The Nazis were, among other things, (1) anti-free-market (they controlled industry and railed against bourgeois merchants just as other socialists did), (2) unscientific, (3) racist, and yet (4) prone to fantasize that they were noble, self-sacrificing heroes.
I am pleased that by contrast my Holocaust Remembrance Day happens to shape up like this:
(1) Hear a fine talk by Todd Zywicki of the Mercatus Center about the government’s opportunistic responses to the financial crisis (a talk that ended with him basically agreeing with one audience member who warned that our current economic system is becoming “fascist”).
(2) Visit an event this evening at the American Museum of Natural History – accompanied by two Jewish people, no less, one the founder of the new Empiricist League, which will host regular lectures on scientific topics (not so terribly unlike the broader-ranging Dionysium I’ll begin hosting on May 17, as noted here yesterday).
(3) Attend a talk later tonight by Africana Studies professor Tricia Rose from Brown about race and gender, not just for old times’ sake but to keep me well rounded after my blog posts earlier this year (a) defending one of the writers let go for racism by National Review and (b) again criticizing the BHLs, for among other things still being feminists.
(4) Be reminded what truly self-sacrificing heroism is by reading the final issue of DC Comics’ series about the (doomed, tragically short-lived) T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.
By the way, some will claim that the Nazis were inevitable once Darwin became popular and the world was seen as a competition between bloodlines, but it sounds to me like E.O. Wilson’s new book, The Social Conquest of Earth – about group selection mattering more than kin selection to recent human evolution – might do wonders to show people how Darwinian thinking can lead to Hayek (that is, toward an understanding of competing models of benign economic cooperation) instead of to new rationales for the barbarous and biological war of all against all. Of course, some ants will always be Marxists.
And if all that still sounds too grim and heavy – and the shadow cast by the damn fascists still seems too dark and long – tomorrow I will blog of more-celebratory topics such as the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.