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Okay, like the mod said, let's continue our discussion about Wagner and nazis...

72759 Views 851 Replies 54 Participants Last post by  mmsbls
This is the place for it, right? Come on, let's have some posts! I don't wanna get banned again, or end up like Paul Best, the little boy who played too close to the railroad tracks.

So what's wrong with pointing out that Wagner and Hitler came from the same flawed Germanic social matrix, without having to "prove" it?

While Wagner didn't literally claim that Germans were superior to all other people, it is apparent that he felt that way on a cultural level. All his art was made within that culture.

I don't recall Wagner ever having said that some other culture was superior to Germans, do you? Can you provide any quotes, or any concrete evidence of this?
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And that flawed cultural matrix hated jews, to the extent that it eventually tried to physically destroy them, in a little thing called "The Holocaust." That's not a fact, apparently, if it can be denied.

Long live Henry Ford!
I enjoy Wagner's work. I have a lot of CDs of his music. The thing I don't like is being censored.

I think there are unmistakable references to stereotypical Jew-like characters in his operas.

Hell, I even see the same stereotype used in that Harry Potter movie, where he goes to get money to buy his wand. The British are just as culpable.
I see the previously unreleased demo of the John Lennon song "The New Mary Jane" as using stereotypes of Indian people.
John Lennon wasn't perfect; he had lots of anger and was raised British all the way.

Frank Zappa had a song called "Jewish Princess" for which he got some flak from the anti-defamation league.

The same with Wagner; I see him as "human, all too human," and I can ultimately forgive him and respect & admire his art. But we need to be able to discuss these things.

We all have the potential to be racist; the thing that is important is how we deal with it.
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Wagner was German.
Germans killed Jews.
Therefore, Wagner killed Jews.

There's just no way around it.
Oh, this is a fun game!

Wagner was antisemitic.
The Nazis were antisemitic.
Therefore, Wagner and the Nazis were antisemitic. :lol:

FACT: Richard Wagner was an antisemite.
Don't waste your energy, Woodduck. A few people are trying their hardest to make TC an unpleasant place and no amount of reason will change their course. Don't be the wooden spoon that aids them in stirring up more sh#t. Taggart was right. Just ignore!
Yes, please, don't waste your energy!
Wagner = devil's music
Brahms = antithesis of Wagner (according to every 19th century music historian)
Ipso facto
Brahms = godlike music

See how easy it is to re-Grout the history of western music?:D
Yes, I see! Brahms must be God-like because he even looks like God, with that big white beard. Plus, he was German. :D
I'm not as heavily invested in Wagner, and do not wish to keep reiterating the same points over and over. The main points that have emerged about Wagner in these exchanges are that there is a commonly-perceived body of negative opinion in print, readily available on google; these negative points are not "provable" factual issues, so demanding "facts" is exposed as just an argumentative strategy; the refusal to see Wagner as offending a "class" of people, as others have done to women, no matter how far in the past this was; the acknowledged fact that Wagner was antisemitic; the refusal to acknowledge that the German culture, as well as others, have an entrenched hatred of Jews; that Wagner had no influence on German society which led to and facilitated the rise of Nazism & the Holocaust; and I could go on.
I forgive Wagner for being human, but I, like others, can not forget his contribution, through his art, to status quo attitudes which have existed in Germanic culture for centuries.
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did, in fact, hate Jews, and he even wrote this down in an essay...Wagner's operas have never been staged in the modern State of Israel, and the few public instrumental performances that have occurred have provoked much controversy. Although Wagner's works are broadcast on Israeli government-owned radio and television stations, attempts to stage public performances in Israel have raised protests, including protests from Holocaust survivors...Although no "factual proof" exists that Wagner caused Hitler to do what he did, both were part of a larger matrix of German culture, which has a long history of jew hatred, as well as the idea that Germany was superior to all other cultures...The ancient mythology of Germany is also part of this Teutonic matrix...Any cursory search of Google reveals an overwhelming number of books & publications which shed negative light on Wagner.
Beyond the points that have already been established by myself and others, which have been disagreed with, and which really need no further discussion, there is another dimension to this entire exchange. That is the persistence with which this dispute is being pursued and prolonged. A perception which underlies this, which other members have also noted, is the heavy-handed way that the thread "Wagner Death" was presented, with moderators "backing up" the idea that negative views of Wagner be forbidden. This gave the impression to many here that here was a "super-member" who had the power of mods. The vaguely threatening "warning" PM I received was further evidence of this perception of "super-members" who could wield power over other members, when ideally we should all be on level ground.

There is enough physical difference in the human beings which inhabit this Earth such that this is sufficient in itself to be perceived as being totally different to oneself.
There is no need for symbolic groups of 'gods' or 'trolls' to bring us 'messages from beyond' or to represent Man's evolution, except as convenient symbols which amuse and entertain his audience.
Wagner was a realist. His 'race of trolls' is very amusing and entertaining.
I think Wagner's "anti-semitism" was of a different kind than the nazis. I think we need to explore exactly what this is. Has anybody actually read Wagner's essay?
One of those is by Hitler, one by Wagner. I'd find it difficult to tell the difference.
Well, just because there is congruence in this language area doesn't mean their antisemitism as a whole is identical.

In fact, I see some truth in this; many American citizens, from immigrant backgrounds, claim they are "bi-lingual," when in fact they have only a rudimentatry "conversational" knowledge of English. There are many nouns and verbs they do not know, and they can't read technical manuals very well. This can become a problem in the workplace, where one must read instructions, or in sending e-mails which do not sound awkward.
Well, being very good in English may not help much with instructions, since all too often those pretty clearly are not written in English and are just automatically translated into something that vaguely resembles English, and printed as is.
No, I meant it the way I meant it. They have trouble reading technical manuals (or literature, for that matter). Their knowledge of English is largely conversational.

I can see how this would irritate Wagner.
Understanding others' use of language can be problemative even between native speakers of the same tongue - especially here at TC!
Yes, but that's not my point. I'm criticizing the immigrant comprehension of English, and saying it is lacking, especially for technical or poetic purposes.

[/QUOTE]But that is no excuse for what follows. For example:[/QUOTE]

Is Wagner complaining about a guttural quality, or sounds which produce sprays of saliva?

As a native English-speaker, I find the rolling r's in Spanish to be irritating. In fact, it's irritating to hear such chatter, which rolls on and on at a fast clip.

Wagner just doesn't like the sound of it. Can't he have an opinion?
I think the "absolutist" view of antisemitism is flawed, because it can vary according to circumstances and time. During Wagner's time not as many Jews had assimilated, such as Mahler later on. Mahler himself said he couldn't relate to the orthodox Jews he observed (in his letter to Alma). Mahler was so assimilated that his very identity could no longer relate to being Jewish.

Wagner seems more irritated by the failure of Jews to socially assimilate during his time. Figures like Mahler came later. Hitler's antisemitism is more about race, and physical traits, regardless of the exceptions who had assimilated. The more jews intermarried and mingled, the more their "Jewishness" got watered-down, and softened genetically.

I think Schoenberg was totally assimilated, totally German in identity, and desperately wanted to be part of the great Germanic/Wagnerian/Brahmsian tradition, but his lingering Jewish physical traits (balding head, etc) were what was used to reject him socially. So he had to leave, as Mahler did, betrayed by his own country.

Personally, I've decided to consider Wagner seriously, with a recent purchase of the complete Ring, and I want some perspective on his "antisemitism" that is not 'fundamentalist' and absolutist. Another reason I disagree with the absolutist view is because, whether we acknowledge it or not, all humans are racist.

Whether this racism is conscious (acknowledged as a universal human trait) or not can depend on if one is part of the "status quo" or majority who take identity for granted (most white people), and those who are of a minority or identify strongly with certain identity aspects: gender, sexuality, race (blank, Asian, Hispanic), orthodox Jews, white supremacists, and other strongly-defined identity associations.

These other strongly-defined identity associations tend to make these groups more sensitive to the idea of racism, though in most cases they see themselves as victims.
Thus, everybody on both sides needs to acknowledge their own racist nature. All humans are racist; it's how we deal with it that matters. And this means talking openly and flexibly about it, and ourselves.
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There is proof that Wagner probanly didn't intend to create Jewish stereotypes.
Whatever Wagner thought, the net result of its effect seems to contradict this. In my edition of The Ring (the 1984 CD issue), the illustrations of Alberich and the Nibelungs are invariably short (obviously), dark-haired with dark facial hair; additionally, they make jewelry.
Blimey. It's good to know that if they "intermingle and intermarry", this dreadful Jewish trait can be "watered down".
I didn't say that Jewish traits were dreadful.

But in any event, Wagner didn't write "I do wish the Jews would integrate more", but "No matter how well they integrate, they think Jewish thoughts and cannot imbibe as native the culture in which they find themselves".
You're saying that Mahler would have disagreed with Wagner on this, since he (Mahler) didn't think Jewishly any longer after having been assimilated for so long. But Wagner would have said, 'you're fooling yourself Gustav. No matter how much you assimilate, you will never be part of this culture'.
I didn't say that; I simply offered Mahler as an example of a Jew who did not have a Jewish identity. He was totally German, along with Schoenberg.

I'm not sure what you think Wagner meant when he said "No matter how well they integrate, they think Jewish thoughts and cannot imbibe as native the culture in which they find themselves." That sounds like their identity was still identified with being Jewish to me.

OK, bloody hell! A balding head is now a Jewish physical trait?!
Yes, it's one general trait, probably more common among Eastern European Jews and Czecks.

I don't have a lot to say in regard to that, other than that you're expressing things which are just as disgusting in their stupid levelling of individual traits into "jewish" and "non-jewish" as Wagner perpetrated in the first place.
Well, it's something other people also see, in some casesn even Jews themselves.

You are now equating antisemitism with racism. Whilst anti-semitism can be regarded as a form of racisim, it's not equivalent to it, and the stating of equivalence is to diminish the peculiarly nasty aspects of anti-semitism.
I didn't say it was absolutely equivalent, and racism is relevant to my argument.

I don't agree with your premise, and therefore not with your conclusion.
So you think you're not racist, along with the rest of humanity?
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Again, he's not saying that foreigners won't understand the natives. He's saying that the foreigner will plant themselves amongst the natives and will surpass them.
This is no different than the situation in Texas, which by 2030 will consist of a majority of Hispanics; caucasians will be a minority.
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