As Time magazine continues its march into irrelevance naming everybody person of the year, it's interesting to take a look back to a time when "Man of the Year" was relevant. A pivotal point in history was 1938. That year's Man of the Year was Adolf Hitler. Reading Time's accompanying article is like reading the headlines of today, proving the old adage, attributed variously to Marx, Hegel, and even Pepys, that history repeats itself, first as tragedy and second as a farce.
From the article:
His shadow fell far beyond Germany's frontier. Small, neighboring States (Denmark, Norway, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, The Balkans, Luxembourg, The Netherlands) feared to offend him. In France Nazi pressure was in part responsible for some of the post-Munich anti-democratic decrees. Fascism had intervened openly in Spain, had fostered a revolt in Brazil, was covertly aiding revolutionary movements in Rumania, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania. In Finland a foreign minister had to resign under Nazi pressure. Throughout eastern Europe after Munich the trend was toward less freedom, more dictatorship. In the U.S. alone did democracy feel itself strong enough at year's end to give Hitler his come-uppance.
Substitute "Islamist" for "Nazi" and "Islamism" for "Fascism" in the follwing, and you would have almost verbatim today's headlines.
"On the American scene, 1938 was no one man's year. Certainly it was not Franklin Roosevelt's; his Purge was beaten and his party lost much of its bulge in the Congress."
Every outspoken conservative at one time or another has been called a ‘Nazi', but whose preferred policies does the following sound like?
Most cruel joke of all, however, has been played by Hitler & Co. on those German capitalists and small businessmen who once backed National Socialism as a means of saving Germany's bourgeois economic structure from radicalism. The Nazi credo that the individual belongs to the state also applies to business. Some businesses have been confiscated outright, on other what amounts to a capital tax has been levied. Profits have been strictly controlled. Some idea of the increasing Governmental control and interference in business could be deduced from the fact that 80% of all building and 50% of all industrial orders in Germany originated last year with the Government. Hard-pressed for food- stuffs as well as funds, the Nazi regime has taken over large estates and in many instances collectivized agriculture, a procedure fundamentally similar to Russian Communism.
In five years under the Man of 1938, regimented Germany had made itself one of the great military powers of the world today. The British Navy remains supreme on the seas. Most military men regard the French Army as incomparable. Biggest question mark is air strength, which changes from day to day, but most observers believe Germany superior in warplanes. Despite a shortage of trained officers and a lack of materials, the German Army has become a formidable machine which could probably be beaten only by a combination of opposing armies. [emphasis added]
Amazing how quickly reputations can change. How will the world view the American military in 70 years?