At first a person would balk at this question. What do you mean, “Is Nazi ideology wrong”? Of course it’s wrong. But does this response emanate from careful analysis and reflection or is it simply a programmed response? Given all that has been said about Nazi ideology by its detractors, people have become resistant to the subject altogether. Most people live in fear that they cannot even ask questions about the Nazis. You are not allowed to question the official story. You are only allowed to chant the officially approved dogma. But I ask, with honest curiosity, what were they really all about? Why did they believe the things they believed? Why did they do the things they did?
When I first read about the Nazis in history class, I thought they were the most provocative people I had ever heard of, not a good thing in this case. I thought, why would any people do these things? Something in the official story didn’t seem to add up. Something was missing, the why.
One aspect of the Nazi ideological movement that struck me was that it seemed to be a response to something. But that something is seldom discussed in history books. You can find lots of TV shows about the Nazi’s but they never really touch on the real causes. Few books, or people, discuss the real causes of WW-II and especially the causes for rise of the Nazis. Those that do usually attribute it mainly to economic conditions caused by reparations that were heaped upon Germany as a punishment for WW-I. But I believe there was something more at play. It is easy to chalk it up to people just wanting power, and to a certain extent I’m sure that was part of it. But it wasn’t just that alone. And what did they plan to do with this power?
One of the Nazi’s major goals was to “clean up” the Human race. They thought that the Human race had become over-populated with types of people who were holding the Human race back. They thought that the sick, the insane, the feeble minded, homosexuals and the like, were restraining the progress of Man. They attributed Germany’s economic condition to its inability to improve itself and these people were the primary hurdle. When you look at the actions of the Nazi’s as they invaded each nation you see proof of this. The first thing they did was to execute these people as they found them. They had teams whose sole job was to root out these people so they could be “dealt with”, which usually meant execution, or worse.
One specific group the Nazi’s targeted, for outright elimination was, of course, the Jews. Much has been said as to why Hitler and the Nazi’s targeted the Jews but I believe some things have been left out. Once again, the Nazi attitudes and actions seem to be in response to something. But what could that have been? The official Nazi dogma branded the Jews as mongrels, and yet Jews often occupied the middle to upper echelon in pre-WWII Europe. Sure there were poor Jews but a large percentage were anything but poor, and it would seem from their general behavior that they were not holding Germany back. So what gives? Were they just a convenient target, as the official dogma dictates? I wonder.
If one reads more history, the answer starts to reveal itself. I have been reading a book about the Inquisition in 15th century Spain by Benzion Netanyahu, a Jew. It is quite a weighty book. He, expertly, and resoundingly makes his point that the Inquisition’s targeting of the Jews stemmed primarily from economic stresses and sometimes political stresses within the royal houses of Europe. When a king was poor or under threat by rivals he often resorted to targeting a scapegoat. And the scapegoat most advantageous to these kings was often the Jews. Why? Well, for one thing the Jews maintained a unique identity. They maintained their religion and their traditions regardless of the nation they inhabited. And because they were often forced to do jobs others would not do (tax collecting), or were not allowed to do (lending money), and those jobs actually were quite lucrative, Jews ended up becoming wealthy. I believe this was no less true in 20th century Europe than it was in 15th century Europe. The targeting of the Jews was nothing new in the 1930’s. It was a long held tradition.
When you discover that the leader of the Nazi’s, Adolf Hitler, was actually part Jewish himself, you realize how tragic, ironic, and just plain bizarre his hatred towards Jews really was. Or so it would seem. But here again is where I believe that more was going on than is generally acknowledged. Hitler’s parents were not wealthy. His family was not privileged and I believe he blamed his situation on his Jewish relatives. Adolf Hitler fought in WW-I while some of his Jewish relatives were against the war. Hitler saw this as being anti-German. It would seem from his later speeches that he had been wronged in his life many times by Jews.
So you ask, where does this leave us? Well, I ask, should we accept any part of Nazi ideology, or is it all bad? Well, one aspect of the Nazi ideology was that they believed the Human race could do better than it was doing. And I think they were right. The Human race could, and still can and should do better. But the Nazi method of improving the Human race was first to identify the perfect Human, themselves, and then to identify the opposite, everyone else. And to achieve their goal of improving the Human race they set about wiping out as many Humans as they could. Well, I, in contrast to them, do not believe you can improve the Human race by wiping people out. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I believe that each person brings something to the party, even if it’s hard to find sometimes. What we need to do is improve people, not kill them. And how should we improve them? Well, that’s a debatable question, better healthcare, better food, better economic systems, better education, or more drastic means. The Nazi’s certainly were not afraid of the more drastic means.
Nazi ideology today is more common than you might think, even among Jews, believe it or not. For example, certain afflictions are considered fairly intolerable in people. One example is Autism. Society does not tolerate Autism, even when it is fairly mild. Society also does not tolerate speech impediments. How strange it is that society was more tolerant of this malady during the 1930’s than it is today. Even if one were a genius, a speech impediment would brand one as stupid. Another example is homosexuality. Societal tolerance seems to swing back and forth on this one, if you’ll excuse the double entendre. Societies around the world have become quite rigid and unforgiving. In some countries today, the Nazi’s would be impressed. Is this improvement? Today, even in America, if you don’t look right, smell right, talk right, behave right, and espouse the right ideas, you will get nowhere. That’s why you end up with the presidents you have, no real ideology to speak of, just a pretense and a sales pitch. Strangely, self-confidence seems to be a negative today. No one wants to hear from an expert. They would much rather hear from an info babe who knows nothing. And countries debate the morality of the surveillance society. Well, they don’t really debate it. They just do it.
So why is it important to take this fresh look at Nazism? Because it’s on the rise. And, I know this much. Anytime you think the debate over Nazi ideology, or any other ideology, is over, you have become delusional. Understand that only by being challenged will your philosophy remain strong. If no one ever argues against your opinion then you become weak and ill equipped to withstand future attacks. Given the amount of change going on in the world today, it is conceivable that a nation swept up in revolution or civil war could be taken over by people with Nazi ideology. I believe some already have. Are you prepared to resist such ideology, especially when your livelihood or your life is at risk?
Like most tales, there is the story on the surface and then there is the story underneath.
“Fascism is coming back!” – Willy O’Keefe, male prostitute