Saturday, January 1, 2011

Understanding Mr. Hitler: a Cautionary Tale

I came across yet another bad image for motorcycling, as if the Hell's Angels were not enough. Apparently Hitler rode a motorcycle in the comic book "The New Adventures of Hitler". If Mr. Hitler likes motorcycles, what else might he like? I wanted to find out.

The following summary borrows from this Wikipedia article.

Hitler became such a hated figure that he can scarcely be mentioned without adding "May his soul be cursed." So now I have that out of the way, what kind of person was he. Well, he was the leader of Germany, and his philosophy was called Nazism. Nazism was based on creating a common purpose among the German people and leading the German people to their destiny. The Nazis were also famous for their determination and ruthlessness in achieving their goals.

So what were those goals? I decided to break Mr. Hitler's interests and hobbies down into three major groups. Good, Bad, and I Don't Know.

The Good (depending on your point of view)
  • Motorcycling (not proven)
  • economic security
  • social welfare programs for workers
  • a just wage (also eliminating excess compensation for banking CEOs)
  • honour for workers' importance to the nation
  • protection from capitalist exploitation (see "a just wage")
  • strongly anti-communist
  • full employment (from depression to full employment in less than four years. Public consumption increased 18.7 per cent, and private consumption increased 3.6 per cent annually.)
  • Private property rights. In 1942, Hitler privately said: “I absolutely insist on protecting private property ... we must encourage private initiative”.
  • Building freeways
  • Producing affordable cars

The Bad (Nazis are generally considered bad, so this should be non-controversial)
  • Militarism leading to expansion of empire and occupation of other territories
  • Racial superiority and segregation (and ultimately genocide)
  • Dictatorship
  • Ruthless exercise of power to eliminate opposition and win wars
  • Forced sterilization of poor genetic stock

  • Anti-capitalist
  • Vegetarian in his personal life, but not enforced in the general population
  • Strong central government
  • No multiculturalism, no political power for ethnic minorities
  • Opposed to gay marriage. Any hint of homosexuality at all, actually
  • Patriotism (German exceptionalism)
  • Both Pro and anti abortion, depending on if you were a Jew (pro) or an Aryan (anti).
  • Gun control
  • No free market: granting business monopoly rights to marketing boards, to control production and prices with a quota system
  • Taxes and financial subsidies: Wikipedia - "also directed the economy; the underlying economic policy — terror — was incentive to agree and comply. Nazi language indicated death or concentration camp for any business owner who pursued his own self-interest, instead of the ends of the State."
  • Elimination of Left wing liberal bias in the press.
  • strongly enforced immigration policy (i.e. a balance between slave labour camps and death camps)

Religion (wikipedia)
"About religions that preached love, tolerance, and equality “in contravention to the facts”, Hitler said they were false, slave religions, and that the man who recognized said “truths” was a “natural leader”, whilst deniers were “natural slaves”; hence, slaves, especially the intelligent, continually hindered their masters with false religions. Martin Boorman  was an extremely anti-religious Nazi, this does not reflect Hitler's opinions.  Martin said "The task of the priest consists in keeping the Poles quiet, stupid, and dull-witted." (the Nazis killed almost 16 per cent of the Polish Catholic clergy)  

Apparently Hitler had problems accepting the "Turn the other cheek" quote from Jesus.

So there you have it. Mr. Hitler's resume. Any resemblance to persons, religions or political parties, present and past, is strictly coincidental, and no offence is meant by it.


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