Never Again: Standing Up to the Oligarchy

Zivia Lubetkin was adamant—there would be no more talk. At 28, she was a leader of her youth group and a born fighter . . .  a Jewish girl, who less than three years earlier had smuggled herself back into German-occupied Warsaw from the Russian zone as Germany invaded Poland. She knew what was in store for her since the Nazis had been running concentration camps for Germany’s Jews since 1933, but she went anyway. Now it was July 1942, and the Nazis had just deported the first 56,000 residents of the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka death campwithout resistance from the ghetto’s residents. 

Against the wishes of the Jewish leadership in Warsaw, who counseled obedience to Nazi authority out of concern for reprisals, Zivia and several members of her underground youth group decided it was time to form an armed resistance movement. There, in their makeshift safehouse at 34 Dzielna Street, with no money and only two stolen pistols, they started the first armed resistance group in the Warsaw Ghetto, the Jewish Fighting Organization Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa, or ZOB“because it is better to be shot in the ghetto than to die in Treblinka!” 

Shortly thereafter they launched their first partisan action. For a young, ad hoc, and untrained partisan fighting group, it was a fairly complex three-pronged operation. They would conduct an information operation to disseminate posters declaring the truth that Treblinka was a death camp from which there would be no survivors, a sabotage operation to burn warehouses full of Nazi loot stolen from deported Jewish residents, and the assassination of the Jewish ghetto police chief. The operation was a success, although their assassination target did not die from his gunshot wounds.  

Zivia believed the ZOB had accomplished a great victory for the doomed residents of the Warsaw ghetto. She was shocked when she learned that the ghetto’s leaders were furious and that her posters were being torn down. ZOB members were attacked and beaten by many of the ghetto’s residents. 

Zivia and the ZOB continued their heroic fight against the Nazis, while the leaders of the ghetto continued to advance the Nazi fiction that deportation from the ghetto was for “resettlement” elsewhere. The ghetto’s leaders silently watched as 265,000 of their people were deported to Treblinka, where, on arrival, they were gassed to death and incinerated.

By April 1943, when only about 60,000 residents remained in the ghetto and the truth that “resettlement” meant death could no longer be ignored, many of the remaining residents decided to fight in what became the 1943 Warsaw Uprising. In the end, although the ZOB’s actions were heroic, it was too little too late. Thousands died in the fighting and the remaining 50,000 residents were deported to Treblinka and killed. Only 34 ZOB members, including Zivia, made it out of the ghetto alive.

An Internal Enemy

A frequently used tactic of tyrants is to create an internal enemy. The Nazis’ Final Solution wasn’t just about Hitler’s hatred for the Jews; it was about the Nazi party creating an internal enemy to help focus and unite Germany, and later all of Europe, under Nazi rule. 

Within several weeks of Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor, communists, gypsies, political opponents, and German citizens of Jewish ethnicity were designated as internal enemies and marked for persecution and eventual extermination. The Dachau concentration camp opened a mere two weeks after Hitler assumed power. As the Nazi war machine rolled through Europe, it exported its program of extermination of these designated ethnic and political groups under the guise of ridding Europe of alien, non-European groups who were said to be dangerous to society.

The Nazi extermination machine was an efficient monster, thanks in part to the help of American corporations like IBM, Ford Motor Company, and Coca-Colaall of which did business with the Nazi government. IBM was especially effective in working with Nazi officials to create an exceptionally accurate census database that was used to identify ethnically Jewish German citizens for extermination. Ford produced turbines for the dreaded Nazi V2 rockets, and of course, Coca-Cola kept the German war machine and its fighting men of the Einsatzgruppen and Wehrmacht supplied with their signature beverage. Never underestimate the power of money and what oligarchs will do to keep it flowing in their direction.

This tactic of creating an internal enemy is the political extension of G.W.F. Hegel’s “othering,” which is a method of negating another person’s or group’s humanity. Behaviorally, it is an important intermediate step to dehumanize a targeted group before doing bad things to them. For a tyrant’s supporters, dehumanizing their internal enemy makes persecuting that enemy more acceptableespecially when that persecution is being done in the name of “restorative justice,” the “betterment of society,” or for the “benefit” of the persecuted group’s own well-being. 

In the United States, the current regime has begun othering its political opposition. 

The regime’s national security apparatus recently warned that politically conservative and independent Americans are potential domestic terrorists, extremists, and white supremacistsdangerous to our society. The Justice Department is persecuting political protesters and hundreds of people who are, essentially, political prisoners are now being held without bail, many in pre-trial solitary confinement for allegations of misdemeanor protest activity. 

In ironic fashion, a fascist-like coalescence of government and private corporations, as well as journalists, are publicly stamping out free speech. And in blue-run cities, modern Brownshirts under the banners of Black Lives Matter and Antifa spent most of last year freely burning local businesses and attacking and murdering wrong-thinking citizens. It is no accident that 2021 America is beginning to look and smell a lot like 1933 Germany. 

Positioning the Oligarchy

The current culture war in America is driven by the ruling elite and funded by a China-sympathizing class of oligarchs under the guise of protecting marginalized groups of Americans. In other words, a bunch of rich white kids supported by U.S.-based multinational corporations and government bureaucrats are doing the bidding of uber-wealthy robber barons, who traditionally couldn’t care less about racism or equity, all supposedly to stamp out racism in a country that is probably the least racist country in the world. 

It doesn’t make sense . . . and that’s because it’s bullshit.

The oligarchs are doing what they’ve always done, making sure the money keeps flowing their way. That means money is flowing into their pockets by tapping Chinese markets, cheap Chinese labor, and inexpensive Chinese industrial capacity. 

In fact, the same corporations that are donating millions of dollars to “social justice” groups like BLM and forcing their employees into critical race theory struggle sessions are also heavily involved in business with the world’s most oppressive government, China. The same Apple corporation allegedly concerned with the racist treatment of brown people in America is totally OK with profiting from Uighur slave labor in Chinese concentration camps where forced sterilization, organ harvesting, and religious reeducation are standard fare. 

The same corporations, Google and IBM, that claim to care so much about systemic police racism in America are providing mass surveillance and censorship technology to an oppressive Chinese government that uses it to identify and disappear political dissidents. Once again, American companies are doing business and making money with an oppressive foreign government running concentration camps in order to stamp out a race and culture they have deemed alien and a danger to their society. So, yes, it smells like 1933 Germany again. 

The truth is the oligarchs are worried. They’re worried they can’t get enough Chinese money to keep the power-elite party going. Robert Michels’ “Iron Law of Oligarchy” defines oligarchy as a power structure in which power rests with a small elite number of people and into which all complex political organizations inevitably devolve. The problem for the oligarchs? The U.S. Constitution and the concept of the United States as a sovereign nation under the rule of law, not of men. 

The oligarchs know they need to remove these hurdles to get the most from their global business interests. In order to do this, they must dismantle the culture in America that makes Americans overly fond and protective of the Constitution, the rights of individual liberty, a sovereign nation with defined borders, and equal justice under the law. Enter the oligarch’s deconstructor: antiracism, equity, and critical race theory.

The Fruits of Division

Every tyranny has its useful idiots. Lenin had his Bolsheviks, Mao his Red Guards, and Hitler his Brownshirts. The tyranny that is the American oligarchy has its own power-hungry government apparatchiks: Antifa, BLM, and assorted identity politics hustlers. Historically, most of the useful idiots end up like Hitler’s Brownshirts—dead, imprisoned, or broken. There is money to be made in being a useful idiot, however, if you know how to play. 

The anti-racism, critical race theory, and equity business is an example of how profitable useful idiot work can be. Take just a few examples: Ibram X. Kendi, Patrisse Cullors, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Robin DiAngelo. They are riding the racism train to the very top of the industry, raking in personal millions in the process, and splitting off franchise racism consulting businesses in both the private and government sectors. 

But what are they really doing? How are they making anyone’s but their own lives better? After all, demonizing one class of humans over another is what tyrants throughout history have done. In actuality, the anti-racism, critical race theory, and equity industry looks like Hegel’s othering. Are they getting paid to race hustle, or are they working to help create an internal enemy to help consolidate the oligarchy’s power? 

The truth is that nobody in the entire chain of the diversity-inclusion-equity rebellion that is consuming America right now is any better off for it . . . that is, except for the rich and powerful at the top. 

Throughout human history, the rich and powerful have stayed rich and powerful by exploiting the weak and powerless and making sure no one was in a position to challenge their status and authority. In Power, Privilege, and Difference, Allen G. Johnson points out:

Subordinate groups are often pitted against one another in ways that draw attention away from the system of privilege that hurts them all.

This has certainly been the strategy of the tyrant. Pit one man against the other so neither notices they are both slaves to the same master. As long as the common man is divided, the elites will feel safe. 

Resist

The corrupt government apparatchiks who service the oligarchy can handle the little fires of a few awakening citizens, but they know if those fires merge or get out of control, then they’re done. They know that in the end, they are equally vulnerable as the common man is to the bullet of retribution. 

The one thing the oligarch fears more than anything is a people united, a people who can see through the façade of racial division, and a people who are no longer willing to suffer as subjects of a ruling elite. In warfare, if your enemy fears something, it’s best to give them as much of that thing as you can muster. 

Hope is a powerful thing. It can carry you through the toughest times, but it can also kill you. The Jewish leaders in the Warsaw ghetto hoped that the Nazis were being truthful about deportation and resettlement. They saw themselves as good people who had held important positions in Polish society. They hadn’t done anything wrong, so why would anyone want to do evil to them? Even as word came back that Treblinka was a death camp, they held onto their hope for too long. It took a 28-year-old young woman with a couple of stolen pistols and incredible courage to eventually break them out of that false hope.

In America right now, we have a choice. We can keep allowing ourselves to be played and divided by the oligarchs and their enforcers and self-load into the cattle cars when our time comes. Or we can stand up together, like Zivia Lubetkin, before it’s too late, and say enough. There is a time to stop being obedient, there is a time to stop relying on hope, and there is a time to become defiant. For all Americans, that time is now. United we may still stand, but if we remain divided we will most assuredly fall.

 

About Max Morton

Max Morton is a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, former CIA paramilitary operations officer, and a veteran of multiple armed conflicts, revolutions, and contingency operations.

Photo: Mondadori via Getty Images

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