Another forgotten moment in history

hitler stalin pact

Totalitarians come in so many different forms and the mutation rate is astounding. This is from Daniel Hannan in an article in The Telegraph in London on The greatest cultural victory of the Left has been to disregard the Nazi-Soviet Pact. There are so many cultural victories of this sort that it is hard to know which is the greatest or whether it is the facts they hide of the half truths they distort. Anyway, this is how Daniel begins:

Seventy-five years ago today [September 26], Red Army troops smashed into Poland. Masters of deception and propaganda, they encouraged locals to believe that they were coming to join the battle against Hitler, who had invaded two weeks’ earlier. But, within a day, the true nature of the Nazi-Soviet collaboration was exposed. . . .

It’s this lop-sidedness in our folk memory that we need to address. While Nazism is well understood as the monstrosity it was, there is often a lingering sense that Communism was well-intentioned, even though it went wrong. The merest connection with fascism bars a politician from office; yet those who actively supported the USSR are allowed to become ministers and European Commissioners. Wearing a Che Guevara tee-shirt is not regarded in the same light as wearing an Adolf Hitler tee-shirt; but it should be.

As the first of the comments noted, “It is a leftist myth that fascism and marxism are opposites. In reality they are both extreme leftist totalitarian rivals, while the opposite of both of them is free market libertarian capitalism.” A good deal of politics on the left revolves around my enemy’s enemy is my friend. Until the Soviet Union was attacked in 1941, the left found tooth and nail against the war. The enemy of the left are our free institutions and bourgeois values. That the carriers of the opposition are totalitarian crackpots is merely a detail that can be easily ignored.

Judaism and England

Daniel Hannan has an exceptionally interesting article on the English and the Jews. I liked the whole article but this was nicely put as well.

I’ve written this blog as a lengthy reply to those of my fellow-countrymen – by no means only Muslim Britons – who ask why Britain so often seems to give Israel the benefit of the doubt. If we’re honest, we do sometimes apply a double standard. It’s true, for example, as anti-Israel campaigners like to point out, that we are agitated about Iran acquiring nuclear technology while making no fuss about Israel doing so. But there is a pretty obvious reason for such inconsistency: we can’t imagine that Israel would ever aim its missiles at us.

When we look at Israel, we see a free-market, law-based, individualist democracy which has retained many Anglosphere characteristics – parliamentary rule, the common law and, at least when it comes to intellectual and commercial life, the English language. These things are bound to create, in the literal sense, sympathy: fellow-feeling rooted in common experience.