Merry Christmas to One and All

pope

irony-meter

  • P

    Ummm, how much gold is on that seat from which he’s making his announcement? :)

  • P

    Ummm, how much gold is on that seat from which he’s making his announcement? :)

  • http://bahaisonline.net/tcb Steve Marshall

    I love the two-handed salute. He used to do much the same thing as a young lad — except he had a frozen shoulder, and could only raise his right arm. More here.

  • http://bahaisonline.net/tcb Steve Marshall

    I love the two-handed salute. He used to do much the same thing as a young lad — except he had a frozen shoulder, and could only raise his right arm. More here.

  • ep

    Here are a historian’s lecture notes, includes comments on the relationship between the catholic church and fascism/nazism:

    http://mars.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/world/lectures/fascism.html

    excerpts:

    | Communism is an international doctrine which has gradually been
    | adjusted to differing natinal circumstances. Fascism is the exact
    | opposite: it is a series of non-intellectual, even
    | anti-intellectual national reactions artificially united and
    | transformed into an international doctrine by the facts of power.
    | The history of fascism, as an ideology, is largely the history of
    | this transformation.
    . . .

    | The liberal breakthrough of the mid-nineteenth century generated
    | the intellectual raw material of fascism. Liberalism was largely
    | the work of the educated middle classes.
    . . .

    | The liberal breakthrough of the mid-nineteenth century generated
    | the intellectual raw material of fascism. Liberalism was largely
    | the work of the educated middle classes.

    | The old elites of Europe (aristocracy, landlords, churches) nursed
    | their wounds and meditated revenge ont he upstart bourgeoisie.
    . . .

    | Lord Acton predicted that the organic structure of society would
    | become impatient with continuous laissez faire. Jacob Burckhardt
    | believed that the liberal, democratic juggernaut was leading to
    | disaster and would in the end be overtaken by very illiberal,
    | undemocratic drivers who alone would be able to steer it. And
    | these new masters, unlike the old ruling dynasties, would be
    | Gewaltmenschen, terrible simplifiers who would “rule with utter
    | brutality.”
    . . .

    | From 1917 to 1923 the Russian Communists preached not socialism in
    | one country but world revolution. This was the catalytic force
    | which gathered up the intellectual debris of the Gobineaus and the
    | Gongenots and rearranged it in a new, dynamic pattern. Faced by
    | the terrible threat of bolshevism, the European middle classes,
    | recently so confident, took fright.
    |
    | So, fascism as an effective movement was born of fear.
    . . .

    | Each stage in the rise of European fascism can be related to a
    | moment of middle-class panic caused either by economic crisis or
    | by its consequences, the threat of socialist revolution.
    . . .

    | Historically fascism was essentially nationalist. Structurally it
    | was always something of a coalition.
    | … Behind the vague term fscism there lie in fact two distinct
    | social and political systems. These are both ideologically based,
    | authoritarian, and anti-parliamentary liberalism.
    | … These two systems can be described as
    |
    | [***] clerical conservatism and
    |
    | [***] dynamic fascism.
    |
    | Every fascist movement was compounded of
    | these two elements in varying proportions …
    . . .

    | In the highly industrialized countries the middle class was not
    | only the effective ruling class but had also absorbed large
    | sections of the other classes. In these countries the landed
    | classes were turned into tributaries of the middle class. The
    | middle class in industrialized countries also drew to itself,
    | largely out oft he working class, a large “lower middle class”
    | (artisans, shopkeepers, petty civil servants, skilled workers).
    . . .

    | The lower middle class, in fact, provided the social force
    | of “dynamic fascism”.
    |
    | The 1890s were the incubatory period of fascism. There were at
    | least three prominant philosophers who became the teachers of this
    | new generation of fascists. The ideas of these teachers were, of
    | course, frequently grossly perverted by their pupils:
    |
    | 1. Georges Sorel: illusions of progress; necessity of violence;
    | utility of myth
    |
    | 2. Vilfredo Pareto: the iron law of oligarchy; perpetuation of the
    | elite
    |
    | 3. Friedrich Nietzsche: idea of the superman as a law unto himself
    |
    | Thus fascism proper, what we can call dynamic fascism, was a cult
    | of force, contemptuous of religious and traditional ideas, the
    | self-association of an inflamed lower middle class in a weakened
    | industrial society. This is radically different from ideological
    | conservatism, the traditional clerical conservatism of the older
    | regime, now modified and brought up to date fort he 20th century.
    | both are authoritarian and both are hierarchical, but that is
    | were the similarity stops.
    |
    | The differences were, however, confused by their common front
    | against communism in the 1920s and sometimes the confusion was
    | deliberately designed by the fascists themselves. For instance:
    | Hitler, the fascist, posed as a conservative to get power. General
    | Franco, the conservative, posed as a fascist to get power.
    |
    | This confusion was exploited by the dictators Hitler and
    | Mussolini: in each case the Catholic Church played a significant
    | and positive role. it did so because with the conservative classes
    | generally it supposed that dynamic fascism could be used as the
    | instrument of clerical conservatism. In each case the calculation
    | proved to be wrong. The Church by its opportunism gave itself not
    | a tool but a master.
    . . .

    | It was the conservative patrons and their ideas who were
    | discarded, the vulgar demagogues that survived.
    |
    | This happened because neither Hitler or Mussolini were interested
    | in being conservative rulers. Both were revolutionaries who
    | relished the possibility of radical power. In both Italy and
    | Germany the fascist dictators saw a basis for that power – the
    | lower middle calss made radical by social fear. Themselves
    | familiar with this class, its aspirations and fears, they believed
    | that they culd mobilize it as a dynamic force int he state and
    | therby realize ambitions unattainable by mere conservative support
    . . .

    | Little by little the conservative classes who had brought the
    | fascist dictators to power found themselves the prisoners of that
    | power. They were imprisoned because that power, in a highly
    | industrialized society, had another, and wider base.
    |
    | Thus the dynamism of fascism depends directly ont he existrence of
    | a strong industrial middle class and ont he malaise of that class.
    | Germany was more highly industrialized than italy and it was in
    | Germany that the fascist dictatorship was most complete. In Spain
    | there was no social basis for fascism.
    . . .

    | Western New England College
    | All pages © 1998 Gerhard Rempel.

  • ep

    Here are a historian’s lecture notes, includes comments on the relationship between the catholic church and fascism/nazism:

    http://mars.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/world/lectures/fascism.html

    excerpts:

    | Communism is an international doctrine which has gradually been
    | adjusted to differing natinal circumstances. Fascism is the exact
    | opposite: it is a series of non-intellectual, even
    | anti-intellectual national reactions artificially united and
    | transformed into an international doctrine by the facts of power.
    | The history of fascism, as an ideology, is largely the history of
    | this transformation.
    . . .

    | The liberal breakthrough of the mid-nineteenth century generated
    | the intellectual raw material of fascism. Liberalism was largely
    | the work of the educated middle classes.
    . . .

    | The liberal breakthrough of the mid-nineteenth century generated
    | the intellectual raw material of fascism. Liberalism was largely
    | the work of the educated middle classes.

    | The old elites of Europe (aristocracy, landlords, churches) nursed
    | their wounds and meditated revenge ont he upstart bourgeoisie.
    . . .

    | Lord Acton predicted that the organic structure of society would
    | become impatient with continuous laissez faire. Jacob Burckhardt
    | believed that the liberal, democratic juggernaut was leading to
    | disaster and would in the end be overtaken by very illiberal,
    | undemocratic drivers who alone would be able to steer it. And
    | these new masters, unlike the old ruling dynasties, would be
    | Gewaltmenschen, terrible simplifiers who would “rule with utter
    | brutality.”
    . . .

    | From 1917 to 1923 the Russian Communists preached not socialism in
    | one country but world revolution. This was the catalytic force
    | which gathered up the intellectual debris of the Gobineaus and the
    | Gongenots and rearranged it in a new, dynamic pattern. Faced by
    | the terrible threat of bolshevism, the European middle classes,
    | recently so confident, took fright.
    |
    | So, fascism as an effective movement was born of fear.
    . . .

    | Each stage in the rise of European fascism can be related to a
    | moment of middle-class panic caused either by economic crisis or
    | by its consequences, the threat of socialist revolution.
    . . .

    | Historically fascism was essentially nationalist. Structurally it
    | was always something of a coalition.
    | … Behind the vague term fscism there lie in fact two distinct
    | social and political systems. These are both ideologically based,
    | authoritarian, and anti-parliamentary liberalism.
    | … These two systems can be described as
    |
    | [***] clerical conservatism and
    |
    | [***] dynamic fascism.
    |
    | Every fascist movement was compounded of
    | these two elements in varying proportions …
    . . .

    | In the highly industrialized countries the middle class was not
    | only the effective ruling class but had also absorbed large
    | sections of the other classes. In these countries the landed
    | classes were turned into tributaries of the middle class. The
    | middle class in industrialized countries also drew to itself,
    | largely out oft he working class, a large “lower middle class”
    | (artisans, shopkeepers, petty civil servants, skilled workers).
    . . .

    | The lower middle class, in fact, provided the social force
    | of “dynamic fascism”.
    |
    | The 1890s were the incubatory period of fascism. There were at
    | least three prominant philosophers who became the teachers of this
    | new generation of fascists. The ideas of these teachers were, of
    | course, frequently grossly perverted by their pupils:
    |
    | 1. Georges Sorel: illusions of progress; necessity of violence;
    | utility of myth
    |
    | 2. Vilfredo Pareto: the iron law of oligarchy; perpetuation of the
    | elite
    |
    | 3. Friedrich Nietzsche: idea of the superman as a law unto himself
    |
    | Thus fascism proper, what we can call dynamic fascism, was a cult
    | of force, contemptuous of religious and traditional ideas, the
    | self-association of an inflamed lower middle class in a weakened
    | industrial society. This is radically different from ideological
    | conservatism, the traditional clerical conservatism of the older
    | regime, now modified and brought up to date fort he 20th century.
    | both are authoritarian and both are hierarchical, but that is
    | were the similarity stops.
    |
    | The differences were, however, confused by their common front
    | against communism in the 1920s and sometimes the confusion was
    | deliberately designed by the fascists themselves. For instance:
    | Hitler, the fascist, posed as a conservative to get power. General
    | Franco, the conservative, posed as a fascist to get power.
    |
    | This confusion was exploited by the dictators Hitler and
    | Mussolini: in each case the Catholic Church played a significant
    | and positive role. it did so because with the conservative classes
    | generally it supposed that dynamic fascism could be used as the
    | instrument of clerical conservatism. In each case the calculation
    | proved to be wrong. The Church by its opportunism gave itself not
    | a tool but a master.
    . . .

    | It was the conservative patrons and their ideas who were
    | discarded, the vulgar demagogues that survived.
    |
    | This happened because neither Hitler or Mussolini were interested
    | in being conservative rulers. Both were revolutionaries who
    | relished the possibility of radical power. In both Italy and
    | Germany the fascist dictators saw a basis for that power – the
    | lower middle calss made radical by social fear. Themselves
    | familiar with this class, its aspirations and fears, they believed
    | that they culd mobilize it as a dynamic force int he state and
    | therby realize ambitions unattainable by mere conservative support
    . . .

    | Little by little the conservative classes who had brought the
    | fascist dictators to power found themselves the prisoners of that
    | power. They were imprisoned because that power, in a highly
    | industrialized society, had another, and wider base.
    |
    | Thus the dynamism of fascism depends directly ont he existrence of
    | a strong industrial middle class and ont he malaise of that class.
    | Germany was more highly industrialized than italy and it was in
    | Germany that the fascist dictatorship was most complete. In Spain
    | there was no social basis for fascism.
    . . .

    | Western New England College
    | All pages © 1998 Gerhard Rempel.