Nancy Pelosi has a very florid imagination. In her mind's eye she is seeing people "carrying swastikas" at Town Hall meetings to protest Obama's Central Plan for American medicine. Which makes me wonder why all the swastika-carrying nutsies -- or Nazis? or just nasties? -- in Ms. Pelosi's imagination are not in favor of Obama's plan to control US medicine. It's a control freak's dream, after all, and the Nazis were totalitarian control freaks.
Can we get serious? One of the painful things today is the massive failure of history teaching in the schools and colleges, so that kids confuse Hitler's Nazis with the people who fought for freedom against them. Stalin and Hitler forged an alliance in 1938. Had Hitler not gone mad and invaded Stalin's Soviet Union, the Nazis and Soviets would have gone to war against the West together. And they would have won.
The Nazis were totalitarian romantics. That is why Hitler imitated and glorified Richard Wagner, the Siegfried mythographer who marked the very height of German Romanticism. That is also why the Nazis hated both Jews and Christians, and promoted a neo-pagan religion based on the Nordic gods and the glorification of killing and war. The Nazis were romantics -- just like the hippies in the Sixties. They loved going "back to nature," "the noble Savage," nudism, and the destruction of marriage and traditional families.
Obama's former good buds Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are prototypical anarchist Romantics, people who are quite willing to kill for their cause. Hitler's Nazis were emotional revolutionaries with an endless craving to attack, subvert, control and co-opt all the existing structures of society. Oh, and yes, they had a Mass Cult of the Leader not unlike the idolatry whipped up for Barack Obama today. Obama's "Citizens of the World!" speech in front of 200,000 cheering Berliners had that very familiar look to it. That was not an accident, but a deliberate PR stunt.
The best explanation of Nazism ever written is Peter Viereck's Metapolitics: The roots of the Nazi mind. If you only give your kids one book this year, that should be the one. Viereck's Metapolitics was written in great fear and passion during the early days of Hitler's rise, when the author was a still graduate student of German history, and then revised two decades later. But it's one of those books that remains relevant because it hits the nail on the head. You can't get more accurate than Viereck did. A few years later Thomas Mann wrote an Epilogue to Viereck's book, endorsing its main conclusions. They both understood how deeply the Nazis were rooted in German history.
"Metapolitics" is the name the Nazis gave to their brand of politics, because in their minds they were trying to change the entire world, not just be another political party. Marxism is metapolitics; Nazism is metapolitics. And yes, some of today's political fantasists dream the same dreams. (Hint: Who do you think wants to revolutionize the world today?)
Metapolitics was very controversial even after World War Two, because it criticized European Romanticism, beloved by European and American scholars and writers. But Peter Viereck was right and his critics were wrong. German Romanticism of the totalitarian variety survived the Nazis, and just re-emerged as the Green movement in Europe. Nazism was always a "back to nature" movement anyway. After the Nazis were defeated, all the Wagnerian Romantics turned into Socialist Romantics. Often they were the very same people, like Martin Heidegger, Paul de Man, and even Jean-Paul Sartre. The 1968 student riots in Europe, which ultimately brought the Greens to power, were run by anarchists identical to the Nazi rioters of the Munich beer halls. Some of them have realized as much since that time.
Post-modernism is an attack on Western rationalism, democracy, capitalism, free speech and free thought. It's called "Post-Modernism" because it wants to kill modernism. Modernism stands for science, technology, democracy, medicine and yes, bourgeois capitalism: The keys to modern prosperity and well-being. That is why "Post-Modernism" became so popular in our college English and History departments. That is also why we have the "global warming" fraud, the anti-science movements, the anti-nuclear power campaigns, the "post-modern" media -- run by propaganda artists who were taught in college that lying for a "good cause" was better than telling the truth. Those are the mediots who are running our media today.
Culturally, the Nazis would have felt right at home with that attack on Western rationalism, capitalism, and freedom of thought. It was exactly what they wanted. The Nazis were Post-Modernists. Modernity was their enemy. Hitler characteristically called Albert Einstein's relativity theory "Jewish science." Back in Moscow, Jozef Stalin promoted an attack on science by peddling fraudulent agricultural genetics. Stalin thought he could discipline his marching ranks of wheat stalks to grow taller by force, encouraged by his fraudulent "geneticist" Trofim Lysenko. Both Hitler and Stalin hated real science. They had real scientists sent to concentration camps.
The reason is of course that real science is about telling the truth. That is why "global warming" is also a totalitarian scheme; it's fraudulent science. It is also why the Left cannot openly debate the pros and cons of Central Planning in American medicine. They are not happy with searching out the truth.
And I'm afraid, that is also why Nancy Pelosi has to imagine "people with swastikas" flooding the Town Hall meetings in America, to fight against all the Good and Noble people like herself. Nancy is a certifiable airhead, but the beliefs echoing in her head come from decades of ideological indoctrination -- of the Totalitarian Romantic kind. People like Ms. Pelosi have been given all the answers by the ideologues of the Left. That is why their minds are shut so air tight.
Let's not call them names, our Totalitarian Romantics of today.
But let's not forget their historical antecedents either.
Hint: It's not Washington, Madison, Jefferson or Lincoln.