Found via Charles Johnson, Hans Magnus Enzensberger has a long, detailed essay on “The Radical Loser” that first appeared in early November in Germany’s Der Spiegel. Enzensberger places what Freud would call the Death Drive of Islamofascism into the context of 20th century history. Here’s but a sample:
At this point, alongside many other examples from history, one cannot help being reminded of the National Socialist project in Germany. At the end of the Weimar Republic, large sections of the population saw themselves as losers. The objective data tell a clear story. But the economic crisis and mass unemployment would probably not have been enough to bring Hitler to power. For that to happen, it took propaganda aimed at the subjective factor: the blow dealt to people’s pride by the defeat of 1918 and the Treaty of Versailles. Most Germans sought to blame others: the victorious powers, the “global Capitalist-Bolshevist conspiracy” and above all, of course, the eternal scapegoat, Judaism. The tormenting feeling of being in the position of the loser could only be compensated for by pursuing an offensive strategy, by seeking refuge in megalomania. From the outset, the Nazis entertained delusions of world domination. As such, their goals were boundless and non-negotiable. In this sense, they were not only unreal, but also non-political.
Consulting a map was never going to be enough to persuade Hitler and his followers that the struggle of one small European country against the rest of the world was hopeless. On the contrary. The radical loser has no notion of resolving conflicts, of compromise that might involve him in a normal network of interests and defuse his destructive energy. The more hopeless his project, the more fanatically he clings to it. There are grounds to suspect that Hitler and his followers were interested not in victory, but in radicalizing and eternalizing their own status as losers.
Their pent up anger discharged itself in a war of unprecedented destruction against all those others who they blamed for their own defeats. First and foremost, it was a matter of destroying the Jews and the opponents of 1919. But they certainly had no intention of sparing the Germans. Their actual objective was not victory, but elimination, downfall, collective suicide, the terrible end. There is no other explanation for the way the Germans fought on in World War II right to the last pile of rubble in Berlin. Hitler himself confirmed this diagnosis when he said that the German people did not deserve to survive. At a huge cost, he achieved what he wanted