Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WWII's war of the 1As upon the world's 4Fs

The Jews in the mind of the  Nazis : not un-natural but rather  hyper-natural

WWII started out , on all sides, with at least this in agreement : in part, it was to be a military conflict fought out exclusively between various groups of physically healthy, literate , law-abiding,  heterosexual, white men.

Which is to say, the military part of the war was to be exclusively between 'civilized men'.

All the rest of us, the vast majority of us : children, women, 4Fs, colored folks of all kinds, queers , cripples, crooks - on and on - were to remain nearly inert and invisible : acted upon rather than actors.

Just part of the neutral (natural world) backdrop to this ongoing human drama happening under the stage lights.

Let us look , for an example, to what the Nazis deliberately chose not to call Jews.

For the Nazis clearly regarded all Jews as un-human,  but not un-natural.

So, the Jews were never referred to as Robots for example - though this was a very hot social meme in the very years the Nazi ideology was finding its feet.

Instead they were consistently referred to as Bacteria.

Curious that.

Because not only are bacteria very much a part of the natural world , they were believed then (as we do today) to be the very founding fathers and mothers of all life - civilized man included !

In fact, a consistent way to belittle any group of humans that you feared but didn't dare to publicly admit that you feared them, was to describe them in terms of being outside the civilized world and part of the natural world.

For robots might not just kill today's humans, but also represent the future form of advanced humanity.

By contrast, bacteria can kill today's humans but represented a supposedly simpler  'natural' past.

This allowed civilized man to have his cake and eat it too : simultaneously describe the weak as both dangerous and yet simple and harmless.

So women, for example, were associated with (and consigned to) the damp, dirty, bodily functions civilized man had reluctantly retained - for now - from their origins in the natural world.

Childbirth, child rearing, washing up , house cleaning : diapers and dishpans and floor mops.

As long as women were kept in the kitchen and washroom or in industrial settings very much like kitchen or washroom, civilized man was safe from them.

As a result, during WWII , women are the only ones photographed tending to the hands-on growing and nurturing of the slimy smelly natural penicillium in small milk bottles.

By contrast, men were the only ones photographed tending the dozens of instrumentation dials remotely governing the actions of the enormous 'deep tank' penicillin machines.

So it was in September 1939 that it seemed that civilized man had all the innings as headlines screamed "German tanks maul Polish horses".

The newspaper world clearly saw the German Aryans as unvaryingly associated with high tech mechanical world of tanks, just as the Polish Slavs were inevitably twinned to the natural world of horses.

Fortunately , the rest of us (together with our (?) brother and sister beings in the natural world) pushed back, resisted and acted-up against the efforts of civilized man to re-make our world .

And by early 1945, Polish horses were hauling German tanks, well and truly run out of the fuel of hubris.....

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