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Stalin Was a Funny Guy
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Trotsky’s loyalists devoted much effort to portraying Stalin as a dullard without personality. And yet, Stalin’s best black humor witticisms are at least on par with Trotsky’s best (“You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”). Here are some of Stalin’s purported one-liners (note that famous figures, such as Churchill and Twain, tend to attract quotes looking for a home, so don’t assume Stalin made all these up):

“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”

“Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”

“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”

“When there’s a person, there’s a problem. When there’s no person, there’s no problem.”

“Quantity has a quality all its own.”

“The Pope! How many divisions has he got?”

“In the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than advance.”

From iSteve commenter Bardon Kaldian:

Stalin’s best humor was not in jokes, but in arrangement of situations, so to speak.

For instance, Trotsky, before his exile, always claimed that he was the true & the most faithful successor of Vladimir Illych Lenin. When Stalin finally, in 1928, persuaded the Politburo, after many fractional struggles, to expel Trotsky, he arranged that the ship which carried away Trotsky to the exile in Kemal Pasha’s Turkey be named- Illych.

Faced with incompetence of his marshals during the first months of German invasion, Stalin was forced to appoint capable senior officers whom he, during the lunatic period of his purges, sent to torture chambers & exile in Siberia. One of them was, later much decorated marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky, who had his finger-nails “removed” during torture interrogations two-three years ago. He was called back from the Gulag. Stalin received him & appointed him to lead some of the most important fronts (Rokossovsky turned out to be one of the 5-8 most capable marshals). Noticing that he didn’t have finger nails, Stalin asked Rokossovsky: ” Interrogation?”. Rokossovsky:”Yes, comrade Stalin”. Stalin sighed & said:” Oh yes, those were difficult times. Many unpleasant things happened. How was it possible?”

One of Stalin’s favorite authors was Chekhov. He had read Chekhov’s short stories frequently. And a few times he mentioned to Molotov, Mal’enkov, Khrushchev & other his closest associates: ” I am surrounded by brutes. Look at these NKVD butchers, these Yagoda, Yezhov (heads of the political police & organizers of purges & Gulag). If only Anton Pavlovich (Chekhov) were alive, I would have appointed him to head the NKVD. What a success story that would be! We would get rid of much more enemies of the people, Anton Pavlovich would have done it in his characteristic, tender manner- and even our enemies would have been happy because they would have known they had been eliminated by such a historical figure, an epitome of humanity and love of mankind!”

When Stalin was in the final phases of his campaign against rootless cosmopolitanism, shortly before his death- he probably wanted to eliminate his old guard as unpleasant witnesses & collaborators of his massacres & purges; also, he was suspicious of possible American sympathies of Soviet Jews because of Israel-American connection – he received his last son-in-law, Zhdanov in his resort in Georgia. Zhdanov cautiously remarked that campaign against “cosmopolitanism” had been, perhaps, organized too “one-dimensionally regarding a national question”, implying that Stalin had put into torture chambers virtually all Kremlin Jewish doctors & hence branded “cosmopolitanism” as something “Jewish” (of course, he was not explicit). Stalin sighed, pondered deeply & answered solemnly, prophetically: Cosmopolitanism is a complex and a widespread phenomenon.

My comment: Pure Zen.

Did Stalin arrange for Jan Masaryk, the last anti-Communist minister in the Czechoslovak government, to die in 1948 falling out of a window in Prague (which cemented the Cold War) as a riff on the famous Defenestration of Prague that helped launch the 30 Years War?

I could imagine Stalin doing Joe Pesci’s “funny guy” routine from Goodfellas on his Politburo just for grins.

That Stalin was a funny guy doesn’t fit in well with Chestertonian optimism about the effects of a sense of humor on moral health.

 
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  1. Did Hitler say witty or deep statements?
    Oh, I forgot the double standards. Stalin is good, or at least ok, by Leftists standards.
    No, I am not defending Hitler. The Left is defending Stalin.
    Are today’s youth taught the number of deaths caused by Stalin? Antifa makes sure they are not told!?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    , @Trinity
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Watching those Antifa retards go around waving a Hammer and Sickle flag and some wearing that stupid red star on a flunkie looking commietard hat while condemning "fascism" is surreal. Watch CNN fawn over the Hammer and Sickle yahoos and watch NYT praise Karl Marx. You can't make this shit up.

    Good "old Uncle Joe." I guess we all know how that got started.

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Hitler & Stalin are hardly comparable, their personalities & communication styles differed enormously.

    For instance, Hitler was much maligned by "good Germans" as a mediocre writer (true, he was not a great stylist). Just, he is still very readable, with flashes of unexpected & bizarre humor (I am writing from memory). Stalin, on the other hand, was a boring but efficient writer whose main strength was in catechetical enumeration of chief points, thus making ideological "truths" easy to remember & digest for masses of commissars & low-level functionaries. Also, Stalin enjoyed playing sadistic power games with everyone, including his own daughter ("Your latest comments are anti-Soviet! We could perhaps find Stalin another daughter."), while Hitler was more civil & not so vulgar, let alone threatening in dealing with his subordinates.

    Churchill is hailed as a great author-historian (he got Nobel). I've read his memoirs, as well as his history of English-speaking peoples & remain unimpressed. True, he remains readable as a subjective historian, but his world-view is limited; and when not, he has not much to say about "all & everything". Isaiah Berlin praised him as someone who views life as the Renaissance banquet, similar to Veronese; and while this may be true, Churchill's fame deservedly lies in witticisms & not so much in his longer works- similar to Oscar Wilde.

    Judging Hitler solely by his Bible, Mein Kampf (and not by more interesting Table Talk) is an ambiguous task. When I read him to get the gist, he did not leave much impression: German destiny lies in the colonization of the East & Jews are guilty of everything. These two themes he repeats endlessly, so one is left with the feeling of reading one & the same thing again & again. After 20% of Mein Kampf, one gets the impression that Hitler has nothing new to offer.

    It is true, but Hitler still remains, despite too frequent lapses into sentimentality, kitsch & silliness, a magnetic writer. Mein Kampf is haunted by a vision, growing Hitler's vision of life not only as the struggle, but as something inherently vicious, cruel as Aztec gods feasting on human sacrifice. And while this vision is evidently authentic, it is not just a metaphysical blather or a catalog of repetitive mantras. His most memorable parts are saturated by his experiences in pre-war Vienna, as well as with his political activity after the Great War. Images of decay & rot dominate - but not without humor. Hitler frequently digresses, and Mein Kampf could also be read as a stream-of-consciousness philosophical novel, although written in a rather conventional manner.

    He is also funny. I recall how he bares his soul, confessional-style. For instance, the text is studded with phrases like: I was deeply shattered in the essence of my being. I did not know what to do with my life. I felt there was a great Destiny waiting for me- but I was not sure. What if I am wrong? What will others think of me? For hours, I would contemplate my existence and was torn between doubt and ecstasy.

    In other words, Mein Kampf's humor is not in witticisms, but it suffuses reader's feelings as if he is reading an ideologized soap, a Russian-type hysterical confession replete with sincere platitudes better suited for a Woodyallean comedy (without sex, of course).

    I remember a few funny parts, especially when he analyzes collective psychology of imperial Germany's military circles & industry. Serious elements of his analysis are well worth reading & I think they still apply to any society in crisis. But, when he delves into details, the entire affair becomes comedy gold. In just 2-3 pages, Hitler discusses how German Navy was polarized re issue whether to produce 283 mm naval guns or 305 mm ones (they opted for 283 mm). Hitler rages about that decision & concludes: Laziness & defeatism! Had rotten and dumb admirals decided to go for 305 mm guns, we would have certainly sunk the entire British Fleet and sent them to the bottom of the sea. Ha! The whole war was lost because of incompetence combined with laziness. Less than 25 millimeters had robbed us of victory!

    Such passages make Mein Kampf an entertaining read, at least in parts.

    Replies: @unit472, @syonredux, @Cato, @James O'Meara, @James O'Meara

    , @Al Roker
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Funny: "Chamberlain likes to take weekends in the country; I like to take countries on the weekend" (he usually invaded on Saturdays)

    Many such examples in The Complete Hitler, 3200 pages.

    , @Paperback Writer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Let a thousand flowers bloom.

  2. @TruthRevolution.net
    Did Hitler say witty or deep statements?
    Oh, I forgot the double standards. Stalin is good, or at least ok, by Leftists standards.
    No, I am not defending Hitler. The Left is defending Stalin.
    Are today's youth taught the number of deaths caused by Stalin? Antifa makes sure they are not told!?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Trinity, @Bardon Kaldian, @Al Roker, @Paperback Writer

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn’t appear to translate well.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @Steve Sailer

    A Daily Telegraph article.... cites this Hitler joke:

    he noticed his official photographer Heinrich Hoffman had drunk too much and told him: "Don't stand to near the fire Heini - you might burst into flames."


    I guess you had to be there.

    , @Anon
    @Steve Sailer


    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn’t appear to translate well.
     
    German humor is like very crude physical comedy and slapstick. It could be that the whole mass murder, war , and genocide stuff was supposed to be hilarious.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    , @John Milton’s Ghost
    @Steve Sailer

    German humor in general doesn’t translate well. Check out (i.e. Google) Alexander Marcus, e.g.—it’s not clear whether he is doing funny things, and if so, how.

    Then again, I found the Stalin examples above not particularly funny. There’s supposedly a long tradition of black humor in Russia connected to Stalin’s crimes, a sort of resigned hopeless laughter. The recent Anglo/English movie _Death of Stalin_ attempts to touch on this, but it has too much American moralism in it to work as a comic piece.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @inertial, @kaganovitch

    , @Not Raul
    @Steve Sailer

    They appreciated Hitler’s sarcasm.

    , @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Wasn't Hitler a comic actor before he was a dictator?

    https://thumbs.gfycat.com/MajorDearestHapuku-size_restricted.gif

    https://i.imgur.com/KWOayy5.gif

    It's well known that he practiced his expressions for maximum effect.

    http://i.pinimg.com/736x/d1/19/05/d11905404da81b834c98a43177b48bd4.jpg

    Replies: @OFWHAP, @Anon, @ScarletNumber

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @Steve Sailer

    Hitler could be very amusing in his public speeches when deriding his opponents. Two examples which come to mind are a pre-Machtergreifung campaign speech during which he mocks the plethora of parties, all of which he promises to eradicate, a promise he fulfilled with startling speed once Macht had been decisively ergriffen. and his famous riposte to Roosevelt's absurd finger-waving note naming the many countries he thought it his duty to warn Hitler not to invade.

    But I don't remember the Table Talk, or indeed any memoirs from the period, containing any carelessly tossed off bons mots.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Buzz Mohawk

    , @Prof. Woland
    @Steve Sailer

    Hitler was very careful about his public image but he could do belly laughs in private especially about people he looked down on; Von Ribbentrop being the most notable. Ironically both Stalin and Molotov made fun of him too for having hips like a woman. Hitler would frequently make fun of subordinates including people who where many levels below him and he would laugh at people more than laugh with them.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Maico450
    @Steve Sailer

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn’t appear to translate well.

    Here's an example of Hitler's humor (for lack of a better word). From memory, but I'm pretty sure that it's recounted in John Toland's The Last 100 Days or Cornelius Ryan's The Last Battle.

    So the war's nearly over, and the Germans are looking for anything in reserve to throw against the Soviets. A German officer mentions that there's an outfit of Indian "volunteers" available (Commonwealth POWs led by German officers).

    H dismisses the suggestion with a wave of his hand and says something like: "We could use them for turning prayer wheels."

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    , @fitzhamilton
    @Steve Sailer

    One of Hitler's great laugh lines was in the speech he gave to the Reichstag in response to FDR's 1938 "personal appeal" to Hitler for non- aggression and peace. The entire speech has apparently been banned by Youtube as "hate speech," (some history is too hateful to be remembered, I guess) but this clip from PBS has the "funniest" part beginning at 41 seconds:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtDxjVCu56E

    That opening had the Nazis in stitches. The really amusing punch line came later when Hitler actually invaded about 2/3's of the countries on that list.

    Replies: @BB753, @Wade Hampton

    , @Foucalt's Pit
    @Steve Sailer

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBWr1KtnRcI
    According to this documentary, even Germans didn't seem to find him funny. 4:24 in.

  3. Wow. Props to the man of Steel! Those are pretty good. My fave:

    “When there’s a person, there’s a problem. When there’s no person, there’s no problem.”

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Malcolm X-Lax


    “When there’s a person, there’s a problem. When there’s no person, there’s no problem.”
     
    Deckard: “Replicants are like any other machine—they're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, it's not my problem.”

    https://youtu.be/VSOzdFoZsho?t=28
    , @RichardTaylor
    @Malcolm X-Lax


    “Gratitude is an illness suffered by dogs.”
    ― Joseph Stalin
     
    That attitude, that only a dog feels gratitude, is actually very much the liberal White yuppie attitude.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  4. Stalin enjoyed urinating in elevators.
    [I made that up because it’s funny].

    • Replies: @Icy Blast
    @Prosa123

    It's actually not funny.

  5. My comment: Pure Zen.

    But a bit tightly wound: Gordian, it is knot.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Soviet Zen - the Zen of Viktor Pelevin's Buddhas Little Finger not least. Bitter - and unorderly rather, fun, but - funny nonetheless (Pelevin's novel is a rollercoaster-ride)!


    Ahh and never forget: There was always the The Good Stalin (Victor Jerefejew).

  6. If Stalin were truly omnipotent, he wouldn’t have been poisoned.

  7. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    A Daily Telegraph article…. cites this Hitler joke:

    he noticed his official photographer Heinrich Hoffman had drunk too much and told him: “Don’t stand to near the fire Heini – you might burst into flames.”

    I guess you had to be there.

  8. Did Stalin arrange for Jan Masaryk, the last anti-Communist minister in the Czechoslovak government, to die in 1948 falling out of a window in Prague (which cemented the Cold War) as a riff on the famous Defenestration of Prague that helped launch the 30 Years War?

    A Czech refugee family with which I was acquainted decades ago believed it to be so. They referred to Masaryk’s assassination as the “Second Defenestration of Prague.”

    • LOL: Not Raul
    • Replies: @whahae
    @Crawfurdmuir

    The “Second Defenestration of Prague” was the one that started the Thirty Years War. The first one was the one starting the Hussite Wars.

    Masaryk’s would have been the third.

  9. “How am I funny?”

    “Yo, Tommy, if I was going to break your balls I would tell you to go home and get your shine box.”

  10. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn’t appear to translate well.

    German humor is like very crude physical comedy and slapstick. It could be that the whole mass murder, war , and genocide stuff was supposed to be hilarious.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Anon

    von Richthoven: How lucky you English are to find the toilet so amusing. For us, it is a mundane and functional item. For you, the basis of an entire culture.

    https://youtu.be/mlWhswW2fEA

  11. @TruthRevolution.net
    Did Hitler say witty or deep statements?
    Oh, I forgot the double standards. Stalin is good, or at least ok, by Leftists standards.
    No, I am not defending Hitler. The Left is defending Stalin.
    Are today's youth taught the number of deaths caused by Stalin? Antifa makes sure they are not told!?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Trinity, @Bardon Kaldian, @Al Roker, @Paperback Writer

    Watching those Antifa retards go around waving a Hammer and Sickle flag and some wearing that stupid red star on a flunkie looking commietard hat while condemning “fascism” is surreal. Watch CNN fawn over the Hammer and Sickle yahoos and watch NYT praise Karl Marx. You can’t make this shit up.

    Good “old Uncle Joe.” I guess we all know how that got started.

  12. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    German humor in general doesn’t translate well. Check out (i.e. Google) Alexander Marcus, e.g.—it’s not clear whether he is doing funny things, and if so, how.

    Then again, I found the Stalin examples above not particularly funny. There’s supposedly a long tradition of black humor in Russia connected to Stalin’s crimes, a sort of resigned hopeless laughter. The recent Anglo/English movie _Death of Stalin_ attempts to touch on this, but it has too much American moralism in it to work as a comic piece.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @John Milton’s Ghost

    Some students of Russian literature claim that Stalin's style was influenced by these really mocking, but well-written letters that Ivan the Terrible would send to defeated rivals.

    Replies: @Cortes

    , @inertial
    @John Milton’s Ghost

    Once someone reported to Stalin that Marshal Rokossovsky had a mistress, a famous movie star named Valentina Serova.
    https://baonga.com/FileUpload/Images/3_5_1.jpg
    "Comrade Stalin, what are we going to do with Rokossovsky?"
    Stalin: "What are we going to do? What are we going to do? We are going to envy him!"

    Replies: @Thea

    , @kaganovitch
    @John Milton’s Ghost

    German humor in general doesn’t translate well. Check out (i.e. Google) Alexander Marcus, e.g.—it’s not clear whether he is doing funny things, and if so, how.

    I'm not sure that's entirely true. Alongside the admittedly crude broad humor there was always an ironic/tragic German humor as well. I grew up in a German speaking household and I remember many jokes along those lines. Sample; Two German doctors meet in the evening and one tells the other "Herr Kollege, sie sehen aus sehr niedergeschlagen" = "My dear colleague you look very dejected" The colleague responds "Ich hatte eine schwierige geburt und ich konnte die mutter nicht retten" = "I had a case of a difficult birth and I couldn't save the mother". The other doctor wants to console him and says "Aber du hast das kind gerettet, ja?" = "But you saved the child,yes?" He responds tearfully "Nein, Ich habe das kind auch nicht gerettet." = "No, I didn't save the child either."
    The other doctor thinks for a moment, then he says "Aber, den vater hast du gerettet!" = " You saved the father though!"

    Replies: @Cortes

  13. Those who vote decide nothing, those who count the vote decide everything…….the old thug was on to something there.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @Intensifier

    Yes, let's hope Joe Biden doesn't come across that witticism, or he might blurt it out in a speech in one of his catastrophic lapses into sincerity.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

  14. • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Didn't we already know that Trump was really sick with Covid? I recall him being reported

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @Wade Hampton
    @JohnnyWalker123

    The only reason this garbage matters is to make it clear that the Wuhan Red Death is nothing more serious than the flu.

    It couldn't kill a 74 year old overweight male under tremendous work stress. It won't kill you either. Unless you are panicked into taken one of the untested vaccines.

  15. This is known as conceding the premise. I seem to be a little autistic so could use some assistance. Is anyone even aware that this is how the ball is being moved down the field so rapidly?

    • Thanks: Trinity
    • Replies: @Not Raul
    @Desiderius

    It seems that Ben Shapiro actually approves of cancel culture.

    , @Buzz Mohawk
    @Desiderius

    Ben Shapiro must immediately cancel himself for jumping the shark.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Not Raul

    , @anonymous
    @Desiderius

    The context for that Shapiro tweet is that Disney just fired some actress for using a holocaust comparison. Shapiro is sarcastically telling them they should be consistent and fire the leftists too, which of course they won't.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @Maico450
    @Desiderius

    Disney+ must immediately fire any actor who has made an overwrought Holocaust comparison pic.twitter.com/kPO81Qf38X

    — Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 11, 2021


    Overwrought. As Mr. Hand famously said in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, "I like that."

    These days, when I hear about @benshapiro I'm reminded of an old Fred Allen radio show gag. Allen would visit Allen's Alley and speak to "ethnic" characters there, asking them the week's stock question. Once he visited show regular Mrs. Nussbaum, asked his question, and she responded with "You were expecting maybe ShapiroHito?"

    Shapirohito was a good one ;)

    Replies: @anon

    , @J.Ross
    @Desiderius

    Dear Ben, I can understand your confusion, but you guys sold Hollywood to the government of China years ago. We will see a pro-Palestinian movie from Hollywood before we see a new pro-Tibetan one. By the way, your sister is gorgeous. Have a nice day even though you attempted to derail the Trump campaign by convincing a mentally unstable woman to file a false police report.

    , @Charlie2345
    @Desiderius

    On the other hand Saul Alinski, Rules for Radicals number 4

    “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    Not sure if I actually agree with that one, but it is at least arguable.

  16. Stalin was a brilliant guy, totally evil but brilliant. All those smart guys in the leadership (many of them Jews) who thought they will easily outsmart him (Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin) ended up with either a bullet or an ice pick in the back of their head

    • Replies: @anon
    @Andy

    bullet or an ice pick axe in the back of their head

    https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/04/c5/2d/05/espionage-exhibit-the.jpg

  17. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    They appreciated Hitler’s sarcasm.

  18. You’re a funny guy, Steve.

  19. @Desiderius
    https://twitter.com/benshapiro/status/1359833571075227648?s=20

    This is known as conceding the premise. I seem to be a little autistic so could use some assistance. Is anyone even aware that this is how the ball is being moved down the field so rapidly?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @anonymous, @Maico450, @J.Ross, @Charlie2345

    It seems that Ben Shapiro actually approves of cancel culture.

  20. @Malcolm X-Lax
    Wow. Props to the man of Steel! Those are pretty good. My fave:

    “When there’s a person, there’s a problem. When there’s no person, there’s no problem.”

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @RichardTaylor

    “When there’s a person, there’s a problem. When there’s no person, there’s no problem.”

    Deckard: “Replicants are like any other machine—they’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem.”

  21. moral health

    Was Stalin’s morale ever known to flag?

    • Replies: @Larry, San Francisco
    @Desiderius

    I think it flagged a bit in late June of 1941.

    , @J James
    @Desiderius

    Yes, he had several quite dramatic episodes where he became despondent and essentially withdrew from any leadership for days on end. Most famously I think after Hitler declared war, humiliating Stalin who had repeatedly insisted this would never happen.
    He had a similar episode after his wife committed suicide.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    , @Anonymouse
    @Desiderius

    Yes, After the initial onslaught of Hitler’s double-cross, with German troops pouring into the Soviet Union due to his own political miscalculation, the Soviet General Secretary Stalin appears to have suffered some sort of nervous breakdown or collapse. After appearing at the Kremlin on June 23, he retreated to his dacha in Kuntsevo and remained out of communication for the next week. However, the system of government which the dictator had created around him allowed for no initiative without his approval, and his underlings were unable to make the necessary decisions to defend the nation without Stalin’s direction. On June 30, a group of Politburo leaders appeared at Stalin’s dacha; he apparently believed they had come to kill him for his failure, but instead they asked him to come back to the Kremlin. Stalin regained his composure and nerve. He centered all major policy powers within his person—economic, political and military—by making himself the Supreme Commander of the Stavka, or High Command Headquarters.

    Or so it is said.

    Replies: @JMcG

  22. I’ve heard “quantity has a quality all its own” attributed to Lenin, during the Russian Civil War.

    Lenin was drafting soldiers in larger numbers than could be properly equipped. It was supposedly his reply when someone suggested that he focus on the quality of the Red Army, not just its size.

    But I admit I wasn’t there.

    (I’ve also read Trotsky actually said, “You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is interested in you.” But I like the “war” version a whole lot better, so I’m sticking with it.)

    • Replies: @fitzhamilton
    @Paul Mendez

    The thing about Marx is that much of what he wrote is indubitably true. The first part of the Communist Manifesto is a prophecy, one that has come to pass.. Neo-liberal globalists like Thomas Freidman and Francis Fukyama all rip their basic insights from Marxist theory. The "World is Flat" is basically a 674 page bloviating riff ripping off of what Marx & Engels said succinctly in two pages.

    All of which is just to say that “You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is interested in you” is a pretty cutting witticism. Conservatives have ignored the inescapable logic of it, but are now being schooled by inexorable reality.

    You can't charge a tank with a spear and expect to win. This isn't the Return of the Jedi, the Ewoks in our universe would never win. Just as you cannot live a post-modern bourgeois lifestyle without hormonal birth control. Feminism could not exist in the absence of the clothes washer..

    Nor can we probably escape the techno-fascism that has come with the internet. Skynet is here, the terminator drones are already in the air, the cylon droid armies are approaching..

    The bourgeoisie have been in fact the true revolutionary class, just as Marx and Engels foresaw. Now we are inescapably complicit in our own impending obsolescence and dissolution, now melting away in the face this brave new dawn of transhuman transcendence..

    Most of us are not interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is most certainly interested in us, and we will not escape it..

    Replies: @fish, @Harry Baldwin

    , @Peter D. Bredon
    @Paul Mendez

    "Quality is just a big pile of quantity" is a Marxist trope. That's what materialism amount (pun) to. A tornado winds through a junkyard and produces a working 747.

    Some might say that's a bug; materialists think it's a feature. "Yeah, it's extremely unlikely, but it gets rid of God, and we fucking hate God, so there's that."

    They get it from Hegel, oddly enough. Schopenhauer mocked Hegels' "quantity becomes quality": a plaid jacket is not necessarily bigger than a plain colored jacket. A fat man is not necessarily taller than a skinny man.

    Of course, it helps if you can just kill anyone who disagrees.

  23. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    My comment: Pure Zen.
     
    But a bit tightly wound: Gordian, it is knot.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    Soviet Zen – the Zen of Viktor Pelevin’s Buddhas Little Finger not least. Bitter – and unorderly rather, fun, but – funny nonetheless (Pelevin’s novel is a rollercoaster-ride)!

    Ahh and never forget: There was always the The Good Stalin (Victor Jerefejew).

  24. “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”

    He would never have made it as a comedian in the contemporary West: a joke like that would have gotten him kicked of Twitter right away.

  25. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    Wasn’t Hitler a comic actor before he was a dictator?

    It’s well known that he practiced his expressions for maximum effect.

    • LOL: Old Palo Altan
    • Replies: @OFWHAP
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I don't remember whether I read it on iSteve or on Twitter, but Hitler supposedly LOVED American collegiate marching bands (which may be somewhat German in origin) and particular loved the drum majors and would often imitate them.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Desiderius, @Reg Cæsar

    , @Anon
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Hitler came from the generation that was still taught elocution. You had to learn how to project your voice and make big gestures so a huge crowd could see and hear you.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    , @ScarletNumber
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Finally, this Simpsons clip makes sense!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qkC0OHbJqk

  26. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    Hitler could be very amusing in his public speeches when deriding his opponents. Two examples which come to mind are a pre-Machtergreifung campaign speech during which he mocks the plethora of parties, all of which he promises to eradicate, a promise he fulfilled with startling speed once Macht had been decisively ergriffen. and his famous riposte to Roosevelt’s absurd finger-waving note naming the many countries he thought it his duty to warn Hitler not to invade.

    But I don’t remember the Table Talk, or indeed any memoirs from the period, containing any carelessly tossed off bons mots.

    • Thanks: Abe
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Old Palo Altan

    I mean didn’t turn out to be so absurd, did it?

    He who laughs last...

    , @Buzz Mohawk
    @Old Palo Altan


    ... his famous riposte to Roosevelt’s absurd finger-waving note naming the many countries he thought it his duty to warn Hitler not to invade.
     
    Yes, it's quite good when one listens to it.

    Replies: @Not Raul

  27. The apocryphal Stalin stories are always a hoot:

    Stalin delivers a speech to a large audience in the Kremlin. Suddenly someone sneezes.
    Stalin: Who sneezed?
    Everyone is shaking, and no one dares to confess.
    Stalin: First row, rise and leave. You’ll be shot.
    (Applause)
    Stalin: So, who sneezed?
    Silence.
    Stalin: Second row, rise and leave. You’ll be shot.
    (Ovation, shouts: ‘Hail great Stalin!’)
    Stalin: So who sneezed?
    A man rises in the back row, shaking: It was me, sorry…
    Stalin: No big deal. Bless you, comrade!

  28. @Desiderius

    moral health
     
    Was Stalin’s morale ever known to flag?

    Replies: @Larry, San Francisco, @J James, @Anonymouse

    I think it flagged a bit in late June of 1941.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  29. @Desiderius

    moral health
     
    Was Stalin’s morale ever known to flag?

    Replies: @Larry, San Francisco, @J James, @Anonymouse

    Yes, he had several quite dramatic episodes where he became despondent and essentially withdrew from any leadership for days on end. Most famously I think after Hitler declared war, humiliating Stalin who had repeatedly insisted this would never happen.
    He had a similar episode after his wife committed suicide.

    • Thanks: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @J James

    So like Trump after Floyd and/or Pence.

  30. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Wasn't Hitler a comic actor before he was a dictator?

    https://thumbs.gfycat.com/MajorDearestHapuku-size_restricted.gif

    https://i.imgur.com/KWOayy5.gif

    It's well known that he practiced his expressions for maximum effect.

    http://i.pinimg.com/736x/d1/19/05/d11905404da81b834c98a43177b48bd4.jpg

    Replies: @OFWHAP, @Anon, @ScarletNumber

    I don’t remember whether I read it on iSteve or on Twitter, but Hitler supposedly LOVED American collegiate marching bands (which may be somewhat German in origin) and particular loved the drum majors and would often imitate them.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @OFWHAP

    Was he a baton twirler in his spare time?

    , @Desiderius
    @OFWHAP

    My German grandfather often played Ohio State Marching Band records on the stereo in his bedroom.

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @OFWHAP


    Hitler supposedly LOVED American collegiate marching bands
     
    Heil! to the victors!

    which may be somewhat German in origin

     

    John Philip Sousa's mother was Bavarian.
  31. Pinochet was the funniest of them all:

    “Would you like to take a ride in my helicopter?”

    See? Comedy Gold.

    https://www.pirate4x4.com/attachments/pinochet-jpg.2889876/

    • Agree: Wade Hampton
    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    @Mike Tre

    That boy needs to be President!

  32. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    Hitler was very careful about his public image but he could do belly laughs in private especially about people he looked down on; Von Ribbentrop being the most notable. Ironically both Stalin and Molotov made fun of him too for having hips like a woman. Hitler would frequently make fun of subordinates including people who where many levels below him and he would laugh at people more than laugh with them.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Prof. Woland

    Sounds like a swell guy.

    Replies: @Rob McX, @Ghost of Bull Moose, @Sean

  33. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn’t appear to translate well.

    Here’s an example of Hitler’s humor (for lack of a better word). From memory, but I’m pretty sure that it’s recounted in John Toland’s The Last 100 Days or Cornelius Ryan’s The Last Battle.

    So the war’s nearly over, and the Germans are looking for anything in reserve to throw against the Soviets. A German officer mentions that there’s an outfit of Indian “volunteers” available (Commonwealth POWs led by German officers).

    H dismisses the suggestion with a wave of his hand and says something like: “We could use them for turning prayer wheels.”

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Maico450

    Actually, among the woke Guardian/NPR crowd that would be considered humor. Sort of like mocking televangelists.

  34. @Desiderius
    https://twitter.com/benshapiro/status/1359833571075227648?s=20

    This is known as conceding the premise. I seem to be a little autistic so could use some assistance. Is anyone even aware that this is how the ball is being moved down the field so rapidly?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @anonymous, @Maico450, @J.Ross, @Charlie2345

    Ben Shapiro must immediately cancel himself for jumping the shark.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Buzz Mohawk

    If only it were only Shapiro. Evidently conceding the premise is the only rhetorical trick that non-Progressives know and so those looking to take advantage of them (certainly not just Progressives) are using it to run them straight into the ground.

    , @Not Raul
    @Buzz Mohawk


    Ben Shapiro must immediately cancel himself for jumping the shark.
     
    Ben Shapiro should cancel himself with extreme prejudice.
  35. @Prof. Woland
    @Steve Sailer

    Hitler was very careful about his public image but he could do belly laughs in private especially about people he looked down on; Von Ribbentrop being the most notable. Ironically both Stalin and Molotov made fun of him too for having hips like a woman. Hitler would frequently make fun of subordinates including people who where many levels below him and he would laugh at people more than laugh with them.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Sounds like a swell guy.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @Steve Sailer

    You want to get banned for good from Twitter?

    , @Ghost of Bull Moose
    @Steve Sailer

    “You know the more I learn about Hitler, the more I don’t care for him.” -Norm

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    , @Sean
    @Steve Sailer

    Death Of A Salesman's Willy Loman says that his joking around means no one takes him seriously.


    In his 1955 memoir The Young Hitler I Knew August Kubizek says the thing that impressed him about the teenage Hitler was not his ideas, but the intense earnestness with which he came to conclusions and then expounded on them. He was always deadly serious.

  36. Beria says to Stalin, “Comrade Stalin, I have a funny joke to tell you.”

    Stalin says, “You tell the joke Comrade Beria. I’ll decide if it’s funny or not.”

  37. @OFWHAP
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I don't remember whether I read it on iSteve or on Twitter, but Hitler supposedly LOVED American collegiate marching bands (which may be somewhat German in origin) and particular loved the drum majors and would often imitate them.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Desiderius, @Reg Cæsar

    Was he a baton twirler in his spare time?

  38. @John Milton’s Ghost
    @Steve Sailer

    German humor in general doesn’t translate well. Check out (i.e. Google) Alexander Marcus, e.g.—it’s not clear whether he is doing funny things, and if so, how.

    Then again, I found the Stalin examples above not particularly funny. There’s supposedly a long tradition of black humor in Russia connected to Stalin’s crimes, a sort of resigned hopeless laughter. The recent Anglo/English movie _Death of Stalin_ attempts to touch on this, but it has too much American moralism in it to work as a comic piece.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @inertial, @kaganovitch

    Some students of Russian literature claim that Stalin’s style was influenced by these really mocking, but well-written letters that Ivan the Terrible would send to defeated rivals.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @Steve Sailer

    His “retreat” to his dacha for a couple of days - remaining incommunicado - at the end of the first week of the Operation Barbarossa invasion by Germany may have been a “cover version” of a similar loyalty test stunt pulled by Ivan. I think I saw this interpretation in Richard Overy’s “Ivan’s War.”

    Has to be worth an award for chutzpah, if true.

  39. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1359968886276390916

    https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1359969215550115840

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Wade Hampton

    Didn’t we already know that Trump was really sick with Covid? I recall him being reported

    • Troll: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer

    Covideo killed the reality star. (Almost.)

  40. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Desiderius

    Ben Shapiro must immediately cancel himself for jumping the shark.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Not Raul

    If only it were only Shapiro. Evidently conceding the premise is the only rhetorical trick that non-Progressives know and so those looking to take advantage of them (certainly not just Progressives) are using it to run them straight into the ground.

  41. I would explain the error in your theory that Stalin was a funny guy (he was) and, as such, his existence as a funny guy somehow disproves Chesterton’s axiom about humor and mental health (another funny guy, Chesterton, and a fellow Christian, but not as much nicer as Stalin than many people think —- trust me – I think Chesterton was INTELLECTUALLY RIGHT but he was a fat man and a sadist at heart, the great drama of his life was his year-longs effort not to be the cruel fat little man he wanted to be, but to be a kind person, you know I’m right —– after all you are reading a thread about the near pure evil that Stalin almost embodied…)…

    I would go on but I don’t want to give you the nightmares you might experience when you recognize that you are not that much nicer than Chesterton. Just be better tomorrow than you are today. That is difficult for some, hopefully not for you, but even if it is……

    That being said, let not your heart be troubled, there are many many bad people who post here.
    The only ones who are like Stalin are the ones who want to be like Stalin.
    You are not one of them, I trust.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @very old statistician

    Chesterton was right. Just, he was speaking about different issue. True humor is about humus, which is the earthly root of humor (we could set aside ancient Greek medical theories of humors, also connected with humus).

    In short, humor, talked about properly, is indeed a sign of healthiness, humility & largeness of mind.

    On the other hand, sarcasm, wit & similar figures do not, mostly, belong to the humor proper, in the way Chesterton characterized it.

    Replies: @very old statistician

    , @Muggles
    @very old statistician


    That being said, let not your heart be troubled, there are many many bad people who post here.
     
    I find it odd that you write that. Yes, some people write ugly, bad things, stupid, wrong headed, etc. But we don't know if the writers are "bad people" or just people who hold bad ideas on some subjects, or write nasty things, are rude to other commentators, etc.

    It's what you do that determines moral worth, not some words you dash out. Fortunately for mankind, the people who write/say bad things (hurtful, hateful, stupid, etc.) are not often the people who go out and act badly or do "bad things." People may say or write things but usually do nothing about the bad things they say.

    They just spout off.

    So we don't really know if commentators here are bad or not.

    And then there is the undeniable fact that from what life shows us, "bad people" are often cloaked in lovely sounding words and phrases they write or speak. The worst of them are quite expert at depicting themselves as "good people." Nearly always.

    But sure, there are bad people writing here. Odds are.

    Replies: @very old statistician

  42. Out of these seven quotes, Stalin never said 1, 4, 5, 7, and likely not 2. How is that for a batting average?

    Quote number 6 (the one about the pope) is actually a diplomatic request to get back on topic. Here is the context:

    These days you hear a lot how Stalin and Hitler were allies. In reality, from the day Hitler came to power until summer 1939 Stalin was feverishly trying to put together a military alliance against Germany. Western nations agreed that such a thing was needed and then would do nothing, time after time.

    So, during one of those attempts French foreign minister Pierre Laval comes to Moscow and sits down for talks with Stalin. They discuss military strategy in the event of war with Germany. Laval says that France is prepared to field X divisions and Stalin that the USSR will field Y divisions. Then, apropos of nothing, Laval asks Stalin to treat Catholicism better because it would make his dealing with the pope easier. Stalin responds, “Oh? And how many divisions does the pope have?”

  43. @OFWHAP
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I don't remember whether I read it on iSteve or on Twitter, but Hitler supposedly LOVED American collegiate marching bands (which may be somewhat German in origin) and particular loved the drum majors and would often imitate them.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Desiderius, @Reg Cæsar

    My German grandfather often played Ohio State Marching Band records on the stereo in his bedroom.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @Desiderius

    My guru in college, an authority on Neoplatonism, was an American who moved to Canada to escape the draft; in WWII. "I moved from Christian Socialism to National Socialism".

    Back then, this stuff was allowed and a million laughs for us students. He'd "heil" favored students if he met them on the streets. Seeing me holding a book by Wittgenstein, he said "Can't you find a more Aryan book?"

    He taught Hegel, of course, including Hegel's aesthetics, even though he admitted being tone deaf and color blind. The only fiction he read was Trollope, and the only LP he had was German marching music, which he used to clear out guests at the end of a party.

    Good times.

    Ironically, he was a dead ringer for Hegel's foe, Schopenhauer.

    Replies: @syonredux

  44. @Andy
    Stalin was a brilliant guy, totally evil but brilliant. All those smart guys in the leadership (many of them Jews) who thought they will easily outsmart him (Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin) ended up with either a bullet or an ice pick in the back of their head

    Replies: @anon

    bullet or an ice pick axe in the back of their head

    • Thanks: Andy
  45. @Old Palo Altan
    @Steve Sailer

    Hitler could be very amusing in his public speeches when deriding his opponents. Two examples which come to mind are a pre-Machtergreifung campaign speech during which he mocks the plethora of parties, all of which he promises to eradicate, a promise he fulfilled with startling speed once Macht had been decisively ergriffen. and his famous riposte to Roosevelt's absurd finger-waving note naming the many countries he thought it his duty to warn Hitler not to invade.

    But I don't remember the Table Talk, or indeed any memoirs from the period, containing any carelessly tossed off bons mots.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Buzz Mohawk

    I mean didn’t turn out to be so absurd, did it?

    He who laughs last…

  46. Stalin walks into a bar.

    But he’s a famous figure, so don’t assume it’s Stalin.

  47. @Desiderius
    https://twitter.com/benshapiro/status/1359833571075227648?s=20

    This is known as conceding the premise. I seem to be a little autistic so could use some assistance. Is anyone even aware that this is how the ball is being moved down the field so rapidly?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @anonymous, @Maico450, @J.Ross, @Charlie2345

    The context for that Shapiro tweet is that Disney just fired some actress for using a holocaust comparison. Shapiro is sarcastically telling them they should be consistent and fire the leftists too, which of course they won’t.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @anonymous


    The context for that Shapiro tweet is that Disney just fired some actress for using a holocaust comparison.
     
    The Hollycaust!

    In the recording industry, e.g. Morgan Wallen, it's called the Vinyl Solution.
  48. @TruthRevolution.net
    Did Hitler say witty or deep statements?
    Oh, I forgot the double standards. Stalin is good, or at least ok, by Leftists standards.
    No, I am not defending Hitler. The Left is defending Stalin.
    Are today's youth taught the number of deaths caused by Stalin? Antifa makes sure they are not told!?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Trinity, @Bardon Kaldian, @Al Roker, @Paperback Writer

    Hitler & Stalin are hardly comparable, their personalities & communication styles differed enormously.

    For instance, Hitler was much maligned by “good Germans” as a mediocre writer (true, he was not a great stylist). Just, he is still very readable, with flashes of unexpected & bizarre humor (I am writing from memory). Stalin, on the other hand, was a boring but efficient writer whose main strength was in catechetical enumeration of chief points, thus making ideological “truths” easy to remember & digest for masses of commissars & low-level functionaries. Also, Stalin enjoyed playing sadistic power games with everyone, including his own daughter (“Your latest comments are anti-Soviet! We could perhaps find Stalin another daughter.”), while Hitler was more civil & not so vulgar, let alone threatening in dealing with his subordinates.

    Churchill is hailed as a great author-historian (he got Nobel). I’ve read his memoirs, as well as his history of English-speaking peoples & remain unimpressed. True, he remains readable as a subjective historian, but his world-view is limited; and when not, he has not much to say about “all & everything”. Isaiah Berlin praised him as someone who views life as the Renaissance banquet, similar to Veronese; and while this may be true, Churchill’s fame deservedly lies in witticisms & not so much in his longer works- similar to Oscar Wilde.

    Judging Hitler solely by his Bible, Mein Kampf (and not by more interesting Table Talk) is an ambiguous task. When I read him to get the gist, he did not leave much impression: German destiny lies in the colonization of the East & Jews are guilty of everything. These two themes he repeats endlessly, so one is left with the feeling of reading one & the same thing again & again. After 20% of Mein Kampf, one gets the impression that Hitler has nothing new to offer.

    It is true, but Hitler still remains, despite too frequent lapses into sentimentality, kitsch & silliness, a magnetic writer. Mein Kampf is haunted by a vision, growing Hitler’s vision of life not only as the struggle, but as something inherently vicious, cruel as Aztec gods feasting on human sacrifice. And while this vision is evidently authentic, it is not just a metaphysical blather or a catalog of repetitive mantras. His most memorable parts are saturated by his experiences in pre-war Vienna, as well as with his political activity after the Great War. Images of decay & rot dominate – but not without humor. Hitler frequently digresses, and Mein Kampf could also be read as a stream-of-consciousness philosophical novel, although written in a rather conventional manner.

    He is also funny. I recall how he bares his soul, confessional-style. For instance, the text is studded with phrases like: I was deeply shattered in the essence of my being. I did not know what to do with my life. I felt there was a great Destiny waiting for me- but I was not sure. What if I am wrong? What will others think of me? For hours, I would contemplate my existence and was torn between doubt and ecstasy.

    In other words, Mein Kampf‘s humor is not in witticisms, but it suffuses reader’s feelings as if he is reading an ideologized soap, a Russian-type hysterical confession replete with sincere platitudes better suited for a Woodyallean comedy (without sex, of course).

    I remember a few funny parts, especially when he analyzes collective psychology of imperial Germany’s military circles & industry. Serious elements of his analysis are well worth reading & I think they still apply to any society in crisis. But, when he delves into details, the entire affair becomes comedy gold. In just 2-3 pages, Hitler discusses how German Navy was polarized re issue whether to produce 283 mm naval guns or 305 mm ones (they opted for 283 mm). Hitler rages about that decision & concludes: Laziness & defeatism! Had rotten and dumb admirals decided to go for 305 mm guns, we would have certainly sunk the entire British Fleet and sent them to the bottom of the sea. Ha! The whole war was lost because of incompetence combined with laziness. Less than 25 millimeters had robbed us of victory!

    Such passages make Mein Kampf an entertaining read, at least in parts.

    • Thanks: Dieter Kief
    • Replies: @unit472
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Interesting because I never bothered to read Mein Kampf. Its not the kind of book one can simply go pick up at a used bookstore without attracting attention, though I did once buy a Nazi party handbook that explained all the ranks and regalia without attracting undue notice.

    The quote about the diameter of artillery shells is telling though. It confirms the bias of the soldier for the war he knew rather than the one he is fighting. Hitler was a WW1 man. His love of giant cannon and fortifications was obvious. Living in a bunker with 10 feet of concrete between himself and the outside world made him feel secure. When told his generals wanted more of an early German "Kalashnikov' he didn't see the need. Giant cannons that could fire 7,000 lbs shells into a Crimean fortress captured his imagination even if it slowed down the advance of his army.

    OTOH, Hitler liked technology and this showed up in German weaponry. FM radios in his tanks gave them an early advantage. Rockets and jet powered aircraft had his support. If he didn't pursue atomic weapons it, perhaps, owed more to his belief they could not be developed in time to win the war and that he had no way of delivering a 10,000 lbs weapon across the Atlantic to kill American Jews in NYC. Still this improbable man did undertake the most amazing achievement in human history The organized apprehension and slaughter of a large ethnic community and do it without attracting a lot of attention.

    Replies: @JMcG

    , @syonredux
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Thomas Mann wrote an interesting piece on Hitler, "This Man Is My Brother". It's quite good on Hitler as a failed bohemian artist:


    Mortifyingly enough, it is all there: the difficulty, the laziness, the pathetic formlessness in youth, the round peg in the square hole, the “whatever do you want?” The lazy, vegetating existence in the depths of a moral and mental bohemia; the fundamental arrogance which thinks itself too good for any sensible and honorable activity, on the ground of its vague intuition that it is reserved for something else–as yet quite indefinite, but something which, if it could be named, would be greeted with roars of laughter.
     

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    , @Cato
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Thanks for this. I never bothered to read Hitler (my family had a deep hatred of Hitler, and as a true conservative, I keep with the family tradition), but I have read a bit of Churchill and found him comforting, an anchor that held me to a reasonable place in a confusing world. Such is the way in which we select our favorite authors!

    Replies: @SFG

    , @James O'Meara
    @Bardon Kaldian

    "Stalin, on the other hand, was a boring but efficient writer whose main strength was in catechetical enumeration of chief points, thus making ideological “truths” easy to remember & digest for masses of commissars & low-level functionaries. "

    Learned, no doubt, at the seminary.

    , @James O'Meara
    @Bardon Kaldian

    https://youtu.be/bbYHBGYwthA

  49. @Old Palo Altan
    @Steve Sailer

    Hitler could be very amusing in his public speeches when deriding his opponents. Two examples which come to mind are a pre-Machtergreifung campaign speech during which he mocks the plethora of parties, all of which he promises to eradicate, a promise he fulfilled with startling speed once Macht had been decisively ergriffen. and his famous riposte to Roosevelt's absurd finger-waving note naming the many countries he thought it his duty to warn Hitler not to invade.

    But I don't remember the Table Talk, or indeed any memoirs from the period, containing any carelessly tossed off bons mots.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Buzz Mohawk

    … his famous riposte to Roosevelt’s absurd finger-waving note naming the many countries he thought it his duty to warn Hitler not to invade.

    Yes, it’s quite good when one listens to it.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Not Raul
    @Buzz Mohawk



    … his famous riposte to Roosevelt’s absurd finger-waving note naming the many countries he thought it his duty to warn Hitler not to invade.

    Yes, it’s quite good when one listens to it.
     

     
    Shirer noted that the audience loved that speech, and thought that it was hilarious.
  50. @John Milton’s Ghost
    @Steve Sailer

    German humor in general doesn’t translate well. Check out (i.e. Google) Alexander Marcus, e.g.—it’s not clear whether he is doing funny things, and if so, how.

    Then again, I found the Stalin examples above not particularly funny. There’s supposedly a long tradition of black humor in Russia connected to Stalin’s crimes, a sort of resigned hopeless laughter. The recent Anglo/English movie _Death of Stalin_ attempts to touch on this, but it has too much American moralism in it to work as a comic piece.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @inertial, @kaganovitch

    Once someone reported to Stalin that Marshal Rokossovsky had a mistress, a famous movie star named Valentina Serova.

    “Comrade Stalin, what are we going to do with Rokossovsky?”
    Stalin: “What are we going to do? What are we going to do? We are going to envy him!”

    • Replies: @Thea
    @inertial

    Rokossovsky was also promised new teeth by Stalin to replace those removed with the finger nails.

    He had another beautiful young mistress, a doctor who treated him during the war. They had a daughter to whom he gave his patronymic and surname but explained he could never leave his wife, Julia. Despite great hardship she and their daughter stayed loyal during his incarceration and never renounced him.

    His great grand daughter ( from his legitimate child)Ariadna Rokossovskaya recently made headlines regarding removing him from the Kremlin walll. She fiercely defends his legacy and rejects all reports of his womanizing.

  51. Cruelty is the most addictive drug. 99% of us cannot indulge our taste for it but look out if you can.

  52. About a month ago my wife made us a delicious Mitteleuropa-ean pastry for breakfast. In my best Branson-by-way-of-Smolensk accent I said to no one in particular: “In 1940’s Europe, German pancake watch YOU go in the oven.” I thought you should know.

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Abe


    About a month ago my wife made us a delicious Mitteleuropa-ean pastry for breakfast. In my best Branson-by-way-of-Smolensk accent I said to no one in particular: “In 1940’s Europe, German pancake watch YOU go in the oven.” I thought you should know.
     
    How long did it take for the laughter to die down?
  53. @TruthRevolution.net
    Did Hitler say witty or deep statements?
    Oh, I forgot the double standards. Stalin is good, or at least ok, by Leftists standards.
    No, I am not defending Hitler. The Left is defending Stalin.
    Are today's youth taught the number of deaths caused by Stalin? Antifa makes sure they are not told!?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Trinity, @Bardon Kaldian, @Al Roker, @Paperback Writer

    Funny: “Chamberlain likes to take weekends in the country; I like to take countries on the weekend” (he usually invaded on Saturdays)

    Many such examples in The Complete Hitler, 3200 pages.

  54. Stalin was, frankly, an idiot.

    He knew only one thing … liquidate any possible rival. He was kill-crazy, and that served him ill after the War. Because of his stupidity in purging able officers instead of harnessing their own ambition to serve his own, Russia sustained such terrible losses that there was no possibility of pushing further. Indeed after the Battle of Berlin the cumulative casualties were so high that it was impossible to continue the War and conquer the entire continent.

    Indeed looking at the strategic situation in the 1930s, with threats from both Germany and Japan, only an idiot would move to remove able officers as a long term threat when the fire was right at his feet.

    Then, after the War and all the misery, to start another round of purges was stupidity. If he was not poisoned like Alexander (for some of the same reasons) no one broke their legs trying to save him. An astute leader needs to know what his people and subordinates can handle and what they cannot, and never go outside their limits without end.

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Whiskey

    I'm no defender of Stalin but he was far from being an idiot.

    You should read a few biographies about him. He likely had a very high IQ (though not an iSteve reader) and was very well educated. For some of that he spent long periods in czarist exile where he and Bukharin his roommate were able to read and study literature and political works. They had little else to do. On his rise to the top he edited Pravda for many years, and was very interested in the literature being produced. Educated Russians have always admired European High Culture. Even wading through Marx, Lenin and that lot takes some brains.

    Compared to most American politicians he was highly cultured.

    While he may have been killed by Beria, he was in his early 70s. By then Hitler, Tojo, FDR, Mussolini, and virtually all of the original Bolsheviks were dead (Stalin killed many of the Old Bolsheviks like Bukharin of course). Other than Churchill and de Gaulle all the WWII leadership was dead.

    Yes, he made many military and political mistakes, He was evil, as you noted. But don't make the common error of thinking horrible leaders are idiots. He wasn't. He was very successful considering. Sometimes also lucky, in that Hitler made even worse mistakes.

    Replies: @very old statistician

  55. Face it, Germans are not known for their sense of humor. “Honest Joe” is funnier than “Uncle Joe” and “Honest Joe” isn’t even trying to be funny.

  56. anonymous[333] • Disclaimer says:

    “American sympathies of Soviet Jews because of Israel-American connection”

    Yeah, right, keep retconning. Maybe it wasn’t an Israeli victory as much as an American one. Americans invented the automobile, the train, democracy and bipedalism, so why not assign them Israel too?

    USSR was the first to recognize the state of Israel, while Americans sat on the fence waiting for the many parties to fight each other to death. Try reading https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/martinkramer/files/who_saved_israel_1947.pdf

  57. Did Stalin arrange for Jan Masaryk, the last anti-Communist minister in the Czechoslovak government, to die in 1948 falling out of a window in Prague (which cemented the Cold War) as a riff on the famous Defenestration of Prague that helped launch the 30 Years War?

    Masaryk, a Mayflower descendant, would have been the city’s fourth notable defenestration. That makes it a local tradition. Stalin was nothing if not a Praguematist.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Reg Cæsar

    Stalin was nothing if not a Praguematist

    You been on a roll lately!

  58. @Desiderius

    moral health
     
    Was Stalin’s morale ever known to flag?

    Replies: @Larry, San Francisco, @J James, @Anonymouse

    Yes, After the initial onslaught of Hitler’s double-cross, with German troops pouring into the Soviet Union due to his own political miscalculation, the Soviet General Secretary Stalin appears to have suffered some sort of nervous breakdown or collapse. After appearing at the Kremlin on June 23, he retreated to his dacha in Kuntsevo and remained out of communication for the next week. However, the system of government which the dictator had created around him allowed for no initiative without his approval, and his underlings were unable to make the necessary decisions to defend the nation without Stalin’s direction. On June 30, a group of Politburo leaders appeared at Stalin’s dacha; he apparently believed they had come to kill him for his failure, but instead they asked him to come back to the Kremlin. Stalin regained his composure and nerve. He centered all major policy powers within his person—economic, political and military—by making himself the Supreme Commander of the Stavka, or High Command Headquarters.

    Or so it is said.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @Anonymouse

    I’ve read a biography or two of Stalin but I’m always left thinking: How do we know any of this to be true?

    Replies: @Desiderius

  59. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    One of Hitler’s great laugh lines was in the speech he gave to the Reichstag in response to FDR’s 1938 “personal appeal” to Hitler for non- aggression and peace. The entire speech has apparently been banned by Youtube as “hate speech,” (some history is too hateful to be remembered, I guess) but this clip from PBS has the “funniest” part beginning at 41 seconds:

    That opening had the Nazis in stitches. The really amusing punch line came later when Hitler actually invaded about 2/3’s of the countries on that list.

    • Replies: @BB753
    @fitzhamilton

    That's actually a good comedic performance! And extra-points to Hitler for not pointing out that Roosevelt was a cripple. THAT would have been mean.

    , @Wade Hampton
    @fitzhamilton

    Oh my good Lord. PBS is going to extrude a series entitled "Clinton"? Which one? And if it is Bubba, what could it possibly be about other than his sexual appetites? And if the other one, why?

  60. anon[494] • Disclaimer says:

    I could imagine Stalin doing Joe Pesci’s “funny guy” routine from Goodfellas on his Politburo just for grins.

    Allegedly Stalin would sometimes take a piece of note paper and slice it lengthwise into strips about 1.5 cm wide. He would then drape the pieces of paper in an inverse U over the fingers of one of his henchmen such as Molotov, Yagoda, etc. while carrying on a conversation. Then he would light the paper on fire while continuing the conversation and looking his target in the eyes. The target had to continue to speak normally while fire crawled up the strip, and burning paper was blistering his fingers. Everyone else in the room would look away and pretend life was normal. Stalin might be done for the evening, or might continue on with another man’s fingers.

    Any normal person can see the humor and mirth in this, I’m sure.

  61. The quote about quantity and quality echoes stuff written by Friedrich Engels. https://www.pnas.org/content/97/23/12926

    • Agree: Dieter Kief
  62. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Wasn't Hitler a comic actor before he was a dictator?

    https://thumbs.gfycat.com/MajorDearestHapuku-size_restricted.gif

    https://i.imgur.com/KWOayy5.gif

    It's well known that he practiced his expressions for maximum effect.

    http://i.pinimg.com/736x/d1/19/05/d11905404da81b834c98a43177b48bd4.jpg

    Replies: @OFWHAP, @Anon, @ScarletNumber

    Hitler came from the generation that was still taught elocution. You had to learn how to project your voice and make big gestures so a huge crowd could see and hear you.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Anon

    I know. Mick Jagger still knows. Freddie Mercury knew very well.

    Seriously, one good way to see this is the now-old IMAX Rolling Stones concert film. You will see that Jagger's makeup is heavy and his gestures are purposefully very large. You need to do this when you are elocuting to a stadium-load of people, in any era.

    One could say opera is like this, but one won't, because even it is smaller than stadium rock or Adolf Hitler.

    But what of Stalin? All we see of him is just him standing there, basically. Zero charisma or expression. What gave? This commenter has a "vague sense" that it was basically mafioso-like terror over those around him. Fear through personal violence and torture. Terror on the group and small-group scale enables a clever little bastard with no presence to hold the stage and frighten everyone to clap endlessly. Must be hard for anyone to break that circle in a Russian environment.

  63. @very old statistician
    I would explain the error in your theory that Stalin was a funny guy (he was) and, as such, his existence as a funny guy somehow disproves Chesterton's axiom about humor and mental health (another funny guy, Chesterton, and a fellow Christian, but not as much nicer as Stalin than many people think ---- trust me - I think Chesterton was INTELLECTUALLY RIGHT but he was a fat man and a sadist at heart, the great drama of his life was his year-longs effort not to be the cruel fat little man he wanted to be, but to be a kind person, you know I'm right ----- after all you are reading a thread about the near pure evil that Stalin almost embodied...)...

    I would go on but I don't want to give you the nightmares you might experience when you recognize that you are not that much nicer than Chesterton. Just be better tomorrow than you are today. That is difficult for some, hopefully not for you, but even if it is......

    That being said, let not your heart be troubled, there are many many bad people who post here.
    The only ones who are like Stalin are the ones who want to be like Stalin.
    You are not one of them, I trust.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Muggles

    Chesterton was right. Just, he was speaking about different issue. True humor is about humus, which is the earthly root of humor (we could set aside ancient Greek medical theories of humors, also connected with humus).

    In short, humor, talked about properly, is indeed a sign of healthiness, humility & largeness of mind.

    On the other hand, sarcasm, wit & similar figures do not, mostly, belong to the humor proper, in the way Chesterton characterized it.

    • Replies: @very old statistician
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Chesterton is one of my heroes. I agree with your comment.

    My sad lot in life is to understand people.

    Well, it helped a lot when I was younger, but as I get older, it is kind of a burden.

    Just kidding, we were born to UNDERSTAND, and I appreciate your comment, because you got it right.

  64. “Chekhov’s gun” is a theatrical principle meaning that, if there is a gun on the wall during the first act, then some time in the next two acts, it will be fired. Stalin was a prolific and competent poet during his youth, and so it does not surprise me that later on in life, this literary talent expressed itself in one-liners.

    • Replies: @Maico450
    @SafeNow

    Stalin was a prolific and competent poet during his youth, and so it does not surprise me that later on in life, this literary talent expressed itself in one-liners.

    Interesting. How would you explain Stalin's relationship with Mayakovsky?

    Replies: @J.Ross

  65. @Mike Tre
    Pinochet was the funniest of them all:

    “Would you like to take a ride in my helicopter?”

    See? Comedy Gold.

    https://www.pirate4x4.com/attachments/pinochet-jpg.2889876/

    Replies: @Redneck farmer

    That boy needs to be President!

  66. @OFWHAP
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I don't remember whether I read it on iSteve or on Twitter, but Hitler supposedly LOVED American collegiate marching bands (which may be somewhat German in origin) and particular loved the drum majors and would often imitate them.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Desiderius, @Reg Cæsar

    Hitler supposedly LOVED American collegiate marching bands

    Heil! to the victors!

    which may be somewhat German in origin

    John Philip Sousa’s mother was Bavarian.

  67. @Bardon Kaldian
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Hitler & Stalin are hardly comparable, their personalities & communication styles differed enormously.

    For instance, Hitler was much maligned by "good Germans" as a mediocre writer (true, he was not a great stylist). Just, he is still very readable, with flashes of unexpected & bizarre humor (I am writing from memory). Stalin, on the other hand, was a boring but efficient writer whose main strength was in catechetical enumeration of chief points, thus making ideological "truths" easy to remember & digest for masses of commissars & low-level functionaries. Also, Stalin enjoyed playing sadistic power games with everyone, including his own daughter ("Your latest comments are anti-Soviet! We could perhaps find Stalin another daughter."), while Hitler was more civil & not so vulgar, let alone threatening in dealing with his subordinates.

    Churchill is hailed as a great author-historian (he got Nobel). I've read his memoirs, as well as his history of English-speaking peoples & remain unimpressed. True, he remains readable as a subjective historian, but his world-view is limited; and when not, he has not much to say about "all & everything". Isaiah Berlin praised him as someone who views life as the Renaissance banquet, similar to Veronese; and while this may be true, Churchill's fame deservedly lies in witticisms & not so much in his longer works- similar to Oscar Wilde.

    Judging Hitler solely by his Bible, Mein Kampf (and not by more interesting Table Talk) is an ambiguous task. When I read him to get the gist, he did not leave much impression: German destiny lies in the colonization of the East & Jews are guilty of everything. These two themes he repeats endlessly, so one is left with the feeling of reading one & the same thing again & again. After 20% of Mein Kampf, one gets the impression that Hitler has nothing new to offer.

    It is true, but Hitler still remains, despite too frequent lapses into sentimentality, kitsch & silliness, a magnetic writer. Mein Kampf is haunted by a vision, growing Hitler's vision of life not only as the struggle, but as something inherently vicious, cruel as Aztec gods feasting on human sacrifice. And while this vision is evidently authentic, it is not just a metaphysical blather or a catalog of repetitive mantras. His most memorable parts are saturated by his experiences in pre-war Vienna, as well as with his political activity after the Great War. Images of decay & rot dominate - but not without humor. Hitler frequently digresses, and Mein Kampf could also be read as a stream-of-consciousness philosophical novel, although written in a rather conventional manner.

    He is also funny. I recall how he bares his soul, confessional-style. For instance, the text is studded with phrases like: I was deeply shattered in the essence of my being. I did not know what to do with my life. I felt there was a great Destiny waiting for me- but I was not sure. What if I am wrong? What will others think of me? For hours, I would contemplate my existence and was torn between doubt and ecstasy.

    In other words, Mein Kampf's humor is not in witticisms, but it suffuses reader's feelings as if he is reading an ideologized soap, a Russian-type hysterical confession replete with sincere platitudes better suited for a Woodyallean comedy (without sex, of course).

    I remember a few funny parts, especially when he analyzes collective psychology of imperial Germany's military circles & industry. Serious elements of his analysis are well worth reading & I think they still apply to any society in crisis. But, when he delves into details, the entire affair becomes comedy gold. In just 2-3 pages, Hitler discusses how German Navy was polarized re issue whether to produce 283 mm naval guns or 305 mm ones (they opted for 283 mm). Hitler rages about that decision & concludes: Laziness & defeatism! Had rotten and dumb admirals decided to go for 305 mm guns, we would have certainly sunk the entire British Fleet and sent them to the bottom of the sea. Ha! The whole war was lost because of incompetence combined with laziness. Less than 25 millimeters had robbed us of victory!

    Such passages make Mein Kampf an entertaining read, at least in parts.

    Replies: @unit472, @syonredux, @Cato, @James O'Meara, @James O'Meara

    Interesting because I never bothered to read Mein Kampf. Its not the kind of book one can simply go pick up at a used bookstore without attracting attention, though I did once buy a Nazi party handbook that explained all the ranks and regalia without attracting undue notice.

    The quote about the diameter of artillery shells is telling though. It confirms the bias of the soldier for the war he knew rather than the one he is fighting. Hitler was a WW1 man. His love of giant cannon and fortifications was obvious. Living in a bunker with 10 feet of concrete between himself and the outside world made him feel secure. When told his generals wanted more of an early German “Kalashnikov’ he didn’t see the need. Giant cannons that could fire 7,000 lbs shells into a Crimean fortress captured his imagination even if it slowed down the advance of his army.

    OTOH, Hitler liked technology and this showed up in German weaponry. FM radios in his tanks gave them an early advantage. Rockets and jet powered aircraft had his support. If he didn’t pursue atomic weapons it, perhaps, owed more to his belief they could not be developed in time to win the war and that he had no way of delivering a 10,000 lbs weapon across the Atlantic to kill American Jews in NYC. Still this improbable man did undertake the most amazing achievement in human history The organized apprehension and slaughter of a large ethnic community and do it without attracting a lot of attention.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @unit472

    Um, Stalin starved millions of Christian Ukrainians to death 10 years before the Holocaust kicked off with nary a murmur. In fact, the western powers couldn’t wait to jump in bed with him. Then there were the Armenian Christians who were slaughtered by the Muslim Ottomans in 1915. Hitler wasn’t exactly sui generis.
    Then there was Pol Pot in Cambodia in the 70s, whatever the hell happened in the Balkans in the 90s and the Rwandan slaughter just after. I wonder who’s next?

  68. @Desiderius
    https://twitter.com/benshapiro/status/1359833571075227648?s=20

    This is known as conceding the premise. I seem to be a little autistic so could use some assistance. Is anyone even aware that this is how the ball is being moved down the field so rapidly?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @anonymous, @Maico450, @J.Ross, @Charlie2345

    Disney+ must immediately fire any actor who has made an overwrought Holocaust comparison pic.twitter.com/kPO81Qf38X

    — Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 11, 2021

    Overwrought. As Mr. Hand famously said in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, “I like that.”

    These days, when I hear about @benshapiro I’m reminded of an old Fred Allen radio show gag. Allen would visit Allen’s Alley and speak to “ethnic” characters there, asking them the week’s stock question. Once he visited show regular Mrs. Nussbaum, asked his question, and she responded with “You were expecting maybe ShapiroHito?”

    Shapirohito was a good one 😉

    • Replies: @anon
    @Maico450

    These days, when I hear about @benshapiro I’m reminded...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWOd8G7OCyY

  69. @anonymous
    @Desiderius

    The context for that Shapiro tweet is that Disney just fired some actress for using a holocaust comparison. Shapiro is sarcastically telling them they should be consistent and fire the leftists too, which of course they won't.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The context for that Shapiro tweet is that Disney just fired some actress for using a holocaust comparison.

    The Hollycaust!

    In the recording industry, e.g. Morgan Wallen, it’s called the Vinyl Solution.

  70. @Paul Mendez
    I’ve heard “quantity has a quality all its own” attributed to Lenin, during the Russian Civil War.

    Lenin was drafting soldiers in larger numbers than could be properly equipped. It was supposedly his reply when someone suggested that he focus on the quality of the Red Army, not just its size.

    But I admit I wasn’t there.

    (I’ve also read Trotsky actually said, “You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is interested in you.” But I like the “war” version a whole lot better, so I’m sticking with it.)

    Replies: @fitzhamilton, @Peter D. Bredon

    The thing about Marx is that much of what he wrote is indubitably true. The first part of the Communist Manifesto is a prophecy, one that has come to pass.. Neo-liberal globalists like Thomas Freidman and Francis Fukyama all rip their basic insights from Marxist theory. The “World is Flat” is basically a 674 page bloviating riff ripping off of what Marx & Engels said succinctly in two pages.

    All of which is just to say that “You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is interested in you” is a pretty cutting witticism. Conservatives have ignored the inescapable logic of it, but are now being schooled by inexorable reality.

    You can’t charge a tank with a spear and expect to win. This isn’t the Return of the Jedi, the Ewoks in our universe would never win. Just as you cannot live a post-modern bourgeois lifestyle without hormonal birth control. Feminism could not exist in the absence of the clothes washer..

    Nor can we probably escape the techno-fascism that has come with the internet. Skynet is here, the terminator drones are already in the air, the cylon droid armies are approaching..

    The bourgeoisie have been in fact the true revolutionary class, just as Marx and Engels foresaw. Now we are inescapably complicit in our own impending obsolescence and dissolution, now melting away in the face this brave new dawn of transhuman transcendence..

    Most of us are not interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is most certainly interested in us, and we will not escape it..

    • Thanks: ic1000
    • Replies: @fish
    @fitzhamilton

    Well that’s not funny at all.....

    , @Harry Baldwin
    @fitzhamilton

    You can’t charge a tank with a spear and expect to win.

    Speaking of witty communists, Lenin addressed that point: "You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw."

    I read a biography of Trotsky and he said something that I found memorable: "Nothing is so surprising to a man as that he grows old."

    He was right about that--it is, somehow, continually surprising. And yet, was it true for Trotsky? I believe nothing was more surprising to him than being brained with an ice axe by a houseguest. Oy vey!

    Here's one from a short online list of Stalin's deadpan jokes:


    Ivan Isakov (1894-1967), Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union and Deputy Soviet Navy Minister, got a call from Stalin in February 1946. The General Secretary informed Isakov that he would be promoted to Chief of General Staff of the Soviet Navy.

    "Comrade Stalin, I must report that I have a serious defect, I lost a leg in the war," Isakov replied.

    "Is that the only defect you’d like to report?"

    "Yes."

    "Before, we had Chief of General Staff who was missing his head, and it was all right, he performed his duties. You’re missing a leg, that’s negligible,: responded Stalin.
     
  71. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Wasn't Hitler a comic actor before he was a dictator?

    https://thumbs.gfycat.com/MajorDearestHapuku-size_restricted.gif

    https://i.imgur.com/KWOayy5.gif

    It's well known that he practiced his expressions for maximum effect.

    http://i.pinimg.com/736x/d1/19/05/d11905404da81b834c98a43177b48bd4.jpg

    Replies: @OFWHAP, @Anon, @ScarletNumber

    Finally, this Simpsons clip makes sense!

  72. @Anon
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Hitler came from the generation that was still taught elocution. You had to learn how to project your voice and make big gestures so a huge crowd could see and hear you.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    I know. Mick Jagger still knows. Freddie Mercury knew very well.

    Seriously, one good way to see this is the now-old IMAX Rolling Stones concert film. You will see that Jagger’s makeup is heavy and his gestures are purposefully very large. You need to do this when you are elocuting to a stadium-load of people, in any era.

    One could say opera is like this, but one won’t, because even it is smaller than stadium rock or Adolf Hitler.

    But what of Stalin? All we see of him is just him standing there, basically. Zero charisma or expression. What gave? This commenter has a “vague sense” that it was basically mafioso-like terror over those around him. Fear through personal violence and torture. Terror on the group and small-group scale enables a clever little bastard with no presence to hold the stage and frighten everyone to clap endlessly. Must be hard for anyone to break that circle in a Russian environment.

  73. @TruthRevolution.net
    Did Hitler say witty or deep statements?
    Oh, I forgot the double standards. Stalin is good, or at least ok, by Leftists standards.
    No, I am not defending Hitler. The Left is defending Stalin.
    Are today's youth taught the number of deaths caused by Stalin? Antifa makes sure they are not told!?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Trinity, @Bardon Kaldian, @Al Roker, @Paperback Writer

    Let a thousand flowers bloom.

  74. Whatever. Dude was one of the most murderous men in history. He can squirm in Satan’s mouth with Mao and Hitler for all I care. I don’t care how funny he was.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @SFG

    Stalin was a leader which goes to say he had followers and it is part of building that to win people over - humor is one means. so - this whole thing is less about you and what you like and dislike and more about what happened - how Stalin built his enormous real-world power and how that depended on some of his personality traits.

  75. @Steve Sailer
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Didn't we already know that Trump was really sick with Covid? I recall him being reported

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Covideo killed the reality star. (Almost.)

  76. anon[181] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve been reading Speer on Hitler. He said Hitler never made jokes. Hitler was supremely concerned with image, and I suspect he knew that jokes sometimes fail and he never wanted to be in that position. He loved hearing jokes, tho, especially practical jokes, like the time Goebbels, I think it was, sent a possible rival, the Oxford-educated German up in a plane with sealed orders, supposedly from Hitler, saying he was being flown to Spain to be dropped behind enemy lines to organize spying on the Reds. The guy begged the pilot to turn back. Actually, they were flying in circles and landed back in Germany. The joke victim soon fled to the UK, figuring his head would be next. Hitler loved it, and didn’t realize Goebbels was manipulating him.

  77. @Bardon Kaldian
    @very old statistician

    Chesterton was right. Just, he was speaking about different issue. True humor is about humus, which is the earthly root of humor (we could set aside ancient Greek medical theories of humors, also connected with humus).

    In short, humor, talked about properly, is indeed a sign of healthiness, humility & largeness of mind.

    On the other hand, sarcasm, wit & similar figures do not, mostly, belong to the humor proper, in the way Chesterton characterized it.

    Replies: @very old statistician

    Chesterton is one of my heroes. I agree with your comment.

    My sad lot in life is to understand people.

    Well, it helped a lot when I was younger, but as I get older, it is kind of a burden.

    Just kidding, we were born to UNDERSTAND, and I appreciate your comment, because you got it right.

  78. @Maico450
    @Desiderius

    Disney+ must immediately fire any actor who has made an overwrought Holocaust comparison pic.twitter.com/kPO81Qf38X

    — Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 11, 2021


    Overwrought. As Mr. Hand famously said in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, "I like that."

    These days, when I hear about @benshapiro I'm reminded of an old Fred Allen radio show gag. Allen would visit Allen's Alley and speak to "ethnic" characters there, asking them the week's stock question. Once he visited show regular Mrs. Nussbaum, asked his question, and she responded with "You were expecting maybe ShapiroHito?"

    Shapirohito was a good one ;)

    Replies: @anon

    These days, when I hear about @benshapiro I’m reminded…

  79. @Bardon Kaldian
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Hitler & Stalin are hardly comparable, their personalities & communication styles differed enormously.

    For instance, Hitler was much maligned by "good Germans" as a mediocre writer (true, he was not a great stylist). Just, he is still very readable, with flashes of unexpected & bizarre humor (I am writing from memory). Stalin, on the other hand, was a boring but efficient writer whose main strength was in catechetical enumeration of chief points, thus making ideological "truths" easy to remember & digest for masses of commissars & low-level functionaries. Also, Stalin enjoyed playing sadistic power games with everyone, including his own daughter ("Your latest comments are anti-Soviet! We could perhaps find Stalin another daughter."), while Hitler was more civil & not so vulgar, let alone threatening in dealing with his subordinates.

    Churchill is hailed as a great author-historian (he got Nobel). I've read his memoirs, as well as his history of English-speaking peoples & remain unimpressed. True, he remains readable as a subjective historian, but his world-view is limited; and when not, he has not much to say about "all & everything". Isaiah Berlin praised him as someone who views life as the Renaissance banquet, similar to Veronese; and while this may be true, Churchill's fame deservedly lies in witticisms & not so much in his longer works- similar to Oscar Wilde.

    Judging Hitler solely by his Bible, Mein Kampf (and not by more interesting Table Talk) is an ambiguous task. When I read him to get the gist, he did not leave much impression: German destiny lies in the colonization of the East & Jews are guilty of everything. These two themes he repeats endlessly, so one is left with the feeling of reading one & the same thing again & again. After 20% of Mein Kampf, one gets the impression that Hitler has nothing new to offer.

    It is true, but Hitler still remains, despite too frequent lapses into sentimentality, kitsch & silliness, a magnetic writer. Mein Kampf is haunted by a vision, growing Hitler's vision of life not only as the struggle, but as something inherently vicious, cruel as Aztec gods feasting on human sacrifice. And while this vision is evidently authentic, it is not just a metaphysical blather or a catalog of repetitive mantras. His most memorable parts are saturated by his experiences in pre-war Vienna, as well as with his political activity after the Great War. Images of decay & rot dominate - but not without humor. Hitler frequently digresses, and Mein Kampf could also be read as a stream-of-consciousness philosophical novel, although written in a rather conventional manner.

    He is also funny. I recall how he bares his soul, confessional-style. For instance, the text is studded with phrases like: I was deeply shattered in the essence of my being. I did not know what to do with my life. I felt there was a great Destiny waiting for me- but I was not sure. What if I am wrong? What will others think of me? For hours, I would contemplate my existence and was torn between doubt and ecstasy.

    In other words, Mein Kampf's humor is not in witticisms, but it suffuses reader's feelings as if he is reading an ideologized soap, a Russian-type hysterical confession replete with sincere platitudes better suited for a Woodyallean comedy (without sex, of course).

    I remember a few funny parts, especially when he analyzes collective psychology of imperial Germany's military circles & industry. Serious elements of his analysis are well worth reading & I think they still apply to any society in crisis. But, when he delves into details, the entire affair becomes comedy gold. In just 2-3 pages, Hitler discusses how German Navy was polarized re issue whether to produce 283 mm naval guns or 305 mm ones (they opted for 283 mm). Hitler rages about that decision & concludes: Laziness & defeatism! Had rotten and dumb admirals decided to go for 305 mm guns, we would have certainly sunk the entire British Fleet and sent them to the bottom of the sea. Ha! The whole war was lost because of incompetence combined with laziness. Less than 25 millimeters had robbed us of victory!

    Such passages make Mein Kampf an entertaining read, at least in parts.

    Replies: @unit472, @syonredux, @Cato, @James O'Meara, @James O'Meara

    Thomas Mann wrote an interesting piece on Hitler, “This Man Is My Brother”. It’s quite good on Hitler as a failed bohemian artist:

    Mortifyingly enough, it is all there: the difficulty, the laziness, the pathetic formlessness in youth, the round peg in the square hole, the “whatever do you want?” The lazy, vegetating existence in the depths of a moral and mental bohemia; the fundamental arrogance which thinks itself too good for any sensible and honorable activity, on the ground of its vague intuition that it is reserved for something else–as yet quite indefinite, but something which, if it could be named, would be greeted with roars of laughter.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @syonredux

    This piece of Thomas Mann is strong not least because it illuminates something that is often overlooked: That Hitler's power over people stemmed a lot from him being an artist.

    The other element which is underestimated quite often is the fact, that Hitler had been working (=making money!) as a public orator at fairs, which was very rare. He got booked by beer-tent-landlords. Ok - and this role of his as a public orator allowed him to test his thoughts with regard to their appeal to quite a number of regular folks. (There are not many people who understand what this meant in a time when there was no daily polling going on. This practice of public speeches turned Hitler into a quite knowledgeable proto-version of a social scientist - and the proto version of - a pop-star of the performing arts (cf. Freddie Mercury and - Mick Jagger, as mentioned above by Buzz Mohawk...).

    Very few people understand that the demonic power of Hitler was to quite a degree this mixture of actual knowledge about what people reacted to: What phrase, what tone, what movements, but also what subjects they reacted to most intensely.

    Thomas Mann meets here at this crossroads with Jordan B. Peterson - they both are looking right at the core of the orator Hitler's success**** and - - - Goethe's (quite funny btw.) Mephisto (and Michail Bulgakow & Mick Jagger (Sympathy for the Devil), of course).

    ***** Jordan B. Peterson concentrated on the feedback loop between a good orator and his public. And he is spot on with regard to Hitler.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  80. @Bardon Kaldian
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Hitler & Stalin are hardly comparable, their personalities & communication styles differed enormously.

    For instance, Hitler was much maligned by "good Germans" as a mediocre writer (true, he was not a great stylist). Just, he is still very readable, with flashes of unexpected & bizarre humor (I am writing from memory). Stalin, on the other hand, was a boring but efficient writer whose main strength was in catechetical enumeration of chief points, thus making ideological "truths" easy to remember & digest for masses of commissars & low-level functionaries. Also, Stalin enjoyed playing sadistic power games with everyone, including his own daughter ("Your latest comments are anti-Soviet! We could perhaps find Stalin another daughter."), while Hitler was more civil & not so vulgar, let alone threatening in dealing with his subordinates.

    Churchill is hailed as a great author-historian (he got Nobel). I've read his memoirs, as well as his history of English-speaking peoples & remain unimpressed. True, he remains readable as a subjective historian, but his world-view is limited; and when not, he has not much to say about "all & everything". Isaiah Berlin praised him as someone who views life as the Renaissance banquet, similar to Veronese; and while this may be true, Churchill's fame deservedly lies in witticisms & not so much in his longer works- similar to Oscar Wilde.

    Judging Hitler solely by his Bible, Mein Kampf (and not by more interesting Table Talk) is an ambiguous task. When I read him to get the gist, he did not leave much impression: German destiny lies in the colonization of the East & Jews are guilty of everything. These two themes he repeats endlessly, so one is left with the feeling of reading one & the same thing again & again. After 20% of Mein Kampf, one gets the impression that Hitler has nothing new to offer.

    It is true, but Hitler still remains, despite too frequent lapses into sentimentality, kitsch & silliness, a magnetic writer. Mein Kampf is haunted by a vision, growing Hitler's vision of life not only as the struggle, but as something inherently vicious, cruel as Aztec gods feasting on human sacrifice. And while this vision is evidently authentic, it is not just a metaphysical blather or a catalog of repetitive mantras. His most memorable parts are saturated by his experiences in pre-war Vienna, as well as with his political activity after the Great War. Images of decay & rot dominate - but not without humor. Hitler frequently digresses, and Mein Kampf could also be read as a stream-of-consciousness philosophical novel, although written in a rather conventional manner.

    He is also funny. I recall how he bares his soul, confessional-style. For instance, the text is studded with phrases like: I was deeply shattered in the essence of my being. I did not know what to do with my life. I felt there was a great Destiny waiting for me- but I was not sure. What if I am wrong? What will others think of me? For hours, I would contemplate my existence and was torn between doubt and ecstasy.

    In other words, Mein Kampf's humor is not in witticisms, but it suffuses reader's feelings as if he is reading an ideologized soap, a Russian-type hysterical confession replete with sincere platitudes better suited for a Woodyallean comedy (without sex, of course).

    I remember a few funny parts, especially when he analyzes collective psychology of imperial Germany's military circles & industry. Serious elements of his analysis are well worth reading & I think they still apply to any society in crisis. But, when he delves into details, the entire affair becomes comedy gold. In just 2-3 pages, Hitler discusses how German Navy was polarized re issue whether to produce 283 mm naval guns or 305 mm ones (they opted for 283 mm). Hitler rages about that decision & concludes: Laziness & defeatism! Had rotten and dumb admirals decided to go for 305 mm guns, we would have certainly sunk the entire British Fleet and sent them to the bottom of the sea. Ha! The whole war was lost because of incompetence combined with laziness. Less than 25 millimeters had robbed us of victory!

    Such passages make Mein Kampf an entertaining read, at least in parts.

    Replies: @unit472, @syonredux, @Cato, @James O'Meara, @James O'Meara

    Thanks for this. I never bothered to read Hitler (my family had a deep hatred of Hitler, and as a true conservative, I keep with the family tradition), but I have read a bit of Churchill and found him comforting, an anchor that held me to a reasonable place in a confusing world. Such is the way in which we select our favorite authors!

    • Replies: @SFG
    @Cato

    If you should ever be in New York City for some unfathomable reason, Chartwell Books is a bookshop entirely about Winston Churchill.

    I do not know why such a thing would exist or how it can survive in that place, but I am happy to see it does.

    Replies: @Anon, @Desiderius

  81. @Steve Sailer
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn't appear to translate well.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @Anon, @John Milton’s Ghost, @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @Old Palo Altan, @Prof. Woland, @Maico450, @fitzhamilton, @Foucalt's Pit

    According to this documentary, even Germans didn’t seem to find him funny. 4:24 in.

  82. False attribution. Four of those quotes are from Will Rogers, and the other three from Yogi Berra.

  83. @Cato
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Thanks for this. I never bothered to read Hitler (my family had a deep hatred of Hitler, and as a true conservative, I keep with the family tradition), but I have read a bit of Churchill and found him comforting, an anchor that held me to a reasonable place in a confusing world. Such is the way in which we select our favorite authors!

    Replies: @SFG

    If you should ever be in New York City for some unfathomable reason, Chartwell Books is a bookshop entirely about Winston Churchill.

    I do not know why such a thing would exist or how it can survive in that place, but I am happy to see it does.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @SFG


    Chartwell Books is a bookshop entirely about Winston Churchill.

    I do not know why such a thing would exist or how it can survive in that place
     
    This struck me as completely ridiculous, perhaps a pop-up joke store by some television show like the Curb Your Enthusiam Pop-Up Shop or this:

    The pop-up shop purported to be for a brand called Palessi – an edited version of Payless – and the space it was held in was modern, with plush blue seats, lit-up displays that showcased the shoes to full effect. The center of the store featured a Romanesque statue, and shoppers were waited on by young, black-clad employees.

    Payless shoes typically cost between $20 and $40. But some of the shoes sold during the pop-up shop went for as much as $600, and Palessi made $3,000 in sales in just three hours....

    The shoppers got their money back, but were allowed to keep the shoes.

    https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/11/30/payless-pranks-social-media-influencers/
     
    But when I thought about it, using Churchill as a starting point you could have books on both world wars, all the personalities in England during the period, the military ... cigars? ... you could stock a pretty big bookstore with books of interest to a lot of guys, without all the chick lit that you'd normally have in bookstores. The weak point is that the male market for books at this point is approaching zero.

    Replies: @Cato

    , @Desiderius
    @SFG

    There is a great many things one must understand to make any sense of Churchill. That is what Chartwell Books is about and much needed.

  84. @Anonymouse
    @Desiderius

    Yes, After the initial onslaught of Hitler’s double-cross, with German troops pouring into the Soviet Union due to his own political miscalculation, the Soviet General Secretary Stalin appears to have suffered some sort of nervous breakdown or collapse. After appearing at the Kremlin on June 23, he retreated to his dacha in Kuntsevo and remained out of communication for the next week. However, the system of government which the dictator had created around him allowed for no initiative without his approval, and his underlings were unable to make the necessary decisions to defend the nation without Stalin’s direction. On June 30, a group of Politburo leaders appeared at Stalin’s dacha; he apparently believed they had come to kill him for his failure, but instead they asked him to come back to the Kremlin. Stalin regained his composure and nerve. He centered all major policy powers within his person—economic, political and military—by making himself the Supreme Commander of the Stavka, or High Command Headquarters.

    Or so it is said.

    Replies: @JMcG

    I’ve read a biography or two of Stalin but I’m always left thinking: How do we know any of this to be true?

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @JMcG

    https://twitter.com/extradeadjcb/status/1359391767418855426?s=20

  85. @Intensifier
    Those who vote decide nothing, those who count the vote decide everything.......the old thug was on to something there.

    Replies: @Rob McX

    Yes, let’s hope Joe Biden doesn’t come across that witticism, or he might blurt it out in a speech in one of his catastrophic lapses into sincerity.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @Rob McX

    Biden already said that: “We have put together I think the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”

  86. @SafeNow
    “Chekhov’s gun” is a theatrical principle meaning that, if there is a gun on the wall during the first act, then some time in the next two acts, it will be fired. Stalin was a prolific and competent poet during his youth, and so it does not surprise me that later on in life, this literary talent expressed itself in one-liners.

    Replies: @Maico450

    Stalin was a prolific and competent poet during his youth, and so it does not surprise me that later on in life, this literary talent expressed itself in one-liners.

    Interesting. How would you explain Stalin’s relationship with Mayakovsky?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @Maico450

    Mayakovsky went to the West as a cultural ambassador, and once here, he didn't want to come home. He actually asked the Soviet government to send him enough money to buy a yellow Rolls-Royce. But he was also part of a first wave of major Soviet figures who committed suicide (in some cases they were killed, but for many there is no doubt it was suicide; this was before the purges got going) because they saw that the revolution they had devoted their lives to was a disaster. After Mayakovsky died Stalin praised him highly. There is an argument that Stalin did not kill Gorky, who after all was old.

    Replies: @Maico450

  87. I could imagine Stalin doing Joe Pesci’s “funny guy” routine from Goodfellas on his Politburo just for grins.

    Either one, Stalin or the Joe Pesci character in a lot of his movies – we’d all be better off it someone had shot him dead early on.

    That Stalin was a funny guy doesn’t fit in well with Chestertonian optimism about the effects of a sense of humor on moral health.

    Whatever. What you call funny is nothing but sadistic cruelty – I read the 20 supposed jokes from the link Jack D. had in his comment under the other post. Not only were they not comedy TV material (other than Racheal Maddow, perhaps), but they were just plain not humorous, period. They were designed to scare people. Fuck Stalin. Fuck Joe Pesci … though he’s kind of rubbing off on me right now, what with the language …

    • Replies: @Ghost of Bull Moose
    @Achmed E. Newman

    ‘The Death of Stalin’ was really funny.

    Replies: @znon

  88. @Steve Sailer
    @Prof. Woland

    Sounds like a swell guy.

    Replies: @Rob McX, @Ghost of Bull Moose, @Sean

    You want to get banned for good from Twitter?

  89. @fitzhamilton
    @Paul Mendez

    The thing about Marx is that much of what he wrote is indubitably true. The first part of the Communist Manifesto is a prophecy, one that has come to pass.. Neo-liberal globalists like Thomas Freidman and Francis Fukyama all rip their basic insights from Marxist theory. The "World is Flat" is basically a 674 page bloviating riff ripping off of what Marx & Engels said succinctly in two pages.

    All of which is just to say that “You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is interested in you” is a pretty cutting witticism. Conservatives have ignored the inescapable logic of it, but are now being schooled by inexorable reality.

    You can't charge a tank with a spear and expect to win. This isn't the Return of the Jedi, the Ewoks in our universe would never win. Just as you cannot live a post-modern bourgeois lifestyle without hormonal birth control. Feminism could not exist in the absence of the clothes washer..

    Nor can we probably escape the techno-fascism that has come with the internet. Skynet is here, the terminator drones are already in the air, the cylon droid armies are approaching..

    The bourgeoisie have been in fact the true revolutionary class, just as Marx and Engels foresaw. Now we are inescapably complicit in our own impending obsolescence and dissolution, now melting away in the face this brave new dawn of transhuman transcendence..

    Most of us are not interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is most certainly interested in us, and we will not escape it..

    Replies: @fish, @Harry Baldwin

    Well that’s not funny at all…..

  90. @Steve Sailer
    @Prof. Woland

    Sounds like a swell guy.

    Replies: @Rob McX, @Ghost of Bull Moose, @Sean

    “You know the more I learn about Hitler, the more I don’t care for him.” -Norm

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    Norm MacDonald: "I was reading this book—I’m kind of obsessed with Hitler, you know? And they were saying, when Hitler took power, all these comedians and sketch troupes would do Hitler. They’d put a comb under their nose. They all hated Hitler and they’d make fun of him. Hitler didn’t care and then he did all those bad things. I don’t want to get into the details, but this guy was no saint."

  91. @Achmed E. Newman

    I could imagine Stalin doing Joe Pesci’s “funny guy” routine from Goodfellas on his Politburo just for grins.
     
    Either one, Stalin or the Joe Pesci character in a lot of his movies - we'd all be better off it someone had shot him dead early on.

    That Stalin was a funny guy doesn’t fit in well with Chestertonian optimism about the effects of a sense of humor on moral health.
     
    Whatever. What you call funny is nothing but sadistic cruelty - I read the 20 supposed jokes from the link Jack D. had in his comment under the other post. Not only were they not comedy TV material (other than Racheal Maddow, perhaps), but they were just plain not humorous, period. They were designed to scare people. Fuck Stalin. Fuck Joe Pesci ... though he's kind of rubbing off on me right now, what with the language ...

    Replies: @Ghost of Bull Moose

    ‘The Death of Stalin’ was really funny.

    • Replies: @znon
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    How much of that was the truth? anyone have a good relatively easy to read history of this?

  92. @Reg Cæsar

    Did Stalin arrange for Jan Masaryk, the last anti-Communist minister in the Czechoslovak government, to die in 1948 falling out of a window in Prague (which cemented the Cold War) as a riff on the famous Defenestration of Prague that helped launch the 30 Years War?

     

    Masaryk, a Mayflower descendant, would have been the city's fourth notable defenestration. That makes it a local tradition. Stalin was nothing if not a Praguematist.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    Stalin was nothing if not a Praguematist

    You been on a roll lately!

  93. @Anon
    @Steve Sailer


    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn’t appear to translate well.
     
    German humor is like very crude physical comedy and slapstick. It could be that the whole mass murder, war , and genocide stuff was supposed to be hilarious.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    von Richthoven: How lucky you English are to find the toilet so amusing. For us, it is a mundane and functional item. For you, the basis of an entire culture.

    • Thanks: Wade Hampton
  94. Anon[649] • Disclaimer says:
    @SFG
    @Cato

    If you should ever be in New York City for some unfathomable reason, Chartwell Books is a bookshop entirely about Winston Churchill.

    I do not know why such a thing would exist or how it can survive in that place, but I am happy to see it does.

    Replies: @Anon, @Desiderius

    Chartwell Books is a bookshop entirely about Winston Churchill.

    I do not know why such a thing would exist or how it can survive in that place

    This struck me as completely ridiculous, perhaps a pop-up joke store by some television show like the Curb Your Enthusiam Pop-Up Shop or this:

    The pop-up shop purported to be for a brand called Palessi – an edited version of Payless – and the space it was held in was modern, with plush blue seats, lit-up displays that showcased the shoes to full effect. The center of the store featured a Romanesque statue, and shoppers were waited on by young, black-clad employees.

    Payless shoes typically cost between $20 and $40. But some of the shoes sold during the pop-up shop went for as much as $600, and Palessi made $3,000 in sales in just three hours….

    The shoppers got their money back, but were allowed to keep the shoes.

    https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/11/30/payless-pranks-social-media-influencers/

    But when I thought about it, using Churchill as a starting point you could have books on both world wars, all the personalities in England during the period, the military … cigars? … you could stock a pretty big bookstore with books of interest to a lot of guys, without all the chick lit that you’d normally have in bookstores. The weak point is that the male market for books at this point is approaching zero.

    • Replies: @Cato
    @Anon


    the male market for books at this point is approaching zero
     
    The everyone market for books is approaching zero. Compared to my time as a college student, students simply don't read at all, unless it is a soundbite or two, online.
  95. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Desiderius

    Ben Shapiro must immediately cancel himself for jumping the shark.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Not Raul

    Ben Shapiro must immediately cancel himself for jumping the shark.

    Ben Shapiro should cancel himself with extreme prejudice.

  96. @Paul Mendez
    I’ve heard “quantity has a quality all its own” attributed to Lenin, during the Russian Civil War.

    Lenin was drafting soldiers in larger numbers than could be properly equipped. It was supposedly his reply when someone suggested that he focus on the quality of the Red Army, not just its size.

    But I admit I wasn’t there.

    (I’ve also read Trotsky actually said, “You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is interested in you.” But I like the “war” version a whole lot better, so I’m sticking with it.)

    Replies: @fitzhamilton, @Peter D. Bredon

    “Quality is just a big pile of quantity” is a Marxist trope. That’s what materialism amount (pun) to. A tornado winds through a junkyard and produces a working 747.

    Some might say that’s a bug; materialists think it’s a feature. “Yeah, it’s extremely unlikely, but it gets rid of God, and we fucking hate God, so there’s that.”

    They get it from Hegel, oddly enough. Schopenhauer mocked Hegels’ “quantity becomes quality”: a plaid jacket is not necessarily bigger than a plain colored jacket. A fat man is not necessarily taller than a skinny man.

    Of course, it helps if you can just kill anyone who disagrees.

  97. @Maico450
    @Steve Sailer

    Germans seemed to find Hitler funny, but he doesn’t appear to translate well.

    Here's an example of Hitler's humor (for lack of a better word). From memory, but I'm pretty sure that it's recounted in John Toland's The Last 100 Days or Cornelius Ryan's The Last Battle.

    So the war's nearly over, and the Germans are looking for anything in reserve to throw against the Soviets. A German officer mentions that there's an outfit of Indian "volunteers" available (Commonwealth POWs led by German officers).

    H dismisses the suggestion with a wave of his hand and says something like: "We could use them for turning prayer wheels."

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    Actually, among the woke Guardian/NPR crowd that would be considered humor. Sort of like mocking televangelists.

  98. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Old Palo Altan


    ... his famous riposte to Roosevelt’s absurd finger-waving note naming the many countries he thought it his duty to warn Hitler not to invade.
     
    Yes, it's quite good when one listens to it.

    Replies: @Not Raul

    … his famous riposte to Roosevelt’s absurd finger-waving note naming the many countries he thought it his duty to warn Hitler not to invade.

    Yes, it’s quite good when one listens to it.

    Shirer noted that the audience loved that speech, and thought that it was hilarious.

  99. @Desiderius
    @OFWHAP

    My German grandfather often played Ohio State Marching Band records on the stereo in his bedroom.

    Replies: @James O'Meara

    My guru in college, an authority on Neoplatonism, was an American who moved to Canada to escape the draft; in WWII. “I moved from Christian Socialism to National Socialism”.

    Back then, this stuff was allowed and a million laughs for us students. He’d “heil” favored students if he met them on the streets. Seeing me holding a book by Wittgenstein, he said “Can’t you find a more Aryan book?”

    He taught Hegel, of course, including Hegel’s aesthetics, even though he admitted being tone deaf and color blind. The only fiction he read was Trollope, and the only LP he had was German marching music, which he used to clear out guests at the end of a party.

    Good times.

    Ironically, he was a dead ringer for Hegel’s foe, Schopenhauer.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @James O'Meara

    “There is no other road for you to truth and freedom except that leading through the brook of fire (the Feuerbach). Feuerbach is the purgatory of the present times.”

    – Karl Marx

  100. @Bardon Kaldian
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Hitler & Stalin are hardly comparable, their personalities & communication styles differed enormously.

    For instance, Hitler was much maligned by "good Germans" as a mediocre writer (true, he was not a great stylist). Just, he is still very readable, with flashes of unexpected & bizarre humor (I am writing from memory). Stalin, on the other hand, was a boring but efficient writer whose main strength was in catechetical enumeration of chief points, thus making ideological "truths" easy to remember & digest for masses of commissars & low-level functionaries. Also, Stalin enjoyed playing sadistic power games with everyone, including his own daughter ("Your latest comments are anti-Soviet! We could perhaps find Stalin another daughter."), while Hitler was more civil & not so vulgar, let alone threatening in dealing with his subordinates.

    Churchill is hailed as a great author-historian (he got Nobel). I've read his memoirs, as well as his history of English-speaking peoples & remain unimpressed. True, he remains readable as a subjective historian, but his world-view is limited; and when not, he has not much to say about "all & everything". Isaiah Berlin praised him as someone who views life as the Renaissance banquet, similar to Veronese; and while this may be true, Churchill's fame deservedly lies in witticisms & not so much in his longer works- similar to Oscar Wilde.

    Judging Hitler solely by his Bible, Mein Kampf (and not by more interesting Table Talk) is an ambiguous task. When I read him to get the gist, he did not leave much impression: German destiny lies in the colonization of the East & Jews are guilty of everything. These two themes he repeats endlessly, so one is left with the feeling of reading one & the same thing again & again. After 20% of Mein Kampf, one gets the impression that Hitler has nothing new to offer.

    It is true, but Hitler still remains, despite too frequent lapses into sentimentality, kitsch & silliness, a magnetic writer. Mein Kampf is haunted by a vision, growing Hitler's vision of life not only as the struggle, but as something inherently vicious, cruel as Aztec gods feasting on human sacrifice. And while this vision is evidently authentic, it is not just a metaphysical blather or a catalog of repetitive mantras. His most memorable parts are saturated by his experiences in pre-war Vienna, as well as with his political activity after the Great War. Images of decay & rot dominate - but not without humor. Hitler frequently digresses, and Mein Kampf could also be read as a stream-of-consciousness philosophical novel, although written in a rather conventional manner.

    He is also funny. I recall how he bares his soul, confessional-style. For instance, the text is studded with phrases like: I was deeply shattered in the essence of my being. I did not know what to do with my life. I felt there was a great Destiny waiting for me- but I was not sure. What if I am wrong? What will others think of me? For hours, I would contemplate my existence and was torn between doubt and ecstasy.

    In other words, Mein Kampf's humor is not in witticisms, but it suffuses reader's feelings as if he is reading an ideologized soap, a Russian-type hysterical confession replete with sincere platitudes better suited for a Woodyallean comedy (without sex, of course).

    I remember a few funny parts, especially when he analyzes collective psychology of imperial Germany's military circles & industry. Serious elements of his analysis are well worth reading & I think they still apply to any society in crisis. But, when he delves into details, the entire affair becomes comedy gold. In just 2-3 pages, Hitler discusses how German Navy was polarized re issue whether to produce 283 mm naval guns or 305 mm ones (they opted for 283 mm). Hitler rages about that decision & concludes: Laziness & defeatism! Had rotten and dumb admirals decided to go for 305 mm guns, we would have certainly sunk the entire British Fleet and sent them to the bottom of the sea. Ha! The whole war was lost because of incompetence combined with laziness. Less than 25 millimeters had robbed us of victory!

    Such passages make Mein Kampf an entertaining read, at least in parts.

    Replies: @unit472, @syonredux, @Cato, @James O'Meara, @James O'Meara

    “Stalin, on the other hand, was a boring but efficient writer whose main strength was in catechetical enumeration of chief points, thus making ideological “truths” easy to remember & digest for masses of commissars & low-level functionaries. ”

    Learned, no doubt, at the seminary.

  101. @Bardon Kaldian
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Hitler & Stalin are hardly comparable, their personalities & communication styles differed enormously.

    For instance, Hitler was much maligned by "good Germans" as a mediocre writer (true, he was not a great stylist). Just, he is still very readable, with flashes of unexpected & bizarre humor (I am writing from memory). Stalin, on the other hand, was a boring but efficient writer whose main strength was in catechetical enumeration of chief points, thus making ideological "truths" easy to remember & digest for masses of commissars & low-level functionaries. Also, Stalin enjoyed playing sadistic power games with everyone, including his own daughter ("Your latest comments are anti-Soviet! We could perhaps find Stalin another daughter."), while Hitler was more civil & not so vulgar, let alone threatening in dealing with his subordinates.

    Churchill is hailed as a great author-historian (he got Nobel). I've read his memoirs, as well as his history of English-speaking peoples & remain unimpressed. True, he remains readable as a subjective historian, but his world-view is limited; and when not, he has not much to say about "all & everything". Isaiah Berlin praised him as someone who views life as the Renaissance banquet, similar to Veronese; and while this may be true, Churchill's fame deservedly lies in witticisms & not so much in his longer works- similar to Oscar Wilde.

    Judging Hitler solely by his Bible, Mein Kampf (and not by more interesting Table Talk) is an ambiguous task. When I read him to get the gist, he did not leave much impression: German destiny lies in the colonization of the East & Jews are guilty of everything. These two themes he repeats endlessly, so one is left with the feeling of reading one & the same thing again & again. After 20% of Mein Kampf, one gets the impression that Hitler has nothing new to offer.

    It is true, but Hitler still remains, despite too frequent lapses into sentimentality, kitsch & silliness, a magnetic writer. Mein Kampf is haunted by a vision, growing Hitler's vision of life not only as the struggle, but as something inherently vicious, cruel as Aztec gods feasting on human sacrifice. And while this vision is evidently authentic, it is not just a metaphysical blather or a catalog of repetitive mantras. His most memorable parts are saturated by his experiences in pre-war Vienna, as well as with his political activity after the Great War. Images of decay & rot dominate - but not without humor. Hitler frequently digresses, and Mein Kampf could also be read as a stream-of-consciousness philosophical novel, although written in a rather conventional manner.

    He is also funny. I recall how he bares his soul, confessional-style. For instance, the text is studded with phrases like: I was deeply shattered in the essence of my being. I did not know what to do with my life. I felt there was a great Destiny waiting for me- but I was not sure. What if I am wrong? What will others think of me? For hours, I would contemplate my existence and was torn between doubt and ecstasy.

    In other words, Mein Kampf's humor is not in witticisms, but it suffuses reader's feelings as if he is reading an ideologized soap, a Russian-type hysterical confession replete with sincere platitudes better suited for a Woodyallean comedy (without sex, of course).

    I remember a few funny parts, especially when he analyzes collective psychology of imperial Germany's military circles & industry. Serious elements of his analysis are well worth reading & I think they still apply to any society in crisis. But, when he delves into details, the entire affair becomes comedy gold. In just 2-3 pages, Hitler discusses how German Navy was polarized re issue whether to produce 283 mm naval guns or 305 mm ones (they opted for 283 mm). Hitler rages about that decision & concludes: Laziness & defeatism! Had rotten and dumb admirals decided to go for 305 mm guns, we would have certainly sunk the entire British Fleet and sent them to the bottom of the sea. Ha! The whole war was lost because of incompetence combined with laziness. Less than 25 millimeters had robbed us of victory!

    Such passages make Mein Kampf an entertaining read, at least in parts.

    Replies: @unit472, @syonredux, @Cato, @James O'Meara, @James O'Meara

  102. Stalin’s favorite activity was all-male drinking parties, during which there would inevitably be joking, but which were also used to test people or see how they answered while “not at work.” His favorite movie before the almost unwatchably boring Fall of Berlin (in which almost all Stalin appearances have a joke or a joke-like irony) was a historical musical comedy about “traders” travelling on a riverboat.

  103. @Desiderius
    https://twitter.com/benshapiro/status/1359833571075227648?s=20

    This is known as conceding the premise. I seem to be a little autistic so could use some assistance. Is anyone even aware that this is how the ball is being moved down the field so rapidly?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @anonymous, @Maico450, @J.Ross, @Charlie2345

    Dear Ben, I can understand your confusion, but you guys sold Hollywood to the government of China years ago. We will see a pro-Palestinian movie from Hollywood before we see a new pro-Tibetan one. By the way, your sister is gorgeous. Have a nice day even though you attempted to derail the Trump campaign by convincing a mentally unstable woman to file a false police report.

  104. @John Milton’s Ghost
    @Steve Sailer

    German humor in general doesn’t translate well. Check out (i.e. Google) Alexander Marcus, e.g.—it’s not clear whether he is doing funny things, and if so, how.

    Then again, I found the Stalin examples above not particularly funny. There’s supposedly a long tradition of black humor in Russia connected to Stalin’s crimes, a sort of resigned hopeless laughter. The recent Anglo/English movie _Death of Stalin_ attempts to touch on this, but it has too much American moralism in it to work as a comic piece.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @inertial, @kaganovitch

    German humor in general doesn’t translate well. Check out (i.e. Google) Alexander Marcus, e.g.—it’s not clear whether he is doing funny things, and if so, how.

    I’m not sure that’s entirely true. Alongside the admittedly crude broad humor there was always an ironic/tragic German humor as well. I grew up in a German speaking household and I remember many jokes along those lines. Sample; Two German doctors meet in the evening and one tells the other “Herr Kollege, sie sehen aus sehr niedergeschlagen” = “My dear colleague you look very dejected” The colleague responds “Ich hatte eine schwierige geburt und ich konnte die mutter nicht retten” = “I had a case of a difficult birth and I couldn’t save the mother”. The other doctor wants to console him and says “Aber du hast das kind gerettet, ja?” = “But you saved the child,yes?” He responds tearfully “Nein, Ich habe das kind auch nicht gerettet.” = “No, I didn’t save the child either.”
    The other doctor thinks for a moment, then he says “Aber, den vater hast du gerettet!” = ” You saved the father though!”

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @kaganovitch

    As consolation, it inspired Piaf:

    Je ne gerettet rien.

  105. @Crawfurdmuir

    Did Stalin arrange for Jan Masaryk, the last anti-Communist minister in the Czechoslovak government, to die in 1948 falling out of a window in Prague (which cemented the Cold War) as a riff on the famous Defenestration of Prague that helped launch the 30 Years War?
     
    A Czech refugee family with which I was acquainted decades ago believed it to be so. They referred to Masaryk's assassination as the "Second Defenestration of Prague."

    Replies: @whahae

    The “Second Defenestration of Prague” was the one that started the Thirty Years War. The first one was the one starting the Hussite Wars.

    Masaryk’s would have been the third.

  106. @Maico450
    @SafeNow

    Stalin was a prolific and competent poet during his youth, and so it does not surprise me that later on in life, this literary talent expressed itself in one-liners.

    Interesting. How would you explain Stalin's relationship with Mayakovsky?

    Replies: @J.Ross

    Mayakovsky went to the West as a cultural ambassador, and once here, he didn’t want to come home. He actually asked the Soviet government to send him enough money to buy a yellow Rolls-Royce. But he was also part of a first wave of major Soviet figures who committed suicide (in some cases they were killed, but for many there is no doubt it was suicide; this was before the purges got going) because they saw that the revolution they had devoted their lives to was a disaster. After Mayakovsky died Stalin praised him highly. There is an argument that Stalin did not kill Gorky, who after all was old.

    • Replies: @Maico450
    @J.Ross

    Mayakovsky went to the West as a cultural ambassador, and once here, he didn’t want to come home. He actually asked the Soviet government to send him enough money to buy a yellow Rolls-Royce. But he was also part of a first wave of major Soviet figures who committed suicide (in some cases they were killed, but for many there is no doubt it was suicide; this was before the purges got going) because they saw that the revolution they had devoted their lives to was a disaster. After Mayakovsky died Stalin praised him highly. There is an argument that Stalin did not kill Gorky, who after all was old.

    Thanks, J.R. What was your source re. M. requesting cash for a Rolls-Royce?

    Replies: @J.Ross

  107. @fitzhamilton
    @Paul Mendez

    The thing about Marx is that much of what he wrote is indubitably true. The first part of the Communist Manifesto is a prophecy, one that has come to pass.. Neo-liberal globalists like Thomas Freidman and Francis Fukyama all rip their basic insights from Marxist theory. The "World is Flat" is basically a 674 page bloviating riff ripping off of what Marx & Engels said succinctly in two pages.

    All of which is just to say that “You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is interested in you” is a pretty cutting witticism. Conservatives have ignored the inescapable logic of it, but are now being schooled by inexorable reality.

    You can't charge a tank with a spear and expect to win. This isn't the Return of the Jedi, the Ewoks in our universe would never win. Just as you cannot live a post-modern bourgeois lifestyle without hormonal birth control. Feminism could not exist in the absence of the clothes washer..

    Nor can we probably escape the techno-fascism that has come with the internet. Skynet is here, the terminator drones are already in the air, the cylon droid armies are approaching..

    The bourgeoisie have been in fact the true revolutionary class, just as Marx and Engels foresaw. Now we are inescapably complicit in our own impending obsolescence and dissolution, now melting away in the face this brave new dawn of transhuman transcendence..

    Most of us are not interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is most certainly interested in us, and we will not escape it..

    Replies: @fish, @Harry Baldwin

    You can’t charge a tank with a spear and expect to win.

    Speaking of witty communists, Lenin addressed that point: “You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw.”

    I read a biography of Trotsky and he said something that I found memorable: “Nothing is so surprising to a man as that he grows old.”

    He was right about that–it is, somehow, continually surprising. And yet, was it true for Trotsky? I believe nothing was more surprising to him than being brained with an ice axe by a houseguest. Oy vey!

    Here’s one from a short online list of Stalin’s deadpan jokes:

    Ivan Isakov (1894-1967), Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union and Deputy Soviet Navy Minister, got a call from Stalin in February 1946. The General Secretary informed Isakov that he would be promoted to Chief of General Staff of the Soviet Navy.

    “Comrade Stalin, I must report that I have a serious defect, I lost a leg in the war,” Isakov replied.

    “Is that the only defect you’d like to report?”

    “Yes.”

    “Before, we had Chief of General Staff who was missing his head, and it was all right, he performed his duties. You’re missing a leg, that’s negligible,: responded Stalin.

  108. @Rob McX
    @Intensifier

    Yes, let's hope Joe Biden doesn't come across that witticism, or he might blurt it out in a speech in one of his catastrophic lapses into sincerity.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    Biden already said that: “We have put together I think the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”

  109. When he was a student, Stalin responded to jokes from his peers not with a smile, but his fists or rather fist; he had a withered arm (as did the Kaiser). Stalin had animal courage, and always thought of himself as a person of consequence. As inviolable. All leaders–those who life calls to dominate others–are like that. They don’t make little jokes about themselves. Stalin called Lenin’s wife a “syphilitic whore”.

    “Quantity has a quality all its own.”

    That is a very Russian way of looking at things. A sledgehammer is not only used as an implement to crack a nut, for a Russian the cracking of nuts is what sledgehammers were created for.

    Hitler’s favourite joke:
    Why do swans have long necks? So they don’t get drownded.

  110. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    @Steve Sailer

    “You know the more I learn about Hitler, the more I don’t care for him.” -Norm

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    Norm MacDonald: “I was reading this book—I’m kind of obsessed with Hitler, you know? And they were saying, when Hitler took power, all these comedians and sketch troupes would do Hitler. They’d put a comb under their nose. They all hated Hitler and they’d make fun of him. Hitler didn’t care and then he did all those bad things. I don’t want to get into the details, but this guy was no saint.”

  111. @Malcolm X-Lax
    Wow. Props to the man of Steel! Those are pretty good. My fave:

    “When there’s a person, there’s a problem. When there’s no person, there’s no problem.”

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @RichardTaylor

    “Gratitude is an illness suffered by dogs.”
    ― Joseph Stalin

    That attitude, that only a dog feels gratitude, is actually very much the liberal White yuppie attitude.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @RichardTaylor

    Cat people

  112. @James O'Meara
    @Desiderius

    My guru in college, an authority on Neoplatonism, was an American who moved to Canada to escape the draft; in WWII. "I moved from Christian Socialism to National Socialism".

    Back then, this stuff was allowed and a million laughs for us students. He'd "heil" favored students if he met them on the streets. Seeing me holding a book by Wittgenstein, he said "Can't you find a more Aryan book?"

    He taught Hegel, of course, including Hegel's aesthetics, even though he admitted being tone deaf and color blind. The only fiction he read was Trollope, and the only LP he had was German marching music, which he used to clear out guests at the end of a party.

    Good times.

    Ironically, he was a dead ringer for Hegel's foe, Schopenhauer.

    Replies: @syonredux

    “There is no other road for you to truth and freedom except that leading through the brook of fire (the Feuerbach). Feuerbach is the purgatory of the present times.”

    – Karl Marx

  113. Sense of humor is correlated with high IQ. Whatever Stalin was, he was no dullard.

  114. Charles Laughton gave a great performance as a ruthless, clever, and deceptive social-climbing murderer and pirate in the 1945 movie ‘Captain Kidd.’ In the film, Kidd patiently arranges to kill his partners in crime to take their shares of the loot, but not before extracting the maximum work from them.

    Krushchev wrote that ‘Captain Kidd’ was one of Stalin’s favorite films.

    (Despite Laughton’s brilliance and a fine secondary performance by Reginald Owen, the movie is unsatisfying. Randolph Scott’s performance as the hero reminds one of Rocky and Bullwinkle’s Dudley Do-Right.)

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @Veracitor

    Khrushchev seemed to be really scared of Stalin. - And whether true or not that Stalin loved this movie, the movie is scary, and seen from this perspective it made sense for Khrushchev to hint at it: It was a good way to show just why Stalin scared him. Plus: An American film as a reference might have suited Khrushchev for that showed that Stalin's evil was - not Russian, but rather American...It was a way to lower the burden of Stalin while trying to get this nightmare off his (and the Soviet Union's) neck. Unfortunately, Khrushchev did not succeed too much.

  115. @SFG
    Whatever. Dude was one of the most murderous men in history. He can squirm in Satan's mouth with Mao and Hitler for all I care. I don't care how funny he was.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    Stalin was a leader which goes to say he had followers and it is part of building that to win people over – humor is one means. so – this whole thing is less about you and what you like and dislike and more about what happened – how Stalin built his enormous real-world power and how that depended on some of his personality traits.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  116. @Veracitor
    Charles Laughton gave a great performance as a ruthless, clever, and deceptive social-climbing murderer and pirate in the 1945 movie ‘Captain Kidd.’ In the film, Kidd patiently arranges to kill his partners in crime to take their shares of the loot, but not before extracting the maximum work from them.

    Krushchev wrote that ‘Captain Kidd’ was one of Stalin’s favorite films.

    (Despite Laughton’s brilliance and a fine secondary performance by Reginald Owen, the movie is unsatisfying. Randolph Scott’s performance as the hero reminds one of Rocky and Bullwinkle’s Dudley Do-Right.)

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    Khrushchev seemed to be really scared of Stalin. – And whether true or not that Stalin loved this movie, the movie is scary, and seen from this perspective it made sense for Khrushchev to hint at it: It was a good way to show just why Stalin scared him. Plus: An American film as a reference might have suited Khrushchev for that showed that Stalin’s evil was – not Russian, but rather American…It was a way to lower the burden of Stalin while trying to get this nightmare off his (and the Soviet Union’s) neck. Unfortunately, Khrushchev did not succeed too much.

  117. @J James
    @Desiderius

    Yes, he had several quite dramatic episodes where he became despondent and essentially withdrew from any leadership for days on end. Most famously I think after Hitler declared war, humiliating Stalin who had repeatedly insisted this would never happen.
    He had a similar episode after his wife committed suicide.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    So like Trump after Floyd and/or Pence.

  118. @RichardTaylor
    @Malcolm X-Lax


    “Gratitude is an illness suffered by dogs.”
    ― Joseph Stalin
     
    That attitude, that only a dog feels gratitude, is actually very much the liberal White yuppie attitude.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    Cat people

  119. @syonredux
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Thomas Mann wrote an interesting piece on Hitler, "This Man Is My Brother". It's quite good on Hitler as a failed bohemian artist:


    Mortifyingly enough, it is all there: the difficulty, the laziness, the pathetic formlessness in youth, the round peg in the square hole, the “whatever do you want?” The lazy, vegetating existence in the depths of a moral and mental bohemia; the fundamental arrogance which thinks itself too good for any sensible and honorable activity, on the ground of its vague intuition that it is reserved for something else–as yet quite indefinite, but something which, if it could be named, would be greeted with roars of laughter.
     

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    This piece of Thomas Mann is strong not least because it illuminates something that is often overlooked: That Hitler’s power over people stemmed a lot from him being an artist.

    The other element which is underestimated quite often is the fact, that Hitler had been working (=making money!) as a public orator at fairs, which was very rare. He got booked by beer-tent-landlords. Ok – and this role of his as a public orator allowed him to test his thoughts with regard to their appeal to quite a number of regular folks. (There are not many people who understand what this meant in a time when there was no daily polling going on. This practice of public speeches turned Hitler into a quite knowledgeable proto-version of a social scientist – and the proto version of – a pop-star of the performing arts (cf. Freddie Mercury and – Mick Jagger, as mentioned above by Buzz Mohawk…).

    Very few people understand that the demonic power of Hitler was to quite a degree this mixture of actual knowledge about what people reacted to: What phrase, what tone, what movements, but also what subjects they reacted to most intensely.

    Thomas Mann meets here at this crossroads with Jordan B. Peterson – they both are looking right at the core of the orator Hitler’s success**** and – – – Goethe’s (quite funny btw.) Mephisto (and Michail Bulgakow & Mick Jagger (Sympathy for the Devil), of course).

    ***** Jordan B. Peterson concentrated on the feedback loop between a good orator and his public. And he is spot on with regard to Hitler.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Dieter Kief

    See what happened to Trump when COVID gouged out the eyes and ears his rallies gave him. Of course those rallies also started to tell him things he wasn't trying to hear due primarily to his (fanciful as it happened) concern for Ivanka's prospects close as I can tell.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

  120. Stalin started and ended WII with the worlds largest airforce and more tanks – 30,000 – than the rest of the world combined.

    Quantity trumped quality!

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Al Roker

    Quantity & quality is, in reality, Friedrich Engels' summation of Hegel's "laws of dialectic", as Engels wrote them in his small book on Feuerbach, one the central scriptures of the Marxian canon. Later, Engels repeated them in the posthumously published book on philosophy of nature (Einstein, when German Social Democrats offered him to read the manuscript before the publishing, somewhere in the 1920s, observed that, while it may contain a valuable material for the history of natural philosophy, it is an example of the way how a physicist should not think).

    Engels imagined that Hegel had formulated three "laws" (actually, Hegel never did such a thing):

    1. negation of negation - this is Engels' simplified version of Hegel's Aufhebung or sublation

    2. quantity turning in quality - for instance, a few battalions organized into a brigade have a quality of its own, a brigade is a more potent fighting force & not just a combined forces of battalions

    3. unity & conflict of the opposites - say, sex

    Although various Marxist scribblers wrote about those "laws" in a few decades, Russian politician Nikolai Bukharin added a 4th "law" in his ABC of Communism: everything changes, which is just a repetition of Heraclitus' observation.

    Stalin later codified these "laws" by adopting Bukharin's contribution, but tacitly relegating the negation of the negation to obscurity, because it could have been interpreted that he, Stalin, could also be "negated".

  121. @Al Roker
    Stalin started and ended WII with the worlds largest airforce and more tanks - 30,000 - than the rest of the world combined.

    Quantity trumped quality!

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    Quantity & quality is, in reality, Friedrich Engels’ summation of Hegel’s “laws of dialectic”, as Engels wrote them in his small book on Feuerbach, one the central scriptures of the Marxian canon. Later, Engels repeated them in the posthumously published book on philosophy of nature (Einstein, when German Social Democrats offered him to read the manuscript before the publishing, somewhere in the 1920s, observed that, while it may contain a valuable material for the history of natural philosophy, it is an example of the way how a physicist should not think).

    Engels imagined that Hegel had formulated three “laws” (actually, Hegel never did such a thing):

    1. negation of negation – this is Engels’ simplified version of Hegel’s Aufhebung or sublation

    2. quantity turning in quality – for instance, a few battalions organized into a brigade have a quality of its own, a brigade is a more potent fighting force & not just a combined forces of battalions

    3. unity & conflict of the opposites – say, sex

    Although various Marxist scribblers wrote about those “laws” in a few decades, Russian politician Nikolai Bukharin added a 4th “law” in his ABC of Communism: everything changes, which is just a repetition of Heraclitus’ observation.

    Stalin later codified these “laws” by adopting Bukharin’s contribution, but tacitly relegating the negation of the negation to obscurity, because it could have been interpreted that he, Stalin, could also be “negated”.

  122. But was Stalin ever really a genuine communist?
    Although he learnt the jargon well enough, he was being educated in a seminary when he was supposedly recruited by the Czarist secret police. A Colonel Eremin. It is said that he then became an agent and informer within the socialist revolutionaries. Subsequently he had many “miraculous” escapes from arrest and also from prisons whilst he was being manoeuvred into a senior role as a double agent inside what became the Bolsheviks. So when the the Czarist state collapsed his best option was just to carry on as a “real” Bolshevik. It would certainly account for his extreme paranoia.

  123. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    @Achmed E. Newman

    ‘The Death of Stalin’ was really funny.

    Replies: @znon

    How much of that was the truth? anyone have a good relatively easy to read history of this?

  124. @Prosa123
    Stalin enjoyed urinating in elevators.
    [I made that up because it's funny].

    Replies: @Icy Blast

    It’s actually not funny.

  125. @fitzhamilton
    @Steve Sailer

    One of Hitler's great laugh lines was in the speech he gave to the Reichstag in response to FDR's 1938 "personal appeal" to Hitler for non- aggression and peace. The entire speech has apparently been banned by Youtube as "hate speech," (some history is too hateful to be remembered, I guess) but this clip from PBS has the "funniest" part beginning at 41 seconds:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtDxjVCu56E

    That opening had the Nazis in stitches. The really amusing punch line came later when Hitler actually invaded about 2/3's of the countries on that list.

    Replies: @BB753, @Wade Hampton

    That’s actually a good comedic performance! And extra-points to Hitler for not pointing out that Roosevelt was a cripple. THAT would have been mean.

  126. Sure, Stalin killed them in the Borscht Belt, but Hitler was a gas.

  127. Hitler is funny. Just look at all the Hitler rant parodies on U tube.

  128. Now,who says this isn’t funny …

  129. I have read several books about Stalin but the best bar none is Stalin: The Court of The Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore for anyone interested in a good read without obsessing about a particular figure. One can not consider him as a simple gangster after reading this book.

    Don’t forget that he not only had to outsmart his political rivals after Lenin’s death, but he had to consolidate (and liquidate) to ensure his position, deal with vipers of his own choosing, industrialize the country on a fast track, deal with international issues with major leaders (before second raters like Eden and Truman were on the menu) and, oh yes win in ‘close run’ total war.

    Solzhenitsyn did not share this view. In one of his three gulag books he referred to Stalin as a “Georgian shoeshine boy”.

    Bingo! There we have the tie in with Pesci’s character in Goodfellas. Today’s fun trivia fact.

    Cheers-

  130. @SFG
    @Cato

    If you should ever be in New York City for some unfathomable reason, Chartwell Books is a bookshop entirely about Winston Churchill.

    I do not know why such a thing would exist or how it can survive in that place, but I am happy to see it does.

    Replies: @Anon, @Desiderius

    There is a great many things one must understand to make any sense of Churchill. That is what Chartwell Books is about and much needed.

  131. @Dieter Kief
    @syonredux

    This piece of Thomas Mann is strong not least because it illuminates something that is often overlooked: That Hitler's power over people stemmed a lot from him being an artist.

    The other element which is underestimated quite often is the fact, that Hitler had been working (=making money!) as a public orator at fairs, which was very rare. He got booked by beer-tent-landlords. Ok - and this role of his as a public orator allowed him to test his thoughts with regard to their appeal to quite a number of regular folks. (There are not many people who understand what this meant in a time when there was no daily polling going on. This practice of public speeches turned Hitler into a quite knowledgeable proto-version of a social scientist - and the proto version of - a pop-star of the performing arts (cf. Freddie Mercury and - Mick Jagger, as mentioned above by Buzz Mohawk...).

    Very few people understand that the demonic power of Hitler was to quite a degree this mixture of actual knowledge about what people reacted to: What phrase, what tone, what movements, but also what subjects they reacted to most intensely.

    Thomas Mann meets here at this crossroads with Jordan B. Peterson - they both are looking right at the core of the orator Hitler's success**** and - - - Goethe's (quite funny btw.) Mephisto (and Michail Bulgakow & Mick Jagger (Sympathy for the Devil), of course).

    ***** Jordan B. Peterson concentrated on the feedback loop between a good orator and his public. And he is spot on with regard to Hitler.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    See what happened to Trump when COVID gouged out the eyes and ears his rallies gave him. Of course those rallies also started to tell him things he wasn’t trying to hear due primarily to his (fanciful as it happened) concern for Ivanka’s prospects close as I can tell.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @Desiderius

    Oh! Thanks. Let me stay with Hitler for a moment, please.
    Did you notice the remark here on this (thrilling!) thread about Hitler's wide hips (Prof. Woland, No. 132)? - Would you mind to think over the following, Desiderius: That Hitler appealed to women and that they so frantically followed him in masses is directly related - to this feature of his. - And to his meta-sexuality (=David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Freddy Mercury again) - not really a man, no women too. - He knew the realm in between the sexes and since women had the right to vote (something quite new in world history), his appeal to women did make a political difference (he did work on this appeal to women in lots of rehearsals. The result can be heard - he is very much in command of his voice, and it can be seen in the way he moves and behaves (his - hysterias! - very close to the womenfolk's world, n'est-ce pas?). He even understood that the strength of his public persona (= his image) depended a lot on the fact, that he was neither married nor in an (official) intimate relationship with a woman).
    No women no cry.

    Next thing: That King Wilhelm II  had been removed in the turmoil after WWI = "the mother (! dk) of all catastrophes in the 20th century" (Golo, the historian, and (livelong - he suffered from that quite a  bit) not too much loved son of Thomas Mann).

     No King - a lack of structure.

    No King - no structure (one of the most important observations of Erich Fromm: People strive for structure). - All intact Kingdoms in Europe kept a distance to fascism / Nazism - if there is a King or Queen, people don't long that intensely for - a Führer.

    Add to that the fact, that Germany was the leading country in Europe with regard to the integration of Jews - another source of a lot of  - the envy of the regular folks at home - and envy produces tensions too. The leading German literary critic of the second half of the 20th century, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, remarked that in his autobiography: That the massive number of Jews who moved to Germany and soon became very successful there in the upper-middle class (a bit in the upper class as well) were noticed - and were envied and - .... more.

    So - there is a modern core in this Hitler success (mass immigration/internationalism, Republicanism, Women's Lib, the revolutionary (Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist) left, which still is all too modern to be recognized as harmful (Horkheimer/Adorno were at this modern core of the terrible side of the 20th century, but did not - this is quite ironic - realize in what hindsight really their traces were indicative of something. Nonetheless: They did - in the footsteps of opium-eater Walter and Hashish-smoker WalterBenjamin, realize that there is something not quite right with progress).

    To eliminate monarchy and install women's voting rights and have a wildly successful group of immigrant outsiders and - to overturn the traditional structures of society with mass media and: The new masses from all over Europe which were needed for the booming industrialization and above all of that - : - A severe and profound (and not properly understood, because it was so new) economic crisis of hitherto unknown forms (and proportions) as a result of the Versailles treaty not least - - - take all that and a few things more (Lenin's and Stalin's troupe of leftwing socialists and communists in central Europe (Germany not least) willing to destroy the Weimar parliamentary system as another big and terribly effective factor and the German establishment losing the parliamentary track at one moment in time 1932 ff. as well)

    And thus I reach the bottom line: -

    - In the end, there was too much (progress, not least) happening in not enough time and there thus were enormous destructive energies unleashed which turned big parts of central Europe and Russia (and more) into a - maelstrom (= a downward (=regressive) spiral).


    Coda

    To think that the resulting catastrophe would reflect something substantial in the German people or culture is misleading. This was a historical tragedy. It makes no sense to substantialize it and try to come to grips with it via the German "Wesen" or some such deep down inside. Unfortunately, the fruitlessness of such an attempt is not very well known/understood (and not utterly clear) to a lot of people. The most recent one to make this mistake was Adam Kirsch in his critique of a) the actual Heine and dito b) the Goethe reception.
    Another prominent one caught (if only partly) in this trap is the historian Timothy Snyder and lots of the Holocaust historians (not least - German ones...).

    With regard to WW I, Christopher Clark (The Sleepwalkers) made a difference (hopefully this is a beginning of sorts. - another one, who is mostly memory-holed and/or overlooked is Nicholson Baker - his White Smoke about the then all ignored (mostly US, mostly Christian) pacifist attempts to save the European Jews - in time - is a decent book of quite some depth).

    Replies: @anon, @Prof. Woland

  132. @JMcG
    @Anonymouse

    I’ve read a biography or two of Stalin but I’m always left thinking: How do we know any of this to be true?

    Replies: @Desiderius

  133. @inertial
    @John Milton’s Ghost

    Once someone reported to Stalin that Marshal Rokossovsky had a mistress, a famous movie star named Valentina Serova.
    https://baonga.com/FileUpload/Images/3_5_1.jpg
    "Comrade Stalin, what are we going to do with Rokossovsky?"
    Stalin: "What are we going to do? What are we going to do? We are going to envy him!"

    Replies: @Thea

    Rokossovsky was also promised new teeth by Stalin to replace those removed with the finger nails.

    He had another beautiful young mistress, a doctor who treated him during the war. They had a daughter to whom he gave his patronymic and surname but explained he could never leave his wife, Julia. Despite great hardship she and their daughter stayed loyal during his incarceration and never renounced him.

    His great grand daughter ( from his legitimate child)Ariadna Rokossovskaya recently made headlines regarding removing him from the Kremlin walll. She fiercely defends his legacy and rejects all reports of his womanizing.

  134. @Steve Sailer
    @Prof. Woland

    Sounds like a swell guy.

    Replies: @Rob McX, @Ghost of Bull Moose, @Sean

    Death Of A Salesman’s Willy Loman says that his joking around means no one takes him seriously.

    In his 1955 memoir The Young Hitler I Knew August Kubizek says the thing that impressed him about the teenage Hitler was not his ideas, but the intense earnestness with which he came to conclusions and then expounded on them. He was always deadly serious.

  135. @Desiderius
    @Dieter Kief

    See what happened to Trump when COVID gouged out the eyes and ears his rallies gave him. Of course those rallies also started to tell him things he wasn't trying to hear due primarily to his (fanciful as it happened) concern for Ivanka's prospects close as I can tell.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    Oh! Thanks. Let me stay with Hitler for a moment, please.
    Did you notice the remark here on this (thrilling!) thread about Hitler’s wide hips (Prof. Woland, No. 132)? – Would you mind to think over the following, Desiderius: That Hitler appealed to women and that they so frantically followed him in masses is directly related – to this feature of his. – And to his meta-sexuality (=David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Freddy Mercury again) – not really a man, no women too. – He knew the realm in between the sexes and since women had the right to vote (something quite new in world history), his appeal to women did make a political difference (he did work on this appeal to women in lots of rehearsals. The result can be heard – he is very much in command of his voice, and it can be seen in the way he moves and behaves (his – hysterias! – very close to the womenfolk’s world, n’est-ce pas?). He even understood that the strength of his public persona (= his image) depended a lot on the fact, that he was neither married nor in an (official) intimate relationship with a woman).
    No women no cry.

    Next thing: That King Wilhelm II  had been removed in the turmoil after WWI = “the mother (! dk) of all catastrophes in the 20th century” (Golo, the historian, and (livelong – he suffered from that quite a  bit) not too much loved son of Thomas Mann).

     No King – a lack of structure.

    No King – no structure (one of the most important observations of Erich Fromm: People strive for structure). – All intact Kingdoms in Europe kept a distance to fascism / Nazism – if there is a King or Queen, people don’t long that intensely for – a Führer.

    Add to that the fact, that Germany was the leading country in Europe with regard to the integration of Jews – another source of a lot of  – the envy of the regular folks at home – and envy produces tensions too. The leading German literary critic of the second half of the 20th century, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, remarked that in his autobiography: That the massive number of Jews who moved to Germany and soon became very successful there in the upper-middle class (a bit in the upper class as well) were noticed – and were envied and – …. more.

    So – there is a modern core in this Hitler success (mass immigration/internationalism, Republicanism, Women’s Lib, the revolutionary (Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist) left, which still is all too modern to be recognized as harmful (Horkheimer/Adorno were at this modern core of the terrible side of the 20th century, but did not – this is quite ironic – realize in what hindsight really their traces were indicative of something. Nonetheless: They did – in the footsteps of opium-eater Walter and Hashish-smoker WalterBenjamin, realize that there is something not quite right with progress).

    To eliminate monarchy and install women’s voting rights and have a wildly successful group of immigrant outsiders and – to overturn the traditional structures of society with mass media and: The new masses from all over Europe which were needed for the booming industrialization and above all of that – : – A severe and profound (and not properly understood, because it was so new) economic crisis of hitherto unknown forms (and proportions) as a result of the Versailles treaty not least – – – take all that and a few things more (Lenin’s and Stalin’s troupe of leftwing socialists and communists in central Europe (Germany not least) willing to destroy the Weimar parliamentary system as another big and terribly effective factor and the German establishment losing the parliamentary track at one moment in time 1932 ff. as well)

    And thus I reach the bottom line: –

    – In the end, there was too much (progress, not least) happening in not enough time and there thus were enormous destructive energies unleashed which turned big parts of central Europe and Russia (and more) into a – maelstrom (= a downward (=regressive) spiral).

    Coda

    To think that the resulting catastrophe would reflect something substantial in the German people or culture is misleading. This was a historical tragedy. It makes no sense to substantialize it and try to come to grips with it via the German “Wesen” or some such deep down inside. Unfortunately, the fruitlessness of such an attempt is not very well known/understood (and not utterly clear) to a lot of people. The most recent one to make this mistake was Adam Kirsch in his critique of a) the actual Heine and dito b) the Goethe reception.
    Another prominent one caught (if only partly) in this trap is the historian Timothy Snyder and lots of the Holocaust historians (not least – German ones…).

    With regard to WW I, Christopher Clark (The Sleepwalkers) made a difference (hopefully this is a beginning of sorts. – another one, who is mostly memory-holed and/or overlooked is Nicholson Baker – his White Smoke about the then all ignored (mostly US, mostly Christian) pacifist attempts to save the European Jews – in time – is a decent book of quite some depth).

    • Replies: @anon
    @Dieter Kief

    No King – no structure (one of the most important observations of Erich Fromm: People strive for structure). – All intact Kingdoms in Europe kept a distance to fascism / Nazism – if there is a King or Queen, people don’t long that intensely for – a Führer.

    Except for Italy, home of both King Victor Emmanuel III and Father of Fascism Benito Mussolini...a mere detail, to be sure, in the middle of a long, turgid mass of text. One does wonder, though, what else you have gotten wrong.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    , @Prof. Woland
    @Dieter Kief

    Ribbentrop's hips, not Hitler's.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

  136. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1359968886276390916

    https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1359969215550115840

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Wade Hampton

    The only reason this garbage matters is to make it clear that the Wuhan Red Death is nothing more serious than the flu.

    It couldn’t kill a 74 year old overweight male under tremendous work stress. It won’t kill you either. Unless you are panicked into taken one of the untested vaccines.

  137. anon[128] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief
    @Desiderius

    Oh! Thanks. Let me stay with Hitler for a moment, please.
    Did you notice the remark here on this (thrilling!) thread about Hitler's wide hips (Prof. Woland, No. 132)? - Would you mind to think over the following, Desiderius: That Hitler appealed to women and that they so frantically followed him in masses is directly related - to this feature of his. - And to his meta-sexuality (=David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Freddy Mercury again) - not really a man, no women too. - He knew the realm in between the sexes and since women had the right to vote (something quite new in world history), his appeal to women did make a political difference (he did work on this appeal to women in lots of rehearsals. The result can be heard - he is very much in command of his voice, and it can be seen in the way he moves and behaves (his - hysterias! - very close to the womenfolk's world, n'est-ce pas?). He even understood that the strength of his public persona (= his image) depended a lot on the fact, that he was neither married nor in an (official) intimate relationship with a woman).
    No women no cry.

    Next thing: That King Wilhelm II  had been removed in the turmoil after WWI = "the mother (! dk) of all catastrophes in the 20th century" (Golo, the historian, and (livelong - he suffered from that quite a  bit) not too much loved son of Thomas Mann).

     No King - a lack of structure.

    No King - no structure (one of the most important observations of Erich Fromm: People strive for structure). - All intact Kingdoms in Europe kept a distance to fascism / Nazism - if there is a King or Queen, people don't long that intensely for - a Führer.

    Add to that the fact, that Germany was the leading country in Europe with regard to the integration of Jews - another source of a lot of  - the envy of the regular folks at home - and envy produces tensions too. The leading German literary critic of the second half of the 20th century, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, remarked that in his autobiography: That the massive number of Jews who moved to Germany and soon became very successful there in the upper-middle class (a bit in the upper class as well) were noticed - and were envied and - .... more.

    So - there is a modern core in this Hitler success (mass immigration/internationalism, Republicanism, Women's Lib, the revolutionary (Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist) left, which still is all too modern to be recognized as harmful (Horkheimer/Adorno were at this modern core of the terrible side of the 20th century, but did not - this is quite ironic - realize in what hindsight really their traces were indicative of something. Nonetheless: They did - in the footsteps of opium-eater Walter and Hashish-smoker WalterBenjamin, realize that there is something not quite right with progress).

    To eliminate monarchy and install women's voting rights and have a wildly successful group of immigrant outsiders and - to overturn the traditional structures of society with mass media and: The new masses from all over Europe which were needed for the booming industrialization and above all of that - : - A severe and profound (and not properly understood, because it was so new) economic crisis of hitherto unknown forms (and proportions) as a result of the Versailles treaty not least - - - take all that and a few things more (Lenin's and Stalin's troupe of leftwing socialists and communists in central Europe (Germany not least) willing to destroy the Weimar parliamentary system as another big and terribly effective factor and the German establishment losing the parliamentary track at one moment in time 1932 ff. as well)

    And thus I reach the bottom line: -

    - In the end, there was too much (progress, not least) happening in not enough time and there thus were enormous destructive energies unleashed which turned big parts of central Europe and Russia (and more) into a - maelstrom (= a downward (=regressive) spiral).


    Coda

    To think that the resulting catastrophe would reflect something substantial in the German people or culture is misleading. This was a historical tragedy. It makes no sense to substantialize it and try to come to grips with it via the German "Wesen" or some such deep down inside. Unfortunately, the fruitlessness of such an attempt is not very well known/understood (and not utterly clear) to a lot of people. The most recent one to make this mistake was Adam Kirsch in his critique of a) the actual Heine and dito b) the Goethe reception.
    Another prominent one caught (if only partly) in this trap is the historian Timothy Snyder and lots of the Holocaust historians (not least - German ones...).

    With regard to WW I, Christopher Clark (The Sleepwalkers) made a difference (hopefully this is a beginning of sorts. - another one, who is mostly memory-holed and/or overlooked is Nicholson Baker - his White Smoke about the then all ignored (mostly US, mostly Christian) pacifist attempts to save the European Jews - in time - is a decent book of quite some depth).

    Replies: @anon, @Prof. Woland

    No King – no structure (one of the most important observations of Erich Fromm: People strive for structure). – All intact Kingdoms in Europe kept a distance to fascism / Nazism – if there is a King or Queen, people don’t long that intensely for – a Führer.

    Except for Italy, home of both King Victor Emmanuel III and Father of Fascism Benito Mussolini…a mere detail, to be sure, in the middle of a long, turgid mass of text. One does wonder, though, what else you have gotten wrong.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @anon

    It is clear that a monarch is a public figure which binds all kinds of longings and fantasies of the masses and in Democracies, you don't have this - usually - save harbor for this kind of energies, and thus they inhibit an element of risk. It did turn out to be really risky to change that many traditions (traditions being an element of stability) in such a short time in Germany. I don't say that this has to fail, but it is risky, that was my point.
    King Victor Emmanuel III 1) did fight fascism in Italy - a bit late, but nevertheless. This should not be underestimated. Plus: 2) There is indeed a big difference between fascism Italian style and - Nazism, what you don't take into account either. I should have made 1) and 2) explicit, I agree with that.

    (I thought of Denmark, Belgium, Holland, GB, Norway, Sweden...)

    Replies: @anon

  138. @fitzhamilton
    @Steve Sailer

    One of Hitler's great laugh lines was in the speech he gave to the Reichstag in response to FDR's 1938 "personal appeal" to Hitler for non- aggression and peace. The entire speech has apparently been banned by Youtube as "hate speech," (some history is too hateful to be remembered, I guess) but this clip from PBS has the "funniest" part beginning at 41 seconds:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtDxjVCu56E

    That opening had the Nazis in stitches. The really amusing punch line came later when Hitler actually invaded about 2/3's of the countries on that list.

    Replies: @BB753, @Wade Hampton

    Oh my good Lord. PBS is going to extrude a series entitled “Clinton”? Which one? And if it is Bubba, what could it possibly be about other than his sexual appetites? And if the other one, why?

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
  139. @very old statistician
    I would explain the error in your theory that Stalin was a funny guy (he was) and, as such, his existence as a funny guy somehow disproves Chesterton's axiom about humor and mental health (another funny guy, Chesterton, and a fellow Christian, but not as much nicer as Stalin than many people think ---- trust me - I think Chesterton was INTELLECTUALLY RIGHT but he was a fat man and a sadist at heart, the great drama of his life was his year-longs effort not to be the cruel fat little man he wanted to be, but to be a kind person, you know I'm right ----- after all you are reading a thread about the near pure evil that Stalin almost embodied...)...

    I would go on but I don't want to give you the nightmares you might experience when you recognize that you are not that much nicer than Chesterton. Just be better tomorrow than you are today. That is difficult for some, hopefully not for you, but even if it is......

    That being said, let not your heart be troubled, there are many many bad people who post here.
    The only ones who are like Stalin are the ones who want to be like Stalin.
    You are not one of them, I trust.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Muggles

    That being said, let not your heart be troubled, there are many many bad people who post here.

    I find it odd that you write that. Yes, some people write ugly, bad things, stupid, wrong headed, etc. But we don’t know if the writers are “bad people” or just people who hold bad ideas on some subjects, or write nasty things, are rude to other commentators, etc.

    It’s what you do that determines moral worth, not some words you dash out. Fortunately for mankind, the people who write/say bad things (hurtful, hateful, stupid, etc.) are not often the people who go out and act badly or do “bad things.” People may say or write things but usually do nothing about the bad things they say.

    They just spout off.

    So we don’t really know if commentators here are bad or not.

    And then there is the undeniable fact that from what life shows us, “bad people” are often cloaked in lovely sounding words and phrases they write or speak. The worst of them are quite expert at depicting themselves as “good people.” Nearly always.

    But sure, there are bad people writing here. Odds are.

    • Replies: @very old statistician
    @Muggles

    I was just hedging my bets
    I do that in real life too, unless I am with people who I trust an awful lot

  140. @Steve Sailer
    @John Milton’s Ghost

    Some students of Russian literature claim that Stalin's style was influenced by these really mocking, but well-written letters that Ivan the Terrible would send to defeated rivals.

    Replies: @Cortes

    His “retreat” to his dacha for a couple of days – remaining incommunicado – at the end of the first week of the Operation Barbarossa invasion by Germany may have been a “cover version” of a similar loyalty test stunt pulled by Ivan. I think I saw this interpretation in Richard Overy’s “Ivan’s War.”

    Has to be worth an award for chutzpah, if true.

  141. @Abe
    About a month ago my wife made us a delicious Mitteleuropa-ean pastry for breakfast. In my best Branson-by-way-of-Smolensk accent I said to no one in particular: “In 1940’s Europe, German pancake watch YOU go in the oven.” I thought you should know.

    Replies: @Muggles

    About a month ago my wife made us a delicious Mitteleuropa-ean pastry for breakfast. In my best Branson-by-way-of-Smolensk accent I said to no one in particular: “In 1940’s Europe, German pancake watch YOU go in the oven.” I thought you should know.

    How long did it take for the laughter to die down?

  142. @Whiskey
    Stalin was, frankly, an idiot.

    He knew only one thing ... liquidate any possible rival. He was kill-crazy, and that served him ill after the War. Because of his stupidity in purging able officers instead of harnessing their own ambition to serve his own, Russia sustained such terrible losses that there was no possibility of pushing further. Indeed after the Battle of Berlin the cumulative casualties were so high that it was impossible to continue the War and conquer the entire continent.

    Indeed looking at the strategic situation in the 1930s, with threats from both Germany and Japan, only an idiot would move to remove able officers as a long term threat when the fire was right at his feet.

    Then, after the War and all the misery, to start another round of purges was stupidity. If he was not poisoned like Alexander (for some of the same reasons) no one broke their legs trying to save him. An astute leader needs to know what his people and subordinates can handle and what they cannot, and never go outside their limits without end.

    Replies: @Muggles

    I’m no defender of Stalin but he was far from being an idiot.

    You should read a few biographies about him. He likely had a very high IQ (though not an iSteve reader) and was very well educated. For some of that he spent long periods in czarist exile where he and Bukharin his roommate were able to read and study literature and political works. They had little else to do. On his rise to the top he edited Pravda for many years, and was very interested in the literature being produced. Educated Russians have always admired European High Culture. Even wading through Marx, Lenin and that lot takes some brains.

    Compared to most American politicians he was highly cultured.

    While he may have been killed by Beria, he was in his early 70s. By then Hitler, Tojo, FDR, Mussolini, and virtually all of the original Bolsheviks were dead (Stalin killed many of the Old Bolsheviks like Bukharin of course). Other than Churchill and de Gaulle all the WWII leadership was dead.

    Yes, he made many military and political mistakes, He was evil, as you noted. But don’t make the common error of thinking horrible leaders are idiots. He wasn’t. He was very successful considering. Sometimes also lucky, in that Hitler made even worse mistakes.

    • Replies: @very old statistician
    @Muggles

    Stalin was, sad to say, sort of a fun guy to be around.

    That being said ---- had he grown up in the NYC Mafia, he would have been put down like a rabid dog before he was 30.

    Had he grown up in France or England, he would have been, at best, an "edgy" science fiction writer.

    The Russians of his day were not good enough -through no fault of their own, there were many Russians who were up to the task, but inexorable fate intervened (just kidding, they just did not pray enough, or if they prayed enough, they were victims of something you do not want to imagine) at keeping the evil little Georgian from amassing power. That says just as much about the Russians as it does about the sick little Georgian. In other words, it says nothing. Stalin, whatever he was in his youth, wound up being a vicious tool of Satan. Everybody knows that. Whatever skill he had at being "funny", whatever talent he had at not being executed for his millions of murders, it was nothing compared to what he had, being a submissive little creep to Satan. Trust me I understand history.

  143. @Muggles
    @very old statistician


    That being said, let not your heart be troubled, there are many many bad people who post here.
     
    I find it odd that you write that. Yes, some people write ugly, bad things, stupid, wrong headed, etc. But we don't know if the writers are "bad people" or just people who hold bad ideas on some subjects, or write nasty things, are rude to other commentators, etc.

    It's what you do that determines moral worth, not some words you dash out. Fortunately for mankind, the people who write/say bad things (hurtful, hateful, stupid, etc.) are not often the people who go out and act badly or do "bad things." People may say or write things but usually do nothing about the bad things they say.

    They just spout off.

    So we don't really know if commentators here are bad or not.

    And then there is the undeniable fact that from what life shows us, "bad people" are often cloaked in lovely sounding words and phrases they write or speak. The worst of them are quite expert at depicting themselves as "good people." Nearly always.

    But sure, there are bad people writing here. Odds are.

    Replies: @very old statistician

    I was just hedging my bets
    I do that in real life too, unless I am with people who I trust an awful lot

  144. @kaganovitch
    @John Milton’s Ghost

    German humor in general doesn’t translate well. Check out (i.e. Google) Alexander Marcus, e.g.—it’s not clear whether he is doing funny things, and if so, how.

    I'm not sure that's entirely true. Alongside the admittedly crude broad humor there was always an ironic/tragic German humor as well. I grew up in a German speaking household and I remember many jokes along those lines. Sample; Two German doctors meet in the evening and one tells the other "Herr Kollege, sie sehen aus sehr niedergeschlagen" = "My dear colleague you look very dejected" The colleague responds "Ich hatte eine schwierige geburt und ich konnte die mutter nicht retten" = "I had a case of a difficult birth and I couldn't save the mother". The other doctor wants to console him and says "Aber du hast das kind gerettet, ja?" = "But you saved the child,yes?" He responds tearfully "Nein, Ich habe das kind auch nicht gerettet." = "No, I didn't save the child either."
    The other doctor thinks for a moment, then he says "Aber, den vater hast du gerettet!" = " You saved the father though!"

    Replies: @Cortes

    As consolation, it inspired Piaf:

    Je ne gerettet rien.

  145. @unit472
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Interesting because I never bothered to read Mein Kampf. Its not the kind of book one can simply go pick up at a used bookstore without attracting attention, though I did once buy a Nazi party handbook that explained all the ranks and regalia without attracting undue notice.

    The quote about the diameter of artillery shells is telling though. It confirms the bias of the soldier for the war he knew rather than the one he is fighting. Hitler was a WW1 man. His love of giant cannon and fortifications was obvious. Living in a bunker with 10 feet of concrete between himself and the outside world made him feel secure. When told his generals wanted more of an early German "Kalashnikov' he didn't see the need. Giant cannons that could fire 7,000 lbs shells into a Crimean fortress captured his imagination even if it slowed down the advance of his army.

    OTOH, Hitler liked technology and this showed up in German weaponry. FM radios in his tanks gave them an early advantage. Rockets and jet powered aircraft had his support. If he didn't pursue atomic weapons it, perhaps, owed more to his belief they could not be developed in time to win the war and that he had no way of delivering a 10,000 lbs weapon across the Atlantic to kill American Jews in NYC. Still this improbable man did undertake the most amazing achievement in human history The organized apprehension and slaughter of a large ethnic community and do it without attracting a lot of attention.

    Replies: @JMcG

    Um, Stalin starved millions of Christian Ukrainians to death 10 years before the Holocaust kicked off with nary a murmur. In fact, the western powers couldn’t wait to jump in bed with him. Then there were the Armenian Christians who were slaughtered by the Muslim Ottomans in 1915. Hitler wasn’t exactly sui generis.
    Then there was Pol Pot in Cambodia in the 70s, whatever the hell happened in the Balkans in the 90s and the Rwandan slaughter just after. I wonder who’s next?

  146. @J.Ross
    @Maico450

    Mayakovsky went to the West as a cultural ambassador, and once here, he didn't want to come home. He actually asked the Soviet government to send him enough money to buy a yellow Rolls-Royce. But he was also part of a first wave of major Soviet figures who committed suicide (in some cases they were killed, but for many there is no doubt it was suicide; this was before the purges got going) because they saw that the revolution they had devoted their lives to was a disaster. After Mayakovsky died Stalin praised him highly. There is an argument that Stalin did not kill Gorky, who after all was old.

    Replies: @Maico450

    Mayakovsky went to the West as a cultural ambassador, and once here, he didn’t want to come home. He actually asked the Soviet government to send him enough money to buy a yellow Rolls-Royce. But he was also part of a first wave of major Soviet figures who committed suicide (in some cases they were killed, but for many there is no doubt it was suicide; this was before the purges got going) because they saw that the revolution they had devoted their lives to was a disaster. After Mayakovsky died Stalin praised him highly. There is an argument that Stalin did not kill Gorky, who after all was old.

    Thanks, J.R. What was your source re. M. requesting cash for a Rolls-Royce?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    @Maico450

    I might have the make of the car wrong but I read a lot of stuff on him in college; I think the most likely source is the introduction to the "Bedbug" anthology.

    Replies: @Maico450

  147. @Muggles
    @Whiskey

    I'm no defender of Stalin but he was far from being an idiot.

    You should read a few biographies about him. He likely had a very high IQ (though not an iSteve reader) and was very well educated. For some of that he spent long periods in czarist exile where he and Bukharin his roommate were able to read and study literature and political works. They had little else to do. On his rise to the top he edited Pravda for many years, and was very interested in the literature being produced. Educated Russians have always admired European High Culture. Even wading through Marx, Lenin and that lot takes some brains.

    Compared to most American politicians he was highly cultured.

    While he may have been killed by Beria, he was in his early 70s. By then Hitler, Tojo, FDR, Mussolini, and virtually all of the original Bolsheviks were dead (Stalin killed many of the Old Bolsheviks like Bukharin of course). Other than Churchill and de Gaulle all the WWII leadership was dead.

    Yes, he made many military and political mistakes, He was evil, as you noted. But don't make the common error of thinking horrible leaders are idiots. He wasn't. He was very successful considering. Sometimes also lucky, in that Hitler made even worse mistakes.

    Replies: @very old statistician

    Stalin was, sad to say, sort of a fun guy to be around.

    That being said —- had he grown up in the NYC Mafia, he would have been put down like a rabid dog before he was 30.

    Had he grown up in France or England, he would have been, at best, an “edgy” science fiction writer.

    The Russians of his day were not good enough -through no fault of their own, there were many Russians who were up to the task, but inexorable fate intervened (just kidding, they just did not pray enough, or if they prayed enough, they were victims of something you do not want to imagine) at keeping the evil little Georgian from amassing power. That says just as much about the Russians as it does about the sick little Georgian. In other words, it says nothing. Stalin, whatever he was in his youth, wound up being a vicious tool of Satan. Everybody knows that. Whatever skill he had at being “funny”, whatever talent he had at not being executed for his millions of murders, it was nothing compared to what he had, being a submissive little creep to Satan. Trust me I understand history.

  148. @Maico450
    @J.Ross

    Mayakovsky went to the West as a cultural ambassador, and once here, he didn’t want to come home. He actually asked the Soviet government to send him enough money to buy a yellow Rolls-Royce. But he was also part of a first wave of major Soviet figures who committed suicide (in some cases they were killed, but for many there is no doubt it was suicide; this was before the purges got going) because they saw that the revolution they had devoted their lives to was a disaster. After Mayakovsky died Stalin praised him highly. There is an argument that Stalin did not kill Gorky, who after all was old.

    Thanks, J.R. What was your source re. M. requesting cash for a Rolls-Royce?

    Replies: @J.Ross

    I might have the make of the car wrong but I read a lot of stuff on him in college; I think the most likely source is the introduction to the “Bedbug” anthology.

    • Replies: @Maico450
    @J.Ross

    I might have the make of the car wrong but I read a lot of stuff on him in college; I think the most likely source is the introduction to the “Bedbug” anthology.

    Sorry for my late response. I've got the classic English-lang Indiana U. Bedbug and Selected Poetry here, and also M's collected works in the original. I think the source of the Rolls-Royce reference is the poem ВЕНЕРА МИЛОССКАЯ / И ВЯЧЕСЛАВ ПОЛОНСКИЙ, or Venus de Milo and Vyacheslav Polonskiy. Written as a response to an article that Polonskiy wrote, if I'm not mistaken. Sounds like classic M., for sure.

    Generally M. would mock materialism, despite the fact that he was a major dandy and rather privileged (as they say these days).

  149. @Anon
    @SFG


    Chartwell Books is a bookshop entirely about Winston Churchill.

    I do not know why such a thing would exist or how it can survive in that place
     
    This struck me as completely ridiculous, perhaps a pop-up joke store by some television show like the Curb Your Enthusiam Pop-Up Shop or this:

    The pop-up shop purported to be for a brand called Palessi – an edited version of Payless – and the space it was held in was modern, with plush blue seats, lit-up displays that showcased the shoes to full effect. The center of the store featured a Romanesque statue, and shoppers were waited on by young, black-clad employees.

    Payless shoes typically cost between $20 and $40. But some of the shoes sold during the pop-up shop went for as much as $600, and Palessi made $3,000 in sales in just three hours....

    The shoppers got their money back, but were allowed to keep the shoes.

    https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/11/30/payless-pranks-social-media-influencers/
     
    But when I thought about it, using Churchill as a starting point you could have books on both world wars, all the personalities in England during the period, the military ... cigars? ... you could stock a pretty big bookstore with books of interest to a lot of guys, without all the chick lit that you'd normally have in bookstores. The weak point is that the male market for books at this point is approaching zero.

    Replies: @Cato

    the male market for books at this point is approaching zero

    The everyone market for books is approaching zero. Compared to my time as a college student, students simply don’t read at all, unless it is a soundbite or two, online.

  150. @Dieter Kief
    @Desiderius

    Oh! Thanks. Let me stay with Hitler for a moment, please.
    Did you notice the remark here on this (thrilling!) thread about Hitler's wide hips (Prof. Woland, No. 132)? - Would you mind to think over the following, Desiderius: That Hitler appealed to women and that they so frantically followed him in masses is directly related - to this feature of his. - And to his meta-sexuality (=David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Freddy Mercury again) - not really a man, no women too. - He knew the realm in between the sexes and since women had the right to vote (something quite new in world history), his appeal to women did make a political difference (he did work on this appeal to women in lots of rehearsals. The result can be heard - he is very much in command of his voice, and it can be seen in the way he moves and behaves (his - hysterias! - very close to the womenfolk's world, n'est-ce pas?). He even understood that the strength of his public persona (= his image) depended a lot on the fact, that he was neither married nor in an (official) intimate relationship with a woman).
    No women no cry.

    Next thing: That King Wilhelm II  had been removed in the turmoil after WWI = "the mother (! dk) of all catastrophes in the 20th century" (Golo, the historian, and (livelong - he suffered from that quite a  bit) not too much loved son of Thomas Mann).

     No King - a lack of structure.

    No King - no structure (one of the most important observations of Erich Fromm: People strive for structure). - All intact Kingdoms in Europe kept a distance to fascism / Nazism - if there is a King or Queen, people don't long that intensely for - a Führer.

    Add to that the fact, that Germany was the leading country in Europe with regard to the integration of Jews - another source of a lot of  - the envy of the regular folks at home - and envy produces tensions too. The leading German literary critic of the second half of the 20th century, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, remarked that in his autobiography: That the massive number of Jews who moved to Germany and soon became very successful there in the upper-middle class (a bit in the upper class as well) were noticed - and were envied and - .... more.

    So - there is a modern core in this Hitler success (mass immigration/internationalism, Republicanism, Women's Lib, the revolutionary (Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist) left, which still is all too modern to be recognized as harmful (Horkheimer/Adorno were at this modern core of the terrible side of the 20th century, but did not - this is quite ironic - realize in what hindsight really their traces were indicative of something. Nonetheless: They did - in the footsteps of opium-eater Walter and Hashish-smoker WalterBenjamin, realize that there is something not quite right with progress).

    To eliminate monarchy and install women's voting rights and have a wildly successful group of immigrant outsiders and - to overturn the traditional structures of society with mass media and: The new masses from all over Europe which were needed for the booming industrialization and above all of that - : - A severe and profound (and not properly understood, because it was so new) economic crisis of hitherto unknown forms (and proportions) as a result of the Versailles treaty not least - - - take all that and a few things more (Lenin's and Stalin's troupe of leftwing socialists and communists in central Europe (Germany not least) willing to destroy the Weimar parliamentary system as another big and terribly effective factor and the German establishment losing the parliamentary track at one moment in time 1932 ff. as well)

    And thus I reach the bottom line: -

    - In the end, there was too much (progress, not least) happening in not enough time and there thus were enormous destructive energies unleashed which turned big parts of central Europe and Russia (and more) into a - maelstrom (= a downward (=regressive) spiral).


    Coda

    To think that the resulting catastrophe would reflect something substantial in the German people or culture is misleading. This was a historical tragedy. It makes no sense to substantialize it and try to come to grips with it via the German "Wesen" or some such deep down inside. Unfortunately, the fruitlessness of such an attempt is not very well known/understood (and not utterly clear) to a lot of people. The most recent one to make this mistake was Adam Kirsch in his critique of a) the actual Heine and dito b) the Goethe reception.
    Another prominent one caught (if only partly) in this trap is the historian Timothy Snyder and lots of the Holocaust historians (not least - German ones...).

    With regard to WW I, Christopher Clark (The Sleepwalkers) made a difference (hopefully this is a beginning of sorts. - another one, who is mostly memory-holed and/or overlooked is Nicholson Baker - his White Smoke about the then all ignored (mostly US, mostly Christian) pacifist attempts to save the European Jews - in time - is a decent book of quite some depth).

    Replies: @anon, @Prof. Woland

    Ribbentrop’s hips, not Hitler’s.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @Prof. Woland

    Ok. But still, Hitler did send these unmanly signals too.

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

  151. @Prof. Woland
    @Dieter Kief

    Ribbentrop's hips, not Hitler's.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    Ok. But still, Hitler did send these unmanly signals too.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    @Dieter Kief

    Hitler may not have had wide hips, but there was a noticeable effeminacy to some of his movements - Shirer noticed it when the Fuehrer walked right by him early on at Bad Goedesberg.

    I must say I never noticed wide hips on Ribbentrop. It was Heydrich, the athlete, passionate classical musician, and Aryan God of Death, who had very wide hips - and a high voice too. He was, by the way, assassinated for none of these things, but rather because he was far too successful at pacifying the Czechs and increasing their armaments production for the Reich.

    Yes, the fall of the Second Empire was a disaster for Germany and then the whole of Europe. The blame lies mostly with an ignorant, arrogant, and ill American President and a malevolent French atheist and Freemason, the odious Clemenceau, who desired even more (and alas achieved) the end of Habsburg rule, the mildest and best of the old monarchies.
    Far sighted conservatives of a Christian stamp doubted that Europe could survive this triple blow (let's not forget the Czar), and they were right - it hasn't and it won't.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief, @Dieter Kief

  152. @anon
    @Dieter Kief

    No King – no structure (one of the most important observations of Erich Fromm: People strive for structure). – All intact Kingdoms in Europe kept a distance to fascism / Nazism – if there is a King or Queen, people don’t long that intensely for – a Führer.

    Except for Italy, home of both King Victor Emmanuel III and Father of Fascism Benito Mussolini...a mere detail, to be sure, in the middle of a long, turgid mass of text. One does wonder, though, what else you have gotten wrong.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    It is clear that a monarch is a public figure which binds all kinds of longings and fantasies of the masses and in Democracies, you don’t have this – usually – save harbor for this kind of energies, and thus they inhibit an element of risk. It did turn out to be really risky to change that many traditions (traditions being an element of stability) in such a short time in Germany. I don’t say that this has to fail, but it is risky, that was my point.
    King Victor Emmanuel III 1) did fight fascism in Italy – a bit late, but nevertheless. This should not be underestimated. Plus: 2) There is indeed a big difference between fascism Italian style and – Nazism, what you don’t take into account either. I should have made 1) and 2) explicit, I agree with that.

    (I thought of Denmark, Belgium, Holland, GB, Norway, Sweden…)

    • Replies: @anon
    @Dieter Kief

    It is clear that a monarch is a public figure which binds all kinds of longings and fantasies of the masses and in Democracies, you don’t have this – usually – save harbor for this kind of energies, and thus they inhibit an element of risk.

    It is not clear in any way. For example, did the Tzar bind all kinds of longings and fantasies of the masses in 19th century Russia? Does the King of Norway even now bind all sorts of longings and fantasies of the masses, including the Islamic invaders?

    Perhaps you should think this line of reasoning through a little further?

    It did turn out to be really risky to change that many traditions (traditions being an element of stability) in such a short time in Germany. I don’t say that this has to fail, but it is risky, that was my point.

    Rapid change can be quite risky, as we are all finding out day by day.
    But c'mon, man, if you were attempting to discuss Germany, why bring up Fascism?

    King Victor Emmanuel III 1) did fight fascism in Italy – a bit late, but nevertheless. This should not be underestimated.

    Sure, in mid World War II. When was the March on Rome, again? Dude, you're not making sense. Your claim about the stabilizing effects of kings vs. Fascism fails.

    Plus: 2) There is indeed a big difference between fascism Italian style and – Nazism, what you don’t take into account either.

    Obviously you should not have used the word Fascist when you intended the word Nazi.

    I should have made 1) and 2) explicit, I agree with that.

    You should have thought more carefully.

    (I thought of Denmark, Belgium, Holland, GB, Norway, Sweden…)

    Netherlands, GB, Norway all still have monarchs. Are they Democracies according to you, or not? Japan still has an Emperor. Would you call it a Democracy or not?

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

  153. @Desiderius
    https://twitter.com/benshapiro/status/1359833571075227648?s=20

    This is known as conceding the premise. I seem to be a little autistic so could use some assistance. Is anyone even aware that this is how the ball is being moved down the field so rapidly?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Buzz Mohawk, @anonymous, @Maico450, @J.Ross, @Charlie2345

    On the other hand Saul Alinski, Rules for Radicals number 4

    “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

    Not sure if I actually agree with that one, but it is at least arguable.

  154. A favorite of mine from Svetlana Stalin’s memoirs: When, at age 17, Svetlana told her dad she wanted to marry her boyfriend, the Vozhd flew into a rage, saying inter alia: “There’s a war going on, and all she can think about is fucking!”

  155. anon[279] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief
    @anon

    It is clear that a monarch is a public figure which binds all kinds of longings and fantasies of the masses and in Democracies, you don't have this - usually - save harbor for this kind of energies, and thus they inhibit an element of risk. It did turn out to be really risky to change that many traditions (traditions being an element of stability) in such a short time in Germany. I don't say that this has to fail, but it is risky, that was my point.
    King Victor Emmanuel III 1) did fight fascism in Italy - a bit late, but nevertheless. This should not be underestimated. Plus: 2) There is indeed a big difference between fascism Italian style and - Nazism, what you don't take into account either. I should have made 1) and 2) explicit, I agree with that.

    (I thought of Denmark, Belgium, Holland, GB, Norway, Sweden...)

    Replies: @anon

    It is clear that a monarch is a public figure which binds all kinds of longings and fantasies of the masses and in Democracies, you don’t have this – usually – save harbor for this kind of energies, and thus they inhibit an element of risk.

    It is not clear in any way. For example, did the Tzar bind all kinds of longings and fantasies of the masses in 19th century Russia? Does the King of Norway even now bind all sorts of longings and fantasies of the masses, including the Islamic invaders?

    Perhaps you should think this line of reasoning through a little further?

    It did turn out to be really risky to change that many traditions (traditions being an element of stability) in such a short time in Germany. I don’t say that this has to fail, but it is risky, that was my point.

    Rapid change can be quite risky, as we are all finding out day by day.
    But c’mon, man, if you were attempting to discuss Germany, why bring up Fascism?

    King Victor Emmanuel III 1) did fight fascism in Italy – a bit late, but nevertheless. This should not be underestimated.

    Sure, in mid World War II. When was the March on Rome, again? Dude, you’re not making sense. Your claim about the stabilizing effects of kings vs. Fascism fails.

    Plus: 2) There is indeed a big difference between fascism Italian style and – Nazism, what you don’t take into account either.

    Obviously you should not have used the word Fascist when you intended the word Nazi.

    I should have made 1) and 2) explicit, I agree with that.

    You should have thought more carefully.

    (I thought of Denmark, Belgium, Holland, GB, Norway, Sweden…)

    Netherlands, GB, Norway all still have monarchs. Are they Democracies according to you, or not? Japan still has an Emperor. Would you call it a Democracy or not?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @anon


    Netherlands, GB, Norway all still have monarchs. Are they Democracies according to you, or not?
     
    That was not my point. You are good at getting things wrong, anon.

    Look at the difference between Italy and Germany in the worldwide debate about the catastrophe of the 20th century and you can see that the differences I'm talking about are real.
  156. @anon
    @Dieter Kief

    It is clear that a monarch is a public figure which binds all kinds of longings and fantasies of the masses and in Democracies, you don’t have this – usually – save harbor for this kind of energies, and thus they inhibit an element of risk.

    It is not clear in any way. For example, did the Tzar bind all kinds of longings and fantasies of the masses in 19th century Russia? Does the King of Norway even now bind all sorts of longings and fantasies of the masses, including the Islamic invaders?

    Perhaps you should think this line of reasoning through a little further?

    It did turn out to be really risky to change that many traditions (traditions being an element of stability) in such a short time in Germany. I don’t say that this has to fail, but it is risky, that was my point.

    Rapid change can be quite risky, as we are all finding out day by day.
    But c'mon, man, if you were attempting to discuss Germany, why bring up Fascism?

    King Victor Emmanuel III 1) did fight fascism in Italy – a bit late, but nevertheless. This should not be underestimated.

    Sure, in mid World War II. When was the March on Rome, again? Dude, you're not making sense. Your claim about the stabilizing effects of kings vs. Fascism fails.

    Plus: 2) There is indeed a big difference between fascism Italian style and – Nazism, what you don’t take into account either.

    Obviously you should not have used the word Fascist when you intended the word Nazi.

    I should have made 1) and 2) explicit, I agree with that.

    You should have thought more carefully.

    (I thought of Denmark, Belgium, Holland, GB, Norway, Sweden…)

    Netherlands, GB, Norway all still have monarchs. Are they Democracies according to you, or not? Japan still has an Emperor. Would you call it a Democracy or not?

    Replies: @Dieter Kief

    Netherlands, GB, Norway all still have monarchs. Are they Democracies according to you, or not?

    That was not my point. You are good at getting things wrong, anon.

    Look at the difference between Italy and Germany in the worldwide debate about the catastrophe of the 20th century and you can see that the differences I’m talking about are real.

  157. Stalin was a Funny Guy

    I can imagine a humorous world history, but only the greatest genius is able and will be writing it. This is the last task of poetry.

    Friedrich Hebbel, German playwright of the 19th century.

    „Ich kann mir eine humoristische Weltgeschichte denken, aber nur das größte Genie kann und wird sie schreiben. Es ist die letzte Aufgabe der Poesie.”
    Friedrich Hebbel

  158. @Dieter Kief
    @Prof. Woland

    Ok. But still, Hitler did send these unmanly signals too.

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

    Hitler may not have had wide hips, but there was a noticeable effeminacy to some of his movements – Shirer noticed it when the Fuehrer walked right by him early on at Bad Goedesberg.

    I must say I never noticed wide hips on Ribbentrop. It was Heydrich, the athlete, passionate classical musician, and Aryan God of Death, who had very wide hips – and a high voice too. He was, by the way, assassinated for none of these things, but rather because he was far too successful at pacifying the Czechs and increasing their armaments production for the Reich.

    Yes, the fall of the Second Empire was a disaster for Germany and then the whole of Europe. The blame lies mostly with an ignorant, arrogant, and ill American President and a malevolent French atheist and Freemason, the odious Clemenceau, who desired even more (and alas achieved) the end of Habsburg rule, the mildest and best of the old monarchies.
    Far sighted conservatives of a Christian stamp doubted that Europe could survive this triple blow (let’s not forget the Czar), and they were right – it hasn’t and it won’t.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @Old Palo Altan

    Hello in 2021 - I do hope you're doing fine Old man. - I was out in the snow-covered woods above the lake all day. It was quite cold but - beautiful! I spotted a flock of daws that had come down to the lake from the Alps - quite rare. I was surprised. I did - once- think of you this afternoon - et voilá - here you are. Thanks for your thoughts (and arguments).

    Hitler was no athlete and he had feminine manners to himself - and his hips - well, not the hips of an athlete, that's for sure. - You can see that he was at operas a lot of times when he speaks. Sometimes I'm quite puzzled about the control of his thoughts he displays - and the rhetorical command he has about rather difficult arguments in free speech.

    I watched Helmut Qualtinger while reading Mein Kampf - in the year 1974 maybe, at the Stadttheater in Heidelberg. Qualtinger did try to satirize Mein Kampf simply by reading it. I was young when I heard this big man read (and perform - and sweat...) for two hours. I did not know what to make of that. It was clear that he was at something but it was not quite clear what.

    My school director, Dr. Rumpf, a bildungsbürger, very nice man, sat a few rows behind me and talked to me next Monday at school about Hitler and Qualtinger. He admitted that he had been fascinated by Hitler when he was a teenager. And he said that Qualtingers recitation could not enact the - energy - Hitler had embodied even though he obviously tried very hard - I even feared the big man might collapse.

    Progress is not necessarily good. Lots of people don't get this. (Might be rooted in our brains - in the brain stem: Flee OR attack. Nothing else. Progress would mean to flee in this hindsight, I guess.

    Don't know if you find this interesting: These days I took photographs of fire with a rather fast exposure time and discovered that - letters, formed by flames appeared - I had an A and Is and Fs - the flames have written on the wall... - I guess that some gifted or drugged up (shamans) people might have experienced that - written with flames on the wall - and this might be rooted in this - special kind of perceptions...

    (I think I understand better now how you think about the French.)

    , @Dieter Kief
    @Old Palo Altan

    Today in my mail: Reprint of the Königsegger Codex from Hans Talhofer - a Fechtschule, written in Königsegg / Oberschwaben near Ravensburg in the fifteenth century.

    http://www.hema-codex.de/home/allgemein/fechtmeister/hans-talhoffer

    One quick takeaway: Prussia was in large (civilizational) parts a (Upper)Swebian offspring (did not know this - the Deutschorden again (as in the case of derer von Hammerstein) ...

    Plus some of the Aulendofers/Königseggers made it to the US. - Successful Nobles meant: Overproduction (nicer word: Overflow) of capable folk - and thus: Expansion - or - : - The conquering of the inner world. see the Oberschwabe Hermanus Contractus (s. Arno Borst: Computus and ders. : Die Welt des Mittelalters - Barbaren, Ketzer und Artisten - in there a beautiful chapter about Hermann der Lahme Dominikanischer Abt von der Reichenau und führender Gelehrter seiner Zeit.

    Talhofers motto as an acknowledged sword-master: Modesty!

  159. @Old Palo Altan
    @Dieter Kief

    Hitler may not have had wide hips, but there was a noticeable effeminacy to some of his movements - Shirer noticed it when the Fuehrer walked right by him early on at Bad Goedesberg.

    I must say I never noticed wide hips on Ribbentrop. It was Heydrich, the athlete, passionate classical musician, and Aryan God of Death, who had very wide hips - and a high voice too. He was, by the way, assassinated for none of these things, but rather because he was far too successful at pacifying the Czechs and increasing their armaments production for the Reich.

    Yes, the fall of the Second Empire was a disaster for Germany and then the whole of Europe. The blame lies mostly with an ignorant, arrogant, and ill American President and a malevolent French atheist and Freemason, the odious Clemenceau, who desired even more (and alas achieved) the end of Habsburg rule, the mildest and best of the old monarchies.
    Far sighted conservatives of a Christian stamp doubted that Europe could survive this triple blow (let's not forget the Czar), and they were right - it hasn't and it won't.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief, @Dieter Kief

    Hello in 2021 – I do hope you’re doing fine Old man. – I was out in the snow-covered woods above the lake all day. It was quite cold but – beautiful! I spotted a flock of daws that had come down to the lake from the Alps – quite rare. I was surprised. I did – once- think of you this afternoon – et voilá – here you are. Thanks for your thoughts (and arguments).

    Hitler was no athlete and he had feminine manners to himself – and his hips – well, not the hips of an athlete, that’s for sure. – You can see that he was at operas a lot of times when he speaks. Sometimes I’m quite puzzled about the control of his thoughts he displays – and the rhetorical command he has about rather difficult arguments in free speech.

    I watched Helmut Qualtinger while reading Mein Kampf – in the year 1974 maybe, at the Stadttheater in Heidelberg. Qualtinger did try to satirize Mein Kampf simply by reading it. I was young when I heard this big man read (and perform – and sweat…) for two hours. I did not know what to make of that. It was clear that he was at something but it was not quite clear what.

    My school director, Dr. Rumpf, a bildungsbürger, very nice man, sat a few rows behind me and talked to me next Monday at school about Hitler and Qualtinger. He admitted that he had been fascinated by Hitler when he was a teenager. And he said that Qualtingers recitation could not enact the – energy – Hitler had embodied even though he obviously tried very hard – I even feared the big man might collapse.

    Progress is not necessarily good. Lots of people don’t get this. (Might be rooted in our brains – in the brain stem: Flee OR attack. Nothing else. Progress would mean to flee in this hindsight, I guess.

    Don’t know if you find this interesting: These days I took photographs of fire with a rather fast exposure time and discovered that – letters, formed by flames appeared – I had an A and Is and Fs – the flames have written on the wall… – I guess that some gifted or drugged up (shamans) people might have experienced that – written with flames on the wall – and this might be rooted in this – special kind of perceptions…

    (I think I understand better now how you think about the French.)

  160. I fled this site and all news sources after the abomination of the stolen election.
    Tomorrow I start a week-long retreat and might return fortified for the necessary battle ahead.
    Words aren’t enough any more, but what would be “enough”?
    I think it is probably something which will stretch every one of us to the breaking point, and beyond.

  161. @Old Palo Altan
    @Dieter Kief

    Hitler may not have had wide hips, but there was a noticeable effeminacy to some of his movements - Shirer noticed it when the Fuehrer walked right by him early on at Bad Goedesberg.

    I must say I never noticed wide hips on Ribbentrop. It was Heydrich, the athlete, passionate classical musician, and Aryan God of Death, who had very wide hips - and a high voice too. He was, by the way, assassinated for none of these things, but rather because he was far too successful at pacifying the Czechs and increasing their armaments production for the Reich.

    Yes, the fall of the Second Empire was a disaster for Germany and then the whole of Europe. The blame lies mostly with an ignorant, arrogant, and ill American President and a malevolent French atheist and Freemason, the odious Clemenceau, who desired even more (and alas achieved) the end of Habsburg rule, the mildest and best of the old monarchies.
    Far sighted conservatives of a Christian stamp doubted that Europe could survive this triple blow (let's not forget the Czar), and they were right - it hasn't and it won't.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief, @Dieter Kief

    Today in my mail: Reprint of the Königsegger Codex from Hans Talhofer – a Fechtschule, written in Königsegg / Oberschwaben near Ravensburg in the fifteenth century.

    http://www.hema-codex.de/home/allgemein/fechtmeister/hans-talhoffer

    One quick takeaway: Prussia was in large (civilizational) parts a (Upper)Swebian offspring (did not know this – the Deutschorden again (as in the case of derer von Hammerstein) …

    Plus some of the Aulendofers/Königseggers made it to the US. – Successful Nobles meant: Overproduction (nicer word: Overflow) of capable folk – and thus: Expansion – or – : – The conquering of the inner world. see the Oberschwabe Hermanus Contractus (s. Arno Borst: Computus and ders. : Die Welt des Mittelalters – Barbaren, Ketzer und Artisten – in there a beautiful chapter about Hermann der Lahme Dominikanischer Abt von der Reichenau und führender Gelehrter seiner Zeit.

    Talhofers motto as an acknowledged sword-master: Modesty!

  162. @J.Ross
    @Maico450

    I might have the make of the car wrong but I read a lot of stuff on him in college; I think the most likely source is the introduction to the "Bedbug" anthology.

    Replies: @Maico450

    I might have the make of the car wrong but I read a lot of stuff on him in college; I think the most likely source is the introduction to the “Bedbug” anthology.

    Sorry for my late response. I’ve got the classic English-lang Indiana U. Bedbug and Selected Poetry here, and also M’s collected works in the original. I think the source of the Rolls-Royce reference is the poem ВЕНЕРА МИЛОССКАЯ / И ВЯЧЕСЛАВ ПОЛОНСКИЙ, or Venus de Milo and Vyacheslav Polonskiy. Written as a response to an article that Polonskiy wrote, if I’m not mistaken. Sounds like classic M., for sure.

    Generally M. would mock materialism, despite the fact that he was a major dandy and rather privileged (as they say these days).

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