Monday, November 27, 2023

History Rhyming

Power Line's Steve Hayward reacts to the unrest in the NYC schools where students persecuted a Jewish teacher. He invokes both scholarly and historical perspective, and concludes by sharing insights from Allan Bloom's 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind

Bloom claimed "Contemporary America was "a Disneyland version of the Weimar Republic." Hayward updates Bloom 36 years later, by adding.

The irony here is that it is hard to say whether his invocation of Disney should be taken lightheartedly as Bloom meant it then, or deadly seriously, given the significance of Disney’s wokery as a sign of our republic’s perilous condition. It’s later than you think.

The least ambiguous invocation of the Weimar zeitgeist to which most living Americans have been exposed is the 1972 Liza Minnelli film Cabaret. The male lead played by Michael York cops to being bisexual and Joel Grey's nightclub emcee is somewhere in the rarified reaches of LGBTQxyz. Plus anti-semitism is a definite theme. 

The other DrC remarked last week how much the current era remind her of that film. I could only agree. Maybe those who see Nazi-like extremists behind every rock are seeing clearly. As Mark Twain quipped, "History doesn't repeat, but it often rhymes."