Who in Hell is this Nazi John Smith?

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Could Nazism be the future of our degenerescence…!

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PHILIP K. DICK — THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE — 1962

FRANK SPOTNITZ — THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

TV SERIES — 2015–2019

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UTOPIAN DYSTOPIAN REALITY

CARD CASTLES IN SPANISH WINDS

THE RAIN IN SPAIN STAYS MAINLY IN THE PLAINS

HEINOUS PAIN IN A VAIN BRAIN STAYS MAINLY INHUMANE

Think about the world in the terms of the above map nowadays, beyond this dystopic vision. We had the Cold War at first, then that Cold War came to an end and some kind of globalization appeared that the USA tried to make their own with some kind of concertation with the European Community, and both agreed that for their own happiness and comfort, all manufacturing — and dirty of course since manual — activities were to be abandoned to the Chinese and other undeveloped countries and people. Colonialism has always been in the heads of all Westerners, all of them.

That was such blindness. Instead of collaborating with the Chinese and setting up joint ventures in all fields in which the Chinese would have been partners but equal partners and not more, and not less, we let private businesses, our private businesses close up their factories in Europe or the USA and we entrusted the Chinese with the dirty work of building new factories in China that would produce our goods at a better price due to the level of salaries and the extremely bad exchange rates of their currencies.

But we had to wake up one day. The factories were Chinese property, the workers were Chinese, the whole productive procedure and productive technology were Chinese, and we were standing there in the new clothes of the Emperor, i.e. all hairs in the wind. And what a wind! The French refused to sell them TGV technology for fast trains. So, the Chinese devised theirs and nowadays the Chinese have the longest and best fast train network in the world, and they are ready to export the technology, as soon as the brand new railroads built here and there, particularly in Africa and Asia, can benefit from the massive, secure and regular electricity fast trains need.

The French refused to sell them nuclear technology, particularly EPR technology. So, the Chinese bought Westinghouse’s EPR technology, which was not as good as the French, but with an open innovation license that enables them to improve it and China is the first country in the world to have at least one EPR power station working.

The challenge of informatics was already clear in Chou En Lai’s days who hired IBM to invent a computer keyboard that could produce Chinese writing on the screen and on the printer. Later on, when IBM decided to change their strategy and abandon hardware completely, the Chinese bought it and they built Lenovo with it. And Lenovo boosted computer science and technology in China and that produced Huawei, among others, and we know the next phase with security based on face recognition technology to access computers, telephones, televisions, or whatever other machines and buildings, and China has developed the best facial recognition technology so far.

And Trump can dream of reconquering what was lost by the USA. Europe is slightly better positioned to reconquer some of their lost importance though they are the main target of migrations from Africa and from the Middle East (thanks to the USA for that latter one). And during that time the USA is besieged by a migration from the south which is entirely US-made due to the overexploitation of these countries by American companies and the CIA’s manipulations of all local government. And the greatest winner in this situation is not so much China but Russia that accepts to work with China, and then Iran and Pakistan soon since they are entering this cooperation. India is divided but will probably follow suit when they are no longer the backyard cloud of all hefty calculations for Western business because it will be cheaper and more secure to do it in Europe or the USA. The center of the world, of this new globalized world order that will finally emerge when the US and their Donald Trump are finally pushed aside and when they realize that cooperating on equal terms might be better than having temper tantrums, in fact totally distempered tantrums alone in their corner, swearing but a little bit late that they will be more prudent next time. They should have read Jean de La Fontaine’s La Laitière et le Pot au Lait.

Milkmaid and Milkjar

Perrette, a jar of milk on top of her head,

Securely placed on a little cushion,

Thought she could reach the market with no mishap.

[…]

Whereupon Perrette dances gaily, mesmerized.

And the jar falls, the jar breaks, the milk spills:

Fare thee well calf, cow, pig, and chickens.

[…]

Who doesn’t carelessly daydream?

Who doesn’t build card castles in the air?

Picrochole, Pyrrhus, our milkwench — everyone,

The wise just like freewheelers.

We all dream in the night, nothing sweeter indeed;

We’re carried away by sugary, fool-hardy delusions:

[…]

Some haphazard snag then brings us back to some sense,

And we’re in our obscure unself again.

Everything happens in due time for those who know how to be prudent and wait for some ripe opportunity. No one can make the sun rise at midnight in the North, except maybe Walt Disney.

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU

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PHILIP K. DICK — THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE — 1962

The novel from which this TV series is adapted is an old dystopic novel of 1962, entirely positioned in an alternative world in the same year. But first of all, let’s speak of the novel itself.

This book is an old book, in fact, a classic, rather confidential at the time of its first publication and even when recently republished because of its theme, but it has been brought to a new awareness in the public because Amazon has just decided to produce an adaptation of it for video streaming. Is it a good decision to bring it back to fame, because it will be fame this time? We’ll see right now why it should not have been kept more or less confidential for more than fifty years.

The genre is difficult because it is RETROSPECTIVE SCIENCE FICTION. Science fiction is supposed to imagine what the future will be or might be according to one or two parameters that are changed in our present in absolute or relative value. Of course, you can cheat the way “Back to the Future” did at least three times, and we may regret it does not go on at least one more time, but things are what they are and life is a truck full of manure as we all know. Here the author imagines in 1961–62 what the world would have been if in 1945 Germany and Japan had won the war. It is the basic hypothesis that so many people work in their minds or in bar and saloon discussions: what the world would be if… And there is no limit to these ifs. As they say in Paris the Eiffel Tower could be put in a bottle if… and the same for the Empire State Building or the Chrysler Building in New York if…, and for the Washington Monument in Washington DC if… And after every presidential election in the world, people imagine what it would be or would have been if the loser had won. Follow my eyes and read my lips.

But what is the main and basic interest of this book?

First, the world is cut in two with Japan on one side and Germany on the other side. The Communists have disappeared due to a strict eradication of all Slavs by Germany. The racial problem has also disappeared by the elimination of all black people in the world and first of all in Africa by Germany. In the same way, the holocaust of Jews was continued though here the Japanese refused to cooperate. Imagine the world without Black people even in Africa, with maybe a few survivors surviving since it would be their only function as absolute slaves to be used, and abused, by any one of a paler complexion including children and even babies. I regret the book does not expand on this subject as much as it does on Jews, and particularly the few Jews who managed to get out of the influence of Germany and be de facto protected by the Japanese.

But the most frightening part is that Germany is in the hands of the few people who were leading Germany in the war. In spite of the fact that Hitler is dead in 1961, it is his direct lieutenants and underlings that have taken over and are fighting for dominance, Goebbels first of all. The book is quite explicit on what happens in such a totalitarian state that is like a pot with a dozen spiders locked up in it who can only manipulate the crowds of people through the glass wall that protects them (the leaders only) and of course, they have their legions outside that can eliminate all those who have to be eliminated for the dominating underling(s) to remain dominant, and at the same time these legions can go on some blood baths of their own for the fun of shedding and drinking the red stuff we call blood and they call a delicatessen though the Jews would consider it to be the soul of man, the divine part of man.

And yet the book is fascinating for other reasons. It explores the very contemplative and oracular culture of the Japanese who have some kind of portable oracle in two volumes they consult regularly to know the meaning of the present and try to cope with the future. It provides the believers with Hexagrams that are both sibylline and enlightening in the shape of Haikus of six or about six lines. But the inner psychology of these Japanese is explored in depth: contemplative, extremely civil and polite, courteous and maybe even servile, but never revealing their true feelings and avoiding expressing any emotion and sensation. Cold for sure and yet tremendously empathetic, but unexpressed and unaired empathy. It is this very quality that makes them resist the German Nazis because they are able to communicate with the deepest forces in the universe, what every geological element carries, atomic forces and the power of any design, the design of molecules, or human-created designs and there we have a tremendous surprise. Two people launch a jewelry production unit in San Francisco and the main worker of the two is a Jew running incognito under a false name and under the de facto protection of the Japanese, a little bit more at the end of the book. And it is this Jew who is the creative jeweler, the creative artist, the craftsman who is producing with his hands the world of tomorrow as the Japanese main character tells us over and over again.

That would symbolically tell us the German Nazis tried to eradicate the Jews because they represented the future and the Nazis represent the past. Simple, symbolical but is it really cathartic? There I cannot answer because anti-Semitism is slightly more complex than just a simile or a metaphor. It has to do with the fear that developed somewhere in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago in the vast confrontation of three cultures emerging from the ice age and trying to invent the future of the planet: The Turkic peoples, the Semitic peoples, and the Indo-European (Sumerian) peoples. We are still living on that heritage, the heritage of an anthropological rivalry that became the differentiation of three linguistic families, and of three cultures with three religions, and what’s more, the Semitic community got split in two along a social differentiation (exploiter and exploited) and a religious antagonism (Judaism and Islam). Christianity is the third religion branching out of Judaism and it is more or less assumed as part of the European, hence the Nazi definition. The Christian religion is vastly absent from the book.

Of course in this book the Arabs and beyond them the Muslims are totally ignored and unconsidered, being replaced by the fourth human group that never had any role to play in the previous triad, the Buddhist and Confucian human family who are also from another linguistic family, isolating languages, here represented by the Japanese. That’s the main element that is absent from this book. Northern Africa, Egypt were essential at the end of the Second World War and still enormously influential in 1962, but yet the Arabs and Muslims are just not considered at all. That’s the shortcoming of the book in our modern times because since 1960–62 it is the community that has emerged most strongly from the initial triad and today the Asian isolating family is no longer represented by Japan but China. But of course, this book did not aim at telling us its future which is our present, but only the present in 1961 if…

The last element I would like to show is that the book has no end, precisely because of what I have just said. It does not open on the future in 1961 so it cannot have any end. It is coming to several open-ended dead ends, open-ended because we can imagine what we like, but dead ends since it does not tell us anything about what may happen after 1961. That’s the doom of retrospective science fiction. It is dramatic, frightening but at the same time, it leads to no vision of the future. It is some kind of castrated science fiction that cannot tell us anything about our real world, the world of the real readers of the book, particularly those who read it a long time after the writing time. And that’s where the video adaptation will be fascinating since it will have to be adapted for today’s and tomorrow’s public and audiences. But we’ll have to wait for it to be available in the whole world to add a paragraph, in fact, a few paragraphs, to this review.

Let the few who can access the video adaptation celebrate! God Bless the Child! (Review published on December 23, 2015)

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FRANK SPOTNITZ — THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

TV SERIES — 2015–2019

Season 1–2

Now let’s move to the TV series.

The TV Series, the Blessed Child I have just mentioned, whose first two seasons are only available so far, is an expanded vision and the expansion seems to be changing quite a few details, especially since television must be visually acceptable and it does not have to be logically or even concretely possible. The Man in the High Castle is apparently making disturbing films that describe the world the way it developed after the victory in WW2 against Germany and Japan and his “studio” is a big warehouse somewhere in the San Francisco area, at least till he decides to move on and to torch his film producing “high castle.” We are not told then where he decides to move to.

The second remark is that the TV series can easily jump from San Francisco and the Japanese Pacific States, to New York and the Greater Nazi Reich and to Berlin, the capital of this Greater Nazi Reich. To enable this, some characters have to be invented and the series becomes the story of these characters.

In San Francisco the central character is Juliana Crain who moves to the Neutral Zone, a buffer zone between the Japanese Pacific States and the Greater Nazi Reich, in fact, Canon City, Colorado, after her sister is killed by the Japanese police, leaving her partner Frank Frink behind. She will come back and later she will move to New York as a refugee from the Pacific States where she is wanted by the Japanese. Frank Frink is also essential in San Francisco because of the role he plays little by little with the resistance against the Japanese. Frank is surrounded by several other characters and he is very complex since he is connected to the Japanese mafia who manages to liberate him and later his friend Ed McCarthy from the accusation of having shot the Japanese Crown Prince, though it was done by a Nazi agent. And on the Japanese side you have one more character (apart from the police and the general organizing the production of an atom bomb), the Trade Minister who is lost between the reality of these Japanese Pacific States, the recollection of his wife before this time (she is dead) and for him the alternative world of Kennedy’s USA in 1962 and the Cuban crisis with the Soviet missiles. He is able to navigate from one level to the other thanks to some kind of typical Zen meditation.

San Francisco then is divided between the Resistance, the Japanese and the Americans who try to survive and strive in this colonized situation, with the Neutral Zone behind and direct bus lines used by the Japanese to transport uranium from the Neutral Zone to San Francisco, unprotected and thus killing all the “American” passengers, which does not count for anything for the Japanese since they are “American” and this ruse enables the uranium to be transported unnoticed by the Germans.

New York is not in any way simpler since it has been totally expurgated like Europe of all the Semites, meaning the Jews, and of all the Blacks since all Africans have been sent back to Africa which is a big German colony, meaning a slave territory for all kinds of work. The main Nazi master of New York and the American Nazi states is a certain SS Obergruppenführer John Smith and his family. We discover them from the inside because of Juliana Crain who is integrated into the Nazi elite by John Smith himself because he thinks she has some inner information about the resistance and the man in the high castle. The Nazi Reich practices total eugenics and John Smith’s son has the genetic disease John Smith’s brother had. He has to be eliminated. But John Smith is cheating with the system with the plan of sending his son on a patriotic trip in Latin America where he will be kidnapped by some “Semites” and thus will be able to remain alive.

But John Smith is trying to get another young person, Joe Blake, into the position of a special agent but it is difficult because when Joe Blake was sent to Canon City in Colorado he came across Juliana and another Nazi agent who had the order to get the film she was transporting and kill her. Joe Blake saves her, and the result is the death of the Nazi agent and the delivery of the film (in fact two because Joe Blake was also transporting one to enter in contact with the resistance) to the resistance represented locally by a black man, Lem Washington. And after that “encounter” entirely based on unshared secrets they go their separate ways, though the next mission of Joe Blake will take him to San Francisco to recuperate another film and he will escape the Japanese police thanks to Juliana who manages him to be taken on a boat to Mexico, and he will escape the resistance thanks to a Nazi bribe of the resistance people on the boat who are transporting him to Mexico, but the bribe delivered by air is poisoned and the black people on the boat will all die, both as criminals and as black people, hence duly eliminated from the surface of the earth. The Nazis seem to be waiting for the death of Hitler to seize power, or rather to start fighting to seize power. Hitler does die, and the power chase starts.

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Berlin is, of course, the heart of the Nazi Reich and we discover it by following Joe Blake there. He is summoned to Berlin by his father, the main minister of the Reich, and he discovers little by little who he is. Not only the son of his mother who eloped to New York with him but the genetically selected son of both his parents who could have been raised in a special institution to produce the next generation of SS fighters if his mother had not escaped away from Berlin, probably though not entirely clear with the assent of the father who was already an important character in the Nazi regime. He thus discovers his birthplace and early infancy institution (closed by then in 1962) with his father, who he hates. But his father puts a young woman his age and coming from the same selective program as him, and the chemistry of hormones and common experience brings them together and though at first, he wants to go back to New York where he has a life partner and a son, he decides against his father’s will, after he had been appointed acting Chancellor waiting for the official announcement of Hitler’s death, to stay and be sworn into the SS. He thus endorses the role he was playing in one of the films he has actually viewed and delivered to the Nazis: in this film he is an SS officer who shot the surviving resisting people after San Francisco is flattened by an atom bomb, and among those he shot there were Frank and several other people we have met.

In our present times of tension between the USA and Asia (not only North Korea but the whole of Asia, including Russia of course) the debate about the use of nuclear weapons to conquer the half of America either the Japanese or the Nazis have or do not have is particularly welcome. In the film, the Germans already have atom bombs, but the Japanese have to build one and they received the blueprint of such a device from a German high-ranking officer who betrayed the Nazi Reich, in the name of equilibrium, peace and the deterring power of nuclear weapons, under a fake British identity and then a fake Japanese diplomatic visa. He was captured in New York by John Smith. The series is slightly light on the question of the use of nuclear weapons that have not been used yet in the dystopic world, though the Japanese Trade Minister in his “trip” to our real world in 1962 discovers about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They deal with nuclear warfare in the dystopic world as a matter of need: strike first and conquer the Pacific States, first meaning before the Japanese have a nuclear weapon of their own. Of course, the real world of 1962 and the possible use of nuclear weapons against Cuba is set in parallel with the dystopic world. There is a peace movement in the USA against the use of nuclear weapons in Kennedy’s time, but there is no peace movement in the dystopic world, just a resistance that is not really concerned by the use of nuclear weapons and on the Nazi side the inner conflict to seize power after Hitler’s death.

We have to think twice about this debate. Only terroristic and dictatorial regimes can actually use nuclear weapons in the TV series, and yet it is the USA who used such weapons twice in our real history. True enough Truman had not been elected President but only Vice-President under Roosevelt. But will a fully elected President of the USA use nuclear weapons against a country that has managed to develop such nuclear weapons and the ICBM necessary to deliver them who knows where? Will a fully elected President of the USA take the risk of nuclear war just because one little country is challenging his narcissistic authority? I will not answer these questions. Only history will answer them though it is obvious for anyone who is not a narcissistic person that negotiating is always, absolutely always better than using force: think of Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria to wonder what two wars started to answer a foolish terrorist attack from Al Qaeda have led to. Certainly, not a viable and sustainable democratic and peaceful situation and the coming decade or even decades will not solve the “problem” and bring things back to “normal.”

In short, then a visionary novel turned into a deeply reflexive series that we should all watch to just ponder on the question of the use of force and forceful ideologies to conquer the world rather than the use of negotiations to develop and improve the same world.

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU

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HEINOUS PAIN IN A VAIN BRAIN STAYS MAINLY INHUMANE

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FRANK SPOTNITZ — THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

TV SERIES — 2015–2019

Season 3

We finally got that third season and that was a great event, immense pleasure and some kind of absolute satisfaction. Of course, the man in the high castle is a reference in the background and this reference becomes more and more metaphorical but he is a concept, the concept that something exists in man that is so irrepressible that no matter what, when and where it will find its way out and express itself publicly even if in some clandestine way, meaning anonymous as for the author who is running away from some kind of repression.

The previous themes are all furthered but in some kind of science fiction that is becoming more and more dystopic as it progresses, and yet maybe with a little bit of hope fluttering around in our minds.

John Smith becomes the top Reich’s Marshal for America after eliminating some other plotting ambitious politicians and military people who found out how he was planning to get his son to South America to help him escape his euthanasic future because of his genetic disease. We remember that the young man decided to deliver himself to the eugenic units to implement his belief in racial purity. In this season they turn him into a Nazi hero who knew how to make a decision when the time was up for this decision.

Himmler has taken over the Great German Reich after various episodes with Joe Blake’s father who took over from Hitler at first but is proved a traitor with the help of his own son who is forced to reveal whatever they want to know about his father. By them, we mean Himmler of course who is not plotting but only reestablishing the truth and justice, isn’t he? Joe Blake to prove himself and that he is pure and faithful has to shoot his own father tied up on the execution pole his eyes uncovered and open, a sort of sacrificial ritual.

Joe Blake is then integrated into a death squad that is sent to New York and then San Francisco to execute all German defectors and the Japanese Trade Minister who is in a way an obstacle to Himmler’s objective that is to conquer the Japanese empire and have a universal German Reich. But Juliana, Joe’s old girlfriend from the first season, sees through him and she manages to re-establish the relationship with him in order to get close and one day to cut his throat. Once an anti-Nazi forever an anti-Nazi.

It is revealed little by little that the disease John Smith’s son had is running in his family and his two daughters are coming of age for testing and the mother cannot accept it and she will bring her resistance, her refusal to the point of escaping from her husband with the daughters. That will ruin John Smith’s family basis that is so important for a Nazi leader, though Himmler does not seem to have a family.

To integrate America into the Reich they have to bring the world to a new year zero, Jahr Null, and to celebrate this event in New York they destroy the Statue of Liberty but the festive demonstrations in the street are turned into a cover for some resistance people to shoot Himmler down, though he does not die at the end of the season. You can imagine the panic and the frenzy of the Nazis in such a situation, perfectly ambiguous between fear and ambition.

On another side Frank who had disappeared for a short while is found again in some haven in the neutral zone, hiding and devising a logo for the future, a logo of a sun rising that brings hope to those who see it, though some see it as a sun setting with the same value. The sun of Japan will set soon, and the sun of America will rise again. But Frank is finally captured by the Japanese chief inspector who had killed several members of his family but had let him go. This time he beheads him with his samurai sword. Frank is saying some Jewish prayers because, in the haven where he hid, most people were Jews under the disguise of a Christian community, and Frank had been able to join the religion of these refugees.

This Jewish theme is very present all along as some recollections of the past holocaust that is still going on in all possible ways since killing a Jew is not a crime. It is only an act of justified cleaning.

That brings the films that are like the secret messages of the man in the high castle to the people to call them to fight for their future and freedom. These films in black and white provide a vision of an alternative world, in fact, the real world as we know it, and all those who watch the films including John Smith who has been entrusted with searching all the films Hitler had collected for some kind of truth or meaning, recognize themselves and people they know in roles they do not remember and can’t imagine since they only know the world in which they are living under the yoke of Germany and Japan.

That duality is exploited as proving there are two layers at least, in reality, the one you know and another one, deep under, in which someone who has exactly the same identity as you, is living a life of happiness and freedom. This is amplified with the belief on the side of the resistance that there is an entryway somewhere and it is in the old coal mines of Pennsylvania. Juliana and others will go after this entryway to get into this other world.

On the other hand, the Nazis are developing exactly the same idea in the same old coal mines but they are building the gate to this other world and texting the technology to enable someone to cross with sacrificial volunteers; At the end of this season, they reach partial (25% and one person out of four) success. Himmler pushes forward to do more and faster. The intention is not clear on the side of the Nazis. Why bother about this other dimension of the universe? There is some kind of blind belief that science has to be developed even if there is no real practical end in the invention or technology you develop.

But all along the way, there are casualties and only one touch of hope in San Francisco where Frank is avenged by his friends who manage to hang a big Rising Sun banner on the Colt Tower but it is a touch of hope that does not seem to lead very far but this touch of hope plus the shooting of Himmler who is still in surgery brings some kind of cliffhanging suspense for the fourth season. The question about the identity of the Man in the High Castle is maybe purely superfluous and some even imagine he is Hitler himself who is maybe dead in this reality but alive in the other black and white reality, the reality of defeated Germany. Once again Hitler is imagined by some as still alive in our world that is the black and white world of the series. But can we cross to the other side by mental means rather than technological means?

More corn to harvest and grind into flour in the fourth season.

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU

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FRANK SPOTNITZ — THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

TV SERIES — 2015–2019

SEASON 4

We all expected this fourth season to see how it could come to some plausible end, and I must say it does not really.

The importance of the double world is vastly increased with the passage from the dystopic world to the real world being a German technology devised with some scientist who is probably American but not a Nazi as such. He is put under duress and hence forced to develop this technology because his own wife is a captive of the Nazis and in the end, she will be dismissed from life when the technology of this passage between two historical versions of the same world will be good enough to enable John Smith, the American Führer of the American Nazi Reich, to cross to the other world and see what it is all about, after his double in that other world has been killed by some military agent. Then John Smith can cross and see what it is like there by taking the place of his own late double.

The Black rebellion in the west, or on the West Coast is effective enough to force the Japanese to leave their American provinces, though in the end it is not really solved whether the Blacks have been successful in securing a state of their own. We can only see they have taken control of San Francisco, but control is nothing since the Japanese mafia stays behind and recruits the Japanese Police Chief on the West Coast as their main agent in exchange for the freedom of his son.

In the East, the other rebellion, this time white, mostly, and Jewish, at least partly, is able to create some problem around John Smith and his wife by more or less forcing the latter to cooperate, but that alone does not mean much because the mass attack onto the neutral zone and the west coast is ordered by John Smith as he is traveling in a train to his western headquarters. But the train is attacked or the aerial monorail of the magnetic supported train, is blown up and the train derails and many are killed, but not Smith. He will be chased and caught up by Juliana and he commits suicide. The news is broadcast instantly and the mass attack on the West Coast is called off at the last minute by his successor who at once de-Nazifies America and reunifies the United States of America and we may think they will more or less be reconstructed.

But the main question remains open. The passage from the Nazi world to the “normal world” is open and at the end, we see people from the “normal world” arriving in the Nazi world, but that is not enough to reunify the two worlds and what’s more this Nazi America will have to be explained and purged. The unification of the two worlds sounds like a Deus ex Machina to wrap up the story without solving it at all.

What are the lessons?

1- The second world war could have been lost by the allies and then the Germans and the Japanese would have taken control of the world, including the USA that would have been cut in two. This dystopic vision is quite logical if… But that is a big if. If the Soviet Union had been conquered by the Nazis in the west and the Japanese in the east.

2- The population under the rule of the Nazi Reich or the Japanese Empire would have found ways to accommodate the situation and to adapt to it. They would have covered the elimination of all Blacks, Jews, and other non-Aryan people. And many other things, including the extreme police state of the Japanese.

3- In both situations, resistance would have appeared, would appear if we believed the USA was moving towards some fascist situation. The main actors of this resistance would be the Blacks and the Jews, but It is totally unacceptable to show the Blacks as being sectarian and refusing to work with any non-Blacks. The Jews and white Americans resisting with them are open, but only to white people since in the east, the Nazis have wiped out all Blacks. I find that hard to believe. The idea that Blacks and Whites would not work together against these two forms of fascism is, in fact, an ideological point of view that does not consider the psychology of people under such fascism. Note on the West Coast, due to the propaganda of the Nazis against the “N**** lords, the whites are trying to loot or get some power-leverage against the Blacks, meaning the Whites are racist too, but they are not trying very hard, so we can imagine it is only a minority.

4- The killing of the whole leadership in Berlin, from Himmler down to the last member of the commanding committee is highly improbable for two men to do it. Then the breaking up of the Reich into two parts, the American Reich under John Smith and his direct associate, and the German Reich under some secondary entity, is also very difficult to accept.

5- What’s more the last-minute canceling of the Blitz Krieg on the West Coast is also very improbable because the German armed forces in America would be under strict control from a whole set of Germans cadres in the police and the military. It would never have been 100% possible with the planes already flying over San Francisco.

6- Of course the main problem is the reunification of the two worlds which is by principle impossible. Only one ironical element shows how wide apart and yet similar the two worlds are. In the Nazi world, John, Smith’s son decides at the age of 17 or 18 to entrust himself to a eugenic team to be put to death because he has a genetic disease and his last words are “My father will be proud of me.” In the other world, he is still alive at the end but he is 18 and he decides to join the armed forces of the US to go to Vietnam, and his last words, this time directly to his father (in fact the one from the Nazi world, since the other had been surreptitiously killed by a Nazi agent) exactly the same sentence: “You must be proud of me.” And we all know that this war is lost and that he has a tremendous level of chance to die there.

So, I am very divided on this ending that sounds to me more like an evasion of a real ending bringing solutions to the story.

Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU

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HISTORY DOES NOT REPEAT ITSELF

HISTORY IS OUT OF REACH

WE — HUMAN BEINGS –

DO NOT CONTROL IT

WE — THE MASSES –

MAY HAVE SOME INFLUENCE

BUT WHAT ARE THE MASSES?

There is no answer to this question or these questions. All answers are ideological and try either to say it is all written in some book up there in the sky, or in some physical formula of the cosmos reduced to nothing but molecules and atoms. God, as well as science, cannot answer the question or questions. The masses in the street? We know what has happened in so many mass street movements in so many countries that brought down a government, and just a few years later the countries went back to what it was before. The Arab Spring was pathetic, even in Tunisia. Some freedom might have been conquered here and there, at the most till some other events bring these freedoms down.

The masses in referendums? Let me laugh. Look at Italy. A referendum brought down a government with an alliance of extreme right and extreme left and these won the elections and fourteen months later that was finished. And a new alliance of the left populists and the center-left party took over. Look at Greece. The left won. A referendum was won the way this government wanted and then elections right afterward cleansed the left alliance of its most extreme wing and that led to a compromise with Europe and the victory of the right a few years later. In our democratic systems, the masses are the victims of collective unconsciousness which is, by the way, manipulated day and night by the media particularly the mass social networks.

The masses do not have any conviction at all. They like or dislike. They believe what they like, and they are ready to kill what they dislike. We are in constant ideological civil warfare with urban warfare menacing at every single turn in life, with rioters, looters and other barbarians taking over anything just for the fun of destroying and repossessing what they had never possessed in the first place. So, they burn houses, burn cars, destroy shops and bars, urban furniture and other public equipment or whatever they can find in the streets. And they can burn down to the ground a kindergarten or a school. They will feel justified by just replying to any objection “Who cares?” or when they have a flash of honesty “I don’t give a damn.”

Can we call that the masses? Or even the representatives of the masses? You must be kidding. Put an illiterate person on a computer’s keyboard. No matter what this person will do, nothing serious will come out, till that person, out of his subsequent temper tantrum, destroys the computer and the keyboard.

And listen to this silly remark from some do-gooders that elderly people are not and will never be able to learn how to use a computer or even a smartphone. I heard people supposedly from the Yellow Vests and unions in Cunlhat last Saturday, December 7, 2019, in a public city-hall meeting, using that argument to ask for more agents in services that are little by little replaced by dematerialized computer procedures from one’s home, not to teach the older people concerned with a computer at their disposal in a library or communal center how to do it, but to do it in their places, and thus keep them dependent. That what I call condescending selfish arrogance from people who are supposed to be at the service of the people to make them responsible citizens. How ridiculous. Learning something is only — I INSIST “ONLY” — a question of method and teacher, though I would prefer the word “initiator.” In fact, that would be a very good job for young people who are computer-literate. And I say job, which implies duly paid for. Old people should be able to go back to school to learn computer-literacy, and schools should be able to get to them if they cannot move. That’s simple: one person and one portable computer visiting an old person and her/his portable computer or tablet to make them discover one hour a day for the length of time it will take how fascinating and funny it can be to be able to navigate in the clouds of our world. In fact, the danger is they might get addicted to the games that may cost them a lot. And that leads to protection: these people must be protected against the unethical thieves and pirates that will try all they can to extort money from them.

So, the question remains open:

WHO AND WHAT MAKES HISTORY?

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Written by

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, PhD in Germanic Linguistics (University Lille III) and ESP Teaching (University Bordeaux II) has been teaching all types of ESP

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