In my recent studies of the great patriotic war, and especially how it has left a strange legacy among several of the cultures involved, I ask myself what that strange phrase means; The motto of such a legacy.
“Never again” to me, perhaps as a Marxist is simple: It means that upon the day I find myself bordered by fascism, I am dead. I am among the living dead. I am dead until the day my country is free once more. My life is not my own, I owe myself to the partisans, the saboteurs, the resistance, the defectors, the spies and the deserters. I must at once abandon my home, and I must at once both be willing to risk and sacrifice my life where it is needed.
I can have absolutely no sense of coercion or self-preservation, I must be completely and utterly devoid of such impulses. I must accept that the world is not fair, that upon such a day, I am no longer among the living. I am no longer entitled to a life, if the only way to preserve it is by enabling the death of others. I must cast myself into the lot of the people who are rounded up and imprisoned by becoming part of a resistance effort during which I will likely die.
This is the vow I believe every communist must make. The cowards and the liberals who would rather make excuses, who would sit at home and watch, who would aid and abet for self-preservation, who would permit themselves to live at the expense of others, are people who are traitors to the proletariat. Some might forgive them, some might not, that’s the risk you run when you’re being a coward.
And I believe you must meditate upon this, and accept it as an innermost thing beyond all hesitation. Never again means that every household has a partisan hiding in plain view, waiting for the day when they might have to carry out their duty.
It is a kind of immortal vow, beyond nations and borders, a spirit that rests among the people who are moral, educated and who can see a world beyond the tip of their noses.
And yet, sadly, this is not what happens. Instead we see fear, and submission, and excuses. Now more than ever when we have the opportunity to end things before they begin, people hide behind excuses. Behind the meekness of social democratic outrage and hypocrisy.
The supposed antifascists of the United States, consists of a helpless underclass who carry the burdens of poverty like chains, who are incapable of mobilising on their own.
Above them hovers the vultures of the social democrat intelligentsia, these politically correct progressives who, throughout the Trump years would foster outrage and feigned humanity, but would, at the second during which the democrats took the administration, become the loyal capos of Biden’s continued rounding up and torturing of refugees in border camps.
The only time they seem to mention camps, is when it is time to become a racist chicken hawk, talking about the red menace of the east. As the US state department, much like the West German Gehlen organisation, spout tall tales about communist war crimes in an effort to cover up their own.
I think one problem with the “Never again” motto is how it presumes fascism will return as fascism. That it is not contemporary. That it will espouse the same stylistic choices of rhetoric and theatrics, that it will reveal its ideological substance out of some sort of “fair play.”
But I do not think this is the reality. Fascism in America, aside from what one might describe as the “Hitlerian” segment of Neo-Nazism, has for the most part, especially during the cold war, been presented as libertarianism.
In the United States, antisemitism would not make a lot of sense. It is not the Jews that Americans are looking to rob, they want to rob Indians. Libertarian ideology espouses the same kind of sentiment against Indians as the fascists did to the Jews.
“The Native Americans didn’t have any rights to the land and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using… What was it that they were fighting for, if they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence. Their right to keep part of the earth untouched, unused, and not even as property, but just keep everybody out, so that you can live practically like an animal, or maybe a few caves above it…. Any white person who could bring the element of civilization had the right to take over this country.”
- Ayn Rand
Nazi antisemitism was meant to mobilise genocidal robbery, the same kind that had been prominent throughout the making of the United States. Had the fascists won, or been uncontested in their atrocities, then two centuries down the line their own status quo may have made similar rationales for their founding.
There is this idea that the antisemitism was abstract and with pure ideological motives, that it was somehow meant to distract the people from their discontent and offer an easy scapegoat, that the land and wealth stolen from the Jewish communities of Germany and Eastern Europe was somehow a strange coincidence, that this was just the arbitrary behavior of mean people in some cartoonish scheme to trick the public into forgetting about their own problems.
But I wonder then about all the censorship efforts, all the conspiratorial reasoning by which to dismiss critical thinking, all the efforts to control and indoctrinate the people. I wonder why the fascists would burn Marxist and Jewish literature, why they would put such extraordinary effort into silencing the naysayers of the world if it was that simple.
One reason I reject progressive politics is because of the premise of linear progress. Progress from what exactly? This too comes from settler-colonial pseudoscience about human anthropology. Wherein you have societies that are civilised, and societies that are savage. That the savages are cavepeople, without civics, rule of law, property or science, and that the civilised people are the peaceful, wise, temperate and just forces of history.
So it has a neat little way of always disowning its own atrocities. One day, when the debate is about slavery or genocide, the progressives step up and say “Kill the Indian, save the man.” Then time moves forward, and suddenly this is no longer progressive, instead, the progressive notion is Reservations, or Bantustans in South Africa, or the Gaza Strip in Palestine.
If it’s not contemporary: Then it’s not their fault. History does not exist in progressive thought, every lesser evil becomes the greater evil, as a new dichotomy is invented once more.
As such I reject the dichotomy. I am neither conservative nor progressive. I believe that civilisation is universal among all peoples, and that this has been expressed in an extraordinary tapestry of human history. If we go back about 700 years, prior to slavery and colonialism, we can see this in some regards.
Just as how Europeans were particularly interested in textiles and sea travel, just like Arabic and South Asian civilisations, so were the indigenous people of the Americas particularly advanced especially in architecture and medicine.
Everything from oral contraceptives to medical syringes were invented by native tribes who would live in climates that permitted a lot of scientific discovery. Plants, herbs, seeds, barks and roots were highly diverse and permitted a lot of experimentation with the human physiology.
Most modern foods also have their origins from indigenous societies, and agrarian science would not have been the same without indigenous scientific achievements.
One important reason for this biodiversity has to do with insects. Insects love to eat plants, and if plants want to make it through their reproductive cycle they need to adapt.
One adaptation was to become appetising to larger mammals, who would digest the plants without damaging the seeds, permitting them to be distributed with the addition of fertiliser. Another was to be repelling towards bugs with scents, poisons and acids.
This turned out to be a match made in heaven, as what was poisons and repellants to bugs, became perfumes and drugs for humans. From the refreshing sour taste of a lime fruit, to the rush of the coffee bean, plants were able to preserve themselves by making enticing offerings to humans and animals alike.
Africa too had very extraordinary architecture, as well as medicine and art. One reason as to why the European colonisers spent such a long time only trading with African kingdoms was because they did not know how to treat or prevent malaria, but the Africans of course had such a medical knowledge.
One reason why Europe became “civilised” was not because of some special feat, but rather for the simple reason that they managed to steal everyone else’s technologies and advancements and put them all into one place, thereby greatly accelerating the process of civic and social development.
Europe’s advanced technologies is actually the achievement of the whole world’s combined efforts, and while I certainly wish that this achievement was made under less terrible conditions, it does give us a glimpse into the potential of the world of tomorrow, in which we all work together, forever united in friendship and labour.
And that’s where we see the ugly side of progressivism, which maintains this myth about singular European achievement, in which science and reason were words that were only written in English. This is false.
Perhaps on some conceptual level, the specific way in which science is defined comes out of Europe, but that’s entirely a linguistic thing. Science as a process, as a way in which to examine and record the way that nature works, and to interact with nature in experimental ways, is far from unique to Europe. It is not a thing of “progress.” It is a universal trait of all human thought.
It is precisely because of this universal notion of what we now call science, that civilisations take on such different shapes and characteristics. They are defined by the environments at their disposal. They are evolutionary in this regard. Europeans were interested in textiles for the same reason Arabs were, because they live in volatile climates.
The desert is hot in the day, and can reach negative degrees at night, so you need modular and flexible clothing. The same is true about the European cycle of summer and winter.
Building materials, roads, transport, language, customs, everything, it all comes from the environment that produces it.
In places with low population density, people shake hands. In places with high population density, people bow. Why? Because people began to realise that touching lots and lots of hands every day quickly spreads disease. Maybe it was ascribed to superstition at first which was typical with diseases in all societies, but on some level people made an observation and adapted to it, and that is the basis of scientific advancement.
Everything, right down to these minute details, can be traced back to the rational motives of inquiry. To the operating forces of universal human civilisation.
So this is why I am neither conservative, nor progressive. Why, if I travelled back a hundred years, and someone asked me if I wanted slavery or segregation, I would say I’m a Marxist.
I suppose I am a Fanonist in that regard, I do not so much believe in progress or conservation, as I believe in restoration. I do not believe that the natural state of humanity is one of savages and primitives. I see no historical or anthropological evidence of that. I believe racism for instance, is a kind of invention. A metaphysical invention, like laws or numbers, except with a far less desired purpose to people of conscience.
I suppose it could be seen as a weapon, a metaphysical weapon, that inflicted a terrible wound upon the common classes. I believe that you do not progress the wound, nor do you conserve the wound. You restore the wound. You restore humanity to its original status, namely that of humanity.
A thousand years ago, skin colour was as unremarkable as hair colour. If it was remarked upon, it was in plays, poetry and recollection. It was done so in a casual manner, generally in harmless observation. It did not carry the weight of class status, or entitlement to own or exploit someone. It was merely a feature of a people, like that of language or custom. Perhaps it was interesting or novel to curious foreigners, but it was not anything beyond this.
That is where we must restore ourselves into. We are not somehow endowed with a biological or physical trait of race, nor racism for that matter, we are not a species of racists seeking to evolve into Homo-Wokeus.
Abandon this ridiculous idea of progress, this mythology of slave merchants. Humanity and its history is so much more than the narrow minded and supremacist narrative offered by progressives.
Their cheap excuses for mitigating death, misery and tyranny have no place in a world of civilised and intelligent human beings, who yearn every day to live in universal friendship, as our achievement, prosperity and pursuit of knowledge is no longer wounded by the inflictions of war, slavery, imperialism and poverty.