The first rule of New Normal Germany is “You Do Not Compare New Normal Germany to Nazi Germany!”
I did that on the cover of my bestselling book, The Rise of the New Normal Reich, so the State Prosecutor’s office in Berlin has launched a criminal investigation of me for allegedly “disseminating propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization,” which is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Actually, the first rule of New Normal Germany is “Shut Up, Click Heels, and Follow Orders!” I think the second rule is probably the one about not comparing New Normal Germany to Nazi Germany.
Which is totally reasonable. After all, Nazi Germany was not just one type of totalitarian social system among others, like Maoist China, Fascist Italy, the USSR under Stalin, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and other totalitarian social systems that you’re allowed to compare New Normal Germany to. And, even if it was (i.e., one example of totalitarianism, among others, and not the incomparably singular and utterly unprecedented historical event that it was), there is no such thing as totalitarianism anymore, so you can’t compare any present-day system, or movement, or widespread sociopolitical phenomenon, to it (i.e., to Nazi Germany), or to any of those other totalitarian systems, especially not in New Normal Germany.
If you do … well, this is what happens.
You want to see a picture of my “propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization,” don’t you? Sure you do. All right, here you go.
My book is the one on the right, of course. The other book is the international bestseller, The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich, by William Shirer, which has sold, I don’t know, a gadzillion copies since it was published in 1960, and which you can buy in any bookshop in Germany, and which is absolutely not “propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization.”
And here’s a frame from Rammstein’s music video, Deutschland, in which the Rammstein guys dress up like both Nazis and concentration camp prisoners, which is also not “propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization.”
Oh, and, here is a Tweet by Jessica Berlin, a political analyst and expert in security issues and international development, and a former fellow of The German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the founder and Managing Director of something called CoStruct, where she advises governments, foundations, investment funds, NGOs, and companies large and small on strategy and program design to tackle global challenges with sustainable, scalable solutions, and who is also a commentator at Deutsche Welle News, Washington Post, BBC World Service, Tagesspiegel, ZDF, et al., which is also absolutely not (i.e., Jessica’s Tweet is not) “propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization.”
OK, yes, Jessica tweeted the same photograph of a bunch of little Nazi girls waving little Nazi flags with swastikas on them that I tweeted back in 2021 (I think), and wrote “they are back,” referring to the Nazis, but Jessica was referring to people in Frankfurt who were supporting Russia instead of … well, you know, the totally non-Nazi Azov Detachment, or “Division,” or whatever they are calling themselves now, and the other Nazi-regalia-wearing heroes that New Normal Germany is supporting and arming, whereas I was referring to the decent, well-meaning, “unfortunately mistaken,” order-following people all around the world who were persecuting “the Unvaccinated,” and who wanted to lock us up in “quarantine camps,” and forcibly experimentally “vaccinate” us.
But, seriously, this investigation is a joke … and it’s not. The Berlin authorities have the power to imprison me for up to three years, or to fine me thousands of Eurodollars, for tweeting the artwork on the cover of my book.
Apparently, I tweeted an image of the book cover (or at least the cover art of the book) on my birthday, August 24, 2022 at 5:51 P.M. CET, and then again on August 27, 2022 at 8:47 P.M. CET, according to the notice of Ermittlungsverfahren from the Staatsanwaltschaft Berlin. (Yes, I’ve just used the German terms for comic effect, so they can add that to my charges.) If you understand German or would just like to see what an Ermittlungsverfahren notice from the Staatsanwaltschaft Berlin looks like, there’s a photo of it in my recent Substack post.
I can’t go into all the details of my case, and I am certainly not going to argue it in this column — my lawyer’s job is challenging enough; I mean, imagine having me for a client — but I can fill you in on life in New Normal Germany and share some of my personal emotional feelings about the country I have called home for almost twenty years now.
My personal emotional feelings are, it sucks. It didn’t used to suck. It used to be lovely. When I arrived here in Berlin in 2004, the city was still in its “poor but sexy” phase. It reminded me of my years in San Francisco in the early 1980s, before the dotcom boom, except for all the bullet holes in the facades of buildings from the Russian machine guns, and the Stolpersteine, and … well, everyone speaking German. I was still “poor but sexy” back then, and in the throes of an extended midlife crisis (i.e., running around making a fool of myself with Berlin club kids half my age, tripping on mushrooms in Volkspark Friedrichshain, and engaging in other degenerate behaviors), so it seemed the perfect place to set up camp in Europe.
And it was…until the Spring of 2020.
Given its history and the character of its denizens, Berlin felt like the last place on Earth that was ever going to go totalitarian again … and then it did. In the blink of an eye. Like someone had flipped a big “fascism on” switch.
Constitutional rights were abruptly cancelled. Protests against the New Normal were banned. The German media started pumping out propaganda like a Goebbelisan keyboard instrument. Public displays of conformity were mandated. “The Unvaccinated” were banned from society. Hate drunk mobs of New Normal Germans began hunting down maskless people on trains. By the end of it, the government was making plans to forcibly “vaccinate” the entire population.
I’m not going to tell the whole story again here. I told it in the book. I told it as it happened. I told it these Consent Factory columns…
- The Storming of the Reichstag Building on 29 August, 2020 (September 2020)
- The Germans Are Back! (November 2020)
- The “Unvaccinated” Question (March 2021)
- The Criminalization of Dissent (May 2021)
- Greetings From New Normal Germany (May 2021)
- The Road to Totalitarianism (July 2021)
- The Year of the New Normal Fascist (December 2021)
- The Rise of the New Normal Reich (May 2022)
- The Federal Republic of New Normal Germany (June 2022)
- The Normalization of the New Normal Reich (July 2022)
- The “Unvaccinated” Question Revisited (August 2022)
- New Normal Germany’s Geisterfahrer Geist (August 2022)
- The Rise of the New Normal Reich, Consent Factory Essays, Vol. III, (2020-2021) banned in Germany, Austria, and The Netherlands (August 2022)
…and in many other non-New-Normal-Germany-related columns.
As anyone who has read those columns or the book knows, “The New Normal Reich” does not refer to Germany exclusively. I have also written extensively about the New Normal USA, the New Normal United Kingdom, New Normal Canada, New Normal Australia, and various other New Normal countries, none of which, as far as I’m aware, are attempting to imprison me for my writing, currently.
But Germany is sensitive about its Nazi history, and, well, who wouldn’t be? I certainly would be. If I were a member of the German government, or the police, or the media, or the culture industry, I probably wouldn’t take very kindly to an American writer reminding everyone of when my people tried to conquer Europe, and systematically murdered millions of Jews and assorted other types of human beings because they thought they were the “master race.”
Of course, the New Normal has nothing to do with the Jews, or the Holocaust, or even Nazism, specifically. As I’ve written and stated in my columns and my interviews, the New Normal is a new form of totalitarianism … totalitarianism, of which Nazism is one example among others.
It happens to be a really good example … and it is an example that I am allowed to cite when I am writing and speaking about totalitarianism, or else The Universal Declaration of Human Rights means nothing.
The German authorities understand this. They’re not total idiots. They attended universities. Some of them studied political science, and logic, and even 20th-Century history. They know the difference between pro-Nazi propaganda and anti-totalitarian artwork. They know how absurd the charges against me are, but they have to be pursued, because … well, orders are orders!
And it isn’t just the German authorities. As I’ve tried to explain in my essays, and in the book, and at a recent “Real Left” conference in London, the New Normal is a global phenomenon. GloboCap, Inc. (i.e., global capitalism, or global corporatism, or whatever anyone needs to call the supranational network of global corporations, governments, banks, military contractors, media and entertainment conglomerates, pharmaceutical goliaths, imperious oligarchs, non-governmental governing entities, etc., that are currently running the world) is done playing grab-ass. Grab-Ass time is over. They are going totalitarian on us. It isn’t your grandfather’s totalitarianism. It is a new, global-capitalist form of totalitarianism. However, like every other form of totalitarianism, its ultimate goal is ideological uniformity and control of every aspect of society through a process the Nazis referred to as “Gleichschaltung.”
That process is well underway at the moment. The New Normal authorities and their diverse associates are implementing a variety of societal-control systems, censorship and “visibility-filtering” of speech, digital currencies, restrictions on movement, the enforcement of radical ideological dogmas, and so on. And they are aggressively cracking down on dissent.
One of the most repulsive aspects of their efforts to persecute political dissidents, censor our speech, and otherwise implement “New Normal Gleichschaltung” throughout the planet is the cynical way they’re using the Holocaust and false accusations of anti-Semitism as pretexts. If you wanted to make a mockery of the memory of the Holocaust and the dignity of its victims and “further the aims of a former National Socialist organization” … well, I cannot imagine a better way to do it.
I’ll keep you posted on the investigation, and I’ll try my best to not go full “Late Lenny Bruce” and start publishing trial transcripts verbatim. In the meantime, some of us are gathering in London to discuss what to do about what Michael Shellenberger has dubbed the Censorship Industrial Complex. So it’s back to the Big Smoke once again, assuming the Germans let me leave the country.
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