posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 07:31 PM
Let me bring in the Jewish as well as the politology POV though I myself am not Jewish.
The Allies, after the World War, had universally decided to make an example of German Nazis and Hitler for the whole world - because after the
fact-finding missions of Lord Russell especially, they decided nothing comparable had so far happened in human history. As far as I know, Germans (I
am partly German) learned that lesson very well.
This is why everyone uses it as a measuring stick, but Jewish historians made the point that nothing ever compares with the Holocaust and Hitler, who
mechanistically annihilated millions of citizens, especially Jews and Gypsies, in death camps. Concentration camps existed before (the British Empire
used them against the Boers in South Africa around 1901). Ethnic annihilation was not new either: the Turkish Empire annihilated 1.5 million Armenians
(a fact Hitler always admired). The holocaust is unique, Jewish historians argue, and they also say - like the OP - that Nazism should not be compared
lightly to anything else. The holocaust is incomparable and unique. It was directed by a total annihilation of an ethnic-religious group with
frightening modern efficiency. While Stalin arguably killed more of his enemies, it was over the
course of decades.
(The Holocaust will not stay incomparable for long though, come the next world war... which will be Auschwitz crossed with Tschernobyl...)
Fascism in politology properly should apply to a wider range of states, starting with Mussolini's Italy where the name was coined (Fascista). The
name originally came from a bunch of wild stalks you can not break easily - a Roman imperial symbol (fasces). In modern political theory you could say
that after a list of certain criteria were fulfilled, a state or a movement could be called Fascist and that there are neo-Nazi movements typically
with Hitler nostalgia. A Fascict state is violent, right wing, conservative (though sometimes they kill priests and rape nuns), secret police is a
must, were the military is in alliance with the financial capital (free market is out). The simplest agricultural workers can be victims any time for
reasons of poverty, supposed left wing political views, being part of a trade union etc.
Fascism was a descriptor of Greece under the dictatorship, with its rampant torture chambers and exile of Communists, also Salazar's Portugal,
Pinochet's Chile after the 9/11'73 coup etc. and many more. Guateamala certainly by its death squads and Indian villages living behind barbed wire
fences, its military rulers displaying public antiques worthy of Mr. Sade.
Don't forget that Japan had its "fascism", with a large blitzkrieg on Asia, a racial theory that Japanese were unique and the Chinese and Filipinos
inferior races. They even had concentration camps and they exterminated POW's kicking every rule in the book. They just loved torturing civilians to
death and there was the infamous biological experiments in Manchuria - much the same as in Nazi camps. However, they did not have simple death camps,
total annihilation. They apparently killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Nanjing just for fun. However, their total toll did not come up to
that of the efficient Reich. They were naturally allies - Japan, Germany and Italy - which split in the latter times to a Fascist and a Nazi part.
Later history showed that over a much longer time, the leaders of the Soviet Union managed to dispose of far more people (including whole ethnic
groups), and actually it is Mao that leads the absolute death toll in all totalitarian tyrannies - but that was all taking place slower, with sporadic
attempts at mechanical elimination - mostly the Gulag was a place where they worked you to death. Plus, it was not directed at a certain ethnic group,
though some like Tibetans or Uyghurs were at a distinct disadvantage.
The quick, engineering mind of sending more and more European Jews to gas chambers in a matter of a few years, was a Nazi peculiarity, so history
still thinks Nazi Germany has been the very top of evil empires of all times.
(Well, if you look at the Aztecs and the Assyrians in their time, you will start to have doubts... but OK).
So I agree, use this comparison lightly!
Putin has some Nazi-like policies but he certainly lacks the hysterical charisma, plus he is no longer one of the top powers of the world. Germany
before the war WAS a real top contender in industrial production to the US (imagine that), it had several colonies and it was looked upon as a world
leader culturally by many European nations - all the highest engineering, science and culture was in German, and a whole circle of countries learned
German as the language of modernity (Die Deutsche Kulturkreis). German music was popular like rock and roll today. I that, the US today could be more
compared except that its political structure is so wholly different that it would never embrace bona fide Fascism, IMHO. German was almost accepted as
an extra language in several US states... Germany produced first-rate scientists, musicians, writers, dramatists, psychologists etc. all in the times
preceding the Nazi period. Modern Russia is not that far influential. Yes, they had Pussy riot but they chucked all the girls in jail. They invented
Krokodile, the absolute worst drug in human history. (Good luck getting converts.) While the Nazi Army and the pilots especially were frequently high
on amphetamine (Hitler liked it too), the alcohol consumption of Russia is still the highest in the world.
My two cents.