Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Super Bowl

Oh, and I should mention. "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil." Isaiah 5:20.

The Great Patriotic War

Everyone is disgusted that the team that consciously cast itself as the champion of racial hatred won the Super Bowl.

What this reminds me of more than anything is the novel Envy by Yuri Olesha. The protagonist/antihero of the novel is Nikolai Kavalerov, who envies the "new men" who epitomize Soviet virtue. His benefactor/patron Andrei Babichev is such a man—part of the ruling class of Soviet Russia, I seem to remember that Babichev runs a Soviet sausage factory. By contrast, Kavalerov is a man out of his time. Much the same can be said of Nikolay Krymov in Life and Fate. And in a sense, the same designation applies to Otto and Elise Hampel, whose hapless efforts against Nazism were fictionalized in the great novel Every Man Dies Alone. Or the White Rose.

I hope you're sensing a theme. For a brief time, fascism (or totalitarian Communism, which amounts to much the same thing) can seem like an irresistible wave, a force of history. When Hitler swept through France in a matter of months, it was an embarrassment, and also a symbol of fascism's superiority over decadent liberalism. Similarly, when Nazis came within view of Moscow, it seemed that Bolshevism had been defeated.

The Battle of Britain and Stalingrad. These are what I want you to remember. The RAF soundly defeating the Luftwaffe, and then hundreds of thousands of Nazis slowly starving to death, wracked with disease, easy prey for Soviet snipers. Even the ones who survived to be taken prisoner... well, let's just say very few of them ever set foot on German soil again. It's easy to be dismissive of the Hampels, or the White Rose, since they were rounded up and executed by the Third Reich without achieving their goals. But history is not over in a day, and retaining your conscience is not an empty victory. Soon enough, the Russians were on the offensive. It wasn't just their stunning victory at Stalingrad. They essentially never lost a battle after that. Kursk was a bloody stalemate, but in the middle of it the Allies landed on Sicily, and the Germans pulled back to try to preserve their homeland. That dream did not survive very long. Operation Bagration soon followed, and before long  the boom of artillery could be heard from within Berlin. And then Hitler committed suicide, and the triumph of fascism became a distant memory. Bolshevism held on longer, but its writing was on the wall.

The Patriots will forever be known as the team of racial animus. A Super Bowl is not worth that. They won today, a victory for Trumpism and all of the hatred that he stands for. And Trump won yesterday. But tomorrow does not belong to them, any more than it belonged to the blonde paragon of Nazism in Stalingrad, or to the new Soviet man. The Team of Trump has chalked up another victory, and the racists will be insufferable for the next few weeks. Just remember that there was plenty of celebration in the high ranks of the Nazi Party in the years from 1939 to 1942. It stopped abruptly in 1943. Our task is to make 2020 another 1943. And of course, we will never cheer for the Patriots (the "Team of Trump") for the rest of our lives.