May 10 marks exactly 88 years since the Bibliocaust – the first mass burning of unwanted books in the Third Reich. By that date, the National Socialists did not yet have full unrestricted power. Only one, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of Germany just a few months before the events described, and he was directly subordinate to President Hindenburg. This bright event – and not only from a political point of view – became possible thanks to the President of the Reichstag, Hermann Goering.
In the elections of March 5, 1933, the National Socialists, although they became the largest faction in the Reichstag, did not receive an absolute majority of the votes. In a very precarious political situation, Hitler and Goering managed to persuade the Reichstag to pass the Emergency Powers Act (known as The Enabling Law) on March 27, 1933. Through this law, the Reichstag delegated the authority to pass state laws to the Chancellor; that is, it transferred both legislative and executive powers into one hand.
But the word “persuade” is, of course, conditional here. The fact is that the procedure for passing The Enabling Law bears a striking resemblance to the current discussions on the abolition of the filibuster in the US Senate. The filibuster is a quorum requirement (three-fifths of all votes) to end debate on a bill and since antiquity is a cornerstone in defending the rights of political opposition. In Germany in 1933, there were also requirements for a quorum – two-thirds of the representatives had to be present, but Goering changed the game’s rules. He changed the voting procedure, and now absence, for no valid reason, was not counted as the basis for determining a quorum.
After gaining unprecedented power, the Nazis acted. The deadline for the voluntary surrender of all military-grade weapons and ammunition was set at the end of March. In March, the home of Albert Einstein was searched for firearms. (The Nobel laureate was not present, and no weapons were found.) By the deadline, of course, not all of the firearms were handed over. On April 4, 1933, a massive raid took place to confiscate military-grade weapons, and most of the firearms were confiscated from the Jews. The parallels here, with the ruckus in the left-wing American press, to ban military-grade weapons at this stage are unambiguous.
Immediately after the attack on the analog of the American 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, the National Socialists of Germany switched to the analog of the American 1st Amendment. In historical terms, political attacks on the freedom to bear arms and freedom of speech took place in Germany in tandem – and the parallel here with similar attacks in America today is also unambiguous.
Like the German socialists and Soviet communists before them, American socialists have concluded that weapons and words are tools too dangerous to be left to the people.
There are evident parallels between the processes in America in the 21st century and the processes in Germany in the 20th century. It should be noted that there is an interesting (and still poorly researched) difference between them. In Germany, the double attack on freedom of speech and freedom of arms was crowned with success. However, there is the only success with the burning of books in America, more precisely, with 21st-century expulsion from the virtual space. If the German National Socialists worked only with physical carriers of information (there were simply no other, electronic ones), then the American Left is concentrating precisely on digital carriers.
Deplatforming, political censorship, destruction of the subscriber base, demonetization, and other methods of quashing dissent – this is not a complete list of the arsenal of the modern Left. Perhaps we will never see mountains of burning books of “wrong” and “undesirable” authors in America. The memory of Nazism is too strong. The threat of a catastrophic loss of political capital stops those who created Antifa and BLM, the ersatz-Nazi, the American counterparts of the German brownshirt stormtroopers – SA.
What is striking is not so much the Left’s tactics, separated by a century, as the number of parallels (of varying degrees of closeness) between the operations in Germany and the United States. The very existence of so many analogous aspects suggests that we really should be wary of what happened in Germany.
America should be cautious of the transformation of the Bibliocaust into the Holocaust.
A similar undertaking took several years in Germany, and it is unlikely that the American Left will be able to accelerate this process. Moreover, American Jews are unlikely to be at the center of this scheme. Judenization in America is much broader than in Germany, and it embraces all races, nationalities, and religions in America.
Another parallel between the described plot is that both Leftist cohorts try to act by legal methods. Even such flagrant violations as the expulsion of the sitting President from social networks and the organization of comprehensive surveillance of him, his family, and his campaign headquarters were scrupulously framed from a legal perspective.
It took the Nazis five years to go (quite legally and quite diabolically) from Bibliocaust to Kristallnacht. But after Kristallnacht, all semblance of legitimacy was dropped. Kristallnacht of 1938 was about halfway between the German Leftists’ journey from the Bibliocaust to the Holocaust. History will show whether the 2018-2020 pogroms were the middle of the road for the American Left.
In the meantime, there is a push to legalize political demands of the Left (and a corresponding process of criminalizing everyone else). For example, we are witnessing a tectonic shift – from the fight against external terrorism, the American Intelligence services are being reoriented to the fight against “home-grown terrorism.” Translated from Newspeak, it means fighting dissidents, conservatives, and all other “undesirables.”
Noam Chomsky, one of America’s most influential Leftists, expressed this most vividly: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
We know how it all ended for the German Left, who embraced strikingly similar ideas and hatred of the dissenting intellect a half-century before Chomsky. As for the supporters of the American Left, we emphasize that today, numerous memorial plaques devoted to the May 1933 biblioshame and Stolpersteine (cubes made from concrete and bronze dedicated to victims of the Nazis) are scattered throughout Germany.
Looking into the future? Imagine San Francisco, mid-21st century, post-Orwellian America. On the wall of the building that used to be the headquarters of Twitter, there is a plaque. The inscription states: “Here was the headquarters of an organization that brazenly arrogated to itself the right to digitally execute or digitally pardon any inhabitant of the planet, including the President of the United States of America.”
Twitter, Facebook, and other official and semi-official Democrat censors are not to blame for misinterpreting Chomsky’s call for anti-constitutional acts to “strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion” and a fictitious “sense that there’s free thinking going on.” Their fault lies in the fact that they understood their task exactly right and thereby paved the way to the Bibliocaust of the 21st century.
By historical standards, the transition from virtual Gulags to real Gulags can occur as quickly as it did a century ago. Unfortunately, it looks like a historically unavoidable step in the ineluctable desacralization of Leftist Utopia.