Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Is National Socialism America’s “Progressive” Future?

 

If a doppelgänger of Joseph Goebbels, the “poison dwarf” propaganda minister of the Third Reich, were somehow to leap into the 21st century and embark on a Tocqueville-like tour of his country’s former enemy, probably he would be stunned by developments thought to have perished with the Nazis’ defeat in 1945. Of course, technological progress would dazzle any time traveler from that era — though Goebbels might huff that German science predicated many advances — but professional interests likely would dominate his observations.

Some things would make him laugh: micro-aggressions, safe spaces, counseling for sensitive egos — are you kidding me? Others would evoke comparisons to practices more familiar to him, such as America’s huge “fake news” industry — i.e., media lies — and Planned Parenthood’s annual slaughter of innocents. So much to see, so much to evaluate, so much to compare!

Which of course is the whole point, especially because our fictional observer likely would agree with Leo Strauss, a German-American who in 1953 expressed astonishment about how a country “defeated on the battlefield … deprived its conquerors … of victory by imposing on them the yoke of its own thought.” This yoke, of course, being National Socialist ideology.

Indeed, though Progressives regularly blast machine-gun volleys of Marxist denunciations against their opponents, only ignorant and narcissistic foot-soldiers among them — writers, entertainers, academicians — really believe that Trump is Hitler and most Republicans are Nazis. The rest are content to swim with currents of the dominant culture, and like the sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, bleat their version of “Two legs bad, four legs good!”

But Goebbels, smart as well as evil, would know that “white” math is not racist any more than, in his day, “Jewish science” was racist or differed from what Heisenberg practiced. The following chart offers speculations about other comparisons that seem relevant.

Comparing National Socialism and Progressivism

ThemeNational SocialismProgressivism
Grievance CultureBased on post-war upheavalsBased on elite instigation and propagation
Political EnemiesMarxists, Social Democrats, “Unfit peoples”Republicans, Christians, conservatives, police, constitutionalists
Identity PoliticsAryan superiorityMulticulturalism
Objective EnemyJewsWhites, Western Civilization
Preferred GovernanceOne-Party DictatorshipFederal decrees/orders leading to one-party dictatorship
View of the PeopleContemptContempt
MediaState-controlledStatist-aligned
ChristianityAntagonismAntagonism
View of CountryUseful platform for conquestAnti-American
Human NatureMaster race vs. all othersMalleable
Treatment of DissentSuppression, murderIntimidation, smearing
Useful Slogans — Rhetorical weapons“Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Führer!”Racism, classism, sexism, numerous phobia “isms”
Controlling MythRacial SuperiorityElite superiority

None of this is new or original, of course; most Americans are familiar with recent cultural trends. Still, a few conjectures may be in order, drawn from Germany’s cataclysmic journey in the ’30s and ’40s and extrapolations from progressivism’s trajectory over the past few decades. What might be on America’s horizon over the next generation or so?

  1. Bias Response Teams/Tribunals. This academic institution represents the classic response of totalitarians to opposing views. Expect tribunals to metastasize throughout the country; the psychology of the informant has a pernicious appeal to many otherwise innocuous citizens. The category of so-called “hate crimes” will expand exponentially.
  2. Criminalization of Dissent. Similar to the above though broader in application, dissenters will be charged with crimes and incarcerated. Anthropogenic Climate Change Deniers will top the list. A multitude of other policy views burst with possibilities for criminalizing their adherents.
  3. Confiscation of Guns. Totalitarian regimes require subjects who are disarmed and ignorant. Seizing guns accomplishes the first goal and education/indoctrination, the second.
  4. Increased Militarization of Federal Agencies, such as the EPA and IRS. As of 2014, armed bureaucrats outnumbered the Marine Corps.
  5. Christians Gradually Expelled from the Civil Service. The Nazis quickly expunged Jews from government — one of the regime’s first acts. For American Christians, the process will take much longer, but they will be threatened and silenced. Christians must keep their mouths shut; pastors better not preach about anything that has social relevance, like abortion, gay rights, marriage, or other consequential matters.
  6. Legalization of Illegal Aliens — Open Borders. America’s borders will be opened long enough to ensure voting support for the One-Party State until voting no longer matters. After that, expect borders to be closed, lest additional migrants pose problems for the regime.
  7. Degradation and Denunciation of America’s Military.
  8. Vast Imposition of Quotas. Quotas will reign supreme: graduation rates, incarceration rates, hiring and firing, recruiting, contracts — everything. Whatever has a pulse will be regulated by quotas, prohibitions, and punishments.
  9. Increased Segregation in Selected Institutions. Separate graduation ceremonies, for instance, and separate facilities to accommodate American “diversity.” Expect this practice to spread in unexpected ways.
  10. Increased Mob Violence Against Non-Conforming Citizens. Thus, if a church wants to hold classes on the Biblical view of marriage, for instance (which recently happened in Michigan), expect threats of violence to shut it down. Of course, threats of mob violence have been the standard operational procedure to destroy freedom of speech in academia.

This short list also hints at why progressives hate President Trump, who inspired America’s peasant rebellion and expresses flamboyant contempt for progressive ideology. Just when Hillary was ready to continue Obama’s “transformation” of America, Trump pops up and delays the agenda; no wonder they’re furious. Most Americans don’t understand that it is not what Republicans do that bothers progressives — it can all be quickly undone; it is the fact Republicans exist that infuriates them. Ditto for Christians, conservatives, and others on the list; none belong in a transformed America.

Where does all this leave us? Last September, John Hinderaker of Powerline Blog commented on progressive “educational” goals stated by Edina public schools, a wealthy suburb of Minneapolis. “[E]mbrace ancestry, genetic code and melanin.” This is what the Edina public schools are teaching elementary school children. There was a time when embracing ancestry, genetic code, and melanin was a popular political program. But the Nazis lost World War II.

In a military sense, yes — Germany lost World War II, though it took the combined efforts of the globe’s great powers to defeat the regime. But elements of National Socialist ideology continue to flourish.

About 15 years ago, I had the privilege of chatting with a leader of the Social Democratic Party at a conference in Berlin. German-American relations were touchy at the time, and I asked him what he thought of Americans. “We’re grateful to Americans!” he exclaimed. “They liberated us from the Nazis.” His answer made a huge impression on me.

Which leaves the question, who will save our country from those determined to transform it in ways that would make Herr Goebbels smile? In short, who will liberate America?

There are 17 comments.

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  1. Sash Member

    I just hope Democrats go full socialist this year… and full Farrakhan… because they will lose big.

    • #1
    • March 9, 2018, at 6:27 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul StinchfieldJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Obama himself said that he favored a corporatism. Mussolini smiles.

    • #2
    • March 9, 2018, at 7:04 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Zafar Member

    From my viewpoint as an ideological tourist:

    ThemeNational SocialismProgressivismConservatism/ Right Wing
    Grievance CultureBased on post-war upheavalsBased on elite instigation and propagationBased on cultural and demographic changes
    Political EnemiesMarxists, Social Democrats, “Unfit peoples”Republicans, Christians, conservatives, police, constitutionalistsLiberals, feminists, gays and lesbians, atheists, Spanish speakers, Muslims, single payer insurance, black/brown ethnic political mobilisation
    Identity PoliticsAryan superiorityMulticulturalismEuropean Judaeo-Christian tradition
    Objective EnemyJewsWhites, Western CivilizationProgressives
    Preferred GovernanceOne-Party DictatorshipFederal decrees/orders leading to one-party dictatorshipMinimal – let traditional non-Governmental and unelected organisations like churches do more.
    View of the PeopleContemptContemptContempt – they keep voting for free stuff
    MediaState-controlledStatist-alignedMurdoch owned
    ChristianityAntagonismAntagonismPart of identity
    View of CountryUseful platform for conquestAnti-AmericanChosen by God
    Human NatureMaster race vs. all othersMalleableFallen.
    Treatment of DissentSuppression, murderIntimidation, smearingIntimidation, smearing
    Useful Slogans — Rhetorical weapons“Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Führer!”Racism, classism, sexism, numerous phobia “isms”American exceptionalism – City on a Hill – Leader of the Free World – War on Drugs/Terrorism
    Controlling MythRacial SuperiorityElite superiorityReligious and cultural superiority
    • #3
    • March 9, 2018, at 7:31 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. JoelB Member

    @zafar Do you consider yourself nearest to being a conservative, progressive, libertarian, or something else?

    • #4
    • March 9, 2018, at 8:22 PM PST
    • Like
  5. Zafar Member

    JoelB (View Comment):
    @zafar Do you consider yourself nearest to being a conservative, progressive, libertarian, or something else?

    @JoelB – I can see really good things in each approach – but they each have warts as well. I feel no obligation to defend any of their warts, to be honest – or at least don’t think that I should (even if I sometimes do).

    I guess that makes me commitment shy? Or possibly opportunistically practical? I’m not sure. I have no problem with State involvement in provision of services when that works well (eg single payer insurance, which makes me progressive) but see no benefit in avoiding the fact that the free market delivers most products and services (including health care) most efficiently (which makes me conservative). I honestly think a combination of approaches rather than consistency for its own sake works best in real life.

    • #5
    • March 9, 2018, at 8:36 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. JoelB Member

    Thanks, @zafar. I don’t necessarily agree with you on many points, but I appreciate knowing where you are coming from. In truth, the US constitution came about by means of compromises regarding different viewpoints in order to reach a workable solution.

    • #6
    • March 9, 2018, at 9:01 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. RufusRJones Member

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I honestly think a combination of approaches rather than consistency for its own sake works best in real life.

    The problem is we have too much centralized government and a central bank with far too much discretionary power. It can’t go on.

    Money, Markets, and Democracy: Politically Skewed Financial Markets and How to Fix Them.

    We’re Living in the Age of Capital Consumption

    Why Populism Isn’t Going Away

    • #7
    • March 10, 2018, at 12:54 AM PST
    • 1 like
  8. RufusRJones Member

    The media is 90% statist-aligned. Too many GOP forget that.

    • #8
    • March 10, 2018, at 12:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Profile Photo Member

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I honestly think a combination of approaches rather than consistency for its own sake works best in real life.

    Joel Grey told us in song that “life is a cabaret, old chum”. And indeed our current trajectory seems to be toward the decadence of Cabaret. I on the other hand think Roz Russell had the better long-term analysis:

    • #9
    • March 10, 2018, at 2:26 AM PST
    • Like
  10. RufusRJones Member

    Government actuarial systems are going to do us in. Name one that is a good idea. You can’t. The Federal Reserve is going to buy Illinois. No one thinks any of this through.

    • #10
    • March 10, 2018, at 2:50 AM PST
    • Like
  11. I Walton Member

    Good article. However, our left conforms more to fascism than Nazism, indeed I don’t see a lot of difference between our left and the fascist movements. Fascism was explicitly opportunistic marxism, in practice and in it’s intellectual foundation. (See Weber “Varieties of Fascism). Both Nazism and Fascism were nihilistic and totalitarian but the fascists had actually thought through pragmatic approaches to socialism while the Nazis’s were driven from above by that strange deranged man and his hates. The fascist goal was to build the power of the state using what ever strengthened it and the party and weakened the old order and the enemy, everybody else. Alinsky’s rules were lifted from fascist doctrine, (again see Weber) Indeed, I don’t know who said it and and read it here, that fascism is the illegitimate child of progressivism. I’m not sure it’s illegitimate as much as a feature.

    • #11
    • March 10, 2018, at 4:06 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  12. RufusRJones Member

    I Walton (View Comment):
    Good article. However, our left conforms more to fascism than Nazism, indeed I don’t see a lot of difference between our left and the fascist movements. Fascism was explicitly opportunistic marxism, in practice and in it’s intellectual foundation. (See Weber “Varieties of Fascism). Both Nazism and Fascism were nihilistic and totalitarian but the fascists had actually thought through pragmatic approaches to socialism while the Nazis’s were driven from above by that strange deranged man and his hates. The fascist goal was to build the power of the state using what ever strengthened it and the party and weakened the old order and the enemy, everybody else. Alinsky’s rules were lifted from fascist doctrine, (again see Weber) Indeed, I don’t know who said it and and read it here, that fascism is the illegitimate child of progressivism. I’m not sure it’s illegitimate as much as inherent feature.

    I really wish the GOP would get this paragraph into their heads.

    Progressives reveal themselves on twitter in this sense too. They think it’s all perfectly normal.

    • #12
    • March 10, 2018, at 4:11 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Postmodern Hoplite Member

    Ricochetti who are interested in the shared common lineage of both Progressivism and Facism would do well to read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Facism, 2009 ed. In particular, take a look at the appendix presenting the National Socialist party platform. Very interesting when compared to modern Progressive ideologies.

    • #13
    • March 10, 2018, at 9:33 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. philo Member

    Sash (View Comment): I just hope Democrats go full socialist this year… and full Farrakhan… because they will lose big.

    I have a hard time even pretending to be that confident. Much has changed but looking back at the number/percentage of primary votes for Sanders, Clinton, and Primary Candidate Trump (a much different animal than the President Trump we are witnessing today), I do have my doubts.

    • #14
    • March 10, 2018, at 10:03 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. philo Member

    All so true. With so much material from Obama through early Trump, but really stretching back to (at least) the Bush “thirteen words” and “Mission Accomplished” illusions, I can only imagine how many volumes Joost Meerloo would have expanded to by now.

    A response to the exit question: What will be left to liberate?

    • #15
    • March 10, 2018, at 10:18 AM PST
    • Like
  16. philo Member

    Marvin Folkertsma: Vast Imposition of Quotas. Quotas will reign supreme…

    If the masses only knew and understood how much this is already true and the destructive effects it is having throughout the entities involved. Some have (been forced to) adopt the most aggressive and conspicuous implementations at the expense of all else. The future’s not so bright…

    • #16
    • March 10, 2018, at 10:26 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. HankMorgan Coolidge

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Ricochetti who are interested in the shared common lineage of both Progressivism and Facism would do well to read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Facism, 2009 ed. In particular, take a look at the appendix presenting the National Socialist party platform. Very interesting when compared to modern Progressive ideologies.

    Or The Road to Serfdom by Hayek.

    • #17
    • March 11, 2018, at 8:10 AM PDT
    • 2 likes

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