Monday, August 17, 2009

Silence = Death: The Culturist Take

"Silence Equals Death" is a slogan of the gay rights movement. In conjunction with this we see the Pink Triangle. The triangle was the symbol homosexuals wore for identification under the Third Reich. Along with Jews, those with birth defects, Jehovah’s Witnesses, communist, and traitors to the State or Hitler, gays were an officially recognized category targeted for camps and death. If one were not silent, homosexuality equaled death under National Socialist rule.

The era proceeding Nazi Germany was the Weimar Republic. In history the name of the ‘Weimar Republic’ is synonymous with decadence. Perhaps you have scene the movie Cabaret. While clever songs regale decadence and social satire, public displays of sexuality provide the constant backdrop. Sexual decadence and homosexual behavior were visible, not closeted, when Hitler rose to power. Silence did not lead to death in this historical example. It is widely recognized that the backlash against public sexual decadence was the toehold upon which Hitler built his NAZI edifice.

If we consider the wisdom of Plato, the constant play between the Apollonian and the Dmonysian in Greek myth or the writings of the NAZI collaborator psychologist Carl Jung, we know that political life swings like a pendulum. When society becomes too constricted it swings back the other way and vice versa. As in managing a Keynesian economic model, you want to forestall extremes to avoid ricocheting extremes. Extreme loudness, public display, as well as the extreme silence imposed by totalitarianism have lead to persecution and death.

This is not to say that the historical oscillation being described has any merit. It is not to claim that in an ideal world public decadence would or would not be celebrated. But this culturist query is arguing that refusing to speak of trends for fear of bad feelings nor ignorance of historical forces will help us consciously guide our destiny and stay clear of the shoals. Basic knowledge helps us. It teaches that moderation leads to moderation. Neither sexual repression nor excessive public sexuality makes for stability. It is time for the sloganeers to recognize that the ‘silence equals death’ equation is false and potentially dangerous.
Post a Comment