The GOP Just Named its Hot New Innovation Lab After a Nazi Pistol
BY ADAM WEINSTEIN
Gawker, February 4, 2014
Welcome to Para Bellum Labs, America!
The charm offensive all starts with the video above, which makes Para Bellum look like a much cooler place than DeVry Institute to get your associate's degree in IT.
The thing about Para Bellum, though, is that name. In Latin, it literally means "(prepare)* for war." That's dumb enough, probably: Hey, idealistic young programmers! Let's save the world by crushing our enemies, seeing them driven before us, and hearing the lamentation of their women.
In fact, it's part of an old Roman cliche, "Si vis pacem, para bellum"—if you seek peace, prepare for war. That's been quite an inspiring little phrase through history, at least to militarists. It was especially inspiring to Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken, the German government's arms manufacturer from the late imperial era to World War II.
DWM started using the "parabellum" phrase as a name for its signature guns—first, the light machine gun used by the Kaiser's best during World War I, and then its most iconic gun: the Parabellum Pistole, or the Luger pistol.
Yep, Nazi parabellum! The gun was so popular in the Third Reich that its ammunition—one of the first to use a slug that was 9 millimeters in diameter—became known as "9 mm parabellum," which you can find now at your local gun store. Assuming, of course, that Obama and FEMA aren't buying it all up for the upcoming counter-revolution.
All of which begs the question: Republicans, if you could name your new hip millennial programmer lab anything, why'd you settle on a Latin phrase that carries some serious Hitlerite baggage?
Sure, sure, you're trying to separate yourselves from the pack, as new employee Jesse explains in the Para Bellum video:
Yeah. But Jesse: You know who else actually physically changed history?
By David Weigel
Slate, February 4 2014
I irritated RNC spokesman Sean Spicer, asking him to respond to the story. He responded with this link to a definition of "gawker."
This is pretty convincing, but I'd note that it's been 70 years since the Republican Party took a clear position, in its platform, against the Axis powers. Since then? Total silence.