Thursday, 15 June 2017

Thoughts on Come and See


Right wing thought does not engender order. The Wehrmacht stormed through Europe crazed on methamphetamine and cocaine. The invasion of Poland caused one of the greatest traffic jams on record, the cavalry at the front.


Right wing thoughts - thoughts of the self that betray the self. Thoughts that populate their worlds with morals; those morals tempted by the ambition and will of the self. Strength. Satisfaction.


In the Soviet war drama Come and See (Elem Klimov - 1985) there is a scene that absolutely embodies the taught contradiction between the ideology of fascist moralism and individual will. The scene opens with a kind of rampage in a village. Nazi soldiers on motorbikes and crowded on trucks, some running alongside. They are herding civilians who are led to believe they are being relocated. The narrator, Florya, stares aghast and shouts to the people, warning them that they are being sent to their deaths. This becomes very obvious. One of the German soldiers grabs Florya screaming and laughing "I'll teach him!" The drunken drug crazed soldiers insist on taking papers in spite of the fact they are blowing away left right and centre. A corpse tied to a door balanced on top of a motorcycle sidecar. A German officer lecturing an imagined audience. A private holding up a portrait of Hitler. A soldier climbing merrily into the church, batting away the doves nesting in the tower.

An announcement comes from a speaker: "Germany is a civilised country". The announcement continues stating that those entering Germany will need toiletries. After the people have heard this they are forced to go inside a wooden church. The soldiers begin to celebrate around the church - it becomes the centre of their spectacle. They sing and dance and eventually start throwing grenades into it. Soon there is a frenzy of cruelty. A young girl dragged by her hair, the soldier dragging her stops to light a cigarette before continuing her torture. Florya is dragged into the middle of a photoshoot, an officer holding a gun to his head. When the photo is taken they leave him on the ground.

At one point one of the most libidinal and crazed Nazis is mistakenly locked in the church. He shouts (at the people he is about to incinerate) "Let me go you shunks! I'm the police!". A moral treaty to the dead. Next an officer in the spire of the church shouts in Russian "Quiet! The meeting is open. Who wants the floor?" Then a face at the window. "Those without kids can leave through the window. Leave the children here". Florya climbs through the window. The cost of his life is to watch the slaughter.

The church is burned to the ground and Florya falls on his face in the smoke outside, having survived by becoming somehow invisible. The procession - the carnival marches on, having sacked, raped and pillaged. Civilisation restored.

The moral is insisted into a reckoning of terror. The relationship between moralism, its will and the outcome. The most obvious contradiction.


Right wing thought is a cold body inside the brain. Fascist thought is that corpses' inevitable decomposition.


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