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in defense of hitler and other politicians (10-28-0)
Hitler's evil, right? He's a nutcase. He singlehandedly killed more than 6 million Jews. He and he alone is responsible for the genocide of the holocaust. And, that makes him the one true example of evil among men...right?
People see Hitler as the dictator he became, generally ignoring that fact that despite his anti democratic views, he got into power through a democratic system at work as a democratic system is supposed to work. Put simply, he got into power because a majority within Germany wanted his party, and specifically him, in power. It's nice to throw a face upon something as despicable as the holocaust. Though we've had, since the inception of religion up until the present and still ongoing, religious conflicts, clearly what happened in and around Germany in the 1930s and 40s fits the bill as the most horrible example of what religious conflict can do. Millions killed for their religion, their race, Jews for the most falling into both those categories. And, to argue anything different, to even dare say anything in defense of Hitler and his politics or of any of the myriad of ways Germany, formerly stripped of all its power, all its arms, seized the attention of the whole world by force and dragged the mightiest of the world's nations into a war that lasted half a decade and will never be erased from the history books, is just crazy. It makes people sick. It makes people jump down your throat and accuse you of being a skinhead, a racist.
In the United States today, we are constantly battling over the freedoms of speech, press and assembly. The most popular artforms, television and movies, are bombarded by politicians crying for censorship. And, for the most part, we sit idly by and take it. It's one of the strange ways of humans that our government grows more and more powerful, closer and closer to fascism, and yet we accept almost blindly that the greatest example of evil in the modern world was a man who rose through a democratic system to power, just as our politicians do. And, those politicians have no choice but to attack something, for how else to get the attention of the voters? So, why not the entertainment industry? Once in power, said politician doesn't have to make good on any promises. He doesn't have to continue the attacks that got attention before. And, as conflict grabs attention, bigger conflict grabs bigger attention. If you can start something bigger than an attack on Hollywood, a holy war perhaps, everyone will watch and listen. Even those who disagree with you will be forced to pay attention. In the past, when humanity wasn't as "civilized" as it is now, it was never uncommon for leaders to seize power through violent means, through revolution. And, even today, the same goes on all over the world. In this country, we are blind to most of it, because it does not happen here. We take for granted much of what makes this country as great as it is, even as we fuel time and time again the very things that threaten most to ruin it for us. It's like one of the arguments of the gun control lobby, though; in this day and age, when children takes guns to school and kill fellow students and/or teachers, people argue that with a gun they were able to hurt more people, like if they were only able to kill one it would be any better. Put yourself in the family of that one victim and tell me it's better that your child was the only one killed, thank god that boy only had a knife and couldn't kill everyone, thank god only my child was killed. You kill one, you're a murderer. You kill two, you're a murderer. You kill 3 or 4 or 5 or 15 or 20, you get into mass murderer territory, you kill millions you're evil, nevermind that you might not have ever even killed one yourself, nevermind that you were doing your job as the representative of the people and their interests. And, if you took power through any use of violence, shouldn't that make you evil?
(I know, I?m jumping from subject to subject, but that's how I am.)
Our own government, when in the midst of war, whether it be World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, kills many citizens. We don't bomb around the citizens, we don't create smart weapons that will only kill those in charge, those most responsible for the conflict. And, of course, it's arguable who is most responsible for any conflict. A government cannot fight a war without a military. True, in our modern age, some conflicts could be won with just a few missiles fired, and that could be done with minimal manpower, but even then, can we only blame the president for anyone killed on behalf of our cause? Sure, any military man has joined up voluntarily (Vietnam notwithstanding) and has agreed to do as he is ordered, and by that standard perhaps should not be blamed if he is ordered to kill someone, but is there never a line to be drawn? If we go to war, and the president himself orders a bunker destroyed, is he solely to be blamed?
And, if that bunker it filled with terrorists, would we even care? Consider that one. If that bunker were full of terrorists, vile people that would kill any innocents just to make a point, would we care that they'd been killed? When Hitler rose to power, it's not like things were as they are now in this country. The fact that he could rise to power spouting anti-Semitic views is proof enough that such views were not only very likely commonplace but clearly were not even discouraged much. Is it wrong to be anti-Semitic? Maybe, but that is not the point. At that time, in that place, the populace did not think it wrong, or Hitler never would have been in charge. And if men hadn't joined up with the Nazi party, if boys hadn't joined the military there and manned the deathcamps, Hitler, or whoever else might have been in charge if he had simply remained a lowly artist, would never have been able to exterminate millions. Governments do not dictate when wars happen. Wars happen because economies need it, because populations need it, because popular opinion calls for it. The government only serves as a voice for the greater populace. To pretend otherwise is simplistic, trite, and just plain stupid.
So, was Adolf Hitler evil? Was he a nutcase? Was he a sociopathic bastard? Maybe he was all of those, maybe he wasn't. To use him whenever you're talking of evil, as if everyone should just accept that example, is ridiculous. I mean, not even the devil himself gets press as bad as Hitler does sometimes these days.
In closing, put yourself in a position of power, and what would you do? Would you not try to change the world? Would you not find what people want and give it to them so you could remain in power? And if that means one race or religion has to go, will you stepping down out of protest suddenly make those views disappear, or will someone else just step right up in your place and order the deaths the people want? And, does that make that person evil? Or just another politician who isn't too eager to be forced into retirement. Hitler was an artist. I've not seen too many of his paintings, but from what I?ve heard, he really just wasn't that good. His true art came as an orator. He was a gifted speaker, able to grab the attention of the masses. Most people take this to mean he truly could have made the masses commit genocide, that his speeches were so great that he alone was responsible for millions of lives being taken. All I get from that, though, is his speeches were enough to make him the figurehead for what very well would have happened anyway. The wave was there. He just knew how to ride it.