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America Is on the Road to Becoming a Fascist State | TruthDig |

In a compelling essay for The New York Review of Books this month, Christopher R. Browning, a leading historian of the Holocaust and Nazism, outlines the frightening parallels between the United States and the Weimar Republic. "No matter how and when the Trump presidency ends," he writes, "the specter of illiberalism will continue to haunt American politics."

 
German President Paul von Hindenburg and Chancellor Adolf Hitler on their way to a youth rally at the Lustgarten, Berlin, 1st May 1933 (Photo: Getty Images)

Robert Scheer: Let's begin with that, we are not Germany. Because we are. We are actually the society that is closest to what Germany was, and people forget that.  But the fact is, they were the people most like us, and people like Henry Ford, as you point out in your book, and others, had great admiration for Germany. It was the best educated, most scientific, highest level of music, big economy, and then it all started to fall apart. And the people that were most like us became the most evil barbarians in modern history. And it was very confusing to Americans, and you capture that in your book, that ambiguity about it.

Jason Stanley: That's right, because we have these two traditions. On the one hand, we do have a glorious tradition of liberal democracy that I cherish and venerate, and that is used--the civil rights movement used it, black intellectual leaders all the way back at least to Frederick Douglass, but even David Walker and Martin Delaney would appeal to our tradition of liberty and equality, to point out hypocrisies in American life. And Frederick Douglass used that, for example, in "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" his speech, to say look, you venerate liberty? Well, you know--so we have these ideals, but we also have a long history of incredible hypocrisy among these ideals. And we have a long history of, in addition to anti-black racism and the genocide of Native Americans, both of which deeply affected Hitler, the anti-immigrant laws and sentiment. "Mein Kampf"--"My Struggle", Hitler's main book--is about a call to create a national state, to tear down the state and replace it by a national state based around national ethnic identity, and not democratic norms, not citizenry that is multiethnic, but around the nation. And his model there is the United States. As he writes, "I know that this is unwelcome to hear, but anything crazier and less thought-out than our present laws of state citizenship is hardly possible to conceive."

So he rails against Germany's immigration laws. Very familiar vocabulary to us. "But there is at least one state in which feeble attempts to conceive a better arrangement are apparent. I of course do not mean our German republic, but rather the United States of America, where they are trying, partially at any rate, to include common sense in their councils. They refuse to allow immigration of elements which are bad from the health point of view, and absolutely forbid naturalization of certain defined races, and thus are making a modest start in the direction of something not unlike the conception of the national state." So there, Hitler is praising the United States, and in particular the 1924 Immigration Act, which Jeff Sessions praised in October 2015, called for a return to; he praises it as a basis, he praises the United States anti-Immigration Act of 1924, and the United States, as a model for what he wants to create in Germany.

Related reading ...

German Occupation and Destruction of Social Order
Global Xenophobia and Historical Amnesia
America's Greatness Ended with Arrival of the Statue of Liberty
New Fascist Pariah States America and Israel Lashing Out

Minor correction: perhaps I should have left "New" out of the last title!

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Oct 12th, 2018 at 08:10:49 AM EST
"and thus are making a modest start in the direction of something not unlike the conception of the national state."

This is suuposed to be a translation of "bekennt sie sich in leisen Anfängen bereits zu einer Auffassung, die dem völkischen Staatsbegriff zu eigen ist." "völkischen Staatsbegriff" as "national state"?

The rest of the translation is also inaccurate, but it's hard to draw the line between fixing Hitler's grammatical nonsense and subtly changing the meaning,

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Oct 12th, 2018 at 06:18:03 PM EST
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