Wednesday 16 November 2016

What's In A Name?

One of the stock reactions among persons of some beliefs to proposals or suggestions that they dislike is to invoke the name of Hitler, that is Herr Adolf Hitler, perhaps Schicklgruber, dictator of Germany who died in 1945. Not only is this a long time ago what was happening then is not identical to the now.

I have my own views on Hitler. He tried to kill me and my family, friends and neighbours and gave me a childhood short of food, warmth and many other things. He did kill one uncle, injured other relatives, and caused the deaths of many millions. Several years later during my time in the Army Belsen-Bergen was in our area.

If we are looking for examples of authoritarian rulers who either do not have or ignore democracy and who have certain ideas on many things that some of us do not like, history has no shortage of other examples. Written history takes us back some three thousand years across the world and there is what might have been where there is little or no written history.

Even in England there are candidates. King Edward I, ancestor to myself and most of the present population of the UK, is a choice example. Please take your pick of other Kings, major figures and prelates. I fear that some of the equivalents of Irish, Scottish and Welsh history could be on the list, again in our ancestries.

From elsewhere in the world picking out a ruler or caste to cite as an example to avoid at all costs unluckily means that not many people will know about them. Also, in some cases the person involved may now be held to be one of the great names of their history. Don't mention King Louis XIV in front of the French.

Picking out the letter "M" we have the Maya, Mughals and Mongols, I could go on for a few thousand words or maybe three volumes. For the EU which example to use is a puzzle. The recent lurch towards a Euro Army tempts a European example, perhaps from ancient Rome but it seems to share the characteristics of some ancient Chinese Emperors.

To return to the Hitler matter, its use is intended as a means of closing a debate in a way that has no answer, which is convenient to those who make it. This suggests that a matter has either become complicated in a way that makes analysis difficult or because they have opinions that are challenged by close inspection or query of an actual situation or the facts available.

One reason why this ploy is used so often at present is that the world is becoming an ever more complicated place and the problems are piling up and interacting in ways that create severe stresses for populations, governments and politicians who struggle to understand or to cope with.

As it has become necessary for ambitious politicians to use the shortest simplest words in media sound bites to attract most of those will be actually vote so this has invited equally short responses reduced to levels of meaning which avoid the difficulties of rational explanation.

Personally, I am taken by the idea of using the Emperor Shah Jahan as my shut out or shut up example. The picture above is from the Agra Fort which he made a palace and at which he died.

The man in the tomb is one of grandma's cousins.

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