Friday, 2 September 2016
Law, Chaos And Nazis
Holger reflects on:
"This business of Chaos versus Law..." (p. 66)
In the Carolingian universe, the Chaos-Law conflict is:
more than religious dogma;
a practical fact of existence;
perhaps a more animistic expression of entropy -
- or are the Nazis in our universe another animistic expression?
"What had he been fighting when he fought the Nazis but a resurgence of archaic horrors that civilized men had once believed were safely dead?" (ibid.)
I believe that the Nazis were partly "...a resurgence of archaic horrors..." but primarily an expression of conflicts inherent in modern civilization. A television discussion of this issue presupposed an irreconcilable antithesis between peaceful civilization and violent humanity, forgetting that it was the humanity that built the civilization and the civilization that generates violence. How could civilization have started if humanity were inherently violent?
Nazi-type regimes are what some wielders of power resort to during profound socioeconomic crises when it has become difficult to maintain order and to continue ruling in the old way. There are three options:
watch society disintegrate;
maintain order at any cost;
maybe reorganize society on a different basis.
The Nazi option is to maintain order - not Chaos or entropy! - by:
banning all opposition parties;
smashing all independent working class organization;
incorporating tame(d) trade unions with compulsory membership and no right to strike into the state apparatus.
Thus, I think that Nazism is an (unfortunate) potential option within advanced societies, not a resurgence of horrors from an archaic past. Of course, such a regime requires organized violence in addition to that of the police and the armed forces. Archaic horrors are cynically revived. However, storm troopers are unleashed on the victims and opponents of the regime, not on society as a whole. Chaos is controlled and channeled in the service of order. It is not allowed to destroy "law and order." The Nazis were not agents of Chaos or entropy but imposed their kind of Law, like SM Stirling's Draka.
If and when we build an inherently peaceful civilization, then it will be impossible for archaic horrors to return - just as, most of the time, ordinary human beings have no inclination to attack each other in the street.