Thursday, 13 November 2008

This is a very elegant argument

I'm not sure that I wholly agree with it but I do think there's at least some truth to it. It's also a very elegant argument. Why is it that, given that Fascism and Communism were roughly equally foul murderous systems, we tend to forgive former communists more easily than we do former fascists?

This of course has echoes with our own attitudes, we're far more likely to welcome a former leftie activist (one or other of the flavours of Revolutionary Communism for example) into UKIP than we are a former BNP one.

This is a matter of psychology, not philosophy. In most Western countries, people look upon Communists with bemused disdain; Nazis, in contrast, they view with horrified disgust. Since the stigma against Communists is far weaker, the Communists manage to attract some vaguely normal adherents... or at least they used to. In contrast, the stigma against Nazis is so intense that you have to be virtually psychopathic to join. Once you send that signal, it's almost impossible to trust anything you say - even if you claim that you're no longer a Nazi.

As I say, I'm not sure I buy this 100% but it certainly is an interesting way of looking at it.


Anonymous said...

Jamie Oliver's comments on the EU have been loaded up to youtube.

Chertiozhnik said...

I'm not sure that explains anything: why do we treat Communists only with bemused disdain in the first place?

I suspect firstly because Communism is perceived to be a genuine political philosphy, while Fascism (except maybe in Italy) is not.

Second, because we fought a war of national survival against Fascism and the horrors of the regime were made all too plain on their defeat. All this has sunk into the national psyche. The crimes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao etc happened in far-away countries and were never really publicised in the same way.