Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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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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Tags:·executions····

Rosa Luxemburg’s Warning – “Arguably: Selected Essays” – Christopher Hitchens

July 7th, 2012 · Comments Off on Rosa Luxemburg’s Warning – “Arguably: Selected Essays” – Christopher Hitchens · Communism, Democracy, History, Politics, Power, Totalitarianism

Rosa Luxemburg’s warning to Lenin that revolution can move swiftly from the dictatorship of a class to the dictatorship of a party, to be followed by the dictatorship of a committee of that party and eventually by the rule of a single man who will soon enough dispense with that committee.

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Kill a Chicken to Scare the Monkey – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

May 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on Kill a Chicken to Scare the Monkey – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr  · Communism, History, Means and Ends, Politics, Quotes, Totalitarianism

Mao said to a party gathering in 1968 about a colleague, Marshal He Long, ‘Now it seems we can no longer protect him’. Chilling. It was the chairman’s perverse way of announcing a political execution. As Mao said on another occasion, you kill a chicken to scare the monkey.

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Red Army Political Arrests – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor

April 29th, 2012 · Comments Off on Red Army Political Arrests – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor · Communism, History, Socialism, Totalitarianism, WW2

The proportion of political arrests in the Red Army doubled from 1944 to 1945, a year when the Soviet Union was effectively at war for little more than four months. In that year of victory, no fewer than 135,056 Red Army soldiers and officers were condemned by military tribunals for ‘counter-revolutionary crimes’…. Over 1.5 million […]

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Tags:·Political Crimes·

The Goebbels Family – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor

April 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Goebbels Family – “Berlin: The Downfall 1945” – Antony Beevor · History, Totalitarianism, WW2

Freytag von Loringhoven was at the bottom of the stairs when he suddenly saw Magda Goebbels descend the concrete stairs, following by her six children. She looked ‘sehr damenhft’ – ‘very ladylike’. The six children behind ranged from twelve years old down to five: Helga, Hilde, Helmut, Holde, Hedda and Heide. Their first names, all […]

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Tags:Fascisim·Suicide·

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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Tags:Death·····

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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Tags:Free Choice·Freedom··Liberty·morality·

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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