It’s Thursday November 8th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1923 Adolf Hitler unsuccessfully launched the Beer Hall Putsch (which was his first attempt at seizing control of the German government), and on this same day in history back in 1939 Adolf Hitler survived an assassination attempt (one of many) at the Munich Beer Hall when a bomb exploded minutes after he had finished giving a speech commemorating the 16th Anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch. Anybody else keeping score here? A failed assassination on a failed dictator of a failed Republic at a failed ceremony memorializing a failed coup? What gives? We thought German engineering was supposed to be reliable. Unfortunately, when it came to crimes against humanity all throughout The Third Reich, it was. Not every German supported the Nazi Party. In fact, there were many dissenters.
Most kept quiet for fear of grave repercussions from SS organizations. Johann Georg Elser, however, was different. He understood what the Nazis were doing was wrong. He understood there was no way to reason with them. He understood that in order to make a change for the better, it was a moral imperative that he take action. He realized early on (and rightly so) that removing Hitler was vital to undermining Germany’s unchallenged march to war. Even though he faced overwhelming odds, he took it upon himself to resist.
Be it Nazi Germany or any of the other infinite manifestations of slavery the culture of civilization continue to spawn (such as the extermination of the planet), the powers that be will never stop trying to violently exploit, dominate, and destroy. It’s as Derrick Jensen says, "Everyone agrees that if Hitler was killed in 1939, the war doesn't happen…The point is that I want people to think like members of a resistance…I am not the violence guy. I'm really the everything guy…The culture as a whole suffers from insanity, one form of which is that this social structure is more important than the living planet.
I don't believe you can suffer the delusion that you can systematically dismantle a planet and live on it…Do you believe that our culture will undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living? For the last several years I've taken to asking people this question, at talks and rallies, in libraries, on buses, in airplanes, at the grocery store, the hardware store. Everywhere. The answers range from emphatic 'No's' to laughter. No one answers in the affirmative. One fellow at one talk did raise his hand and when everyone looked at him, he dropped his hand, then said, sheepishly, 'Oh, voluntary? No, of course not.’ My next question: how will this understanding - that this culture will not voluntarily stop destroying the natural world, eliminating indigenous cultures, exploiting the poor and killing those who resist - shift our strategy and tactics? The answer? Nobody knows, because we never talk about it: we're too busy pretending the culture will undergo a magical transformation…I say, do something.
The big dividing line is not between those who advocate resistance through any means necessary and those who don't. It's not even between grassroots and mainstream. The big divide is between those who do something and those who don't." We couldn’t agree more, and neither could Johann Georg Elser. Do your something today, and download our brand new Upside Downtrodden podcast episode on iTunes! Click the links below to get started. And remember, resistance is fertile!