How to Fuel Fascism
by Meg Curtis. PhD
The intense cinematic masterpiece Keeper of the
Flame came out in 1943, two years after the United
States entered World War II. The quality of the acting
and directing may distract viewers from the startling
timeline which research inspired by this movie launches
upon contemporary developments.
One website remedies this oversight:
A time-line of World War II at http://www.scaruffi.
com/politics/wwii.html. Immediately, it becomes
apparent that WWII crept upon the world like a
centipede, crawling mercilessly over people's minds.
Before they knew it, it seemed, Japan had bombed Pearl
Harbor, and Britain and the US had returned the favor,
declaring war together on 8/12/1941. Then, both sides
engaged: On 11/12/1941, Germany and Italy declared war
on the USA.
This timeline reveals more, though, than the
onslaught of creeping military machines. Lo and behold!
The very same countries and locations keep appearing
like that infamous phrase "de ja vue." Read it carefully.
Not only do the US and Britain keep popping up along
with Germany and Japan, but also Hong Kong, Syria, the
Soviet Union, Iraq, Libya, Greece, and Africa. Like
forgetful tourists, why do we not recognize the scenery
and the long hard trek so many nations made before?
While the media have been blabbing about
celebrities, plastic surgery, sex changes, drugs, and
marriages of various kinds, history has been teaching us
a lesson we apparently skipped while American leaders
demonstrate again that they don't like war. Is that news?
Meanwhile, that ferocious timeline keeps crawling
forward like the machines described so lyrically in The
Red Badge of Courage, America's monument to its own
brutal Civil War.
Read the timeline. Then, read it again. It begins with
these immortal words: "1933: Students of the University
of Berlin burn thousands of books by Jewish authors."
So, where did we ever get the idea that students were
heroes for being anti-war activists? Where did we get
the idea that Jews constituted only a race despised by
Hitler? Those ideas come from propaganda which erases
The famous Three R's may be outdated. Maybe it's
time for the Three S's: Sit down, Shut up, and Study.
When we get the facts right, maybe we can recognize the
forces whirling us around like flotsam and jetsam on the
currents of power—which misuse the ignorant every
time they can. As the wounded accumulate, it is too late
to say: "I'm sorry. I overslept that day when the teacher
covered World War II—and I really had to send a text
message to my friends."