Monday, January 24, 2005

Comment by Sardonicus: MC wrote:

...making direct parallels between Dubya and Hitler make me a little uncomfortable ...

"Those who live by the ignorant analogy die by the ignorant analogy. Anyone who focuses on the superficial similarities between Hitler and Bush - which are really no more than those characteristics that are common to all authoritarians - is likely to miss what makes Bush and the present state of US politics uniquely frightening and novel."

...I am curious as to how the people both in Germany and the rest of the World viewed Hitler BEFORE news broke of what he was doing in Auschwitz, Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau and Majdanek....

"That news broke pretty late. Both in Germany and abroad, many people were unaware that the Nazis had been running extermination camps until after the war."

...Clearly he had captured the spirit and excitement of the german people, but what about everyone else? Was he met with skepticism and fear in the early days?...

"Reactions were mixed. German communists and trade unionists had no illusions about what they were dealing with from the outset. Even some moderate Germans reacted with suspicion, recognizing his demagoguery for what it was. Abroad, the international left - who were aware of Hitler's role in supporting the Spanish fascists - similarly recognized him as a tyrant in the making from the mid-1930s onwards.

"But he also had his admirers. The British aristocracy was riddled with Nazi sympathizers (most notably Edward VIII and some of the Mitford sisters). Many American and British politicians apparently considered him a reasonable man and an effective leader. And figures such as Prescott Bush, patriarch of the current dynasty, had significant business connections with the Nazi regime, as did major American companies such as Ford and IBM.

"In short, the situation with Hitler wasn't very different from the way people feel about Bush today: many people, both at home and abroad, reacted with fear and mistrust, while others saw him as a heroic visionary. And many distinguished and otherwise ethical statesmen, whether from wilful ignorance or misguided pragmatism, continued to do business with him."

Prince Harry was dumped upon by the corporate media for wearing a swastika at a fancy dress party. But the new nazis will not come forward brandishing such obvious signals. Nothing seems to be learned. The mechanics of tyranny or fascism are thoroughly understood. But just as in Germany, so many people have no conception. This is not to say that Bush is Hitler or fascism is inevitable, only that opposition must rise early and decisively.

No comments: