Honestly. It's probably because, to them, Hitler is history. If that's what you've probably read the most of, what we've connected to.
At this point, I wouldn't be able to give you much a detailed idea about Stalin besides to describe him as a slightly more incompetent version of Hitler.
I'm aware of Pol Pot as a character of note as well, but I cannot even begin to conceive of his particular actions in a way that, in sociological perception, compares the imagery of the holocaust victims.
One of the most important alarm bells are if rich and powerfull people are seeking and financing an equivalent of the 1930:s hatred of jews to blame for an economical decline. That is what I would be looking for as a "shit is going to hit fan" indicator during an economical decline when rich and powerfull people start to feel cornered.
I do not find the individual hitler or the holocaust to be the most noteworthy of that disaster. What scares me most is that one of the most advanced and respected cultures could fall so low in about a generation.
Are equivalent political mechanism breaking down any of our times most advanced and respected cultures?
It's the long tail in action. Or million monkeys. Or finding what you are looking for. Whichever. If you have enough people saying enough different things, statistically you'll get all sorts of comparisons. Rich and Nazis are two key works that catch everyone's attention, so those comments get reported on. If we were on the alert to comparisons of the vilification of the rich to the vilification of donuts, we'd see a bunch of those comments in the news.
Granted, Nazis get used more often because of the strong emotional context. But it's still just random crap spewing from someone's mouth.
Because everyone always compares whoever they don't like to Hitler. He's there on the last page of "The Little Book of Rhetoric for Weak Thinkers", and sooner or later everybody goes there.
I have no sympathy for Perkins, his tin-eared similes or his John Galt-by-way-of Marie Antoinette rhetorical snow-job. Nevertheless, I have to say that I've heard the Hitler analogy made at least as often by the downtrodden and leftists as by conservatives and members of the elite.
You know who else used to compare people he didn't agree with to Adolf Hitler? Adolf Hitler, that's who!
Actually, he probably didn't. Which makes him just about the only one.
Because that way nobody notices their brown shirts? The sociopath will always accuse you of doing the very thing that they are guilty of themselves.
It's the mistaken belief that the Nazis were socialist, and the apparent lack of knowledge that part of the reason for the Night of the Long Knives was so that Hitler could get rid of the socialist wing of the party who were complaining about the lack of socialism.
Not that Obama is socialist in any meaningful way.
The super-rich probably didn't study the French Revolution which genuinely was targeted at the 1% of 1790s. If the super-rich have any sense they'll reduce income inequality in the USA to head off the nascent revolutionary tendencies of the Occupy movement. They could do that whilst still being the richest 1%...
`Yup. The right wing in America, and indeed the contemporary far right wing in Europe inspired by "libertarian" right wing culture in America has Hitler as a socialist. He was a statist but obviously rose to power in opposition to organised labour and communism. Their historical revisionism on this topic is matched by how Hayek and von Mises could support statist thugs like Pinochet and Mussolini. As long as capital wasn't expropriated by the state they were cool with anything it did, and called it liberty and freedom from serfdom.
It's handy to call Hitler a socialist as it saves them from the reality that capitalism is just about capital, not about freedom. See also how right wing, anti-government people really love them their armies and robocops and prisons.
You're an American libertarian? Great: close the prisons first. Then immediately get rid of the police. And then the Army.
After you've done that you can come for my universal health care.
There is nothing that they can do to stop the revolution now.
Good - off with their proverbial heads!
At least the confusion about thinking Hitler's "National Socialist Party" might be socialist is understandable. It's right in the name.
I recall in one of Robert J. Sawyer's books, the main character mentioned that he tends to vote NDP. He was talking to Americans so they understandably didn't know where the NDP is politically. The character said something like "Oh, they're a national socialist party" and then realized that that gave an entirely wrong impression of what they stand for even though they are a national party that leans socialist (or used to. They seem to have moved a bit closer to the centre in recent years).
During the health care debate a bunch of them were calling Barney Frank a Nazi too. Because the gay Jewish guy and the mixed-race guy would have been oh-so welcome at those Third Reich mixers.
Absolutely. It's funny though that it's a piece of Nazi propaganda that they choose to believe.
Contemporary extremist racists in Europe can often be to the left of centre (that is what is centre now) NF in the UK were definitely quite left, UKIP are probably not as far right as the tories (though the Tories are barely distinguishable from traditional far right racist parties anyway).
I think it is because Hitler is so closely associated with demagogy and populism. Pretty much everyone knows the narrative of Hitler telling the Germans what they wanted to hear and people falling over themselves to support them without realizing fully where that would end.
How many of those making those remarks or of the intended audience could give you any real account of how Stalin, let alone Pol Pot, rose to power?
The Fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists.
-someone that may or may not be Winston Churchill
That sounds like something a FASCIST would say.
There's been a push by the right to classify liberals as Nazi's in general, and have been a few books about it. A conspiracy minded person might think it was an idea hatched by a right-wing think tank to take away a talking point of the other side. But really it just a sign that Godwin's law is universal.
It's another quote to add to my list of things that Churchill didn't say.
However Winston Churchill was involved in creating the prototype welfare state in 1909*, out of fear that if a revolution happened he would be one of the first to be put against a wall and shot. Something the 1% should remember.
*I originally got the date wrong. David Lloyd-George was also a key figure in its creation.
next page →