By Jason Michael

Bad things are happening, but don’t be worrying yourselves. Keep eating your cereal. Things will get better. We all know that war, along with boom and bust economics, is a thing of the past. Let’s not overreact and things will magically get better.

Right-wing coalitions in the European Parliament, the murder of MP Jo Cox, Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, the rise of the Front National in France, sieg heil saluting at an “Alt-Right” convention in the States, and far-right and openly Neo-Nazi movements gaining ground across Europe and the United States. This is our disturbing new political reality. It’s bad, but is it an overreaction to suggest that we are repeating the history of the 1930s that led ultimately to the Nazi genocide in Europe and a global total war that resulted in the destruction of a continent and the use of nuclear weapons?

Many are of the opinion that this is indeed an overreaction, presumably comfortable in the assurance that we have learned the lessons of history. No doubt more than half a century of relative peace and security has given us the impression that war is over, that we – the “civilised” nations of the world – have turned our swords into ploughshares. War, like boom and bust economics, is surely a thing of the past – a nightmare of history from which we have awoken. People, as they have always been, are full of contradictions; we criminalise the smacking of children and launch anti-bulling campaigns in our schools at the same time as we encourage recruiting sergeants to enlist them, train them to kill, and send them into battle.

We have learned precious little from history. Our little darlings learn enough history to get good grades to matriculate into a good college or university, but our newspapers remind us daily that no real learning was done in the classroom. Europe and America’s lurch to the right is a crisis. It has threatened to end globalisation and the malaise of the political centre, but weirdly the centre-left is still of the opinion that it is an overreaction to say that we have been here before; that we are repeating the same history that brought us to the wholesale collapse of democracy and the rise of fascism and outright totalitarianism. After all it’s hardly World War II.

Sure, it’s not World War II. It wasn’t World War II in January 1933 when Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany. The German National Socialist Workers Party was only a flash in the plan, a stopgap until something better came along. Scapegoats were identified, outsiders were excluded from “the Nation,” parts of a neighbouring country were annexed, but neither was that World War II. It was six and a half years later that Britain and France declared war on Germany. That was World War II. Storm clouds had to gather for a whole decade before war. Storm clouds are gathering right now, but – sure – it’s all a flash in the pan. We’re just waiting for things to improve.

Jo Cox death: Neo-Nazi Thomas Mair jailed for life

Author: Jason Michael (@Jeggit)

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