Repealing Godwin’s Law
Vol: 134 Issue: 29 Thursday, November 29, 2012
One of the historical ‘what-ifs’ about Adolf Hitler is the one that asks, ‘what if Hitler hadn’t started the Second World War?’ Suppose he died in office before that?
Most historians are in agreement that in that case, Hitler would probably have gone down in history as one of Europe’s greatest statesman.
Britain’s Lloyd George led the British to victory over Kaiser Wilhelm II’s forces during the First World War. The man that led the nation’s fight against Germany just nineteen years earlier had this to say about Hitler in 1936:
“I have now seen the famous German leader and also something of the great change he has effected. Whatever one may think of his methods – and they are certainly not those of a parliamentary country, there can be no doubt that he has achieved a marvelous transformation in the spirit of the people, in their attitude towards each other, and in their social and economic outlook.”
Lloyd George wasn’t the only British leader to put his grudging admiration for the former German Army corporal in writing. In 1935, Winston Churchill wrote:
“In fifteen years that have followed this resolve, he has succeeded in restoring Germany to the most powerful position in Europe, and not only has he restored the position of his country, but he has even, to a very great extent, reversed the results of the Great War…. the vanquished are in the process of becoming the victors and the victors the vanquished…. whatever else might be thought about these exploits they are certainly among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world.” – Winston Churchill, 1935.
Hitler’s evil knew no bounds, but it was systematic, organized and carefully regulated evil. It was SO carefully organized and regulated that in many cases, many of those participating in what we now know to be atrocities were unaware of the Big Picture in which they were participating at the time.
None of this is intended to excuse WWII Germany for its crimes. Instead, we are looking at the situation in context . . . very few people knew in 1936 what Hitler had in mind for the near future. Those that did know were marginalized or ignored, in much the same way Obama’s critics are.
But for the great majority of the world’s people living in 1936, Adolf Hitler was one of the world’s greatest living statesmen.
The popular, modern view of Hitler was that he was completely mad. That has a tendency to absolve him of his crimes to some degree. But Hitler wasn’t mad in the natural sense. He was evil, which is a form of spiritual madness, but one that offers no shelter from responsibility or blame.
His most amazing achievement was his uniting the great mass of the German (and Austrian) people behind him. Throughout his career his popularity was larger and deeper than the popularity of the National Socialist Party.
A great majority of Germans believed in him until the very end. In this respect he stands out among almost all of the dictators of the 19th and 20th centuries, which is especially impressive when we consider that the Germans were among the best-educated peoples in the 20th century.
There is no question that the overwhelming majority of the German people supported Hitler, though often only passively. Their trust in him was greater than their trust in the Nazi hierarchy.
This despite the fact that by the mid-1930’s he had systematically dismantled all of Germany’s democratic institutions and had consolidated all power unto himself.
The Nazis were strongly socialist and anti-capitalist, believing that international finance and big business were damaging to the nation, believing that capitalism takes a nation hostage to the benefit of the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary that if he had to pick between Bolshevism and capitalism, “it would be better for us to go down with Bolshevism than live in eternal slavery under capitalism.”
As already noted, the Nazi Party exerted control through the issuance of wave upon wave of regulations aimed at capitalist bankers, big industry and the Jews that Hitler claimed were in control of it all. Most of his regulations were aimed at bringing major parts of the German economy under his direct control.
According to a report by CNS News, over the past ninety days, the Obama administration has posted some 6,125 new regulations and rules covering almost every aspect of American economic activity — on average, some 68 new regulations per day.
At that rate, by the time Obama’s second term is up, he will have buried American capitalism under the weight of about 120,000 new regulations.
According to the American Action Forum, the cost of added regulations under Obama are already estimated to be in excess of $488 billion — nearly a half trillion dollars.
“Based on data from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and regulations published in the Federal Register, the Administration has published more than $488 billion in regulatory costs since January 20, 2009 – $70 billion in 2012 alone,” reads the analysis from AAF. . .
These paperwork burdens are real, often ignored, and continue to grow,” reads the analysis. “According to White House data, there were 8.8 billion hours of federal paperwork in FY 2010. The implementation of Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act has driven this figure to 10.38 billion, an increase of 1.5 billion hours. To put this increase in perspective, assuming a 2,000-hour work year it, would take 771,999 full-time equivalent employees simply to fill out red tape. Or, during the same amount of time, workers could construct 220 Empire State Buildings.”
There is nothing that sets the Left off like comparing the direction Obama is taking America with the direction Hitler took Nazi Germany. “No comparison!” they shriek. “Hitler was a singular evil, never to be repeated!”
Indeed, there is an Internet social convention known as “Godwin’s Law.” In many newsgroups and forums, violating Godwin’s Law means a particular thread is finished and whoever first made the comparison is deemed to have automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.
So shut up? Really? What, exactly, would prevent a repeat of Hitler’s madness if not maintaining a constant vigil to ensure another Hitler doesn’t appear on the scene?
Nazi Germany was a totalitarian Big Brother police state that carefully watched its citizens.
Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, raised the question on Neil Cavuto’s “Your World” show Wednesday. And while it seems fanciful in light of the safeguards built into our democracy and its institutions, it recognizes the threat posed by the president’s policies and actions if left unchecked.
“I think the president is dangerously close to totalitarianism,” Napolitano opined. “A few months ago he was saying, ‘The Congress doesn’t count, the Congress doesn’t mean anything, I am going to rule by decree and by administrative regulation.’
“Now he’s basically saying the Supreme Court doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter what they think. They can’t review our legislation. That would leave just him as the only branch of government standing.”
The Nazis were famous for dehumanizing their subjects. The way that the TSA dehumanizes air travellers. Or the way that schools dehumanize students, forcing them into a one-size-fits-all worldview.
The Nazis could detain anyone at will unless “their papers were in order.” In America recently, a 21-year-old college student named Samantha Zucker was arrested and put in a New York City jail for 36 hours just because she could not produce any identification for police.
(In America, the only persons not required to carry their identification with them at all times are illegal aliens, the President, and Democrat voters on Election Day.)
Hitler was a Big Government sort of guy — he realized the value of being in control of government handouts. As one eyewitness described it:
“In Nazi Germany, newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.”
The subtitles from Kitty Werthmann’s eyewitness account have a familiar ring to them. . . they don’t sound German at all. Indeed, they sound distinctly American. I encourage you to read the whole article.
- Equal Rights Hits Home
- Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare
- Health Care and Small Business Suffer under Government Controls
- Mercy Killing (Euthanasia) Redefined
- Final Steps – Gun Laws
“Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily. No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up. Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.”
The whole idea sounded almost unbelievable in America, too. Until about four years ago when, little by little, our freedoms began to erode.
By 1936 Hitler had earned the praises of guys like Winston Churchill, Lloyd George, Joseph P Kennedy and Charles Lindbergh, among others. Three short years later, Nazi forces were marching into Poland.
America just handed Obama ANOTHER four year term.
Hitler came to power in 1933. Eight years later, it was 1941. Godwin’s Law notwithstanding, a lot can happen in eight years.