Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Why Hitler Won (part 2).

Continued from Part 1:

"Yet in other ways, Hitler's commonplace beliefs have been less easy to shake off. He was convinced that the twentieth century was somehow different from all other centuries, that the human race had come of age, that, having thrown off the shackles of religion, humanity was now different. 'The man of today, who is formed by the disciplines of science, has ceased taking the teaching of religion very seriously'...'Christianity is the worst of regressions that mankind can have undergone...Since the age of fourteen I have felt liberated from the superstition that the priests used to teach...We can be grateful to Providence which causes us to live today rather than three hundred years ago. At every street corner in those days there was a blazing stake. What a debt we owe to the men who had the courage to rebel against lies and intolerance...'

"It was clear from Table Talk that, just as he believed he had achieved a bloodless revolution in Germany, so, in some strange way, National Socialism was the natural consequence of the Enlightenment. He believed in a crude Darwinism as do nearly all scientists today, and as do almost all 'sensible' sociologists, political commentators and journalistic wiseacres. He thought that humanity in its history was to be explained by the idea of struggle, by the survival of the fittest, by the stronger species overcoming the weaker. Unlike the Darwinians of today, Hitler merely took this belief to its logical conclusion.

"Hitler's crude belief in science fed his unhesitating belief in modernity. He abolished the old black-letter Gothic typeface in which Germans had been producing books since they invented printing, and replaced it with a typeface in conformity with the rest of the Western world. He liked the idea of every person possessing a car. He built a system of motorways all over Germany. The mechanized age was one which he assumed to be good. In this respect, Hitler was like every politician of influence since. When Tony Blair became Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, he called for every child in every British primary school to be given a laptop computer. He was echoing, almost exactly, Hitler's view--'I find it a real absurdity that even today a typewriter costs several hundred marks. One can't imagine the time wasted daily in deciphering everybody's scribbles. Why not give lessons in typewriting at primary school? Instead of religious instruction, for example.'

(Continued on Part 3):

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