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Get Smart! and Birth of a Nation: Lessons for White Cultural Emancipation

Charles Dodgson

January 4, 2010

The deracination of Americans and Westerners in general has been a long process, achieved partly through ethnically blind processes such as assimilation and secularization but also by pressure applied by ethnically aware leftist and minority activists over many decades. The 1960s saw a surge of leftist and minority activist messages in popular culture.

One example among many is the popular comedy series Get Smart! about a blundering spy, Maxwell Smart. The program was created  by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry (Henry Zuckerman) at the request  of Daniel Melnick, whose partnership with David Susskind produced the show. Get Smart! was originally broadcast from 1965 until 1970 for a total of 138 episodes. The show starred Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, and Barbara Feldon (maiden name Hall) as the beautiful Agent 99. Feldon appears to have been one of the few non-Jews among Get Smart! principals.

The evil operative Ludwig von Siegfried appeared in 14 episodes of Get Smart! or 10% of the total. Siegfried speaks with a heavy German accent and dresses as a Nazi. His German and Nazi identities are presented as interchangeable, with heel-clicking made equivalent to Nazi-style uniforms. No ambiguity is allowed. Viewers never get to see normal Germans who reject killing or terror. Exemplifying the conflation of Germanness and Nazism is Smart’s retort to Siegfried after the latter showed technical know-how: “If you’re so smart how come you lost two world wars?” (“A Spy for a Spy” at about 4:13 mins.). Since the Nazis took power well after the First World War ended, this statement can only be true and effective as a slap at Siegfried if his external and subjective identities are German instead of Nazi.

The shaming of German identity impacts people of German descent everywhere, given the global reach of American culture. It helps maintain the demoralization of the German nation established in the post-WWII era. It also tends to alienate Americans from a major part of their European ancestry. This has direct relevance to America because German Americans are the country’s largest ethnic group and have become “old stock” — part of the core national population. Attacks on Germanness amount to attacks on White America. In his 2004 book Becoming old stock: The paradox of German-American identity (Princeton University Press) Russell Kazal observes that German identity is extremely weak in the United States, while others such as Irish are celebrated. He traces the cause to two events, the rapid assimilation of German immigrants during the 19th century and the suppression of German identity and communal organizations after the U.S. entered the First World War.  

Major wars produce antagonisms that can last for many years, but the hatred of Germans in popular culture has continued unabated for many decades after the end of the Second World War. That war alone cannot explain what we receive on a daily basis from television, radio and press. Shows such as Get Smart! point to an antagonistic role for the mass media in general and Jewish bias in particular. “Nazifying the Germans” was well analysed by Ralph Raico in Chronicles (January 1997), who noted the connection with Jewish interests. The Nazi murder of millions of Jews is well known through saturation media treatment. But the murder of millions by communists is rarely mentioned. Raico links this to the hollowing out of Jewish identity by which Judaism is being replaced by tribulations and ethnic enemies. “[T]he growing secularization of Judaism and moral disarray of our culture [could] continue to make victims of the Germans and all the peoples of the West” (p. 17). The reduction of fifteen centuries of German history to an aberrant twelve year period has implications far beyond the working out of Jewish identity. It is also a weapon used to intimidate and discredit White ethnic activists.

When Molly Ivins . . . remarked of Pat Buchanan’s speech at the 1992 Republican convention, it sounded better in the original German,” everyone instantly knew what she meant. The casual slander was picked up by William Safire and others, and made the rounds. A constant din from Hollywood and the major media has helped instruct us on what “German” really stands for.

Get Smart! also adopted broad liberal ideology, sometimes in a revealing way. Here is an exchange that seems intended to poke fun at White ethnocentrism. Propaganda is constrained by the sensibilities of its audience and can only persuade at the margins. Thus even the most subversive programs are repositories of contemporary beliefs. Here is an extract from the episode “The Diplomat’s Daughter” broadcast in 1965 which acknowledges the general belief in that fateful year that the United States was a European-derived country. Smart is speaking with Kaos’s Chinese operative The Craw, played by Leonard Strong.

Smart: Perhaps you’d tell me Mr. Craw what you’ve done with all those blondes you’ve kidnapped?

Craw: They are all perfectly safe Mr. Smart. Actually the only girl we want is Princess Ingrid.

Smart: Then why did you abduct the others?

Craw: Unfortunately, Mr. Smart, all Americans look alike to us.

[Canned laughter.]

While on the subject of Get Smart! and ethnicity, here is an excerpt from an extended blooper in which Don Adams leaks the ethnic awareness that lies just below the surface in much of the entertainment industry. The leak takes the form of a rather blunt anti-Semitic phrase while in mock-conflict with Don Rickles, delivered in an accent that is much less evident in Agent 86. The reference to dollars might have been due to Adams having a financial stake in the later Get Smart! episodes.  

Adams: Go to some other show. I’m fed up to here with ya.

Rickles: Do that again [laughing].

Adams: You’re a little Jew dwarf.

[General laughter on both sides of the camera.]

Adams: I’ve had it with you. Four days. This isn’t going with the wind [Gone with the Wind?]. We’re standing here, you’re doing 40 minutes, it’s costing me $8 million!”

Like all successful artists and entrepreneurs in the entertainment business, Adams was acutely aware of ethnicity. He categorized individuals by ethnicity as a matter of course, as did the writers, directors, and producers of Get Smart! and innumerable other programs. His humour frequently worked on ethnic themes, and the laughter was directed at predictable targets. In the Jewish milieu of which he formed a part, White Americans were always the other, even though his character was meant to be one of them.

White Americans will continue to lose the culture war — and their freedom and identity — until they retake the commanding heights of mass entertainment and guard that position with the same determination with which their forebears defended the nation’s physical borders.

How realistic is such a strategy? Achieving a monopoly on ethnic signalling in the mass media is surely impossible. And it is surely undesirable given European values of free expression. However it is reasonable — strategically and ethically — to seek a place in the Hollywood sun for producers, directors, writers and actors who are open White ethnic partisans. Producers like Merlin Miller should be supported as part of a project of establishing ethnic balance in mass entertainment.

Actually I doubt that Whites need balance in Hollywood; they only need a toehold. A mere trickle — a steady trickle — of honest films will be sufficient to arouse men and women of talent and compassion to take the lead in freeing their people from cultural enslavement.

That is not merely my opinion but it seems that of the leftist and Jewish media elite, based on their totalitarian quest to banish all expressions of White consciousness and loyalty. That is evident not only in recent years, for example the assault on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and the wave of elite hostility that met the first Dirty Harry film, both highly profitable. It has been evident since the American film industry was captured  by a Jewish group strategy between 1910 and 1920, as described by Neal Gabler in An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood.

The drive to take popular culture out of the hands of ethnically loyal Whites was boosted by one film in particular, D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, released in 1915 to public acclaim and Jewish horror. The film’s “racist” content is widely condemned. Nevertheless:

Film scholars agree, however, that it is the single most important and key film of all time in American movie history — it contains many new cinematic innovations and refinements, technical effects and artistic advancements, including a color sequence at the end. It had a formative influence on future films and has had a recognized impact on film history and the development of film as art.  

What’s more, Birth of a Nation was profitable, the most profitable film for over two decades. President Wilson was reported to have described it as “like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true."  Those with political awareness realized that a super weapon had been invented that would give its owners unprecedented power to influence public perceptions — to in effect construct culture.  

Birth of a Nation is described as promoting “White supremacy” (e.g. here), but in fact it promoted White ethnic defence against the federal government’s reconstruction policy that had given Blacks power over White affairs in a White nation. In the film the KKK leaders adopted the Celtic cross, which they took to be a symbol of Scottish freedom. This fits the Scottish and Scots-Irish descent of many Southern Whites and is fundamentally a defensive orientation. The film also noted the Klan’s racial solidarity — a point intended to unite Whites from both sides of the Civil War. A caption toward the end of the film reads: “The former enemies of North and South are united in common defence of their Aryan birthright.

 

The report of President Wilson's favourable remark is probably accurate because in his own history of the Civil War era he criticized Reconstruction as lawless and the first KKK as a valid defence against it. Wilson’s book History of the American People was even quoted in the film at about the half-way point in three frames:

Adventurers swarmed out of the North, as much the enemies of the one race as of the other, to cozen, beguile, and use the negroes . . . In the villages the negroes were the office holders, men who knew none of the uses of authority, except its insolences.

The policy of the congressional leaders wrought . . . a veritable overthrow of civilization in the South . . . in their determination to ‘put the White South under the heel of the Black South.’

The White men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation . . . until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country.

What is significant for White advocates is that the film took the perspective of White interests, even if, like all fictional creations, it used hyperbole and selective use of historical events. In one caption frame just before Wilson’s quotation, Griffith sought to blunt the negative image of Blacks that the film presented by claiming the film to be “an historical presentation of the Civil War and Reconstruction Period, and is not meant to reflect on any race or people of today.”

Birth of a Nation appeared just as the Second Ku Klux Klan was established in Atlanta and the success of the new organization’s recruitment drive has been attributed to the impact of the film (e.g. here) as well as to the role of wealthy Jews and Jewish-owned media (particularly the New York Times) in organizing anti-Georgia sentiment in the Leo Frank affair (see here). (In 1913 Leo Frank, a Jewish businessman, was convicted of murdering a 13-year-old girl in Atlanta. IIn 1915, he was lynched after his death sentence was commuted by the governor of Georgia. No one involved in the lynching was ever tried for a crime.  Then as now, Jewish activist organizations have advocated Frank’s innocence and have framed the affair as a flagrant example of anti-Semitism.)

Anti-immigration and anti-elite sentiment was in the air in 1915. The immigration restriction movement had been active for over two decades trying to slow an unprecedented influx of migrants from non-traditional source countries — Catholic southern Europe and Catholic and Jewish eastern Europe. The Klan was also one among many fraternal societies that were popular at the time among all ethnic groups for providing social security. The elite movers and shakers of the restrictionist movement, such as the Harvard intellectuals who ran the Immigration Restriction League, League member Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and sociologist Edward A. Ross, were decidedly not part of the KKK or other populist organizations. On the other side, as described in Kevin MacDonald’s chapter in The Culture of Critique, the major promoters of open-door immigration were Jewish elites, already influential in the press.

Thus the film was really a catalyst that accelerated a reaction already in motion among the White masses.  It was to be joined by war hysteria and revulsion and fear at the communism being introduced by immigrants, the “red scare” of the Bolshevik Revolution years.  This explains and Second KKK’s anti-Communism and anti-Catholicism and also the remarkable success enjoyed for a time by an organization fatally flawed by its separation from the Anglo elite.

It was in this context that the film acted as a recruitment vehicle for the Second KKK by legitimating and romanticising it before a mass audience. The Second KKK’s membership soared to over 4 million in the 1920s, about 15% of the eligible citizenry of the United States, though it rapidly subsided following the cathartic success of the 1924 immigration act and under the burden of corruption and ineptitude on the part of the its leadership, as well as some lawless acts that included lynchings, and a massive media assault led by the Jewish-owned New York World and joined by many elite Anglos.

Since the release of Birth of a Nation, the entertainment elite has behaved as if just one quality film that articulates White interests is a threat. And I think they have been right. It made sense for ethnically-minded Hollywood moguls to welcome outside Jewish oversight of film content, which they did from the 1920s, because patriotic films that are profitable — providing positive feedback to cultural products that empower White America — are a credible threat to Jewish and thus leftist and minority power over American culture. 

Whites desperately need films and television-quality shows that portray the devastation wrought by Third World immigration, minority dysfunction and Jewish ethnic enmity, and which do so entertainingly through stories that take White perspectives. Whites need dramas and comedies — programs as engaging as Get Smart! but which also keep White interests before the public  and repeatedly identify the threats to White interests both contemporary and historical. We need films that portray the potential benefits of a White republic, which can be truthfully told in historical dramas of pre-1965 America. In that sense the past is a promise that can be made real and reclaimable — the return of community, of the vibrant inner city life that would return once the minority presence was reduced, of fewer people bowling alone, of the return of dignity to labour as the immigrant flood is halted and reversed, and of the leadership that America could once again give to the rest of the Western world once its governing elites are of, by and for the people. 

Creating those images and those stories is an achievable and noble goal and a necessary condition for taking back America.  

Charles Dodgson (email him) is the pen name of an English social analyst.

 

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