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Essentially liberal internationalists from Europe, Japan and the United States, the liberal wing of the intellectual elite. That’s where Jimmy Carter’s whole government came from. [...] [The Trilateral Commission] was concerned with trying to induce what they called ‘more moderation in democracy’ – turn people back to passivity and obedience so they don’t put so many constraints on state power and so on. In particular they were worried about young people. They were concerned about the institutions responsible for the indoctrination of the young (that’s their phrase), meaning schools, universities, church and so on – they’re not doing their job, [the young are] not being sufficiently indoctrinated. They’re too free to pursue their own initiatives and concerns and you’ve got to control them better.
"Hitler, many seem to forget, was elected. Then, through a series of iterative steps, he was handed increasing power. There were many steps along the way at which his rise to total control could have been halted, however the social and economic circumstances were such that it took on an air of inevitability.
What's truly galling, is that while pre-WW2 Germans really had experienced harsh economic conditions due to the treaty of Versailles and that was exploited by the Nazis to seize popularity, if the climate truly is right for an American demagogue as dangerous as Hitler to rise due to increasingly extreme political sentiment on all sides as some theorize, it will be because so many Americans merely believe they are somehow as bad off as pre-WW2/post treaty of Versailles Germans were. Not because they actually are. And that is so frustratingly, unnecessarily, quintessentially Western in its materialist roots.
While economic downturn, reductions in production jobs, the recession, and many other factors have made things tougher for many Americans than they had been in a while, they still live in the most prosperous, arguably most developed nation in the history of humanity. In many cases even the most indigent Americans are far better off than in other parts of the world. Which is not to dismiss their hardships by any means. But most of those fervently and with extremism on either side crying out for 'radical change' - not that change is not needed - don't seem likely to be the poorest of the poor in America. So when or if the American take on a Hitler should ever rise, it will be born not from the manipulation of the masses' hardships, but of their self entitled belief in American exceptionalism, which is so deeply rooted, that even living in the most privileged state on Earth, they will see their economic downturns and fluctuations as equivalent to the hardships of pre-WW2 Germany.
The American Hitler will be born of the refusal of Americans to see America slide even one iota from its perch atop the world as a 'hyperpower' because anything approaching America simply becoming somewhat more equal to the rest of the planet will be seen as sacrilege, anathema, and an affront which must be confronted with zealous, irrational rage, and nothing less. Woe to the world if that ever happens."
originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: onequestion
I think we are always on the cusp of having another "4th Reich". Every generation, we have the potential for such great hatred and malice and evil.
It's up to good people, the quiet people, to keep that from ever happening.