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Was Hitler good for the World in any way?

 
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:00 pm
During the beginning of Suharto's reign in Indonesia almost 2 million people were killed (sponsored by the US), Pol Pot virtually decimated the entire population of Cambodia in the late 80's and Cambodia was saved by Viet Nam (what happened to the domino theory?). This doesn't lessen the loss of Jews by Hitler, I am just trying to express the fact that this sort of things are still occuring. Central Africa has been experiencing purges, Tebet, Chechnya - the list just grows and grows! When will it stop?

I WEAP! Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:30 pm
(to a waltz-tempo children's melody...)

Gather 'round while I sing you of Werner von Braun
A man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience.
Call him a NAZI, he won't even frown.
"NAZI? Schmazi," says Werner von Braun.

Don't say that he's hypocritical
Say rather that he's apolitical
"Once the rockets are up who cares where they come down,
"That's not my department," says Werner von Braun.

Some have harsh words for this man of renown
But some think our attitude should be one of gratitude
Like the widows and cripples of old London town
Who owe their large pensions to Werner von Braun.

You too may be a big hero
Once you've learned to count backwards to zero
"In the German and the English I know how to count down
"Und I'm learning Chinese," says Werner von Braun.

--Tom Lehrer (in a song of now considerable vintage whose title should be fairly obvious)
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:32 pm
Ah, good ol' Tom, i can just hear him singing that . . .

He was one of the best acts on That Was the Week That Was. I always liked World War III Marching Song and Vatican Rag the best.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:34 pm
I bought that cd quite recently. Best track is the Vatican Rag

genuflect..genuflect
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:34 pm
set I said it was the best track first
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Booman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:35 pm
If a scumbag commits an egregious crime, no matter what positive thing occurs, as a result of that crime, it doesn't reduce the horror of that crime. I'm just saying that it is a fact of life, that positive things do occur.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:36 pm
oi

whose nicked my avatar? (well its all been explained, but felt like saying it, never having had an avatar worth nicking before)
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:37 pm
First you get down on your knees
Fiddle with your rosaries
Bow your heads with great respect
Then genuflect, genuflect, genuflect, yeah
You can do your step if you want it
If you clear it with the Pontiff
Everybody say his own
Kyrie elaison
Doin' the Vatican Rag!
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:41 pm
(and there's there's a sort of arpeggiated dim7 chord run...)
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:42 pm
Steve,

If you were the one who had a huge picture of a cat as an avatar it was I who nicked it. It was wreaking havoc on site layout and I even added code last night to ensure that it doesn't happen in the future.

Please choose any image under 10K and it will be fine. I have fixed problems with height and width so the only concern now is that the file size stays low.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 05:20 pm
Hitler was a monster, but his racial superiority views were no different than those held by many others all over the world prior to WWII. Hitler was an opportunist who came to power at a place and time in history that made it possible for him to commit unspeakable horrors in the name of his idealism. Indeed, it was Hitler's idealism that first appealed to German youth. Anti-Semitism was not invented by Hitler, but existed all over Christianized Europe from Medieval times. Periodic pogroms of varying severity were common.

Chauvinism was, and remains common to every group, every nation, and in every part of the world. Until Hitler's henchmen applied modern technology to the elimination of those they considered inferior, the genocide practiced by others remained largely ineffective. Most people, in every society, weren't ashamed of their prejudices and were even proud of their ability to dominate others. Chauvinism and what we call today racism were acceptable and weren't even questioned. Subjugation of the Other was regarded as a good thing. Civilization, as defined by the dominant group, was a "gift" bestowed upon the ignorant, hardly human Other.

Hitler's Holocaust demonstrated the end result of that sort of thinking. The Nuremberg Trials were an expression of the World's shock and disgust at Germany's effort to insure their racial purity by the wholesale extinction of those believed inferior. Ex Post Facto Law was exacted to punish national leaders who previously would have committed no crime under international law. Some of those Ex Post Facto Laws have since come to present difficult problems regarding national sovereignty. Genocidal programs have killed millions since WWII, yet the international community has been very ineffective in stopping mass murder within the borders of sovereign countries. Who was there to stop Pol Pot from murdering his own citizens? Should a nuclear war have been risked to stop the Stalinist purges, or the Chinese invasion of Tibet?

Here in America, we had our own cancer to deal with. The racism that grew out of slavery has haunted this nation from its very inception. Slavery was abolished as a result of the Civil War, but the general notion that Blacks were inferior beings persisted. Jim Crow was vital at the beginning of WWII, but afterwards was doomed by an American public whose eyes were opened by the Auschwitz and Treblinka. Americans were forced to confront the hypocrisy of race relations in this country. Formerly subservient Blacks became activated, and the brutality and injustice of the Bull Connors of the South shamed television viewers across the nation. America has made great efforts to eliminate the legal basis for racism, but chauvinism dies hard. There is less racism today in the United States than there was fifty years ago, but racist attitudes in other parts of the world have hardly changed at all.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 09:36 pm
Asherman, I must disagree with your statement that "racist attitudes in other parts of the world have hardly changed at all." I believe most Germans have changed their racist attitudes during the past half century. I also believe Australians have changed their attitudes against the aboriginies and other races, especially Asian races, and they have assimilated into their culture with greater ease. When I visited Australia several years ago, I learned for the first time that the aboriginies of Australia, who have lived there for over five thousand years, earned their right to citizenship in their own country as recently as 1963. That was a shocker for me. Although aparthied is now outlawed in South Africa, most blacks still live in poverty, and in shanty towns. We visited a shanty town where the leaders of the community have great hope for their future. During my visit earlier this year to Cape Town and Stellenbosch, we saw black students attending college. Also, there are some inter-marriages between whites and blacks in South Africa today. A huge improvement from fifty years ago. c.i.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 10:05 pm
It sounds to me as if you are agreeing with me. I didn't say that no change has occured, only that racial chauvinism is still very much alive in the world. Chauvinism in China, the most populous nation on the earth, still exists and plays a role in foriegn policy. It is unspoken, but real. Japan remains a homogenous society that regards others, Koreans for instance, as inferiors. The Anglo-American nations have generally taken racially biased laws off of the books, but prejudice remains inherent within the population. Progress has been made, and it is no longer acceptable to publically rant chauvinistic ideas on the world stage. We owe that to Hitler.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 11:15 am
Asherman, I only challenged your statement "but racist attitudes in other parts of the world have hardly changed at all." I was trying to show that they have changed, whether by PC, laws, or other means. I do not think intermarriages between blacks and whites in South Africa would have been tolerated fifty years ago. Not that it's a very common occurance today, some progress is being made for the better. We also saw hope in the black leadership in the shanty town. I do not believe that was true fifty years ago. Yes, progress will be slow, because most blacks still live in proverty, and they cannot afford to send their children to school. Speaking from personal experience and observation, I didn't think that Japanese-Americans had much hope fifty years ago. All my siblings and most of our children are now professionals, living the good life. My brother was sworn in as an Assemblyman in the California Assembly last week. If that isn't progress, I probably don't understand the meaning. c.i.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 11:45 am
I think we are in agreement. Things have changed. It is no longer acceptable to express overtly racist, chauvinistic views in most of the world. Laws, especially in the Anglo-American world, have been purged of outright racist intent. Even though Affirmative Action favors one "race" over another, the intent is to level the playing field and make up for past injustices. Hitler's extremism so shocked and horrified the world that the old acceptance of superiority of one's "race" had to change.

Unfortunately, changing the habits of millenia doesn't come easy, nor quickly. Prejudices die hard. It is relatively easy to legislate, but human heart isn't so easy to change.

Our temple, Zen Shuji, was siezed during WWII without compensation. The congregation and monks were hustled off to concentration camps in violation of Constitutional guarantees. Old people in the congregation recall the camp, and fighting in Italy -- mostly without rancor. It took years of saving and effort for the congregation to restore what had been illegally seized. A new temple was constructed out of money raised by the congregation.

There are still folks out there who hate the Japanese, whatever their citizenship. It easier to find a Korean who hates the Japanese than to find a Korean who has a single friend of Japanese descent. Has the racial chauvinism that fueled Japan's expansion during the first half of the 20th century really changed?

The problem is that generalizations about groups are almost always wrong when applied to individuals, yet most folks live their lives based on vague generalities and misconceptions.

Things have changed, and are changing still. For "racism" and chauvinism to be really eliminated requires individual effort and clear insights into our own prejudices. It will take many generations before the noxious weed of "racism" is as extinct as Smallpox. In the meantime, we need to work hard at minimizing the problem. It doesn't help to place all the guilt for racism on the backs of the Anglo-American world. We are trying to reform bad habits that have existed everywhere and for a long time. Other societies are just as prejudiced, but many have been much less interested in change than the Anglo-American world.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 12:07 pm
Asherman, Your comments about Japan's racism is not questioned; they are still one of the worst countries to practice racism and classism. Not only Koreans, but many Chinese live in Japan. The Ainus are still discriminated against, although their ancestry is Japanese. Your comment about our perceptions about generalizing our individual experience about racism is not questioned. I can only tell you that from personal experience, the divide between Chinese-Americans and Japanese-Americans in the US has changed dramatically during my life time. During our childhood, living in Sacramento, we did not socialize with the Chinese. Today, we have (many) Chinese relatives. I think that speaks volumes about the progress we have all made in race relations. c.i.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 12:47 pm
Racism and prejudices do a lot of harm, might even stop those, who want "to cross the borders".
Media, especially some tabloid papers, are doing a lot of bad to "help" this, too. (You may have look at my thread "History lessons about Germany" to see some results.)
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najmelliw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Dec, 2002 05:18 pm
When I read the topic I thought I had something usefull to add. After I read all the posts, all the things I thought about adding had allready been added...I'll just give my opinion on the casus :
Hitler and his racist Nazi buddies have done no good on a sociological and political point of view(I believe one cannot word so strong a negative on the economical plane, however). Except for clearly exposing racism, in front of the whole world, as the repugnant thing it is, especially so when it is performed on a large scale for a long period of time in a very systematic manner. While there will always be people who believe different, it's thanks to threads like this that this view will not change or dissipate over time. More strongly worded, I hope we as a world society will cooperate in trying to eliminate this abomination from the face of the earth.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Dec, 2002 05:50 pm
naj, Unfortunately, this world is still infested with "this abomination" on a world-wide scale. When tyrants like Saddam can control the wealth of the whole country of Iraq, it will be a long time before they are "eliminated" from the face of the earth. While our country spends over three hundred billion dollars for our military, many on this earth are dying from inadequate medical care and starvation. There is no balance today that brings hope for a more sane and humane world. c.i.
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najmelliw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Dec, 2002 01:54 am
cicerone,
Judging from what you write, your definition of racism is broader then mine is. You are right however, there is little balance in the world. This makes a fertile breeding ground for hatred and racism and a whole range of other unpleasant emotions and feelings.
But, seen from this point of view, capitalism is "an abomination" itself, since the basics behind it have the seeds for creating an unbalanced society of a (semi)poor workerclass and rich "bosses", where the latter will try at all cost to increase their wealth, if necessary at the expense of groups situated lower on the social ladder.
As for the inadequate medical care and starvation, unfortunately the local politicians themselves are a huge factor in the continuing misery. Just look at Africa, where regions are torn apart by continuing warfare. In such an unstable country, politicians come and go, and only those who wield terror like a weapon in defense of their position remain in control.
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