Xref: ncsuvx talk.religion.misc:26299 talk.politics.misc:54629 alt.pagan:729
From: email@example.com (Loren Petrich)
Subject: Re: Religious Right in Politics
Date: 23 Mar 90 04:04:50 GMT
Reply-To: loren@sunlight.UUCP (Loren Petrich)
Organization: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Looking at these characters, I wonder if we are seeing new
Nazis in the making. Indeed, many people back in the 1920's considered
Adolf Hitler nothing but some right-wing extremist loony -- to their
great regret as time wore on.
What were some of the secrets of Hitler's early successes?
Methods that Hitler himself described in the "Nazi Bible", _Mein
Kampf_ ("My Struggle" -- shortened from "Four and a Half Years of
Struggle against Lies, Cowardice, and Stupidity"). Important to him
was a continuing propaganda campaign, with three main themes. He got
the ideas behind it from several sources, including American
advertising practices and the educational methods of the Catholic
Church. First off, posit a single devil. Have one great villain, which
can be blamed for all the trouble in the world. For the Nazis, of
course, it was the Jews who were the great villain. Second, repeat
one's claims over and over and over again. Repeated enough, one may
convince all but hard-boiled disbelievers that there must be something
to one's claims. And they can be dealt with when the time comes.
Third, whenever necessary, tell the Big Lie. One shouldn't be afraid
of bigness -- big lies may be more impressive than little ones.
And Hitler laid out many of his plans out in _Mein Kampf_.
Acquiring _Lebensraum_ ("living space") to the east of
Germany; one would not worry too much about the people already there,
since they were _Uentermenschen_ ("subhumans") in comparison with the
master race (the _Herrenvolk_).
Exterminating the Jews, the cause of all the trouble in the
world (or so the Nazis believed).
And Hitler's program was designed to appeal to a host of
popular gripes, grudges, and prejudices. The "socialism" in the name
of his party, "National Socialist German Workers' Party", was just a
slogan to get votes. The quest for land in the east appealed to
resentment over some land lost to a newly reformed Poland after World
War I. Jew-baiting? There was no shortage of _that_. His program to
rearm Germany and make Germany a great nation again? Sounds
self-explanatory. But Germany had been limited by the Treaty of
Versailles imposed by the victors in World War I, and the Rhineland
area had been disarmed. His belief that women were only fit for
_Kinder, Kueche, Kirche_ ("children, kitchen, church")? It certainly
got him the male-chauvinist-pig vote. His anti-Communism? Good
riddance to Commies, anarchists, and bomb-throwers. His rejection of
democracy? If democracy means ultra-liberal Social-Democrat wimps who
stabbed our beloved nation in the back by capituating to our
enemies, then good riddance to democracy!
He composed his book while being jailed for a year for leading
the failed "Beer Hall Putsch" in Munich in 1921. During his trial, he
was allowed to rant at length about how he was really doing his
patriotic duty -- a bit like Ollie North? He evidently had friends in
important places, given his light sentence for an attempted takeover
and the talkativeness he was allowed in court.
During most of the 1920's, the Nazis were a fringe movement,
but they resurfaced in the early 1930's, during the Great Depression.
The Nazis allied themselves with the conservative Nationalists in
their bid for seats in the Reichstag. One of their election tactics
was to remove all political literature but that of their party from
university reading rooms. That didn't get them as many seats as they
wanted, so they set a fire in the Reichstag building, and proclaimed
that the Communists were about to take over. Thus, Hitler conned his
non-Nazi colleagues into letting him become Chancellor. All other
parties were banned and the Nationalists simply dissoved their party.
In the 1930's, Hitler achieved one bloodless trimuph after
another -- reoccupying the Rhineland, annexing Austria, and getting
Neville Chamberlain to let him have bits of Czechoslovakia. And what
did Chamberlain get for this humiliating act of appeasement? Hitler
decided to annex the western half of Czechoslovakia. It was only when
his opponents refused to let him dismember their nation that Hitler
decided to go to war. And he did with a secret deal with Joseph Stalin
to divide up north-eastern Europe between them. Both sides adhered to
this deal, with Hitler breaking it in 1941, when he decide to conquer
the European part of the Soviet Union.
From then on, it was downhill. Despite his initial successes,
he was up against an enemy which could easily out-produce him and send
back many more troops than he could muster. And they fought and they
fought and by late 1944, his armies had been driven out of the Soviet
Union. At that time, American and British armies had driven his armies
out of France, and Germany was caught in between. Hitler insisted on
holding out to the bitter end, despite his colleagues' willingness to
try to cut their losses and make peace with one side or the other.
Early in 1945, the easternmost territories had been annexed by Poland
and the Soviet Union, western Germany and Austria had been overrun by
American armies under General Dwight Eisenhower -- yes, Ike himself --
and the Russians were closing on Berlin. He held on, with a ragtag
army that defended the area around his Berlin bunker, where he
committed suicide rather than face you-know-what.
And what afterwards? The two groups of occupiers split up
after those on our side started to feel that Stalin had betrayed them
by imposing Communism upon his Eastern European conquests, and the
Cold War started. The parts of Germany on either side were remolded in
the likeness of their respective victors, with the western part being
democratic and capitalist, and the eastern part Communist. With the
crumbling of Eastern European Communism over the last year, it looks
as if East Germany will be annexed by West Germany. It is fortunate
for Hitler that he committed suicide in his bunker, because if he had
survived, he would have been absolutely anguished at what Germany
would become after the war -- eastern territories gone, what's left of
Germany dominated by capitalist and Communist superpowers, and now
becoming all capitalist. Hitler had always looked down on capitalism
-- he thought it not as dignified as war -- and he thought that the
United States was an inferior nation -- a nation of capitalists, Jews,
I know that this is a bit long-winded, but I thought that it
was cute to discuss the career of a well-known and very successful
And how does this relate to the Religious Right?
I think that they have a lot in common with the early Nazis.
Their "morality" sounds an awful lot like Hitler's "patriotism".
Pat Robertson's denial that he was a TV evangelist, and his
claim that he is only a "Christian businessman" seems an awful lot
like the "Big Lie". Jerry Falwell is an expert at that, also. I've
seen him a little, but that is enough. One time, he spoke approvingly
of the separation of church of state, but he rejected the separation
of "God and state". At another time, he denied that AIDS was sent as
punishment for the sins of gay men, but he went on to say that sin
tends to be punished.
Falwell denied that God has spoken to him, and he has made fun
of his colleagues who have made that claim (well, he's consistent
there). He strikes me as a man without any sense of honor, someone who
could practice human sacrifice on his TV show, then claim that there
is a Satanist conspiracy to smear him by charging that he committed
human sacrifice on his TV show.
I certainly agree with the author of the original postings
that the TV-evangelist scandals are not the end of the you-know-who's.
I'm wondering if there is a comparison between that and Hitler's early
Friends in important places? Look at Reagan's and Bush's
groveling before these characters. I guess they just need the RR's
Lack of strong opposition? How much did the Nazis have,
besides (perhaps) the Communists?
The look-the-other-way attitude and the
praise-with-faint-damns attitude that some people have reminds me of
one of the Nazis' victims, the clergyman Martin Niemoller, who wasn't
bothered when they came after the Jews, the Catholics, the trade
unions, etc. etc.; but when they came after him, there was no one else
Loren Petrich, the Master Blaster \ ^ /
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