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Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Weimar error

Truthout has a pretty good article up about the parallels between modern Tea Party populism and the rise of the "fringe" right in Germany during the Weimar era. Unfortunately, authors Charles Derber and Yale Magrass fall prey to a common mistake...
Contrary to common wisdom, the ascendancy of the Tea Party, Christian fundamentalist, militarist, anti-feminist, anti-immigrant and other racially-coded right-wing elements in the Republican Party - that could gain preponderant influence over the nation in a Romney/Ryan Administration - is not new. It is the most recent example of the "Weimar Syndrome," where liberal and Left parties fail to solve serious economic crises, helping right-wing movements and policies - that lack major public support, but are groomed and funded by the corporate and military establishment - to take power.
A lot of people seem to be under the misapprehension that the Nazis gained power because a liberal government failed to deal with the Depression. Not true. Neither Heinrich BrĂ¼ning nor Franz von Papen were anyone's idea of liberal politicians. They were, in fact, locatable somewhere to the right of Herbert Hoover, and they lost the support of both the public and the corporate world because the laissez-faire, "small government" austerity measures they advocated simply did not work.

The failure of Weimar was, in short, the failure of traditional conservatism. But that fact doesn't mean that the Nazis should be viewed as liberals, although quite a few modern propagandists have tried to sell that historical absurdity to an ignorant public. The brownshirts had, in fact, murdered many liberals, and they allied themselves with anti-socialist parties throughout Europe. 

The German fascists won over the public by -- shades of Mitt Romney! -- being vague. They literally told newspaper reporters that "We are against whatever the situation is right now." They offered few specifics beyond those words. In that way, the Nazis were able to be all things to all people. Or at least to enough people to win power.

Ahh,Joe. But here's the rub-- the Nazi Party was the Socialist DEMOCRATIC party of Germany [aka National Socialists], so anything with the very word Democratic [ala Glenn Beck University] means the Democratic Party of today, clearly by the bird brains and propaganda-driven fanboys, is an obvious Marxist/Socialist/Fascist organization [what's in a name?], equivalent in all ways to the Nazis, ready and quite willing [not to mention droolingly eager] to open the FEMA camps for the ultra-patriotic, tri-cornered hat opposition.

I actually had a heated argument online with someone who insisted this was verified history/truth.

The ignorance is positively stunning.

So suggesting that the Weimar Republic and all its woes was the product of austerity policies, the result of idiotic conservative policies is equal to spitting in the wind. It's right up there with suggesting GW/Cheney were responsible for the country's financial meltdown.

Oh, the horror of the unvarnished truth!

I'm looking at the GOP polls right now. Talk about cognitive dissonance!

I've said right from the start, the only way the GOP wins this election is if they steal it.

I stand by that. I voted 3rd party. But I've never had any doubt that Obama had this in the bag.


PS: If I'm wrong, you can put me in stocks and throw rotten apples. Unlike Axelrod, I don't have a mustache to trade.
PS: I should qualify--the 'start' for me was the Democratic Convention. Up until then, I wasn't sure how things might go and in truth I've had periods of doubt. But Bill Clinton's roof raising speech at the Convention pretty much sealed the deal. Obama should seriously follow through with naming Big Dawg Secretary of Explaining Sh*t.

Vague? Sounds like the 2008 Obama campaign.
Peggysue -- "Democratic" is not in the name. NSDAP = National Socialist German Workers' Party.

Of course, the party was named by Drexler before Adolf got involved. At the time, "Socialist" was not a dirty word in Germany, and all of politics had been turned on upside down. So its political orientation was a bit amorphous in the beginning.

And to be fair, there really was a left-wing component to the Nazi party early on. That faction was associated with Feder and Strasser.

But they were drummed out or minimized. Hitler established the party as one of a series of "folkish" right-wing populist parties vying for power. Later, when he made his play for electoral power, Hitler sucked up to the big corporate powers.

In the early days, the party received much or most of its funding from Henry Ford, laundered through the German Navy. Anyone who thinks that Ford would have funded any kind of left-wing organization knows nothing about Ford.

Of course, Henry Ford later became the idol of the John Birch Society, the ideological parent of our Tea Party.

If Obama loses the right will claim "We have tried the Liberal way and it didn't work."
DOG help us.

Peggysue -- "Democratic" is not in the name. NSDAP = National Socialist German Workers' Party.

I bow to your expertise, Joe [I know you've done a ton of reading on the period]. But I can tell you it doesn't matter if the word 'socialist' was ever regarded here or in Europe with anything approaching favor. It has become a dirty word and is why we hear the constant Marxist/socialist label hung around Obama's neck. Just today, the man was compared to Chavez, hung out to dry because one of the Castro daughters or nieces expressed support. It's beyond moronic. And I'm not even an Obama fan!

Btw, I really did have that argument over the word "Democrat' on another site. I should have tapped you for research :0).
No matter how perceptive and precise your points are, the fact also remains that the progressive liberals have suffocated the life out of both moderate democrats AND republican moderates.

The further truth appears to be, if times are good, there is no reason to change, if times are bad, than it is too risky to vote third party.

So, there will never be a time for a third party to even make a dent in the political process. Apply, rinse, repeat, over and over and over.
Josef: "Later, when he made his play for electoral power, Hitler sucked up to the big corporate powers."
The thruth is, I (->) repeat,
EXACTLY the contary, namely,the big corporate powers sucked up as much of the socialist "bolszevist") killing their leaders,R.Luxemburg, Liebknecht, 2. then by a massive propaganda effort (here comes in Your Ford).
The "Natinal""Socialist"party was from the beginning intentionally an internationally organised effort of the internationally connected capitalist class to stop the Bolszevist revolution, it's clearly percieved enemy.
Hitler was a puppet, "HIS" party was not "HIS" party.
Only later, the puppet took over
it's creators (to a degree).
Still, his anti-communist war was
a great gain for the capitalist class.
And was continued "after" the war-
The so-called "cold war" was the
continuation of that same effort.

Anon, have you considered using a spell-checker...?
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