Saturday, December 20, 2008

Parallels to Totalitarianism

I generally avoid comparisons between the American democracy and pre-World War II Germany, but Politeia features a thought-provoking essay that hits extremely close to home, in every sense: "A U.S. Weimar Rep? Red Flags (III): the Lessons":

In the USA since the 1960s many traditional American ideas, values and attitudes have been eroded, and capitalism is being replaced by mixed economies. Religion and morality has less influence on behavior; there is a trend from individualism toward collectivism, relativism and socialism; there is greater acceptance of subjective ideas; there is greater catering to the fears and emotions of factions; and factions are becoming more alienated. These changes have parallels in Germany of the 1930s. A key parallel is the replacement of rational thought with feelings and emotions. Another is how the vast majority of people simply absorb the thoughts presented by the educational establishment, the media, and the entertainment pop culture.
This is the third in a series, "A U.S. Weimar Republic? Red Flags: Our Republic" (click here and here for further reading).

My sense is that we're more likely to see Leninist-style vanguard proletarianism. See, for example, my earlier essay, "The Ideological Foundations of the Obama Phenomenon."

(Note: Neither Germany nor Russia experienced the long cultural development toward pragmatism and rationalism that marks the Anglo-American historical model. This is another reason why I generally avoid comparisons between the U.S. and 20th century totalitarianism. That said, we're at such an extraordinary period in history, it pays to rethink our models of development and socialization of culture.)

26 comments:

Van Zan said...

Ummm...
There is actually no rational cause and effect thread running through this at all. It's just a grab-bag of terms thrown around to make a simplistic notion that doom is coming sound intellectual. It's like a hymn for Right wing pundits who believe - as they tend to do - that they represent the true and eternal identity of the nation.
"Religion and morality" are put together to make it seem that the two are interdependent and always go together. What follows in that sentence is just "nice" words put against "bad" words, with the conclusion somehow adding up to 'hey hey Hitler is here again'.
And the cream on the cake of doom is that schools, media and the arts are all to be distrusted because they influence thought..?
Well of course they do. Therefore what? We turn them off?

thanks for the links though, they go to interesting places to read...

Grace Explosion said...

Donald,

Interestingly enough, yesterday I was reviewing Auschwitz as well as Hitler's Germany. We're about to enter the economic woes of Hitler's Germany... and Obama is "setting himself up" as the father of the nation. He is a socialist. He is drawing upon the emotions of the people as a messianic father figure. I think television plays in greatly, also, to our parallels to Hitlers Germany. It has rendered our people shallow, emotional, and irrational... along with a lack of literacy on the parts of so many of our populace - especially those from the city where illiteracy rates are very high. With the economic collapse that is coming, fear turns into an emotional of clingy desperation and desire for heroes. If we did not have a socialist at the "helm" the nation would not be in such severe trouble. However, I was just reviewing yesterday myself - not in this article - the emotional and situational parallels to Hitler's Germany. The hatred for Christians in churches being stormed (Mount Hope - I believe - Lansing), picketted (California), burned (Alaska)... really does reveal the seeds of genocide among us. The demonization of Christians by irrational and mentally ill, imo, homosexuals (I believe their's is a mental illness), the rising religion of global warming as well as the "world peace" religion. We have a demagogue socialist for a President who the people worship and towards whom they are not rational but rather emotional. Hitler, I was contemplating, was not immediately the power of the Fuerher in the power that rose across Germany as trouble sank them economically and he continued to speak his force of power of direction for the nation. We most assuredly have a Hitler level socialists on our hands. Like Hitler, he is without empathy or conscience. (Consider his infanticide vote against IBAIPA - 4 times). We're dealing with the very same scenario. As previously stated, I believe this one is the 666 beast. The economic ruin we are facing, imo,is greater than 1929. Once again, I will prophetically (almost - it's quite logical but there is an element of the prophetic, imo), secession will be the survival and protection of Christians against this regime and the depravity of this populace. These people are going to become "undone" spiritually, psychologically,and emotionally. They will worship the beast.

I'm quite serious. Nonetheless, I see Christian secession and Divine Protection in Rev. 12 and 18.

Grace.

Grace Explosion said...

Post note for contemplation. What "is" the sinful nature?? The sinful nature is the emotional make up (his spiritual/psychological "self")... void of God. The emotionalism and lack of rationalism we see (they think themselves reasoned but are actually quite insane - the depravity of human emotion thus the sinful nature)... is evidence of great evil rising. Emotionalism = evil = the sinful nature = lust = Satan. Socialism is basically lust for power and lust for money and lust for self-satisfaction... as is the desire for sexual laissez-faire. We're seeing great evil rising. Just a post-note of spiritual comprehension of the dangers of emotionalism and demagoguery: it is Hitler rising... it is evil rising. Without moral pinnings, reason leaves... and the sinful nature rises in demand for self-actualization. When it rises collectively in socialism with a demagogue in leadership - the level emotionalism is, as I've stated, the sinful nature rising with all the forces and powers of hell being unleashed. People wonder, "How could they do that?"... (Auschwitz) . Because that is what man is.

Grace.

CS said...

haha Grace,

When is your comedy routine going to end!?

You claim that "reason" has left us socialists, leftists and whatever else you want to call us, but it seems there's a tinge of irony in all this babble.

The irony is in the contrast of the obvious lack of reasoning in any of your posts, which inevitably revolve around using a one legged pony to explain science, economics, politics and who knows what else. Yet you have the gaul to claim "irrationality" in the rest of us!

"The demonization of Christians by irrational and mentally ill, imo, homosexuals (I believe their's is a mental illness), "

And what form of "reason" is this based on Grace? Did Jesus speak to you at night and tell you this?

I tend to think Jesus would be much more comfortable with the reasoning afforded by the sciences, which have long ago told us that homosexuality IS NOT a mental illness. Infact the APA (American Psychological Association ) has displaced the notion of homosexual mental illness in 1973 (if I am correct). It seems your 35 years behind! What a surprise.

"Socialism is basically lust for power and lust for money and lust for self-satisfaction... "

I am still not sure how you extrapolate this "thesis"? Care to explain how socialism is a "lust for power and self-satisfaction "?

Maybe you might have something here, something about socialism that we just never knew! All these political scientists have got it all wrong! Socialism is a "lust for power" haha

Maybe, Hitler and Stalin were the men of socialism, in your world? uhh you know the "national socialist Party", its goottaaa be socialist, cause it had the word "socialist" in the party name. Ohh nooooo!

Perhaps you really are as persecuted as you claim? Persecuted by your own delusions.

Michael Tuggle said...

I couldn't agree more -- we're definitely slipping into the control of radicals whose agenda is what they call the "creative destruction" of our way of life. They intend to gut our traditional sources of stability and cohesion, namely, our core demographics and culture, and replace them with a rootless globalist system. Destroy organic order, and the radicals can then reconstruct society.

Good thing the Constitution limits Obama's power so he can't intimidate dissent with warrantless wiretaps, torture, or imprisoning a US citizen without charges. Otherwise, we couldn't resist.

Oh, wait a minute ...

TRUTH 101 said...

Amazing Grace continues to entertain with her deluded rants.

We know that lack of oversite and regulation led to our economic downturn. Do you really believe continuing to ignore corrupt behavior will solve our problems?

Gayle said...

People are indeed forgetting how to think for themselves, Donald.

I remember when I was small a Teacher (my favorite teacher of all time) telling me that I can't believe everything I read, and that I can't even believe everything that Teachers tell me. I was in the fourth grade and found that confusing. It took a long time before I understood how correct she was, and what a wonderful and unusual teacher she was.

Dennis said...

Kudos Grace. You must be doing something right to get the ire of the know nothing left against you. I suspect you are not going to allow a couple of small minded cretins deny you of your first amendment rights including freedom of religion.
There is not a better example than CS and JBW of that resort to totalitarianism and Hitler's "brownshirts." No comment on the gist of the commentary, just an attack on those who would disagree with them or those who espouse religion. Eerily like the attacks on the Jews.
It is how it starts.

Stogie said...

Truth 101, you should have taken the prerequisite course, Common Sense 2B. What you know is false. The economic downturn was the result of Democrats and leftists pressuring banks and mortgage companies to make bad loans to minorities on the basis of skin color rather than on sound economic prnciples, e.g. having a job, having an income, being able to repay the loan.

It most certainly was not a "lack of regulation" that caused the problem. It was you Democrats and your amazing ability to lie to yourselves.

Stogie said...

As for you Van Zan, get a clue.

All of this slow infiltration of American society, culture and government was long proposed by communists like Antonio Gramsci, who believed Christianity had to be rooted out and replaced before the masses would give their loyalty to the state. He spoke of the "long march through the institutions," the slow working within to slowly transform our society into a collectivist, Marxist one.

It has been working for years. Yes, the schools, the arts and the media all influence thought, and they are all under the control of the left, a left that hates capitalism and democracy and religion and wants to replace it with a form of Marxism.

The result will be less freedom and less prosperity for all. And you, Comrade, helped.

Stogie said...

Mike, you have never explained how Bush's alleged unconstitutional efforts to stop dirty bombs in Chicago or anthrax in the water supply is bad.

Is it "unconstitutional" to put an American citizen in jail without charges if that citizen has become an unlawful combatant, i.e. a terrorist, killing American soldiers on the battlefield? How does that endanger my freedom or yours?

And as for "warrantless wiretaps," are you referring to the feds listening in to phone conversations that originated from known terrorist cell numbers from outside the country? Oh, but the terrorists were "resisting" tyranny, hey? Like they did on 9/11?

You have fine brain but sometimes it isn't obvious. Give up these memorized, reflexive, hate-Bush slogans and apply some actual thought.

shoprat said...

That article on Germany in the 20s and 30s was both hopeful and frightening.

One thing the left and right do have in common is the inability to recognize that there are potential dictators in their ranks. Each can see the threat on the other side but not the threat on their own. I won't name names but there are a few nationally know right-wingers who scare me and scores of left-wingers who scare me.

TRUTH 101 said...

I was just watching the Blue Cllar Comedy Tour during commercials of the Steelers Titans game. As funny as those guys are, Stogie is even funnier. The Feds were listening to phone calls made by Prime Minister Tony Blair Stogie. Since when did he become a terrorist?

The Bush Administration has been in charge the last eight years. Not the Democrats. And just so you know, I was in the car business for 8 years. Not once did anybody from any branch of government order the dealership I worked at to loan money to anybody.
Stogie: you have a monumental ability to blot out truth when it doesn't fit your deluded ideals.

Michael Tuggle said...

Stogie said: "Is it "unconstitutional" to put an American citizen in jail without charges if that citizen has become an unlawful combatant, i.e. a terrorist, killing American soldiers on the battlefield? How does that endanger my freedom or yours?"

But in our system -- or at least, the system we USED to have -- Americans are INNOCENT until proven guilty. Look at Jose Padilla -- he is an American citizen accused of plotting to create and set off a dirty bomb, and was jailed and tortured WITHOUT being convicted.

As it turns out, he had nothing to do with a dirty bomb plot. So he was jailed and punished for something he did not do. And we let it happen.

What is more un-American than that?

And the wretched souls in Guantanamo are mostly victims, not terrorists. 86 percent were not captured by US forces, but turned in by warlords for bounties of up to $5,000 a head, a set-up begging to be abused.

As for why these violations of the Bill of Rights are bad, they set a precedent that give Obama and his pals the powers Bush claimed in the name of "protecting" us. What will they do with those new powers?

Feel safe yet?

As for my alleged "fine brain," that's a scurrilous and unproven charge I will fight with my dying breath.

Hey!

JBW said...

First Grace, as I've said: it's getting old; instead of actually reading your long rambling screeds anymore I just scan them for the standard key words (666 beast, socialism, homosexuals, etc.) so I know I'm still not missing anything. The scariest thing is that you're an adult, which means you'll probably never change and will most likely be this way for the rest of your life.

Gayle, I agree: people are indeed forgetting how to think for themselves; please see the example of Grace above as reference.

Dennis, I myself must be doing something right for someone like yourself to reference me in a comment thread I haven't left a comment in yet. And no one here is denying Grace any of her first amendment rights; we're just denying the existence of her sanity. I have plenty of religious friends that I regularly engage in respectful debate; I only attack the haters. Oh, and "know nothing left", huh? Well played, sir: your intelligence is equalled only by your cowardice of commenting as unregistered and virtually anonymous.

Stogie, first: take five minutes to get your thoughts together before you post and you won't need to make multiple comments in a row.

That said, I think the failures of our economy are multiple and diverse; blaming them solely on the policy positions of either party is short-sighted and ignorant. We need regulation of industry just as much as we need to make sensible loans.

The Red Scare is over: we won. Your paranoid delusions about Marxist infiltration of academia and the media smacks of either ignorance, lies or both. We get it: you're angry, slow-witted and you need an enemy. Just do the rest of us a favor and try looking outside this country; we have plenty.

Your assumption that all American citizens our government jails without charges are definitely terrorists is dangerously naive, as is your assumption that the same government will not abuse it's power with warrentless wiretaps.

I have never understood how the same people (conservatives, with whom I assume you identify yourself) who decry the size and power of government are so willing to give it such trust when it comes to the suspension of civil and privacy rights. This is not a partisan issue: I don't blindly trust an Obama administration anymore than I did a Bush one; and discounting any criticism of Bush as so-called BDS or anything else lacks the thought you would admonish others to use.

Shoprat, despite our obvious differences you've said several things here lately that I agree with, this instance included, but actually naming those names you fear (on both sides of the aisle, of course) would be a lot more intellectually honest; just saying.

Van Zan, CS, Tuggle, Truth101: rock on, fellas.

Cassandra said...

I'd like to leave this comment in behalf of Dr Sam Holliday, the author of the original post on Politeia, "A US Weimar Republic":

quote
It is good that this brought out some of the issues which all Americans and Europeans should consider, but how much thinking has there been? It appears that "I have heard that song before". For some time now postmodern thought has been deconstructing the fundamentals of Western Civilization as it developed from 1500 until 1914. If you want to consider this see 'Roots of Postmodern Thought' at: http://www.geocities.com/armigercc/postmodernism17may06.doc#Roots

It appears that the posts so far are recycled arguments. If you would like something new to think about take a look at the three part series on 'Understanding Change". The first is available at:

http://newcitizenship.blogspot.com/2008/01/understanding-change-i-not-progress.html Understanding Change I: Not Progress, Cycles, 20 Jan 08

Dr Sam Holliday
Unquote

Van Zan, we are specifically not in the habit of using language in the postmodern sense of parrot talk (meaningless sound waves) or as a rhetorical tool to manipulate perception. I can assure you that each word was specifically chosen. Since the answer to your question is in the post, I sincerely doubt if you have read it at all. Criticism is okay, but at least do it on valid arguments.

courtneyme109 said...

Putzi Hanfstaengl, 1/2 American - 1/2 Deutsche hung out in Weimar Republic and helped der fuhrer get into power.

In a really cool book called "Hitler's Piano Player: The Rise and Fall of Ernst Hanfstaengl, Confidante of Hitler, Ally of FDR" Putzi said that in the last days of Weimar Repub the NSDAPers were busy worrying about how to disillusion the Germans with the Reichswehr, the financial institutions and democracy.

He thought none of those were especially effective - but he did think that the decadence of Weimar Republic was essential.

The Weimar years glorified girls, sexuality and free expression. Hedonism was actually seized upon by Weimar Republic as a way to unite the ever present political arguments, that Germans had suffered long enough especially for a war they didnt start and since the economy was always in trouble they should enjoy themselves while they could.

A growing majority in Deutschland came to despise Weimar Republic's experiment with 'immorality' and when hooked up with economic collapse NSDAP acted like they had all the answers.

Also check Julie Roos' "Weimar's Crisis through the lens of gender" the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize at Princeton 2002.

Grace Explosion said...

CS,

The historical assessment of homosexuality is that it is a mental illness. I'm sure you recognize that and it's not an unknown fact to you.

It's only through politicalization of the mentally ill that they have lobbied to redefine their behavior. I consider it mental illness and perversion... not any form of natural or healthy behavior or predisposition.

"Science"?? Psychology was politically pressured to redefine homosexuality as "not a mental illness" when in fact anyone with common sense can see and know it's perversion of nature and therefore a disorder. Trying to gather political agreement with the lie that homosexuality is NOT a disorder doesn't make that lie the truth. It's perversion, it's sexual orientation in perversion, it's psychological malady and mental illness.

Here's one article;

US Military Deems Homosexuality a 'Mental Disorder'
by Jerome Bernard


US lawmakers have called on the US Defense Department to withdraw a document which states that homosexuality is a "mental disorder."

Researchers recently found the Pentagon's directive 1332.38, on "physical disability evaluation," which includes homosexuality in a list of "mental disorders," along with mental retardation and personality disorders.

The November 1996 document was re-certified as "current" in 2003, according to the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0621-06.htm

Grace Explosion said...

JBW,

I have hope for you, perhaps, though you appear to have none for me. That's understandable: there is no hope, JBW, for me to become an atheist. I have seen Jesus. I have been to Heaven. Back to you. John Newton was an atheist who railed against Christians and God. Then he was converted. And wrote Amazing Grace. I mean, people are enjoying worshiping the 666 beast, I realize. But, JBW, they don't know what they're missing. It's so glorious to worship the one true and real Living God. Maybe someday you'll sing "Amazing Grace": written by the converted atheist, John Newton. I'll just make it all one paragraph:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed! Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil,A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.

Grace.

Grace Explosion said...

Hi Dennis,

I agree completely. I am not going to secularize my speech. The founders didn't; nor shall I. I stand in faith in God. :) All belief and supposed "reasoning" is based on assumptions drawn by faith in a belief system. That's why we have the right and the left: completely differing ideologies.

Of course it is logical to base my faith in God.

It is illogical for the left to base ideology on nothing but themselves. Failed policies result.

One can argue with their logical fallacies. However, it's easier to point out their ill-advised results.

Thanks for the good word!

Grace.

JBW said...

Yes, that's nice, Grace; I'm sure it's a blast. There's no need to share though, I'm fine thinking for myself; thanks just the same.

CS said...

Yeh Grace,

Kudos to you. Lets leave it to the military to make scientific evaluations on homosexuality! Yeeehh, who needs real scientists.

CS said...

And Grace,

Essentially you want to revert to the a certain point in history, where your argument somehow holds majority view. You know historically they used to think Blacks were not in the same realm of "peoples" as the white folks, hence this thing called "slavery"? Ever heard of it?

As you can see, if we had based our moral foundations/ law and order based solely on historical precedence, we would be ass backwards.

Van Zan said...

Cassandra

Would that be the royal "we" who own the English language ? (Remind anyone of 'Newspeak'…?)

"since the answer to your question is in the post, I sincerely doubt if you have read it all"
My question was rhetorical and yes I read the whole post.
Perhaps you didn't read my whole comment
When you actually present a valid argument be assured I'll read all of that too.

Cassandra said...

Your false political (and dare I say "moral") "neutrality" has been exposed as a cloak to hide your typically pomo stance. I know better than the waste more time on you.

Van Zan said...

Cassandra,

Spare me your brittle posturing and catty way of arguing. It's very shallow.

The only thing that is exposed here is that you can't handle a conversation with someone who doesn't agree with you.

And you DON'T know better.
You didn't ask anything... you just assumed what I had or had not read, just as you are assuming that you know what I think.

The rest of the world is allowed to think differently to you (surprise!) if it so desires (at least till genuine totalitarianism shows up) so take a deep breath and get over it. And have a nice Christmas.