Historical caricature

November 6, 2004 at 10:20 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

Ok, I know it’s an utter waste of my time and yours, but months ago I bookmarked a caricature of Hitler that I found online, which tonight (because I happened to be going through my bookmarks) I’m going to foist on these pages. I don’t remember how I got to this link, but it’s on one of the Berlin Staatsbibliothek pages detailing the archival collection of Klaus Kirchner. (I don’t know who Kirchner is, but I have done archival research in the Berlin “Stabi,” and I know that it’s full of good stuff.) This caricature is probably from the late-30s, likely from a Soviet-influenced sector of anti-fascist agitation. It’s crude, although rather striking, in a bear-baiting sort of way. The text, translated, says:

Gorilla “Adolf”
Careful! Rabid!

Underneath, in block capitals, we read:

That’s where he belongs
That’s where he’ll end up!

Have we been d

November 6, 2004 at 12:18 am | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

I was googling for information on Gwynne Dyer, who I heard on CBC today, and came across an altbuzz essay, posted last July, Remodeling Protest by Jerry George. The article makes several intriguing observations:

We have to remodel protest to reflect the grim reality of the present. Corruption is massive and global, as well as pervasive. For over a century the working model has been one of defense against attack (e.g. the elite are making an assault on the rights of the poor). The new model has to be one of pervasive, parasitic infection. A kind of cancer. We have to figure out how to kill it without killing ourselves. Putting extreme pressure on one point will become a waste of our slim resources.

“Resistance” is another concept that can no longer counter what is actually happening. Resistance assumes we have something worth clinging to, like a right or entitlement that is being eroded. All of the “Take back America” activities presume the resistance model —step one is to resist further loss, step two is to regain what was lost. MoveOn.org is a powerful, high-profile user of this model. The fatal flaw in the model is that there is no longer an America to take back. American the beautiful is gone. The Democratic party is gone. Get used to it.

I am not saying that MoveOn.org should stop what it is doing. I am saying that the (implicit) model of resistance is outdated and must be cast aside. It is futile to try to win back America when America is no longer with us. A more appropriate model would refocus MoveOn.org, and other admirable groups, so they work toward a future possibility rather than a Twentieth Century fantasy. Choosing the precise details of the way in which America crumbles, for example, should not be as important to us as cultivating the seeds of freedom growing now in India and Venezuela. We should experience the voice of Arundhati Roy and Vandana Shiva being closer to the pulse of current events than the voice of Al Gore. [More…]

It’s all sort of vague (i.e., the “how-to” part), and I’m not sure that the “resistance” model should be tossed out if what we’re resisting is the elimination of human rights. (But since George talks about cultivating “seeds of freedom” I suspect that’s not what he means.) I did find the suggestion to remodel protest into a parasitic, pervasive infection oddly appealing. Imagine, if you will, that through a parasitic infection, the progressives manage to “d

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