miercuri, 1 septembrie 2021

The laboratory of history


Unfortunately, history repeats itself only to the extent that man’s inclination to evil remains constant. But evil manifests itself in different ways and, as a rule, it presents itself as a (good) solution to an existing or previous evil: Bolshevism was the solution to the abuses of the Russian aristocracy, but also a solution to the Nazi monstrosity, while Nazism was the solution to Stalinist monstrosity. François Furet, whose In the Workshop of History inspired the title of this essay, spoke repeatedly about this reciprocity – complicity is the term used by the French historian – while explaining the difference between post-war European attitudes towards the two totalitarianisms, indulgence towards Soviet crimes being justified by the anti-fascism of the Soviet Union (cf. Le passé d'une illusion, Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1995, p. 45-46).

If history were to repeat itself, man might have had a chance. But history, largely due to our inclination to evil, is increasingly the history of evil, and so it fixes its mistakes along the way. From one cycle to another, from one epoch to another, mans chances of saving himself as a human being are dwindling.

It is said that we must learn from the mistakes of the past. I would say that we should learn especially from the solutions of the past. What we should remember from the solutions of the past is that they are always presented as safe and mandatory. If technology had allowed them, the totalitarianisms of the past would certainly have produced a vaccine that would cure the population of the bourgeoisie virus or of the virus of the racially impure individuals. All safe and mandatory solutions are final solutions.

In fact, as Furet points out, the virus that the two totalitarianisms of the last century tried to cure society of is democracy: “Le plus grand secret de complicité entre bolchevisme et fascisme reste pourtant l’existence de cet adversaire commun, que les deux doctrines ennemies réduisent ou exorcisent par l’idée qu’il est à l’agonie, et qui pourtant constitue leur terreau: tout simplement la démocratie.” (Le passé d'une illusion p. 46).

Totalitarianism begins with authoritarianism. And although the educated class rejects totalitarianism, it is nevertheless quick to support authoritarianism when an authoritarian regime pretends to represent the educated, even though democracy suffers from any abuse of authority. For instance, everyone in Romania felt honored by Klaus Iohannis’ superior refusal to participate in an electoral debate against his opponent Viorica Dăncilă; but there, in that refusal, the actual contempt of the current political regime for democracy and the individual freedoms we have eventually come to see as a society in the last two years was announced and already manifested: the refusal of dialogue, the refusal to justify political decisions, the flagrant disregard for the law and common sense, the sheer determination to achieve goals that become public only on – or rather after – their achievement.

If we pay little attention to the uniformity, conformity and cowardice of the middle class we could understand how communism was possible, while the anti-Marxism of serial conservatives combined with a mysticism of blood metamorphosed into the cult of the prison saints helps us understand how a criminal form of social organization such as the Legionary Movement was possible. I do not mean to say that anyone who opposes Marxism is necessarily a philo- or a neo-legionnaire. I mean that if the opposition to Marxism is not made in the name of the truth of faith, which denounces all ideologies as distorted forms of reality, then anti-Marxism not only becomes necessarily ideologized, but also tends to subordinate the Christian faith, ideologizing it in turn. If Soviet crimes were justified by anti-fascism, extreme right-wing crimes can be justified by anti-Marxism.

I understand that Secretary of State Raed Arafat is already preparing the outfit for the death of children, requiring the medical units in Bucharest to prepare COVID salons for children (https://www.capital.ro/dana-budeanu-il-pune-la-pamant-pe-raed-arafat-ce-vreti-sa-faceti-cu-copiii.html). If true, the Department for Emergency Situations chief’s request resembles the scene in the movies in which the victims are shown the tools of torture in order to make them speak. In our case, to be vaccinated.

Equally, if we consider the complicity between totalitarianisms that Furet was talking about, it is also possible that through this obvious new threat to our children, we will be suggested to follow the alternative of the green shirt (that is, the uniform of the members of the Legionary Movement) as the only solution to the current medical totalitarianism. After all, it is important that, in one way or another, democracy, the common adversary of totalitarianism of any kind, be kept at distance.