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60 Years Later - Which Was Worse, Nazism Or Communism?

That's question hidden in the background of the celebrations of the end of World War II in Europe this week. Robin Shepherd of the Center for Strategic and International Studies looks at the question, and the motives of those who seek to avoid it.

Bratislava, Slovakia, May. 9 (UPI) -- Amid all the chitchat, commentary and controversy over this week's celebrations marking the end of World War II, there is a question that has never been far from the surface, though it has rarely broken through: Which was really worse -- communism or Nazism?

One answer, a sensible one at that, is that both systems were so degraded, disgusting and unpalatable that it is impossible to establish a hierarchy of value in which one could possibly stand higher, or lower, than the other. When you've reached the deepest pit in Hell there's nowhere lower to go.

Unfortunately, though, that conclusion is often lost in a quagmire of ignorance and historical distortion. Not because anyone this side of decency really doubts the horrors of Nazism. But, sadly, because there are still large numbers of people (and judge for yourself which side of decency they stand) who still refuse to face up to the horrors of communism.

Take veteran Guardian columnist Jonathan Steele, writing in that paper just last week. In an irony that would certainly escape him, he makes it clear that one purpose of his polemic is to combat the "denial" in the West about the role of the Soviet Union in defeating Hitler. In attempting to foreclose on the argument that "Nazism and communism were somehow two sides of the same evil coin" he reaches a crescendo with the following, extraordinary statement: "Mass terror and purges," he says, "were not intrinsic to Soviet rule, as was clear after Stalin's death."

Shepherd proceeds to document the case that terror and purges of tens of millions of it's own citizens were in fact the foundation on which Soviet communism was built.

Some, whose romanticized vision of communism comes via the study of textbooks, to this day fail to acknowledge the horrific consequences of tens of millions of those in Russia and Eastern Europe who were killed in the name of Soviet-style communism. Nazism and communism may be dissimilar in many ways, but when measured by the crude yardstick of genocide, both were two sides of the same genocidal coin.


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Comments (46)

"But, sadly, because there ... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"But, sadly, because there are still large numbers of people (and judge for yourself which side of decency they stand) who still refuse to face up to the horrors of communism."

Because naturally refusing to face horror is a sign of indecency. As to the actual question you may as well ask which was better. I dare you.

Because naturally refusi... (Below threshold)

Because naturally refusing to face horror is a sign of indecency. Actually, that's called cowardice, and cowards have always enabled the indecent. Communism and Naziism are two sides of the same coin. They're equally cancers upon humanity. It's just a shame that Communism was allowed to metastize for so long.

My answer: there was no dif... (Below threshold)
Ken:

My answer: there was no difference between Naziism and Communism. They were both fraudulent political theories used by tyrants to oppress their people. No different from whatever Saddam Hussein was. They were excuses, not systems.

I'm not sure the "two sides... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

I'm not sure the "two sides of the same coin" analogy covers it well enough. I look at them more as two distinct variations of the aids virus, and liberalism as HIV. Not quite aids yet, but it will get there eventually.

Well said, Bullwinkle.... (Below threshold)
BR:

Well said, Bullwinkle.

Nazism (German abbreviation for "National Socialist Worker's Party") had its roots in the German communist party. Hitler was first an ardent supporter, then branched off into his own version of dictatorship.

Communists & "liberals" act covertly while they ascend to power. Once they gain it, gone is the pretense of doing good for the peeeeeople, and out come the prison camps for all who disagree with them.

Fearful cowards + guns = vicious bullies.

According to the "genocidal... (Below threshold)

According to the "genocidal yardstick" communism was way worse than national socialism:

http://www.freedomsnest.com/rummel_totals.html

How rotten to the core is this world that this is even a debate?

Soviet Union
Total killed: 61,911,000

Communist China
Total killed: 35,236,000

Nazi Germany
Total killed: 20,946,000

Nearly 100 million murdered vs. 21 million. Yeah, real close!!!!

Hell, even asshat "liberals" like George Lucas still pimp the communists in Vietnam. So how many did these "liberators" butcher?

Vietnam 1945-1987
Total killed: 1,678,000

But the commies had good intentions....

I think that one is a nobra... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think that one is a nobrainer.

I think the only reason Nazism comes to mind is because Hitler has been painted into the absolute villain corner, while the perpetrators of communist horrors are more varied.

I figure most people could tell you who Hitler was, but other than Stalin and Lenin (and I have my doubts about those given the state of education in the US) I think most people would be hard pressed to list too many communist leaders, much less the highly murderous ones.

And state-sponsored genocid... (Below threshold)

And state-sponsored genocide need not be the only valid measure, either... how about the state terrorizing its own citizens, disappearances, gulags, "work camps", the making of non-entities?

I'd like to see some good numbers on how many of its own citizens each had killed (not including those who suddenly found themselves citizens through occupation).

Burgess:<a href="h... (Below threshold)
SB:
When asked this question, I... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

When asked this question, I always invoke the Roger Daltrey Rule: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." To the guy in the street, it's all the same. As to the claim that genocide was not intrinsic to Soviet Communism just because Brezhnev didn't practice it, two responses: (1) We really don't know that that is true, and there is some evidence that it isn't; (2) it somewhat begs the question -- how much genocide occurred in the Third Reich after Hitler was gone? My own take: Both systems were utterly evil. Period.

John Burgess this website h... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

John Burgess this website has some very interesting stats on governments that murder their own citizens in addition to others.

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/welcome.html

The Nazis killed 21 million... (Below threshold)

The Nazis killed 21 million in the name of white Germans.

The Commies killed 100 million in the name of Humanity.

In doubt, blame the White Man. Clearly the Commies were better since they killed so many more for more noble reasons.

Arguing about which is wors... (Below threshold)

Arguing about which is worse (or which is better) is akin to debating whether a tablespoon of arsenic is better or worse for you than a cupful. The fact that these two versions of tyranny aren't seen as equally evil seems to be a tragic reflection of the lack of real History in American classrooms over the past 20 years. Seems that most adults under 40 don't know anything about history if it didn't happen in their lifetime.

Call it a victory for the revisionists.

"We learn from history that we do not learn from history." --Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." --George Santayana

...and let;s not forget MAO... (Below threshold)
jumbo:

...and let;s not forget MAO. Anyyway, if I HAVE to, I'd go with Stalin/Communism worse than Hitler/Nazism. But it's like saying that the Black Death was worse than AIDS: you can't pick a "better" disease. Hitler was clearly the immediate threat in the 40's and we allied serious doubt, though, that if positions had been reversed, if Russia had had the educated populace and technical/industrial base, and Germany a horrendously poor and backward totalitarian socity, that Stalin wouldn't have mounted a great war of conquest westward? Or that by fillip of history we might have allied with Hitler to defeat the dreaded Reds, only to have inarguably demonstrated to our ufully warned from the moment of victory over Communism, that Germany had slaughtered not just 6 million Jews, but scores of millions of other Europeans? A pox on both their houses.

Yalta and Potsdam, whcih condmned half of Europe to slavery for two generations, were in no small part brought about because of the arrogance of a sick and exhausted president, who said he and Stalin liked each other and that he could "handle" Uncle Joe". The same president whose closest counsellors on relations with Russia were, on the one hand, admitted leftist and communo-phile Harry Hopkins, and on the other the admnitted Communist Party member and (as finally proven after the fall of the USSR) Soviet agent Alger Hiss. With Armand Hammer thrown in for spice. Roosevelt and Truman betrayed Europe because Satlin blustered and bluffed, and they thought the US was too tired to continue standing uo to mad dictators.

What I resent today is the leftist dogma that has prevailed since the 30's, refined and altered along the years, to the effect that Communism was merely a glorious but failed well-intentioned experiment, while Nazism was evil incarnate. Treating one as a cold and the other as cancer, even though both were invariably fatal.

Why is it wrong to say Comm... (Below threshold)

Why is it wrong to say Communism was worse than National Socialism?

It is simple math. A guy who murders three people is worse than a guy who murders one. A country which acually conquers and enslaves other nations is worse than one which just attempts to. 1+1=2

Don't fall into the leftist liberal PC trap. More murders, more enslavement, more oppression is worse than less murders, less enslavement, less oppression. There is a rational basis for more/less, despite liberal whines to the contrary.

The real difference between... (Below threshold)
Mike:

The real difference between Naziism and Communism, in terms of body counts, was that the Nazis only had 15 years to kill their 21 million people, while Soviet/Maoist/Khmere Rouge-style Communism lasted for about 60 years, or four times the length of Naziism.

Still, the Commies managed to kill five times as many people (100 million +) within four times the number of years. So it looks like the award still goes to the Commies. And of course we still have Cuba and N. Korea around, so the final tally of Commie dead won't be known for some time.

I think that where a lot of people draw the distinction between Communism and Naziism based on the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. The Commies were always good PR people, and they kept their killing well-hidden. But when we liberated the Nazi camps we collected enormous amounts of evidence related to everything the Nazi's did, including the gastly medical experiments. Since we don't have that kind of graphic evidence against people like Mao and Stalin, people assume that the Nazis were worse.

Slovakia is a bad choice to... (Below threshold)
jim:

Slovakia is a bad choice to try to make this judgment. Given the history of Czeckoslovakia during the war, it is hard to say that Communism, even at its worst in Czeckoslovakia approached the depredations of the nazis.

See http://www.lidice-memorial.cz/index_uk.htm

The communists only aspired to this level of evil.

My point is not the the com... (Below threshold)
jim:

My point is not the the communists didn't do things like Lidice, they just didn't do them in Czeckoslovakia. Hence my statement that this is the wrong place to make the argument.

"Which was Worse -- Naziism... (Below threshold)

"Which was Worse -- Naziism or Communism?"

Communism. Communists committed all the horrors the Nazis did, on a larger scale, all while getting more sympathetic press.

Was it a contest?H... (Below threshold)
Murel Bailey:

Was it a contest?

Howzabout this for an answer: Communism was worse because it killed more people for longer and its apologists still expect to be able to make excuses for it in polite society and even to demand your admiration for their advocacy of Stalinism. It's like comparing a malignant tumor that was removed to one that was allowed to grow indefinitely. No contest.

Doesn't anyone here subscri... (Below threshold)
kyer:

Doesn't anyone here subscribe to the logic that 1 person killed is a murder, a tragedy---while a 1 million is just a statistic?

We're trying quantify evil here, people. C'mon now.

I agree communism or shall ... (Below threshold)
cancon:

I agree communism or shall I be kind to Marx and say Stalinism or Stalinist style communism turned out to be more deadly than Nazism overall, because I don't think anyone has ever followed Marx's theory in the way he meant it to be applied except in the odd Israelis kibbutz. Of course the Asian variant is just as deadly of course.

However I do beg to nitpick on the numbers for the Nazis, first of all you could probably argue the Nazis were to blame for most of the estimated 60 million world wide casualties as a result of WWII.

My understanding was that the Nazis killed 20 million Russians plus another 11 million people including 6 million Jews via concentration camps etc. - I'm not sure if that 11 million number includes Allied soldiers and people summarily executed in the occupied countries daily.

Now what the Nazis had that Stalin didn't was efficiency of scale in their killing machine.

Let's be conservative and say they killed 30 million people in a six year period, which doesn't even include North Africa, the Russians were much slower. So that begs the question, what if Hitler had won the war but my favourite food for thought is what if Hitler hadn't turned on Stalin or at least not until after they had defeated the Allies. Makes for a good creative writing exercise for the kiddies.

I have many friends in the ... (Below threshold)
Jewels:

I have many friends in the Ukraine who would have a word or two to speak about Russia and communism. I doubt that Mr. Steele would bother to listen, though.

What about people killed as... (Below threshold)

What about people killed as a percent of the population of the infected area? Maybe the numbers will look different that way. Communists managed to gain a lot more ground than the Nazis did, but if we extended the Nazi regime over every area that was controlled/is controlled by Communists and proportionally expanded the number of people murdered, which system would have more blood on its hands? However, I don't really think it matters after a point; both the Nazis under Hitler and Communists like Stalin and Castro killed insane numbers of people and needed to be (or still need to be) stopped.

Who would bother to make a ... (Below threshold)
Aubrey:

Who would bother to make a serious comparison of Nazism and Communism? In today’s world only academics or journalists would be interested in such a comparison. For these people, bashing Nazism is easy, but criticizing Communism has a price. Both groups are bastions of the political left, and many of the ideas underlying today’s left are the same ideas that defined Communism. Better to turn a blind eye to the horrific consequences of those ideas than question them.

If you are trying to total those killed by Communism, don’t forget the citizens of South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos killed after America bailed in 1975. Another group the left would like to forget about.

That's a strange question K... (Below threshold)
ryan:

That's a strange question Kevin. Which was more evil, the one that killed 100 million or 20 million?

Nazi Germany gets the vote usually, as someone has already mention, because what they did was exposed when the allies rolled into the concentration camps, along with journalists and photographers. What happened in Communist Russia wasnt as well exposed by any means, but it was terrible just the same.

The numbers to me, or the relative amounts, arent really the point...both cases are horrific examples of what humans can do to one another.

Is some mass murderer who kills 20 people worse than one who kills three? Not in my opinion. The effect may be felt by more people in the former, but the crimes are one in the same.

I think it's important to consider why certain crimes are more well known than others though.

I dont see the use in sayin... (Below threshold)
ryan:

I dont see the use in saying that one is worse than another. Both are examples of the terrible things that humans can do to one another.

Is a mass murderer who kills 20 people worse than one who kills 5? Murder is murder, the rest is just a question of how many people are affected by it.

Nazi Germany was exposed to the world at the end of WWII when Allied troops reached the camps. What happened under Stalin was never really exposed in the same way, so not as many people know about it. And some people dont want to know about it.

It's an interesting question as to why certain crimes are more publicized than others.

sprry for the double post..... (Below threshold)
ryan:

sprry for the double post...my computer freaked out the first time and i thought it didnt post. damn.

"Which was worse -- Nazi... (Below threshold)
-S-:

"Which was worse -- Nazism or Communism?"

Like, either are past tense? Seems that both are more rabid today than ever, unfortunately, like Byrd and Kennedy in our Senate, they feed off one another like hateful marriage partners.

KyerThe real stand... (Below threshold)
t. z.:

Kyer

The real stand out that Hitler is, is because he IMPORTED people to kill.

All other genocides happened locally, Hitler gathered from abroad, brought the people to the motherland & slaughtered them......that's what really sets him apart.

Jus sayin'

So can I gather you all thi... (Below threshold)
frameone:

So can I gather you all think that Nazism was better than Communism because it killed less people?

And BTW, can anyone here name me one living American liberal that supports or defends Stalin or Stalinism? For bonus points give me the exact quote. Otherwise you've all been beating the proverbial strawman, you know the one you guys always drag out when discussing liberals and liberalism.

Here's my favorite quote so far. From Bullwinkle:

"I'm not sure the "two sides of the same coin" analogy covers it well enough. I look at them more as two distinct variations of the aids virus, and liberalism as HIV. Not quite aids yet, but it will get there eventually."

I always love it when people start using metaphors of disease and infection to brand their political opposition. Jus Suss anyone?

Oh yeah, and my second favorite comment:

"Well said, Bullwinkle."

Ryan the point of the post ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Ryan the point of the post was not to figure out which one is more evil, nor to discuss why some crimes become more well known than others, but was rather another excuse to bring up communism, which to many people here is a virtual pavlovian bell, causing them to rant about how anyone with a political belief left of center is a breath away from becoming Stalin (or, oddly and ingnorantly, Hitler). It must be strange to live life constantly interacting with strangers, friends, and neighbors, all the while thinking they could be just this side of evil, if not a full blown red commie bastard who wants to take your house and shove you in a gulag. Duck and cover, boys and girls. Duck and cover.

And now that we've settled ... (Below threshold)
fatman:

And now that we've settled that, would anybody like to join me in trying to figure out exactly how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

No offense intended, but trying to quantify evil is a fool's exercise. So communism infected more countries, producing higher body counts and more suffering and misery among those who survived it than nazism. So what? Nazism attempted mass murder against entire races (Jews and Gypsys and they probably would have gotten around to the Slavs if they had won the war). Again, so what? Whether it's one million dead in the name of Saddam or sixty million dead in the name of Marx is irrelevant. Evil is Evil and it needs to be stomped on like a cockroach wherever it's found.

frameone, after reading your second post I went back and re-read every other post. I didn't find a single one that suggested that nazism was "better" than communism--Leftism is Slave Morality probably came closest, and even he/she didn't say that--just less worse, which isn't the same. I think you're just put out by bullwinkle's slap at liberalism. Lie down in a dark, quiet room with a cold compress and it'll pass.

BTW, I wouldn't call refusing to face horror a sign of indecency; I'd call it a sign of cowardice, at least among those capable of doing something about it.

So What? I'd argue the unde... (Below threshold)
frameone:

So What? I'd argue the undercurrent of this entire pointless debate is epitomized in Bullwinkle's comment: Ultimately, the aim is to link the American left to mass murder. I personally don't know why you have to go so far back as Stalin when you can stop at LBJ, but wait you guys support our brand of mass murder, right?

BTW, I wasn't so put off by Bullwinkle's "slap" at liberalism, I was just amused/disturbed that, "in an irony that would certainly escape him," he mobilized the rhetoric of Nazism to make his point about how Nazism and Liberalism were two sides of the same coin. And was then applauded for doing so. Brilliant.

I'm also still waiting for my requested quote.

BTW Fatman, your own phrase... (Below threshold)
frameone:

BTW Fatman, your own phrase -- "Evil is Evil and it needs to be stomped on like a cockroach wherever it's found" -- is another fascinating echo of Nazi rhetoric. Indeed, Nazi propaganda and press regularly branded the Jews and political enemies of the Reich as vermin in need of being "stomped on." Your blindness to the historical context and precedent of your own rhetoric would be funny if it weren't also so chilling. Seriously, you slay me.

WILLisms.com today had an i... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

WILLisms.com today had an interesting comment on his blog on Socialism from Joseph(OK Democrat) It is such a sad rhetoric that Socialism spews! ...It is sad because the Democratic party has little by little become Socialistic...Now the Democratic party has endorsed Bernie Sanders a Socialist... I think that confusing Socialism and being a Democrat in America is a big mistake!....
Democrat and Republican by definition relates to two major American political parties favoring a strict interpretation of the Constitution to restrict the powers of the Federal Government...
Emphasizing states rights!....Socialism is an economic political theory advocating governmental ownership and administration of the means of production of goods. A system where there is no private property... it is a Marxist theory of a practice of communism developed by Lenin from the doctrines of Marx...
I really hope they just don't know what they are saying! I hope they don't really believe that is a good thing for America! Thank You...

Mantis:I'm not sur... (Below threshold)
ryan:

Mantis:

I'm not sure if Kevin put the post up just to elicit those responses, in fact I dont think thats the case. But thats me keeping an open mind.

The repeated connections of Liberals, Democrats, and anything left of the right with Stalin and Hitler were really surprising and disturbing to me. Actually the better word would be disappointing.

I understand that a number of people on here disagree with Liberals, or don't like them, or whatever. But it becomes a little disturbing when the rhetoric approaches outright hatred.

I have the same beef with the Liberals who go on and on about the evil GW, and how everything is his fault, and how diabolical he is, etc. The hatred of Bush and conservatives in general, especially coming from many who proclaim "peace", is also really disappointing. Both sides like to dehumanize the other. I dont like it.

State systems throughout history, of various political ideologies, have done some pretty terrible things. Anyone read much about Congo, or colonialism in Africa in general? Not pretty. Or how about those people that lived here in the Americas?

As an example, read about the history of the California Indians. They were pretty much decimated, first by the Spanish, and finally by the US goverment. Go find a book by the anthropologist Robert Heizer about the subject, and you'll be pretty upset, if you have any compassion. Of course, we are all taught about the romance of the Gold Rush, while another part of the story is generally ignored. It's important to ask why thats the case.

So it's fun to rail on the horrid evils of others, while conveniently turning a blind eye to the failings right here at home. I guess I dont like to see people get all high and mighty, acting as if we Americans have always been perfect. Unfortunately, alot of people take great offense to the idea that we might have made some mistakes. In my opinion, they happened, and it's a good idea to understand why so that we dont repeat those mistakes. It's also a good idea to acknowledge what happened to some people here, out of respect to their memories, instead of sweeping it all under the rug.


Frameone:BTW Fa... (Below threshold)
ryan:

Frameone:

BTW Fatman, your own phrase -- "Evil is Evil and it needs to be stomped on like a cockroach wherever it's found" -- is another fascinating echo of Nazi rhetoric.

Ease up pal. Fatman was just saying that evil is evil, and that it needs to be dealt with. Did you read his post? He was saying that both Nazism and Communism were evils, and that trying to say that one is worse than another is foolish.

You made a big leap by connecting his words to Nazi propaganda. Just because the same word was used doesnt mean there is some sort of connection.

I just thought you kinda jumped the gun there.

Yeah there's no connection.... (Below threshold)
frameone:

Yeah there's no connection. Let's take this thread as an example. Go back and count how many posts it took before the broad category of "liberalism" was introduced into the conversation and then, thereafter, equated with "evil." I believe you'll find it took exactly four posts for liberalism to be introduced and equated with a deadly viral disease and then explitly associated with Communism, already predefined as evil.
Put that together with many of the posts to follow and liberalism itself becomes evil. Then along comes Fatman to suggest that all evil should be stomped on like vermin. Um, I'm a liberal (in case you coudn't guess) and I've got a pretty good sense of humor. But can you understand why I find the pattern unfolding here a little disconcerting? Indeed, I suspect that ultimately equating liberalism with absolute evil was exactly the unstated subtext of the original post.
Now if anyone here actually bothered to read Steele's original article, as opposed to simply accepting Kevin's aghast pull quote, they'd know that he roundly decries the abuses of Stalin and Stalinism. Of course, why let the facts get in the way a little rhetorical fun? Surely it could never lead to anything ...

Frameone:If you re... (Below threshold)
ryan:

Frameone:

If you read what I wrote then you'll see that I understand what you're getting at regarding the direction of the thread.

I was talking about Fatman in particular; I didnt see his post as being along the same lines as the others. He seemed pretty balanced. I've had some debates with him and he stays pretty fair and cool. Now as far as some of the others...

Um, I'm a liberal (in case you coudn't guess) and I've got a pretty good sense of humor. But can you understand why I find the pattern unfolding here a little disconcerting?

Completely. Read my long-winded post above and you'll see that I agree with you on that. Very much so.

Indeed, I suspect that ultimately equating liberalism with absolute evil was exactly the unstated subtext of the original post.

I'm still not sure if that was the original intention or not...but it certainly opened it up for that to happen. And equating liberalism with absolute evil was clearly the goal of many who responded, which I think is a really paranoid way of thinking about other Americans. It's just as paranoid as the Karl Rove conspiracy nuts that they like to bitch about.

frameone:My post, ... (Below threshold)
fatman:

frameone:

My post, and my comment to you, were a reply to your post, which made the claim that the conservatives commenting here agreed that nazism was "better" than communism. I disagreed, and nothing you've posted since then has caused me to question that position.

As for the assertion that liberalism=communism,and communism=evil, so liberalism=evil, I did NOT say that or infer that, just as I'm sure that you'd never say that conservatism=nazism, and nazism=evil, so conservatism=evil. Would you?

You did quote me correctly as saying that "(Evil) needs to be stomped on like a cockroach wherever it's found", citing that as evidence that I'm a closet nazi. Now the nazis may not have invented propaganda, but they did develop it into a science, which makes it kind of difficult to not use phrases that they were popularizing twenty years before I was born. I'd be offended and demand an apology, IF your opinion of me mattered. It doesn't.

Your demand that someone produce a quote from a modern liberal supporting stalinism should be directed at the person who claimed that modern liberals DO support (or at least apologize for) stalinism. I didn't. Now if I were inclined to research the subject, I could probably come up with period quotes supporting "Uncle Joe", maybe even some from FDR himself. But why bother?

With all due respect to Kevin, this whole thread, IMHO, has been a pointless philosophical exercise. I thought I made my opinion on that clear right from the start. Apparently it wasn't clear enough for you, frameone. Despite agreeing that it was a pointless debate, you still included me in your rant about an undercurrent trying to connect the American Left to mass murder and hinting that I have Hitler bobble-head dolls in my closet.


Ryan:A belated tha... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Ryan:

A belated thank you for your defense of me. It is appreciated.

"Now if I were inclined to ... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"Now if I were inclined to research the subject, I could probably come up with period quotes supporting "Uncle Joe", maybe even some from FDR himself. But why bother?"

Yeah if your were inclined to research at all you'd probably also find out that there was a war going on and that the Soviet Union was our ally. Your convenient amnesia on this point is very much what fueled the HUAC investigations into Hollywood inthe 40s and 50s. During the war, the Office of War Information asked Hollywood to produce films portraying our allies in a good light (just as it asked Hollywood to produce films with positive South American themes to support the Good Neighbor policy). Then after the war, Republicans used films like Song of Russia to destroy careers and lives. I'm glad to see that coud never happen again.

And I'm sorry, I never said you were a closet Nazi only that I found it ironic that you were condemning Nazism while using practically the exact phrases that the Nazis used in their own dehuminazation of their political and racial victims. Your defense of that use is terribly weak: "Yeah well, they used all the best metaphors." Genuis. I am not an advocate of thought police but let's remember, at least, that language is a very slippery thing and your words can have many different meanings to many different people.

In this instance, your lack of hisotrical or linguisitc awareness played straight into the hands of those here who, as Ryan judiciously points out, have gone too far in their hatred and rhetoric: Those who do think of liberals and liberalism as a disease and vermin who should be stomped on.

And yeah I might argue that the far-right in this country has taken on certain fascist tendencies but I would and have never used words likes evil or dehumanizing imagery to describe them. That's a fool's game and one that only fuels the cycle of hate.

All in all I think this has been a very illuminating debate. Next up: while were taking body counts: Which is worse Christianity or Islam?

(BTW, arguing which is worse of anything is always also arguing that one is better than the other. Clearly for those here arguing that Communism was much worse than Nazism, the logical corrolary is that Nazism was better than Communism. They just didn't have the guts to come out and put it that way. No guts at all.)

"Now if I were inclined to ... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"Now if I were inclined to research the subject, I could probably come up with period quotes supporting "Uncle Joe", maybe even some from FDR himself. But why bother?"

If you were inclined to do any research at all you'd probably also find that there was a war going on and that the Soviet Union was our ally.

This kind of historical amnesia, deliberate or not, is what fueled the HUAC investigations of Hollywood in late 40s and 50s. The Office of War information asked Hollywood to produce pro-Soviet films to support the war effort and then later, conservatives used films like Song of Russia to destroy lives and careers. I'm glad to see there's no danger of that ever happening again.

And for the record, Fatman, I never accussed of being a closet Nazi. I only noted the irony of attacking political systems as evil with the very same rhetoric that at least one of them, Nazism, had, as you put it, perfected. Your defense of this usage is terribly weak: "Well, they used all the good metaphors so what else could I do?" Um, how about not engage in that kind of dehumanizing rhetoric to begin with?

Also for the record, the logical corolarly of A being worse than B is that B is better than A. You can't say that Communism is worse than Nazism without implicitly positioning Nazism as better, even if you still think it's pretty bad. That's the subtext of alot of posts above, one reason, why I'm sure Ryan was equally bothered by what he was reading.

One last provocation, while were tallying body counts: Which is worse Chritianity or Islam?
Go to it boys.

frameone:Your argu... (Below threshold)
fatman:

frameone:

Your argument "that there was a war going on and the Soviet Union was our ally" is specious. The U.S. and the Soviet Union became allies of convenience on June 22, 1941 and remained so until shortly after September 2, 1945. For the nearly seventeen years before that, and the seven plus years after that (until Stalin"s death in 1953), the two countries were NOT allies. In fact, there was a fair amount of cooperation between the Soviets and the Weimar Republic, cooperation that did not entirely end when Hitler came to power (See German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact). THAT was the period I was referring to and we both know it.

You did NOT call my analogy "(evil) needs to be stomped on like a cockroach wherever it's found" ironic. You called it a "fascinating echo of Nazi rhetoric" and "chilling". Even though I agreed that nazism was evil and needed to be destroyed (along with communism, fascism, Maoism, Saddamism and quite a few other "isms"), and after you even agreed with me about the pointlessness of the debate, you then chose to attack me by VERY STRONGLY implying that my choice of words showed that I was a nazi "sympathizer", "fellow traveler" or "useful idiot". And yes, I know exactly what connotation those words have for you; that's why I chose them.

As for not engaging in "that kind of dehumanizing rhetoric to begin with", why not? Are you seriously arguing that Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein and others like them didn't forfeit their humanity when they commited their atrocities? If you are, then you and I are just going to have to agree to disagree on that.

We're also going to have to agree to disagree on whether calling A worse than B means that B is somehow better (your position) or simply means B is less worse, which isn't quite the same (my position). It's one of those philisophical questions that ranks right up there with asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

As for your final question "Which is worse, Christianity or Islam" (when it comes to producing massive body counts), I've got to admit that's a tough one. It's hard to argue against Islam: Saddam Hussein alone allegedly slaughtered over one million people; mostly Sunni Muslim Kurds (who were the wrong race), Shi'ite Muslim Arabs (whom he regarded as a threat to his regime because of their fundamentalist beliefs) or Iranian Shi'ites, (who were both, as well a road block to his hopes of dominating the oil-rich Persian Gulf states). On the other hand, there WERE the Crusades, and I understand that Tomas de Torquemada was QUITE inventive AND prolific. But since I'm too lazy, inept or stupid to do the research myself (not to mention being an atheist), you're just going to have to answer this one yourself.

And by the way, this WILL b... (Below threshold)
fatman:

And by the way, this WILL be the last post I make replying to any post you make. After reading some of the other garbage you've posted here, I've decided that you're not worth the electricity I burn up replying to you. So if you want to have the last word and declare victory, go for it.




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