Repeat after me, 10 times: NOTHING unspeakable done by any ethnic or religious group comes from its character or history.
Good, now you’re ready to be a modern person, for you’ve just enunciated the core belief of PC modernity.
Though applicable to any group, these days it’s most widely practised in relation to Islamism, as Islam is fashionably known.
Hence Muslims regale us with videos of thieves having their hands chopped off because it sounds like a good idea on the spur of the moment – not, repeat NOT, because they take on faith Koran 5:36: “As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power.”
Similarly, if you listen to any Russian chauvinist, Bolshevism had nothing to do with the Russians.
Never mind peasant revolts, ranging from local Jacqueries to full-scale wars, that started a few years after Russia became Russia and continued non-stop throughout the country’s history.
Never mind the aristocratic uprising of December, 1825, the attacks on the government throughout the 19th century, the murder of the reforming Tsar Alexander II by predominantly Russian terrorists, the escalating bloody war between government and society throughout Nicholas II’s reign – indeed anything showing any Russian roots of the Bolshevik nightmare.
No, all Bolsheviks were Jews and other aliens who landed from Mars in such huge numbers that, without any support from the native population, they managed to kill about 15 million people while Lenin (his grandfather a baptised Jew!) was still alive and before Stalin – Georgian! – got going.
As to Nazism, I once had an entertaining conversation with an American Germanophile professor of political science. The good professor indignantly denied my suggestion that Nazism had something to do with the German character.
Trademark Germanic bellicosity, first mentioned by Caesar in his Gallic Wars? Nonsense!
The obsession of German mythology with sylvan mysticism, all those witches, hobgoblins and blood-thirsty Erlkönigs? Rubbish!
General propensity for paganism, which makes the Reformation intelligible? Claptrap!
German Romanticism, as typified by Wagner, glorifying all of the above and adding a touch of virulent anti-Semitism to spice things up? Nothing of the sort!
Having run out of possibilities, I had to ask if, in the professor’s learned opinion, Nazism actually happened and, if so, what if anything had caused it. He reluctantly answered yes to the first question and refused to answer the second.
Nothing caused Nazism. It just happened. Out of the blue (or brown, as the case may be).
As a believer in the First Law of Thermodynamics, expressible in layman’s terms as ex nihilo nihil fit (nothing comes out of nothing), I disagreed and we left it at that.
Then recently I came across Joachim Raff.
In 1863 this German-Swiss composer won a prestigious prize from the Vienna Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde for his 70-minute symphony To My Fatherland.
Frankly, I haven’t heard this work and nor am I ever likely to do so. What caught my eye was the composer’s programme notes:
“First movement: Allegro. Image of the German Character: ability to soar to great heights; trend towards introspection; mildness and courage as contrasts that touch and interpenetrate in many ways; overwhelming desire to be pensive.
“Second movement: Allegro molto vivace. The outdoors: through German forests with horns-a-winding; through glades with the sounds of folk music.
“Third movement: Larghetto. Return to the domestic hearth, transfigured by the muses and by love.
“Fourth movement: Allegro drammatico. Frustrated desire to lay a foundation for unity in the Fatherland.
“Fifth movement: Larghetto – allegro trionfale. Plaint, renewed soaring.”
Now try to replace the word ‘German’ with ‘British’, ‘French’, ‘Italian’ or any other adjective denoting nationality, and you’ll instantly find out how futile such an exercise is. Nothing but ‘German’ fits.
There we have it, the German character in a nutshell. A useful illustration to my argument with the American professor, wouldn’t you say?
The rattle of jackboots and the Sieg Heil!!! roar of millions of throats can be heard loud and clear. Or else my ear is oversensitive, my taste for historical causality overdeveloped, and my sensibilities hopelessly retrograde.
My American friend probably thinks so.