By William Markiewicz
As in Einstein's formula, time is a variable. The simpler the chemistry that shapes events the less chance they will be subject to alteration, meaning revisionism. Lets take, for example, invasions like that of Genghis Khan; they were too simple, too matter of fact, to be interpreted in multiple ways. Those invasions were robberies pure and simple, and to rob or be robbed was just what history was about. The societies were too crude to target anybody with propaganda. In the times of colonial conquests, religion came into the picture as a motivating force. Societies became more sophisticated and therefore taken into consideration because the leaders needed public support. Things will never return to archaic simplicity. Only slave societies don't need brainwashing and we have passed this stage irreversibly -- or have we? So we witness a multitude of transformations which alter history.
How could anybody state that "Hitler was not dangerous?" asks Tom Svobodny on this month's Communication Page. Nazism, aside from the theory of race, didn't have much to say to the nation. Therefore, unlike Communism, which meddles literally in everything, Nazism, in nonpolitical matters, left the German population freedom of decision in their daily lives. The SS, the Gestapo, having a full time job with the Jews, didn't want to burden themselves with many other topics. Because of this loose connection with central authorities, even the Jews were sometimes subject to local decisions (see "Jews in Hitler's Army," Vagabond, December 98 issue). The general population was not particularly anti-Semitic, and associated the Jews from Nazi propaganda with some demons from another planet, not with the people they knew personally.
Concerning, more precisely, Hitler and revisionism: In a cafeteria frequented by the literati, I recently overheard a few youngsters discussing a book about Hitler written by Hungarian-American writer John Lucacs. I didn't hear the title of the book; it was probably mentioned before I started to pay attention and I don't know how many of the arguments came directly from the book or from the reader's own interpretation. A few points caught my attention:
1. "Hitler had no obsession with race." He supposedly said that German superiority derives from their superior culture, not race.
2. "Hitler was the greatest revolutionary in the Twentieth Century and his politics of nationalism is the most important ideology in this century." He was "sufficiently open-minded to accept certain trends in modern art."
Concerning point 1: in "Mein Kampf" Hitler underlined that race is more important than knowledge and aptitudes. For him, a Negro who is superior to a German in something remains only a Negro. He wrote that the French were degenerating because they were becoming 'negrified.' So much for superiority of culture over race in Hitler's view.
As for point 2: I propose that readers see "Nationalism is not Imperialism." (Vagabond, April 99 issue). Hitler was not nationalist but imperialist, as illustrated in the Nazi song: "Heute wir haben Deutschland, Morgen das ganze Welt" ("Today we have Germany, tomorrow the whole world"). Hitler "the greatest revolutionary in the twentieth century?" It sounds like a joke. Nazism is the only ideology based exclusively on Anthropology. Nobody knows exactly what "national socialism" means. The economy was 'regimented' but less than in Communism. In this Nazism can be seen as a 'diluted' version of Communism.
As for Hitler's 'open-mindedness' toward modern art, it's enough to recall his statement that "the painter who paints a blue meadow and a green sky should be sterilized."Back to the index of the Vagabond