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Who Goes Nazi?
Harper's Magazine ^ | August, 1941 | Dorothy Thompson

Posted on 06/12/2013 9:26:05 PM PDT by Bratch

It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis.

It is preposterous to think that they are divided by any racial characteristics. Germans may be more susceptible to Nazism than most people, but I doubt it. Jews are barred out, but it is an arbitrary ruling. I know lots of Jews who are born Nazis and many others who would heil Hitler tomorrow morning if given a chance. There are Jews who have repudiated their own ancestors in order to become “Honorary Aryans and Nazis”; there are full-blooded Jews who have enthusiastically entered Hitler’s secret service. Nazism has nothing to do with race and nationality. It appeals to a certain type of mind.

It is also, to an immense extent, the disease of a generation—the generation which was either young or unborn at the end of the last war. This is as true of Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Americans as of Germans. It is the disease of the so-called “lost generation.”

(Excerpt) Read more at harpers.org ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: fascism; immigrants; psychology

1 posted on 06/12/2013 9:26:05 PM PDT by Bratch
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To: Bratch

A friend of my uncle’s just died, a German immigrant who was in the army (their army), my dad worked for him decades ago and described a man that sounded like a Nazi to me.


2 posted on 06/12/2013 9:31:52 PM PDT by Impy (All in favor of Harry Reid meeting Mr. Mayhem?)
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To: Bratch

This woman is kind of sick.


3 posted on 06/12/2013 9:39:42 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Bratch

Great find, and thanks for posting. It would not flatter quite a few of my friends to suggest replacing “Nazi” with “Progressive” but it fits very nicely. Add a visceral need for an unearned sense of moral superiority and you have the entire package. They’re not opposites, they’re mirror images. BTT


4 posted on 06/12/2013 9:40:40 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Bratch

Nazism didn’t arise from a vacuum, nor are Germans particularly susceptible to it. There is a climate in which it flourishes, when mob mentality overrules common sense. For some it’s just a brief insanity from which they quickly recover. Others become enamored of it, and when a powerful leader appears in such a climate, you have a perfect storm. It’s a lesson that cannot be ignored, or it will happen again, and again.


5 posted on 06/12/2013 9:41:52 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The only thing the Left has learned from the failures of socialism is not to call it that)
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To: Bratch

Just imagine the worst people you know, suddenly endowed with the power of life and death, and you’ll know who the Nazis, Communists, and other petty tyrants will be.


6 posted on 06/12/2013 9:50:55 PM PDT by Argus
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To: Telepathic Intruder

Yes, they are particularly susceptible to it - the fanatical obedience, the spying out the window on neighbors, the cupidity, the obsession with order.


7 posted on 06/12/2013 9:50:59 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Bratch

Wow, that was interesting!


8 posted on 06/12/2013 9:55:47 PM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: Bratch
The same kinds of personalities also become communists, fascists, jihadists, or obamabots. They are dysfunctional personalities that are only interested in power for its own sake and control over other people's lives.
9 posted on 06/12/2013 9:56:07 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: Bratch

That was the most interesting piece that I have read in a while.


10 posted on 06/12/2013 9:56:37 PM PDT by ansel12 (Social liberalism/libertarianism, empowers, creates and imports, and breeds, economic liberals.)
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To: Bratch

Tommyrot.


11 posted on 06/12/2013 9:59:34 PM PDT by Stentor
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To: kabumpo

Obsession with order? No, not really so much as the obsession with controlling others. What they do, what they think, what they are allowed to say. The desire to ban anything that represents any kind of intellectual independence. That sounds a lot like a certain left-leaning party in this country.


12 posted on 06/12/2013 10:04:40 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The only thing the Left has learned from the failures of socialism is not to call it that)
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To: Irenic

Certainly food for thought. It’s not hard to see how it applies to Obamanism and the Progressive ideology. A Georgetown party with SEIU honchos, race pimps, old East Coast money, a smattering of others...

I am going to think about this for a while.


13 posted on 06/12/2013 10:10:34 PM PDT by Ronin (Dumb, dependent and Democrat is no way to go through life - Rep. L. Gohmert, Tex)
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To: ansel12

Agreed: hope our fellow FReepers take the time to read it.


14 posted on 06/12/2013 10:13:46 PM PDT by warsaw44
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To: Bratch

Interesting read, almost as if reading an M. Scott Peck Psychological treatise on the inveigling of evil.


15 posted on 06/12/2013 10:30:39 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

Goethe spoke of his fellow Germans as ‘’Noble in the individual and wretched in the collective’’.


16 posted on 06/12/2013 10:30:53 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: Bratch

All you need is a political group that has succumbed to personality cultism. Give them power, media driven popularity, mass appeal to the brainwashed zombies, and a sociopathic leader that can make lies sound like truth, and truth seem like evil. Turn everyone else into an enemy, and you have a Nazi dream. Actually you have the Democratic Party, and the darker side of Communism.


17 posted on 06/12/2013 10:58:19 PM PDT by pallis
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To: Bratch

18 posted on 06/12/2013 11:07:49 PM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Bratch
Excellent article.
19 posted on 06/12/2013 11:53:57 PM PDT by meadsjn
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To: Bratch

All institutions reward those who obey the institutional rules, and punish those who don’t. As rewards and punishments increase, and enforcement becomes more strict, more individuals are drawn into the behavior required by the institution. Some — like Edward Snowden — have the guts to resist it, but they know they’re risking their livelihood, at least, and possibly their lives. Others, out of desire for the rewards or out of fear of the punishments, go willingly down the institutional path.

I like to think that modern communications technologies will enable the “rebels” to maintain the morale and the ability to resist, but they also increase the power of the institution to identify both the compliant and the rebellious, and to apply corresponding rewards and punishments.

This is not the past. We must maintain and seek freedom through methods appropriate to the present. I don’t know what those methods are.


20 posted on 06/13/2013 12:59:20 AM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: Bratch

Oh, those Nazis - the very emblem of nasty guys.

How convenient it is to forget that Nazi murderers were school-boys compared to their communist peers.

I wonder if this character ever plays, “Who would become a communist?”

Or better yet, “Who in the group is already a communist?”


21 posted on 06/13/2013 1:13:06 AM PDT by Jack Hammer (American)
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To: Impy
Yep. It's a Harper's piece, for sure. And Dottie is a real Harper's girl dontcha know. Leftist pap at its finest, by a true progressive.

Note the lack of blacks and minorities in this little morality play. Note the northeast anti-Southern and anti-Semitic tones in the characterizations.

Garbage.

22 posted on 06/13/2013 4:02:45 AM PDT by Scooter100 (A balanced budget means Banksters lose $Billion$.)
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To: Scooter100; Jack Hammer

Ya’ll realize this article is from August 1941, right?


23 posted on 06/13/2013 5:21:20 AM PDT by Bratch
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To: Bratch
Absolutely. You'll note that nothing has changed in the leftist attitudes.

By the way, I assume your use of the "Ya'll" was to address everyone as a group, and not the incorrect singular form. Northern wannabe's never get that right.

24 posted on 06/15/2013 4:09:47 AM PDT by Scooter100 (A balanced budget means Banksters lose $Billion$.)
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To: Scooter100

Yes sir.


25 posted on 06/15/2013 8:07:25 AM PDT by Bratch
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To: jmacusa
"Noble in the individual and wretched in the collective"

A bit late of a reply, but one of the aspects of socialism that some find appealing is the transfer of personal responsibility to the collective. People will do in groups what they would never do by themselves, thinking their conscious is clear.
26 posted on 06/15/2013 1:47:33 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The only thing the Left has learned from the failures of socialism is not to call it that)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

Indeed. Being part of a collective is like being in a firing squad. You never know who has the blank cartridge so you have some sort of plausible denial.


27 posted on 06/15/2013 9:24:19 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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