Evil in the Age of Utopian Dreaming

Adolf Hitler had two utopian dreams, both of which were evil and both of which constituted the core of Hitler's political philosophy.

The first one, more familiar to today's masses, was Judenfrage, translated as the "Jewish Question." Hitler's answer to the "Jewish Question," initially, was to remove all Jews from Germany. Eventually this became kill them all.

The second one is less familiar, and it was called Lebensraum. Hitler's plan was to kill off almost all of the native populations of Poland and the Ukraine and settle the area with Germans.

Joseph Stalin's utopian dream was fake-borrowed, in that it had to cling to Karl Marx who was the hero of those he (Stalin) rode in on. Even the name is fake -- Stalin was really Djugashvili. Stalin, however, did not want to be called on his fake borrowing, and so he killed off nearly everyone in his empire who was a communist of the old, freethinking sort, along with millions of others who were just there. Thus the Stalin utopia: paranoid dictatorship in the name of Marx and Lenin. Stalin wanted the sort of Marxist utopia in which he could play the part of Peter the Great. Never mind that there was no place for a Peter the Great in a Marxist utopia. What happened was "development" along American lines, organized by American engineers, imported by Armand Hammer, imposed by a dictatorship. It could only go so far.

Nobody's denying that utopian dreams can be evil. Utopian dreaming, after all, is the intersection of desire and world picture -- it's the idea of a society and a world designed like you want it to be. Focusing upon utopian dreams allows us to see the desire behind politics and other gestures of world building, and adjust accordingly. Ideas of civilization that do not focus upon the underlying desires behind the various projects will, conversely, not see them for what they are.

The past Age of Utopian Dreaming was heedless. It was founded upon conquest, Europe's conquest of the world. Eventually, it settled upon the ideal currently in observance in Scandinavia, a cozy nook away from the main action of history. This only happened after a general shutdown of utopian dreams (think Margaret Thatcher saying "there is no alternative") and, before that, after a long and torturous process in which multiple dangers arose and were ignored within the social imaginaries of an Age of Utopian Dreaming.

Hitler was appointed by idiots who hated democracy and who thought very little of Hitler. At the beginning of 1933, Franz von Papen organized a cabinet with Hitler as Chancellor, which was satisfactory to President von Hindenburg, who approved it in January of 1933. He did this, for among other reasons, to get back at then-Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher, in a petty rivalry. Stalin came to power in the system Lenin created. The totalitarian utopias were transitory phenomena -- as Kees van der Pijl argued, these evil utopias were instigated by dictators of the semi-periphery using utopian dreams to industrialize their nation-states through forced-march methods. All of that activity, from Stalin to Hitler to Mao, was conditioned upon the capitalism of the 20th century. There may be totalitarianism in the future, but its utopian impulse, although still evil, will be fumbling, nostalgic, and defensive. Hitler wanted to conquer the world, and bit off a lot of it before he was stopped; Trump wants to build a wall, and is having considerably less success than that which Hitler experienced upon invading Paris.

It is with the culmination of the Age of Electricity that we will see capitalism, the Utopia of Money, as an evil utopia. Beginning in the 1880s, and especially in the wake of Edward Bellamy's (1888) novel News from Nowhere (a novel which correctly and in advance predicts the credit card and the telephone), a number of fictional works predicted that electricity would be the solution to all of humankind's ills. These were the Utopias of Electricity. Today, of course, enormous quantities of fossil fuel are being burnt to create the present-day utopia of electricity, with a consequent greenhouse effect. A transition to renewable energy will continue to be stalled because the fossil-fuel extraction companies will not want to let go of all of the value represented by their reserves, in much the same way in which the slaveholders of the American South did not want to let go of the value represented by their slaves. Thus the capitalist, fossil-dependent, Utopia of Electricity, a concept threatening disaster upon the world today.

Global elites, when confronted with this evil, squirm and hope to suppress whatever impulse exists in the masses to do anything serious about the climate change problem. Climate change has arisen and been ignored; there will be consequences.

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ggersh's picture

electricity would be free and abundant as Mother Earth
has plenty of it share

Instead they went with the more profitable one which
was Edisons model

They also chose the Einstein A-Bomb model over Tesla's
death ray model

So capitalism sucked from the very beginning and if
history gets it right it will be described as nothing
short of an unmitigated disaster

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8 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

ameriKa's been crapified and yes that
has trickled down

Cassiodorus's picture

@ggersh Can you suggest further reading?

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

ggersh's picture

@Cassiodorus @Cassiodorus but will look into books and links
and get back to you

EDIT: Link, from what I understand Tesla wanted to
give all his work away for free, Edison teamed up
w/JP Morgan after Tesla let that be known

https://www.energy.gov/articles/war-currents-ac-vs-dc-power

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trump will be amerika's last president

ameriKa's been crapified and yes that
has trickled down

"All of that activity, from Stalin to Hitler to Mao, was conditioned upon the capitalism of the 20th century." And I'd add that Spengler described communism (not Stalin's dictatorship, that hadn't happened yet, but the communism of Marx) as the flip side of capitalism. Not his words, but I think that's the Cliff Notes version.

I wish everyone could read your paragraph on Stalin. I still see so many people who react to the word "communism" as most people do to the sight of a black-widow spider.

As for the environmental apocalypse, I don't think socialism or communism are sufficient. I think we need Gaiaism. But that's another story.

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@tle
Whenever a small group of people gain control over a whole country the result is misery for the masses. The only solution is diverse power held by an educated citizenry. Unfortunately, that is an unstable model, like a cone balanced on it's point.
To quote the King James Bible, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

There is no permanent solution, just permanent struggle.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness an unstable model?

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

Pluto's Republic's picture

[moved to essay]

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cassiodorus

Why is diverse power and an educated citizenry an unstable model?

Because continuous investments of effort and expense are required to maintain it; it never "stabilizes", and thus is an unstable model.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@thanatokephaloides that we're slipping into consolidated power and a dis-empowered, dumbed down citizenry. Smells like death from here. Among the stated goals of the revolution should be diversify power and educate the citizenry. Education should include how to maintain and thrive on instability. That could be a healthy, vital society. May some here live long enough to see it happen.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@thanatokephaloides dictatorship is unstable, because it requires a constant solicitation of obedience from the masses.

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

Granma's picture

Is that it took a war, many deaths, and much suffering to end slavery. It horrifies me to think that may be what it takes to end the the fossil fuel's grip on the world.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Granma Hope you are doing well.

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

Granma's picture

@Cassiodorus health issues are taking a long time to resolve. They keep me pretty quiet. It is more than I can handle to think about the grim political situation when I'm feeling rotten.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Granma

health issues are taking a long time to resolve. They keep me pretty quiet. It is more than I can handle to think about the grim political situation when I'm feeling rotten.

I resemble that remark!

The Cosmos grant swift recovery to you!

Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Granma's picture

@thanatokephaloides

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