You should never underestimate the Austrians. After all, they convinced the world that Mozart was an Austrian and Hitler was a German.
- European saying
I received this comment under the previous post. This is from an Austrian woman, a professional translator. This had to be answered, but it gives me no pleasure. I know this person, she's the Significant Other of one of my oldest and best friends.
See also, her previous comment posted here: http://rantsand.blogspot.com/2006/12/western-civilization-and-its.htmlOh Steven....
You are such an intelligent guy, and I've never met anyone in Europe who was as well educated and intelligent as you and as right-wing at the same time. That hardly exists, it actually hurts.
People as right-wing as you are normally uneducated in Western Europe (forget the East)..
I've had my share of east Europeans and their hangups due to my work, thank you very much. Since I like Monica, I won't comment on them.
And: Since I am dealing with them all the time at the highest political levels, I'd say that they have never arrived in the latter part of the 20th century, let alone the 21st. Even if their politicians pretend otherwise, the people to a large extent are as primitive in their thinking as people like your much-revered John Bolton is. So I wouldn't have minded at all - nor would most of the rest of the old EU, if one ever dared to coduct an honest poll about it - if they had joined the US instead of joining the EU. They wold have felt at home.
Yeah, Steven, you are the only one I've ever encountered who has got the knowledge and the brains but still would be considered extreme right-wing in Europe. The conclusions you are jumping to in your posts are unworthy of your brains, normally they are primitive, occasionally, they are outright fascist. Half of your country is fascistoid, so I am not surprised that you don't notice it yourself. But I do notice. And any European intellectual would notice it immediately. You are in league with people who've only got half your brain.
Still, what a waste of a good intellect!
It's always good to start an argument with the points both parties agrees on. So yes, I agree I'm smarter than you.
In your previous comment you said, "Do you need these lies to feel good about yourself or what?"
However, you never went into any specifics about exactly what I said that was a lie. As in the post above, you simply called me names.
Evidently part of the European heritage you consider dispensable is the legacy of Aristotle and Cicero, the disciplines of logic and rhetoric.
So since this seems to be the time for exposing lies and clearing up misunderstandings, lets start with lies, yours and ours.
First lie: conflating "Right-wing" with "Fascist."
"Fascism" is most often used these days as a term with no definition beyond, "political viewpoint I don't like" and usually conflated with Nazism, though they differed on issues such as anti-Semitism. But historically it does have a definition, and it is not Right-wing but Left.
Mussolini considered himself a life-long Socialist. He was only "Right" of the further-Left Marxists. By their lights Trotsky was a "Right-winger."
And try as you might, it's very hard to make a Right-wing trope from Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei
(National Socialist German Workers’ Party), which is why it is almost always referred to by its anagram 'Nazi.'
The lie of Right-wing Fascism has served the Left very well. It's possible that you have even convinced yourself of it, or are simply ignorant of history (the American vice, so you say.) That doesn't make it any less of a lie. The only difference is whether you are telling it or simply repeating it.
This is not a matter of opinion, but of historical facts.
First misunderstanding: The definitions of "Right" and "Left" have been distorted to the point of uselessness, but for the record, I'm what's called in Europe, a Liberal. In America I have to say, "Libertarian" or "Classical Liberal" since the term has been co-opted in the US by the Left to mean something like "moderate Socialist.
Second lie - ours:
At the end of the Second World War, and the beginning of the Cold War, it was expedient for our purposes to consider Austria a conquered nation, rather than the junior partner in the Third Reich. If you can consider it junior, given the nationality of Der Fuhrer
The historical truth is that Austria never fired a single shot in resistance to the Anschluss
and Austrians were shall we say, not all the Von Trapp family. They supplied the Third Reich with some of their best professional soldiers. As our non-professional citizen-soldiers learned, to the sorrow of their families.
Since Americans do in fact tend to have short historical memories, we might have considered this a matter of long ago and far away. But then you went and elected Kurt Waldheim, a known Nazi war criminal, as your president.
So which country is "fascistoid"?
During the Cold War, you and your West European buddies cowered behind a ring of American and British steel, while your Left intellectuals hedged your bets by throwing love notes across the Iron Curtain, telling the Soviets that if they managed to break through the line, you'd lie down for them.
Now that that threat is past, you feel free to insult us and say that the US was the greater threat, and that the Eastern Europeans were not captive nations - the third lie.
And your insults seem to have been directed entirely to the US. Not a peep about the Soviet Union, or these days the Islamic Fascists.
That is to say, you insult only those whose principles require them to tolerate free speech - not those who would kill you for it.
There are two possible interpretations of this: cowardice, or admiration and fellow feeling for mass-murdering Communists and jihadist Islamic Fascists. Which is it? Or is it both?
What you haven't realized yet, and we are only beginning to, is we don't need that expedient lie anymore either. We're free now to call you what you are.
Then there is a matter of opinion - your disdain for the Eastern Europeans.
(But oh by the way, another lie: "I've had my share of east Europeans and their hangups due to my work, thank you very much. Since I like Monica, I won't comment on them."
Followed immediately by a lengthy comment. In charity we'll call that a mis-statement.)
As you know, I lived there for 13 years, married there, and learned to speak one language and get along in a few others. I like the Eastern Europeans, with a full appreciation of their flaws, just as I love my own country with a full and open-eyed appreciation of ours.
Obviously you don't, and seem to have had some bad experiences there while "dealing with them all the time at the highest political levels."
Well let's see, you are:
1) Officially, a representative of an EU, which is largely dominated by a Franco-German alliance. The latter of which started World War II, and the former which had a collaborationist government which voluntarily
passed racial purity laws actually stricter than the Nazis demanded of them.
2) Personally a proud citizen of a country that had (in the case of Poland) its foot on their neck for 135 years, then participated in an invasion and occupation that killed 20 percent of their population, then ignored, or actively justified the suffering of your fellow-Europeans under Communism for two generations.
3) Intellectually dismissive, indeed admiring, of the tyrannical nature of the former Soviet occupation that reduced once wealthy and cultured countries to something like third-world slums.
And oh yes, one more thing.
At the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz (the Nazi concentration camp located in an ethnic German village in Poland*), every major west European newspaper had articles referring to the "Polish death camp". Of all the examples collected by Polish actress and intellectual Kristyna Janda on her web site, not a damn one of them said the word "German" and precisely one said the word "Nazi."
Do you think it's possible they might resent your attitude just a bit?
You call the Eastern Europeans "primitive."
By "primitive" do you mean "ill-mannered"? (We will ignore for the present the issue of manners in say, loudly and persistently calling your hosts names while a guest in their country. Or contacting one's lover's friends to personally insult them behind his back.)
"Primitive" as say, when former Prime Minister of Poland, Jaroslaw Kaczynski bluntly violated the Euro-political taboo “Thou Shalt Not Mention World War II,” when he objected to a German-proposed proportional representation plan?
The Prime Minister pointed out that Poland’s population was considerably smaller than it might have been, had Germany not killed quite so many Poles in World War II.
You said:"So I wouldn't have minded at all - nor would most of the rest of the old EU, if one ever dared to coduct an honest poll about it - if they had joined the US instead of joining the EU. They wold have felt at home."
And I personally would be proud to have them. And this was in fact suggested to me by a Polish scientist. (Nor an "intellectual", he actually had a doctorate in a real science, paleobiology.)
I think though, that it would be better to have them as allies.
We need allies with courage, not surly client states who we've had to occupy to keep them from killing each other, and whose defense we've had to subsidize at considerable cost for the past two generations.
And yes, I mean the courage to disagree with us. Something you seem to resent fiercely. (There's a name for that attitude. What was it? Starts with "F" I think.)
The Eastern Europeans were not liberated by the US, they freed themselves from the Soviet occupation. With some covert help from us, but they put their own lives and courage on the line to do it.
That's why they have my profound admiration and respect.
That's why I'm proud to have them among my friends.
That's why I'm proud to have one to wife, and what inspires me to strive for courage and integrity, to live up to what she expects of me.
That your West European soi disant
"intellectuals" hate America is well known to us. And that's good. To hate, you have to respect - otherwise you simply despise.
I would be ashamed to be liked by the "intellectuals" you cite. The kind of "intellectuals" who have sucked at the teat of an education and media whose range of opinion is as narrow as the borders of their postage-stamp countries - but who couldn't change the oil of their cars or drive a nail to save their lives.
Are you beginning to get it now? We don't hate you at all. When we think of you at all, not often, we simply despise you.
But fortunately for you the options are simple: If you don't like America, don't come here. If you don't like Eastern Europe, don't go there.
We'll manage without you somehow.
And in the end it does not matter. You're not breeding
Militarily and economically impotent, you have become barren as well. In a generation your young population will be half what it is now. If trends continue, you'll persist, if at all, as minorities in your own countries within a century.
You've got some very nice countries in the west of Europe, in a Disneyland sort of way. Life is beautiful, leisured and cultured in a way that we've never achieved here.
But then, you could have said that in 1900 as well.
* Historical factoid: The town called Oswieciem in the southwest of Poland had an ethnically German population, which is why it has a German name, Auschwitz. Jan Karski, hero of the Polish resistance and author of 'Story of a Secret State' remembered that when Poland was invaded by The Third Reich and the Soviet Union, he was ordered to report to his reserve unit in Oswiciem/Auschwitz. As their unit withdrew from the town towards the east, the inhabitants were taking pot shots at them from their windows.