This might be the one great key of the 20th century.
The skeleton key, so to speak.
We have one of the great directors of all time (Fritz Lang) laying out the operational details of criminal conspiracies.
But perhaps even more, we have the fine line between genius and madness which Hitler was beginning to toe.
It is important to note that Hitler was synonymous with the Nazi party.
He was their God, so to speak.
And yet it seems to me that Hitler was not particularly bright.
A fiery orator? No doubt.
But not really a criminal mastermind.
No. There were others.
Things were just getting going in 1933.
become enthralled by intellect.
As our minds are stimulated, we sometimes lose track of any ethical grounding.
Which is to say, intellectuals are the most dangerous.
I would like to fancy myself an intellectual, but I will let the Order decide that.
Yes, dear friends…there is no other way to put it.
Fritz Lang, the prophet, is clearly delineating a criminal Order which would come to rule the world in the 20th century.
His message is far-reaching.
The methods outlined in Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse are perhaps most applicable today.
The 21st century (which began on 9/11/01).
Terror for the sake of terror.
The man behind the curtain.
It is no small detail.
Every detail drives Otto Wernicke to the brink of madness.
He is the portly J. Edgar of this affair.
In Wernicke’s case, his opposition are mad geniuses.
Goethes of crime.
Rudolf Klein-Rogge sums up the problem.
Knowledge is inextricable from high-level criminal insanity.
Dr. Mabuse has studied too much.
And so he spools out reams of handwritten blather.
He reexamines language.
Hinting at post-structuralism.
Language, year 0.
Whirls and whorls and squiggles.
And slowly the comatose “brains” of the operation finds himself a new body.
Each one well-paid. And each compartmentalized in their knowledge.
We must come back to Max Weber for this one.
A couple of times the word. simuliert.
That he could be faking it.
Madness. To avoid the punishment he deserved.
But it seems rather that the psychiatrists have been infinitely engrossed in the case histories of their patients. [Which is to say in their patients themselves.]
The psychiatrists have the secrets of the 20th century.
And the science rolls on.
On the one hand, we have Ewen Cameron of Project MKUltra.
On the other we have Dr. Steve Pieczenik.
And it is at this point which we need to discuss the counterintelligence apparatus of the Order: 2-B.
It’s not Abteilung. Something different. Less significant. But tasked with the dirty work. The cleanup.
Mord. Murder. Nipping the stragglers. There’s no leaving the Order.
And so is it any wonder that Goebbels (or Garbage, as Charlie Chaplin rechristened him) had Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse banned in Germany?
Because it gave away all the secrets.
The secrets of control. Each level glued together by terror.
And the controlled chaos. The buildup of addictions. The incredibly farsighted chess game of our conspirators.
The reign of crime. A lusty pronunciation.
Vs. a homicide detective wont to sing strains of Die Walküre here and there.
Germany split in two.
And something as simple as a love letter.
When one least expects it.
Few films deserve the label masterpiece quite like this one.