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What produces RUTHLESS DICTATORS?

 
 
Mortkat
 
  0  
Reply Wed 4 Jan, 2006 03:05 am
Okie- I will keep an eye open for the Barrett Report. It was supposed to have been neutered by a recent Congressional move that redacted some of the information- namely names of people included in the Report. There are some organizations which vow to put pressure on the Congress if the full report is not released.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 08:34 am
okie wrote:
I would probably agree it was simplified, and there are undoubtedly exceptions to every rule, but I think it has validity in that some personalities are much more dangerous. I also fully believe the potential for evil exists or lurks in the shadows of every human being if the wrong decisions and direction is taken. Oh, by the way, perhaps I'm not informed, but I've never gotten the impression that Hussein was seriously religious in any fashion whatsoever.


I got the general impression he was a religious man, so I was pretty surprised to find that his Government was secular. I remember seeing him in the news visiting a Sunni shrine and hearing that he visited it regularly to pray and pay homage.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 09:47 am
The Sunnis constituted his main power base, so the man was smart enough to present an image of honoring the religion, but many things we know about him indicates his main religion was his own power. We can witness the same in the U.S., or for any country for that matter. Here, Clinton is listed as a Baptist, I would say to gain votes from southern Democrats, etc., but even his own supporters including those that detest religion the most don't consider him to be religious at all. Hey, just look at society in general, many may be members of a religion for social status reasons, but a significant percentage do not really practice their religion.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Feb, 2006 01:22 am
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/5/27/135642.shtml

Interesting observations in this interview that bolster the observations pointed out in this thread. I've picked out a key quote that I think captures a big part of it.

"In an exclusive interview with NewsMax.com, Horowitz spoke about his new book and the Marxist domination of today's Democratic party.

In his book, Horowitz writes about his views on life and death, and explains his belief in the destructive nature of Utopia-driven ideologies, noting: "The desire for more than is possible is the cause of greater human misery than any other."
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Apr, 2009 07:43 pm
@okie,
okie wrote:

This was a study of the childhood environments, conditions, and personality types, and it turned out from my research that there were indeed common characteristics and environments that produced such dictators, from their childhood on. I've categorized these factors as follows:

1 - Dysfunctional family and troubled childhood that extends into adulthood. This includes troubled spousal relationships and other relationships as adults.
2 - Rejection and/or hate for religious belief, sometimes despite training as a child. As they grow into adulthood, they have a hatred or unresolved resentment toward certain groups, races, or religion.
3 - They perceive injustice from childhood and develop a burning desire to dominate, gain power, and right the wrongs toward society and to them as they view it. Typically there is a hate for business and private enterprise, as it is viewed as unfair and the cause of much injustice and suffering, and religion is also viewed as a failure, so government and they are the hope of righting the wrongs and creating their vision of utopia on earth.



Interesting, as Hugo Chavez seems to gain more of the limelight, I think a look at him, in regard to the above. I think it is eery, once again similar stuff appears, as it did for the original ones that I included in my first post, for Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, and Saddam Hussein.

http://www.semp.us/publications/biot_reader.php?BiotID=469

"Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias was born poor on July 28, 1954, in Sabaneta, located on the vast flat plains called Los Llanos, in the state of Barinas, Venezuela, in a house with a dirt floor and a roof made of palm leaves. He was the second of six brothers. His parents were schoolteachers who dispatched him and his older brother to his paternal grandmother’s house for their upbringing when Hugo’s mother Elena bore yet a third son. Elena has said that she “didn’t want to have children…I don’t know, I didn’t like them, it didn’t seem appealing, but since God told me, ‘That is what you are going to do,’ I got married and a month later I was pregnant.” (4) Hugo has said that he “didn’t love his mother”, but “respected her”. (4)

Hugo sold his grandmother’s homemade sweetened fruits on the street. Even so, she did not have enough money to buy Hugo shoes, which barred him from attending school until she found something to cover his feet. Hugo was a reluctant altar boy for one year because his mother wanted him to become a Catholic priest. While an altar boy, he developed a deep distrust of religious hierarchy as he polished religious figurines, including one of Jesus, whom he viewed “a rebel”, like himself.

When Chavez was around twelve years old (around 1964 or 1965), he came under the wing of the long-bearded old-school Communist Jose Esteban Ruiz Guevara, who had two sons the age of Hugo and who owned a large library filled with Marxist and other revolutionary material. Ruiz proselytized Hugo in Barinas, the state capital where Hugo and his older brother moved with his grandmother to study at a large secondary school (education in Sabaneta ended with primary school). Hugo’s relationship with Ruiz was the first of a long series of associations with old school Communists that continues today with Cuba’s Fidel Castro, who is 28 years senior to Chavez. In addition to Communism, Chavez worshipped his idol, the Venezuelan revolutionary Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) after whom he named his own revolution (the Bolivarian Revolution).

While Chavez received his political indoctrination from the Ruiz family and his secular education from the secondary school, he pursued a muted social life. “As a young man, Chavez had two girlfriends, who were considered by other students as unattractive. Chavez too was widely considered unattractive, and these girlfriends were more interested in two of Chavez’s best friends, the Ruiz brothers, than in Chavez himself. Chavez also had his share of social upsets; for example, when a young woman whom he considered attractive refused to pay any attention to him, Chavez found a rotting donkey head on the side of the road and left it in front of her door.”

Hugo chose the oldest military academy in Latin America, the Venezuelan Academy of Military Sciences (founded 1810) for his post-secondary-school education because, he said, the army had good baseball coaches and he was a good left-handed pitcher. “The Venezuelan Army has always been made up of a strong working- and lower-class component, its barracks filled with men from humble backgrounds drawn by the real possibility of ascending to the highest ranks,” note Marcano and Tyszka. (6) Chavez quickly acquired a taste for life in the military. He liked being a soldier and soon believed that the military order was so good that it should always prevail over the civil experience. He continued to spend time with his Communist friends every time he visited Barinas. Soon the group of friends participated in the creation of the left-wing party known as Causa Radical, which supported the labor struggle in Venezuela.

After graduating from the military academy, Chavez began to lead a double life as a “neutral” soldier while conspiring with others in cells to overthrow the government. In 1983, Chavez grew weary and wanted to retire from the military, but the old-time Communist Ruiz, knowing better than Chavez the latter’s value in the military to a leftist revolution said, “No, stay. You say it’s a load of ****. Well, stay in and get rid of that **** you see in the army!” (7) In other words, he strongly advised Chavez to continue to work in a clandestine manner to find the “breaking point” that would generate anarchy within the military realm. Chavez came around to the old-time Communist’s way of thinking, and proposed to his comrades that they act as a guerrilla group within the armed forces to undertake violent actions, such as blowing up electricity posts. (7) Cooler heads prevailed and delayed the coup d’état and revolution in order to “grow, build strength, and arm themselves…the path of the classic conspiracy.”

Venezuela’s President Chavez, however, as part of his seemingly innate rudeness, recently likened U.S. President George W. Bush to “a devil” after the latter gave a speech at the United Nations in September 2006. Chavez said, “As the spokesman of imperialism, he [Bush] came to share his nostrums to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world. An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even propose a title: ‘The Devil's Recipe’.” Chavez continued in his inimitable theatrical style, “The devil came here yesterday. And it smells of sulfur still today.” Then Chavez crossed himself. (19) Ever colorful, Chavez then held up a book by Noam Chomsky on imperialism and said it encapsulated his arguments: “The American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its hegemonistic system of domination, and we cannot allow him [Bush] to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated.” "


Okie comment: the above paragraph sounds like some of the lefties on this forum.

http://www.semp.us/_images/biots/Biot469PhotoF.jpg


okie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Apr, 2009 11:11 pm
One of the running debates here in politics has been with mainly "old europe," but other as well, in regard to whether Hitler was an extreme rightist or a socialist or leftist. I have now read some of Mein Kampf and have also read the 25 points of the Nazi Party. I believe the evidence is clear from these documents that Hitler was leftist or a socialist, in context with American politics, left and right. I am going to list the Nazi 25 points of the party in the following.

I have highlighted what I would judge leftist policies in red, and the most leftist policies in bold red. I have also highlighted in blue those policies that I have judged to be a result of World War I, simply a reaction to a German defeat and attempt to regain their footing, and in so doing, the hatreds and resentments of Hitler are evidenced by those points, that are neither left or right in my opinion, just Hitler and the German peoples mindset. I have left in black those points that seem to me to be fairly normal and reasonable for most countries. As you can see, the vast majority of the 25 points I think are clearly leftist in nature.

Nazi Party 25 Points:

1. We demand the union of all Germans in a Great Germany on the basis of the principle of self-determination of all peoples.

2. We demand that the German people have rights equal to those of other nations; and that the Peace Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain shall be abrogated.

3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the maintenance of our people and the settlement of our surplus population.

4. Only those who are our fellow countrymen can become citizens. Only those who have German blood, regardless of creed, can be our countrymen. Hence no Jew can be a countryman.

5. Those who are not citizens must live in Germany as foreigners and must be subject to the law of aliens.


6. The right to choose the government and determine the laws of the State shall belong only to citizens. We therefore demand that no public office, of whatever nature, whether in the central government, the province, or the municipality, shall be held by anyone who is not a citizen.

We wage war against the corrupt parliamentary administration whereby men are appointed to posts by favor of the party without regard to character and fitness.

7. We demand that the State shall above all undertake to ensure that every citizen shall have the possibility of living decently and earning a livelihood.
If it should not be possible to feed the whole population, then aliens (non-citizens) must be expelled from the Reich.

8. Any further immigration of non-Germans must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who have entered Germany since August 2, 1914, shall be compelled to leave the Reich immediately.

9. All citizens must possess equal rights and duties.

10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all.

Therefore we demand:

11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.

14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.


15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.

16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class, the immediate communalization of large stores which will be rented cheaply to small tradespeople, and the strongest consideration must be given to ensure that small traders shall deliver the supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

17. We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

18. We demand that ruthless war be waged against those who work to the injury of the common welfare. Traitors, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished with death, regardless of creed or race.

19. We demand that Roman law, which serves a materialist ordering of the world, be replaced by German common law.


20. In order to make it possible for every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education, and thus the opportunity to reach into positions of leadership, the State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people. The curricula of all educational establishments shall be adapted to practical life. The conception of the State Idea (science of citizenship) must be taught in the schools from the very beginning. We demand that specially talented children of poor parents, whatever their station or occupation, be educated at the expense of the State.

21. The State has the duty to help raise the standard of national health by providing maternity welfare centers, by prohibiting juvenile labor, by increasing physical fitness through the introduction of compulsory games and gymnastics, and by the greatest possible encouragement of associations concerned with the physical education of the young.

22. We demand the abolition of the regular army and the creation of a national (folk) army.

23. We demand that there be a legal campaign against those who propagate deliberate political lies and disseminate them through the press. In order to make possible the creation of a German press, we demand:

(a) All editors and their assistants on newspapers published in the German language shall be German citizens.

(b) Non-German newspapers shall only be published with the express permission of the State. They must not be published in the German language.

(c) All financial interests in or in any way affecting German newspapers shall be forbidden to non-Germans by law, and we demand that the punishment for transgressing this law be the immediate suppression of the newspaper and the expulsion of the non-Germans from the Reich.

Newspapers transgressing against the common welfare shall be suppressed. We demand legal action against those tendencies in art and literature that have a disruptive influence upon the life of our folk, and that any organizations that offend against the foregoing demands shall be dissolved.


24. We demand freedom for all religious faiths in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or offend the moral and ethical sense of the Germanic race.

The party as such represents the point of view of a positive Christianity without binding itself to any one particular confession. It fights against the Jewish materialist spirit within and without, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our folk can only come about from within on the pinciple:

COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

25. In order to carry out this program we demand: the creation of a strong central authority in the State, the unconditional authority by the political central parliament of the whole State and all its organizations.

The formation of professional committees and of committees representing the several estates of the realm, to ensure that the laws promulgated by the central authority shall be carried out by the federal states.

The leaders of the party undertake to promote the execution of the foregoing points at all costs, if necessary at the sacrifice of their own lives.
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 09:00 pm
@okie,
This should be an interesting discussion. I would very much like to take a stab at the NSDAP party program, but I think that some clarifications might be necessary before that. I think many points of the program take on a different meaning when you look at them in the context of the Nazi ideology.

However, I don't want you to accuse me to define Nazism based on the "propaganda of the intelligentsia", as you've put it in another thread. So I'd like to ask you: what would you say is the most important principle in Nazism, and where are the differences between Nazism and fascism?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 09:12 pm
Quote:
What produces RUTHLESS DICTATORS?

vulnerability in their victims
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 09:27 pm
@old europe,
I don't know if I can tell you what THE most important principle of nazism was, if I had to take a stab at it, I would say the perceived principle of Common good over individual good in the all important State, and the hatred of Jews and capitalism was both intertwined into this concept.

I would rather keep the debate about Nazism as relates to left and right, socialistic or oppressive, vs capitalistic or free, as opposed to Fascist, as I think the definition of fascist has various interpretations and it doesn't really matter to this discussion, and it really just complicates the discussion unnecessarily. According to the following, Nazism and fascism have similarities, as does communism, and they are all leftist in my opinion, with differing details. But they are all oppressive and anti-individual freedom, and they all tout the state as the arbitor of fairness and justice, economically, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

"Fascism is a radical, authoritarian, and nationalist political ideology.[1][2][3][4] Fascists advocate the creation of a single-party state.[5] Fascists believe that nations and races are in perpetual conflict whereby only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and by asserting themselves in combat against the weak.[6] Fascist governments forbid and suppress criticism and opposition to the government and the fascist movement.[7] Fascism opposes class conflict and blames capitalist liberal democracies for creating class conflict and in turn blames communists for exploiting class conflict.[8] Fascists reject the individualism and self-interest of laissez-faire capitalism.[9] Many fascist leaders have claimed to support a "Third Way" in economic policy, which they believed superior to both the rampant individualism of unrestrained capitalism and the severe control of state communism.[10][11] This was to be achieved by a form of government control over business and labor (called "the corporate state" by Mussolini).[12] Some call this corporatism[13] while some others do not use the term corporatism to describe the fascist economic arrangement.[14]"
okie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 09:30 pm
@old europe,
Also, see what I posted above about Hugo Chavez, fascinating info. about his early life, similar to other tyrants in history, dysfunctionality, etc. I find it fascinating the same stuff keeps popping up over and over.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 11:06 pm
@okie,
I think the left vs. right debate is difficult as a starting point, if you don't first define what kind of spectrum you're talking about:

Quote:
Left-right politics or the left-right political spectrum is a common way of classifying political positions, political ideologies, or political parties along a one-dimensional political spectrum, with the far-left being radical, the Left liberal, the Right conservative, and the far-right reactionary.

The perspective of Left vs. Right is an imprecise, broad, dialectical interpretation of a set of factors or determinants. "The Left" and "The Right" are usually understood to represent polar opposites for each determinant, though a particular individual or party may take a "left" stance on one matter and a "right" stance on another.


(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_right_politics)


I've posted a graph of a the two-dimensional political spectrum before when we've been discussing this topic, because I think it is more precise. However, we can certainly decide to stick to a one dimensional spectrum at the moment.

The reason I'm bringing up the question of which kind of spectrum you want to base this on is that you've mentioned several points which are, in my opinion, not necessarily synonymous. Socialism or communism - defined as the common ownership of the means of production - is not necessarily synonymous with oppression, as shown in the example of voluntary communes or Israeli kibbutzim:

Quote:
The principle of equality was taken extremely seriously up until the 1970s. Kibbutzniks did not individually own tools, or even clothing. Gifts and income received from outside were turned over to the common treasury. If a member received a gift in services"like a visit to a relative who was a dentist or a trip abroad paid for by a parent"there could be arguments at members' meetings about the propriety of accepting such a gift.

The arrival of children at a new kibbutz inevitably posed an ethical dilemma. If everything was held in common, then who was in charge of the children? This question was answered by regarding the children as belonging to all, even to the point of kibbutz mothers breastfeeding babies which were not their own.


I think it therefore makes sense to focus on these aspects individually and to either discuss the politics of the National Socialists in the context of an economical spectrum - free market capitalism vs. common ownership of the means of production - or in the context of authoritarianism - complete individual liberty vs. authoritarian dictatorship. (There are other possibilities, of course. You could discuss this in the context of nationalism vs. internationalism, or in the context of difference of social ideology: class struggle vs. the struggle of nations or races, etc.)

Essentially, it's up to you to pick a context for the discussion. The only thing I'd ask for would be to not throw everything into one big pot, but rather to discuss these topics, even though they might be related, separately.

------------------

The second point - and the reason why I brought up fascism - is the question of what constitutes the ideological core of Nazism. You've mentioned three points. If I had to pick the most important point, I would say that it's the idea of racial purity. Like fascism, Nazism believes in the perpetual conflict of races and nations. Unlike fascism however, where ultimately the state is the most important entity, Nazism treats the state merely as a means towards it an end, the most important thing being the superiority of the Aryan race, the purity of the race and its dominance over all the other, inferior races.

I think it would make sense to agree on the most important elements of the ideology first before moving on to debate the practical consequences of those theoretical and ideological constructs.
okie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 12:13 am
@old europe,
oe, everytime we debate something, it seems like it ends up in an endless array of collections of points, with answering counter points, without ever reaching a conclusion or a central point. Here again, you avoid the heart of the question right off the bat, which is the question of left and right, and instead want to meander off into a myriad of points that are adjacent to the central point. All of this merely obfuscates the question, and creates alot of complications out of something that can be simplified. This is not rocket science. Actually, Lone Voice is close to what I have been posting, which he has posted as follows. And actually, to repeat, why do you right off the bat totally dismiss the name of the party, which says it is socialist? Why do you insist on using twisted reasoning to find a way to even deny the name, especially given the fact the 25 points of the party support the fact it is socialist or leftist?
http://able2know.org/topic/125060-12#post-3629558

Lone Voice wrote:
Nazi, Socialist...

Looking at the political spectrum from left to right, with socialist on the left and fascist on the right, isn't really accurate.

Instead, any form of government in total control of the state and the individual should be on the left; whether fascist, socialist, or an oligarchy, it should be on the far left of the scale.

Anarchy, of course, would be on the right.

The US is a republic, and is in the middle.

So Nazi, Commie, who cares? We have a party that is attempting to take control of the government via outlandish economic policy, polarizing Homeland Security reports, taking control of the US Census, and inserting the federal government into aspects of the everyday citizen that have never been attempted in the past.

Yeah, they were elected. So was the Nazi Party in 1933...



old europe wrote:

I think the left vs. right debate is difficult as a starting point, if you don't first define what kind of spectrum you're talking about:

I think its a perfect starting point. All you have to do is look at the 25 points of the party, which I did, and identify where the party stood on that issue, left or right, and I think the vast majority of the points prove to be leftist and / or socialist. If you wish to identify each point as to which spectrum you want to classify it within, go ahead, but I don't think it will make that much difference.

I am not going to quote all of your points and then answer them, because I don't think they are pertinent, so I will try to sum it up. Also, I will answer your Kibbutz example.

Quote:
The reason I'm bringing up the question of which kind of spectrum you want to base this on is that you've mentioned several points which are, in my opinion, not necessarily synonymous. Socialism or communism - defined as the common ownership of the means of production - is not necessarily synonymous with oppression, as shown in the example of voluntary communes or Israeli kibbutzim:

I don't think you are talking about a nation state. Sure, communes exist within the United States as well, and actually a family is a mini- commune in some respects, those entities exist as totally voluntary units, but if I understand this correctly, they practice self sufficiency and capitalism as a unit, instead of as individuals. I do not think that is a valid example of a nation state. The larger these groups become, the more inefficient they would likely become.

Quote:
The second point - and the reason why I brought up fascism - is the question of what constitutes the ideological core of Nazism. You've mentioned three points. If I had to pick the most important point, I would say that it's the idea of racial purity.

Racial purity I see as a vehicle to the end game, which is the common good. From my reading of the 25 points and in Hitler's Mein Kampf, as confusing as it is, I think Hitler blames racial impurities for causing the failures of what he perceives as economic and social injustice. So the racial purity was a vehicle to achieve his vision of utopia. But the utopian conditions themselves were the idealogical core of Nazism.

All of this, I think relates back to some of the mindsets of dictators, which I outlined in the beginning of this thread, most of these kinds of people harbored deep anger, as a result of childhood experiences, often a result of rejection in a dysfunctional family. As they grew into adulthood, they transferred these feelings onto their view of society, viewing everything as unfair, and they become hellbent on changing all the unfairness into a system of fairness, a kind of utopia. So again, the utopian view of the world is the idealogical core of political systems like Communism, Fascism, or Nazism. And in Hitler's case, he blamed much of the problem in achieving his utopian vision on Jews, and their culture, which included the self interests of capitalism. Racial purity was part of his politics, a big part of it, but is was merely a leg of the stool, but not the stool itself.

Anyway, I think most of what the Nazi Party stood for can be analyzed as a left vs right issue. I already did this with the 25 points.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 01:03 am
okie
If you really want to do a serious research about dictators and not just say they came from a bad family background you have to read about the history of the country and what caused the political developement in the country at that point.
What made others follow a dictator - where all these people from broken and bad families?
How about other children in the country with the same background - how did they develope - pro or contra?
How about children from so called good backgrounds? How did they see the developement?
You have to read books by people who went through these times - best books by people who were both pro and contra.
Then there are psychologists who have written about the phenomena and historians and lots and lots of pseudo people, but forget about the last category.

Your statement is too supervisiul -
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 06:38 am
Quote:
What produces RUTHLESS DICTATORS?


If only Stalin had been married to Ruth . . .
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 08:52 am
@saab,
I addressed that very point at the beginning of the thread, saab. To quote part of it:

okie wrote:
One observation I would like to make here. Such personalities can be found in abundance in every culture, but obviously there must be conditions whereby such people can gain an audience and eventually gain political power. I think such potential dictators with their inherent politics can only gain traction in a society that also has more of a preponderence of the mindset similar to that of the potential dictator. This mindset would include a general feeling of failure and personal feeling of powerlessness, unfairness, and resentment, coupled with an increased lack of faith in God or religion. Such a collective mindset then takes on an increased hope that "government" can right the wrongs and create some kind of system that is more fair. Business and free enterprise becomes more demonized and viewed more as unfair, thus something needs to be done to correct it. An important component in this cultural mindset is the condition of the family unit, whereby children grow up in happy, balanced conditions, so that they can grow into being happy adults without some axe to grind, and they are happy to work and bear the fruits of their own labors. Also a belief in God rather than a belief in government is important in keeping a culture away from dictators, at least that has been true for the first 200 years of this country. If too many people in our culture begin to have more axes to grind, then the seeds of some ruthless dictator or government gaining traction becomes a very real danger.


Also, saab, you accuse of being superficial, I think rather that I get to the heart of the problem without wallowing around lost in the details.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 09:11 am
@okie,
okie wrote:
oe, everytime we debate something, it seems like it ends up in an endless array of collections of points, with answering counter points, without ever reaching a conclusion or a central point. Here again, you avoid the heart of the question right off the bat, which is the question of left and right, and instead want to meander off into a myriad of points that are adjacent to the central point.


Because those points are important. You want me to identify where certain points (like the 25 points of the NSDAP party program) would fall on a spectrum. I would like to go through all the individual points and do just that, but I think we should agree on what kind of spectrum we talk about.


okie wrote:
All of this merely obfuscates the question, and creates alot of complications out of something that can be simplified. This is not rocket science. Actually, Lone Voice is close to what I have been posting, which he has posted as follows. And actually, to repeat, why do you right off the bat totally dismiss the name of the party, which says it is socialist?


The name is "National Socialist", not "socialist". I've already given you a number of reasons why I think that only looking at the "socialist" part of the name of the party and concluding from that that the Nazis were socialists is not a good idea. I'm not dismissing the discussion of where the NSDAP should be placed on an economical spectrum - I'm merely saying that there are better ways of reaching that conclusion. As you ask me this question again, though, I'll give you the main objections I have to jumping to conclusions by merely focusing on the name:

- The original name of the party was DAP. It was originally founded by members of the Thule society which, in turn, was focused on the mythical origin of the Aryan race and on fighting Jews and Communism. When Hitler joined, it was a tiny nationalist party, with less than 55 members. In trying to make the party more attractive to a larger number of voters, he added the two adjectives "National" and "Socialist" - which are usually to be found on opposite sides of the spectrum - to the name of the party.

- The Nazis were rarely upfront when it came to naming core elements of their ideology for use in public. The terms they used referred to concepts that were entirely different from the conventional meaning. Umsiedlung (resettlement), Aussiedlung (emigration) or Evakuierung (evacuation) stood for the deportation of Jews into concentration camps. Sonderbehandlung (special treatment) stood for the killing of people. The term Desinfektion (disinfection) referred to the gassing of people, and Endlösung (final solution) or Lösung der Judenfrage (solution of the Jewish question) to the meticulously planned genocide of the Jewish population.

- Totalitarian states and parties, no matter where to be found on the political spectrum, do not necessarily use names that reveal outright the ideology of the system they stand for. The official name of the Eastern German state was "German Democratic Republic". The constitution of the state of Texas says that the state is a democratic republic. Drawing the conclusion, merely going by the name, that Eastern Germany had the same political system or ideology as Texas would probably not be a good idea, though.

That's why I think that it's not very helpful to take one part of the name of the NSDAP and draw the conclusion that Hitler was entirely honest and upfront when it came to naming the party, and that we can therefore claim that he was a socialist.


okie wrote:
Why do you insist on using twisted reasoning to find a way to even deny the name,


Again, I'm not denying the name of the party. I'm merely arguing against focusing only on one part of the name, and make more out of that than what's really there.


okie wrote:
especially given the fact the 25 points of the party support the fact it is socialist or leftist?


That's what the discussion is about, right? I find it difficult to start the discussion when you present the conclusion right at the beginning. If that's what you want to argue, I have no problem with that, but I would ask you to try and start the discussion from a more objective point of view.


okie wrote:
Lone Voice wrote:
Looking at the political spectrum from left to right, with socialist on the left and fascist on the right, isn't really accurate.

Instead, any form of government in total control of the state and the individual should be on the left; whether fascist, socialist, or an oligarchy, it should be on the far left of the scale.

Anarchy, of course, would be on the right.


Well, that's only focusing on the question of how authoritarian a particular regime is. I absolutely agree that on the Authoritarianism <-> Individual Freedom spectrum, all fascist, socialist, Stalinist or Nazist dictatorships can be found on the one side of the spectrum, whereas on the other end you can find complete libertarianism and ultimately anarchy.

I'm fine with discussing the NSDAP party program within that context, if that's what you want to do.

I'll also point out that that ignores the question of which economical system is favoured by a particular ideology. Let's, for example, focus on the libertarian/anarchist end of the Authoritarianism <-> Individual Freedom spectrum. In terms of personal freedom, this constitutes the exact opposite of Stalinism. Yet, in terms of economical ideology, you'll find identical ideas in anarchist and in Stalinist systems. I refer you to this article about libertarian and anarchist communism:

Quote:
Anarchist communism advocates the abolition of the state, private property and capitalism in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy and a horizontal network of voluntary associations, workers' councils and/or a gift economy through which everyone will be free to satisfy their needs.

According to anarchist communist Peter Kropotkin and later Murray Bookchin, the members of such a society would spontaneously perform all necessary labour because they would recognize the benefits of communal enterprise and mutual aid. Kropotkin believed that private property was one of the causes of oppression and exploitation and called for its abolition, advocating instead common ownership, except where property-like personal possessions are used for oneself.


So therefore the question is: if you move more towards libertarianism or anarchy, away from totalitarianism and authoritarian dictatorship - are you then moving to the left or to the right?


Regarding your objections that communities that voluntarily practice communism (as in: common ownership of the means of production) are usually smaller than nation states: I think the question is whether a society or a community that practices communism can exist without totalitarian measures. I think that any example of a group of people (of a certain size; let's say larger than a family) that practices communism voluntarily counters your claim that communism in a society can only exist if it's implemented using totalitarian measures. For other examples of communities that (used to) practice communism, I would also mention Christian communities and the anarchist governments in Spain.


okie wrote:
Racial purity I see as a vehicle to the end game, which is the common good. From my reading of the 25 points and in Hitler's Mein Kampf, as confusing as it is, I think Hitler blames racial impurities for causing the failures of what he perceives as economic and social injustice. So the racial purity was a vehicle to achieve his vision of utopia. But the utopian conditions themselves were the idealogical core of Nazism.


I would argue that it's the other way 'round. His vision of utopia was racial purity. It was a racially pure, Aryan nation that dominated all the other nations. All racial impurities in the form of members of inferior races would have been eliminated from the Aryan race. Racial impurity, as you correctly describe it, was the root cause for the shortcomings of society. In Nazi ideology, it was not groups of society that fought each other (proletarians vs. capitalists), but rather races that competed with each other. Inferior races were too weak to fight against superior races openly, so they had to manipulate the system in order to reach their goals. This was particularly true for parasitical races that didn't even own their own state, but rather made a living by weakening a host nation. Jews would keep honest Aryans from what was rightfully theirs by subverting the economical system, by trying to monopolize the banks and using them to expropriate racially pure German citizens, and by conspiring with other Jews around the world. To strengthen the Aryan race and give Germans back what was rightfully theirs, the Jews therefore had to be eliminated.

All of this is important to determine the role of the state in Nazism relative to other ideologies.


okie wrote:
So again, the utopian view of the world is the idealogical core of political systems like Communism, Fascism, or Nazism. And in Hitler's case, he blamed much of the problem in achieving his utopian vision on Jews, and their culture, which included the self interests of capitalism. Racial purity was part of his politics, a big part of it, but is was merely a leg of the stool, but not the stool itself.


I think we agree mostly in that regard. I do think that a utopian view of the world is at the core of Nazism, and I agree that Hitler blamed the Jews for keeping the German nation from achieving that utopia. However, I think that the racial ideology is the core of Nazism. All kinds of policies - social, economical, etc. - were instituted as a consequence of this ideology.


okie wrote:
Anyway, I think most of what the Nazi Party stood for can be analyzed as a left vs right issue. I already did this with the 25 points.


I will definitely take a stab at the 25 points once we've established a framework of what left and right should stand for. If you want to use the Authoritarianism <-> Individual Freedom spectrum, I'm fine with that.
okie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 09:37 am
@old europe,
Okay, I read all of your points, and I think to start with I would like to focus on one central point that needs to be resolved, that being what is the central goal of Nazism. I have included the following quotes, in which I think you contradict yourself. I believe the central point or goal was "common good," or good of the whole, a strong and just society - while individual profit or good takes a back seat. In order to achieve this, Hitler saw the need for at least a couple of basic things, one being racial purity, another being a strong state. Again, racial purity was not the goal, but one vehicle to achieve it, and he viewed it as a necessity to achieve the goal. Also, very important, a strong state was not the central goal, but a necessity in Hitler's view to achieve the goal. (As a sidelight, I agree, to achieve a socialist state, a strong state is pretty much a necessity). In the following, you seem to disagree with this, and then you turn around and agree with it. So I think until we resolve this, it would be premature to head off into the 25 points analysis with you.
old europe wrote:

okie wrote:
Racial purity I see as a vehicle to the end game, which is the common good. From my reading of the 25 points and in Hitler's Mein Kampf, as confusing as it is, I think Hitler blames racial impurities for causing the failures of what he perceives as economic and social injustice. So the racial purity was a vehicle to achieve his vision of utopia. But the utopian conditions themselves were the idealogical core of Nazism.


I would argue that it's the other way 'round. His vision of utopia was racial purity. It was a racially pure, Aryan nation that dominated all the other nations. All racial impurities in the form of members of inferior races would have been eliminated from the Aryan race. Racial impurity, as you correctly describe it, was the root cause for the shortcomings of society. In Nazi ideology, it was not groups of society that fought each other (proletarians vs. capitalists), but rather races that competed with each other. Inferior races were too weak to fight against superior races openly, so they had to manipulate the system in order to reach their goals. This was particularly true for parasitical races that didn't even own their own state, but rather made a living by weakening a host nation. Jews would keep honest Aryans from what was rightfully theirs by subverting the economical system, by trying to monopolize the banks and using them to expropriate racially pure German citizens, and by conspiring with other Jews around the world. To strengthen the Aryan race and give Germans back what was rightfully theirs, the Jews therefore had to be eliminated.

All of this is important to determine the role of the state in Nazism relative to other ideologies.


okie wrote:
So again, the utopian view of the world is the idealogical core of political systems like Communism, Fascism, or Nazism. And in Hitler's case, he blamed much of the problem in achieving his utopian vision on Jews, and their culture, which included the self interests of capitalism. Racial purity was part of his politics, a big part of it, but is was merely a leg of the stool, but not the stool itself.


I think we agree mostly in that regard. I do think that a utopian view of the world is at the core of Nazism, and I agree that Hitler blamed the Jews for keeping the German nation from achieving that utopia. However, I think that the racial ideology is the core of Nazism. All kinds of policies - social, economical, etc. - were instituted as a consequence of this ideology.


okie wrote:
Anyway, I think most of what the Nazi Party stood for can be analyzed as a left vs right issue. I already did this with the 25 points.


I will definitely take a stab at the 25 points once we've established a framework of what left and right should stand for. If you want to use the Authoritarianism <-> Individual Freedom spectrum, I'm fine with that.
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 12:46 pm
@okie,
I think part of the problem might be that assign different meaning to the terms we're using in this discussion. I'll try to answer the points you brought up individually.

okie wrote:
I believe the central point or goal was "common good," or good of the whole, a strong and just society - while individual profit or good takes a back seat.


I would argue that Hitler was never seeking a "just society". The most important values taught by National Socialism were duty, obedience, honour, courage, strength, and ruthlessness. A "just society" - equality, egalitarian principles, etc. - runs counter to everything Nazi ideology stands for: social Darwinism, the ideology of the struggle of races, the idea that members of superior races are justified to eliminate members of inferior races, the euthanasia programs, eugenics, etc. etc.

I agree that working for the "common good" or "good of the whole" was emphasized in Nazism. However, I would say that the term "Allgemeinwohl", as used by the Nazis, didn't stand for the benefit of the entire population, but rather stood for what was useful to the German nation and for the Aryan race.

(The problem in talking about these terms seems to be that in Nazi ideology, there was no difference between the Aryan or Germanic race, the German people, the German nation, the German state. I'll refer you to the slogan "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer" - literally meaning "One people, one empire, one leader". It illustrates how in Nazi ideology, the national community, the identification of the population with the state was propagated. The German people - along with the population of other 'nordic' nations - were part of the Aryan race. The state represented the German people and, by extension, the whole Aryan race. It was therefore vitally important to extend the territory of the formal German nation to incorporate all the other nations with an Aryan population.)

I also agree that the need for a "strong society" was emphasized by the Nazis. It was part of the ideology that races and nations were constantly struggling and fighting each other, and that only the strongest race would survive, wiping out or enslaving all the other, inferior races.


okie wrote:
In order to achieve this, Hitler saw the need for at least a couple of basic things, one being racial purity, another being a strong state. Again, racial purity was not the goal, but one vehicle to achieve it, and he viewed it as a necessity to achieve the goal.


You seem to be saying here that racial purity was seen as a means towards an end, namely instituting a strong state. I'm not entirely sure that that's what you're trying to say, because you're essentially saying the opposite in the next sentence, but I'll take a stab at this nevertheless....

As I've said above, I would argue that the most important ideological tenet was racial purity and supremacy of the Aryan race. However, for all practical purposes, the German population (minus parasitic elements) and the German state were synonymous. A strong state was necessary to achieve racial purity while, in turn, racial purity and strength was necessary to create that strong state.

From that alone, you could easily argue that state and race were therefore of equal importance. And you would be right as long as you're only looking at national policy. However, another important part of Nazi ideology was the external struggle with other races. As Hitler outlined in Mein Kampf, the Aryan people could only survive if it had sufficient space available. Without enlarging the territory available to the Germanic race, inferior races would strangle the growth of the pure Aryans, and ultimately wipe out the superior race. This ideology of Lebensraum (literally "habitat") for the German people was at the core of the latter expansion, invasion and occupation of foreign countries.

I would therefore argue that while, in Nazi ideology, a strong state is vitally important for the survival of the superior Aryan race, the converse is not true. The National Socialists could have created a strong state (with the most important goal being, like in fascism, the strength of the state) without having to expand the territory of the German Reich beyond its borders.


okie wrote:
Also, very important, a strong state was not the central goal, but a necessity in Hitler's view to achieve the goal.


For the reasons I've given above, I would completely agree with this statement here.

In summary, I'd say that it's not quite clear to me what you seem to argue is at the core of Nazi ideology. You seem to say that a strong state was a central goal in Nazism, but was, ideologically, only a means towards an end (and I would agree with that). You also seem to say that the ideology of racial purity and supremacy of the Germanic race was at the core of Nazism, but that this, too, was a means rather than the goal of Nazi policies.

I guess if you argue that both a strong state and a strong national community on the one hand and racial purity and racial supremacy were only the means - what would you see as the ideological goal of National Socialism?
dyslexia
 
  0  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 02:23 pm
@okie,
okie says :
Quote:
my study of this subject[/quote I would opine that okie has never studied anything.
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 07:55 pm
@old europe,
I thought I explained it adequately. You asked what I viewed as the central goal of Nazism, and I think it was the utopia he envisioned. A strong state and a pure race were both things that Hitler viewed as necessary to get there, but they were not necessarily the goals in and of themselves.

Since Nazism was about the people, his view of the the common good, Hitler knew it took a strong state to enforce it. He also viewed the Jews and their capitalistic ways as a poison to his view of a utopian society or culture, so they were to be defeated and weeded out.

I don't know why this needs to be complicated to you. I don't see it that different from communism or Marxism. Hitler's main problem with Marx seemed to be his Jewish roots, and so he also thought Marxism exploited the masses to achieve its goal. I am not so sure there would have been that much disagreement if not for that problem.

So, can we agree on the central point of nazism? I don't know. To tell you the truth, Mein Kampf is one confusing bit of reading, Hitler was not coherent or consistent, and actually not that smart in my opinion. He was to put it bluntly, a serious mental case. So for anyone to study nazism and make grand pronouncements about what it was and what it was not, I am not sure it is entirely possible.

If we can't agree on the central point or goal of nazism, I am not sure we can have a reasonable assessment of the 25 points, but I guess we can try. I already gave you my assessment, and most of them are leftist or socialist.
 

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