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Thu Jun 14, 2018, 11:38 AM

How Did the Nazis Gain Power in Germany? (Book review)

THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY
Hitler’s Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic
By Benjamin Carter Hett
Illustrated. 280 pp. Henry Holt & Company. $30.

We ask about the rise of the Nazis from what we think is a great distance. We take for granted that the Germans of the 1930s were quite different from ourselves, and that our consideration of their errors will only confirm our superiority. The opposite is the case. Although Benjamin Carter Hett makes no comparisons between Germany then and the United States now in “The Death of Democracy,” his extremely fine study of the end of constitutional rule in Germany, he dissolves those comforting assumptions. He is not discussing a war in which Germans were enemies or describing atrocities that we are sure we could never commit. He presents Hitler’s rise as an element of the collapse of a republic confronting dilemmas of globalization with imperfect instruments and flawed leaders. With careful prose and fine scholarship, with fine thumbnail sketches of individuals and concise discussions of institutions and economics, he brings these events close to us.

As Hett capably shows, the Nazis were the great artists of victimhood fiction. Hitler, who had served with German Jews in the war, spread the idea that Jews had been the enemy within, proposing that the German Army would have won had some of them been gassed to death. Goebbels had Nazi storm troopers attack leftists precisely so that he could claim that the Nazis were victims of Communist violence. Hitler believed in telling lies so big that their very scale left some residue of credibility. The Nazi program foresaw that newspapers would serve the “general good” rather than reporting, and promised “legal warfare” against opponents who spread information they did not like. They opposed what they called “the system” by rejecting its basis in the factual world. Germans were not rational individuals with interests, the reasoning went, but members of a tribe that wanted to follow a leader (Führer).


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/14/books/review/benjamin-carter-hett-death-of-democracy.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes

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Reply How Did the Nazis Gain Power in Germany? (Book review) (Original post)
Cattledog Jun 14 OP
Hav Jun 14 #1
FreepFryer Jun 14 #2
Mc Mike Jun 14 #3
Yavin4 Jun 14 #4

Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 11:53 AM

1. It is scary, indeed

because of all the parallels. The fight against a "deep state", the endless lies, the media that is more interested in ratings and the resemblance of fairness than serving the country, a Congress that is complicit and either consists of cheerleaders or those who believe they can control the monster and use it for their own advantage. All of this ultimately results in undermining the institutions. On the other side, we have another common factor: The dehumanization of certain groups that shows such a disrespect for human life.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 11:56 AM

2. It all rode on that "stab in the back" myth - the one they flailingly use vs President Obama. (n/t)

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 11:57 AM

3. Tons of cash from nazi loving us corporate interests.

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Response to Cattledog (Original post)

Thu Jun 14, 2018, 12:08 PM

4. Tribes form because of personal insecurity

People feel more secure- economically, politically, socially- if they're in a tribe. There's a sense of protection, belonging, a natural defense against "others" who are not in a tribe. Tribes protect the average and the weak. People who are secure in themselves don't need the protection of a tribe.

Progressives and Liberals tend to be more independent thinkers, more secure in themselves and their talents. They abhor tribal thinking. They're not intimidated by new ways of thinking and seeing the world. This is why so many intellectuals, scientists, artists tend to move toward Liberalism.

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