Look out, Godwin

I don’t know, this might sound a little too familiar and if anyone comments on this, i’m sure that someone will chime in to tell me that none of our candidates are like Nazis because they don’t have plans to kill every Jew, Slav and person of color on the planet. And that may be true. Nonetheless, on February 20, 1933 a certain mustachioed Austrian met with a list of German luminaries, mostly from industry but perhaps also a board member of Allianz AG. He needed to win an election. You see, Communism could only be stopped if he won. In fact, his pitch to the cigar smoke-filled room blamed democracy for Communism.

And you know, socialism is pretty much Communism. What this country needs, if i read the newspapers right, is pretty much the same thing that Germany needed in 1933, according to the Austrian corporal. Then, as now, only the richest can save the poor from themselves but to do it they’ll need a politician who will convince the poor that their best interests are served by people who can throw huge quantities of money at an election so that it may be decided in the interests of the very richest.

So crazy old Adolph dropped a speech on the assembled guests that would probably garner applause at the Democratic convention and would bring down the house at the Republican. He talked about the sanctity of private property. He praised them with the kind of social Darwinism that the rich love to believe. And he talked up defense spending. His party’s main concern was national defense, and military power was a prerequisite to financial might.

Of course it didn’t end up being needed. Between the February 20 meeting and the elections scheduled for March 5, there was a fire in the Reichstag and by March 23 the Reichstag had pretty much dissolved itself and handed all power to the executive branch. Which, it should probably be noted, threw a lot of money at those generous titans of industry … at least until it all went bad twelve years later.

Somehow, this makes me feel better about the state of American politics. After all, at least they’re not Nazis, right?

2 replies »

  1. You put into words and reflected what I’ve been feeling for, four years, twelve, maybe longer. The rhetoric of the right frightens me, the rallying around it frightens me even more

  2. Nice comparison; and it gave me a chuckle; because we’re in such serious denial. Ian has another take at his place, on unbridled optimism or rather, pertinent pessimism.