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Providing Skip Press With Helpful WICKEDpedia Links

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otto_welsSkip Press’ new piece is so heavy on teh Godwin it’s difficult to know where to begin, so I’m just going to rip on this one, completely stupid assertion:

Let’s review. The totalitarian National Socialists, a radical left-wing group headed by elected leader Adolf Hitler

This one bugs me more than the other false assertions in this piece, perhaps because my father recently forwarded this subtly retarded “history lesson” video, which basically tries to recast the political spectrum as “government vs. no government” instead of “left vs. right” in order to blame every atrocity ever committed by a government on the left.

But anyway, Hitler.  Anyone with even a passing familiarity re: Hitler’s rise to power knows how stupid the “radical left-wing” assertion is.  Since I am too lazy to type shit out from Hitler: A Portrait in Tyranny (which everyone should read), I’ll just give ol’ Skip some light Wikipedia reading for Sunday evening.

First off, the “democratically elected” bit.  Hitler lost the 1932 presidential election to Hindenburg, and, in fact, the Nazis lost 34 seats in that election.  And Hitler was only made Chancellor thanks to inability of the leftist parties (mainly the Communists and the Social Democrats, more on them in a minute) to present a united front, and the backroom dealings of Franz von Papen, who convinced Hindenburg to make Hitler Chancellor in order to remain Vice-Chancellor.  Papen viewed Hitler as a dumb street thug whom he could easily manipulate politically, a placeholder, a rube, a flavor-of-the-month.  Hitler rose to power through a complicated confluence of political events, but never won more than 36% of the vote in a fair election.  

Now, was he a leftist?  You would have to be high to think so.  Or, as is more likely in the case of Skip Press, define “leftist” as simply “a bad person.”  It’s common knowledge that Hitler’s rise in popularity in the late-20s and early-30s had much to do with his canny anti-Communist rhetoric.

The key moment, where Hitler went from Papen-installed Chancellor to full-out dictator was the Enabling Act of 1933, which Hitler was able to push through by blaming the Reichstag Fire on the Communists.

The Social Democrats, Germany’s center-left party, were the only ones to vote against the Enabling Act, thanks to the courage of Otto Wels.

On the day of the vote, Nazi storm troopers gathered in a show of force around the opera house chanting, “Full powers – or else! We want the bill – or fire and murder!!” They also stood inside in the hallways, and even lined the aisles where the vote would take place.

However, one man arose amid the overwhelming might. Otto Wells, leader of the Social Democrats stood up and spoke quietly to Hitler.

“We German Social Democrats pledge ourselves solemnly in this historic hour to the principles of humanity and justice, of freedom and socialism. No enabling act can give you power to destroy ideas which are eternal and indestructible.”


Written by dieblucasdie

April 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm

6 Responses

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  1. It was a pity that the Social Democrats could only find their courage to oppose German Fascism after its ascendancy had already been secured.

    You mention that the Social Democrats were unable to form a coalition with the Communists, which is true, because the German Communists were by that time completely controlled by Moscow. The animating force of a possible radical leftist coalition partner bled into the Berlin sewers in 1919, when the ruling Social Democrats crushed the Spartacist uprising with the aid units of the Freikorps, who would be merged into the very stormtroopers that so intimidated poor old Herr Wels.

    Die Rote Fahne

    April 5, 2009 at 7:16 pm

  2. Oh, I definitely do not mean to imply that either the Social Democrats or the Communists were particularly awesome (after all, it was their shitty governance and petty infighting, along with empty opportunism of the Catholics, that gave an opening to someone like Hitler).

    My only intention was to give a bit of background to illustrate how absurd it is to call the Nazis a “radical far-left group.”


    April 5, 2009 at 9:21 pm

  3. I like this post because its mechanics are pure theory of action stuff–when engaging in polemic against these people, is the best tack to give them the kiddie version of the truth, or should you rather attempt to engage them in good faith as actual adults?

    Die Rote Fahne

    April 5, 2009 at 9:42 pm

  4. But Bluke, ol’ buddy ol’ pal, the name is the National SOCIALIST Party. Tell me how they’re not left-wing again?


    April 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm

  5. Well, I actually think that varies by contributor. Some of them (like Press, Iowahawk, Nolte, and sometimes Jeffrey Jena) at least try to give their posts some grounding in reality or make broader arguments, even if they are almost always mistaken. So with them, something like this: “here’s the five-minute version, with some links if you’d like to delve further.”

    For people like Steven Crowder and Ben Shapiro and whatnot who argue in bad faith and use passive-aggressive attempts at humor to articulate points they’d get in trouble for arguing in earnest, the only rational response is usually “Go fuck yourself you fucking piece of shit.”


    April 5, 2009 at 9:51 pm

  6. “Papen viewed Hitler as a dumb street thug whom he could easily manipulate politically, a placeholder, a rube, a flavor-of-the-month. ”

    Dare I say, “A Community Organizer?”


    April 9, 2009 at 2:30 am

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