“Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy” by Noam Chomsky.

“So we march on, following our leaders, toward an “Armageddon of our own making.”

Author – Noam Chomsky

Genre – Nonfiction / Politics

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 and currently Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona.

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 the US and other governments, beginning with the critique of the 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 opponent of US involvement in the 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

Summary ( Abridged from text)

Nuclear war and environmental disaster and the actions of the world power to increase the likelihood of these are major issues in today’s world. Among those other issues is the sharp divide between public opinion and public policy in the US. Chomsky opines that the parameters of failed states like Iraq or Haiti, conveniently categorized as such to justify US intervention, could apply to the US too in the light of its tendency to regard itself as beyond domestic and international laws and to carry out violence and aggression, creating serious democratic deficits. The first half of the book deals with the increasing threat of destruction caused by US state power in violation of international law. The second half is concerned with democratic institutions in the US, how they are conceived in elite culture and how they perform in reality, in promoting democracy abroad and at home.

The world’s hegemonic power accords itself of the right to wage war at will under the doctrine of anticipatory self-defense without bounds. This self-righteous posturing of imposing international laws, treaties and rules on others reached its zenith under Reagan and Bush ll. The Western intellectual culture of the principle of universality, the basic moral truism of applying the same principles on all, has been ignored and condemned. Leaders openly flaunt Christian piety while practicing hypocrisy. Elevated rhetorics like ‘moral clarity ‘ and ‘idealism ‘ fell short of action. An example is the proposal to increase development aid to a fraction of that provided by other rich countries relative to the size of their economies, in 2002. The Bush administration reduced the projected budget by billions of dollars shortly after the impressive rhetoric, “I carry this commitment in my soul ” pronounced while creating the Millennium Challenge Corporation. According to the economist Jeffrey Sachs, almost nothing of the ten billion dollars promised, was disbursed. (Pg.4). Request from Tony Blair to double the aid was ignored . Bush’s new ambassador John Bolton demanded the elimination of all occurrences of the phrase ‘millennium development goals ‘ from the document in the 2005 UN summit. Philip David Zelikow , an American attorney, diplomat, academic and author, estimates real aid by the rich at 0.1% of the national income with US and France lowest in real aid, close to 90%, “phantom aid ” returns to donor country. US ranks near the bottom even in official aid.

In the 1835 book, Democracy in America, the author Alexis de Tocqueville, a 19th century French political thinker and historian, describes accurately the hypocrisy and uplifting rhetoric thus, “ US could exterminate the Indian race without violating a single great principle of morality in the eyes of the world “. (Pg . 4). Adam Smith, in his ‘ The Wealth of Nations’ called the double standards as” vile maxim of masters of mankind……….All for ourselves and nothing for other people “.

Take terror, for example : their terror against us and our clients is the ultimate evil as per the US. Washington’s terror war in Nicaragua in 1980s condemned by the UN and ICJ doesn’t count. (Pg .5). Several civilians and soft targets were killed which was authorized by the US run forces. Many respected spokesmen like the New Republican editor, Michael Kinsley, of the left, justified it as the part of democratization. Similarly, when Venezuela sought the extradition of the notorious Latin American terrorist, Louis Posada Carriles, to the Bush administration to face charges of bombing of Cubana airliner, US didn’t since he was hired by the CIA to resupply Nicaraguan contras to help the US fight there. As the Washington journalist Indira A Lakshmanan mentions, “A virtual entry requirement of the society of respectable intellectuals is the failure to perceive that there might be some problem here “. While Venezuela’s extradition request was snubbed, Senate and the House passed a bill barring US aid to countries that refuse requests of extradition by US. The bill might theoretically bar aid to Israel because of refusal to extradite a man charged with a Maryland murder in 1997 and who fled to Israel accepting citizenship. The US embassy protested the support of Spain and Latin American countries to Venezuela for the extradition request, forcing them to back down. The UN call to end the US embargo on Cuba was snubbed ( 182 to 4 vote).

Equally hypocritical is the US tool of presidential pardon. Bush l pardoned Orlando Bosch, a notorious international terrorist and associate of Posada. The Bush ll doctrine of Afghanistan, “those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as terrorists themselves “didn’t apply for US. The head of FBI, Robert Muller later acknowledged that there were no evidence against most of the people wanted by US in Afghanistan for extradition. The Bush ll doctrine revoked the sovereignty of states harboring terrorists, except for some states, an exemption. More of a ‘single standard ‘than double.

Weapons; US military expenditure approximate those of the rest of the world combined and arms sales by the US companies exceed more than 60percent of the world total. Justifications abound. ACCORDING to senior officials of foreign relations department (Max Boot), US is driven by idealism that the Europeans didn’t get after 200 years.

Nuclear War: During the 2005 review of Non Proliferation Treaty, US intended to remove the nuclear brakes. The 1955 warning about the nuclear weapons by EINSTEIN and Russell came close to reality during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. During the retrospective Havana Conference in 2002, many figures like the historian and Kennedy adviser, Arthur Schlesinger described the dangerous moment in world history. Kennedys Defense Secretary, Robert McNamara warned about the dangers of US nuclear proliferation as immoral, illegal and dangerous. The chances of nuclear material or weapons ending up with terrorists are also dangerously high. Efforts retrieve and secure fissionable materials were slowed from 1990swhen the Bush administration concentrated on Iraq. The political scientist, Graham Allison explains in his book ‘ Nuclear Terrorism:The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe ‘. Some strategic analysts point that of all nuclear states, China is the most restrained and peace loving in patterns of military deployment, preserving the outer space for peaceful purposes in contrast to US and Israel who has barred all moves to prevent an arms race in space . Militarization of space originated in Clinton’s space command, officially announced Clinton doctrine stating that US is entitled to resort to unilateral sanctions of military power to ensure uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources. Clinton’s planners, STRATCOM , supported vindictive and irrational behavior, nuclear weapons more valuable for this because of its destructive capabilities including threats of first strike with nuclear weapons against non nuclear states. Carter’s defense Secretary Harold Brown called on Congress to fund for nuclear capabilities and to delude the public about the Soviet threat. Bush extended Clinton’s doctrine of space control space ownership, with new space weaponry ready to launch an attack anywhere in the world, reciprocally putting the US population at risk.

Bush broadened the first strike option. The National defense strategy that Rumsfeld signed on 2005, enables US to project power anywhere in the world from secure bases of operation. Concern, criticism and reaction from European union, China, Russia and Canada led to them increasing their capacities on missile defense, the first strike weapon . China followed aggressive defensive policies developing missiles with multiple nuclear warheads. US analysts recognize that space based weapons development in the long term is likely to have negative effect on national security of US. Space weapons are seen as first strike weapons rather than defensive arms, the deployment of which shows the US intent to use force in international affairs. China, Russia and other countries, to protect against loss of their deterrence capabilities, are more likely to resort to building up more nuclear capabilities, creating arms race in space thus undermining the already fragile non proliferation regime.

In 1986, Gorbachev called for total elimination of nuclear weapons . In 1994, Russia reversed its stance to no first use policy. But Russia reverted to NATO doctrine and abandoned abolition when Clinton expanded NATO eastward, a serious threat to Russia. Washington had categorically assured Gorbachev that if he would agree for united Germany to join NATO, the alliance would not expand eastward. This was why NATO resisted Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) from arctic to black sea. Washington supports NWFZ in Central Asia because, if these former Soviet republics decide to join in a military alliance with Russia,Moscow cannot deploy nuclear weapons in their territory.

Early warning control problems, a reliance on high alert, hair trigger nuclear posture, human errors etc can cause a catastrophic mistake of first strike in all the nuclear states. Radioactive materials stolen and misused by terrorists, for example by Chechen rebels, is another risk. Reagan administration organized, armed and trained radical Islamist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan supporting Zia ul Haq, looked away Pakistan’s development of nuclear weapons. Clinton paid little attention when Pakistan’s Abdul Qadeer Khan ran an extraordinary nuclear smuggling enterprise. Washington’s aggressive militarism 8other activities are at the fringe of public discourse and doesn’t even marginally enter into electoral choices, an illustration of decline of functioning democracy.

Similarly, on environment, Bush dismissed scientific evidence of global warming as something which was too uncertain a matter to justify anything more than voluntary measures. Prior to a G 8 summit on environmental catastrophe in 2005 at Scotland to call on rich nations leaders to take urgent action, Bush insisted that noone knew enough about global warming and he changed the language calling for prompt action against that. This was despite compelling evidence provided by scientists including American ones about global warming contributing to climatic catastrophes. The Bush administration refused to take part in Kyoto Protocols regulating greenhouse emissions, despite an US population including Bush supporters strongly backing Kyoto protocol, the people naively believing that Bush did support it.

Iraq and the War on Terror and how it inspired jihadists

Well before the Iraq invasion, CIA director George Tenet informed the Congress that an invasion of Iraq would likely increase terrorism and WMD proliferation. UK and USA planners were aware of this. The National Intelligence Council predicted that an invasion would provide recruitment, training ground and technical skills for a diffuse group of professional terrorists on Iraqi soil who might spread its operations elsewhere in ME,Europe and the west. They predicted Iraq to become a more effective training ground than Afghanistan or Bosnia for the political Islamists. Two years after the invasion, a government review of the war on terror affirmed the conclusions. In his book, Hoodwinked: The Documents that reveal how Bush Sold us a War, the national security analyst John Prados the key source documents behind the selling of the war to American public. He offers incontrovertible evidence that Bush had fabricated, lied, omitted details to make the US public believe the contrary. The invasion strengthened recruitment to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and impelled an already decentralized and evasive transnational terrorist network to become more virtual and protean and harder to identify and neutralize. The Muslims world wide sympathized with the militant radicals and antagonized US for a perceived attack on the whole Muslim world. For example, in 2000, 75% of Indonesians viewed US favorably which plummeted to 15% after the invasion of Iraq.

UK, the pillion rider of US foreign policy, suffered bombings on London’s public transportation in 2005. Chatham House and M15 concluded the significance of Iraq for the extremist groups and individuals in UK and Europe, who might have traveled to Iraq for training and would return back to mount attacks there. The Blair government initially denied though later that was proven later when one of the suspects of a follow up failed bombing was captured in Rome, who had been moved by the footages of killings of civilians and plight of women and children in Iraq and was moved by hatred and conviction for revenge. Reports by think tanks and intelligence agencies in Israel, Saudi and France concluded that the vast majority of foreign fighters in Iraq were radicalized by the war and were not previously terrorists or on watch lists. Iraq became the global recruiting force and training ground for neo Salafi Islamist terrorists who returned to their countries of origin carrying skills and radicalized world views spreading terrorism and violence among an angry and alienated Muslim world. The incidence of terrorist attacks tripled in 2004. Bin Laden repeatedly declared that Al Qaeda of 2003 was less a product of Islamic fundamentalism than of the simple strategic goal of compelling US and Western alliances to withdraw combat forces from the Arabian peninsula and other Muslim countries. Though the jihadists organized by Reagan stopped their activities against Russia after its withdrawal from Afghanistan, they continued their work from Chechnya, victim of Russian occupation and crimes dating back to 19th century. (Tolstoy’s novella’ Hadji Murad’ describes this conflict). The main reason why Laden was radicalized was the 1991 US bases established in Saudi, which he took for occupation of the Holy Land. Later Pentagon shifted the bases from Saudi. Also Washington had blocked his efforts to join the attack against Saddam Hussein. During the Balkan wars of 1993, the jihadists helped the Muslim side with US complicity , ironically, planning to blow up the WTC. The London bombers received training from Bosnia.

After 9/11, the dominant response of the majority of muslims and jihadists against Al Qaeda was negative, whom they regarded as an extremist fringe group. Bush could have exploited this feeling thus driving a nail to Al Qaeda coffin. But the Iraq invasion and resort to violence changed that. Sheikh Tantawi al Azhar, one of the first Muslim scholars to condemn Al Qaeda and often criticized by ultra conservative clerics as a pro western reformer, changed course after Iraq invasion, issuing a fatwa from Al Azhar, Cairo, the oldest institution of religious higher learning in the Islamic world. The fatwa advised all muslims in the world to make jihad against invading american forces and ruled the efforts to stop American forces as a binding Islamic duty. Fawaz A. Gerges, a Lebanese-American academic and author with expertise on the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, international relations, Al Qaeda, and relations between the Islamic and Western worlds, in his book, ‘The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global ‘ writes ,” Since September 11, Al Qaeda has been portrayed as an Islamist front united in armed struggle, or jihad, against the Christian West.The reality is rather different and more complex. In fact, Al Qaeda represents a minority within the jihadist movement, and its strategies have been vehemently criticized and opposed by religious nationalists among the jihadis, who prefer to concentrate on changing the Muslim world rather than taking the fight global.  “. The CIA analyst who had been tracking Laden since 1996, Michael Sheuer in his book Imperial Hubris, explains that Laden had been precise on the reasons for his anti American stance, not against its freedom, liberty and democracy, but against the US policies and actions in the Muslim world. He mentions that in a way US is laden’s ally since its policies are rapidly radicalizing the Islamic world, helping laden’s aim since 1990s. Jason Burke ,the British journalist and author of ‘Al Qaeda: The True Story Of Radical Islam ‘, comes to the same conclusion that each use of force by the US is a small victory for Laden creating a whole new cadre of terrorists for the cosmic struggle between good and evil, a vision shared by Laden and Bush. Chomsky quotes NYT columnist, Thomas Friedman about warmongers who strike heroic poses about Islamo fascism and denouncing the other excuse makers as just one notch less despicable than terrorists. In

The reason for Iraq invasion changed from destruction of WMD to democratization after they failed to find WMD. It was even more ludicrous when the WMD story for invasion was reiterated by officials long after it was debunked. The leaked Downing Street Memos by Blairs chief legal adviser, General Lord Goldsmith about the warnings against democratization as the military objective and ensuring the destruction of WMD program as UN role and not state role. The London Sunday Times reported an official memo of a secret meeting between Blair and his top advisers in 2002 July. The document showed that Bush had already decided to attack Iraq well before Congress was hoodwinked into authorizing force and before UN was invited to endorse Washington’s plan and that the story of WMD was based on thin intelligence bordering on mendacity. There was considerable public furore in England but the story was a dud in US. Lord Goldsmith advised that the regime change by invasion was criminal and so conditions should be created to legally support military action. Blair and Bush planned to provoke Iraq into some action that could be portrayed as casus belli and flew sorties and bombed selected targets, but failed to evoke reactions from Iraq which just protested to UN. After US and British planes had destroyed Saddam’s airbase, H 3, Bush and Blair were busy making sure the state violence would be protected from the scrutiny of Parliament, Congress and the public in both countries .

The tactic of eliciting casus belli as pretext for further attacks, described in a memo from British foreign policy aide Mathew Rycroft to the British ambassador in US, David Manning, was the most important revelation of Downing street Memos. This is not new. Psychological warfare specialists in Eisenhower administration advised the US to covertly stimulate acts of defiance short of mass rebellion aimed at provoking open Soviet intervention in east Germany and other Soviet satellites. Another example is the Israeli attacks on Lebanon in 1982 to provoke a PLO response that could be used as pretext of planned invasion. CIA backed Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas attacked civilian targets to provoke a harsh Serbian response, which could then be used to arouse popular western support for attack on Serbia.

There were stores of equipment for developing WMD( for missiles, nuclear weapons, virulent strains of anthrax and biotoxins) in Iraq after the invasion, those produced in 1980s from US and British aids to Saddam, well after his atrocities and end of war with Iran. Ironically they ended up in the hands of terrorists who made WMD that US was trying to preclude. This was in apparent violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, a serious breach of international law. The threat posed by these has been put forward as one reason to invade Iraq. Similarly, Iran started making nuclear weapons from the fissionable materials provided to Shah of Iran by the US. The invasion destroyed and led to looting of archaeological and cultural sites in Iraq. The oil fields were squeezed to work at the maximum capacity so as to make gains in return for the freedom of the iraqis from Saddam. The sham of Washington’s war on terror and imposing sanctions after including states on terror lists is evident from Syria’s case in 2003. Bush imposed sanctions on Syria in 2003 and included it in the official list of states sponsoring terrorism despite Washington’s own acknowledgment that Syria has not been implicated in terrorist activities for many years. The true nature of the act was revealed by president Clinton’s offer to remove Syria from the list if Damascus agreed to US Israeli peace terms. But Syria insisted on recovering states occupied by Israel and so was kept in the terror list. Conversely Syria had been providing important intelligence about Al Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups to Washington, which they stopped after Washington implemented the Syria Accountability Act. Syria remained in the terror list as opposed to Iraq that had been removed before in 1982 to provide Saddam with aid by Washington and Britain.

Syria Accountability Act has core demand that refers to UN Security Council Resolution 520, which calls for respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon. Both Syria and Israel were keeping their forces in Lebanon. US and Israel accepted this in 1976 when Syria was massacring Palestinians and in 1990 when US was building a coalition in support of iraq war. The country named in the UN Resolution passed in 1982 was Israel which the US and media ignored. There was no call for sanctions against Israel or reduction in the unconditional aid it receives when Israel violated this and other UN Resolutions regarding Lebanon for 22 years. Lebanon will be defended if the occupying army is an US opponent, but dispensable if the occupying army is an US ally. Many opinion polls suggest that the US population favors an Israeli Accountability Act for its development of WMD and human rights abuses, which the media fails to report though it is important in a democratic society.

The Bush administration ignored the recommendations of the 9/11 commission established by the Congress to prevent new terrorist atrocities and secure nuclear materials from reaching the hands of terrorists . Bush administration was opposed to the creation of the bipartisan commission. Before the London rail and bus bombing of 2005, the US Senate cut the funding for transportation security which was recommended by the 9/11 commission. Preventing Terrorism took a backseat to the unholy alliance between the industry and the government. Tax cuts for the rich and corporate welfare has a higher priority than protecting the population from terrorist attacks. The Congress attempts to impose rules for security upgrades in chemical plants were consistently blocked by the Bush administration, by conniving with its corporate buddies.

A central component of war on terror, the investigation of suspicious financial transactions investigated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control employed 120 officials from 1990 to 2003, only four of them were tracing the finances of Saddam Hussein and Laden that led to 9000 dollars in fines, while the rest were busy with Cuba that led to 8 million dollars in fine showing the administration’s bizzare and absurd obsession with Cuba even at a time of real terrorism threats. A misuse of taxpayer money to punish Cuba. Top down control, authority, discipline and passion for obedience has had grave consequences when the Bush administration with Rumsfeld and Cheney as the co conspirators were deriding CIA’S competence in providing intelligence favouring an Iraq invasion. War on terror needs other country’s cooperation and vice versa. But torture ranked higher than that for the Bush administration. An Italian trial on a terror suspect was disrupted by the US, solely for kidnapping the suspect by CIA to Egypt for torture thus undermining anti terror operations. Intelligence sharing on terrorists to European countries like Germany and Spain was withheld. (PG 34). Extradition request by Spain for American soldiers who killed a Spanish reporter and Ukrainian cameraman in Iraq went unanswered. Terrorists were protected by US, like in the case of Orlando Bosch granted presidential pardon, Louis Posada Cariles dispatched by CIA for extreme terror activities or repeated extradition requests that are simply ignored as in the case of Haitian mass murderer Emmanuel Constant. A good example of US terrorism is illustrated by the appointment of a leading international terrorist, John Negroponte as the head of CIA counterterrorism, who was the ambassador to Honduras during Reagan Bush years. UN and ICJ condemned the US for the terror activities in Honduras.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan declared in March 2005 that ” any action constitutes terrorism if it is intended to cause bodily harm to civilians or non combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or international organization to do or abstain from doing an act “. Terrorism against civilians is unambiguously a war crime, but a self exempted moral principle of universality by the Western countries . Preventing terrorism took a back seat in priority when compared to controlling the world’s major energy resources, a stupendous source of strategic power and material prizes in world history. At the dawn of oil age in 1921 the British secured the oil supplies in the world, later US expelled British from Venezuela, the world’s leading oil producer then in 1928 and put US companies in charge. For achieving this target, Washington supported the vicious regime of Juan Vincente Gomez pressuring the government to bar British concessions while securing US oil rights in the middle east. The control of oil in the Gulf region gave US leverage on Asian and European economies. The strategic power and critical leverage over other countries has always been central to post WWll planning.

Two most prominent features of failed states are one , their inability to protect civilians from violence or destruction, the states considering protection lower in priority to short term power and wealth of the states dominant sectors, and two, that they are outlaw states whose leadership dismiss international law and Treaties with contempt, binding on others but exempted for themselves.

Outlaw States

John Rawls, America’s leading late 20th century political and moral philosopher outlined his ideas of a morally acceptable international society in his Law of Peoples. This includes commitment to observe Treaties and undertakings, to recognize that all are equal and parties to agreements that bind them, to reject the use of force for reasons other than self defense, and to honor human rights. All others are outlaw states. The ideas are codified in international norms like Geneva Conventions enacted in 1864, Nuremberg Tribunal and the international law commission of United Nations. Article 111 of Nuremberg principles states, ” the fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as head of state or a responsible government official does not relieve him of responsibility under international law “. Grave breach of Geneva Conventions is universal and extraditable offense.

Torture Scandals

A 2002 memorandum on torture passed on to Bush by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), states that the acts must be of extreme nature to rise to the level of torture with physical pain equivalent to those accompanying serious physical injury. Bush was advised to rescind the Geneva Conventions to reduce the threat of domestic criminal prosecutions under War Crimes Act passed in 1996. This was a view of presidential authority close to the power that Carl Schmitt the German philosopher of Nazi period was willing to accord to the Fuhrer. Or like Robespierre the true eminence grise, who instructed that Jacobins should subdue liberty’s enemies by terror. During ratification of the United Nations convention against torture in 1994,the US Senate provided a more interrogator friendly definition for torture, a definition used by Bush’s legal advisers to justify the torture of detainees in Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. There are a network of prisons and detention centers run by the US and UK, invisible, into which thousands of prisoners have disappeared without trace. Many number of suspects have been sent by rendition to countries where torture is virtually guaranteed. The lawyers in the Bush administration were clearly executing plans to legally violate the international laws concerning treatment and interrogation of detainees, which are nothing short of war crimes . They were clearly planning to evade and violate international laws avoiding criminal sanctions. These are violations of Geneva Conventions and charters of Nuremberg Tribunals, which are war crimes and also flagrant violations of US constitution.

Lawyers at the highest levels of government including the president and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld patently ordered practices of war crimes. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty international called on all governments of the world to carry out criminal investigations of senior officials involved in Guantanamo torture and to prosecute them and arrest them. This was rejected by the Washington elites, a doctrine of self exemption from international laws. Rendition to Egypt instead of some other countries, detaining without trial in Guantanamo instead of newyork, on the pretext that dangerous terrorists might have escaped otherwise, is without merit. Guantanamo was selected as legalistic chicanery would exempt it from domestic and international laws. The US base in Eastern Cuba was seized by force at the end of 19th century after an imposed treaty that permitted it to be used as a coaling or naval station . That treaty was violated along with torture and other violations of international law. Maintaining the US base also affects the Cuban economy by denying the country its major port and possibility of development. The designation of International Committee of Red Cross as the sole authority to determine the status of prisoners of war was deemed ludicrous by lawyers of Bush administration on the assumption that a sovereign state is entitled to interpret international law by itself. But the term sovereign state has been meant for US and allies only. So Saddam Hussein was not entitled to the law while conquering Kuwait or a future democratic Iraq would not be entitled to bomb Israel to put an end to violations of UNSC resolutions or Geneva conventions on the same justification of sovereignty in interpretation of international law. ICRC was disqualified by US as an impartial humanitarian body because it disagreed with Washington. The Blair government was called the spear carrier of pax Americana by leading British journals of international affairs. The Organization of American States (OAS) requested in 2002 to have the legal status of detainees of Guantanamo determined by a competent tribunal. Washington dismissed that, so a year later OAS for the first time voted to exclude US from the membership in the inter American commission on human rights of OAS.

The World Court was disqualified from judging US actions after it ruled against US in a case brought by Nicaragua in 1986 and the United Nations too was disqualified because it affirmed the World Court judgment. The World Court ruling of the separation wall in West Bank as illegal was dismissed by both parties of US, John Kerry, the 2004 presidential candidate strongly opposing it. There is growing bipartisan hostility to any legal restraints on the conduct of US and allies, beyond their borders especially in the Middle East , and legal questions regarding their actions are strongly challenged. If the separation wall was motivated by security concerns it should have been built on the Green Line, the international border recognized by the entire world.

War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity

The US occupation forces in November 2004 bombed the city of Fallujah to drive out all but the adult males. The strategy resembled that of Srebrenica Massacre to trap the adult males with the difference that the Serbs didn’t bomb but transported the women and children to safety..The US attackers had cordoned off the city, closing exit roads, thus killing many women and children, pregnant women among them. While the US attackers did this with the help of British and Australian foreign fighters, the Arab fighters who helped defend the city were branded as terrorists. While america had the right to call on UK and Australia and other armies, the Iraqi’s were raising the question of why they didn’t have the same rights.

Next attack, a ground attack by conquest of Fallujah General Hospital made headlines in NYT detailing how the patients and hospital employees were rushed out of rooms by armed soldiers and ordered to sit or lie on the floor while troops tied their hands behind their backs. The hospital was reporting the many civilian casualties, which the US wanted to suppress insinuating that as a propaganda weapon for the militants..US uses the term conflict as an euphemism to agression. Geneva Conventions clearly states that fixed or mobile medical units in conflict zones should never be attacked, but respected and protected by parties of conflict. Thus, ironically, the front page of the world’s leading newspaper was cheerfully depicting war crimes for which the political leadership could be sentenced to severe penalties under US law, the death penalty if patients ripped from their beds and manacled on the floor happened to die as a result. The same media reported the gains of the military and that the city laid in ruins. There was no evidence of significant numbers of terrorists being killed when the dead count was taken. Al Jazeera that reported about the civilian casualties was kicked out of Iraq in preparation for free elections . Doctors and staff described how the US warplanes bombed the Central Health Center that collapsed on the patients killing many. The US military denied the Iraqi Red Crescent access to Fallujah. The US military used Iraqi National Guard who committed some of the worst atrocities on poor, jobless Shias from the south. This fanned the seeds of a civil war. Fallujah became a ghost city devoid of electricity, running water, schools or commerce.

The checkpoints, destruction, inflated food prices, blocking of ambulances etc reminded the international observers of the Israeli atrocities in Gaza. US pulverized the whole city, with only one hospital with inpatient facilities remaining, but access was impeded by the occupying army leading to many deaths in Fallujah and rural areas. Only less than half of the families received a meager amount as compensation not enough to rebuild. By depriving civilians of food and water while flushing out militants from these cities, which encouraged the residents to flee before the assaults the US and British troops breached international laws. Using hunger and deprivation of food and water as a weapon of war against civilians is a flagrant violation of Geneva convention. The US public were largely spared the news. Earlier Iraqi sanctions had already led to destruction of middle class(declineofmedianincome), collapse of secular educational systems, growth of illiteracy, despair and an anomie that promoted religious revival among large numbers of Iraqis seeking succour in religion. Basic services deteriorated even more than under sanctions. Lack of basic medicines, emigration of specialists and health workers led to collapse of health care.

Another consequence was the ratcheting up of religions role in politics, the decisions in politics dependent on the tacit approval of Grand Ayatollah Ali al Sistani. A formerly less known young rebel cleric, Muqtada al Sadr, fashioned a political and military movement that had drawn thousands of followers from the south and the slums of Baghdad. The 2005 draft of Iraq’s constitution had strong religious underpinnings as an aftermath of occupation, than the one, 50 years ago based on secular French civil laws, and that granted women equal rights as men. A study by US and Iraqi specialists in Lancet numbered the death toll of civilians as 100000 in 2004 . The media and US government omitted this most important Lancet study. The study by Lancet eliminated Fallujah as the random sampling method required. Had it been included, the death toll would have shot to 268000. The occupation made Iraq regress to the old ethnic religious divisions, destroyed the treasures of Iraq and world civilization. There was an efficient rationing system of rice, sugar and infant formula under Saddam Hussein, which was shattered after the occupation, causing food shortage. Rampant corruption marred the rationing of rice with metal filings among the grains. Malnutrition shot up and doubled reaching the level of Burundi. Previous US and UK led sanctions had already killed hundreds and thousands of children from malnutrition, diarrhea and lack of safe drinking water . Shiite and Kurdish militias working alongside Iraqi government security forces carried out abductions, intimidation and assassination consolidating their control over territories and deepening the divide along ethnic and sectarian lines. The Lancet figures of 100000 elicited enough response from an UK public forcing the government to issue an embarrassing denial, while it passed unnoticed in US at the height of 2004 presidential election.

Interestingly, there are individuals like Michael Ignatieff,chair of human rights program at Harvard, who justify the US self exemption from international law and justify war as lesser evil or through the ‘just war theory ‘. Pacifism is considered as a bad argument and violence as legitimate.

Until 1990s Saddam Hussein had been an US favorite. US was more concerned with the stability in Iraq offering hope for the west even though the population was repressed . In 1991, Bush 1 authorized Saddam to crush a Shiite rebellion with many ensuing deaths. The next series of corpses fell as a result of UN sanctions (under pressure of US and UK).After the terrible years of UN sanctions, incomes dropped to one fifth of pre 1990 levels, IMR doubled, access to clean water dwindled significantly. US,UK bombings of 1991 destroyed sewage treatment plants, power supplies which unleashed epidemics of typhoid and cholera. Education and literacy collapsed, malnutrition shot up and death rates tripled. Many Iraqis were reduced to a semi starvation diet similar to those in famines. Sanctions strengthened the grip of Saddam on Iraqi population who had to depend on him for basic survival. US sanctions, in effect, paralyzed the opposition to Saddam’s regime, strangulating development, reconstruction and economic regeneration . The diplomats who administered the UN oil for food program, Denis Halliday resigned in protest calling sanctions genocidal. The Iraqi people were denied the opportunity to oppose and throw out the tyrant, a task later to be undertaken by the US for its own end. To divert public attention to reports on the consequences of the sanctions, the US media complex concocted an alleged UN corruption in the oil for food program, about a missing 20 billion that may have been pocketed by the Iraq’s. It was actually an US approved illegal sale of oil to allies Turkey and Jordan with the knowledge of Clinton and Bush administration’s. The reconstruction efforts by US during the occupation were riddled with corruption. Three fourths of contracts worth more than 5 million dollars were handed out to US companies without competitive bidding. A 1.4 billion project to rebuild Iraq’s oil infrastructure was granted to Halliburton, the US oil services company formerly headed by Dick Cheney without competitive tender. Halliburton was the largest single recipient of Iraqi funds. Texas corporations and legendary oil men subverted the sanctions by UN, a morass of corruption by US businesses.

Rumsfeld made sure that the reconstruction of Iraq is paid for by the liberated country. The reconstructed schools, hospitals, water supplies are3in ruins while the foreign contractors and iraqi government enriched themselves. Most of Iraq’s oil went to California’s refineries. UN officials involved in mismanagement and corruption, the secretary generals being Washington political appointees. US sanctions undermines democracy and reform. US was successful in evading sanctions when needed like the US evasion of sanctions against South Africa during Reagan years and evasion of OAS sanctions against the terrorist military junta in Haiti under Bush 1 and Clinton. US and UK looks for any pretext to impose sanctions on Iran ever since Iranians overthrew the brutal tyrant imposed by US, UK coup that destroyed Iranian parliamentary system in 1953.

Self Exclusion

The torture convention was ratified by US as non self executing giving legal justification for torture. US has ratified only a few international conventions, accompanied by reservations rendering them inapplicable and deemed non self executing or subject to RUD( Reservations, understanding and declaration). Though US has ratified Genocide Conventions after 40 years, it too comes under reservations. In the context of NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, an international tribunal established to try war crimes in Balkan wars was requested by a group of international lawyers investigate NATO crimes in Serbia. Despite the documentary evidence from international human rights organizations and revealing admissions by the NATO command, the prosecutors of the World Court rejected the request, in violation of the statute of the tribunal, stating that they accepted NATO assurances of good faith. Yugoslavia brought the case to World Court invoking Genocide Conventions. The US excused itself on the grounds of self exclusion from genocide charges. The court accepted the argument. The case brought to world court by Nicaragua against US was rejected by the court on the same grounds that US had a reservation excluding itself from prosecution under multilateral treaties including UN charter and OAS charter. The court under customary international law charged Washington with unlawful use of force and ordered to pay reparations.

The concept of ‘aggressor ‘ as defined by Justice Robert Jackson at Nuremberg fits like gloves for US. Similarly, the rejection of the principle of universality by USA as the phrase is recommended in Nuremberg. The Nicaragua case against US made the World COURT a hostile forum as described by the NYT editors approving the rejection of court orders by the US. During a visit to Mexico in 2005, Condoleezza Rice told the Mexicans to comply with a 1944 treaty to deliver water to the US, at the same time disclosing its abrupt withdrawal from Vienna Convention on Consular relations after the World court ruled against the US in the case of 51 Mexicans who had been sentenced to death after the US had violated their right to consult with officials from a Mexican Consulate. The Vienna Convention was proposed by US in 1963 and ratified in 1969. US was the first country to invoke it before World Court in its suit against Iran after the 1979 hostage taking. Treaties are not legal obligations for the US, but at the most political commitments. Washington refused to pay its UN dues from Reagan years until 2001, when it changed course because it needed international support. It was Washington’s initiative in 1962 that payment of UN dues is obligatory for members. The ruling was compulsively applied to official enemies. The US share of UN dues has always been below the US economic strength.

The Fabric of Law

According to the Non Proliferation Treaty, in return for renouncing the option of acquiring nuclear weapons for themselves the states were promised unimpeded access to nuclear energy for non military use and progress on nuclear disarmament by US, UK, Russia, France and China. US tried to rescind the promises during 2005 review Conference reinforcing a cynical view that NPT was an instrument of US foreign policy. The NYT reports about the 2005 conference were that it was meant to offer hope of closing huge loopholes in the treaty which Iran and North Korea have exploited to pursue nuclear weapons. It focused entirely on Washington’s demand that Iran dismantle all the equipments and facilities it has built over the past two decades to manufacture nuclear material. The wordings ‘past two decades ‘ is important since loopholes in the treaty that Washington meant to close were the same policies and loopholes that the US supported when Iran was under Shah from 1953 to 1979. When Shah was in charge, the Secretary of State Henry Kissinger held that, “introduction of nuclear power will provide the growing needs of Iran’s economy and free the remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals “. After 1979, he reversed his position telling ” for an oil producer like Iran, nuclear energy is a wasteful use of resources “. Shah was aided with financial resources, nuclear materials, training of engineers in US and so forth. After Iraq invasion, naturally the nuclear weapons proliferated in Iran which viewed it as a deterrent from US and client, Israel. There’s an element of rationality in Iran and North Korea developing nuclear weapons and deterrents if one goes by the doctrine of anticipatory self defense of US.

India determined to develop nuclear weapons after Persian Gulf war of 1991 NATO bombings of Serbia in 1999,a decision of rejection of NPT endorsed by Bush . Though the focus of NPT is on Iran and North Korea, it’s imminent collapse is attributed to the failure of nuclear states to live up to their obligation under Article Vl to pursue good faith efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. US under Bush was the most vocal country in explicitly renouncing Article Vl. At the close of the 2005 NPT Conference, the US spokesman said that the treaty requires reductions in nuclear weapons and testing, not eliminatio, a transparent falsehood. On the contrary US pursued proliferation and policy of indefinite US reliance on nuclear forces. Additional treaties like Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was rejected by Senate in 1999, and Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty rescinded by Bush. Washington opposed the UN requirement of an inspection regime, rejected on the grounds of national security issues. The United Nations resolution to promote peaceful use of outer space and prevents arms race met with four abstentions, US, Israel, Haiti and palau.

in the 2005 NPT review Conference ,the failure to reach consensus was blamed by US on Iran and Egypt. Iran was blamed for insisting on its right under NPT to pursue the peaceful nuclear programs that in turn had been supported by Washington before 1979 under Shah. Egypt was blamed for insisting that the conference discuss Israel’s nuclear weapons program. During the 1995 NPT review conference, it was agreed that Egypt and other Arab states would accept unlimited access to extension of NPT conditions in return to drawing attention on Israel’s anomalous status as a de facto nuclear power that had not signed NPT and was not subject to IAEA safety standards. But US refused to address it in 2000 and 2005. Egypt continued to evoke the the 1981 UN resolution passed in response to Israel’s agression by bombing Iraqi nuclear reactor which, it was later learned, had no nuclear weapons capacity. After the 2005 review of NPT, the Canadian delegate and former US president Jimmy Carter blasted US as solely responsible for the failure. Carter said, “US is the major culprit in the erosion of NPT. While claiming to be protecting the world from proliferation threats in Iraq, Libya, Iran and North Korea, American leaders not only have abandoned existing treaty restraints but also have asserted plans to test and develop new weapons, including anti ballistic missiles, earth penetrating bunker busters and small bombs. They have abandoned past pledges and now threatens first strike of nuclear weapons against non nuclear states. “.

Illegal but legitimate

The United Nations high level panel on threats, challenges and change says that force can be lawfully deployed only when authorized by the Security Council . Article 51 of the charter permits the right for individual or collective self defense if an armed attack occurs on a member of the United Nations until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain peace and security. Any other resort of force is a war crime. The United Nations World summit of 2005 stresses the authority of Security Council to mandate coercive action to maintain peace and security, helping states build the capacity to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The summit did not grant the right of intervention to individual states or regional alliances whether under humanitarian or other professed grounds.

The UN High level panel stressed the norm of non intervention on which the global order rests and unilateral preventive action unacceptable compared to collective endorsed actions.


This is the most elementary of moral truisms . There is a postwar consensus on the principles governing the use of force. The opinion has shifted in Western elite sectors who reject or ignore the consensus taking them to be too extreme and drifting to the margins of public discussion and electoral politics.

The last years of millennium saw the departure from postwar consensus with Clinton’s foreign policy. Phrases like “a noble phase ‘ , ‘ saintly glow’ , appeared with the appearance of prospects for an idealistic New World bent on ending inhumanity as opposed to an Old World fatalistic about unending conflict. The leaders of the enlightened, idealistic New World assumed themselves free to resort to force for ‘principles and values ‘, ‘altruism and moral fervor ‘. The phrase illegal but legitimate was coined after the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia. Western intellectuals enthusiastically supported resort to violence that they determined to be legitimate and Bush’s doctrine of anticipatory self defense apart from the fact that international community was not in consensus. For example, the Declaration of South Summit in 2000, the highest level meeting ever held by former nonaligned movement, accounting for 80% of the world’s population, rejected the so called right of humanitarian intervention. This was ignored by US as bleating of un people of the world ( a phrase from British historian Mark Curtis’s book Un People: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses).

Condoleezza Rice is reported to have outlined the Bush doctrine of anticipatory self defense . The formulation of self exemption from international laws and norms is a reflection of elite perception and not of the general public, a large majority of whom thinks that states are entitled to use force only if there is strong evidence that the country is in imminent danger . A large majority of American public rejects the bipartisan consensus on anticipatory self defense, sometimes mislabeled as preemptive war. Apart from this the opinion of the American people diverges from their government in a variety of issues like Kyoto Protocols, the state of American democracy and so on . The Nuremberg and Tokyo judgements, to bring the defeated war criminals to justice, devised definitions for war crimes and crimes against humanity in a way that aerial bombardment and urban destruction were not included in the part of the Trials, since both Allied forces and Axis forces had resorted to extensive aerial bombing and urban destruction. Nazi war criminals were absolved if the defense was able to prove that their US and UK counterparts carried out the same crimes. By the principle of self exemption and rebuffing of the norm of universality the Nuremberg and other UN charters themselves are discredited. Japan’s bombing of the United States bases in Hawaii and Philippines could also be termed anticipatory self defense since they knew about the dispatch of B17 bombers to Far East by 1941 to set the paper cities of Japan on fire. The media complicity is evident from the persistent refusal of The NYT to consider international law arguments that opposes recourse to war by American politicians. The terms UN Charter or international law never appeared in its 70 editorials leading up to invasion of Iraq . Both sides of the US political spectrum advocates contempt of international law, evident in Bush administration’s National Security Strategy of unilateral right to resort to force and and Clinton doctrine of unilateral use of military power to ensure uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources.

In 2004 the press reported the release of tapes of Nixon Kissinger conversation. Nixon instructed Kissinger to order bombing of Cambodia as, “a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia, anything that flies on anything that moves”. A call for monstrous war crimes, virtual genocide.


John Lewis Gaddis, a leading US historian published the first book to explore the historical origins of Bush’s preemptive war doctrine. Gaddis traces the doctrine to the grand strategist John Quincy Adam and Woodrow Wilson. Mainly focussing on Adam’s example, a realistic thesis, to understand the past and future. Adam, the Secretary of State under president James Monroe, established the lofty idealistic tradition of preemptive strike in his justification for General Andrew Jackson’s conquest of Spanish held Florida in 1818. The war was justified in terms of self defense, Adams argued. The conquest was driven by legitimate security concerns according to Gaddis. Washington decided that expansion was the path to security after Britain sacked Washington in 1814. Florida was conquered on that invariant principle. According to Gaddis, the same principle has been extended to the whole world by Bus, he was echoing an old tradition rather than establishing a new one. Gaddis explains that all of Bush’s predecessors recognized that US security was threatened by failed states, dangerous power vacuums that the US should fill to guarantee its own security, from Florida in 1818 to Iraq in 2003. Jackson’s murder and plunder in the First Seminole War, clearly to eliminate native Americans from the South east, was omitted in his book by Gaddis. Florida was not yet part of the expanding American empire and a haven of Indians and runaway slaves. Jackson embarked on a campaign of terror, devastation and intimidation, destroying villages, and inflicting starvation on tribes on the odious basis of violence and bloodshed. Adams distorted and lied about the goals and conduct of American foreign policy to the Congress and the public grossly violating his proclaimed moral principles thus implicitly defending Indian removal, slavery and use of military force without congressional approval. The crimes of Jackson and Adams proved but a prelude to a second war of extermination of Seminoles, an example of making use of the freedom while refusing to face upto the sordid past. By endorsing Jackson’s crimes, Adams transferred the power to make war from Congress to the executive branch in violation of constitution. Though Adams finally recognized the danger to liberty and republicanism from shedding of the constitution, he never acknowledged his role in establishing the precedent.

The rhetorical framework of the empire as an aspect of American diplomacy rests on three pillars. The assumption of unique moral virtue of US and assertions of its mission to redeem the world by spreading its professed ideals of American way of life and faith in the nations divinely ordained destiny. This theological framework reduces policy issues to a choice of good and evil, thus undercutting reasoned debate and fending off the threat of democracy. Adam’s diplomacy was not security of the nation but expansion. Cuba was invaded on the pretext of freeing it from Spain, but in effect to block Cuba’s liberation and turn it into a virtual colony as it remained until 1959. Efforts of Jackson to achieve monopoly of cotton after annexation of Texas in 1845 and conquest of half of Mexico placed US at an advantage over other nations especially Europe. He said that an embargo over Europe for one year would prod6a greater amount of suffering than 50 years of war. This neutralized British opposition to takeover of Oregon territory.

In contrast, Iraq’s claim to Kuwait had deep roots though the logic of invasion was the same as the logic of annexation of Texas, the monopoly over oil. Britain drew the borders of Iraq to make sure Turkey can’t access the oil. The British colony of Kuwait was made to bar Iraq across the sea. At least, Saddam Hussein while attacking Kuwait had some claim to do so as opposed to evoking self defense or God’s will. Nor did the Iraqi intellectuals justify the invasion as Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson did of Mexico and Oregon territory annexation by US, by the words, ” it will on the course of ages be of small import by what particular occasions and methods it was done “.

The Normative Revolution

The NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 was rendered “illegal but legitimate “ by the International Independent Commission of inquiry on Kosovo war headed by South African jurist Richard Goldstone. Illegal because it didn’t receive the approval of UNSC, legitimate because all diplomatic avenues had been exhausted and there was no other way to stop killings of Kosovo. He dismissed the NATO intervention as not an aberration. The bombing was bitterly condemned outside the NATO countries with little notice in US. Two diplomatic options were still available, a NATO proposal and a Serbian proposal, the latter kept from the public in the US. A compromise was reached after 78 days of bombing, though violated by NATO. The bitter truth as revealed from reliable sources like NATO commander Wesley Clark’s predictions as the bombing began, compilations by state department, records of OSCE, NATO, Kosovo monitors, UN, and a British parliamentary enquiry was that “the killings and atrocities did not precede but followed the NATO bombing as indictment of Milosevic also revealed “. Other sources confirm that the Clinton administration also anticipated the crimes that followed the bombings .

In a plethora of media publications and scholarships the above mentioned documentation is ignored and chronology reversed in order to justify the NATO agression (ph 97). The direct result of the bombing was that almost one million people, Albanians, fled Kosovo to neighboring countries and about 500000 were displaced within Kosovo itself compounded by the crimes under western military occupation. The NATO commander Wesley Clark himself admitted that he was not aware of the Operation Horse shoe planned by the serbs for ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Kosovo, that triggered the NATO bombings. The details of the operation were published by NATO powers after the effects of bombing became evident and that was long exposed as an intelligence fabrication. Chomsky writes that there is no need to fabricate plans like this since contingency plans of expulsion are routinely followed by countries in case of emergency like attacks as Israel in the case of Palestinian expulsions.

Democracy Promotion Abroad

Promoting democracy abroad has been a primary goal of US foreign policy ever since Woodrow Wilson endowed it with a powerful idealistic element, it gained particular salience under Ronald Reagan and then was taken up with unprecedented force fulness under Bush ll.

Samuel Huntington in 1981 explained the function of Soviet threat, ” you may have to sell intervention or military combat in such a way as to create the misimpression that it is the Soviet Union that you are fighting. This is what United States has done ever since the Truman Doctrine “. Doctrinal systems portray the current enemy as diabolical. Crimes rarely form the reason for demanding forceful measures. Crimes, if committed by an ally are ignored and vice versa.


After Japan’s surrender in 1945, emperor Hirohito said in his speech that the declaration of war on US and Britain was for Japan’s self preservation and stabilization of east Asia and not to infringe upon the sovereignty or for territorial aggrandizement. Chomsky notes that even individuals of highest intelligence and moral integrity succumb to pathology. He cites John Stuart Mill’s classic essay on humanitarian intervention. Written at the peak of Britain’s crimes in India and China, he urged Britain to undertake the enterprise vigorously, to conquer more of India, gain control over opium production to force open Chinese markets and pay for the costs of the empire. He also lauds the service done by the empire without benefits to itself as blameless and the fruits of fraternal equality it shares with the whole human race. (Pg 105). Chomsky writes that the famed righteous American exceptionalism merits skepticism. But therewere always bright minds who had questioned the declarations like Adam Smith in Britain who rightly pointed out that the savage injustices of the empire on India benefits merchants and manufacturers hurting the colonial population and domestic population too.

Creating misimpression

Throughout the Cold War years the phrase ‘defense against communist aggression, was available to mobilize domestic support for subversion, terror and mass slaughter. By 1980 the device was wearing thin. The civilizing effects of the activism of the 1960s had consequences like less willingness by the domestic population to tolerate violence or resort to violence and that was well understood by the political leaders. The Reagan administration’s PR system sought to deal with evil empires by destroying the scourge of state sponsored terrorism. An official list of states sponsoring terrorism was initiated by Congress in 1979 and the list given a prominent place in policy and propaganda. As Samuel Huntington warned, Gorbachev’s PR started becoming more aggressive than Soviet tanks and the conventional anti Communist pretexts waned in efficacy. The vaccum was quickly filled by Reagan’s war on drugs in Latin America that transmuted to narco terrorism after 9/11. By the end of the millennium, the US military and police assistance in Western hemisphere far exceeded economic and social aid as compared to the cold war times when the economic aid exceeded military aid.

Authors of the book, ‘ Drugs and Democracy in Latin America: Impact of US Policy ‘, writes that although US has spent billions on drug control programs, it has failed to reduce the supply of cocaine and heroin entering the country. But it has succeeded in generating profound and widespread damaging consequences in Latin America and Caribbean that gravely impacted on human rights and democracy. Chomsky’s and Doug Stokes book, ‘America’s Other War: Terrorizing Colombia ‘, states that Columbia is the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the Western hemisphere where the US kept finding new excuses in intervening from Cold War, to guerrillas to drug trade and war on terror. Sue Branford in his’ Chemical Warfare in Columbia ‘, writes about the chemical spraying by US to destroy cica crops in Columbia destroying the lives of farmers, towns, rivers, livestock, flora.

The number of Latin American troops trained by American forces increased thus strengthening the military over civilian authorities and the job was shifted from the State Department to Pentagon to free it from human rights and democracy conditionality. As the Berlin wall crumbled in 1989, Bush 1 redeclared war on drugs and invaded and bombarded the slums of Panama, killing thousands, to capture a thug convicted in Florida, of crimes committed while on CIA payroll. War on drugs like war on terror had another intent to terrify the domestic population into obedience. Clinton expanded the category of terrorist states into rogue states and later failed states from which US should be protected by devastating those states. Then came axis of evil which must be destroyed in self defense all the while escalating the threat of terror and nuclear proliferation. The definition of these phrases and terms does more in implicating US than justifying its actions. The concept of rogue states, by the late Clinton years, backfired upon US as the single greatest threat to external societies in the eyes of the rest of the world. War on drugs, the alternative of anti Communist struggle, led to radical increase in incarceration at home and violence abroad with little effect on drug prices or use. The cost effective and humane approaches of prevention and treatment are consistently neglected. There is also well established evidence of the causal relationship between US violence abroad and drug trade . No narco trafficking enterprise would begin to approach that of 19th century Britain, a mainstay of the empire. Alfred Mc Coy in his book ‘Politics of Heroine ‘, writes about the CIA and US government complicity in the global drug trafficking , detailed US involvement in narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of Taliban and how the US drug policy in Central America and Columbia increased the global supply of illicit drugs. Peter Dale Scott in his book ‘ Cocaine Politics:Drugs Armies and the CIA in Central America ‘, writes about a controversial series of stories that appeared in San Jose Mercury News in 1996, of the relationship between CIA, contras and crack. The CIA connection to drug trafficking was initially brought to light during the Vietnam war and then again during Iran Contra Affair.

Like the terms ‘terrorist states ‘ and ‘rogue states ‘the category of ‘failed states ‘ is also frustratingly imprecise according to Chomsky. Haiti is the prototype of failed state in much scholarship and in media. The common rhetoric about Haiti is that Clinton’s intervention to restore democracy in 1994 failed and led to political chaos, renewed repression and dismal US Haiti relationship. The relevant facts that are avoided include the intervention by Washington to undermine democracy leading to chaos and repression . The category of failed states was invoked repeatedly in the course of the normative revolution proclaimed by the self designated enlightened states in the 1990s entitling them to resort to force with the alleged role of protecting the population in a manner that may be illegal but legitimate. The term ‘humanitarian intervention ‘ shifted to war on terror after 9/11 and the concept of failed state was broadened to include states like iraq. According to the modern day international law, the aggressive, arbitrary, tyrannical and totalitarian state could also be considered a failed state . Thus Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia were failed states. Failed states are identified by failure to provide security for the population, to guarantee rights at home or abroad or to maintain functioning democratic institutions. Chomsky maintains that the category must also cover outlaw states that dismiss with contempt the rules of international order and institutions.

Rational Consistency

Independent nationalism has long been the enemy of US especially when it becomes a contagious example according to Kissinger as he characterized the democratic Socialism in Chile. Thus, to extirpate the source of contagion, US, after years of subversion of Chilean democracy and support for terror, helped General Augusto Pinochet’s forces attack the Chilean presidential palace. Salvador Allende, the elected president apparently committed suicide. This happened on September 11, 1973, the first 9/11 in Latin America. Washington firmly supported Pinochet all along. Throughout the 1970s, six Latin American governments led by Chile formed a military alliance called Operation Condor to carry out kidnappings, torture, and political assassinations across three continents. (Pg 111). The fear of Independent nationalism led to the bizarre obsession with Cuba and Castro regime. The internal documents from Kennedy Johnson years shows that the very existence of Castro regime was successful defiance of US policies going back 150 years and the threat is not the Russians.

The punishment of people of Cuba intensified when Cuba was in dire straits after collapse of Soviet Union, at the initiative of liberal Democrats. The people should be punished as they were responsible for the Castro regime. Eisenhower approved economic sanctions on the hope that if the Cuban people are hungry they will throw Castro out. Kennedy agreed that the embargo would hasten Castro’s departure. Kennedy brought about a major terrorist campaign to hasten the departure. Every possible means were to be undertaken to weaken the economy of Cuba in order to bring about hunger, desperation and hardship among the people, who will overthrow Castro. British intelligence concurred, ” if in the longer term Cuban revolution succeeds in achieving a stable regime, which appears to meet the aspirations of the depressed classes, there will be serious risk that it will inspire similar revolutions elsewhere in Latin America “. This was the conclusion of the democracy exporters. The virus of revolution had always frightened the civilized world, the European statesman feared the virus of American Revolution. When Haiti became the first free country in the Western Hemisphere in 1804, it frightened the slave states towards its north. In the later years US took over from France the function of tormenting Haiti. The Bolshevik virus was feared by President Woodrow Wilson and British prime minister David Lloyd George until the 1960s when Soviet economy began to stagnate from the huge military programs in reaction to Kennedys military build up and his refusal to consider offers of mutual reductions of offensive weapons by Khrushchev.

The Cold War scholar, John Lewis Gaddis plausibly dates the origins of cold war to 1917-18. Woodrow Wilson intervened in 1918 hoping to secure self determination for Russia by forceful installation of leaders US selected. The same way Kremlin is dedicated to self determination in Afghanistan and Eastern Europe. The 1918 Western invasion was in self defense, according to Gaddis, against the challenges of Russian Revolution to the capitalist order. After WWll the increased success of communist parties in western Europe, eastern Mediterranean and China aroused suspicion about Soviet Union’s intentions, even though the partys popularity grew from the effectiveness as resistance fighters against Axis. The appeal to anti fascist resistance increased in Europe after WW ll especially in Northern Italy where workers had taken over plants and germs of a self governing society were beginning to flourish. The first National Security Council memorandum in 1947 considered military intervention in Italy if Communists gained power by legal means. Subversion of Italian democracy continued until 1970s. Generally, in the liberated areas of Europe, the labor movement and left were undermined, restoring traditional economic and political structures, returning Fascist collaborators to positions of authority.

THE virus theory was invoked in post war Greece, under Truman Doctrine to justify massacres in Greece and reinstating traditional order by appointing Nazi collaborators. Washington backed the installation of the first post war Fascist government in Greece, supported it throughout until the dictatorship was overthrown in 1974. The concept was deployed to justify destruction of parliamentary regimes and imposition of murderous dictatorships through out much of the world in order to guarantee stability and control of vital resources (Middle East petroleum In case of Greece in 1940s).

The threat of a Communist Indonesia prompted Eisenhower administration to support a military coup, primarily out of fear of democracy. The 1965 coup installed Suharto with US aid, the threat of virus of democracy was overcome. Despite the slaughter that followed the coup, the human rights violations and war crimes that followed later, Suharto was “our kind of guy” for Clinton until his first crime in 1998, dragging his feet over IMF orders. At that point the SOS Madeleine Albright proclaimed that the dictator should be ousted and time had come for democratic transition.

The IndoChina war were also defense against communist aggression. In 1962, Kennedy sent US Air Force to bomb South Vietnam, authorized the use of napalm and chemical warfare to destroy crops and vegetation and began programs to send millions of South Vietnamese to virtual concentration camps to protect them from guerrillas, who they were admittedly suppo. rting . The internal documents show that the major provinces were being taken over by indigenous resistance forces fighting against the US client state in South Vietnam. There were scholarly efforts to portray the image of Kennedy as a secret dove without any credible evidence . The real reason for Indo China assaults was that Washington feared that an independent Vietnam might be a virus infecting others, the resource rich Indonesia and leading Japan to become the industrial center of an independent Asia . This would have established the New Order that Japan sought to create in the 1930s. US had no objections as long as it got free access to Asia.,a sort of New Order under the US dominated global system. Other conditions included the access of Britain to the resources of former colonies and creation of markets and investment opportunities for US corporations. Vietnamese virus could have disrupted all these plans. The source of the virus is destroyed and the susceptible states inoculated by installing dictators. Indonesia was safely inoculated in 1965 and the business community in US recognized that vietnamese war efforts were excessive after 1965 which was harming US economy by then.

US did not manage to impose client states in Indo China, a political defeat. The misimpressions to sell the wars among US public included an impending conquest of South East Asia by Ho Chi Min, taking over of Central America by Nicaragua leading hordes of people sweeping over Texas, Russians were only one step behind and so forth . The public were sold that it was Soviet union or China that the US is fighting or narco traffickers or terrorists according to the need of the hour. The internal version of domino theory of infectious democratization eroding the global system of domination, persisted.. The misimpressions provide a framework for public discourse and intelligence services. When Washington decided to support France’s reconquest of Vietnam, intelligence was instructed to demonstrate that Viet Minh resistance was a mere tool of Russia or China..

Unquestioned Power

Even before US entered the WW ll, high level planners and foreign policy advisers recognized that it should be able to hold unquestioned power . Historian Omar Bartow writes in his book, Diplomatic History that however criminal and odious Stalin’s regime surely was, ,without the Red Army and its sacrifice, the Wehrmacht would not have been defeated and Nazism would have remained a fact in Europe. The Red Army killed 15 to 20 times as many German soldiers as the British and American troops together did. Roosevelt scholar Warren Kimball concludes that Roosevelt provided aid to Soviet Union on the assumption that the Red Army would fight the Germans on land, to minimize US casualties. Truman’s affection and admiration for Stalin (Old Joe) caused him to side with Soviet union in crushing Germany. As Truman put it “a decent fellow who can’t do what he wants to as he is a prisoner of Politburo “.

The British regarded Western Soviet alliance as an aberration, the intelligence were marking Soviets as their next enemy. They withheld crucial intelligence about the Germans from the Russians while obtaining the intelligence about the Russians. By the end of 1944, the intelligence sharing with Russia completely stopped and US and British intelligence began gathering information for attacks against Russia and planned to rearm Germany. In May 1945, Churchill ordered the plan of Operation Unthinkable for elimination of Russia Declassified in 1999, the plan called for a surprise attack on Russia by US and Britain joined by rearmed German soldiers. The Royal Airforce and nuclear weapons were also included in the plan. Henry Kissinger mused about the biggest problem of contemporary international order as the difference in philosophical perspectives of the West with the notion of the real world external to the observer and the rest of the world with the notion of the real world internal to the observer. BRITISH assessments began to change a few years after WW 11. They started suggesting that the main threat of strategic stability and survival of the UK came from America . Their fears seem to have been exagerated by the rhetoric of NSC 68 formulated in the 50s shortly before the Korean war. Drafted by the wisemen of Truman administration, Paul Nitze and Dean Acheson, it articulated the fundamental purpose of US to gain absolute authority over the rest of the world, destroying all governments and the structure of society everywhere.

The continuity policy was illustrated after Soviet Union collapsed. The assault on Cuba was intensified but the misimpressions reframed. It was no longer defense against Russians but Washington’s sincere dedication to democracy that required strangulation of Cuba and US based terror. The same shift and reframing of intentions happened in 2003 after collapse of pretext in Iraq invasion. Bush’s invasion of Panama immediately after the fall of Berlin wall in 1989, happened under the pretext of capturing the narco trafficker Noriega, a longtime CIA asset who was becoming uncooperative. With the Soviet shadow no longer available it was necessary to reframe pretexts not only for intervention but for the militarized state capitalism at home. After 1990, the National Security Strategy priority was to support advanced industries in traditional ways, in sharp contrast to the free market doctrines imposed on others. The NSS called for a strengthening of defense industrial base or essentially high tech industry. The costs and risks of the industrial economy were to be socialized, but profits privatized, a form of state Socialism for the benefit of the rich on which much of the advanced US economy lies since WWll, but with precedents in advanced economies back to early days of industrial revolution. As the economy shifts from electronics to biology based industry, which has been hailed as entrepreneurial initiative, consumer choice and free trade, the public funds are channeled to development of economy and profits reaped by private individuals. (State capitalism has also come to be used (sometimes interchangeably with state monopoly capitalism) to describe a system where the state intervenes in the economy to protect and advance the interests of large-scale businessesNoam Chomsky, a libertarian socialist, applies the term ‘state capitalism’ to the economy of the United States, where large enterprises that are deemed “too big to fail” receive publicly funded government bailouts that mitigate the firms’ assumption of risk and undermine market laws, and where private production is largely funded by the state at public expense, but private owners reap the profits. This practice is held in contrast with the ideals of both socialism and laissez-faire capitalism )

Chomsky claims that concealing the development of high tech industry under cover of defense development, though argued by some as a valuable contribution to society, could be challenged by an informed public had they been given the options and allowed to choose between high tech industry and social spending for health, education, decent housing, sustainable environment and compliance with UN UN and international laws, as polls regularly show. The fear of democracy has barred the option of allowing the public into political arena or even informing them about what was going on in their name. The end of the Cold War brought new contingencies, the pretext of Russian aggression could no longer be used. Instead the new pretexts included, 1) the growing technological sophistication of Third World conflicts which will place serious demands on our forces and continue to threaten US interests. 2) Ensuring global stability or the code word for obedience. In effect, the old genie, but in new bottle. Third World replaced Soviet threat necessitating US to project power into areas where they have no permanent presence, particularly Middle East, because of the free world’s reliance of energy supplies from this region, where a threat to US interests requires direct military engagement.

Military echoed the political echelon emphasizing the uselessness of Soviet Union after ending of Cold War and placing the problems on insurgencies resulting from underdeveloped worlds growing dissatisfaction of the gap between rich and poor countries that would jeopardize regional stability and US access to vital economic and military resources requiring the US to project its military power and flexibility to respond to conflict throughout the globe, all of this for unimpeded access to developing economic markets through out the world and to the resources needed to support the US manufacturing requirements.

New millennium intelligence projections about globalization foresaw a widening economic divide, economic stagnation, political instability, cultural alienation, ethnic ideological and religious extremism and the violence that accompanies it.

The Democratization Bandwagon

The democratization campaign of Iraq, reframed purpose when the WMD fantasy evaporated, was internalized by unquestioning scholars, but not visible in any of the internal documents where the word democracy is not to be found. The rhetoric from Bush changed to the ‘messianic mission ‘ to bring democracy to Middle East using Iraq as the lynchpin to transform Middle East and reduce the terrorist threat to US in ‘ the most idealistic war fought in modern times ‘ inspired by the ‘ idealist in chief ‘, Paul Wolfowitz. The Newyork University law professor, Noah Feldman was assigned the task of teaching Iraqis about democracy who observed that the people in Middle East do not act rationally despite the patient tutelage of US and British before them. The rationalism of the Iraqis is evident from the Gallop poll in Baghdad asking the people why they thought US invaded Iraq. 1% felt that was to bring democracy, 5% thought it was to help Iraqi people and the rest responded that the goal was to take control of Iraq’s resources and to reorganize the Middle East in US and Israeli interests. The last response was derided by rational Westerners as conspiracy theories.

The Iraqis and Middle Eastern people were again deemed irrational and backward when they failed to listen to the PR specialists of White House. The Iraqi press criticized her concise soundbites as opposed to sustained arguments needed in a democracy. The soundbites, media amplification and saturation advertising repeated over and over again in American election campaigns were not effective in a lively and percussive environment among the primitive people who thought sustained arguments and lively discussions are the components of a democracy.

The purported noble mission of democratization aside, the contempt of democracy is self evident from Bush’s and Blairs exploits in evading the perils of democracy as they proceeded to invade Iraq in 2002. Rumsfeld’s categorization of Old Europe whose government went with the majority public opinion against the Iraq war and so to be ignored and disparaged and the New Europe whose governments overruled the majority opinion against war as enlightened and democratic, is another example of how the US hates democracy.

Silvio Berlusconi,the corrupt politician belonged to New European Italy because he endorsed the war that 80%of the Italians opposed. He was rewarded with a white house visit. Jose Maria Aznar of Spain was also rewarded because he endorsed the war opposed by 98% of the Spanish population. Turkey who followed the will of 95% of its population and rejected Washington’s command to allow the US military to open front from Turkey into iraq, was bitterly condemned for lacking democratic credentials. So much for US hatred of democracy. Colin Powell announced harsh punishment. Paul Wolfowitz demanded apology from Turkish military for not compelling the government to follow Washington’s orders against the unanimous public opinion. Wolfowitz was eulogized as the torchbearer for advance of democracy throughout his career by the elite press such as Washington Post and Financial Times without any evidence to back that.

The WP correspondent praised Wolfowitz of his tenure as ambassador to Indonesia where he achieved miraculous poverty reduction with state intervention. An academic specialist of Indonesia, Jeffrey Winters clarifies his actual record in Indonesia was to set the stage for a 1997 collapse of Indonesian economy under Suharto, a tragedy that plunged tens of millions to abject poverty. He sponsored one of the most reckless deregulations of the banking system ever undertaken which led to the economic collapse. Suharto gained the title of the most corrupt world leader in recent history amassing a family fortune in billions far outstripping Ferdinand Marcos of Philippines and Mobutu Sese Seko of Congo all dears of Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz was charged with the reconstruction of postwar Iraq which Transparency International warned could become the biggest corruption scandal in history. So much for the credentials of Wolfie as Bush affectionately calls him, iin fighting corruption and promoting economic development. Winters mentions about the even poorer track record of Wolfowitz on human rights and democracy. He had always been apologetic towards Suharto focusing on business, investment, and regional stability that the iron fisted dictator helped promote. Wolfowitz candidacy for World Bank President triggered criticism from rights activists in Indonesia, who pointed out his defense of Suharto regime and absolute apathy in affairs of human rights or democracy. Throughout his career in Indonesia he championed policies that undermined democracy and human rights and supported the atrocities by the Indonesian army in East Timor preventin g withdrawal by evoking civil war between tribes and clans in case of a withdrawal. Indonesian military and political leaders were absolved of crimes in East Timor in fraudulent trials condemned by human rights groups and received by the West. On a 2005 Jakarta visit, Wolfowitz called for increasing US military aid and training for the army . In the guise of the one humanitarian act in the form of tsunami relief, he was implicitly strengthening the US ties with Indonesia’s brutal military, TNI.

Bush and co continued their democratization mission in Latin America by supporting a military coup to overthrow the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez but had to slink away due to the overwhelming condemnation in Latin America. Washington then turned to subversion in the guise of supporting democracy. Venezuela was decertified for alleged non cooperation with US drug operations at the same time waiving the cuts in foreign aid to support the groups against Chavez. That Chavez had repeatedly won monitored elections and referenda despite bitter media hostility, that his popularity ratings are 80%, that Latin Americas major polling organization found in 2004 that while satisfaction with democracy continued to decline in Latin America, Venezuela was the first of the three Latin American countries where support for democracy climbed, none of these facts were worth noting for the Washington ‘democracy suppliers’. Nothing more proves that Washington’s opposition was to the democratically elected government refusing to follow orders from uncle Sam.

Contrast with the US society where most US citizens believe that the public has little influence in government decisions. Chavez denounced US militarism and capitalism in a 2005 UN summit, irking Washington, taking on the bad boy mantle. Ireland’s Latin American correspondent, Hugh O Shaughnessy reported in a 2005 edition of Irish Times, wrote about how Venezuela, an oil economy with a dazzling contrast of superrich and poor,under president Chavez, brought about reforms in health and other welfare sectors benefitting the poor and how this Operation Miracle is spreading the model to the Caribbean with significant impact on the poor majority (pg 138).

In the 2004 elections in El Salvador, US warned that if the salvadorans did not choose the US favored candidate the remittances from US, the country’s economic lifeline will be cut along with other consequences. The “free elections ” under US domination was hailed by Cheney and Rumsfeld. A reporter Thomas Walker desribed the truth of the elections held against the backdrop of state sponsored terror, killing innocent civilians and completely silencing the opposition media. His op ed was rejected by NYT. In Iraq the private security firms, the second largest component of the coalition of willing employed foreign fighters, 70% of them were the trained killers from Reagan run state terrorist apparatus from El Salvador. The Salvadoran mercenaries did not come closer in scales to the South Korean mercenaries employed by the US in South Vietnam. Salvadoran mercenaries were no longer available after the overthrow of us backed dictatorship in 1987just as Washington lost its Argentine killers after te fall of military dictatorship there. Uzbekistan tyrant Islam Karimov after the 2005 massacre when US officials walked a fine line even while the European Union took a firm stance against him, is another example of US love of tyrants. Bush and co backed Karimov because of the significant reserves of oil and gas there. US played down human rights there, increasing repression and poverty leading to more Islamic terrorism.

The British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray’s assessment is important, that US policy is not much focused on democracy or freedom, it’s about oil, gas and hegemony. The State Department gave Uzbekistan a favorable human rights assessment in order to free up hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. And when Karimov compelled Washington to shift its air bases somewhere else, suddenly he became an evil dictator propagating human rights abuses in Uzbekistan. Condoleezza Rice subsequently exercised a waiver for continued military aid to nearby Kazakhstan on national security grounds despite the State Department’s acknowledgment of its human rights abuses. Azerbaijan was touted as deepening its democratic and market reforms advancing the cause of freedom. Ilham Aliyev, the president had won a highly suspicious election. The pro democracy demonstrators were beaten up. Similar support for Turkmenistan, one of the most repressive countries of the world.

Two scholars wrote in Foreign Affairs that national historical memory or amnesia can have concrete political consequences. The charges of historical amnesia is often directed against antagonists while US forgets its past and move forward with the familiar refrain of change of course. The national historical memory in Russia has been accused to not come to terms with Bolshevik crimes and deep concern has been expressed repeatedly about Japan’s limited recognition of its past atrocities. Chomsky writes that those apologetics who strive to preserve the historical memory unsullied can only be called to account by their own citizens. That requires going deeper down to British action when it created modern Iraq, dependent on it, for its convenience. The British backed Iraqi regime of Abdul Karim Qasim was overthrown by nationalists in 1958. US and UK reacted by military action in Lebanon and Jordan to contain the virus of Arab nationalism. British foreign office had intelligence that Qasim wanted a democratic Arabist Iraq and to undermine imperialist forces. He seemed to be following the revolutionary Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nazar who planned to use Saudi petrodollars to improve living standards of poor Arabs everywhere. Nazars vision for the Arab world, capturing Arab enthusiasm and loyalty was observed with dismay by Eisenhower who took that as the means to control the middle East oil, to get the power and income to destroy the Western World. Eisenhower assured the Congress that the Iraq coup and disturbances in Lebanon and Jordan were fomented by Nazer under Kremlin guidance. Intelligence reported a favorable popular feeling in the Arab world to the Iraqi coup and hostility to US and UK intervention. The revolutionary virus could even spread to Libya, an important oil producer under an US backed dictator.

The dangerous revolutionary virus was destroyed in 1963. The CIA under Kennedy collaborated with Saddam Hussein and Baath party, changed regime, followed by slaughter of suspected communists and leftists from the list provided by the CIA. Educated elites and professionals were systematically murdered. (Jordan’s King Hussein on CIA payroll since 1957, reported that he knew for certain that the list of communists to be executed was provided by CIA as per the book‘ The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq ‘ byHanna Batatu.). The fear of Iraqi democracy persisted even after Saddam became an enemy in 1990.

Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, the United States pledged to give increased economic and military aid to receptive Middle Eastern countries and to protect – with U.S. armed forces if necessary – the territorial integrity and political independence of these nations from the threat of international Communism. In his book, ‘Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East’ Salim Yaqub demonstrates that although the United States officially aimed to protect the Middle East from Soviet encroachment, the Eisenhower Doctrine had the unspoken mission of containing the radical Arab nationalism of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom Eisenhower regarded as an unwitting agent of Soviet expansionism. By offering aid and protection, the Eisenhower administration hoped to convince a majority of Arab governments to side openly with the West in the Cold War, thus isolating Nasser and decreasing the likelihood that the Middle East would fall under Soviet domination.

Iraq had long been preferring friendly relations with Iran to avoid conflict. The Shiite religious and political leadership of Iraq maintain close links with Iran. If US allowed democracy and sovereignty to take root in Iraq, the pro democracy Shiites success would invigorate the freedom and democracy calls among the oppressed Shiites in the east of Saudi, across the border. The Saudi Shiites had long tried to overthrow the US backed monarchy in early 1980s, that led to a harsh crackdown. Laden’s opposition to Monarchy and the United States that back it is important, the royal family later trying to limit the Wahabbi extremism that it had once encouraged. If Shiite promoted democracy happened in Iraq, a Shiite dominated alliance between Iraq, Iran and the oil rich Eastern Saudis would form independent of Washington. The alliance could follow Iran’s lead in major energy projects with India and China, the bloc could move the currency denomination of oil from dollar to something else, that could have major impact on US and global economy. The Iraqis would not give preferential treatment to US energy corporations. With the limited degree of sovereignty that the Iraqi government enjoyed after the 2005 elections, a foretaste of what was in store for Washington was evident. The Iraqi Defense minister and his Iranian counterpart announced a new chapter in relations including cross border military cooperation, Iranian help with training Iraqi forces displacing US military advisers. Southern Iraq turned to a mini theocracy under the Shiite rule, the governor there planning to buy electricity from Iran. Iraq’s provincial council is dominated by clerics close to the anti occupation Sadr Movement and to Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the major Shiite faction formed by the Shiite exiles in Iran. SCIRI controls the Badr militia that runs the southern part of Iraq. An independent Iraq might seek to recover its leadership role in the Arab world, rearming to confront the common enemy Israel, quite possibly developing a nuclear deterrent, another reason for skepticism of Washington’s claim of invading Iraq to plant democracy. Also, Washington would never have quietly allowed democracy to take root in the Middle East, a takeover of the world’s energy resources by a Muslim bloc free of US control or the displacement of its longtime ally,the Saudi royal family who had long been opposing secular Arab nationalism.

These are the main reasons why a rational observer might be inclined to share the Iraqi skepticism about the sudden conversion to the messianic mission of democratization . The comparison between Vietnam and Iraq are misleading since the Washington planners destroyed the virus of democracy in Vietnam, inoculated the region, then left leaving the wreckage to enjoy iits sovereignty . There was nothing valuable there to be taken care of. In Iraq the exit strategies are quite odd since there is something valuable there to be controlled. So an obedient client state has to be in place along with many military bases in the event of contingency. Majority of Iraqi public opinion called for withdrawal of US forces, and the fact that the invaders have no right to occupy against the popular will makes the occupying force imperial in their intentions. Majority of US public have held that, UN and not US should work with the Iraqis in transferring their sovereignty.

The Strong Line of Continuity

The Reaganite conception of democracy promotion in Central America is illustrated by the extraordinary gang of murderers the US administration supported in Guatemala and Honduras. The worst of the murderous gangs in Guatemala, Rio’s Montt who Reagan praised as dedicated to democracy totally. Another was Brigadier General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez of Honduras who operated under the protection of John Negroponte in charge of counterterrorism, previously ambassador to Honduras. In 1983 the official funding for Reagan’s international terrorist operations was barred. Negroponte was in charge of the white house orders to bribe and pressure the Honduran generals to continue their terrorist operation with funds from other sources and later funds illegally transferred from US arms sales to iran. General Alvarez was the most vicious of the Honduran killers and torturers protected by Negroponte . Alvarez received strong American support even after the US was aware that he intended to use the Argentine methods for eliminating suspected subversives. Negroponte, the then US ambassador to Honduras turned a blind eye and denied the state crimes to make sure that military aid continued to flow for the international terrorist operations he was managing. By1983, when Alvarez’s murderous methods were well known to US embassy and Reagan, his administration awarded the Legion of Merit medal ‘for encouraging the success of democratic process in Honduras ‘ . The elite units responsible for the worst crimes in Honduras, Battalion 3-16, were organized and trained by the US and Argentine neoNazis, the most barbaric of Latin American killers that Washington had been supporting. When the Honduran government tried to bring perpetrators to justice, the Reagan Bush administration’s refused to allow Negroponte to testify.

Democracy promotion in Haiti

The National Assembly of haiti refused to ratify a US designated constitution that gave US corporations the right to buy up Haitian lands. So, Woodrow Wilson invaded Haiti in 1915 and dissolved the National Assembly. With only 5% of the population participating, a plebiscite run by the US was ratified by 99.9% majority. Thousands of Haitians who opposed this were killed by US marines. Wilson reinstituted virtual slavery leaving the country in the hands of a vicious National Guard, which continued the horrors with US support until Haitis first democratic election in 1990. US had not paid attention to grassroots organizations developing in the slums and hills. The population chose their own candidate, the populist priest, Jean Bertrand Aristide, while the US projected candidate Marc Bazin received only 14% of votes. Aid for ” democracy promotion ” started from Washington to anti government, probusiness groups through USAID and National Endowment for Democracy, to promote opposition to Aristide government. A few months later a military coup occurred and OAS imposed an embargo on Haiti. Bush 1 and Clinton authorized the Texaco oil company to supply the military junta and its wealthy supporters with oil thus rendering the OAS blockade meaningless. After 3 years of horror, Clinton allowed Aristide to return on the condition that he implement the neoliberal policies of the previous US supported candidate. The policies drove the country into chaos and violence, poverty increased considerably especially after Bush’s banning of international aid. In 2004, US with French support spirited Aristide out of the country which fell back on the hands of the predator military. The poor Haitians in poorer neighborhoods survive in destitution and violence fueled by the security and justice systems. The main Haitian architect of terror, Emmanuel Constant, who headed the terrorist force, FRAPH, lived peacefully in New York. Repeated requests by the elected governments of Haiti for his extradition were rejected by Washington or ignored, all the while US was seething and criticizing Afghanistan over the unwillingness of Taliban to turn over 9/11 suspects without any evidence. There was reason for Washington to fear that Constant might reveal CIA connections if turned over . The doctrinal apparatus of US proclaimed throughout that Haiti has been battered by storms of its own making and the despair of the Haitians is a sorry comment on the failed governments since Aristide assumed office in 1991. Washington tried to best to promote democracy, but couldn’t overcome the deficiencies of a society.

Democracy Promotion in Guatemala and Nicaragua

in Guatemala Washington destroyed the elected government triggering a ghastly four decade long cycle of terror and repression that led to the death of 200000 guatemalans. Reagan tried to prevent the facts from reaching the US public by blocking the declassification procedures covering the atrocities there. The pretexts were the communist virus and Kremlin influence, though the real reason was the fear of democracy promoting social and economic reforms that would spread through the region. In Nicaragua, the US military occupation created the National Guard that brutalized the population for decades through the murderous Somoza family dictatorship. An internal revolt in 1979 overthrew Somozas. Washington tried to preserve its National Guard, promoting state terrorism until 1990s when voters chose a candidate of Washington’s choice with ” a gun to their heads”. Nicaragua became the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti, following the US supported election of the candidate. Many workers emigrated, many to Costa Rica, one of the few countries which had not experienced US intervention. Families survive on remittances. As of 2003, 60% of children under 2 years suffers from anemia due to malnutrition with likely Mental Retardation. Life expectancy declined. 70% of the rural population went hungry. 60% adolescents were not in school in 2004. The NYT hailed the 1990 election victory as victory for fair play of democracy. The economic strangulation by Washington in 1980s and willingness to obey the IMF orders of privatization led to disaster. Access to electricity is far lower than neighbors and costs higher due to privatization. Oil is imported. Before the neoliberal dictates, the electricity rate was same as Guatemala. Afterwards it undiminished to half. Though Nicaragua has plenty of reserve capacity, there is no profit in electricity supply to rural areas, a natural outcome of neoliberal programs. The liberal press reported that travails as due to a failed revolution and economic stagnation from that. There was considerable progress in the early years after the overthrow of Somoza dictatorship which was reversed soon. UN and World Court ordered the US to pay reparations for its responsibility .


The occupation authorities worked tirelessly throughout 2004 to avert election in Iraq and democracy and to impose an US chosen ruler and constitution. As the major media like Financial Times and The Wallstreet Journal reported, the reason january 2005 elections took place was one man’s insistence, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani who vetoed the schemes of US led occupation authorities to shelve or dilute the election. Sistani turned large numbers of his followers into the streets to demand election that Washington has been opposing. US could not withstand a Shia uprising and had to relent. The invaders later took credit for the election, once it became obvious that they could not stop the election. But they tried to subvert the election by giving the US candidate state resources, access to television, but he ran a distant third with only 12% of vote. Independent media were expelled especially, the democracy promoting Qatar based Al Jazeera, a channel despised by all the ruling tyrants. Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell had for years pressured Qatar to curtail Al Jazeera’s reporting . US bombed its offices in Kabul and Baghdad. That much for the democracy flag bearers cawing about freedom of press. Bush’s version of democracy does not tolerate international media criticizing US and not under US control, public or private. But that doesn’t prevent the Washington mandarins from criticizing Russia tightening its control over media. Russia barredABC news after it recorded an interview with the Chechen leader who had carried out the worst terrorist acts in the country’s history. Nicaragua was condemned for censorship. Washington’s regional client states were unconditionally allowed to target media and journalists.

The 2005 Iraq election with the elected Shia and Kurdish candidates was a major triumph of mass nonviolent resistance to US occupation in Iraq. The problem for US was a majority demanding end to occupation. The major task in subverting the new democracy was to pressure the political elites to accept the vague promises of withdrawal and not a firm timeline and to retain the illegal economic regime by the invaders based on the standard principle of opening the country and resources to foreign control under the guise of economic liberalization. Blair dismissed any idea of withdrawal of troops despite the fact that 80%of Iraqis considered US and UK as occupying their country illegally(2004). Blair insisted that the troops were there with the with the permission of the interim Iraqi government and so legitimate. The elected parliament of 2005 elections, demanded a timeline for troops withdrawal as per the interests of the public, Shiias,Sunnis and Kurds. By 2004 end the unpopularity of the occupation forces approached 90% among the Iraqi public. Many poll results were prevented from reaching the Iraqi public and also US public, though one poll, an important one, reached the public of England. A solid majority supported withdrawal of troops, didn’t trust the occupying forces, and justified attacks against them. The reconstruction efforts also failed, electricity and drinkingwater supply, sewage management etc in shambles .

Supporting Evidence: Middle East

The year 1985 was the peak year of Middle East terror during Reagan’s war on terror. The car bombing in Beirut in 1985 killing 80 and wounding 200 mostly women and children, aimed at a Muslim cleric, was traced back to CIA and Saudi intelligence with British help. Shimon Perez’s iron fist operations targeting villagers of Israeli occupied Lebanon, Israeli bombing of Tunis are others. Tunis bombings were the retaliation for killing three Israelis in Cyprus, Tunis housing the headquarters of PLO. It was not Arafat who was the prime obstacle to the realization of Palestinian state but the US and Israel with the help of media and the commentary that suppressed and distorted what was taking place . The United States continued to block diplomatic resolutions for a two state solution. Media like the NYT repeatedly placed the blame on Arafat and continued to report falsely that he rejected recognition of Israeli state insisting on armed struggle and terror campaigns. In reality, according to historians, through the 1980s Arafat repeatedly offered negotiations leading to diplomatic settlement while Israel flatly refused any discussions backed by Washington.

Democracy Promotion at Home

In his book ‘How Democratic is American Constitution ‘, political science professor Robert Dahl writes,

The vast majority of Americans venerate the Constitution and the democratic principles it embodies, but many also worry that the United States has fallen behind other nations on crucial issues, including economic equality, racial integration, and women’s rights. Robert Dahl explores this vital tension between the Americans’ belief in the legitimacy of their constitution and their belief in the principles of democracy.

Dahl starts with the assumption that the legitimacy of the American Constitution derives solely from its utility as an instrument of democratic governance. Dahl demonstrates that, due to the context in which it was conceived, our constitution came to incorporate significant antidemocratic elements. Because the Framers of the Constitution had no relevant example of a democratic political system on which to model the American government, many defining aspects of our political system were implemented as a result of short-sightedness or last-minute compromise. Dahl highlights those elements of the American system that are most unusual and potentially antidemocratic: the federal system, the bicameral legislature, judicial review, presidentialism, and the electoral college system.

The American political scientist Thomas Ferguson in his book ‘ Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money Driven Political Systems ‘, criticizes the deeper institutional factors that deeply restrict a functioning democracy. Even in light of skyrocketing campaign costs, the belief that major financial interests primarily determine who parties nominate and where they stand on the issues—that, in effect, Democrats and Republicans are merely the left and right wings of the “Property Party”—has been ignored by most political scientists Thomas Ferguson breaks completely with traditional voter centered accounts of party politics. In its place he outlines an “investment approach,” in which powerful investors, not unorganized voters, dominate campaigns and elections. Because businesses “invest” in political parties and their candidates, changes in industrial structures—between large firms and sectors—can alter the agenda of party politics and the shape of public policy.

The role that media plays in capitalist societies in undermining democratic politics with deterioration of media quality and service to the public interests is detailed in the book by Robert McChesney(American professor of history and political economy of communications). Woodrow Wilson famously observed that the masters of the government of US are the combined capitalists and manufacturers. America’s leading 20th century social philosopher John Dewey concluded that politics is the shadow cast by big business on society.

The most influential of the framers of American constitution, James Madison, stressed on the rights of the propertied class to be preserved over and above the majority non propertied poor. Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations states, “civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all “. Madison warned his colleagues of the perils of democracy if elections are open to all classes of people as in England. He feared that the poor might use their voting rights to distribute land equitably. The same concern had been raised by Aristotle in his Politics 2000 years earlier. For him democracy was tolerable, but a limited democracy of free men who are rich. He observed that if the wealth was narrowly concentrated, the poor would use their majority power to redistribute it equitably which would be unfair. According to him the rich should be spared and protected and extreme democracy prevented. Madison’s solution was to restrict democracy, while Aristotle suggested reducing inequality by what today would amount to a welfare state. In the century after the framing of constitution, the concept of self directed work defining the democrats was established as the norm for all men. Wage labor and chattel slavery became hardly distinguishable. By the mid 19th century workers denounced the rising industrial system that forced them to a kind of servitude by the moneyed aristocracy and they deplored the New Spirit of the Age, gaining wealth forgetting all but self. In Woodrow Wilson’s words most men of New America were servants of corporations and no longer a scene of individual achievements, individual opportunities and enterprise. Small groups of men in control of great corporations wield the power and control over wealth and business opportunities of the country. The era of corporatization ended the self rule and 19 th century democracy. Though freedom and democracy progressed there were considerable regression too as power centers mobilized their forces to reverse it.

Weimar Germany, pride of western civilization in sciences, philosophy, art and architecture, before the hysterical propaganda of WW 1 had been regarded by many American political scientists as a model of democracy , rapidly descended into the depths of barbarity with a hysterical propaganda machine, psuedo religious transfiguration of politics and demonic appeal to Hitler’s divine mission as Germany’s savior. The German Jewry were the secular elite of Europe, and modern . The Nazi propaganda techniques were actually borrowed from business doctrines and practices that were mostly pioneered in Anglo American societies. The techniques were based on simple symbols and slogans with reiterated impressions that appealed to fear and other elementary emotions in the manner of commercial advertising. Goebbels recruited commercial advertising men in Germany for the task and boasted about using American advertising methods to sell National Socialism. Demonic Messianism is a natural device of leadership groups that are at the extreme spectrum in their dedication to short term interests of narrow sectors of power and wealth and to global domination . US policy has been guided by these guides. With the neoliberal programs of 1970s the wages that had been highest in the industrial world before, dramatically came down. The social indicators that closely tracked economic growth until the 1970s declined to 1960s level by 2000. To keep the public in line in the face of daily realities natural devices like psuedo religious transfiguration is used. Another device, to keep the public in line is the fear of imminent destruction by an enemy of boundless evil.

Analyzing Reagan’s victory in 1980 analysts described a peculiarity of American political system in the total absence of a socialist or laborite mass party as a competitor, a lack accounting for the class skewed abstention rate and downplaying of issues. Polls revealed that the public favored tax increases devoted to the New Deal and social welfare programs and cuts in military spending. Elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population. In the 1960 ,the Trilateral Commission consisting of liberal internationalists from three major industrialized regions, US, Europe and Japan, formulated the phrase “crisis of democracy “. The crisis that they discussed had given rise to an excess of democracy, that is, normally passive and marginalized sectors, women, yout6, elderly,labor, minorities and other parts of underlying population, began to enter political arena to press their demands. The crisis was regarded as even more dangerous by the elites and the business world. The American rapporteur in the commission, Samuel Huntington recalled with nostalgia, “Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers “. Among the immediate reaction to the crisis were a dramatic increase in corporate lobbying and proliferation of right wing think tanks to ensure control of legislative programs and doctrinal institutions along with others. Drive for conformity and control are Normal reactions of concentrated power to the ” crisis of democracy ” when the public seeks to enter the public arena. Wilson’s Red scare and massive post WW 2 corporate agenda are well documented examples. The project of restoring order and discipline was also advanced by the neoliberal measures instituted in the 1970s. Reviewing the neoliberal experience of a quarter century a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that the neoliberal policies had been accompanied by much slower growth rates and reduced progress on social indicators. Neoliberal reforms like NAFTA are antithetical to promotion of democracy. A dominant theme is to restrict public arena and transfer decisions to the hands of unaccountable private tyrannies. PPrivatization removes the public from the potential influence on policy. Privatization of services like health, education etc removes the public from policy decisions and democratic practices are reduced to periodic mobilization of the public in the service of elite interests and the ” crisis of democracy ” could be overcome.

The financial liberalization from the early 1970s created a virtual Senate of investors and lenders who could exercise veto power over government decisions by threat of capital flight, attacks on currency and other means. These measures of undermining democracywere restricted under the Bretton Woods System established after WW2 by US and Britain where the government had the right to restrict capital movement, financial speculation and attacks on currencies. Dollar and pound were flat and pegged to gold. The outcome was termed the golden age of state capitalism with unprecedented economic growth with significant welfare state measures. All of this has been reversed by the neoliberal measures after 1970s, which also free floated dollars and pounds.

Deceiving and Oppressing the Public

In the 2004 elections Bush was reelected despite having the lowest approval ratings of any reelected president. He received the votes of just over 30% of the electorate. Not much of a mandate under stating the meaninglessness of electoral results. The campaigns were run by the PR industry, advertising agencies using deceit and not providing information. Example for the deceit taking extreme forms is found in the US Australia free trade negotiations of 2003 held up by Washington’s concern that Australia followed evidence based procedures and prohibited direct to consumer marketing for prescription drugs. Australian health care system is one of the most efficient in the world, drug prices are a fraction of those in US where the substantial profits is justified on dubious grounds of Research and Development. Public funding for R and D can eliminate the drug company’s monopoly over pricing rights. Research is based on development of fundamental science for which the public is already paying. Even with the R and D claims, the companies spent more for marketing and advertising. The efficiency of Australian health system lies in purchasing power of its government to negotiate prices, barred by legislation in the US system. For the Australian government to buy a drug from companies, it should be evidence based, must demonstrate significant clinical advantages and satisfactory cost effectiveness, in comparison with available drugs.

For selling candidates, the PR industry resorts to the same techniques as the pharmaceutical companies. They market the candidates and train them to protect images and produce empty phrases. The public is aware of the travesty with more than 60% of voters thinking that politics in US was disgusting. Consequently apathy of the electorate led to the public having shown little interest in charges of fraud in 2004 election. Issue awareness or knowledge of stands of the candidate on policies and issues, reached all time low. National security was the main concern in 2000 elections for the voters. The PR industry projected ” qualities ” and ” values “. Church going white evangelical protestants for whom the the Republican president is god fearing, honest, straight talking, sincere and on high moral grounds, voted Republican always irrespective. The marketing triumphs meant a successful election campaign with out concern for public opinion. Another peculiarity of US political system apart from the absence of a labour party, is the pervasiveness of religious cognition in American political life. 1950s was the most religious decade in American history according to historian Seth Jacob’s. Eisenhower administration’s decision to install the devout Catholic Ngo Dinh Diem to run its client state in South Vietnam despite his unpopularity and incompetence, is an example. The religious voting bloc is organized to shift elections to cultural issues. Dr James Luther Adams, who had worked in an underground anti Nazi church in the years 1935- 36 draws parallels between the mobilization of religious extremism in the rise of nazis (German Christian Church) and the potential Christian fascism in US. Israel has long recognized the importance of the phenomenon in the United States and there is a special edition in Jerusalem Post directed to the Christian right, the most powerful voting bloc supporting Israeli aggression and expansion.

Pew Research Polls and other polls consistently show a solid majority regarding universal health care as more important than holding down taxes and that health care should be a constitutional guarantee a right. The facts are sometimes acknowledged with a twist to describe the idea as lacking political support or politically impossible because of tangled politics. These are polite ways of telling that pharmaceutical ad financial industries and other private powers are strongly opposed. The will of the public is banned from the political arena. The pR industry deludes the public by carefully constructed images. Large majorities believe that the nation would be better off if the leaders paid more attention to the views of the public and the public opinion polls. Bush won large majorities of those concerned with the threat of terror and moral values, an effective marketing strategy by the government and the media. The policies of Bush administration that increase terrorism escaped notice of the public and the euphoria in corporate boards and lobby offices had nothing to do with the victory of moral values of their CEOs opposing gay marriage, but to the fact that the political landscape was tilted in favor of corporate America more than at any period in modern American history.

Bush years saddled the future generations with the costs of their services to the wealthy and privileged, in the form of trade deficits and budget deficits. The huge trade deficit were due to the businesses and profitable US companies producing abroad and shipping their goods and services back to US,keeping corporate profits strong and increased stock market capitalization benefiting a tiny percentage of population. BBush’s signature program for improving education concentrated on testing rather than education. As discussed by one of the founders of classical liberalism and modern university system, Wilhelm con Humboldt, ” the heart of any serious educational program is fostering the ability to inquire and create “. The phrase ‘moral values ‘ marketed by the PR industry was understood differently by different percentages of population. Most listed Iraq war as a moral issue, others listed greed, materialism, poverty, abortion and gay marriage. Most of the large majorities regard national health insurance as a moral issue. For the business community, none of these seemed to be the reason for celebration of victory when moral values were concerned.

Public Opinion and Public Policy

Studies conducted by Chicago Council on Foreign Relations showed that not only does US government stand apart from the rest of the world on many crucial issues, but even from its own population. Opinion polls show that a large majority of public believe that US should accept the jurisdiction of ICC and World Court, sign the Kyoto Protocols, allow the United Nations to take the lead in international crises and rely on diplomatic and economic measures than military ones in the war on terror. The bipartisan concept of preemptive war is equally rejected by the public who believe that US should resort to force only if there is strong evidence that the country is in imminent danger of being attacked. On domestic issues overwhelming majorities favor expansion of government programs, primarily health care, but also funding for education and social security. Issues where policies diverge far from the public opinions. Washington rejected World Court orders and opposes jurisdiction under ICC. The Netherlands Invasion Act authorized the president to use force to rescue Americans brought to the Hague by ICC. Washington effectively prevented prosecution of crimes in Darfur by ICC, even after the United Nations insisted that literal genocide was under way. The Boston Globe reported, ” history will not forgive the powerful people who could have ended yet another genocide but preferred to play their pitiless games “ blaming US and Europe for the delay in the UN resolution. US blamed China for delaying the resolution, while the Human Rights Watch Director correctly pinned the blame on Bush administration’s campaign to avert ICC referral of the rapes and genocide underway in Darfur in Sudan.

The US under Reagan administration weakened UNESCO by assaults when it sought to broaden participation of Third World countries, to prevent Western monopoly from breaking away. The US stands alone in opposing international monitoring of internet, insisting the governance should solely be in the hands of United States. US incarceration rates are manifold those of Europe, Russia or China, the prison population unproportionately black. It stands alone among other industrial nations in allowing the state the power of capital punishment. Locking up juveniles without parole sentencing children as young as ten, sentencing children to life imprisonment are in violation to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by all member states except US and Somalia. The Article 25 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognized by the 2005 UN world summit stated the universal,indivisible right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being including food, clothing, housing, medical care and social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment,,sickness, disability, widowhood, old age and other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond one’s control. Bush administration has effectively rejected these rights as the sole dissenter of UN resolution votes in 2005 on the right to food and highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Americans were misled by PR campaigns about the WMD program of Saddam. The decision to go to war despite the official Kay and Duelfer reports that there were no WMD, was sustained by the 50% of the Americans supporting it on the belief that Iraq supported Al Qaeda and had WMD or a program for WMD. During the 2004 election campaigns 74% felt that US should not have gone to Iraq if it didn’t have WMD or didn’t support Al Qaeda. Almost 70% of Americans thought the UN should take the lead in order and reconstruction of Iraq and working with the Iraqis in writing a new constitution ( PIPA polls 2003) . Popular opinion on these matters are scarcely reported. These issues do not appear on the electoral agenda. If public will was respected, it would have been a simple exit strategy by transferring the authority to the UN. Spanish voters voted out the government that had gone to Iraq despite overwhelming popular opposition. The Spanish voters were condemned by the US government, and the Spanish government was applauded for defying the popular opinion and thus assuming the leadership in New Europe as a hope for democracy. The US voters too took the same position as the Spanish voters in 2004. The difference was that in Spain public opinion was widely known when it came into electoral agenda, but not in the US. More evidence for deterioration of functioning democracy in US even by the standards of similar societies. Public opinionswere drastically different from government policies in almost everything including the budget allocation. Majority of the public, in a 2005 PIPA poll, wanted reduction in defense budget, cuts in Iraq and Afghanistan spending and increased spending on education, jobs and social security. A clear majority, 63%, favored rolling back the tax cuts for people with income over 200000 dollars. The Bush administration insisted that funding for the victims of hurricane Katrina must come from social spending because of continued support for tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Tax cuts for the rich and privatized health care remained sacrosanct. Congress proposed cutting food support for adults and children among the miserably poor to finance the reconstruction of New Orleans where the victims were also miserably poor. A much higher percentage supported budget allocation for renewable energy. The public overwhelmingly called for the deepest cuts in programs that were supported by the government and vice versa, the research results received zero media coverage. The findings revealed a dramatic divide between public opinion and public policy. Policies are influenced by business corporations, elites and experts under the influence of the first two. Public opinion had little or no significant influence on government officials and policies. This would have been welcomed by realists like Walter Lippman who considered public opinion to be ill informed and capricious . Adam Smith had clearly observed the Ideological preference of the statesman protecting the interests of markets, concealing ideology as realism. The public, for decades, increasing sharply during Reagan years, did not feel that the government is responsive to public will with confidence in functioning democracy ranking lower than for Canada and Britain.

Institutionalizing State Corporate Control

The reactionary statists have institutionalized the arrangement of state- corporate control. The lobbyists for a charge that has been increasing, charge the clients for government lobbying, who in turn increases federal spending for programs that are prime lobbying targets. In enhancing and strengthening the connections between those who make policy and those who seek to influence it, one predictable result is corruption including extensive gerrymandering to prevent competition of seats in the House. The legislation is increasingly skewed to the benefit of the richest interests and Congress has become a transactional institution geared in implementing the probusiness policies of the increasingly powerful state. There is dramatic increase in overall government secrecy . Power centralization is obvious. The pretext of secrecy is terrorism. Classification protect state power from scrutiny by the ill informed and capricious public whose knowledge of what is being done in their name might endanger freedom. Declassification is prevented by radical statists like the Reaganites who barred revelations of US overthrow of parliamentary governments in Iran and Guatemala in the early 1950s. Similarly Bush ll administration intervened in the declassification procedures to block revelations of Johnson administration’s actions to undermine Greek democracy in 1960 leading to the first restoration of Fascism in Europe. Commentators point to the top down system in reactionary probusiness statism with important decisions placed in the hands of loyalists. A political counterpart of a Corporation effectisa totalitarianstate. Loyalists are rewarded, those who cross party leaders are punished.

The liberal bias in educational system is attacked since it instills anti American, pro Palestinian and pro liberal dogmas in the student. The efforts to institute state control over curricula, hiring and teaching is carried out under the banner of academic freedom. In Pennsylvania, the House of Representatives pass6a resolution creating a special committee that is charged with investigating in the public colleges of the state how faculty members are hired and promoted, whether students are fairly evaluated and whether students have the freedom of expression . The Congress took the first steps towards pressuring colleges to maintain Ideological balance in the classroom, a move needed to protect conservative students from being graded down liberal professors. IOhio, senator Larry Mumper introduced a legislation to restrict what University professors could say in their classroom. His academic bill of rights for higher education intended to prohibit instructors at public or private universities from persistently discussing controversial issues in the classroom. Many professors were deemed to be liberals, Democrats or communists, by him. The proposal would save substantial sums by eliminating departments of economics, government, history and other disciplines concerning human affairs which would inevitably push political and ideological views and discuss controversial issues. Many states have introduced similar bills in legislatures. Under particular attacks are the Middle East department and Peace study programs. The federal government also entered the fray. In October 2003, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that could require university international sstudy departments to show more support for American foreign policy or risk federal funding. That was an unprecedented degree of federal intrusion into university based areas study programs, especially middle east and peace programs.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, a lot of needed equipments were carried by the National Guards to Iraq and Afghanistan . The Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA) was marginalized under Bush and folded into Homeland Security Department with fewer resources and extra layers of bureaucracy. FEMA budget had been cut sharply and the Army Corp engineers had to reduce the flood control work sharply. The poverty rate that had grown under Bush, reached 28% in New Orleans and welfare safety net was limited. Republican leaders used relief measures for the hurricane ravaged Gulf coast to achieve a broad range of economic and social policies. Among these were, suspending rules that require payment of prevailing wages by the federal contractors thereby lowering the cost of business, limiting victims right to sue, cutting funds for food stamps and school lunch and breakfast programs, lifting environmental restrictions. The neglect of human life, savagely revealed in New Orleans, had its roots in militarized state capitalism. Katrina disaster showed that the National Security ideology proved crucial in the bitter class war not only against Third World but against the domestic population at home.

The first Bush term saw huge corporate profits, stagnation and decline of wages, huge tax cuts for the rich and policies benefiting a tiny rich elite undermining social spending. The second Bush term gave the credit card industry limitless power to lend credit without cap thus increasing the bankruptcy filings among borrowers eight fold.

Reduced health care access and increased healthcare costs topped the list of financial hardships during a 2005 Gallup poll. Health care costs hurt those who need healthcare the most. The US health care system is the costliest and most inefficient among industrial world. The costs are due to multiple layers of bureaucracy, close supervision, endlesspaperwork and privatization. The pharmaceutical corporations and financial institutions render it the most inefficient and most costly among the OECD nations . The human costs are immense. The United Nations Human Development Report 2005 revealed that the infant mortality rate decline slowed from 2000 and then reversed. By 2005,it reached the level of Malaysia where average income is one quarter of US. 30% of health care costs go to administration. The Bush administration’s response to health care crisis has been to reduce services for the poor by cutting costs from Medicaid . The Terri Schiavo case in which the Congress overstepped her husband’s decision to remove her feeding tubes extending the vegetative state for seven years, by passing Terri Laws is a notable one for a Medicaid patient. The Republican majority leader Tom DeLay proclaimed his concern for Schiavo and his dedication to ensure that she has a chance ” we all deserve “, shepherded through the House a budget resolution to cut 20 billion dollars from Medicaid for the next five years. The tragedy of the poor woman was used for partisan gain, all the while depriving her and many others the means of survival. They were simultaneously instructing about their actual moral values and concerns for the sanctity of life.

To divert attention from health care crisis, a major PR campaign was organized to reform Social Security on the pretext that it was facing fiscal crisis. Crisis in social security was rooted in demographics. A declining ratio of working age population to the dependents ( below 20 and above 65 years). The propaganda was that the retirement of baby boomers were about to crash the system. But their retirement had already been financed by the Greenspan led increase in payroll taxes in 1983. And the boomers when children were dependents and was cared for well by education and healthcare. There was no crisis then. The campaign for deceit to chip away at the Social security system reached a great deal that the Gallup poll reported, this as one of the top concerns for the first time. Only the availability and affordability of healthcare concerned the population more. Terrorism and oil prices were at the tail end of popular concerns. The propaganda amplified by the media in a business run society where institutional deceit has been refined to high art, was able to achieve some victories in cutting the social spending, just like making the American public gullible about the WMD of Saddam posing an imminent threat to US. Media frantically discussed the need to reform the Social Security while reforming the health care system high on the public opinion, was nowhere to be found in media. A paradox, since the very serious fiscal crisis of the inefficient and the poorly performing health care system is not a crisis, while urgent action was needed to undermine a comparatively efficient social security system. The schizophrenia is evident in the actions, sensibly explaining why the social security run by the government with low administrative costs offers nothing to the financial institutions and substantial businesses. While the health care business makes enormous profit flow to private powers for superfluous bureaucracy and supervision, overpriced drugs and other inefficiencies.


The growing democratic deficit in US is accompanied by declaration of messianic mission to bring democracy to the suffering world. But the democracy is acceptable only if it is consistent with the strategic and economic interests of the United States, abroad as well as at home. Central America or Iraq, they can enjoy democracy within the limits prescribed by Washington. The pattern is the same as those of totalitarian, fascist and imperial powers before. USSR with its satellite states under an iron fisted rule, Germany in occupied Europe, Fascist Italy in North Africa, the genocides of which inspired Hitler. Traditional imperial and neo colonial systems illustrate many variations of similar themes.

The nuclear negotiations between Iran and EU were based on the bargain that Iran would suspend uranium enrichment and EU would undertake security guarantees from future attacks by US and Israel. US held European Union on its side of the bargain and European Union has failed to honor this. The example frequently adduced by Iran is Israel’s 1981 bombing of Iraq nuclear reactor Osirak which appears to have initiated Saddam’s nuclear weapons program.

China, unlike Europe refuses to be intimidated by US and imports Iranian oil and is in a cordial relationship with Iran and Saudi, with whom it is business partners in oil and natural gas exploration. If the 21st century is to be the Asian century, Asia’s passivity in energy sector has to end. Though it hosts the world’s largest producers and fastest growing consumers of energy, Asia still relies on institutions, trading frameworks and armed forces from outside the region to trade with itself. The key is India China cooperation. Canada-China and Latin America- China business relations ,increasing trade and cooperation was a blow to Washington energy policies in the region. Cuba- Venezuela relations became close, Venezuela providing low cost oil and Cuba sending teachers and doctors. During the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, Cuba sent the largest contingent of doctors and paramedics. Venezuela joined Mercosur, a South American customs union wheras the US sponsored Free Trade Agreement for Americas met with strong public opposition. Venezuela supplied Argentina with fuel oil to stave off energy crisis and bought a third of Argentine debt issued in 2005, debts from the two decades of disastrous effects of conformity to US dominated IMF rules.

The first indigenous president of South America, Evo Morales of Bolivia elected in 2005, reached to Venezuela for energy accord. In November 2005, a group of US senators sent a letter to nine big oil companies. With huge increase in winter heating bills expected, they wanted the companies to donate some of their record profits to help low income people in US to cover their costs. They received only one response, a Venezuelan oil company, CITGO who provided 12 million gallons of discounted home heating oil to local charities in Boston and 45000 low income families in Massachusetts. The State Department responded that Chavez was doing it for political gain. But Venezuela, unlike US, was altruistic in intentions. The director of the NPO distributed the oil to homeless shelters, food banks and low income housing groups, poor people with woefully underfunded oil assistance. He hoped the deal would pose a friendly challenge to the US oil companies, which had reported record quarterly profits, to use their windfalls to help poor families survive the winter, but apparently his hopes were in vain.

Though Central America was disciplined by Reaganite violence and terror, the rest of the hemisphere from Venezuela to Argentina, which was the poster child of IMF and Treasury Department until its economy collapsed from their policies, were falling out of US control. The indigenous populations in Bolivia and Ecuador, major energy producers, want their oil and gas to be domestically controlled or opposes production altogether. The US global dominance is fragile. Deterring democracy in other nations by military coups and international terrorism faces new obstacles as Bush learned in Venezuela in 2002. In Iraq, nonviolent resistance compelled Washington and London to permit the elections they had sought to avoid. Subsequent efforts to subvert elections by providing advantages to Washington’s favorite candidate and by expelling independent media also failed. The Iraqi labor movement made progress despite Washington’s efforts to thwart it. Much like how US and UK undermined Independent labor movement in Europe and Japan after WWll, as at home, since organized labor contributes to functioning democracy with popular engagement.

In Palestine the Bush administration refused to permit elections until the death of Yasser Arafat. After his death, the administration permitted elections favoring the PLA, Fatah faction candidate, spending 2 million through USAID to subvert the election against Hamas. A clear case of foreign intervention in elections in a sovereign place. Hamas wwon. An indefinite truce with the radical Islamic party was offered if it accepted the international borders as per Israel’s choice and take over of significant parts of West Bank and Golan heights. Hamas refused. The international media routinely trumpets Hamas’s refusal of Israel’s right to exist. But Washington’s and Israel’s stance on refusal of Palestinians right to exist is virtually unknown in international affairs and media. The same refusal of right to exist could equally be proclaimed by Mexico of US, which conquered half of Mexico . In Haiti when it became sure that president Aristide would win the election, US discredited the election. The same happened in Nicaragua in 1984 and Venezuela in 2005. Then followed military coups and expulsions of democratically elected heads, not US favorites, violence, reign of terror….

Like all powerful states, US follows the strong line of continuity, pursuing the strategic and economic interests of dominant sectors of domestic population to the accompaniment of rhetorical flourishes about its dedication to highest values.

“In a Free State” by V.S Naipaul

The only lies for which we are truly punished are those that we tell ourselves “

Author – V.S Naipaul

Genre – Fiction

Awards – Booker Prize (1971), Golden Man Booker Prize Nominee (2018)

Themes – Exile, displacement, being and becoming , freedom of individual, immigration in post modern England after second world war, colonialism, postcolonialism .

Author Biography

Naipaul was born and raised in Trinidad, where his grandfathers had emigrated from India as indentured servants. He is known for the wistfully comic early novels of Trinidad, the bleaker novels of a wider world remade by the passage of peoples, and the vigilant chronicles of his life and travels, all written in characteristic, widely admired, prose.

At 17, he won a Trinidad Government scholarship to study abroad. In the introduction to the 20th-anniversary edition of A House for Mr. Biswas, he reflected that the scholarship would have allowed him to study any subject at any institution of higher learning in the British Commonwealth, but that he chose to go to Oxford to do a simple degree in English. He went, he wrote, “in order at last to write….” In August 1950, Naipaul boarded a Pan Am flight to New York, continuing the next day by boat to London.

50 years later, Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad “V. S.” Naipaul was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature “for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.”


About his works

Naipaul had written travelogues about Trinidad and India and fiction based on Caribbean. In a Free State is fiction in the format of short story. It is a collection of short fiction pieces focussing on the experiences of uprooted people trying to make their way into different kinds of free societies. He explores what freedom means in different contexts: the democratizing and class blurring freedom of first world country, the chaotic freedom of incipient revolution, and the anarchic freedom of having power over other people. The different stories narrate how the freedom sometimes empower, and often endanger and destabilize people on the wrong side of the power dynamics. There are three different narratives bookended by two materials from his travel journals as prologue and epilogue, across Mediterranean from Piraeus to Alexandria and a trip to pyramids in Egypt . The bookends are autobiographical in nature. The first novella ‘ One Out of Many ‘ is a first person narrative of a displaced Indian servant, Santhosh, in Washington. The second story ‘Tell Me Who to Kill ‘ is a first person narrative by an Indian Trinidadian in London. The third novella ‘In a Free State ‘ is a third person narrative about a long car journey by two English people across a country in East Africa. Naipaul’s displacement and travels through East Africa, Scotland, London, USA and Canada, formed the basis of the novellas. All the three narratives are about immigrant experiences. In 1971, while publishing the book, Naipaul was insistent in including the three separate pieces together as a whole, contesting with his editor’s view that the novella In a Free State alone could make a complete story. The three stories are separated by time, place or region, but united by the themes of exile and displacement, rootlessness, homelessness, foreignness, difficulty in assimilating, or unwillingness to assimilate, and constantly remind the readers of their places in the world. The Enigma of Arrival published sixteen years afterwards , semi autobiographical according to critics though it is titled a novel, explores the themes of unbelonging. Naipaul’s own experiences in the post colonial worlds of West Indies, London and elsewhere are supposed to provide materials for these works.

Some critics view him as as a curmudgeonly writer who breaks forms and conventions, revolutionary and radical for some. Writer Gillian Dooley in her book, V.S Naipaul, Man and Writer, takes a look at his literary career and emphasizes, “It is Naipaul’s refusal to compromise his vision in order to flatter or appease that had made him a controversial writer “. In his biography of Naipaul, ‘The World is What it is‘, Patrick French , a British writer and historian, details that his displacement and his travels in East Africa, reaching the edge of despair provided the basis for his books.

The main themes in the stories include exile and displacement moulding the relationships, individual identity of being and becoming, freedom from an individual perspective and from the point of view of nation states that emerged after the end of colonialism. He explores the question of who is free ,who is a stranger, who belongs, who is displaced and the nature of freedom. In the epilogue, we see the indigent Egyptian boys coming out from sand dunes to take the food thrown by the Italian travellers, an Egyptian waiter whipping the boys, the author intervening to stop the beating. All of them seem like strangers, even the waiter and the boys in their own land. In the novella ,’In The Free State ‘ Bobby and Linda, representing the white colonists, flees the riots to the safety of their expat compound. Colonialism is over, their time and place there is over too. They too are displaced in the end. The nature of freedom becomes murky here with the encircled white class watching the coup and atrocities by the president’s men against the king’s men who are killed and maimed, their time was over too. Naipaul’s picture of a postcolonial world , where freedom means copying the colonial power structures through oppression of the population , is visible here. His gripping non fiction work, Loss of El Dorado A Colonial History, gives the history of rivalries of the El Dorado quest, Spanish and English colonization, horror of slavery 200 years later.

In the narrative of the prologue, the narrator is traveling on a ship from Piraeus to Alexandria. Some passengers are displaced people like the Greek Egyptians while others are identified by nationality only. Piraeus is in international waters with out societal strictures or borders and the Tramp that travels along with the narrator and other passengers is an epitome of nonconformity, a misfit, an idiosyncratic character who agitates the businessmen and others. The others bully him into hiding in toilets, but the Tramp triumphs by blocking the Lebanese out of their cabin. The narrator did not act to prevent the bullying . The tramp proclaims himself as the citizen of the world, someone without race, barriers, class, but that which didn’t exist. It’s an irony that he is being persecuted by the makers of these barriers. Here the narrator stresses that as the citizen of the world , the Tramp is perceived as a threat to freedom due to his non compliance, inability to accommodate and protect. His geographical freedom renders him an outcast . His unrevealed crime is his failure to belong.

In the second narrative, One Out of Many (an ironic reference to e pluribus unum, motto of US), the protagonist, Santhosh, a lower class Indian immigrant to US, achieves his American dream, but feels unsuccessful. His world is sort of claustrophobic symbolized in airplane travel, feeling trapped in lifts, and in the cupboard like space in his boss’s apartment. He realizes his loneliness on witnessing a community of barefeet Americans wearing saffron and chanting Sanskrit words of Lord Krishna. He feels left out. When he starts life afresh by running away and starting as a cook, beginning to earn real money , he becomes anxious and neurotic. He is free, but he locks himself in his room. He is unable to talk face to face with the employer and realizes that to get his green card and live legitimately, he needed to marry the African maid. He never intends to return to India lest he be branded a failure. Naipaul says returning home ceases to be an option for immigrants. Though in the beginning Santhosh never had any American dreams, he gets sucked into it unconsciously. He realizes the hollowness of success ( “All that my freedom has brought me is the knowledge that I have a face and a body, that I must feed and cloth this body for a certain number of years. Then it’s over ”) and his loneliness (“In this city I was alone and it didn’t matter what I did ”.} There is an incident in the narrative where Santhosh looks into the mirror and finds his image that he didn’t recognize, but wishes to do. The mirror symbolizes his aspirations for status, stability and money. But he seems himself weak, unable to survive and vulnerable. The perception, the motif of seeing is brought forward, the employer sees efficiency, the hubshi woman perceives attraction and Priya sees potential. These are contrasted with the vision that Santhosh gets, that of failure.

Tell Me Who to Kill narrates the reality of London life and unreality of island life. The narrator feels he had no life on the island but knows that he has thrown his life away in London for his brother. He is ambitious for his brother though his life is hollow. Poverty, racism indifference and betrayal by his brother burdens him, he sees whites as enemies. Though ambitious himself, he invests the ambition in educating the younger brother, who turns out to be less ambitious. The narrator say,’ambition is like shame shame is like secret and it is always hurting ‘. He is left with a desire to kill, but no enemy could be found. Naipaul is picturing the psychology of the colonial, denied freedom by forces beyond his control .

The third novella In a Free State offers the colonizers’ perspective of the colony. The travellers are a British man and woman ,Bobby and Linda, and he switches the previous two narratives of autobiographical mode to a third person narration. The formation of decolonized states is riddled with violence and unrest . Bobby, a gay man, says that Africa has given him a sense of beauty and belonging, freeing him from the mental anguish causing his breakdown at Oxford University. Linda thinks that the British should never have come there and could never belong there. There are no meaningful conversations between the two Britishers and the Africans, the independent states are fused into one African orient by Naipaul. Critics inveigh against such a characterization of Africa as inferior in cultural greatness to Asia. The scenes in the bar, with the American in the hunting lodge, and the African riding Bobby’s car and directing are indicative of the exploiter/ exploited roles turning over into one another . The two colonists portrayed are unconventional sexual deviants who couldn’t thrive outside a colonial bubble and not as morally superior English characters. They are constrained in an East African free state.

In the epilogue narrative, there is positive action in contrast to the negative vision of earlier fiction, the author abruptly stops the flagellation of the desert boys by the waiter. Though he thinks the action to be futile, it is a movement away from the karma psychology and colonial mentality.

Author Neel Mukherjee writes in The Paris Review about the decadence into which displacement/exile novels had fallen. He writes that the term has become synonymous with immigrant novels centered around common subjects like nostalgia for a nation, the fractures of assimilation, keeping alive the home culture by food and music and the culminating paradise of westernization confronted by the subsequent generations. He writes that generations of immigrant writers have fallen for this insidious trap. This perpetuates the myth of the West and according to him identifies the Ideological reasons behind those who sign up for this stereotype. Mukherjee stresses that great writers like Naipaul, Aleksander Hemon ( Bosnian American author) and Shaun Tan (Australian artist, writer and film maker) will always break the mold , minting new things out of similar themes and yielding new meanings. And breaking form was a central part of Naipaul’s artistic creation as James Wood notes in his 2008 New Yorker essay. Wood writes about Naipaul’s double assessment, the stereoscopic vision of of Naipaul’s fiction, like pride and shame, compassion and alienation in The House of Mr Biswas, and the main reason why he is a writer who has a conservative vision but radical eyesight. Wood writes that Naipaul Is enraging and puzzling, especially to those who came from post colonial societies, because his radicalism and conservatism are so close to each other, each response is descended from the same productive shame. Naipaul deals with the themes of precariousness of the colonized, the striking deracination that he exploits in his novels like A Bend in the River. He explores the meaning of being filled with colonial rage. One of the protagonists, Inder tries to get a job with an Indian diplomatic service in London, where he is met with condescension and questioned about his loyalty since he is an Indian from Africa. He realizes that he’s homeless. Naipaul in one of the letters to his first wife Pat, writes, ” The approach of the Free World is insidious, subtler, more refined than the political persecution of Nazis, I suffer from something worse, an insidious spiritual persecution. These people want to break my spirit. They want to forget my dignity as a human being. They want me to know my place “. James Wood compared this Naipaul to Franz Fanon, the radical analyst of the insidious spiritual persecution wrought by colonialism on the colonized through his book The Wretched of the Earth. Wood writes that Fanon believed in violent revolution, ” Naipaul’s radical pessimism meets Fanons radical optimism at the point where the cut of colonial guilt ,angrily resisted by both men is converted into the wound of colonial shame, a kind of curse “. Fanon argued, ” The colonist is an exhibitionist. His safety concerns lead him to remind the colonized, out loud, Here Iam the master, the colonist keeps the colonized in a state of rage, which he prevents from boiling over “.

James Wood writes that the title ‘In a Free State’ is the working demonstration of Fanons argument . ‘In the novella, Bobby and Linda, a white English man and woman are driving through an African country akin to Uganda. They witness and perpetrate colonial rage on black Africans, acts that seem to reassure the whites. Through Fanon’s lens, they are impotent exhibitionists, at once predatory and fearful, constantly supplicating a black rage that they constantly provoke’. There are instances like the Zulu spitting on Bobby’s face in a bar, the humiliation of Peter, a black assistant, by an English colonel who simultaneously fears that Peter would kill him.

Wood writes that Naipaul’s sympathy for the political and emotional fragility of his characters didn’t extend to his wife in his personal life. Patrick French‘s biography is extraordinarily candid with respect to the brutalist , abusive , unfaithful behavior of Naipaul towards his wife.

The five different narratives are five dimensions of immigrant experience. The anxiety of the Tramp while migrating, Santhosh as the unwilling immigrant , The ‘Tell me Who to Kill ‘ narrator who feels his hollowness in his country and emigrate. Naipaul deconstructs the subjects and objects of the five narratives without a definite form to connect them, all five floating independently, but connected on the common themes of migration, displacement, exile, homelessness, and freedom in all the five narratives .

Naipaul, works, critiques

(Excerpts from the essay ‘ Searching for a Centre: The Writings of V.S.Naipaul ‘ by John Thieme)

The writings of Naipaul are controversial for his unsavory reports in his fiction, interviews and nonfiction of Africa and India. ” Africa has no future ” , he told the interviewer Elizabeth Hardwick in the 1979 NYT Book Review. Other controversial comments like ” It was on Mauritius that the dodo forgot how to fly “, ” Muslim fundamentalism has no intellectual substance to it and so must collapse ” had created controversy. His native Trinidad was dismissed as unimportant, uncreative and cynical. Caribbean Islands were dismissed as Third world’s Third world . Serious criticism appears in his nonfiction. The malaise found in colonial and postcolonial societies and the social themes are evident throughout the narratives of the characters in his stories. They explore the trapped and displaced individuals, the psychological consequences of colonialism and post colonialism. Looming large is the theme of displacement. His ancestors were high caste brahmins who held the belief that crossing the black waters defiled the purity of their caste. Thus the need to be cleansed, a scene narrated in House of Mr Biswas. The upheaval and restlessness brought about by deracination and uprooting from established societies engendering disharmony, is a theme in his early fiction (The Mimic Men). Naipaul was inspired by his fathers wringing. Seepersad was a journalist on the Trinidad Guardian. The House of Mr Biswas was labeled on Seepersad, his father, especially his father’s response to practices of Hinduism. Naipaul longed to escape from Trinidad which he did by winning a Trinidad government scholarship to study abroad. He distinguished himself at Oxford but was disappointed to find the syllabus ” aimed at juvenile antiquarians”. JRR Tolkien, his examiner, rated his Anglo Saxon translation the best in that year.

In his novel, Miguel Street, and travel journal, The Middle Passage, Naipaul, in a deadpan manner, writes about a Trinidadian society where justice and morality do not operate. In his masterpiece, The House of Mr Biswas, he describes the colonial mentality of existentialist impotence, a condition in which the individual cannot exercise the freedom of choice and everything is prechosen and predetermined for him. Mr Biswas, a victim of displacement moves from house to house as a tenant and decides to own one himself. His acquisition of a jerry- built house after paying too much, where he dies young, represents a partial freedom. He is accommodated literally and metaphorically. The adumbrated beginning encapsulates the gist of the concluding sentence of the prologue, ‘it would have been terrible for Mr Biswas to have died unaccomodated and unnecessary ‘.

The nonfiction The Middle Passage is a travelogue written after a scholarship by Trinidad government and prodding from the Prime Minister and the West Indies historian Dr Eric Williams. The Trinidad chapter is provocative for vitriolic remarks of island inhabitants. The satire is waspish and critics have accused him of negrophobia. His travel experiences in India are recorded in An Area of Darkness, a journey that he told to never have been made . The book records his personal trauma and social malaise in India. Labor hierarchy by caste system, the Indian lack of sense of history and the irony of Hindu tenets of cleanliness and public defecation are on display. Naipaul attributes these Hindu failings to the influence of karma, seen by him as a ‘ paralyzing, defeating philosophy which induces quietism that precludes western style self realization and progress ‘. He comes out as an irritable traveller.

Conradian influence is felt in many of his works (The Mimic Men), as the influence of Charles Dickens and HG Wells. Conrad’s fragmentary and un chronological narrative structure as in Lord Jim and Nostromo and use of narrator for conveying the story to the reader, are used by Naipaul. The kindredness that both the novelists share is the fact that both are non English writers, absorbed into English traditions that were ineffective in dispelling their sense of displacement. Their format lacks the certitude of usual English novels. Their narrative is disjointed and by a narrator with questionable values. His travels provided materials for his nonfiction and fiction both, where a dismissive approach to the Third World is seen in nonfiction, the novels are concerned with the plight of individuals.

Travels in Middle and Far East provided the subject for the book, Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey. Negative depictions of contemporary Islam, in which believers passionate of convictions are seen as an impotent force to bring about social change, has been criticized by Muslim intellectuals who find him biased towards Western rationalism , guilty of identifying Islamic revival with fanaticism. As in The Mimic Men, Naipaul suggests that it is paradoxical that the Third World societies that reject the West nevertheless depend on it for technology and material goods. The book, Among the Believers has been criticized as unrepresentative because of the exclusion of Arab and African Islamic societies . Many, including western critics, finds this hard to disagree with given the blinkered point of view and reinforcement of Western prejudices. The polemics against Hindu tenets like karma in An Area of Darkness and India, A Wounded Civilization and of Islam in the above mentioned work give an insight into how he sees the world’s greatest religions as forces stultifying the individual development in Asia.

Ref: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/12/01/wounder-and-wounded



“Afghanistan: How the West Lost Its Way” by Tim Bird, Alex Marshall

Abridged form of the text

In this compelling book, the authors ask how and why the international community has failed to achieve its objectives in Afghanistan

Authors – Tim Bird, Alex Marshall

Genre – Non Fiction, Politics


Dr Tim Bird is a lecturer in the defense studies in King’s College, London, a specialist in Afghanistan, counterinsurgency, US foreign and security policy and US/UK military doctrine.

Dr Alex Marshall is a lecturer in the history department at Glasgow University, convener of Scottish Center of War Studies and the author of The Russian General Staff and Asia and The Caucuses Under Soviet Rule


US special forces, NATO allies with the help of Northern Alliance defeated the Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives in 2001 October and November, and made them flee to the south and east and to Pakistan. The victory declared was premature and further questions as to the fate of Afghanistan, realistically achievable goals, and the blood and treasure to be spent by the West, lacked clarity and consistency. The traditionally unquestioned policy assumptions were under doubt, even the phrase ‘global war on terror ‘ ,a powerful rhetorical construct has been viewed as an embarrassment. Western models of development has failed in Afghanistan, the counter insurgency doctrine has foundered, state building under scrutiny. This book focuses on the failure of the perceived triumph, the byzantine conflict, why the international actors failed. The manner in which the intervention was conceptualized and conducted, strategy, how the consequential decisions and events occurred in other national capitals are examined along with the nature of Afghanistan, people and how the west lost its way by dint of policy and strategic failures.

Though the initial action had conceptual clarity and strategic purpose like removing Taliban,,disrupting and destroying Al Qaeda, denying Afghanistan as a base for jihadists, soon the intervention became conflated with nebulous goals like state- building, counterinsurgency, winning hearts and minds, democratization, counterterrorism, development and regional stabilization. The Blair government had ruled out Afghanistan as a likely area of military intervention. The Bush administration was well aware of the quagmire the State Department had wrought in Yugoslavia during nation building. But ironically, both powers became entrenched in Afghanistan. The authors argue that incoherent strategy is at the core of the problems in intervention. They assert that effective strategy needs one to constantly assess and reassess the objectives ( ends), how it’s achieved ( ways), and the cos6( means). That should be a dynamic process. The book dissects how these three factors were conceptualized all along. Another factor discussed in the book is the lack of strategic clarity and coherence among NATO members, the mismatch between apocalyptic predictions of failure and the readiness to take blame, the preference of institutional survival and credibility to dominate policy formulation over appropriate strategies for Afghanistan. Another snag was the disagreement within and between the nations on the appropriate strategies. Afghanistan became a laboratory for comprehensive approach to state building integrating military activities with political, economic, diplomatic, and developmental policy framework.

Afghanistan is a land of contrasts and juxtapositions, most hospitable to those seeking help, yet violent towards those who offend their honor, a land of tribal rivalries with a labyrinth of tribes, subtribes, clans, religious and ethnic cleavages. They are cautious and xenophobic towards the foreigners, even the climate and topography are diverse. The regional politics is complicated and complex with the surrounding neighbours and as the world supplier of 90% of opium, politicians interact and mingle continously with international criminal gangs present in the country. Another issue is that parts of the porous southern and eastern border with Pakistan cut through traditional Pashtun lands and provide safe haven for Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters just across the border. Another significant issue that the authors point out is the establishment of a centralized government there, with no experience whatsoever with such an administrative system, who exerted control over disparate provinces.

The intervention is America’s longest war, NATO’S first major engagement outside Europe and Britain’s most expensive foreign conflict since second WW and the most bloody in terms of casualties since Korea.

Afghanistan in Historical Context

The initial pronouncements of the coalition about the likely challenges were marked by a historical illiteracy..They led to rise in Taliban and exposed the singularly unforgiving environment in Afghanistan.

Before the Soviet intervention of 1979-1989 in support of the Marxist government of Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan, there was a failed covert operation in 1929. The British had fought three Anglo Afghan wars, 1838-42, 1878-80 and 1919, each shaping Afghan history and the last culminating in independence, all the wars tactically a failure. Soviet intervention was a disaster that contributed to the collapse of Soviet Union. Between 1880 and 1919, Afghanistan became a classic buffer state between British and Russian empires with the Afghan leader, ‘The Iron Emir’ , Abdur Rahman receiving a hefty subsidy in return for ceding control of Afghan foreign policy to British. The formidable reputation of Afghanistan as a challenge rests not on its military capabilities but on its political economic record of ungovernability. Overthrowing the government was straightforward but shaping the behavior of Afghan people was difficult in a structurally weak state whose main deterrent was not the army but the formidable natural terrain, Independent warlike people and unconventional guerilla tactics. The difficulties faced by Soviet tanks in the narrow Afghan valleys, the easy targets that the British infantry of 19th century became from the long ranged local weapons of Afghan tribesmen are examples. Even the first modern ruler Amir Abdur Rahman who tried a centralized form of government in 1881 by dictatorship had a challenging time.

Afghan Governance: The Burden of History and Traditions

Afghanistan first emerged during 18th century under Durrani Dynasty. After the death of the founder Ahmed Shah in 1772,repeated civil war engulfed the country. Later Afghan monarchs maintained an imperial government with a professional army free of dependence on tribal forces. Amir Abdur Rahman tried to modernize the country after his role model, Tsar Peter the Great of Russia by military reform, savage repression and importation of foreign technology. He executed horrific punishments like mass executions by impalement, quartering, and chaining in a pit below running ice cold water. He showed a dedication to extreme violence and social engineering that was truly totalitarian and the British paymasters turned a blind eye to repression of the people especially the ethnic minorities. Compulsory population resettlement occurred with the non Pashtuns in Central and Northern parts. Foreign businesses and factories established there encountered limitations with no capital, or capacity and xenophobia of locals. The Iron Amir built roads which he found useful for suppressing indigenous tribal rebellions, but did not allow external railways from crossing his country. Relative backwardness in transportation was a conscious defensive policy of Afghanistan through out the 20th century . Only in 1960 was the Hindu Kush mountain barrier between the central and northern Afghanistan pierced by the Soviet built Salang Road Tunnel. Without any autonomy in foreign policy, the Afghan central government was further weakened by the British drawn physical border during last decades of 19th century.

The frontiers established during the Amir’s reign in the late 19th century by the British contributed to the problems of Afghanistan after September 2001. Eastern frontier with China is a narrow, long, indefensible strip of land called Wakhan Corridor. The British diplomat Sir Mortimer Durand, the imperial border drawer,drew a line between Afghanistan and British India cutting the Pashtuns into halves and created the present Pashtunistan issue which came to dominate Afghan relations with Pakistan, a complicating factor in the 2001 intervention. The Durand Line created a nightmare dilemma in 1948 with an Independent Islamic State of Pakistan, the legality of Durand line remaining not recognized by successive Afghan governments. This created decades of Afghanistan Pakistan political tensions and Pakistan itself was troubled by the ungovernable Pashtun dominated borderland in the form of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), needing periodic intervention and stabilization by Pakistan army and also serving as a political influence into Afghanistan. During Soviet occupation, this area became a safe haven and training ground for mujahidin and home to thousands of Afghan refugees, that became the single largest mujahedeen recruiting base.

Durand line left Afghanistan an open door to interference by Pashtun political groups from the south. Pakistan itself was suffering from the British border drawing in the form of separatist movement in Baluchistan and Kashmir issue with India. The strategic contest with India shaped Pakistan’s relationship with Afghanistan with Pakistan advancing a pro Pak government in Kabul in 1990.

Ethnic Tensions and Rivalries

Tribal diversity exacerbated the ungovernability and internal conflict. Centralized government deepened the gulf between town and country side. Pashtuns are the largest ethnic groups subdivided into 60 tribes and then subtribes. Tribes form social security networks called Qawm which provide financial assistance, loans etc..Due to war and migration, the Afghan rural society became increasingly atomized. Ahmed Shah Durrani, founder and ruler of Afghanistan renamed his Pashtun tribal group as Durrani. There were internal splits among family members. In 1973, King Zahir Shah was toppled by his own cousin, ex PM, Mohammed Daoud. Daouds successors formed two factions in the Soviet backed PDPA party, the Parcham and Khalq factions, split by tribal politics and Persian and Pashtun speakers. Poet, Nur Mohammed Taraki, leader of radically militant Marxist Khalq faction whose group killed Daoud and seized office in 1978, came from the non elite Ghilzai Pashtun stock. His rival, Babrak Karmal, leader of the moderate Parcham faction was a royalist Durrani Pashtun. Both tribes are mutually suspicious. Taliban leader Mullah Omar was Ghilzai Pashtun. Afghanistan had no name for the nation before Abdur Rahman centralized the administration. He combined the dynastic terms of Durrani with the religious perspective of jihad. This also had a Pashtun character, unfriendly towards other ethnic groups, the Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Aimaks, Turkmen, Baloch and others. Rahman’s approach of authorities model of national development failed in part due to shortage of resources and capital, so after 1919, his successors relied on international aid, and client like relationship causing a developmental crisis.

Economic Weakness and Developmental Crises

The intervention forces inherited an economically broken state in 2001. The longer term history of failed economic modernization was to blame than the Taliban or fight against Soviets. Afghanistan was a weak rentier state for much of the 20th century. When foreign aid declined fiscal crisis set in. Army got technical assistance from Soviets like from British and Turkish forces in 19th century. Soviet Union built the Kabul airport, Americans constructed the kandhahar airport. A politicized and educated student middle class became discontented with the political scene and Islamists tried a coup in 1975,but failed. The PDPA coup of 1978 succeeded because of left leaning Afghan officers in army trained by the Soviets.

The Soviet Intervention

Despite Kremlin’s displeasure with the ruling Daoud regime, the Soviets warned the two pro Soviet PDPA factions against coups and tried to reconcile among the two factions through Indian mediators in 1977. In 1978, in response to arrest of some Communists Afghan military units loyal to Tarakis deputy Hafizullah Amin, launched a coup and killed Daoud. Thus Soviets were forced to intervene to support PDPA while resistance in countryside to PDPA land reforms led to violence. Though Soviet Union provided them with military equipment and advisers it refused requests from Afghan side of direct military intervention and urged Kabul to cease repression. Soviet Politburo leaders recognized that Afghanistan was not ready for socialism, but the infighting in PDPA forced Soviet union to support them. The Parcham faction was repressed or exiled and the Khalq factions descended to a bloody internecine strife. When Taraki was smothered to death by Amin and he assumed dictatorial power, KGB began on the suspicion that he was a CIA plant seeking to undermine the revolution one like Anwar Sadat had defected from Soviet to US side, and the Soviets entered Afghanistan, assassinated Amin and replaced him with the moderate, Babrak Kamral.

Soviet intervention was defensive fearing the defection of Afghanistan from socialist camp, deployment of US missiles there and the Islamist destabilization of Soviet Central Asia. Brezhnev hoped for a drawdown of Soviet forces by1980 after stabilizing and consolidating the regime.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Adviser of president Carter found the parallels of Vietnam in Afghanistan for Soviets and persuaded him to authorize covert aid to anti Kabul factions in 1979 to lure Soviets to increase their military. By 1980,the newly elected president Ronald Reagan, full scale aid was being given to mujahedeen through arms pipeline via Egypt, Israel, Pakistan and China. Saudis too aided them. The Soviet troops were increased to counter the foreign sponsored insurgency. But Gorbachev withdrew the Soviet forces by 1986 and pursued a political solution to the conflict. The war devastated Afghanistan economically increasing dependency on outside aid. The Soviets destroyed the Karez irrigation system as mujahidins sheltered in the tunnels and by1980 Afghans entirely depended on Soviet Union for wheat and fuel whose failure to meet the annual supply led to crisis of Najibullah regime in 1991.

Geopolitics in a tough neighborhood

The economic failure of Afghanistan, key location, rentier state status drew the neighbors into the country . Afghanistan served as a land bridge to some other place, like when Alexander the Great passed through the place enroute India. During the 1980s the western commentators speculated about the intent of Soviets in Afghanistan as a transport corridor to warm water ports labeling it as an aggressor. The US government presented the Soviet presence as an immediate threat to Persian Gulf. Declassified documents show that Soviet Union was reluctant to intervene and was caught unawares by PDPA take over and tribal backlash.

The US oil company, Unocal ,during 1990s conducted talks with the Taliban over the construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan and India, but stalled after domestic opposition over Talibans record of women’s rights. In 2001, Afghanistan remained a critical component of the Silk Road project by US. Though president Karzai would court Iran, China and Russia, his freedom to shape foreign policy was limited.

The Soviet Withdrawal

Soviet withdrawal in 1989 happened in good order leaving Najibullah as president leaving behind a well equipped military with equipments like SCUD missiles and tanks. They were later undermined by corruption and desertion. Both government and mujahedeen had been receiving funding from abroad, but Najibullahs National Reconciliation Policy though initially successful in persuading considerable mujahedeen deflections to government side and increasing the number of villages under government control, later fell back and momentum of reconciliation was lost. Still, mujahedeens were incapable of overwhelming the Afghan army even with occasional Pak artillery fire. The reason for collapse of Najibullah government was not the mujahedeen military victory as the disintegration of Soviet Union. By 1991, the Soviets pledged to cut off economic and military aid to Najibullah.

By 1992 under the persuasion of UN negotiators, Najibullah announced his resignation. His military commander Uzbek General Dostum defected with his army and military equipments to the indefatigable Tajik insurgent, Ahmed Shah Massoud. Kabul fell to them, Najibullah remained under the UN guard in Kabul after evacuating his family to India, until the Taliban killed him four years later after torture and hanged the mangled bodies from lamp post. The mujahedeens themselves were fragmented and engaged in civil war for the spoils. There were eight Shia mujahedeen parties based in Iran and seven Sunni parties based in Pakistan. There were divisions between political moderates and Islamists too. Islamists possessed an advantage as they had organized a political infrastructure in Pakistan before 1979. They were also favored by the powerful ISI. The Islamist splinter groups created many political Islam groups, by mujahedeens who were active in violent underground student politics which had emerged at Kabul university during 1960s and 70s. ( pg 265;29). The mujahedeen movement originated in Pakistan refugee camps under the wings of ISI,trained by ISI for disruptive operations in Afghanistan . For ISI, Afghanistan was a pawn in the struggle against India. ISI worked with CIA in a largest global covert operation in funneling foreign arms and aid which it assumed as its monopoly, and which were distributed to mujahedeen to carry out operations and also as reward. The Saudi intelligence service, GID, under Prince Turki not only helped CIA and ISI in the pipeline, but sent waves of Arab volunteers to Pakistan to participate international jihad against the Soviet backed regime of Kabul.

ISI gave arms and aid to the Islamist factions of mujahedeen, and the royalist factions were ignored due to their wariness of Pashtun nationalism and since the Islamist factions conformed to Pakistan’s own military and political goals in Afghanistan. The Pakistan military had eluded civilian control and frequently seized the reigns of power as guardians of nation. In 1977, the Pakistani military dictator Gen Zia ul Haq took over power from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and hanged him. Gen Zia vigorously participated in islamization of pak public and political life and foresaw Afghanistan as a real Islamic state. Shi’te Afghan refugees received training in Iran religious schools fostering a pro Ayatollah Khomeini camp. ISI had a favorite clie6, the tough Gulbuddin Hikmatyar, leading a leninist style centralized Islamist party, a Kabul University engineering student with a brutal reputation of acid throwing of the face of unveiled female students . His party had a disciplined military organization with religious commissars to keep officers in check. Later, he was not able to fully mobilize the Pashtun tribal belt and the ISI shifted its focus to Taliban.

The fragmentation of mujahedeen was compounded by the political and physical distance separating party leaders in Pakistan and Iran and commanders in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan itself there was turf war between rival factions. The commanders aligned with one or other external party leaders for economic reasons. The Tajik commander Ahmed Shah Massoud called Lion of Panjshir by the western press, the most effective mujahedeen field commander affiliated himself with Burhanuddin Rabbani s JIA party. The field commanders enjoyed autonomy in recruiting fighters, political decisions and raising local taxes. Massoud in 1983 unilaterally concluded a personal truce with Soviet union causing ISI to distrust him and thus destined to get only little aid, like the US supplied Stinger antiaircraft missiles. Mujahedeen inter fighting caused many casualties in Afghanistan. Relations between the parties of Hikmatyar and Rabbani became worse. So the mujahedeen effort of an unified government after Najibullah s fall was fragile. The Saudis and ISI backed Hikmatyar who launched two unsuccessful military assaults in Kabul during 1990 to hasten Najibullah s collapse, eventually halted by US protest. In 1992, Kabul fell to Dostum- Massoud alliance, but fighting broke out between Hikmatyars forces and Massoud s forces. Hikmatyar bombarded Kabul with rockets killing almost 5000 civilians and turning a million into refugees. Kabul, a modern conurbation made by the Soviets, was reduced to rubble. The US State Department’s Ed McWilliams raised concerns about the secular, well educated Afghans in the communist controlled areas supporting Soviet backed Najibullah fearing the extremist Hikmatyar. Such concerns shifted the American thinking towards Afghanistan in 1990 towards encouraging a moderate government excluding both men. The National Commanders Shura was formed of moderate mujahedeens, the ISI director excluded from talks. Thus a nascent third movement was formed by the US. NCS leaders were invited by Massoud to Kabul in 1992 to form a transitional government. But tensions arose between the external and internal fronts and a multipolar war broke out between Iranian backed factions allied with Hazaras, Hikmatyar, Massouds Tajiks, JIA, and Dostum who defected from Massoud to Hikmatyar and untimely rejoined Massouds Northern Alliance when Kabul fell to the Taliban. Civilians suffered the most from this war with the mujahedeens discredited in their eyes. The ensuing chaos led some power brokers in Pakistan to support Taliban.

Regional Crime and Corruption

A thriving black economy on opium trade developed by the end of 1970s in Afghanistan and Pakistan due to IRANIAN policy to opium production, drought in Golden Triangle of Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, shifting the geographical focus, into Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghanistan was a fertile atmosphere since the fighting there had destroyed much of the fragile local agricultural system and the CIA and ISI were intertwined in the opium trade. Pakistan army trucks with the absolute complicity of higher officials traded CIA provided arms to Afghanistan and heroin back. All the mujahedeen leaders flourished with the opium trade, Hikmatyar with Pakistan heroin syndicates and Massoud and Rabbani to Russia and Europe through Tajikistan. Along with this, a trading economy of illicit goods between Pakistan and Afghanistan facilitated by trade in duty free goods through Karachi under an old Afghan Transit Trade Agreement, created corrupt transport mafias involving politicians, police and army officers, obliterating domestic competition. The infighting mujahedeens tapped into the drug economy and underground trade economy. The many warring factions ran informal custom barriers taxing the traffic through the roads they controlled posing a threat to Quetta transport mafias profit margins . Benazir Bhuttos interior minister, Nazirulllah Khan Babur, both suspicious of ISI support for Hikmatyar, created an Afghan Trade Development cell, paramilitary frontier corps to set up wireless network for Taliban field commanders, sent technicians to repair kandhahar airport. By 1994 ISI too switched support to Taliban.

The roots of Taliban are the religious madrassas that sprang up in Pakistan’s FATA territories during islamization campaign of Zia ul Haq . Taliban originated from the puritanical Deobandi movement favored by Saudis. The students ( talibs) came from Afghan refugee camps and participated in jihad along side mujahedeens in anti Soviet and anti Najibullah activities. The future Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was a jihadi from a Karachi madrassa. The movements swift development as an independent force was due to Omar’s moral disgust at mujahedeen leadership failures. Omar took arms against the mujahedeen warlords in 1994. In reality the outraged religious leaders of Taliban mobilized followers first before Omar decided to lead the movement retrospectively. It became renowned after the capture of Spin Boldak border district and Hikmatyars Pasha arms depot, that supplied Taliban with Kalashnikovs.

The Taliban became defenders of truck convoys by Pakistan armys NLC from Quetta through kandhahar and Herat to Ashkabad,the capital of Turkmenistan. Taliban then seized kandhahar in 1994. The US oil Company Unocal successfully lobbied Washington to give Islamabad the greenlight over backing of Taliban while its Saudi counterpart Delta financed Toyota pickups which were converted into high speed advanced convoys by Taliban troops. Both the companies were heavily invested in building a gas pipeline linking Ashkabad with Pakistan and Arabian sea, Delta signing an agreement with Taliban and Turkmenistan later. Taliban deftly exploited local Qawm networks, threatening and breaking away weak militia leaders. Fall of Kandahar provided them with tanks and MiG fighters jets. Taliban expanded their numbers exponentially by forming Afghan lashkar formations( an ad hoc grouping together as response to confront an enemy). They clashed with Hikmatyar s forces in Kabul in 1995 , utilizing the military equipments, night raids, artillery arm of ex communist army officers and driven back from the centre by Massouds airforce, but gained other provinces elsewhere. Herat was taken with ISI help and the MiG 21 provided by the defected Dostum. Massoud abandoned Kabul in 1996 following a high speed advance by Taliban from many axes. The economy was run by shadow economy, revenues from tax on opium and Afghan transit routes.

Prominently Pashtun movement, Taliban campaigned against the other ethnic tribes. A massacre of 600 Taliban leaders and fighters in Maziari Sharif in 1979 in a street fighting was followed by a revenge massacre against shi te Hazaras in 1998, almost 5000 to 6000 killed. The murder of Iranian diplomats, destruction of Bamyan Buddhist statues, all demonstrated Talibans intolerance to other ethnic divisions and religious symbols . The lashkar style Taliban defense struggled to man frontline permanently. By 2001, foreign fighters from central Asian republics, Uighur separatists and Arabs from Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda were drafted to meet the requirements.

9/11 and response

After 9/11 a triad of threats were envisioned by the US administration as existential threat to US and the west- terrorist groups with a global reach, proliferation of WMD, and the malign influence of rogue states. The corollary to the security processes that ensued lacked clarity of purpose and strategy with a continued inconsistency that persisted throughout. More than a revenge on the attack, the invasion reflected the temperament of President Bush comfortable with big strategic plays. Interestingly the Bush administration had a visceral disdain for nation building before. They had criticized the US role in peace keeping operations in Yugoslavia and Haiti in 1990s under Clinton. The language of war was transformed and revolutionalized by Bush and colleagues from the 1991 liberation of Kuwait by Operation Desert Storm. Bush stated in a speech that the best way to keep the peace was to redefine war on US terms.

Donald Rumsfeld harnessed technological advances in military to produce a leaner, more efficient military that could bring success with fewer planes, vehicles, ships and manpower. US military transformation took the form of rapidly deployed, short duration combat missions, in which victory could be achieved quickly and forces speedily withdrawn to avoid nation building, equating operational victory at the battlefield with strategic and political success . Specific policy approaches from deeply held Ideological commitments by think tanks like Project for the New American Century which advocated the Statement of Principles to address a drift in US foreign policy and defense policy towards increased defense spending, modernization of armed forces, preserving the international order, were embraced by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Zalmay Khalulzad, the people who gained senior positions in the Bush administration. Along with many others including Jeb Bush, significant policy changes were suggested like the US embrace of leadership, shaping international order, security, global democratization instead of peace keeping missions, challenging repressive regimes to establish liberal democracy, enhanced national ballistic missiles etc.

The attacks on the towers were tailored for an audience used to 24/7 real media coverage. The voyeuristic experience was compounded by the shocked and terrified citizens, confused president all transmitted real time. Open emotional wounds and fear of future attacks compounded those planning the response policy. The CIA Director George Tenet unequivocally placed Laden and Al Qaeda as the culprits, though later Rumsfeld put Iraq, Libya, Iran and Sudan in the list of suspects. Thus though Afghanistan and al Qaeda were going to be the first targets the policy aims were broader and diffuse. Bush’s rhetorical flourishes like equating the enemy with a person, organization, nation, terrorism and a state of mind reflected the inchoate approach that would undermine the intervention. It became impossible to differentiate vital from peripheral, essential from desirable or threatening from problematic. For many of the key figures, Iraq and Saddam Hussein were an obsession. Despite the counterterrorism chief Richard Clark pointing to Al Qaeda as the culprit Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolowitz pushed to include Iraq. Laden moved from Sudan to Afghanistan in 1996 and the CIA set up a Bin Laden Unit at the same time. After al Qaeda attacks on US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 and USS Cole in 2000, Clinton ordered cruise missile attacks in a pharmaceutical factory at al Shifa in Sudan allegedly linked to chemical agent production , later turned out to be wrongly identified and Khost camp in eastern Afghanistan, though Laden had left the camp before that. Clinton administration tried to negotiate with the Taliban and Pakistan to hand over Bin Laden and to stop supporting al Qaeda activities, but to no avail.

For Taliban, Al Qaeda offered the prospect of victory over the Northern Alliance. In return they gave them a secure base and training camps. Nicknamed Sheikh, Bin Laden traveled in SUV s and distributed money to the poor and Taliban, contrary to the western image of him as a robed fakir sitting in a dusty cave. Pakistan’s Afghan problems were solved by Taliban under Mullah Omar. The Taliban government in Kabul was rabidly anti Indian, though Pashtun dominated they were religiously austere not to raise nationalist fervor and the Pashtunistan question. Taliban would facilitate the training of Kashmiri insurgents, the same reason why ISI facilitated the influx of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan. Also the ISI believed it could have Al Qaeda maintain its dominant influence over Taliban. Two ironies are notable. One no Afghans were involved in planning and execution of the attack . Second, in the morning of the attack, the head of ISI, Mahmoud Ahmed was in Capitol Hill meeting with significant administrators including CIA director and was adamant in his support for Taliban and in making no commitment to cut ties with Al. He witnessed the smoke from the Pentagon after the attacks, later. On Sept 13, the Pak ambassador Maleeha lodhi and the general were summoned to State Department and told to accept seven non negotiable steps the Pakistanis should take. They included cutting support to Al Qaeda, US bases in Pakistan, overflight and territorial access rights, intelligence gathering etc. President Musharraf agreed to all asking for a quid pro quo to lift the US sanctions placed in 1999 in response to the military coup and nuclear weapons program. Bush lifted all sanctions.

The indispensable logistic and basing support from Pakistan tied US hands in being robust against the country. The military Central Command had no plans on the shelf for invasion of the country. Al Qaeda, Iraq and Taliban were zeroed in as targets initially though in the following decade Taliban was out of the list of strategic targets. Administration was thinking of a sudden onslaught and withdrawal, while the military needed months to prepare for a major invasion in a difficult territory . A long period at reprisal would have caused domestic political consequences as the public rooted for an immediate response. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz argued for an Iraq invasion first, Rumsfeld pressing that Afghanistan had little in the way of good targets for the military whereas Iraq was replete with them. Colin Powell countered this on the grounds that if Iraq was hit at that stage the support of the allies would evaporate. Bush decided that the attention should focus on Afghanistan, but the unspoken agreement was that Iraq would be attacked sooner. The CIA plan by its Director George Tenet to insert CIA teams in northern Afghanistan to link up with the Northern Alliance against Taliban and Al Qaeda was accepted by Bush and equivocally supported by Rumsfeld since it would give an uncomfortable degree of authority to the CIA. The Rumsfeld-Cheney pair, starting from Gerald Ford administration and continuing into the Bush administration, had a working relationship, Rumsfeld forming something like a mentor to Cheney. Powell was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of senior Bush and Cheney the Defense Secretary during the Operation Desert Storm. The relationship between the administration members was positive and negative and complex. Bush’s relationship with Powell was of a rival.

Bush was personally closer to Rice,Cheney and Rumsfeld . Cheney’s influence was significant. The disagreements between Powell and Rumsfeld was the most important institutional tension between. Earlier, Rumsfeld wanted American troop withdrawal from Bosnia, which Powell resisted in fear of straining the relationship with NATO. This contributed to the rage in the Defense Secretary about the inequities of nation building and suspect attitude of State Department. Recriminations between Pentagon and State Department became routine and heated over Afghanistan and Iraq. Influence of Rumsfeld over Cheney and Bush overrode his enmity with Powell and Powell’s reluctance to influence defense matters contributed to the foreign policy of Bush administration being shaped by Department of Defense to an extent that had few parallels in US history. Pentagon codenamed the imminent military intervention as Operation Infinite Justice first and changed to Operation Enduring Freedom later. The next headache was overflight agreements and basing and access rights . Oman and Pakistan were intended to be utilized in the south. Putin surprisingly supported the using of Central Asian bases. He suspected that the Central Asians will be be bought off by US anyway, removing Taliban and extremists were equally important to him too, and by linking the war on terror to the counterinsurgency efforts in Chechnya could put a lid on Western complaints of human rights abuses in Chechnya. The Americans had to commit to security guarantees to Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov against the enemy movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan trying to oust him, and aid packages to get permission to use the old Soviet base, Kharshi Khanabad ( K2) in Uzbekistan.

Boots on the ground

The CIA team codenamed Jawbreaker arrived in Panjshir Valley and bought off the NA leaders with dollars. They had contacts and discussions routinely with the NA leaders even before the 9/11. The rivalries between the Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara commanders in the NA made the planning difficult for CIA. These rivalries would remain to be a recurring issue for US strategic setbacks in Afghanistan in the future too. CIA dollars were enriching the local warlords, entrenching their power and influence. Bush demanded the Taliban to release all foreign nationals, close all terrorist training camps and hand over the terrorists to the US. ISI encouraged the belief that there were moderate factions inside the Taliban ready to oppose Mullah Omar and hand over Bin laden. ISI continued its covert overture with Taliban advising the moderate factions to move against fundamentalist sections and replace Mullah Omar. The Taliban refused to hand over Laden citing the honor code of pashtunwali that prevented it. That was not an easy task as the battle hardened Al Qaeda ranks swelled with foreign fighters post 9/11 who would fight against Americans more robustly than indigenous Afghans . Thus it was clear that demands to sweep aside Taliban leadership and turn over Al Qaeda fighters were unlikely to bear fruit.

Airstrikes started when Taliban failed to comply with the demands. Even as the Pakistanis were providing logistical and intelligence support for US the ISI officers were supplying Taliban through the trucking fleet. Soon the Talibans would be routed. Pakistanis were desperate to avoid NA occupying Kabul, to avoid non Pashtun and anti pakistani control of Kabul. In the South and East of Afghanistan the main actors were the Taliban, ISI, Al Qaeda and the truck mafia. So it seemed difficult to pitch an NA battle. But, one figure emerged, Hamid Karzai, neither a warlord nor an ISI stooge, a Durrani Pashtun. He had no battlefield experience. He was initially sympathetic to Taliban at first but later turned against them. In the east a group of warlords took control whose power grew on the back of CIA patronage. Both the southern Pashtun warlord Sherzai and the eastern warlords were ruthless, preying on local population, enriching themselves by political corruption and criminality . These American warlords as they were called cultivated American patronage as intelligence assets in tracking Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. The Tora Bora strikes to kill Bin Laden who had fled into the caves proved useless . The Eastern Alliance fighters were unreliable, 95% of them not even heard of 9/11, many of their families benefitted from Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. The motivation for the fighters was money, these people changing alliances accordingly. The escape of Laden to Pakistan was highly possible as the Pakistan armys promises of guarding their frontier was unreliable given the troops close relationship with Taliban and al Qaeda. The request for more troops were denied by Bush, Cheney in favor of light footprint. Only fierce aerial bombardments continued. But the topography provided secure hiding places. Laden and some fighters escaped from the Tora Bora caves to the inaccessible pakistani tribal areas. In doing so they liberally bribed the Eastern Alliance fighters, pakistani border guards and Pashtun guides. His escape cemented the mythology and attractiveness of al Qaeda to potential jihadists.

Finding a Political Settlement

Debates on post conflict Afghanistan was centered around avoiding large scale military presence, nation building and social engineering. But this had the effect of shutting down the possibility of analysis of relationships between political configuration of post conflict Afghanistan and US and international security. The chance of capturing or killing Bin Laden had been lost at Tora Bora because of this. The attention soon turned to Iraq and the military assets withdrawn from Afghanistan, starving the surveillance capabilities there. The Pentagon driven foreign policy of easy solution of regime change to complex problems like the threat triad of terrorism, rogue states and WMD. The pursuit of Al Qaeda and stabilization of Afghanistan received little, if any, attention. Bush had earlier agreed to transfer the responsibility to the UN. THE basic shape of the interim government assumed to include an ethnic and tribal mix with a Pashtun figurehead at the center. James Dobbins, the ambassador who had overseen post conflict diplomatic efforts in Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo, was recruited for that. The UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi laid out a plan for interim government and international force presence in Afghanistan to be discussed in Bonn Conference, Germany. The different factions present at the conference suggested Karzais name for presidency. Five minutes before Karzai was received the call an American B52 accidentally dropped a bomb on his position killing three US special forces, three of Karzais men and very nearly Karzai himself. Iranians with their Afghan refugee problem, drug crisis and hostility to Talibans played a positive role in the Bonn Conference in forming the Afghan government and they hinted at rapprochement at Washington according to Dobbins. This was ignored by Bush administration who included Iran in his Axis of Evil. The Defense Department officials at the Conference did not cooperate with the Iranian delegates and behaved like semiautonomous emissaries of Donald Rumsfeld. They were rumored to finance the Iranian opposition groups to overthrow the Iranian government without the knowledge or permission of the Bush, the State Department or CIA. Thus a parallel foreign policy was emanating from Pentagon on selected issues, a tendency repeated in Afghanistan policy.

Dobbins did not receive any written instructions from Washington for configuration of Afghanistan politics and society, others were not interested with the exception of Collin Powell. The interim administration headed by Karzai was established with the NA holding 16 of the 29 portfolios. International security force was established to maintain security in Kabul with the possibility of extending its remit to other areas later. An increased reliance on airstrikes increased civilian casualties. A convoy travelling to attend Karzais inauguration ceremony was attacked by US aircraft mistakenly killing dozens, infuriating the local population. The intelligence was provided by local warlords who manipulated the US into attacking competitors. These events that recurred many times in the following years eroded support from the local population to coalition forces and Karzai government. The aid from the international community was low and slow compared to the same to Kosovo and Bosnia. In the Bonn Conference an International Security Assistance Force commanded by a British officer was agreed to be set up first in Kabul and later extending to other provinces if required..The security situation outside Kabul was poor with the continuing combat operations against Taliban and Al Qaeda, and also warlords and criminal gangs fighting for drug market, territorial control or just terrorizing people. The requests to extend ISAF outside Kabul were vetoed by the Bush administration. This was due to the fear that a broadened international presence might hamper the counterterrorism operations, the warlords and militias who provided intelligence for this might need to disarm and this will soak up US assets much needed in Iraq . The other countries too were queasy about committing troops to an expanded security mission to avoid an open ended commitment. This tentativeness had far reacching consequences in that the window open for security to be established is low, sometimes months as in Iraq. The security vaccum of Afghanistan was filled through 2002 by the traditional warlords of the north and west and the American warlords of south and east. By the time the international coalition began to place state building in their agenda the security situation was compromised and warlord influence institutionalized. A group of al Qaeda combatants dug in Shah I Kot valley were attacked by the US, British, Germany, Australia, Canada, France and Denmark forces in Operation Anaconda. The ferocity and fanaticism with which they fought surprised the coalition.

Karzai was in no position to undermine the warlords given that he was unsure of US military help against the latter if needed. US policy was supportive of warlords in intelligence gathering against Al Qaeda. Karzai erred towards the warlords, the heads of ministries using their portfolios to enhance the opportunities and support the warlords. Meanwhile Kabul became disconnected from the provinces and districts where warlords held sway. The lack of strategic clarity of Bush administration became evident here and also when the time came when Laden was within the grasp of the US for a second time.

Roots of Taliban revival in Afghanistan

The political-military approach by US and the international community after 2002 was light footprint approach and lack of interest in nation building by Bush administration. After 2002 formal operation against Taliban almost ended in the light of Iraq invasion. The numbers of American led military command and European led ISAF were low. The Afghan constitution of 2004 was fatally flawed and the elections that followed also led to deteriorating security situation. At the international donors conference in Tokyo 2002, Washington pledged an assistance less than that by Iran and less than that given to Kosovo and Bosnia. Plan to spend the resources to expand Afghan National Army was devised by Rumsfeld but the number of troops were limited. Later in 2008-2009 a massive increase in troops was recommended. In 2002-2006 the reluctance of Bush administration for a larger peace keeping commitment, sluggishness of aid distribution process and diversion of resources to war in Iraq condemned Afghanistan to a minor hell, a breeding ground for Taliban revival.

NATO in Crisis

In 2002 and 2003 the relationship of US with NATO soured on the desire of some in Bush administration to overthrow Saddam and the ensuing weapons inspections and UN resolutions. France and Germany vehemently opposed. Vituperative exchanges followed with Rumsfeld introducing the concept of Old and New Europe, a concept that the Bush administration saw Germany and France as hes beens. Media and politicians poured oil on fire, with US media calling French, cheese eating surrender monkeys and axis of weasels. Though French acridness was expected, the German ire turned surprising given Germany was the consensus builder in NATO. Diplomatic relations too didn’t help with the tense relationship between Bush and German Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder and the German justice minister likening Bush to Adolf Hitler. There were analyst predictions since the end of cold war that without the phantom of Soviet threat the NATO would succumb to internal splits and become irrelevant. In 2003 US sought approval for NATO planning to bolster Turkish defense in case of Iraq war, the Bush administration needed Turkey’s support for Iraq invasion and wished to provide assistance to Turkey in terms of antimissile capabilities and aerial surveillance assets. When the issue came before the NATO council, Germany France and Belgium objected, amounting to refusal to support a member in times of crisis. NATO s solidarity principle was in crisis and many predicted the alliance as unlikely to recover.

In 2003 NATO took over the leadership of security in Kabul from the European led ISAF. Afghanistan provided a means of solidifying the alliance because of the growing confidence of Rumsfeld Cheney duo in 2003 of the stabilization and reconstruction mission in Afghanistan that needed an international peace keeping effort, cost of operations could be shifted to alliance partners, the NATO would help US distance from the nation building distraction and concentrate in Iraq. For Europeans this was a chance to bring the transatlantic relationship back on track. For stabilizing NATO, the alliance mission was couched in terms of stabilizing Afghanistan. To regain the credibility of NATO, the alliance would operate in the whole country, but this didn’t provide a solution to its internal problems. The security sector reform was allotted to five countries, US mentoring the ANA, Germany the ANP, Italy judicial reform, Japan the reintegration of armed group, and uk counternarcotics. The high speed institution building was a carry over from Kants Liberal Peace Theory. But the institution building framework of Afghanistan failed from the outset the emphasis on the top down governmental structures turning abstract and corrupt, the everyday need of Afghan people being poorly served . The basic development indices fell between 2003 and 2005. Life expectancy fell, adult literacy fell and the institution focused security sector’s reform pillars didn’t make progress.

The lead nation approach lacked coordination with Afghanistan government, with the lead nations targeting resources and managing funds through private contractors working in isolation. ANA received higher salaries than civil servants and police, the economic expansion creating inflation. There was an expensive army without a sustainable bureaucracy and the high paying NGO jobs lured bureaucrats to these. ANA was dogged by desertion, lax discipline, corruption, neglect of logistics, communications and artillery, armor, air support assets, that they were prepared more as an auxiliary force to support the coalition/ NATO and was doubtful in its ability to act autonomously. ANA took the lions share of operating budget, later on increasing when it was provided with heavy weaponry, much of it unnecessary, expensive and impractical. Like substituting US Humvees for local pickup trucks and the regionally ubiquitous and easily sourced AK 47 with the fussy and high maintenance US M16 assault rifles. The Afghan National Police formed in 2003 involved in corruption and bribery, smuggling and was disbanded in 2006. US took over the police training from Germany due to the ineffective German approach and allocated a Texas based private company Dyncorp a contract which then employed American police officers with no Afghan experience to run a three week training with no follow up training or mentoring and no improvement in equipment or logistics. Millions spent by the US became useless in the end . ANP lacked vehicles and radios and became entrenched in a culture of drug abuse and corruption. They were regularly outfought by their enemies and Taliban with better equipment. The disdain for the police forces is evident in that they were supplied with forty year old rifle ammunitions and Kalashnikov assault rifles from the aging stockpile of second order Eastern European countries like Albania and Poland.

The UK owned counternarcotics program was also a failure . The area and amount of poppy cultivation increased rather than decreasing. The financial incentive program for destroying poppies by farmers themselves led to more cultivation in order to get the money, targeting large traffickers and heroin labs bedevilled by corruption, all led to US trying to eradicate the crops via crop spraying, a position not supported by UK or Afghan government. US a6UK positions diverged . The US paid farmers to grow alternative crops. But the good weather caused an increase in relative opium production which canceled the small decrease in production recorded earlier. In 1996 Afghanistan exported 25 percentage of its product as heroin and 75 percentage as raw opium, which was reversed in2006 75 percent heroin and 25 percent raw opium, evidence for a sophisticated network emerging under the nose of the international coalition. The drug economy played an important role for growth in Afghanistan. Drug eradication programs in 2005 upended the economy of some provinces with the farmers neck deep in debt, economy restored later on from increased poppy cultivation and economy regaining again, a trend that could be mistaken for healthy wave of national recovery, a psuedo development. Transformation from war economy to peace economy was not easy either with the number of militias more than the regular troops. The disarmament of militias was a never ending process with only the large equipments like tanks surrendered while failing to stem the tide of rocket launchers, explosive and mines which flooded the country . The disarmament process was completely derailed when proposals were brought forward to establish auxiliary police units between 2006 and 2008 by remobilizing and co opting village militias initiated by president Karzai. This was a wildly inconsistent act in stabilization and reconstruction by the international community turning centralization back towards decentralization. This also underscored an intellectual vacuum at the heart of Western Liberal Peace Theory.

The American scholar Barnett Rubin correctly laid the reason for the failures at the feet of the resilience of local Afghan networks that undermined the establishment and functioning of formal state institutions as early as 2004. Though the society’s own weaknesses was a result of decades of civil war, the regional developments were not due to absence or weakness of state institutions but was compounded by the WESTERN policy of liberal peace agenda. The construction was that of a wrong kind of state. Warlordism and absence of an effective bureaucracy were byproducts of an externally dictated and decentralizing economic agenda which declared that the state should be enabler rather than provider of economic growth. The state was kept as an abstract, politically disenfranchised facilitator by a decision to leave reconstruction to global private sector. This was a historically blind formula. Accelerated democratic elections re entrenched warlords in office. Political and economic liberalization destabilized the war shattered states into perpetual instability. International aid for reconstruction was slow and low further damaged by the government capacity and corruption. The US spent eleven times more on military operations than reconstruction, humanitarian aid,economic assistance and training of security forces combined. The US aid was conditional on purchasing US goods and services leading to the aid being called phantom aid. The construction contracts were given to their own private companies at huge costs despite other cheaper bids. The Kabul Kandhahar highway project was given to the US firm Louis Berger to build roads, dams, schools and other infrastructure. The contract amount was huge despite existence of lower bids and the finished product was a narrow two lane shoulder less highway visibly crumbling by 2006.

Pressure to complete work in time for a success story by 2004 election led to the use of low grade and substandard materials at astronomical prices. The fact that the aid was directly implemented or contracted by the donors cemented a form of government which cannot report to its parliament about public expenditure ,something that could hardly be called democratic. The Provincial Reconstruction Teams set up in provinces outside Kabul were meant to reconstruct, mediate conflict and repair. Comparable to Soviet agitprop units that distributed food, medicine, oil etc., but the multinational nature of PRT ,inconsistent mission statement, civil military tension, and antipathy from the NGO’S for politicizing and militarizing aid ,complicated its work. The UK, US and German PRT models were divergent with differing civil military inclusion, link to local politicians and the mode of use of aid . Each had its own national agenda attached to aid. A thriving private sector based accelerated reconstruction efforts before the 2004 election led to social inequities.

The constitution drafted was deeply flawed. Karzai maintained a strongly presidential system by which he kept power to distribute favors and operate with autonomy with the support of warlords, religious elders and drug traffickers. He won a second term by massive vote rigging. By the time the international commentors investigated the links between state failure, aid ineffectiveness and escalating insurgency, Taliban revival took root and prospered. This began as early as 2002 and followed by insurgent attacks, rockets, assassinations, ambushes, assaults, night letters..The numbers of Taliban steadily increased from 2000 in 2003 to 25000 in 2010. Mullah Omar was the leader of the faithful and there was a distinct organizational structure. Tehrik I Taliban Pakistan was a subgroup that emerged in 2002 in FATA territories of Pakistan in response to Pakistan army incursions post 2002 that aimed at rooting out Al Qaeda fighters. This made the soldiers targets of the group whose number swelled to 30000 by 2007. The goal of Afghan Afghan Taliban was to liberate Afghanistan from western domination while the Pakistan Taliban maintained a close link to Al Qaeda with a broader jihadist agenda . By 2002 Hikmatyar returned to Afghanistan from Iran proclaiming jihad against US after a failed CIA attempt on his life . An opponent of the Karzai government his organization, HIH , revived its activities in the South east . He was closely affiliated with Taliban, though maintained a distinct organizational structure. Another group closely affiliated with Taliban was the Haqqani Network integrated to Taliban and rebuilding its presence after 2003. Led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, an ISI asset mujahedeen fighting Soviets he reconciled with Taliban quickly than Hikmatyar. His son Serajuddin Haqqani enjoyed close links to Al Qaeda and conducted terrorist attacks on representatives of Afghanistan, India and US.

The Taliban revived the logistical infrastructure and reestablished the chain of command in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2006. It included a flexible approach by incorporating suicide bombers, IED s, propaganda publications, etc. Despite the disorganization and consequences, the prevailing mood In the West was optimistic and dubbed as a war we are winning. Taliban was pronounced to be a force in decline by the military and intelligence. Rumsfeld who visited Afghanistan in 2003 declared that the combat operations were over simultaneous to Bush’s infamous mission accomplished speech in Iraq. The fact was that the coalition forces were delusional and the insurgency of Taliban was steeply increasing from 2002, suicide attacks increasing 70 times by 2007. All other modes of attacks increased substantially . It was a lethal combination of blind optimism and neglect in the 2002-2005 period that periodically recurred in decision making councils that laid the groundwork of Taliban revival in 2006-2007. General David Barno ,the US commander on the ground from 2003-2005 blamed the reverses after 2005 not on inaccurate intelligence and blind optimism but on the NATO leadership. His successor found that the reports by Barno were dangerously exaggerated, the security situation either ignored or covered up. Taliban continued attacks on Afghan and US forces with the largest on on the US Chinook helicopter in 2005 killing 16 special forces men. The full extent of Taliban revival became apparent when the British attempted to extend the remit of Afghan government to Helmand province in 2006. The following operation exposed the coalition hubris regarding progress made in Afghanistan and the opening act of subsequent escalating violence and instability.

2006-2008 period was the same as the previous period and the downward spiral accelerated in pace. NATO extended its role to areas other than the north. By 2006 cracks formed within the coherence of alliance approach . The British portrayed the ISAF mission as reconstruction and the American mission of Operation Enduring Freedom as counterterrorism. When Rumsfeld expressed a Pentagon desire to replace 20000 US troops with NATO forces in 2005 the European defense ministers rejected a merging of the counterterrorism and reconstruction missions. Rumsfeld’s decision to reduce US troops and replacement with NATO forces was a morale booster for Taliban and Al Qaeda for stepping up attacks.

NATO s move south

British forces were the vanguard in the move south. Two objectives for this were to correct the frosty transatlantic relationship and reducing popularity domestically of British presence in southern Iraq. By 2004-2005 the security situation of Iraq began to deteriorate and London wanted to reduce British commitment there without riling up Washington by taking up some of the reconstruction and stabilizing missions in Afghanistan. Dutch and Canadians also joined the move South. Apart from deployment a sense of profound thinking about developments in Afghanistan was absent. The casual way in which decisions were made was visible in the decision to assign kandhahar, homeground of Taliban to Canadians and not British. The broad consensus among the coalition forces to extend central government control over the ungoverned spaces was based on the development of effective states with liberal social, political and economic structures for international security. This belief was deeply rooted in Western thinking. Though opposed to nation building a deep Ideological belief in the universality of American values littered the rhetoric of George Bush. A sense of universal solutions to international problems, the conditionalities linked to aid provision in terms of good governance and theological approach of WESTERN Development agencies demonstrated that inclination. Circular arguments like the one made by British prime minister Gordon Brown, ‘there can only be one winner democracy and a stronger Afghan state ‘ ‘ a safer Britain needs a safer Afghanistan ‘ , the objective became indistinguishable from the means of achieving it. A democratic and strong Afghan state is needed to defeat terrorism, but terrorism must be beaten so that a strong and democratic Afghan state can emerge. A strong and democratic Afghan state as the magic solution to security problems of the world was deeply held by all the coalition forces, UN and EU. A mid 2006 proposal by Karzai to rearm tribal militias to defeat Taliban was rejected by all on the basis that this would strengthen forces inimical to Central government even though they could defeat Taliban. This mirrored the irony of rejecting an initiative from a democratically elected president in an ostensibly sovereign country on the grounds that it would be inimical to Central government and also the inconsistency of US approach that had previously armed the same militias before and after the fall of Taliban.

The south and the east Pashtun dominated areas were practically not under the Central government control and efforts to achieve this provoked resistance from Pashtuns whose tribal societies were historically some of the most intrinsically governed. Their governance is less hierarchical Clans like Khans or Maliks are respected but do not issue commands and orders in the traditional leadership sense. Major decisions are the elder assembly like jirgas or personalized clusters of Qawm networks. There is a strict pre Islamic code of Pashtunwali overlying all of these. Taliban considered this un Islamic and infiltrated the Pashtun society with Mullahs trained in Deobandi madrassas over the border in Pakistan . Deobandi is a sect of Sunni Islam which strongly believes in active and confrontational approach to jihad. The radicalization and subversion of Pashtun order has been a source of friction between Taliban and the Pashtun tribes. This disruption of the Pashtun tribal structures due to civil wars, internal migration and infiltration by Deobandi Mullahs was mistaken by the western crowd as ungoverned space. They saw the extension of Central government control to the south and the east as a solution, while pashtunwali still governed the social, opolitical and cultural life of Pashtuns and external government control was anathema and the antithesis of Pashtun code. The failure to grasp this didn’t get well with the NATO that tried to extend their control in south and east.

The NATO deployment to the south was delayed due to a Dutch political issue and the delayed deployment overlapped with the fighting season there after poppy harvest. The relationship with the Karzai government and British also soured over his refusal to remove the governors of Helmand and Uruzgan. Karzai was engaged in keeping the rickety central alliance of Tajiks, Uzbeks, hazaras and Pashtuns together and prevent a government collapse and civil war . Though corrupt and brutal, the powerful local figures like Akundzada and Jan Mohammed Khan in the South, was one of the few ways in which Karzai could exert some influence on the violent and complex tribal politics of south. British made their removal preconditional for deployment in south, that Karzai had to concede later. Akundzada was replaced with Mohammed Daoud, but his influence would cast a long shadow over Helmand. Karzai was irritated from the preconditions by the British and the news of a small number of NATO forces planned to be deployed. That coupled with American force reduction was a sure sign of lessening commitment from the west that might open a Taliban attack. Not enough ground forces in the South would lead to over reliance on air support leading to civilian casualties and political fallout. Helmand was an area of fierce tribal rivalries, drug trade and Taliban activities. The governor Akundzada and the intelligence chief supported their own tribes, marginalizing other tribes like Ishaqzai and Noorzai on drug trade and truck trafficking. The marginalized tribes swelled the ranks of Taliban. When Akundzada was removed, he urged his tribe men to join Taliban. Taliban influence increased in the South with an imminent attack.

The British entered into the cauldron of endless factionalism and overlapping conflict dynamics by feuding tribes, drug mafias and local militias. Britain had to increase their troops and depend on airstrikes after a Taliban attack. This aroused the ghosts of Maiwand battle by British in the 19th century. The civilian population turned against the British. This emboldened the Taliban who increased the tempo of their operations across south and east. Coalition responded by airstrikes increasing civilian casualties, provoking fury among the population and ensuring a steady stream of local recruits to Taliban. The precarious British position in places like Musa Qala was continued despite the flawed approach due to fear of domestic political fallout in Britain and collapse of British credibility with Afghans and Americans. A peace accord was formed between the British , provincial jirga leaders and Taliban for British withdrawal and alternative governance and conflict resolution model based on local tribal politics.. That was an exact antithesis of extending centralized governance to provinces. A deal with Taliban and supporters instead of fighting them irked Washington especially as Pakistan had also signed a peace deal with the Taliban and Al Qaeda supporting tribes in the north west solidifying the belief that Pakistan was not exerting enough pressure to fight the militants. The deal collapsed after an US airstrike killed the Taliban leaders brother. The general American aversion to such local deals as a strategic and tactical disaster resulted in not presuming such deals in future. Taliban attacks increased considerably and counterattacks by coalition too increased .

The intervention was fragmented by lack of unified chain of command and involvement of many states, international organizations, NGO’S, private companies and interest groups with competing agendas. Afghanistan was a full fledged narco state by then. It was impossible to craft counternarcotics operations due to the absence of a coherent strategy. Forced destruction of poppy fields under pressure from Washington played into the hands of Taliban propaganda who claimed that only they could protect the fields. Also eradication was disproportionately concentrated in government controlled areas with the Afghan power brokers marking the fields on the basis of political rivalries. Thus poppy eradication exacerbated the security situation undermining the war on terror. The coalition was divided on the utility of eradication with one group pursuing eradication while groups like ISAF disowning it to the local population. Targeted strikes against the Taliban was strategically problematic since the group was an umbrella term for disparate groupings and motivations. Only a proportion were radicalized Islamists with agendas of global jihad, products of Pakistan’s madrassas or foreign fighters. Others included disaffected local tribesmen alienated by corrupt local officials, dishonored by coalition military activity, seeking to avenge a relative’s death, still others were the traditional afghan Taliban who sought to free Afghanistan, others were just using the badge for entrepreneurial gains. The global jihadists posed more security threats to the international interests. Intelligence from Afghans was slanted to private feuds. Taliban itself manipulated the coalition forces into killing leaders and members. The ISI was also a master at Machiavellian arts with arrests and killings of the insurgents to serve their purposes or to US pressure or to just showcase to the US.

Through 2007-2008 the security situation deteriorated drastically but Iraq remained the priority for US. Relations between Karzai and US, Britain was becoming poisonous at the strategic incoherence from the coalition and inadequate pressure on Pakistan to stop fuelling Taliban violence. Taliban expanded operations to otherwise quiet provinces and Taliban judges adjudicated on and provided immediate justice for crimes under the invitation of local elders. People disillusioned with the central justice system giving out light sentences for serious crimes based on their connections or bribes, turned to Taliban for redress. Kabul was also attacked, the Serena hotel in 2008, Indian embassy bombing and an attempt at Karzai himself. The alarmed Bush administration stepped up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan and dramatically authorized military operations on Pakistan side of the border. NATO refused to take part in this mission. With the violence in Iraq falling through 2008, US turned its eyes into the forgotten war of Afghanistan. By this time responding to a deteriorating security situation the COMISAF General requested for 30000 additional troops, the decision of which would fall on the incoming Obama administration.

The Pakistan Problem

The insurgents were concentrated in the north West frontiers of Pakistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The US mood towards Pakistan oscillated between fiscal largesse, warm words and considering it as an ally in counterterrorism to anger over the perceived duplicity of Pakistan’s Afghan policy. There were concerns over the internal fragility of Pakistan, that was detrimental to the western security more than Afghan stability. The country’s ambiguous and complex attitudes towards Islamic militancy was rooted on two great fears, one of internal fragmentation and disintegration, second of the fear and paranoia of the looming India. These fears guided the pakistan policy toward Afghanistan and the militant groups. Pakistan’s security was essential to the security of Afghanistan and international security.

In December 2001,the Indian parliament building was attacked by gunmen and suicide bombers from the terrorist groups, Lashkar e Taiba and Jaish e Mohammed, both with ties to Pakistan and supported by ISI, the LeT also connected to Afghanistan in their war against Najibullah government. JeM was focused in Kashmir and along with LeT shared the ideologies of Afghan Taliban. The North Western Frontier Province of Pakistan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and FATA areas with its predominantly Pashtun population was a channel for political influence in Afghanistan and a source of dispute regarding their allegiance ISI saw Afghanistan as a vital source of strategic depth against India. The FATA territories are underdeveloped, rugged, inaccessible and governed by the draconian colonial era 1901 Frontier Crimes Regulations introduced by the British, a feudal concept by which local political agents serving as proxies of Central government impose collective punishment for individual wrong doing. The energy and mineral rich balochistan province to the west bordering Iran has a low density of shia population as against the majority Sunni population of Pakistan. Balochs resented at the lack of benefits they had from Islamabad’s exploitation of their resources and a separatist insurgency grew in the region since independence. Pakistan feared the exploitation by India of these fault lines of Pashtun and Baloch areas. The conflicts with India like the Kargil war saw extremists fighting with pak troops against indian military, Pakistan saw Islamic militants as valuable proxy forces. ISI shared strong links with the Kashmiri militants that were trained in the same Pakistan madrassas and held the same ideologies as the Afghan Taliban.

Mushraff was forced to do the balancing act of supporting the US and not displeasing the ISI and militants. He granted the US ,overflight and landing rights deployed army and intelligence units along the Pakistan Afghanistan border, replaced the ISI chief that Washington saw as too pro Taliban, granted rights to transport cargo and oil for US use through Pakistan, and in 2002 banned a number of Islamic outfits including L e T, JeM , Kashmiri oriented HM, leaderships were arrested or made to flee underground. Washington gave the seemingly moderate, secular Musharraf, whose role model was Kemal Ataturk, some benefit of doubt. In effect these changes were shortlived in that most of these militant groups regrouped adopting harml5,less militaristic titles. The regulations on the private madrassas too was lost in legislative quick sand in part also due to the Islamist partyMMA in the parliament.

Pakistan arrested mainly the foreign fighters, Uzbeks, chechens, Yemenis and Saudis and didn’t touch the ostensibly good jihadists, Taliban aligned Pashtuns, who served Pakistan’s strategic interests. Some of the foreign fighters, acting on Al Qaeda leader Zawaharis fatwa against Musharraf, had tried to kill Musharraf twice. Parvez traded high profile Al Qaeda leaders like Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for extended interrogation techniques with US in exchange for dollars and military support. The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Zaeef was similarly arrested and dispatched to Guantanamo Bay. Loan write offs, lifting the arms embargo punishing the nuclear program, billions in military aid to fight insurgents and extremists caused a climate of seemingly healthy economic growth during the early Musharraf years. Pakistan spent the aid to acquire defense equipments for deterring india and not against Taliban or al Qaeda. The projects like road building, helicopter maintenance, bunker building etc did not materialize as expected. The aid schemes were not properly accounted for. Corruption was rampant. The US officials ignored clear evidence that Pakistan military was not spending the funds to further US foreign policy objectives. Taliban attacks increased against public institutions, army, tribal elders to create a power vacuum. Northern Pakistan became the hotbed of Taliban. Pakistan airstrikes targeted Taliban in northern provinces, but failed to tackle the wider cultural Talibanazation of the provinces .. Pakistan armys bombing of a madrassa causing killing of 70 to 80 people led to retaliatory suicide bombings by Taliban on pak paramilitary training centre. Many Accords were forged with the FATA and Pakistan administration. The global jihad against Musharraf was proclaimed by al Qaeda following the government offensive of the Red mosque in Islamabad, a pro Taliban institution, as a result of the students of its madrassa kidnapping Chinese masseurs, harassing local shop owners. The peace accords shattered and fierce fighting ensued in NWFP and FATA regions.

By 2007, Pakistan was facing a constitutional crisis, internal insurgency making territorial gains, and the bubble economy fed by US aid imploding. The suicide bombings killed Benazir Bhutto who was campaigning for parliamentary elections in 2007. Her PPP got more votes. Horse trading between the PPP and Nawazs PML party, instituted Benazirs husband Zardari as president. But the policy towards Afghanistan and Islamist extremism continued to be heavily dominated by ISI and army. Economic collapse during Musharraf s fall led to inflation, power cuts, black outs and angry street protests . Seeing the insufficient Pakistan military efforts on Taliban, the US increased drone strikes. This provoked protests in Pakistan and questions regarding the true efficacy as accurate intelligence was often lacking. The civilian deaths increased considerably. Public opinion polls revealed that the latent anti americanism was increasing among Pakistan public. One of the main consequences of US war on terror was the increased number of IDP s produced by Pakistan army operations. IDP a end up in poorly resourced tent cities that serve as breeding grounds for further radicalization. Millions were displaced from FATA and NWFP territories, condemned to a tenuous hand to mouth existence in cramped disease ridden squalid refugee camps. This left the door open to ongoing radicalization among the affected populations. Though Pakistani military stepped up efforts to combat internal militancy from 2007 onwards by cooperating with the US, they remained more content to target TTP leaders, but remained reluctant to move against the entire Islamist movement in northern territories including Mullah Omar. By 2010,Pakistani officers viewed US presence in Afghanistan as destabilizing, welcomed US withdrawal, retained their affection for homegrown Islamic militants as proxy fighters against India for jihad in Kashmir. ISI support for Taliban was very clear in terms of funding, recruitment, training and payroll. ISI support was clear in the Kabul Indian embassy bombings by Taliban in 2008 and 2009 and also in 2008 Mumbai attack by LeT. Afghanistan remained a proxy for Pakistan in the regional struggle with India. Taliban formed a tool of political influence in Afghanistan.

When the Soviets decided to withdraw, they were well aware of the corrupt, ineffective and unrepresentative Afghan government, their capacity etc. The statistics of local party memberships were routinely exaggerated. The NATO policy was a commitment to the Afghan cause, officially, but unofficially it was difficult to maintain the international efforts in the same tempo. The NATO members like France and Netherlands ruled out sending more troops from 2009 despite American pressure. The Dutch lost domestic support and office over the issue . Between 2008 and 2009 the US troops were increased. Germany had so many restrictions as caveats that its mission was not anything short of a non combatant role. By 2009 the conflict had practically became an American war. The different levels of participation by members of the coalition added to complexity for operational planners and created political problems. The perception that some countries were paying the blood price while others were not, exacerbated the tensions within NATO and within member states. Even if Germans had wanted to abandon their caveats completely because of the domestic political realities they couldn’t have done so without precipitating a political crisis or immediate withdrawal. The nations without caveats like Britain were operating at the limits of their capabilities. So a major troop increase could only have come from the US.

The new strategy in Afghanistan by Obama administration constituted an impossibility broad series of steps . An ostensibly focused program reverted to a complex web of items spanning development to security sector to state building by tackling corruption, breaking the link between narcotics and terrorism, ensuring civilian control of government and a vibrant economy and so forth. All of those which NATO had tried and failed. And the cost to fend off and destroy a small group of terrorists, the core US objective in Afghanistan, turned out to be astronomical. The Obama administration slipped back to the pattern of strategic incoherence, same like before. Also, policy and strategy were subordinated by fashionable operational and military concepts. Bush’s counterinsurgency theory was applied in 2009 and 2010. The declining security situation in Afghanistan, corruption and inefficiency of Karzai government was very clear by 2009. Though elected for his ability as a political conciliator, Karzai was a weak leader, engaged in voterr fraud for 2004 reelection and 2009 election. He didn’t discard his support for warlords and corrupt officials. People lost trust in him and he was said to funnel millions from US and international aid to Dubai. Ashraf Ghani and a Abdullah Abdullah, both ministers in previous Karzai administration, and both of whom ran against Karzai in 2004 reelection, were vitriolic of the Karzai government. The enmity was also a culture clash between western educated technocrats like Ghani who was labeled dog washers by warlords like Karzai. By 2005,technocrats were almost completely eliminated from the government and the warlords entrenched their position firmly in the government. By 2009 Karzai appeared paranoid of his representation by western media, trapped in the web of corruption spun by his brothers, one of them a drug kingpin and CIA asset. He was exhausted by the efforts in balancing the internal factions in his government and the competing demands of international community. Tensions ensued between Karzai and new American representatives. Karzai remained in office after the 2009 election fraught by fraud, corruption, Intimidation.

The political solution to the conflict involved talks with Taliban which the US was not willing. The moralistic backdrop of US war history involved just winning and no peace talks with enemies unlike the Byzantine Empire who was ready to talk with barbarians . UK, Germany and Saudis tried to hold back channel talks with Taliban, but us policy was lukewarm. The strategic revival planned by Obama fell short and instead counterinsurgency operations by intensifying drone strikes and reducing boots on ground, was planned supported by vice president Joe Biden. This received flak from all sides and once again operational and tactical military approach was driving intervention strategy . President Obama signed off on an extra 30000 troop increase over six months despite firm convictions from the inner circles that this would be viewed as an imperial occupation. There was a caveat of beginning the withdrawal within two years, a condition based one and not time lined. He wanted to ensure that the Afghan government did not expect an open ended US commitment. UK, Germany and Poland planned their respective troop withdrawal through a period from 2011 to 2015 irrespective of whether Afghanistan has put its house in order.

Problems in COIN Approach

Mc McChrystal s counterinsurgency approach of increasing the troop ratio per population failed, it still lacked the troop strength needed to defend the south. Meanwhile the Taliban Taliban concentrated on north and northwest as the US deemed those areas relatively peaceful and concentrated in the south. Taliban increased the ambushes and bombings in the north, established their own government and taxation in certain provinces, non Pashtuns were also being recruited from these areas. Russia was vociferous about this increasingly unstable Afghan north, spread of insurgency to Russia,thus criticizing NATO. McChrystal deemed it not necessary to defend every village, but only the most populous centers, and securing border was not given priority. Cities like Kabul, Kandahar, Kunduz, Jalalabad were given import, redeployment of forces from remote outposts allowed Taliban to seize ground. The template of US operations was based on Iraq experience. Escalating insurgency was compounded by government corruption, a reversal of reductions in opium cultivation of 2009,emerging organized narco cartels. By 2010 Afghanistan was the second most corrupt country after Somalia and drugs and bribes constituted half of the country’s GDP. The corruption in rural Afghanistan surpassed that in towns and contributed to ripe recruiting ground for Taliban. A threat of Bank run and near collapse of Kabul bank and return to informal economy exposed the shallowness and fragility of western institution building. Recruiting for increasing the number of ANA and ANP without a proper identification system caused these to be infiltrated by Taliban and later of them shooting the western counterparts . Capacity never matched the increase in numbers, attrition rates were high, among other issues like poor logistics, infrastructure, drug abuse, illiteracy and corruption.

NATO failed to provide foreign trainers. The increased recruiting of ANA and ANP proved futile due to an accelerated build up and handover process and the Afghanistan government was in no economic shape to maintain its army and police by itself for at least another fifteen years. A show piece offensive by NATO forces and Afghan troops in Marjah in Helmand province led to prolonged fighting than anticipated. US marines came under sniper fire very often. McChrystal was fired by Obama and this showed the internal divisions within the administration. This left Obama with little political breathing room to recall or disagree with the next general, especially after the traditionally pro military Republican dominated Congress after the 2010 election. The next general, General Petraeus revived enthusiasm in enemy killings, but left unanswered the problem of self sustainability of Afghanistan. US official reports at the beginning of 2011 enphasized progress circulating overblown statistical claims to civilian access to healthcare. International aid agencies meanwhile painted a bleaker picture of worsening human security.

To economically sustain the Afghan security forces after withdrawal, Afghanistan posed a conundrum as it was one of the poorest countries on earth, lacked infrastructure to achieve sustainable government revenues. For the advocates of COIN based approach, Afghanistan’s abundant mineral resources was found to be a solution. In 2010 it was announced that US surveys that began in 2006 had disclosed an alleged one trillion dollars worth of mineral resources. Such stories were actually prosaic. The Soviets had identified this as far back as 1960,but Afghanistan had very few of the materials or technical expertise which had prevented the country’s mineral wealth from being exploited in previous decades. The potential large flow of money increased endemic corruption and instability as in DRC or Sierra Leone that had suffered resource curse of extraordinary mineral wealth. Also the development timeline in mineral extraction industry is longer than oil or gas industries with extensive and expensive field work required to determine whether commercially viable quantities of mineral ore can be extracted. The extraction costs are much higher for the product. The degree of return is short term compared to oil or gas. Thus the mineral deposits theory was a hazy quick fix.


Walter Lippman, the American intellectual, writer, political commentator and reporter in his book, US Foreign Policy:Shield of the Republic (1943) states, ” without the controlling principle that the nation must maintain its objectives and its power in equilibrium, its purposes within its means and iits means equal to its purposes, its commitments related to its resources and its resources adequate to its commitments, it is impossible to think at all about foreign affairs……An agreement has eventually to be reached when men admit that they must pay for what they want and they must want only what they are willing to pay for “.

This book explores the myriad reasons why the west failed in Afghanistan. Afghanistan lacks the historical experience of Central government regulating the periphery like the modern states. The tribes, clans and Qawm networks at the heart of the society are inimical to Central government. Pashtuns, the main ethnic group traditionally view external interference as anathema and deferring t6a Central authority as dishonor.

The development, governance and capacity building approach of West, though looked plausible through the vantage point of ministries and conferences in western capitals, were utterly divorced from Afghan realities. The aid dispersed through NGO’S, private companies and international organizations bypassed and marginalized the fledgling state structures they were supposed to buttress. The time immediately after the overthrow of Taliban, the Afghan people were receptive to the prospect of international assistance, support and ideas of effective government. But the conduct of intervention made sure that nothing was done in this respect.

The US empowered a network of thugs and minor warlords to pursue a counter terrorist approach that fell short of strategy. The penultimate silver bullet of 10 years of intervention was counterinsurgency doctrine used in Iraq as template. The generals resorted to COIN triumphalism in Iraq as an example and testimony to domination of operational and tactical military concerns over broader geopolitical vision. The much touted success of COIN in Iraq was in effect a six figure civilian casualty , increasing Iranian influence there and beyond, increasing costs, diplomatic tensions between western allies, rejuvenated Al Qaeda and coalition military deaths. Despite all this the future of Iraq and consequences for western security are highly uncertain. General Petraeus utilized the Sunni Awakening already under way in Iraq, the dynamic of which is totally different from Afghanistan. COIN is a tactical framework with the construct,’ clear, hold and build ‘ and not a strategy with defined ends,ways and means. The approach in Afghanistan Afghanistan was incoherent, a reliable local partner was absent for transitioning to take full control, and the time period of application of the tactic was short in contrast to the long term approach needed for conflict resolution .

People behave in accordance with local power realities and threat perceptions which Taliban has shown greater capability to influence. The cost of maintaining the security forces after the withdrawal was something that the Afghan government could never meet with considering that the costs reached almost 154 percent of the Afghan domestic revenue. In Pashtun dominated south and east, an ANA with an overrepresented Tajik population in relation to their numbers in Afghan population, might find it hard to secure areas. After 10 years of intervention in Afghanistan, the reasonable assumptions that persisted were those of Afghanistan remaining a rentier state for the foreseeable future, an unattainable victory over the insurgents in south and east, an uncontrolled and lawless tribal area in the Pakistan Afghanistan border and the eventuality of a political settlement with Taliban by the West on uncomfortable terms.

“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.

“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. </