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Xref: ncsuvx talk.religion.misc:26299 talk.politics.misc:54629 alt.pagan:729 Path: ncsuvm!ncsuvx!lll-winken!sunlight!loren From: loren@sunlight.llnl.gov (Loren Petrich) Newsgroups: talk.religion.misc,talk.politics.misc,alt.pagan Subject: Re: Religious Right in Politics Message-ID: <53412@lll-winken.LLNL.GOV> Date: 23 Mar 90 04:04:50 GMT References: <133319@sun.Eng.Sun.COM> Sender: usenet@lll-winken.LLNL.GOV Reply-To: loren@sunlight.UUCP (Loren Petrich) Followup-To: talk.religion.misc Organization: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Lines: 165 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_. They included: 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, and blacks. 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 political extremist. 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 imprisonment. Friends in important places? Look at Reagan's and Bush's groveling before these characters. I guess they just need the RR's votes, but... 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 to help. ^ Loren Petrich, the Master Blaster \ ^ / loren@sunlight.llnl.gov \ ^ / One may need to route through any of: \^/ <<<<<<<<+>>>>>>>> lll-lcc.llnl.gov /v\ lll-crg.llnl.gov / v \ star.stanford.edu / v \ v "What do you MEAN it's not in the computer?!?" -- Madonna


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