Monday, September 28, 2009
National Socialism and You
It's become a habit of some conservatives to compare Barack to Adolf Hitler, and equate his economic and social policies to that of Hitler's Nazi regime. These conservatives do a great disservice to the conservative cause. Then again, equally ignorant people on the left of the US political spectrum called George W. Bush a Nazi. Everyone calls everyone a Nazi when they want to win a debate.
Godwin's Law states: "As a [debate] grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."
As a conservative, these right wing ignoratti comparing Barack to Hitler aggravate me. They make the right look bad. But as an amateur historian, anyone comparing anybody to the left of Mussolini to Adolf Hitler pisses me off to no end.
Some really ignorant people are comparing Barack's economic agenda with Nazism. They point out that Nazi is short for National Socialist. When in fact, it isn't. It's short for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. This phrase means "National Socialist German Workers' Party."
What is National Socialism? Well much like capitalism, there are different forms of socialism. The socialism of Germany from 1933 to 1945 is different from that of Communist Russia, and from the modern forms of socialism practiced today in the UK, Canada, Scandinavia, and elsewhere. The socialism practiced by Germans, unlike that practiced by Soviet Russia, allowed for individuals to own their own property and goods. So one could own a house, unlike in the USSR where the State owned the house.
The Nazis believed that capitalism was wrong. They believed a government should control the direction of an economy, instead of letting it go wherever the marketplace determined. At the same time, there wasn't nearly the amount of force exerted on the economy as there was in the USSR.
While the Germans' socialism wasn't as hardcore as the Russians', it was more extreme than the socialisms of the 21st century. Canada is a socialist country (relative to the US), but it is also a capitalist country. There's a free market in Canada, with prices set by supply/demand and not the government. People pay higher taxes, receive higher benefits from the government.
Let's say an economy is a road. The amount of government control is the speed limit. Here are some examples of how this analogical road would be under various economic climates:
Pure Capitalism: no speed limit
American Capitalism: 65 MPH limit for safety
Canadian style Cap/Soc: 65 MPH limit for safety, 40 MPH minimum for traffic flow
USSR style socialism: every car must travel at 50 MPH and split gas costs equally no matter how far they have to travel
Nazi-type Socialism: every car must travel between 50 and 60 MPH and drive the same brand of car made in Germany so all Germans are employed
The type of socialism Barack seems to support (socialized health care, billions of dollars to house people in danger of defaulting on their mortgage, buying General Motors) is more of a safety net socialism. And while I vehemently disagree with the ideals of this brand of socialism, it's not as extreme as the USSR's or Nazi Germany's.
And even if Barack's socialism is similar to Hitler's socialism, does that make it or him evil? Do we hate Hitler because he was a lousy economist? No! We hate him because he killed a few million people. The fundamental strength of the Nazis was their belief that Germans were superior to all races. All those rallies, all those concentration camps, all those tanks were built around that belief. Socialism was merely a side dish.
People have been comparing how similar Barack is to Hitler. How much people worship him. How children are literally singing his praises.
And all the "Hope," "Change," and "Yes We Can," is all bullshit, if you ask me. Barack's spread fear of an economic collapse, and is now spreading fear of a healthcare collapse. He hasn't changed the laws regarding same-sex marriage. And he cannot get his healthcare policies passed. He isn't Hope. He isn't Change. But he's also not a fucking Nazi.
Comparing people to Hitler seems like a good way to win an argument. It's half jokingly called reductio ad Hitlerum, or reducing an opposing viewpoint so it can be compared to Hitler/Nazism. Example: Barack wants socialism, Hitler wanted socialism; therefore Barack and Hitler want the same thing and are alike.
But this is such a stupid argument that only stupid people use, and it only works to win arguments against other stupid people. Once this country gets a Zeitzist regime, it will be against the law to use Hitler in arguments.
Albert Einstein spoke German. Adolf Hitler spoke German. Einstein=Nazi
Natalie Portman is a vegetarian. Adolf Hitler is a vegetarian. Natalie Portman=Sexy Nazi
Picasso was an artist. Adolf Hitler painted. Picasso is a fascist.
Hitler wrote a book in jail. Gandhi also wrote while imprisoned. So I guess Gandhi's writings are in the same category as Mein Kampf.
Hitler was German, and so was Albert Schweitzer. So I guess that hospital he built in west Africa was a Nazi hospital.
Hitler had a German shepherd named Blondie. So I suppose all owners of German shepherds hate Jews.
And that was me using reductio ad absurdum on reductio ad Hitlerum. Ship it.
I hate Barack Obama. I hate him and his policies with an unrelenting anger. I would rather a bunny rabbit be President than him. I believe he and his party are ruining our economic future. I think he's indecisive about Afghanistan and people are dying while he struggles to make a decision. I think he's a neo-socialist. I think if George W. Bush spent time trying to get the Olympics in Dallas, liberals would crucify him for it. But it's OK for Barack to go to Denmark to try to get them for Chicago (although Hitler had the Olympics in Germany in '36, hmmmmmmmm).
But he's not a Nazi. He's nothing near a Nazi. There's no Obama Youth movement. There's no propaganda on the scale of the Nazi's. I just said all that stuff about him in the paragraph above, and I won't be visited by the DNC in the middle of the night with a truncheon. He hasn't built concentration camps or invaded any countries. So until he does, let's keep things in context. And let's slap anyone you hear utter comparisons between Barack and Hitler.
Posted by rob at 1:53 PM