Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crying Nazis

“Delving into the self in search of ultimate significance has serious consequences, as do all forms of egoism. One of these is the increase of sentimentality. This destructive impulse, often highly regarded as somehow being “idealistic,” is self-regarding, concerned with feeling good rather than doing good, and thrives on the falsehood that feelings are interchangeable with external realities. Historian Henry May examined its increasing force early in the twentieth century and concluded that it is inseparable from naturalism. The callousness of sentimentality is beyond dispute. There is no incongruity in weeping over the beauty of a flower or a Mozart concerto in between tours of duty in the torture chamber. The sentimentality of some of the most vicious members of the Nazi hierarchy is almost legendary. Solzhenitsyn noticed the same thing in the Soviet concentration camps. In 1984, the state music department programs a machine to write sentimental songs that it uses as an anodyne, so that the masses will be less able to understand what is being done to them.” (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, p. 168).

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