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Where is this country headed?
June 12, 2004 6:04 AM   Subscribe

Is U.S. like Germany of the '30s?
posted by Rastafari (139 comments total)

 
Naa, Hitler was a great public speaker and George talks like a gerbil. I just can't see him whipping up vast, dark national passions.
posted by jfuller at 6:30 AM on June 12, 2004


he doesn't have to whip them up--they're always there, just beneath the surface.

good piece, Rastafari--thanks.
posted by amberglow at 6:53 AM on June 12, 2004


Yeah, Bush should have never signed that damned treaty of Versailles!!
posted by hama7 at 6:57 AM on June 12, 2004


What?!
Germany had hyperinflation. Today, the US does not.
Germany had land "stolen" by France after WW I. Today, the US is gaining land as the island of Hawaii grows.
Germany owed millions in reparations to the victors. Today, we have foreigners who own US Treasury bonds, but as a percentage of GDP it is not even close.
The average German felt humiliated after WW I. Today, the average American still can't find Iraq on a map.
posted by davebarnes at 7:06 AM on June 12, 2004


These analogies are becoming really absurd.
posted by angry modem at 7:18 AM on June 12, 2004


Can this model be useful to understand how contemporary America is engaged in a criminally unjust war that has turned much of the world against it, a war in which torture and murder have become routine?

Murder. In War. Yes, that's right folks, killing people in a war. Someone get this writer a trophy.
posted by angry modem at 7:22 AM on June 12, 2004


Angry modem, do you seriously believe that the existence of a war means that any killing even remotely connected with it is lawful? Or are you aware that there are serious and troubling assertions that prisoners were killed, unlawfully, in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, and just trolling in hopes of preventing any serious discussion on the topic?
posted by Zonker at 7:28 AM on June 12, 2004


Metafilter: like the nypost of the 30's
posted by jmgorman at 7:31 AM on June 12, 2004


Angry modem, do you seriously believe that the existence of a war means that any killing even remotely connected with it is lawful?

his tv said so.
posted by quonsar at 7:44 AM on June 12, 2004


Angry modem, do you seriously believe that the existence of a war means that any killing even remotely connected with it is lawful? Or are you aware that there are serious and troubling assertions that prisoners were killed, unlawfully, in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, and just trolling in hopes of preventing any serious discussion on the topic?

I would say that a comparison of Germany in the '30s with America today prevents any serious discussion on the topic by its very absurdity. The article is the troll, not angry modem. What's next - Abu Ghraib vs Auschwitz?
posted by me & my monkey at 8:08 AM on June 12, 2004


More stupid crap. Could you people please try to adhere to the posting guidelines and not make this place into Fark? Another thread that should be d-e-l-e-t-e-d for being a stupid non-post about a stupid newspaper article. Even if it was a smart article, this is idiotic.

I know I'm really late in saying this, but come on.

We get the point. Bushitler bad. Iraq war evil. Iraqis will never be free. Saddam and Bush the same. Bush worse than Saddam. All your friends have been disappeared by the brownshirts (no, wait, nobody you know has been... never mind that one).

Metafilter: becoming a stupid depressing waste of time for indymedia types to rant in a legit context. Whee!

You guys are worse than Fox News with your bias. Just give up the damn politics and go back to the "great stuff on the web" that made me love this spot in the first place.
posted by swerdloff at 8:09 AM on June 12, 2004


I'm with swerdloff on this - I might be anti-Iraq war and very unimpressed with Bush, but this is a fatuous article that is turning into a pathetic thread.

D-E-L-E-T-E
posted by daveg at 8:19 AM on June 12, 2004


this article sucks, and so does swerdloff's comment. I hate when people flip out about bush posts and start slinging, "you people this and that!" around. as if the appearance of something on the front page implies endorsement by some vast lefty boogeyman.

We get the point. Bushitler bad. Iraq war evil. Iraqis will never be free. Saddam and Bush the same. Bush worse than Saddam. All your friends have been disappeared by the brownshirts (no, wait, nobody you know has been... never mind that one).

does it make you feel brilliant to say things like that? give me a break.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:57 AM on June 12, 2004


Murder. In War. Yes, that's right folks, killing people in a war. Someone get this writer a trophy.

You do understand that killing a prisoner by beating him to death is still murder, even if he's an evil brown person, right?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:08 AM on June 12, 2004


Angry modem, do you seriously believe that the existence of a war means that any killing even remotely connected with it is lawful?

You do understand that killing a prisoner by beating him to death is still murder, even if he's an evil brown person, right?

So you guys are saying you don't consider the enemy deaths in this Iraqi war murder?
posted by angry modem at 9:13 AM on June 12, 2004


There's really not much hope for an FPP that invokes Godwin's Law as its premise.
posted by Jugwine at 9:16 AM on June 12, 2004


does it make you feel brilliant to say things like that? give me a break.

Hulk smash Banner! Post MeFi!
posted by ed at 9:36 AM on June 12, 2004


as if the appearance of something on the front page implies endorsement by some vast lefty boogeyman

Uh, when it happens multiple times a day, and people like swerdloff who say it's stupid and unnecessary get told their comments "suck" when they "flip out" about redundant, incessant anti-Bush posts, the general bias of the population is pretty apparent. Nobody here is afraid of some lefty boogeyman, though - but how many people here believe in a righty-boogeyman? Enough of them that they feel comfortable comparing Bush to Hitler, apparently. I must've missed all the "Kerry=Stalin?" FPPs.
posted by techgnollogic at 10:05 AM on June 12, 2004


from the article: "He [Bush] is not another Hitler."

so how is this yet-another-FPP saying bush=hitler?

the article does say that bush is like woodrow wilson and posits that there are some parallels b/t bush and hitler, but it doesn't say bush=hitler. i'm sure you could draw some parallels b/t just about every head of state in the history of humanity and hitler, but that doesn't mean all heads of state ever = hitler, and, understandably, people who try to make a case that anybody other than hitler=hitler should be disssed.

the article also mentions some parallels between the religious, social and cultural atmosphere of 30's germany and 00's america, but i think davebarnes did a good job pointing out some of the massive dissimilarities b/t the two upthread.

as for the alleged "redundant, incessant anti-Bush posts", what's stopping mefi's conservatives from posting redundant, incessant pro-bush posts? i, for one, would love to see a ton of posts about how human civilization has reached its peak and pinnacle under the bush administration, b/c i keep hoping that things can't possibly be as bad as i think they are.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:31 AM on June 12, 2004


It's an odd thing to rail about the "lefty" bias of metafilter. It's not as if membership were only opened to denizens of plastic.com and democraticunderground. Perhaps the all the comments that you are seeing are genuinely reflective of a general mood of the membership of MeFi?

Honestly, what's the recourse here? Open up memberships only to right-wingers, then do analysis on the threads and comments and continue to guide the site until we've got a healthy mix as determined by someone on high?
posted by rks404 at 10:32 AM on June 12, 2004


I'm no fan of Bush but what a stupid article. Here's a few quotes:

He (Bush) is not another Hitler

Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Karl Rove, the ''neo-cons'' like Paul Wolfowitz -- are not as crazy perhaps as Himmler and Goering and Goebbels

Hitler's war was quantitatively different from the Iraq war


Is the US like Germany in the 30's? According to this guy, apparently not.
posted by dodgygeezer at 10:38 AM on June 12, 2004


> as for the alleged "redundant, incessant anti-Bush posts", what's stopping
> mefi's conservatives from posting redundant, incessant pro-bush posts?

Courtesy to Metafilter, to its founder, and to our fellow users.
posted by jfuller at 10:44 AM on June 12, 2004


So you guys are saying you don't consider the enemy deaths in this Iraqi war murder?

Enemies, firing on our troops, being fired back on? No, that's not murder, unless all wars are murder (a valid view that I don't hold.)

But are some of our troops MURDERing and torturing those darker than us?

All signs point to yes.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:49 AM on June 12, 2004


not much hope for an FPP that invokes Godwin's Law as its premise.

I agree. Had this been published on Usenet instead of the SunTimes it would have been largely ignored because we are a little more wise to the tactic of Hitler comparisons then the general public. The only reason it ended up on MeFi is because it was published in the main stream press and is thus open game for redicule.

The article is basically a political swipe hideing as a piece of scholarly work given credence by its publishing editor.
posted by stbalbach at 10:54 AM on June 12, 2004


For all those invoking Godwin's Law, here was the main point of the article:

Hitler's war was quantitatively different from the Iraq war, but qualitatively both were foolish, self-destructive and criminally unjust. This is a time of great peril in American history because a phony patriotism and an America-worshipping religion threaten the authentic American genius of tolerance and respect for other people.

The ''real'' America is still remembered here in Berlin for the enormous contributions of the Marshall Plan and the Berlin airlift -- America at its best. It is time to return to that generosity and grace.


FPP worthy? Probably not, but an interesting point, and one worthy of serious debate.
posted by psmealey at 11:03 AM on June 12, 2004


This post needs to be sent to Dachau and think about what it's done.
posted by keswick at 11:10 AM on June 12, 2004


They have in common a demagogic appeal to the worst side of a country's heritage in a crisis.

Can one of Mefi's Rabid Anti-Bush Moonbat Brigade explain to me how has Bush done this?
posted by techgnollogic at 11:39 AM on June 12, 2004


> D-E-L-E-T-E

And it better happen soon, cheap analogies are so much fun and it's sooo hard to resist asking whether amberglow is just like Pat Buchanan. Amber's against the war, Pat's against the war, amber must.. be.. just.. like.......... can't... sit... on... fingers... much... longer.....
posted by jfuller at 11:41 AM on June 12, 2004


I'm rabidly anti-bush, but this article is crap, so I'm not about to try and explain it.

There might be valid points buried somewhere in it, but this is no way to present rational points for debate. Sure, I think Bush capitalizes on people's fear and promotes a generally simplistic patriotism and dangerously black and white world view. I could even see making valid negative comparisons with, say, Nixon, or even McCarthy. I'm not a big fan of argument via analogy though.

Anyway, this? It's fundementally trolling, and not any way to make a point. You don't get people thinking by starting off with the most hyperbolic and shrill analogy imaginable.
posted by malphigian at 11:51 AM on June 12, 2004


This post is crap.

That said, driving round the US listening to talk radio did give the impression of what it could have been like in 30's Germany.

But it's still a crap post.
posted by i_cola at 12:16 PM on June 12, 2004


The only reason it ended up on MeFi is because it was published in the main stream press and is thus open game for redicule.


The post might stink but this is sheer brilliance. Lefty critique = redicule. I'm loving it. I am going to use this in every sentence for a month until my brain turns to fat. Watch for the documentary.
posted by srboisvert at 12:17 PM on June 12, 2004


> as for the alleged "redundant, incessant anti-Bush posts", what's stopping
> mefi's conservatives from posting redundant, incessant pro-bush posts?

Courtesy to Metafilter, to its founder, and to our fellow users.


so the thing that stops you all from defending your boy with balancing counter-posts is the fact that you are eminently courteous, noble and almost romantically long-suffering? mefi's conservatives die a 1000 deaths daily for the sins of us rabid anti-bush leftists?

wow.

y'all are the stars. we raise our eyes toward you, but we can never reach you. keep on rocking in the free world.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:38 PM on June 12, 2004


l_w finally gets it.
posted by jfuller at 12:50 PM on June 12, 2004


I agree that this article is wildly off target. It would be much more accurate to compare Bush's policies to Soviet Russia.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:56 PM on June 12, 2004


lord_wolf:
jfuller has a mostly decent posting record, which is, frankly, more than you can say. You might consider reading the post a link page, spefically the bit after Just to be clear. The come back in explaining how inflamatory political posts fit in.

Anyway, I think jfuller is mostly right, mefi's conservatives (maybe because their are fewer?) do seem to have more respect for metafilter. Hama7's posts, for example, are consistently interesting (or, at least, in the spirit of mefi).

This has been beat to death, but I felt the need to say it again here. This is an issue about what works well on mefi, not politics.

(Sorry for going all metatalk in this crappy post)
posted by malphigian at 1:04 PM on June 12, 2004


Addendum: That first line came off harsher than I intended -- obviously LW shouldn't post just to prove something. Apologies for that.
posted by malphigian at 1:06 PM on June 12, 2004


Bush bad. This post worse.

To y6*3's point, 25 years ago, I developed the totally unaccepted theory that the Soviet Union was such a failure at Socialism that it was, in essence, being run like a corporation without stockholders.
U.S.S.R. Inc.
Like if Microsoft had an Army and an H-Bomb...
posted by wendell at 1:14 PM on June 12, 2004


This is a time of great peril in American history because a phony patriotism and an America-worshipping religion threaten the authentic American genius of tolerance and respect for other people...

...That said, driving round the US listening to talk radio did give the impression of what it could have been like in 30's Germany.


It's one thing to scream Godwin's Law, another to say that the premise of the Sun-Times piece is so absurd that there can't possibly be anything to it.

Anyone here familiar with David Niewert's "Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: An Exegis?" The point of that piece (disclosure: I contributed some thoughts to it), and ultimately of the Sun Times piece, I think, is that there exist, in this nation nationalistic tendencies that at least in theory could lead to fascism as similar nationalistic tendencies have led to fascism elsewhere.

Anti-intellectualism. Disagreement is treason (see Coulter, Ann). The cult of tradition (see right, religious). Most importantly, the sense that our nation above all others is smiled upon by providence, and therefore justified in any action it might choose to take.

Invoke Godwin's Law, fine. But can anyone seriously dispute that this sort of attitude exists in America today, that prior to bogging down in Iraq it may even have been ascendant - or that you can hear it in full flower on talk radio just about any day of the week?
posted by kgasmart at 1:15 PM on June 12, 2004


Y'know, I'll probably get flamed for openly supporting mefi political comparison posts, but there are useful things to be learned from the historical comparisons (all godwin's aside). It may not match up perfectly, but the fear mongering, polarizing hate, agression and religious overtones are very reminiscent of the political and mental scene of pre-war germany.

All partisan bickering aside, three important questions we need to honestly ask ourselves would be "how did we get here," "where is this going to lead," and "is that what we want for our country?" Sometimes these comparisons can help to illuminate the paths we might choose in answer to these questions.
posted by fatbobsmith at 1:19 PM on June 12, 2004


At last, a couple of comments worth reading. Thanks, kgasmart and fatbobsmith. And thanks for the link, rastafari.
posted by marsha56 at 2:07 PM on June 12, 2004


Y'know, I'll probably get flamed for openly supporting mefi political comparison posts, but there are useful things to be learned from the historical comparisons (all godwin's aside). It may not match up perfectly, but the fear mongering, polarizing hate, agression and religious overtones are very reminiscent of the political and mental scene of pre-war germany.
And the Civil War south, and Roman aggression in Gaul and Bill Clinton's actions in Kosovo... who cares, really, since the point is that this post isn't within the realm of what should be on MeFi?
posted by swerdloff at 2:09 PM on June 12, 2004


Actually the current situation most closely resembles the first year of the Clark administration in the Earth Alliance.

Hopefully Bush won't use "scorched earth" as his exit strategy.
posted by pandaharma at 2:16 PM on June 12, 2004


What polarizing hate?
posted by techgnollogic at 2:23 PM on June 12, 2004


With Bush's Policies, IRAQ INVADES YOU!

hmm... maybe Bush's Policies != Soviet Russia.
posted by Kwantsar at 2:26 PM on June 12, 2004


I mean it's obvious that there are dozens of moonbats who run around making snide little dumbass comments about killing our "little brown enemies" and so on, but they're the ones opposing the war to liberate some 24 million of those "brown people" - a majority of whom want a democracy and expect their lives to improve over the next few years - so I don't see how the Bush=Racist thing holds water.
posted by techgnollogic at 2:29 PM on June 12, 2004


The Iraq war verges on disaster. Bush is as unpresidential as anyone in my lifetime.

But this post and accompanying article are Grade-Z crap.
posted by dhoyt at 2:33 PM on June 12, 2004


"Invoke Godwin's Law, fine."

Or not. You know, it's not really a law. It's a dumb cliche. It's a refuge for people who don't want to discuss things. Just because the article mentions "icky" words doesn't mean we can't discuss it.

It's not a law. Screw Godwin, and his cliche. It needs to be put to sleep so that we can discuss an important period of history without acting like children. I thought the expectation was that we'd learn from history?

Anti-intellectualism, disagreement is treason, the cult of tradition, providence as a justification = Bush. That's the argument being put forward. Godwin!!! Godwin!!! Godwin!!! is not an effective rebuttal.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:36 PM on June 12, 2004


malphigian, thank you for the apology. it's all good.

i understand what the rules say about how mefi is supposed to operate, but in the time i've been around, i've seen that how it actually operates is quite different. we've been cursed to live in interesting times, and when you provide a venue for ppl to discuss things, political discussions are going to creep in even if the venue ostensibly has little or nothing to do with the effed up world of politics and relations among nation-states: i've seen political flamewars on the games section of slashdot.

certainly there have been some fpp that are simply "bush is baaad!" but i also think it's the case that some posts like this get lumped in with that lot simply b/c ppl don't read the article and assume from the title of the fpp that it's yet-another-bush-is-the-devil post when that's not always the case.

as others have pointed out, sometimes we need posts like this one b/c, even if the article isn't well-written, it can provide us with a jumping off point to ask questions we should be asking.

i wasn't being sarcastic when i was asking why ppl on the other side of me, politically speaking, aren't posting more things that provide an alternate viewpoint. i would like to have my assumptions and observations challenged. i try to be skeptical about my own skepticism, but my self-initiated system check doesn't always return accurate results.

so, instead of people complaining that this post is a waste of time, i'd love to see someone respond by finding and posting an article that points out how, far from being like germany in the early 30's, america in the 00's is more like ancient greece under the philosopher-kings.

i think there's room for posts like this among the posts to collections of photographs, movies, flash games, comic books, recipes, blogs, etc.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:39 PM on June 12, 2004


[Godwin's law is] a refuge for people who don't want to discuss things.

So is calling Bush Hitler... or subtly "noticing" a few "similarities" and "parallels" between 30's Germany and modern America.

Anyone who prides themselves on calling bullshit on the Bush administration, and doesn't call bullshit on this kind of article, is a total hypocrite.
posted by techgnollogic at 2:46 PM on June 12, 2004


Anyone who prides themselves on calling bullshit on the Bush administration, and doesn't call bullshit on this kind of article, is a total hypocrite.

I call bullshit on this comment, techgnollogic.

I'll ask you again, are you disputing that the specific phenomena I've mentioned - anti-intellectualism, disagreement is treason, the cult of tradition, providence as a justification - exist in this country?

Are you disputing that there is a significant chunk of the populare who agree with Ann Coulter that Democrats tend to be treasonous? Ask yourself, then, what has traditionally been the punishment for treason?

To be fair, this sentiment has faded somewhat from what might have been its high-water mark, just prior to the invasion of Iraq. And as has been noted, a whole lot was happening in 1930s Germany that isn't anywhere near happening here.

But consider what we do have: A ubiquitous, pervasive media that fans the flames of fear to a degree never seen before in this or any other society.

Listen, my own parents sit around and worry about the next terrorist attack, even though we live in a pretty small town which they never leave and their chances of being a victim in such an attack are as close to zero as you can get. Toss Muslims in jail simply for being Muslims? You bet they'd support that - and if there is another attack, which is probably inevitable in the long run, then they'd REALLY support it.

And the thing is, they're not fringe lunatics. They're normal. Or they were.
posted by kgasmart at 3:28 PM on June 12, 2004


Oh for pity sake. Do those specific phenomena you mentioned exist in this country? Of course they do. It's a free fucking country. We have a little bit of everything.

Are they widespread? Do a majority of the population believe them even half-heartedly? Are we headed in that direction? I don't think so. Does Ann Coulter lead some massive groundswell of political power I'm not aware of? I'm not disputing that there are people who think that Democrats tend to be treasonous, but there are people who thing George Bush is as bad as Hitler, or well on his way in that direction. There is no shortage of individual idiots in this country... That doesn't make it rational or accurate to start chattering about similarities with 30's Germany like they fucking mean something.

And a media that fans the flames of fear as ours does is not the same as a media that coordinates it's fear-mongering efforts to push the populace in George Bush's preferred direction. The media fans the flames of fear over shark attacks and mad cow. They fan the flames of fear to make people buy their articles to see if they're at risk. It's sad and stupid and annoying, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with fascism or the errosion of the constitution.

I don't know about your parents, but a lot of people who almost certainly will never die in a terrorist attack are still worried about one because it is likely that many will die. Is it irrational to have concern for your fellow man? There are 300,000,000 people in this country. The chances of me knowing anybody who dies in the next 10 attacks are fairly slim, but I'm still worried about those who are at risk, or those who will be harmed, and what it will do to the rest of us. Being concerned, and wanting to be prepared in case of disaster, even if the chances are slim, is not a sign from God that this country has achieved optimum irrational sheepdom and is ready to be coerced into fascism.

Who is advocating tossing Muslims in jail for being Muslims? Not Bush, or any legitimate political leader or powerful person with real influence I've seen or heard. If your own fucking parents would support such a thing, then maybe you should have a word with them. If they think we should round up the Muslims now, it's not due to anything Bush has done in the last 4 years, or would do in the next 4, because he doesn't think that, and I don't think that, and most of the millions of other Americans who will be voting for Bush in November don't think that.
posted by techgnollogic at 4:31 PM on June 12, 2004


To reinforce kgasmart's comment - even though I think that proto-fascist sentiments have actually been a fairly constant undercurrent in American culture - the absurd level of fear many Americans have concerning the rather low level threat of terrorism, and the culture's increasing tolerance for such extreme hate speech as Jay Severin's recent call for the deaths of several million Muslim-American citizens suggests that we are entering a dangerous period in US history.

If there is another major terrorist attack, will the US resort to pogroms and concentration camps ? The possibility exists.

I'd second Kgasmart's recommendation of Dave Neiwert's " "Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: An Exegis?" - To which I contributed no ideas at all. It's worth a read.
posted by troutfishing at 4:34 PM on June 12, 2004


Who the fuck is Jay Severin?

Upon googling: Oh, some dumbass radio host in Boston. I guess that settles it: Fourth Reich, here we come.

Idiots.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:26 PM on June 12, 2004


"Are they widespread? Do a majority of the population believe them even half-heartedly?"

We're talking about the current administration. The issue is that Bush & Co believe them.

"Oh, some dumbass radio host in Boston."

The fact that the most popular radio programs in America are right-wing bigots would tend to undermine your dismissal.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:48 PM on June 12, 2004


Jay Severin. Michael Savage. Ann Coulter. Sean Hannity. Rush.

Muslims are almost the incidental enemy. Liberals are seen as the real enemy - the fifth column, ready to betray America at the first opportunity. Hence, Coulter smears liberals as traitors; Hannity wants to defeat not just terrorism and despotism, but liberalism.

These are not "some dumbass radio host" from the sticks. These are best-selling authors; people whose programs are listened to or watched by millions of people on a daily basis.

techgnologic, you take offense at the perception that I and others are calling all conservatives fascists. That is not what I have done, nor have I called Bush a fascist. What I have said, and fully believe, is that the fascist impulse exists in this country, and the flames of this have been fanned, often gleefully, by the likes of the folks listed above. Sells books, right? Guarantees listeners.

Why do you suppose there is such a large and profitable market for a type of politics that seems to deem fellow Americans as a threat, perhaps a greater threat, than even external enemies?

Extremism that does not reflect the majority of conservatives? Maybe. But I'll tell you what - the moment conservatism as a whole admonishes the likes of Coulter or Hannity, then I'll buy that line. Because I as a liberal am certainly required to admonish the likes of Michael Moore or George Soros if I am to be "taken seriously," right?

Why is extremism on the left deemed such a problem - when extremism is so tolerated by the right?
posted by kgasmart at 6:07 PM on June 12, 2004


Three cheers for techgnollogic...

Who is advocating tossing Muslims in jail for being Muslims? Not Bush, or any legitimate political leader or powerful person with real influence I've seen or heard. If your own fucking parents would support such a thing, then maybe you should have a word with them.

Why do that, when it's so much easier just to Blame The President? Why take any responsibility for yourself, your family, or your community?

Blame the President!
posted by David Dark at 6:08 PM on June 12, 2004


...and while we're at it, Billmon makes an excellent point this evening on the degree to which the Armed Forces themselves are becoming increasingly conservatise, and what it means:

But the increasingly partisan complexion of the U.S. officer corps was one of the prime causes of the fictional "American military coup of 2012" described in this celebrated 1992 article in the U.S Army War College journal Parameters, which has been getting fresh attention in the blogosphere lately:

Little thought was given the long-term consequences of limiting the pool from which our military leadership was drawn. The result was a much more uniformly oriented military elite whose outlook was progressively conservative.

Of course, in our polarized electorate, conservative now means Republican - even more so than when the article was written. And the Republican Party, in turn, has become enthralled by a kind of GOP cult of the leader - rooted in the theology of Christian fundamentalism, but with militaristic overtones that have become ever more apparent in our never-to-be-ended war against terrorism.

It's easy to see these trends converging - an increasingly partisan officer corps, an authoritarian conservative movement that longs for the leadership of a divinely inspired hero, a private army of corporate contractors answerable only to its Pentagon masters. Mix with an endless, undefined war against a mysterious unseen enemy, then shake.

posted by kgasmart at 6:17 PM on June 12, 2004


Bush and his handlers and the organizations to whom he owes fealty present a far more grave and significant danger to the future of us all than inapt and inept comparisons to the Nazis might suggest.

It's a confluence of history and of money and media, of oil and fear, and although it is possible to say 'Hitler's war was foolish, self-destructive and criminally unjust, just like Bush's,' that doesn't illuminate very much.

If the Jesus, Petroleum and World Dominance gang get back into power, through means fair or foul -- a possibility rapidly diminishing thanks to their corruption and incompetence -- we'll see what the future brings. But even if they don't, hard times are ahead.

Suggesting Bush is anything like Hitler is an insult to Hitler. That man was evil, but skilled. Bush is merely a small, small man blinking into the glare, vaulted into a position for which he is woefully inadequate by the springboard of money and nepotism, kept there by the failure of the media to serve the citizens it is meant to inform, by the ignorance (willful or otherwise) of so many of those citizens, and by the corporate interests who stand to gain from a witless weakling in the White House.

The rage that fires people like techgnollogic into screeds against the 'Bush-haters' is amusing, but the vehemence is a little hard to understand. If the arguments of those they consider 'idiots' and 'moonbats' are so poor, why expend so much energy railing against them?

But then, the pathology of unquestioning obeisance to political leaders is one that has been well-examined.

Not suprisingly, since the time of Hitler. Amusing coincidence, that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:21 PM on June 12, 2004


"Blame The President?"

So........... Do I have this right? When Ashcroft tells me that questioning his actions is aiding terrorism, that's my fault?

When Bush acts to hamstring science and medical research, that means I'm not being responsible for myself and my community?

Are you stoned?
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:39 PM on June 12, 2004


in war

Er ... what war is this, exactly? Nobody's declared war that I can tell. Sure, a sovereign nation was invaded, and a resistance movement has sprung up, but there's no war going on, no sir. Hell, if it was war there'd be rules that'd have to be followed, and can't have that now.
posted by bonaldi at 7:08 PM on June 12, 2004


Is the democratic party like the communist party in Weimar Germany in the 1930s? Of course, not comparing John Kerry to Ernst Thälmann, or suggesting they look to other nations for answers instead of trusting and believing in their own countries.
posted by kablam at 7:20 PM on June 12, 2004


So it is more or less your belief that the Republicans - the actual politicians, not some peabrained "conservative radio hosts" etc. - are so crazy and dangerous, and so entirely fascistic, and don't give a damn about liberty and open society, etc., that it is absolutely *imperative* that Bush be defeated in order to preserve the country, and you support this position, this world view of yours, by saying that a lot of Republicans believe, just like Ann Coulter, that the Democrats tend to be treasonous.

"The other side of the aisle is utterly evil and crazy and will destroy this country if they win the election" is stupid no matter which side you say it from.
posted by techgnollogic at 7:35 PM on June 12, 2004


"Blame The President?"

There were eight over the top, foaming at the mouth years of this from 1992 to 2000, and, one expects another eight during the Kerry administration.
posted by y2karl at 7:40 PM on June 12, 2004


techgnollogic, I'm not usually one to appreciate your MeFi contributions, but that was an excellent post.

they look to other nations for answers instead of trusting and believing in their own countries

Luckily, we're not Weimar Germany, but God damn, given what their countrymen did, I really can't blame them for that one.

On preview: and I like that one, too.
posted by Ptrin at 7:40 PM on June 12, 2004


Blame the President!

no, no, blame the left! THE LEFT!
posted by mcsweetie at 8:40 PM on June 12, 2004


I'm with Technognollic on this "The other side of the aisle is utterly evil and crazy and will destroy this country if they win the election" is stupid no matter which side you say it from.

I'd also like to ask, quite seriously, why this post still exists.

Shall I start posting links to National Review articles? Seems about as useful.
posted by swerdloff at 8:40 PM on June 12, 2004


Oh man, our resident righties are having a fit.

A couple points:

The false patriotism angle is very good. This is something to consider, especially as Nazi Germany is a textbook example of how a western democracy can turn into totalitarial warmongering uber-patriotic wasteland. These things are universal in government; mentioning Germany in the 30s doesnt invalidate them.

Secondly, the fire at the Reichstat and 9/11 were both exploited, shamelessly, for political purposes. The article doesn't mention this, but it is a striking parallel.

I see the modern America/Bush system as being more akin to the Soveit Union, but using history as a guide does tend to point to the rise of Hitler and his use of God and Country™ to please and control the masses, just like Bush does.
posted by skallas at 8:41 PM on June 12, 2004


Well put stav, as usual its the men behind the curtain who should have us scared.
posted by skallas at 8:44 PM on June 12, 2004


so, instead of people complaining that this post is a waste of time, i'd love to see someone respond by finding and posting an article that points out how, far from being like germany in the early 30's, america in the 00's is more like ancient greece under the philosopher-kings.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, long before they can be taken seriously enough to be rebutted.
posted by darukaru at 8:50 PM on June 12, 2004


Well put stav, as usual its the men behind the curtain who should have us scared.
posted by skallas at 8:44 PM PST on June 12

posted by clavdivs at 8:58 PM on June 12, 2004


Secondly, the fire at the Reichstat and 9/11 were both exploited, shamelessly, for political purposes. The article doesn't mention this, but it is a striking parallel.

Actually, this is probably the single most striking similarity. Ashcroft comes out a few weeks ago and rings the bells about a possible terror act this summer and it's revealed that the source is somewhat, shall we say, less than wholly credited, to the extent that Homeland Security feels compelled to almost immediately play it all down, and Houston, we've got exploitation.

"The other side of the aisle is utterly evil and crazy and will destroy this country if they win the election" is stupid no matter which side you say it from.

But it's not the entirity of the "other side." It is, admittedly, a relative fringe, but a fringe which tends to have a fairly significant impact, particularly if we're going to bring the religious right into the discussion.
posted by kgasmart at 9:04 PM on June 12, 2004


"The other side of the aisle is utterly evil and crazy and will destroy this country if they win the election"

Not destroy. Just ruin. Bankrupt. Embarrass. Shame.

And by far the most hyperbolic person in this thread is you techgnollogic. If you want to see somebody go totally batshit over something that doesn't warrant it, look to yourself.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:23 PM on June 12, 2004


heh, right.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:28 PM on June 12, 2004


Secondly, the fire at the Reichstat and 9/11 were both exploited, shamelessly, for political purposes. The article doesn't mention this, but it is a striking parallel.


So.... dutch communists flew planes into buildings and Bush arrested german communists so he could exploit the incident(s), then arrest them then kill them?

Marinus van der Lubbe, statement at his trial (23rd November, 1933)

"I can only repeat that I set fire to the Reichstag all by myself. There is nothing complicated about this fire. It has quite a simple explanation. What was made of it may be complicated, but the fire itself was very simple."

wait, he was coerced by fire right?
posted by clavdivs at 9:49 PM on June 12, 2004


To me, the problem is that by mentioning the infamous Nazis, the article is automatically guaranteed to short-circuit any point it might make. There are very real issues to be explored here, such as:By throwing in references to Hitler, the author ensured that he would throw those who support the target of his criticism into a tizzy-fit (which, given the distain for "political correctness" I often hear from such quarters, seem a bit odd to me).

I wouldn't compare the current trajectory of politics in America to the Nazis, the Soviets, or anything else. If a police state arises in the U.S. over the next several years, it will definitely be as American as apple pie, gigantic flags, and the tearful eagle airbrushed onto the tailgate of the 4x4 monster truck.
posted by moonbiter at 2:11 AM on June 13, 2004


Why can't we talk about Hitler? Afterall he was just a plain old human. WWII is the most important political event in modern times. I really dont like how Godwin's law has been bastardized to say "then the coversation is over."

No, it shouldn't. Hitler was right-wing, thus the righties share a lot with authoratarianism, preserving the status quo, overdone nationalism, easy answers to complex problems, etc.
posted by skallas at 2:37 AM on June 13, 2004


> Hitler was right-wing, thus the righties share a lot with authoratarianism,
> preserving the status quo, overdone nationalism, easy answers to complex
> problems, etc.

Those are characteristics of any totalitarian state, of the right or the left. You knew that, but had a momentary lapse.
posted by jfuller at 5:03 AM on June 13, 2004


Hey - you damn liberals always trying to pre-empt the 1930's analogies - back off!
posted by madamjujujive at 6:20 AM on June 13, 2004


Hitler was right-wing

You can keep repeating that until doomsday, but that doesn't make it true. Hitler was a left-wing anti-christian, anti-capitalist socialist. Sound familiar? Ever heard of "National Socialism"? Look into it.

Hitler was a Socialist

Authoritarianism is Inherently Leftist, not Rightist
posted by hama7 at 7:37 AM on June 13, 2004


hama7, as with the ineffable hacker/cracker paradox, language is a fluid bitch and usage changes ever so gracefully like the course of a stream over time. extreme right wing now means, for all intents and purposes, closed minded repression enforced by brutal thuggery. extreme left wing now means unbridled permissiveness. deal widdit.
posted by quonsar at 7:41 AM on June 13, 2004


"Who the fuck is Jay Severin?

Upon googling: Oh, some dumbass radio host in Boston. I guess that settles it: Fourth Reich, here we come."

techgnollogic - emit commentary from more pleasant - or at least better informed - orifice, please.

"Two of Boston's radio personalities will go national soon, filling in for syndicated talk host Bill O'Reilly. WTKK-FM (96.9) afternoon host ,Jay Severin and midday personality Mike Barnicle will guest-host ``The Radio Factor'' on 400 U.S. stations with a listenership of 3.2 million. Severin's turn will be on Monday; Barnicle gets his shot Jan. 2. WTKK carries O'Reilly weekdays 1-3 p.m. "

"Jay Severin is a veteran campaign consultant for conservative causes and a political analyst for MSNBC."

Depending on the reach of WTTK, Severin can potentially reach a population of several million in the Boston Metro area.

Severin has also called for the destruction of Fallajuh by nuclear weapons.

In continuing to air Severin, it would seem that WTTK-FM tacitly approves of such extreme hate-speech.

For the morally challenged, here's a hint - try inserting a different ethnicity in place in Severin's statements noted here, as in "Severin said that Fallujah, an Irish town of over one hundred thousand residents, should be destroyed by nuclear weapons" or "Spanish American citizens, according to Severin, will never be true Americans and constitute a fifth column within the US which is attempting to take over the country. According to the talk-show host every man, woman, and child of this group - comprising many millions - should be killed."

If that doesn't make my point clear, simply insert the old standby (for appropriate moral clarification) - Jews.

______


stavrosthewonderchicken - eloquently put.
posted by troutfishing at 8:25 AM on June 13, 2004


Why can't we talk about Hitler?

because your an idiot....no your not that, because you could not posit a position if your metalife depended on it? because your cheerleader fuck nut (IMO) who wants to stir and stir.

but go ahead and "talk" about Hitler.

your right about one thing, Hitler was right-wing, but also left wing. He also killed most of his lovers, is responsible for about 30 million dead. He did not eat meat and liked only 2 americans. Henry Ford (until his arsenal started kicking the shit outta him) and Tom Mix. ( i think, it is still coffee time) Half his inner circle were gay or drug addicts/alcoholics.
Stavs said he was "skilled" but evil.
(imagine unskilled evil) ((oh, that would make a great band name...UNSKILLED EVIL))

and then there is trout. Oh, the carefully placed misinformation...or is it selected omissions with great syntax?
posted by clavdivs at 8:46 AM on June 13, 2004


This Thread Delnda Est.
posted by swerdloff at 9:21 AM on June 13, 2004


?Hitler was a Socialist?

Yawn.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:30 AM on June 13, 2004


Wow, and I just saw clavdiv's attempt to throw the old "he didn't eat meat" bit into the mix. That's adorable!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:32 AM on June 13, 2004


if hitler was a lefty, then I don't want to be a lefty anymore! I'm a conservative now.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:44 AM on June 13, 2004


MetaFilter - A community of glass houses. And a big 'ol pile of rocks.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:56 AM on June 13, 2004


Technologic: I don't know about your parents, but a lot of people who almost certainly will never die in a terrorist attack are still worried about one because it is likely that many will die. Is it irrational to have concern for your fellow man?

It is not irrational to have concern for one's fellow man. However, human beings are pretty bad about rationally evaluating relative risks and costs. Everybody is concerned about terrorism, however the human costs of a society where citizens are subjected to increasing levels of surveilance and institutional paranoia is even higher. In many cases, the security measures advocated offer a dubious gain in safety in regards to terrorism.

clavdivis: He did not eat meat...

Well, here is a bit of a half-true urban legend that reveals how much Hitler has become a character rather than a real historical person. According to sympathetic biographies and memoirs, Hitler was quite fond of both sausage and squab, but was advised to go on a vegetarian diet due to a digestive disorder. The same biographies suggest that he was not all that consistent about practicing his doctor's recommendation.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:27 AM on June 13, 2004


Hitler was a left-wing anti-christian, anti-capitalist socialist.

Oh dear, Hama7 is passing round the arse-biscuits again. I think most people realise that political terms such as socialist are an occasionally useful shorthand but are pretty shallow. Also it's pretty clear that Hitler would have happily led any party and put forward any views so long as it secured power for himself.

My main issue with the article is that it could be summarised as Bush is very much like Hitler except when he isn't. Well maybe everyone's like Hitler except when they're not.

The other issue though is that when you compare Bush (or socialists) to Hitler in order to condemn them you have to ask why specifically Hitler and not some other leader. It can't be because he was a dictator, because dictators are ten-a-penny, or because he ran a police state, because that's what all dictators do. The most notable thing about Hitler is that he systematically killed millions of jews, homosexuals, gypsies and disabled people. Now Bush is not exactly the most tolerant of people but I don't think he'd want to do that (well unless they were on death row).

I guess what I'm saying is that if people are going to make historical comparissons, there's a lot of history out there to chose from so pick something suitable.
posted by dodgygeezer at 11:33 AM on June 13, 2004


ok--Bush is like Nixon. (it fits in many many ways)
posted by amberglow at 11:36 AM on June 13, 2004


"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."--Adolf Hitler

"brother national socialist, do you know that our Führer is against smoking...?"

"On one romantic date, his female companion ordered sausage, at which Hitler looked disgusted and said: 'Go ahead and have it, but I don't understand why you want it. I didn't think you wanted to devour a corpse... the flesh of dead animals. Cadavers!'"


Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, noted:

"The Fuhrer is deeply religous, though completely anti-Christian. He views Christianity as a symptom of decay. Rightly so. It is a branch of the Jewish race... Both [Judaism and Christianity] have no point of contact to the animal element, and thus, in the end, they will be destroyed."

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms." --Adolf Hitler

When the Nazis came to power in 1933 one of the first acts Hitler did was to legalize abortion. By 1935 Germany with 65 million people was the place where over 500,000 abortions were being performed each year.

Hitler was named "Man of the Year" in 1938 by Time Magazine. They noted Hitler's anti-capitalistic economic policies.

Hitler Signs an Order Authorizing Involuntary Euthanasia in Germany, October 1939

Importantly:

Refutations: The Myths Espoused by Steve Kangas.

Sound familiar?
posted by hama7 at 11:41 AM on June 13, 2004


Iteresting how hama7 posts a second-hand quote while ignoring:

"It does seem that, at least, Hitler was not a devout vegetarian, if it is appropriate to classify him as such."

And of course, the basic point of the essay that is a falicious appeal to authorty/infamy to raise the issue of his dietary habits as a defining point of character.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:52 AM on June 13, 2004


A Little Secret About the Nazis

You Mean Hitler Wasn’t A Priest? - Dave Shiflett

Leftist Racism - John J. Ray

Those Damned Nazis - Joseph Goebbels

Are Conservatives Nazis?

Socialist origins of Neo-Nazism - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr

An anti-Semitic left hook - Patrick Chisholm

"Basically, National Socialism and Marxism are the same." - Adolf Hitler, February 1941
posted by hama7 at 12:03 PM on June 13, 2004


Let me get this right... Hitler was a left-wing, socialist, anti-capitalist, pro-choice, anti-Christian, vegetarian? I just read it on the Internet. It must be true! Thanks hama7. Does anyone have Ian Kershaw's email address?

On preview: hama7 gets crazier.
posted by xpermanentx at 12:17 PM on June 13, 2004


extreme left wing now means unbridled permissiveness.

Except when it means unbridled brutality, unbridled bloodthirsty aggression, unbridled theft and unbridled depravity.

See also: unbridled extreme left wing permissiveness in the Soviet Union in China, in Cambodia, and in Korea, give or take a few million human lives, and a few other countries.
posted by hama7 at 12:35 PM on June 13, 2004


the fact that hitler was a lefty has to be the most scathing indictment of liberalism the world has ever seen. I'm glad I'm a conservative now.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:02 PM on June 13, 2004


"lefty" and "liberal" are not synonyms.
posted by techgnollogic at 1:12 PM on June 13, 2004


sure they are...synonyms for socialist!
posted by mcsweetie at 1:34 PM on June 13, 2004


hama7 is mistaken in comparing American leftists to Bolsheviks. Properly, they are more like Menshaviks.

In a way, they are also like typical Moslems compared with Taliban: they wouldn't do all those nasty things themselves, but they certainly won't condemn their more orthodox brethren who do. And they would always insist that Islam *really* isn't like that, it's just that it is *forced* to do these things to defend itself against its evil, awful, and fascist-Zionist enemies. And Islam is *always* better than any other alternative--it just needs *something* to make it work: more money, more orthodoxy, more brutality, more prayer.

So leftists, for example, embrace brutal tyrants on the left as *better* than benevolent right wing leaders. Such as the Sandinistas, Castro, Stalin, Mao (though he makes them cringe--a little bit too ethnic), Guzman, Kuhn, Anna Pauker, Ceausescu, Peron, Ernst Honecker, and any number of murderous "agrarian reformers" of the past.

And, their position has become so indefensible, that when confronted with it anymore, they *automatically* launch into a subject-changing ad hominem attack. Truly, it is become no more than a religion, whose followers believe because they have no other choice. The alternative of reality is too horrible to bear.
posted by kablam at 1:58 PM on June 13, 2004


And, their position has become so indefensible, that when confronted with it anymore, they *automatically* launch into a subject-changing ad hominem attack. Truly, it is become no more than a religion, whose followers believe because they have no other choice. The alternative of reality is too horrible to bear.

And kablam exactly describes all the people that support Bush.
posted by amberglow at 2:13 PM on June 13, 2004


is it just me or are clavdivs/swerdloff/the "slight more moderate than hama7"-conservatives on mefi only comment here while shitfaced? somehow the smell is penetrating the data stacks. hey you should capitalize on that!
posted by mr.marx at 2:52 PM on June 13, 2004


Looking at all the links hama7 has sneezed all over the page I can see this is his favorite subject.

Firstly let's look at the purpose of Hama7's remarks. Because Hitler was a socialist then all socialists are like Hitler. This is like saying that because an apple is fruit then all fruit must be apples. Clearly nonsense.

Secondly, these retorical games are all very well but they soon disintegrate when exposed to the real world. Has anyone here met a socialist who went all misty eyed over Nazi Germany wishing that their country could be the same? Or even the idea of something similar? Demonstrably false to anyone who leaves the house occasionally and speaks to people.

Next he quotes Hitler and uses Hitler's words as the basis for his argument. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Hitler was famous for being a big fat liar and would say anything to get what he wanted. If Hitler made the right sounds to appeal to the working-classes to gain popular support then that should surprise no one.

Anyway, let's have some fun. Hitler comes out with some stuff about being against capitalism, however we all know that he had no objection to taking money from the Coca-Cola corporation and there are many other corporations too. What Hitler needed was money for his war machine and he was happy to take that from anyone.

Hitler was against smoking? Does this mean Michael Bloomberg is a socialist or a Nazi? And what the hell has that got to do with socialism?

Meat eating is now apparently restricted only to those on the right and all left-wingers are vegitarian. According to some Hitler enjoyed the occasional sausage, and only became veggie for medical reasons. Anyway, I honestly can't believe hama7 hasn't met a vegitarian republican - they must exist.

Apparently all socialists hate christianity. Personally I always thought Jesus was a bit of a socialist myself. He said that rich dudes don't fit through needles and if the big roman guy wants his coinage back maybe you should just give it to him. Oh and all that stuff in the market too - ok, that was about keeping the sabbath holy but you know what I mean.

Involuntary euthanasia? Are you kidding? What socialist wants that?

Anyway, this just goes on forever but tenuous would be a polite description.

"They were victims, just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps."
-Ronald Reagan, on German SS soldiers buried in Bitburg.
posted by dodgygeezer at 4:02 PM on June 13, 2004


shitfaced? Iv'e been sober for years, loony for a short time. Hey this is fun, slam the man funster stuff. who cares, it is letting and vetting steam. no one gives a shit about this thread or for some accuracy for that matter except hama7, kablam and a few others. Hama7 has the context of history and it's fact down pretty well.
true enough, old adolph had a sausage from time to time and loved to tell his elephant/ vegetarian analogy to through his staff and guests.
posted by clavdivs at 4:12 PM on June 13, 2004


And Islam is *always* better than any other alternative--it just needs *something* to make it work: more money, more orthodoxy, more brutality, more prayer.

Well said. Your comment reminded me of this editorial.

Because Hitler was a socialist then all socialists are like Hitler.

Now, now. Did you skip what kablam said? The ridiculous and far too pervasive idea that Hitler was not, in fact, a part of, a product of, and a predecessor to contemporary leftism is as fallacious as the constant whine that Hitler had anything whatever in common with the "right", as is so often erroneously and nauseatingly repeated.

Besides mass extermination of Jews and other "undesirables", what did Hitler do that a modern-day leftist would not dream of doing?

shitfaced? Iv'e been sober for years, loony for a short time.

You're a good man, clavdivs. This is fun.
posted by hama7 at 4:59 PM on June 13, 2004


I'm reading a book (excellent, by the way), The Struggle for Syria by Patrick Seale, and have gotten to the description of the parties contending in the elections of 1954 (the first free elections held in the Arab world, incidentally). Here's one of them:
The Co-operative Socialist Party

This right-wing, pan-Islamic movement...
But hold it right there! Thanks to hama7, I now realize that there must be a typo: its name had the word "socialist" in it, so it must have been a left-wing movement. MeFi is so educational.
posted by languagehat at 5:01 PM on June 13, 2004


hama7 destroyed this party with a fucking avalanche of links, and all the leftys and liberals have been reduced to trolling wisecracks. Fun, fun, indeed.
posted by David Dark at 5:08 PM on June 13, 2004


But hold it right there! Thanks to hama7, I now realize that there must be a typo: its name had the word "socialist" in it, so it must have been a left-wing movement. MeFi is so educational

I suggest this book LH.
or you could just download the term paper.

Hama7 is correct in the broader sense about being it leftist party. The party Hitler came to was the German Workers Party. Now Hitler did not like the word "socialist" being incorporated in it but at that time he was a firebrand spook on the kaisers dole. See, they wanted to expand and Hitler finally agreed so the party could attract members from the left, (remember, the communist party was not the only "left wing" party then) of course the NAZI was the fringe right lunatic party but the ideas of spengler were included. remember also, it was the German WORKERS party...has lefty, union like connotations huh?

remember also that Hitler did not control the party at first. What gave Hitler a big push was the Feb. 24, 1920 meeting. See, some communist was going to whack Hitler during the speech and he went ahead with it. The principal speaker was Dingfelder, one of the founders of the German Socialist Party, another right wing group with a left wing name. He gave a "good" speech, stressing the need for order, bread and more Schiller for the volk. Well, Hans Frank was at that meeting and he recalled that Hitler was the man because he spoke about how poor germans were, how they were getting shafted by the versailles treaty and of course the communists and jews.

Hitler was skilled, jesus stavs your a FIREBRAND, you pistol you.
posted by clavdivs at 6:49 PM on June 13, 2004


Bite me, clav.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:43 PM on June 13, 2004


hama7: Besides mass extermination of Jews and other "undesirables", what did Hitler do that a modern-day leftist would not dream of doing?

Well, there was his entire problem with democracy and free speech. The nasty habit of arguing that the people existed to serve the Fatherland rather than the Fatherland as existing only to protect the rights of of the people, and the intense xenophobia and ethnocentrism. These were exactly the same things that led much of the American left to fight in Spain against the German-supported Facists. Of course, we tend to blind our own history. I can remember a few short years ago when the left saw the Taliban as brutal thugs while the right quietly proposed that a religious-based justice system might be a good idea for the U.S..

American leftism comes from a variety of sources. One of the big ones is the radical statement by American icons Jefferson and Franklin that the legitimacy of government can be measured by how successful it is at protecting human rights. This is coupled with a centuries-old tradition of Christian activism that considers reducing the most severe harms of poverty to be a priority for public action and policy.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:08 PM on June 13, 2004 [1 favorite]


what Kirk said--how anyone could think Hitler is a hero of the left by any standards, or any of the other people you mentioned, is beyond understanding.
posted by amberglow at 8:30 PM on June 13, 2004


By the time of the Spanish Civil War, it was a conflict between Fascists and Communists (Republicans). So the Americans were fighting with their Communist brethren. That they were fighting Fascists was less important, any enemy would have done.
American Communists were strongly anti-Fascist until Germany and Russia signed their non-aggression pact, then they did a 180 degree turn and embraced Fascism as a "good thing" until Germany invaded Russia, then they did *another* 180 degree turn.
American Socialists, *at the same time* were embracing the Fascist ideas of Mussolini, and to a lesser extent Hitler, with such things as government-private partnerships, to enhance their great New Deal programs. AND YOU CAN STILL SEE IT in their embrace of "Socialist Realism" artwork, very similar to what the Nazis, and the Soviets, decorated with.
posted by kablam at 8:44 PM on June 13, 2004


Seeing any left or liberal Americans as socialists or communists, or as admiring or worshipping dictators and facists, is completely absurd in 2004--i think you'd be hard-pressed to find 10,000 each out of our total population in the country (300 million?).

We're all capitalists here--there's no choice. Wanting adequately funded social programs, and fair taxes and trade does not make us communists. Wanting equality for all--not just heterosexual white Christians--does not make us anarchists or bolsheviks either.

You guys generalize way too much--we don't blame all of you for Bush's failures, or paint all of you as fundamentalist klansmen--we could tho, if we reasoned like you.

socialist artwork?!? hysterical. Next you'll say that people who like impressionist work are really French, like Kerry.
posted by amberglow at 9:27 PM on June 13, 2004


amberglow - well, why not? After all, reasonable Americans have portraits of Le Big Macs on their walls.

clavdivs - re: "your right about one thing, Hitler was right-wing, but also left wing. He also killed most of his lovers, is responsible for about 30 million dead. He did not eat meat and liked only 2 americans. Henry Ford (until his arsenal started kicking the shit outta him) and Tom Mix. ( i think, it is still coffee time) Half his inner circle were gay or drug addicts/alcoholics."....." That sounds about right to me.

But on this : "...and then there is trout. Oh, the carefully placed misinformation...or is it selected omissions with great syntax?" - A backhanded compliment, but where's the misinformation ? Or, are you just annoyed about our recent disagreement over the FBI ?
posted by troutfishing at 9:35 PM on June 13, 2004


Oh - and speaking of Ford's arsenal : you mean, I'm sure, the arsenal produced by Ford factories in the US and not Ford (and GM) subsidiaries in Germany that made vehicles for Hitler's armies, right ?
posted by troutfishing at 10:00 PM on June 13, 2004



Angered by Bush administration policies they contend endanger national security, 26 retired American diplomats and military officers are urging Americans to vote President Bush out of office in November.

The group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, does not explicitly endorse Senator John Kerry for president in its campaign, which will start officially on Wednesday at a Washington news conference...

Among the group are 20 ambassadors, appointed by Democratic and Republican presidents, other former State Department officials and military leaders whose careers span three decades.

Prominent members include Gen. Joseph P. Hoar of the Marines, who was commander of United States forces in the Middle East during the administration of Mr. Bush's father; and Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., the ambassador to Britain under President Bill Clinton and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under President Ronald Reagan.

posted by y2karl at 10:26 PM on June 13, 2004


Hitler was an dictator who wanted everything under his thumb, and had such contempt for certain groups of people that he had no problem having them liquidated. His followers, the Nazis, were a bunch of thugs and fools who believed in him, his policies, or any of the mishmash of other ideas that took the fancies of der Fuhrer and his closest advisors. It was a cult of personality.

Calling Hitler a Leftist or Rightie is simply a rhetorical firebomb used to smear opponents who believe that things should be done differently than you think they should. He was an extremist, a caricature of whatever political ideology he espoused. That he was able to convince a large number of people to follow him is one of the problems that we face.

How do we, as a people, prevent it from happening to us? It doesn't matter if it is Right or Left, extremism of any sort is bad. We are no better or worse than any other population in history. Yet history shows us that otherwise normal folks can be lead to support abhorrent extremist ideologies. So we must be ever vigilant for such tendencies, and defuse them at the first hint of their growth.

I think that was the point of the article. Sadly, nazism and Hitler are such controversial terms that it's almost impossible to discuss the very real lessons that Germany of the 30s can give us without someone going apeshit.
posted by moonbiter at 10:29 PM on June 13, 2004


I wanna apologize for getting this ball rolling by chewing out swerdloff. I think despite that though, we can all agree on two things:

1. this FPP kinda blew.
2. if you still think it matters whether or not hitler was a liberal, then you still need toby keith's boot in your ass.
3. the new powerade slushies at sonic's is delicious.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:48 AM on June 14, 2004


Amazing absolutely amazing, the onward march of revisionism.
posted by johnnyboy at 3:39 AM on June 14, 2004


"And in related news, despite recent revelations on MetaFilter that Hitler and the Nazi's were left-wing, millions of Europeans continue to vote for socialism. More news at 11..."
posted by xpermanentx at 5:35 AM on June 14, 2004


And millions more didn't vote at all. Probably had nothing to do with all that economic stagnation and widespread unemployment. I'm sure it's because the unions still aren't strong enough, comrade.
posted by techgnollogic at 6:21 AM on June 14, 2004


stavrosthewonderchicken - eloquently put.

blind hate is not eloquent IMO hence misinformation. No, I was fine to have the slight discrepancies in the FBI thread, cool with me, we just have differing views on it.
yeah trout, that big mega complex in Detroit that was used to Crush that SOB....what else other then tractors and perhaps some trucks did Ford build for Hitler?


bite you stavs?....have you had your shots?

American leftism comes from a variety of sources. One of the big ones is the radical statement by American icons Jefferson and Franklin that the legitimacy of government can be measured by how successful it is at protecting human rights. This is coupled with a centuries-old tradition of Christian activism that considers reducing the most severe harms of poverty to be a priority for public action and policy.

If I recall correctly, the term came from the French Revolution. (left and right) This assignation relates to the seating arrangement at the assembly. We must remember that it was the Girodins then the Jacobins (left seated) who really accelerated the killing, even Napoleon was somewhat identified with the G&J boys and girls, then the Thermodorians (he was arrested but released), then the Directory. (coup of Fructidor) Then came 19 Brumaire.
posted by clavdivs at 9:59 AM on June 14, 2004


Now, now. Did you skip what kablam said? The ridiculous and far too pervasive idea that Hitler was not, in fact, a part of, a product of, and a predecessor to contemporary leftism is as fallacious as the constant whine that Hitler had anything whatever in common with the "right", as is so often erroneously and nauseatingly repeated.

Why you'd be offended by Hitler being seen as right wing I truly don't understand. Hitler and Bush may in my view both be on the right, but then Germany and New York are on the same hemisphere of the globe - it doesn't make them next door neighbours.

This nonsense debate about Hitler being a socialist isn't much helped by the fact that those supporting the view are quick to put clear blue water between themselves and Hitler, but are equally happy to merge liberals, socialists, greens and communists into a like minded collective. Kind of amusing when you consider that most left-wing collectives fall apart because of in-fighting and squabling.
posted by dodgygeezer at 10:41 AM on June 14, 2004


Hitler was actually right handed, which makes your argument look pretty intrapious.
posted by wackybrit at 9:00 PM on June 14, 2004


But his favorite nut was the left, which makes any counterpoint incongratinous, as I'm sure you'd agree.
posted by David Dark at 12:53 AM on June 15, 2004


"what else other then tractors and perhaps some trucks did Ford build for Hitler?" - clavdivs, you surprise me.

"....According to the US Army report of 1945, prepared by Henry Schneider, German Ford began producing vehicles of a strictly military nature for the Reich even before the war began....Following Hitler's 1939 invasion of Poland, which set off World War II, German Ford became one of the largest suppliers of vehicles to the Wehrmacht (the German Army). Papers found at the National Archives show that the company was selling to the SS and the police as well. By 1941 Ford of Germany had stopped manufacturing passenger vehicles and was devoting its entire production capacity to military trucks. That May the leader of the Nazi Party in Cologne sent a letter to the plant thanking its leaders for helping "assure us victory in the present [war] struggle" and for demonstrating the willingness to "cooperate in the establishment of an exemplary social state."

Ford vehicles were crucial to the revolutionary Nazi military strategy of blitzkrieg. Of the 350,000 trucks used by the motorized German Army as of 1942, roughly one-third were Ford-made."

More on this here : "That Ford and a number of other American firms--including General Motors and Chase Manhattan--worked with the Nazis has been previously disclosed. So, too, has Henry Ford's role as a leader of the America First Committee, which sought to keep the United States out of World War II. However, the new materials, most of which were found at the National Archives, are far more damning than earlier revelations. They show, among other things, that up until Pearl Harbor, Dearborn made huge revenues by producing war matériel for the Reich and that the man it selected to run its German subsidiary was an enthusiastic backer of Hitler. German Ford served as an "arsenal of Nazism" with the consent of headquarters in Dearborn, says a US Army report prepared in 1945.

Moreover, Ford's cooperation with the Nazis continued until at least August 1942--eight months after the United States entered the war--through its properties in Vichy France. Indeed, a secret wartime report prepared by the US Treasury Department concluded that the Ford family sought to further its business interests by encouraging Ford of France executives to work with German officials overseeing the occupation. "There would seem to be at least a tacit acceptance by [Henry Ford's son] Mr. Edsel Ford of the reliance...on the known neutrality of the Ford family as a basis of receipt of favors from the German Reich," it says.....

....According to the US Army report of 1945, prepared by Henry Schneider, German Ford began producing vehicles of a strictly military nature for the Reich even before the war began. The company also established a war plant ready for mobilization day in a "'safe' zone" near Berlin, a step taken, according to Schneider, "with the...approval of Dearborn." Following Hitler's 1939 invasion of Poland, which set off World War II, German Ford became one of the largest suppliers of vehicles to the Wehrmacht (the German Army). Papers found at the National Archives show that the company was selling to the SS and the police as well. By 1941 Ford of Germany had stopped manufacturing passenger vehicles and was devoting its entire production capacity to military trucks. That May the leader of the Nazi Party in Cologne sent a letter to the plant thanking its leaders for helping "assure us victory in the present [war] struggle" and for demonstrating the willingness to "cooperate in the establishment of an exemplary social state."

Ford vehicles were crucial to the revolutionary Nazi military strategy of blitzkrieg. Of the 350,000 trucks used by the motorized German Army as of 1942, roughly one-third were Ford-made. The Schneider report states that when American troops reached the European theater, "Ford trucks prominently present in the supply lines of the Wehrmacht were understandably an unpleasant sight to men in our Army." Indeed, the Cologne plant proved to be so important to the Reich's war effort that the Allies bombed it on several occasions. A secret 1944 US Air Force "Target Information Sheet" on the factory said that for the previous five years it had been "geared for war production on a high level."

While Ford Motor enthusiastically worked for the Reich, the company initially resisted calls from President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill to increase war production for the Allies. The Nazi government was grateful for that stance, as acknowledged in a letter from Heinrich Albert to Charles Sorenson, a top executive in Dearborn."


There's much. much more where that came from. Please don't tempt me. I have others things to do.
posted by troutfishing at 8:19 AM on June 15, 2004


tempt you. Please. I said what else but TRUCKS and Tractors, if you so much else to do, then read my post clearly. I already said TRUCKS. Do you have any info about war material, supplied by Ford, other then soft vehicles?

go back to your creed board and come up with something else, then i will listen.
posted by clavdivs at 10:57 AM on June 15, 2004


"yeah trout, that big mega complex in Detroit that was used to Crush that SOB....what else other then tractors and perhaps some trucks did Ford build for Hitler?" - clavdivs, it's that "perhaps some trucks...." part of the equation which seems a little disingenuous to me.

1/3 of the truck fleet of the Wermacht is not "perhaps some trucks". It represented a large part of the mobility of the German Army. Bear in mind, also, that GM's Opel subsidiary was producing a lot of the rest of Hitler's truck fleet (and some warplanes too - see below)

There were extensive ties, further, between US financiers and IG-Farben and the German chemical industry.

Then, there was IBM's role.....

Overall, There's was plenty of US corporate involvement in this sort of thing. Further, GM did "perhaps" manufacture warplanes for the Reich :

"Nineteen Forty-Six: Not for the first time and not for the last, the giant General Electric Co. found itself in federal court on charges of violating anti-trust law. The U.S. government charged GE and a corporate ally with conspiracy to monopolize a market, raise prices and drive out competitors.

But this was no ordinary anti-trust case. The year following the end of World War II, GE stood accused of criminal conspiracy with Krupp, a major German munitions firm. Their partnership artificially raised the cost of U.S. defense preparations while helping to subsidize Hitler’s rearmament of Germany. The arrangement continued even after Nazi tanks smashed into Poland.

GE was not alone among U.S. big business in having cordial, profitable arrangements with the corporations of Nazi Germany. Kodak, DuPont and Shell Oil are also known to have had business dealing with Germany. Due to a recent reparations case, the activities of General Motors and Ford are the most well known. And the cases are instructive:
------------------------------------------------------------------------

"It came as an unpleasant surprise to discover that the enemy was also driving trucks manufactured by Ford and Opel — a 100 percent GM-owned subsidiary ..."    
------------------------------------------------------------------------

GM and Ford, through their subsidiaries, controlled 70 percent of the German automobile market when war broke out in 1939. Those companies "rapidly retooled themselves to become suppliers of war materiel to the Germany army," writes Michael Dobbs in the Washington Post.

"When American GIs invaded Europe in June 1944, they did so in jeeps, trucks and tanks manufactured by the Big Three motor companies in one of the largest crash militarization programs ever undertaken," observes Dobbs. "It came as an unpleasant surprise to discover that the enemy was also driving trucks manufactured by Ford and Opel — a 100 percent GM-owned subsidiary — and flying Opel-built warplanes."

The major U.S. automakers (including Chrysler) established multinational operations as early as the 1920s and 1930s, locating plants in Germany, eastern Europe and Japan."

Moving right along, "Many Americans are probably not aware of the great extent to which U.S. corporations collaborated with the Nazi war machine during WWII. After the first world war, many wealthy American industrialists, bankers and financiers invested in Germany, in part, to avoid onerous U.S. regulations and also to reap the tremendous profits from the rebuilding of the nation.

Worried that there might be another war that would cause them to lose their investments, the directors of many of these companies plotted to protect their interests. Law firms like Sullivan and Cromwell specialized in helping to arrange these deals. When the second world war broke out, the Dulles brothers, Allen (who was a partner in that firm) and John, helped these companies hide their assets. As a result, many Nazi industrialist and their American collaborators maintained their wealth after the hostilites ceased.

Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg once stated that "The Dulles brothers were traitors." Some historians believe that Allen Dulles became head of the newly formed CIA in large part to cover up his treasonous behavior and that of his clients. Not confined to a few isolated companies, some of America's most prominent families and their financial empires worked with the Nazis well after the first bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor. "
posted by troutfishing at 4:13 PM on June 15, 2004


right, well, the wermacht used HORSES and rail to invade Russia for the most part (bringing up supply lines etc) I do not dispute that the plants we bulit in Germany were used against us. You forgot the cash Ford sent to the anti communists, including hitler in the 20's. What i want is a list of other war material we gave them, like tanks, planes, ships, etc.

keep digging.
posted by clavdivs at 6:25 PM on June 16, 2004


clavdivs, you're being intentionally and pointlessly disingenuous.

Here's my original quote : "Oh - and speaking of Ford's arsenal : you mean, I'm sure, the arsenal produced by Ford factories in the US and not Ford (and GM) subsidiaries in Germany that made vehicles for Hitler's armies, right ?"

So - in other words - I never said that "we" gave "them" anything. I said that Ford and GM subsidiaries in Germany made vehicles for the Wermacht.

However, I didn't forget Henry Ford's deep and abiding love for Hitler and his project. In The Nation, January 24, 2000, By Ken Silverstein begins his article "Ford and the Führer: New Documents Reveal the Close Ties Between Dearborn and the Nazis" :

"We have sworn to you once,
          But now we make our allegiance permanent.
          Like currents in a torrent lost,
          We all flow into you.

          Even when we cannot understand you,
          We will go with you.
          One day we may comprehend,
          How you can see our future.
          Hearts like bronze shields,
          We have placed around you,
          And it seems to us, that only
          You can reveal God's world to us.

     This poem ran in an in-house magazine published by Ford Motor Company's German subsidiary in April of 1940. Titled "Führer," the poem appeared at a time when Ford maintained complete control of the German company and two of its top executives sat on the subsidiary's board. It was also a time when the object of Ford's affection was in the process of overrunning Western Europe after already having swallowed up Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland in the East. "


But, Henry Ford was only one of several of Adolf Hitler's early funders. The Bush family was deeply involved as well, reports Robert Lederman in "The Corpocracy Uncovered - Bush family supported Third Reich" :

"....Along with the Rockefellers (Standard Oil, Chase Manhattan Bank), Mellons (Gulf Oil, Alcoa Aluminum), DuPonts (DuPont Chemicals), General Motors and Henry Ford, banks and shipping companies operated by the Bush family were crucial players in setting up the industrial power behind the Third Reich. These companies poured hundreds of millions of dollars into IG Farben and provided it with technology for tactically-essential synthetic materials while withholding the same materials and patents from the US government.

 The Rockefeller family, long aligned with the Bushes, owned Standard Oil. Through a stock transfer they became half owners of Germany's IG Farben with Farben likewise owning almost half of Standard Oil. According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, IG Farben built and operated more than 40 concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Europe, including Auschwitz.

 At their slave labor/factory/death camps chemicals, weapons, drugs, synthetic fuels and other materials vital to the Nazi war effort were manufactured. In addition, eugenicists like Dr. Josef Mengele used the human subjects in the camps for experiments the data from which are today the basis for many drugs marketed by the pharmaceutical industry.......

 At the end of WWII the allies split up IG Farben into companies that are now the top pharmaceutical concerns on earth among them Bayer, Hoescht, BASF, the Agfa-Gevaert Group and Cassella AG.....

 War provides the necessary medium in which this witches brew of oil, eugenics, pharmaceuticals, munitions and Wall Street investing can reach maximum growth. Likewise, war is also the essential frame of reference for the newly formed GW Bush administration."
posted by troutfishing at 6:14 AM on June 17, 2004


a related and interesting thing: Philip Roth's new novel is about a Lindbergh administration in 1940: You may have read some of the advance reports on the Roth book, his alternative-future novel in which Charles Lindbergh, in real life the figurehead for the isolationist and (in part) pro-fascist America First movement, runs for President in 1940, beats F.D.R. and—soon after his inauguration—makes a pact with Hitler.
posted by amberglow at 6:17 AM on June 17, 2004


(to clavdivs) But - to address your basic point - Yes, Ford "only" made about 1/3 of the truck fleet for the Wermacht. And GM "only" made another significant percentage of that fleet as well manufacture warplanes - through it's Opel subsidiary.

So, Ford and GM "only" provided a sizeable percentage of the truck fleet for one of the major agressors in a World War that "only" killed many tens of millions.

Moving along to some additional "onlies" :

Henry Ford, along with the DuPonts, Mellons, Rockefellers, and the Bush family "only" provided investment for Germany's re-armorment and also "only" financed the formation of IG-Farben and withheld Farben technology from the allies. And IG-Farben only" ran death camps and "only" supplied subjects for human experimentation.

The Bush family "only" made a fortune from it's prewar services towards the rebuilding of Germany's industrial and armorments industries and it's WW2 money-laundering services to the Thyssen industrial group (which accounted for a significant percentage of German heavy industrial production and which used slave labor).

The Bank for which Prescott Bush worked as a director - Union bank - was "only" seized by the US government (under the "Trading With The Enemies" act), after the US had declared war against Germany - for Union Bank's role in laundering money for the Thyssen industrial group.

Further, George W. Bush "only" inherited this fortune - in the form of a blind trust - and so is "only" the recipient of money that traces back to the Holocaust.

One could also say, quite correctly, that Adolf Eichmann "only" was a bureaucrat who signed paperwork, and so it's a tricky word, this "only" - it can obscure a world of evil acts.

So - was Hitler "only" a politician ?

"Only" can only be taken so far in a court of law - or so it would seem from the Nuremburg trials. Eichmann's "onlies" did not carry much weight. His statements - to the effect that he "only" presided over the machinery which killed millions - were not considered esculpatory, and his form of banal, bureaucratic evil, a la Arendt, was judged to be a criminal evil, nonetheless, and a crime against humanity.

There are so many more "onlies" to mention here, but I have to go. To buttress the Bush family-Auschwitz slabe labor connection, I turn to John Loftus :

And who is John Loftus ? - "It is possible that John Loftus may know more intelligence secrets than anyone alive. As a former Justice Department prosecutor, Loftus once held some of the highest security clearances in the world, with special access to NATO Cosmic, CIA codeword, and Top Secret Nuclear files. As a private attorney, he works without charge to help hundreds of intelligence agents obtain lawful permission to declassify and publish the hidden secrets of our times. He is the author of four history books, three of which have been made into films, two were international best sellers, and one was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2002, the SHOWTIME channel will begin filming "SECRET WARS", the pilot of a television series based on Loftus' life story, starring Jon Voight and Aidan Quinn.

As a young U.S. Army officer, John Loftus helped train Israelis on a covert operation that turned the tide of battle in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. During the Carter and Reagan Administrations, he investigated CIA cases and Nazi War Criminals for the Attorney General of the United States. In 1982, his 60 Minutes expose of Nazis on the US government payroll won the Emmy Award for outstanding investigative journalism. "

Loftus hosts this piece (originally published in Clamor Magazine, by Toby Roger) on his website and so - I presume - Loftus will support it's factual accuracy :

"...But while President Bush publicly embraced the community of holocaust survivors in Washington last spring, he and his family have been keeping a secret from them for over 50 years about Prescott Bush, the president's grandfather. According to classified documents from Dutch intelligence and US government archives, President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush made considerable profits off Auschwitz slave labor. In fact, President Bush himself is an heir to these profits from the holocaust which were placed in a blind trust in 1980 by his father, former president George Herbert Walker Bush.

Throughout the Bush family's decades of public life, the American press has gone out of its way to overlook one historical fact – that through Union Banking Corporation (UBC), Prescott Bush, and his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker, along with German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, financed Adolf Hitler before and during World War II. It was first reported in 1994 by John Loftus and Mark Aarons in The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People.

The US government had known that many American companies were aiding Hitler, like Standard Oil, General Motors and Chase Bank, all of which was sanctioned after Pearl Harbor. But as The New York Times reporter Charles Higham later discovered, and published in his 1983 groundbreaking book, Trading With The Enemy; The Nazi American Money Plot 1933-1949, "the government smothered everything during and even after the war." Why?

According to Higham, the US government believed "a public scandal ... would have drastically affected public morale, caused widespread strikes and perhaps provoked mutinies in the armed services." Higham claims the government thought "their trial and imprisonment would have made it impossible for the corporate boards to help the American war effort."

However, Prescott Bush's banks were not just financing Hitler as previously reported. In fact, there was a distinct business link much deeper than Mr. Higham or Mr. Loftus knew at the time their books were published.

A classified Dutch intelligence file which was leaked by a courageous Dutch intelligence officer, along with newly surfaced information from U.S. government archives, "confirms absolutely," John Loftus says, the direct links between Bush, Thyssen and genocide profits from Auschwitz."
posted by troutfishing at 7:17 AM on June 17, 2004


"Only" - it's quite a word, indeed.
posted by troutfishing at 7:21 AM on June 17, 2004


listen here you smug little fuck. I have caught you fucking up facts and figures on several occasions and you admitted wrong. STFU. I used to keep track of about 6 posts were your unchecked facts and surly assertions were not challenged, why, because no one can tell, or give a a fuck. I don't. Did you give any context to the history of Ford and german business relations. How Hitler Nationalized the plants. You even forget that a basic tool in economic warfare is to grab as much of the enemies cash as possible, esp. in the raw materials dept.

So, Ford and GM "only" provided a sizeable percentage of the truck fleet for one of the major aggressors in a World War that "only" killed many tens of millions.

RIGHHHHT. hats like like blaming Troy for supplying the Greeks with wood.

this is the bullshit im talking about. Did Ford and GM own all the plants by 1941? HUH?
part of them, none of them...what? see you use history as your agenda deal breaker. You don't fool me thats why I pay little attention to you anymore. You assert to much. your disingenuous.

John Loftus....RIIGGGHHHT.

Trout, did you know there is NO evidence linking Hitler to the holocaust? Did he order it, yes sir re. Did he follow it's progress you bet ya. But not one piece of evidence.

now, why is that?
posted by clavdivs at 8:24 AM on June 17, 2004


New Documents Reveal the Close Ties Between Dearborn and the Nazis" :

are you a racist? Dearborn, the city of Dearborn, which has a large proud Arab/muslim population today had close ties with the nazis. was the mayor involved, was father Coughlin the go between, were city funds used?

please tell me more about this?
posted by clavdivs at 8:29 AM on June 17, 2004


clavdivs - did I write the article ? And do you perhaps think that, because the entire aticle is about Ford and Ford has a huge Dearborn plane that "Dearborn" might stand in for "Ford" ?

Just asking.

"I have caught you fucking up facts and figures on several occasions and you admitted wrong. STFU." - And I have caught you trying - incorrectly - trying to refute some of my positions. So your point is ?........

As for the context you mention - well, you're asserting that Hitler was calling all the shots. Well, that leaves open the question of cooperation from Ford and GM's main operations in the US - which was generally enthusiastic despite Nazi oversight.

Further : "Ford Cologne's head of production during the war, Hans Grundig, denied the Nazis were in control. ..."We on the [shop]floor didn't have the impression that we were owned by the government. We considered that we were still owned by the shareholders and that we were working for the Ford organisation in Germany," he said." (from BBC article linked below)

WaPo sums it up this way : "Both General Motors and Ford insist that they bear little or no responsibility for the operations of their German subsidiaries, which controlled 70 percent of the German car market at the outbreak of war in 1939 and rapidly retooled themselves to become suppliers of war materiel to the German army.

But documents discovered in German and American archives show a much more complicated picture. In certain instances, American managers of both GM and Ford went along with the conversion of their German plants to military production at a time when U.S. government documents show they were still resisting calls by the Roosevelt administration to step up military production in their plants at home......

....Both Ford and General Motors declined requests for access to their wartime archives. Ford spokesman John Spellich defended the company's decision to maintain business ties with Nazi Germany on the grounds that the U.S. government continued to have diplomatic relations with Berlin up until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. GM spokesman John F. Mueller said that General Motors lost day-to-day control over its German plants in September 1939 and "did not assist the Nazis in any way during World War II."
[ Washington Post, Nov. 30, 1998 ]

Here's a closely argued work which claims the Ford had no choice in the matter

It is certainly true that Hitler - despite his friendship and ideological sympathies with Henry Ford - did not have any reservations about leaning on Ford's German subsidiaries as necessary - even to the extent of starving Ford's German subsidiaries, at times, of scarce materials required for Hitler's re-armourment program.

The question of whether Ford actually derived a net profit from the WW2 production subsidiaries in Germany is not an easy one - although both GM and Ford received some compensation after the war for allied bombing damage to their sudsidiary plants. And Ford and GM, at times, seemed far more enthusiastic towards Hitler than towards the Allied cause.

Here's some more context :

"As early as 1940, Ford Werke was using French POWs as forced laborers. Karola Fings, a leading German historian of forced labor, writes in her chapter that by June 1943, about half of Ford's 5,000 employees were forced laborers, and at the main Ford factory in Cologne, the racist order of the Nazis was applied. As one former forced laborer recalled, "The French weren't treated so badly, but Poles and Russians and Yugoslavs, those were the so-called subhumans."

Conditions in one camp were described by a woman inmate: "In the middle of the barrack there was iron oven. At night it was locked up and some iron bucket would be set [on the floor]. That was our toilet. Around the camp there was a barbed wire fence, guard posts everywhere." Other inmates described beatings and pervasive hunger

......"It can be stated," Fings writes, "that Ford Werke's course in the 1940s was followed with the full knowledge and support of the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn." When the war ended, many of the same executives who had been in charge of Ford Werke after a brief hiatus returned to their old jobs.

General Motors' Opel division was in many ways a mirror image of Ford's Werke subsidiary: Headquarters was in touch during the war with its subsidiary; the company was an integral part of the German war machine (manufacturing, among other things, trucks, tanks and aircraft); it made high profits and it used large numbers of slave laborers. (POW forced labor began in 1940, and American executives of GM witnessed it.) During the war, the SS guarded the forced laborers, a number of whom were women."

Notes another author : " General Motors, with their German subsidiary Opel, and James Mooney, the president of GM, found themselves in much the same situation as Ford.  They have been accused of helping the Nazi war effort.   GM resisted efforts to turn their manufacturing plants into war plants in the US, but they were happy to do just that in Nazi Germany.  In 1935, GM built a plant near Berlin that manufactured the “Blitz” truck.  This truck was used in the invasions of Poland, France, and the Soviet Union.  Also, Hitler would never have been able to invade and conquer Poland as he did without the synthetic fuel technology that GM contributed.  Mooney conducted talks with Hitler a few weeks after war broke out in Europe about converting some of the automobile plants into war plants to produce planes and other such products, necessary for war.  It is noteworthy though, that they refused to change their American plants stating that they were “not adaptable to the manufacture of other products”.  That is strange because they were quite adaptable in Germany. " [ emphasis mine ]

Here's a compendium of recent articles called "Business and the Holocaust" (most from 1998)

The BBC clarifies Ford's wartime control over it's German subsidiaries a bit (and much more than the Washington Post does) though :

"New York lawyer Mel Weise is about to launch a battle for compensation.

Weise: Ford "were out for profit, pure and simple"He said that althought the parent company in America knew what had happened at its German plant, it never fully broke its connection with Germany and that it still re-employed key managers after the war.

He said the firm has a responsibility to those forced to work in its name......The Ford Motor Company has admitted forced labour was used at Cologne. But it denies any responsibility, blaming the Nazi government which they say comandeered the plant.

Rintamaki: "The German government is responsible""They dictated what was going to be made, how it was going to be made, what the labour force looked like, the working conditions and so forth," said Ford's lawyer, John Rintamaki.

Ford Cologne's head of production during the war, Hans Grundig, denied the Nazis were in control.

"We on the [shop]floor didn't have the impression that we were owned by the government. We considered that we were still owned by the shareholders and that we were working for the Ford organisation in Germany," he said.

Grandy, who was never a Nazi, went on to become Ford's European Vice-President.

Ford was placed under a special government official known as a Reichscommisar, called Robert Schmidt. He retained the civilian management. "

There's a bit more context.
posted by troutfishing at 1:30 PM on June 17, 2004


I realize this thread is likely dead and stagnant by now, but I'd just like to epilogue it with one point, directed at clavdivs in particular:

THE FUCKING CONTRACTION FOR "YOU ARE" IS "YOU'RE", NOT "YOUR".

You're never going have people take your point seriously if your grasp of even COMMON, SIMPLE English is entirely fucked.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:19 PM on June 17, 2004


Civil_Disobedient - Not everyone finds written communication and - regardless of any curses he throws at me - I tend to cut clavdivs slack on that count and make a distinction between his language and the quality of his arguments - which are often incisive.
posted by troutfishing at 3:06 PM on June 17, 2004


Oops. Maybe I don't either - "Not everyone finds written communication easy"
posted by troutfishing at 3:08 PM on June 17, 2004


clavdivs most recent objection (excerpted from Metatalk thread) :

"look, matt wanted to keep the argument in that thread but i see that will not happen. I agreed with trout saying we did build plants for trucks and tractors, geez Hitler even gave Ford a medal which he tossed out after the war started. But it seems he was asserting that america was supplying alot of the german war machines material at the during the war.(1941-42) He did not catch the arangement that tied us to germany way into the war concerning Buna, the germans really caught us there until FDR just cut that off. (middle 42' i believe)

yeah, i got mad, get over it. But i do not see a list of other war material, that "we suppled", like tanks planes, ships etc.

The Ford Motor Company has admitted forced labour was used at Cologne. But it denies any responsibility, blaming the Nazi government which they say comandeered the plant.

see, the germans commandered the plant and that article is 6 years old.

should chekoslavakias' SKODA works sue the Germans because they supplied tanks, and arty to the germans?

darn it, that SOB Hiler declared war on us and used material, we sold, against us. And brave German americans fought there own brothers, in some cases, to rectify this evil mans way.

my contention was not the trucks, i agreed with that and then he goes off to explain the history of the german mobile infantry, one third supplied by the U.S. (during peace)
oh i looked jbrjake, esp. at all those neato graphics with swastikas and dead image links. does not anyone see the mistake trout made? I asserted Ford built an arsenal to help defeat Hitler. Trout then said what about the trucks and i said "yeah, they did use the trucks" then he goes on about the spooky Dulles brothers and IG Farben and G.E.
posted by clavdivs at 11:12 PM PST on June 18" (posted to Metatalk - see above link)

___________________________________

Troutfishing/clavdivs debate :
RECAP OF STATEMENTS, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

1) "clavdivs - re: "your right about one thing, Hitler was right-wing, but also left wing. He also killed most of his lovers, is responsible for about 30 million dead. He did not eat meat and liked only 2 americans. Henry Ford (until his arsenal started kicking the shit outta him) and Tom Mix. ( i think, it is still coffee time) Half his inner circle were gay or drug addicts/alcoholics."....." That sounds about right to me.
posted by troutfishing at 9:35 PM PST on June 13

But on this : "...and then there is trout. Oh, the carefully placed misinformation...or is it selected omissions with great syntax?" - A backhanded compliment, but where's the misinformation ? Or, are you just annoyed about our recent disagreement over the FBI ?"

2) Oh - and speaking of Ford's arsenal : you mean, I'm sure, the arsenal produced by Ford factories in the US and not Ford (and GM) subsidiaries in Germany that made vehicles for Hitler's armies, right ?
posted by troutfishing at 10:00 PM PST on June 13"

3) "yeah trout, that big mega complex in Detroit that was used to Crush that SOB....what else other then tractors and perhaps some trucks did Ford build for Hitler?"
posted by clavdivs at 9:59 AM PST on June 14

4) "what else other then tractors and perhaps some trucks did Ford build for Hitler?" - clavdivs, you surprise me.

"....According to the US Army report of 1945, prepared by Henry Schneider, German Ford began producing vehicles of a strictly military nature for the Reich even before the war began....Following Hitler's 1939 invasion of Poland, which set off World War II, German Ford became one of the largest suppliers of vehicles to the Wehrmacht (the German Army). Papers found at the National Archives show that the company was selling to the SS and the police as well. By 1941 Ford of Germany had stopped manufacturing passenger vehicles and was devoting its entire production capacity to military trucks. That May the leader of the Nazi Party in Cologne sent a letter to the plant thanking its leaders for helping "assure us victory in the present [war] struggle" and for demonstrating the willingness to "cooperate in the establishment of an exemplary social state."

Ford vehicles were crucial to the revolutionary Nazi military strategy of blitzkrieg. Of the 350,000 trucks used by the motorized German Army as of 1942, roughly one-third were Ford-made."

More on this here : "That Ford and a number of other American firms--including General Motors and Chase Manhattan--worked with the Nazis has been previously disclosed. So, too, has Henry Ford's role as a leader of the America First Committee, which sought to keep the United States out of World War II. However, the new materials, most of which were found at the National Archives, are far more damning than earlier revelations. They show, among other things, that up until Pearl Harbor, Dearborn made huge revenues by producing war matériel for the Reich and that the man it selected to run its German subsidiary was an enthusiastic backer of Hitler. German Ford served as an "arsenal of Nazism" with the consent of headquarters in Dearborn, says a US Army report prepared in 1945."

5) "tempt you. Please. I said what else but TRUCKS and Tractors, if you so much else to do, then read my post clearly. I already said TRUCKS. Do you have any info about war material, supplied by Ford, other then soft vehicles?

go back to your creed board and come up with something else, then i will listen.
posted by clavdivs at 10:57 AM PST on June 15"

6) "yeah trout, that big mega complex in Detroit that was used to Crush that SOB....what else other then tractors and perhaps some trucks did Ford build for Hitler?" - clavdivs, it's that "perhaps some trucks...." part of the equation which seems a little disingenuous to me.

1/3 of the truck fleet of the Wermacht is not "perhaps some trucks". It represented a large part of the mobility of the German Army. Bear in mind, also, that GM's Opel subsidiary was producing a lot of the rest of Hitler's truck fleet (and some warplanes too - see below)

There were extensive ties, further, between US financiers and IG-Farben and the German chemical industry.

Then, there was IBM's role.....

Overall, There's was plenty of US corporate involvement in this sort of thing. Further, GM did "perhaps" manufacture warplanes for the Reich......."

7) "right, well, the wermacht used HORSES and rail to invade Russia for the most part (bringing up supply lines etc) I do not dispute that the plants we bulit in Germany were used against us. You forgot the cash Ford sent to the anti communists, including hitler in the 20's. What i want is a list of other war material we gave them, like tanks, planes, ships, etc.

keep digging.
posted by clavdivs at 6:25 PM PST on June 16"

8) "clavdivs, you're being intentionally and pointlessly disingenuous.

Here's my original quote : "Oh - and speaking of Ford's arsenal : you mean, I'm sure, the arsenal produced by Ford factories in the US and not Ford (and GM) subsidiaries in Germany that made vehicles for Hitler's armies, right ?"

So - in other words - I never said that "we" gave "them" anything. I said that Ford and GM subsidiaries in Germany made vehicles for the Wermacht.

However, I didn't forget Henry Ford's deep and abiding love for Hitler and his project. In The Nation, January 24, 2000, By Ken Silverstein begins his article "Ford and the Führer: New Documents Reveal the Close Ties Between Dearborn and the Nazis"........
posted by troutfishing at 6:14 AM PST on June 17 "

9) (to clavdivs) But - to address your basic point - Yes, Ford "only" made about 1/3 of the truck fleet for the Wermacht. And GM "only" made another significant percentage of that fleet as well manufacture warplanes - through it's Opel subsidiary.

So, Ford and GM "only" provided a sizeable percentage of the truck fleet for one of the major agressors in a World War that "only" killed many tens of millions.

Moving along to some additional "onlies" :

Henry Ford, along with the DuPonts, Mellons, Rockefellers, and the Bush family "only" provided investment for Germany's re-armorment and also "only" financed the formation of IG-Farben and withheld Farben technology from the allies. And IG-Farben only" ran death camps and "only" supplied subjects for human experimentation.

The Bush family "only" made a fortune from it's prewar services towards the rebuilding of Germany's industrial and armorments industries and it's WW2 money-laundering services to the Thyssen industrial group......"
posted by troutfishing at 7:17 AM PST on June 17

10) "Only" - it's quite a word, indeed.
posted by troutfishing at 7:21 AM PST on June 17

11) "listen here you smug little fuck. I have caught you fucking up facts and figures on several occasions and you admitted wrong. STFU. I used to keep track of about 6 posts were your unchecked facts and surly assertions were not challenged, why, because no one can tell, or give a a fuck. I don't. Did you give any context to the history of Ford and german business relations. How Hitler Nationalized the plants. You even forget that a basic tool in economic warfare is to grab as much of the enemies cash as possible, esp. in the raw materials dept.

So, Ford and GM "only" provided a sizeable percentage of the truck fleet for one of the major aggressors in a World War that "only" killed many tens of millions.

RIGHHHHT. hats like like blaming Troy for supplying the Greeks with wood......."
posted by clavdivs at 8:24 AM PST on June 17"

OK, there's more (of course) but that establishes the chronology of the debate.






posted by troutfishing at 6:44 AM on June 19, 2004


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