Barth on Nazism and Communism

One of the things I appreciate about Barth is that while he did make political moves (Barmen et al), unlike modern hipster Christians, he really isn’t interested in showing how every page in the Bible teaches left-wing socialism.   In either section 19 or 20 of Church Dogmatics it appears that he makes a veiled reference to the difficulty that many European Christians had in evaluating Nazism and Communism.  That he resisted Nazism is obvious.  However, and unlike Americans today whether right-wing or left-wing, it seems that he realized the true danger to humanity was not Nazism as such, but communism.   He addresses those who perhaps want the church to ally itself with National Socialism in order to resist communism.   He says that is wrong, and I agree with him, but he does so from a position of understanding.

What we don’t realize is that communism killed hundreds of millions more than Nazism.

Rise of the Fourth Reich

One should retitle this book “A popular version of some of Joseph Farrell’s conclusions without the rigor and discipline of Joseph Farrell’s scholarship.”   Jim Marrs’ thesis is sound and not new:  an elite group has controlled Western politics and economics for the past 100 years.   This group is connected to or synonymous with the Anglo-American banking establishment.   Their modus operandi consists in playing different political and national factions against one another.
(note:  These are not all my thoughts on this book.  There are a lot of other musings about Marrs I have, but I won’t say them here because I am tired and the book isn’t that good and you should read Joseph Farrell instead.)
Strengths of the Book

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Fourth-Reich-ebook/dp/B0018QUCWQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2
Marrs has a very good section on the rise of Hitler and what happened behind the scenes in WWII.  Marrs relies heavily on Joseph Farrell’s research, and this part of the book is strong because of that (the second half is notoriously weak).  Marrs makes the interesting suggestion that the Nazis actually detonated an atomic bomb in Russia (and he gives the reasons why the Allies and Stalin would have covered this up.  I agree with him ).  Marrs highlights the various banking clans that funded and aided the Nazis both before the war and after the war.  Marrs has an intriguing chapter on Otto Scorzeny and the lost Cathar treasure.
Criticisms of the Book

Did Marrs’ thesis shift?   (I am open to correction on this one.)  Marrs’ main thesis is that the Nazi elite weren’t eradicated in WWII and/or Nuremberg, but rather made it to South America via the Vatican “ratline” (and Marrs is to be commended for pointing that out).  Further, he points out that these same elites eventually influenced American society and policy, and I suppose there is some truth in that.   On the other hand, it seemed that his earlier thesis is that an international cabal in London/New York financed first Lenin, and then when the Russians got too dangerous, financed Hitler to fight the Commies off.   Fair enough; I buy that.   What I don’t get is the connection between the international elite who created Hitler and the international elite’s relationship to present-day America.   Hitler’s crew is bad, to be sure, but it seems the more nefarious power is the group that made Hitler possible.  Marrs seems to forget about that.
The scholarship and research methods are about as bad as one can get.  Note:  I am not contesting the majority of Marrs’ facts.   I think for the most part he is correct on what he reports.  The problem is he does not cite his sources!  At all.   Yes, he does have a “sources” page at the back, including page numbers of books, but I don’t know to which arguments in what chapter he is referring.   True, I could double-check and make some intuitions, but the burden should not be on the reader for that.  That’s just simple clicking “insert endnote” in MS Word.    This is a half-assed junior high bibliography.  Even the joke of a research method known as APA is more respectable than this.
His New Age Conspiracies Get the Best of him.

While I am intrigued by the possibility that the Cathar’ treasure was taken from the Temple of Solomon, and that this treasure represented in some way an advanced form of “paleo-physics” (again, I am fairly open-minded here), Marrs did not elaborate on what was probably the most interesting point of his book.   Had he used real scholarship and evaluated the sources in a detailed, logical fashion, he could have shed much light on a fairly unresearched topic.  Instead, he mentioned it in passing and the book he “referenced” in the back was one of the New Age Gnostic pamphlets on Jesus being one of the dragon children ala David Icke!     I officially stopped taking Marrs seriously at this point.
He offers no real plan of action.  Towards the end of the book Marrs (rightly) points out that all political candidates are funded by the same people and eventually advance some form of the same cause.    There is really no way to stop them.  He makes vague appeals to the Constitution and has an interesting idea to “vote with your shopping cart” (buy local), but no detailed plan of action on how to stop the Fourth Reich.   To be fair, I won’t fault him too much on this point because given the structure of today’s republican government, there is no way to stop the moneyed elite.  America is down for the count (though resurrections are certainly possible).
The Second half of the book doesn’t say anything new.  I enjoyed the first part of the book.   The second part, unfortunately, felt like a collation of all the various rightwing and leftwing blogs attacking the government.   I agreed with most of the points, but it did not tell me anything new.
Marrs’ Logical Fallacies.  Marrs seemed to make the argument:  The Nazis did x.  George W. Bush’s administration does x.  Ergo, Bush is a Nazi.  He may well be a Nazi, and his grandfather certainly funded the Nazi party, but the above argument is an example of the fallacy “correlation equals causation.”
Misses other possible conclusions.  On one hand, it is not fair to criticize an author for not saying one’s own personal conclusion or hobby-horse, so this really is not a fault of Marrs’.  It is fairly obvious that Jews own most of the media, the lobbies, and the banks.   (Btw, that is not anti-semitic.  That is simply looking at the last names of the CEOs!).     Since that is the case, how does that square with Marrs’ claim (which I also believe to be correct) that the Nazis also control much of the media and banks?   Both claims are fairly true, but most people don’t accuse Nazis and Jews of being on the same side!
Conclusion

Don’t get the book.   Marrs has several radio interviews where he explains this in better detail (and the radio interviews are worth downloading.  Marrs is a gifted and enjoyable speaker.  He has a unique way of connecting to his audience).  If one wants to pursue further research in this area, read Joseph Farrell’s The Nazi International, Daniel Estulin’s The Story of the Bilderbergers, and Farrell’s Babylon’s Banksters.   Farrell is a gifted writer and employs easily-followable footnotes and is an actual scholar.  Estulin has a more focused look on the Bilderbergers and doesn’t get distracted from his thesis.

 

The Philosopher’s Stone: The Search for Secret Matter

It is difficult to pinpoint his thesis.   It is easier to examine the argument and narrative as they unfold.   Strictly speaking, the question deals with the nature of the philosopher’s stone—the alchemical device allegedly used to transform base metals into gold.  Farrell looks at it from a different angle—the philosopher’s stone is the physical medium itself.    Transforming one element into another is simply putting stress on that medium.

http://www.amazon.com/Philosophers-Stone-Alchemy-Research-ebook/dp/B00398B2HK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1299378144&sr=1-1

From that thesis Farrell brings in his discussion of the occult, high physics, and Nazi technology.   First, alchemy’s occultic roots.  Farrell picks up where his Giza Death Star Destroyed left off.  Before we discuss that we should note a little background information and some of Farrell’s presuppositions.  Farrell assumes (and I think I hold to something similar) there was an ancient “high” civilization with an ancient technology.   Either this civilization experienced a civil war or fought (and lost) a war from the outside.  In either case the losing side “went underground” for much of what would later become ancient and Western history.[i] Much knowledge was lost and alchemical research is perhaps a search for that knowledge.

Farrell notes that the ancient neo-Platonic magicians spoke in alchemical concepts (and probably studied alchemy).   When St. Constantine converted the Roman Empire, alchemy and many of the schools of magic disappeared.[ii] With the rise of the Templars almost 1,000 years later, alchemy and “magic” revived in full form.  Farrell asks the very interesting question, “How did it appear without ‘missing a beat’ when most movements take decades to fully develop?”   The reasonable explanation is an underground alchemical movement.

Farrell takes this reasoning a step further.  Many alchemists were able to disguise alchemical research via Filioquist terminology.  Indeed, if one studies the hermetic and neo-platonic texts of this period, they use almost the same language and concepts of the Augustinian Filioque and doctrine of Absolute Divine Simplicity.

Farrell’s book then becomes an extended discussion in theoretical physics and will probably lose most readers.  Granted, the Nazi connections are intriguing and explain the evidence better than any other model offered by “academics,” but only the most committed reader can progress beyond this phase.

There was a very good discussion on Nikolai Kozyrev and St Maximus the Confessor.  Farrell (likely borrowing from God, History, and Dialectic) shows how Maximus’ worldview on “being and becoming” is very similar to what Kozyrev said on the nature of time.[iii]

CONS OF THE BOOK

It was really hard to follow at times.   I’ve followed Farrell’s works and have read some of his books, but many of his discussions seemed to belabor the point.

PROS OF THE BOOK

While his discussions belabored the point, they also seemed to prove the point.  His arguments are most thorough.

Further, his rhetorical skill has few equals.  He can draw out the implications of a concept or line of argument better than most.  While his discussions on theoretical physics are dizzying because most people aren’t familiar with post-Einsteinian physics, he does a good job of explaining the points.


[i] An alternative reading of this situation is that the losing side was completely destroyed and the victors were too weak to press the advantage.   Further, one could surmise that most of the knowledge was lost and only a small segment was passed down through certain “cliques.”

[ii] While it is doubtful that David Bradshaw entertains this thesis, his book Aristotle East and West suggests something similar.   He notes that many of these ancient sources went mysteriously untranslated.

[iii] Thomas Torrance said the ancient Greek scientist John Philoponos translated the concepts of St Athanasius and St Cyril of Alexandria into “physical concepts” and anticipated something like modern physics.

Review of Orson Scott Card’s Empire

I read this on Natalie from Birdbrain‘s recommendation.

Just pretend for a moment:  imagine if I said that a book, based on a video game, written by a Mormon who specializes in science-fiction, and is as heavily didactic as a Dan Brown novel, would actually be a very good and thoughtful book?  You would (rightly) say that I am mad.  Yet I am not.

The fact that Orson Scott Card actually managed to pull off this stunt–never minding his necessarily bizarre Mormon worldview–demonstrates he is a fiction writer of the highest calibre.  I’m not going to reveal too many of the details, but will rather highlight several major themes.

Demonstrating himself to be intellectually superior to Fox/CNN, Card points out that the “red state/blue state” divide is a myth.  It is actually a divide between urban/elite/academia versus rural/suburban/religious (for all of you who keep laughing at me and agrarianism, keep in mind that California, from a geographical perspective, is overwhelmingly conservative.  It’s simply the three Sodoms on the coast that make it liberal”).  The whole backdrop to the novel is “civil war.”  What this divide means–and is something I have noted for a long time–is that the next civil will happen between cities and counties rather than between North and South.

Card does a good job in showing the lunacy both of neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism.  At first you would think he is stereotyping the Left and the Right.  He isn’t.  Just watch Fox or CNN.  Card’s analysis, while on target, misses the target in the end, though.  I’ll explain below.

Does Card Base a Character off of George Soros?
I wonder how many conservatives picked this up.   Soros is the uber-rich financier who has bankrolled every leftist cause for the past 20 years.  Technically, neo cons are opposed to Soros (though they cheer when he tries to destroy Christians and traditional societies in Serbia and Russia).  Anyway, I think Card based a character off of Soros and it was a brilliant move on his part.

The Writing Style
Card does everything correctly.  His characters have fitting names yet they avoid allegory (unless there is some deeper meaning behind making the main character a war hero and an ethnic Serb.  No doubt neo cons are enraged).

The Inadequacies of the book
I know from Card’s blog that he is a neo con and a Zionist.  Sadly.  While he does tone down the Zionist rhetoric considerably, it emerges from time to time.  My main problem with the book is that he actually thinks there is a true “conservative-liberal” divide.  Yes, he is right to reject the red-blue divide, but he still thinks that (neo) conservatives and (neo) liberals are actually opposed to each other.  While he hints that powerful people up top may may play both sides against each other, he leaves it at the level of “accidental side plot.”  He does not see, unlike C. S. Lewis in That Hideous Strength, that the main point is that powerful people (either CFR or Bilderbergs) are playing “republicans” and “democrats” against one another.  This artificial opposition serves to mask what the Bilderbergs are really doing.  You want proof?  Point out to both sides that the leaders of Republican and Democratic parties are actually funded by men with connections to National Socialism and openly espouse many of their tenets–and see how you are laughed at. Yet conservatives cannot account for the fact that McCain and Bush (not to mention Obama) openly supported (enforced?) the bailouts.   That was fascism that would make Hitler blush.

I don’t expect Card to know that the members of the Council on Foreign Relations openly control Republican Party members (this stuff isn’t even secret anymore).  Nor do I expect him to know that the founders of the Council on Foreign Relations allowed ex-Nazi Party members to bank with them in the 50s through the 70s. This stuff is public knowledge but most people don’t want to admit it.  Still, Card should have known at least that someone is controlling both sides.

But don’t let that dissuade one from reading the book.  It really is a well-done piece.