Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Joke of Historical Fascism

Recently I was revising for an exam about the role of politics in warfare, so I naturally began reading up on the inter war years and the Fascistic regimes of Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Italy. And well I sort of drifted off a bit from the original topic but anyway I found some very strange and funny things.

For starters the whole Aryan thing. We all know that the Third Reich's reason for existence was as they claimed to defend the Aryan races from well everything non-Aryan especially the Jews. But how many of you actually know what the term Aryan actually means? if you'd said something about Blonde hair and Blue eyes your very wrong, ditto if you think of anything revolving around the Scandinavians or the Germanic peoples.

The actual word Aryan is essentially a simplified form of Indo-European, or Indo-European-Iranian. In fact the word comes from the Latin Arianus meaning Iran. Now you might be thinking that like the Swastika they just decided to nick something already existing in order to justify there ideology, well yes and no. Official Nazi policy extended the designation of Aryan pretty much to every nation West of Poland and even a few to the East of it with slight(in comparison) variation too was most Aryan unsurprisingly it was Germany.

The Blonde hair and Blue eyes however was certainly a prominent feature in the Nazi's ideal new man for two main reasons, The first was the lack of said features in the "other races" thus pointing to it being a Aryan trait (though you do actually get this combinations in other ethnicities as well its just much less common, the most famous I can think of was Saddam's mistress) and two the German SS. To get into the SS you had to prove the purity of your ancestry for several generations (to about1750 for officers) and given the nature of the 18th century German states with there own migration and struggles with other groups mean that this was easier to prove the more Northern you were and the more Northern the more Nordic you were likely to be hence the over abundance of the Blondes and Blues.

Now this were the joke comes in. Aryan-ness is ultimately a cultural phenomena resting on certain Linguistic properties that are present in Many Indian languages, Farsi, every nation or place that has a Stan in the name (Stan is Aryan for place, land or home) Russia the Western hemisphere thanks to colonialism and much of Europe barring Turkey and three other exceptions, Hungary, Estonia and Finland, guess whose side those three were on in WW2 thats right Hitlers. So you have a regime embarking on a genocidal crusade to rid the world of non Aryans killing millions of there fellow Aryans in alliance with non-Aryans, it'd be hilarious if it wasn't so horrible.

The other joke I noticed was under Mussolini. Would anyone like to guess which minority suffered the most uder Italian Fascism back when Italy was still independent though closely allied to Germany? it was the Southern Tyroleans, do you no which ethnic group they were? Germans, Thats right Germans, and suffered severely under Mussolini, the German language was banned in public they had to adopt Italic names and take part in Italian cultural projects etc, and when they didn't they were beaten and imprisoned all without Hitler lifting a finger or even tutt tutting. Thats right the self advocated defender of Germans all over the globe didn't give a damn about what was perhaps the most discriminated against group of brother Germans in Europe.

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