A New Government of National Concentration

Adolf Hitler rose to power by playing to the fears, anxieties, and anger of the German people. His strategy was to play the strongman who would fix it, make Germany great again. A nation that had regarded itself as exceptional had lost its way, humiliated by defeat in World War I. Hitler focused that anger at the weakness of the post-World War I Weimar Republic whose inept Chancellor and Reichstag (i.e. Congress) he blamed for the nation’s drift. He blames Marxist thinking and Communists. He declares Christianity to be the religion of the German state. By narrowing and scapegoating, he focuses the people’s fears and anxieties on visible targets. It was only a matter of time before Jews, homosexuals, and gypsies joined the ranks of those to be eliminated in a purified Aryan state.

Notice how quietly, how slowly this speech begins. He waits for the crowd to be quiet before he continues to speak. He is taming them. Mesmerizing them. Training them for Fascism. And when he has brought them to heel, he unleashes a tirade that taps into the people’s volcanic desire for a return to national exceptionalism.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, Jan. 11, 2016.

4 thoughts on “A New Government of National Concentration

  1. The slope has become much, much more slippery, the angle of decline much steeper, and we are much closer to the bottom now. It has become truly frightening.

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    • Carolyn, for a break of humor- very dark, but humor nonetheless – I sometimes go back to Charlie Chaplain’s portrayal of Hitler. How we got here is the first big question, as it was in Germany. Finding an answer to the second question (how do get out of this?) depends in large measure on a careful examination of the first. The answer to one and two has to do with “convictions” that still lie hidden in our consciousness.

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  2. Thanks for this brave post, Gordon. It stimulates me to reflect on it in this way.
    “Repeating history” should be more difficult considering the time frames are so short. By this I mean that only one 75 lifetime has passed since the rise of Hitler. Only two 75 lifetimes have passed since the Civil War. Yet our historical memories seem to disappear too rapidly. We tend to think in terms of 20 yr generations which fools us into thinking historical time is slower than it really is. There are only 25, consecutive, 75 year lifetimes since Christ. I only started to think about this as I approach my 69th year. It is as though history finally comes into focus as a contrived process that allows us to think we are somehow better than those who preceded us. Better in terms of being more sophisticated, insightful, etc. This seems to be an illusion. So to see the rise of fascism now in the US is partly due to our inability to maintain perspective on the human condition as technology seduces us further into the belief we are approaching utopia. We hear so often from the liberal press that to compare present developments to Nazi Germany is to cheapen or trivialize the holocaust. I don’t think so. I think it more likely that to be critical of the recognition of the slippery slope we are on is a part of the arrogance of our bourgeois worldview. We are beyond the dangers of the quicksands of the past goes the meme. As we demonise the Islamic world we are setting up the opportunity to globalize a new holocaust since Islam occupies actual geographic places that can be nuked. We don’t need to build concentration camps do we? We don’t have to round up Muslims, although we will do that too. We have ready made targets across the ME to act as the new definition of a holocaust to rid us of the new impediments to the whims of Wall Street’s needs for expanding its power. It is so easy to lose track of time.

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    • Gary, There are no other “likes” or comments on this post. Time and memory are fickle and cyclical. I edited the original which featured only the video for obvious reasons. I wanted readers to pay attention to the strategy that could play itself out here in the U.S. The way it could happen is a three way race.L Democrat, Republican, and Third Party Trump. The anger in America is focused on office-holders, politicians, Washington insiders. In the worst scenario, the two major parties nominate an insiders (say Clinton and Rubio) and Trump would draw enough support from the disaffected in both parties and non-traditional voters to win the White House as the outsider who represents them.

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