Does this symbol make you cringe? It makes me cringe. When I see it, it brings up many thoughts and provokes many emotions. It is a menacing symbol. But also a sad symbol. It is a symbol for critical thinking people to ponder.
The swastika is now history. But once upon a time it represented a future. A new world. A new life for 'THE CHOSEN'. THE PURE. THOSE WHO ACCEPTED AND LIVED IT'S SPECIFIC DOGMA.
In the 1930's, celebrated and prolific author Christopher Isherwood wrote his 'BERLIN STORIES' and 'I AM A CAMERA' among other descriptive novels and essays about the rise of THE NAZI'S in Germany and Fascism and Socialism in some of Europe.
Later, Isherwood's stories became a Broadway play and still later a Broadway musical and subsequently the film CABARET. In the film there is a haunting, powerful song that quickly turns the story from a compelling social commentary against the backdrop of fascist incidents into a momentum of controlling physical-political events that brings the backdrop into the foreground with it's primary characters becoming background stereotypical pawns in an evolving oddessy that led to World War II, the holocaust and the killing of millions of people.
The setting is in a German Beer Garden. People are jovial, convivial. It's a clear day. Not a cloud in the sky. Our primary characters are relaxing in the warm Sun when a record is placed onto a phonograph. The music raises and a cleanly scrubbed blond youth steps to a small stage. He's wearing a starched military uniform with well defined swastika armbands and begins to sing "TOMORROW BELONGS TO ME".
Our idea here is to take a look at the parallels of Nazi history to recent U.S. history. Will the U.S. experience the terror and horror of experience of Germany in the last century?
According to some reliable pollsters, about 20% of the U.S. population are now part of this loud, unstable, unpredictable minority group which is in the uncomfortable pockets of right wing political groups. 20% of the U.S. population translates into about 60 million people. Should just a small percentage of this number become active anarchists, imagine the terror and carnage that could happen on American soil.
Unfortunately, we see some stark parallels between the history of last century Germany and the more recent history in our country. Accordingly, an important question arises. Is the U.S. destined to internal violence? Another civil war? Anarchy? If the 'indicators' mentioned here are not addressed toward some kind of common national goal to dissipate the unrest we now experience, we may re-live some very violent history.
Do we believe here that wholesale civil violence WILL occur in our country? A real civil war? NO! We don't. We believe calmer, more rational minds will prevail. At the same time there are some daunting facts to consider.
In the last 5 years armed renegade militia groups have grown exponentially. Google 'malitias' and you will see some stunning facts.
During the past 2 years, gun, ammunition and other weapon sales have skyrocketed. One place the economy is not experiencing recession is in the weapons industry. Some ammunition manufacturers are running 3 shifts and can't keep up with the demand. Gun manufacturers are experiencing the same uptick in sales. Gun shops and other weapon sales outlets have waiting lists for ammunition and some gun models. Check out some of these retailers for these items and you'll find waiting lists and in some cases rationing because of the demand. We have visited some gun counters at Wallmart stores and some gun shops over the last couple years and find the cabinets with scant products to sell. Especially certain types of ammunition.
Add to these things a more shrill, hateful and divisive rhetoric from some church and political "leaders" and guns will be loaded by the 'unstable and the ignorant'.
The question also arises as to what can be done to calm a boiling point circumstance. The only thing that comes immediately to mind is EDUCATION. Not just academic education, but also an education of the heart.