Auschwitz and Symbolism

Auschwitzby Jerry Richardson1/29/15
This week (January 27th) was the 70th anniversary (January 27, 1945) of the allied liberation of the NAZI death-camp at Auschwitz—the primary facility used by the Nazis for systematically murdering millions of Jews during World War II.

We should join with Israel in one of their unofficial mottos: “Never again.”

The death-camp (concentration and extermination camp) took its name from the nearby Polish town of Oświęcim (Auschwitz in German). It is located in south-western Poland approximately 41 miles from Krakow, and approximately 195 miles from Warsaw.  Auschwitz was actually a network of camps:

Auschwitz concentration camp…was a network of German Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. It consisted of Auschwitz I (the original camp), Auschwitz II–Birkenau (a combination concentration/extermination camp), Auschwitz III–Monowitz (a labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory [chemical industry]), and 45 satellite camps.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp

The facilities at the former death-camp are no longer operational (thank God!) for accomplishing their murderous purposes; but why has the site not been raised?  Why not obliterate such an evil place from the face of the earth?  What purpose does it now serve?

The remains of Auschwitz are a symbol; a symbol of the Holocaust.

The remains are arguably one of the most important symbols in the modern world.  It is a standing, physical testimony of the savage and inhumane results of a tyrannical government: Hitler’s National Socialism (Nazism).  Governmental tyranny has to rank as the leading physical-manifestation of evil in the world. Why? Tyrannical governments have been the leading murderers of innocent people during most of history; especially during the 20th Century.

Since Auschwitz is a symbol, what is its purpose, what is its meaning?

Hitler made the Jewish people into a living symbol of all the ills and hates of himself and many of the German people.  Then his Jewish-exterminators, members of his gangster-government guided by such men as Adolph Eichmann, methodically vaporized millions of innocent people. And the world stood-by helplessly and watched because political “appeasers” such as Neville Chamberlain had promoted and followed a disastrous foreign-policy of “negotiating” with Hitler—Islamic-Terrorists and Obama (the Chamberlain of our time) furnish living-proof that it is still completely possible for a self-centered politician, without political restraint, to adopt a completely-discredited foreign-policy of “negotiating” with evil.

The estimates of the number of people killed at Auschwitz and other death-camps are still debated.  What is not debated, other than by self-serving holocaust deniers, is that multitudes of innocent victims, mostly Jews, were murdered in gas-chambers disguised as showers; then their bodies were reduced to ashes in crematoriums, followed by having any gasified residue sent up the smoke-stacks along with the stench of the victim’s burning flesh.  It is difficult to imagine a more dehumanizing and horrible death.

…3.5 million Jews were victims of systematic death camps that had installed Cyanide gas chambers. There were six camps that used mass killing gas chambers. These camps were located in Treblinka, Sobibor, Majdanek, Chelmno, Belzec, and Auschwitz . All these towns are in Poland. Of these camps, the one that killed the most Jews was Auschwitz, killing an estimated 1.5 million Jews. The second highest number of Jews were killed at Treblinka, accounting for 840,000; Belzec was the next highest with 600,000; Chelmno killed 360,000; and finally, Sobibor killed 250,000.

Of all the nationalities of the Jews that were murdered, Poland’s share far outweighed the rest of Europe. Of the six million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis, 4.5 million of them were Polish, while the remaining 1.5 million came from Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, and The Netherlands.
—Adkins, Bert (2014-07-05). Auschwitz: The Truth Behind The Holocaust Death Camps (Auschwitz Revealed, Concentration Camps, Holocaust, Exposed) (Kindle Locations 237-244).  . Kindle Edition.

So if Auschwitz is just a symbol of the Holocaust, what actual good is it, what does it mean?

Asking this question is somewhat like asking, “What good is History”?

The philosopher George Santayana is famous for his statement: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”; he is less well known for his statement: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

Both of Santayana’ statements contain wisdom that the symbol of the Holocaust, Auschwitz, should represent to modern mankind:

1.  Auschwitz is a reminder of the evil results of tyrannical, governmental ideology. And: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

2. Auschwitz standing idle (from its murderous purpose) is a reminder of the fact that it required a world-wide justifiable-war in order to stop such horrendous evil.  Will that sort of war ever be necessary again?  “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

The price for stopping the evil-ideology responsible for Auschwitz was not small.  The world and the USA paid a very high price in blood and life:

World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history. Over 60 million people were killed, which was over 3% of the 1939 world population (est. 2 billion).
The USA had a total number of estimated deaths during the war of 420,000 people.
World War II Casualties

Many people seem completely unconcerned as the world witnesses some of the same sort of inhumane savagery used by the Nazis unleashed by Islamic-Terrorists who continue to proclaim time-and-again that they are going to wipe Israel (Jews) off the face of the earth.

We are routinely subjected to the mantra of the self-deceived and unconcerned: “Islam is a religion of peace.”  But of course it isn’t; and we should take Islamic-Terrorists; and the instructions-to-conquer-or-kill-infidels in the Koran seriously—like the world should have taken Hitler and Mein Kampf seriously before we had to fight WWII in order to stop him and his tyrannical allies (the Axis powers).

Perfect symbolism: The world is facing destruction by savage Islamist-Terrorists and what does Obama do?  He sits and engages in an inane interview-conversation that has nothing to do with anything of importance.  And who is he talking to?  A glo-lipped, instant, YouTube celebrity.  Well, it makes sense; Obama himself is an instant celebrity; thrust willingly but unprepared and with startling incapability into the most powerful position in the world, The Presidency.  So we have one instant celebrity interviewing another—a dialogue between two unqualified-for-anything-serious, nouveau stars. As was stated on Mike’s America: “Why does he [Obama] always seem to be doing anything BUT his job?”  

This is of course a perfect illustration of substituting symbolism for substance—Brad Nelson has reminded us of the importance of this. The symbolism here is the illusion that whatever Obama does is important and that with his witless YouTube interview he is actually somehow tending to something that needs to done.   The substance that this idiotic symbolism is being substituted for is US National and Western-world Security.

The notion that we should never let symbolism substitute for substance is of course true, as I hope I have illustrated above.  But it is an incomplete truth.

Symbolism is all around us.  We live in a world of ideas that are either enriched by truthful-symbolism (represents truth) or impoverished by bogus-symbolism (does not represent truth).  Truthful-symbolism points to truth.  Bogus-symbolism points to falsehood.  Part of the fight for ideological truth is, or should be, a fight to maintain truthful-symbolism.

So the incomplete truth: Never let symbolism substitute for substance has an important second part: Identify bogus-symbolism and counter it with truthful-symbolism. 

Symbols are exceedingly powerful for good or for evil.

Paraphrasing Orwell, with a bit of a spin, I suggest:

He who controls symbols controls emotions.  He who controls emotions controls the reins of power. He who controls the reins of power controls society.

Truthful-symbols have been under fierce and constant attack in the USA since at least the 1960s, and no doubt before.  Just one example is the constant legal-assaults to remove Christian-crosses. The ACLU has litigated time-and-again against having a cross erected in any public place.  Why?  A cross is one of the prime, perhaps the prime, symbols of Christianity.

We don’t have to believe that removing a cross in a public-space destroys or invalidates Christianity; but why exactly do the haters of Christianity place so much emphasis upon the destruction of a symbol?

Answer: because of the critical importance of a symbol in reminding us of the truth to which the symbol points—haters want to take the spotlight away from truth, always.  A truthful-symbol is a spotlight on the truth it represents. When people attack a truthful-symbol they are indirectly attacking the truth it represents.

The same argument, as the above, can be made for the efforts of holocaust deniers to downplay the significance of Auschwitz; and to deny the deaths of millions of Jews.  But how do they attack?  They can’t, without appearing completely goofy, claim that the symbol, Auschwitz isn’t there.  Of course it is; so what’s the approach?  They have to deny the meaning of the symbol, the interpretation of Auschwitz: “The Nazis didn’t really murder all those Jews; there weren’t really any gas chambers at Auschwitz; it is only a story invented by the Jews.”

Auschwitz, the reality, was an unspeakably horrible, brutal reality.  Auschwitz, the symbol, as long as it stands, will point to that reality.

That’s what makes it an important symbol, a truthful-symbol.  And what end-result should the symbol promote? “Never again.”

© 2015, Jerry Richardson • (6382 views)

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35 Responses to Auschwitz and Symbolism

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Very interesting link between Auschwitz and modern liberal christophobia. One might also note that the liberals who proclaim “never again” mostly are willing to pressure Israel to make concessions that would doom their oh-so-pious promises.

    Whatever the many flaws of the appeasement of Hitler by Chamberlain and Daladier, the Holocaust wasn’t a direct part of it. Despite many pressures on Jews and even Kristallnacht (which happened shortly after Munich), the Holocaust didn’t really begin until World War II. It gathered steam with the actions of the Einsatzgruppen in Russia in 1941, but the Final Solution wasn’t declared until the Wannsee conference in early 1942, and initially it was mainly the extermination of Polish Jews. (Incidentally, the Gestapo official in charge in Poland was named Friedrich Kruger.) Only when this was largely completed did they start pulling Jews out of the rest of non-Russian Europe. (Note that many Jews stayed in Germany until 1938 — such as Otto Frank, father of Anne — or 1939 — such as Hitler’s World War I campaign, who put him up for the Iron Cross First Class. Some stayed even longer, and a few survived the war, though usually in hiding.)

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    At least two entities have not gained the full lesson from the Nazis. One of those is libertarians who tend to apologize for anti-Semitism even now, and who hold onto the fantasy that if we all just could do our own thing without any sort of government interference, everything would work out well.

    The other sad aspect of this are the number of Jews who see Nazis as no more than “right wing.” This blindness, in part, has made the second cousin of the Nazis — Progressives — a favorite of the Jews politically.

    And what few realize is that Islam is not a religion. It’s a Nazi-like totalitarian political movement whose aim to to extinguish Jews (or at least enslave them as second-class citizens) while they take over the world.

    None of this matters because your typical yute has almost no idea as to his own history. As long as he can rut like a pig and flash insignificant thoughts at the speed of light to his friends, nothing else matters. Thinking is for losers, I guess.

  3. Anniel says:

    It’s interesting to note that the last large group of Jews who were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz were the Hungarian Jews. Elie Weisel and his family were in that group, and that is where George Soros began his depredations. Today the Hungarians are among the most virulently anti-Semitic countries.

  4. Jerry Richardson says:


    Today the Hungarians are among the most virulently anti-Semitic countries.

    Why do suppose that is?

    • Anniel says:

      My son was attending a Hungarian bagpipe and hurdy-gurdy conference a few years back and shared seats on the train from Budapest going to, I’ll attempt some sort of spelling here, Szechesfehervar. They were discussing the best bagpipe makers and he mentioned the best internationally known maker. Dead silence greeted the name of the man, who happens to be Jewish. After a few moments a number of those present made very anti-Semitic remarks.

      The man is a friend of my son so they discussed his future in Hungary at a later date. The man indicated the anti-semitism comes from the very top of the government and infects everything throughout the society. He is also leaving Hungary as soon as he can.

      I have wondered if the Hungarians feel guilty for allowing the Jews to be shipped off at the end of the war when they could have given them some sort of protection, and if they worry about reparations being demanded for stolen property. Other than that, who knows?

      And, yes, my son plays both bagpipes and hurdy gurdies. One often needs earplugs around him.

      • Jerry Richardson says:


        Is it the AI son that plays the bagpipes? What are hurdy gurdies?

        • Anniel says:

          Jerry – Yep, he’s the one. I think he will try any kind of musical instrument in existence, and he finds new kinds each place he travels. He would like to run a folk lore and musical instrument museum some day.

          Oh, how does one explain a hurdy gurdy? Let me Google that and send you a link because it’s almost impossible to describe coherently.

          Jerry, Google has several references and some TED talks and examples. I couldn’t get a reference to print out for me. Go to Google and try some sites. It’s best you hear different styles. The French ones are more “refined” than the Hungarian ones. Have fun!

          • Timothy Lane says:

            It doesn’t explain it, but there’s always “The Hurdy-Gurdy Man” (which I believe was sung by Donovan).

            Addendum: Wikipedia has an article on “hurdy-gurdy” which describes it as a cranked string instrument. It looks like a violin or guitar, and is actually rather ancient.

          • Jerry Richardson says:


            As you said, there is lot of stuff online. Here’s Wikipedia:

            The hurdy-gurdy is a stringed instrument that produces sound by a crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to those of a violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents — small wedges, typically made of wood — against one or more of the strings to change their pitch. Like most other acoustic stringed instruments, it has a sound board to make the vibration of the strings audible.
            According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the mid 18th century origin of the term hurdy-gurdy is onomatopoeic in origin, after the repetitive warble in pitch that characterizes instruments with solid wooden wheels that have warped due to changes in humidity or after the sound of the buzzing-bridge.[10]
            Alternately, the term is thought to come from the Scottish and northern English term for uproar or disorder, hirdy-girdy[6]:41 or from hurly-burly,[6]:40 an old English term for noise or commotion.The instrument is sometimes more descriptively called a wheel fiddle in English, but this term is rarely used among players of the instrument


            The article also provides pictures and a sound-sample.

            Although I am extremely cautious concerning Wikipedia articles—on anything ideological they are usually left-slanted—I guess it would be rather difficult to introduce much politics into an article on a musical instrument, but they never stop trying.

            Thanks for your patience.

            Are there any studies that you are aware of that attempt to correlate specific musical instruments with political and/or religious ideologies?

            I have always associated the bagpipes with the Scotts. Not sure if that’s proper. Not sure who or where bagpipes were invented.

            But does the bagpipes’ long-term popularity in Scotland have anything to do with Scottish ideology or religion? Same questions about the Hurdy-gurdy.

            • Anniel says:

              Perhaps I should write something about bagpipes since there are so many different varieties. There are different types in all European countries.

              My son says that the hurdy gurdy was once used in churches that could not afford to have organs and it did take at least two people to play the ones large enough for church use.

              You’ll like the following story. My son went outside to play his Scottish bagpipe since one has to march to keep the bag inflated. His neighbor came over and asked if he knew the difference between an onion and a bagpipe. Answer: nobody cries when you cut up a bagpipe.

  5. Jerry Richardson says:


    It is very difficult to understand why many American Jews are so in-bed with Progressive/Democrats.

    There is a pathological reason for this: Jewish anti-Semitism.

    The Jews have the same problem we have with America-haters. What do you do with such ideological idiocy? People who want to survive have got to figure out the best way to fight this pathology.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Assuming there is a God, and assuming He has communicated His wishes (directly and through people such as Moses), maybe the Jews need to get back to their religion. I mean, good god, look at how some of the truly atheistic Jews (such as Marx) have harmed the world. Maybe “chosen people” comes with some burdens…including not playing footsie with the various devils of the world.

      I know there is some Jewish distaste for Christians that lingers because of “Christ killer” and all that. But I wonder how much of that is just a lingering prejudice. It is not the “Christ killer” mentality behind the growing anti-Semitism in Europe, for example. And the staunchest allies of Isreal and Jews are conservatives, particularly conservative Christians.

      I think much like blacks, Jews have become a little too comfortable with the victim status. But there is a corrective: go back to their authentic religion. It’s odd because Christians have the same problem. Many now have a Pope who is about as Christian as Karl Marx. It’s not just the Jews who find themselves wandering in the desert again.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        There are many reasons for Jews to be so liberal. Many simply are; after all, why should it be a surprise that many secular Jews share the views of other secular Jews such as Marx? Self-hatred is undoubtedly an aspect in some cases (e.g., militantly anti-Zionist Israeli leftists). Rip Van Winkle liberalism also plays a part — some people simply refuse to be aware of how things change, and that anti-Semitism today is more prevalent among liberals (and especially blacks and Muslims) than Christian conservatives.

        As for being comfortable in their status as victims, there’s a lovely scene in Eugene Burdick’s novel The 480 in which John Thatch, meeting a Jew, notes that Jews have been victimized throughout history, but also says that their problems will be solved on the day when a Jew who happens to be a superb all-around person is competing for a pile-driver job (Thatch runs a construction business) with some “snotty limey” who just happens to be a bit better pile-driver — and the limey gets the job.

  6. Jerry Richardson says:

    One of the most insidious distortions of language by Progressives has been to apply the term “denier” to someone who is skeptical about Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW.) The implication, of course, is that an AGW skeptic is morally-equivalent to a Holocaust-denier. Progressives have no shame in their demonization of their opponents.

    The use of the word “denier” to describe someone who claims that the holocaust is a hoax has existing since Holocaust-deniers crawled-out from under their rocks.

    Some Holocaust deniers assert that the Nazis did not use gas chambers to kill Jews. They deny the reality of the killing centers. Deniers have focused their attention on Auschwitz and believe if they could just disprove that the Nazis used gas chambers in Auschwitz to kill Jews, the whole history of the Holocaust would also be discredited.

    Holocaust deniers often mimic the forms and practices of scholars in order to deceive the public about the nature of their views. They generally footnote their writings by citing the publications of other Holocaust deniers and hold pseudo-scholarly conventions.

    Holocaust Deniers

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Properly speaking, a “denier” is someone who denies factual evidence. Thus, an article on global warming aka climate change aka climate disruption linked to on another posting here noted that one questioner referred to “climate deniers” and agreed that anyone who denied that there is such a thing as climate, or even such a thing as climate change, is probably crazy. But skepticism about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming from greenhouse gases is quite another matter. I do like to refer to liberals who refuse to acknowledge the abundant evidence of synoptic media gross liberalism as “bias deniers” , but there we’re referring to actual denial of evidence.

  7. Jerry Richardson says:

    The hypocrisy and hollowness of Obama’s words on Holocaust Remembrance Day promising “never again” are offensive. But we have come to expect empty rhetoric from the Liar-in-Chief — Iran is no exception. While Netanyahu struggles to ensure that the mullahcracy that has consistently promised to annihilate the Jewish homeland does not obtain nuclear capability, Obama bashes and threatens him in typical Chicago-style.
    America has historically been Israel’s one reliable partner that she could turn to for international support and protection. No longer. We now have a president taking affirmative and aggressive steps that are harming her ability to survive in an ever-threatening neighborhood. In embracing the world’s largest sponsor of international terrorism, Obama has disavowed any responsibility to prevent another Holocaust.

    In 1980, Iran prevented an American military incursion by releasing the hostages the day that Carter left office. Ironically, they may successfully do so again the day that Obama leaves the White House. It will not be out of fear of his successor this time but rather because Iran will announce that it has obtained nuclear arms. And the Anti-Semite in chief, who embraced Wright, Khalidi, Ayers, Sharpton, Erdogan, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Mullahs, will be fully responsible for hammering the nails into Israel’s coffin.

    President Obama and ‘Naked, Blind Anti-Semitism’

  8. Jim Wooster says:

    Regarding the subject of Jews and Liberalism: There is a book written by a Jewish man, Norman Podhoretz, called “Why Are Jews Liberal?”. The author chose the title after realizing that this was the most frequent question asked of him by non-Jews at various social events. I had thought about this same question a lot over most of my adult life. I wondered why does a hard working, educated, intellectual, self reliant, talented, financially astute, self starting, business owning, enterprise starting group of people seemingly vote against themselves in this country? When I saw the title, I just had to order the book and read it. It was a good education for me (a Christian). It was eye opening. I would say the question was answered quite thoroughly.

  9. Jerry Richardson says:

    Jim Wooster,

    Regarding the subject of Jews and Liberalism: There is a book written by a Jewish man, Norman Podhoretz, called “Why Are Jews Liberal?”.
    When I saw the title, I just had to order the book and read it. It was a good education for me (a Christian). It was eye opening. I would say the question was answered quite thoroughly. —Jim Wooster

    Jim thanks for the book tip. I have ordered a Kindle copy and am reading. Below is a quote that echoes one of the things that Brad Nelson said about the situation:

    maybe the Jews need to get back to their religion. I mean, good god, look at how some of the truly atheistic Jews (such as Marx) have harmed the world. —Brad Nelson

    A quote from the book:

    According to a well-known remark attributed to G. K. Chesterton, “When men stop believing in God they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.” But this was not true of the Jewish immigrants who came to America from Eastern Europe. Almost all the young intellectuals and political leaders among them had stopped believing in the God of Judaism, but it was not “anything” they now believed—it was Marxism. I said a long way back in this book that the Jews who became Marxists imagined that they were throwing off superstition and embracing a life guided entirely by reason and scientific truth (Marxism, remember, claimed to be scientific). But I also said that what they were actually doing was converting to a new religion in which Marx’s Capital became (in the words of Paul Johnson) “a new kind of Torah” (which is precisely what Abraham Cahan, the very influential editor of the largest Yiddish daily, would later declare socialism to be, and also how I. J. Singer would characterize it in The Brothers Ashkenazi). To this new “Torah” they grew as stubbornly attached—both out of conviction and as a matter of honor—as their fathers and grandfathers had been to the Torah of Judaism itself. And as it was with their forebears in relation to Judaism, so it became with them in relation to Marxism: nothing could shake their faith in its doctrines.

    —Podhoretz, Norman (2009-08-22). Why Are Jews Liberals? (Kindle Locations 4697-4707). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

    Jim thanks for your excellent contribution to the discussion. Please make Stubborn Things one of your constant reading, writing, and commenting websites.

  10. Jerry Richardson says:

    Symbolism is a powerful force for good or for evil. A major part of the American Culture War has been waged in the arena of symbols. Here’s one illustration:

    The Battle of Mount Soledad
    The ACLU won’t stop until a San Diego war memorial is razed.

    Atop San Diego’s Mount Soledad—an 822-foot hill overlooking the seaside village of La Jolla—sits a 29-foot concrete cross. Erected in 1954 to commemorate Korean War veterans, the cross is part of a 170-acre, city-owned park offering breathtaking views of the Pacific coastline. For 35 years, it sat unmolested. Then, in 1989, an atheist named Philip Paulson, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the display of a cross on public land was an unconstitutional establishment of religion. Paulson died in 2006, but the litigation he began continues to this day.

    The Mount Soledad case is a microcosm of the American culture war, with lawsuits used as weapons, federal courts serving as the battleground, and activist judges allying with the ACLU. The secular left has long sought to purge religious symbols and imagery from the public square, and the Mount Soledad cross was an inevitable target on a list that included nativity scenes, Ten Commandment displays, and religious invocations at public meetings.
    The ACLU’s…opposition to the cross is implacable. Commenting on the federal government’s transfer of ownership, ACLU lawyer James McElroy said simply: “We’ve been here before.” The Ninth Circuit’s resolve to bulldoze the cross is stymied—at least temporarily—by popular resistance to its destruction. Another quarter century of taxpayer-funded litigation may result.

    The Battle of Mount Soledad

    Whenever and where ever a symbol of Christianity is found, in today’ society—regardless of how old or traditional it may be—the political-left with the aid of the ACLU and progressive-minded, activist-judges mount intense campaigns to destroy that symbolism. Why? The uber-tolerant left cannot tolerate what the symbolism represents.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This is an example of why I consider the ACLU an American equivalent of the Taliban (and conservatives should point this out regularly). The Taliban came to notoriety for destroying a pair of giant Buddha figures. Similarly, the ACLU seeks to destroy any public representation of Christianity in the name of their own cult of militant christophobic, atheistic secularism.

  11. Jerry Richardson says:


    This is an example of why I consider the ACLU an American equivalent of the Taliban (and conservatives should point this out regularly). —Timothy Lane

    I absolutely agree, and I am joining you in pointing this out.

  12. David Glabais says:

    “He who controls symbols controls emotions. He who controls emotions controls the reins of power. He who controls the reins of power controls society.”

    It’s obvious to us that no one understands this more than Progressives do – in both symbolic gestures and in physical form of symbols – which have become potent tools and indeed weapons used against Western Civilization.

    “Part of the fight for ideological truth is, or should be, a fight to maintain truthful-symbolism”
    In the minds of the Leftists this becomes:
    Part of the fight in pushing (their) ideological narrative, is a fight to change or rewrite the meaning of truthful-symbolism until it becomes bogus-symbolism.
    Part of the fight is to inculcate bogus- symbolism as truthful symbolism(the ISIS flag). Part of the fight is to skillfully (or even impetuously) reassign symbols with immutable meaning (such as the swastika or the KKK) as being the symbols of their enemies.

    How erroneous and perverse these false narratives are, and are there any examples more heinous than the painting of swastikas on Jewish dormitories, cemeteries and synagogues? The very group which have suffered unimaginably from the hands of the symbols source?
    (“Symbols are exceedingly powerful for good or for evil”.) Yes they are.

    While the KKK once served the ideology of the left, it has now been reassigned to the “racist-right”. (As was Hitler, a “right-winger” don’t you know).
    While Old Glory once was the symbol of freedom and patriotism, it is now routinely burned by unlawful and illegal immigrants and its ashes then stomped into the ground with resentment, ungratefulness and hatred. Anywhere the American flag is deemed “offensive” it is removed – same with the cross. Now ISIS’s flag represents the “freedom fighters”?

    Almost every action of this president is some kind of a symbolic gesture to the left isn’t it? How they fawn over his every move and each footstep is more important than the last. Talk about “substituting symbolism for substance.”
    Releasing terrorists from Gitmo shows us how strategic he is.
    Reaching out to save the Castro brothers – not the people- illustrates his kindness.
    Retreating to the golf course after the beheading of James Foley, indicates the Presidents bravery and resolve and his willingness to carry on in the midst of danger.
    Ignoring the funeral of a two Star General who was buried by his daughter with no representation from Washington whatsoever shows his patriotism. (So does saluting military personnel with a coffee cup in hand.)
    Granting mass-scale amnesty – replete with all the accoutrements of welfare – shows his benevolence to strangers and at the same time we are told indicates his generosity to struggling black minorities and working poor American citizens.

    Obama is the first black President and he is leftist, therefore he is infallible.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Rush Limbaugh once described liberalism as a preference for symbolism over substance, and no one lives up to that better than Slick Barry. And then he’ll go and claim that he pays no attention to photo ops or even partisanship. Indeed, the easiest way to find truth is by assuming that it’s the opposite of whatever the Liar-in-Chief says.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Rush Limbaugh once described liberalism as a preference for symbolism over substance,

        I can’t, in fact, be sure that the DWA driver who blew through a stop sign a couple days and nearly hit me was a liberal. But this driver cut in front of me (luckily I do drive defensively and expect the unexpected) and on the rear of her minivan was a bumper sticker that read “Drive Friendly.”

        You just can’t make this stuff up. It writes itself.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          This reminds me of a comment I made in FOSFAX many years ago, that a liberal is someone who has a bumper sticker saying “Hate is not a family value” (an actual bumper sticker) — and then goes to a bookstore to be a book titled Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O’Reilly (an actual book, by a pair of Wisconsin professors), without seeing any contradiction. It also reminds me of the signs identifying some cities (including Louisville) as anti-nuclear, and wondering if that meant there were no atomic nuclei (which would mean no atoms of any sort), and no cell nuclei (which would mean no cells other than erythrocytes and bacteria).

    • Jerry Richardson says:

      David Glabais,

      Thanks for joining in the conversation. Excellent insight and comments.

      • David Glabais says:

        Hi Jerry, thank you so much. And thank you for writing another great article! I’m very happy to try to add my “two cents” when I have an opportunity to do so (hopefully substantive). It’s a pleasure to be in the company of such great conservative thinkers. This truly is a fine blog and I’m thrilled that I came across it a while back. I share it with as many people as I can as the caliber of the contributors here is outstanding. Thanks again.

  13. Jerry Richardson says:

    David Glabais,

    1. It’s a pleasure to be in the company of such great conservative thinkers.

    2. This truly is a fine blog and I’m thrilled that I came across it a while back.

    3. I share it with as many people as I can as the caliber of the contributors here is outstanding.


    As to

    Item 1. above: I have no illusion about the greatness of my thought. I think most of the people who read, write, and comment on this website feel pretty-much the same way. I’m not trying to speak for others—although I believe many would agree—but I’m just an honest learner. Of course, that is a not-insignificant attribute of true Conservatism.

    Item 2. above: How exactly did you come across it?

    Item 3. above: Please continue to share, and please consider jumping in and writing some stuff…that’s all the rest of us do. I think you have already seen, you aren’t likely to get “trolled” on this website. I don’t know for sure how that happens; but I like to credit Brad Nelson either with some magical behind-the-scenes protection, or more likely just the realization from potential “trolls” that Brad will gladly kick-your-ass in writing if you are a bad-guy. But understand, being a bad-guy doesn’t mean disagreeing; being a bad-guy means being RUDE and DISAGREEABLE.

    Thanks again.

    • Dave Glabais says:

      Hi Jerry, sorry for my uber late response my time has been very limited lately. I appreciate your response albeit its a very modest one:) thinking back, I believe I did a Google search for “Glen Fairman bio” and “Stubborn Things” came out of that. I’m regularly sharing articles from this blog – anything to help expose the fraudulent imposter occupying the WH. I also appreciate Brad’s ability to keep the haters out! Thanks again!

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Dave, thanks for you kind works. We mean here to have a conservative site where truth and the issues of the day can be articulated via a conservative point of view.

        We’re all hoping the Glenn makes a comeback. He’s a great writer. He’s just taking a break at the moment from what I understand.

        As for trolls and such, I don’t really understand the lack of them either. But I do think once this site gets large enough, that will happen. It could just be that small sites don’t offer the means for those on the Left to effectively vent their psychological angst.

        The purpose of a conservative, at least in regards to the more “activist” side of the Left, is to play the part of the dupe, the punching bag, the hobgoblin. I find that a Leftist does not come to a conservative site to argue a point. He comes to get his batteries charged like one of those electric cars that can’t go for more than about 60 miles between charges. The Leftist comes to once again reassure himself that conservatives are “haters,” that they are the racists, sexists, homophobes, Islamophobes, etc.. They come to reaffirm their caricatures and stereotype. And having been thus reassured, the Leftist/Progressive need not trouble his mind further by thinking. He can rest assured that he is a Golden Child, amongst the nicest, most tolerant, and wisest people who has ever existed.

        Perhaps we don’t get a lot of Leftists here because, as Jerry says, we would rhetorically kick their butts. We would deny them the satisfaction of their trolling. Trolls and dishonest Leftists will not find a bunch of sheep here who will jump through their hoops. So at the end of the day, I don’t think trolling here will ever be emotionally satisfying for those on the Left. And not because we’re bullies or even geniuses. But because we’ve been around the block a time or two and don’t easily fall into the traps set for us. This may be so because, sort of like Rush says, we conservatives understand the Left better than they understand themselves.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I would allow that there can be, and probably are, leftists who try to argue their side honestly rather than trolling. But there do seem to be a lot of liberal trolls, and I’ve read that trolls (such as the Troll-in-Chief, Barry Screwtape Obama) are basically sociopaths. As you note, their goal is to hate, and to inspire hate-filled comments in order to justify that hate.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I would allow that there can be, and probably are, leftists who try to argue their side honestly rather than trolling.

            Well, as Dennis Prager often notes when talking about religious belief, “There are good and moral atheists and there are immoral religious people.”

            I don’t doubt that there are leftists who try to argue honestly. But I would argue the issue isn’t one of being a troll, per se, or arguing “honestly.” The issue is one of a complete and utter difference in values.

            I do believe it’s true, for instance, that truth is not a left wing value. It’s also true that the left stresses emotion over rational arguments. Therefore the root of the problem when talking to someone programmed by the Left isn’t honesty, per se. It’s the same difference (and trouble) one would have trying to speak with someone who speaks only Tuvan (the language spoken in the Republic of Tuva).

            For instance, you or I could have a reasonable debate about homosexual marriage — pro, con, or indifferent. This is because we are both able to communicate ideas clearly and unambiguously. We are able to unwrap them from the many unconscious assumptions, half-truths, and prejudices that are the bane of meaningful communication.

            We may or may not end up at the same place, but I would know why you believe what you do and you’d know why I believe what I do. Those reasons might be good or bad, reasonable or flakey, but we’d be able to articulate even that.

            But what is there to say to someone who suddenly says, “To not support homosexual marriage is discrimination”? As Dennis Prager has noted, nowhere in the history of mankind have any of the greatest thinkers ever considered the lack of homosexuals being able to get married any kind of act of “discrimination” or “exclusion.” Not Gandhi. Not Buddha. Not Jesus. Not Solomon. Not even Rousseau. Therefore we have to ask the question as to whether there is any reasonable path to the legitimacy of homosexual marriage or whether it’s just a culture fad or fashion foisted upon us by narcissists, nihilists, and grievance-mongers (or those whose mind consists of whatever is dumped in it by pop psychology)? Should not we perhaps be suspicious of this near instantaneous change of beliefs? Should we not beware of, say, passing into law a regulation that says that straight-legged pants are outlawed now because bell-bottomed pants are all the rage at the moment?

            If one’s “reason” is no more than getting caught up in the rapid currents of culture affectations, is that a good reason for anything? Well, one might (if that were your approach, Timothy, hypothetically speaking) make that case in those terms. And if that was your reasoning behind your support for homosexual marriage, I have no doubt whatsoever that you are self-aware enough, and intelligent enough, to make the case in just this way. And then I could say, “Well, I don’t believe in changing the basic laws of society on the basis of short-term pop fads, but at least I know where you’re coming from.”

            But those on the Left are congenitally unable to make that kind of self-aware argument. The difficulty in talking to a Leftist is because they are so relatively un-selfaware. They speak and “reason” in terms of cliches and bumper-sticker slogans. And that is not “thinking” or “reasoning” in any real sense. That’s just parroting someone else’s stuff.

            Of course, many on the Left are dishonest. They do share with Muslims this idea that it is okay to lie because your enemy is beneath contempt and your own cause is so just. But I think much of the problem stems from the kind of mind-farking that Leftist programming does to people in the first place.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              One argument that should be pointed out against the forced redefinition of marriage (which is really the issue with homosexual “marriage”) is that even the ancient Greeks, who were as sympathetic to homosexual behavior as any culture ever has been, had purely heterosexual marriage.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Good point. I should have included that important source amongst all those who had no conception of homosexuals marrying each other…or that the lack of the ability to do so was some kind of violation of a basic “human right.”

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