Of all the fully-clothed things that I've been pathetically grateful to Mrs. Northwester for recently, it's her purchase last week of History without the Boring Bits: A Curious Chronology of the World.
Nestled amongst the spare rolls, the Larson cartoon collections, the bellydance costume price lists and lingerie catalogues of Northwester House's smallest room, this enjoyable book offered up the following jewel of social history that's as true today as it was on the outbreak of the general European leg of World War Two.
In 1939 a contributor to the Country Diary in the Manchester Guardian opined, 'I cannot help thinking that if only Hitler had been an ornithologist he would have put off the war until the autumn migration was over.'
Now, I don't suppose that back then all (or even a bare majority of) Guardian writers actually believed any such nonsense literally: at least not any any more than most of our rulers literally believe that all the alleged signs of so-called global warming are true and that all the contrary indications are false and that this disaster is mostly due to human industry releasing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and that this has led to unprecedented increases in world temperatures and habitat and species loss and that we're heading towards ever-greater climactic calamity and that the only way with which this ongoing disaster can be averted is through a complex and colossally expensive restrictions of the western world's industry by reducing carbon emissions and that this will work and that it won't reduce us to penury even if it does.
It does however illustrate a point about Left-liberal thinking.
It's the if-only technique of misdiagnosing evil.
This is how it works. Many liberals are, in my experience, so far up their own internal dialogues that they start and end their understanding of, and prescriptions for, the state of the world from a personal and inward-looking perspective. Thus the sufferings of a handful of much-publicised poets in the trenches of World War One invalidated the whole project of trying to keep a balance of power on the Continent and opposing Prussian militarism. Likewise, the failure of certain sensitive in the Eleven Plus exam means the entire structure and value of selective education in general and the grammar schools in particular must be brought crashing down, with hilarious consequences. Similarly, rare or frequent cruelties endured by some schoolchildren from the hands and canes (and sometimes worse) of certain churchmen and a few nuns means that all religious education must be bad: wicked, distorting, unnatural and worthless. Ditto corporal punishment: two for the price of one here, according to the Left's elite spetsnaz Moron Divisions. Thus, the hurt that especially malevolent people do is in fact the result of hurts that they themselves have suffered. It's unhistorical in many cases, and morally and psychologically untrue, but simple, simplistic, and avoids the painful necessity of further thought or having to contemplate doing something utterly distasteful and necessary; such as behaving like conservatives - or at least as responsible adults.
If only ( or as it is pronounced in my late Dear Father's native Bristol accent- 'fony ) is the prayer of a child wishing for the magical get-out; the spell that will unspill the milk, or the time machine that can take him back to the moment before he pushed his little sister into the nettles.
Thus, 'fony Hitler's modest demands in Europe had been handled more sensitively then his anger at the Versailles Treaty would have been appeased and he's have become a more sensitive an with time fro twitching all kinds of later unpleasantness would have been avoided.
'fony the Israelis would tear down the 'Wall' and stop building settlements on 'Palestinian' lands, then all that 'militancy' would end.
'fony poor people were given a decent minimum income and proper housing, most crime would disappear overnight and we could skip through the wardrobe door to a magical land of fauns and talking beavers (sigh), and everything would be all cool and froopy.
Look how so much that could be said and should be said was left unsaid (or unacknowledged by the mainstream media and the political establishment of the inter-war years until it was way too late) because that would mean that the nursery has to be left behind. Hitler's territorial ambitions and his loathing of freedom and foreigners and Jews came from a background more complex and deeper than the mere fact of Imperial Germany's defeat and the humiliating provisions of Versailles. Centuries of Christian anti-Semitism and the social engineering of creating the Junker class; a decade or more of lacklustre performances by the Weimar Republic's mainstream political parties and their frail or absent commitment to democracy sand freedom; 19th Century romantic nationalism and it accompanying pseudo-scientific racial 'classifications'; the economic incompetence of Germany's inflationary policies and the Wall Street crash; the genuine and rational fear of the already genocidally bloodthirsty Communist empire to the East; plus an inferiority complex a yard wide amongst Germany's Right-wingers and the popular culture that served them – all produced the vile and potent brew of Nazism – and the millions who endorsed it. Not to mention that in the immense complexity of human nature and the variety of its manifestations, some people just seem to be born bad and are therefore willing to hurt others for power and prestige and fun irrespective of the consequences to themselves and others.
It's in those millions that the 'fony theory shows its greatest weakness. Curiously for those believers who usually suggest collectivist and massive 'solutions' to the world's ills, Left-liberals often seem to believe that malefactors are few in number, and therefore their motivations are easy to understand, and so are easy to appease or bribe or convince.
But evil grows in the mass; over decades or generations or centuries of wrong-headedness and ideological convictions which are so constituted that the endless liberal project of rearranging the world better so the naughtiest of us will play nice. His is how the anti-Semitic liberals justify their hatred of Israel's self-defence against Hezbollah and Hamas; if only this concession and that were given, then 'the leaders' would give up their bellicose ways and peace would reign in the Middle East for the first time since the Upper Cretaceous.
But 'the leaders' come from somewhere, and if liberal don't notice when some Islamists say they're happy that Israel exists because its foundation gathered many Jews together because it will save them the trouble of going throughout the whole world to find and kill them as per centuries if Islamic hatred of Jews.
Such people don't have an upset that can be assuaged and thus make their antagonism go away. They aren't hurt as such (though they are usually abused by brainwashing from birth) , and are often happy with their hatreds and beliefs. There's nothing to kiss better.
These 'fony warriors aren't the fudamentalist hardcore Leftists that already hate any friend of America's, or any country on our side in the Cold War, or any country whose existence and suffering demonstrate (to say the least ) weaknesses in the multicultural project, and who thus work their way backwards from those conclusions and who find justifications of their refusal to allow civilisation to defend itself.
These are the ones who want a quiet life, and in their semi-honest way they hope that a band-aid on a sucking wound will do the job, and let's spend the defence budget on day care centres and better welfare entitlements. Strangely, these are the near enemy that it's possible to turn into allies – and one reason why I blog and hammer on about these thoughts about the world's evildoers so repetitively. Remember, it used to be that Left-liberals allied themselves with Western conservatives to resist Soviet hegemony and helped our side to win the Cold War.
If only we can repeat this message more, we might find our numbers growing. It worked for Hitler and Mohammed, so why not for us?