Thursday, January 20, 2011
Obama vs. Hitler: Compare and Contrast
Current U.S. President Barack Obama and WWII-era German Chancellor Adolf Hitler
may, in fact, be more similar than some people can imagine.
First of all, the fact that they are both charismatic figureheads with a knack for oratory and for delivering speeches that excite and uplift their bases are indisputable, so I don’t think it’s necessary to go into that, nor will I go into details about how both leaders campaigned under the banner of change, and were billed and lionized as the potential saviors of their respective countries.
Critics of Obama such as the Tea Party protesters, and Obama opponents supporting such diverse political lunatic-fringe figures as Ron Paul and Lyndon LaRouche, have been among the most active in comparing Obama to Hitler. LaRouche supporters are often seen in public holding up posters depicting Obama with a toothbrush mustache – yes, that is what it’s called – as well as Hitler’s characteristic floppy-bang emo hairstyle.
Although it is much more common for Tea-Partiers to compare Obama to Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, or to Communists and / or socialists in general, they can occasionally be heard calling him a Nazi.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul often calls Obama’s economic policies “corporatism”, “soft fascism”, and “watered-down economic fascism”. Fascism is the name of the philosophy espoused by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, an ally of Hitler’s. Congressman Paul, in describing Obama’s fascism, often quotes Mussolini’s description of his own philosophy: “Fascism would more appropriately be called ‘corporatism’ because it is the merger of state and corporate power”. I will go deeper into Hitler and Obama’s similarities as per economic and monetary policy later in this essay.
Both Hitler and Obama were democratically elected, and emphasized a strong assertion of executive power. While Hitler overtly and instantaneously suspended his country’s constitution and outlawed all parties except his own, Obama appears to be suspending the U.S. Constitution slowly and subtly, building on his predecessor George W. Bush’s attempts to gradually wither away at our civil liberties. In his first two years as president, Obama has appointed thirty-eight unelected czars to the executive branch. Both leaders also have ignored the advice of generals, for example, Obama's episode with Stanley McChrystal, and Hitler's 1938 dismissal of sixteen senior generals.
Both leaders expanded military. Within three years of assuming power, Hitler sextupled the number of soldiers in the Nazi military. The Obama administration is considering creating a Europe-based force of a thousand Marines to assist Africom, and has stepped up U.S. military presence in, and spending on, efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Latin American nations such as Colombia, and Djibouti, which is, in fact, a real country. Last year, the Obama administration proposed significant increases in funding for arms sales and military training programs.
Much of Hitler’s army would drink often and take methamphetamines, also known as speed. Amphetamines gave the Nazi army the energy and attention they needed to march across Europe quickly and effectively. Today’s military culture in the U.S. is rife with alcohol use, and, although current reports of widespread amphetamine use in the military are not easy to find outside of the U.S. Air Force, American medical culture over-diagnoses attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in children, and over two and a half million American children have been prescribed amphetamine-containing medications for the disorder as a result. The U.S. military refers to amphetamines as “go pills”, and has been using amphetamines as early as the Vietnam War.
Another drug that comes into the equation is fluoride. Sodium fluoride is a chemical that is a neurotoxin at high-enough doses. Hitler fluoridated the water supply in his labor and concentration camps in order to render his subjects weak, confused, subservient, and sterile. Many local governments across the U.S. fluoridate their drinking water supplies. The government has now admitted that fluoride actually damages people’s teeth more than it contributes to dental hygiene. Fluoride is also an active ingredient in anti-depressants such as Prozac. Depression, like attention deficit disorder, is an over-diagnosed affliction, but unlike A.D.D., anti-depressant prescriptions in the U.S. number 27 million. Anti-depressant medications are a major factor in fueling the American workaholic and consumerist lifestyle.
Youth Civil Service Programs
In 1922, Hitler announced the first Nazi Party youth group. In 1932, there were 100,000 members of the Nazi Youth, and the following year, there were 2.3 million. In 1936, membership for all youths between 10 and 18 became mandatory. By 1939, the year in which Poland was invaded, there were 7.3 million members.
In 2006, Rahm Emanuel, who was then a U.S. Representative from Illinois, and later became Obama’s Chief of Staff, proposed in his book, “The Plan: Big Ideas for America,” that the U.S. enlist all Americans between the age of 18 and 25 for three months of basic training, civil defense preparation, and community service. Citizens would, quote, “learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear, or conventional attack; how to assist others in an evacuation; how to respond when a levee breaks or we’re hit by a natural disaster.”
Emanuel has repeatedly claimed that this would not constitute a draft in the vein of selective service. Well, it’s certainly not selective service, because everybody would have to do it! Although Emanuel has now quit his position as Chief of Staff to run for the office of mayor of Chicago, Emanuel would have coupled this plan with Obama’s own plan to require high-school students to perform fifty hours of government-approved service.
To augment the size of his army, Hitler employed the sturmabteilung, also known as the storm troopers, or brown-shirts. The brown-shirts were paramilitary forces, in other words, mercenaries, or paid soldiers. Hitler cheaply employed three million of these soldiers to cut costs. Much of Hitler’s military technology was produced by Fritz Thyssen’s German Steel Trust. In 1923, Thyssen and American businessman William Averell Harriman set up the Union Banking Company in New York. From 1934 to 1943, Prescott Bush was a director of this company, and in 1942, the U.S. federal government cracked down on the operation after the passage of the Trading with the Enemy Act.
President Obama has expressed disdain for private military industries, vowing to monitor them better and stop no-bid contracts to them, but during his 2008 campaign for president, he stated that he would not rule out use of private military companies, and during his presidency, he has hesitated to curb their influence. This is the “military-industrial complex” described and denounced by President Eisenhower in action.
Jews and Israeli Policy
Hitler supported Jewish emigration to Israel. In fact, to state the obvious, Hitler liked the ideas of Jews going anywhere. He was willing to negotiate with Zionists because they had a common goal, which was to get Jews out of Germany. In fact, the original so-called “Final Solution” to the Jewish question was not to exterminate the Jews, but to build ostensibly autonomous Jewish communities in the African island nation of Madagascar, which would actually have been supervised by the S.S. in order to ensure the Jews’ eventual death by disease and famine.
In addition to supporting this failed Jewish Malagasy state, Hitler supported a Jewish homeland in the land of Palestine in a Transjordan under British control. It wasn’t until after Hitler’s death that the idea of actually turning Israel into a democratic state in the modern sense was floated around as a realistic proposal, so it is unknown whether he would have supported a Jewish state.
There’s also a theory out there that Hitler’s father was an illegitimate child of a member of the infamous Rothschild Jewish banking family of Europe. The Rothschilds are descended from the Khazarian people of South Russia, who were not genetically related to the Judean or Samarian people, but converted to Judaism because it was politically, militarily, and economically strategic. Some claim that the Khazars are a “thirteenth tribe” of Judaism which has used the Jewish holy book the Talmud, as well as scriptural interpretation in general, as a means to subvert the oral tradition of Judaism, whose adherents include the Satmar fringe group Neturei Karta, who have been ostracized by even the Satmar themselves for criticizing the religious justification for the existence of the state of Israel. Hitler’s Rothschild lineage would be a good explanation for why Orthodox rabbis were among those first targeted in anti-Jewish Nazi pogroms.
As many as 150,000 German Jews supported Hitler. The Nazis had the Jewish Ghetto Police, or Jewish Police Service, which were unarmed police officers who patrolled German ghettos. Also, there were prominent Jewish Nazis, including Dietrich Eckhart, Hans Frank, Alfred Rosenberg, and Adolf Eichmann, who was 100% ethnically Jewish, although he did not identify himself as such. In fact, Eichmann once said, “Had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist.”
As recently as 2007, Vice-President Joe Biden has said, “If I were a Jew, I’d be a Zionist.” Obama has appointed at least sixty-five Zionist Jews to posts in his administration and to federal reserve boards around the country, and there are another forty or so in congress. In fact, Obama’s appointment of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court has resulted in the court becoming two-thirds Catholic and one-third Jewish.
Jews are now 350% overrepresented in the House, 500% overrepresented in the Senate, and 1400% overrepresented on the Supreme Court. In terms of foreign policy, all current signs point to the Obama administration caving into Israeli pressure on the U.S. to back off of pushing for a settlement freeze in peace negotiations with Palestine. Critics of Israel often compare the Israeli Defense Forces and the Israeli government to the Nazis for the way they have turned the West Bank into an archipelago of communities separated from one another, and the Gaza Strip is often referred to as a “concentration camp”.
Hitler and Obama are both supporters of gun control. Hitler confiscated German citizens’ guns in order to prevent an armed insurrection against himself and the Nazis. During his presidential campaign, Obama said about people from small towns, quote, “…it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them…” Obama has been given an “F” rating by the National Rifle Association for his record on preserving gun rights.
Last summer, in speaking about the B.P. oil company, Ron Paul said, quote, “What I don’t like is big business and big government being in bed together.” Now, of course, Congressman Paul meant that in a figurative sense, but that turn of phrase can also be shown to be literally true. Towards the end of the Bush administration, M.M.S. - the U.S. Minerals Management Services - the organization whose responsibility it is to monitor and regulate energy companies, was discovered to be having cocaine and marijuana-fueled sex orgies with energy industry executives in a Colorado regional office… not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Ron Paul once wrote that, “Socialism is a system where the government directly owns and manages businesses. Corporatism is a system where businesses are nominally in private hands, but are, in fact, controlled by the government. In a corporatist state, government officials often act in collusion with their favored business interests to design policies that give those interests a monopoly position, to the detriment of both competitors and consumers”.
In other words, under corporatism, or fascism, representatives of big business lobby the government to help protect their industries’ ability to monopolize, i.e., corner the market. This is also known as crony-capitalism, or protectionism, which is a strain of mercantilism. Mercantilism is a relic of the economic thought of post-Renaissance feudalistic states, and is, in a way, a forbearer of free-market capitalism.
In a representative democracy, protectionism appears as, and is, for all intents and purposes, socialistic. Anarchist theorist Stefan Molyneux has even shown that if lobbyists get their way, making unenforceable, backroom deals, the system is, in effect, anarchistic… or did I just blow your mind?
Leftism and the Unions
Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, as well as President Obama, all courted and won the support of the labor and trade unions, but eventually sold out to big-business and industrial interests. In fact, Mussolini imprisoned and stole the thunder and popularity of Italian communist Mario Berlinguer, whose second cousin Francesco Cossiga later became Italy’s Prime Minister, and, before his death last August, alleged American and Israeli intelligence agencies’ complicity in 9/11.
Leading up to Hitler’s rise to power, he partnered with and made promises to German labor unions, but he ended up banning trade unions, ending collective bargaining, taking away the right to strike, the right to quit, and even the right to earn a greater wage for increased productivity. They also rounded up and killed labor union organizers and leaders.
However, before a 1934 purge, there was actually a falsely-socialist left-wing propaganda arm of the Nazi Party, led by Gregor and Otto Strasser. The Strassers made speeches supporting a movement which would most appropriately be called “national syndicalism”, i.e., the merger of state power with that of labor and trade unions. And of course, Hitler temporarily partnered with Stalin with the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 1941, which helped bring about the carving-up of Poland between those two countries.
During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama said, “I believe in unions”, and spoke of, “giving unions more leverage.” He also supported the Employee Free Choice Act. On the campaign trail, he appeared with Bruce Springsteen, whom, with the E Street Band, had recently recorded an album entitled, “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions”, which featured a folk-rock rendition of the Negro work song, “Pay Me My Money Down.” However, the Obama administration’s support of pro-union legislation has largely served to enrich union bureaucracies and to benefit the leaders of unions rather than their individual members. Furthermore, the Obama administration’s concessions to big business and banks has effectively rendered all pro-union measures pointless in the grand scheme of things.
In the several months before Obama took office, with many of the same financial officers he later appointed already being in power, the U.S. government nationalized banks: Bank of America, Citigroup, and A.I.G. three different times. After Obama took office, A.I.G.’s bailout was restructured again. Hitler, rather than nationalizing Germany’s banks, employed Nazis in them, and sent S.S. officers around to make sure they were doing as Hitler ordered. Hitler also nationalized bond insurers, as well as airlines. Some American airlines have been nationalized since the Bush administration.
Both Obama and Hitler used government to direct asset management of automobile companies, Obama with General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford, but also to the United Auto Workers’ union; and Hitler with Mercedes, Daimler-Benz, B.M.W., M.A.N., and Auto Union. Also, under Hitler, Volkswagen was created as a nationalized enterprise. What happened with these industries fits in with Ron Paul’s description of corporatism, which is that their assets are nominally held in private hands, but directed and insured by the federal government.
Both leaders fixed wages. Obama supports the minimum wage, while Hitler sought to freeze and stabilize wages late in his administration. Both leaders fixed prices. Hitler’s price fixing was widespread, while Obama’s price fixing has so far been limited to health insurance premiums. Health care is addressed in greater detail later in the essay.
A key form that protectionist policy takes is the tariff, which is a tax on foreign imports. Hitler imposed huge protectionist barriers in order to make Germany self-sufficient, and he used nationalism and racialism to incite people against foreigners and to support the measures. President Obama and Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro support New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s plan to impose higher tariffs against China.
For as long as I, and I’m sure, many young people, can remember, there has been a bias in favor of American goods and against foreign-made goods in American culture, and many people, most notably George W. Bush and Lou Dobbs, argue for a resurgence in American self-sufficiency and competitiveness, and against outsourcing of American jobs to places like India and Mexico. Many are apt to characterize people who hold these views as racist, or as nationalists.
Obama and Hitler’s similarities in terms of monetary policy can be summarized in a single word: Keynesianism. Lord John Maynard Keynes was an influential gay British economist during World War II. In fact, some claim that Hitler was the first practicing Keynesian leader.
Key aspects of Keynesianism include government taking an interventionist role in the market and in the adjustment of interest and credit. The government controls the issuing of currency according to its observation of the cycles of deflation and inflation, and artificially maintains low interest rates in lending. Keynesian economies also tend to fund expensive, large-scale military, corporate-protectionist, and social-welfare budgets through deficit-spending. Keynesian economies also undertake extensive national public works programs, for example, Obama’s “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects, intended to create two and a half million jobs.
German doctor Josef Mengele was known as “Dr. Death” for the hideous racist experiments he conducted during the Nazi administration. Earlier, I mentioned Obama’s appointment of some thirty-eight czars to the executive branch. One of these czars is the so-called “Health Czar”, former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s brother Ezekiel, a doctor and medical ethicist. Some have nicknamed Ezekiel Emanuel the, quote, “death czar.”
Emanuel has been instrumental in the promotion of Obamacare, which Republican opponents such as Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and former Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who has a son with Down’s Syndrome, argue implements a system of rationed health care, and creates what many have called, quote, “death panels”, which are councils that make lists of expensive procedures which they would encourage doctors to urge elderly patients to voluntarily refuse, leading to their deaths.
Both Ezekiel Emanuel and Josef Mengele were supporters of euthanasia, or mercy-killing. Although the practice challenges the notion enshrined in the Hippocratic Oath of “first do[ing] no harm,” this is not such an objectionable practice, as proponents such as the other famous “Doctor Death”, Jack Kevorkian, argue, it relieves the suffering of terminally-ill patients.
However, Hitler and Mengele favored euthanasia for people who were mentally and physically disabled, or as they called it, “hereditarily ill.” They and Joseph Goebbels issued propaganda emphasizing the importance of hard work, and, contrarily, that people who didn’t have the ability to do physical labor were a drain on society. In 1939, one hundred thousand of these “hereditarily ill” were murdered by Nazi doctors.
Hitler hated smoking. He viewed it as decadent and as a menace to public health. In fact, in 1940, he ordered tobacco to be distributed to his army in a way that would dissuade soldiers from smoking. President Obama was a life-long cigarette smoker, but has spent the last several years trying to quit. He currently presides over a country, three-fourths of whose states have instituted some level of smoking ban in bars and / or restaurants. In fact, the city of Philadelphia recently instituted a ban on smoking outdoors.
Competition, Social Darwinism, and Bioethics
In keeping with the theme of hereditary superiority, Hitler’s views on nature were influenced by zoologist Ernst Haeckel, who, although he viewed human beings as a part of nature that must live in harmony with it in order to survive, was a proponent of social Darwinism. Hitler extrapolated social Darwinism to his racial theory, wherein Aryans were believed to be inherently superior to all other human races. But he also adopted social Darwinism as an idea that justified environmentalism, otherwise known as environmental conservationism.
Obama is also an environmental conservationist, promoting green initiatives such as a renewal of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar energy. Obama has said that he doesn’t fully support the practice of affirmative action, but rather a merit-based atmosphere of competitive labor. Competition in any and all spheres is promoted and justifiable under social Darwinism.
Hitler and several of his colleagues, such as Joseph Goebbels, have been described as vegetarians, although Hitler’s personal vegetarianism is not exactly correct. Hitler believed in animal rights and banned animal vivisection, although Dr. Mengele evidently was not beyond practicing vivisection on human beings. During his presidential campaign, Obama claimed he was a vegan. However, last year, President Obama appointed Kansas University Vice-Chancellor Barbara Atkins, who bears ultimate responsibility for the primate vivisection that occurred at the university’s Medical Center, to a federal bioethics panel.
Christianity, Islam, and Sexual Ethics
Both leaders have been critical of Christianity and tolerant of Islam. Obama has criticized people in small towns clinging to religion, has publicly mocked biblical laws, and has reached out to the Islamic world. Hitler outlawed the publication of bibles, embraced paganism, and tolerated Islam, however, the Catholic Church harbored Nazi war criminals and encouraged Catholics to pray for Hitler and his regime.
President Obama is staunchly pro-choice, and one of Hitler’s first acts after taking office was to legalize abortion.
Obama supports gay civil unions, but doesn’t support gay marriage; Hitler didn’t support gay anything.
In the wake of the Tucson massacre, many people have been saying that both sides of the political spectrum should tone down their rhetoric. A lot of people think it’s inappropriate for people to compare President Obama, or anybody else, for that matter, to socialists, communists, and to Nazis, but I’m going to say something now that I believe very strongly, something that I think is crucial to maintaining free speech and upholding the First Amendment:
If you take away our right to compare political figures to Hitler, the next Hitler is going to be able to march right into the White House without anybody being able to say a damn thing about it.
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