sexta-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2013

Peace for our Time - The Ministry of Silly Walks


One of the lessons of the Hitler period is the stupidity of cleverness. How many were the expert arguments with which Jews dismissed the like­lihood of Hitler's rise, when it was already as clear as daylight.

I recall a conversation with an economist who demonstrated the impossibility of Germany’s militarization from the interests of Bavarian brewers. And in any case, according to the clever people, fascism was impossible in the West. Clever people have always made things easy for barbarians, because they are so stupid. It is the well-informed, farsighted judgments, the prog­noses based on statistics and experience, the observations which begin: “I happen to be an expert in this field,” it is the well-founded, conclusive statements which are untrue.

Hitler was against intellect and humanity. But there is also an intel­lect which is against humanity: it is distinguished by well-informed supe­riority.


That cleverness is becoming stupidity is inherent in the historical tendency. To be reasonable, in the sense used by Chamberlain when he called Hitler's demands at Bad Godesbcrg' unreasonable, means to insist that there be equivalence between giving and taking. Such reason is mod­eled on exchange.

Objectives may be attained only through the mediation of a kind of market, in the little advantages that power can steal while respecting the rule by which one concession is exchanged for another. Cleverness is helpless as soon as power disregards that rule and simply appropriates direcdy. The medium of traditional bourgeois intelligence, discussion, is in decline.

Even individuals can no longer converse, and know it; that is why they have turned card games into a serious, responsi­ble institution that calls on all their powers, so that although there are no conversations, the silence goes unheard. It is no different on the big stage.

  A fascist does not like to be spoken to. When others have their say, he takes it as an impudent interruption. He is impervious to reason because he rec­ognizes it only in concessions made by others.

The contradiction of the stupidity of cleverness is necessary. For bourgeois reason is obliged to claim universality while its own develop­ment curtails it. Just as, in an exchange, each part)’ receives its due but social injustice nevertheless results, the exchange economy’s form of reflec­tion, the prevalent rationality, is just, universal, and particularistic, the instrument of privilege widiin equality.

Fascism makes it pay the price. It openly represents the particular interest, thus unmasking reason, which wrongly flaunts its universality, as itself limited. That this turns clever peo­ple all at once into dunces convicts reason of its own unreason.

But the fascist, too, suffers under the contradiction. For bourgeois reason is not only particularistic but also, indeed, universal, and in deny­ing its universality fascism defeats itself.

Those who came to power in Germany were smarter than the liberals and more stupid. The “progress toward the new order” has been carried largely by people whose con­sciousness progress has left behind—bankrupts, sectarians, fools. They are exempt from error as long as their power precludes all competition.

In the competition between states, however, the fascists not only are just as capa­ble of making mistakes but—with qualities such as myopia, bigotry, igno­rance of economic forces, and, above all, the inability to perceive the neg­ative and include it in their assessment of the situation as a whole—are also impelled subjectively toward the catastrophe which, in their hearts, they have always expected. Adorno and Horkheimer in Dialectic of Enlightment

"Iran is an island of stability in the troubled Middle East"

Oh, Dear Winston, they don't know what they are doing

2 comentários:

  1. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you got to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Why your ex will NEVER come back...


    Professional trading signals sent to your cell phone daily.

    Start following our signals right now and make up to 270% daily.