"..I considered Hitler a complete masochist possessed by the idea of provoking a war in order to lose it heroically." – Salvador Dali
He systematically alienated influential and high ranking sympathizers in the US and Britain (Henry Ford, Prince Phillip, Lord Mountbatten, the list goes on).
He challenged the whole of the industrial world-including the USA, though it was bloated with endless postules of men, money and munitions.
He also ordered, in a holy war against communism, the historically suicidal invasion of Russia, despite the disasters of Charles X and Napoleon looming as cautionary tales.
Obviously, his ambition was immolation rather than politics.
For him, the script to this final act, the invasion of Russia, unfolded perfectly. After great success, the Nazi rampage was halted in the snow of Stalingrad, and the slaughter reversed.
The Red Army, the verminous inverse composite of his own beloved racially pure stormtroopers, overran Germany and it's various eastern allies. Surrounded by Bolshevik untermenschen in a Berlin bunker, he apparently managed to bite into a cyanide capsule whilst firing a Luger into his mouth. And all this while draped in the arms of his freshly poisoned lover. Fantastic.
Like Wagner's heroes Siegfried and Tristan, his struggle had been gloriously futile, an epic to be recounted as myth. As a fan of opera, suicide was almost certainly a highly cherished moment in a life characterized by unlikely and daring triumphs.
Hitler's story though, is more than a titillating morsal to recount for delight. It demonstrates that an examination of a leader's/culture's most beloved art can yield the destiny of that nation and people. That the popular expression of the culture is actually the narrative which determines it's overarching historical course.
To wit; as an opera enthusiast, Hitler had to lead Germany to a tragic Wagnerian calamity.
The ramifications regarding the responsibility of the use of "art" are profound. We could conclude, for example, that the American defeat in Vietnam was entailed by the tragi-poetic aesthetic of the Doors, Dylan and Hendrix, who had led the culture on a teeny-bacchanalian death trip. And that the artist who works in the paradigmatic form of his or her time holds the key to their culture, nation and collective destiny. If the leaders are hip to this fact, it would explain the Government's overweening interest in the content of art, and particularly film, which is the most pervasive and influential medium.
Of course, Hitler was no mere opera fan; his participation with, and sponsorship by, various ultra right-wing occult and esoteric neo-gnostic groups such as the Thule society and the Bavarian Illuminati are well known.
Though he already possessed the 'Spear of Destiny', his archeaologists were saddled with exploration of theoretical lands like Hyperborea and the excavation of holy Christian relics in places like Rennes La Chateau.
But, as opposed to these distractions, Wagner was a spirit who was central to the ideals of the Third Reich. German opera eclipsed Hitler's metaphysical mentors who were steeped in the Orientalism of Guirdjeff, Blavatsky, Zen and the Vedas (influencing the Nazi appropriation of the swastika). Wagner was Hitler's guiding light.
Adolph Hitler credited a stirring performance of the Wagner opera 'Rienzi' as the epiphanic moment which propelled him to seek political office. Once in power, Hitler had said "To know National Socialist Germany, one must know Wagner", "I have no forerunner, excepting Ricard Wagner" and "Out of 'Parsifal', I have made a religion".
No mere composer of operas, Wagner was a German national hero in the late 19th century. An outspoken jew hater and cultural critic, he expounded influentially on the nature of teutonic art. His race hatred was an outgrowth of that era's eugenic craze and the 19th century abberation called Nationalism. Inevitably, the Jew is displaced in this milieu as the 'other'. A mystic firebrand, he insisted that "all Jews should be burned at a performance of Nathan the Wise" and that the only redemption for the tribe was "Ahasverus"-total destruction.
Wagner blamed Hebrew inspired Christian guilt for Germany's inability to achieve it's place as entitled ruler among nations, a claim later echoed by Hitler, who said "conscience is a Jewish invention; a blemish, like circumcision". Hitler was enthralled with Wagner, who had been jingoistic, anti-semitic and crypto-pagan, and his music apparently served as the death camp soundtrack to the final solution.
Though raised as a Roman Catholic and in collusion with the Vatican til the end of his life, Hitler's state version of Christianity was interbred with pagan and nationalist rituals inspired by Wagner's Nordic-Gnostic hybrid and it's attempt to cleanse the church of it's Jewish root. Both men were influenced by the volkish philosophy of Guido Von List, the Austro-German author of Secrets of the Runes and proponent of Odinism. Nazi ideology was appropriately mystical, driven by the notion of the "Volk", German destiny, and a special warrior/priest class (the SS) in heroic conflict with state appointed monsters, such as Bolsheviks, Gypsies, etc, the political manifestation of the metaphorical dwarves and dragons featured on Wagner's Bayreuth opera house stage.
This SS was modeled on the medieval order of Teutonic Knights, the German version of the Knights Templar, who, instead of trying for the holy land, colonized the pagan Baltic states and northern Russia during crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries.
German imperial strategy during the Third Reich was to forgo the far flung colonial possessions which typified the British/French paradigm and instead expand eastward ala these knights of yore in a strategy reminiscent of the United States 'Manifest Destiny'. This would create Lebensraum in an enormous Grossdeutschland.
This explains the inclusion of Slavs as 'untermenschen' in Nazi eugenic theory and the extermination of Russians during the German invasion along with Jews and Gypsies. As always, ideology is contrived to underwrite guilt and expedite policy.
The SS were to be the feudal lords who would rule the surviving Slavs during German settlement. Of course Wagner's Parsifal features the famous Templar Order who guard the holy grail.
The Berlin Opera was commisioned to design SS officer uniforms, to give them an appropriately sharp/menacing look. The Nazis were an aesthetic cult after all, as exemplified by Leni Riefenstahl's films, Speer's 'Cathedral of Light' and the rally at Nuremberg. But the underlying aesthetic narrative for Nazi Germany was opera, and particularly the unremittingly tragic works of Ricard Wagner.
Each regime has an aesthetic program through which it propagates it's ideology. Art in the Soviet Union had been derailed in the early thirties from an avant-garde "constructivism" under Lenin to a populist and anti-intellectual form called "Social Realism" under Stalin. Pictures and films of this genre propagated a heroic vision of revolutionary proletarian life in a way which could be understood and appreciated by the imagined lumpen masses. "Now art is for everyone" was the official explanation.
The philistine neutering of the revolution's ambitious and visionary artistic program can be blamed, more than any other factor, for the eventual destruction of Soviet Communism at the hands of American Imperialist bankers in the late twentieth century. Instead of Mayakovsky and Rodchenko's daring innovations, the vogue was for sun dappled scenes portraits of field hands.
Still, despite stultifying aesthetic guidlines, some extraordinary artists prevailed, such as El Lissitzky and filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein.
In 1938, the Soviets commisioned an important film by Sergei Eisenstein which determined their distinct narrative for the inevitable collision with their militarised German nemesis. Called 'Alexandr Nevsky', it took place in the middle ages and was based on the exploits of the Russian prince (Alexandr Nevsky) who defeated the Teutonic knights as they raped and burned through Russia in one of the many Eastern crusades which served as pretext for Templar/German colonisation.
The story begins with the German knights and their Priestly entourage burning babies and pillaging cities - as was exactly the case in the war two years later.
The Germans are at first fantastically successful but are eventually led onto the ice lake by the wily Alexandr in an uncanny prophecy of the Stalingrad disaster. Their heavy armour proves their undoing and, just as the mechanized blitzkrieg was undone by the Russian winter, the Teutonic knights fall to their watery death in the frozen lake.
The art forms which are used as propaganda by the rival powers are of course instructive, as they illuminate perfectly the respective ideologies at play. For the Communists, the mythic Nazi approach is replaced by a historic and filmed "scientific" one. Opera had been the soundtrack to imperial conquest, it's inception actually coinciding with the advent of the western European Imperial age. Wagner was one of the last serious opera composers, just as Nazi Germany seemed to be the last example of the old style of Empire building, and his work is considered the acme of the genre in terms of seriousness and difficulty.
Eisenstein meanwhile was on the frontline of innovation in film, the medium Lenin called the "most important art form". His stylized photography and jump cuts revolutionized movies and are still used as reference today. He had imagined himself as near to a "pure cinematography" which was "genetically ideological" and he dreamed of making a filmic version of Marx's Kapital.
The soundtrack was for Nevsky was by Prokofiev, a composer who had gained renown for his modernist musical tracts and who'd been denounced by the western musical establishment as an agent of Bolshevism. Could these two have known, when commisioned to create this film, that they were filming and editing their nation's destiny? Or did the Nazis have an inner sense that for them, mired in their operatic death trip, defeat in the conflict was all but assured?
Alexander Nevsky was called "Plasto-Cinematographic Symphony" because it was, like opera, entirely ersatz, stylized, and obsessively pre-meditated. Eisenstein was actually interested in realizing opera's goal, "the synthesis of all arts", but in film. In fact, he said Battleship Potemkin, his early masterpiece, was "built up in accordance with the laws of austere composition of tragedy in its traditional five act form". But Nevsky, made in the face of the actual Nazi menace, was made as a propaganda film to stir the people's hearts to action and precluded any doomed ending.
The underlying artistic narrative was the crux; the triumphalist nature of the Soviet propaganda contrasted with the heroic doomed tragedy of German opera. As the armies clashed, the end was predetermined, though it would cost millions of lives and horrible suffering. Hitler was a romantic intent on death and Stalin a realist bent on survival.
This revelation illuminates much, particularly the state sponsorship for all manners of film coming from Hollywood now.
While the US Army/Navy subsidizes movies such as "The sum of all fears" almost entirely, they insist on cursory scrubbing of the scripts, ensuring not only triumphalist endings, but the heroic behaviour of men in American uniform. The rulers in Washington seem aware of the importance of the invisible hand of art in determining the destiny of the nation. Though the denigration and parody of "the artist" (excepting those beset by fantastic success) is de riguer in the culture, we see that his or her power is actually secretly resented and admired as being key to predestination.
This reveals much more though, than the simple subsidization of "Windtalkers", "Extreme Ops", "The Recruit", etc. It is a telling expose of the culture's discomfort with the European tradition of "high art" and particularly of tragedy. While the old world still cultivates the traditions of painting, poetry and dance, the United States of America and it's spiritual godfather Great Britain, have implemented an institutionalized disregard for these forms. In these protestant neo colonial mercantile capitals, only "art" which is commercially viable and populist is a respectable pursuit, ala Rock N Roll music, movies and commercial or "Pop" art.
The Beatles, Scorsese and Warhol are exalted while the old forms of bourgeois culture such as poetry, painting, symphony, etc (the "High Arts") are despised as effete and boring. This actually echoes the cobosh Stalin put on "elitist" art forms in his institutionalization of social realism. This is no whim of culture, but an officially enforced arbitration designed to maintain an uncomplicated triumphalist narrative as the national expression.
England led the way in this philistinism, replying to Europe's tragic operatic canon with the fluff of Gilbert and Sullivan, and to the plays of Strindberg and Ibsen with Oscar Wilde. The USA followed suit with Charlie Chaplin and Rodgers and Hart. Nietzche had postulated that in art there was a "Dionysian" urge for self immolation and passion which intruded on the "Apollonian" urge for symmetry, construction and conquest, the union of the two finding it's expression in the medium "tragedy".
To him, it was the apex of beauty, this tragic urge which came to characterize "high art". After his death, with his texts politically perverted by party members, Nietzche's works became Nazi staples. Nietzche's first book, 'The Birth Of Tragedy', is an homage to Wagner's tragic operas. This Dionysian, suicidal urge is certainly present in the Rock n Roll genre , with it's death cult (Hendrix, Morrison, Cobain) and in film, which is preoccupied almost exclusively with murder and violence, but the framing narrative itself is triumphalist, on the radio with "freedom rock" and the pop format and especially in film with the ubiquitous "Hollywood Ending".
This narrative in the official forms of expression is enforced maniacally, for once the Dionysian takes hold, the cultural arbiters understand that it spells the end of the Empire. The European disinclination toward war points to the defeatism which inevitably follows when a culture embraces "high art" and ascribes nuanced, existential or tragic conclusions to it's artworks. Art with this trajectory simultaneously humanizes victimhood in a manner which ultimately condemns the mass murder of imperialism. It also programs in it's adherents an unconscious desire for noble defeat and immolation.
The American imperial high command sees the writing on the wall. If Sylvester Stallone dies, the empire crumbles. Indeed, "Rocky" lost the big fight only in the first film, a product of the pacifist, war hating 70's. Since then, he's smashed the Russians, re-invaded Vietnam, etc. and the American fascists' fortunes have risen with him. The brief post-golden age glimmer for provocative auteur cinema in the USA was the 1970's; a low point for jingoism, with America losing in Angola, Laos, Nicaragua and Vietnam. Then, Star Wars and George Lucas ushered in Ronald Reagan and the revitalized military state.
Wagner's heyday came on the heels of the Franco-Prussian war of 1871, the final great military victory for Germany. After his tragic narrative was introduced, all of Deutschland's wars were defeats, though the Teutonic armies had no equal. Finally, through this strange transposition, he murdered his greatest fan. Great, nuanced art brings beauty but also doom, the overlords understand.
The ruling class must therefore studiously maintain a life without appreciation for anything beyond money, baubles, gadgets, power and military hardware; a philistine's existence which has transformed our world into the strip mall we inhabit. Their fear of "art" is palpable, though they use it, especially cinema and Rock n Roll , to subjegate the world to an American economic hegemony.
While cinema is the state's favourite tool for global indoctrination, due to the budgetary excesses which makes it so easy to pervert through subsidization, Rock n Roll is a more unwieldy weapon. Cheap enough to be made by anyone, it's content is less easily determined since it doesn't require government or industry handouts.
This has so far been mostly constrained by strict aesthetic parameters which are critically enforced however. In it's current conservative manifestation it has been a most effective instrument for subjugating foreign markets and ideologies, but as an official expression of the culture it can and must be subverted and utilized in a way that truly best serves the world; to bring destruction to the war machine, to crush the reactionaries and slaughter the high command as Wagner did, unwittingly, from his grave.
This awesome power and responsibility, Rock N Rollers, lies with you!