Friday, 29 December 2017

Michael Burleigh SACRED CAUSES


Author photo on back inside jacket ---that ashen, gaunt, looney moroseness of the specially motivated right wing crackpot.
xi [Fulsomely praises Paul Johnson’s”excellent history” of Christianity.]
xiii It is fashionable, on the left, to decry those aged French, German or Italian leaders, including Pius XII, as well as Adenauer, Bidault and de Gasperi; this is a view I do not share in view of the dizzy alternative prospect of rule by a Marxist nomenklatura, a secret police, and trades union hacks.
xv Furthermore, whether in Britain or once-liberal Holland, there are definite signs that the worm has turned, suggesting that ordinary people---as opposed to politicians with inner-city Muslim constituents---are not ready to tolerate indefinitely those who wish to eradicate homosexuals, reduce women to second-class citizens, or openly call for the murder of Danish cartoonists, Dutch politicians or Jews and Israelis, activities that may be acceptable in Saudi Arabia or Iran, but which are not all right here. Anyone with these views is irreconcilable with our civilisation and should take the opportunity to leave before Europe’s history repeats itself. .... the level of alarm aroused when a British prime minister casually mentions that he is accountable to God, a rather unremarkable admission in a broad sweep of European history from Louis the Pious to Gladstone.
xvii I was also privileged to meet Norman Cohn whose work stimulated my own.
xviii Finally, Adolf Wood has been a true and wise friend for twenty years now, reading every page of my work... He has always been ready with a point of style or literary allusion, all delivered with his characteristic reticent firmness.
9 [Burleigh’s always point-scoring, in the most petty manner possible. This leads to interminable sentences.] Re Henri Barbusse’s novel LE FEU.
12 Karl Kraus ---one of his key devices is the “gruesome contrast”. The belligerent crudity of the Viennese mob....
14 The spiritual appetency of the post-war wasteland...
18 Gefolgschaft
30 Christoph Fry’s acerbic, mocking tone. .. “solemn pomposity” compound the earnestness he detected in the ecstasies he wrote about.
40 Russian religious philosopher Semyon Frank---a handful of monks, alien to and contemptuous of the world, declare war on the world in order to forcibly do it a great favor and gratify its earthly, material needs.
49 priests won debates with their poorly educated Bolshevik interlocutors, which contributed to their replacement in 1928 by lectures where there was no opportunity to contest the message.
50 Mythic plotline---storming key public buildings, the renaming of ships, streets and squares, and the importance of signs, songs and symbols.
55 Unlike Hitler, mussolini was widely read in modern thought, as we know from the books he borrowed in 1902-4 from Geneva university’s library. he read 3 foreign languages---Fr, German, English.
57 Each crime ag. opponents tightened the bonds of moral complicity between members of the gang, although their nefarious activities were rarely disturbed by the forces of law anbd order, with whom the Fascists elided themselves under the banner of a common patriotism.
61 While still a grimly determined minority, Fascists regarded themselves as missionaries...  Liberal journalist Giovanni Amendola: “Fascism has...the overweening intransigence of a religious crusade.” Purblind fanaticism and intolerance of the medieval Dominican friars ---> a Fascist virtue.
73 Stalin dismissed facts as the concern of mere “archival rats”. He automatically resorted to abusive generic labels to negate any discussion.
74 “If only the fuhrer knew” he would make short work of corrupt or unfeeling petty Party bureaucrats, in itself a classical trope derived from medieval kingship, in which everything maleficent was the work of wicked underlings.
75 Semyon Frank drew attention to the sectarian characteristics of the Russian revolutionary intelligentsia---”monk-revolutionaries” practising ascetic self-discipline, who persecuted unbelievers with hate, intolerance and annihilation, and proclaimed infallible doctrines of salvation.
81 In fact, the m.o. of the CP itself bore a marked similarity to the SI, an arm of the Spanish monarchy r.t. the Church, with the important differences that torture was an acknowledged and legal part of the SI’s proceeedings, whose overarching objective was to induce heretics to seek forgiveness for the sake of their souls. Only unrepentant heretics were ceremonially burned. [THEY WERE JEWS. THIS FOOL IS SLANDIERING THEM 400 YEARS LATER...]
82 baying for the blood of Kamenev and Zinoviev...
83 Vyshinsky’s final paroxysm of abuse ... Reaching unplumbed depths of victimology...
90 Schadenfreude best describes those who said of a young female Stakhanovite, who had been rewarded (one hopes she was grateful) with the selected works of Lenin: “That’s what the whore deserves!” Resentment towards Stakhanovites bestriding the factory floors “like gods” was compounded when they became fixtures of the factory “production courts”.
94 essentially rational economy of terror.
Hitler was a lazy, dilettantish autodidact r.t. a systematic thinker, so one should not strain to discover coherence or consistency in his views on religion or much else. ... this less than fascinating figure, a cavernous blank behind the impassioned postures. Karl Krauss: “Hitler brings nothing to my mind.” Hitler commented, off the cuff, on every religion without knowing much about them beyond the wisdom of everyman.
97 Shortly before WW1, Artur Dinter leaped up during a play called Miracle, interrupting the performance with antisemitic imprecations against its director Max Reinhardt.
101 Hitler’s sallies into theological matters were unimpressive, the musings of a saloon-bar bore.
105 The fundamental structure of the Nazi creed was soteriological, a redemptive story of suffering and deliverance, a sentimental journey from misery to glory, from division to mystic unity based on the blood bond that linked souls. .... Those Lutherans who opposed Nazism, and played a part in the Confessing Church, equated Nazism with Jewish nationalism or Zioinism, as “a regression from universal humaneness”, a trope that has subsequently proved highly popular among left-wing antisemites. [!!??!]
112 Each annual Nuremberg rally had a theme---1935 Day of Freedom, 1936 Day of Honour, etc.
114 Using architecture, sound, light, and quasi-liturgical responses, these rallies were the nadir of Nazi attempts to replace politics as rational conversation with affect and sensation. ...Martyrs were an essential element of all three totalitarian political religions.
116 The Nazis intended to strip Xmas of its Xn associations, turning it into a general celebration of goodwill and the advent of the New Year, a goal pursued nowadays in Britain mainly by local government. [THE LAMENESS of this crack does little to alleviate the effect of extreme imbalance of this statement.]
118 Eric Voegelin “The Political Religions”
120 massive violence was rendered unreal within the ideological dream world their devotees inhabited.The Austrian heterodox leftist Franz Borkenau...
121 Borkenau: “What else is the belief in the special divine election of the German people, but the Jewish idea of the Chosen People, transferred to Germany?”
127  Spain was ruled 1923-30 by dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera: “Had I known in my youth that I would one day have to govern this country, I would have spent more time studying, and less fornicating.”
148 Schusnigg was a coldly intellectual Tyrolese, hiding himself from humanity behind “the glass wall of his spectacles.”
151 The “green Duce”, former police commissioner Eoin O’Duffy, who subseq. took his Blue Shirts off to Spain...
152 Such foreign pollutants as the English News of the World were dumped in the harbours as soon as ships unloaded.
160 ..systematically slandered by supporters of Franco...
305 Max Pribilla “The Silence of the German People”.
October 1945 the Protestant Church leadership pubd. the “Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt”.
323  Communism resembled medieval chiliasm in its monumental unreality.
335 [Re 1949 trial of Mindszenty:] Italian premier de Gasperi called it “a trial which would be inadmissible under any Western government, a sentence that would be unthinkable in any country governed by equitable laws, a challenge to the civil conscience of the world”.
337 Rather in the way that present-day anti-Americanism is often bound up with antisemitism, so the latter often permeated anti-Communism...
343 ...their reading materials were reduced to the customarily leaden fare of dialectical materialism.
344 Within a remarkable short time totalitarian rule had been reimposed on half a continent using a combination of force and fraud.
348 {SOUR, UNFUNNY jokes:] The ensuing “cultural revolution” was not a state-decreed “Year One or Year Zero”, of the sort that had tantalised the jacobins or the Sorbonne’s home-grown dictator Pol Pot, although some conservative moralists may have regarded BBC director-general Hugh Carlton Greene in that capacity.
349 The publication in 1968 of R. Conquest’s The Great Terror passed unregistered in circles that spoke unselfconsciously of “democratic totalitarianism”.  A series of earnest but sinisterly silly gurus of revolution, from Jurgen Habermas to Herbert Marcuse, supplied such sophistical notions as “repressive tolerance” and “structural violence”... tenured radicals [CARELESS AND REPETITIVE USE OF SUCH NONSENSICAL ABUSIVE TERMS BETRAYS HIS dependence on RIGHT WING U.S. SOURCES].
350 Change came to be fetishised for its own sake. The transformations inaugurated during the 1960s reflected enhanced individual choice, albeit shaped by powerful commercial forces or the disproportionate suasion of moral avant-gardes, which sought to lead the masses into a promised land of chiliastic indeterminacy. They have since camouflaged the fact that they themselves are a highly nepotistic and unchallengeable elite, zealously tending various sacrosanct liberal pieties while sniggering at anything other than their own ascent to money, power and influence. ..What plausible defence could one mount for the prosecution barrister Mervyn Griffith-Jones?--1960 Lady C. trial: “a book you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?”
351 ...the ambient squalor of modern television.
353 The “culture revolution” of the 1960s has been descr. as “demotic” (plebeian), and “antinomian” (the Xn term for those who think grace releases them from observance of the moral law.) ... [Re Vietnam:] Endless images of the grunt’s-eye view (usually of village huts going up in flames) inevitably skewed the broader strategic picture. [WHAT ‘BROADER STRATEGIC PICTURE”?] Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin railed ag. the dominance of a desiccated metropolitan modernism, before becoming self-consciously sour reactionaries exchanging unfunny thoughts about black people.
356 [Approves of the A.A.] By contrast, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which briefly flourished in the early 1960s, almost invites a more dismissive response, since it was largely a stage upon which Xn and humanist radical eggheads could flaunt their woolly moralism and vulgar anti-Americanism, in the conceited delusion that the hard-headed relists in Moscow or Washington would take notice of them. ...Post-colonial guilt was responsible for the terrible condescension visited upon Africa by a racist liberalism.
357 The idea that Britain is a “multi-faith” society has become so ingrained, often with the explicit encouragement of the Establishment... [HE’S A NATIONAL FRONTER!!!]
358 Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. No salvation outside the Church.
367 In the Basque country and Catalonia, many priests made common cause with local autonomists, inexcusably including the Marxist terrorist organisation ETA, while others exchanged their spiritual vocation for various forms of social radicalism, making fiery sermons and taking part in protests that often ended in violence. According to a survey conducted in 1977, apart from an intransigent minority, the majority of Catholic clergy espoused political positions that were congruent with those of the semi-Marxist intelligentsia. The Church’s espousal of social radicalism meant such novelties as a “Concordat jail” at Zamora, to hold priests who had stepped too far out of line, and the growth of extreme right-wing anticlericalism directed against the “Communist pope” and the “Red clergy”. By the late 1960s financial scandals involving Opus Deienabled the diehard Falangists to revenge themselves on the organisation, a further sign of growing
 alienation between the Church and the regime.
374 [Irish businessmen are] greedy and mean-spirited, a description that might also apply to large swathes of the Irish in the English building trades, although competently reliable young Poles are displacing this horde of bodgers and shysters.
375 Then there is the “culture”, which should not be confused with the occasional minor Irish poet winning the Nobel Prize for literature. ... the relentless, mindless gabbling known as “craik”. ... As fluent talkers, the Irish have colonised entire areas of British television, with the benignly unctuous Terry Wogan succeeded by the vulgarly queer Graham Norton, whose sexually obsessive innuendo even managed to fall below the (very) low standards of British television comedy. ...
376 Membership of the EEC in 1973 broadened the Irish people’s horizons away from their perplexing love affair with Franco’s Spain or their curious penchant for living in England while muttering about the “fookin’ British” in the queue for handouts in English post offices.
377 ...wallowing in victimhood is an essential element in the Irish problem---as of so many other problems---providing as it does the emotional and moral “justification” for bullying, intimidating and killing others... [NO MENTION OF ZIONISTS DOING ALL THIS IN PALESTINE.]
[He waxes indignant about] terrorist-politicians who regularly bring their little frisson of violence (and smirking evasiveness) to British television studios.
378 W. Churchill: “..we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again.”  Reginald Maudling: “What a bloody awful country. For God’s sake bring me a large Scotch.” (1970) Thatcher’s highly astute chancellor of the exchequer Nigel Lawson wrote succinctly of “the curse of Ulster”. ... A young southern Irish Catholic priest who arrived in a parish on Belfast’s Lower Falls area was told by a fellow cleric: “Look! This place is hopeless. The people are hopeless. They’re as thick here as bottled pig-shit. You’ll be wasting your time getting involved with them.”
381 Irish Protestantism was as fissiparous as Protestantism elsewhere..
404 GLC leader Ken Livingstone... a “loony leftist”... a caricature radical...
427 Samizdat publishing provided an alternative to the flood of official books...
439 Forty Red Army soldiers lost their lives ---most of them executed for refusing ordders to shoot German civilians.
441 They presumably did not learn that the Soviets had continued to use Buchenwald until 1951  to house prisoners...
448 [Launches into a bizarre rant against Germany:] Its moralising neutralism towards the war in Iraq and solipsistic self-preoccupation also ensured that by 2000 it counted for less than Poland in the esteem of the Anglo-Saxon world. For the first time in thirty years, no one was much interested in anything its left-liberal intelligentsia had to say, with even their hand-wringing ruminations on the Nazis becoming a bore to many sophisticated people elsewhere.
455 “Reading makes a country great.”---one of the pet projects Bush and Laura hoped would define his narrowly won presidency. [!!??!?!?] ...Secret service code-names: Laura Bush is FLOTUS, the daughters are Turquoise and Twinkle.
458 ...Israel has been subjected to a murderous campaign of suicide bombings by the Palestinian terrorist organisation Hamas, in which bus drivers have emerged as unexpected heroes of a society under siege. British-born suicide bombers were responsible for one such attack, on Mike’s Bar in Tel Aviv, while another Briton---product of a minor private school in Essex and the LSE---killed the Wall St Journal reporter Daniel Pearl for being a Jew. The Iranian-sponsored terrorist organisation Hizbollah regularly fires rockets into Israel too. Every day, Allied coalition forces, and vaster numbers of Iraqis, come under murderous assault from remnants of the Saddam regime and from foreign Islamist ighters drawn to Iraq by anarchy and bloodshed. The bombs get bigger as the addicts of orange light require even greater explosions. At the time of writing, sixty Iraqis are being killed each day.
459 Hosni Mubarak and Pervez Musharraf...are personally very courageous. ...Other claims should not be taken uncritically either. The terrorists’, and their penumbra of passive supporters’, rhetorical claims that they are moved to kill by the plight of their co-religionists in Bosnia, Chechnya, Iraq or Palestine should be queried more than is the case. There is little to stop, for example, a British-born Muslim from working in a Palestinian hospital or orphanage rather than blowing up a Tel Aviv pub or an underground train in London.
465 infantile frustration...
467 Hubal---the large stone moon god destroyed by the Prophet in Mecca.
468 Orvieto cathedral in Umbria --- fresco by Luca Signorelli. Antichrist preaching with Satan whispering in his ear. Looks like bin Laden.
Bush used the Islamic term “evil-doers” for terrorists.
470 ...the flamboyant entrepreneur homosexualist Pim Fortuyn... [AUBERON WAUGH MINUS THE FLAIR AND WIT]
Britain’s bumptious george Galloway...crazed anti-American slanders.
474 Idiot and ignorant actors and playwrights...
476 Attempts to airbrush Christianity out of the historical record are as intellectually dishonest as Stalin’s photographic conversion of those he had murdered into a bush, lake or jacket.
477 Similarly, the wearing of head-scarves in schools has become an act of provocation, exploited by the militants who encourage schoolgirls in this choice of fashion. [AND THE KIPPA??]
478 Support for the US-led coalition in Iraq can determine (as it has already done) the fate of European governments, as witnessed by the fall of Spanish president Jose Maria Aznar, a man of courage and dignity, and the longevity (until 2005) of chancellor Gerhard Schroder, as the Spanish and German left played their anti-American cards in a climate rendered almost insane by the re-election of George W. Bush.
479 ...antisemitism---if that is what criticism of Israel is seen to be---...some would argue that that poison has lain within “anti-Zionism” all along. Bitter quarrels have erupted among American Jewish intellectuals, because the allegedly antisemitic view that Israel is complicating US foreign policy is as rife among their gentile colleagues in the US as it is in a Europe which some American Jews hysterically claim is synonymous with that malady.
480 The war and insurgency in Iraq (and the “war on terror”) have sent shockwaves through liberal ranks, causing bitter divisions between so-called “tough” liberals like Michael Ignatieff and Christopher Hitchens and those apparently less concerned with whether Iraqis and Afghans should enjoy the same rights as themselves. The erstwhile left is bitterly divided over such issues as torture. News of this novel trend has yet to reach celebrity actors, film-makers and playwrights, who are stuck in the infantile Noam Chomsky cum Harold Pinter view of the world...
485 For a routine debunking of “The Wasteland”, see Christopher Hitchens, “A Breath of Dust”, Atlantic Monthly (2005) 296, pp. 142-8 ///////
This book is a pretentious, woolly-minded diatribe. A wandery jeremiad, spraying in all directions. This is a crass, ill-tempered, humourless rant of a book. Inelegant, and clumsily written. Riddled with typos and redundancies. Studiously avoids any hint of criticising Israel...
It’s just a geographical quirk that means he’s not defending Mao or Stalin or Pol Pot like he defends the Spanish Inq. and Franco. Actually, we should check him out; maybe he DID defend Pol Pot, in accordance with his unquestioning support of the U.S. government...

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