Phil Graham on 7 Oct 2000 17:52:21 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> re: No Nazis

Frank Hartmann is correct in what he says. You shouldn't take such offense 
because his is an important point.

There has been a Heroic fugue playing for just over two hundred years [much 
longer really, but the genre was entirely different before that]. Its 
overture was played by Napoleon, whose tune killed about the same number as 
Hitler's Wagnerian version.

You believe that had Hitler not been born, six million Jews would not have 
been murdered. Perhaps. But that is unlikely, and seems to me to be an 
historically uninformed belief. The Jews of Europe and elsewhere have been 
persecuted for centuries before Hitler was born. You attribute far too much 
power to a single person. It's as if you believe in god-like status amongst 
men. It didn't take long for Napoleon - sick animal that he was - to be 
revered as a national hero once again after his utter disgrace.

Then he became the psychological archetype for the capitalist entrepreneurs 
of the mid- late-nineteenth century: the all-conquering genius, the little 
corporal, the people's soldier, the great liberator, the architect of a 
single system of law for all of Europe, the model strategist, the ultimate 


But Hitlerian Germany and Napoleonic France were just mediocre folk tunes 
compared, for instance, to the Heroic music composed for Stalin's regime. 
Worse to me is that there are certain "civilised" and dominant "western" 
countries who promote their mass murderers to the World Bank and other such 
prestigious posts. These are "cleanskins" though, historically cleansed of 
sin because theirs is the currently acceptable variation on the theme of 
Heroic mass murder done "in the name of good, not evil" (it probably sounds 
something like the Star Wars tune). They say things like: "surgical 
precision" a lot, and brand their weapons with really nifty names cooked up 
by psyops and corporate marketing departments.

Those regimes have mechanically murdered more people than Hitler, Stalin, 
Franco, Pol Pot, Mao, Suharto, Amin, etc etc etc ... put together. They 
will continue to do so because that is their biggest business.

The atrocities in the Balkans ranks in minor skirmish terms compared to the 
atrocities on the Asian and African continents. But we don't hear too much 
about them.

I wonder why ...

I wonder where all the guns and bombs come from.

I also wonder what you think will be achieved in terms of "balance" and 
"normality" (another late nineteenth century invention) if Serbia 
sacrifices its ex-leaders (to whom?). Will the Balkan region suddenly 
become something more to the "west" than an advertising billboard for the 
latest weapons systems?

I sincerely hope so, but that will take more than merely sacrificing the 
"great men". I am also pleased Milosevic is gone. I never liked his wife 

My point, and I think F. Hartmann's too, is that we need to look beyond the 
great-villain/hero/liberator view of history that obscures the real 
relations that make mass murder possible and - quite obviously - desirable 
for *whole populations*. Otherwise we'll never understand it. Then we'll 
never be able to stop it.

I'll start quietly celebrating when there's no more loud noises.


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