Mon Jan 14, 2013, 08:20 PM
TalkingDog (8,417 posts)
Who goes Nazi?
Harpers Archive 1941
It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis.
It is preposterous to think that they are divided by any racial characteristics. Germans may be more susceptible to Nazism than most people, but I doubt it. Jews are barred out, but it is an arbitrary ruling. I know lots of Jews who are born Nazis and many others who would heil Hitler tomorrow morning if given a chance. There are Jews who have repudiated their own ancestors in order to become “Honorary Aryans and Nazis”; there are full-blooded Jews who have enthusiastically entered Hitler’s secret service. Nazism has nothing to do with race and nationality. It appeals to a certain type of mind.
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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)
Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:30 PM
happyslug (13,465 posts)
2. You can see the writer's prejudice against Labor.
"Mr, L" the labor leaders, is viewed like "Mr B" the businessman. The problem was that type of Labor Leader was RARE in the late 1930s and early 1940s (would become more normal in the 1950s, as a result of the Red Scare). The dominate Labor leaders saw they job as PROTECTING workers, not exploiting them. J.L. Lewis did it for the Coal Miners, Jimmy Hoffa did it for the Teamsters. Yes, power was important to them, but it was power to do things, not power just to have power. It is an distinction lost of many people.
More on J.L. Lewis (While NOT a Communists, used Communists in organizing miners and thought nothing of it, and when attacked for doing so, called them the best organizers and were NOT going to give them up for any reason):
More on Jimmy Hoffa (Used to mob to strengthen his hold on his union AND in fights for his men, The mob liked the money he provided them, but hated that he wanted the money BACK in full with interest, the Mob could USE his union's money, but the Mob had to return it, thus the Mob wanted him gone, thus why Hoffa was killed, during the time period after he was released from prison and while he was trying, and succeeding in getting back in control of the Teamsters, i.e. the mob hated the idea that Hoffa would have demanded the Mob return the money to the Teamsters).:
The West Coast Longshoreman was similar (through also a Communist)
Now, the above all were powerful Union leaders and ended up having around them a lot of powerful people to help them run their union. You do NOT get to the top of ANY organization by being nice, you have to know when to use force (and when NOT to use force). The above three had that ability, and no personal corruption was ever tied in with the three (Even Hoffa, seems to have lived off his Union Salary, NOT by ripping off the Union treasury, his loan to the Mob of Money was that a Loan that had to be paid back, Hoffa was always the man in charge in regards to the Relationship between the Mob and the Teamsters).
Other union Leaders of the 1930s, follow the above trio, personally honest, but would gladly get into the dirt if that what was needed to help their union members. On the other hand, a lot of the people around them were more interested in power then the Union, and when the Red Scare hit a lot of Union Leaders had to distance themselves from their Communists leading union members. This cause more of the sycophants to move up, and these sycophants were more of the type of union leader the author is talking about. The Mob Controlled East Coast Longshoreman union was an example of this and it appeared up in many of the Craft Unions of the 1930s through 1980s.
One of the reasons Union declined in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s was many of the second generations union leaders were NOT the organizers their predecessors had been. Many were more concerned about keeping money into the union, so they can be paid, then in organizing non-union companies. Many were the result of most of the good recruiters (who tended to be the ones with strong Communists leanings) had been forced out in the 1950s. Without that corp of recruiters, the unions had a problem unionizing people. The Unions still tried to unionize and had good recruiters, but below the numbers they had in the 1930s and the Red Scare. This lack of recruiters, and support for such recruiters in the upper part of the union, lead to the unions slowing losing membership.
In 1982, PATCO went on Strike, and Reagan fired all of them. The AFL-CIO refused to call out a National Strike in support of PATCO. Yes, I know PATCO had endorsed Reagan in 1980 and was a GOP union, but it was a union and the AFL-CIO should have called a National Strike in support of the right of ANY worker to go on Strike. Even if the National Strike would have failed, it would have at least shown that the Union Leadership would support Unions if and when they went on Strike, for reasons the membership of that union thought were right. This was the result of 30 years of NOT have a radical heart, of leaving bureaucrats run unions instead of leaders.
Sorry, I just disliked the writers use of a Labor Leader as a proto-Nazi, while ignoring the labor leaders who would NOT have been a Nazi. Hoffa, Lewis and Bridges are example of Union Leaders who would NEVER have been Nazis. All of them for the simple reason none would have been willing give up what he had fought for his union members to get. East Coast mob Union Leaders, yes, a Few Craft Union Leaders, yes (but few, most Craft Union Leaders are some of the weakest Union Leaders, the membership control most Craft Unions, more then the Leadership). Teacher's unions? No, most Teacher's union Leaders are NOT the cold blooded leaders like Lewis, Hoffa and Bridges and thus NOT capable of being Nazis. Bureaucratic union leaders, yes unless they are members of a Strong Union (i.e. Trumka of the United Mine Workers, he never turn Nazi). It is a very small number of union leaders, leaders who do NOT even have the respect of their union members, who will turn Nazi. Most Unions are to democratic to produce people who would turn Nazi and maybe that is why I hate the author of that piece making his last Nazi a Labor Leader. Yes, some union leaders will, but those that prefer power as opposed to those leaders who want power so they had the power to help their union members. The later will be shot by Nazis, for Nazis do NOT like opposition. Lewis, Hoffa and Bridges would have been Shot by the Nazis for the same reason, they held to much power, and wanted to use that power for something the Nazis did not want.