Just as the danger of a military dictatorship arises when army no longer serves but wants to dominate the body politic so the danger of totalitarianism arises when conspitratoy sector of a revolutionary party emancipate itself from control of the party and aspires to leadership. This is what happened to communist parties under Stalin regime. Stalin was supported by the GPU, the Soviet secret police during the succession struggle after Lenin’s death. Police had become powerful over the army.

The secret of in Russia played the same role in the movement as the elite paramilitary troops of Nazis. The parties were transformed, factions liquidated and large masses of politically uneducated and neutral masses were admitted to membership. Nazi totalitarianism started with mass organizations gradually dominated by elite formations while the Bolsheviks started with elite formations and later organized the masses. Nazis modelled their elite formations after the army while the Bolsheviks endowed their secret police with supreme power. After a few years the chief of SS became chief of secret police. The Nazi secret police, Gestapo was set up by Goring in 1933. Himmler was appointed chief of Gestapo in 1934 and he replaced the personnel with SS men who were qualified even in the pre power stage for espionage duty. It was because of the essential affinity between functioning of a secret society of conspirators and of the secret police organization to combat it that the totalitarian regimes based on fiction of global conspiracy and aiming at global rule eventually concentrated all power in the hands of the police. The ideology of totalitarian movements was akin to that of secret societies minus the need to keep a secret. That every one not included is excluded and the dichotomy between us and them. The loyalty of members is astonishing. The complete absence of resistance in a thoroughly trained and armed troop like SA in the face of murder of their beloved leader, Rohm and hundreds of close comrades was astonishing. Same was true of the self confessed criminals of Bolshevik parties. Trials based on absurd confessions became ritual in the party. The old Bolshevik guards were used to unfabricated self confessions, long before the Moscow Trials, men condemned to death would receive the death sentences with great calm,an attitude prevalent among members of Cheka ( An organization under Soviet regime for investigation of counter revolutionary activities who executed many alleged and real enemies of Lenin’s regime from 1917 to 1922 when it was replaced by the GPU. Even ordinary prisoners of the GPU prison in leningrad in the 20s received their death sentences without a cry of revolt against the government that put them to death.

The chief value of the organization’s standard lies in the members capacity to establish and safeguard the fictitious world through consistent lying. A mixture of gullibility and cynicism had been the characteristic of the mob and masses . They believed everything and nothing at the same time, which the leaders of propaganda understood well. One could make people believe absurd one day and and trust it to be false the next day taking refuge in cynicism, never deserting the leaders who lied . This demonstrable reaction of mass audience became a hierarchical principle of mass organizations. All ranks exhibit a mixture of gullibility and cynicism, higher the rank more the cynicism. All share the conviction that politics is a game of cheating and the first commandment of the movement was ‘ Fuhrer is always right ‘. The party members know that the leader is lying, only the sympathizers took him at face value. Only Nazi sympathizers believed Hitler when he swore his famous legality oath before the supreme court of Weimar, members of the movement knew that he lied but trusted him more than ever since he was able to fool the public opinion and superior authorities. The admiration of Nazi membership was boundless when whenever Hitler swore his good intentions in public at the same time preparing for his crimes. Similarly the masses and fellow travelers took at face value stalin’s pro democracy proclamations, Bolshevik party members were not fooled..The members never felt that the party was lying. There is graduation of cynicism expressed in a hierarchy of contempt. The sympathizers despise the fellow citizens lack of initiation, party members despise the fellow travellers gullibility and lack of radicalism ,elite formations despise the party membership and within elite formations the same hierarchy of contempt accompanies every foundation and development. The result is that the gullibility of sympathizers makes lies credible to the outside world. The graduated cynicism of membership and elite formations eliminates the dangers that the leader will be forced to make good his own statements. The tactical lies for public consumption changes literally from day to day which is not believed by membership but the ideological lies, the factual lies holding keys to past and future taken from 19th century ideologies are believed by the masses rather vaguely and abstractly as untouchable truths surrounded by scientific proofs, which do not have to be convincing for the uninitiated, but appeal to the thirst of knowledge. The elite formations do not need demonstrations and not supposed to believe in the truth of Ideological cliches. Fabrications are done for the masses to answer the quest for truth among the masses who have much in common with the normal world. Elites abolish their capacity to distinguish between reality and fiction and facts for them are dissolved to declaration of purpose..For example, the masses need a demonstration of inferiority of Jews before it can be asked to kill Jews. For the elite, the statement all Jews are inferior means all Jews must be killed..They know that when they are told only Moscow has a subway the real meaning of the statement is that all other subways has to be destroyed and are not surprised when they discover a subway in Paris. That explains the tremendous shock the Red Army suffered on its conquering trip to Europe and that was cured only by concentration camps and forced exile for a large part of occupation troops, but the police forces accompanied the army were prepared for the shock, not by a different or more correct information, but simply by general training in supreme contempt for all facts and reality. This mentality of the elite is not an accidental consequence of social rootlessness,, economic disaster or political anarchy but carefully cultivated in totalitarian schools the Nazi Ordensburgen for SS troops and the Bolshevik training centers for Comintern agents. The movement would never move in the direction of realizing its fiction without the elites inability to distinguish truth and falsehood, kts most cherished virtue being loyalty to the leader who assures the ultimate victory of lie and fiction over truth and reality.

The topmost layer was the inner circle around the leader, like the Bolshevik politburo or the clique of men around Hitler. Himmlers racial selection of elites to carry out racial struggle against everyone without mercy who could not trace his Aryan ancestry back to 1750 or was less than 5feet 8 inch tall or did not have blue eyes and blonde hair. The racial question went far beyond the negative concept of natural hatred of Jews. Once the elite has been selected by Race Commission, racism was safe and under the jurisdiction of this elite concentration camps existed for the sake of better demonstration of laws of inheritance and race. The formation of an elite society based on race would be a better safeguard for the doctrine of racism than the finest scientific or psuedo scientific proof.

Totalitarianism in Power

The totalitarian leader is confronted with the real task of establishing the fictitious world of movement and then prevent this new world into a stability of laws and institutions that would liquidate the movement and with it the hope of eventual world conquest . The paradox of totalitarianism in power is that the posession of all instruments of governmental power and violence in one country is not a blessing for totalitarian movement. It becomes difficult to adhere to a fictitious world.. Power means a direct confrontation with reality and totalitarianism in power is constantly concerned with overcoming this challenge. Propaganda no longer suffices to assert that impossible is possible and incredible is true, every bit of factual information that leaks through iron curtain set up against the floods of reality from the nontotalitarian side is a greater menace to totalitarian domination than counter propaganda. If they do not pursue global domination as an ultimate goal they will lose power. Totalitarianism in power uses the state administration for iit’s long range goal of world conquest and direction of branches of the movement. It establishes the secret police as the executors and guardians of its domestic experiment in transforming reality to fiction and erects concentration camps as laboratories to carry through its experiment in total domination.

The So called Totalitarian State

Power affects the nature of revolutionary parties, totalitarianism in power would lose its revolutionary momentum and utopian character and gradually destroy the fictitious world of organization . The Weimar Constitution which Hitler retained after assuming power and the Soviet constitution Stalin introduced in 1936 were completely disregarded but never abolished, Stalin executed those who drafted the constitution as traitors. The relationship between party and the state is the shapelessness of the totalitarian government, the government machine a powerless facade which hides and protects the real power of the party. The state had only ostensible authority and maintained by the Nazis for the protection of capitalist order and private property and had full authority in economic matters while the prerogative state of the party ruled supreme in all political matters . The offices were duplicated in state and party. Those appointed ministers of the state lost their power in party and was subordinated to those in party. There was a real and ostensible government. In Russia that was the shadow government of the Soviets and the de facto government of the Bolshevik party. Nazis retained the Weimar constitution and the administration and deprived it of all power. Stalin revived the shadow government and introduced the Soviet constitution. The totalitarian defiance of law and legality are found in the written Soviet constitution and also in the retained Weimar constitution. The movement is shapeless and moves in a direction, so any form of legal or governmental structure is only a handicap .

The SA resented its loss of rank and power to the SS. One of the most important technical differences between Soviet and the National Socialist system was that Stalin, whenever he shifted power from one apparatus to another had a tendency to liquidate the apparatus together with its staff while Hitler inspite of his contemptuous comments was willing to continue using them. Multiplication of offices was extremely useful for the constant shifting of power . A classical example of planned shapelessness and multiple institutions was the institute for study of Jewish question. In 1933 this was founded in Munich which enlarged into research institute of modern German history headed by the historian Walter Frank. The traditional institutions turned to facades . In 1940 another institute for study of Jewish question was founded in Frankfurt headed by Alfred Rosenberg whose standing as party member was higher. Munich institute was relegated to a shadowy existence. But when the treasures looted from the Jews arrived in Germany the most precious parts went to Berlin where they were received by Himmlers Gestapo department for liquidation of Jewish question headed by Eichmann. None of these older institutions were abolished. Behind the two facades stood the real centre of authority, Gestapo. Soviets created new offices as facades to put former centres of power in the shadow . The gigantic increase in the bureaucratic apparatus inherent in this method is checked by repeated liquidation through purges. In Russia there are three separate organizations, the Soviet state apparatus, the party apparatus, and the NKVD apparatus, each with its own departments of economy, politics, education and culture and military. The ostensible power of party bureaucracy is against the real power of secret police. Every enterprise has a special department of secret police which spies on party members and ordinary personnel alike. There is another police division of the party which watches the others including NKVD. There is an NKVD within NKVD. All the reports from every one ultimately end up in the Moscow Central Committee and the Politburo. Eventually one of those will be chosen to embody the will of the leadership. The more visible the government agencies are, the less power they carry. Less known the existence of an institution the more powerful they will be. The Soviet state was less powerful than Bolshevik party less powerful than the secret police. Real power begins where secrecy begins.

Hitler’s power was ultimate like that of Stalin. Himmler never dreamed leadership or was never proposed as Hitler’s successor. Beria’s illfated attempt at seizing power after Stalin’s death was voluntarily abandoned by Beria himself. The complete absence of palace revolution is a characteristic of totalitarian movements . The characteristic feature is the absence of lust for power or desire for power generating machine, the game of power for powers sake characteristic of last stages of imperialistic rule. It is not rule by a clique or gang. The absence of a ruling clique has made the question of successor to the totalitarian dictator baffling. The totalitarian system of multiplication of institutions reduced responsibility and competence, was burdensome and unproductive, constant demotion, removal and promotion made teamwork impossible and prevented experience. At the time of acute shortage of technical skill in Russia, the camps were filled with highly qualified engineers competing for the right to do plumbing jobs, repairing etc. In the utilitarian point of view Russia should not have been able to afford the purges in the 30s that I interrupted the long awaited economic recovery or liquidation of Red Army general staff which led to the defeat in the Russian Finnish war. In Germany the Nazis retained administrative and technical skill in the beginning. Germany was not yet completely totalitarian at the outbreak of war. It was not until 1942 that the rules of totalitarian domination began to outweigh all other considerations. Hitler’s reason for provoking the war enabled him to accelerate the development. The defeat at stalingrad and the danger of losing the war was another incitement of throwing overboard all utilitarian considerations and to realize the goals of totalitarian racial ideology. The decree to murder all incurably sick was issued on the day the war broke out. Exactly like the Bolshevik five year plan of 1929,the first year of totalitarian dictatorship in Russia, the last years of Nazi equivalent, which they had no time to carry out aimed at extermination of Polish and Ukrainian people, 170 million Russians, the West European intelligentsia and the people of Alsace and Lorraine and the sick Germans

Isaac Deutscher, Stalin’s non communist biographer, author of Stalin, a Political Biography, notes,” vulgar eugenic slogans in one case, high sounding economic phrases in the other, were the prelude to a piece of prodigious insanity, in which all rules of logic and principles of economics were turned upside down ‘. The totalitarian movements anti utilitarianism and insanity springs from the fact that we are not dealing with normal states here. Not even a dictatorship or tyranny. The totalitarian leader considers the country they happened to seize power only as a temporary headquarters of the international movement on the road to world conquest. They reckon victories and defeats in terms of centuries or millennia and the global interests overrules the local interests of their own territory. The Nazis were very fond of reckoning in terms of millennia. The famous ‘Right is what is good for the German people ‘ was only meant for mass propaganda . The Nazis were told that ‘ Right is what is good for the movement ‘. These two did not coincide. The Nazis did not think that Germans were the master race to whom the world belonged, but that they should be led by a master race ,as should all other nations, and that this race was only on the point of being born. ( Hitler’s speech, that only races can function as world conquerors pg 538 ). Hitler prohibited further use of the term German race because it would lead to sacrifice of racial idea in favor of nationality principles . The concept of a German race would have constituted an impediment to the progressive selection and extermination of undesirable parts among German population which was being planned. It was the SS which was the dawn of the master race. Himmler formed a Germanic SS in various countries. He told them to subordinate their national ideal to the greater racial and historic ideals to the German Reich. The future task of SS was to form a racial superstratum. For the movement the most important thing was to fabricate a super race by annihilating other races. What strikes the outsider as prodigious insanity is the absolute primacy of the movement not only over the state, but also over the nation,the people, power held by rulers themselves. The reason why the ingenious device of totalitarian rule with their absolute and unsurpassed concentration of power in the hands of a single man, were never tried before, is that no ordinary tyrant was ever mad enough to discard all limited and local interests, economic, national, human and military, in favor of a pure fictitious reality in some indefinite distant future .

Totalitarianism in power remains faithful to the original tenets of the movement. The state machine is transformed into a front organization of sympathizing bureaucrats whose function in domestic affairs is to spread confidence among the masses of coordinated citizens and whose foreign affairs consists of fooling the outside non totalitarian world. The leader in his dual capacity as chief of state and leader of the movement combines in his person the acme of militant ruthlessness and confidence inspiring normality. One difference between totalitarian movement and state is that the totalitarian dictator must practice the art of lying consistently since the unpleasant statements by a statesman are not easily revoked as that of a demagogic party leader. As a statesman, Hitler fell back on old fashioned nationalism and posed himself as a violent nationalist claiming that National Socialism was not an export commodity. He implied that Nazi ambitions would be satisfied when the traditional demands of the nationalist German foreign policy, return of territories ceded in Versailles Treaties were fulfilled. Stalin likewise reckoned with Russian public opinion and non Russian world when he invented his’ theory of socialism in one country ‘ and threw the onus of world revolution on Trotsky. Stalin was sensible to the psychological undercurrents of the public of which he set himself as a mouthpiece. The very name of Trotsky s theory, permanent revolution, sounded like an ominous warning to a tired generation. Stalin appealed directly to the horrors of risk and uncertainty that had taken possession of many Bolsheviks..Totalitarianism in power makes propaganda largely superfluous. In the pre power stage, the movement cannot hide their true goals. In power, with the possibility to exterminate Jews like bedbugs it is no longer necessary to propagate the propaganda that Jews are bedbugs. Given the power to teach the whole nation the history of Russian revolution without mentioning the name of Trotsky, there is no further need of a propaganda against Trotsky. The mere sympathizers never realize that something is happening leading to the paradox of secret societies in broad daylight. For example, Hitler’s speech to the General Staff and high ranking civilians stated openly that he needed Depopulated space. This would result in a policy of extermination which was evidently not realized by any of his listeners. The totalitarian state becomes more conspiratorial after it is recognized in the comity of nations. The Moscow based parties preferred conspiracy even while complete legality is possible. The leaders were aware of the danger involved in normality, a true nationalist policy or socialism in one country. The leaders always do the opposite of what they say. Stalin was adept in this art of balancing, a moderation of policy or political line was always followed by party purges. The Popular Front policy and drafting of the liberal Soviet constitution was followed by the Moscow Trials.

Evidence that totalitarian governments aspired to conquer the globe and bring and bring all countries on earth under their domination can be repeatedly found in Nazi and Bolshevik literature. The prewar solution to Jewish question was an outstanding export commodity for Nazis. Expulsion of Jews became part of Nazism in other countries forcing Jews to leave passport less and penniless, creating the legend of Wandering Jews. Their unremitting goal of world conquest is evident in the depopulation policies in Eastern territories in 1940 despite the need of people and all too real chances of winning over the people of EASTERN EUROPE. Regardless of military consequences and loss of manpower Nazis introduced a legislation which with retroactive force exported part of Third Reich s penal code into occupied areas. Every utterance or action against the Third Reich was to be punished as high treason no matter when, where or by whom it was made..There was hardly a more effective way of publicizing the Nazi claim to world rule. The Nazi law was assumed to be binding beyond the German border . The totalitarian conqueror conduct himself everywhere as though he were at home by the same token he must treat his own population as though he were a foreign conqueror. Andrey Kravchenko, the commander of the multiple tank units of the Red Army described the conditions of Russia after the super purge of 1936-38 ,’had a foreign conqueror taken over the machinery of Soviet life, rhe change could hardly have been more thorough or more cruel ‘. The totalitarian movements seizes power of their own nation like a foreign conqueror may occupy a country whom he govern not for its own sake but but for the benefit of something or somebody else. The Nazis behaved like foreign conquerors in Germany when they tried and half succeeded in converting their defeat into a final catastrophe for the whole German people and in their victory extended their extermination politics into the ranks of racially unfit Germans. During the war Hitler contemplated to introduce a National Health Bill. After an xray examination Hitler was to be given the list of Germans with lung and heart conditions who were no longer allowed to remain among the public or reproduce which meant extermination.

The Soviet aggressiveness to its own people was prohibitive. Russia had foregone the great post war loan from United States that could have enabled Russia to reconstruct devastated areas and industrialize the country in a rational productive way. The extension of Comintern government into Balkan and Eastern Europe strained Russia very much. But the movement was able to spread over almost half of the inhabited world. The spoilation of economy is carried out for the movement and not for the nation or people. The fact that the totalitarian dictator rules his own country like a foreign conqueror is significant since it adds to ruthlessness an effectiveness or efficiency which is conspicuously lacking in tyrannies in alien surroundings. Stalin’s war against the Ukraine in the early 1930s was twice as effective as German invasion and occupation. Stalin executed in a single year in Ukraine alone 8 million people. Totalitarian power lies in the force of organization. For Stalin the precious treasures of Soviet union were not the riches of iits soil or manpower, but in the cadres of the party, the elites, the police. The same mentality led Hitler to sacrifice Germany to cadres of SS.He did not consider war lost by Germany’s military defeat and destroyed industrial capacity but when he learned that the SS troops were no longer reliable. The structurelessnes of totalitarian state, its neglect of material interests, emancipation from profit motives and nonutilatarian attitudes have contributed to making contemporary politics unpredictable. There is a curious dilemma of judgment from the part of nontotalitarian world about the totalitarian state. Seeing the terrible efficiency of totalitarian organization and police, people are likely to overestimate the material force of totalitarian countries . Those who understand the wasteful incompetence of totalitarian economics are likely to underestimate the power potential created in disregard of all material factors.

The Secret Police

The essential differences between one party dictatorship and totalitarian state is that once the party grabs power it keeps its relationship with the state intact ,filling the institutions with party members and power of party rests on a monopoly guaranteed by the state. The party no longer possesses its own power center. The totalitarian movements in power tries to maintain the differences between state and the movement and to prevent the revolutionary institutions of the movement from being absorbed to the government. Those party members whose importance is secondary to totalitarian movement is allowed to rise in the state hierarchy whose influence on the movement and confidence with the leaders decreases . All real power is invested in the institutions of the movement outside the state and military apparatus. State is just a facade for representation in the nontotalitarian world . Secret police is the power nucleus of the country. Army is neglected. This is because for totalitarian governments there is no distinction between foreign countries and home country and the affairs. The military trained to fight a foreign aggressor is a dubious instrument since they cannot view their own people as a foreign aggressor as the totalitarian movements see. During the 1920s peasant revolts, Voroshilov allegedly refused the support of the Red Army.

The chief difference between despotic and totalitarian secret police lies in the difference between suspect and objective enemy. The Jews of Nazi Germany or the descendants of former ruling classes in Soviet Russia were not suspected of any hostile actions, they were objective enemies depending on their ideologies. Hans Frank, the Governor General of Poland differentiated dangerous persons into those dangerous to the state and those hostile to the state. The former is Independent of the will of the person. This notion of objective enemy is decisive in the functioning of totalitarian regimes . The category of objective enemy outlives the first ideologically determined foes of the movement, new objective enemies are determined according to changing circumstances. The Nazis foreseeing the completion of Jewish extermination had taken the preliminary steps to liquidate the Polish people and Hitler even planned decimation of certain categories of germans. The Bolsheviks started with the descendants of the former ruling classes, kulaks Russians of Polish origin, tartars, volga germans and Russian Jewry. The choice of classes have propaganda purposes, they must appear plausible as potential enemies and suit the propaganda needs. The unprecedented emergence of governmental antisemitism in Soviet union was to win sympathy for Soviet union in European satellite countries. The show trials required subjective confessions of guilt from objectively identified enemies. These are staged with those indoctrinated to subjectively understand their objective harm fulness and confess for the sake of the cause of the movement. Thus the idea of an objective opponent whose identity changes according to prevailing circumstances corresponds to the factual situation of the totalitarian regime as a movement whose advance meets with new obstacles that have to be eliminated. In a totalitarian system the objective opponent is the central idea. The secret police has been rightly called a state within a state. It’s superior to other branches and a threat to the government ( in France ministers lived in constant fear of the secret dossiers of the police). The totalitarian police is subject to the will of the leader who can also liquidate them. Punishment of objective enemies is for possible crimes. The Moscow Trials of the Bolshevik Guards and chief of Red Army were classic examples of punishment of possible crimes.

Certain peculiar qualities of secret police are general qualities of totalitarian society. Suspect means those with thoughts that deviates from officially prescribes. Simply because of their capacity to think, human beings are suspects by definition. Mutual suspicion permeates all social relationships in totalitarian countries.

Total Domination

The existence of a political opposition is a pretext only for the concentration camp system . Majority of the occupants were innocents . The aim of the arbitrary system of confined the innocents in the concentration camps is to destroy the civil rights of a whole population who ultimately become just as outlawed in their home country as the stateless and homeless. The destruction of a man’s rights, the killing of the juridical person in him is a prerequisite dominating him entirely. This applies not just to the concentration camp inmates but to every inhabitant of the totalitarian state. Free consent Is as much an obstacle to total domination as free opposition. The arbitrary arrest that chooses among innocent people destroys the validity of free consent, just as torture destroys the possibility of opposition. Arendt writes that the Western world, even in the darkest periods has granted the slain enemy the right to be remembered. It was only because the despotic of governments honoured the slain enemy, only because Romans allowed the Christians to write their martyrologies,only because Church kept the heretics alive in memory of men that all was not lost and never could be lost. The concentration camps by making death itself anonymous robbed death of its meaning. They took away the individuals own death, his death set a seal on the fact that he had never really existed. Totalitarian terror achieved its most terrible triumph when it succeeded in cutting the moral person off from the individualist escape and in making the decisions of conscience questionable and equivocal. A man faced with the alternative of betraying and murdering his friends or sending his wife and children to death, how is he to decide? Albert Camus tells us about the dilemma of the Greek mother, who was allowed by the Nazis to choose which one of her three children to be killed, in the book of literature, arts and civil liberties, Twice a Year. The conditions of the camp in which conscience ceases to be adequate and to do good becomes utterly impossible the complicity of men committing the crimes is extended to victims and thus made really total. The SS implicated the criminals, politicals and Jews in the camp in their crimes making them responsible for a large part of the administration thus confronting them with the hopeless dilemma of whether to send their friends to death or help murder others who were strangers thus forcing them to behave like murderers. The guards and the prisoners became conditioned to life in the camp and were afraid to return to the outer world..By this means hatred is diverted from those who are actually guilty. The capos were reviled more than the SS guards. The distinguishing line between the persecutor and persecuted, murderer and victim is constantly blurred. After murder of the moral person and annihilation of juridical person, the destruction of individuality is successful. Millions of human beings allowed themselves to be led to gas chambers without any protest. This could be explained by loss of individuality that destroys spontaneity. There were few revolts or suicides, spontaneous acts even fewer spontaneous massacres of SS men. Only marionettes of human faces remain, conditioned to behave like the pavlov’s dog. This is the real triumph of the system.. The SS men knows that the system that succeeds in destroying himself before mounting the scaffold is the best for keeping the whole people in slavery and submission.

The uselessness of camps , their cynical anti utility is apparent. In reality they are more useful to preservation of regimes power than any other institutions. Without the concentration camps, without the fear they inspire and the well defined training they offer in totalitarian domination, a totalitarian state can neither inspire its nuclear troops with fanaticism nor maintain a whole people in complete apathy. Totalitarianism strives not towards despotic rule over men but towards a system in which men are superfluous. Total power can be achieved and safeguarded in a world of conditioned reflexes, of marionettes without the slightest trace of spontaneity. Character is a threat and even the most unjust legal rules are obstacles, individuality is intolerable. As long as all men have not been made superfluous, the ideal of totalitarian domination has not been achieved and this is accomplished in concentration camps. The aggressiveness of the totalitarian system springs not from lust for power, nor for expansion or profit but only for the ideological reasons, to make the world consistent and to prove that its respective super sense has been right. Totalitarian ideologies aim at transformation of human nature . The lab where this is done is the concentration camps.

Political, social and economic events everywhere are in silent conspiracy with totalitarian instruments devised for making men superfluous. The implied temptation is well understood by the utilitarian common sense of the masses . The Nazis and Bolsheviks were sure that their factories of annihilation to deal with the economically superfluous and socially rootless human masses were as much an attraction as warning. Arendt writes that totalitarian solutions may survive the fall of totalitarian regimes in the form of strong temptations which will come up whenever it seems impossible to alleviate political, social or economic misery in a manner worthy of man.

Ideology and Terror, A Novel Form of Government

Totalitarian government always transformed classes into masses supplanted the party system by mass movement, shifted the centre of power from army to police and established a foreign policy directed towards world domination. Totalitarianism is the basis of the essence of a government in political philosophy, that is alternative between lawful and lawless government. It defies all positive laws even to the extreme of defying the laws it has self established as in the case of Soviet constitution of 1936 or the Weimar constitution which the Nazis did not care to abolish. Far from lawless, it goes to the authority from which laws receive their legitimacy. Far from being arbitrary it is obedient to superhuman forces. Far from wielding power by a single individual, it is prepared to sacrifice the interests oeveryone for the execution of what it assumes to be law of history or law of nature. Totalitarian lawfulness defying legality and pretending to establish the direct reign of justice on earth executes the law of history or nature without translating it to right and wrong for individual behavior. The totalitarian policy claims to transform human species into an active, unfailing carrier of a law. Arendt writes that the break in link between the totalitarian and nontotalitarian world is not just due to its monstrous crimes but that these crimes were also not due to aggressiveness ruthlessness, warfare and treachery. These crimes were due to a conscious break of the consensus iuris which according to Cicero constitutes people. Both moral judgment and legal punishment presupposes consent, a criminal can be judged because he takes part in this consent. Totalitarian policy believes it can do without consensus iuris because it promises to release law from all actions and will of man. It promises justice on earth because it claims to make mankind itself the embodiment of law. Under the Nazis belief in race laws as the expression of law of nature in man, is Darwin’s idea of man as a product of natural development which does not stop with the present species of human beings. Just as the Bolsheviks beliefs in class struggle as the expression of law of history in man lies Marx’s notion of society as a product of gigantic historical movement which races according to its own laws of motion to the end of historical times when it will abolish itself .

Marx had a great interest in Darwin’s theories. Engels called Marx ‘ the Darwin of history ‘ . The movement of history and nature are found to be one and the same. In the introduction of 1890 edition of Communist Manifesto, Engels wrote, ‘ just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic life Marx discovered the law of development of human history ‘ . He mentioned Darwin’s theory of evolution and Marx’s theory of surplus value side by side . The unilinear progression of natural life according to Darwin, means that nature is swept into history and natural life is historical. Survival of the fittest is in itself the meaning of the survival of the most progressive class . Arendt writes that the law of killing by which the totalitarian movements seize and exercise power would remain a law of the movement even if they succeeded in making all humanity subject to their rule. A lawful government needs positive laws to translate and realize the eternal commandments of God into rights and wrongs. In the body politic of the totalitarian government positive laws are replaced by terror which is designed to translate into reality the law of movement of history or nature. Just as the absence of crimes in a lawful society does not render laws superfluous, but on the contrary signifies their most perfect rule. Like this, terror in totalitarian government is not a mere means of suppression of oppression . Terror becomes total when it is Independent of opposition. If lawfulness is the essence of non tyrannical government, lawlessness is the essence of tyranny, then terror is the essence of totalitarian domination. Terror is the law of the movement. Terror makes the force of nature or history to race unhindered by stabilizing men in order to liberate the forces of nature and history. Guilt and innocence becomes senseless notions. Guilty is the one who stands in the way of natural or historical process which has passed judgment over inferior races, unfits,and decedents . Terror executes these judgments and all concerned are subjectively innocent before its court, the murdered because they did nothing wrong and the murderers because they are doing their duty of executing the sentence from a higher tribunal. Terror is lawfulness if law is the law of the movement of some supra human force, nature and history.

Positive laws in constitutional governments are designed to erect boundaries and channels of communication between individual men. Total terror initially behaves like tyranny and raze the boundaries of man made law. But totalitarian terror leaves no arbitrary lawlessness behind it. Instead of the boundaries of law between individual men, it holds them tightly together . The fences of law between men is abolished by taking away man’s liberties and freedom for the space between men hedged in by laws is the living space of freedom. Totalitarian terror in addition destroys the lawless, fenceless wilderness of fear and suspicion which tyranny leaves behind. Freedom and liberty of men hinders the totalitarian movement. So terror erases the source of this freedom, the man born into the world. In other words, terror accelerates the course of nature or history, and executes on the spot death sentences which nature is supposed to have pronounced on races or individuals unfit to live or history on dying classes. Lawfulness is the essence of a constitutional government. They are stabilizing forces in the public affairs of man since Plato invoked Zeus as the God of boundaries in his Laws. The perplexity of laws in free societies is that they only tell what one should not do, but never what one should do. Plato defines the lawfulness as the essence of body politic with a view to its permanence. The movement in the body politic is never to be found. What the government needed was principle of action to inspire the government and citizens beyond the negative yardstick of lawfulness for judging all actions in public affairs . The 18th century French political philosopher Montesquieu called that ‘ principle of action ‘ . ( He is the principal source of the theory of separation of powers, which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He is also known for doing more than any other author to secure the place of the word “despotism” in the political lexicon. His anonymously published The Spirit of the Laws (1748), which was received well in both Great Britain and the American colonies, influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States in drafting the U.S. Constitution.). According to him such criteria of action are honor in a Monarchy, virtue in a Republic, and fear in a tyranny. In a totalitarian government terror is the essence . Just as lawfulness in constitutional government is insufficient to inspire and guide men’s actions terror in totalitarian government is not sufficient to inspire and guide human behavior.

The principle of action is not needed in totalitarian system since it eliminates precisely the capacity of men to act. Terror chooses its victims whatever their actions or thoughts are ,only with the objective necessity of natural or historical process. Though fear is widespread, it loses the practical significance. Similarly sympathy or support for the regime has no influence while selecting the executioner. The aim of totalitarian indoctrination has never been to instill convictions but destroy the capacity to form any. For the selection of SS, Himmler used objective criteria , a racial criteria based on photographs. The inhabitants of a totalitarian state caught in the process of nature or history for accelerating the movement and they can only be executioners or victims of iits inherent law. Those who today eliminate races and individuals or members of dying classes and decadent people are tomorrow those who must be sacrificed. Totalitarian rule guides this behavior of subjects in a preparation to fit each of them equally well for the role of executioner and victim. This two sided preparation, the substitute for principle of action, is the ideology of totalitarian regimes. The great political potentialities of ideology were not discovered before Hitler or Stalin.


Ideologies combine scientific approach with the philosophical relevance and pretend to be scientific philosophy. The ideology implies that an idea can become subject matter of a science just as animals are subject matter of zoology. The suffix logoi indicates the scientific statements made on it. Arendt writes, if this were true, an ideology would indeed be a psuedo science or psuedo philosophy transgressing at the same time the limitations of science and philosophy. Deism would then be an ideology which treats the idea of God with which philosophy is concerned in the scientific manner of theology for which God is a revealed reality. A theology which is not based on revelation as a given reality but treats God as an idea would be as mad as zoology which is no longer sure of the physical tangible existence of animals. But Deism denies the divine revelation. It doesn’t make scientific statements on God which is an idea, but uses the idea of God to explain the course of the world. Ideas never form the subject matter of ideology and the suffix logy never indicates a body of scientific statements. Ideology is simply the logic of an idea. It’s subject matter is history to which the idea is applied. The result of the application is not a body of statements but the unfolding of a process which is in constant change. The ideology treats the course of events by the same law as the logical exposition of idea. The idea in ideology is its own logic, a movement that needs no outside force to set into motion. Racism is the belief that there is motion in the very idea of race. Deism is a belief that a motion is inherent in the very notion of God. Racism and communism has become decisive ideologies of the 20th century, but they were not any more totalitarian than others. The elements of experience on which they were originally based, the struggle between races for world domination and struggle between classes for political power, turned out to be politically more important than other ideologies. The Ideological victory of racism and communism over other isms was decided before the totalitarian movements took hold of these ideologies. On the other hand all ideologies contain totalitarian elements but they are fully developed only by totalitarian movements and this created the decisive impression that only racism and communism are totalitarian in nature .

THREE specific totalitarian elements are peculiar to all ideological thinking. Firstly the claim to total explanation oriented towards history, promising to explain all historical happenings, the total explanation of the past, total knowledge of the present and reliable prediction of the future . Secondly, ideological thinking becomes emancipated from reality. The propaganda of totalitarian movements serves to emancipate thought from experience and reality. Thirdly, they achieve this emancipation through certain methods of demonstrations. The sympathizers of the totalitarian movements took these ideologies dead seriously, took pride in the supreme gift of ice cold reasoning of Hitler and mercilessness of his dialectics peace proceeded to drive Ideological implications into extremes of logical consistency. Dying classes meant those people condemned to death, races unfit to live who should be exterminated. Whoever did not agree to this was considered stupid or coward. This stringent logicality as as a guide to action permeates the whole structure of totalitarian movements and government. This was exclusively the work of Hitler and Stalin and for this reason alone they should be considered ideologists of importance though they did not add a single new thought to the ideas and propaganda slogans of the movement. These totalitarian rulers differ from previous ideologists in that it was no longer the idea of the ideology that appeals to them, I.e, the struggle of classes and exploitation of the workers or struggle of races and care for Germanic people , which appealed to them but the logical process which could be developed from it. According to Stalin, ‘neither the idea nor the oratory but the irresistible force of logic thoroughly overpowered Lenin’s audience ‘. Stalin’s logic is among the few qualities that Khrushchev praised. The power that Marx thought was born when the idea seized the masses was discovered to reside, not in the idea itself but in the logical process which seizes like a mighty tentacle from the grip of which one is powerless to tear away. In the process of realization of Ideological aims the original ideas from which the ideologies based themselves to appeal to the masses, the exploitation of workers or national aspirations of Germany, is gradually lost,devoured by the reasoning of logic, its irresistible force. The workers lost under Bolshevik rule, even those rights they had been granted under Czarist oppression. The German people suffered a kind of warfare which didn’t pay even the slightest regard to their minimum requirements for survival of German nation. In the context of Ideological politics, the idea is devoured by logic.

The preparation of victims and executioners which totalitarianism requires in place of Montesquieu s principle of action is not the ideology but the inherent logicality. The rulers use the most persuasive arguments and the coercive force of logicality springs from our fear of contradicting ourselves. This is where the Bolshevik purge succeeds in making the victims confess to crimes they never committed. According to Trotsky, ‘we can only be right with and by the party, history has provided no other way of being in the right ‘. Party knows that certain crimes are due to be committed in the course of history, more important than to be sure about the criminals is to punish the crimes because history will not be advanced without such punishments. One has either committed crimes or or called by the party to play the role of the criminal. In either case you are the objective enemy of the party. If you don’t confess you cease to help history through party and have become a real enemy. The coercive force of the argument is that if you refuse you contradict yourself and render your whole life meaningless. Totalitarian governments use the tyranny of logicality which begins with minds submission to logic. He surrender his inner freedom of thought. Self coercive force of logicality is mobilized which force him into the gigantic movement of history or nature and preclude him thinking. Terror ruins all forms of relationships with men, ideological thinking ruins relationships with reality. This succeeds when people have lost contact with fellow men as well as the reality around them. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction ( reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false ( standards of thought) no longer exist.

The essence of totalitarian government is terror and the principle of action is logicality. Terror can rule absolutely only over isolated men . Totalitarian governments bring about this isolation, it is the beginning of terror and the most fertile ground. Isolation leads to impotence and incapacity. Isolation and impotence have been characteristic of tyrannies. In tyrannical governments political contacts between men are severed. The human capacity for action and power are frustrated. But not all contacts are broken and not all capacities are destroyed. The whole sphere of private life with the capacities for experience and thought are left intact. But the total terror of totalitarian governments leaves no space for private life and the self coercion of totalitarian logic destroys man’s capacity for experience and thought just as his capacity for action.

Isolation and Loneliness

Isolation in political sphere is loneliness in social intercourse. They are not the same. One can be isolated without being lonely and vice versa. Isolation is a situation in which one cannot act since there is noone to act with them. A person deserted of all human companionship is lonely. In isolation the capacity for action is not there, but productive activities are intact. Man tends to isolate himself with his work. In isolation man remains in contact with the world through productive labor. When creative capacity is destroyed, isolation becomes unbearable. In a society where chief values are dictated by labor. Isolation results here due to breaking of relationships with the world. Isolated man who has lost his place in political sphere is deserted by the world of things as well. He is an animal who labors and isolation then becomes loneliness. Tyranny based on isolation leaves the productive capacities intact. Tyranny over laborers, like over slaves in antiquity, is a rule over lonely and isolated men and tend to be totalitarian.

Loneliness, terror, ideology, logicality, preparation of victims and executioners, are all closely connected with uprootedness superfluousness, the curse of modern masses since the beginning of industrial revolution and has become acute with the rise of imperialism and the breakdown of political institutions and social traditions. Loneliness is not solitude . Solitude requires being alone whereas loneliness shows itself in company of others. Epictetus ,the emancipated slave philosopher of Greek origin distinguished between loneliness and solitude thus,” never was he less lonely than when he was in solitude “. According to him the solitary man can be together with himself and by himself, whereas in loneliness he is one,deserted by others. In solitude, he is two persons in one,all dialogue is between him and himself. To attain the identity of one he needs the others, and this is the problem with solitude. Solitude can become loneliness when one is deserted by his own self. An anecdote from Hegel s deathbed goes like this, ” nobody has understood me except one and he also misunderstood “. Conversely, a lonely man could find himself and start the thinking dialogue of solitude. Like what happened to Nietzsche when he conceived Zarathustra. What makes loneliness unbearable is the loss of one’s own self which can be realized in solitude, but confirmed in its identity by the trusting and trustworthy company of equals. In this situation man loses trust in himself and confidence in the world, losing capacity for thought and experience. The only capacity of human mind which needs neither self nor companion, Independent of experience or thinking is the ability of logical reasoning. A thought process characterized by self evident logicality has some connection with loneliness. A lonely man always deduces one thing from the other and thinks everything to the worst. The famous extremism of totalitarian movements, far from anything to do with true radicalism, consists the thinking everything to worst. ,a deducing process that always arrives at the worst conclusions.

What prepares man for totalitarian domination in a nontotalitarian world is the fact that loneliness, once a borderline experience in marginal social conditions like old age, has become everyday experience of ever growing masses. The merciless process into which totalitarianism drives and organizes the masses look like a suicidal escape from thia reality. The ‘ice cold reasoning ‘ and the ‘mighty tentacle of dialectics that seizes you in avise’ appears like the last resort where nothing or nobody could be relied on . This acts as the inner coercion that is content on the avoidance of the contradictions of loneliness and solitude. He fits himself into the iron band of terror even when alone and totalitarian domination never leaves him alone. By teaching and glorifying the logical reasoning of loneliness, even the slim chances that loneliness may be transformed to solitude and logic into thought is obliterated. The totalitarian sandstorm thus sets into motion and covers all parts of uninhabited earth. Like tyranny, totalitarian germs bear its own destruction . Arendt mentions that organized loneliness is more dangerous than unorganized impotence of political action and it threatens to ravage the world. She writes that the totalitarianism form of government is likely to stay with mankind despite its tendency to destroy itself, just like the other forms of government like Monarchy, Republic, tyranny, dictatorship or despotism. She hopes that with every end in history, there is a new beginning, guaranteed by each new birth, it’s indeed every man.

Book Review- ‘That was Dachau’ by Stanislav Zamecnik

Author–            Stanislav Zamecnik ( Czech historian, Holocaust survivor)

Genre–              Non-fiction/ History

(‘Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions’…..     Primo Levi)


I bought this book while on a visit to the Dachau concentration camp memorial site( created in 1965), Bavaria, Munich during the 2016 summer.  A must-see place for history lovers. The camp is a bit of a harrowing repository of the Dachau archives, houses a museum which really is a time machine, whereby one can hark back to Third Reich and it’s barbarity. I could literally feel the terror while being guided through the camp( the museum is set in such a way). One of the sites which made me stuck as if in a nightmare, was the crematoria where the gassed and poisoned prisoners were burned up. Words definitely fall short for the kind of utter insensibility and cruelty of The Third Reich.

About the book, the author, Stanislav Zamecnik, himself a Holocaust survivor, has stunningly captured the details, shored up by statistics and ample evidence. He has done a painstaking and arduous job of research which is commendable. The fact that he had done this despite the sanction imposed on him by the authorities in the wake of The Prague Spring, which prohibited him from working as a historian, in itself is one of the reasons which make it a must-read for all, in particular, The Third Reich history pursuant. He was imprisoned in Dachau for almost four years. His mission in life was to preserve the memory of Dachau, and he committed himself to the redevelopment of the Dachau Memorial and the permanent exhibition there recreating the realities, leaving his indelible mark on the International Committee of Dachau.

The camp was opened on March 22, 1933, by Heinrich Himmler, 2 months after Adolf Hitler took power, the first one of a series of death camps to follow. It went on to become the instrument of the Nazi extermination regime and the prototype for the other death camps. Dachau was the only camp that remained in operation from 1933 until 1945. Located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory, it was intended to house political prisoners at first and later expanded for forced labor and to house Jews from Germany, Austria and other countries that Germany invaded. There were more than 40,000 documented deaths (murders plus death from hunger, malnutrition, overwork, and diseases) out of the 200,000 imprisoned from all over Europe at the site and its subsidiaries.

The entrance gate carries the phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei” (work shall set you free). Dachau’s close proximity to Munich, where Hitler came to power and where the Nazi Party had its official headquarters made it a convenient location. Initially, Hitler imprisoned intellectuals, artists, Jehovah’s witnesses, communists, handicapped and homosexuals for the slave labor for manufacturing weapons for Germany’s war efforts. Later, some of the prisoners were used for brutal medical experiments by the Nazis( There is a touching book about how the Nazi doctors ruthlessly did irrational, unethical, inhumane and brutal experiments- Doctors From Hell by Vivien Spitz- I had read this some time back, hope to re-read and write the review sometime soon).

The first commandant of Dachau was the SS officer, Hilmar Wackerle. A Munich schoolteacher Sebastian Nefzger was killed by the SS officers, who reported the death as a suicide. The Autopsy revealed the cause of death as strangulation and the public prosecutor in Munich, therefore, charged the camp commandant Hilmar Waeckerle and other SS officials in the camp with murder. Himmler was forced to remove Wackerle from his post. But on May 25, 1933, Hitler exempted Dachau from judicial oversight and authority and the SS were given unlimited authority over the camp prisoners. Later, all the camps would be removed from the judicial oversight.

Theodor Eicke, who replaced Wackerle as the camp commandant on  October, 1933, brought in severe punishments including systematic beatings and summary execution for rule infringements or escape attempts. Any attempts at sabotage, escape or political agitation were met with summary execution. Later, this system would be followed for all the other concentration camps run by the SS.

Dachau camp was expanded in 1938 by the construction of an SS military training base by demolishing a WW I era munitions factory. The prisoners were made to work 24/7 for the reconstruction. During the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom, about 30,000 Jews were summarily arrested and incarcerated in the three concentration camps, Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen. Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues in Germany and Austria were destroyed, burned or vandalized and they were dragged off the streets and homes to the camps, almost 11,000 of them ending up in Dachau.

In 1939, all the prisoners in Dachau were transferred to Buchenwald, Mauthausen and Flossenbeurg camps. The facilities at Dachau were used by the Waffen-SS for training the Death-Head’s Division. The camp would resume operating again in 1940. From 1941 onwards, the SS doctors started selecting the weak, ill and disabled prisoners, who would be transported to Hartheim and get killed there. As more numbers of prisoners started getting executed in Dachau, four crematoria were built along with the construction of a gas chamber. As a part f their plan to Germanize Occupied Poland and undermine the Catholic Church leadership there, more than 2700 clergy were arrested and incarcerated in the “Priest barracks” of Dachau.

SS doctor Sigmund Rascher conducted his infamous cold water freezing experiment on the prisoners, with methods of reviving them after they had been forced to remain in ice- cold water for hours. This was meant to help revive the German Air Force pilots whose planes went down in cold water. Out of 300 test subjects, one-third died. Numerous other prisoners were used for other medical experiments as well. A 1943 Typhus outbreak in the camp forced the SS to quarantine the prisoners and stop the forced labor. Almost 1000 died as a result of the disease.

While the prisoner numbers increased many subcamps sprang up around Dachau in Southern Germany and also in Northern Austria. On April 26, 1945, just three days before the liberation of the camp, the SS forced about 7000 prisoners on ‘The Death March’ to Tegernsee. It lasted for 6 days, while the SS shot the weak on the way, while many died of exhaustion, hunger, and exposure. The surviving prisoners who arrived at Tegernsee were liberated by the American Forces on May 2, 1945.

The Dachau Camp was liberated by the US Forces on April 29, 1945. As they arrived in the camp, they found more than 30 coal cars filled with decomposing bodies and more than 30,000 prisoners in the camp.

As a part of Hitler’s ‘Final Solution‘ to ‘The Jewish Problem‘ many more were exterminated in the other concentration camps. The Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site was opened in 1965. The International Monument at the Memorial Site holds a sculpture by Nandor Glid, the Yugoslav sculptor and Holocaust survivor whose father and many other family members were murdered in Auschwitz. The sculpture is a poignant pointer to the Holocaust. It is made of dark bronze. It features short strands of barbed wire on which skeletons are hanging with their heads dangling sharply. On either side of the sculpture are concrete fence posts which closely resemble the ones actually used to support the barbed wire fence around the camp. Underneath the sculpture is the dates 1933 – 1945, the years that the camp was used as a concentration camp for anti-Nazis.


On the west side of the monument  is a wall whose inscription in English reads “May the example of those who were exterminated here between 1933 and 1945 because they resisted nazism help to unite the living for the defense of peace and freedom and in respect for their fellow men.”     The letters on the east side of the monument wall say “Never Again” in five different languages. In front of the wall is a box of ashes of the victims of the Dachau concentration camp, which was placed here on May 7, 1967, the same day that the Jewish Memorial building was dedicated. These were ashes that were found in red clay urns when Dachau was liberated.  


      The International Monument has a wide ramp which slopes down to the base of the sculpture designed by Nandor Glid. On the west side of the ramp is another sculpture which features a bas relief depicting three links of a chain held together by bars in between. This signifies the unity among the prisoners, many of whom were left-wing political prisoners who shared the same beliefs. On the links are enameled triangles in the colors of the cloth badges worn by the prisoners on their uniforms to identify their prisoner classification.  


    Red triangles were worn by the Communists, Social Democrats and other political prisoners and blue by the foreign workers, mostly Poles, who were brought to the Dachau camp. The Jews always wore two triangles with a yellow triangle on top of another color, usually red which signified a political prisoner.          

Why we should read about the Third Reich and the Holocaust?        

The Italian- Jewish Holocaust survivor and writer, Primo Levi, in his autobiographical trilogy ‘If This Is a Man‘, tries to find the reasons for the human barbarity.   Logical thinking and reasoning prompt us human beings to ask questions. Discerning the answers cogently and sizing up the present and future, linking them to the past, requires one to dig deeper into the graveyards of history.   I admit that the read was depressingly bleak. Yet the pages sufficed as steps of knowledge, as answers to how a civilized nation could descend into savagery of this magnitude, how complacence and denial are akin to abetment of organized crime, why only a few were audacious enough to stand up to the ordeals, how a far-right ultra-racist minority could amass the instruments of governance to systematically mass murder an entire race by kindling the smoldering hatred with the aid of warped history, spurious politics, and apocryphal pseudo-science, or, how the social, political and economic environments join forces in the origin, re-incarnation or morphing of one among us into a Frankenstein’s monster.     The answers teach us many things. We learn to pay heed to the forewarnings from society, we try to respect diversity, fend off ‘otherization’, above all to question the unsavory, shady deviances. We learn to react individually and collectively. To teach is to learn and to learn is to question. And learning about the Reich and the Holocaust invariably prepares our mind for questioning, to understand the responsibilities in crimes of not only the men at the top of the ladder, but also the nameless, faceless cohorts at the lowest rungs of the society,  to have the courage of our convictions, to speak out when something is not right. The German Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemoller‘s post-war confession stays ever- relevant, in particular,  in the present times. The following poetic form of his quote is engraved at the  New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts.

‘ First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me’.

As Primo Levi observes, ‘Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions’.

In Search Of Lost Time.-.-.-

(‘Silent Night‘-  Acrylic painting on canvas, of the temple pond and ‘paalamaram’)

This one is an acrylic painting done by me four years back. I painted it from my memory, from the indelible scorches and scalds left behind from years back. Thus, it is a story, a fine thread parsed from the mesh of memories, a revisit to the past, as much as a painting I cherish. I love the somber, dull hues, the darks, Greys, pewters, and earth tones than the bright, visual flamboyance in paintings. At that time, almost all the paintings that I did were somber ones that I liked to hoard. I remember my husband, disapproving of my aloofness and choice of somber shades. Still, he is well aware of the narrative details of this painting just as my mother does. And she was prompting me to write down the experience. When I reflect back now, I wonder how events and stories impact the minds of children and how ignorant adults are about what is brewing inside the mind of a child.

Some of the elements of the anecdote, I can relate to young Marcel anxious of sleeping alone in Proust’s ‘Swans Way‘, the first volume of ‘ In Search of Lost Times‘. Proust’s masterpiece rings a bell when I try to read it, a challenging read given the profoundness and immensity of the volumes. I own the first one of the seven volumes, ‘Swans Way’  a dog-eared paperback that I had surprisingly found in a used-book store at LMS junction during one of my routines, visiting new and used book stores with my mother during the vacation time. When at his low ebb he feels that time and past has been lost forever, he starts out searching for the lost time, racing against death, writing seven volumes of his own life, exposing them to the reader and proving the eternity and beauty of the past.- ‘Swans way’ was inspired by the memories that flooded him as he dipped Madeleine in hot tea. He describes his fear of going to bed at night and his nervousness of sleeping alone at night.

We don’t need to be anyone like the great Proust for trying to tread the path back into the past. For us, the ordinary conflicted creatures, letting go of the mists and steams of the past serve to release the gratuitous, vicious, and the obscene, thus balancing the pressure within, a sort of studied revisit coupled with blissful ignorance of past. Yet, some are more conflicted than others, with the mist imprinting joyful colors and heat of the steam scalding the insides leaving lasting immutable shades and scars.

I am a ‘creature of the past‘, as my son addresses me, boring to the hilt, morose and taciturn, nose buried in books and paintings, moody like a dark sepia painting with gloomy pewter-grey clouds hanging overhead, about to pelt down and strike and soak everything on its path. Revisiting the past, to me, is in one way letting go of somethings that incline to cling on tenaciously, at the same time taking in the fragrance of a forgotten and lost spring. It is the same sort of fond, poignant or vague remembrance, seeing the tranquil Bosphorus, Blue Mosque or the labyrinth of colored, covered markets in Istanbul or the specters of innocent lives taken by the Grim Reaper in the concentration camps,  things that had flashed clearly through the fine prints years back. Thus this painting is a remembrance, restoration, reclaim and retaining of the past.

Our present links itself to the past through the conduit of the senses. Of all, the olfactory one is potent. We follow our nose down the memory lane and stumble upon the deep-rooted stumps strewn on the path. For me, the long walk back in time, where I had met the ethereal and terrestrial, heard the truths as well as myths, whiffed the angels and fiends, is ushered by the sweet-smelling devil, ‘palamaram‘, or the Indian Devil Tree. Call it science, the brain chemistry of olfaction which opens up the floodgates to the past or the mystery that reminds us of the origin of our identity guiding us back in time through the bygone path or sheer happenstance, the tangy, heady, celestial aroma takes me along the drifts of wan childhood memories.

Palamaram‘ had been part and parcel of the storybooks of fantasy and mythological tales in Malayalam that my mother would bring home in heaps. As much as the storybooks, our lives were entwined in the atmosphere of the ancient temple nearby, one where my mother’s family had been worshipping, with its consecrated idols of peaceful ‘Devi‘ and irate ‘Bhadrakaali‘, a historical place in the city. My mother had been a devout believer, so we children used to take part in all the religious festivities and activities of the temple without fail.

And anyone who had been lucky enough to spend time in the company of grandparents would never forget the rich and vivid experience in their lifetime. My maternal grandmother was a cache of mythological tales about ‘Yakshi’, ‘Maadan’, ‘Gandharvan’ and so forth. As in many Hindu homes with such an atmosphere, all these experiences played their own roles in molding and finessing the obscure inside me. Every child is different, so the way such things impact each is different too. Both I and my brother grew up in the same environment, still, I don’t think he had any kind of bleak effect from any of these, as opposed to me. He was into science and sports like all the other boys of his age. But, it was an altogether different one for me.

My first ever encounter with Yakshi had been a mix of awe, dread, and allure, in a children’s version of ‘Aithihyamala’ by the Malayalam author, Kottarathil Shankunni, that had one story which went by the name ‘ Yakshiyum Namboodiriyum‘ . The book, which I still recollect vividly, a hardbound one with a white cover, the front-cover picture of a super-pretty, voluptuous ‘Yakshi’ in an iridescent white flowy saree, her sable hair flowing like waves on the ground, jet black kohled eyes sparkling in fury, petaline lips like scarlet berries and a ‘namboodiri’ in a dhoti, a tuft of ‘kuduma’ on his pate, a sacred thread across his chest, eyeballs ballooned up in fear, and the chill of a shiver visible along his somewhat bent spine, in a broad backdrop of heavily bloomed ‘paalamaram’. That was one of my first picks among the Malayalam and English books, which my parents used to select for us.

Coming to the story of ‘Yakshiyum Namboodiriyum‘, what bits and pieces I can recall now is not much more than a generalization of an encounter between evil and good, the vile intents of the evil Yakshi being forestalled by the sagacious ‘namboodiri’, who gets the better of the evil spirit by literally nailing her into the ‘paalamaram’, where she languished for decades and centuries. The storyteller might only have had the intention to imbue this moral into a child’s mind. But, as a kid,  rote learning and pushed to buy into the variety store of moral story ragbag, from CBSE moral science textbooks since the time I had set foot in the kindergarten premises, the moral side of the ‘namboodiri’ story was relegated to the back burner of my mind. And I was obsessed with the fantasy of the bedazzling Yakshi, her magnetic individuality that draws in everyone to her, unobtrusive existence, the ability for intricate polymorphism and camouflage, but above all the dexterity to inhabit the branches of ‘paalamaram’ without incident. I painted her, dreamed about her, felt her presence. I believed to the core that she did exist.

There were many ‘Yakshi Paalas’ near the ‘Sarpa Kaavu . My visits there increased in frequency to catch a glimpse of the ‘paala’  bloom and the live Yakshi emerging from the ‘paala’ tree. Months of waiting to catch sight of that VIP in my life turned out to be futile, but all the same, she appeared as a diaphanous apparition in my dreams. That was when I had learned that these nocturnal citizens of the world existed in two forms, a venerated benevolent one and a dreaded malevolent fiendish one.

The most macabre elements of my memories, that I would wish to stow away in the hidden repositories deep inside the attic of mind and heart are those resurrecting from the temple pond, down our house built on the same site where my maternal ancestral home had stood. The pond is basically, a step tank system with stairs of stone all around and four ghats on the four sides of the structure, it is not unlike the other sacred tanks, on the face of it. A circular pathway surrounding it led on one side, directly to our house through a flight of ancient stairs carved from huge monolithic stones.

The distinct advantage of the perch offered an uninterrupted view of the pond that appeared placid except for the local people bathing or swimming and the annual festivities of the diety conducted on a special ghat. But, that was just one brighter side of a bucolic abode, atop a pond with its own mind and heart. Legend had it that the pond never dried up even during the harshest of droughts that had struck the area. It also had an ambiguous nature, at the same time offering the elixir of life and luring the oblivious, unwitting souls to the death trap in its bosom. Swimming away from its edges towards the middle was a sure path into death well, so a large circumscribed area around the center was off-limits even to adroit swimmers and divers.

Nevertheless, nothing could have stopped the daredevils and the reckless from calling into question the laws of nature and dousing the flame of life in its waters, before it was even kindled. There was another group, that was dead set on snuffing it, overburdened by worries, who came from even far away places, offering self and sometimes their little ones to the pond with a ravenous craving for souls. Such was the grisly truth that we were not allowed to step inside the bounds of the pond even once, in the decades that we had spent in that perch.

I had been a mute witness untold times, to the pond’s morbid craving for life that had been sucked into its abyss, leaving the fallen angels to rise up to the surface after one whole day. As a kid, at first the death knell sounded by the pond never registered in my heart or reverberated in my head. I was oblivious to the form and substance of the scythe-wielding Grim Reaper. Again, as young children, we were forbidden by our parents from watching the happenings around, who kept us inside closed doors during that period, under their aegis, until everything had cleared outside. This exercise of household quarantine had only served to boost my curiosity.

I am not sure exactly when I had caught a fleeting glimpse of a floating body, belly up like a veined, dry autumnal leaf. Throngs of spectators were elbowing each other and nudging their way through the assorted congregation around the low walls of the pond, to have a look at the lifeless body. Once again, the edge offered by the perch enabled me to have an unhindered view ( I still remember it vividly).  According to the oral lore and the stories from my grandmother, the pond had a discreet path underneath that bore down to the other end of the earth, a mystical maelstrom carried anything that came on its way, down through the obscure path to the inferno( as it were, another realm). And the malevolent ‘Yakshis‘ were supposed to be the ones taking the soul underneath.

My unwitting Angel might not have meant to scare the hell out of me, but that was exactly what happened ultimately. I had a cold fever with scary chills that same night and I missed school for a few consecutive days. From then on, every time I peeked into the pond at night I would conjure up the ferocious, blood-thirsty fiends hovering over, like a pall of suspended white cloud and ample nightly adrenaline shots was prescribed by the wary brain, the dose increasing gradually on a daily basis.

There was no other option, but to shiver under the bedspread, wide awake till wee morning hours watching over the silent, dreary, wakeful nights, on my bed, worrying about the ill-fated soul that was about to be dragged into the pond and enduring the yawningly indifferent mornings in the classroom that delivered incalculable dose of arithmetics. With the same religious fervor that I had exhibited in invoking the benevolent ones previously, I went all out to shrug off the vicious ones that manifested ever readily without any need at all of invoking them. 

I did come out of that, by a regular rational infusion. I still remember the many medical exhibitions at Trivandrum Medical College, where I had been taken by my father, since the sixth or seventh grade. There, for the first time, I made acquaintance with lifeless cadavers, just a stone’s throw from me, that reinforced my discriminating power by dispelling the spectral mirages. Those educational trips transpired as covert desensitization therapies for my credulous self, like, see for yourself, hear for yourself, feel for yourself training sessions.

Months and years into the medical course reinforced an empirical, evidence-based approach to life. Clinical postings, apart from case studies and an obligatory shock therapy of having to watch postmortem in Forensics, were rigged-up theaters where the spectral enactment of birth to death could be closely watched. Lives reaped by the scythe and those brought back from the brink were studied up close. And the omnipresent devil tree was nowhere to be seen in medical college premises or the premises where we took up residences later on.

My parents sold the property and bought an apartment in another part of the city, later. To this day, I make sure to take the tour through my past, the temple, the pond, the site where our old house had been,  the used-book stores, the place where she had worked, holding my mother’s hand, every time I visit my parents during vacation. The way I would feel at the time of the trip is hard to describe. I watch the springs and winters of the past roll by before me.  And I wouldn’t trade this trip with my mother for anything else in the whole world.

I love to watch the ghost movies in all languages, something that my husband and son dismisses as a stupid waste of time. I tell them, I don’t believe in ghosts anymore, but these phantasms were a part of my past, a sort of lived experience of a fantasy I could never erase. In the place where I stay now in the suburbs of Mangalore, on a forested hillside on the banks of the silent Netravathy, guarded by the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, the people revere trees considered sacred. There are ancient temples and dilapidated palaces, dotting the area. Almost a year back, during one of our walks, I and my son wandered inside a somewhat thickly-forested part of the hillside to find a sacred grove with plenty of ‘paala’ trees. During the October- November months, the air here effuses with the musky, heady aroma of the ‘paala’ bloom, felt from our apartment surrounded by the trees, the roadside blanketed by its buttery flowers. I always feel, whoever had associated the tree to the devil must experience the peaceful, relaxed ambiance underneath it.

Even now, myths never fail to amaze me, but they stay just as reminders of the many childhood folktales I had come across in the storybooks and by word of mouth, the sweet and sour experiences that I have had as a child.

Book review ‘ Jerusalem The Biography’ by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Author — Simon Sebag Montefiore

Genre – Non Fiction/ History

“Like a snowy mountain glittering in the sun”

–  Flavius Josephus, the Romano-Jewish scholar, and historian.

                            A casual observer could be forgiven for being drawn into the dragnet of bias when it comes to broaching and expounding on the subject matter of Israeli- Palestinian quagmire. Responsible journalism and authorship, though ostensibly non-partisan and unprejudiced is by no means so as the evidence suggests. That leaves us with very few options for digging deeper into the marshlands of history and collating the layers beneath to prepare the ground of conceivability in our conscience.

                            The beliefs of historical determinism and fatalism, more often than not, rear their ugly head in almost every causal analysis of the conflict in spite of the contrarian disposition of the rational mind. Not even a page of this book could be flipped by without contemplating retrospectively of a more lucid outcome, had the powers that be shown a speck of farsightedness or a morsel of horse sense about a region that in itself had been tangled in the cobweb of politics, religion, ethnicity and pincered between the grasp of bloodthirsty warlords and religiously evangelical zealots. The infamous Sykes-Picot agreement which unabashedly apportioned the Middle East map among British and French stemmed from the ‘ divide and rule’ dogma followed by the empire, the repercussions of which echoes to the present day, albeit in the form of protracted quasi-occupation in Afghanistan or Iraq before, by the West. Lessons will never be learned it seems, after imbibing Jerusalem’s travails.

                      Though the book offers a prolonged read and is steeped in history, titles and chronology Montefiore has done justice to his subject by dissecting Jerusalem right from the roots, eruditely, not in the least exhibiting any sort of pedantry or pomposity. Palpability of the spirit of Jerusalem and perspicuity of the ghosts of the past sauntering through the narrow alleys of Old Jerusalem is a haunting experience that lingers on. From the Maccabees to the present day rulers, the list of conquerors and occupiers seem never-ending, yet the provenance of the three monotheistic Abrahamic religions, the seat of religious secularism, the cynosure of the world presents herself as a desolate sweetheart whom the lovers have forsaken.

                       The weightiness of the issue and the two-state solution on the cards endows a special significance to the book now than ever before. Montefiore’s pedigree and his ancestor’s role in carving up a Jewish state and propounding Zionism have been distinctly documented. I just loved the myriad footnotes which by themselves could be collated into a compendium of sorts. The sheer magnitude of research that has been put through by the author is unbelievable.

                     A magnificent tour de force, scholarly penned, bluntly chronicled, holistically viewed and meticulously researched. An absolutely enlightening tome.

Book Review- “The Stranger” by Albert Camus.

Author – Albert Camus

Genre/ Subgenre – Philosophical Fiction/ Absurdist Fiction/ Existentialist Fiction

Original language – French, published in 1942

English Translation – Mathew Ward

Award – Nobel Prize for literature, 1957

About the author

Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work. Camus was born in French Algeria to Pieds Noirs parents. Of semi-proletarian parents, early attached to intellectual circles of strongly revolutionary tendencies, with a deep interest in philosophy (only chance prevented him from pursuing a university career in that field), he came to France at the age of twenty-five. The man and the times met: Camus joined the resistance movement during the occupation and after the liberation was a columnist for the newspaper Combat. But his journalistic activities had been chiefly a response to the demands of the time; in 1947 Camus retired from political journalism and, besides writing his fiction and essays, was very active in the theatre as producer and playwright (e.g., Caligula, 1944). He also adapted plays by Calderon, Lope de Vega, Dino Buzzati, and Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun. His love for the theatre may be traced back to his membership in L’Equipe, an Algerian theatre group, whose “collective creation” Révolte dans les Asturies (1934) was banned for political reasons. Camus was politically active; he was part of the left that opposed the Soviet Union because of its totalitarianism.

During the Algerian War (1954–1962), he kept a neutral stance, advocating for a multicultural and pluralistic Algeria, a position that caused controversy and was rejected by most parties.

Camus was a vocal advocate of the “new Mediterranean Culture“. This was a term he used to describe his vision of embracing the multi-ethnicity of the Algerian people, in opposition to “Latiny”, a popular pro-fascist and antisemitic ideology among other Pieds-Noirs—or French or Europeans born in Algeria. For Camus, this vision encapsulated the Hellenic humanism which survived among ordinary people around the Mediterranean Sea. His 1938 address on “The New Mediterranean Culture” represents Camus’s most systematic statement of his views at this time. Camus also supported the Blum–Viollette proposal to grant Algerians full French citizenship in a manifesto with arguments defending this assimilative proposal on radical egalitarian grounds.  In 1939, Camus wrote a stinging series of articles for the Alger républicain on the atrocious living conditions of the inhabitants of the Kabylie highlands. He advocated for economic, educational and political reforms as a matter of emergency.

In 1945, following the Sétif and Guelma massacre after Arab revolts against French mistreatment, Camus was one of only a few mainland journalists to visit the colony. He wrote a series of articles reporting on conditions, and advocating for French reforms and concessions to the demands of the Algerian people.

When the Algerian War began in 1954, Camus was confronted with a moral dilemma. He identified with the Pieds-Noirs such as his own parents and defended the French government’s actions against the revolt. He argued the Algerian uprising was an integral part of the “new Arab imperialism” led by Egypt, and an “anti-Western” offensive orchestrated by Russia to “encircle Europe” and “isolate the United States”. Although favoring greater Algerian autonomy or even federation, though not full-scale independence, he believed the Pieds-Noirs and Arabs could co-exist. During the war, he advocated a civil truce that would spare the civilians. It was rejected by both sides who regarded it as foolish. Behind the scenes, he began working for imprisoned Algerians who faced the death penalty. His position drew much criticism from the left and later postcolonial literary critics, such as Edward Said, who were opposed to European imperialism, and charged that Camus’s novels and short stories are plagued with colonial depictions – or conscious erasures – of Algeria’s Arab population. In their eyes, Camus was no longer the defender of the oppressed.Camus once confided that the troubles in Algeria “affected him as others feel pain in their lungs.”

The essay Le Mythe de Sisyphe (The Myth of Sisyphus), 1942, expounds Camus’s notion of the absurd and of its acceptance with “the total absence of hope, which has nothing to do with despair, a continual refusal, which must not be confused with renouncement – and a conscious dissatisfaction“. Meursault, central character of L’Étranger (The Stranger), 1942, illustrates much of this essay: man as the nauseated victim of the absurd orthodoxy of habit, later – when the young killer faces execution – tempted by despair, hope, and salvation. Dr. Rieux of La Peste (The Plague), 1947, who tirelessly attends the plague-stricken citizens of Oran, enacts the revolt against a world of the absurd and of injustice, and confirms Camus’s words: “We refuse to despair of mankind. Without having the unreasonable ambition to save men, we still want to serve them“. Other well-known works of Camus are La Chute (The Fall), 1956, and L’Exil et le royaume (Exile and the Kingdom), 1957. His austere search for moral order found its aesthetic correlative in the classicism of his art. He was a stylist of great purity and intense concentration and rationality.

Was Camus actually a philosopher? He himself said no, in a famous interview with Jeanine Delpech in Les Nouvelles Littéraires in November of 1945, insisting that he did “not believe sufficiently in reason to believe in a system” (Camus 1965). This was not merely a public posture, since we find the same thought in his notebooks of this period: he describes himself as an artist and not a philosopher because “I think according to words and not according to ideas” (Camus 1995). Still, Jean-Paul Sartre saw immediately that Camus was undertaking important philosophical work, and in his review of The Stranger in relation to Sisyphus, had no trouble connecting Camus with Pascal, Rousseau, and Nietzsche (Sartre 1962). After they became friends Sartre spoke publicly of his friend’s “philosophy of the absurd,” which he distinguished from his own thought for which he accepted the “existentialist” label that Camus rejected. In the years since, the apparent unsystematic, indeed, anti-systematic, character of his philosophy, has meant that relatively few scholars have appreciated its full depth and complexity. They have more often praised his towering literary achievements and standing as a political moralist while pointing out his dubious claims and problematic arguments 

Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

Camus died on 4 January 1960 at the age of 46, in a car accident near Sens, in Le Grand Fossard in the small town of Villeblevin.

The Stranger

The Stranger by Albert Camus is a novel concerning the absurdist philosophy of the main character, Meursault, who inevitably becomes the ‘other’. Though technically a philosophical essay, The Myth of Sisyphus is integral to a deeper understanding of The Stranger. It was published the same year as The Stranger and, along with the novel, cemented Camus’ reputation as a prominent thinker. In it, Camus explicates the tenets of his philosophy, Absurdism, the ideas of which underpin much of the action of The StrangerThe Myth of Sisyphus pinpoints the absurd precisely: neither the world nor human thinking in and of itself is absurd. Rather, the absurd arises when human thinking attempts to impose its order, reason, and logic on the meaningless world, a perennially futile goal. In The Stranger, the absurd is demonstrated by the trial, the lawyers, and the numerous priests and Christians who attempt to convert Meursault to religion. But, it was not immediately a best seller. The first edition was only 4,400 copies and was dampened by Jean-Paul Sartre’s article “Explication de L’Étranger” published immediately before the novel. Today, it ranks as a classic of 20th-century literature that has been translated into English four different times. It has been adopted into film twice, one in 1967 by Luchino Visconti and then in 2001 by Zeki Demirkubuz. 

Camus was known as one of the biggest players in existentialism and absurdism, however, he denied those titles for the majority of his lifetime, even that of being a philosopher. Instead, he pursued a political voice on the Cold War, rejecting both communism and capitalism. Regardless, his literature continued to portray him as a modern philosopher, posing some of the biggest existentialist and absurdist questions of our lifetime. Though The Stranger is often categorized as an existential novel, Camus himself rejected this label. Camus’ philosophy of Absurdism resembles Existentialism in many respects (both philosophies, for example, believe in the essential meaninglessness of life) but Camus was fiercely committed to human morality and dignity, ideas many Existentialists discarded. The book was published in 1942 and written in French- setting in French-colonized Algeria. The novel is blunt in its  language and rather absent in message until the last few pages. Meursault is consumed with ideas of absurdism, a philosophical principle that states that humans exist in a meaningless and purposeless world. He is viewed differently in the eyes of society under a negative connotation.

However, Camus did not identify himself as a philosopher. In fact, he abjured “armchair” philosophy and argued that sitting around and thinking was not enough. One needed to live life as well. He also did not identify himself as an existentialist. He agreed with some proponents of existentialist thought that life has no inherent meaning, but he criticized others for their pursuit of personal meaning. Camus’s concept of the absurd instead implored people to accept life’s lack of meaning and rebel by rejoicing in what life does offer. Camus is closely associated with the atheistic branch of existentialism, a philosophy emphasizing humanity’s consciousness of its mortality and its consequent need to find meaning in a universe that seems indifferent and inhospitable to such a quest. Camus believes that there is no god, hence that life has no purpose. Things—human beings, plants, animals—simply live and die as part of a natural process that has no transcendent meaning or value. Human beings are distinguished from plants and animals only by virtue of the fact that they are conscious of their own mortality. Alone among all living things, human beings know that they must die. This awareness pushes them to seek explanations, to try to find meaning in what is essentially meaningless. Camus and other thinkers describe this situation as “the absurd.” Human beings—seekers of meaning in a meaningless universe—live in a condition of absurdity.Elements of this philosophy can be seen in Meursault, as he refuses to behave as if there is meaning where there is none—or, as Camus himself put it in a preface to The Stranger, Meursault “does not play the game.” Society thus feels threatened and cuts off Meursault’s head. Similar themes can be seen in Camus’s essay Le Mythe de Sisyphe (The Myth of Sisyphus), also published in 1942.

Fought between 1914 and 1918, World War I introduced the world to unprecedented violence and gave rise to a new sense of disaffection and doubt, producing art very different than the art of the past. In the wake of the war rose the Lost Generation, a group of artists who addressed the collapse of traditional structures of meaning—both secular and religious—and conveyed their sense of life’s meaninglessness. Born during World War I, Camus lost his father to the fighting and grew up to be an integral member of the Lost Generation. By the time he wrote The Stranger in the early 1940s, World War II had begun and the Nazi regime occupied France, where Camus had recently moved from Algeria. Though he fought passionately for the French Resistance against the Germans, Camus lived amidst widespread fear that the senseless horrors of World War I would be repeated. The inadequacy of religion or logic to account for such horrors helped inspire his own philosophy of Absurdism, whose ideas are reflected throughout The Stranger.


No sentence in the English translation of French literature is better known than the opening sentence of The Stranger, “Maman died today . Or Yesterday maybe. I don’t know”.

It has become a sacred cow of sorts, according to Mathew Ward, the translator. In his notebooks Camus recorded the observation that “the curious feeling the son has for his mother constitutes all his sensibility“. Sartre , in his explication of The Stranger goes out of his way to point out Mersault‘s (protagonist) use of the child’s word “Maman” when speaking of his mother. So Ward has not changed it to ‘mother’ to keep the very sensibility that Camus intends.

The Stranger is an artistic sleight of hand by Camus , at once literary and popular style, that would make the complexities of life appear simpler. Mersault and Camus were moralists in their own way. Camus was a humanist and moralist throughout his life a humanist. The latter philosophy was interested in imbuing society with a certain set of morals and informed his political positioning. The simplicity of the text is apparent and the paradox is evident. What Mersault says, feels or does resonates with all he does not say, all he does not feel, all he does not do. Camus acknowledged employing an American way of writing using short, precise sentences in the first half of the book, the depiction of characters without consciousness and in some places the “tough guy” tone. Like Hemingway, Dos Passos, Faulkner, and Cain. Camus’ use of language in The Stranger is minimalist — short, curt sentences that mimic Meursault’s noncommittal nature. The first English edition, translated by Stuart Gilbert and published in 1946, has a Britannic rendering with a paraphrastic earnestness according to Ward. In Ward’s translation, he has given the American quality to the dialogues, to capture what Camus says and how he says it and not what he meant.

In the second half of the novel, Camus gives free reign to lyricism and he takes Mersault , stripped of his liberty, beyond sensation to enforced memory, unsatisfied desire and finally to a kind of understanding. Mersault’s character has peculiarities of perception, psychological increments, something unconventional .The two parts of the novel differ stylistically.

In the prison, Meursault then stops telling of how he spent his time during those eleven months and describes an incident when, one day, while he was inspecting his straw mattress, he found a bit of yellowed newspaper stuck on the underside. Part of the paper is missing, but the newspaper contains the story of a crime, committed in a village in Czechoslovakia. The story is a short one, one in fact that Camus later enlarged into a play, The MisunderstandingThe play recounts the story of a young man who leaves home, makes a fortune, and after twenty-five years returns, hoping to surprise his mother and sister. The two women manage an inn and murder their guest during the night for his money. When the dead man’s wife explains what has happened, the mother hangs herself and the sister throws herself into a well. The story intrigues Meursault; he says that he read and re-read the story thousands of times, determining finally that perhaps one shouldn’t play tricks of that sort. Perhaps one, indeed, should not play tricks, even tricks that include writing vicious letters that lead to brawls and, in Meursault’s case, a murder.

The Misunderstanding was first produced in 1944, several years following the publication of The Stranger. Obviously, Camus was very much intrigued with the irony of a mother and a daughter murdering a rich stranger, who, by chance, is their son and brother. The women, it is assumed, have probably murdered other rich strangers who have come to their inn; this particular guest, being alone in the inn, is an easy victim. Thus, as readers, we are confronted with another murder — a murder of, presumably, a stranger. Unlike Meursault, however, the mother and daughter kill themselves in fits of madness and guilt when they discover the identity of the dead man, whereas, in contrast, Meursault does not fully comprehend his own murder of a stranger.

Camus also teases us with yet another murder and with the philosophical question as to whether or not it makes any difference whether one kills a stranger or, in this case, a son and a brother. Even the title of Camus’ play, based on this short tale is ironic. Murder can under no circumstance ever be excused as the result of a mere misunderstanding.

The title is significant on a number of levels. Meursault, the book’s protagonist, is the eponymous stranger—a stranger to himself, to his family, to his country, and to anyone with whom he comes into contact. Cut off from all meaningful interactions with other people—indeed, cut off from any kind of meaning at all—Meursault is the ultimate existentialist antihero and a man who attempts without success to impose some semblance of meaning on his existence by taking up a firm, resolute attitude to life. In the last sentence of The Stranger, Meursault wishes for a crowd of angry spectators to appear at his execution because it will confirm him in his outsider status. The impact of the ending is meant to be shocking, to show us how it is still possible to be free even on the brink of execution.

Ward has done a wonderful job translating The Stranger, keenly preserving it’s essence. Still, as Richard Howard pointed out in his classic statement in his prefatory note of the translation of André Paul Guillaume Gide‘s ‘The Immoralist ‘, “Time reveals all translations to be paraphrase. All translations date, certain works do not”.

In England it was published as ‘The Outsider‘ translated by Joseph Laredo.


The historical context, social circumstances, and philosophies he worshipped played a large role in the way Meursault was viewed and the consequences he endured towards the story’s conclusion as the ‘other’.

The intersectionality of the time period also plays an important role in  the racist ideals exhibited from Meursault and Raymond during the time frame. Algeria was one of France’s major settler colonies, which means that the French aimed to replace the original Algerian population with their own. Migration to Algeria not only came from France, but also Italy, Spain, and Malta. Land expropriation of the native population, where the government took private property for public gain, took place. This process destroyed the socio-economic and cultural traditions of the Algerian people, due to European ideals of superiority. The migration was officially extended to that of France. Because of these norms, ‘arabs’ were referred to as ‘arabs’, and viewed as ‘less than’ by the general public. This explains why Meursault did not care if he were to take the life of someone who was viewed as culturally insignificant. Additionally, because a westernized way of thinking was implemented into Algeria, emotions are an expected way of showing humanity, hence why Meursault’s lack of emotion was viewed as ‘strange’ by the public within the novel. Today’s readers of this novel have usually been exposed to such an anti-hero as Meursault (think of Willey Loman in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman or Yossarian in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22)

In the 1940s, the decade in which Camus published The Stranger he was working in Paris at Paris-Soir, a large-circulation daily newspaper in the city that ran from 1923-44. His previous newspaper of employment, Alger républicain has just been banned for its left-leaning views. Albert Camus was becoming concerned about the rise of authoritarianism in Europe, especially after seeing the treatment of minority groups by the French authorities. 

The Stranger by Albert Camus is a philosophical piece concerning the absurdist, meaningless philosophy of Meursault, the main character. It is examined that within the novel, people view him as an ‘other’ for his strange and emotionless demeanors. The main events within the novel contribute to his impending death, which later reveal his true beliefs in the beauty of life. Because he is unable to show these emotions to characters within the novel, he is labeled as the ‘other’. The intersectionality and historical circumstances play a fairly large role as well in how Meursault goes about his interactions. The Stranger is arguably one of the greatest philosophical works of modern times.

 There is the otherness: the confrontation between two cultures which brush up against each other but never quite meet. For the shapeless Arab in Camus’ work — whose presence is almost nonexistent in The Stranger — tells us much about colonialist perceptions of the colonized: people who are marginalized, who are there but unseen until they suddenly appear, unwanted, on the landscape, provoking fear and suspicion.

Camus wrote The Stranger from a place of tragedy and suffering. His father had died in World War I, and the unfolding carnage of World War II forced a questioning of life and its meaning. Camus had also witnessed mistreatment of native Algerians during the French occupation of Algeria, which had begun in the first half of the 19th century and, after World War I, was opposed by a growing nationalist movement. This conflict can be seen specifically in Meursault’s killing of “the Arab,” the only name he uses to refer to Raymond’s mistress’s brother. The murder has been read by some as a metaphor for the treatment of Algerian Muslims by the colonizing French. Camus published The Stranger at a time when Algerians were demanding political autonomy with increased forcefulness; although France did extend some rights during the 1940s, ongoing conflicts and failed French promises of more independence culminated in the outbreak of the Algerian War in 1954.

Critical Analysis

Kamel Daoud, Algerian writer and journalist, has written a novel The Meursault Investigation (2013/2014), first published in Algeria in 2013, and then republished in France to critical acclaim. This post-colonialist response to The Stranger counters Camus’s version with elements from the perspective of the unnamed Arab victim’s brother (naming him and presenting him as a real person who was mourned) and other protagonists. Daoud explores their subsequent lives following the withdrawal of French authorities and most pied-noirs from Algeria after the conclusion of the Algerian War of Independence in 1962.

An Explication of The Stranger by Jean Paul Sartre

Sartre’s critical review of the work:

Hand in hand with its gratuitousness went a certain ambiguity. How were we to interpret this character who, the day after his mother’s death, “went swimming, started a liaison with a girl and went to see a comic film,” who killed an Arab “because of the sun,” who claimed, on the eve of his execution, that he “had been happy and still was,” and hoped there would be a lot of spectators at the scaffold “to welcome him with cries of hate.

These are not really very new themes, and Camus does not present them as such. They had been sounded as early as the seventeenth century by a certain kind of dry, plain, contemplative rationalism, which is typically French and they served as the commonplaces of classical pessimism. This explains, in part, the title of our novel; the stranger is man confronting the world. Camus might as well have chosen the title of one of George Gissing’s works, Born in Exile. The stranger is also man among men. “There are days when . . . you find that the person you’ve loved has become a stranger.” The stranger is, finally, myself in relation to myself, that is, natural man in relation to mind: “The stranger who, at certain moments, confronts us in a mirror” (The Myth of Sisyphus). But that is not all; there is a passion of the absurd. The absurd man will not commit suicide; he wants to live, without relinquishing any of his certainty, without a future, without hope, without illusion, and without resignation either. He stares at death with passionate attention and this fascination liberates him. He experiences the “divine irresponsibility” of the condemned man.

Since God does not exist and man dies, everything is permissible. One experience is as good as another; the important thing is simply to acquire as many as possible. “The ideal of the absurd man is the present and the succession of present moments before an ever-conscious spirit” (Sisyphus). Confronted with this “quantitative ethic” all values collapse; thrown into this world, the absurd man, rebellious and irresponsible, has “nothing to justify.” He is innocent, innocent as Somerset Maugham’s savages before the arrival of clergyman who teaches them Good and Evil, what is lawful and what is forbidden. For this man, everything is lawful. He is as innocent as Prince Mishkin, who “lives in an everlasting present, lightly tinged with smiles and indifference.” Innocent in every sense of the word, he, too, is, if you like, an “Idiot.”

And now we fully understand the title of Camus’s novel. The stranger he wants to portray is precisely one of those terrible innocents who shock society by not accepting the rules of its game. He lives among outsiders, but to them, too, he is a stranger. That is why some people like him—for example, his mistress, Marie, who is fond of him “because he’s odd.” Others, like the courtroom crowd whose hatred he suddenly feels mounting towards him, hate him for the same reason. And we ourselves, who, on opening the book are not yet familiar with the feeling of the absurd, vainly try to judge him according to our usual standards. For us, too, he is a stranger. It is true that he felt obliged to make a philosophical translation of his fictional message. The Myth of Sisyphus is just that.

Meursault, the hero of The Stranger, remains ambiguous, even to the reader who is familiar with theories of the absurd. We are, of course, assured that he is absurd, and his dominant characteristic is a pitiless clarity. Besides, he is, in more ways than one, constructed so as to furnish a concerted illustration of the theories expounded in The Myth of Sisyphus. For example, in the latter work, Camus writes, “A man’s virility lies more in what he keeps to himself than in what he says.” And Meursault in an example of this virile silence, of this refusal to indulge in words: “[He was asked] if he had noticed that I was withdrawn, and he admitted only that I didn’t waste words.” And two lines before this, the same witness has just declared that Merseault “was a man.” “[He was asked] what he meant by that, and he said that everyone knew what he meant.”

In like manner Camus expatiates on love in The Myth of Sisyphus. “It is only on the basis of a collective way of seeing, for which books and legends are responsible, that we give the name love to what binds us to certain human beings.” And similarly, we read in The Stranger: “So she wanted to know whether I loved her. I answered . . . that it didn’t mean anything, but that I probably didn’t love her.” From this point of view, the debate in the courtroom and in the reader’s mind as to whether or not Meursault loved his mother is doubly absurd.

First of all, as the lawyer asks, “Is he accused of having buried his mother or of having killed a man?” But above all, the words “to love” are meaningless. Meursault probably put his mother into an old people’s home because he hadn’t enough money and because “they had nothing more to say to one another.” And he probably did not go to see her often, “because it wasted [his] Sunday—not to speak of the effort involved in getting to the bus, buying tickets and taking a two-hour trip.” But what does this mean? Isn’t he living completely in the present, according to his present fancies? What we call a feeling is merely the abstract unity and the meaning of discontinuous impressions.  For him, neither love nor individual loves exist. All that counts is the present and the concrete. He goes to see his mother when he feels like it, and that’s that. But he still calls his mother by the tender, childish name of “Mama,” and he never misses a chance to understand her and identify himself with her. “All I know of love is that mixture of desire, tenderness and intelligence that binds me to someone” (The Myth of Sisyphus). Thus we see that the theoretical side of Meursault’s character is not to be overlooked. In the same way, many of his adventures are intended chiefly to bring out some aspect or other of the basic absurdity of things. The Myth of Sisyphus, for example, extols, as we have seen, the “perfect freedom of the condemned prisoner to whom, some particular daybreak, the prison doors swing open,” and it is in order to make us taste this daybreak and freedom that Camus has condemned his hero to capital punishment. “How could I have failed to see,” says Meursault, “that nothing was more important than an execution . . . and that it was even, in a way, the only really interesting thing for a man!” One could multiply the examples and quotations.

“The feeling of the absurd is not the same as the idea of the absurd. The idea is grounded in the feeling, that is all. It does not exhaust it.” The Myth of Sisyphus might be said to aim at giving us this idea, and The Stranger at giving us the feeling. The order in which the two works appeared seems to confirm this hypothesis. The Stranger, the first to appear, plunges us without comment into the “climate” of the absurd; the essay then comes and illumines the landscape. Now, absurdity means divorce, discrepancy. The Stranger is to be a novel of discrepancy, divorce and disorientation; hence its skillful construction. We have, on the one hand, the amorphous, everyday flow of reality as it is experienced, and, on the other, the edifying reconstruction of this reality by speech and human reason. The reader, brought face to face with simple reality, must find it again, without being able to recognize it in its rational transposition. This is the source of the feeling of the absurd, that is, of our inability to think, with our words and concepts, what happens in the world. Meursault buries his mother, takes a mistress, and commits a crime.

These various facts will be related by witnesses at his trial, and they will be put in order and explained by the public prosecutor. Meursault will have the impression that they are talking of someone else. Everything is so arranged as to bring on the sudden outburst of Marie, who, after giving, in the witness box, an account composed according to human rules, bursts into sobs and says “that that wasn’t it, that there was something else, that they were forcing her to say the opposite of what she really thought.” These mirror tricks have been used frequently since The Counterfeiters, and they do not constitute Camus’s originality. But the problem to be solved imposes an original form upon him.

In order to feel the divergence between the prosecutor’s conclusions and the actual circumstances of the murder, in order, when we have finished the book, to retain the impression of an absurd justice, incapable of ever understanding or even of making contact with the deeds it intends to punish, we must first have been placed in contact with reality, or with one of these circumstances. But in order to establish this contact, Camus, like the prosecutor, has only words and concepts at his disposal. In assembling thoughts, he is forced to use words to describe a world that precedes words. The first part of The Stranger could have been given the same title as a recent book, Translated from Silence. Here we touch upon a disease common to many contemporary writers and whose first traces I find in Jules Renard. I shall call it “the obsession with silence.” Jean Paulhan would certainly regard it as an effect of literary terrorism.

The comparison with Hemingway seems more fruitful. The relationship between the two styles is obvious. Both men write in the same short sentences. Each sentence refuses to exploit the momentum accumulated by preceding ones. Each is a new beginning. Each is like a snapshot of a gesture or object. For each new gesture and word there is a new and corresponding sentence. Nevertheless, I am not quite satisfied. The existence of an “American” narrative technique has certainly been of help to Camus. I doubt whether it has, strictly speaking, influenced him.

Even in Death in the Afternoon, which is not a novel, Hemingway retains that abrupt style of narration that shoots each separate sentence out of the void with a sort of respiratory spasm. His style is himself. We know that Camus has another style, a ceremonious one. But even in The Stranger he occasionally heightens the tone. His sentences then take on a larger, more continuous, movement.

The cry of the news-vendors in the relaxed air, the last birds in the square, the calls of the sandwich-vendors, the wail of the trams on the high curves of the city and the distant murmur in the sky before night began to teeter over the port, all set before me a blind man’s route with which I was familiar long before entering prison.

Through the transparency of Meursault’s breathless account I catch a glimpse of a poetic prose underneath, which is probably Camus’s personal mode of expression. If The Stranger exhibits such visible traces of the American technique, it was deliberate on Camus’s part. He has chosen from among all the instruments at his disposal the one which seemed to serve his purpose best. However, we are not concerned with honesty, but with art. Camus has a method ready to hand. He is going to insert a glass partition between the reader and his characters. Is there really anything sillier than a man behind a glass window? Glass seems to let everything through. It stops only one thing: the meaning of his gestures. The glass remains to be chosen. It will be the Stranger’s mind, which is really transparent, since we see everything it sees. However, it is so constructed as to be transparent to things and opaque to meanings.

It is this analytic process that explains the use of the American technique in The Stranger. The presence of death at the end of our path has made our future go up in smoke; our life has “no future”; it is a series of present moments. What does this mean, if not that the absurd man is applying his analytical spirit to Time? Where Bergson saw an indestructible organization, he sees only a series of instants. It is the plurality of incommunicable moments that will finally account for the plurality of beings. What our author borrows from Hemingway is thus the discontinuity between the clipped phrases that imitate the discontinuity of time.

How are we to classify this clear, dry work, so carefully composed beneath its seeming disorder, so “human,” so open, too, once you have the key? It cannot be called a récit, for a récit explains and co-ordinates as it narrates. It substitutes the order of causality for chronological sequence. Camus calls it a “novel.” The novel, however, requires continuous duration, development and the manifest presence of the irreversibility of time. I would hesitate somewhat to use the term “novel” for this succession of inert present moments which allows us to see, from underneath, the mechanical economy of something deliberately staged. Or, if it is a novel, it is so in the sense that Zadig and Candide are novels. It might be regarded as a moralist’s short novel, one with a discreet touch of satire and a series of ironic portraits (those of the pimp, the judge, the prosecuting attorney, etc.), a novel that, for all the influence of the German existentialists and the American novelists, remains, at bottom, very close to the tales of Voltaire.

How Camus wrote The Stranger:

Book “Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic” by Alice Kaplan.

The French philosopher Gabriel Marcel wrote in The Philosophy of Existentialism that Jean-Paul “Sartre’s world is the world as seen from the terrace of a café.” The other major French existentialist writer, a very different one, was Albert Camus (1913–1960). If Sartre wrote of life as seen from a café, Camus wrote of it as seen from a beach on a hot sunny day overlooked by a house on a hill where a group of friends live. In other words, Sartre’s existentialism focused on other people; Camus’s on the natural world and its indifference to humankind.

Sartre and Camus both wrote philosophy and novels. The general consensus was—and both men grudgingly admitted it—that Sartre was the better philosopher and Camus the better novelist. Why this is so lives in the mystery of personality and talent, but it is interesting to note both men had fraught family lives: after his father’s death, Sartre was raised by his mother and her father and grew up afraid of God’s gaze and the gazes of other people; Camus’s father was killed in World War I before Camus was born to his deaf mother, who had a vocabulary of four hundred words. Alice Kaplan, a French professor at Yale, writes, “That an execution made Lucien Camus sick [he had gone to see a man executed by guillotine], that it filled him with such horror he couldn’t speak, was really the only thing Albert Camus ever learned about his father.”

Kaplan tells the story of the life of Camus’s most famous work: his relationship with his mother is the most salient biographical fact with regard to The Stranger. After all, its opening paragraph, one of the most famous in twentieth-century literature, reads, “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: ‘Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.’ That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.’”

“In May of 1935,” Kaplan writes,

soon after his marriage to Simone Hié, Camus began to jot down his insights in notebooks that would nurture every project to come. In a first entry, he reflected on those origins. Could he stay true to the poverty in which he had been born without giving into romanticism, and could he ever convey the strangeness of his relationship to his mother? “A certain number of years lived in misery are all it takes to construct a sensibility. In this particular case, the bizarre feeling a son has for his mother constitutes his entire sensibility.”

Not that The Stranger is an autobiographical novel. Camus was a much more fun-loving, animated fellow than his narrator, Meursault. At the novel’s beginning, Meursault is an almost affectless character. But as the novel progresses and he is drawn into a neighbor’s abusive relationship—which ends with his killing a nameless Arab on the beach under a blazing sun and then being tried and condemned to death—Meursault awakens emotionally. And as Camus writes of his anti-hero, whom many traditionalists denounced, “I see something positive about him and that is his refusal, unto death, to lie.”

Kaplan shows how The Stranger appeared to Camus slowly over a number of years. He had already published two books, with very small print runs, and then written a novel called A Happy Death, which comprised many of the same elements as The Stranger. Camus tried to cram his whole life into it and it was too packed with material to be effective. But while he was writing it, and also becoming a journalist in Algiers, snippets of another story kept arising disconnectedly in his notebooks. He had studied philosophy under the direction of Jean Grenier, his first mentor, and was now learning the journalistic trade under the guidance of his second mentor, Pascal Pia.

When the selfless and energetic Pia went to Paris for work, he soon sent for Camus, who then worked as a layout man for page four of a tabloid. Camus had been a court reporter in Algiers—a thorn in the side to the colonial government—and now that experience plus the solitude in Paris and his reading of James Cain’s novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice—combined to help him begin and finish writing The Stranger. Pia introduced him to André Malraux, famous French man of action and letters, who read and constructively criticized certain scenes in the novel, and helped get it published by Gallimard.

The only hitch was that Germany had begun World War II and divided France into occupied and unoccupied zones. The manuscript of The Stranger was shuttled back and forth and in all directions before finally being published in April of 1942. Camus, meanwhile, because of a recurrence of tuberculosis, had returned to Algeria. When he made it back to France, he joined the Resistance by writing and editing for the underground newspaper, Combat. The Nazis imprisoned and executed several of his colleagues. He began to write The Plague.

Publication of The Stranger sent Camus into the first rank of contemporary French writers. The more religious and traditional writers disliked and often misunderstood it. François Mauriac, the preeminent writer of the Catholic left, wrote, “I have no taste for [The Stranger], but strictly for technical reasons: I find its style too derivative.” Sartre was the most perceptive critic. He skewered Camus for his philosophical essay, The Myth of Sisyphus—“the Paris intellectual was giving lessons to the man who had written from Algeria,” Kaplan writes—but The Stranger enchanted him. Sartre saw that Camus’s use of language was unique (“each sentence of the novel was like an island”) without knowing anything about Camus’s childhood. Kaplan notes, “Sartre’s ‘The Stranger Explained’ is proof that it’s unnecessary to know anything about an author’s life in order to understand a work of literature.”

The Plague appeared after the war, and in 1957 Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He had already become famous after an American lecture tour and the appearance of Cartier-Bresson’s black and white photographs of him wrapped in a trench coat and with a cigarette dangling from his lips. In 1948, a murderer tried to use The Stranger as part of his defense, claiming the book had influenced his crime. The father of the victim asked Camus to condemn the accused. Camus replied, “My work, Monsieur—and for once I am saying this with sorrow—does not consist in accusing people. It consists in understanding them.”

Then in 1960, Camus was killed in a car accident. In his pocket was a ticket for the train he had originally planned to take, and in the car was a manuscript of a novel, The First Man, not published until thirty-four years later and, Kaplan says, “as tender and emotional as The Stranger was cool and disturbed.”

In 2013, a novel told from the point of view of the brother of the nameless Arab killed by Meursault in The Stranger appeared. Kaplan:

There is such a thing as a zeitgeist, a spirit of the times. Maybe our current zeitgeist amounts to impatience with talk of the “absent” Arab, and a wish to describe his reality and tell his story. An Algerian novelist, Kamel Daoud, has given a name and a life to that Arab, to this brother and his mother, in a novel called The Meursault Investigation.

The murder of the Arab in The Stranger had been based on a real-life fight that Camus knew about and used. The names of the French brothers involved in the brawl, Raoul and Edgar Benoussan, were well known, but no one knew the name of the Arab. Kaplan looked in the archives of L’Echo d’Oran and found it: Kaddour Betouil. Ironically, both Betouil and Camus were tubercular and could not fight in the war.

Looking for The Stranger is, for Camus fans and those interested in philosophical fiction or fictional philosophy, a compelling read. Its detailed descriptions of the creative process will challenge writers of all stages. Although Kaplan sometimes goes a bit too far in her speculations, overall she writes on solid scholarly ground (there are fifty pages of notes). The book’s ending about the nameless Arab, though it could be construed to be an unnecessary piece of political correctness, may also be seen as a needed rapprochement and satisfaction of natural curiosity.  

Plot summary

The title character of The Stranger is Meursault, a Frenchman who lives in Algiers (a pied-noir)(A person of European origin who lived in Algeria during French rule, especially one who returned to Europe after Algeria was granted independence.). The novel is famous for its first lines: “Mother died today. Or maybe it was yesterday, I don’t know.” They capture Meursault’s anomie (in societies or individuals, a condition of instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values or from a lack of purpose or ideals) briefly and brilliantly. After this introduction, the reader follows Meursault through the novel’s first-person narration to Marengo, where he sits vigil at the place of his mother’s death. Despite the expressions of grief around him during his mother’s funeral, Meursault does not show any outward signs of distress. This removed nature continues throughout all of Meursault’s relationships, both platonic and romantic.

Raymond, an unsavoury friend, is eventually arrested for assaulting his mistress and asks Meursault to vouch for him to the police. Meursault agrees without emotion. Raymond soon encounters a group of men, including the brother of his mistress. The brother, referred to as “the Arab,” slashes Raymond with a knife after Raymond strikes the man repeatedly. Meursault happens upon the altercation and shoots the brother dead, not out of revenge but, he says, because of the disorienting heat and vexing brightness of the sun, which blinds him as it reflects off the brother’s knife. This murder is what separates the two parts of the story.

The novel’s second part begins with Meursault’s pretrial questioning, which primarily focuses on the accused’s callousness toward his mother’s funeral and his murder of “the Arab.” His lack of remorse, combined with his lack of sadness expressed toward his mother, works against him and earns him the nickname “Monsieur Antichrist” from the examining magistrate. During the trial itself, Meursault’s character witnesses do more harm than good, because they highlight Meursault’s apparent apathy and disengagement. Eventually, Meursault is found guilty of murder with malice aforethought and is sentenced to death by guillotine. As he waits for his impending death, he obsesses over the possibility of his appeal being accepted. A chaplain visits Meursault against his wishes, only to be greeted by Meursault’s intense atheistic and nihilistic views. In a cathartic explosion of rage, Meursault brings the chaplain to tears. This, however, brings Meursault peace and helps him to accept his death with open arms.


1)Meaninglessness of Life and the Absurd

From Meursault’s perspective the world is meaningless, and he repeatedly dismisses other characters’ attempts to make sense of human. He rejects both religious and secular efforts to find meaning. From the director at the old people’s home who arranges a religious funeral for Madame Meursault to the examining magistrate who tries to guide Meursault towards Christian faith to the chaplain who lectures Meursault about repentance and the afterlife, Meursault is often advised to embrace religion and place his faith in a divine world beyond this one. Meursault, though, is adamantly atheist, and insists he believes only in this life and physical experience.

Efforts to engage Meursault in secular structures of meaning are equally futile. When Meursault’s boss offers Meursault a position in Paris, he expects Meursault to embrace the opportunity for career advancement. Meursault, though, lacks all ambition and turns down the boss’ offer without considering it. As a student, Meursault recalls, “I had lots of ambitions…But when I had to give up my studies I learned very quickly that none of it really mattered.” When Marie asks Meursault whether he wants to marry her, she expects him to take the institution of marriage seriously. Yet Meursault is indifferent towards it, thinks “it didn’t mean anything” to love a person, and agrees to marry Marie simply because she wants to marry him. Though he grows fond of her, he doesn’t cultivate any attachment to her more meaningful than superficial attraction. Throughout his trial, Meursault is equally bemused by the meaninglessness of the justice system and finds its attempts to impose rational, meaningful structure on his actions ridiculous. He considers the guilty verdict he eventually receives entirely arbitrary, and describes its “certainty” as “arrogant.”

Meursault’s unwavering nihilism frustrates those who try to convert him to their ways of thinking and they often experience Meursault’s perspective as a threat to their own ideas. “Do you want my life to be meaningless?” the examining magistrate bellows when Meursault refuses to accept his faith in God. The prosecutor passionately describes “the emptiness of a man’s heart” as “an abyss threatening to swallow up society,” casting Meursault as a threat to social order.

This tension between Meursault’s sense of life’s meaninglessness and other characters’ persistent efforts to impose structures of meaning demonstrates the main tenet of Camus’ own philosophy of Absurdism. Absurdism holds that the world is absurd and that looking for order or meaning of any kind is a futile endeavor. Humans must accept the absolute indifference of the world towards human life. Ironically, it is only the thought of imminent death that leads Meursault to acknowledge anything like meaning or importance in life. Though he still spurns the notion of essential meaning, Meursault’s impending execution fills him with an overwhelming, heart-felt desire for life that contradicts his stated goal of being “level-headed” and considering life and death as equal possibilities.

2) Chance and Interchangeability

Meursault considers all experience interchangeable, arbitrary, and essentially meaningless. “One life was as good as another,” he tells his boss, explaining his indifference towards the opportunity to move to Paris. To him, it’s only a matter of chance that events turn out as they do. His thoughts on the beach steps as he decides whether to return to Masson’s bungalow or to go back down to the beach could summarize his attitude towards every life choice: “to stay or to go, it amounted to the same thing.” (Expressing this attitude at that particular instance is, of course, highly ironic as his choice to go back down to the beach leads to the murder that changes his life dramatically.)

Meursault remains convinced of the arbitrariness of events throughout his imprisonment and trial. Hearing street noises he recognizes beyond the court, he reflects that’s is as if “familiar paths traced in summer skies could lead as easily to prison as to the sleep of the innocent.” Meursault’s primary contention with judicial procedure is its certainty, its unwillingness to embrace chance. After being condemned, Meursault thinks how the verdict may as well have been the opposite, as all the factors leading up to it were entirely arbitrary. He fantasizes a new form of capital punishment which would work nine out of ten times, leaving the condemned a chance for hope and eliminating the unyielding certainty of death by guillotine.

Likewise, Meursault treats human relationships as chance arrangements, believing that any person could substitute for any other in a relationship without causing any difference. He tells Marie that he would marry any other women with whom he had the same relationship he has with her. He kills the Arab without any personal motive: the man may as well have been anybody. Thus, though “the stranger” of the title refers primarily to Meursault’s own estrangement from society, it also refers to the man Meursault kills, a chance stranger whom the novel never names. Contemplating his own death, Meursault reminds himself that it doesn’t matter when one dies, since “other men and women will naturally go on living” far into the future.

Yet none of the people around Meursault see events as the fluid, interchangeable occurrences Meursault sees. Throughout the trial, the prosecutor repeatedly portrays Meursault’s murder as a premeditated crime, fundamentally connected to Meursault’s prior behavior. The prosecutor’s determination to prove the deliberate malice of Meursault’s actions reaches its highest pitch when his closing argument equates Meursault’s disengagement at his mother’s funeral to the act of another criminal who murdered his own father.

3) Indifference and Passivity

The novel opens with Meursault’s indifference at his mother’s funeral and the consternation it provokes among the people around him. This dynamic recurs much more starkly at the trial, where the account of Meursault’s “insensitivity” towards his mother’s death proves to be what ultimately turns the jury against him. People’s surprise and dismay at novel’s start implied they were judging Meursault based on his indifferent attitude. The court scene in the second half of the novel makes those judgments explicit.

Meursault is equally indifferent towards Marie, who, of all the characters, shows him the most warmth. Although he is fond of her and enjoys her company, he is indifferent towards her essential being and is not in love with her as a unique individual. When Marie asks Meursault whether he wants to marry her: “I said it didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to. Then she wanted to know if I loved her. I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn’t mean anything but that I probably didn’t love her…She just wanted to know if I would have accepted the same proposal from another woman, with whom I was involved in the same way. I said, ‘Sure.'” In prison later on, he fantasizes about women without imagining Marie specifically. Conversely, when Marie stops writing, he is not at all disturbed to imagine she may have taken up with a new man or be dead.

Meursault’s emotional indifference contributes to his general passivity. Lacking goals and desires of his own, Meursault rarely seems to care how events turn out and acts simply to satisfy his immediate physical needs, allowing his life to flow by as it will. His passive people-watching from the balcony in Chapter 2 provides a possible model for his life philosophy. He stands by and observes others without acting. Even the crucial act of his murder is described in passive terms: “the trigger gave.” As the prosecutor elaborates, Meursault’s passive indifference threatens society because it can’t be assimilated into social life (a life premised on care for relationships, careers, friendships, family, etc.). Thus, Meursault himself is the primary “stranger” of the title – he is a stranger to the social fabric of his world.

Meursault begins and ends the novel in a state of indifference, yet his indifference at novel’s end is achieved after enduring the grueling frustration he experiences in prison trying to outsmart “the machinery of justice.” Where his indifference at novel’s start seemed like numb apathy, his indifference at the end seems to be a kind of enlightenment. He embraces indifference as an active choice, opening himself to the indifference of the world itself. The English translations of the novel differ critically in their characterization of this larger indifference. The first translation by Stuart Gilbert translates, “I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe,” while the second by Joseph Laredo translates, “I laid my heart open to the gentle indifference of the universe.” Matthew Ward’s most recent translation reads, “I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.” Still, despite their differences, each of these translations conveys the world’s indifference as harmless, as something to embrace and be “happy” amidst, rather than something to despise and fear.

4) Importance of Physical Experience

As Meursault explains to his lawyer, “…my nature was such that my physical needs often got in the way of my feelings.” Indeed, throughout the novel, Meursault experiences physical sensations and pains/pleasures much more acutely than he experiences emotional/psychological ones. As a narrator, he constantly supplies physical details without analyzing their emotional or psychological import. The most extreme example of this can be found in his account of killing the Arab. Meursault initially shoots because of the uncomfortably bright glare reflected off the Arab’s knife and later explains to the courtroom he shot “because of the sun.” Likewise, Meursault observes the mourners at his mother’s funeral coolly, unmoved to empathize with the grief their actions attest to. Later, Meursault ignores much of the argument at his own trial (including critical speeches by his lawyer and the prosecutor), preferring to focus instead on the sounds of the street outside.

At novel’s end, this way of life is actually presented as a positive, vivid alternative to religious life. He who lives a religious life lives for the sake of a world to come but Meursault wants to live for the sake of this life. When the chaplain insists Meursault must have “wished for another life,” Meursault insists that any other life should still be embodied and sensual, “…of course I had, but it didn’t mean any more than wishing to be rich, to be able to swim faster, or to have a more nicely shaped mouth…he stopped me and wanted to know how I pictured this other life. Then I shouted at him, “‘One where I could remember this life!” The chaplain (and anyone who believes in an afterlife) is, to Meursault’s mind, “living like a dead man.” The memory exercises Meursault develops to pass the time in prison by recalling every detail of his old apartment likewise convey a profound trust in the richness of physical experience: “…the more I thought about it, the more I dug out of my memory things I had overlooked or forgotten. I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored.”

5) Relationships

Throughout the novel, Meursault remains unable to experience deep, complex relationships to the people in his life. All of his relationships – from the filial relationship he had with his mother to his friendship with Raymond to his romantic relationship with Marie – are passionless, determined much more by incidental, superficial impressions than by deep-felt emotional bonds. His casual attitude towards these relationships enables him to treat the people in his life according to his own desires without feeling any sense of duty or loyalty towards them. Once he no longer has anything to talk with his mother about, he sends her off to an old people’s home and is puzzled to hear his neighbors disapprove of the decision. At his mother’s vigil, he drinks coffee and smokes as usual, not feeling obliged to act differently out of respect.

Though fond of Marie, Meursault does not feel bound to her as a unique individual and freely admits he isn’t in love with her. Though he helps Raymond by writing the letter to his mistress and by testifying to her infidelity at the police station, Meursault does not feel these actions to be any sort of burden on himself and performs them in a spirit of indifference. Ironically, Meursault’s murder could be considered a tremendous sacrifice made for a friend’s wellbeing (it is Raymond, after all, who has a problem with the Arab, not Meursault). Yet the Arab’s connection to Raymond is, to Meursault’s mind, entirely incidental and he shoots the Arab without even thinking of Raymond.

Meursault’s cool detachment from relationships is juxtaposed by several passionate bonds between other characters, including the tender warmth between Thomas Pérez and Madame Meursault, the volatile resentment between Raymond and his mistress, and the excruciating love/hate relationship between Salamano and his dog. Though Meursault remains just as unattached to others at novel’s end as he was at the start, he glimpses the possibility of a deeper connection to others several times in Book II. The first occurs after Céleste’s testimony on the witness stand when Meursault feels for “the first time in my life I…wanted to kiss a man.” The second occurs is in the final chapter when Meursault realizes “why at the end of her life [Maman] had taken a ‘fiancé.'” In the novel’s last sentence, Meursault sees even his estrangement from society as capable of giving companionship, thinking that “to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.


1) Heat

Heat symbolizes the indifference of the universe towards human life. The sun’s blazing intensity without regard for bodily comfort or peace of mind stands for the general disregard the natural world has for humanity. Thus, human life is essentially meaningless and no higher or deeper order should be looked for. The most uncomfortably hot moments in the narrative are also the moments at which the meaninglessness of human life is brought into greatest relief. They literally make Meursault dizzy, a dizziness that is both physical and psychological. Meursault encounters dizzying heat on the day of his mother’s funeral as well as on the day he shoots the Arab (he himself links these two days by comparing their heat.) Likewise, the heat in the courtroom renders Meursault dizzy during the prosecutor’s damning speech in which he creates false meanings for Meursault’s actions and claims Meursault is guilty of parricide. Meursault is unable to say anything in response but that the murder was meaningless, without personal motive, a truth the court will not accept.

2) Glare (shimmer, glisten, dazzle)

Glare (along with its synonyms) symbolizes the importance of physical experience over mental analysis. Literally caused by light bouncing off a surface, glare represents a way of experiencing the world that doesn’t seek to probe beneath the surface of things. Instead of analyzing or interpreting, this way of looking at the world takes physical experience as it comes and makes decisions based on sensory impressions. The most crucial instance of glare in The Stranger can be found reflecting off the Arab’s knife on the beach, moments before Meursault shoots him. Indeed, to Meursault’s mind, this bright glare (rather than any deeper, personal motive) was the reason he killed the Arab. Glares, shimmers, glistens, and dazzles are plentiful throughout the rest of the novel as well, and shine off the landscape the day of Madame Meursault’s funeral, off of the pavement and bodies of strangers walking below Meursault’s apartment as he people-watches, and off the beach beside Masson’s.

3) The Crucifix 

Towards the end of the novel, while Meursault is speaking with the magistrate, he pulls out a crucifix. He asks Meursault to examine his faith and brandishes the item almost like a weapon. It represents a specific world view that Meursault does not adhere to, but which makes up one of the two conflicting points of view in absurdist philosophy. 

4) The Sea 

Throughout The Stranger, Meursault returns to the sea. He is there when he meets up with Marie the day after getting back from his mother’s funeral. It is a symbol of happiness, relief, and respite from the heat. The most physically joyous parts of the novel take place in or near the sea. When he, Marie, and Raymond are on the beach at Masson’s house the same pleasure can be seen as they move in and out of the water. 


The Stranger, Camus’s second attempt at writing a novel, includes a number of the scenes, characters, and situations found in A Happy Death (Mersault, the hero of A Happy Death, becomes Meursault in The Stranger). A detailed comparison of the two novels, however, makes it clear that The Stranger, which appeared in 1942, four years and many events after Camus abandoned A Happy Death, is a wholly different work in both conception and theme. No longer preoccupied with happiness in death, Camus turned his attention in The Stranger to the problem of happiness in life, to man’s irrational and desperate need to find meaning in existence. His protagonist, Meursault, is not the frail, sophisticated, death-haunted figure of the earlier novel, but rather a robust primitive who seems eerily devoid of the normal attitudes, values, and culturally induced feelings of his society, as though he had been brought up on some other planet—a “stranger” in the fullest sense of the word. Moreover, Camus hit upon the device of first-person narration as the most effective and dramatic means of confronting his readers with his disturbing protagonist, so alien to his environment. The famous opening words shock the reader into an awareness of the disquieting strangeness of the narrator:

“Maman died today. Or perhaps yesterday, I don’t know. I received a telegram from the home: “Mother passed away. Funeral tomorrow. Yours truly.” That doesn’t mean anything. Perhaps it was yesterday”.

Shrewdly focusing on a mother’s death as a revealing touchstone of humankind’s most deeply ingrained social attitudes, these words achieve a double effect: They tell the reader that the son of the deceased mother can speak of her death without any of the expected symptoms of grief, but, at the same time, they remind the reader that the rest of society, having no familial ties with the deceased, habitually masks its indifference under empty rhetorical formulas such as the telegraphic announcement.

This dual perspective is fully developed in subsequent chapters as the basic theme of the book: While Meursault shows by his own forthright account of his life that he does not share his society’s conventional notions about death, religion, family, friendship, love, marriage, and ambition, he also manages to reveal—often without realizing it—that those conventional notions are often shallow, hypocritical, or delusory and constitute the pathetic inventions of a society desperate to invest its existence with a meaning it does not have. Thus, when Meursault, asked by his boss whether he would be interested in an assignment to establish a Paris office for his boss’s business, says that he has no interest in living in Paris, the reader recognizes that Meursault simply does not believe that material surroundings can make his life any different. At the same time, the boss’s dismayed reaction to Meursault’s indifference to opportunity subtly disturbs the reader with the suspicion that, after all, the boss may have a touching but misplaced faith in the value of ambition. A similar moment occurs when Meursault and his girlfriend, Marie, discuss love and marriage. The reader is surely made uncomfortable by Meursault’s casualness in saying that he does not know what love is, but that he is willing to marry Marie if she wants it. It is, however, a different order of discomfort that overcomes the reader when Marie insists that marriage is a very serious matter and Meursault calmly replies that it is not.

All of part 2 of the novel, devoted to Meursault’s trial after he has killed an Arab, brings additional and even more disturbing changes on the same dual perspective, with Meursault showing no awareness or acceptance of conventional beliefs about justice, murder, legal procedures, and the nature of evidence, while all the “normal” people involved show unexamined or self-deceiving convictions about all such matters. The ironic meaning that emerges from the novel is that although Meursault is guilty of taking a life, society sentences him to death not for his crime, with which it seems incapable of dealing, but for his refusal to live by society’s values, for not “playing the game.” As Camus himself laconically remarked, his novel means that any man who does not weep at his mother’s funeral risks being condemned to death.

Meursault, in The Stranger, is not at first a seeker of meaning, nor is he particularly aware of his own mortality. He simply sleepwalks through life, as many do, ignoring the inevitability of death and the implications of mortality. Camus argues that most human beings live in this condition for as long as they can, going about their daily routines like automatons, refusing to think, seeking solace in simple physical and material pleasures. However, most are doomed to be awakened to their condition when something—the death of a loved one, perhaps, or a serious illness as in his own case—disturbs their routine.

For Meursault, the event that forces him out of his complacency is the killing of the Arab—not the murder itself, a meaningless event brought about by a natural response to the sun and danger, but its aftermath. When society condemns him, Meursault realizes that he is not being condemned for taking a human life but for refusing to accept the illusions society promotes to protect itself from having to acknowledge the absurdity of the human condition. In effect, Meursault is condemned to death for failing to weep at his mother’s funeral.

After he is condemned, Meursault could fall back on the illusions proffered by society through its priests and clergymen—hucksters and shills, as Camus thought of them. To do so would have been intellectually dishonest. In fact, the novel’s real turning point occurs when the priest visits Meursault in his cell. Here, for the first time, Meursault shows passion, revolting against the priest’s effort to impose on him the platitudes and false certainties of religion. Meursault chooses, instead, to accept his condition; he refuses to deny the reality of his impending death. In doing so, he discovers the one tie that links him to all other beings: death. Once death, or the inevitable cessation of existence, is recognized as the single inescapable condition of existence, life, however meaningless it might ultimately be, becomes valuable. However, whatever value life has must be imposed on it; people must engage it actively. Ironically, Meursault learns this too late.

The Stranger is a deeply disturbing novel. From its famous dispassionate opening—“Mother died today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.”—to its conclusion, where Meursault expresses the hope that on the day of his execution he will be greeted by “a huge crowd of spectators,” all hurling at him “howls of execration,” the novel challenges assumptions about life and literature. Just when it appears that Meursault can be dismissed as a callous egoist, he reveals complexities of emotion common to all; he merely refuses to pretend to feelings he does not possess. When Meursault becomes enmeshed in the legal system, Camus shows how society is more concerned with appearances than with any meaningful concept of justice. When Meursault, instead of repenting and seeking solace in some transcendent reality, refuses to acknowledge the possibility of anything beyond the immediate facts of his situation, the heroism of his attitude is made clear.

Camus’s style in this novel is disturbingly flat and objective, an anomaly for a first-person narrative. It has often been suggested that Camus was influenced by Ernest Hemingway in this respect. With this curiously flat style, Camus suggests that in an absurd universe all things have equal value. Nothing in the entire universe is intrinsically more meaningful than anything else.

Can we condemn Meursault? Should he have shed tears? Should he have thrown himself on his mother’s casket? Or should we recognize his honesty? In Part Two, a jury will judge him and will find him guilty, not because he murdered an Arab, but mainly because he could not and did not weep at his mother’s funeral. Shall we also condemn him? Camus says no: a man must be committed to himself, to his own values, and not be confined by certain value judgments of others. It is important to be a physical, mortal man, as opposed to being a half-man, living with the myth of someday becoming an immortal spirit.

Meursault’s philosophy is, despite its unusual nature, very positive. He cannot live with illusions. He will not lie to himself. This life now is more important than living for a mythical then. When, according to Camus, one has seen the value of living with no illusion of an afterlife, he has begun to explore the world of the Absurd. Values must be, ultimately, self-defined, and certainly not by the church. Why fake an emotion because society says that it is proper etiquette? A lifetime is only so long and can end very suddenly. Camus would have us ask ourselves: why am I living a life that I have not structured? How old is the universe, and who am I amidst the millions of people who are dead in the earth and the millions who are still living on this earth? There is no Holy One who cares about me; the whirling universe is alien, uncaring. Only I can try to determine my significance. Death is ever-present and, afterward, nothing. These are all questions and issues that Meursault, by the end of the novel, will have examined. He will have become an Absurd Man, and Camus has shown us the genesis of this philosophy in this opening chapter. Slowly, we will see how this rather simple shipping clerk will change, how he will gain immense insight into the importance of his life, and how he will learn to enjoy it passionately, ironically, as he faces death.

Critics have regularly protested that, in The Stranger, Camus manipulates his readers’ emotions, inducing sympathy for Meursault even though he is a moral monster and ridiculing everyone else as representative of a society afraid to face reality, hence threatened by Meursault’s clear-eyed and unsentimental acceptance of the world. Such protests are justified, however, only if one assumes that Camus intended The Stranger to be a realistic representation of the world, holding the mirror up to nature. In fact, Meursault is not a believable human figure, the events of the novel are but dimly evoked and unconvincingly motivated, and the very existence of the text itself, as Meursault’s first-person account of events, is never explained. In The Stranger, Camus makes almost no concessions to the conventional procedures of realism, constructing instead a kind of mythic tale of philosophical intent to dramatize an imaginary confrontation between man’s basic nature as a simple, sensual being and his grandly narcissistic self-image as an intelligent being whose every gesture has transcendent significance. Read as a kind of poetic allegory rather than as an exemplary tale of human conduct, The Stranger is seen as a powerful depiction of man’s painfully divided soul, at once joyous for the gift of life and miserable at the absence of any discernible purpose in that life and at the indifference of the surrounding universe. Viewed that way, The Stranger deserves its reputation as one of the great works of art of the first half of the twentieth century.


  1. https://ng000portfolio.commons.gc.cuny.edu/researched-critical-analysis-paper-the-absurdist-other-of-albert-camus-the-stranger/
  2. https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Stranger-novel-by-Camus
  3. http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/index.php/bookreview/the-meursault-investigation
  4. https://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-stranger
  5. https://literariness.org/2019/04/07/analysis-of-albert-camuss-novels/
  6. https://bookanalysis.com/albert-camus/the-stranger/historical-context/
  7. https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/s/the-stranger/summary-and-analysis/part-1-chapter
  8. https://www.enotes.com/topics/stranger/critical-essays/critical-evaluation
  9. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/camus/
  10. https://sysprv.com/sartre_explication_stranger.html
  11. https://kirkcenter.org/reviews/strange-thing-how-camus-wrote-the-stranger/

‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’ by Ilan Pappe

A groundbreaking research, into a well-kept Israeli secret of Palestinian ethnic cleansing, by one of Israel’s foremost historians

Author – Ilan Pappe

Genre – NonFiction / History

About the Author

Ilan Pappe, an expatriate Israeli historian and socialist activist, is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the UK, director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies, and political activist. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa (1984–2007) and chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies in Haifa (2000–2008).

Pappe, born in Haifa, Israel, is one of Israel’s “New Historians” who, since the release of pertinent British and Israeli government documents in the early 1980s, have been rewriting the history of Israel’s creation in 1948, and the corresponding expulsion or flight of 700,000 Palestinians in the same year. He has written that the expulsions were not decided on an ad hoc basis, as other historians have argued, but constituted the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, in accordance with Plan Dalet, drawn up in 1947 by Israel’s future leaders. He blames the creation of Israel for the lack of peace in the Middle East, arguing that Zionism is more dangerous than Islamic militancy, and has called for an international boycott of Israeli academics.

His work has been both supported and criticized by other historians. Before he left Israel in 2008, he had been condemned in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament; a minister of education had called for him to be sacked; his photograph had appeared in a newspaper at the centre of a target; and he had received several death threats. Pappe supports the one-state solution, which envisages a binational state for Palestinians and Israelis.

Synopsis worded exactly as in the book


I am for the compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father, first PM to the Jewish Agency Executive, 1938.

In the Red House, an early Tel Aviv building, on 10 March 1948, a group of eleven men, veteran Zionist leaders together with young military Jewish officers put the final touches for the plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

The military orders dispatched that evening described the methods to be employed for the eviction as large scale intimidation, laying siege to and bombarding population centers, setting fire to homes, properties and goods, expulsions, demolition and planting mines among the rubble to prevent the expelled inhabitants from returning. The plan was codenamed Plan D or Plan Dalet. This was the fourth and final blue print. Simcha Flapan, one of the first historians to note the significance of this plan wrote in the book ‘ The Birth of Israel:Myths and Realities ‘, ‘ The military campaign against Arabs, including the conquest and destruction of rural areas was set forth in Hagana’s Plan Dalet ‘. (Hagana was the main underground Zionist militia). David Ben Gurion in his book Rebirth and Destiny of Israel ,, notes that until 1948, no Jewish settlements were seized by Arabs whereas the Hagana captured many Arab villages. The plan was a Zionist ideological impulse to have an exclusively Jewish presence in Palestine. The Palestinian attacks in 1947 served as the pretext for ethnic cleansing by Zionists. When it was over, in 6 months, more than half of Palestine native population, close to 800000 people had been uprooted, 531 villages destroyed and 11 urban neighborhoods emptied of their inhabitants. A clear cut case of ethnic cleansing regarded under international law as crime against humanity.

Sadly this crime has been erased almost totally from the public memory, still today not recognized as a historical fact let alone acknowledged as a crime. And Palestinian suffering has been thoroughly ignored. The tale that Israeli historiographers had concocted was that of a massive voluntary transfer of Palestinians who had temporarily decided to leave their homes and villages to make way for the Arab armies invading the Jewish state. The Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi in the 1970 s through his book Palestine Reborn has tried to explain the true history which Israel has tried to erase. But it was overshadowed by Dan Kurtzman s book Genesis 1948 which appeared in 1970 and again in 1992 with an introduction by one of the executors of ethnic cleansing, Yitzhak Rabin. Yet, books like The Palestinian Catastrophe published in 1987 by Michael Palumbo came out in support of the Palestinian endeavor. The revisionist Israeli historians from 1980 s using Israeli military archives debated and debunked the voluntary transfer narrative and they were able confirm many cases of massive expulsions and atrocities by Jewish forces including massacres.

One of the best known historians was Benny Morris. His book The Birth of Palestinian Refugee Problem 1947-49 was enough for the Israeli readers to understand the truth of the flawed and bankrupt ‘moral ‘ war of Israel. Even, his account was partial as he took the military records at face value and ignored the Acre poisoning of water supplies with typhoid, rapes massacres. He also kept insisting wrongly that before 15 May 1948, there were no forced evictions. Palestinian sources clearly show that months before entry of Arab forces into Palestine while the British was still responsible for law and order in the country the Jewish forces forcibly expelled a quarter of a million Palestinians. This is the fundamental root of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. From these Israeli and Palestinian historians, there has been a moral, historical and political effort to continue struggle against denial of a crime. A significant contribution to struggle against denial is Walid Khalidi s book All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948.

Through this book Ilan Pappe explores the mechanism of the 1948 ethnic cleansing and the cognitive system that allowed the world to forget and enabled the perpetrators to deny the crime the Zionist movement committed against the Palestinians in 1948. He replaces the paradigm of war with the paradigm of ethnic cleansing. The Catastrophe has been long denied due to this absence of the paradigm of ethnic cleansing. The expulsions of the indigenous population was not an accidental, tragic inevitability, but the main goal of the Zionists was ethnic cleansing. The term Nakba or Catastrophe was adopted to counter the moral weight of Jewish Holocaust or Shoa. The author says, in doing so, by leaving out the actor, it may have contributed to the denial by the world of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. He adds that adopting the prism of ethnic cleansing easily enables one to penetrate the cloak of complexity that Israeli diplomats trot out instinctively and Israeli academics routinely hide behind when fending off outside attempts to criticize Zionism or the Jewish state for its policies and behavior

Ethnic Cleansing

Most ethnic cleansing methods are grave breaches of 1949 Geneva Conventions. It is a crime against humanity punishable under international law. The Hutchinson encyclopedia defines ethnic cleansing as expulsions by force in order to homogenize an ethnically mixed population of region or territory. The essence of ethnic cleansing is the eradication of a region’s history by depopulating. The town of Peck in western Kosovo was depopulated within 24 hours with sporadic massacres in May 1999, which was an end result of meticulous planning. The making of greater Serbia is an example. Drazen Petrovic, of International Labor Organization in European Journal of International Law in a comprehensive study of ethnic cleansing associates it with nationalism, making of new nation states and national struggle. He exposes the connection of politicians and army in this and also the role of massacres. At at one point the political leadership ceases to take an active part but machine of ethnic cleansing rolls on. The expelled are then erased from country’s official and popular history and excised from collective memory. This is what happened Palestine in 1948.

The word ‘ alleged ‘ that appears before the Palestinian ethnic cleansing should be definitely removed since records suggest a planned execution of the act. The perpetrators are not obscure. The leader is the Zionist strongman David Ben Gurion and 11 members constituted the cabal which the author calls Consultancy. The archival documents also show a list of 40 Palestinian leaders targeted for assassination. The military strongmen in the cabal were Moshe Dayan, Yigael Yadin, Yigal Allon, and Yitzhak Sadeh. Moshe Kalman cleansed the Safad area, Moshe Carmel uprooted Galilee, Yitzhak Rabin cleansed Lydd , greater Jerusalem and Ramla. They were war heroes for the Israeli people, the crimes they committed against the indigenous Palestinians weigh more. The intelligence officers on the ground whose function was not just collection of data, but they committed the worst atrocities in dispossession and massacres. They decided whom to imprison, whom to kill and which villages to evacuate. This was supervised by Issar Harel, later the first person to head Mossad and Shabak, Israel’s secret services.

For peace to have a chance in Palestine, the refugees should be allowed to return to their homes. UN resolution 194, during December 1948 decided on an unconditional return, which the US supported for a very short while before reorienting to a pro Israeli stance disregarding the Palestinian point of view.

Reconstructing the ethnic cleansing

The background of the ethnic cleansing by Zionists is explained in many scholarly works. In Nur Masalha’sExpulsion of Palestinians ‘, he explains that the concept of transfer was deeply rooted in Zionist political thought. Cleansing the land was the valid option from the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodore Herzl to the main leaders. The movement ‘s liberal thinker, Leo Motzkin in 1917 rooted for a two step process of colonization and resettlement of Palestinians on another land. Authors Gershon Shafer and Baruch Kimmerling explores the connection between Zionism and Colonialism, a nexus that brings forth exploitation of Palestinian labour, land and then expulsions at the close of the British mandate. Authors Walid Khalidi and Samih Farsoun asks why the UN entrusted the fate of so many Palestinians to a Zionist movement that had clearly included transfer as its aim. It’s indeed hard to understand why a crime that had been committed in the modern times at the juncture in history has been eradicated totally from the collective global memory and erased from the world’s conscience. It is sad that the diplomatic effort to solve conflict has sidelined, if not ignored this catastrophic event. Half the indigenous population living in Palestine were driven out, half the villages and towns were destroyed and only a few among them managed to return. Such a sidelining is observed other ethnic cleansing like that of non Hungarians at the end of 19 th century, Armenian genocide, Nazi holocaust against Roma and Sinti.

Drive for an Exclusive Jewish State .

Zionism’s Ideological Motivations .

Zionism emerged in late 1880 a in central and eastern Europe as a national revival movement against the persecution of Jews. The colonialisation of Palestine was associated to in the early 20 th century. Eretz Israel as Palestine was known in Jewish religion was a destination of holy pilgrimage, not a future secular state. Many Ultra Orthodox Jews are either non or anti Zionist since Jewish tradition instruct Jews to wait for Messiah’s coming before they can return to Eretz Israel. Zionism secularized and nationalized Judaism. As the Zionists saw it, Palestine was occupied by strangers, meaning anyone non Jewish. For many it was empty land, when they first arrived there in 1882.. Until occupation of Palestine by Britain in 1918, Zionism was a nationalist ideology and a colonialist enterprise. Only 5% of the total population constituted the Zionists. They were vague with their plans, because of the threat of being thrown out by Ottomans. Until 1910,the Palestinian leaders considered Zionists as a part of European missionary, purchasing land and assets. They, sensing the danger, convinced the Ottomans who controlled Palestine until 1918 , to limit Jewish immigration.

A warning about the intention of Zionists came in a story published by Ishaq Musa al Husayn, in Jerusalem, The Memories of a Hen. But the Palestinians didn’t recognize the existential danger The Egyptian literati considered it as an attempt by Europe to transfer its stateless and poor into Palestine. They were more concerned about the efforts by European missionaries and church to take over Holy Land. But the Zionists were very clear with the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine in order to escape the persecutions and pogroms in the West, invoking the religious redemption of an ancient homeland as their means. This was the official narrative. But the reason Palestine was selected from among other possible places was interwoven with Christian Millenarianism and European colonization. Protestant missionary societies wished to see a Christian Palestine and return of Jews was linked to second coming of Christ. This made pious politicians like the British PM during first WW, Lloyd George to act in cahoots with the commitment of the Zionist project. He distrusted and disdained the Palestinian Arabs.

Israeli historiography claims the colonization as a positive endeavor to carry out socialism and Marxist revolution. But this is doubtful since the socialist Zionists substituted nationalism for universalism, their aim was a Jewish rather than a socialist state and it was the Labour Movement with in Zionism that instituted and implemented the ethnic cleansing. The moment British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour gave the Zionists his promise in 1917 to establish a national home for Jews in Palestine, he opened the door to endless conflicts. The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. The declaration was contained in a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. By 1920 the violent core of the proposal started emerging. Until 1928, the British treated Palestine as a state with in its sphere of influence, not as a colony. They tried to put in place a political structure to represent both communities equally in the state parliament, but when the offer was made, it advantaged the Zionist colonies and discriminated against the Palestinians who were clearly the majority.

Palestinians made 80 to 90% of the total population in 1920 s. So they understandably refused the deal. In 1928, the Palestinian leadership, apprehensive of the increasing immigration and settlements, agreed to accept the formula. But the Zionist leadership now rejected it. The 1929 uprising was the result of Britain’s refusal to implement at least their promise of parity after Palestinians had been willing to set aside the democratic principle of majoritarian politics.

After 1929, the Zionist lobby considerably influenced the British government. This led to 1936 uprising. The British stationed more troops in Palestine and subdued the revolt with ruthless forces, Palestinian leadership was exiled, the paramilitary guerrillas were disbanded, villagers were arrested, killed or wounded and this gave the Jewish forces an opportunity in 1947 to ride into the Palestinian country side. Between the 1929 and 1936 uprisings, the Zionist movement hatc6a grand plan. In 1937, they accepted a modest portion of land from partition of Palestine recommended by British. In 1942, they demanded the whole Palestine for a Jewish state, pure socio culturally and ethnically.

Military Preparations

From the outset the British Mandatory officials had allowed the Zionist movement to carve an independent enclave for itself in Palestine. Zionists built an efficient military organization from the start, in the eventuality of taking the land by force. One particular British officer, Orde Charles Wingate, made the Zionist leadership realize the association of Jewish statehood with army and armed aggression as a deterrent against possible Palestinian resistance. He transformed the Jewish paramilitary organization Hagana, meaning defense in Hebrew. He taught the Jewish military forces retaliatory and punitive missions against Arab revolts. In June 1938, Hagana along with the British troops occupied a Palestinian village on the border between Israel and Lebanon. Some Hagana members learned techniques by participating in the Second WW with the British, while those that remained in Palestine continued to monitor and infiltrate the 1200 or so villages that had dotted the country side for hundreds of years.

The Village Files

The Jewish National Fund (JNF), founded in 1901 served as an agency that the Zionist movement used to buy Palestinian land, keep registry of Arab villages. Its head Youssef Weitz, head of settler department, a quintessential Zionist evicted Palestinian tenants from the land bought from absentee landlords, the Mandate system creating new borders where there were none. The impact of eviction remained limited due to scarce Zionist resources, Palestinian resistance and restrictive British policies until the mandate ended in 1948. At that time Jewish community owned 5.8% of the Palestinian land. Weitz turned Village Files to a national project . Yitzhak ben Zvi, later to become the second president of Israel wrote to Moshe Shertock to record the layout of the villages along with exposing their Hebraic origins.

The aerial photos of villages taken by professional photographers and developed in secret facilities hidden from the British and later to the Red House in 1947. By 1930 s the Jews had all the details of the villages, inhabitants, religious affiliations in Village Files. They also had information on who participated in 1936 revolt, who hated Zionists and who killed Jews during the revolt and these fuelled atrocities, execution and torture in these villages. There were Arab informants within the villages and the Arabists or Orientalists were trained to operate them. The position of the villages on hills and the way the locals were considered primitive and barbaric made the task difficult. The work of one man, Ezra Danin made the files a systematic one. He helped include meticulous details of the villages down to the cultivated land, number of trees, names of village heads, imams, their house hold members, to even the number of rooms in their homes. Post 1945, the details became military oriented like number of guards (most had none) and weapons (mostly antiquated or nonexistent ones).

All the people who later joined Danin helped orchestrate eviction and ethnic cleansing of tenants from the land they had been cultivating for years and now bought by JNF. The reconnaissance was carried out from a youth village called Shefeya where people were trained for this. The infiltrators made use of the hospitality of the Arabs for the mission. In 1948, impressed with the fertility of the land of Umm Al Zinat village, it was invaded and inhabitants expelled without provocation. The final update of the village files was done in 1947 to include wanted person list that consisted of national movement members, those known to have travelled to Lebanon or those arrested by the British for being a member of the national committee of any villages. The informants who were Palestinians identified them, and Jews shot them on the spot. Those involved in national movement included whole villages sometimes. Those affiliated with the mufti or his political party were also persecuted. Forming a party or being its member was a crime for the Zionists . The details provided the Zionists with data that Palestinians had nobody to organize themselves.

Facing the British

The British by suppressing the 1936 revolt had already destroyed the Palestinian leadership and its capabilities. This formed a crucial factor in allowing the Zionists to plan their next move. After a danger of Nazi invasion of Palestine was removed in 1942, the Zionists recognized the main obstacle that stood in their way of seizing Palestinian land was the British presence and not Palestine resistance . As the second WW drew to a close, the Zionists tried to push the British out of the country. They planned to evict the Palestinians who formed 75 percent of the country’s population. The plans were secretive. As David Ben Gurion wrote to his son in 1937, “The Arabs should go. But one needs an opportune moment to make this happen like a war “. That opportune moment came in 1948. Thus Ben Gurion is in many ways the founder of the state of Israel and was its first PM. He also masterminded the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

David Ben Gurion, the architect

He led the Zionist movement from 1920 to 1960. His fundamental notion was that future statehood meant absolute Jewish domination. When the British offered a Jewish state in Palestine in 1937, he accepted it even if it was a small portion. To achieve this he used two magic words, force and opportunity. Wait for the opportune moment to deal militarily with the demographic problem of non Jewish majority. He was singular in his view of militarily acquiring land at the time, others believed they could possess the land by buying it. But Gurion was right in that since the amount of land they were able to purchase at the end of the mandate was just 6 %. Gurion was a pragmatic colonialist and a state builder. He knew that the Biltmore Program that clamored for the whole of Mandatory Palestine was not realistic The post war British Labour government under Clement Atlee wanted a democratic solution based on the wishes and interests of people living in Palestine.

Following this the Jewish underground militia organized terrorist attacks by bombing bridges, British military bases, and the British headquarters in Jerusalem, The King David Hotel. Retaliation from the British was mild compared to how they retaliated against the Palestinians during 1937 revolt. The British made the paramilitary to disarm, whom they themselves had armed . The large number of British troops served as a deterrent. It was due to these reasons that Gurion agreed for a reduced Jewish state over 80%of Palestine. He assured the Zionist leaders whom he assembled in a Paris hotel that 80 to 90 %of Palestine was enough for a Jewish state provided they were able to ensure Jewish predominance. This 1947 map that Gurion proposed anticipated almost to the last drop pre 1967 Israel, excluding West Bank and Gaza strip.

The Palestinian leadership was under total collapse after Second WW and the Arab states were hesitant on Palestinian question. The British mandate who crushed the Palestinian liberation movement was now the only one remaining between the Zionists and Jewish state. Even though there was a power vacuum in Palestine, Gurion was clearly concerned about their demographic majority and the military help from Arab states in the event of an armed conflict. So security remained his priority right from the beginning. This remains until today the meta term used by Zionists and Israelis to justify their policies. The policy towards Palestinians is one of retaliation and provocation. Gurion had played a crucial role in shaping this security outlook of Israel. When he was entrusted with the defense portfolio in th22 and Zionist Congress in 1946, he held total control of the security issue of Jewish community. He became the top most leader in the Zionist movement. While he used democratic means to discuss the issues of Jewish community, taking the opinion of other political groups too, when it came to Palestinians, he ignored official structure and relied on clandestine formations.

The major topic on the Zionist agenda, the British mandate, solved itself when they decided to quit Palestine in Feb 1947 and transfer the Palestinian question to the UN. By the end of 1946 Gurion got wind of the British withdrawal and he prepared Plan C or Gimel to be implemented against the Palestinians the moment British were gone. Plan A or Elimelech Plan was made in 1937 at Gurion’s request for takeover of Palestine, Plan B was made in 1946. Both were fused into Plan C. This was an offensive military campaign against Palestine population killing, damaging infrastructure, sources of livelihoods, villages, entertainment sources and so forth. The details are available in the Village Files and Hagana archives. Within a few months, Plan D or Dalet Plan was drafted that sealed the fate of the Palestinians, a systematic and total expulsion of all Palestinians from their homeland irrespective of whether they collaborated with or opposed the Jewish state.

Partition, UN Resolution 181 and its impact .

Palestine’s Population .

At Dec 1947, when Zionists started the ethnic cleansing, there were 70%Arabs and 30%Jews, from 90%and 10% at the start of the mandate. Indigenous Palestinians were seeking right to self determination from long back, but the British mandate Plan for Palestine had the 1917 Balfour declaration along with it that promised to secure a homeland for Jews to the Zionist movement. In 1947, Palestinian was still a majority Arab nation, with 95% of the land cultivated by Arabs. The Jewish immigrants were interested in cities and towns and very few settled in the country side thus making the separation between settlements very large and with the Palestinian villages in between and surrounding them.

Two thirds of Palestine that formed the country sides were inhabited mostly by indigenous people and sparsely by Jews. Where as towns and cities were inhabited almost equally by both. This was an obstacle in creating two different homogeneous states. Logic tells that the three fourths that form the country side should remain Palestinian. The binational one state proposition by the British mandate was rejected by the Zionists. And the matter was transferred to the UN, but by then the interests of Palestinians were totally excised from the process.

UN partition Plan

UN was just 2 years old in 1947, inexperienced. The fate of Palestine partition was entrusted with the committee, UNSCOP, that had no prior experience or knowledge of Palestine’s history. The UN came up with a two state solution with the city of Jerusalem under an international regime administered by UN . This is UN Resolution 181. Demographically a two state solution should have provided the Jews with only 10% of the land. But the UN accepted the nationalist claims of the Zionists and sought to compensate for the Nazi holocaust. Thus the Zionist movement was given a state that stretched for more than half of Palestine. Palestinian leadership was opposed to partition since 1918.

The Arab League, the regional inter Arab Organization and The Arab Higher Committee (embryonic Palestinian government) did not take part in the UNSCOP meeting prior to the resolution and this vaccum was effectively used by Zionists for bilateral dialogue with UN. This pattern will be repeated in almost all future deliberations on Palestinian conflict especially after the Americans became involved after 1967. Upto the present day, bringing peace to Palestine is a concept worked out between US and Israel with out any serious consultation with Palestine.

The UNSCOP rejected the Zionist claim for 80%of the land and convinced them to be satisfied with 56%. Also the Catholic countries persuaded the UN to make Jerusalem an international city and so the Zionist claim for the city was also rejected. Partitioning into two equal halves was carried out against the will of indigenous population. Thus UN violated the basic rights of the Palestinians. The heightened tensions that the partition caused, turned the country into one of the most violent phase in history, followed by the first Arab Israeli war and beginning of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The partition Plan was a pro Zionist one that they devised by influencing the UN when both knew that Palestinians were not willing. The UN ignored the rules of international mediation by proclaiming and forcing resolution 181. They deemed it illegal and immoral, clearly an injustice by forcing a solution on a country to which majority of the population were vehemently opposed. Western news media did not care to report that. Based on the assumption of peaceful coexistence, UN did not pay much attention to the balance of geography and demographics, when the intention of the Zionists was clearly to de Arabize Palestine. Thus UN did not preclude the ensuing ethnic cleansing.

UN map of partition had Palestine divided into 3 parts. 42% of land for the state of Palestine where there were 818000 Palestinians and 10000 Jews. 56% of land for Jewish state where there were 499000 Jews and 438000 Palestinians. The small enclave around the city of Jerusalem to be governed internationally, where both the population were equal in number. The demographic imbalance in the proposed Jewish state must have been a political nightmare for Zionists. There was only one solution, ethnic cleansing. Thus UN by voting in favor of the resolution, contributed to the crime.

David Ben Gurion single handedly led the other leaders simultaneously to accept and ignore the resolution. He had planned and conveyed to others beforehand that they were not obliged to accept the Plan that was unsatisfactory. So irrespective of whether Palestinians accepted or rejected the plan, Gurion had made up his mind early on. What he had in his mind was 80 to 90 % of land for a Jewish state with very few Palestinians if any and with Jerusalem as capital, which he had conveyed in his speech in Mapai centre on 3 Dec 1947. He accepted the recognition for a Jewish state by the UN, while determining its borders by force and not by partition resolution giving Arab rejection of the plan as a reason. His decision to disregard the plan and execute Jewish exclusivity was aired to only a coterie of his confidants in the Consultancy. Gurion’s diary is a source of details of their meetings, in Gurion’s house and the Red House where the master plan was drafted.

Finalizing the Master Plan

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine began in Dec 1947, when Palestinians protested against the UN resolution. Though Palestinians didn’t use much force apart from vandalism Jews retaliated by attacking villages severe enough to cause an exodus of 75000 people. The British High commissioner in Palestine Allan Cunningham reported about the Palestinian protests as unorganized demonstrations of displeasure using stones and sticks to which the Zionists responded with disproportionate force using firearms. On Jan 1948, the all Arab volunteer army entered Palestine villages and fought with the Jewish forces. From Feb 1948, expulsions began. On March 1948, according to plan Dalet urban centers were occupied and evacuated, 250000 evacuated, along with perpetration of massacres, notable being the Deir Yassin massacre. The Arab League decided to intervene militarily after the British left in May1948. Prior to Mar 1948, the Jews were just acting in retaliation to Palestinians. After that, two months before the end of the mandate, the Zionists openly declared that it would take over the land by force and expel the indigenous population. That was Plan Dalet.

Gurion met with a war cabinet and planned to take over the whole country in October 1948. The Zionist leadership was committed in their collusion with King Abdullah of Jordan. As per the 1942 Biltmore plan, the Zionists anticipated the future state to stretch over 80% of Palestine, the additional 24 percentage over and above the 56 percentage offered by the UN,and the remaining 20 percent will be picked up by the Jordanian. This tacit agreement with the Jordanians helped the ethnic cleansing operation to go ahead unhindered. This kept away the Jordanian army, the strongest in the Arab world, except in skirmishes with Jewish forces in the very small part of Palestine.

Zionist military capability was adequate. On the eve of the 1948 war, they had 50000 troops with a small airforce, navy, tanks, armoured cars and heavy artillery. The Palestinian paramilitary outfits were only 7000 in number with some 3000 Arab volunteer forces. The Jewish Communist party made and purchased weapons from Czechoslovakia and Soviet republic. The Arab regular forces stopped receiving arms from British, which was its main source before. Apart from the main Jewish military power two more extreme paramilitary groups helped the attacks, the Irgun(Etzel) that had split from Hagana and headed by Menachem Begin and Stern Gang, an offshoot of Irgun. The special commando unit called the Palmach ,trained to prevent Nazi invasion of Palestine were highly active in the cleansing operations and building new Jewish settlements. It was dismantled in 1948. The Hagana, Irgun and Palmach forces occupied the villages and later transferred them to logistics arm called Field Guards who committed some worst atrocities and cleansing.

The expulsionist dreams and the idea of de Arabizing Palestine were part of the ideologies of Zionists starting from Theodore Herzl. To promote the demographic balance and Jewish exclusivity, Gurion offered two options. One, to the public in local People’s Assembly, to increase Jewish immigration from Europe. But he was sure that this would never make up a majority. So, another covert plan was devised among the limited corps to use force to expel Palestinians. In the territory of their planned Jewish state, there were one million Palestinians vis a vis 600000 Jews.

A 3 day public strike was organized by the Arab Higher Committee to protest the UN resolution of partition. Some of the protests got out of hand like the ambush of a Jewish bus that all Israeli books identify as the start of war. The people wanted to get back to normalcy. Gradually the Arab League Council dispatched arms to Palestinians and formed an Arab volunteer force called Arab Liberation Army. These fuelled a welcome pretext for Zionists to escalate the Hagana operation already under way. The intelligence briefings to Ben Gurion relayed that Palestinians were eager to continue a normal life despite the Arab army trickling. This craving for normality remained typical of Palestinians inside Palestine in the years to come, even in the worst crisis and nadir of their struggle and normalcy is what they have been denied ever since 1948. The wish of Palestinians to live a life of normalcy and not to become embroiled in a civil war posed a problem to ZIONISTS determined to reduce their number. They needed a pretext and fortunately that came when the Arab volunteer forces expanded their acts of hostility against Jewish convoys and settlements.

Two men, Ezra Danin and Yehoshua Palmon who gathered intelligence from Arab collaborators acted behind the scenes in expelling hundreds of villagers , imprisoning them and executing people. The Hagana used threat and intimidation. Villages were attacked at night and villagers expelled .The NYT correspondent reports a brutal attack on the village of Khisas on the bank of Lake Hula in Dec 1947 where 15 villagers including 5 children were killed. He demanded an explanation from Hagana and Gurion issued a dramatic public apology. Haifa,the urban center was chosen then. The Jewish settlers used many methods of intimidation and killed the people there with machine gun fire. Irgun and Stern Gang executed many terrorist attacks while the British turned its face the other way. They bombed a local national committee in Jaffa, Samiramis hotel in western Jerusalem killing many people. These acts became a daily occurrence in Haifa. Hagana’s policy changed from retaliation to offensive strikes. The last British High Commissioner Cunningham in a meeting with Gurion told that while the Palestinians were trying to keep calm, Hagana did all it could to escalate the situation. His protestations were ignored. Gurion took the lack of resistance from Palestinians as their acceptance of fait accompli . The national committee of Palestinians in Haifa appealed again and again to British assuming, wrongly, that since it was the last station of British evacuation, they would be able to rely on British protection at least until then.

When this failed to materialize, they desperately sought the help of Arab Higher Committee who sent a small group of volunteers. But by then the notables and leaders had realized that the moment UN decided on partition resolution, they were doomed to be dispossessed by their Jewish neighbors, the same people whom they themselves had first invited to come and stay with them back in the late Ottoman period, who had arrived wretched and penniless from Europe and with whom they had shared a cosmopolitan city.

Youssef Weitz was the real architect of transfer of Arabs, ethnic cleansing and the occupation of their land by Jewish settlers. His ideas were relayed in a most crucial meeting called Long Seminar. Retaliation was supplanted with offensive tactics. All concurred. One of those present there, Gad Machnes, later to become the director general of Israeli ministry of minorities in 1949 ironically, appeared to show remorse on his conduct in the 1960 a admitting candidly that “if it had not been for the open Zionist military preparation which had a provocative nature the drift into 1948 war could have been averted “. By the end of the meeting Gurion gave the green light to the lethal attacks to cause optimal damage and kill as many villagers as possible. He proposed attacks on south in addition to north, but in the south as a vindictive action in the village of Beershaba where the village mayor had previously refused to collaborate with Zionist settlement. Yigal Allon proposed offensive strikes , and pre emptive strikes as collective punishment and not to spare even children.

The Arab League Army failed to cooperate with the paramilitary groups led by Abd Al Qadr al Huseyni in Jerusalem and Hassan Salameh in Jaffa. The ALA commander Fawzi AL Qawji gave his loyalty to the government of Syria and Iraq who had sent the army to Palestine. The Iraqi government saw Al Huseyni as a rival to Jordan. While the Syrian government was apprehensive of its pan Arab ambitions.

In public speeches, Gurion was melodramatic and full of pathos. He told the audience that the war was aimed at destroying and eliminating the Jewish community never referring to the passivity of Palestinians or provocative nature of Zionist actions. Gurion even went so far as to describe the war effort as an attempt to protect the honor of UN and its charter. This discrepancy between a destructive and violent Zionist policy on one hand and an overt discourse of peace on other hand will recur at various junctures in the history of the conflict but the deceit of 1948 is particularly startling. The decision to make arms purchases, aircrafts, resulted in heavy bombardment of villages. Flame throwers were used to set fire to fields and homes. The oral history of Nakba is full of evidence of terrible effects this weapon had on people and properties. Ephraim Katzir, later president of Israel directed the biological warfare techniques. In the 1980 s by a slip of the tongue, he revealed to the world that Israel possessed nuclear weapons.

The Palestinians remained unaware of the deliberations behind closed doors in Red House. ALA began reaching the villages late and had no time to train the villagers or equipment to defend them. Starting from Feb 1948, villages where defense was nil were chosen, attacked, murdered and occupied. These occured under the British forces still stationed in nearby police stations who turned their faces away. The troops entered the villages at midnight ad planted TNT outside the huts killing the sleeping people including children. The 16 Apr 1948 NYTIMES reported this offensive. The offensive was codenamed Lamed Heh operations. Rural Palestine was defenseless and did not fight back. The Israeli documents released from the IDF archives in the late 1990 s show that contrary to claims of historians like Benny Morris, plan Dalet was handed down to brigade commanders of Hagana not vague guidelines, but as clear cut operational orders for action. The draft given to politicians and army were different. The methods, conditions of surrender of villagers,timing of attacks were different in both. The official draft stated that the plan would be activated at the end of the mandate, but the officers on the ground were instructed to start executing it immediately. This dichotomy is typical of the relationship that exists between army and the politicians upto the present day. The army mis informs the politicians as to its real intent. Moshe Dayan did so in 1956, Ariel Sharon in 1982 and Shaul Mofaz in 2000. Official Israeli historiography describes a threatened Jewish Population in the settlements which moved from defense to offence after its near defeat. But the author, with the help of documents, proves this wrong. Not only were the Jews in no danger but by the end of March 1948, the sporadic attacks and counterattacks on Palestinians now moved toward the systematic mega operation of ethnic cleansing.

Blueprint for Ethnic Cleansing:Plan Dalet

Ben Gurion’s diary offers a stark contrast to the fear he planted in the audiences during public gatherings and consequently the Israeli collective memory. The Zionist strategy of building isolated settlements in the midst of densely populated Arab areas, approved retroactively by the British mandate, was riddled with tension. The first operation under plan Dalet was Operation Nachshon , a forced evacuation of the villages on the western slopes of Jerusalem. While the official plan gave the villages the option to surrender, the operational orders did not exempt any villages. All the paramilitary brigades fought together in this operation, thus paving the way for future IDF. Many villages taken by the Zionists has monuments to the Hagana fighters. The plan D as well as the plaques commemorating the Hagana fighters, tend to dehumanize the Palestinians in Israeli historiography as well as the collective memory, by completely obscuring the fact that there stood a village there and planting the lie that they were enemy bastions and so legitimate targets of destruction and expulsion. With al Huseyni killed by the Jewish troops, his forces and the other Palestinian villages were demoralized and easily fell victim to the Jewish forces. Many massacres were committed, notorious one being the Deir Yassin massacre.

The village Deir Yassin had a non agression pact with Hagana. But it was doomed to be wiped out since it was within the area designated in Plan Dalet to be cleansed. So,instead Hagana sent Irgun and Stern Gang to do that job. The village on the west hill of Jerusalem was occupied on 9 Apr 1948,the inhabitants sprayed with machine gun fire their bodies abused, women were raped and killed. Children and babies were killed too. A total of 254 were killed. This massacre was used to sow the seeds of fear in the mind by announcing through loud speakers to flee or else get killed. Menachem Begin,the Irgun leader at the time described the effect of Irgun butchery on the mind of the people which forced them to flee, in his book The Revolt: Story of Irgun. In a letter published 4 Dec 1948 in NYT, Albert Einstein and 27 prominent Jews in New York condemned the act noting that terrorist bands attacked a peaceful village that was not a military objective and killed the people. Though the Jewish agency later apologized to King Abdullah of Jordan, Begin and his group was proud of their achievements and invited the foreign correspondents to view the heap of corpses and the general havoc in Deir Yassin.

All the adjacent villages were blown up and people expelled, their belongings plundered. Two villages were spared, Abu Ghawsh and Nabi Samuil, because their mukhtars had developed a cordial relationship with the local commanders of the more extreme Stern Gang, even though Hagana wanted to demolish them. After Apr 1948, urban areas were systematically attacked and wiped out while the British and UN stood by and watched indifferently. News about Deir Yassin and massacre in Khirbat Nasr villages reached the urban neighborhoods and they started to flee. This started with the city of Tiberias where 6000 Jews and 5000 Arabs and their forebears had coexisted peacefully . Due to British obstruction, ALA could supply the city with only 30 volunteers. The Jewish forces bombarded the area, rolled down explosive barrels from the surrounding hills, produced frightening sounds through loudspeakers to scare away people. The British after offering to help the people, urged them to evacuate the town thus collaborating with the Zionists. King Abdullah of Jordan was a co collaborator in the sense that , instead of sending troops he sent 30 trucks to help move women and children. The British collaboration will be much more obvious in urbicide of Haifa and Jaffa.

In Haifa, the urban elite fled their homes to Lebanon and Egypt, hoping to return when the situation calmed down. About 15000 to 20000 fled like this. The urban elite had collapsed and the Arab League was unwilling to intervene on behalf of the Palestinians.. The British forces were still stationed there, since Haifa was Palestine’s main port and the last station of British pullout,they were responsible for the safety of the locals. Haifa was included in the proposed Jewish state by the UN, another unfair deal to Palestinians since it was the only port city. Zionists wanted it all to Jews by expelling the 75000 Palestinians. The British troops who were supposed to be present there until Aug 1948, brought the date of departure 6May. At the time of the attack, the British troops were present in greater number and they had the legal and moral authority to impose law and order and protect the Palestinian people. In Feb 1950, Reese Williams, the British Under Secretary of State’s in the House of commons debate stated the British conduct as one of the most shameful chapters of British Empire in the Middle east. Major General Hugh Stockwell, the British commander in Haifa informed the Jews that the British troops would be removed from the buffer zones. The operation was termed Operation Scissors ,done on the eve of the Pass Over. The Palestinian men who trusted the British were told to evacuate, by the British officer. Loudspeakers announced for the people to gather at the famous Ottoman period market place and the people obeyed. They were then unexpectedly shelled from the nearby hill when the panic struck people ran to the gate of the port, a stampede ensued that killed many. Those who reached the boats crowded in them and many died from overturning of the boats. The British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin was furious at Stockwells behavior when he realized the enormity of disaster their inaction was creating in Palestine. The British did not even render aid to the wounded Palestinians.

In the city of Jerusalem too the Jewish offensive took place. The British did not intervene except m the city of Sheikh Jarrah, where the Jewish assault was halted before it was implemented. In the western Jerusalem however the British disarmed the Palestinians promising help but instantly reneged on that promise. Northern and Western Jerusalem were hammered by endless shelling. The Jordanian Arab Legion’s entry slowed the Jewish takeover though finally they did evict the people. The city of Acra ,that even Napoleon found hard to defeat , withstood the offensive despite overcrowding from refugees from Haifa, only to suffer a typhoid epidemic that was ostensibly caused by Hagana poisoning the Kabri spring. The people working on biological weaponry warfare set up by Gurion was called HEMED.

Many villages and towns were entirely obliterated and national parks and buildings like the Tel Aviv University were built later over the remains. Today one searches in vain for any Palestinian life that existed in the villages. There was a section process after conquering a village where by young men between 10 and 30 were separated and sent to prison camps. Some of the villages were visited by UN observers checking out on how the partition was implemented. They closed their eyes to the truth on the ground. Representatives of the western media including NYT were still filling stories about individual villages, but did not dare criticize the Jewish nation just 3 years after the holocaust. Thus the western readers were never given a full picture of the events. Whole villages were wiped off Palestinian maps under the watch of UN observers, British soldiers and foreign correspondents. Sources of the new Israeli historians like Benny Morris reveal condemnation of the atrocities by conscientious politicians and soldiers. They form part of Israeli ethos of shoot and cry, the collective expression of moral remorse by Israeli soldiers. Before the Red House was demolished, the Israeli writer Amoz Oz and his friends invited these concerned soldiers to perform a rite of exoneration. Crying aloud while shooting and killing innocent people was one tactic for dealing with the moral implications of plan Dalet. Villagers were massacred to terrorize the urban people to flee. Two such massacres are Nasr al din and Ayn al Zaytun massacres.

Ayn al Zaytun massacres is best known because it formed the basis of the only epic novel on Palestinian Catastrophe, Baby al Shams by Elias Khoury. The events were also chronicled in an Israeli semi fictional novel Between The Knots by Netiva Ben Yehuda. She was present at the village during the execution and tells the story in a fictionalized way. In some villages there were huge clans like the Zubis that had collaborated with the Jews before So intelligence officers were doubtful whether to evacuate them or keep them. It was decided to leave the villages with large number of Zubbiya clan intact. But years later they reinforced their Palestinian identity by opposing the Zionists. Certain minority groups like the Druze ,a religious sect which is a splinter group of Shia Islam, deserted ALA and the Palestinians to join the Jewish forces. The Jewish forces attacked and occupied the villages that the UN had proposed for the Palestinian state. The Druze forces became the main vehicle for Jews to carry out the ethnic cleansing of Galilee. The Circassians who had several villages in the north of the country also deserted Palestinians to join the Jewish forces. This mixture of Druze and Circassians would form the nucleus of the future Border Police of Israel, the main military unit policing first the Arab areas of pre 1967 Israel and then enforcing Israel’s occupation of West Bank and Gaza strip after 1967.

Galilee had a chance of stopping the attacks because of the presence of a 2000 men strong ALA force there under the command of Fawzi al Qawji. His strategy of dividing the force into small groups to be sent to different parts proved wrong in the presence of a stronger Jewish force with superior military capabilities. He sought a truce later with the Jews and with the blessing of King Abdullah. He could not offer a proper resistance or save the villages. Later Muslim Brotherhood volunteers entered from Egypt, but they were also defeated. The carnage was being reported by local dailies like Filastin and foreign ones like the NYT, even though the news reached the Arab governments, they never moved beyond talking about the need to salvage Palestinians. The Arab League’s General Secretary Azzam Pasha ,an Egyptian politician, at one point hoped the UN to intervene and absolve the Arab states from direct confrontation in Palestine. Jordan was negotiating with the Jews for possible takeover of Arab Palestine. They did gain control over the West bank. The other Arab leaders just kept up the rhetoric of salvaging what was left of Palestine. The Arab League leaders were aware of potential disaster awaiting the Palestinian people but procrastinated and postponed the inevitable military intervention and only were too happy to terminate sooner than later. They knew full well that their army stood no chance against the superior Jewish forces. Egypt and Iraq were embroiled in the war of liberation. Syria and Lebanon were young countries that had just won independence. Not to be sucked into a whirlwind of public opinion of their already shaky standing in their societies the Arab League Council made up of Arab states foreign ministers. The body was ineffective and it dragged out its discussion until the reality became too painful to be ignored and by the end of April when they decided to send troops, quarter of a million Palestinians were displaced, 200 villages destroyed, and scores of towns emptied. When the final decision to send their regular troops was made, all were asked by the council to send arms and volunteers, but not all complied. Only Syria was willing to engage in proper military Preparations also persuading its Iraqi neighbors to send volunteers and to train the Palestinians. The others like Saudis, Lebanon and Egypt promised arms and financial help only.

There were no lack of volunteers. Thousands of young men were willing to sacrifice their lives for Palestinians. The author tends to see this more as an national fervor of young Arabs for a fierce and bold anti colonialist struggle of Palestine like that in Algeria and less as panArabism. Jordan’s King Abdullah stood out in that he intensified his negotiations with the Jewish agency over a joint agreement in post mandatory Palestine. In effect while the 250000 Palestinians were driven out the Arab Legion stood idly by. Jordanians cemented an unwritten agreement with Jewish leaders to partition Palestine between both. Jordanians were to annex the UN designated parts of Palestine and in return promised not to join the Arab military operation. The British gave their blessing to the agreement. The Jordanian army was the best trained in whole Arab world and even superior to Jewish troops but it was confined by the King and the British to act only in those areas the Jordanians deemed theirs, East Jerusalem and West Bank. King Abdullah recognized the Jewish state but worried about them occupying the UN designated Palestinian land that Jordanians had in mind for annexation. The Jewish officer made it clear that as far as Zionists were concerned UN designated Arab state had shrunk to include only West Bank which the Israelis were willing to leave for the Jordanians. The ownership of Jerusalem was contested by both. Gurion was aware that Jordanians would fight fiercely for Jerusalem. When Golda Meir met King Abdullah in Amman he was tensed over the double game he was playing, promising member states of the league to head the military efforts of Arab countries on one hand and striving to reach an agreement with the Jewish state on other. King Abdullah was seen to do everything to take a serious part in Arab efforts against a Jewish state but in practice his main objective was to secure Israeli consent for Jordanian annexation of West Bank. The Jordanians occupied West Bank though Jews tried to wrest it back and Israel occupied WB in 1967. Palestinian leadership had fragmented, most of the leaders fled, and those who did stay were supposed to be coordinated by the Arab Higher committee, the unofficial Palestinian government since 1930 . But half of the committee’s members had now left. Those who remained stood along side the communities to the bitter end.

Israeli and in particular American public opinion succeeded in perpetuating the myth of potential destruction or a second holocaust awaiting the future Jewish state. By this myth and demonizing Arabs especially Palestinians in the eyes of general public in the US and Jewish communities around the world Israel was able to secure massive support for an Israeli state. The reality on the ground was completely opposite. Palestinians were facing massive expulsions. Rather than being preoccupied with the destruction of Jewish community, the Palestinians were simply attempting to be saved from fate .Washington, aware of the expulsions was trying to put forward a novel approach. It suggested to UN an international trusteeship over Palestine for 5 years instead of partition, while a solution could be negotiated between the two sides. This was the most sensible proposal ever made by the US, in Palestinian issue, the like of which has never been repeated. This would have changed the course of the Palestine conflict, had it not been for the highly effective pressure by the Zionist lobby on president Harry Truman. He never wished to antagonize a powerful and superior domestic lobby. Thus Zionists in US learned an important lesson of their power to influence American policy in Palestine and in Middle east. The Zionist lobby succeeded in sidelining State Departments experts on the Arab world and left American middle eastern policy in hand of Capitol Hill and White House., where the Zionists wielded considerable influence. The Arabists of the State Department who were upto date with the NYT news tried to convince Truman. Ben Gurion rejected the US offer. Three days after rejecting the US plan, the state of Israel was officially formed. White House went on to recognize the state and the State department was pushed again to back bench on US policy on Palestine.

British and UN roles in the Palestinian fiasco

Egypt sent its army after the failure of American initiative. The army had only 3 days to prepare and ended in fiasco. Britain remained the last hope for Palestinians but nowhere in the empire did the Albion demonstrate such perfidious behavior. The British knowledge about Plan Dalet is clear cut . After the plan was adopted the British forfeited their responsibility for law and order and withdrew from country sides and towns. The Palestinian people still put the blame on the British complicity despite 75000 troops that were stationed in Palestine. Infact the British helped the Zionists access the ownership deeds and other vital data which they had photocopied before the decolonization process. These were crucial details that Zionists needed for depopulation.

According to the Partition resolution, UN should have been present on the ground to supervise the implementation of its peace plan. UN had pledged to prevent attempts by either side to confiscate the land that belonged to other side. They took no action beyond watching and reporting when the ethnic cleansing started. The British forbade an organized UN outfit to be present on the ground thus ignoring that part of partition resolution. Thus Britain allowed the cleansing to take place in front of the eyes of its soldiers and officials during the mandate period which came to an end on 14 May 1948 .Britain hampered UN intervention that might have saved the lives of many Palestinians. But after 15 May, there was no excuse for the way UN abandoned the people whose land they had divided and whose welfare and life they had surrendered to Jews who since the late 19 th century wished to uproot them and take their place in the country they deemed as theirs.

May 1948 war

Prior to 1948, Jordanians made an agreement to annex West Bank. After the British withdrawal, they insisted that they should have at least half of Jerusalem including the Old City and Jewish quarter for which a fierce battle was fought in contrast to the complete inaction the Arab Legion displayed when they were stationed near Palestinian villages and towns that the Israeli army had begun occupying cleansing and destroying. Though the Jordanian army was the strongest and formidable of Arab forces, it was neutralized from the very first day of the Palestinian war by the tacit agreement that King Abdullah had made with the Zionists. The Arab Legion’s English Commander in Chief Glubb Pasha called the 1948 war a phony one due to this. There was only rhetoric and no action from the Arab League. Egypt sent 10000 Muslim Brotherhood volunteers just 2 days before the mandate ended.This group had vowed to restore Egypt and Arab world to Orthodox ways of Islam, regarded Palestine as a crucial battle field of struggle against imperialism but in the 1940 s they also regarded Egyptian government as a collaborator of imperialism. They were mostly imprisoned and without any proper military training. The Syrian and Lebanese villagers though better trained were less committed. The Iraqi troops were given orders to follow Jordanians and to help them defend West Bank. Some of these troops, were provoked into action due to their politician’s hypocrisy. Britain and France had declared arms embargo on Palestine, the Arab troops found the ammunition from their home countries drying out, there was no coordination between the national armies while the Jews got an unending supply from the Soviet union and Eastern bloc. As for the lack of coordination, that was due to the decision by the Arab league to appoint King Abdullah as the supreme commander of all Arab army with an Iraqi general as the acting commander.

Jordanians never looked back on their complicit role in Palestinian Nakba while , the Iraqi revolutionary leaders who came to power in 1958, brought the Iraqi generals to trial. The outer Jewish settlements subjected to Arab attacks and takeover were left to fend for itself by Gurion. The massacre in the village of Tantura on the Mediterranean coast on 22 May was carried out by the AAlexandroni brigade. The attacks and massacres happened after the villagers surrendered by waving white flags. Most who escaped became refugees in Yarmuk refugee camp Syria. People were buried in mass graves. The story of how the massacre came out in public is noteworthy. An Israeli research student Teddy Katz stumbled upon the massacre while doing his dissertation for Haifa university. He interviewed most of the survivors in 1999, but later his thesis was retroactively disqualified by the university and the Alexandroni veterans dragged him into court for libel. The Golani Brigade also carried out many massacres. The Harel Brigade of Yitzhak Rabin occupied villages in Jerusalem and blew up the houses. The belief that the brigades could seize the northern part of West Bank despite the agreement with King Abdullah and even conduct invasions in southern Lebanon while cleansing vast areas of Palestine reveals the cynicism behind the myth that Israel was fighting a war of survival. The brigade soldiers were infused with a zealous vindictiveness to revenge for the killing of the Jewish settlers and soldiers by the Arab armies. The aircrafts sent by the Egyptian government failed in their missions apart from the few raids in Tel Aviv. The Arab armies proved ineffective like the paramilitary volunteers

Articles 9,12 and 17 from Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted as UNGA Resolution 217 A on 10 Dec 1948 stated, that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention in exile, everyone has the right to leave and return to his country on his own and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property . The same time as this, UN Resolution 194 declared unconditional right of Palestinians to return to their homes. The expulsions and destruction in the villages in Gaza shocked the nearby kibbutzim when they learned how these friendly villages have been savagely assaulted. The UN mediated truce came into force on June 11. But the Israeli forces continued to destroy the evicted villages . By June Israel received new aircrafts to supplement their primitive machine’s. By July aeroplanes were used for aerial bombings. Telegrams about the inefficiency and inadequacy of the paramilitary groups to their commanders were intercepted by the Israeli forces who were well aware of their shortcomings. UN was aware of the summary executions but did nothing. In villages where Druze, Christians and Muslims coex6,only Muslims were expelled. In 1950, after the Pope intervened the Christian families of Nazareth were allowed to move back but they refused to do so without their Muslim neighbors. Forests of pine trees were planted over the destroyed villages. The first truce had come to an end by 8 July. In 10 days, the UN mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte negotiated another one. He was different from the other UN observers in putting forward a proposal to redivide the country into half and demanding the unconditional return of all refugees. For the same reason the Jewish terrorists murdered him in September. The other UN observers just watched the barbarism and killings unwilling or unable to do anything.

Thanks to Bernadette, an UN Resolution in Dec 1948, recommended an unqualified return of refugees Israel had expelled, one of a host of Un resolutions that Israel had ignored. Israel needed a PR campaign to stymie adverse international responses and so began to involve the diplomatic officials in the Foreign Ministry to work closely with the intelligence officers. Thus the diplomatic arm, previously not privy to the details of ethnic cleansing operations, now became involved. The brigades who conducted the campaigns were nothing short of terrorists. One of the villages, Ayn Hawd, was turned into a Jewish artist colony. Marcel Janko, the Jewish artist founder who renamed the village as Ein Hod, wanted it to become the center of Dadaism. But the art form and the Jewish artist community went into decline. Jankos own work fittingly represents the racism shown by contemporary Israeli left in its approach towards Arab culture and Palestinians, a covert, at times nuanced, but nonetheless pervasive racism in their writings, artistic work and political activity . Jankos paintings incorporate Arab figures fading into the background of occupied Ayn Hawd. They are the forerunners of paintings of the Apartheid wall that Israeli artists have decorated with scenes beyond the wall, but omitting the Palestinian villages there

The second truce was broken by Israel exactly one week later. In one of the villages attacked, Ayn Gazal, the holy burial place of a holy man called Shaykh Shehadeh was declared a holy Jewish site by the Israelis in an attempt to stop the journey of memory and worship. The people of this village were rejoiced after the second truce and the day of the annual Ramadan fast, many villagers had come out in the streets to break the fast in coffee houses, when a plane dropped a bomb on the crowd and ground forces occupied the village later. As was the routine, the men were ordered to gather in one place, the hooded informer and the intelligence officer soon appeared, men were selected for having taken part in the 1936 revolt, shot at spot and the remaining villagers were expelled.

Operation Dani was the innocent sounding codename for attacks two Palestinian towns, Lydd and Ramla located halfway between Jaffa and Jerusalem. Lydd once famous for its mosques, after the Jewish occupation became town of Lod ,one of the belt towns around Tel Aviv housing poor people. Lydd was bombarded from the air followed by ground attacks. The Jordanian Legion units were instructed by the British chief Glubb Pasha to withdraw. ALA also fled without much resistance. Both Lydd and Ramla were within the designated Arab state, so the residents expected the Legion to fight the Jews as they fought for East Jerusalem. Later, for his decision to retreat, Glebb Pasha lost his position and had to return to Britain. Deserted by the volunteers and the Legionaries, the men of Lydd armed with some old rifles took shelter in Dahamish mosque in the city centre only to be massacred inside the mosque by the Israeli forces. All over the village 426 people were killed including women and children. The massacre was conducted by Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin. The remaining pe6, almost half of them refugees from nearby villages, were ordered to march to West Bank. The Israelis invited two foreign correspondents, embedded correspondents, Keith Wheeler of The Chicago Sun Times and Kenneth Bilby of The New York Herald Tribune who had written in detail on the Arab corpses shattered in the towns including those of children.

Reports from Lydd might seem strangely familiar for those who have been shocked by the callousness and inhumanity of US troops towards Arabs in operations Iraq. There was a reason why a newspaper report of a massacre of this scale did not provoke a reaction in US. The reports were one sided. Wheeler was astonished by the Israeli blitzkrieg (he ironically used this term) and the resoluteness of Jewish troops and Bilby called them ruthlessly brilliant. London Economist gave a less biased report on how the people were looted, dispossessed, expelled and murdered. Ramla was first targeted in February 1948 by the Irgun terrorist group when they planted a bomb in the market that killed many people. Again in July the town was attacked. Though the notables, after hearing about the fate of Lydd, reached an agreement with Israeli army, the people were expelled, houses looted, men sent to POW camps. The people were forced to march to West Bank with out food or water, many died from hunger and thirst. A question that immediately pops up in our minds is ,three years after the holocaust what went through the minds of these Jews who watched these wretched people pass by. The Arab Legion fought bitterly to safeguard the Latrun area and the defeat and fiasco remained in the collective memory of the Jews until they recaptured the area in June 1967 and expelled the people from their villages. The Jordanian Legion also fiercely defended East Jerusalem.

The city of Nazareth was not depopulated since its Christian population was more and Ben Gurion knew that the eyes of the Christian world was fixed on them. Thus Nazareth is the only Arab city I pre 1967 Israel. But the suspected people were expelled. Another village of Hittin, a scenic one, previously a Druze village , was captured Since the Druze had aligned with the Israelis, showing little solidarity or affinity with the fellow Palestinian Arabs and joined in the destruction of rural Palestine, the village was occupied very easily. Many villages like Hittin were occupied and people displaced when they were beginning to prosper. People were displaced many times over when the villages they had sought refuge were later attacked and occupied. By July the Israelis could make use of their embryonic air force to bomb the villages and expel the villagers before entry on the ground. The aircrafts even bombed the refugees on their way to nearby villages. The Negev Bedouin tribes were expelled and forced into reservations that Israel defined as closed military areas which meant they were allowed to leave only with a special permit. The expulsion of Negev Bedouins continued until 1959. The displaced tribes were again uprooted in 1967.

The second truce was violated the moment it came into effect. The Gaza strip was protected by the Egyptian forces and West Bank by the Jordanians. Had it not been for these two forces, the Jews would have entirely occupied Palestine. The lands they had occupied but legally with in the UN designated Arab state was referred to as by Gurion as administered areas, not part of the Jewish state but governed by a military judicial system. Though the Zionists were worried of UN reaction to their occupation of Arab designated Palestine, inexplicably this was never raised during the momentary interest that international community briefly displayed in the fate of post mandatory Palestine and its indigenous communities. When Israel was accepted as a full member of UN, the distinction of these areas as administered/occupied, dissapeared along with the villages fields and houses, dissolved into the Jewish state of Israel.

UN did succeed in averting an attack on Golan Heights, though it was later occupied in 1967. When it was returned to Syrians in 1974, it was totally destroyed into a ghost town. By September Arab armies had dwindled and Israel continued with its cleansing operations. Israel’s divide and rule policy proved effective in the case of Druze to whom they promised not only immunity but also arms as reward for their collaboration..The Christians were less cooperative. At first they were routinely deported along with the Muslims. Then they were transferred to transit camps in central coastal areas. Despite all Israeli efforts to judaize Galilee beginning from direct expulsion in 1940,military occupation in the 1960 s, massive confiscation of land in the 1970 s and a huge official Judaization settlement effort in 1980 s, it’s still the only area in Palestine that has retained its natural beauty, its Middle eastern flavor and Palestinian culture. Since half the population is Palestinians the demographic balance prevent many Jews from thinking of the region as their own even now.

Israel’s anti repatriation policy worked at two levels. The first one was national, to destroy all villages and transform them into Jewish settlements or natural forests. The second level was diplomatic to avert the growing international pressure on Israel to allow return of refugees. The major international endeavor to facilitate the return of refugees was led by the UN Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC). It was a small committee with three members one each from France, Turkey and US. The PCC called for unconditional return of refugees to their homes as proposed by the murdered UN mediator Count Folke Bernadette. They turned their position to UNGA Resolution 194 supported by most of member states and adopted on 11 Dec 1948. It gave the refugees unconditional return to their homes or accepting compensation. But those Palestinians trying to return to their homes were brutally shot .Lebanon allowed free passage of refugees to their country. The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan later turned back refugees as their number increased. The UN observers became so desensitized towards the plight of the people, refugees passing in front of them. Their silent acquiescence is shocking. They did draw some conclusions in October 1948 writing to the Secretary General that Israeli policy was that of uprooting Arabs from their native villages by force or threat, but the Secretary General did not publish the report. Arab member states tried to bring the attention of the report to the UN Secretary General, but to no avail. For almost thirty years UN uncritically adopted the rhetorical obfuscation of ABBA Eban, Israel’s ambassador to UN, who referred to the refugees as constituting a human problem for which no one could be held accountable or responsible. UN observers were shocked by the ethnic cleansing and looting too. After overwhelmingly endorsing a partition resolution almost a year earlier, UN could have passed another resolution condemning the ethnic cleansing, but it never did and worse was to come.

Gurion coveted to occupy West Bank and Southern Lebanon. Southern Lebanon was invaded by Israel many times 1949, 78 and 82. Israel built Khiyam prison there which has become a byword of cruelty. The massacre in the village of Dawahmey between Beersheba and Hebron is mentioned by the UN report of 14 June 1949. By 1949 an agreement was signed by Israelis with Jordan and Lebanon and by 1950, Palestine was divided into a state of Israel, Jordanian West Bank and Egyptian Gaza Strip

Occupation and its ugly face.

The Palestinians under the military rule of Israel were harassed, their houses continued to looted, their fields confiscated, their holy places desecrated.

Inhuman imprisonment

Illegal imprisonment of suspicious Arabs was being carried out from the beginning itself. What constituted suspicious was as cloudy as anything. Not having the newly issued ID cards carried a prison term of 1 year. The interned Palestinians were subjected to horrific brutality. They introduced roadblocks to carry out surprise checks on those without ID, a practice continuing till today. Thus freedom of movement was limited. Most of the areas which were out of bounds needed a special permit. Summary executions took place in the POW camps. Most of the Israelis who had murdered the Palestinian citizens escaped justice and remained in their positions. Prisoners were also used for forced labor in labor camps. The Red cross team that visited the POW facilities reported how the prisoners were exploited to strengthen the Israeli economy. The report was a guarded one since the group was well aware of their failure to report on what went on in Nazi concentration camps on which it was well informed. The Israeli prisoners captured by the Arab Legion army was well treated compared to how the Palestinians were treated in POW CAMPS. Ben Gurion was angry when he learned that.

Abuses Under Occupation

The Red Cross sent back disturbing reports of collective abuses of basic rights of people. Worst cases were in Jaffa. The Red Cross official who found a pile of dead bodies after its occupation was told by the military Governor that they were shot for coming out of their homes during the curfew time. Under the cover of curfews and closures Israeli military committed many other crimes. The groceries and stationary items for the Arab people kept by the British government was looted under their watch, and as per the order of Ben Gurion and sent to Jewish settlements. Looting was done by private individuals also. The mosques and churches were profaned and their convents and schools vandalized. House robberies took place in broad daylight.

Ghettoizing the Palestinians of Haifa

After driving out 70000 of Haifa’s residents the 3000 to 5000 left behind were transferred to ghettos.


Source about the incidents of rape include the UN, Red Cross and the letters by Yitzhak Chizik. We know more about incidents of rape in places where these people were there. But that doesn’t mean rapes didn’t occur in the rest of the places. Another source is the Israeli archives that cover rapes where rapists were brought to trial. Gurion’s diary also mentions about the rapes. Jaffa was a hotbed of cruelty and war crimes for Israeli soldiers. Another source is the oral history from the victimizers and victims. In a shocking case of rape and murder of a twelve year old girl by soldiers in a military base, the trial was conducted in 2003, after the newspaper Haaretz published about the incident. The most punishment received was a 2 year jail term for the soldier who killed her.

Dividing the Spoils

The Israelis suggested that all Palestinian refugees should be resettled in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. US and Britain responded favorably to this policy and did not do anything to push forward the implementation of UN Resolution 194 which called for unconditional repatriation of Palestinian refugees. Apart from the resettlement issue, Israel had appropriated the money and property of 1.3 million Palestinians worth 100 million pounds. To avoid international investigations, they planned to sell the property to American Jews. The lands appropriated from the Palestinians were decided to be cultivated by the Jews or sold to private or public sector. Gurion decided to destroy the houses to prevent Palestinians from coming back. He intensified the settlement of Jewish immigrants on confiscated land and evicted houses. The Jewish National Fund and Custodian competed among themselves to divide the spoils. By placing the appropriated lands and houses under an Israel appointed Custodian, the Israelis could sell these properties to public and private Jewish groups and individuals later under the spurious pretext that no claimants came forward. Under government custodianship they became state lands which by law belonged to the Jewish nation, which in turn meant that none of it could be sold to Arabs. .

Land was divvied up between IDF, immigrants, Kibbutzim movements. Land and houses were bought by many of these. JNF bought large areas of land from Custodian until their finances dried up.Even the Palestinians still clinging on to their lands and houses were forcibly evicted and the property bought or sold. The ruling leftist party, Mapam, was so greedy and bought large areas. By 1950, half the dispossessed rural land was in the hands of JNF. The IDF built military bases on the lands. The Arab character of the villages and towns were effaced by construction of spacious park in Jaffa and community center in Jerusalem. Almost all the houses in Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem were demolished . Market places and mosques were destroyed.

Desecration of Holy Sites

Until 1948, all Muslim holy sites in Palestine belonged to Waqf the Islamic endowment authority recognized by Ottoman empire and the British mandate. Supreme Muslim Council supervised them. After 1948, Israel confiscated them and transferred first to Custodian, then to state and eventually sold them to Jewish public bodies and private citizens. Christian churches were also confiscated and sold. Israelis changed mosques to restaurants, bars and shops. The Palestinian people are denied entry into the remaining churches and mosques.

Entrenching the occupation

The 150000 Palestinians who remained in the newly formed Israel were put under a military regime based on British Mandatory emergency regulations, when issued in 1945, Menachem Begin compared to Germany’s 1935 Nuremberg laws.These regulations abolished people’s right of expression, movement, organization and equality. The right to vote and be elected in Israeli parliament came with severe restrictions. It lasted until 1966, though the regulations are still in place. Massive expulsions of Arabs continued until 1953. Bedouins were expelled from Negev upto 1962.

The Land Robbery, 1950 to 2000

The confiscated land was either converted to settlements or Zionist forests. For the public, creating new settlements were accompanied by slogans like “making the desert bloom”. JNF s forestation activities were marketed as an ecological mission to keep the country green. JNF became the sole proprietors of the new forests, it was responsible for safeguarding the Jewishness of even property not owned by them by prohibiting transactions with Palestinians. JNF was granted legal status of land owner on behalf of Jewish states by the JNF law passed in 1953. JNF had overall land share of 13%. But it implemented its policy of guarding the nation’s lands in areas beyond its control due to its role in directorship of Law of the Israeli Land Authority (ILA), which became the owner of 80%of state lands. The rest was owned by JNF, army and the government. Further laws by the Knesset prohibited even subletting of properties to Non Jews. 70% of Israeli land became private land. The primary objective was to prevent Palestinians from regaining ownership through purchase of their own land or of their people. This is why the Palestinian minority in Israel cannot build. The Palestinian Israelis, form 17 %of the total population after ethnic cleansing, they live in 3 percent of land. They are allowed to build on only 2%of land. Many confiscated villages were reinvented as purely Jewish or ancient Hebrew places.

The Memoricide of Nakba

The Re invention of Palestine

The confiscated land was Hebranized by re inventing Hebrew names and history by the archaeological agency and other land agencies like JNF. The naming committee was an ad hoc group in 1920s and Gurion in 1949, turned it into a sub division of JNF. Elad, the settlers NGO is devoted to Judaization of East Jerusalem. Many illegal home demolitions are occurring there. JNFs main challenge is the privatization of land by Netanyahu and Aerial Sharon, but it has a strong hold over Israel’s forests. Villages lay buried under these forests where Nakba denial is pervasive. Refugees are up against the JNF here.

Virtual Colonialism and the JNF

While creating the forests over Palestinian villages, Jews opted for pine trees and cypresses to completely efface the Palestinian flora and to make them look European. They were also meant to support the country’s aspiring wood industry. Olive trees definitely sprout in between the pines and cypresses in places where these conifers were planted to cover Palestinian olive groves. Inside and outside Israel, JNF is considered as an ecological agency whose b lies on making Israel green. It has built national parks, playgrounds, resorts etc. In many of these places clusters of olives, figs , almond and cactuses grows. Many think they’re wild ones, but they have sprouted from the orchards of Palestinians buried beneath. JNF websites guide to conceal the visible remnants of the Palestinian villages .The sites virtual and real displays the official Zionist story of Eretz Israel.

The bustans or the Palestinian fruit orchards are mentioned in JNF sites as a natures creation. The Palestinian history is transported back to a biblical and Talmudic past. The site fancifully meshes history and tourist tips totally wiping the remnants of Palestinian villages that the Jewish troops wiped out within a few hours from Israeli collective memory.

Two obstacles that perpetuate the refugee problem and stand in the way of an equitable peace process are, Israel’s denial of Nakba and a lack of international will.

Nakba Denial and the Peace Process

In a 1949 UN plan to peace, the International Refugee Organization was kept out and replaced by a special agency for Palestinian refugees. This was done by Israel and the Jewish Zionist organizations abroad. IRO helped Jews during Holocaust and Zionists did not want to compare Nakba with that And IRO always recommended repatriation as the first option.

This is how United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) came into being. It was not committed to the repatriation as stipulated by UNResolution 194. It was set up to provide employment and subsidies, building permanent camps, constructing schools and opening medical centers for one million Palestinian refugees who ended up in camps. Palestinian nationalism reemerged centered on right to return. PLO formed from refugees in 1968 was grounded in factual and moral redress of the evils inflicted by Israelis on Palestinians. The PLO faced two denials One, the sidelining of the Palestinian cause by the international community and two , the denial of Nakba and the ethnic cleansing by the Zionists. The Nakba and the refugee issues were consistently excluded from the peace agenda.

Genuine peace attempt by the UN and the international community was undertaken in 1949 in Switzerland according to Resolution 194, that is, Right of return, two state solution, and internationalization of Jerusalem. All parties accepted this, US, Europe, Arab states, Palestinians and Israeli foreign minister Moshe Sharett. This endeavor was deliberately torpedoed by Gurion and King Abdullah of Jordan who had wanted to partition whatever had left of Palestine between themselves. US was embroiled in an election and Europe in cold war, thus giving a winning chance to Gurion and King Abdullah, thereby foiling a true attempt at peace.

Only after 1967, there was another peace attempt. There was total Israeli control all over ex mandatory Palestine. By now Israel’s strength was beyond doubt So peace process gave weight to Israeli side. This completely eliminated Palestine point of view . Israel wanted to move with the year 1967 as the origin of Palestinian conflict, thus eliminating the refugee problem and right to return claims. To push out the Palestinians from the peace process and sought Jordanian Camaraderie with the help of Henry Kissinger. The letter read that Israel peace camp led by the Labour party regards Palestinians as non existent and prefer to divide the occupied 1967 territories with Jordan. Jordanians deemed the share insufficient, but the US supported this until 1987,when the First Intifada arose. The 1977 peace proposal by Anwar Sadat was also favorable for Israel in which it was allowed to keep the occupied territories. Jordanians were removed from the picture after the First Intifada. 1991 peace process in Madrid involved direct talks between Israel and Palestinian leadership of occupied territories with the mediation of US. Madrid Peace Plan was a gift from the US to Arab countries for backing Washington’s military invasion of Iraq in the First Gulf War. But Israel stalled the process.

Oslo Accords of 1993 ignored 1948 Nakba and right to return. The architects were Israeli intellectuals who belonged to Peace Now camp. Yasser Arafat fell into the trap of Oslo Accords. There was vicious cycle of violence. Desperate Palestinians reacted to Israeli oppression in the form of suicide bombings on civilians and military. The frustrated young joined guerrilla groups that promoted suicide attacks as the only means remaining for liberating occupied territories. The intimidated Israeli electorate elected the right wing Netanyahu to power in 1996. He failed miserably in all aspects of governance and Ehud Barak of Labour was in power in 1999.

The right to return

Bill Clinton invited Barak and Arafat to a summit meeting in Camp David in the summer of 2000 for what the Palestinians thought was genuine negotiations over conflicts end. The original Oslo documents of 1993 promised the Palestinian leadership that if they were willing to agree to a waiting period of 5 to 10 years, during which time Israel would partially withdraw from the occupied territories, the final phase of the new negotiations would be on the table. The Palestinian leadership thought that final phase had come to discuss the three essentials of the conflict: the right of return, Jerusalem and future of Israeli settlements.

But a fragmented PLO without the radical Islamist movements of 1980s had to come up with a counter peace plan. With the advice of Adam Smith Institute in London the naive Palestinian negotiators placed Nakba and Israeli responsibility for it as the top Palestinian agenda. The US plan was to allow only the Israelis to set the rules for the peace agenda. Israel’s only offer was to withdraw from parts of West Bank and Gaza, leaving 15% of Palestine to Palestinians in the form of cantons separated by highways, settlements, army camps and walls. Jerusalem was excluded. Refugee problem was eliminated. Arafat refused to sign. For nearly four decades Arafat’s movement had the main aim of seeking legal and moral recognition of the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Israel. UN had already accepted that demand in Resolution 194. For the refusal to sign, Arafat was depicted as a war monger by US and Israel.

This humiliation was exacerbated when Aerial Sharon provocatively visited Haram Al Sharif in September 2000. This triggered the second intifada. Like the first one, it was a nonviolent popular protest. But Israel responded with lethal violence. The world looks on as the strongest military power in the region with its Apache helicopters, tanks and bull dozers attack an unarmed defenseless population of civilians and impoverished refugees. The Jenin refugee camp massacre committed by the Israeli troops in 2002, was to be investigated by the fact finding mission of UN, but Israel refused to cooperate and UNGS Kofi Annan decided to abandon the mission. Camp David fiasco helped bring the issue of Nakba and refugee return to the forefront not just in Israel, but in the US and Europe. Nakba denial was the official policy of the Zionists since they feared the troubling questions of moral legitimacy of the Zionist project over the treatment of Palestinians. That would call into question the very foundational myths of the State of Israel that the state was founded in an empty land and made the desert bloom. And also would trigger moral and existential repercussions for the Israeli Jews who would have to recognize that they have become the mirror image of their own worst nightmare.

In 2003, the Quartet comprised of the US, UN, Britain and Russia offered a blue print for peace that happily adopted the consensual Israeli position as embodied in policies of Aerial Sharon. He succeeded in fooling the West by turning the 2005 military withdrawal from Gaza into a media bonanza. But in reality the army still controls Gaza from outside. It continues its targeted assassinations and will control most of West Bank. Refugees of 1948 are not even mentioned in Quartets peace agenda.

The Geneva Accord is the best option the Israelis proved able to come up with in the beginning of the 21st century. Its validity is doubtful since the proposal was concocted by people no longer in power. It recognizes the right of return provided their return is confined to West Bank and Gaza. It doesn’t acknowledge the ethnic cleansing but provides compensation as an option. The practicality of this option is undercut by the fact that Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth..From iits partner Palestinians Geneva secured recognition of Israel as a Jewish state thus endorsing the ethnic cleansing and Fortress Israel, the most significant obstruction in the path to peace process.

Fortress Israel

Gaza disengagement plan froze the peace process. Deportation of Palestinian women married to Palestinian citizens of Israel were forcibly undertaken backed by government, courts and media. Knesset in 2003 passed a law prohibiting Palestinians from obtaining citizenship, permanent or temporary residency status when they marry Israeli citizens. Even those who had been married for years were separated. Arab members of the Knesset opposed appealed to Israeli Supreme Court against this racist law. It was turned down.

The demographic problem of Israel were at the center of all elections. Already in the late nineteenth century Zionists had identified population problem as the major problem in fulfilling its dreams. Herzl has written in his diary in 1895 that to shift the Jewish society in Palestine to a Jewish state “we shall endeavor to expel the population across the border unnoticed, procuring employment in transit states, but denying it any employment in our own country “.

Ben Gurion ensured that the number of Palestinians were reduced to less than 20 percent of the total. Israel has boosted its population by two massive immigrations each of one million people in 1949 and 1980s. Ehud Olmert, PM, knew that if the occupied territories are annexed the Palestinian in Israel would increase their number. He planned to annex parts with less number of Palestinians leaving parts with more numbers. This was the explanation for the 670 km serpentine concrete wall, barbed wire and manned watchtowers and the reason why it runs twice the length of 315 km long Green Line, the June 1967 border.

The Zionist enclave was constructed in 1922 by the Eastern European Jews with the help of the British. The colonialists dreamed of massive Jewish immigration to strengthen their hold, but Holocaust killed the number of white European Jews and those who survived preferred to emigrate to US or remain in Europe. So the Ashkenazi Jewish leadership reluctantly prompted one million Arab Jews, Mizrahim, from ME and North Africa. Another discriminatory nature of Israel is seen here against these Jews who were put through an invidious de Arabisation process

In June 1967, Israel conquered the rest of Palestine, along with parts of Syria, Egypt and Jordan. Sinai was ceded back to Egypt in 1979 in return for peace. In 1982, Israel added southern Lebanon. It withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza strip in 2005. The influx in the 1980s of Christians from former Soviet Countries, the increasing foreign guest workers has resulted in an inability to claim an overwhelming Jewish majority They have no issues with this, as their primary goal is to keep the population white, that is non Arab. The black Jews Israel brought from Ethiopia in 1980s were relegated to the poor areas of the periphery and are almost invisible, discrimination against them is high. Though Israeli proposals after 1993 were approved by some Arab countries like Jordan and Egypt, since both are in the sphere of influence of US, they never convinced the civil societies there. Apartheid is popular among the Mizrahi Jews, who are Israel’s most vociferous supporters today. They find themselves leading comfortable lives like their fellow Ashkenazi counterparts, though betraying their Arabic heritage and culture has not brought the reward of full acceptance.

Israel is the last postcolonial European enclave in the Arab world today. The ideology that enabled the depopulation of half of Palestine’s native population in 1948 is still alive and continues to drive the inexorable, indiscernible cleansing of the Palestinians who live there today.

Synopsis- “The Wretched of the Earth” by Frantz Fanon.

 Frantz Fanon’s seminal 1961 book, originally published in French, about the effects of colonization on the minds of the colonized, and the efforts by the colonized to overthrow the colonizers. It draws from Fanon’s own experience as a Black man living in Algeria and witnessing the brutal war for independence from France in the 1950s

Author– Frantz Fanon.

Genre/ Category/ Subject– NonFiction/ Politics/ Racism/Colonialism/ Postcolonialism/ Violence/Third-

world development/ Revolution.

Publication date– 1961.

Original language– French.

About the author and the book

Frantz Fanon was born in 1925 in Martinique, a French colony in the Caribbean Sea. He was descended from African slaves who had previously been brought to the island. Fanon left Martinique at the age of 18 and fought for France in the last years of World War II. It was during the war that he experienced extensive racism from his white European peers. This would continue to influence his worldview for the rest of his short life.

After the war, Fanon briefly returned to Martinique and worked with the famous thinker Aime Cesaire, who was a leader of the Negritude movement. The Negritude movement produced literature that advocated for a common Black identity among Africans displaced across the world. Fanon discusses the movement in the fourth chapter of ‘The Wretched of the Earth ‘.

Fanon returned to France in 1951 to complete studies in psychology and medicine. He became a licensed psychiatrist in 1951. Drawing from his studies, he published his first book, also widely influential, in 1952. Titled ‘Black Skin, White Masks ‘, the book explored the psychological experience of Black people in colonial contexts. Fanon showed how the dehumanizing effects of racism creates inferiority complexes and at times debilitating psychological distress in Black people.

In 1953, Fanon took a position as head of psychiatry in a hospital in Algeria, in northern Africa. This would prove a seminal experience in his life. Algeria was just then on the brink of war, and in 1954 violence finally broke out. The Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) led a guerilla war against the French in an effort to overthrow the ruling colonial government. Over the course of the decade, anti-colonial violence was met with brutal retaliation, and more than 150,000 were killed. As Vikki Bell (author of the journal ‘Introduction: Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth 50 Years On ‘ – https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0263276410383721 ) describes, Fanon became increasingly involved in the war as it escalated in violence and torture. “Although he didn’t partake in the military campaigns, Fanon became a spokesperson for the movement and was in due course expelled from Algeria for his involvement; he moved to Tunis where he continued his support, in particular through editing the FLN newspaper El Moudjahid . The experience of decolonization is the focus of ‘The Wretched of the Earth ‘, and this use of his intellectual abilities to support the anticolonial effort is something Fanon wrote about in particular in Chapter 4.

The Wretched of the Earth was published in 1961. Unfortunately, this was also the same year Fanon died. Fanon was diagnosed with leukemia and sought medical care first in the Soviet Union and then in the United States, for treatment at a National Institutes of Health facility in Bethesda, Maryland. The treatment could not save his life, and he died in Maryland on December 6, 1961, at just 36 years. He left behind a wife, Josie, and a son, Oliver, as well as a daughter, Mireille, from a previous relationship. During his short life, Fanon was an important voice in the fields of postcolonialism and Marxism, and his work has been invaluable to the development of critical theory. He advocated tirelessly for the decolonization of the Third World, and was particularly interested in the psychological impact of colonialist oppression on the colonized individual. He was later buried in Algeria.

Postcolonialism as a field of academia was founded by Edward Said, a Palestinian American and public intellectual, whose book, ‘Orientalism ‘, first identified and put a name to the racist representation of those from the East by those from the West. Other important works of postcolonial theory include ‘The Location of Culture‘ by Homi Bhabha, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” by Gayatri Spivak, ‘Midnight’s Children‘ by Salman Rushdie, ‘Things Fall Apart‘ by Chinua Achebe, and the short story “Girl,” by Jamaica KincaidThe Wretched of the Earth also closely interacts with the theory of Marxism, which is based on ‘The Communist Manifesto‘ by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Other books that also interact with Marxist themes include ‘Fight Club‘ by Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Wright’s ‘Native Son‘, and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire‘ by Tennessee Williams

  Fanon’s work was originally written in French, and English translators have long since disagreed on the translation of his work. Some early translations are riddled with errors, and some scholars believe that Fanon’s work has been misrepresented because of these mistakes. This misrepresentation has led to Fanon’s image as a proponent of violence, while his true message of decolonization and unity is lost. 

(Ref: https://www.gradesaver.com/author/frantz-fanon


History of Algerian War

The Algerian War of Independence was a decolonization war fought between France and the Algerian National Liberation Front from 1954 to 1962. Algerians used guerilla warfare, including marquis fighting—a type of guerilla warfare that utilized rural guerillas—and widespread torture. A series of armed conflicts known as Toussaint Rouge ( “Red All Saints’ Day“), also known as Toussaint Sanglante (“Bloody All-Saints’ Day“), the name given to a series of 70 attacks committed by Algerian separatists during the Catholic festival of All Saints’ Day began in French Algeria in 1954. The fighting led to massive social and political unrest in both Algeria and France, and in 1958, the Fourth French Republic—the republican government of France since 1946—completely collapsed. It progressed into a civil war, as well, as fighting broke out among many conflicting tribal communities. The fighting dragged on for years until the signing of the Evian Accords, a compromise treaty, on March 18, 1962. The withdrawal of France from Algeria resulted in complete social, political, and economic chaos, including several attempted military coup d’etats by rebel forces. Algeria finally gained independence on July 5, 1962, but deep and lasting damage continues to be felt in the region to this day. Nearly 2,000,000 Algerians were displaced during the Algerian War of Independence, and over 300,000 Algerians were killed, compared to just over 25,000 French and other Europeans.   

(Ref : https://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-wretched-of-the-earth#context)

Jean Paul Sartre’s prefatorial essay and the criticisms

The English editions come with a prefatorial essay by Sartre that turned controversial for it’s embrace of violence. He had written the essay when the book was published first in French in 1961. Existentialism’s emphasis on the persons creating their own free world found it’s echo in Fanon’s interest in the colonized creating their own world. Fanon rooting for violence, according to Sartre, was a concrete path to freedom that human rights’ abstractness was unable to offer.

Sartre’s preface to the Wretched of the Earth constitutes an endorsement of Fanon’s point of view by the most important and influential philosopher of the 20th Century. Sartre’s endorsement of Fanon’s call for a violent purge of European culture from Africa was echoed by Simone de Beauvoir, without question the most important feminist philosopher of the 20th century, and Albert Camus, the great French author, playwright and philosopher. Sartre’s willingness to publicly associate himself with Fanon’s revolutionary ideology was certainly not a surprise. Sartre had publicly supported the Algerian revolution and was blamed by the French military for their defeat. The French commander in Algeria said he could have dealt with guerrillas and terrorists, but not even the French army could defeat Jean-Paul Sartre.

The essay brought attention of readers to the violence part and made them overlook other dimensions of Fanon’s book like culture and national consciousness. The book was embraced by young activists for justiying violent protests. Sartre’s ideas were spreading like wildfire among the young French in universities at the time. Because of this reason Hannah Arendt attacked the book for promoting violence.  According to Homi Bhaba, “Hannah Arendt’s assault on the book in the late sixties was an attempt at staunching the wildfire it spread across university campuses, while she readily acknowledged that it was really Sartre’s preface that glorified violence beyond Fanon’s words or wishes”.

Judith Butler remarks, The Wretched of the Earth was intended as a book by a colonized person to and for colonized people. Sartre’s introduction, in contrast, “is less a conversation among the colonizers than an exhortation of one to the other, asking the European to read as one would listen to a conversation that is not meant for one”. Thus, at the same time that Sartre emphasizes the importance of decolonization, he seems to co-opt the colonized voice to serve European, instead of African, purposes.

Although Sartre’s introduction continues to be published in English-language editions of The Wretched of the Earth, it has not been included in French editions since 1967. That was the year that Fanon’s widow removed it from publication. Her reasoning was that Sartre had begun to support pro-Zionist movements in Israel, which she thought was in contradiction to many of the anti-colonial philosophies of the book. In either case, Sartre had already influenced the reception of the book, and he continues to be one of Fanon’s most widely read interpreters.

Sartre begins the essay by describing how the colonizers created the colonized including a native elite as go-between interpretors. The white-washed native elites were set free into the colonies after a short stay in the mother country. When mouths of natives opened by themselves, finally, the colonizers thought, ‘ let them bawl their heads off, it relieves their feelings, dogs that bark don’t bite afterall’. A new generation of native writers and poets pointed to the hypocrisy of western humanism. Thus, as Hegel says, uneasy consciences are caught up in their own contradictions. The natives won’t get anywhere.

The voice of natives reverberated with how the West stifled, exploited and murdered whole of humanity in the name of spiritual experience. Sartre says, there is a difference beween a Frenchman saying that the country is done for, which is emotional talk followed by advices to carry out instructions to prevent this and Fanon saying that Europe is rushing to doom , when he is setting out a diagnosis. Fanon doesn’t give a damn whether she lives or dies, he speaks to his colonized brethrens and not to the colonizers. He exhorts all natives of underdeveloped countries to unite.

The Third World finds and speaks to itself through Fanon’s voice. There are the enslaved, some with a simulacrum of phoney independence, others fighting for sovereignty, others who have obtained freedom, but still under the menace of imperialist aggression. The colonizer keeps some feudal rulers or petty native bourgeois in his pay for a divide and rule policy. They are not just oppressing the natives, but creating divisions, fashioning classes and racial prejudices among them thus stratifying the colonized societies. So, Fanon says, in order to fight the colonizer, they must fight against themselves or the two fights should form part of the whole fight. Thus by breaking the internal barriers, the puppet bourgeois, urban proletariat and the lumpenproletariat stands in line with the peasants , the veritable reservoir of the revolutionary army. He asserts that in order to triumph, the revolution must be socialist. If the bourgeois takes over power, the state will remain in the hands of imperialists in spite of sovereignty. Fanon calls for unity of the Third World, after independence, where the whole of coloniized people should be under the command of the peasant class, achieving revolutionary socialism. He warns against the cult of the leader and of personalities, Western culture and withdrawal into the twilight of African culture. He says, the only true culture is that of revolution.

Fanon explains how the colonizers are estranged from themselves and make them see themselves in the light of truth. Although the people living in the mother country disapprove of her excesses by the settlers, the pioneers were sent to the colonies by them and they inturn enriched the people of the mmother country. He critiques the liberal, humane affectations and pretentions of the peope living in the mother country. He reveals to his comrades, some of them westernized, the solidarity of the people of the mother country and their representatives in the colonies. Sartre tells the Europeans to read the book since it will make them ashamed and shame, according to Marx, is a revolutionary sentiment. Fanon exposes the liberal hypocrisy of the Europeans.

Forced labor, intimidation and oppression by the overseas soldiers who rejected the universalism of their mother countries reduced the inhabitants of colonies to beasts of burden. Thus violence seeks to dehumanize them. Their culture and traditions are wiped off, they are starved, stupefied. The result is a being, neither man nor animal who understand only violence. The colonizer has to exploit, so he is unable to kill those he plunders, he loses control and the machine reverses leading him to decolonization.

The violence by the colonizer is turned on himself by the colonized. Violence , once supressed within themselves by the last refuge of their humanity, is finally unleashed on to the oppressor. Accordding to Fanon, their mad impulse to murder is the expression of the natives’ collective unconscious. If the supressed fury fails to find an outlet, in order to free themselves, they fight and murder among themselves. Colonial policies keep up their rivalries. Raising a knife against the brethren is assumed to destroy the detested image of their common degradation and thus they dehumanize themselves. Sometimes, they take precautions against their own kind by supernatural barriers, myths and rites. They dance or get possessed by spirits, do sacred things for distraction and also as a weapon against humiliation and despair. The psychosis is a defense, but also dissociation from self.

Though the Liberal Left at home is embarassed, they do not condemn the revolt by natives knowing well that it is instigated by their people only. But, Sartre tells that, ‘ our worthiest souls contain racial prejudice’. Fanon shows that the violence is neither fury nor resentment or savagery, but it is man recreating himself. Only violence can destroy violence. The rebel’s weapon is the proof of his humanity, the revolutionary consciousness deepens. Sartre brings the argument that Fanon’s book roots out the settler in each European thus decolonizing them. It stripteases European humanism, the ideology of lies, justification for pillages, honeyed words, the affectations of sensibilities as alibis for aggressions. Those who believe in nonviolence are equally responsible for the natives’ plight since they failed to stop or condemn the atrocities by their government and soldiers. The nonviolence, if shaped by years of oppression, cannot be justified since the passivity places them in the rank of oppressors.

Sartre tells that the colonizers are mere exploiters. They enriched themselves, built industrial cities, cathedrals, palaces out of the exploit and these riches accorded the human status to dejure to it’s inhabitants. Europe falls into what Fanon calls narcissism. The French poet Jean Cocteau became irritated with Paris, he noted, ‘that city which talks about itself the whole time’. Sartre brands North America too as a hypocritic super- European monstrosity that just chatters equality, liberty, fraternity, love, honor and patriotism. He critiques the anti-racial speeches as glib, the liberals who are shocked of the inconsistency must be mistaken or dishonest since nothing is more consistent with the colonizers than a racist humanism. The abstract assumption of universality served as cover for realistic purposes. And once the natives become men and reveal their true nature, the elite shows it’s true colors, the precious values begin to moult.

The colonizers were beyond reproach once, they never had a mission overseas, that is the truth. Now that the natives are rebelling, the colonizer pretends generosity by granting them ruights, which nobody ought to grant them, for each of them has every right and the right to everything. Sartre says the aristocratic values are cracking up and the signs that once buoyed up the continent of Europe are not worthy anymore. And the chance of being saved from this shipwreck is the very sentiment of Christian guilt. In the past Europe made history and now it is being made of Europe. Decolonization has begun.

Europe has to use the entire forces in a battle which is lost before it has begun. Thomas Robert Bugeaud (Governor of Algeria in 1840), was famous for military exploits in the conquest of Algeria, and whose doubtful glory was colonial brutality. We find the same violence repeated. And now it has changed direction. It comes back on Europeans. Once upon a time when Europeans were victorious, they used violence to break down others , the European humanism remained intact. Now that violence has changed direction, the natives re-creates themselves, and the Europeans involute, break up. Rage and fear are blatant anf the hunting for natives start in earnest. Savagery and barbarism are now exhibited by the Europeans. They burn the Algerian muslims alive. As Fanon reminds us of a congress of psychiatrists who attributed the criminal propensities of Africans to their underdeveloped cortex and others in Central Africa who had established that Africans make very little use of their frontal lobes, Sartre asks these learned men to follow up thier scientific investigations in Europe, particularly France. He says that the French too were victims of ‘frontal sluggishness’ since the patriots do quite a bit of assassination of fellow country men. He brands all elites guilty, the liberals and the toughs of the tender Left included.

The terror has left Africa and is settling in Europe. The fever is mounting among the natives, but they hide the rage in myths and complicated rites in order to stave off the day of reckoning. The violence erupts one day and now its the turn of elites to tread the native path. But to become native, the soil of mother country must be occupied by the colonized and the elites should starve of hunger, which wont happen since it is the discredited colonialism that will take hold of elites and the senile arrogant master who will straddle them.

Finally, Sartre tells it is better to be a native than to be a former settler. It is not right for a police officer to be obliged to torture the natives for many hours a day. It is not right that the Nation should demoralize the Army when morality of both must be protected. It is not right that a country with a Republican tradition should confide its young folks to the care of putchist officers. Its not right that all these crimes are committed in the French people’s names, its not right that nobody utter a word about these to anyone nor to their own souls for fear of having to stand in judgement. He condemns the silence of eight years, to no avail, torture at its zenith. The glare of torture is so strong that it lights up the whole France. The fear, disgust, anger and complicity of the people cannot be hidden anymore.

He asks the pertinent question of if France will recover and answers that like Achilles’ Lance, violence heals the wounds that it has created. He tells that you will have to fight or else rot in the concentration camps. Its not enough to condemn the war, but you have to stand on the side of Algerians.

(Ref: https://www.gradesaver.com/the-wretched-of-the-earth/study-guide/fanon-and-sartre,https://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/critical-thinking-exercise-sartre-and-fanon )

Concerning violence

Fanon starts this topic by telling readers that decolonization, whereever it is, is a violent phenomenon. It is substitution of one species of men by another. The outset is a tabula rasa despite the rise of a new nation, state, politics or other relations. It is willed, called for and demanded, a bottom up change existing as a compelling , crude, impetuous state in the consciousness of the colonized and as a terrifying future in the colonizer.

Decolonization, a completely disorderly process, does not result from magic, natural shocks or friendly understandings, but is a historical one. It is the meeting of two forces, substantiated and nourished by colonies, their very first encounter marked by violence , the exploitation carried out with the help of bayonets and cannon. The settler and natives are old acquaintances, the native brought to existence by the settler who inturn owes his existence to the colonial system. It transforms the inessential ‘things'(colonized) into privileged men introducing a new language and new humanity. Fanon says decolonization is about the eschatological teaching, ‘The last shall be first and the first last‘. He stresses, ‘for the last to be first, to make them climb the steps of organized society, all scales must be turned including that of violence’. Thus the term evokes searing bullets and blood- stained knives for the natives. The programme of decoloniation should be formulated from the very beginning to overcome obstacles with the help of violence.

The colonial world is compartmentalized into two with the dividing line of force of barracks and policemen, and the go-betweens who are the the spokesmen of settlers and their rule of oppression. In capitalist societies, the aesthetic expression of respect for the established order serve to create an atmosphere of submission and inhihibition in the exploited person, which lightens the task of policing considerably. In capitalist countires, a multitude of moral teachers, counsellors separate the exploited from those in power whereas in colonial countries the policemen and the soldiers do this by rifle butts and napalm bombs, agents of government who speak the language of pure force. The intermediary is the one who puts this into practice.

The two zones are opposed in every aspect, obedient to the rules of Aristotelian logic, they follow the principle of reciprocal exclusivity. In the colonists’ world, the streets are impeccably maintained, and no one ever goes hungry. The world of the colonized, however, “is a disreputable place inhabited by disreputable people,” where the people are hungry for food, clothes, light, and warmth. Thus, the colonized are envious people, and there is not one among them who does not wish to take the place of the colonist. 

The colonial world is inhabited by two different species, two different races. Fanon quotes, ” In the colonies the economic infrastructure is also a superstructure. The cause is effect: You are rich because you are white, you are white because you are rich. This is why a Marxist analysis should always be slightly stretched when it comes to addressing the colonial issue.”. In classical Marxism, the economy determines the “superstructure,” or the social and cultural sphere. In this understanding, social and cultural divisions, like gender inequality and racial inequality, actually derive from economic inequalities. Fanon thinks this kind of analysis no longer applies in a colonial context. In this context, the fundamental division is racial—the division the colonist makes between colonized and colonizer. Economic inequality is based on racial inequality, not the other way around. Everything Marx says about the precapitalist society must be rethought in a colonized society. The serf in a precapitalist society is different from the knight in the colony, the foreigner settler or the ‘other’ comes from another country to impose rules with weapons and inspite of appropriation and ownership, he is a foreigner.

The violence that rules the economy , custom and culture of the natives will be taken by them to wreck the colonial world. Wrecking means destruction, abolition , burial or expulsion of the foreigners. These two different worlds are likewise inhabited by two different “species,” and what divides these two “species” is race. The “ruling species”—the colonists—are white foreigners. These white people are “the others,” and they come from a different land than the colonized, who are the indigenous population. This colonial world, Fanon says, “is a Manichaean world,” where the colonist makes the colonized into the epitome of evil. To the colonists, the colonized have no values or ethics and their culture and traditions are the mark of evil. This mark of evil has been answered with Christianity—the “white man’s Church”—which, instead of calling the colonized to God, has called them to the ways of their oppressors. The evangelical communiques were implantation of foreign influence among natives. Manichaeanism serves to dehumanize the colonized; they are reduced to animals and referred to by the colonists in “bestiary” terms. General de Gaulle spoke of ‘yellow multitudes’ and Francois Mauriac (French novelist, dramatist, critic, poet, and journalist), of ‘the black, brown and yellow masses which soon will be unleashed’. The natives’ challenge to the colonial world is not a rational confrontation of points of view but an affirmation of the Manichean world.

During decolonization, the colonied intellectuals along with the bourgeois of the colonies and the elites carry out the dialogue on culture, values and so on. But, the settler, from the moment the colonial context disappears, has no longer any interest in remaining or in coexisting. The liberals among the European minority demands two fold citizenship. Thus the free native discovers that he is no different from the settler. Thus a revolutionary zeal forms in the native population. The dichotomy imposed by the colonial context is removed along with the hetergogeneity thus unifying the natives on a racial or national basis. The Westernized native intellectual tries to get hold of the higher administrative posts which the rest of the natives recognize as sabotage and a condition not different from the settlers occupying these positions. The colonialist bourgeois instills the superiority of Western values on the minds of the intellectuals and deep down they defend the Greco-Roman pedestal and the Mediterranean values become worthless for them.

The colonialist bourgeoisie has convinced the colonized intellectuals that they must exert individualism and that there is wealth and power in thought; however, Fanon says, this theory is false. Comradery and brotherhood are forbidden by the colonialist bourgeoisie for a reason: during decolonization, the colonized intellectual will find power in the people and the notion of meetings and assemblies. The interest of all colonized people, Fanon asserts, is in the collective—either everyone is saved, or no one is. When decolonization occurs where the struggle for independence has yet to make sufficient impact, colonized intellectuals hold fast to the values of the colonialist bourgeoisie, creating anger and violence among the colonized. They form the national government, loots the resources, nationalize commerce, and reserve markets for their gain.

To assimilate to the culture of their oppressors—the colonists—the colonized intellectuals have had to assimilate to colonialist bourgeoisie thinking and are thus always in danger of becoming “demagogues.” The colonized intellectual is a “mimic man,” but the masses do not recognize colonialist bourgeoisie thought. The colonized intellectual easily forgets the purpose of decolonization—to defeat colonialism—and they forget the main question fueling it: “Bread and land: how do we go about getting bread and land?” This question, Fanon says, may seem limited and narrow, but it is the best working model for decolonization. 

Truth hurries the break-up of the colonial regime, promotes the emergence of the nation. But in the case of settlers, the good of the natives is evil for them. Fanon describes how the inorganic mass of natives suffer under colonial mercantilism. In doing so, the settler makes history, but of his mother country and not the country that he plunders and starves.. The immobility to which the natives are condemned can only be called into question if he decides to put an end to the history of colonization and pllage and bring about decoloniation.

The colonial world is a compartmentalized, Manichean one, a world of statues of the General, engineer, a world where the crushed, flayed natives are penned into staying immobile. Apartheid is only one form of compartmentalization. So, the native dreams of muscular activities and prowesses, action and agression, his freedom only happens at night while he sleeps. The aggressiveness is at first manifested towrds his own brothers, waves of crime in North Africa astonishes the settlers. This is actually from the tension created in the native by confronting the colonial order. The native feels the contrasting feelings of hostility and envy to the settler’s world, dreams of substituting the settler with himself. The settler’s world is a hell and a paradise for him at the same time.

The native is always on the alert, not sure whether he has crossed the frontiers of the settler. Though always presumed guity by the settler, he never admits any accusation in his innermost spirit, it’s just a curse, a sort of the Damocles’ sword for him. Though overpowered, he is never tamed, considered ineferior but not convinced of his inferiority. He is tensed, not terrorized waitin gfor the moment in which he can spring upon the enemy. The symbols of social order like the police and military are at once inhibitory and stimulatory for him. Thus he always harbor the impulse to take the settler’s place. Fanon says there are certain emotional conditions in which the presence of an obstacle accentuates the tendency towards motion.

The settler is an exhibitionist pitting his brute force against the natives, his preoccupation with security reminds the natives of their masterly nature. Internalizing this rage will only bring about a pseudo-petrification in the settler, so he releases the tension in quarrels and tribal warfare. There is a negation of the native commonsense. The continual insult and strike from the settler cause him to reach for his knife at the slightest aggressive glance cast on him by another native. By this tribal feud, the native presumes that colonization doesn’t exist. He shows the behavioral pattern of avoidance, ignoring the obstacle and plunging into fraternal blood bath thus putting off till a later date the inevitable armed resistance to colonialism. He engages in collective autodestruction to set his tension free. His conduct is the result of death reflex when faced with danger, a suicidal behaviour which proves to the settler the need to dominate the natives, who are not reasonable human beings. The native bypasses the settler, attributing his misfortunes to fate and accepts the disntegration ordained by the God. He bows before the settler and acquires a stony calm by an interior restabilization.

The native will strengthen the inhibitions which contain his aggressiveness by drawing on myths, inhibitions more powerful than the settler. And these magical superstructures permeats the native society and fulfils certain well defined functions in the dynamism of libido which is a concern of the family or a group in underdeveloped societies. Prehistoric societies attach a great importance to the unconscious. The atmosphere of myth and magic takes on an undoubted reality, by terrifying, it integrates the natives into traditions, reassures, gives a status of identification and perenniality of the world belonging to natives. The zombies are more terrifying than the settlers, still the supernatural magical powers are essentially personal, thus shrinking the settlers powers. Natives no longer need to fight against the settlers, since what counts is the frightening enemy created by the myths.

In the colonial world, Fanon says, the emotions of the colonized are “kept on edge like a running sore flinching from a caustic agent,” and their bodies respond with spastic muscles. To understand the colonial world, one must understand dance and possession, which is the way in which the colonized relax their tense muscles. Their emotional sensitivity expresses in the form of dance and seances. They relax during muscular orgies where the aggressivity and violence canalizes, transforms and is conjured away. The orgies take place in a communal circle, a pantomime to exorcize, liberate and explain, to allow the accumulated libido and hampered aggressivity to flow away after undamming. The possessions, exorcisms and senaces are disintegration of their personality, splitting and dissolution which restores a kind of peace after they are finished. People get alienated from these practices durin gthe struggle for freedom. With his back to the wall, gun and knife in his hands he confronts the colonists with violence into freedom.

The urgent matter to a native in the thick of the fight is to decide the means and tactics to conduct and organize a coherent revolution without the reactionary risks it entail. The nationalist political parties, intellectual and commercial elites proclain abstract principles, but do nothing. Their action is electoral type, a string od philosophicopolitical dissertations on rights of people, self- determination, human dignity, freedom . They do not want armed rebellion, their objective is not radical overthrowing of the system , but they are pacifist and legalists who are partisans of the order. They just need votes and power, they are violent in their words and reformist in actions. The rank and file who follow them is urban- teachers, shopkeepers, artisans who profit from the colonial set up. These parties conduct dialogues with the settlers for reforms and a large number of natives are militat members of the branches of parties originating from the mother country. Thus the native intellectual has clothed his aggressiveness in his barely veiled desire to assimilate himself with the colonialists. Fanon writes, but the colonized masses don’t want to complete with the colonist. Instead, the colonized masses want to take the place of the colonists.

The peasantry who is disregarded by the elites, are the only revolutionary people, having nothing to lose and everything to gain, who understands that only violence pays. Colonialism is not a thinking machine, nor a body with reason, it is just violence in it’s natural state which will only yield when confronted with greater violence. The colonialist bourgeois advocates non-violence, the same interest as the intellectual and economic elite. An attemot to settle the colonial problem around a table gets serious when the masses rebel without waiting for discussions and then the intellectuals run to settlers to find a solution for urgent compromise. The compromise is significant for the settlers, intellectuals, bourgeoisie and leaders. Discovering that the masses might destroy everything including the economy, the last three groups offer to act as go- betweens of settlers and masses, keeping their safe distance from the violent masses.

The nationalist parties explains, excuses and sometimes condemns this violence declared hateful by the press and public of the mother country. The ecuse for this ultra conservative policy is the desire to objectively see things, though in reality their attitude is not objective at all. They are not convinced the violence will serve their interests, they consider it as an act of suicide. Fanon quotes Engels from his book, ‘ Anti-Duhring‘ which is a polemic against Duhring’s views on socialism. Engels substantiates how revolution, and violence is interlinked with production and economy of the state and the material means which the same violence commands.

Fanon considers weapons or implements important in violence against colonists along with methods like guerilla warfare. Capitalism in mother countries has modified its concepts from using colonies as a source of raw materials to making the colonies a market for consumption. For reinforcing their military garrisons, this is essential and so the colonial bourgeois does not support the government of the mother country advocating for decimating the colonial slaves. Thus there is a detached complicity between capitalism and the the violent forces in the colony. The natives are supported by progressive countries, there is competition to divvy up the colonies among European countries. So, Fanon says, wars are not waged against the rebels, though the military will go on playing with tin soldiers since the higher finance will bring the truth back home. Moderate nationalist political parties of the colonized try to come to a solution with colonists that protect the interests of both sides by reformist measures, and their methods are generally peaceful. They utilize work stoppages, demonstrations, and boycotts that put pressure on colonists and allow the colonized to expend some of their pent-up aggressiveness, but, Fanon says, they are still ultimately under the control of the colonists. 

The national leaders, with their so-called progressive actions, make the natives dream, but avoid the actual overthrowing of the state. They use the national or tribal language and speak of ” We Africans or we Arabs”, ambivalent and dreams are encouraged. This gives the people the idea that it is time to do something, but the rise of a new nation and the removal of the colonial system are only possible if the colonized violently rebel against the colonists. The settlers who get the air of violence , aggressiveness, become astir. The authorities arrest leaders, organize military parades, but the war manoevres only serve to reinforce their aggressiveness. In this atmosphere when all nerves are jangled, a single commonplace incident starts the machine gunning. Fanon gives Setif in Algeria, Central Quariies in Morocco and Moramanga in Madagascar as examples.

The colonial repression and mass slaughter urges on the national consciousness and the belief in force to solve the issue. The nationalist parties mostly remain outdistanced from the violence of the militants against the military force. The prolonged establishment of large forces of occupation by the colonialist forces in colonies for long period of time are not practical since they need these forces to protect their regimes. Even after the independence, the masses realize that it wasn’t worthwhile since that brings no immediate change for most of them. This exists as a masked discontenst amongst them. So, the violence does not disappear since the reconstruction of the nation continues within the framework of cut-throat competition betweeen capitalism and socialsm. It achieves universal dimensions, like the Sharpeville massacres in South Africa that shook public opinion throughout the world for months. It was througgh this incident in 1960 that the people became aware of the apartheid in South Africa.

The colonized, who are completely supported by socialist countries, will use any weapon to fight the colonists, including the Cold War. The Americans closely guard international capitalism, and they recommend that Europe decolonize and proclaim their ‘respect and support of the principle of Africa for Africans ‘( Mr Mennen William‘s, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the administration of President John F. Kennedy, statement that sparked controversy). But the greatest threat, according to the colonists, is socialism, and the colonized masses can be easily infiltrated and contaminated by socialist propaganda. Also, violence and revolts imbalance the colony’s economic life. Therefore, capitalism has everything to lose if there are national conflicts, and the colonized people know all about the imperatives of international politics. The newly liberated Third world countries get trapped in the whirlpool of Cold War. While the western press try to ambiguously or negatively portray the leaders and the Third World. Similarly, the new tone that swamped the international diplomacy in the UN General Assemblyin 1960 showed the tiny role played by the Third World countries and inadmissible nature of the veto power of the superpowers.

The free world has everything to lose from the native violence. To avoid the startegic insecurity, the breakthrough of socialist doctrine into the masses and hatred of millions of men the west supports decolonization. Later the question of minorities will be addressed. Fanon says, it is not by chance that there exists in the free world committees for support of Jewish minorities in USSR nor by accident that General De Gualle in one of his orations shed crocodile tears over millions of muslims oppressed by Communist dictatorship. Both capitalism and imperialism control the struggle against racialism by aids, they practice anticolonialism as did the French colonels in Algeria with SAS carried out subversive warfare or psychological services by turning people against people in Algeria.

Though the independence has brought moral compensation and dignity, the natives find it difficult to elaborate a society and affirm values. The political leaders, when faced with this situation choose neutralism.Neutralism is equated with tainted mercantilism by some, taking what it can get from both sides of cold war countries. Though it allows the third world to receive aid, it does not allow either party to receive aid to the extent that is necessary. Mostly it is for the benefit of the donor country itself, like in the case of France trying out atomic bomb tests in Africa. The people of Africa might not have much influence in this.

Fanon says neutralism makes the third world citizens fearless, defiant and tough that dumbfounds the western observers. Though they try to shut the loudmouths of these empty countries, instead their neutralism prompts the two blocs to invite them to dinner, take the governing class and students to follow courses on either socialist planning in Moscow or liberal economy in London or Columbia University. Fanon says, this kind of facile internationalism is the characterestic feature of underdeveloped countries.

Fanon points to the Manichean nature of the settler- native combat, the us vs them in a world divided in compartments. The armed and open struggle was seen in Indo China, Indonesia,NorthAfrica. The native affirms that the colonialist understands nothing but force, just as the colonialist told of the natives. The colonial regime owes its legitimacy to force, the statues of conquistadors in colonial soil is proof, they proclain “We are here by force” ( Fanon evokes the quote of the Count of Mirabeau (9 March 1749 – 2 April 1791), a leader of the early stages of the French Revolution “I am here by the will of the people, I shall leave only by force of bayonets”.

The sort of ethnic cleansing by taking the lives of the natives in groups destroys the very thing the colonizer want to preserve. Sartre quotes from Immanuel Kant‘s ‘Critique of Pure Reason‘- ” By the very fact of repeating the racist ideas, the simultaneous union of all against the natives is unrealizable. Such union only recurs from time to time and only come into being as an active groupment in order to massacre the natives- an absurd though perpetual temptation to settlers, which even if it was feasible would only succeed in abolishing colonization at one blow”

Thus shooting down 200 or 300 natives and the reasoning of this arithmetics, instead of leaving the native lamenting in moral indignation or shaken, instead of seeking justice from the colonizer, prompts the native to group in 200 or 500 and deal with the settler. For the native a rebel or militant is a man who works, whose hopelessness was proportional to confidence. In Kenya, the Mau Mau requird that each member of the group should strike a blow at the victim, each thus personally responsible for the death of the victim. The colonized man finds his freedom in and through violence, it is a means and end. Aime Cesaire‘s poetry takes on this aspect of violence a prophetic significance. We can see this in the portion where The Rebel explains his conduct in his poem.

Fanon explains that daily life becomes impossible for the native in a violent atmosphere such that the violence and counterviolence reaches reciprocal homogeneity. The settlers intimidate the nationalists and natives. The response to counterviolence is far out of proportion in the form of machinegunning from planes and bombardments from fleet. Fanon stresses how the speeches on equality of human beings are out of pace with actions. A few colonizers killed would kindle the indignation of all civilized consciences, wheres the massacre of whole population of natives would garner least attention and importance.

Fanon mentions that in all armed struggles there exists a point of no return. Almost always it is marked off by a huge and all inclusive repression which engulfs all sectors of colonized population. The point was reached in Algeria in 1955 with 12000 victims of Phillipperville and in 1956 with Lacoste’s instituiting of urban and rural militia. ( Robert Lacoste’s( the French colonal minister) policy was to rule Algeria through decree, and he gave the military exceptional powers. At the same time, he wanted to give the country a decentralized administrative structure that allowed some autonomy. In reply of the UN General Assembly wish in 1957 of a cease fire, Lacoste decided to form urban and rural militias by arming civilians, to persecute the local Algerians)

The violence binds the people together, forms individual links within the organism of violence, mobilizes people in one direction. The mobilization of the masses when it arises out of a war of liberation, introduces into each mans consciousness, the ideas of a common cause, of a national destiny and collective history. Colonialism is separatist and regionalist, encourages chieftaincies and Maraboutic confraternities that would prevent national unification. Thus native violence helps dismantle these same things and unifies the natives. Violence is a cleansing force at individual level, freeing him from inferiority complex, despair, inaction, fear. Here the responsibility and right of violence is shared by all equally, so the leader does not have any special merits. So the reticence of masses to the machinery of the protocol of the independent young government. They are unwilling to palce their future or destiny in the hands of a living god, demagogues, opportunusts or magicians.

Violence in the International Context

Fanon says the manner of setting out the problem of evolution od underdeveloped countries post decolonization is neither correct not reasonable. The nation possessed by a sort of creative madness throws itself into a gigantic and disproportionate effort of climbing out of the morass and catching up with the other nations by the only means at hand. He says the European nations achieved development and national unity when the middle classes concentrated wealth in their hands, came to power, ran businesses, industrialized the country, developed communications and searched for overseas outlets. All European national acheved an uniform stage economically when they attained national unity.

The absence of infrastructure, the geography of hunger in the shrunken bellies of underdeveloped nations contrasts with the ostentatiously opulent European countries, a scandalous one since the opulence has been founded on slavery, nourished with the blood of slaves, comes from the soil and subsoil of the underdeveloped world. Fanon mentions the economic pressure set up by the colonials after their withdrawal from the colonies by withdrawing their capital and technicians. He says capitalism excersizes an economic blockade agaisnt Asian, African and Latin American countries. He gives the example of anti -Castro operations by the US on Cuba by counter-revolutionary brigades, enforcing the rule of an alternate government, burning sugarcane crops etc….Thus the apotheosis of independence is transformed to the curse of independence through the coercion by colonial powers. The masses are subjected to austerity buy the nationalist leaders and the new autarchs make them toil with their atrophied muscles.

Some countries of the Third World try to get over this by accepting the conditions of the former guardians. By using the strategic position, they become economically independent. The question that the newly independent colonies places before the world that unveils their true economic state is not the duel between colonialism and anti-colonialism or socialism and capitalism but that of the redistribution of wealth. Fanon says the underdeveloped countries should never be caught up in the competition between capitalism and socialism. He asserts that the capitalist exploitation, cartels and monopolies are enemies of underdeveloped countries and the choice should be of a socialist system oriented towards people and the principle that man is the most precious of all possessions.

The forced labor of human output as slaves of the newly formed nation, gives comfort, confidence and morale to masses, but cannot be kept up in a frenzied pace. The country finds itself followin gthe economic channels previously used by the colonizers in exploiting specific resources from the colonies. Fanon says, to change the nature of exports, reexamine all the other resources and invest in skilled people. Some countries where the colonizers have built good roads and infrastructure in the cities, by irony of fate, gives the impression of a complicit silence that their towns are contemporaneouss with independence. The colossal effort that underdeveloped countries are called upon to make, by their leaders, will not give the desired effects unless the conditions of work are modified.

The capitalist countries have exploited the the underdeveloped countries for centuries, treated them as war criminals, deported, massacred, forced to labor as slavesto increase their wealth. The governements of various European nations have called for reparations from Germany for the plunder that Nazism facilitated there. The 1945 Victory day ringed with the slogan, ‘Germans must pay’. Herr Adanauer, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, at the opening of the Eichman Trial, and in the name of all Germans, asked once more for forgiveness from the Jews. He promised Israel to go on paying the reparations as compensation. Still, Germany did not pay the indemnities in full to other colonies, since it was included by the West in the anti-Communist struggle. The same preoccupation is found among all colonists when they either include the colonies in the Western system or set military bases or enclaves there. The West has forgot the demands of reparations from Germany for the sake of NATO strategy, preserve the free world and Germany receives floods of dollars and machines. The so-called free Europe has the interest of a reconstructed Germany capable of defending against the Red hordes. Thus Germany has made admirable use of European crisis. Though, US and other European states feel a legitimate bitterness when confronted with the cut-throat economic competition from Germany.

The imperialists mustn’t be contend themselves by withdrawing from colonies nor the colonies be blinded or fed by this moral reparation. From all the continents under whose eyes Europe raises up her tower of opulence, there flowed outfor centuries wealth in the form of gold, diamonds, minerals, silk, cotton, slaves and other exotic products. Thus literally Europe is Third World’s creation. So the money given by these countries to the third world is not charity, but their due of reparations only. The French journalist Marcel Peju in his 1960 article ‘ To Die for De Gaulle ‘, mentions ” To make a radical difference between building up of socialism in Europe and relations with the Third world is, whether we know it or not, to set the pace for the distribution of the colonial inheritence over and above the liberation of underdeveloped countries. It is to wish to build up a luxury socialism upon the fruits of imperialist robbery- as if inside the gang, the swag is more or less shared equally , and even a little of it is given to the poor in the form of charity, since it has been forgotten that they were the people it was stolen from” .

As soon as the capitalists know that their government is planning to decolonize, and they are the first to know, they hasten to withdraw all the capital from there. This flight of the capital is one of the most constant phenomenon of decolonization. Capitalists are wary to invest in the newly independent countries, lay down conditions that are unacceptable, and they lend money only on the condition that manufactured goods and machines be purchased to keep the factories in the mother countries running. Capitalists fear taking risk, due to the unstable political and social climates of the underdeveloped country, so they look for support from their governments in maintaining military bases or military or economic pacts to seek guarantee of protection from the government. Fanon says few countries could fulfil the demands of the monopolies, so capital remains blocked and frozen in Europe without circulating, even investing in their own countries is not done sometimes, thus international capitalism sits in desperate straits.

Fanon says the Cold War must be ended,the struggle between capitalist and socialist regimes is irrelevant to development of underdeveloped countries and the fate of the world depends on the unconditional aid given to them . He also mentions the equivocal attitude of capitalist countries to Soviet Union, they now realize that they will have to reckon with them and remind the Soviets that they belong to Europe. Fanon says the Third Worls does not mean to organize a crusade of hunger against Europe, it just expects Europe to rehabilitate all oppressed mankind. He also says that this is not going to come out of the goodwill of European governments, but only from the indispensable help of European people. For this EUropean people must wake up to their colonial past, shake themselves, use their brains and stop playing the stupid game of Sleeping Beauty.

Spontaneity: Strength and Weakness

There is a time-lag or difference in rhythm between leaders of a nationalist party and the masses. The demands of the rank and file are restrained by the leaders leading to the discontent among the rank and file. The multiple demonstrationsby the rank and file educates them and a politically informed trade union member is aware that a local conflict is not the decisive settlement between himself and employers. The intellectual elite, educated from the mother country concentrate on organizing political parties similar to those in the mother countries to mobilize the masses and bring pressure on the colonialists. They are so concentrated on organizing the modern political warfare from the mother countries such that they forget the reasoned study of the colonial society with its infinite variations, lack of balance where slavery, serfdom, barter, skilled working class and high finance exists side by side. The weakness of such political parties lies in copy pasting the same structure of those parties in industrialized nations, and capitalist societies for the working class there. Another defect in the political parties in underdeveloped regions is to approach in the first place those who are most politically conscious- the working classes in towns, skilled workers and civil servants who hardly represents more than 1% of the population.

The proletariat in the town, less ready to follow orders of the political parties, form the nucleus of the colonized population pampered by the colonial regime. They have read the party publications, understood the propaganda, is in a comparatively privileged position, the ‘bourgeois’ fraction of the colonized people. They include shop stewards, intellectuals, tram drivers, industrial workers, miners , dockers and so forth. Here modern ideas reign and they strugle against old customs and obscurantist ideas. There is mistrust of the nationalist parties, town workers and intellectuals towards the rural natives. They are viewed to be bogged down in inertia. The truth here is that the rural structure ringed around by marabouts, witch doctors,chieftains and fedals is maintained by the settlers’ military and administrative officials. After nation forming the town people are going to compete with the feudal lords in rural area in many fields. Marabouts with doctors, oracles with lawyers and so forth. In the name of religion and tradition barriers could be set up by the rural chiefs who oppose, but the rising class of native traders would need the disppearance of these customs to develop. The native customers who now become aware that they were forbidden to buy modern products would become a new market to contend for.

The traditional rural authorities like the feudal leaders, tribal chieftains, confraternities who have been upheld by the colonial power view with disfavor and form a screen between Westernized nationalists and their attempts to penetrate the country districts, which would change the nature of their everlasting feudalism. Thus the enemy of these rural authorities is not the occupying power with which they get along, but the people with the modern ideas who will take the bread out of their mouths. The native peasantry live amidst a background of tradition and rigid social structures. This may give rise to movements based on religious fanaticism or trial wars. The countrypeople distrusts the townfolks who are considered as turncoats who betray everything to make up the national heritage. This antagonism is used by the colonialists to their advantage and struggle against nationalist parties.

The political parties believe in their power to give the initial impulse to the nation, but they do not find the mass of people in countrysides, and only try to erect a frame work around the people, treating villages like factory cells. The traditional chiefs are ignored or persecuted, the leaders trample on small local disputes so as to make the village history harmonious, the old tribal men are disrespected. The colonizer’s local authority use this momnet, and arrest the political leaders. This disastrous experience reinforces their distrust in country people, the mistakes are repeated even after freedom and makes for maintaining decentralization and autonomist tendencies. Thus tribalism in colonial phase gives way to regionalism in national phase.

Still the country people play a decisive part in maturing of the national consciousness, the propaganda of the nationalist parties always find an echo in peasantry hearts. The children of the villages grow up hearing the names of warriors who fought the colonialists, their dreams being that of identifying with one rebel or another.

Colonialsm, in order to reach its ends, use the usual traditional methods of frequent arrests of nationalist leaders, racist propaganda between tribes and creation of party out of the lumpen proletariat. Fanon gives the example of the rebellion of 1947 in Madagascar. The party of lumpen proletariats by it’s uprising gave the colonial authorities the legal excuse to maintain order by liquidating the main nationalist party elements. Peasants revolt with stones and spears on hearing about the reppression of nationalist leaders, murders. So they go on rampaging killing , the old warrior traditions kindled, banner of revolt unfurled and start the guerilla warfare. Colonialism takes fright, either continues the war or negotiates. The urban and rural movement develops independently according to their own dialectic. The urban leaders do not try to educate the rural masses though the latter are ready to listen to them, but hope that their momentum continues. Even though presented with opportunity, the nationalist parties do not try to integrate the people, to educate them politically or to raise the level of their struggle. Thus the old attitude of mistrust towards countryside is criminally evident. The nationalist leaders either go underground or seek refuge abroad and give the impression to colonialists that they have no connection to the revolting rurals. Fanon gives the example of Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya where not a single nationalist declared their affiliation or tried to defend the men in it.

When independence is achieved, this incomprehension reaches greater degrees . The rural folks are slow to take or resist the social and structural reforms by the new government formed by the nationalist parties, even if the reforms are progressive because the people at the head of the affairs now never explained to them the aims of the party, the national trends or the problems of international politics in the past. The mistrust of the country dwellers during the colonial period and the hostility during the national period is kept up by the colonial secret services even after independence. Thus the newly formed government is at a difficulty and even the nation has a reasonable, progressive head, the body remains weak, stubborn and non-co-operative.

To break up the stubborn body, the administration is centralized, country is sorrounded by a administrative framework and the often-heard maxim ‘ in underdeveloped countries a small dose of dictatorship is needed ‘. The government distrust takes serious proportions, the interior is considered a non-pacified area. Ironically the new government reminds of the colonial power in dealing with the countryside. But what is clear is that the offhand way in which the country people were treated before independence only prejudiced national unity when the young nation needed it the most.

Colonialism creates diversions around the upward thrust of nationalism. Instead of organizing the chieftains against the nationalist parties, colonialist help create splinter groups based on tribal parties, drowning out unity and denouncing the party of unity as a dictatorship. The same tactics will later be used by the opposition parties.

Opposition parties denounce the agreement between the other party and the colonial power. The ruling party tries to disband and discredit the demagogic opposition who in turn takes refuge in the country side. It rouses the people there against the corrupt governing party using excuses like religion, innovation breaking up tradition and so on. Revolutions and riots follow, the opposition grabs power and with this they place their goals in the hands of the obscure spontaneous mass of peasants.

Occasionally if the opposition relies on the progressive elements in the trade union the government calls upon the country folks to oppose the demands of the workers. In the beginning the trade unions are local branches of those in the mother country, later native trade unions are formed out of the struggle for independence. But the trade unionists who have lost all contact with the peasants have no idea how to organize the mass of country people though there is an agricultural union in the country side.

Trade unionists can bring the colonial capitalist economy to a standstill. The colonies in town would feel the heat if they strikes. This conflict, the interior is unaware of. Trade unionists see the immensity of the task of reconstruction, they see the influence that the middle class has on the government. Isolated from the rural population, they become more political and try to corner the middle class. They protest against the maintenance of foreign bases, denounce trade agreements and oppose the national government s foreign policy.. They also know the scandal that would fall on them if their social demands are voiced since they are the most favored section of population. So any kind of movement asking for the betterment of the living conditions of dockers or workmen would not only be unpopular but run the risk of provoking the hostility of the disinherited rural population. So they merely mark time.

This marks the need for a social program that will appeal to the nation as a whole. Unionists understand the fact that their anachronistic programs failed to enlighten or establish link to peasants who are the only spontaneously revolutionary forces of the country. The unionists attempt a coup d etat, but again the back country is left out. The national middle class employ force but the peasants shrug their shoulders since they know very well that both parties look on them as a make weight in a Machiavellian fashion.

But sometimes the peasants intervene in a decisive fashion both in struggle for freedom and nation building and this phenomenon is important in underdeveloped countries. The nationalist parties tries to break colonialism at the same time comes to a friendly agreement with them. This lack of ideology and poverty of tactics and strategy will be questioned by the intellectuals whose demands will be dismissed as childishness or immaturity by officials but supported by the revolutionary elements who would then be pitilessly disowned as adventurers and anarchists.

The revolutionary minority finds itself alone, party machine opposes innovation. Here Fanon describes the typical party leader who worked their way up from the bottom with their untiring work, sacrifice, patriotism and why they worry about the excessive legalities and ignore the intellectuals. The main leaders or seconds in command, who were arrested before and tortured by the colonial powers are not simply taking part in politics , but they were unskilled workers or seasonal laborers or chronically unemployed and for them party membership is a pass from the status of animal to that of a human. They had used their time in prison to clarify their ideas, strengthen their determination and through hunger strikes and the violent brotherhood of prisons quicklime they were hoping for freedom looking for an opportunity to start an armed struggle. But at the same time, outside the prison walls colonialism, attacked from all sides, was making advances to nationalist moderates.

The anarchists are made to feel that they are illegal ,undesirable elements and are shunned by the legal elements. A rift occurs between both. The illegals get in touch with the intellectuals and an offshoot underground party is formed, which is repressed by the neo colonial legal party.

Made to flee from the police, from the town, from political action, the illegals flee to the country side and mountains, infact becoming Maquisards( French guerrillas during 2 WW). The peasants protect them. They get to know the country side, forget about the town cafes, arguments about election, hear the voices and see the poverty, realize the time wasted on commentaries about colonialism. They finally come to understand with bewilderment that change over will not be reform and the political action in towns will be powerless to overthrow colonial regime.

They get to know the rural masses, understand their unwavering devotion to the cause of freedom, national struggle, violent armed resurrection, generosity, moral values, stony pride, impatience to sacrifice themselves for the cause and so forth. So the meeting between these people and the rural masses, rebels by nature, is an explosive mixture. Learning happens both ways. The armed struggle begins.

The occupiers, and the national political party leaders that condemn rebellions and force are disconcerted, the colonialists begin to reflect on the matter. All the people take part in the rhythm of the rebellion, songs are sung and the tide floods the whole nation. The national political parties are isolated. For the armed struggle to reach its culmination the rebellion is brought to cities, to the enemy camp.

The leaders of the illegal offshoot parties have either taken flight from the police or from distrust over their old political structure. The peasant fraction will be blocked at the fringes of the town. Fanon says it is exactly at this mass of humanity , hordes of starving men from the shanty towns at the core of the lumpen proletariat that the rebellion will find its urban spearhead. These people uprooted from their tribes and clans forms the spontaneous and radically revolutionary forces of colonized people.

Fanon gives the example of the Mau Mau revolt in Kenya where the British multiplied intimidatory measures against the lumpen proletariat. He says, they are like a horde of rats, whatever one does to them they are going to strike back. It endangers the security of the town and is a sign of decay on the part of colonial administration. The uprising in the towns puts pressure on colonial security services to keep guard of the people living there. The leaders of the uprising ,who witness the enthusiastic lumpen proletariat striking the colonial power , are once again convinced of the uselessness of traditional policy of demagoguery, mouthwashes, word spinning, blather and fruitless agitation. They witness the definite action of the natives without any resolutions, speeches and political trends. Spontaneity is the king. To take part in politics become synonymous with fighting the war.

Those very people who were living in narrow feuds and rivalries, who had lost their basic rights reconciliates and unites in fighting the common enemy. With increasing enemy offensives, the ragtag group is quickly overwhelmed, but fearless and careless, they refuse to abandon or beat a retreat even if losses are serious and doubts spring up and begin to weigh heavily on the rebels.

An important drawback of this spontaneous impetuosity and doctrine of instantaneity is the substitution of the illusion eternity by the reality of hard lessons of facts of bodies mowed down by the machine guns. The simple instinct to survive overtakes. Fanon gives the example in Angola in March 1961, when a group of 3000 peasants, armed and unarmed, men, women and children, flung themselves at the Portuguese outposts. They were mowed down by machine guns. The leaders realized that some other method should be utilized and during the last months of 1961 the Angolan leader Holden Roberto reorganized the National Angolan Army by employing guerrilla techniques. With the guerrilla techniques it is the guerillas who pursue and annihilate the colonial army inspite of their superior technical advantages and artillery power.

The leaders of the movement realize that the rebels must be enlightened and educated and the large scale peasant risings need to be controlled and directed into a revolutionary war. They should be made to understand that the stubborn courage and fine slogans are not enough to win a national war. With the war, tactics of the colonialists include gestures of friendship, sowing divisions or reviving tribal feuds using agent provocateurs or traditional collaborators like chiefs, caids and witch doctors. These traitors are awarded huge sums of money for this.

Fanon says that the lumpen proletariat should be given full attention since they could easily be manoeuvred. Due to their ignorance and incomprehension they could easily be led to fight for the oppressors. In Algeria they were enlisted in French army as hawkish and messalists. In Angola they were supplied as road openers that precede the Portuguese armed columns. The enemy is aware of this ideological weakness and spiritual instability. Thus the unanimity of the revolution crumbles and so now political education of the masses become a historic necessity.

Fanon say, the racial feeling , determination to fight for one’s life , hatred and resentment of enemy are lightning flashes of consciousness that fling the body into stormy paths can’t sustain a war of liberation. The psychological manipulation of natives by the colonizer pretending to become more human might disarm the hatred felt by the natives. They throw in a few shillings too. These eye washes might succeed to some extent since the native is too starved for anything that might turn him into a human being., any bone of humanity flung to him might overwhelm him. His consciousness is precarious.

The discovery of this inherent instability in the native bewilders the leaders who try to stop the native consciousness from getting bogged down. They must be made aware that colonialism never gives away anything for nothing. That is not the goodwill of the colonialists, but rather the native extortion.

The indifference of the townsfolk towards the revolution disgusts the peasants and strengthen their tendency to condemn them. Slowly they should be made aware that fractions of population who harbor particular interests do not always coincide with the national interest. The native who at the beginning had adopted the primitive Manichaeanism of the settler – Arab vs Christian or black vs white, realize that it sometimes happens that you get blacks whiter than the whites and the fact of having a national flag and hope of Independent nation does not always tempt certain strata of population to give up their interests or privileges. There are people who profiteer and benefit from the war.

Thus the clear idyllic light of the beginning is followed by a semi darkness that bewilders the senses. The people realize that the iniquitous face could be black or Arab. Among the colonialists too, there are people different from their species, who even condemn the colonial war, go over to the enemy, become Negroes or Arabs and accept suffering, torture and death. Voices are raised in the mother country by citizens and prominent persons to put an end the war and for the rights of the natives. The task of bringing the people to maturity is made easier by the thoroughness of the organization and the high intellectual level of the leaders. Mistakes are criticized by appraisal of past conduct.

There exists a brutality of thought and mistrust of subtlety which is hazardous, anti revolutionary and anarchists and if not immediately combated will lead to defeat of the movement.

Fanon says, violence alone, violence committed by the people, violence organized and educated by the leaders make it possible for the masses to understand social truths and gives the key to them. Without that struggle there is nothing but a fancy dress parade and the blare of trumpets. There is nothing save a minimum of readaptation, a few reforms at the top, a flag waving and down at the bottom an undivided mass still living in the middle ages marking time.

The Pitfalls of National Consciousness

Fanon says, history teaches us that the battle against colonialism does not run straight away along the lines of nationalism. The native fights to end the abuses against him. The neoliberal universalism emerges as a claim to nationhood. National consciousness becomes an empty shell, a crude and fragile travesty of what it might have been. The faults we find in it are sufficient explanation why in the case of young nations the nation is passed over for race and the tribe is preferred to state. These cracks in the edifice are retrogressive, harmful and prejudicial to the national effort and unity.

The traditional weakness, congenital to the national consciousness of underdeveloped countries are due the colonial mutilation of the natives, intellectual laziness of middle class, its spiritual penury and the cosmopolitan mould that its mind is set in. The national middle class in the newly independent nation, unlike the economically strong bourgeoisie of the mother country, is made of academic class and merchant class but not financiers or industrialists. Not being engaged in production, invention, building or labor it is obliged to send frenzied appeals for help to the former mother country . Though the middle classes ought to put its intellectual and technical capital at the disposal of people, they turn shockingly anti national like a traditional bourgeoisie, contemptible and cynical.

The national parties has nothing more than a bookish knowledge of their country’s resources. Without capital, unable to give free reign to its genius forces it back in years into an artisan economy. They focus on local products and are unable to seek out new systems of management thus limiting the agricultural production to that of the colonial period. The national economy is concentrated in cocoa, ground nut, olive, not a single industry is set up and thus the country goes on being Europe’s small farmers . The national middle class demands nationalization of economy and trade to transfer to their hands the unfair advantages of a colonial period.

The national bourgeoisie and the middle class raises claims to the businesses, commerce, transportation etc. They just act as an intermediary. The mission has nothing to do with transforming the nation. It’s just an intermediary between the nation and capitalism, also called neo colonialism. The national bourgeoisie becomes the western bourgeois ‘s business agent, a cheap Jack function, absent ambitions, pioneering or invention. The national bourgeoisie is indulgent, decadent as the western one, greatly helped by the western ones who go to these nations as tourists and big game hunters. In the pretext of tourism, the national bourgeoisie arranges these for the western counterparts. Fanon gives the example of Latin America, the casinos of Havana, Mexico, beaches of Rio. The middle class is bereft of ideas, cuts itself from people, can’t see the problems of the nation from the perspective of the whole of nation and become the manager of the western enterprise, a brothel of Europe. The technocrats and businessmen of the US are similarly indulgent the luxurious depravities of Latin American subtropical reserves.

The big farmers sweep away the lands owned by the colonial settlers after independence, demands nationalization of agricultural production, with out any innovation. The landed bourgeoisie demands facilities from the state, make the laborers do enormous work in the name of nation building like the colonialists used to do, but without any planning, modernization, development or initiative, without taking slightest of risks, without re investing the profits from the capital.

While the national bourgeoisie goes into competition with Europeans for power, the working class, artisans and craftsmen start a fight with non national Africans. Example, the racial riots in Ivory Coast against the Dahoman and Voltaic people. These tribes who controlled greater part of petty trade, once Independence was declared, became objects of hostility from the people of Ivory Coast. From nationalism to ultranationalism, chauvinism and finally racism. In Senegal it was the anti Sudanese demonstrations. While the Senegalese wanted to get rid of the Sudanese, the Congolese brought pressure on Senegalese settled there to leave. For the national bourgeoisie the Europeans were the ones to be got rid of, but for the masses of people in the towns the competition is from Africans of other nations.

Thus the bourgeoisie demands for a ruling class made of Negroes or Arabs do not spring from nationalism but the desire to grab power. Similarly the masses place the notion of Negroes or Arabs within certain territorial limits. African unity fades into oblivion and chauvinism makes its appearance. Mamadou Dia, the Senegalese politician who served as the first prime minister of Senegal from 1957 to 62, says,

On the Senegalese side, the leaders who have been the main theoreticians of African unity were mistaken not to have taken into consideration the pre colonial fact of territorialism, under the pretext of fighting Balkanization. Territorialism, fruit of colonialism, is a sociological fact which no theory or unity can abolish. We are seduced by a mirage, a pleasing structure, mistaken our ideal for reality and believed that it was enough to condemn territorialism and its sequel, micro nationalism, for us to get better of them and to assure the success of our chimerical undertaking

Due to a failure of the national bourgeoisie ‘s mistrust toward the mas5, haziness of its political tenets, inability to educate the masses they fall back to the old tribalism and demands the other Africans to go home. In young Independent countries here and there federalism triumphs. Colonialism exploits resource rich areas making relatively richer than other areas. After independence, nationals living in relatively prosperous areas refuse to feed the poor areas, look down upon them with hatred, thus old rivalries and inter racial hatred surface again. Balubas refuse to feed Luluas in Congo (http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,894636,00.html). Katanga forms itself in to a state (https://www.britannica.com/place/Katanga-historical-state-Africa) .

The African unity that put an end to colonialism crumbles into regionalism inside the hollow cell of nationality. The racial and tribal rivalries equally give rise to religious rivalries. In the country side and bushes, minor confraternities, local religions, and maraboutic cults will excommunicate again and in big towns at the level of administrative classes Islam and Catholicism reveals themselves. Colonialism finds opportunity in this and reveals spiritual rivalries. In Senegal the newspaper New Africa distilled hatred of Arabs and Muslims. The Lebanese owning small trading enterprises are marked for obloquy. Christian missionaries talk in length about the Arab occupation of Africa before the European colonization, the Arab imperialism and the cultural imperialism of Islam. Muslims are kept out important posts, and in some other religions Christians are penalised. Colonialism sets at loggerheads those Africans who fought together against the settlers. Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam compete among one another. The religious tension gives rise to racial tensions.

Africa is divided into North and South, White and Black, white Africa is boasted as civilized, Mediterranean, of GrecoLatin civilization and black Africa is looked down as uncivilized, savage, veiled women, polygamy and misogyny of men are condemned. The national bourgeoisie takes over the assimilated colonialist thought from the Europeans and establishes a racial philosophy extremely harmful for African future. Fanon says it isn’t surprising to see extreme examples of racism in Africa and also the paternalistic behavior that is frequently found in Paris, Brussels or London. In certain regions of Africa the loathsome idea derived from the Western culture that blacks are impervious to logic and sciences reign in all their nakedness. Students from south of Sahara who attend schools and universities in the north are often asked if they have housing, electricity, if they practice cannibalism and so forth. Similarly in the young states of black Africa, the members of the parliament talk seriously that the danger is not in re occupation by colonialism, but by the invasion of vandals of Arabs from the North of Africa.

The national bourgeoisie is bankrupt economically, morally, politically and philosophically. The national bourgeoisie,though affirms positively with some democratic ideas, is forced to deny its humanistic ideology. The western bourgeois, though fundamentally racist, manages to mask this racism by nuances that allow it to preserve intact the proclamations of mankind’s outstanding dignity. The racial prejudice of the western bourgeois is the racism of contempt, a racism that minimizes what it hates. The bourgeoisie ideology, equality between men, manages to appear logical by inviting the subhuman to become human and to take as their prototype the western humanity. While the racial prejudice of the young national bourgeoisie is that of defense, based on fear. Observers, for this reason, take African unity less seriously because all the cracks are too visible to be ignored.

The national bourgeoisie,, in order to make their fortunes and exploit, put obstacles to the path of utopia. They bar the way to unity of 250 million men to triumph over stupidity, hunger and inhumanity. Fanon says ,for this reason , African unity can only be achieved by the upward thrust of the people, under the leadership of the people and in defiance to the interests of the bourgeoisie. In some countries the parliamentary game is faked, powerless economically and with out social relations, dominating as a class the bourgeoisie root for single party. Ordinary citizen is made anxious, state imposes itself on them, jostles them, bullies and make them aware of the continuing danger. The single party is the modern form of dictatorship of bourgeoisie.

Such a dictatorship doesn’t go far. The national bourgeoisie does not have the economic means, is pre occupied with filling its pockets, the country sinks to stagnation and repression, and in order to hide this , reassure itself and to give it something to boast about, the bourgeoisie erect grandiose buildings and lay out money for prestige expenses. The national turns its back on the interior, underdeveloped country side and more and more look toward the mother country and the foreign capitalists. There is a need for a strong man leader for stabilizing the dictatorship and for perpetuating the domination of the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie dictatorship in underdeveloped countries draws its strength from the existence of leader who stands for the moral power in whose shelter the poverty stricken bourgeoisie decides to get rich. On the contrary in well developed countries the bourgeoisie dictatorship is the result of economic power of bourgeoisie. The newly Independent citizens see a new leader who helps the national bourgeoisie prosper and the ex colonial companies profit. The leader’s honesty crumbles, he comes to believe that his authority is hated, judges the ingratitude of masses harshly and he moves resolutely towards the side of exploiters into neo colonial lines.

Economy is controlled, sustains from loans and gifts and from the capital of the mother country. The colonial power increases its demands. People stagnate in poverty and they slowly awaken to the treason of their leaders. Majority of people die of starvation. Stormy days await the bourgeoisie class. They pass disparaging judgment on the masses reminiscent of the racist doctrine of the former colonial power. The authority will try to reaffirm the dictatorship. The leader, a screen between the people and the rapacious bourgeoisie, with a lifetime of political action and patriotism, stands with the bourgeoisie class defending their insolence, mediocrity and immorality and thus tries to put a brake on the awakening consciousness of the people. He reminds the masses of his patriotism, heroism, thus telling them to put their faith on him. These patriotic men who had come from the backwoods, spoke in the name of Negroes, sung praises of the race, who had taken upon themselves the whole burden of the past including degeneracy and cannibalism, now , heads a team of administrators who turn their backs on the jungle and proclaim to the people to go on obeying.

Instead of opening a future for the masses, flinging them into the path of reconstruction the leader asks the people to get drunk on the remembrance of the epoch that led to independence . During the struggle for liberation, the leader awakened the masses and promised them a forward march, today he uses every means to put them to sleep and asks them to look back on the long way they have come. The peasants who scratch out a living from the soil, the unemployed who go hungry have no illusions and they begin to sulk. The party led by the leader during independence has disintegrated. The give and take from bottom up and top bottom that guarantees democracy no longer exists. It becomes a screen between people and leaders.

The demands of the militants of the party, who during the revolution asked the leaders to create a dogma and objectives, were rejected by the leaders in the name of the only dogma of national unity and ideology of right of people to self determination. After independence the party sinks into an extraordinary lethargy, militants are sidelined, local party leaders are given administrative positions, and militants disappear into ordinary citizens. After having fulfilled the mission of leading the bourgeoisie to power, the militants are made to retire. The national bourgeoisie, incapable of carrying out any mission whatsoever except immobilizing the people, lead the party to break up into a skeleton of former self. The intellectuals rally to secure their slices of the cake of independence and the party becomes a means of private advancement.

Even inside the party the wealth misappropriation is unequal. Corruption triumphs, the people hemmed in and immobilized, people are coerced, held down, government becomes anti democratic, phase of construction of the nation is jettisoned for wealth misappropriation and the parliamentary phase chooses dictatorship. Thus Fascism triumphs. This is what happened in Latin America, a dialectical response is states which are semicolonial after independence. In the under developed countries the rule is that the greatest wealth is surrounded by greatest poverty. The army and police are the pillars of the regime, advised by foreign experts, whose strength is proportional to the stagnation of the rest of the country . The opposition becomes aggressive, people become hostile but the young bourgeoisie who is precociously senile takes no heed. The enormous profits they make is exported to foreign countries. The national bourgeoisie is more suspicious of the regime that it has set up than the foreigners, so they don’t invest in their own country. Such exploitation and contempt of the state inevitably give rise to discontent among people and the regime becomes more harsher. The army becomes the arbiter, realizes its power and hold over the government ‘a head a threat of manifesto.

Fanon says, the national bourgeoisie of underdeveloped countries has learned nothing from books. They never learned from the examples in Latin American countries. It is obvious that in underdeveloped countries the construct of an elaborate bourgeoisie society is always condemned to fail. There is police dictatorship and the profiteering caste become strawmen at the hands of the police, cleverly handled by foreign experts who practices indirect government from their mother countries through the bourgeoisie that it upholds, national army led by its experts that pins the people down, immobilizing and terrorizing them.

Fanon says, the combined effort of the masses led by the party and of intellectuals who are highly conscious and armed with revolutionary principles ought to bar the way to this useless and harmful middle class. This has been a theoretical question raised for the last 50 years in the history of underdeveloped countries, whether or not the bourgeoisie phase can be skipped. This ought to be answered by revolutionary action and not by logic. Fanon says, the bourgeoisie phase in underdeveloped countries can only be justified in so far as the national bourgeoisie has sufficient economic and technical strength to build a bourgeoisie society, to create conditions necessary for the development of a large scale proletariat, to mechanize agriculture and finally to make possible an authentic national culture.

There are clear differences from the European bourgeoisie that developed in Europe with an elaborate ideology, resources to strengthen its power, who succeeded in accumulating capital, dynamic, educated, secular and has given the nation prosperity. But those in underdeveloped countries are not true bourgeoisie, are greedy hucksters glad to accept the dividend from the former colonial power, incapable of ideas and inventiveness. It remembers what it has read from European textbooks but imperceptibly it becomes not even the replica of Europe but its caricature. Even the investments it procures from the West is a kind of neo colonial industrialization in which the country’s economy flounders. The bourgeoisie phase in underdeveloped countries is utterly useless since it takes over unchanged the legacy of economy,the thought and institutions left by the colonialists .It’s numerically, intellectually and economically weak.

Certain members of the elite, intellectuals and civil servants who are sincere feel the necessity for a planned economy and outlaws profiteers and prohibit attempts at mystification. Fanon says, closing the road to national bourgeoisie is the only way to prevent decline of morals, corruption, economic regression, and an anti democratic regime that depends on force and intimidation. It is also the only means towards progress. The bourgeoisie is the direct product of economic conditions. The native bourgeoisie, some traders and intellectuals try to identify with the western bourgeois who run the colonies, but soon find that what they themselves lack is money.

If the government want to bring the country out of stagnation towards progress, it should nationalize the intermediary trading sector that the bourgeoisie has hold on. That doesn’t mean strict state control, which would amount to dictatorship of civil servants. This one is done on a democratic basis, by decentralizing and getting the masses involved, which in turn need them to be politically educated. This doesn’t mean mobilizing people for gatherings, which is akin to old tactics of proving that there are people behind them. The political education of masses means not to treat them as children but to make adults of them.

Fanon goes on to discuss the role of political parties in an underdeveloped country. The national bourgeoisie is convinced of the need for dictatorship. The party is given the duty to supervise the masses, control them, not to make the people participate in governance but to make them obedient and disciplined with the help of police. The incoherent mass of people is considered as a blind force that must be held in check by mystification or fear instilled by police force. The opposition party members are beaten, intimidated, condemned first to silence and later to a clandestine existence. Thus the party instead of welcoming the popular discontent and the free flow of ideas from the people forms a screen . Thus the party that once used to claim that it worked for the full expression of people hasten to send the people back to caves. Most of the time national unity is jettisoned and party is formed on ethnical lines forming an ethnical dictatorship. Thus we see a tribal dictatorship. Party positions are given on nepotistic ethnical lines. The tribalizing of central authority encourages regionalism and separatism, decentralization results, African unity disappear, different tribes try to ascertain their specific positions and the leaders cry treason.

The leader yields a baleful influence. He acts like a gangster who strikes terror. But the people refuses to be led since they are no longer a herd. Ideally the political parties should be trust worthy, not a tool in government hands, people should decide the policy. Decentralization, avoidance of excrescense of already well developed capital cities and towns, moving developments to country sides etc.should be done. No one should hold a position of highest rank or that of head. For people, party should not be an authority but an organism through which they express their will and exercise their authority. In short party should not be mingled with the government, should not have administrative powers, but act as regional body.

Fanon stresses the importance of regional organizations in country sides to awaken the region and bring progress. In the capital the government services are enormous and all the party officials, bigwigs and militants edge themselves into the government machine. The dream of all the citizens is get to the capital, so they desert the local districts turns their back on fields and the uneducated, unsupported masses of lumpen proletariat flocks towards the outer ring of suburbs. To avoid a national crisis, government should de consecrate the capital, capital should be moved to the interiors, people in back country should be served there and it should be made the most privileged part of the country. Brazil tried to find the new capital Brazilia with this idea in mind, the dead city of Rio de Janerio was an insult to Brazilian people. But the only advantage now is that a road exists through the bush to it. Fanon says, the life in the capital is like a foreign body in the life of the nation.

The party instead of being an agent of transmitting government orders should become the energetic spokesman and incorruptible defender of the masses. The western bourgeois thought that the masses are incapable of governing themselves must be jettisoned. The greatest good of Algerian revolution was to bring intellectuals to the masses, to make them witness their poverty, awakening of intelligence and progress of their consciousness. These starving illiterates held up against tanks, machine guns, air strikes, napalm, psychological serv6, corruption, brainwashing, traitors, would-be dictators etc etc. The people have progressed. Arms factories are working in the midst of the mountains, people’s tribunals, local planning commissions, large scale holdings are working for the future.

Fanon says that if technical language understood only by graduates is used, one can prove the necessity of top down management of masses. But if you use day to day language, not to confuse the masses, they seize all the meanings and tricks. It’s evident that the technical language is hard put to hide the lecturer’s wish to cheat the people and leave them out of things. And this technical language is the mask behind which stands out the much greater business of plunder. Everything can be explained to people on the single condition that you really want them to understand. If the rulers think that they don’t need the people and they may hinder the smooth running of enterprises meant to make them even poorer, then the issue is quite clear.

Letting the people participate in running the country speeds up progress. Fanon gives an example from Algeria itself when the political commissioners in 1956-57 took steps to quash black market profiteering by retail6in certain zones where the French colonialists had forbidden the people to move freely to towns and buy provisions. The people understood the basic economics of extortion, how the rich became so, not from hard work but from extortion and robbery. The true fruit of Algerian revolution was that people realized that everything depends on them and in the true understanding of their enemies. The people started using their brains and hearts along with the muscles. They started asking questions why the products are exported and not made available for local consumption.

The future of the underdeveloped countries remains as a closed book as long as consciousness of the people remains imperfect, elementary and cloudy. Fanon writes about the influence of the west on young people that shakes old traditions like pornography, alcohol, and which shakes old traditions. The government should take the responsibility of providing employment for the idle young. Instead of turning their attention to creating sportsmen, fully conscious men should be churned out who play sports as well. We ought not to develop exceptional people who is another kind of leader , but we need to uplift people, develop their brains, fill them with ideas, make humans out of them. Political education does not mean delivering lo g harangues, but opening their minds, awakening them, allowing the birth of their intelligence, to invent their souls as Cesaire said.

The summit of power draws its its worth and strength from the existence of people at the base warring for the country. It’s the people who freely create the summit and not the summit that tolerate the people. African people have come to realize that dignity and sovereignty are equivalents and free people living in dignity are sovereign people. It’s no use demonstrating that African people are childish and weak. A government or party gets the people it deserves and the people in turn get the government it deserves. The struggle for sovereignty should be collective and the responsibility should be equal at the top and the base. In a struggle, no one is clean. Every onlooker is either a coward or a traitor. Fanon says, the government should take responsibility for the totality of the nation, the national consciousness among young should be raised with the help of military and civil service, the feudal tradition of patriarchy must be guarded against, equal rights given to women, and detribalization done. The army should be nationalized, educated politically, prevented from becoming autonomous.

Nationalism that glued the people together against colonialists dies away the moment independence is acquired. Nationalism is not a political doctrine or a program. If regression is to be avoided, a rapid step must be taken from national consciousness to political and social consciousness. The battle against hunger, poverty, ignorance and unawareness should be ever present in the muscles and intelligence of the masses. What can be more dangerous is when social consciousness is reached before national consciousness. Then fierce demand for social justice which paradoxically is allied with primitive tribalism occurs. And if nationalism is not enriched and deepened by a transformation into social and political needs or in other words into humanism it leads to a blind alley.

On National Culture

In the first phase of national struggle colonialism tries to disarm national demands by putting forward economic doctrines. This delays crystallization of national consciousness for a few years. Sooner or later colonialism sees that it is not within its powers to put into practice a project of economic and social reforms that will satisfy the aspirations of the colonized. Colonialism gives proof of its inherent incapacity. The doctrine of Carteireism flourishes here. Cartier’s calls to disengage from colonies , his disillusioned bitterness could be understood thus. The obstinate determination of France to link to herself people which she must feed while so many French people live in want shows the impossible situation in which colonialism finds itself when colonial system is called to transform itself into an unselfish program of aid and assistance.

( In France, something that is very striking in making a singularity is that most of the authors who address the question of the colonial contribution to the economic growth of France fall into the Cartierism of the name of Cartier. Raymond Cartier gave his name to a current that dominates French historiography. He was a journalist for Paris-Match in the 1970s, and in his articles he advocated very strong positions.Cartierism is an attitude of disengagement, in other words, everything that this journalist wrote was to advocate that France disengage, because the colonies were a burden. This disengagement is selfish in the sense that, according to Cartier, losing the colonies was for the metropolis to become richer.If the colonies cost, by getting rid of them one would get rich, especially the colonial burden that Cartier considered too heavy would allow metropolitan capital placed in the colonial domain to return to France and develop depressed and peripheral regions of the hexagon. Raymond Cartier considered the colonies as a burden, costly and cumbersome, giving up the colonies and the possibility of bringing back capital placed abroad and misused: « it is time to devote to Lot-et-Garonne and the Lower Alps the tens of billions we waste in Senegal and Madagascar ».

Cartierism is an old idea, Voltaire makes an assessment of the colonial experience in Canada in the 1760s: « this country was inhabited by barbarians, bears and beavers, but above all it was an unproductive and expensive colony ». It was a settlement colony and this territory had to be developed. When Voltaire wrote we are at the beginning of the development and it takes time. In the idea of colonization, there is that of a gain that can be expected in the short term and that suggests impatience. For Voltaire, « if the tenth part of the money swallowed up in these colonies had been used to clear the wastelands of France, a considerable gain would have been made ». There is something of a selfish disengagement, however, there is an essential difference between Voltaire and Cartier in that Canada was a territory that had not yet shown its potential, but when Cartier in the 1950s says that empire is a burden, he forgets to mention that before being a burden, this second French colonial empire was a source of wealth and power.

In any case, in both cases, it should be noted that losing a colony is tantamount to deliverance and that the funds distributed overseas may be better spent on development in metropolitan France. It is a constant in the history of the exploitation of overseas empires as seen from the metropolises that whenever hopes of quick gains are disappointed or the colonies cease to be a source of profit, imperial enterprises are denounced as too costly. After the 1960s, i.e. after colonisation, Cartierism became a corny idea, but Cartierism is still an idea that persists.)

Once colonialism has realized that it cannot procure the material conditions that makes the people forget their concerns for dignity they fall back on using force, terror and psychological manipulations. The men of culture in the political parties demands an affirmation of existence of national culture. The native intellectuals respond aggressively to the colonial theory of precolonial barbarism. The ideas of the native intellectuals are widely professed by specialists in the mother country. The colonialists who condemn the passion of the native intellectuals forget that their own psyche and selves are sheltered behind a French or German culture that has given full proof of its existence and is uncontested . Fanon concedes that the presence of a magnificent past culture will not change the present state of a civilization in any way. He says, the passionate search for a national culture that existed before the colonial era finds its legitimate reason in the anxiety shared by native intellectuals to shrink away from a western culture in which they all risk being swamped.

Perhaps their passion is directed by the secret hope of discovering beyond the misery of today, beyond self contempt, resignation and abjuration some very beautiful and splendid era whose existence rehabilitates them. They found dignity, glory and solemnity. The claim to a national culture in the past not only rehabilitates the nation, but serve as a justification for the hope of a future national culture. The psycho affective equilibrium changes in the native. Colonialism by a kind of perverted logic, turns to the past of the oppressed people, distorts, disfigures and destroys it. In carrying out this cultural estrangement, the colonized are convinced that colonialism came to lighten their darkness and if the settlers were to leave, they would at once fall into barbarism, degradation and bestiality. The colonial mother sought itself as a protector restraining the natives from their own evil instincts, ego, physiology, biology and so forth. For colonialists, Negro is a savage race, destined to contempt, cursed by God, a country of cannibalism. The native intellectuals set out to rehabilitate the national culture does so in the name of African culture and not in the name of specific countries.

Now it must be proved that a Negro culture exists. Those responsible for this racialization of thought are and remain those Europeans who had set up white culture to fill the gap left by the absence of other cultures. The African literature of the past 20 years is Negro literature. Thus the concept of Negroism was the logical antithesis of the insults that the white men had flung at humanity. The poets of Negroism transcended continents, from America, black voices took up the hymn. The Arab world dominated by colonialism, were also force fed the same lines that before the advent of colonialism, their history was dominated by barbarism. The struggle for liberty was accompanied by the cultural phenomenon of awakening of Islam. The writers remind the people of their history, Arab civilization, etc. That national feeling is preserved despite colonialism, be it Arab or Negro. Though the national feeling has a liveliness in Arab world, contrary to African movement, everyone tries to sing praise of achievement of the nation. Fanon says, the problem is not to secure a national culture but to assume an Arabic or African culture, when dominated by a power.

For men of African culture, it became a necessity to racialize their claims and to speak more of African culture. The African Cultural Society was set up against the European Cultural Society, The Negroes of US,Central and Latin America, who were treated in the same manner as by the colonialists in Africa joined the African Cultural society. But slowly they realized that their essential problems are not the same as Africans. The civil rights issues of American Negroes have little in common with the fight of African people against colonialism. Thus an American Society for blacks were created. The Negroism and American Negro culture broke up after they realized that every culture is first and foremost national and that the problems that kept Richard Wright and Langston Hughes were fundamentally different from those which might confront Leopold Senghor and Jomo kenyatta. Similarly the Arab states who had chanted the hymn of Arab renaissance realized that their geography and economic ties of the region were stronger than the past they had wished to revive. Thus the Arab states linked with the countries having Mediterranean culture. The network of trade channels that dominated during history has disappeared, they are subjected to new kinds of pressures and new channels of trade. The political regimes of Arab countries are different and a cultural meeting is meaningless. So they think on national line.

In Africa the movement of men of culture is one towards Negro African culture or Arab Muslim culture. The native intellectuals are afraid of cutting his moorings and of breaking adrift from his people. A belief in national culture will afford him a secure anchorage. He feels the need to turn back towards his unknown roots. The intellectuals who are Arab and French or Nigerian and English chooses to negate one of those. Most often they don’t negate either and take an universal stand point. He has thrown himself greedily on western culture and he tries to make European culture his own. The intellectual who has filtered into western civilization will come to realize that the cultural matrix that he has been trying to occupy can hardly supply any figureheads comparable to European civilization. The intellectual is terrified by the voids in African history written by the west, by the degradation and savagery he sees there. He feels he must get away from white culture. He seeks his culture elsewhere, failing to find the same grandiose culture of the rulers, he will fall back on emotional sensitivity and susceptibility. Then he withdraws, thus his character brings out a contradiction.

He sets a high value on the appearances of his people, custom and traditions, thus becoming a dirty wog, unrecognizable, to get as native as he can. He searches banally for exoticism. He stresses about the bad habits of colonial settlers and reminds about the good old customs of the natives. The settlers are scandalized, men whom they had considered saved souls begins to fall back to the way of biggers, they realize the uselessness, shallowness and failure of a colonial structure and all these give justification and encouragement for the intellectual to persevere in the path he has taken.

Fanon describes the three phases which the native intellectuals go through. First when he has assimilated with the culture of the settlers. His writings are inspired by European literature. In the second phase phase native is distributed, he remembers what he is. But still he isn’t part of the people. Past will be brought up in the depths of his memory. Old legends will be reinterpreted in the light of borrowed aestheticism and conception of a world under other skies. It’s a period of distress, disgust, difficulty and experience of death. The third phase called the fighting phase the intellectuals lose themselves in and with the people and shakes the people. Now he writes the fighting literature, revolutionary literature and a national literature. Under exceptional circumstances like in prison, many who had not even thought of producing literary work, becomes a mouthpiece of a new reality in action. Sooner the native intellectuals realize that you don’t show proof of the nation from its culture but you substantiate its existence in the fight which the people wage against the forces of occupation. In creating a culture the native intellectuals are actually utilizing techniques and language from the stranger in his country. The culture that the intellectual leans towards is often no more than a stock of particularisms. He wishes to attach himself to the people but instead he catches hold of their outer garments.

The objectivity which seems to characterize the people is infact only the inert, frequent adaptations a fundamental substance which is continously being renewed. Man of culture is blind to the substance. He sees the mummified fragments only. Fanon says, culture never has the translucidity of custom. It abhors all simplifications. It is opposed to custom since custom is always the deterioration of culture. Attaching oneself to traditions or bring abandoned traditions to life means going against the current of history and opposing one’s own people. Significance of tradition changes when people engage in armed conflict .Traditions are fundamentally unstable in an underdeveloped country. That is why the intellectual often runs the risk of being out of date. The truth of the nation is infact in it’s realities.

In colonized countries, colonialism, after having made use of the natives in the battle fields uses them as trained soldiers to put down the movement of independence. They are the most anti national elements. Fanon says, the native intellectuals should throw themselves body and soul into the national struggle. Their responsibility is not vis a vis national culture, but a global responsibility with totality to nationhood whose culture represents only one aspect. There is no other fight for culture which can develop apart from the popular struggle. There can be no two cultures that can be completely identical. So creating a black culture is therefore not possible. To believe that it is possible is to forget the fact that niggers are disappearing.

It is around people’s struggles that African Negro culture takes on substance, and not around songs, poems or folklore. In 1959, the cultured Africana who met at Rome were vociferous on cultural unity. One of the loudest, Jacques Rabemananjara , later a minister in Madagascar’s government opposed the Algerian people in UNGA. Leopold Senghor, later president of Senegal, also a member of Society of African culture ordered his delegates to support French proposals on Algeria. Speeches, proclamations, are not enough. The liberation of national territories, and continuous struggle against colonialism should be ascertained.

Reciprocal bases of National Culture and the Fight for Freedom

The colonialists obliterate the cultural life of the natives by negation of national realities, legalities introduced by the occupier, and the banishment of natives and customs to outlying districts. The colonialists make every effort to force the natives to admit the inferiority of their culture. A national culture under colonial dominance is a contested culture condemned to secrecy. The clandestine culture is seen by the occupier as attachment to the spirit of the nation and refusal to submit. Persisting in traditions and culture is a demonstration of nationality but inert, static,empty and shriveled up. Centuries of exploitation bring about emaciation of national culture. It just becomes a set of habits, dresses, without life or creativity, rigid, or rather just the dregs of culture. The withering away of the reality of the nation and death pangs of national culture are related. These along with colonial exploitation, poverty and famine lead to an open revolt.

Fanon writes about how literature is transformed under colonialism. The literature first chooses a tragic and poetic style, later on novels, short stories and essays are attempted as the struggle against oppression intensifies and becomes more precise. Themes are altered, violent, resounding, florid writings decrease in number. Actually the occupier has previously encouraged the modes of expression like stinging denunciations exposing of distressing conditions and passions as a cathartic process. But as the national consciousness of the people progress the literature gets modified and becomes precise. The lament first makes an indictment, then an appeal and later words of command. The crystallization of national consciousness will disrupt literary styles and themes and create a completely new public. Instead of addressing the oppressors he addresses his own people.

A national literature is born from this moment. The themes and styles are nationalist. They are called literature of combat because it calls on people to fight for their freedom, mould their national consciousness flinging open boundless horizons. The oral tradition of storytelling, of epics and songs became alive with modifications and allusions The artists also, by producing creative art, participate in an organized movement. Formalism is abandoned, colours and forms which obeyed the traditional rules of harmony increase in number and are influenced by repercussion in rising numbers. Others and blues which were forbidden in certain cultures now assert themselves giving rise to scandal. The native rebuild his perceptions because he renews the purpose and dynamics of the craftsman, of dancing, music and literature and the oral tradition. His world comes to lose its accursed character. The conditions necessary for the inevitable conflict are brought together.

Fanon says, it is the national consciousness which is the most elaborate form of national culture. National consciousness which is not nationalism is the only thing that gives an internationall dimension to the conflict.

Colonial War and Mental Disorders

The war inflicts ineffaceable wounds on the people. Because of systematic negation of the native’s humanity, colonialism forces the people it dominates, to ask themselves the question, who am I. In the period of colonialism when not contested by armed resistance, the defensive attitude of the natives give way and they crowd the mental hospital. This calm period of successful colonization is a regular and important mental pathology which is a direct product of oppression.

Criminal Impulses in North Africans

During the colonial era, Algerians were known for their horrendous criminality. The colonist agreed that the Algerian criminality was a widespread problem, and it was believed that the Algerian was simply born a criminal. This theory was taught in universities for years, and it was assumed that the Algerian was “a habitual killer,” “a savage killer,” and “a senseless killer.” This reputation spilled over to Tunisia and Morocco as well, and they were known for a lack of emotion, and for their stubbornness and gullibility.This, too, is rooted in the racism of colonialism, as the Algerian brain is considered less developed than the white brain. In this way, the Algerian is made into an automatic criminal and a killer who murders people for sport. This is obviously a false representation—a human brain is a human brain—but it was assumed that the colonized was automatically less than their white counterpart. 

It was thought during colonial times that the North African brain was underdeveloped, and the nervous system was lacking, which accounted for the criminal behavior of the Algerians. But Algerian criminality was focused nearly entirely on other Algerians, and in France, Algerian criminality was focused mainly on the French. After 1954, there was a shift, and the criminality decreased. The Algerians stopped fighting amongst each other, and even the French had to admit this.

Thus, it is fair to say that the colonial context allows Algerian criminality a chance to be reexamined. Under colonialism, the Algerians were exposed to daily murder, famine, and abuse, and, as a result, had turned on each other.  Therefore, it is not the Algerian’s brain or nervous system that leads to criminality—rather, it is the colonial situation.


“Now comrades,” Fanon writes, “now is the time to decide to change sides.” We must leave Europe, he says, a country that has massacred men all over the world. Europe has halted the progress of man and enslaved others for nothing but their own greed and glory. They have taken over the world’s leadership with violence, and, Fanon says, “we have better things to do than follow in Europe’s footsteps.” Africa must not be concerned with competing with Europe or emulating it.

“Let us decide not to imitate Europe,” Fanon says, “and let us tense our muscles and our brains in a new direction.” Two hundred years ago, a former European colony known as the United States took it upon itself to compete with Europe and now the country is “a monster” where the “flaws, sickness, and inhumanity of Europe have reached frightening proportions.” In light of this, Fanon says, Africa must start a new history and “create a new man,” one that is developed with “a new way of thinking.” 

Colonialism, Racism, and Violence Theme Icon
Oppression and Mental Health Theme Icon


Colonialism, Racism, and Violence Theme Icon
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Selective Amnesia

ഓഷ്വിറ്റ്സിൽ വധശിക്ഷയ്ക്ക് വിധിക്കപ്പെട്ടു, ശേഷം ക്യാമ്പിൽ നിന്ന് രക്ഷപ്പെട്ട വെരാ റീറ്റ്സർ എന്ന ജൂത സ്ത്രീ യുദ്ധത്തിനുശേഷം വിവാഹം കഴിച്ച് ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയിലേക്ക് മാറി.1950 കളുടെ തുടക്കത്തിൽ റെയ്റ്റ്‌സർ വർണ്ണവിവേചന നാഷണലിസ്റ്റ് പാർട്ടിയിൽ (എൻ‌പി) ചേർന്നു, അക്കാലത്ത് പുതിയ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി ഡി എഫ് മലൻ ജൂതന്മാർക്കെതിരായ ഹിറ്റ്‌ലറുടെ ന്യൂറെംബർഗ് നിയമങ്ങളെ അനുസ്മരിപ്പിക്കുന്ന നിയമനിർമ്മാണം അവതരിപ്പിക്കുകയായിരുന്നു. ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കക്കാരെ വർഗ്ഗമനുസരിച്ച് വർഗ്ഗീകരിച്ച ജനസംഖ്യാ രജിസ്ട്രേഷൻ നിയമം, വർണ്ണരേഖയിലൂടെ ലൈംഗികതയെയും വിവാഹത്തെയും വിലക്കുന്ന നിയമനിർമ്മാണം, കറുത്തവരെ പല ജോലികളിൽ നിന്നും തടയുന്ന നിയമങ്ങൾ.

ഹോളോകോസ്റ്റിനെ അതിജീവിച്ച റീറ്റ്സർ, അതിൻറെ അടിസ്ഥാന തത്ത്വചിന്തയെ അനുസ്മരിപ്പിക്കുന്ന സിസ്റ്റത്തിനായി സൈൻ അപ്പ്  ചെയ്യുന്നതിൽ ഒരു വൈരുദ്ധ്യവും കണ്ടില്ല. കറുത്ത ആധിപത്യത്തിനെതിരെയും, റെയ്റ്റ്‌സിറിന്റെ ജന്മനാടായ യുഗോസ്ലാവിയയെ ചുറ്റിപ്പറ്റിയുള്ള കമ്മ്യൂണിസത്തിനെതിരെയും ആവശ്യമായ ഒരു കോട്ടയായി വർണ്ണവിവേചനത്തെ അവർ ശക്തമായി വാദിച്ചു. വർണ്ണവിവേചനത്തോടും എൻ‌പി അംഗത്വത്തോടുമുള്ള ഉത്സാഹത്തിൽ റൈറ്റ്സർ ജൂത ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കക്കാർക്കിടയിൽ അസാധാരണയായിരുന്നു.

വംശഹത്യയുടെ ചാരത്തിൽ നിന്ന് ഉയിർത്തെഴുന്നേറ്റ്, യഹൂദ ആദർശങ്ങളിൽ അധിഷ്ഠിതമായ തങ്ങളുടെ രാജ്യത്തെ വംശീയ ഭരണകൂടവുമായി താരതമ്യപ്പെടുപ്പെടുത്തുന്നതിൽ പല ഇസ്രായേലികളും ക്ഷോഭിക്കാറുണ്ട് . എന്നിട്ടും വർഷങ്ങളായി ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയിലെ ജൂതന്മാരിൽ ഭൂരിഭാഗവും വർണ്ണവിവേചന വ്യവസ്ഥയെ വെല്ലുവിളിക്കുന്നതിൽ പരാജയപ്പെട്ടു എന്ന് മാത്രമല്ല, അതിന്റെ സംരക്ഷണത്തിൽ പ്രയോജനം നേടുകയും ചെയ്തു. കാലക്രമേണ, ഇസ്രായേൽ സർക്കാരുകളും അഡോൾഫ് ഹിറ്റ്ലറുടെ ആരാധകരായിരുന്ന ഒരു ഭരണകൂടത്തിനെതിരെയുള്ള എതിർപ്പുകൾ മാറ്റിവച്ചു. ജൂത രാഷ്ട്രത്തിന്റെ ഭാവി അത്രമേൽ ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയുമായി പരസ്പരം ബന്ധപ്പെട്ടിരിന്നു .

വർണ്ണവിവേചന കാലഘട്ടത്തിലെ ആദ്യത്തെ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിയാകുന്നതിന് ഒരു പതിറ്റാണ്ട്  മുൻപ് തന്നെ,നാസി ജർമ്മനിയിൽ നിന്നുള്ള ജൂത അഭയാർഥികൾ ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയിലേക്ക് പ്രവേശിക്കുന്നതിനെതിരായിരുന്നു Malan. ന്യൂറെംബർഗ് രീതിയിലുള്ള നിയമങ്ങളുണ്ടെങ്കിലും അവർ ഇരകളാകില്ലെന്ന് പല ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കൻ ജൂതന്മാർക്കും പതുക്കെ മനസ്സിലായി . സൗത്ത് ആഫ്രിക്കൻ Afrikaner ഭരണകൂടത്തിന് ജനസംഖ്യാപരമായ പ്രശ്‌നമുണ്ടായിരുന്നതിനാൽ, ജൂതന്മാരാണെങ്കിലും വെള്ളക്കാരിൽ ഒരു വിഭാഗത്തെ ഒറ്റപ്പെടുത്തുന്നത്തിൽ അവർക്കു താല്പര്യമില്ലായിരുന്നു. നാഷണലിസ്റ്റ് പാർട്ടിയുടെ തിരഞ്ഞെടുപ്പ് വിജയം ബ്രിട്ടീഷ് ഭരണത്തിൽ നിന്നുള്ള മോചനമായി പല Afrikaners ഉം കണ്ടു. ഡച്ച് റിഫോംഡ് ചർച്ച്, വർണ്ണവിവേചനത്തിനെ പഴയനിയമത്തിൽ നിന്നും അഫ്രിക്കാനർ ചരിത്രത്തിൽ നിന്നും ന്യായീകരിച്ചു. 1940 കളിൽ പലസ്തീൻ  ഒരു 'land without people for a people without land' എന്ന് സയണിസ്റ്റുകൾ അവകാശപ്പെട്ട തു പോലെ പതിനേഴാം നൂറ്റാണ്ടിൽ ആദ്യമായി സ്ഥിരതാമസമാക്കിയപ്പോൾ ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയിൽ കറുത്തവർ ഇല്ലെന്ന മിഥ്യാധാരണ Afrikaner  കുടിയേറ്റക്കാർ പ്രചരിപ്പിച്ചു.  
 ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയിലെ ജൂതൻ അഫ്രികാനേഴ്സിനോടൊപ്പമായിരുന്നു,സഹതാപം കൊണ്ടല്ല, മറിച്ച് കറുത്തവർഗക്കാർക്കെതിരായ ഭയവും,വെളുത്ത സമൂഹവുമായുള്ള പൊതു ലക്ഷ്യവും ആയിരുന്നു കാരണങ്ങൾ . പതിറ്റാണ്ടുകളായി, ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയിലെ സയണിസ്റ്റ് ഫെഡറേഷനും ജൂത ബോർഡ് ഓഫ് ഡെപ്യൂട്ടീസും,നെൽസൺ മണ്ടേലയെ 1963 ൽ ഭരണകൂടത്തിനെതിരായ അട്ടിമറിക്കും ഗൂഡാലോചനക്കും ജീവപര്യന്തം തടവിന് ശിക്ഷിച്ച പെർസി യൂട്ടറിനെപ്പോലുള്ളവരെ ബഹുമാനിച്ചു വന്നു . യഹൂദ ജനതയെ "അപകടത്തിലാക്കാതിരിക്കാൻ" നിഷ്പക്ഷതയായിരുന്നു ഡെപ്യൂട്ടി ബോർഡിന്റെ പ്രഖ്യാപിത നയം. മുഖ്യധാരാ രാഷ്ട്രീയ വ്യവസ്ഥയ്ക്ക് പുറത്ത് കറുത്തവർക്കു വേണ്ടി വാദിച്ച  യഹൂദന്മാരെ യഹൂദ സമൂഹം ഒഴിവാക്കി. 

 1976 ൽ ഇസ്രായേൽ ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കൻ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി ജോൺ വോർസ്റ്ററിനെ, - മുൻ നാസി അനുഭാവിയും ഹിറ്റ്‌ലറുടെ പക്ഷത്തുള്ള ഫാസിസ്റ്റ് ഒസ്സെവാബ്രാൻഡ്‌വാഗിന്റെ കമാൻഡറുമായ ജോൺ വോർസ്റ്ററിനെ- ഒരു സംസ്ഥാന സന്ദർശനത്തിന് ക്ഷണിച്ചു. ഇസ്രയേൽ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രി യിത്ഷാക് റാബിൻ ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കൻ പ്രധാനമന്ത്രിയെ സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യത്തിന്റെ ശക്തിയായി വാഴ്ത്തി. നാസികൾ കൊലപ്പെടുത്തിയ ആറ് ദശലക്ഷം ജൂതന്മാർക്കായി സ്ഥാപിച്ച ജറുസലേം സ്മാരകം സന്ദർശിച്ച വോർസ്റ്ററിന്റെ ഭൂതകാലത്തെക്കുറിച്ച് പരാമർശിച്ചതേയില്ല . ഒരു സംസ്ഥാന വിരുന്നിൽ Rabin toasted "the ideals shared by Israel and South Africa are the hopes for justice and peaceful coexistence. Both countries faced foreign-inspired instability and recklessness". അപ്പോൾ വോർസ്റ്ററിന്റെ സൈന്യം അംഗോളയെ ആക്രമിച്ചു കീഴടക്കുകയായിരുന്നു . കുറച്ച് മാസങ്ങൾക്ക് ശേഷം, ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കൻ ഗവൺമെന്റിന്റെ വാർഷികപുസ്തകം ഇരു രാജ്യങ്ങളും ഒരൊറ്റ പ്രശ്‌നത്തെ അഭിമുഖീകരിക്കുന്നതായി വിശേഷിപ്പിച്ചു:കറുത്ത വർഗത്തെ.

ഇസ്രായേൽ-ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്ക അച്ചുതണ്ടിനെ ഒരു പ്രമുഖ ആയുധ നിർമ്മാതാവായും അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര ആയുധ വ്യാപാരത്തിലെ ഒരു ശക്തിയായും മാറ്റിയ ഒരു സഹകരണത്തിന് വോർസ്റ്ററിന്റെ സന്ദർശനം അടിസ്ഥാനമായി. ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയുടെ ആണവ ബോംബുകൾ വികസിപ്പിക്കുന്നതിൽ കേന്ദ്രമായ വൈദഗ്ധ്യവും സാങ്കേതികവിദ്യയും ഇസ്രായേൽ നൽകി. ഇസ്രായേൽ ആയുധങ്ങളെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള അറിവും ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്ക പണവും നൽകി. വംശീയ പ്രത്യയശാസ്ത്രത്തിൽ വേരൂന്നിയ ഒരു രാഷ്ട്രീയ പ്രസ്ഥാനവുമായുള്ള അടുത്ത ബന്ധത്തെക്കുറിച്ച് ഇസ്രായേലിനു ലജ്ജ തോന്നിയിട്ടാകണം,അവർ ഈ  സൈനിക സഹകരണം മറച്ചുവെച്ചു.സുരക്ഷാ സ്ഥാപനത്തിന് പുറത്തുള്ള ചുരുക്കം ആളുകൾക്ക് മാത്രമേ ഇതിനെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള അറിവ് ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നുള്ളൂ. യുഎന്നിൽ അവർ തുടർന്നും പറഞ്ഞു: "ഞങ്ങൾ വർണ്ണവിവേചനത്തിനെതിരാണ്, ഹോളോകോസ്റ്റ് അനുഭവിച്ച ജൂത ജനതക്കു ഇത് അസഹനീയമാണ്". 

1980 കളോടെ ഇസ്രായേലും ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയും മറ്റ് ജനങ്ങളുടെ മേലുള്ള  ആധിപത്യത്തെ ന്യായീകരിക്കുന്നതിൽ പരസ്പരം പ്രതിധ്വനിച്ചു. സ്വന്തം ജനത ബാഹ്യശക്തികളിൽ നിന്ന് ഉന്മൂലനം നേരിടുന്നതായി ഇരുവരും പറഞ്ഞു,ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയിൽ കറുത്ത ആഫ്രിക്കൻ സർക്കാരുകളും കമ്മ്യൂണിസവും; ഇസ്രായേലിൽ അറബ് രാജ്യങ്ങളും ഇസ്ലാമും.എന്നാൽ ഓരോരുത്തരും ഒടുവിൽ ജനകീയ പ്രക്ഷോഭങ്ങളെ അഭിമുഖീകരിച്ചു - 1976 ൽ സോവെറ്റോ, 1987 ൽ പലസ്തീൻ ഇൻറ്റിഫാദ.

 ഇന്ന്, ബ്രിട്ടീഷ് ഉത്തരവ് പ്രകാരം പലസ്തീൻ ആയിരുന്ന 85% പ്രദേശത്ത് ഇസ്രായേലികൾ താമസിക്കുന്നു . ഇസ്രായേലിന്റെ എക്കാലത്തെയും വികസിച്ചുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന സെറ്റിൽമെൻറ് ബ്ലോക്കുകൾക്കിടയിലും വേർതിരിക്കപ്പെട്ട റോഡുകൾ, സുരക്ഷാ തടസ്സങ്ങൾ, സൈനിക ഇൻസ്റ്റാളേഷനുകൾ എന്നിവയ്ക്കിടയിലും 15% പ്രദേശത്ത് പലസ്തീനികൾ അവശേഷിക്കുന്നു. ഇന്ന് ആഫ്രിക്കയിൽ കൊളോണിയലിസം തകർന്നു, ഇസ്രായേൽ ശക്തമായി. പ്രിട്ടോറിയയിലെയും ജറുസലേമിലെയും ന്യായീകരണങ്ങൾ ലോകം അംഗീകരിക്കുന്നില്ല. ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയുടെ വെളുത്ത നേതൃത്വം ഒടുവിൽ മറ്റൊരു വഴി സ്വീകരിച്ചു. ഇസ്രായേൽ അതിന്റെ ചരിത്രത്തിലെ നിർണായക നിമിഷത്തിലാണ് ഇപ്പോൾ നിൽക്കുന്നത്. 

റോഡുകൾ എടുക്കുക. നിലവിലുള്ള പല റൂട്ടുകളും ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നതിൽ നിന്ന് വിലക്കപ്പെട്ട ഫലസ്തീനികൾക്കായി വെസ്റ്റ് ബാങ്കിൽ സമാന്തര റോഡുകളുടെ ഒരു ശൃംഖല ഇസ്രായേൽ നിർമ്മി ച്ചു. ഇസ്രായേലി മനുഷ്യാവകാശ ഗ്രൂപ്പായ ബി'സെലെം ഈ സംവിധാനത്തെ വിശേഷിപ്പിക്കുന്നത് "ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയിൽ നിലനിന്നിരുന്ന വംശീയ വർണ്ണവിവേചന ഭരണകൂടവുമായി വ്യക്തമായ സാമ്യതയുണ്ട്" എന്നാണ്. സുരക്ഷാ പരിഗണനകളാണ് നയം നയിക്കുന്നത് എന്ന് സൈന്യം പറയുന്നു. സെറ്റിൽമെന്റ് ബ്ലോക്കുകൾ സ്ഥാപിക്കുന്നതിലും പ്രദേശം കയ്യടക്കുന്നതിലും വെസ്റ്റ് ബാങ്ക് റോഡ് സംവിധാനം ഒരു ഉപകരണമാണെന്ന് വ്യക്തമാണ്. 

ചെക്ക്പോസ്റ്റുകളിൽ ഇസ്രായേൽ സൈനികർ പതിവായി പലസ്തീനികളെ അപമാനിക്കുകയും ഉപദ്രവിക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്നു.കുടിയേറ്റക്കാർ ഹെബ്രോണിലെ അറബ് വീടുകളുടെ ചുമരുകളിൽ വിദ്വേഷം നിറഞ്ഞ മുദ്രാവാക്യങ്ങൾ വരയ്ക്കുന്നു. പടിഞ്ഞാറൻ ജറുസലേം തെരുവുകളിൽ അറബികളായി കാണപ്പെടുന്ന പൗരന്മാരെ അവരുടെ തിരിച്ചറിയൽ കാർഡുകൾ പതിവായി ആവശ്യപ്പെടുന്നതിന് പോലീസ് തടയുന്നു. ഇസ്രായേലി തോക്കുകളിൽ മരിക്കുന്ന കുട്ടികളുടെ എണ്ണം സംബന്ധിച്ച് ചില മാധ്യമപ്രവർത്തകർ നിർഭയമായി റിപ്പോർട്ട് ചെയ്തിട്ടും ഇസ്രായേൽ മാധ്യമങ്ങൾ അധിനിവേശത്തെ അവഗണിക്കുന്നു. ചിലപ്പോൾ വിദ്വേഷം മതപരമായ വിവേചനമായി വിശദീകരിക്കപ്പെടുന്നു. എന്നാൽ ഫുട്ബോൾ മത്സരങ്ങളിലെ മന്ത്രങ്ങൾ "Death to Arabs"എന്നാണ്, "Death to Muslims" എന്നല്ല. 

ജറുസലേമിലൂടെ സഞ്ചരിക്കുന്ന എട്ട് മീറ്റർ ഉയരമുള്ള മതിൽ നഗരത്തിന്റെ പടിഞ്ഞാറ് ജൂത നിവാസികൾക്ക് അദൃശ്യമാണ്.ഭൂമിശാസ്ത്രം കാരണം, നഗരത്തിലെ ഭൂരിഭാഗം ജൂതന്മാരും തെരുവുകളെയും കുടുംബങ്ങളെയും വിഭജിക്കുന്ന കോൺക്രീറ്റ് mammoth കാണുന്നില്ല, തകർന്ന വീടുകളും. ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്കയിലെ ഭൂരിഭാഗം വെള്ളക്കാരും ടൗൺഷിപ്പുകളിൽ നിന്ന് മാറിനടക്കുകയും  അവരുടെ പേരിൽ ചെയ്യുന്ന കാര്യങ്ങളിൽ അന്ധരായിരിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തതുപോലെ. അഭിപ്രായ വോട്ടെടുപ്പുകൾ കാണിക്കുന്നത്, ധാരാളം ഇസ്രായേലികൾ അറബികളെ "വൃത്തികെട്ടവർ", "പ്രാകൃതർ", മനുഷ്യജീവിതത്തെ വിലമതിക്കാത്തവർ, അക്രമാസക്തർ എന്ന് കണക്കാക്കുന്നു എന്നാണ് . 

 വംശനശീകരണത്തിനായി പരസ്യമായി പ്രവർത്തിച്ചിരുന്ന ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥരെയാണ് ഏരിയൽ ഷാരോൺ നിയമിച്ചത്. ജനസംഖ്യയുടെ ഒരു വിഭാഗം മറ്റൊരു വിഭാഗത്തിനെതിരെ ഉപയോഗിക്കാൻ രൂപകൽപ്പന ചെയ്ത ദേശീയതയുടെയും റെസിഡൻസി നിയമങ്ങളുടെയും ഒരു വെബ് നിർമ്മിക്കുന്ന  സർക്കാരുകൾ വളരെ ചുരുക്കം ഇടങ്ങളിൽ മാത്രമേ കാണാൻ കഴിയൂ. വര്ണവിവേചനത്തിലധിഷ്ഠിതമായ  ദക്ഷിണാഫ്രിക്ക ഒന്നായിരുന്നു. ഇസ്രായേലും അങ്ങനെ തന്നെ.





Synopsis-“Capital in the Twenty- First Century” by Thomas Piketty

Piketty defies left and right orthodoxy by arguing that worsening inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism. He argues that the degree of inequality is not just the product of economic forces, it is also the product of politics.

AuthorThomas Piketty

GenreNonfiction/ Political Economics

About the Author

Thomas Piketty is a French economist who works on wealth and income inequality. He is the director of studies at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales (EHESS) and professor at the Paris School of Economics. He is the author of the best selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013), which emphasizes the themes of his work on wealth concentrations and distribution over the past 250 years. The book argues that the rate of capital return in developed countries is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth, and that this will cause wealth inequality to increase in the future. To address this problem, he proposes redistribution through a global tax on wealth.

Piketty was born on May 7, 1971, in the Parisian suburb of Clichy. He gained a C-stream (scientific) Baccalaureat, and after taking scientific preparatory classes, he entered the Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) at the age of 18, where he studied mathematics and economics. At the age of 22, Piketty was awarded his Ph.D. for a thesis on wealth redistribution, which he wrote at the EHESS and the London School of Economics under Roger Guesnerie.

After earning his PhD, Piketty taught from 1993 to 1995 as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1995, he joined the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) as a researcher, and in 2000 he became director of studies at EHESS.

Piketty won the 2002 prize for the best young economist in France, and according to a list dated November 11, 2003, he is a member of the scientific orientation board of the association “À gauche, en Europe”, founded by Michel Rocard and Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

In 2006 Piketty became the first head of the Paris School of Economics, which he helped set up. He left after a few months to serve as an economic advisor to Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal during the French presidential campaign. Piketty resumed teaching at the Paris School of Economics in 2007.

He is a columnist for the French newspaper Libération, and occasionally writes op-eds for Le Monde.

In April 2012, Piketty co-authored along with 42 colleagues an open letter in support of then-PS candidate for the French presidency François Hollande. Hollande won the contest against the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in May of that year.

In 2013, Piketty won the biennial Yrjo Jahnsson Award, for the economist under age 45 who has “made a contribution in theoretical and applied research that is significant to the study of economics in Europe.”

Piketty specializes in economic inequality, taking a historic and statistical approach. His work looks at the rate of capital accumulation in relation to economic growth over a two hundred year spread from the nineteenth century to the present. His novel use of tax records enabled him to gather data on the very top economic elite, who had previously been understudied, and to ascertain their rate of accumulation of wealth and how this is compared to the rest of society and economy. His most recent book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, relies on economic data going back 250 years to show that an ever-rising concentration of wealth is not self-correcting. To address this problem, he proposes redistribution through a global tax on wealth.

( Goodreads author information: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/795282.Thomas_Piketty)



Piketty has used data covering three centuries and more than twenty countries with the help of theoretical framework and statistical studies. This book is accessible to all people , even those without technical training or an economics background. The basic reason for inequality according to Piketty is :

when the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income as it did in the nineteenth century, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values in which democratic societies are based“.

He recommends that,

democracy can regain control over capitalism by ensuring that general interest takes precedence over private interests, preserving economic openness and avoiding protectionist and nationalist tendencies”.

Debate on Wealth Distribution

Intellectual and political debate on wealth distribuiton is prejudiced and facts are scarce. Novels by Jane Austen and Balzac, films etc exposes wealth distribution, hierarchy and its implications on men and society. The significance of inequality is it’s visibility and political conflict arises from the subjective perception and judgment of each class of people. Social scientific research systematically and methodically searches for facts, patterns, informs debate and scrutinize facts, even though it is tentative and imperfect. But for a long time this was based on a limited set of firmly established facts and a wide variety of theoretical speculations. Some of the previous thinkings are given below.


Though it seems that the old economic theories of the classical school are ridiculous in retrospect, the political, social and economic changes in the late 18 th and early 19 th centuries were huge and traumatic for the contemporary economists and observers to foresee doom for wealth distribution and class structure. And they were right too in several respects.

Thomas Malthus, (English economist and demographer, one of the most influencial members of the classical school of Economics, best known for his theory that population growth will always tend to outrun the food supply and that betterment of humankind is impossible without strict limits on reproduction) in his 1798 essay, ‘Essay on Principle of Population‘ attributes reasons for upheaval to overpopulation. His source was the diary of the traveller, English agronomist, Arthur Young who chronicled the poverty, overpopulation and French Revolution while travelling through France. The overpopulation of France in the 18 th century that led to decrease in wages and increase in land rents was one of the reasons of resentment towards the aristocracy and the political regime that led to thhe revolution in 1789. He was convinced that mass poverty would lead to political upheavel and worried about the inclusion of commoners to sit along with the aristocrats in the French Legislativve Assembly in 1790. Thus wealth distribution could be seen entangled with politics, class privileges and interests. Malthus borrowed these ideas and somewhat more radically and prejudicially argued to halt welfare assistance to the poor in England and to scrutinize reproduction by the poor, lest overpopulation would lead to a political upheaval in England too.

The two most influential economists of the 19 th century, David Ricardo and Karl Marx believed that a small social group- landowners for Ricardo and Industrial capitalists for Marx- would claim a steadily increasing share of output and income. There also were optimists, liberals like Adam Smith who dismissed that distribution of wealth would be unequal in the future and Jean Baptiste Say who believed in natural harmony. None of these people had any credible statistical data as empirical source to base their observations on.

Ricardo‘s “Scarcity Principle” was explained in his ‘Principles of Political Economy and Taxation‘ (1817). Population and output increase would lead to scarcity of land which inturn would lead to increase in land prices and rent, thus increasing the share of national income going to the landlords. Ricardo suggested a steadily increasing land rent tax to offset the resulting inequilibrium. Though, his prediction did not materialize in the long run as the share of agriculture in national income decreased during the industrial revolution. But his principle explains the effect of price system in destabilizing entire economies and societies. In the 21 st centuries, the principle holds true, we just need to replace the the land with booming real estate and oil prices. Two solutions to this supply and demand mechanisms are- one, if price increases due to reduced supply, switch over to alternate ways which inturn might decrease the price , two- increase the supply of the scarce good. But both these take a long time to achive the desirable results. Thus this interplay between supply and demand affects distribution of wealth linked to extreme changes in certain relative prices.

Karl Marx explained the theory of “Infinite Accumulation” in his work, ‘Capital‘ in 1867. Rise of industrial capitalism in the second half of the 19 th century caused the national economy to grow, but inspite of that and also due to the urban migration and population increase, the proletariat wage stagnated. The sordid reality of poverty and urban misery, child labor were caught in literature such as Oliver Twist, Les Miserables, Germinal and Engel‘s ‘Condition of Working Class in England’. The economy of France and England boomed, but in spite of or because of that worker’s wage stagnated( Historian Robert Allen calls this wage stagnation, “Engel’s Pause“”) from 1800’s to 1870’s. Wages caught up with the growth and economy slightly declined in the final third of nineteenth century, but inequality remained the same. From 1870 to 1914(WW 1), the inequality just stabilized at an extremely high level and wealth accumulation shot up. This inequality was reduced by the powerful economic and political shocks of WW1.

The first communist and socialist movements grew around 1840’s when the capital contnued to prosper while the labor incomes stagnated. After half a centruy of industrial growth from the 1800′ suntil 1840’s masses remained poor. All the politicians could do was only the prohibition of child labor. It was at this time(1848) that Marx published his Communist Manifesto on the eve of ‘ the spring of nations‘ (revolutions across Europe). Over the next two decades Marx proposed the first ever scientific analysis of capitalism and its collapse through his work Capital. Like Ricardo, Marx also explained the internal logical contradictions of the capitalist system. He explained the unlimited accumulation of capital in a few hands. Marx’s conclusion was that capitalism is doomed to an apocalyptic end either by reduced returns which inturn cause conflict among capitalists or inexorably flowing returns which cause the workers to revolt.

Marx’s prophecy was derailed in the last part of 19 th century until 1914, when wages increased, purchasing power increased, but inequlaity still worsened. Communist revolution took place only in the poorest part of Europe, Russia where industrial revolution had only scarcely begun. The richer parts of Europe introduced new social democratic changes benefiting the people. Like Ricardo, Marx was also mistaken and did not take into account the technological progress in future that could to some extent offset the accumulation of wealth sometimes. The probabale reasons are lack of proper research, and statistical data, hasty pronouncements due to political fervor etc…He did not give much thought to politicoeconomic, social situations when capital is abolished, a complex and tragic one as shown by the totalitarian governments abolishing capital.

In the 20 th century magical post war period( “Trente Glorueuses” in French- 30 glorious years from 1945 to 1975), economist Simon Kuznet proposed a theory(1955) directly antithetical to the apocalyptic theories of Marx and Ricardo , that income inequality would automatically decrease in advanced phases of capitalist development regardless of economic policies until it is stabilized at an acceptable level. The economist, Robert Solow(1956) also put forward a balanced growth path where all the variables of capitalism grow at an equal pace thus reducing inequality. These optimistic predictions mirrored the optimism of Adam Smith, Jean Baptiste Say and Proudhon of 19 th century.

Kuznet, an Ukranian -American economist, Harvard educated was the first one to postulate an inequality study based on statistics of income distribution in the US over aperiod of 1913 to 1948, . In 1953 he published his ‘Shares of Upper Income Groups In Income And Savings‘. It used two groups of data- US Federal Income Tax Returns(income tax was created in 1913 only) and Kuznet’s estimates of US National income ( two indispensible data for assessing inequality). Thus he became the first person to study the national accounts of US and the first to publish a historcal data on inequality. His optimistic theory was well received in the 1980 s and 1990 s and even today by some. The data on national income became available in many countries in the period between WW1 and WW2, when income tax was introduced to tax a certain segment of the population.

Kuznet noted a sharp reduction in income inequality between 1913 and 1948. With the data available, he calculated that the top 10% of income earners claimed 45 to 50% of the national income while the rest 90%( middle and low income earners) claimed 30 – 35% of the national income in the initial part of the time period. Calculations done in 1940 showed a drastic reduction in inequality with the top 10 % claiming 30 -35% of national income and the rest 90% claiming 65- 70 %. This decrease of 10% points in the top 10% earners amounted to half the income of the poorest 50% Americans. The reduction in inequality was objectively and empirically shown by Kuznet for the first time with the positive news that inequality in US was decreasing in the 1940′ s. While the 19 th century economics were just theoretically postulating hypotheses.

But Kuznet himself was aware that the reduction in income of the top 10% between 1913 and 1948 was due to the multiple shocks triggered by the Great Depression and WW1 and WW2 that reduced the fortune of the rich and not due to the mobility of wealth from top to bottom. Though he warned people not to generalize his interpretations in his 1953 book, he gave a much more optimistic explanation for reduction in inequality in a 1954 Detroit meet of American economists. He formulated a bell curve called ” Kuznet’s Curve” ( Inverted U- Curve) which shows that in the early stages of industrialization inequality increases and then in later stages it decreases. In a 1955 paper, he reminds readers to interpret data cautiously and note the importance of exogenous shocks in reducing inequality, he suggests that the economic development could also naturally follow this optimistic path without policy interventions or external shocks , not withstanding the speculative nature of the theory. The phenomenon was thought to be reproducible in underdeveloped and developing countries too, thus it became a powerful political weapon. Kuznet reminded the listeners in the meet the optimistic predictions were intended to maintain the underdeveloped countries within the orbit of the free world. Thus Kuznets Curve was a product of the Cold War, created for the wrong reasons. Since the 1970 s inequality has been increasing in the rich countries.

Rapid growth of China and some other poor and emerging countries have contributed to the reduction in inequality at a global level. The “balanced growth path” where all economic variables are supposed to grow at the same pace is disproved by the disequilibria in different economic sectors like oil, finance, real estate etc. Piketty has used an extensive set of historical data for understanding past and present trends, patiently establishing facts and patterns comparing different countries to get a clear idea for the future.

Sources used

One – sources of inequality and distribution of income.

Two- Sources of distribution of wealth and relation of wealth to income.

Piketty has challened Kuznet’s relation between economic development and distribution of wealth. As per himself, nobody has systematically pursued Kuznet’s work since the tax historical record statistics he had used falls in a no- man’s land, too historical for economists and too economistic for historians. Piketty maintains that income inequality can only be studied in a long- run perspective which is possible by making use of tax record. The household income and budget studies by the national statistical agencies rarely date before 1970 s and also tend to seriously underestimate the upper income groups’ income. But tax records tell more about high incomes and we are able to look at it at least a century back. Piketty has used the same method, sources and concepts as Kuznet to retrospectively analyse the tax records, national and average incomes and chart the patterns in France and all the rest of the 20 countries. The income tax returns allow us to study changes in income inequality and estate tax returns studies the changes in inequality of wealth. In some countrie studied, estate tax predates income tax and so wealth inequality data is much more than income inequality data. Picketty deals not only with the level of wealth and income inequality, but also the structure of inequality(their origin i.e, inherited wealth or savings) among social groups and the systems of economic, social, moral and political justification for defending or condemnng these inequalities.

One reason the book stands out from others is the long historical data to study the dynamics in retrospective, available to the author. Sometimes dating back to 18 th century as in the case of France and Britain. Some long term changes did not emerge clearly until data for the 21 st century became available due to the fact that certain shocks due to the world wars persisted for a very long time. Until the 70 s and 80 s such studies were done manually, but technological advances has made it possible to use a better and quick mode to study these.

Major Results of the Study

The first conclusion: To be wary of, i.e, economic determinism( a theory suggesting that economic forces determine, shape, and define all political, social, cultural, intellectual, and technological aspects of a civilization.). The history of inequality and wealth distribution had always been deeply political. Example: The reduction of inequality in developed countries between 1910 and 1950 was due to the policies adopted to cope up with the consequences of war. The resurgence of inequality after 1980 is due to the changes in taxation and finance, again political decisions. Thus inequality is the joint product of political, social and economic factors combined.

The second conclusion: The dynamics of wealth distribution reveal powerful mechanisms pushing alternatively towards convergence(reduction in inequality) and divergence(rise in inequality). There is no natural. spontaneous process to prevent the destabilising forces to prevail permanently.

Knowledge and skill diffusion is the key to overall productivity growth as well as reduction in inequality both within and between countries. By adopting the modes of productivity of rich countries and acquiring skills the less developed countries have increased their productivity and national incomes. eg. China.

From a theoretical standpoint, other forces can push towards greater equality. For example: requirement of greater skills of production will lead to more empowerment and income of skilled workers thus increasing the human capital over financial capital. A scientist or reasearcher or engineer who is highly skilled would make inequality meritocratic and static. Thus technological rationality leads to economic and democratic rationality.

No matter how potent the forces of skill and diffusion of knowledge is in promoting convergence between countries and within countries, powerful forces can thwart this. Eg: Educational policies, lack of investment in or access to training, availability to acquire skills and of instituitions in turn affect societal groups. Some groups benefit, while some others do not.

Deriving Picketty’s r>g as the fundamental equation of inequality

Taking two worrisome forces of divergence, Piketty tells us that the first one is less worrisome than the second. First, top earners suddenly separate from the rest by a wide margin, means they get into the top 10%. The reason according to Picketty is either the sudden increase in the skills and productivity leading them to be top earners or more plausibly that they acquire the power to set their own remuneration in some cases without limit or in many cases without clear relation to their individual productivity. This is seen mainly in the US. Second, the accumulation of wealth and capital returns when growth of economy is weak, which has the most potent destabilizing effect of the two.

To explain the divergence, Picketty has extended the Kuznets curve over a period from 1910 to 2010. Taking the income inequality of the US first, the top 10% earners claim 45 to 50% of the national income during 1910 – 1920, drops to 30 to 35% at the end of 1940, remains static from 1950 -1970, then a rapid rise in inequality after the 1980’s until the present. By 2010 it is 50% of the national income. After the Kuznet’s Bell curve, it leads directly to an U-shaped curve from the 1940 s to 2010. The rapid rise of inequality after 1980 s in the US is due to a veritable separation of the top managers to the top 10% from the rest of the labor force as mentioned before.

He plotted a second graph of the total value of the private wealth in Britain, France and Germany expressed as ratio of national income in years (capital: national income) from 1870 to 2010. In the late 19 th century, the private wealth is 6 to 7 years of national income, very high. It becomes 2 to 3 years of national income following the shocks of war during 1914 – 1945( inequality decreases). It rises after 1950 and in the twenty first century the private fortunes in al the three countries seem to be on the verge of 5 or 6 years of national income( inequality increases). We get the same U- shaped curve. The return of high capital to income ratio over the past two decades is due to slow growth of economy according to Picketty. Those already having wealth only needs a slight flow of savings to increase the stock of wealth steadily and substantially.

Thus if the rate of return on capital is significantly above the growth rate, which is more likely when growth rate is low, the risk of divergence in the distribution of wealth is high. This fundamental inequality which Picketty writes as r>g, where r stands for the average annual rate of return on capital including profits, dividend, interests, rent and other income from capital, expressed as percentage of the total value of capital and g stands for the rate of growth of the economy, i.e the annual increase in national income or output, sums up the overall logic of Picketty’s conclusions.

Returns on capital were higher than the growth rate in the 18 th centuries and early 19 th centuries and again after 1970’s. Inherited wealth is important since it logically follows that inherited wealth grows faster than the output or income. People with inherited wealth need to save only a portion of their income from the capital to see that capital grow more quickly than economy as a whole. Thus inherited wealth dominates wealth amassed by lifetime labor by a wide margin, capital accumulates, incompatible to the meritocratic values and social justice in a democracy. Also the savings rate increases with wealth. Means , the richer one is , the wealthier one gets. This destabilization factor leading to divergence worried Kuznet, who expressed this in his 1953 book, ‘ Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings‘. These forces for divergence was also central in James Mead‘s book, ‘Efficiency, Equality and the Ownership of Property‘ and also to Atkinson and Harrison in their ‘ Distribution of Personal Wealth in Britain‘.

To sum up, the process of wealth accumulation and distribution contain powerful forces pushing towards divergence. Though forces of convergence exist, the forces of divergence can attain an upper hand at any time, as is happening now at the beginning of 21 st century. The likely decrease in the growth of population and economy in the coming decades makes this trend all the more worrisome.

Picketty’s conclusions are less apocalyptic than those implied by Marx’s principle of infinite accumulation and perpetual divergence ( Marx’s theory implicitly relies on assumption of zero productivity growth in the long run). Picketty stresses that the main force of divergence in his theory of r>g has nothing to do with any market imperfection . Contrarily, the more perfect the capital market, the more likely r>g. He suggests instituitions and policies that would counter this by progressive global tax on capital . But, they need considerable international co ordination.

The book relies primarily on the historical experience of the leading developed countries- US, Japan, Germany and Britain. British and Frech data are significant, the data for these countries are available as far back as 18 th century. They were the leading colonial and financial powers in the 19 th and 20 th centuries. Their history is indispensable in studying what had been called the first globalization of finance and trade(1870-1914), which was prodigiously inegalitarian. He has given particular significance to the study of France since the French estate records dating back to the 18 th century are probably the richest in the world over the long run. The French Revolution did not create a just society. The population increase over the past 200 years, which was slow also makes it a good subject of study. US when compared to France has a 100 fold increase in population since the Declaration of Independence(France has only 2 fold increase in the last 200 years), less important inheritence factor compared to Europe, a vast change in geography due to the extensive westward expansion, all suggesting that US case is not generalizable.

Piketty critiques the orthodox system of economists churning out theoretical results without knowing what facts needed to be explained. He maintans that the discipline of economics need to get over the childish passion for abstract mathematical theorems and purely theoretical and highly ideological speculations and should focus on historical research and collaboration with other social sciences. Since Kuznet, there was no significant effort to collect the historical data on the dynamics of inequality, a void filled by Piketty with this work. He has presented the data in the book in such a way that anyone with an interest to dissect the question of inequality can easily understand the economics, history and politics of inequality. He uses some elementary mathematical equations , which can be explained in simple ways and understood without specialized technical knowledge. He condemns the preoccupation of economists with mathematics to acquire the appearance of scientificity without having to answer the complex problems posed by the world. He exhorts the economists to work alongside other social science disciplines and the social science practitioners to take interest in economics of wealth distribution and social class and to take a pragmatic approach to avail ourselves of the methods of historians, sociologists, political scientists and economists .

Synopsis-“Hegemony or Survival- America’s Quest for Global Dominance” by Noam Chomsky

A devastating history of US foreign policy since 1945 and a dissection of “war on terror” from the world’s foremost activist and a towering intellect.

Author– Noam Chomsky

Genre– Non Fiction

Subject– Politics/ US Foreign policy

About the author

Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous best selling political books including ‘9-11′, ‘Understanding Power’, ‘Middle East Illusions’, and ‘Pirates and Emperors- Old and New. He is the author of over 100 books. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to parents who were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. A political activist, philosopher, linguist, author and lecturer, he is an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The creator or co-creator of the Chomsky hierarchy and the universal grammar theory, he had held radical leftist views and identified himself with anarchist and libertarian socialist movements. A staunch critic of foreign policies of US and other governments, beginning with the critique of Vietnam war in 1960’s, he rose to public attention when The New York Times published his anti-war essay, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals“(https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1967/02/23/a-special-supplement-the-responsibility-of-intelle/) . He was an outspoken opponet of US involvement in Vietnam war. He remains a leading critic of U.S. foreign policy, neoliberalism and contemporary state capitalism, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and mainstream news media. In collaboration with Edward S. Herman(American economist, media scholar and social critic), Chomsky later articulated the propaganda model of media criticism in ‘Manufacturing Consent:The Political Economy of the Mass Media and worked to critique the media coverage of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Chomsky and his ideas are highly influential in the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movements.

His defense of freedom of speech, including Holocaust denial, generated significant controversy in the Faurisson affair of the 1980s. The affair was an academic controversy in the wake of a book, Mémoire en défense (1980), by French professor Robert Faurisson, a Holocaust denier. The scandal largely dealt with the inclusion of an essay by Noam Chomsky, entitled “Some Elementary Comments on the Rights of Freedom of Expression“, as an introduction to Faurisson’s book, without Chomsky’s knowledge or explicit approval. Responding to a request for comment in a climate of attacks on Faurisson, Chomsky defended Faurisson’s right to express and publish his opinions on the grounds that freedom of speech must be extended to all viewpoints, no matter how unpopular or fallacious.

According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar during the 1980–1992 time period, and was the eighth-most cited scholar in any time period. In 1979, The New York Times called him “arguably the most important intellectual alive today.”Since retiring from MIT, he has continued his vocal political activism, including opposing the 2003 invasion of Iraq and supporting the Occupy movement. Chomsky began teaching at the University of Arizona in 2017.

Synopsis ( exactly as from the book, abridged)

In it’s pursuit of hegemony and total world domination, the US foreign policy was shaped, moulded, and tweaked, incorporating punitive and preemptive military occupations and wars and wielding cudgels like economic sanctions and trade wars, thus bringing about catastrophic humanitarian consequences and spawning of a long term threat of international terrorism and proliferation of WMD. The world was shocked to learn how possible terminal nuclear events, triggered by error, were barely avoided at the eleventh hour, the one during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 considered as a shocking example.

The war-mongering Bush administration, despite popular opposition, blocked UN efforts to ban militarization of space, and terminated international negotiations to prevent biological warfare. Warnings of humanitarian catastrophe, long -term emergence of terrorism and WMD proliferation were ignored and preemptive use of force was announced as National Security Strategy to eliminate any challenge to US hegemony. Saddam Hussein was incriminated in 9/11 attacks and in WMD proliferation,that drove public opinion in favor of use of force at will, through propagandas. Climate change and other environmental threats were ignored by the travesty of propositions by the Climate Change Science Programme(CCSP) favouring the narrow interests of the private power sectors and rebuffing multilateral engagement, thus alienating and creating resentment in Europe.

Despite the UN inspection’s failure to find WMD in Iraq, world wide protests against war and a dismally low percentage(scarcely 10%) of international public opinion in support of war, US made it’s intent to use force very clear. Human rights and democracy remained in talks and speeches, not in practice.

To ensure submission of the “great beast” or the masses according to Alexander Hamilton, to not let them stray from the confines, the men in power devised many methods. Coercion or force was the initial method. In the US, Wilsonian idealism(1918) set out international goals to ensure a government in the hands of a few good abroad and a system of elite decision-making followed by public ratification (polyarchy) at home. In the free societies that emerged later, where freedom and rights predominated, coercion lost it’s utility and new devices like control of opinion and attitudes through propaganda were deviced. Thus the beast was tamed by the art of manufacture of consent by institutions of the governement, in essence a Leninist ideal. Wilson’s Committee of Public Information was formed to whip up wartime propaganda. “The resposible men” differed from the masses/ beasts by their decision making capacity. The beasts were spectators and not participants, they do not have a function, but to trample in support of leadership class. Thus the decision making was kept within the confines of institutions with a top down authoritative control. The public areana was limited by neoliberal initiatives to unaccountable private tyrannies. Thus democracy would survive in a reduced form.

Whenever faced with a crisis of democracy, i.e, the public escaping it’s marginalization and passivity, new tools like indoctrination of the young through schools, universities and chiurches, self- censorship or government control of media worked their way to regain control. These methods were devised and propogated with the help of public intellectuals. James Madison held the view that power must be in the hands of a wealthy few, the most capable men, and the role of governement was to protect this opulent minority against the majority( pre- Capitalist). He foresaw that the majority would rebel under hardhsips, for equality and on who will make the decisions.

Control of opinion as the foundation of government

This is true in the most free and most despotic governments. The modern institution of thought control, propaganda originated in free countries where control by force was not possible. In Britain, which pioneered, it was under the name Ministry of Information. US followed with Committee of Public Information.(CPI). Both controlled the thoughts of the world. Participants like Edward Bernays called “the engineering of consent the very essence of democratic process”.The method was imitated by the Nazi Germany, South Africa, Soviet Union and Pentagon. PR industry later dwarfed the propoganda. To carry out policies opposed by the general population, leaders often followed the Office of Public Diplomacy established by the Reagan administration for carrying out it’s murderous policies in Central America. A huge psychological propaganda programme conducted by the military include the Operation Truth (a non-profit veterans’ organization that seeks to “amplify the soldiers’ voice in the American public dialogue” in order to “educate the American public about the truth of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the perspective of the soldiers who have experienced them first-hand) .

Enemy territories

In Central America, Reagan administration faced challenges to the traditional violence and repression, from the Church and locals. Soon US responded with the propaganda of ‘war on terror'(1981)/ terrorist war by slaughter, torture and barbarism. In Nicaraugua, the US backed Somoza dictatorship was overthrown by the Sandinista rebels who dismantled the repressive military that had subdued the region’s locals. US then subjected the country to a campaign of state sponsored terrorism and the country was left in ruins. In other Central American countries subjected to the Reaganite war on terror, the military/terrorists trained by the US, controlled, terrorized, tortured, maimed and killed the people and the US citizens remained unaware of these atrocities. During the 1980’s the US backed state terrorist campaigns created societies affected by panic, terror, collective intimidation and ‘internalized acceptance’ of frequent appearance of tortured bodies. The psychological impact on the population from the culture of terror include domesticating their expectations and destroying hope after attaining which democracy is allowed/ preferred. This has been the US methodology not just in Central America, but in the rest of the world too.

Imperial Grand Strategy

By 2002, the most powerful state in history vowed to maintain hegemony through military force and threats. This was the explicit official rhetoric of the National Security Strategy, to dissuade military bulid up by potential adversaries . It sought to maintain a unipolar world without competitors and challenges. The fact is that this declaration renders the Article 51 of UN charter ( international norms of self defense) meaningless,thus spurning international law and istitutions. The problem with this strategy is that, the other states will find ways to work around, undermine, contain or retaliate against US, thus making the world more divided and dangerous and the US less secure.

Enforcing hegemony

The grand strategy gives the US the right to preventive war (not preemptive)(The difference is that a preventive war is launched to destroy the potential threat of the targeted party, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned. A preemptive war is launched in anticipation of immediate aggression by another party). While preemptive war might fall within the framework of international law, preventive war do not. The Central American countries had every right to strike back on the US attacking them, on the grounds of premptive strike, but rights are reserved for the powerful and not the weak. So, preventive war is absolutely unjustifiable since the strike is made on the grounds of an imagined or invented threat, making it a war crime.

The historian and Kennedy advisor, Arthur Schlesinger compared the purported anticipatory self defence claims of US in Iraq invasion to the Pearl Harbor attack by the imperial Japan. He added that the post 9/11 sympathy for US from the world gave way to hatred of American arrogance and militarism. UN Security Council was ignored, UN Charter rules on use of force were rebuffed. When WMD was undetectable, US changed the rule and stance to justify the invasion in terms of discovery of potential equipment to produce the weapons. The bar to use force was lowered as a consequence of Iraq invasion to invading any country that has the ability or intent to produce WMD. Thus the goal of Imperial Grand Strategy was set to prevent any challenge to the power, position and prestige of the US without any legal issue arising from this(statement by the liberal statesman Dean Acheson following Cuban missile crisis).

Similarly, Reagan administration invoked Acheson’s doctrine while rejecting the World Court jurisdisction over it’s attack on Nicaragua, reserving to themselves the power to determine it’s own matters. It reserved it’s right to unilateral use of military power and ensured uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources. Though the contempt of international law and instituitions were flagrant during the Reagan- Bush years, even before the WW II ended, planners and strategists began plotting to hold unquestioned power, limiting the sovereignity of others by complete rearmament. The Western Hemisphere, former British empire, far East and later much of Eurasia were included under their wing. A world system open to US economic penetration and political control was constructed, and moves towards independent development by others blocked under the pretext of Cold War.

Basic missions of global management included

  1. Containing other global power centres
  2. Control of world’s energy supplies
  3. Barring independent nationalism
  4. Overcoming crises of democracy

Forms in which these were done

  1. International economic order change from 1970 s
  2. Restoring super power enemy to quasi colonial status from 1990 s
  3. Threat of international terrorism aimed at US from 1990 s

While Acheson and Sofaer only described policy guidelines in the line of Thucydides maximlarge nations do what they wish, while small nations accept what they must”, Dick Cheney- Donald Rumsfield- Colin Powell officially declared en even more extreme policy, one aimed at permanent global hegemony using force whenever necessary. The first two merely described while these three took action, that’s the difference.

New Norms of International Law

The Grand Strategy declaration went on to establish a new norm of internatonal law by actions. First public war fever was whipped up by propaganda, and that was during the same time as mid-term election campaign. The target of the attack should be defenseless, the attack must be worth the trouble and it should be portrayed as evil who was an imminent threat to US survival. Iraq ticked off all these boxes. The propaganda was whipped up by Bush, Blair and colleagues characterizing Iraq as evil, possessing WMD, destroying the people there. The State of the Union address by Bush in January 2003- ” Iraq is assembling the world’s most dangerous weapons to dominate, itimidate or attack and has already used them on whole villeges, leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind or transfigured…..If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning“. The speaker and his colleagues had long supported Saddam in full awareness of his crimes, crimes which US didn’t care at that time.

Punishment after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 was sanctions on Iraq. The 1991 war on Iraq was on the basis of a huge Iraqi military build up on Saudi border( of which US still refuses to provide evidence), that was undermined by a journal that investigated them. In Sep 2002, the National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, warned of nuclear threat from Iraq on the US, an outright lie for the propaganda whip up to garner public support , disclaimed by Iraq’s neighbours as well as Israel intelligence and later undermined by UN inspectors( Washingtom opposed the inspections). Saddam was declared as a dire threat, with links to international terrorists and responsible for 9/11 attacks by the government media propaganda assaults. 60 % supported attack on Iraq in self-defence, strongly believing the WMD, and nuclear threats and in Iraqi involvement in Sep 11 attacks. As political analyst Anatol Lieven states, “the systematic mendacity of the propaganda programme has few parallels in peacetime democracies”. A bare majority in midterm elections for Bush was the effect of these propaganda campaigns. In Oct 2002, Congress granted the president authority to go to war ” to defend the national security of US against the continuing threat posed by Iraq”. The same script used by Reagan to declare national emergency in 1985, invoking the threat posed by Nicaragua.

After the 6 week war Bush declared victory, by removing an ally of Al Qaeda. The fact: No alleged link was there between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, who was his bitter enemy. The consequence: The Iraq invasion actually increased the threat of terror on US , as predicted by analysts and intellectuals, by increasing Al Qaeda recruitment. The long term effects: The public even after many years still believed that US forces had found WMD (A THIRD OF POPULATION), 20% believed that Iraq had used them during the war, the effects of many years of intense propaganda inducing fear to tame the great beast, the public. Propaganda continued as the staged ‘Reaganesque’ announcement after the victory aboard USS Abraham Lincoln, clearly aimed at 2004 reelection campaign on the grounds of national security themes. Victors do not investigate their own war crimes, so whatever humanitarian crises or loss that followed was on Saddam, the same principles of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Nuremberg trials, that qualified for trial and punishment only if done by enemies.

Thus, Iraq happened to be the first test case for the Imperial Grand Strategy and the new international norms, with tempting possibilities in Iran, Syria, Libya, Andean region and a lot of others. The intimidation strategy worked and the people and regimes were supposed to change their views from one based on international law and UN to consider their national interests in favour of reflecting American goals. 1990 s also became the decade of the new norm of humanitarian intervention in other countries by the US on the grounds of their courage and altruism. Intervention in Kosovo and East Timor were on this basis. Kosovo bombing established the norm of resort to force without Security Council authorization. Though India’s invasion of East Pakistan in 1971 and Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia( against PolPot) in 1978 are also examples of resort to force that put an end to terrible crimes and though the Western interventions in the 1990 ‘s were not even remotely comparable to those, the new norm was not recognized in the 1970’s. The reasons are clear, the 1970’ s interventions were by the wrong people, US was opposed to those ( Vietnam was punished for this by an US backed China invasion on Vietnam and harsher sanctions while US and UK lent direct support to Khmer Rouge).

The International Court of Justice in a 1949 ruling reserves intervention by force to the most powerful states. There are exceptions to this. Israel, a client is permitted to establish norms like ‘targetted killings’ of suspects. Another example is Israel’s bombing of Ozirak reactor in Iraq in 1981. US criticized it at the time as a violation of international law, but as Saddam transformed into a foe, the minor crime became a honored norm that impeded Saddam’s nuclear weapons programme. Though inspections did not reveal any plutonium production at the site in Iraq, all the while the Dimona reactor of Israel was churning out hundreds of nuclear weapons. Later, as a result of the bombing, Iraq went ahead with the decision to nuclearize and supported other Arab states too in the process, a consequence far from closing the nucleariization of Iraq. The norm that Israel established was imitated by Iraq in it’s Kuwait invasion.

The Rule of Law

How the Grand strategy extends to US domestic law?

9/11 was used to discipline the US citizens by the Bush administration. The administration claimed and excercised the right to declare people, including US citizens as “enemy combatants” or ” suspected terrrorists” without any evidence and imprison them without charge or access to lawyers or family indefinitely. Example could be found in Guantanamo prison camp. Suspected people were gagged, hooded, electrocuted, waterboarded, bound and locked , treatments questionable under international law. The humanitarian and medical organisations were prevented from accessing the prisoners in violation of Geneva Convention.

A leaked, confidential plan by the Justice Department, “Domestic Security Enhancement Act ” of 2003 expands state power by assaulting civil liberties, undermining constitutional rights by granting state authority to rescind citizenship on charges of material support to a blacklisted organization, even if the person was unaware of the status of the blacklisted organisation. It also mentions the surveillance without court authorization, secret arrests, protecting the state from scrutiny of people.

International Law and Instituitions

International law and UN charter is not even mentioned in the strategy. The primacy of law over force that has been followed since the end of WW II disappears. Force reigned as US sees it fit. The analysts predicted that the resentment towards US actions would provide the motivation for enemies to find ways to attack at US vulnerabilties. Even since WW II US has been resorting to force to secure it’s national interests, expediently and in line with the interests of domestic sectors influencing the policies. Like Adam Smith condemned the merchants and manufacturers of England as policy architects. Francis Fukuyama, who had served in the Reagan- Bush State Department, observed in 1992 than the UN served as perfect instrument for US unilateralism. UN virtually became an instrument of US power, though the elite disliked UN. On issues of elite concern, if UN fails to support, it is duly dismissed. Vetoes are the most significant examples of US power in the UN, by far the country that has issued the most number of vetoes( Britain follows), which weakens important resolutions taking them off the table (Eg- Washington’s wars in Indo China). For the same kind of SC resolutions, while Saddam was condemned, US rejected those. UN resolution conditions were changed unilaterally by Bush, Clinton and Blair in Iraq, bombing the country in 1998(Clinton) in defiance of UN. UN inspectors( UNSCOM)) were used by Washington to spy on Iraq, and it was clear that diarmament of Iraq was not the goal of US and UK. Vetoes and defiance of UN resolutions by other powers like France were characterized as scandals and failure of diplomacies eroding UN’ s credibility and legitimacy while those from the US were hailed as principled stands.

UN can meet and discuss, but we dont need their permission” – Chief of Staff Andrew Card and Secratary of State Colin Powell. They were clear that they did not need a UN approval to declare and go to war or use force. The rest of the world was placed in notice, either to join the US or the ‘terrorists’ and suffer the consequences. The UN and the rest of the world were given an ultimatum by the US and UK to either capitulate in 24 hours or that they would invade Iraq and install the regime of their choice irrespective of whether Saddam remained or fled the country. They clearly stated that UN was irrelevant, the rest of the world has no option but to capitulate to their decisions and US had the sovereign authority to use force in assuring it’s national security interests. Bush made it clear that even if Iraq disarmed completely and unconditionally and Saddam disappeared, they would still invade Iraq and install a regime of their choice. The aim was clearly not disarmament or dethroning Saddam, but regime change, not one the Iraqis would prefer, but one that the conqueror would decide calling it “democratic”. The aims shifted back and forth from disarmament to regime change according to the time and audiences, as US saw fit. UN resolutions, inspections, Iraq’s refusal to permit inspections …. all were farces played unilaterally by the US. The message was loud and clear- ‘either be with us and enjoy the fruits or oppose us and suffer the harm’. Mexico and France tried to oppose by telling Washington that people were overwhelmingly against the war, but their pleas were ridiculed. The UN support of resolution 1441( Iraq war) tabled by the US was in reality a submission by the members, a coerced acquiescence invalid in law, but hailed as diplomacy in international law.

Rewards for following US orders included financial handouts and support. Putin was close to Bush and he was given the diplomatic nod in crushing the Chechen separatists. A head of a muslim charity was sentenced in US for funding ambulances in Bosnia and aiding the Chechen separatists, while Clinton was flying AlQaeda and Hezbollah operatives to Bosnia. Turkey was offered incentives to invade Kurdish Northern Iraq, but it did not at first, thus inviting the ire of US announcing punishment for the misdeed.

After the Iraq war, UN was once again deemed irrelevent because the complicated trade system in Iraq( imposed as a part of sanctions by the UN with full support of the US previously) was causing problems for the US companies granted contract under the military rule. Thus US demanded a freehand in the oil trade, and in deploying a government of it’s choice under a democratic facade, even though the rest of the world(except UK), majority of US citizens and a large majority of Iraqis(85%) preferred UN oversight to US control. Thus never in recent history has there been anything remotely resembling the monopoly of use of large scale violence by a free state in pursuit of it’s imperial ambitions.

Elite Concerns

Elite concern over the imperial ambitions of US reached new levels after Bush declared it as a “revisionist state” . Samuel Huntington, the political analyst, noted that US was becoming a rogue superpower. Many anticipated coalitions to arise to counterbalance the rogue state. The American political scientist, Kenneth Waltz warned of a proliferation of WMD by other states to counter or deter the actions of US, something accelerated by the dismantling of mechanisms to control violence. Examples are the impetus to Iranian nuclear weapon proliferation and nuclear deterrence by North Korea. North Korea proved to be a lesson for the world that witnessed American inability to tame it unlike the defensless and shattered Iraq, the only reason being it’s possession of WMD aimed at Seoul and US military at DMZ.

Coming to the second superpower, “public opinion”, protest was non existent in 1962( when Kennedy announced bombing of South Vietnam), and it increased only years later when the devastation and aggression became significant. There was a steady increase in unwillingness to tolerate agression and atrocities over the four decades and in 2002, protests were large scale even before the Iraq war was officially launched. Reagan administration backed down in Central America following the Kennedy model of South Vietnam in the face of public reaction and resorted to a clandestine model concealed from general public. The strengthened activity movements in the decades since 1960’s made it impossible for the US to use force without vindicating it with propaganda offensives like imminent threat by a genocidal regime and so on. The world public opinion turned against the US. Like the rest of the world, Iraq’s neighbours were also perplexed as to why US was fearing Iraq, already weakened by sanctions with a comparatively lower economy and military expenditures than the neighbours. Powell had referred to the threat posed by Iraq’s WMD on it’s neighbours at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The neighbours, also like CIA and the US Department of Defense knew well that Iraq did not pose any threat to them, let alone the US. The neighbours were actually mending fences with Saddam over US opposition. Most of the formal and informal polls around the world showed Bush as a greater threat to world compared to Saddam.

Intentional Ignorance

The fundamental principle behind the imperial grand strategy was Wilsonian Idealismthe noble men , with righteous intent and elevated ideals, as the historical vanguard, for the common good, transforming the global order, perpetuating its own dominance guided by military supremacy projected globally. US foreign policy has been guided by these ideals regardless of party. But for anyone to be assured of the actions as motivated by elevated ideals and altruism( humanitarian inteventions) in the quest of stability and righteousness, they have to adopt a stance called ‘intentional ignorance‘. So the past , as well as the present actions could be justified on this basis and the flaws that were tidied up as inevitable. Wilson himself put the words into deeds by conquest of Philippines and interventions in Haiti and Dominican Republic that left both the countries in ruins.

Europeans failed to understand this idealism and thought of it as mere truism. The Russian- American author and military historian, Max Boot attributed this to the history of European avarice and cynicism. The historian and political commentator, Robert Kagan points to the paranoid, conspiratorial anti- Americanism. Both of them lent their words from John Stuart Mill‘s essay on humanitarian intervention objective of Britain’s conquest of India. It is hard not to think of his essay as a disgraceful example