Monday, October 26, 2009

“Nothing Hitler did was illegal"

I'm packing it up in SA to make a new beginning for myself elsewhere in the world where I don't have to worry about the dependability of water or electricity; my personal safety as a white female; or any of the other Third World issues I've experienced in SA under the ANC government.

Of course the unknown frightens me and I figured the more I know about it, before I go, the better. My first impression about the First World white society is that they are still petrified of Hitler.

Hitler has long gone but since fear is irrational it seems to be causing whites to continually search for impossible answers to questions like 'What would I have done if I was a German?' It seems to be eroding away the confidence of the white race. Whites have become afraid that they are inherently evil.

Have the First World countries lost all other emotional capacity, which is evident in the decline in religion amongst the younger generation?

Is productivity being eroded away by this emotional brokenness that will cause white society to turn away from capitalism - an economic system I consider to be much more productive than socialism?

That would be ironic. Viking recommended the book Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. Goldberg argues that contrary to conventional wisdom, fascist movements were and are left-wing. He states that both modern liberalism and fascism descended from progressivism, and that prior to World War II, "fascism was widely viewed as a progressive social movement with many liberal and left-wing adherents in Europe and the United States". (From Wikipedia)

Will history repeat itself? Before we have another Holocaust on our hands whites in First World countries need to get over their self doubts and look towards a positive future. The ugly past is just that - in the past. The following article, written by "chrisguillebeau," proves my point that whites are indecisive and in self doubt. Also included are some of the readers' comments that were made on the original site. (I only included the comments that were relevant to this theme in the post and I highlighted the parts that I interpreted as authors' self doubts in blue. Note the prevalent socialist ideologies too. My comments are in red.)

Here follows the article:

Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said this in response to questions about civil rights and the law. The point was that morality and the law are not always on the same side.

I often think about this as I ponder the social and political issues of our time. The question that comes to mind is:

What about now?

In retrospect, we can look at bold decisions that were made in support of freedom and fail to see any moral ambiguity
. Years or decades later, it’s easy to see now which side was right. Of course it was right to help slaves obtain their freedom, even if it was against the law. Of course it was right to demonstrate for civil rights, no matter the consequences.

Politicians of all stripes claim Martin Luther King as a hero now, but during his lifetime it was much different. The FBI maintained a file on him and worried about him being a friend of communists. Despite tapping his phone line and keeping tabs on his travels, they were unable to prevent his murder.

Because the benefit of history makes everything clear, the challenge is to get it right the first time.

Where did I stand on the Iraq war? I opposed it, but not very forcefully. To be honest, it seemed to make sense at the time with the information we were given. I should have been more openly skeptical. Whether or not my stance could have changed anything is somewhat irrelevant.

Where do I stand on equality and the right to marry whomever you want? I support it, obviously. My choice in marriage doesn’t affect anyone else, so why should I be threatened by anyone else’s choice? The people who oppose gay marriage are usually the same ones who support limited government—which of course is ironic.

Where do I stand on healthcare reform? Judging from my email, I know that many international readers don’t understand what a big deal this is in the U.S. Our country is the only rich democracy in the world that doesn’t have some form of universal coverage. I read the papers wherever I go, and everyone wants to know, what’s the problem?

The problem is that most of the people who are upset about healthcare reform already have good coverage. If they get sick, they can go to the doctor. They are also good at defining the debate to make people think that money will be taken from the rich and given to the poor.

Personally I think poor people deserve healthcare too, but the fact is that the poor are not the only ones who lack good healthcare in America. I’m not poor, but because I’m self-employed, my options are limited and I’d love to have more of them.

If anything, I’m worried that whatever plan comes out in the end will be so watered-down that it won’t produce the real change we need. If Obama can actually achieve real reform of the U.S. healthcare system, he deserves a lot more than a trophy in Norway.

***

These aren’t all of the important issues of our day, of course, and I don’t think I’ll change anyone’s mind about them by writing on a blog. Other than getting people to think for themselves, I’m not really interested in persuasion.

It just makes me think, where is my responsibility?

What would I have done in Nazi Germany or in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement? I’d like to think I would have been on the right side of history, but there’s no way to know for sure.

If there was one thing that MLK taught us, it’s that change doesn’t usually happen by itself. It’s better to speak up than to be silent; better to be wrong than indecisive.

Fast forward a few decades, and now it’s time to make new choices. Have you made yours?

Here follow the comments:

Oleg Mokhov
Don’t support a cause or believe something because it’s the “right” thing to do. Do it because you genuinely care about it. This guy's sentiments

Djalminho
"What would I have done in Nazi Germany or in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement? I’d like to think I would have been on the right side of history, but there’s no way to know for sure.”

Eric H. Doss
I’ve often wondered what I would do if I was born in 1950, not 1980; would I have the guts to be a Freedom Rider, or participate in a sit-in, or march across the Pettus Bridge?


John Bardos - JetSetCitizen
It is easy to say we would be on the right side of history but the honest answer is that most of us would be too scared to stand up and be counted.


Chris Wood
I would argue that indecisiveness is better than strong opinions on an issue you are not sure of. What if Hitler had been a bit more indecisive?

Leslie Strom
Being a nazi then was both a philosophy and a job one was forcibly compelled to do – very grey areas within its context. A more telling question is whether you’d have been one of those people living a mile from a concentration camp who claimed ignorance to the atrocities going on there.

Kevin E. Blake
“What would I have done?” is a valid question. You are not considering that the environment people are raised in is what decides their principles....The German people only gradually became aware Hitler’s activities.

Sayohat
Good post and follow up comments, although I’m not sure why people are questioning your “what would I have done” line. My sociopolitical views have changed drastically from when I was a freshman in a college 30 miles away from my hometown to now, after having lived and traveled in developing countries and had a chance to “get away” from the political viewpoints of my home environment…and they’re still changing. Bravo! This guy made some sense because he's seen more of the world than the average Jo.

Tyler
Looking back through major polarizing events in history and even applying them to current debates, I fail to see how it’s anything but black and white.

Logan
Do we live in places that conform to who we are? Can we quantify this relationship? If “nothing Hitler did was Illegal” can we say that conformity is dangerous? Or some quantity of conformity? All questions and no answers.

Debbie Ferm
I agree with plenty of your sentiments, but I’ve got to say that whenever you invoke Hitler in a conversation, I think it diminishes credibility. It’s just too easy. This gal also knew a bit more than the rest.

Vince
But for those of us that live in the now, all we can do is make a decision with the best information that we have available, but it’s nice to know that we can change our mind if we need it.

Gaurav Kishore
The theme behind the blog post is a good food for thought- taking responsibility and a stand for big questions in life.....However still I like the theme of the blog which highlights and probes the need to take a moral stand on issues in contrast to suggesting a middle-ground approach of moral-grayness. A guy that likes to take a stand!

Dean Dwyer
It’s easy to look back 50 years ago and say, “Oh I definitely would not have done that or that or that.”....We can only judge the present. There are too many unknown variables to judge the past or the future.

Peter Shallard
I think it’s a useful thought experiment for folks today to wonder about what kinds of things history will make black and white....history is written by the victors… It would be a whole different world if Hitler had won. I’m sure we’d have the same clarity, expect maybe white would be black.

Christina
You hit on a point I think about every day – don’t the “bad guys” know that they’re on the wrong side of history, and if so, why do they persist?

Annabel Candy
I think Robert Mugabe is the new Hitler......Does anyone care about millions of Zimbabweans starving to death because of this despot?

Bea (Baya)
The question becomes do we oppose war or do we fight for peace?

Akila
We talk about this principle all the time: the ability we have to influence others when we act as non-conformists. Hitler was a non-conformist.

Scott
I’ve also thought many times what I would’ve done if growing up in the 60’s, if I would participate in the antiwar movement, civil rights.. and why aren’t I doing more now?

Amy
It’s easy to say you would take a stand against something that is so clearly wrong viewed decades later when the majority of people and society agree it’s wrong.

Cultureguru
I would have hoped that people have evolved over time to embracing at a visceral level “right” and “wrong,” and an immediacy to reacting with action.

Angel Vallejo
It is just a matter of time that we face, in one way or the other, the same problem some people in modern Germany are facing. How was it possible? Did not anybody realised about what was going on with Hitler?

1 Opinion(s):

WHITEADDER said...

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality.

J.F. Kennedy