Sunday, August 12, 2018

Letter to the Editor: A Response to Tyranny

Letter To The Editor:


Regarding my comment and your response, the first problem is that you made a fundamental category error. Jews are not Germans. They are not Dutch or Poles either. You are right, for them, that the correct choice was to leave, and the sooner the better. The Jews had targets on their backs, and it wasn't just
the Germans who had it out for them.

"Otto Frank was not alert enough to do the things necessary to act well in advance."

Wrong again, Bob. First, he didn't wait around to see what the Nazis would do. He left Germany immediately. Otto Frank was actually quite astute, as he did try to flee Holland as well, before the Nazi invasion, and even after:

In 1938 and 1941, Frank attempted to obtain visas for his family to emigrate to the United States or Cuba. He was granted a single visa for himself to Cuba on 1 December 1941, but it is not known if it ever reached him. Ten days later, when Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy declared war on the United States, the visa was canceled.

Bob, if the visa had reached him, and he had the time to use it, should Mr. Frank have followed your insane advice and abandoned his family in pursuit of evading tyranny? I know you're a rootless cosmopolitan without a shred of loyalty to any cause, save that of the NAP, but would you honestly say that abandoning his his wife and children is the correct course of action? Even if you don't post this comment, you should answer the question. People have a right to know what you really stand for.

"And the absurd alternative: He was somehow supposed to fight the occupying German army?"

No, Bob, he shouldn't have, and didn't. You're the one who conflated Jews and Germans, not I. The Dutch people should, and did, fight the Germans. However, the Dutch resistance was largely non-violent, as open rebellion was, as you note, a futile exercise. Nonetheless, resistance is resistance, and each and every one the participants did put their lives on the line. Should they not have done so?

By the way, I watched The Pianist when it came out. Yes, Władysław Szpilman was an idiot for not fleeing. He was prominent and famous enough that he certainly could and should have, well in advance (most of the other 3.5 million Jews in Poland hardly had the means or stature to move as easily as him). But his idiocy transcends the 1939 Nazi invasion. After the war, around 500000 Polish Jews survived and tried to return home and reclaim their property. There were terrible pogroms in which many Jews were killed, and finally, the vast majority of Jews got the message and left with the clothes on their backs. But not Szpilman. He was an idiot twice over. I'm sure the Communists treated a man of his talent and fame very well. An idiot and a stooge. Another bad example.

This is all great advice for Jews and other rootless people with little connection to the land they live in, no matter how much they feel at home. But it's another thing entirely to advise the Germans, the Poles, the French, the Dutch, and all the others to get up and leave, even in the face of invasion and tyranny. Tens of millions of people. People who may very well trace their lineage back centuries or longer. Go where, Bob? Go, how? And go, why? Is there nothing worth fighting for in your mind? Nothing worth dying for? No cause greater than yourself? Only fight when the odds are in your favor?

I don't understand what Dr. Henry Jarecki's experience vis a vis the WTC has to do with fighting or fleeing tyranny. Obviously, when faced with a solitary attack of that nature, the correct response is to distance oneself from the nexus of attack. But that hardly is a justification for what you advocate. And a pathetic counter to what I said.

I never advocated violence. I said, "Sometimes fighting back is the only option." Only in your mind is that the same thing. Your conception of liberty is hardly the inspiration you believe it to be. By your own words, fleeing is always the correct choice. No one but a few crazies like you believe that. Even Saint Rothbard himself stopped believing that at some point.

Shimshon Weisman
Jerusalem, Israel

RW response:

 Hi Shimshon,

Thank you for your thoughtful letter.

A few things. You did not address the point I made about Germans living in the eastern part of Germany or Poles who would have fought the Nazis (successfully) and ended up under brutal central planning regimes for decades. How would your nationalistic blood and soil resistance been a win for them?

My point has been as I wrote:
Unless there is broad support for libertarian ideas, a revolution makes no sense. It will only get some of us locked up or killed.
There are no violent shortcuts to liberty. If you think there are, well, go for it and, like I say, email me when you are victorious.
The only thing we can do now is stay away from trouble that will take us out of the game...
Revolutions and violence just do not make sense under most conditions. If you recall this discussion started when a ware called for punching people in the face now. Given that most Americans are interventionists leaning any battle is just going to end up with a new power group in charge---possibly worse.

As I wrote:
 Violence to accomplish what?
The advancement of a libertarian society is a long-game that must be won at the idea level and that will take a very long time.
There may be an exception to the general non-violence theme if there are a large mass of advocates for liberty fighting but that is generally not the case. Freud, Einstein and Mises had it right. Get out of town. And it would have been a wise decision for the gentiles of Poland and the eastern part of Germany to follow the Jews out. 

As for Otto Frank, he waited for a damn visa?

Please, if there is tyranny like the Nazi Germans breathing down your neck, don't wait around for permission of government to get out of town.

Do not get caught up in the idea of respect for government rules. You want to physically fight them but respect government visa rules to prevent you from escaping tyranny? There is something seriously wrong with this thinking.