exercises in compound storytelling

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dave Emory

This week's Dave Emory is a continuation of last week's: he's still talking about environmentalism and Nazis, what he calls envirofascism. In this case he's talking about the roots of environmentalism in pre-Nazi Germany and how it stems from the notion that Germans in a sense grew up out of their land (the concept of "blood and soil") and how it developed a spiritual component in the minds of some German thinkers and led them to think that they should rid their homeland of any ethnic group that didn't grow up out of that same soil in the same sense.

Like I said before, Dave's a fascinating storyteller, and it takes a while to tune in to what he's saying. I'm starting to believe that when he says "fascist" he almost always means "Nazi," which makes for difficult listening for me because I naturally think of Benito Mussolini when I hear the word "fascist," complete with visions of castor oil and so forth.

I'm starting to reconsider the idea that every ethnic group should have a homeland, mostly on the basis of what I'm hearing from Our Dear Dave. I guess I ascribe to the notion that political systems can be organized from inferior to superior depending on how many people are effectively in power, from family to tribe to nation, from monarchy to democracy, but with allowance for the fact that in a democracy the minority is always persecuted to the extent that the will of the people is directly examined and executed. Unfortunately democracies tend to be full of people who dislike and mistrust each other for not entirely rational reasons, and people who look beyond their own interests in favor of the greater good are rare. So I guess what I'm saying is that I consider democracies superior to monarchies (as a first cut) but suspect that tribes hate each other, and are less likely to behave badly if each has its own homeland.

It's a tough problem, and Emory highlights an interesting idea: that one ethnic group would play off a minority group in an enemy country against the minority for its own benefit.

Unfortunately Dave rarely quantifies, so it's hard to say from week to week whether what he's saying is sensible or not.

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