Don’t let’s be beastly to the Germans!

Mr. Devereaux & I sometimes say unkind things about Germans, so let’s all take the time & enjoy it done well!

Noel Coward made war movies & records & whatever he could to bolster morale & amuse the troops–but this, I think, is the best satire of the pacifism that hit Britain long before it hit America. Is there anything like this in America? I guess, in America it would be country music, not review / music-hall songs, but I don’t know quite where to point you. The only sort of satiric singer like Coward I know is Tom Lehrer, who was funny, but a rather unthinking liberal…

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13 Responses to Don’t let’s be beastly to the Germans!

  1. MLHMLH says:

    Didn’t know that about Lehrer. His songs are funny.
    PC has all but ruined satire, no?

    • titus says:

      That’s true. But PC is part of a broader democratic movement. There’s no way around the fact that whenever people want to say you are not allowed to speak or think or act, they invoke the majority…

  2. DevereauxDevereaux says:

    I like your choice.

    I might take exception to you and I saying “unkind things” about the Germans. Mostly we note accurate things and they show the Huns, as the song goes, in a poor light. But it’s of their own making.

    Go back to WWII. Note the Germans HERE had strong attachments to the Nazis, and did numerous subversive things. J. Edgar, not “sensitive” by today’s standards, had them well infiltrated and knew what all they were doing, so they never actually caused any serious mischief. But several were arrested.

    This same sense was not shown elsewhere in the States. Most particularly, despite the inherent racism of our actions (well, FDR really) towards them, the Nissan never had any serious feelings for imperial Japan, and instead fought nobley and well on our side – both in the European theatre and Pacific. They were highly useful in intelligence interpretation of Japanese data.

    • MLHMLH says:

      I listened to the Bookmonger podcast episode with Michael Walsh re: The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. Seems to me that we certainly weren’t beastly to the Germans and, as the synopsis on Amazon notes: “. . .trans-national elite in New York and Washington embraced not only the war’s refugees, but many of their ideas as well, and nothing has proven more pernicious than those of the Frankfurt School. . .”

      I think Breitbart made mention of them in his biography, too, as a group of sad intellecutauls living in SoCal/paradise moping around in 3-piece suits.

      As an aside: did Datsun change it’s name to Nissan because the cars are mostly made here or mostly bought here?

    • titus says:

      I think telling the truth is more than rarely unkind…
      As to the treatment of the Japanese–it seems awful. It is also remarkable how little opposition there was in any part of American politics: Democracy really does present dangers… I am not sure there was no reason to fear Japanese subversion, but it would have to be a great deal of evidence before something like internment is taken seriously…
      Then, German subversion–yeah, it was more serious. How about Ex parte Quirin? That suggests there was real reason to fear…
      As for the embracing of German learning–that has been part of America since the inception of Progress in the late 19th c. America learned what a university is & what Enlightenment means from Germany. German scholars were so far superior to Americans it is hard to describe…
      Even before that, Americans of a certain class went to Germany to become educated–for example, Henry Adams, who for the life of him could not learn anything from Abraham Lincoln…
      But the plain truth is that the late- or post-Hegelian German university completely destroyed natural rights teachings & when American academia adopted these political teachings, it abandoned, at the theoretical level, any possibility of even understanding the American founding & American politics…
      The Frankfurt school is the least of your worries. The trouble is fundamental. Every American today talks of values & lifestyle & everything that emerged in post-Nietzschean philosophy…

  3. NandaNanda says:

    As one whose two older uncles – both brothers to my Mom – (Alsatian German Catholic/French by inheritance), I have to say that they and their parents hated Nazism. One served in WWII as a Kraken [definitely not a small-s squid, lol] and the other as a Devil Dog. I can see nostalgia for Germany in WW I to a greater extent than in WWII…Just a thought.

    • DevereauxDevereaux says:

      The heart of the German bund was in the Midwest. Wisconsin is full of them, especially central and south Wisconsin. Not so sure about the eastern Germans. A lot of them had been around for a long time, so intermarried and in the process lost a lot of the German organization. Originally when the early waves of Germans emigrated here they formed their own enclaves, created all the old German organizations, etc. That got lost with time.

  4. NandaNanda says:

    Oh, and, Noel Coward is perfection: understated and sharp.

  5. titus says:

    & here’s a sentimental number to round up the whole:

  6. DevereauxDevereaux says:

    Your point about democracy bears frequent repetition. Today there is a lot of mooning about for “democracy”. But truth be told, EVERYWHERE it has been tried, it has failed – miserably. About as badly as socialism.

    The only thing that seems to have any chance of real success is liberty. That essentially translates into doing what you will, unless you clearly interfere with someone else doing what they will. Democracy has the same totalitarian tendencies that socialism – just induced by a larger number of people.

    Look at how America is falling into a hole, pushed by “democracy” The politicians seem petrified of actually doing what is needed, and probably rightfully so, as they then stand a huge chance of losing their jobs. Kalifornia is a case in point. When Schwartzenegger first became governor he tried to clean up some of the mess there. Some politicians went along with him. They were ALL defeated at the next polls. And Kali is now in a hole so deep they probably can never climb out.

    There is a very good reason that Congress was formed as two separate houses that represented significantly different interests. No one today seems to grasp this essential truth.

    • MLHMLH says:

      Yes. A lot of talk about democracy. Ask people on the street what type of government the States has and you probably aren’t going to hear “republic,” let alone “representative democratic republic.”

    • titus says:

      I think there is much to regret about democratic excesses–& I hope Americans will not abandon their liberty. But the gov’t is turning more & more democratic; people may not call it by its original name, but they do know what they’re talking about.
      Liberty in America has been found wanting. The Civil war was about one understanding of liberty that was held by its champions to be fully compatible with enslaving people. Civil rights also were about a related problem with the understanding of liberty.
      But other things, where no enslavement is part of the problem, show problems with liberty, most obviously the New Deal. Its popularity & FDR’ status as damn-near sainted has a lot to do with the feeling on the part of the majority that the ruling minority did not take care of them.
      I think, therefore, the problem for conservatives today is proving to the majority that liberty means there will some kind of community in which those who are doing best will help take care of the rest. That is very difficult & it implies a shift from the kind of talk one finds in Ben Franklin.
      It no longer seems obvious to a majority of Americans that liberty is good for its own sake & or that liberty more or less by itself is enough for them to get what’s good for them. I think this is the insight that frightens or angers those of us on the right…

    • NandaNanda says:

      “LOVE” button again, Dev!

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