Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bush's Reich: MTV's Holocaust Ad Campaign

I'm literally shocked that MTV's running a television advertising campaign comparing the United States under the Bush administration to Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Watch the videos first, which I've posted from The News Junkie, "
MTV's Offensive Holocaust Spots, with text:

The first, Subway Roundup, starts off on a NY underground car that buckles along shakily. The lights go out; the faces of riders are nervous, or disinterested; the car rocks side to side, apparently mimicking concentration camp railways. When the car stops, fierce officers gaze in, machine guns cocked. They lead the riders out in a single line fashion, sometimes pushing, forming an orderly line. The final image dissolves into Nazi Germany.

The second, Home Raid, uses the same motif. A family is at home, relaxing, until being brutishly handled by the same thug cops. They come in, guns drawn, and put them into an open truck, where they will be shipped off to ... dissolve: Hitlerian times. Both use minimal dialogue (gruff commands from cops, barely audible); I suspect the silence is meant to represent part shock/part Paxil sedentary. The victims never fight, allowing themselves to be escorted into what I guess to be a sort of penitentiary system or, worse, some futuristic concoction of oppression that the MTV marketing staff has dreamed up.
What's my reaction to this, besides being shocked?

It's either embarrassing or sad that MTV would go this far in demonizing the administration. Notice the end of the clips: "The Holocaust happened to people like us."

Readers may have seen my post last night, "
What Happened to Military History?"

We can be more particular in our query: "What Happend to World War II Military History?" or "What Happened to the History of Comparative Industrial Democratization in the 20th Century?"

To understand Germany's rise to power in the 1930s, and the emergence of the Nazi state, one has to understand the emergence of modern Germany as the dominant-nation state in the European continental balance of power during the interwar period.

A good place to start would be in having a familiarity with the "
Fischer thesis" and its follow-on theories. Named after German historian Fritz Fischer, the thesis holds that German war aims from at least 1900 were geared toward European continential hegemony. Indeed, Fischer argued that there was continuity in German foreign policy aims from 1900 to the rise of Hitler in the 1930s.

Further, from international relations, pure balance of power logic - in terms of structural theories of international politics, where hegemonic states drive to systemic mastery - sees these developments in non-individual level terms, as an outgrowth of the extreme security-seeking of a supreme rational state actor.

In less abstract terms, and in terms of Germany's Shoah, we'd need to look at German history going back to the incomplete formation of the nation-state in the 19th century, which created a dramatic catch-up mentality in terms of German comparative industrialization, as well as at the strength of the Junker-led Prussian military elite in German politics, the patriarchical culture of German family-level authoritarianism, and the trends in continental European politics toward popular support for eliminationist anti-Semitism ideologies, to get a good picture of how the Holocaust happened.

In short, Germany's development toward great power status in the early 20th century was the antithesis of the gradual, tolerant democratization in the United States. There is no comparison to be made between America's history of, say, slavery and Jim Crow segregation, as Germany under Hitler specifically developed the Nazi eliminationist ideology of complete extermination of the Jews and other outcast miscreant ethnic categories.

We could, thus, start to really educate young Americans today with a program of historical and comparative political training on the growth of democratic versus totalitarian political systems in modern history.

This pop video-screen history at MTV is a shameful display of Bush Derangement Syndrome, and if such media-driven memes of America's moral relativism gain more acceptance, we truly have much to worry about, not just in education, but in politics, when the MTV generation comes to increasing power in the years ahead, with plans for some variant of the Thermidorian reaction.

See more at
Little Green Footballs and Hot Air.

See also, "
Was Slaughter of Jews Embraced by Germans?"

Hat tip:


Anonymous said...

Not to be a Jew, but... the "gradual, tolerant democratization in the United States"? More Native Americans were killed in our "gradual, tolerant democratization" than all the Jews killed in Germany.

But I don't think these videos are meant to tell us that we are going to turn into a Nazi-Germany-esque state. Just to warn that all governments are capable of horrible deeds. Americans are always so apt to believe that our government is this benign, beneficial force in the world and that nothing like the holocaust could ever happen. But, we have been waging war on our own people since the founding of this nation. Look at the drug war for example. Armed guards already break into people's houses and take them away to grim concrete buildings every day under the guise of "protecting us from drugs".

I don't believe these commercials are meant to compare Bush's regime to Nazis, but simply to warn that tyranny can happen to any people.