Blogging the Bookshelf

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Entries Tagged as 'totalitarianism'

Perhaps it was not suitable for a man to think every thought to its logical conclusion – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler

July 31st, 2012 · Comments Off on Perhaps it was not suitable for a man to think every thought to its logical conclusion – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler · Communism, Extremism, Ideology, Politics, Totalitarianism

For forty years he had lived strictly in accordance with the vows of his order, the Party. He had held to the rules of logical calculation. He had burnt the remains of the old, illogical morality from his consciousness with the acid of reason. He had turned away from the temptations of the silent partner, […]

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TONIGHT POLITICAL DIFFERENCES ARE BEING SETTLED – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler

July 23rd, 2012 · Comments Off on TONIGHT POLITICAL DIFFERENCES ARE BEING SETTLED – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler · Communism, Extremism, Politics, Quotes, Totalitarianism

FUNNY – THAT YOU FELT IT AT ONCE… . FELT WHAT? EXPLAIN! tapped Rubashov, sitting up on the bunk. No. 402 seemed to think it over. After a short hesitation he tapped: TONIGHT POLITICAL DIFFERENCES ARE BEING SETTLED… . Rubashov understood. He sat leaning against the wall, in the dark, waiting to hear more. But […]

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Speer’s Resistance to Scorched Earth – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor

April 25th, 2012 · Comments Off on Speer’s Resistance to Scorched Earth – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor · History, Humanism, Totalitarianism, WW2

It was Albert Speer’s latest memorandum which had suddenly triggered Hitler’s insistence on a scorched-earth policy to the end. When Speer tried to persuade Hitler in the early hours of that morning that bridges should not be blown up unnecessarily, because their destruction meant ‘eliminating all further possibility for the German people to survive’, Hitler’s […]

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Music and Death – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on Music and Death – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Genocide, Music, Totalitarianism, WW2

In Auschwitz: People in camps, people in prisons, people who have escaped from prision, people going to their death, know the extraordinary power of music. No one else can experience music in quite the same way. What music resurrects in the soul of a man about to die is neither hope nor thought, but simply […]

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Yes, There Are Men in This Terrible World Who are Guilty – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on Yes, There Are Men in This Terrible World Who are Guilty – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Genocide, Human Rights, Humanism, Morality, Philosophy, Totalitarianism

There is divine judgement, there is the judgement of a State and the judgement of society, but there is one supreme judgement: the judgement of one sinner over another. A sinner can measure the power of the totalitarian state and find it limitless: through propaganda, hunger, loneliness, infamy, obscurity, labour camps and the threat of […]

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Liss and Eichmann in the Gas Chamber – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 8th, 2012 · Comments Off on Liss and Eichmann in the Gas Chamber – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Genocide, Human Rights, Totalitarianism, Writing, WW2

A small surprise had been laid on for Eichmann and Liss during their tour of inspection. In the middle of the gas chamber, the engineers had laid a small table with hors-d’oeurves and wine. Reineke invited Eichmann and Liss to sit down. Eichmann laughed at this charming idea and said: ‘With the greatest of pleasure’.

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The Will of Stalin – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 7th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Will of Stalin – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Communism, Human Rights, Totalitarianism

(Yershov’s Father) described their fifty-day journey, in winter, in a cattle-wagon with a leaking roof; day after day, the dead had travelled alongside the living. They had continued the journey on foot, the women carrying their children in their arms. Yershov’s mother had been delirious with fever. They had been taken to the middle of […]

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The Greatest Enemy of Fascism is Man – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 6th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Greatest Enemy of Fascism is Man – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Extremism, History, Human Rights, Totalitarianism, WW2

If Fascism should ever be fully assured of its final triumph, the world will choke in blood. If the day ever dawns when Fascism is without armed enemies, then its executioners will know no restraint: the greatest enemy of Fascism is man.

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We Made a Mistake – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 6th, 2012 · Comments Off on We Made a Mistake – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Communism, Extremism, Ideology, Totalitarianism

A conversation between two Bolsheviks in a Siberian gulag: ‘Listen now,’ he said, sitting up in bed. ‘Listen, my friend. This will be the last time I call you like this.’ ‘Don’t talk like that,’ said Abarchuk. ‘You’re going to live!’ ‘I’d sooner undergo torture, but I have to say this… You listen too,’ he […]

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The Limitations of Non-Violent Resistance – Reflections on Gandhi from “Fifty Orwell Essays” – George Orwell

November 17th, 2011 · Comments Off on The Limitations of Non-Violent Resistance – Reflections on Gandhi from “Fifty Orwell Essays” – George Orwell · Extremism, History, Ideology, India, Non-Violence, Pacifism, Totalitarianism

At the same time there is reason to think that Gandhi, who after all was born in 1869, did not understand the nature of totalitarianism and saw everything in terms of his own struggle against the British government. The important point here is not so much that the British treated him forbearingly as that he […]

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