At the End of the Day

History is not a straight line. What goes around, comes around.

On 16th November 2011, Volker Kauder, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, warned Britain that it would not “get away with” looking after its own interests at the expense of Europe. He said European nations “are now speaking German in that they are backing Chancellor Merkel”.

1930’s fascists Hitler and Mosley had “Europe A Nation” as their slogan. Hitler’s 1942 “Europäische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft” translates to “European Economic Community”. Foreign Minister Carl Clodius said at the time there would be a currency and customs union across Europe.

I don’t  write this to join in the chorus of anti-German feeling about at the minute, but rather to make a much more intriguing point. There follow two news items from today:

Angry relatives of missing mine workers in South Africa complained that the authorities had failed to produce a central register of the 34 people shot dead last Thursday.

On 21 March 1960 at least 180 black Africans were injured and 69 killed when South African police opened fire on approximately 300 demonstrators.

How many people aged under 25 today, I wonder, would know the significance of the Sharpeville Massacre?


Japanese politicians today set sail for a group of disputed islands, in the teeth of protests by China, which claims them for its own.

Over the past forty-five years, China and other countries have allowed Japanese war crimes to be forgotten. In fact, the only constant reminders of the victims of World War II in Asia were the events commemorating the Japanese who were killed by atomic bombs dropped by the United States. The young generations, Chinese and Japanese alike, are not kept informed about the consequences of imperialist militarism.

Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to make the same mistakes. German commentators like Wolfgang Munchau affect being disgusted by comparisons between the EU and the Nazi Grossdeutscherreich, but they have no right to be. Black South African politicians would no doubt regard comparisons between recent events there and Sharpeville as unaccaeptable Bwana racism, but they have no right to be so arrogant – or unconcerned by the comparison. And while the Japanese people have shown admirable self-restraint during a decade of unparalleled economic hardship, they have only ever grudgingly apologised for heinous war crimes committed with a barbarous disregard for human life.

As with the ludicrous feminist concept of a complete change in gender role within forty years (and without reference to hormonal instincts) so too those globalists who would deny cultural difference and nationalism are heading for a fall.

Cultural flaws should be honestly recognised where they occur. They should be closely observed and, under certain circumstances, feared. Europe is about to be tossed into an anarchic re-alignment. The original Asian tiger faces an uncertain future alongside the new bigger tiger on the block. And one day very soon, the father of the Rainbow Country is going to die.

We ignore these realities at our peril.


28 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. Glad yoiu brought the issue up. I do remember Sharpeville well and this week’s eventsby the SA police seemed even more brutal, ruthless and unnecessary, if that is possible.

  2. On a matter of detail, what is this Japanese “decade of unparalleled economic hardship”? There incomes have typically slightly outperformed the local rate of price inflation. We should be so lucky.

  3. Lies, damned lies and statistics.
    The perfect way to obfuscate reality on the ground.
    Life for the average japanese person is pretty tough
    and getting tougher.

  4. “Over the past forty-five years, China and other countries have allowed Japanese war crimes to be forgotten”. Alas so far as China is concerned, this is at complete variance with the truth. Ever since the 1950s, rightly or wrongly, China has been obsessed with Japanese war crimes, and for many years now, popular Chinese websites have regularly portrayed Japan as a nation of unreformed militarists with wicked designs on China. As for Japanese war crimes being “forgotten” generally, try googling topics such as “Nanjing Massacre” and “Japanese prison camps”.

  5. @ Houndstooth

    Indeed, what the Nips did in China has been neither forgiven nor forgotten – insofar as such a thing has happened, then only in the Anglo-Saxon world. Could it be we tend to have shorter memories, in favour of mercantile benefit!

    Around the turn of the century I was assigned a few Japanese and Chinese tour groups in my capacity as a touring coach driver, so I had a chance for a relatively close-up look at them both. Suffice to say that after only a couple of tours I was banned from driving the guests of a certain Japanese touring company – not that I was bothered. I recall a phrase used by, I think, Bob Danvers-Walker on a wartime Pathe film – “Tojo’s mindless morons”.

    Personally, I choose not to dispute that. You can add arrogance and tight-fistedness to it too – the guests in a 3/4 star hotel, the driver farmed out to a B&B/1Star to save money! And having lots of Jap tourists come to your town is not necessarily of benefit to the local economy either – the shops and attractions they spend money at are invariably Japanese-owned. The local newspaper in Heidelberg did a good write-up of this many years ago, and Frankfurt is also affected. And, almost all Japanese tours to Europe pass through Interlaken – now guess the nationality of the guy who owns the “Roof of Europe” (once featured in a James Bond film) that they all visit on top of the Jungfrau?

    As for the Chinese, if you want to rile them up, just mention the Japanese. I lost count of the number of Chinese who declared their undying hatred of all things Japanese. Plus, they are a lot more sociable than the Japs.

    True, my views of the Japs are tempered by having known a lot of old soldiers – and, being one myself at that time, I’m sure they talked a little more than they might with a civilian. Some of them had been Jap prisoners of war, so they had some very interesting (horrifying) stories to tell – and scars to show!

    One case I do recall, because I knew the bloke personally, was a feller that worked with us in HQ BAOR. He had been captured as a Captain at Singapore and somehow survived the Burma railway. He was simply left for dead on 3 occasions, but still managed to pull through, somehow. And there were not many days when he did not get a beating from the guards, for whatever reason – Koreans were also not his favourite people.

    It so happened that one day he had to go up-country to deal with something, in I believe Nienburg. Imagine his disgust when, as he was checking in to the Officer’s Mess, a group of Japs also turned up – on a sort of liaison visit! He checked straight back out and into a hotel in the town.

  6. Having lived and worked in Japan for 10 years in which period I needed to go with my Japanese colleagues on various occasions to Beijing to negotiate a contract. On top of it my business partner (the company was jointly ownded) was born in Nanjing. I know from first hand observation the uncomfortable feeling many of the japanese with us had. In fact we decided to drop the japanese and I went back on my own to finalise matters. It is not in the japanese psyche to say sorry neither to their own and certainly not to a “henna gajin” ( crazy foreigner) to you and me. They do feel sorry but will not say so because that is of loss of face. Their level of cruelty is far different from ours. They have rat pack mentality. If something goes wrong they search out the weakest among them and he gets quite openly attacked(in fromt of the assembled staff) by his colleagues until he is a blubbering nervous mass of a human being. Thereafter they go back to being normal. I never understood this mentality and I point blanc refused to take part in these public humiliations. Which caused ruptures within the office.After 10 years enough was enough and I went home having plit the company in two for management purpose (I took over the rest of the world and left Asia to the japanese)
    This was 1976 to 1985 so I hope that the younger generation who worked in Europe have efected a change.
    As far as shops and orginasations in europe is concerned. They were deliberately set up by them so that their compatriots could feel at home!!!
    I can go on but that would probably bore you.

  7. VJ and HT
    Thanks for pointing out the China forgiveness mistake. I went to three sources to ‘establish’ that. See earlier post re truth-bending: jusst goes to show….

  8. Good that you point out that many of the really bad bastards in the Japanese army were Koreans and Mongolians, effectively their colonial troops under Japanese officers. My own mother in law, who has just turned 85, suffered under the Japanese occupation of the Philippines from 1941-45. The Japanese took over their house and used it to billet officers. The family had to serve them. It was not pleasant and she was scarred for life!

  9. I think that is the point John is making. You have to google about Japans war crimes against humanity, where as Hitler and the Germans are constantly being paraded as an unequalled evil. Mind you, as a European whose country was involved in a European war before a world war, then it is fresher in our memories. There is also another reason Hitler and his regieme was singled out due to the anti semitism and slaughter of jewish people. We should never forget that many millions of non jewish people also perished, but always the focus is on death camps we got this in school history and I cannot feel but devastated at the mere mention of them. There was NO mention of Poll Pot or Lenin or Stalin or the Japanese rule of terror and slaughter of the innocents. There is no recorded figure of deaths in these killing sprees, but then, it depends on the press and who runs it.

  10. @ Miss B Having

    You have made some excellent points there, and with a broad brush!

    One Jap group I had was a bunch of student environmental activists (it would appear this is also a very neglected theme in Japan) and the tour guide was also the son of the tour operator. He had been brought up in both Germany and Japan, naturally he spoke both languages fluently, and there is only one word to describe his command of English: fluent. His French and Italien were also ‘passable’.

    So, one night I was enjoying a beer with the group (these guys/dolls didn’t subscribe to the typical Jap tourist approach of a long hot bath in the evening and then abed), and the subject came up of how the history of WWII was variously handled in Germany and Japan. He had nothing but glowing admiration for the way that Germany has dealt with it, and nothing but contempt for the way that everything is twisted, lied about or simply swept under the carpet in Japan. @ louis sallons mentions on this in his post.

    As for the Nazi death camps, the generally agreed figure is around 13.5 million victims in total, of which around 6 million or so were Jews. I read somewhere that the next biggest group, about 3 million, were Russian POWs.

    Pol Pot didn’t achieve such a high total, but Stalin and Mao overshot it by many tens of millions, each. I know a Chinaman who made it through the Great Famine of the 50s/60s – apparently, if you managed to get hold of a daily bowl of boiled rice flavoured with soy sauce back then you were living high on the hog!

    But Stalin and Mao are still celebrated as heroes in certain sectors of society! As for Che Guevera:

    “The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster. Many of the early leaders of the Cuban Revolution favored a democratic or democratic-socialist direction for the new Cuba. But Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution’s first firing squads. He founded Cuba’s “labor camp” system—the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims. To get himself killed, and to get a lot of other people killed, was central to Che’s imagination. In the famous essay in which he issued his ringing call for “two, three, many Vietnams,” he also spoke about martyrdom and managed to compose a number of chilling phrases: “Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become …”— and so on. He was killed in Bolivia in 1967, leading a guerrilla movement that had failed to enlist a single Bolivian peasant. And yet he succeeded in inspiring tens of thousands of middle class Latin-Americans to exit the universities and organize guerrilla insurgencies of their own. And these insurgencies likewise accomplished nothing, except to bring about the death of hundreds of thousands, and to set back the cause of Latin-American democracy—a tragedy on the hugest scale.”

  11. Some people, some nations, too, seem completely obsessed with World War II. It seems appropriate to remind that this War is over long since, it started 73 years ago and it ended67 years ago. Earth rotation has not stopped meanwhile. If our ancestors would have clinged to one of their wars (which were regionally and in means of firepower smaller in scale, yes, i know) so long so obsessive we would still all be rightless peasants, sit in huts, controlled by church and nobility. The obsessive clinging to something, like it is obviously done in this context, does tend to promote a rather narrow view of world developments, as everything is restricted by former experiences and never letting go of these, thus obfuscating ones perception of events as they really are in the here and now. People change, nations change even more so, and one can find himself in completely wrong assumptions deriving from ones limited point of view.

  12. I still remember the story of how my grandmother became an orphan and an only child at the same day, while her mother was pregnant, during an execution raid by Nazi troops. That makes it difficult if not inappropriate of me to forget WWII. Time will settle the living memories issue though.I personally will not be telling this story to my kids.It would only harm them i guess. Mind you this applies to a nation’s history books also. Not long ago Greek school history books tried to play down the atrocities that took place in western Turkey between Greeks and Turks a century ago. The jury is still out on whether this would promote a peace process or pave the way for history to repeat itself. Forgive yes, forget no….

    p.s. A nation’s actual history is hardly ever written or presented objectively to the nation’s people anyway.

  13. JHM
    This is a tired old excuse, and misses the point entirely. Cultures change VERY slowly over time. Forgive by all means, but never forget. Read the end line of the piece.
    PS there is nothing obsessional about retaining a reality link to WWII. 26.4M people died fighting it.

  14. At the time of re-unification Theodore Pangalos remarked “”Germany is an economic giant but the Germans are political pygmies.” As usual he said the unsayable, but it was received with amused, though silent, agreement in the EU corridors of power.

  15. A couple of years ago, very good friend of mine, who is an award winning Photojornalist and TV Documentary Producer alerted me to the Japanese WW2 Antrax attacks on Chinese villages. Before her follow up and pictures of the now old, (but scarred physically for life) victims, I must admit that I was totally unaware of the Japanese use of Biological Wepons on Chinese Civilians in 1942.

    If Hitler had pulled the same stunt on Hull or Norwich, I wonder how we in the UK would feel about the Germans today…….even 70 years on. Certainly I doubt that we would have been part of a European Union or joining up into Twin Towns with our Tutonic friends ! So I am going to side with the Chinese on this one…..and we in the UK were bloody lucky.

    I won’t post my friends images without her permission but, if anyone can stomach a fairly horrendous Sunday read and really wants to know more, this link is similar to my friends own work.

    The last line of the above link seems very poignant to todays Slog comments….
    “I wrote this article with Maya Angelou’s words in mind, ‘History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.’”

  16. What many forget, perhaps conveniently so, is that the Second World War shapes and partly defines our world. What on earth do some think the EU is all about ? The ghosts of Hitler and Stalin have cast very long and very dark shadows.

  17. Fear not everyone
    The mad person has been detected: he will not be posting again. Those whose own IDs were cloned need not fear either….you have a different ISP address to the viper in our midst.

  18. “Group-think is a most severe problem in our society.
    It is a serious mental disease that has not been recognized as such.
    It turns members of a group into believers and followers of rituals.
    They believe the group is right and others are wrong. It reduces
    communication from the group to outsiders.
    In serious cases of group-think, members use force and violence to
    convince non-believers.

    …most individuals are not aware that they suffer from group-think.”

  19. The Japanese government have been apologising for the war in Asia, pretty well annually since the early fifties. It does no good, of course, because nobody listens, or is prepared to listen.

    As to environmental awareness, one of VJ’s points, they are making progress; not for nothing is the original clarion call known as the Kyoto Protocol. I don’t suppose I’m the only person who thinks the aims set out there were overly ambitious, or even unnecessary; but the Japanese were quite seriously committed to it.

    On the ground, by practical action, they are very far forward in the use of photovoltaic panels for solar energy (and there are plenty of hot water panels on private roofs everywhere), they are looking more closely at harnessing the available thermal energy, and in the Kyoto area, where I live, pretty well all the taxis use LPG (except the Prius’s which are the new vehicle of choice for both taxi companies and independent drivers) and the buses run on recycled cooking oil (lots of restaurants in Kyoto)

    Don’t mention Fukushima Daichii ! Of course, but the problems of nuclear power are also being addressed; I have already responded to a public questionaire asking whether Japan should opt for 0, 15, or 35% nuclear generation

    Nowhere’s perfect, I suppose, but I am happy to be able to live in Japan, a country I like among people I admire.

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