Home / green lanternism / Ignominious Moments in Green Lanternism:18 February 1943

Ignominious Moments in Green Lanternism:18 February 1943

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A little over two weeks after the humiliating conclusion of the seige at Stalingrad, Reich Minister for Enlightenment and Propaganda Joseph Goebbels delivered his famous Sportpalastrede address in Berlin. Summoning the German people to commit themselves to total war, Goebbels’ speech was a tremendous hit with the assembled crowd, which had been urged to respond with great enthusiasm to whatever Goebbels had to offer. Loaded with bitter-enders, the crowd would probably have raved just as heartily had Goebbels recited the contents of a cookbook. It was mass onania.

As such, the speech was Goebbels’ masterwork — a septic diatribe against Jewish “world revolution” and the domestic “slackers” whom he judged to be inhibiting the war effort. Above all, however, the speech was a sickening, authoritarian fantasy that emphasized the capacity of nations to shape history by the power of will alone:

When I jump over the past to look ahead, I do it intentionally. The time is short! There is no time for fruitless debates. We must act, immediately, thoroughly, and decisively, as has always been the National Socialist way.

The movement has from its beginning acted in that way to master the many crises it faced and overcame. The National Socialist state also acted decisively when faced by a threat. We are not like the ostrich that sticks its head in the sand so as not to see danger. We are brave enough to look danger in the face, to coolly and ruthlessly take its measure, then act decisively with our heads held high. Both as a movement and as a nation, we have always been at our best when we needed fanatic, determined wills to overcome and eliminate danger, or a strength of character sufficient to overcome every obstacle, or bitter determination to reach our goal, or an iron heart capable of withstanding every internal and external battle. So it will be today….

Total war is the demand of the hour. We must put an end to the bourgeois attitude that we have also seen in this war: Wash my back, but don’t get me wet! The danger facing us is enormous. The efforts we take to meet it must be just as enormous. The time has come to remove the kid gloves and use our fists. We can no longer make only partial and careless use of the war potential at home and in the significant parts of Europe that we control. We must use our full resources, as quickly and thoroughly as it is organizationally and practically possible. Unnecessary concern is wholly out of place. The future of Europe hangs on our success in the East. We are ready to defend it.

. . . “Green Lanternism” explained here. Apologies to those who didn’t get the reference.

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