Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Most Nazis were members because they had to be. It's hard to estimate what percentage of Party membership actually believed in Hitler and his peculiar notions of German manifest destiny, but it was probably close to around the mythical third, and quite possibly a lot lower.

There are two reasons why they do it. One is that it's an evolutionary adaptation. Raping resources gives you a very obvious reproductive and survival advantage.

You could possibly analyse the other reason on psychological grounds, which is that it seems to be compensation for loss of personal autonomy and external abuse in childhood.

It's not a secret that authoritarian regimes are good at breeding authoritarians, and enough insitutionalised abuse - which is what public schools, rigid parents and hellfire conformist religion are good at - will drive anyone insane.

My guess is that it's a combination of recessive neurology with exterior social triggers.

But it can't be emphasised enough that these people are not like us. They don't think like us, they don't reason like us, they don't believe what we do, they don't form their world view using the same tools that we do, and they don't value the same things that we do.

It's not possible for someone who doesn't share the mindset to appreciate it from outside - at least not without an extended psychotic episode or first hand acquaintance with various personality disorders.

I think in a sane world we'd have these syndromes labelled and treated. They're at least as prevalent and far more damaging and clinically obvious than something nebulous like ADD.

Instead, because of the way the game is set up, these behaviours are rewarded.

If there's a point of attack, I think that's where it has to be - reframing them not as success, but as mental illness and deviance.

As for the apologists - I think it's a combination of all of the above, combined with a lack of imagination, and steady editorial pressure.

If you work for the Econo you know the editorial line, and you won't be allowed to deviate from it. If you try to, you will lose your job.

Hacks don't usually write these things off their own initiative. Instead there's an editor who specifies what he (sic) wants written, and the hack just fills in the column inches.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jul 17th, 2007 at 02:28:20 PM EST
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