Category Archives: Evil

“Hand them a human in full bloom, and what they give back to you, after a few seasons, is a pressed flower.”

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According to Anthony Lane regarding rereading Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

What I browsed, back then, seemed a serene, rather aristocratic affair, strewn with bright, overtalkative folk who could switch countries at will; one bad marriage didn’t make it any the less romantic. What I discover now feels funnier, still sharp with the Jane Austen-like tartness of its predecessor, “Washington Square,” but it’s more than that. It’s a horror story.

The first critic to notice this, and to lend it adequate stress, was, of all people, Ezra Pound. In a brief essay from 1918, he wrote, “What I have not heard is any word of the major James, of the hater of tyranny; book after early book against oppression, against all the sordid petty personal crushing oppression, the domination of modern life.” In a footnote, he added, of James, “What he fights is ‘influence,’ the impinging of family pressure, the impinging of one personality upon another.” We think of Osmond, the supreme impinger, all the more cruel in his confinement of Isabel’s spirit because she gave herself to him, rather than to his rivals, in a defining flourish of her liberation. That, it turns out, is precisely what rouses his contempt. “One ought to make one’s life a work of art,” he tells Isabel, sounding like a warmup act for Oscar Wilde; any hint of aesthetic levity, however, vanishes after the marriage, once she realizes that he is an anti-Pygmalion, quenching her vital fire and nailing her into place like a statue. Osmond did not fall in love with our heroine; what he loved was “the idea of taking to himself a young lady who had qualified herself to figure in his collection of choice objects.” That is what monsters do, especially the polite and patient ones: they harvest souls. Hand them a human in full bloom, and what they give back to you, after a few seasons, is a pressed flower.

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Ante Pavelić: another of history’s many monsters who totally got away with it

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According to Jonathan Levy And Tom Easton

Ante Pavelić was the original ‘Butcher of the Balkans.” He was the leader of the Nazi puppet government of the “Independent Sate of Croatia” who died peacefully in Madrid in 1959. The mass murderer of 80,000 Jews, 30,000 [Roma], and over 500,000 Serbs survived the Second World War and never faced a war crimes tribunal.

Instead Pavelić was offered sanctuary by the Vatican and became a security advisor to Juan and Eva Perón before retiring to fascist Spain. Key to Pavelić’s survival was the so-called Croatian Treasury, really nothing more than Pavelić personal wealth, the plunder of concentration camps and massacres throughout the Balkans and beyond. Wherever the loyal Ustashe (Croatian Nazis) served Pavelić and Hitler, Orthodox Christian churches and Jewish synagogues were plundered and the property of Serbs, Jews, [Roma], Ukrainians and others were confiscated. The crimes of Pavelić and the Ustashe were so barbaric that even hardened Nazis were disgusted by it.

In the final days of World War II, Pavelić and his inner circle bought and bribed their way to Rome where help was waiting at the Vatican. Pavelić committed genocide on a level far greater than any known before or since in the Balkans but he had been personally received by Pius XII during his reign of terror. The Franciscan Order and Vatican bank eagerly helped launder Pavelić’s loot the proceeds of which were used to establish the so called ratline which helped thousands of Nazis and Ustashe escape to South America.

According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today strongly denounced a memorial mass held yesterday in the center of Zagreb to commemorate the demise of Croatian mass murderer Ante Pavelić, who headed the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) during World War II. In a statement issued here today by its chief Nazi hunter, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center emphasized the central role played by Pavelić in launching genocidal programs against Serbs, Jews, and Roma in Croatia during World War II, as well as the systematic persecution and murder of Croatian anti-fascists.

According to Zuroff:

“It is hard to believe that in the center of the capital of a member of the European Union, very close to Zagreb’s Jewish community, hundreds of people gathered yesterday to commemorate the memory of one of Europe’s biggest mass murderers. Such a ceremony is an insult to the memory of Pavelić’s hundreds of thousands of innocent victims. It is also a badge of shame for the Catholic Church, which allowed such a ceremony to take place in the Basilica of the Heart of Christ who, had he been alive during World War II, would have been targeted for annihilation as well.

USA break with bourgeois legality

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According to Barry Grey

The CIA torture program itself was only an extreme expression of a break with bourgeois legality that characterizes every aspect of US policy. The theft of the 2000 election set the stage for the post-9/11 assault on democratic rights and creation of a police state-in-waiting, including Guantanamo Bay, the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Department, the Northern Command, rendition, indefinite detention, drone assassinations and mass NSA spying.

Slavery and the rise of the West

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According to Eric Foner

Among the many virtues of Robin Blackburn’s The American Crucible is its demonstration that slavery must be at the center of any account of Western ascendancy. Without the colonization of the New World, Blackburn notes at the outset, the West as we know it would not exist, and without slavery there could have been no colonization. Between 1500 and 1820, African slaves constituted about 80 percent of those who crossed the Atlantic from east to west. More than any other institution, the slave plantation underpinned the extraordinary expansion of Western power and the region’s prosperity in relation to the rest of the world.