Tuesday, May 2, 2006

The Cola Wars

"You see, we're pitted against each other. Our passions are so white-hot that occasionally we kill each other, but deep down we want the same thing..."

"Really?"

"Yes, the same thing, a new world, radically different from today's, a world that no longer destroys coffee and wheat while millions go hungry, a new system. But some believe adamantly that Hitler will provide this; while others believe it will be Stalin. That's the only difference between us."

And that's why in the barracks, before the lights went out, an old vagabond road song which the Nazi intoned with as much conviction as the Socialist or the Communist would resound from some fifty sonorous breasts:
As we walk along side by side
And sing the ancient airs
Which the forests echo back
Then, we feel, it has to happen:

With us will come new times!
With us will come new times!
The unanimity was barely shattered by the discord of three antagonistic cries shouted in unison as if to say goodnight or issue a final challenge:
"Heil Hitler!"
"Freiheit!"
"Rotfront!"

- from The Brown Plague: Travels in Late Weimar and Early Nazi Germany, Daniel Guerin, Duke 1994, pp. 50-51. Emphasis as in original.

2 comments:

rhebner said...

When describing mass murderers, I suppose the label, 'commie', 'fascist', or 'socialist' are meaningless to both their victims and to history.

But, when describing an individual's economic theory(especially an paid economist!) I think they have meaning. I still stand by calling Galbraith a socialist and not a commie.

Mike said...

Email from Karl Marx: "My dear friend, I am the third wife of Nigeria's murdered finance minister and I have a proposition that could make us both wealthy..."

Email from John Kenneth Galbraith: "Dear Christian brother, I pray you will luckily assist me in the transferration of a cache of gold bars that I acquired during the recent civil war in the Sudan...".

Email from Josef Goebbels: "It is by the mercy of providence that this email reaches you. You may have heard of the late Gabonese prime minister DR. MOFUKA BASUTADO, my beloved father who hid $75,000,000 in USD in a Swiss bank account..."

A More Straightforward Soul: "Taking from others under threat of imprisonment or death is easier than working. We must harness the power of greed by promising free stuff, and harness the power of envy to enlist life's losers in our cause dispossessing the wealthy. Here for your benefit, Dominus, is a set of ludicrous premises guaranteed to obscure plain moral truths in the meantime..."