Thursday, September 05, 2019

Embracing Deceit

More from Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, echoing yesterday's post.
One had to live in Germany between the wars to realize how widespread was the acceptance of this incredible legend by the German people. The facts which exposed its deceit lay all around. The Germans of the Right* would not face them. The culprits, they never ceased to bellow, were the “November criminals” — an expression which Hitler hammered into the consciousness of the people. It mattered not at all that the German Army, shrewdly and cowardly, had maneuvered the republican government into signing the armistice which the military leaders had insisted upon, and that it thereafter had advised the government to accept the Peace Treaty of Versailles. Nor did it seem to count that the Social Democratic Party had accepted power in 1918 only reluctantly and only to preserve the nation from utter chaos which threatened to lead to Bolshevism. It was not responsible for the German collapse. The blame for that rested on the old order, which had held the power. But millions of Germans refused to concede this. They had to find scapegoats for the defeat and for their humiliation and misery. They easily convinced themselves that they had found them in the “November criminals” who had signed the surrender and established democratic government in the place of the old autocracy. The gullibility of the Germans is a subject which Hitler often harps on in Mein Kampf. He was shortly to take full advantage of it.
 How is this not the 1619 Project from the New York Times?
The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.
I've become convinced that 1619 is just the serialization of a modern Mein Kampf. It's patently absurd from top to bottom and yet there is no lack of people who are embracing it. Adapting William Shirer for today, we get this.
Millions of Americans refuse to concede that they have agency in their lives. They seek to find scapegoats for their poor performance, humiliation and misery. They easily convince themselves that they have found them in “White Supremacists.”
It didn't work out well for the Germans and it won't work out well for us.

Camden, New Jersey today or Berlin, 1945?
Image source.
* - European notions of the political right and left don't correspond with America's. Ben Shapiro is about as far-right as you can get in America today and his philosophy of individualism would find no home within the European right of the 1930s. America is different in kind from Europe.

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