Saturday, November 27, 2004

Unser Fuhrer ~ brought to you by... 

A note on the subject of current historical parallels to the growth of right wing nationalism, nativism, and volkisch movements in Weimar Germany - as discussed by Dale Maharidge author of Homeland - and for which RDF points to below with his link to Whose Homeland Is This? by Annette Fuentes. See RDF's earlier contribution: Heart in the Heartland

Just one quick comment on the title to Fuentes's post
Whose Homeland Is This?

I think the answer to that question is that, unfortunately, it's our homeland. It's part of our homegrown homemade history too. Comparisons to the rise of right wing fascism in pre-Nazi Germany are obvious enough, and fair game, but it shouldn't be forgotten that a similar foul and noisy squawking beast, with multiple heads, roared across America during much of the same period. Not to mention its later manifestations.

From the early 1900's through the 1930's the emphasis on a new Protestant "fundamentalist" ideology and its clangorous leadership helped fuel and renew such socio-political cultural perversions as the Ku Klux Klan and such anti-Catholic Klan-styled organizations as the "Black Legion." Far right, often pro-fascist groups, such as the various "shirt" groups and the Christian Front and the openly pro-Nazi German American Bund (to name only a few) collected thousands of members and supporters as well. The OFDI (Order of the Sons of Italy), in cities such as Philadeplphia and New York, proudly organized support for Mussolini's fascist cause. Some were more or less sympathetic to the German and Italian variety of fascism than others. Protestant-based Klan groups tended to be more nativist and nationalistic, and wary of their Italian and German right-wing cousins, preferring a "100% American" home-cooked stew of racism, white supremacy, anti-liberalism, anti-modernism, anti-intellecualism, anti-Catholicism, anti-immigrantion, anti-communism, anti-labor unionism, anti-socialism, anti-semitism, etc.... These delivered up with a pious patriotic wave and a big toothy "Jesus loves you" smile. Even the DAB (German American Bund) meetings (30,000 in Madison Square Garden) featured swastika flags fluttering alongside the stars and stripes. If you've never seen any of that old film footage (and you won't very often), well, it'll give ya the creeps.

Anyway, you people who read here regularly know exactly what I mean so I'll just move along. What follows is an excerpt from Ian Kershaw's Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris as it relates to the emergence of the "leadership cult" in Weimar Germany (all bold emphasis mine).

"Our Leader" THEN:
There had been no trace of a leadership cult in the first years of the Nazi party. The word 'leader' ('Fuhrer') had no special meaning attached to it. Every political party or organization had a leader - or more than one. The NSDAP was no different. [...] Once Hitler had taken over the party leadership in July 1921, the term 'our leader' ('unser Fuhrer') became gradually more common. But its meaning was still interchangeable with the purely functional 'chairman of the NSDAP'. There was nothing 'heroic' about it. Nor had Hitler endeavoured to build up a personality cult around himself. But Mussolini's triumph evidently made a deep impression on him. It gave him a role-model. Referring to Mussolini, less than a month after the 'March on Rome', Hitler reportedly stated: 'So will it be with us. We only have to have the courage to act. Without struggle, no victory!' However, the reshaping of his self-image also reflected how his supporters were beginning to see their leader. His followers portrayed him, in fact, as Germany's 'heroic' leader before he came to see himself in that light. Not that he did anything to discourage the new way he was being portrayed from autumn 1922 onwards. It was in December 1922 that the Volkischer Beobachter for the first time appeared to claim that Hitler was a special kind of leader - indeed the Leader for whom Germany was waiting. ~ [source: Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris; by Ian Kershaw; chapter 6, The 'Drummer'; pages 182-183]

"Our Leader" AGAIN:

A billboard recently put up in Orlando bearing a smiling photograph of President Bush with the words "Our Leader" is raising eyebrows among progressives who feel the poster is akin to that of propaganda used by tyrannical regimes.

RAW STORY confirmed the billboard’s existence Monday evening. The billboard pictured, which is on I-4, says that it is a "political public service message brought to you by Clear Channel Outdoor."

A second billboard bearing the same image along the same route says it was paid for by Charles W. Clayton Jr. Clayton's firm, Charles Clayton Construction, said he was traveling this week and couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Clear Channel-sponsored billboard was not lit up for drivers Monday evening. The Clayton billboard was. ~ (more at link... via the Blue Lemur - 11/22/2004)

"What can save Germany is the dictatorship of the national will and national determination. The question arises: is the suitable personality to hand? Our task is not to look for such a person. He is a gift from heaven, or is not there. Our task is to create the sword that this person will need when he is there. Our task is to give the dictator, when he comes, a people ready for him!" ~ Adolph Hitler, interview Daily Mail (British) Oct. 2, 1923. [source: Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris; by Ian Kershaw; chapter 6, The 'Drummer'; page 184]

Kinda gives ya the creeps, doesn't it? What will we tell the children? Don't hold your breath waiting for the today's vapid official statement readers and trinket salesmen in the network and corporate cable TV "news" rooms (especially the Clear Channel ilk) to point out any of these eerie historical parallels. They're too busy declaring evolution and the separation of church and state an internet conspiracy theory. Or breathlessly awaiting news of Donald Trump's next big televised beheading. And just like the dopey modern day wowsers of our current SCLM, the early 20th century German media itself, for the most part, as a whole, expressed little serious attention to what was gradually unfolding in Weimar Germany. By the time they knew what had hit 'em it was far too late.

Some folks might consider that a lapse of moral judgement. But not our shiny cloistered fattened-up-for-the-slaughter SCLM. Nope. Some folks just can't read the writing on the billboards.

Hey, look - over there! - a naked statue and a filthy liberal seducing a God-fearin' American. Someone notify the Ministry of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice!

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

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