Author: Phillip Mark McGough

Tutors and Examiners of the Mind: German media and the migrant crisis

A few years ago, remarking on the more aggressive federalist tendencies within the European Union, Mikhail Gorbachev observed that the most puzzling development in European politics since the end of the Cold War was the “apparent determination of politicians to recreate the Soviet Union in Western Europe.” Today we might update this to say that the most puzzling development in European politics is the apparent determination of the leaders of a unified, liberal, and democratic Germany to recreate and otherwise emulate the propagandist methodologies of East Germany and National Socialist Germany — certainly in terms of their bridling of the press and directing of the headlines away from dissent and towards a prefabricated officially-approved narrative (and, unlike Mr Gorbachev, we could not heartily be accused of exaggeration). In the wake of the Cologne crisis (as we can now rightly call it — again, without exaggeration) many worrying trends in German society came to light. Few of them were more worrying than revelations regarding the sheer scale of the censorship and self-censorship of the German media when …

After Cologne, Feminism is Dead

If German history in general is short on laughs (even Schopenhauer’s explanation of the psychology of humour in The World As Will and Representation is unrelentingly miserable) the period 1933 to 1945 is emphatically joyless. Though one of the few tragi-comic chapters in the horror story of Nazism concerns a strange little organization called the Association of German National Jews. They were a pro-National Socialist Jewish group whose membership not only welcomed Hitler’s accession but actively promoted the self-eradication of Jewish identity and its absorption into the new, heroic, master-culture represented by the Nazis (it was said of them, tongue only partly in cheek, that their motto was “down with us”). In 1935, predictably and forcibly, the group was disbanded. Whereas Stalin had his useful idiots, for Hitler there could be no useful Jews. With the above in mind, Marx needs revision. History repeats itself: First as farce, then as tragedy. No longer the unofficial motto of a handful of obscure pre-war self-hating Jews, Down With Us has latterly been adopted (or so it seems) as an …