Sunday, 6 April 2014

Songs sung by totalitarian fanatics

This post deals, in brief, with the songs composed by the most terrible regimes in human history. Courtesy of that most sinister and fanatical military arm of all, the Waffen-SS, we get "SS marschiert in Feindesland" (SS marches in enemy land), a marching song so simple but so, so ghastly that only the Nazis could possibly have composed it. It's a song whose internet versions have, understandably, been banned across Western Europe. The Devil may laugh, ha ha ha ha ha, as the bloodthirsty SS marches its way.

After running into the Panzerlied and Erika and other German marching songs, I was vaguely expecting the Waffen-SS anthem to be more on the same lines. Well, I was stupid to expect that - whoever composed this was brutally honest about wanting to "eradicate the red plague". It's a song that fits well with the Waffen-SS, the fanatical killers that they were.

There is sort of quasi-religious quality to this kind of anthem for fanatics, more so than standard military marches - the notion of eradicating a "red plague" is treated as some kind of holy crusade. While that's obviously fascist ethnic genocidal thinking at work, this dreadful song does not seem too far removed from early-war communist music, particularly revenge-driven songs like "Svyaschennaya Voyna", which speaks gloriously about rising in rage against Fascism (but which doesn't mention replacing it with it the equally horrific Stalinism). Unlike the communists, they seem not to be particularly interested in speaking of the glory of their ideology, merely delighting in serving Hitler and the Reich. (Brings to mind "Leader, give me your order", the North Korean song sung by the fanatical devotees of the only totalitarian necrocracy in the world).

Amongst these different flavors of mass-murdering totalitarianism, we get different causes. The Nazis, obsessed with their Reich and Hitler and ethnic purity. The Stalinists, obsessed with their leader and with Stalinist ideology (I say Stalinist rather than Communist, for good reason) and later similarly with Chairman Mao's followers (Mao himself taking a route not too dissimilar to Stalin's), and finally the crackpot ideology of North Korea, a monarchy where everyone remains fanatically devoted to their leader. Their very songs reflect their different ideologies, and the sheer smugness reflects a worldview that has been warped to exclude any notion of inferiority.

Being a pessimist, I expect that such unapologetically smug songs will become all the more common unless the root causes of totalitarian fanaticism - of whatever flavor - are rooted out. More (on fanaticism, not singing) to come. 

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