MEIN KAMPF – Reading & Art

Adolph does not think much of persons who read, ponder, think and conclude. After going through all the words of this book, most of which are forgettable and destined for oblivion, the reader must conclude that Adolph had trouble reading; he did not like to read; he had a reading impairment; he had problems putting together the logical bases so German sentences would make sense. He was never able to take a book (and likely never this book) and distill its arguments into words of his own. Adolph was bewildered and frightened by those who could discuss ideas, and use books and facts as frames and as references to support an argument.

People who read “possess a mass of ‘knowledge,’ but their brain is unable to organize and register the material they have taken in. They lack the art of sifting what is valuable for them from that which is without value, or retaining the one forever, and if possible, not even seeing the rest, but in anywise not dragging it around with them as useless ballast.” [A] “ reader now believes himself in all seriousness to be ‘educated’ to understand something of life, to have knowledge, while in reality, with every new acquisition of this kind of education, he is growing more and more removed from the world until, no infrequently, he held up in a sanitarium or in parliament.” (page 35)

This paragraph suggests that Adolph believes all readers are like himself. Give a book dedication and great study, and the text sits in Adolph’s mind clogging it, and interfering with extraneous superficial chattering and false sentimentalities that Adolph wanted to hear, like eating cream topping pastries sprinkled with sugared cinnamon.

Adolph believes that a human being can be retarded and become a moron. But rather than use knowledge to his best benefit, Adolph derives new terms for being intellectual (the first, six pages earlier didn’t take):
[W]hat a difference between the glittering phrases about freedom…beauty, and dignity in the theoretical literature, the delusive welter of words seeming expressing the most profound and laborious wisdom, the loathsome humanitarian morality – all this written with the incredible gall that some with the prophetic certainty – and the brutal daily press, shunning no villainy, employing every means of slander, lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams, all in the name of this gospel of a new humanity. The one is addressed to the simpletons of the middle, not to mention the upper, educated, ‘classes,’ the other to the masses.(page 41)

It appears that Adolph is intimidated by “the glittering phrases about freedom…beauty, and dignity in the theoretical literature, the delusive welter of words seeming expressing the most profound and laborious wisdom, the loathsome humanitarian morality…” Adolph was incapable of reaching those levels in speech, and he was incapable of attaining them by other means.
Remove glittering phrases, dignity, beauty, profound wisdom and humanitarian morality from and language, and it becomes dead. There is no communication.

What became most amazing was the rush to Richard Wagner and a few other immortals expressing German culture [some of Wagner’s folklore was Celtic (Irish/Welsh) origin, a fact lost on Adolph]. Wagner was definitely mad enough for Adolph to love him without much alteration, although one wonders how many Nazi big-wigs actually made it through 4 1/2 hours of Goetterdammerung. Americans are forewarned by Mark Twain, “I’ve heard the first Act of each Wagner opera with pleasure.”

Adolph has failed to advance logic, reasons and conclusions why the finer points of language and writing ought to be neglected, all the while, wholeheartedly, endorsing the lyrical mediocrity of Richard Wagner.

MEIN KAMPF -General comments

MEIN KAMPF, Adolph Hitler

There is no way to review this book at once. The author’s strength is speech, specifically oratory. The first thing to know, the purpose of oratory is not to be reasonable and sensical. It is directed to the emotions of human beings, as though humans are being entertainment and are captured by the art of the speech before them. Hence, this author purposefully avoids attempts to explain anything in English or German.
It is not unusual for the modern reader to find any more of interest in the text than I did: 6.5 pages of 686 pages, less than one page of interesting text out of 100 pages. One poignant set of sentences explains why Adolph believes in Catholic priest celibacy. (p. 432) Adolph also likes to talk about syphilis and prostitution. (pages. 251, 254-55)

How hard is it to upset emotional prejudices, moods, sentiments, etc. and to replace them by others, on how many scarcely calculable influence and conditions success depends, the sensitive speaker can just by the fact that even the time of day in which the lecture takes place can have a decisive influence on the effect. The same lecture, the same speaker, the same theme, have an entirely different effect at ten o’clock in the morning, at three o’clock in the afternoon, or at night. (page. 473)
Sunday morning at ten o’clock. The result was depressing, yet at the same time extremely instructive: the hall was full, the impression really overpowering, but the mood ice cold; no one become war, and I myself as a speaker felt profoundly unhappy at being unable….
This should surprise no one. Go to a theatre performance and witness a play at three o’clock in the afternoon and the same play with the same actors at eight at night,
encroachments upon man’s freedom of will…(p. 474)
 In the morning and even during the day people’s will power seems to struggle with the greatest energy against an attempt to force upon them a strange will and strange opinion. At night…they will succumb more easily to the dominating force of a stronger will.
…mysterious twilight in Catholic churches, the burning of lamps, incense,
goal of oratory is “illiterate common people.” (page 475)

Since organization in the text is lacking, I write what Adolph says why organization is not important – in books or in politics. His first point made a few hundred times throughout the book: Adolph does not want anyone suspecting it was written by anyone academic, intellectual or disciplined. It necessarily stands to reason that Adolph prizes the superficial, craves spontaneity and revels in the nonsensical.

I am an enemy of too rapid and too pedantic organizing. It usually produces nothing but a dead mechanism, seldom a living organization. For organization is a thing that owes its existence to organic life, organic development. Ideas which have gripped a certain number of people will always strive for a greater order, and a great value must be attributed to this inner molding. Here, too, we must reckon with the weakness of men, which leads the individual, at first at least, instinctively to resist a superior mind. If an organization is mechanically ordered from above, there exists a great danger that a once appointed leader, not yet accurately evaluated and perhaps none too capable, will from jealousy strive to prevent the rise of abler elements within the movement. That harm that arises in such a case can, especially in a young movement, be of catastrophic significance.
…it is more expedient for a time to disseminate (p. 579)

This poorly constructed paragraph has three topic sentences; none are developed; none are related. For instance while arguing with himself about the value of organizing, he calls it dead but preferably a living development. What is being developed, dead or alive, organic or inorganic is not explained.
He next complains about the weakness of men, “resisting superior men.” Adolph includes himself among the superior minds. He always complains about people who read to gain knowledge, stiff intellectual types. Instead the best knowledge comes through oratory.
It is impossible to use oratory to extend wisdom or intelligence. It should be pointed out that during his life time, no one in Germany believed it necessary or worth while to memorialize any of Adolph’s words in stone. And note, Adolph was an absolute dictator in a totalitarian system.
Adolph’s third topic sentence demonstrates the jeopardy of this non-organizational approach. If the group leader does not know why he is doing, if he’s not on the ball and he’s wet behind the ears, and he is likely not the leader.
This is the ever-present fear existing in a movement: Following one path without realizing a different path needs taking, is catastrophic.But if a leader does not have the mental, social and acuity to advance the movement, it is time to choose anew.
Adolph believes wrongly that organization can be achieved by propaganda – use slogans, express fears, advance wants. Solutions should seem simple, however impracticable Adolph gives pages of propaganda notes, most of it is ridiculous and simplistic, except to a German.
Yet most political organization cannot survive on propaganda – use slogans to support an entire party, express policies of fearsome offer and advance hope based upon hate. Adolph omits the germs of ideas which stick with people into the future. It is the future sale of politics that Adolph finds tedious, boring and completely unpredictable. That was the history of him and his party. The Nazis were never the majority. Circumstances let them take executive offices, and Hindenburg’s death allowed Adolph to take all power.

The text of the MEIN KAMPF and subsequent events should not be considered inevitable, yet the readers and students frequently look at each and consider the book prescient. At best the text shows the sort of crank Hitler was when he became involved in German electoral politics, and it projects how he played to a exceptionally unsophisticated political people.

A note about the text in English. I’ve seen two English translations, 1943, and the most recent published as late at 1999. In each Edition are 686 pages; pretty much the words from page to page and the pages are also the same. Hence the page numbers above and in subsequent comments are from the 1943 edition.

SEE IT NOW – THE FUTURE

Recent grade-B scientific films present sets which seem a step away from funky main streets of small town America today. Instead of the barber’s pole, there is a pole with a half dozen round plastic platters, like multiple serving areas for kids to NBA players. That was futuristic during the Sixties, and it dates and looks odd today. But the incongruity fits in a science fiction movie: everyone can recognize what it is but like a barber’s pole, no one know what it means.

Next to see on the screen are the race and ethnicity of people. Any film company should have its characters from various places show up in semi-native festive garb. That happens in California usually. It is difficult to know whether someone is in the United States military or with the LAPD. She may be going to a costume party. Ditto, putting these people on a movie set while filming a science fiction flick. The languages present a wild, crazy, different sound tract.

No change has to be made when asking characters to speak, not American but their first language. The misunderstandings today are brief and small. In the future it may be impossible to cross the street without knowing five languages.

A few movies have used the present day to project a futuristic society. This presents a step, an advancement reflecting a truer future than any other show. For instance the future is unlikely to be anything like The Jepsens. In the cartoon there are just too few people, too many open spaces and isolated houses abound. It is likely that houses will be owned and sold in 100 years, but honey-combed constructions of apartments, condominiums and town houses are what most of the human race will live in. It is call urbanization. There will be too many of us: From caves we came, to caves we will return

Science fiction movies rarely show the current press of human existence or what that will be in the future – close quarters, get off my back! In the movies this point can only be inferred by how many human beings are killed and by whom. Undoubtedly, the protagonist feels totally bad when a human being is smoked – less so if a droid dies. Deaths of druids evoke different emotions. After the first human beings are extinguished, death gets easier, and everyone becomes desensitized. It does not matter how many characters are killed, provided the protagonist and his brawny, brainless hunk survive as the only persons on earth, there to watch the sun rise – a new day on the planet to begin again and the human race will avoid all the mistakes it made the last time.

Are you voting for Don Trump, or Hillary Clinton?

The prospects for over-population movies are narrow. Everyone knows the likely solution, and human beings don’t like that. Everyone also dislikes solution number two: Don Trump and HRC survive and …