Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hitler's Birthday

I was reminded that today is Adolph Hitler's birthday, April 20, 1889.

Hitler is, of course, the guy everybody loves to hate. However, from a Buddhist perspective hate itself must be penetrated with insight and wisdom. To merely hate Hitler is to objectify what Hitler represents, and that objectification itself becomes a reinforcing and self-fulfilling prophecy that continues the cycle of hate. In other words, we can't really understand Hitler until we are fully aware of the Hitler within ourselves, and when we are aware of the Hitler within ourselves then the very character of hate toward Hitler, or anyone else for that matter, as an object is transformed.

That is not to say that one then comes to loves Hitler in the conventional sense either. The social power of a Hitler, is collected in the "person" of a Hitler by the ability of people to deny the Hitler in themselves. A Hitler doesn't worry about people not liking him as long as people are afraidd of him. People fear a Hitler for so many different reasons, but a common denominator of that fear is that people disassociate from what it is that makes them fearful in the image of a person like Hitler. At the same time we recognize the guy may be saying something a little kooky, we admire that he says it with conviction more than we are willing to disagree with the content of what he says.

I suggest that everyone read Hitler's manifesto, Mein Kampf, to learn about the world view of the fascist mentality.

If you want to see if you have discovered your inner Hitler then test yourself by asking if you believe in advertising? Do you think that advertising is a simple communication to consumers. or is advertising the essential propaganda tool of our American Brand of Fascism? If you don't see how advertising creates the Brave New World of the American Brand of Advertising, then you have definitely not seen into your own inner Hitler.

For example:
"The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out....The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly."
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, chapter six.


A person who doesn't hear the drum beat of sloganeering in today's advertising, and especially in the political advertising of Republicans and the so-called "Tea Party" movement is just blind their inner Hitler. The people who are doing the propagandizing with such slogans as "tax and spend liberal elites" and "Big government is bad; small government is good" and other such single pointed slogans are taking their propaganda methods directly from Hitler's play-book.

Here's another fun Hitler quote:
"We stand for the maintenance of private property... We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order."
Now any such feelings that one has for "private property" as the sine qua non of the so-called "free" enterprise economic system must be seen in the context of one's inner Hitler to be appreciated for how this sentiment becomes a bedrock of the American Brand of Fascism.

1 comment:

Dana E. said...

Hi Gregory,
I found the material to be quit interesting and thought provoking. I have found subjects as such to be facinating throughout the years; and have more recentley began to dig into the realm of deep politics, for fun; and to learn more about the shaping of our future withing the U.S.
p.s. I also like to incorporate buddhist perspectives as well, while tying the knots of my conclusions.

-Dana