Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Actually, I think you're misidentifying the problem.

The problem is that every damn time we get critical of a specific government (despite cursing the other fuckwit leaders at the same time) the nationalist hackles rise and we get completely irrational defences. The English and Americans when we talk about Anglo disease or Iraq (well, not so much Iraq), the French when we point out how bloody racist mainstream right discourse is and that the left are providing cover for them, the Germans when we point out that their government is batshit insane and has no regard for the consequences of their actions beyond the short term political calculus, the Russians when we're mean about poor little Putin, and so on and so forth.

The problem with analogies to the events of the early to mid 20th C is that it's lovely cover for  nationalist outrage. "Oooooh, you said Nazi!" It's like a fucking pantomime.  

However, it's still extremely relevant, both psychologically - those events inform a lot of national myths, not least the Greek - and analytically. We, as a continent, are wandering along the edge of  a deep dark valley again, for much the same reasons and exhibiting a lot of the same philosophies.

Do I expect a rise of the Nazis? No, don't be silly. However, among the lessons of that period is that is very easy for conceited arrogant fools to enable some very dangerous people to gain power. Wrecking peoples lives and discrediting democracy and shaming their group is extremely dangerous and it's pretty clear that the fuck wits in Germany and the rest of the capitals don't clearly understand this. The outstanding demonstration of how dangerous it is is the rise of Hitler and his band of maniacs. They managed to take over a pretty modern industrialised country because it had been economically ruined by idiots, democracy had been discredited and undermined and because the arrogant fools thought they could control their little monster. We paid a hell of a price to learn that lesson last time. How much will we pay this time, since we've not only forgotten history but can't remember it in order to protect civility?

 It's not the same dark valley, and who knows what's at the bottom of it?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2012 at 07:04:49 AM EST
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