Tomorrow belongs to me.

Yesterday, too.



This is the fourteenth part of The NEXT THRILLING CHAPTER, and I was very pleased with it. There's no accounting for taste. 



While looking at the initial publication in Russia of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Norman Cohn, in Warrant for Genocide, writes that


the hundreds of local massacres of Jews... between 1881 and 1920... were by no means spontaneous outbreaks of popular fury – they demanded long-term planning, careful organization, above all intensive agitation. Sometimes this work was carried out by the police, but sometimes private individuals – above all, unscrupulous journalists – took a hand...


Among the groups involved in instigating and carrying out these massacres was the extreme right-wing Union of the Russian People. Cohn goes on to write that


These people... mark an important stage in the transition from reactionary politics as they were understood in the nineteenth century to the right-wing totalitarianism of the Nazis... Like the Nazis, they pretended that Jews formed a capitalist-revolutionary conspiracy, and in order to prevent that conspiratorial body from establishing a monstrous tyranny the workers and peasants must stand firmly by the ‘native’ ruling class...


     The catastrophically destructive (and self-destructive) outcome of the Nazi experiment underwrites the lesson that if we come to believe the world can be made perfect by eliminating some subset of the human population—or, as Cohn puts it in Europe’s Inner Demons, if we are possessed by “the urge to purify the world through the annihilation of some category of human beings imagined as agents of corruption and incarnations of evil”—then we’re very probably in the grip of a dangerous delusion. When Cohn’s books were written, a forceful illustration of this lesson was indelibly imprinted on living memory. This is no longer true, and it’s what sends a chill down the spine of an old fart like me when I read that line about “unscrupulous journalists” and cast a wary eye at right-wing propaganda channels that reward the prejudice of their viewers by feeding it back to them, indulging them, rewarding them, and applauding their rectitude, while discouraging every impulse of critical thought that is not self-serving.