Imagine There’s No Hitler

They have worked their will on John Barleycorn
But he lived to tell the tale,
For they pour him out of an old brown jug
And they call him home brewed ale.

— from “The Ballad of John Barleycorn”, an English folk song

No Hitler!Almost sixty-three years ago the armed forces of the Allies finished destroying all the significant military assets of the Nazi regime. The remnant of the German military under Admiral Dönitz surrendered, and the Allies occupied Germany. When Soviet troops entered Berlin and arrived at Hitler’s bunker under the Reichskanzlei, they discovered that der Führer had killed himself, after which his faithful servants had doused his corpse with gasoline and burned it in the garden above the bunker. Hitler was dead. The Nazis were finished.

But, like John Barleycorn, Adolf Hitler lived to tell the tale.

In sixty-three years scarcely a political argument has occurred without one side likening the other to the Nazis. Thanks to the miracle of internet searches, one can discover 708,000 online comparisons of George W. Bush with Adolf Hitler. Gates of Vienna is a “neo-Nazi hate site”. The government of Israel consists of “Zionist Nazis”. Denying food stamps to illegal aliens in the United States constitutes a “bureaucratic holocaust”.

Virtually no political discussion can proceed without a reductio ad hitlerum. Godwin’s law is now operative not just in online discussions, but everywhere — in cocktail party conversations, school curricula, debates between politicians, and literary manifestos.

When I was in college, one of my friends used an amusing tactic during arguments: when his opponent said something which he found difficult to answer, he would say, “That’s what Hitler said!” He was joking, and everyone present knew he was joking. The room would break up in laughter, and the conversation would move on to other topics.

But it’s not a joke anymore.

Nazis, Nazis, Nazis! Nazis are everywhere, behind every tree, under every bed, waiting in the wings, ready to resume their quest for worldwide domination.
– – – – – – – –
Any time the tenets of political correctness are questioned: Nazi!

Whenever a political opponent disagrees: Hitler!

It’s time to stop letting Hitler live rent-free in our heads.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I bring all this up because of a discussion that occurred in a comment thread about the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

Snouck, Fellow Peacekeeper, and others assert the pointlessness of likening the Palestinians to the Nazis. The currency of Nazism has been so devalued that it no longer serves any useful purpose to compare current political groups or persons to the Nazis or Hitler.

That horse has been beaten to death. It’s a spent scene, man.

Historically speaking, the connection between the Arabs we now know as “Palestinians” and Adolf Hitler passed through the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni. But beyond that, the affiliation was very slight.

Modern Palestinians are like the Nazis in only two ways: they support a totalitarian political movement, and they want to exterminate the Jews.

That’s it. They don’t promote an ideology of racial supremacy. They have no fantasies of Götterdämmerung. They do not advocate eugenics, or sterilize the unfit.

Oh, yes, they fight pitched battles in the streets with rival factions, and tend to solve political arguments with automatic weapons. But they hold that in common with virtually every illiberal political group on the planet.

Looking at the general case, any group that pushes totalitarian methods could be compared with the Nazis: Kim Jong-il, the Chinese Communists, Hugo Chavez, the Social Democrats in Sweden, Robert Mugabe… All of these thugs are like Hitler.

Similarly, those who hate Jews are like Nazis. Those who want to keep the unfit from breeding are like Hitler. Political groups that advocate state control of capitalism are like Nazis. Anyone who wishes to silence dissent is like Hitler.

Everyone is like the Nazis and no one is like the Nazis.

Hitler has outlived his usefulness. It’s time to put him back in his bunker and bulldoze the rubble over him.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I invite other bloggers and commenters to take the Pledge:

I, [insert name here], do solemnly swear that I will no longer invoke the name of Hitler, nor will I compare any current person or group to the Nazis.

The Pledge will be tough to carry out. We’re all so used to Hitler — how can we live without him? Who else can we use as a comparison when we encounter someone really, really bad?

Well, there are numerous candidates. Yasser Arafat. Ivan the Terrible. Henry VIII. Karl Marx. Michael Moore. Tamerlane. Woodrow Wilson.

Villains abound.

Hitler and the Nazis will continue to be acceptable in historical discussions, and any comparisons with their contemporaries — with, for example, Tojo, Mussolini, FDR, or Stalin — are perfectly appropriate.

But wouldn’t it be nice if no one ever compared his current ideological opponents to Hitler?

You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

37 thoughts on “Imagine There’s No Hitler

  1. Well, I suppose we could always use Stalin instead.. after all, nazism was born out of a national socialism and communism is merely a socialist idea gone mad. The two have the same extreme left wing roots.

    Which is exactly what the lefties don’t like to admit.

    I admire the sentiment Baron, but I fear that the horror of Hitlers national socialism will not be so easy to put back into the box.
    If the box still exists!

  2. Part of the reason Hitler is so impactive is simply because he was, in most respects, an ordinary man with legitimate grievances. He’s symbolic of the inevitability of a historic movement in that, if Hitler had died in the trenches then some other charismatic leader would have arisen to exploit Germany’s shame and anger and wounded pride in the aftermath of the Great War.

    The right doesn’t like the idea of historical inevitability, and who can blame them? It runs counter to the ethos of man the individual as the master of his own fate. The left don’t like the fact that Hitler was one of them, and that he is the proof that their movement will inevitably destroy everything they claim to stand for. Both sides, fascinated and repulsed by this symbol of their most profound fears and failures, reel him out at every opportunity precisely because in doing so they mitigate that fear for a while, spreading it out and devaluing the currency of their fear in the vain hope of removing it.

  3. Nice post!
    Glad you have realise it!
    I hope my comment don’t get lost like my last two ones.

    Hitler was not all that bad. He did some nasty things, true but, nothing that others have not done before.

    For exemple, the haunting of Jews.
    I can give you a hell of a list of Jew haters and Jew exterminators that passed through the European History unnoticed. Also, pressecuting the Jews was popular among the people and was considered (sort of) ethically correct as it was aimed to clean the Nation.
    Historic events made the Jew persona non grata in Europe.
    If we also consider that Hitler started to kill the jews en mass only when the Soviet Union, the U.S.A and Britain were all over him, it can make it less horible. It was a war for God sake!

    He wanted to govern Europe under the German state.
    huuuu… and Napoleon, what did he wanted? I find no difference from both in this matter whatsoever. They used all the weapons they possessed to subjugate Europe under their feet.

    After all, Nazism, Fascism and similar far right systems are not all that bad once you get tired of the multiculti long night.
    The only thing I know of those kind of regimes that makes me real sick is the lack of freedom.

    I hope you are mature enough to understand that I am no Nazi apologiser or wannabe, neither a Nazi/Fascist myself.
    All I am saying is that the European loosers of World War II have since been the target of a big, but big demonisation.

    The nobel German people suffered more than any Western European people during the war, they were people too, you know?

    Hitler did not declared the second World War, it was declared upon him.
    I criticise much more the cowardness of France during the Chzekoslovaquian anexation than the invasion of Poland, in which, one can argue, Germany had some to rightfully reinvidicate.

    If you know some thing about Hitler’s regime that can make me sick and that I don’t know of, please, tell me.

    I read some commenters and realised that now Hitler was a leftie, I don’t consider him leftie and I will refuse to put beheind 60 years or more of experts qualifying Hitler as right wing just because Fjordman said the opposite.
    It kind of descredits you, you know… It’s like Socialists saying they have nothing to do with Communism…

  4. Hitler the enlightened modern man: “He shared the common faith in ‘science,’ ‘progress,’ and ‘enlightenment’ (though not, of course, democracy), together with a practical materialism that scorned all theology, metaphysics, and any thought or action concerned with any other world other than “here and now,” priding himself on the fact that he had “the gift of reducing all problems to their simplest foundations.” He had a crude worship of efficiency and utility that freely tolerated “birth control,” laughed at the institution of marriage as a mere legalisation of a sexual impulse that should be “free,” welcomed sterilisation of the “unfit,” despised “unproductive elements” such as monks, saw nothing in the cremation of the dead but a practical question and did not even hesitate to put the ashes, or the skin and fat of the dead to “productive use.” He possessed the quasi-anarchist distrust of sacred and venerable institutions, in particular the Church with its “superstitions” and all its “outmoded” and “recidivist” laws and ceremonies. He abhorred the institution of monarchy; a determining factor in his refusal to crown himself Emperor of Germany. He had a naive trust in the “natural” man,” the “healthy animal” who scorns the Christian virtues – virginity in particular – that impeded the “natural functioning” of the body. He took a simple minded delight in modern conveniences and machines, and especially the automobile and the sense of speed and “freedom” it affords.

    To criticise Hitler is to criticise the so called Enlightenment and all its chiliastic, millenium ideologies in which we can include Communism and Universal Democratism.

  5. Afonse-

    There is no requirement for you to believe what is clearly written and historically documented.

    50+ years of the left describing as so doesn’t make it correct.

    All left leaning ideologies advocate state control over the individual.

    All right leaning parties for the limitation of the same.

    The ultimate right-winger is the fellow who moves his family to Idaho, Alaska, or maybe rural Virginia where he and his family can enjoy less oppressive government control.

    Having done so, he then exercises one of the tenets of the ‘Right’–freedom of speech.

    Of course, even if I were to take the pledge, it probably won’t help the next time McCain has a temper tantrum and yells, “You F*****g Nazi!” at someone.

  6. “If you know some thing about Hitler’s regime that can make me sick and that I don’t know of, please, tell me.”

    They killed puppies!

  7. HH-

    Can you take me step by step how The Enlightenment (of John Locke, et al) that was critical to the formation of the US also led to the Bolshevics and Nazis?

  8. Afonso,
    I would like to believe you are joking, but I suppose you actually believe the crap you are spouting. No right wing movement believes in state control of the means of production [fascists, communists, and socialist] nor in the control of the individual’s right to an opportunity to make his/her own way in the world. There isn’t equality of outcome, for various reasons, but there is equality of opportunity.

    I assume you do not believe that the German people elected Hitler to office and supported him enthusiastically? They did, and paid a steep price for it. In the mean time, they were complicit in the slaughter of about 6 million people, Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and others. To say nothing of the Russian soldiers worked to death in various Nazi industries and war construction.

    Let’s just get one thing straight here: Nazi was an acronym for the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. NSDAP from its German initials. And “NatSoci” morphed into Nazi. Note well the “socialist” in the party’s name. They were most definitely leftists, not rightists. May they be forever remembered….and damned!

  9. Jon Ray has a well researched essay on the historical reasoning behind the truth of Nazism’s socialist roots. Hither was a leftie. There’s no two ways about it. You can trace a direct line of inspiration to Marx and Engels in Hitlers writings, beliefs and even his brand of nationalism, all of which were expressed half a century before him by those two men.

    He was a socialist. Denying it literally lets the left get away with murder because they can simply use that trick again and again with every socialist regime that goes bad. Stalin is occasionally called a rightist (justified by the fact that he overlooked a certain amount of black market activity in order to keep the soviet state from collapsing), Pol Pot is occasionally described as “nationalist” (which, for most people, connotates to “far right” in the modern idiom) rather than as the socialist he was undoubtedly was. Occasionally, very occasionally, but in another 50 years they will be described as “right wing” with impunity, and we will be atarred with yet another brush, and the left will get away with another 50 million murders.

  10. I don’t know if I can take the pledge, Baron. I mean, there’s so many parallels between the Jew paranoia of Mohammed and that of Hitler. The ‘ummah’ is the Lebensraum, and the Arabs are the master race in Islam, which is why the Berbers, Kurds, and Turks hate Arabs so much. Moreover, Hitler actually borrowed the idea of “special pieces of flair” for the Jews from the Muslims. The Muslims made the Jews where identifying marks.

    I guess I’ll take the pledge if you can make an exception for Islam.

  11. Aw, c’mon, guys — I just mean that I’m sick of “Nazi” comparisons being flung indiscriminately in all directions by just about everyone. Having been on the receiving end of some of those, I get kind of tired of Nazis.

    Anything that is evil can be described and discussed perfectly effectively without any comparison to the Nazis.

    Anti-Semitism is evil. Eugenics is a vile notion. Totalitarian control is something we must remain vigilant against. Etc.

    We don’t have to bring up Nazis all the time, even in dealing with Islam. Islam is a threat, and would be if it bore no resemblance to National Socialism.

    Hitler’s coin has become so devalued at this point as to be virtually worthless.

  12. Hitler was indeed an evil individual. But to claim right-leaning movements like the VB and the SD are his intellectual offspring, particularly when their policies opposing state-run economies fly directly in the face of some of Hitler’s own platforms, is terribly dishonest. Nazi = Nationalist Socialist. If you can suffer through the boredom, read Mein Kampf as I did. The man was no right-winger.

    There was a thought-provoking statement someone made above:

    “How would Hitler be viewed today if instead of implementing his genocidal domestic policies he only carried out his territorial expansion of Germany a la Napoleon?”

    It wasn’t as if the Holocaust was the reason that the U.S. and Britain entered the war against him. In fact, it seems that most of what little reports of it the intelligence agencies did receive was considered insurgent propoganda.

    – Sodra

  13. Baron, I usually agree with what you say, but I’m kinda disagreeing with this. I too am sick of people flinging the term “Nazi” around indiscriminately, but in a some cases I do believe it is justified. As the commenter PRCalDude said, I’ll take the pledge if you make an exception for Islam. Islam is a threat that I honestly think bears quite a few resemblances to Nazism, so in that case, it is justified to call them Nazis. I have no problem with calling someone a Nazi if they deserve it – it’s just when it’s undeserved (which it is usually) that I have a problem with it, but that really goes for anything. I mean, I would resent being called a Communist just as much as being called a Nazi because I am neither of those things.

  14. What about “white-power Euro-fascists”?
    Can we continue saying that?

    (channeling Charles J.)

  15. When I use the term “Nazi” or “neo-Nazi,” I am talking about people who make no secret of their allegiance to Nazism. I am talking about swastika-wearing, sieg-heiling, jack-booted, goose-stepping thugs. I am talking about individuals, such as Osama bin Laden, who openly profess admiration for Hitler and, and, in OBL’s case, who hope to emulate and surpass Hitler’s evil deeds.

    You’re right in a sense – the Hitler metaphor is just about worn out. But when we are talking about people who actually admire, emulate, and follow Hitler and the Nazis of the Third Reich, then the term applies.

  16. Alfono’

    “If you know some thing about Hitler’s regime that can make me sick and that I don’t know of, please, tell me.”

    The evil-eyed, black-hearted, low down, no good malefactors burned books! That ought to be enough to cause at least mild dyspepsia for any thinking individual. If that doesn’t do it perhaps the “research” done by Dr. Mengele might at least dampen your appetite.

    Homophobic Horse,

    “To criticise Hitler is to criticise the so called Enlightenment…”

    Hitler was the “enlightened modern man” in the same manner that Al Capone was a successful Capitalist.


    I have no problem with taking your pledge. Hitler has become the bogeyman of the modern era and, IMHO, this insults the Bogeyman (who is a personal friend of mine).

    The problem, or at least one aspect of it, is that “Hitler” and “Nazi” are nice, short words that can be spat at one’s opponents with maximum emotional effect. This makes them the buzz words of choice for the Left which has precious little use for reason and logic. You can’t even get the same bite with “Commie” in spite of the horrific crimes committed by Communists. (This may be because “Commie rhymes with “Mommy” but we can’t be sure until academe pronounces on the subject.)

  17. SD and VB wish to cut state spending so as to undermine the power of the liberal left and the civil service. It would be a political masterstroke to choke those institutions of oppression; remember it is in their interests to have unemployed people and surly aggrieved minorities as it justifies yet more intervention and civil service jobs.

    Also, this thread has been much more interesting then the ones of late.

  18. Excellent essay and I agree wholeheartedly. Now, if we can only get rid of the self-imposed prohibitions against free speech in the name of political correctness, and replace it with argument, we might actually get somewhere.

    Allow me to address the notion by an earlier poster that Hitler was a product of the Enlightenment. Instead of emoting wetly like a good PCer that such a thought is far beyond the pale of acceptable speech and ought not see the light of day, let’s take a look at the argument: “Hitler is a product of the Enlightenment.”

    This kind of fallaciously reductive reasoning is EXACTLY the kind of argument Baron is begging us all not to make: “Bush and Hitler both wore black shoes, ergo, Bush must be a Nazi.”

    Of course the rise of Hitler is a product of the Enlightenment. So is the atom bomb and man landing on the moon. So is an ak47 and the cure for Polio. All kinds of things are products of the enlightenment, including the fact that half the people over the age of 40 reading this aren’t already dead, thanks to the medical advances which also happened to be products of the enlightenment. But the Enlightenment is no more responsible for Hitler than it is for the fall of Rome.

    Hitler was Hitler, more recent than the Huns who wracked the Roman Empire; or the Visigoths who finally destroyed its remnants; or the Saxons, who erased the imperium from British memory for the best part of a millenium. None of the above were a result of the Enlightenment, nor were any of them Nazis, even though some of them undoubtably wore black shoes. Any numerical shortfall they may have had in comparison to Hitler was more than made up for in the methodological barbarism they each practised.

    But Hitler was yesterday and not last century or last millenium, so he gets to be the current global boogeyman. I personally would rather have Napoleon as a boogeyman, as he was for 100 years before Hitler, but hey, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Napoleon, by the way, was even more closely connected to the Enlightenment than Hitler, and wore black shoes to boot, which makes him, according to the reductive logic above, even more of a Nazi than Hitler. Either that or a member of the American Republican party…

  19. I’m referring to the spirit of the enlightenment, that man can transform himself and move to a higher level. This is a broad subject and will require much meditation on my part.

    As a parting comment, it’s not for nothng that the horrid scenes from a Clock Work Orange were illustrated with Beethovens “Ode to Joy” (more like ODE TO SATAN)

  20. Well, I was frequently referred to as a double of a certain Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels over at Belmont Club by another poster. Yes, these Nazi memes and namecalling certainly is making the rounds in the weblog world, bandied about by Leftists and directed at those whose criticisms of Islam are riveting.

    Are these people being fed this stuff at their weblogs tied in to Soros Central?

  21. Come on, everybody – we have to move on with this discussion: first do what Archonix says please, and read John Ray on the parentage and nature of the great -isms: he pretty much argues what Jonah Goldberg says in Liberal Fascism

    And although Hitler may be dead, and the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, cultural marxism is far from over. It still holds the western elite in its thrall. Post-democratic utopism and transnational positivism is all the craze in mainstream politics, so the ngo-totalitarianism is only just getting up steam if we don’t wake up to the realisation of how encompassing this dictatorship of good intentions really is.
    Problem is it isn’t just a cultural thing; after all liberal fascism has been diligently and quietly working for decades at installing the political superstructure that will enforce it’s objectives long after people stopped actually believing in them. If we don’t recognize the pedigree of the noble international organisations that have our best interests at heart; against our will – if need be..we will wake to find ourselves bound and gagged one morning soon

    (I hope I’ve managed to make myself more or less intelligible; I find it rather laborious to take part in a discussion such as this one in a language not my own..)

  22. paardestaart,

    I more or less understood what you wrote. Your efforts at English are not bad at all. Believe me, I’ve seen a lot worse.

    I used to be a part of the Left over 25 years ago. I know firsthand how they have taken over our institutions here in the U.S. But, the reality is that intellectually they are legends in their own minds only. The vacuous post-modernism that under girds their contempt for Western Civilization is very much exposed and debunked. But they don’t know it yet. I may not be a genius or a great philosopher/theologian, but I was smart enough to see it coming. I took note of what those moments of cognitive dissonance meant and evolved accordingly.

    Yes, I will have to order my copy of Jonah Goldberg’s book. I have long suspected that national socialism was indeed… socialism! And Stalin didn’t like competitors. Nor did Hitler, but before they got together for a wicked rumble they had all the fellow travelers in lockstep over that Non Aggression Pact.

  23. Trying to fit every political movement into a left/right spectrum, let alone then apply a good-evil characterization to those wings is pretty silly. Doubly so for Nazism – in many ways one of the wierdest governments of a major nation in the 20th century. It is an outlier – doesn’t even compare closely in several fundamental respects to the Fascist regimes it is usually lumped. And even the “fascist” regimes vary wildly considering application of the label to both Mussolini (which properly speaking is the only Fascist regime) and Franco, Pinochet and Bush. Nazism just does not fit well on any modern left/right spectrum – to find parallels one has to go way back in history.

    And reclassifying the Nazis into some species of socialist is twisting logic into a mobius loop. Certainly there were links, and certainly some common features…. BUT, any classification that puts New Labor in the same genus as the NSDAP is in need of serious revision. Different animals.

    As for Hitler, are his only offspring the sort of consdaple shirted jackbooted loosers that typically hang around train stations? Except, even the Nazis got sick of the SA after only three years of power and cleaned them out the hard way. I hazard that beerhall thugs don’t really care who they follow as long as it involves bovver. Could be Antifa, could be combat18, whatever. That these barely literate fools glom the attributes of some long past poorly grasped political organization (the more antisocial the better – think the Hell’s Angels stahhelm and swastika fetish) means little.

    Outisde the historical usage, these terms N and F now mean nothing, except a loose synonymy with “authority” and “evil”.

    Its PC newspeak, and its rubbish. So I agree with the good Baron, ditch the superfluous use of N and F, and while there watch the overabuse of “liberal”, and never mention the big H in polite company.

  24. Baron, I’d like to turn this around a bit. When you post articles concerning Hitler and the Nazis, you must expect people to discuss Hitler and the Nazis. And, since racism was the only real ideological ‘innovation’ of Hitler, stumbling into racism follows easily. But that’s a point I personally avoid – racism is stupid, period.

    As for classifying Nazism ideologically, it’s possibly simply futile. Which is good, because then we can all get rid of it.

    Fascism, however, is explicitly a leftist ideology, and reading Liberal Fascismit’s scary to see just how deep the inspiration from fascism ran in the US from the early 20th century, and how little has been done to identify this and change course.

    As usual, the ones throwing the charge are most suspectible of being in the trap themselves. Real conservatives just insist on the Rule of law and move on to more relevant matters.

    The Grand Mufti specifically is a ‘warm’ subject here in Europe, a major book release in Germany recently exposed the Grand Mufti thing properly to the public for the first time, drawing also large newspaper articles with it.

    It’s relevant, and if we can combine it with the leverage of the aid we provide to the Palestinians, it might be a very useful tool to uprooting at least some of the hate in the Middle East.

  25. I have to partly agree with Henrik, this ball started rolling with those SS/Mufti photos (has the discussion gone bad? I thought it stimulating)

    Fascism, however, is explicitly a leftist ideology, Which is fine, if one restricts “Fascism” as a reference to Mussolini’s Partito Nazionale Fascista and assumes a modern US left/right political spectrum (Mussolini himself explicitly wrote that Fascism was “right wing collectivism”, which should again illustrate the fundamental imprecision of a single left-right political spectrum. In trying to map n policy dimensions onto a 1 dimensional spectrum, left/right inevitably becomes fuzzy then meaningless as a frame of reference if one changes era and/ or embedding culture, but I digress).

    Otherwise … perennial GoV favorite George Orwell, quoted on fascism in wikipedia of all places : …the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else … Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathisers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.

  26. Concerning left-right, I have for a long time found it to be too confusing to be useful. But it just might be definable in terms of ‘statism’, that is, how much state we want. Then, to put four points on the scale, we’d get:

    Extreme left:
    State control of everything, no dissent permitted towards the System. Private property largely suspended. Soviet Union a classical example.

    Moderate left:
    State takes care of extensive aspects of life, guaranteeing jobs, unemployment benefits, free healthcare etc. Private property notably compromise through heavy taxation. This is the ‘Scandinavian model’ and matches what WSJ called ‘rampant welfarism’. It’s comfortable and reassuring, but I consider it inherently unstable.

    Moderate right:
    The state takes care of fundamental functions, such as infrastructure, justice, foreign relations, education, but (and this is important) leaves charity to private initiative. Private property is largely solid. This would look like the classical US system, which Hillary and her friends would like to move towards the Scandinavian model.

    Extreme right:
    The state takes care of only very basic functions, leaving as much as possible to private initiative. I doubt that it would be easy to uphold the Rule of law in such a society.

    I believe there is a temptation for politicians to edge to the left of this distinction, possibly to gain the honour of ‘fixing’ the problems of citizens. We’ve seen this in Denmark over the recent decades, accelerating when we got a moderate-right government a few years ago – the electorate simply moved left.

    A compounding problem for conservatives is that they would dismantle their own power base by making it smaller. That leaves less benefits for those around them.


  27. Well Baron, you can start doing your part and stop coining the expression:


    It has always been an offense to fascism… and have nothing to due with eachother.

  28. Henrik, others —

    Actually, the trouble started on the “curved knives” thread, not on the “Garnd Mufti” thread. But it has been building up for weeks. It just came to a head in the last few days.

    If I write a post about the Nazi regime (which I do sometimes, because I like to write about history), discussion about Nazis is fine and appropriate, obviously.

    But let’s not compare anyone contemporary with ourselves with Nazis, even if it’s apt. The whole idea has just been pounded into us so much that it’s become essentially meaningless to compare anything to Nazism.

    Same with race. If I write about race, let’s discuss race. Otherwise, why not leave it be for a while?

    I say: European countries (and any other countries) have a right to control their borders, and to decide who is allowed to settle in their countries, using any criteria they wish.

    That assertion obviously includes the right for them to exclude people based on race, religion, shoe size, or whatever.

    But it doesn’t mean that we have to follow it with a thread that obesesses about race.

    This is about focus, and having a sense of proportion.

    We’re kept under constant scrutiny here by people who wish to do this blog harm. I don’t want to hand them any more ammo than is absolutely necessary.

    I don’t want to tell any of you what to do or say. I want to remind you that you (or most of you) have joined these discussions for the same purpose that I have, and that we want to be effective in that purpose.

    Being effective sometimes means tempering one’s speech for practical and pragmatic reasons.

    This doesn’t mean you’re being censored or suppressed. It means that you’re behaving like adults, and consciously deciding to engage in purposeful activity with a particular end in mind.

    Voluntarily relinquishing your inherent right to say whatever you want, and doing it in order to achieve a long-term goal, is called “prudence”.

  29. If my assessment of left/right alignments are correct–if the left regards power over the people and the right regards limitation of the same–then one must choose.

    Whom do you trust?

  30. Baron,

    The trouble with making a hard-and-fast rule about not comparing anyone contemporary with ourselves to the Nazis is this:

    What about present-day people who openly express admiration for, and a desire to emulate, Hitler and the Nazis? They want to finish killing off the Jews, the Slavs, and whomever else they can, and they want power over as much of the world as they can attain. Osama bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, etc. etc.

    In other words: Whenever present-day evildoers deliberately and openly emulate Hitler and the Nazis, we need to use those words to accurately identify what they are doing. Our avoiding the use of those words will not make the danger go away!

    At the same time, though, I am very much against the promiscuous use of the words “Hitler” and “Nazi” as gratuitous insults where they clearly do not apply.

  31. I understand the irritation with the language but the PC left has spent decades making “fascist”, “racist” and “Nazi” into bogey words. I think the right should take advantage of that and use them at every oppurtunity about their opponents.

    As the PC left and Islam are currently the groups that most fit what the lefties *mean* when they say those words e.g totalitarian bully, that should speed up the demise of those words as a political weapon imo. Hoist them on their own petard.

    (Personally I think Nazism is nationalist marxism and Communism is internationalist marxism.)

  32. 1389,

    Obviously, the use of the term “Nazi” is sometimes appropriate. But because of sixty years of indiscriminate use by the Left, its currency has been debased.

    I merely suggest using it only when absolutely necessary. We have no reason to follow the Left down the path of flinging indiscriminate epithets.

    Let’s compare them to Stalin instead. Much more appropriate and accurate.

Comments are closed.