September 3, 2022

In the aftermath of Biden's speech, I wanted to watch "The Architecture of Doom" once again.

This is an endlessly interesting documentary about Nazi aesthetics, free in entirety, at least for now, on YouTube: here.

Sorry, I can't embed it. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the critical reception:
Although Caryn James found the period photos and film footage valuable, she thought that The Architecture of Doom was "simplistic" and "dangerously facile."[1] Washington Post reviewer Benjamin Forgey wrote that the film-maker "marshals his arguments and his evidence masterfully,"[3] and in a separate review Desson Howe said that the film was a "dryly effective documentary."[7] Austin Chronicle reviewer Steve Davis declared that the "impeccably researched documentary The Architecture of Doom formulates a convincing thesis about Hitler and his legacy."[6] Ed Simmons wrote in Crisis magazine that Cohen had made a "remarkably insightful film which shows the F├╝hrer not as a psychotic, an anti-Christ, or even Aryan Angel."[9] In a 1999 Village Voice article, Michael Giacalone noted that "The Architecture Of Doom shows us that the control of ideals is at the very root of fascism's appeal."[10]

62 comments:

rhhardin said...

Hitler not a madman youtube is interesting. He had a bad economics theory and bad anthropology but it made sense to him.

I much prefer explanations that make sense of the bad guys.

The theoretical counterpart to aesthetics.

mikee said...

If you want other "simplistic" and "dangerously facile" documentaries about the Nazi era, I suggest Capra's seven films of "Why We Fight" and historical film footage of the Nazi concentration camps, among other details of Nazi history, from the Holocaust Museum, https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/en/a-z/film , and "Victory at Sea" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ausVC2NhAo. And of course, "German Concentration Camps Factual Survey Film" as shown to Germans after the war, https://tubitv.com/movies/602231/german-concentration-camps-factual-survey to view it, or to buy it, https://www.iwm.org.uk/partnerships/german-concentration-camps-factual-survey.

The latter nauseated me and left me with nightmares.

If you want fictionalized movies about actual events, try here: https://hmh.org/about/25-films-about-holocaust/ .

"Never forget" is a great saying if you apply it to both Nazis and Communists, and tell people like Biden's handlers that you remember, and they better, too.



RideSpaceMountain said...

Everyone who fought the nazis admired their style. Georgy Zhukov was on record saying he would modify post-wwii uniforms (especially the fallschirmjager smock) for Soviet use. Hell, even the modern small-dicked antifa brown shirts take ques and lessons from them.

In the military we always say, "but does it look mean" "does it look lethal" "does it look tough" or "does it look like it goes fast". This is important. A great example of this was the competition for the JSF between Boeing and Lockheed. Or competitions for things as simple as assault rifles.

Styling and projecting the essence of thing you're trying to convey in form matters.

chuck said...

the control of ideals is at the very root of fascism's appeal

Vera Brittain attended a Hitler rally with her husband and remarked that there was spiritual core to the performance. I thought that was an astute observation. And not just about the Nazis.

Lurker21 said...

Yesterday's Biden background was blue. Less scary.

Mark said...

It's amazing how much rent free space in Conservatives heads they have given to Biden's recent speech. He must have really hit the nail on the head given how Trump devotees have responded.

Biden Derangement Syndrome cases appear to be spiking. Better call Fauci lol

Dave Begley said...

“that the control of ideals is at the very root of fascism's appeal."

Agree 100%.

You will take an ineffective vax so Pfizer and Moderns make big bucks.

You wear a worthless mask as a sign of obedience to the Reich..

You buy an EV that is unreliable and has no range so that GM and Ford can make $15k gross profit per vehicle.

You think only thoughts approved by Facebook and Twitter.

You pay 3x for electricity so that the CCP, NextEra, GE and Siemens can make big bucks on solar and wind.

You don’t complain because your job is at risk with the Dems social credit scoring system.

You just get high and gamble your money away at the Indian casino over in Pottersville.

You deny the reality of sex and allow children to become sterilized and mutilated.

You don’t complain when Big Brother closes your church for your own safety.

You refuse to enforce the law and allow 2m plus illegals to walk right in.

You are ruled over. Your freedom - and the country our Founders gave us - is gone.

RideSpaceMountain said...

Biden didn't even give the Roman salute.
Biden didn't have a huge Nuremberg style crowd to listen to his rant.
Biden didn't have a horde of air force planes blotting out the sun.
Biden didn't have Wagnerian music so loud you can't hear yourself think.
Biden didn't have a bitching military uniform designed by Hugo Boss.

What did Biden have you might ask? Two marines and some red flood lights...

WORST. PEDOHITLER. EVER.

Carol said...

If Hitler wasn't mad in 1933 he certainly was after he started on those swell new amphetamines.


German science!

Darkisland said...

I've not seen the doco but may watch it this weekend.

I would definitely recommend Leni Riefenstahl's documentary of the 1936 massive Nuremberg rally.

Available here https://archive.org/details/TriumphOfTheWillgermanTriumphDesWillens

Fascinating movie whatever your politics.

Interesting how Brandon saw fit to copy the national Socialist eagle as a sort of halo.

John stop fascism vote republican Henry

ElPresidenteCastro said...

Interesting that Hitler is credited. Even more interesting that Hitler has over 1,400 IMDB credits. The best is as Worst Boy for the movie Airplane!

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0386944/?ref_=tt_cl_t_10

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

Watching The Architecture of Doom.

Joe Smith said...

I will repeat the comment here from previous as it is now in context...Nazi design (graphics in particular) were outstanding.

I can't think of any nation-state/regime that can equal it...

Heartless Aztec said...

Back in the 70's through the 90's my Social Studies Dept would annually show the1956 French film "Night and Fog". I could never imagine being allowed to show that film to 15 year olds in 2023. It would be a career threatening if not ending showing.

Laslo Spatula said...

The Nazis were very White People Last Century for many of the population of today.

Colonialism is the preferred horror to them, not long-ago Germans.

The younger 'Biden people' can view the imagery in a PostModern Meta manner, where the optics are divorced from the horror. As such, Hitler can be seen as separate from the spectacle, because Trump is Hitler, after all, and his style was vulgar, not sleek and sexy with a hint of danger.

And the optics work. They worked then, they work now: they stroke a nerve that people respond to regardless of the historical baggage that is mostly lost to the historically illiterate: 1619 means more than 1933. Just remove the actual Swastika -- the step too far -- and it is Fresh again, with a frisson that excites and inspires.

And with symbolism like that you can certainly add the extremities du jour -- the clear and present danger, perhaps -- and increase your mileage.

The older 'Biden people' may indeed recognize the stolen aesthetic, but they are content for it to work its wonder with the youth: if it gets out the vote it is worth a little revulsion: we'll always have Woodstock.

And they know in their hearts that they are the Good Guys: they could never be on the side of a Mengele as they call those opposed to childhood sexual mutilation the extremists.

Go along to get along: it always works out well in the end.

I am Laslo.

Michael K said...

It was interesting but not 2 hours worth. Th imagery was certainly similar to Biden's speech but his was in color.

traditionalguy said...

Hitler was determined to be the sole ruler over the earth. Manipulation of style was only a tool to occupy the minds of his ministers. Later all would worship HIM or die. Biden likes that role too.

Bender said...

Hitler not a madman youtube is interesting....I much prefer explanations that make sense of the bad guys.

Hitler -- the failed and rejected sensitive artist whose beloved mommy died at a fairly young age, followed by living in homeless shelters and initially rejected for military service, leading to various resentments and grandiose narcissism that sought to blame others while inflating himself, then the experience of mustard gas injuries and Germany's defeat in WWI, and willingness to be a rat on fellow Germans whose only real skill was that people were impressed with his passionate demagogue public speaking ability (they often are with narcissists and demagogues), with the opportunity of encountering the German's Workers Party (Nazis) falling into his lap -- is not that hard to understand.

He was a deluded psychopath filled with hatred for the world -- including Germany and including racially-pure "Aryans" -- who insisted on various national self-destructive actions and when the war started to turn against Germany basically condemned the country to national suicide and destruction.

He was a loser who slid into severe mentally illness and psychosis. The kind of guy who today would, as a high school kid, dress up in some artsy goth costume and then go on a shooting spree at the school.

The bigger question is why, beyond the other pathetic losers who were in power with him, people who knew better went along with it and enthusiastically embraced it?

Narr said...

Hitler was a nut, not a madman (with the caveat that he was strung-out and might have been clinically bonkers by the end, but I am not a shrink).

It could be argued that the Nazi's not only had an aesthetic, but that they were an aesthetic, and that aesthetic is internal, not external or orthogonal, to Modernity itself.

After WWII the US Army dropped the old olives, tans and pinks and went with a lot of green and gold; even the cut of the uniforms changed to a crisper, more German-looking style. OTOH I have to think that the adoption of the "Fritz" helmet was delayed because of its sinister associations--it was known since about 1916 that the coal-scuttle design was the best overall.

Narr said...

I thought rhhardin might be linking to TIK and I was right. I could quibble with some of TIK's observations in this and other talks, but at the least he isn't trapped in the foolish and sterile debate over whether or not Nazism is Rightwing or Leftwing. (Protip: It's both, to the extent those terms mean anything across space and time.)

Hitler and Mussolini were notable public speakers, and both had a semi-sexual hold on their followers, especially the women. Whatever else can be said about FJB, neither of those can.

Joe Smith said...

'Everyone who fought the nazis admired their style.'

Hugo Boss even made the uniforms...

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

YouTubes purporting to prove liberal thinking, liberal minds are better than conservatives ones.

Buckwheathikes said...

Lurker 21 said: "Yesterday's Biden background was blue. Less scary."

I prefer the pink one after CNN edited the video to eliminate the Nazi blood red background set up behind Herr Biden for his Triumph of the Will ... er ... Soul speech.

That's what these ratfuckers are all about. "News media" they claim. Gnawing out our country from inside it.

Where's Chris Licht firing whoever was behind the deceptive editing of this video by CNN?

Buckwheathikes said...

Lurker 21 said: "Yesterday's Biden background was blue. Less scary."

I prefer the pink one after CNN edited the video to eliminate the Nazi blood red background set up behind Herr Biden for his Triumph of the Will ... er ... Soul speech.

That's what these ratfuckers are all about. "News media" they claim. Gnawing out our country from inside it.

Where's Chris Licht firing whoever was behind the deceptive editing of this video by CNN?

Jamie said...

It's amazing how much rent free space in Conservatives heads they have given to Biden's recent speech. He must have really hit the nail on the head given how Trump devotees have responded.

Compare the visual imagery of this address to that of any other president's address at any time in American history. Is it even remotely similar?

Compare the rhetoric of the speech to that of any other president's in American history. Has any other president called almost half the electorate (an easy inference from the number of voters who "supported" Trump, which was his yardstick) quasi-fascist?

Biden doesn't live rent-free in my head; I think he's a figurehead and a lame one at best. Your side doesn't live rent-free in my head; I vote against you people (to borrow from Howard) and visit 2 blogs where the voices are mostly of the right but where left-leaners are welcome to participate, and aside from that I spend my days on other pursuits. But when I'm smacked in the face by something so provocative, yup, I notice. Wouldn't you, Mark?

But the Trumpophobes have to engage in ESP and torn-rotator-cuff-level arm-waving to come up with anything Trump has said or done that they can freak out over - an exercise in which they seem endlessly happy to participate. Take "very fine people," for instance. As soon as those three words are placed in the context of the sentences just before and after, all the left's manufactured horror evaporates - or would if allowed, anyway. Biden's speech, however, retains its grossly inappropriate affect throughout.

RideSpaceMountain said...

@Laslo Spatula

Bravo Laslo. Bravo.

Achilles said...

Hitler was just like every other Bureaucrat.

He wasn't good at anything and he liked to tell other people what to do.

There are a lot of people that just want to tell other people what to do. Those are the people who join these fascist movements every time they start.

These fascist movements are basic tribal warfare.

The only way they can ascend in society is through violence and force. This is why they end up working for the government.

Joe Smith said...

'It's amazing how much rent free space in Conservatives heads they have given to Biden's recent speech. He must have really hit the nail on the head given how Trump devotees have responded.'

When a POTUS gives one of the most remarkable (not in a good way...even some libs were aghast) speeches in US history, it is not 'rent free space' go be commenting on it just a few days later.

Contrast this with TDS, when Trump hasn't been in office for well over a year.

Are you really this stupid?

Don't answer that...rhetorical question.

Smilin' Jack said...

Thank God we fought WWI to make the world safe for Hitler, and WWII to make the world safe for Stalin. And if it weren’t for our valiant sacrifices in Vietnam, Saigon might be known as Ho Chi Minh City today.

Roger Sweeny said...

@ Mark - Sadly, Biden Derangement Syndrome does seem to be increasing. Some of Instapundit is becoming unreadable. At least it's not (yet?) as bad as TDS.

Bender said...

Ew, good burn Mark. Thanks for that devastating use of "I know you are, but what am I?" Such brilliance in parroting others!

Joe Smith said...

'WORST. PEDOHITLER. EVER.'

You got me...not Hitler.

So now let's see the press ask him about taking showers with his daughter...ones even she said in her own diary (the one verified by the FBI) were inappropriate.

You got nothin'

Charlie Martin said...

Yesterday's Biden background was blue. Less scary.

And the gaslighting continues.

Bill Befort said...

In Paul Johnson's "Modern Times," (1983, rev. 1991), the third chapter "Waiting For Hitler" is full of this romantic/artistic characterization of Hitlerism. Johnson cites Thomas Mann's 1939 essay "Brother Hitler" as making the same point. Johnson adds, "Hitler appears always to have approached politics in terms of visual images. Like Lenin and still more like Stalin, he was an outstanding practitioner of the century's most radical vice: social engineering — the notion that human beings can be shoveled around like concrete. But in Hitler's case there was always an artistic dimension to these Satanic schemes. Planning a world empire radiating from Berlin, it was the colossal state structures of the capital which sprang first to mind and were modeled down to the smallest detail . . . he spoke in elaborate terms of the Babylonian gardens which were to adorn the cities of the master race . . . . It was highly characteristic of him that he put an architect in charge of war production."

effinayright said...

Mark said...
It's amazing how much rent free space in Conservatives heads they have given to Biden's recent speech. He must have really hit the nail on the head given how Trump devotees have responded.
************

Yeah, just think of those silly Jews getting upset over Hitler's maniacal speeches.

Upset because he really hit the nail on the head.

Such dweebs.

Bill Befort said...

In Paul Johnson's "Modern Times," (1983, rev. 1991), the third chapter "Waiting For Hitler" is full of this romantic/artistic characterization of Hitlerism. Johnson cites Thomas Mann's 1939 essay "Brother Hitler" as making the same point. Johnson adds, "Hitler appears always to have approached politics in terms of visual images. Like Lenin and still more like Stalin, he was an outstanding practitioner of the century's most radical vice: social engineering — the notion that human beings can be shoveled around like concrete. But in Hitler's case there was always an artistic dimension to these Satanic schemes. Planning a world empire radiating from Berlin, it was the colossal state structures of the capital which sprang first to mind and were modeled down to the smallest detail . . . he spoke in elaborate terms of the Babylonian gardens which were to adorn the cities of the master race . . . . It was highly characteristic of him that he put an architect in charge of war production."

MadTownGuy said...

Achilles said...

"Hitler was just like every other Bureaucrat.

He wasn't good at anything and he liked to tell other people what to do.

There are a lot of people that just want to tell other people what to do. Those are the people who join these fascist movements every time they start.

These fascist movements are basic tribal warfare.

The only way they can ascend in society is through violence and force. This is why they end up working for the government.
"

This is the chief difference between corporate exploitation and state oppression. The latter involves the use of deadly force; the former does not. Even in cases like the miners' massacres in WV, CO, and IL, corporations carried out their sanctions with the blessing and participation of the government.

Buckwheathikes said...

Jamie said: "Compare the visual imagery"

Well, CNN edited the visual imagery. That's how bad it was and how much it made Biden look like the guy he's trying to emulate - Adolph Hitler. CNN literally edited the scene to make it look less Hitlery. I don't recall CNN having to do that for say ... President Carter, our last "High Inflation" and "$5/gallon gas" president.

Jamie said: "Compare the rhetoric"

OK. I'm going to edit 1 word of Biden's speech and you tell me if it's offensive or not. Ready, here we go:

"Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the Jews represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.

"Now, I want to be very clear, very clear up front. Not every Jew, not even the majority of Jews, are MAGA Jews. Not every Jew embraces their extreme ideology. I know, because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Jews.

"But there’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the Jews. And that is a threat to this country."


Still think it's just a normal speech?

This speech is right out of the mouth of Goebbels with stage direction by Leni Reifenstahl. One wonders why Joe Biden didn't wear his mustache out that night.

Joe Biden and the Deep State floated this trial balloon to see how it would be received the the country. They want to know if it's OK to kill the Jews ... I mean the "MAGA Republicans." Not the Jews.

Buckwheathikes said...

Jamie said: "Compare the visual imagery"

Well, CNN edited the visual imagery. That's how bad it was and how much it made Biden look like the guy he's trying to emulate - Adolph Hitler. CNN literally edited the scene to make it look less Hitlery. I don't recall CNN having to do that for say ... President Carter, our last "High Inflation" and "$5/gallon gas" president.

Jamie said: "Compare the rhetoric"

OK. I'm going to edit 1 word of Biden's speech and you tell me if it's offensive or not. Ready, here we go:

"Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the Jews represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.

"Now, I want to be very clear, very clear up front. Not every Jew, not even the majority of Jews, are MAGA Jews. Not every Jew embraces their extreme ideology. I know, because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Jews.

"But there’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the Jews. And that is a threat to this country."


Still think it's just a normal speech?

This speech is right out of the mouth of Goebbels with stage direction by Leni Reifenstahl. One wonders why Joe Biden didn't wear his mustache out that night.

Joe Biden and the Deep State floated this trial balloon to see how it would be received the the country. They want to know if it's OK to kill the Jews ... I mean the "MAGA Republicans." Not the Jews.

cf said...

Funny how Biden's speech to the ObamaNation is causing this film to be suddenly resurrected. Someone on Twitter linked to it this morning, and I was watching it a while, and now our dear Althouse adds to the revival. Sign of the times.

Mason G said...

"When a POTUS gives one of the most remarkable (not in a good way...even some libs were aghast) speeches in US history, it is not 'rent free space' go be commenting on it just a few days later."

Re: "rent free space"...

Trump is not the topic of this particular post by AA, or is even mentioned by her. Ctrl/F for Trump on the comment page, the first person to bring him into the discussion was Mark.

Just sayin'

Ann Althouse said...

"I would definitely recommend Leni Riefenstahl's documentary of the 1936 massive Nuremberg rally."

I highly recommend the Criterion version of "Triumph of the Will" with an excellent commentary track.

Also the documentary "The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl."

Joe Smith said...

'Sadly, Biden Derangement Syndrome does seem to be increasing.'

Most sane people don't want their head of state to be a doddering, senile old man whose wife leads him around so he doesn't embarrass himself...

It's kind of a big fucking deal...

Rollo said...

Interesting that Hitler is credited. Even more interesting that Hitler has over 1,400 IMDB credits.

It's surprising, given what people say about show business. He must have had a really great agent

Biden gave everyone a lot to talk about the other night. I guess that counts as a win for the daft dotard. But you know, a total idiot talking pernicious nonsense can "strike a nerve" without saying anything remotely true or accurate.

Howard said...

rhhardin makes an interesting point, however, IMO it doesn't apply to Hitler. Stalin wasn't a madman, that's why he lasted so long. If Hitler wasn't mad, he would have stopped at France and never opened up the eastern front. Tojo wasn't crazy, just overly prideful and a bit unlucky vis a vis the Carriers.

Narr said...

Oh please Achilles.

Hitler was no bureaucrat, Hitler was an artist (of presentation, and of destruction).

I'll just posit here that unless a person has read, say, Kershaw's biography, Weber's "Hitler's First War," and Riggs' "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers" (for some recent titles) little that person says about Hitler has any value.

n.n said...

Biden's red and black shades reveal.

rhhardin said...

Hitler needed the eastern front because they were out of resources. See the link

Mark said...

Joe Smith, comparisons to Hitler are not making that point.

If that is your complaint about Biden, this is a pretty insane way to make it.

Jamie said...

Buckwheathikes, I think you misunderstand me...

Still think it's just a normal speech?

Not remotely. Not for one second.

Joe Smith said...

'If that is your complaint about Biden, this is a pretty insane way to make it.'

If you don't quote me then I don't know what the fuck you are referring to.

Copy and paste isn't difficult...

Narr said...

Richard Evans and Mark Mazower should also be on a Hitler/Turd Reich reading list, not to mention the late great Lukacs.

Hitler wanted to do im Ost what he imagined the Americans had done in North America and the Brits in India. He imagined in continents and dreamed in centuries.

No bureaucrat. Himmler and Eichmann were bureaucrats.

Narr said...

The Riefenstahl films were excerpted and shown often in history and political science classes--not to mention the film program.

The irony is that these masterpieces of manipulation were on much-abused film reels and projected by crappy equipment with erratic sound. Made it hard to grok that Nazi how-do-you-say? Magic?

Josephbleau said...

You see a lot of Russian brass on video now since Ukraine. I'm sorry but their weird off green short sleeve shirts with the big single gold star are pretty blase'. They need to take fashion up a bit. But at least they stay away from the yard log ribbon row. They learn the wrong thing from Nazis. They need more style, and some charismatic minor nobles leading smarter troops that can command themselves when needed.

Lurker21 said...

There is no end to "Hitler Studies," because nobody can really say what he was all about. Peter Viereck's Metapolitics portrayed him as an arch-romantic, but you can find a book like Hitler as Philosophe that sees him as a product of the Enlightenment (it wasn't all the Rights of Man and that stuff).

Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics by Frederic Spotts might be relevant. I've always found it hard to get a grip on just what "aesthetics" are. Actual aesthetics texts are very hard going, but I suppose that's true for most real philosophy.

Butkus51 said...

"Stalin wasn't a madman"

yep, someone axtually typed that out.

Butkus51 said...

"Stalin wasn't a madman"

yep, someone axtually typed that out.

Butkus51 said...

"Stalin wasn't a madman"

yep, someone axtually typed that out.

effinayright said...

Narr said...
Oh please Achilles.

Hitler was no bureaucrat, Hitler was an artist (of presentation, and of destruction).

I'll just posit here that unless a person has read, say, Kershaw's biography, Weber's "Hitler's First War," and Riggs' "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers" (for some recent titles) little that person says about Hitler has any value.

***************

Utter intellectual pretentiousness.

Essentially you are arguing , "What I know is essential and dispositive, and if you don't know what I know, what YOU know is doo-doo."

Make your argument, or shaddap.

effinayright said...

Narr said...
Oh please Achilles.

Hitler was no bureaucrat, Hitler was an artist (of presentation, and of destruction).

I'll just posit here that unless a person has read, say, Kershaw's biography, Weber's "Hitler's First War," and Riggs' "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers" (for some recent titles) little that person says about Hitler has any value.

***************

Utter intellectual pretentiousness.

Essentially you are arguing , "What I know is essential and dispositive, and if you don't know what I know, what YOU know is doo-doo."

Make your argument, or shaddap.

effinayright said...

Narr said...
Oh please Achilles.

Hitler was no bureaucrat, Hitler was an artist (of presentation, and of destruction).

I'll just posit here that unless a person has read, say, Kershaw's biography, Weber's "Hitler's First War," and Riggs' "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers" (for some recent titles) little that person says about Hitler has any value.

***************

Utter intellectual pretentiousness.

Essentially you are arguing , "What I know is dispositive, and if you don't know what I know, what YOU know is doo-doo."

Make your argument, or shaddap.

Narr said...

My argument, effinayright, is that commentary on important historical figures should be based on familiarity with the basic sources of information on their works and persons.

YMMV.

To say "Hitler was a bureaucrat" is simply absurd. Bureaucrats live, think, and act like bureaucrats. Hitler lived thought and acted like Hitler.

If Achilles or you want to list the ways in which Hitler fits the definition of bureaucrat found in any dictionary I'm all ears.

As for intellectual pretension. No. History is not about that. History--knowing and understanding what happened--has to be learned through study. The pretense is to pronounce without evidence of study.

YMMV.