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Disowning Hitler

One side effect of the coarsening of political dialogue has been the increase in the level of the rhetoric. Sheltered by the comforting distance of an internet connection or a microphone, it's easier to ratchet up the venom and the bile. Sometimes, it seems like it's a competition to see who can toss out the nastier remark. It's gotten so bad that a law has developed that predicts that nearly any political discussion will eventually degenerate into calling one another a Nazi.

Now, I'm no true scholar of World War II and Nazism, but I have done quite a bit of studying on the matter. And I also haven't done an extensive study of the Nazi philosophies, I do know a little about them. (Part of it is that a good portion of my ethnic heritage would qualify as Hitler's idea of "The Master Race," and I get aggravated about what he and his would-be successors are doing in my name.) And I think I can say pretty comfortably that Hitler's philosophies embraced the worst aspects of both the left and the right.

Hitler was anti-Communist? He was also pro-Communist, right up until he invaded Russia. He was against racial equality? He was also in favor of gun control, even gun confiscation. He was against minorities? He was also the patron of the beginnings of genetic research and experimentation. The Nazis were extreme nationalists, as reflected in the first part of their party's name? They were also socialists, as reflected in the latter part of the name.

Tossing around the term "Nazis" cheapens the term, and lord knows the term doesn't deserve to be diluted. The original Nazis were one of the greatest forces of oppression, violence, death, and -- yes -- EVIL the world has ever seen. And they aren't all gone; we still have occasional flashes of Neo-Nazis, as shown in Boston recently.

I feel "Nazi" should be treated with the same respect as I do swears. There are some words that are so powerful, so useful, so perfectly suited for certain circumstances that they should be reserved for just those occasions. To use it whenever you simply don't care for someone's politics cheapens it, and cheapens the price the world paid for putting an end to Hitler's regime.

And it dishonors the millions who died from it.


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Comments (9)

I've gotten to the point th... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

I've gotten to the point that when I hear/see someone go to the Hitler/Nazi well in their argument I cease to listen to them further. While they may think they have elevated the level of thier opinion by using such a term to me they have done nothing but cease to exist. After that point, at least to me, they are useless.

I think as a liberty loving... (Below threshold)
Rob Read:

I think as a liberty loving blog you shouldn't help the collectivists.

Call it by it's true name, National Socialism. A less deadly form of collectivism that Communism, with a different group of people to exterminate (Communism:Financially Succesful | National Socialism:Jews etc.)

Rob nailed it. Different n... (Below threshold)

Rob nailed it. Different names for different stages of the same disease.

Many people expose their lack of vocabulary when they have to use certain epithats in an interview.

Of course, they never compa... (Below threshold)
brak:

Of course, they never compare anyone to Stalin or Mao, who both killed more people.

I have mixed feelings about... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I have mixed feelings about this issue, since all that I knew about "Nazis" was limited to what I'd seen about Hitler and his past on PBS (not a very thorough awareness, is my point, based upon the watered-down and dinner-hour content that I'd seen/heard on PBS about the issues), combined with a series of serious and helpful lectures from my parents over my childhood about who/what/why World War II occured, but that's it.

So, after all the present day Left's irrational pejorative uses of the word, "nazi" combined with the "Bushhitler" irrational rubbish, I read more about the historical and social conditions that led to a dictator as vile as Hitler, along with the Party politics he represented, rising to power as it/they did, and why.

Without the Left nuttiness in this regard, I'd not have read more on the issue and come to understand, accurately, that Hitler and his Party (German Socialism) were liberals run amok, as in, completely amok as amok can be (which is into vileness). They were "liberal" in a truely fascists sense: all must be what we say it is and what we say is is socialism.

So, present day liberals, by misapplying their pejoratives as these, accomplish: (1.) proving their own lack of awareness for the terms/words/concepts themselves; and, (2.) prove that socialism is the source of the worst example of political corruption known to recorded history.

But, like actual fascists in training, Liberals continue with the misapplied terms, insisting everyone else fall into order and alignment, "or else" (under threat of penalty or even criminal damage, crimes, etc. -- the pie throwing trend is but an introduction [but a reliable characterisation] as to what they resolve to do: inflict harm on those with whom they disagree).

I agree that the words, "Nazi" and/or "Hitler-(anything)" are inappropriate (such a mild word for such an intense reaction) as reliable pejoratives/descriptions -- that by using them commonly and even flippantly reduces the evil contained in both -- but on the other hand, it is bringing about the identification of the actual process of fascism, and that is by those who behave so, all in dedication to extreme socialism, as are many among today's Left.

What is striking is not the... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

What is striking is not the commonality of the term "Nazi," or even its misuse.

What is striking is that, whereas no one would dream of wearing an Adolf Hitler T-shirt (other than a few skinheads, neo-Nazis, etc.), Mao, Che, and other adherents of Communism are worn, placed on walls, and still even looked to for political guidance.

Call someone "Stalinesque," and rather than be insulted, they're likely to be rather bewildered.

What does this say of the ability to sweep under the rgun a system that easily slaughtered people at a rate only slightly less than that of the Nazis?

Lurking Observer: I've wri... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Lurking Observer: I've written many times that by failing to educate the few last generations about, specifically, what and who German Socialism and their Nazis and Hitler were, it's allowed the last few generations to craft definitions to their own purposes that are completely wrong. It's as if they're fulfilling the terrible process all over again by doing so, also.

I don't think it should ever have been 'swept under the rug" because of that because we now see the result of many speculations instead of academic explanations (about Hitler, about Nazis, about German Socialism).

By making the mention of the issues "verboten," it's allowed the issues to again begin proliferation -- among the Left, a fascist socialism that, like even Hitler, begins with racial tolerance and later reduces the tolerance to accommodate the predictable eliminations in society that socialism inevitably requires inorder to self sustain.

I was screwing around with ... (Below threshold)

I was screwing around with a couple of friends the other day, and we decided to find someone named "Hitler" in LA. Guess what? Call 411 and there are no Hitler's at all in California. No Hitler Plumbing, no Hitler Auto Repair. As we say in these parts, "nada".

Adolf took care of that last name...

The word Nazi was the short... (Below threshold)
Roger Fraley:

The word Nazi was the short name of the National Socialist and German Workers Party (English version). They were anti-communist only because the communist were international socialists. The Nazis were on the left, way on the left. In '22 Hitler gave a speach saying "We're socialists; we are the enemies of capitolism". Yet ask 10 people and 9 will describe the Nazis as far right. I think it was a Nazi that said repeat a lie often enough and it will become a fact. In fact, after 1917 most of the murdering on a grand scale was done by lefties. Communist like Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot and national socialists like Hitler. The Ba'athist are socialists. The mass killing on the right is an ant hill compared to the Everest of leftie mass murder in the 20th Century.




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