Testing Your Knowledge of History...
Let's take a little quiz, okay? I'm going to give you several clues about a famous person and you try to guess who it is. Here goes. This famous person:
1. Subsisted on a vitamin-enriched vegetarian diet.
2. Disdained the use of alcohol, sex, tobacco, caffiene and sugar.
3. Advocated a return to mankind's natural state of living in harmony with nature.
4. Believed that humanity could be improved through the use of selective abortion, sterilization and selective breeding.
5. Was elected by the democratic process.
6. Believed that capitalism was an evil that could only be brought to heel by strict government intervention and regulation of free markets.
I'll give you three guesses.
No, it is not Michael Moore. Try again.
John Kerry? Sorry, you're incorrect.
Hillary Clinton? Close, but no cigar.
The answer is....Adolf Hitler. Very much the New-age-Metrosexual type that we now see slithering around Starbucks in hemp clothing, or arriving at Enviornmental gatherings in SUV's and then leaving behind massive piles of water bottles, human waste, paper, debris, cigarette butts and used condoms.
Yes, Adolf Hitler. The veggan abstainer, whose Nazi party was elected to a majority in the Reichstag in 1936, the human monster who indulged his vision of world conquest, extermination and a completely planned and controlled economy, all to the "benefit" of his "chosen" people, the German people.
Two days ago the world celebrated the end of Uncle Adolf's demented vision of the world, but while the old boy ate his pistol in Berlin in 1945, his vision has lived on. People carry on his vision in different ways: some still call for the purification of the human race by advocating the deaths of people they don't even know, but still dislike passionately. Driven on in their madness by ignorance, fear, and propaganda that has been with us for centuries, they advocate a world in which only they and their kind have a right to exist.
And what's amazing is that it isn't just blue-eyed, blonde-haired Aryan types who hold to this belief. Muslims hold it vis-a-vis Jews and non-Muslims. The French hold it in that they believe that they are the only race that holds title to anything resembling culture. The Chinese still believe themselves to be at the center of the world. Fading communists like Castro and Kim still believe that they hold the keys to political bliss and mankind's salvation through "scientific socialism" while surrounding themselves with a police state.
Others adopt the less greusome aspects of Adolf's Nazi religion in terms of what's best for mankind: planned and regulated economies, regulation of personal behavior, subordination of the individual to the state. We call these people Democrats, Labourites, Social Democrats, Socialists, and College Professors (okay, maybe not all college professors).
These people try to regulate free societies by clamping down on free speech, by burdening individuals and businesses with exhorbitant taxes, by forcing people to engage in behavior they really don't want to on everything from integration of the races to mainstreaming obscene personal bveliefs and practices. Of course, the extermination of human beings continued, but now instead of massive industrial complexes, it's been reduced to the level of a simple medical procedure. The only difference is now you can volunteer for it; an abortion is voluntary. And in some countries in Europe, you can have an infirm or ailing relative put to death by medical professionals just beacuse, or you could merely tire of life and ask for a chemical cocktail to expedite your shuffling off of this mortal coil.
Hitler is dead but his legacy carries on.
Now, what gets lost in a lot of this "celebrating" is that, quite simply, somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 million human beings died in the Second World War through direct combat, privation, indescriminate bombing, the breakdown of medical and sanitary systems, infectious diseases (both naturally occurring and helped along by humans), radiation poisoning, being buried alive, random and aribitrary executions or plain-old-run-of-the-muck assembly-line murder. The ensuing Cold War cost an additional 100 million lives as Communism imposed it's rigid dcotrine by feeding the people a steady diet of terror and murder. Without a doubt, the 20th Century was the bloodiest in human history. Adolf certainly didn't start the process by which human life was considered cheap or dependant on the requirements and paranoia of the politically powerful, he merely helped it along and made it seem "normal" to others so inclined.
One tyrant died in a bunker in Berlin, but his ideas, even the bad ones, continue to thrive.
So yes, let's all celebrate the fact that the bloodiest single conflict in human history was but half over on May 8, 1945 (there was still more bloody fighting and much suffering before Japan finally surrendered), but let's give consideration to what really happened at that time. Young men from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas gave their lives either defeating or supporting brutal regimes. Millions of children grew up without parents. Millions of women never had husbands or had their husbands killed in the most violent ways. Six million or so people were herded up like cattle and sent to their deaths for their religion and heritage. Fledgling democracies were killed in the cradle, and made to suffer the repression and torment of systems just as brutal as National Socialism. The devestation and dislocation which stymied economic and material progress from half the globe.
Hitler was followed by others: Stalin, already in the major leagues of murders, merely sent his thugs into overdrive. Chairman Mao merely put a patriotic face on systematic murder. Pol Pot simply gave free reign to his delusions. The Kims, the Castros, the Khaddaffis are still with us. The Ayhotollahs merely put an Islamic face on fascism. Saddam Hussein may be behind bars and facing and all-but-certian death sentece, but many more of his ilk still skulk in the sewers of Baghdad just waiting for their opportunities.
And in the West, the cradle of democratic ideals and the pedestal upon which the individual is placed, many who abhor the violent and vile actions of the Nazis still cling to some of their ideas in a hypocritical belief thatthey are saving mankind from itself.
That war that they say ended on May 8, 1945 didn't really end --- the shooting merely stopped.
In the end, the war against Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini was merely the first act in a long, drawn out play in which ideas that had fermented for ages finally spilled over into action and in which progress had merely made it easier to kill people in the thousands, tens of thousands, millions, a much more practical exercise. It didn't begin with one man, it began with a thought.
We cannot stop individuals from thinking, nor can we keep them from thinking bad thoughts, but we can evaluate the potential effects of those thoughts, and when confronted by really bad ideas, we must continue the fight against them.
For the 80 million dead, my prayers. For the men and women who willingly gave up their freedom (and many their lives) to go and fight to save the rest of us, my thanks. To the people who continue to fight the good fight against the barbaric ideas of self-appointed saviors, my encouragement.
The Little Hitlers, practicing soft-Nazism, are visible to us every night on out TV screens:
Howard Dean - who castigates republicans and the religious and talks about them in the same way that the Nazis used to talk about the Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and the infirm. This is a play right out of Hitler's book: when you have no real gripes, no real ideas, invent enemies and portray them as the embodiment of evil. Attempting to portray himself as the protector of the meek, defending his wards against the intrinsic evil of capitalism, rampant pollution, and promising them a worldly vision of free viagra and abortions, Dean merely plays to an extremem fringe of tie-dyed hippies who can't believe the 60's ended, in much the same way Hitler appealed to a bunch of extremists who believed Germany won the First World War. Dean is a continuation of the "Summer of Love" as Hitler was a continuation of the March To Paris.
John Kerry - who would have you believe that while he considers himself to be a good Catholic, wrestles daily with the problem of maintining his own perceived morality and imposing that morality upon the rest of us, vis-a-vis abortion. This is HItlerian as well; it's called "do as I say, not as I do". The fortunate part when it comes to Kerry is that the man takes himself so seriously that he doesn't notice his contradictions, his obvious falsehoods, his false modesty -- were merely expected to believe his heart is in the right place. However, you can't fake concern when you're afraid your mask might crack. As far as the new Hitlers are concerned, this is the least dangerous because he's so plastic.
Hillary Clinton - who continues to "re-invent" herself every day, becoming more and more conservative in her "positions" in a transparent effort to achieve the goal of President of the United States. As Adolf would say "the bigger the lie, the more easily the people will swallow it". Radically altering her appearance to be "all things to all people" in much the same way that Hilter declared himself to "be Germany", Hillary (or shall we say Hit-lery) would have you believe that she actually cares what happens to Americans. That she and only she, can fulfill the destiny of America, and that in order to do so she may have to lie to you, she may have to appear to change her mind, but we're expected to accept such things as markers on the road to our Highway to Utopia. That staged "Nuremburg"-style rally in Minnesota eight years ago (which was supposed to be amemorial service for a dead man) merely whetted her appetite for adoration which she believes she can transform into absolute power.
Usama Bin Laden - Self-proclaimed savior of Islam, protecting the Islamic people from the ravages of modernity and the dangers of Western Civilization, much as Hitler saw himself as the Savior of the West from the menace of Communism. The ultimate advocate of advancing ideology beyond the means to actually do so, all in the name of a phantom world in which he is the center of the universe. Septmber 11, 2001 is to Usama, and his legions of followers, what Stalingrad was to Hitler; he has bitten off far more than he could chew.
Al Gore - the staged speeches with the phony paroxisms of rage, the sweat flying, the fist pumping, the carefully-incubated air of the Lonely Sentinel on the Ramparts, the Singular Voice of Reason in the Desert of Humanity. The style and the desired effect remind one that Hitler routinely practiced his speeches and gesticulation in a mirror for years on end until he believed he could transform himself from screaming lunatic to religious icon.
Ward Churchill - who despite the unfortunate last name (unfortunate for Winston, that is) considers capitalism a poison that wrecks the very soul of humanity, but who has no problem making a living from the very system he despises. All that matters to Ward is his ideas, which are the only correct ideas, and which he believes, religiously, entitles anyone he feels affinity with the knock down office buildings with airliners in a show of pure symbolism. If they happen to kil a few thousand capitalists and their lackeys, all the better. Churchill, and lot of people like him in the university systems across the West, are the new Stromtroopers who do everything from rioting at world trade meetings to disrupting the free exchange of ideas and rationality in the very place where it's supposed to be sacrosanct: the university. Hypocrisy in the name of achieving his goals was also a Hitlerian trait: The Munich Agreement, The Tripartite Act, the Non-Agression Pact with Russia, were all merely expedients in Hitler's march to war. Much like a university chair and it's accompanying paycheck is an expediency to Churchill's idea of socialist utopia, where he is the center of the universe and the only realistic spokesman.
Hitler is dead. The war is over. Guess again.