First They Came for the Nazis

It's remarkable that the poem "First They Came" begins "first they came for the socialists," because the socialists came first, and they came for everyone else.  They didn't even come for the Jews first.  In fact, an ungodly number of the socialists in Russia at the time of the Revolution were Jews, and the socialists in Russia came for whomever they wanted.

After years of riots and marches and terrorism and repression, there were scuffles in the streets, and then Lenin and the Bolsheviks came almost bloodlessly to power, and then everything went wild.  The defining factor of the beginnings of the Red Terror was that Lenin wasn't the defining factor.  Orlando Figes notes in A People's Tragedy that it was the people who ran the lynch mobs in the cities and the countryside, nearly all of it decentralized, choosing whomever they wanted and calling them borzhoi and then maiming and killing them at will.

It wasn't socialists who suffered, unless the socialists were students or cleanly and nobody knew them well; unless someone owed them money; unless they "looked Jewish" or managed a business or openly believed in aspects of classical liberalism.  Russian cadets were thrown in jail or, one by one, into furnaces.  Officers had their limbs broken and wrapped around their heads before they were murdered.  Innocents were beaten to death for the sin of looking educated, and the entirety of Russia, hysterical with class hatred, convicted many "criminals" based on the softness of their hands instead of the record of their deeds.

But yes, first they came for the socialists.  As if the Germans themselves weren't terrified of the communists doing the same thing to their best and brightest and their women and their children; as if the danger of a German communist uprising wasn't openly counted on and courted by the Red intelligentsia; as if the Nazis weren't a socialist counter-reaction (and what a counter-reaction!) to the hellish transgressions of ascendant communism.  The Jews were treated poorly by the majority in Russia, so sizable portions of the Jews joined the communists.  The Nazis saw what the Jews did in Russia,* and so they turned on the Jews in Germany.  The Jews can never catch a break, it seems.  But during the Red Terror, nobody good could catch a break.  This is why everyone good should hate a socialist.

But first they came for the socialists.  They.  Not the violent masked thugs attacking lawful citizens at rallies, or the DHS officials who put all gun-owning conservatives on a watch list, or the deans who allow rioters to shut down Republican speakers by setting their own colleges on fire, or the people who force you to do business when you find the business reprehensible, or the Neanderthals who want to bring businesses and school districts down because the "free citizen" refuses to get in line and say the word xe.  They.  The men who actually fought Nazis so their grandchildren could call them Nazis.  The men who are more like Winston Churchill than Adolf Hitler, who let you own your own property instead of taking it for the state, who believe so strongly in freedom of speech and so strongly against social conditioning and sharia law that they are willing to go to war over it.  They.  The men who are not and have never actually been coming to get you.

There was a lot of excitement when Donald Trump became the president, and the term alternative facts became a joke, and 1984 became a hit again because of it.  It says more about American intelligence than anything Donald Trump's election could have implied.  There are hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of accounts of actual dictatorships, from Athens turning into a wasteland to the quasi-fascist city of Sparta to anything in the Old Testament to the fall of the Roman republic to the establishment of the "Holy" Roman Empire to the rise of the Nazis to the rise of the communists to North Korea to a dozen backward failing South American and Middle Eastern and African banana republics.

But in their fear of a totalitarian uprising, Americans didn't buy The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.  They didn't buy The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire or read Plutarch's account of Cicero or Cato or Pompey or Caesar, or Livy or Sallust or Tacitus or Herodotus, or Macaulay's brilliant telling of the tyrannies of Charles I and James II and how Englishmen defended their rights to get us our own.  They didn't go to Orlando Figes's masterful account of the Russian Revolution and learn how angry societies get turned into murder houses.  They went to a work of fiction.  They were terrified of alternative facts, so they went where they couldn't find any facts.  These are the people who are going to save us from "fascism."

They told us "they" were coming for the socialists and the Muslims.  They forgot to say that before the Christians had invaded the Muslims, the Muslims had been ordered to invade the world.  They forgot to tell us that paid mobs of ignorant basement-dwelling radicals came for Cicero and Cato in the Senate.  They neglected to say that nothing good ever came from the upper class paying the lowest class to terrorize the middle class, and that the most effective oppressor of the impoverished is not the right wing, but the left.  All of these would have been mentioned, but thank God these men have read 1984.  So the classical Americans are the Nazis.  So the socialists are the free men.  So the terrorists are the freedom fighters, and the freedom fighters are the terrorists.

Gone are the days of raiders taking our women and highwaymen stealing our purses.  We are instead plagued by our do-gooders and social justice warriors and philanthropists.  Mao and Lenin wanted to create a world where everybody was equal and nobody was starving.  The Snowflakes didn't see what happened the first time, so they decided to try it a second.  Ahmadinejad and ISIS want to nuke the world and usher in an era of the saints.  The so-called anti-racists hate "Islamophobia" so much (?) that they are unwilling to stop the rape and invasion of Europe.  Hitler believed deeply in science, and because he believed deeply in science, he believed honestly in evolution, and because he believed honestly in evolution, he wanted to create a world where the most beautiful and beneficial and intelligent people could thrive according to the laws of science and order.  The antifa hate a third-grade non-socialist version of Hitler so badly that they turned into a bunch of violent dysgenic second-wave brownshirts.

There is no limit to the ugliness of our goodness.  There is nothing that cannot be sanctioned under the guise of our charity.  The millennium has arrived, and the saints are a pain in our asses.

Jeremy Egerer is the author of the troublesome essays on Letters to Hannah, and he welcomes followers on Twitter and Facebook.

It's remarkable that the poem "First They Came" begins "first they came for the socialists," because the socialists came first, and they came for everyone else.  They didn't even come for the Jews first.  In fact, an ungodly number of the socialists in Russia at the time of the Revolution were Jews, and the socialists in Russia came for whomever they wanted.

After years of riots and marches and terrorism and repression, there were scuffles in the streets, and then Lenin and the Bolsheviks came almost bloodlessly to power, and then everything went wild.  The defining factor of the beginnings of the Red Terror was that Lenin wasn't the defining factor.  Orlando Figes notes in A People's Tragedy that it was the people who ran the lynch mobs in the cities and the countryside, nearly all of it decentralized, choosing whomever they wanted and calling them borzhoi and then maiming and killing them at will.

It wasn't socialists who suffered, unless the socialists were students or cleanly and nobody knew them well; unless someone owed them money; unless they "looked Jewish" or managed a business or openly believed in aspects of classical liberalism.  Russian cadets were thrown in jail or, one by one, into furnaces.  Officers had their limbs broken and wrapped around their heads before they were murdered.  Innocents were beaten to death for the sin of looking educated, and the entirety of Russia, hysterical with class hatred, convicted many "criminals" based on the softness of their hands instead of the record of their deeds.

But yes, first they came for the socialists.  As if the Germans themselves weren't terrified of the communists doing the same thing to their best and brightest and their women and their children; as if the danger of a German communist uprising wasn't openly counted on and courted by the Red intelligentsia; as if the Nazis weren't a socialist counter-reaction (and what a counter-reaction!) to the hellish transgressions of ascendant communism.  The Jews were treated poorly by the majority in Russia, so sizable portions of the Jews joined the communists.  The Nazis saw what the Jews did in Russia,* and so they turned on the Jews in Germany.  The Jews can never catch a break, it seems.  But during the Red Terror, nobody good could catch a break.  This is why everyone good should hate a socialist.

But first they came for the socialists.  They.  Not the violent masked thugs attacking lawful citizens at rallies, or the DHS officials who put all gun-owning conservatives on a watch list, or the deans who allow rioters to shut down Republican speakers by setting their own colleges on fire, or the people who force you to do business when you find the business reprehensible, or the Neanderthals who want to bring businesses and school districts down because the "free citizen" refuses to get in line and say the word xe.  They.  The men who actually fought Nazis so their grandchildren could call them Nazis.  The men who are more like Winston Churchill than Adolf Hitler, who let you own your own property instead of taking it for the state, who believe so strongly in freedom of speech and so strongly against social conditioning and sharia law that they are willing to go to war over it.  They.  The men who are not and have never actually been coming to get you.

There was a lot of excitement when Donald Trump became the president, and the term alternative facts became a joke, and 1984 became a hit again because of it.  It says more about American intelligence than anything Donald Trump's election could have implied.  There are hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of accounts of actual dictatorships, from Athens turning into a wasteland to the quasi-fascist city of Sparta to anything in the Old Testament to the fall of the Roman republic to the establishment of the "Holy" Roman Empire to the rise of the Nazis to the rise of the communists to North Korea to a dozen backward failing South American and Middle Eastern and African banana republics.

But in their fear of a totalitarian uprising, Americans didn't buy The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.  They didn't buy The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire or read Plutarch's account of Cicero or Cato or Pompey or Caesar, or Livy or Sallust or Tacitus or Herodotus, or Macaulay's brilliant telling of the tyrannies of Charles I and James II and how Englishmen defended their rights to get us our own.  They didn't go to Orlando Figes's masterful account of the Russian Revolution and learn how angry societies get turned into murder houses.  They went to a work of fiction.  They were terrified of alternative facts, so they went where they couldn't find any facts.  These are the people who are going to save us from "fascism."

They told us "they" were coming for the socialists and the Muslims.  They forgot to say that before the Christians had invaded the Muslims, the Muslims had been ordered to invade the world.  They forgot to tell us that paid mobs of ignorant basement-dwelling radicals came for Cicero and Cato in the Senate.  They neglected to say that nothing good ever came from the upper class paying the lowest class to terrorize the middle class, and that the most effective oppressor of the impoverished is not the right wing, but the left.  All of these would have been mentioned, but thank God these men have read 1984.  So the classical Americans are the Nazis.  So the socialists are the free men.  So the terrorists are the freedom fighters, and the freedom fighters are the terrorists.

Gone are the days of raiders taking our women and highwaymen stealing our purses.  We are instead plagued by our do-gooders and social justice warriors and philanthropists.  Mao and Lenin wanted to create a world where everybody was equal and nobody was starving.  The Snowflakes didn't see what happened the first time, so they decided to try it a second.  Ahmadinejad and ISIS want to nuke the world and usher in an era of the saints.  The so-called anti-racists hate "Islamophobia" so much (?) that they are unwilling to stop the rape and invasion of Europe.  Hitler believed deeply in science, and because he believed deeply in science, he believed honestly in evolution, and because he believed honestly in evolution, he wanted to create a world where the most beautiful and beneficial and intelligent people could thrive according to the laws of science and order.  The antifa hate a third-grade non-socialist version of Hitler so badly that they turned into a bunch of violent dysgenic second-wave brownshirts.

There is no limit to the ugliness of our goodness.  There is nothing that cannot be sanctioned under the guise of our charity.  The millennium has arrived, and the saints are a pain in our asses.

Jeremy Egerer is the author of the troublesome essays on Letters to Hannah, and he welcomes followers on Twitter and Facebook.

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