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Originally posted by ghostsoldier
We who live in the post-World War II period possess an immensely valuable symbol, even if we don't understand it or use it effectively: the example of Nazi Germany.
The 2004 election revealed that many American citizens are as intellectually and morally incompetent as the Germans in 1930. Such incompetence and ignorance always lead to tyranny. The United States is exactly at the same point in national degradation as the German nation in the 1930s when Hitler assumed absolute power and began his regime of mass murder and war crimes against the people of the world.
We've been conditioned to see Germany under Hitler as an unquestionably horrible example of dictatorial tyranny and inhuman barbarity--and to see our present American culture as completely opposite to that of Nazi Germany. And we like to think that if a tyranny such as that in Germany under the Nazi regime were present and growing in America we'd unquestionably be able to see it.
So it's a shock when we realize: most people living in Nazi Germany didn't see the tyranny! They thought it was the best time of their lives!
To the Germans in Mayer's study, each occasion of Nazi violence was worse than the last, but only a little worse. So they waited for the one shocking event, thinking that they would join with others if or when it happened. But as the violence escalated, no one rose up to condemn the concentration camps and general oppression. No one wanted to act alone, and when a mass uprising failed to occur, the common people just let events take their course. They progressively lost the ability to understand the horror of Nazism and the will to oppose it.
Similarly, we don't see the growing fascism in America and the world because we don't want to see it and because it happens somewhat gradually, which makes it almost imperceptible to those who don't think critically. Everything in your society--Nazi Germany or twenty-first century America--seems so ordinary.
Hitler was able to brand anyone he considered an enemy and see that that person was summarily executed. How long will it be before President Bush begins to brand as "terrorist" any US citizen who disagrees with him?
America 2005 is Germany 1930
I know this post is pretty out there, and is probably raise alot of eye-brows, but I do not want petty name-calling bouncing around... I want contructive critizism and conversations...
With that in mind, any opinions, discussion etc...