Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chapter 02: Mein Kampf Some thoughts.

PLEASE NOTE: I wrote these observations while I read, so there is no logical order except as it follows his writings.

As I continue to read the second chapter of Mein Kampf I am struck by the incredible arrogance and self-centeredness of this man. Everything seems to be for him and about him.
At this point in his writing, Hitler's written beliefs and observations are indistinguishable from those of Marx.

During my struggle for existence in Vienna, it had become clear to me that Social activity must never and on no account be directed toward philanthropic flim-flam, but rather toward the elimination of the basic deficiencies in the organization of our economic and cultural life that must-or at all events can-lead to the degeneration of the individual .

Yet the difference is as glaring as the similarities. When Marx wrote he spoke of world-wide working class that did not respect nations or borders while Hitler was obssesed with the idea of nations in general and Germany in particular. He was particularly upset when circumstances forced an inherently superior German man into destitution. He rejected Marxism, not for economic reasons but for national and "moral" reasons.

Yet something does frighten me; much of what he writes portrays a great wisdom and insight. How could such wisdom have gone so badly astray and turned this man into the monster he had already become when he wrote this book?

He said this about the Marxists:

For what a difference between the glittering phrases about freedom, beauty, and dignity in the theoretical literature, the delusive welter of words seemingly expressing the most profound and laborious wisdom, the loathsome humanitarian morality- all this written with the incredible gall that comes with prophetic certainty-and the brutal daily press, shunning no villainy, employing every means of slander, lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams, all in the name of this gospel of a new humanity. The one is addressed to the simpletons of the middle, not to mention the upper, educated, 'classes,' the other to the masses.

I wonder if he was writing them or about himself and his book. He created a nearly-exact image of the monster he hated. As he studied the Social Democrats, he learned and later copied their methods of winning minds and influence. Sadly these same techniques are being practiced today by extremists of every polical stripe.

As I read I begin to understand why so many people listened to him. No lie is as effective as the lie that is wrapped in some truth. Hitler said much that was true, but so did Karl Marx, Mao Tse Tong and others. If something is a lie through and through then no one who has any understanding at all will listen to it.

Then I come to this and wonder what modern day union people would say about this.

By my twentieth year I had learned to distinguish between a union as a means of defending the general social rights of the wage-earner, and obtaining better living conditions for him as an individual, and the trade union as an instrument of the party in the political class struggle.

The fact that Social Democracy understood the enormous importance of the trade-union movement assured it of this instrument and hence of success; the fact that the bourgeoisie were not aware of this cost them their political position. They thought they could stop a logical development by means of an impertinent 'rejection,' but in reality they only forced it into illogical channels. For to call the trade-union movement in itself unpatriotic is nonsense and untrue to boot. Rather the contrary is true. If trade-union activity strives and succeeds in bettering the lot of a class which is one of the basic supports of the nation, its work is not only not anti-patriotic or seditious, but 'national' in the truest sense of the word. For in this way it helps to create the social premises without which a general national education is unthinkable. It wins the highest merit by eliminating social cankers, attacking intellectual as well as physical infections, and thus helping to contribute to the general health of the body politic.

Consequently, the question of their necessity is really superfluous.

As long as there are employers with little social understanding or a deficient sense of justice and propriety, it is not only the right but the duty of their employees, who certainly constitute a part of our nationality, to protect the interests of the general public against the greed and unreason of the individual; for the preservation of loyalty and faith in z social group is just as much to the interest of a nation as the preservation of the people's health.

So Hitler embraced the trade-unions while rejecting "Social Democracy"? (This may be unfair as he did embrace many things that were good or neutral; he had to to gain a power base.)
As I read his observations on the trade unions, I begin to be troubled because many of his observations match mine; that they have abandoned the purpose of their existence for a more political cause. I begin to wonder: Had I lived 70 years ago in Germany would I have been seduced by this man as so many others were? I have the advantage of the perspective of history and can see the poison fruit of his actions. I take some comfort that this is the truth that he used to wrap his lies in.

Toward the end of the 2nd chapter he makes his first hints of the evil that is at the heart of all of this: Only a knowledge of the Jews provides the key with which to comprehend the inner, and consequently real, aims of Social Democracy. It is at this point that the man's evil begins to become manifest as I read on. By the end of the second chapter most of Germany's problems could be traced to the Jews. And Hitler's flaws become obvious. The desire wealth and power over others is not merely a Jewish thing but a human thing, and many humans will do anything to expand their power and wealth, including exploiting their fellow man by direct or indircet means


Blogger Tim said...

"Had I lived 70 years ago in Germany would I have been seduced by this man as so many others were?"

Many people are seduced by another right wing wacko who currently sits in the White House today.
He also scares the public into giving up our rights in the name of being secure and also is an advocate of neverending and ever expanding war.

Also, your prejudice of Muslims has an uncomfortable parellel with his hatred of Jews...

Not trying to offend, just bringing these observations to the discussion.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I just both your posts and now I won't bother to read Mein Kampf. I tried once but could not get beyond Hitler's obvious malignant narcissism.

4:15 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

pjc I am beginning to wonder if it's worth the bother.

tim your own prejudices and intolerances are beginning to show. I do not hate Muslims but I do fear Jihadism, and you should to.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Pennsylvania Progressive said...

I would burn that book. I would never read a book from a freak that killed 6 million of my own.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

"The desire wealth and power over others is not merely a Jewish thing but a human thing, and many humans will do anything to expand their power and wealth, including exploiting their fellow man by direct or indircet means."
--Sad but true

1:46 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

"I know you are, but what am I" Shoprat, that's something I left on the playground.

You have, on many occasions, shown your contempt of Islam by publicly stating that Mohamed is a false prophet, and that the Koran is not the word of God. Even if you feel this, a humble man does not provoke in the public square.
If a Jew said that Jesus is not the Son of God and that the New Testament is a lie, you would be offended. It is all about tolerance and respect.

Disagreeing with Bush is not even in the same ballpark!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Shoprat, my step-mother was born in Germany. She escaped to America at the age of 32 during WWII, but she didn't believe Hitler was a bad guy, and neither did she believe he killed 6 million jews. She owned the book Mein Kampf and read it often. When she died I inherited the pos. It no longer exists because I burned it. I can understand you reading it. To know your enemy is a good thing and I understand why you are reading it. I admire you for it... it's simply something I could not do.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Stitches77 said...

Tolerance and respect, Tim? Come on now, surely you don't mean that. The world's 'tolerance' has merely served to multiply terrorist activity. When Islam is THE one single religion on the face of the earth that believes it has a right to murder non-believers, excuse me, but there will be no tolerance from me for that.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its just fine to read such a book. Our military generals do it to learn about the enemy and to understand people like this and afterall war is based on strategy
and great thinking.You have to know what you are up against politically and militarly. Hitler was so smart he was NUTS. The truth always lays somewhere in the middle and the only way you can read into the middle is understanding both sides.

It's simply history, and the critics in America that might blast you more than likely sucks at American history let alone world history.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

S77- I do mean that. Islam doesn't think its okay to kill others who are not Muslims, a few people who claim to be Muslims believe that. I guess you forgot about "the Troubles" in N.Ireland when you say that Muslims are the only ones who kill in the name of religion. I can see why, because that omission helps to further your arguement. If we go down that road we will have a war of religions, and that is one war that will be even costliest to all of us than Hitler and WWII.

9:51 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

In the early 80s I was watching Nightline and one of the guests was the Iranian Ambassador to the UN. He said that his government was the only one on earth that obeyed Allah and that first the Islamic countries would be brought into line and then the rest of the world. Ted Koppel asked if that meant war and the ambassador answered words to the effect of "Allah will give us victory". Even then they had declared holy war on the entire world. The religious war started many years ago, it's just now reaching us.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Daydreamer of Oz said...

Islam doesn't think its okay to kill others who are not Muslims, a few people who claim to be Muslims believe that.

Incorrect. The Qu'ran is very clear about the prescribed treatment of 'non-believers'.

I guess you forgot about "the Troubles" in N.Ireland when you say that Muslims are the only ones who kill in the name of religion.

Many have killed in the name of religion. However, the only religion to endorse and encourage it is Islam.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Stitches77 said...

Daydreamer is correct. In fact the Koran teaches that a Muslim only has 3 options in regard to a non-believer and that is to convert him, to kill him or to enslave him.

There are those who claim Islam is a religion of peace. That is a flat out LIE. Period.

And back to Mein Kampf, it IS indeed very important to read historical documents such as this. If we don't understand the past of course we will be doomed to repeat it. Attempting to understand this evil man is very intelligent of you Shoprat, don't let nutcases stop you.

11:23 PM  

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