Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Nazis XIb: Comparison of methods and actions (contents)

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(See Nazis XIa for background information.)

The list of methods* used by the Nazis is potentially endless, especially if a fine division is made, but below I will include some notable cases and see how they stack up to some Leftist groups/regimes/whatnot. The creation of the list is somewhat “brain-stormy” and the order might be correspondingly haphazard. While I do not currently plan on a “Nazis XIc”, one might follow in the future.

*Used in a wide and imprecise sense, in order to save space.

I caution that (cf. Nazis II) similarities might in some cases partially reflect wide-spread older attitudes, e.g. with regard to warfare. Cults of personality might be a very interesting example, as it was a common tactic of past royalty, up to and including claims of divinity (notably, Egyptian Pharaohs and, at least post mortem, some Roman Emperors).

  1. Invasion of other countries:

    The Soviets began a violent expansion even earlier than Germany,* and, counting the quasi-satellites in the Warsaw pact, ultimately took it further. A further violent expansion of the Soviet/Communist sphere of influence was officially or unofficially on the table for decades after WWII.

    *It might be argued that the Communists began before they even had control of Russia by invading the Ukraine (apparently, a long standing Russian tradition).

    Communist China jumped Tibet at a similar speed, has been involved in a number of other conflicts,* and has long threatened a taking of Taiwan.

    *I have not done the leg-work on the exact nature of all of these, who should be considered the aggressor, and whether the Chinese interfered more than e.g. the U.S. over a comparable time frame. However, I do note e.g. that they entered the Korean war on the side of the North-Korean aggressors for the purpose of expanding or preserving the Communist sphere of influence.

    Several other Communist regimes have invaded neighbors, despite having lesser means available than the Chinese and the Soviets.

    (A takeover by force was obviously an early Marxist idea, although I am unclear to what the degree this involved “just” revolution-in-the-own-country and to what degree invasion-of-other-countries.)

    As to the Nazis, it is notable that some of the early steps were lesser offenses than the early Soviet steps,* that Poland was not victim of a German but a German and Soviet take-over of the country, and that, as noted in Nazis X, at least the west- and northwards attacks would not have been on the agenda without the Allied declaration of war on Germany.**

    *Most notably: the “Anschluss” of Austria was mostly voluntary and welcomed by many or most Austrians.

    **Or not within the foreseeable future. I can make no guarantees for what a victorious-over-the-Soviets Hitler might have tried five years later.

  2. Which brings us to a takeover by power:

    While the Nazis grabbed at power by any means (and had, indeed, already tried a coup in the Beer-Hall Putsch), the eventual transition to power was to a large part within the democratic framework of the Weimar Republic. Indeed, most of the illicit actions were taken not to (initially) gain power but to expand and perpetuate power once in charge.

    In contrast, countries like the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Cambodia, …, violently overthrew an existing, and usually less destructive/harmful, government.* Even the Spanish Leftists tried and failed when they were unelected.** Indeed, even Germany saw failed (pre-Nazi, non-resistance) Communist attempts.

    *With some reservations for the often chaotic situations, especially post WWI and WWII. There was some occasional uncertainty over who was in power with what legitimacy at what time. The general idea of old non-Communist government, much violence, new Communist government likely holds through-out, however.

    **While Franco tried and succeeded in the same situation a few years later. The Left set the standards of behavior in Spain.

    Where no such violent overthrows were attempted, there was often one or several smaller Communist parties open to the opportunity, should it present it self.* Of course, in many countries where a Communist revolution might have been attempted, the Soviet expansion removed the need.

    *Indeed, such parties still exist. The MLPD in Germany, for instance, is openly calling for revolution—but is too small to have any realistic chance in the foreseeable future.

  3. Violent suppression and violence against opponents:

    Even in a more general sense, this is par for the course in Communist dictatorships and very common in other Leftist groupings. The Left even has a long history of violence against other Leftist groupings, e.g. in that different Communist factions physically fight each other or that Communists and Social-Democrats do. (While admittedly rare today, at least in the Western world, the first references that I have seen to such behavior stretch back into the 19th century and continue well into the 20th.)

    Look at e.g. the U.S. in the 20th century: The Left had the likes of the “Black Panthers” and the “Weather Underground”. The non-Left had what?

    Look at the U.S. in the 21st century: Despite the endless Leftist rants about Rightist, especially White Supremacist, violence, actual examples are quite rare. On the Left? Antifa terrorists and BLM rioters have engaged in large scale violence, looting, whatnot.

    Almost anywhere, including in the U.S. and Germany, it appears that when a (claimed-by-the-Left-to-be) Right-wing group holds a peaceful protest or march, the Left gathers to, at a minimum, interfere in an anti-Democratic manner and, often, to engage in acts of unprovoked violence, ranging from the throwing of eggs to outright fights. (Which mainstream media then tries to blame on the victims…) The Proud Boys? How often have they actually initiated violence and how often have they just defended themselves or others against Leftist violence?

  4. Extermination* of unwanteds and political enemies:

    *Including-but-not-limited-to genocides.

    Not only did the Soviets precede the Nazis in their efforts, but the Nazis used the Soviets as an example. The likes of Mao and Pol Pot followed.

    While such large scale exterminations were otherwise rare, it was likely often for want of a (perceived) benefit. (That human life, as with the DDR below, was not very highly valued was often demonstrated, even absent mass exterminations.) For instance, in the DDR, the upper classes and the bourgeoisie were unlikely to be a nuisance in face of the strong Soviet troops, while any “counter revolutionary” violence would have been smashed. No, better to focus on the “Fascists” of West-Germany. When someone did become a nuisance, e.g. by attempting to cross the Berlin Wall* to the West, death often followed.

    *To this note the great difference between walls intended to keep someone or something in, e.g. the Berlin Wall, the walls of a prison, or a corral; and walls intended to keep someone or something out, e.g. “Trump’s wall”, the Chinese Wall, or a garden hedge.

  5. Mass and other imprisonment based on political opinions and dissent:*

    *As opposed to actual actions of an illegal-for-valid-reasons nature. While such imprisonment of political enemies are by no means something that first happened with the Soviets, there has historically typically been a stronger element of actual action. (And typically a much smaller scale.) Hitler, e.g., was imprisoned during the Weimar Republic because of an attempted coup—not because of his opinions.

    Again, the Soviets set the example, the Nazis and various Leftist dictatorship followed suit.

    Who calls for political imprisonment in today’s world? Mostly the Left. In the U.S., e.g., many of them seem to feel that anyone related to the Trump presidency should be thrown in jail—ipso fact and disregarding the absence of an actual crime. (This while actual crimes by Leftists are treated leniently.)

  6. Propaganda:

    A Leftist staple. Even by the standards of politics, Leftists of virtually any shade tend to go straight for propaganda solutions. Consider e.g. the disastrous situation in the current U.S., where ad hominem, sloganeering, defamation, whatnot seem to not just be a vital portion of Leftist efforts, but arguably form the majority of public statements from members of the Left.

    During my early days in Swedish politics, Moderaterna* used to characterize the Leftist portrayals of them as “Moderaterna äter barn”—“Moderaterna eats children”. This was a less literal description than for some of the more extreme anti-Jewish propaganda, but hit the general problem on the head.

    *A Conservative/Libertarian party that I was associated with at the time.

    Also note e.g. named programs/ideals/whatnot like “New Deal”, “Great Society” (both U.S.), or “Folkhemmet” (Sweden), which often have more to do with creating an image or superficial impression and less with the actual substance behind the words, and/or with having something that the voters can hang onto, especially on issues where they lack a deeper understanding. Indeed, with a deeper understanding, the names chosen do not always seem appropriate. (The Nazis had plenty of such named whatnots, many of which are internationally known even today—as with “Lebensraum”. Ditto e.g. Mao.)

    Propaganda is by no means new or exclusively Leftist, but the sheer amount of distortion and cheapness seems to be far greater on the Left. (Maybe, because they know that they speak to an audience less skilled in critical thinking?) The non-Left, in my encounters, has been far more likely to e.g. use factual arguments and statistics over sloganeering and insults; and rarely reaches the absurd amounts of propaganda so often used by the Left.

    As an aside, comparisons between now and then might be tricky, because propaganda (as far as I can judge it without having been present in, say, the 1920s) appears to have become more subtle over time, be it because of experiences with what works or because of e.g. TV. For instance, modern day journalists seem to be very keen on sneaking in words like “controversial” (even when the only controversy is caused by irrational Leftist reactions), “unfounded” (even when reasonable proof exists), and “debunked” (even when no such debunking has ever taken place, beyond a mere Leftist claim that something is incorrect). Metaphorically speaking, there has been a partial drift from “Wife-beater!” to “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”.

  7. Government and/or party control of media:

    Again a Leftist staple. This certainly in dictatorships, but we can also note e.g. that the mostly Social-Democrat Sweden only received its first non-government (non-“public service”) terrestrial channel in 1991, and that many countries, including Sweden and Germany, still have a mandatory payment scheme of some sort to finance the government-controlled channels.* Indeed, a common German (non-Left) complaint in the “Lügenpresse” debate, is that non-Leftist citizens are forced to pay money to the “public service” channels, which then turn around and produce news and whatnot with a Leftist angle.**

    *In all fairness, these countries are not necessarily governed by the Left at any given time, but there seems to be a strong connection between Leftist dominance and such schemes, non-Leftist government might be less likely to interfere, and the individual sympathies of the employees of these channels tend to be strongly Leftist to begin with (which implies that who is currently in power is less important).

    **While these claims are very plausible, I cannot personally vouch for their correctness: the low quality of German television has made me a virtual non-viewer for maybe twenty years.

    I note an old joke about newspapers in the Soviet Union went: We have the Pravda (“truth”), which contains no truth, and the Izvestia (“news”), which contains no news. Allowing for exaggeration, as was likely the case even with the original, the same applies to a great many Western news sources.

    (Also see excursion on indirect control.)

  8. Gestapo and related “Big Brother” methods:

    Similar services were quite common in Communist dictatorships, as with the DDR Stasi. I have not looked into the details of the Gestapo, but I suspect that e.g. the Stasi surpassed it in terms of surveillance of own citizens, use of informants, and other perfidious methods.*

    *It might be debated to what degree this was a matter of intent resp. means. Even non-Left governments of today seem increasingly unable to withstand the temptations of modern surveillance technology.

    Today? Well, today’s Left might not need a Gestapo, because there is a spontaneous network of Twitter-readers, Youtube-watchers, whatnot just waiting to pounce on someone who even uses the “wrong” pronoun. Why should a modern Gestapo monitor what e.g. a college professor says? Should he happen to say something “wrong” (and few dare, these days), chances are that one or several of his students will march straight to the principal to demand an immediate firing.

    There is, of course, a use to entrap law-abiding dissenters into crimes that they would otherwise not have contemplated (as with the FBI-instigated and -driven “plot” to kidnap Gretchen Whitmer); to harass somewhat bigger fish who do not play ball with the Left (the arrest, and approach to the arrest, of Peter Navarro during the writing of this text is a likely* example; many others can be found around Donald Trump); to harass smaller fish, like parents who disapprove of Leftist school boards; or, of course, destroying the lives of “January 6” protesters, most of whom did nothing wrong, and none of which, to my knowledge, did anything nearly as wrong as many entirely unprosecuted Antifa terrorists and BLM rioters.

    *I have not dug down, but the circumstances seem absurd, including that potentially valid objections to both the legality of the subpoena(s) involved and the “January 6” committee as a whole were ignored, that he was arrested instead of being asked to report voluntarily, and that he was arrested immediately prior to a journey, which unnecessarily (and, potentially, considerably) increased the damage from the arrest. Moreover, it seems to fit a pattern of persecution of Trump and everyone connected to him.

  9. Due process violations:

    Par for the course in Communist dictatorships. The current U.S. and, e.g. and again, the treatment of the “January 6” protesters is another good example, as are government-supported violations in college settings (notably, regarding unproved rape accusations). A particularly perfidious U.S. issue is the circumvention of “double jeopardy” restrictions on a state matter through parallel or subsequent “civil rights violation”* charges in a federal court—for the same alleged crime.

    *Which is not to say that such charges would necessarily, if taken alone, be a problem. I can see both advantages and disadvantages. However, they must not be abused to create a double jeopardy, chances are that they are best not used at all where a “regular” crime is present, and an exact and reasonable definition of what constitutes a “civil rights violation” must be present and understandable in advance, lest the accused fall victim to arbitrary prosecution or “ex post facto” law-making by the judiciary branch. (The current U.S. practices fail on all counts, and there is indeed suspicion that a common purpose of “civil rights violation” charges is to deliberately create double jeopardy. I note that 18 U.S. Code § 242 leaves the doors for interpretation wide open.)

  10. Suppression of free speech:

    Yet another Leftist staple—and by no means limited to the Left-in-power or, even, Leftist parties and other organizations. Consider e.g. the hateful, anti-intellectual, and destructive behavior of many Leftist students in U.S. colleges, Leftist users of social media, and Leftist bloggers. (Looking back, it feels like a spent half my time trying to combat Feminist censorship during my early years in the Blogosphere: Someone disagreed—censor. Someone cited an inconvenient statistic—censor. Someone gave a hard-to-counter argument—censor. Etc.)

    Note that this is also not limited to explicit acts, e.g. censorship, but also includes more indirect roads, e.g. so called “chilling effects”, scientific journals that accept or reject articles based on political correctness instead of scientific correctness/value/whatnot, and colleges that hire/promote less on merit and more on political opinions resp. adherence to a scientifically unsound (!) Leftist worldview.

    Attacks on (actually peaceful) non-Leftist protesters is of course another example.

    Yet another is attempts to intimidate members of the SCOTUS, as reported after the “Roe v. Wade might be overturned” leak.

  11. Bans of opposition parties:

    Standard practice in Communist dictatorships, if sometimes with a twist.* Even in today’s Germany, e.g., we have the far Left MLPD calling for outright bans of all parties that it dislikes,** while more mainstream Leftist parties try to sic the Verfassungschutz at e.g. the AfD—and while the (rebranded) SED sits in parliament and co-rules three of the individual states.

    *For instance, DDR assembled all or almost all Leftist parties in the SED and allowed some non-Leftist parties an existence and pro-forma participation in the elections, as long as they played ball and did not actually attempt to win an election.

    **Which would imply at least everyone to the “Right” of the Social-Democrats, even now, and likely any other party than the MLPD, it self, in the long term.

  12. Hate mongering:

    Yet another Leftist staple. Virtually everywhere and everywhen, hate mongering is a Leftist go to. What differs is the degree and the exact means, but it is almost always there. Communist dictatorships, the current U.S., the constant German “Right-this and Right-that”, Feminists everywhere, … In Sweden, as noted above, we had e.g. “Moderaterna äter barn”—“Moderaterna eats children”. This very often in combination with Marxist or quasi-Marxist attempts to portray the world in oppressor–oppressed relationships, where “we, the oppressed” are good and entitled to defend ourselves against “them, the evil oppressors” who deliberately plot to keep us down.

    Here there also seems to be a difference not just in prevalence but also in quality: In as far as the non-Left makes claims that could be seen as hate mongering, it is often for a cause, e.g. actual despicable behavior, actual incompetence, actual poor decisions making, … Moreover, hate is far rarer than e.g. contempt on the non-Left. With the Left, on the other hand, it appears to be more of a case of “someone with such opinions must, ipso facto, be evil”,* too often combined with a “and someone evil should be hated”.

    *Consider also the difference between ad hominem, e.g. “you are stupid; ergo, your ideas are wrong”, and an undiplomatic conclusion based on poor behavior/reasoning/whatnot, e.g. “your ideas are so wrong that I must conclude that you are stupid”. (I have repeatedly been accused of ad hominem by Leftist debaters in the second case, which is a fallacy, while the accusation of rudeness might, or might not, have been justified. While anecdotal, this could point to a difference in mentality in that the Left sees the person first, opinions second, and actions third, while the non-Left or specifically I have the reverse order. To the Left, one wins by discrediting the person; to others, by pointing to faults in actions and ideas.)

  13. Cults of personality:

    Standard in Communist dictatorships, with e.g. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, whoever-the-current-Kim is, … However, it is by no means unheard of elsewhere on the Left,* and I have the impression that the non-Left is more likely to look at the issues and the Left more likely to look at the person. For instance, I have repeatedly seen Leftist bloggers/commenters refer to a non-Left blogger as “the leader of this-and-that” or (towards those with similar opinions) “your leader”, which never appeared to be reflected among the allegedly lead and might more reflect a Leftist projection of their own tendency to follow a leader. For example, I am hard-pressed to imagine a figure like Greta Thunberg** joining a non-Left cause and have anywhere near the same influence:

    *Consider Obama and how he was lionized before even having the opportunity to achieve anything—and how mediocre he turned out be (while still being lionized). Or note how both Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton are considered iconic, especially among Feminists, while the source of every exceptional success in their lives was—marrying the right man. (Earning a J.D. is not exceptional, becoming Secretary of State or a global household name is.)

    **Her lack of insight and true value might be illustrated by how she appears (knock on wood!) to have disappeared from the screen, even after the extreme early hype—an angry and ignorant child, not the second coming.

    Non-Left Greta: “Taxes are evil! We must lower taxes! Else the world will end!”

    Republican: “Well, yes, but you are preaching to the choir here, and the melodrama and hyperbole about the end-of-the-world might do us more harm than good. Besides, shouldn’t you be in school right now? Maybe actually learning about economics instead of just shouting about economics?”

    Looking at Sweden,* it is notable that many of the 20th-century Social-Democrat leaders seemed to have an undue level of admiration, but that might be explained by long periods in various offices. Tage Erlander, e.g., might have been admired above his actual worthiness, but he was prime minister for a whopping 23 years and retired without electoral defeat.

    *Maybe, Germany too, but here my own 20th-century exposure and my in-person exposure to Social-Democrat supporters is smaller.

    The U.S. in general is more prone to get carried away with people than e.g. Swedes, in my impression, but, looking at presidents within living memory, I suspect a Leftist dominance: Chances are that a great many on the Left would consider at least FDR, Kennedy, LBJ, and Obama hero figures. On the Right, the list would probably only include Reagan. (Maybe Trump too, but that would depend very much on who is asked and the “recency effect” must be considered. Will Trump, unless re-elected, be seen as more important in forty years than Carter is today?) Nothing against MLK, but that practical worship of him is unwarranted. (And why does he have his own day, when all the presidents together share a single day?) How many SCOTUS members are idols among Republicans respectively Democrats? In somewhat recent years, we might have Scalia (30 years on the court) and Thomas (30 years and counting) among Republicans, while the Democrats wax lyrical over anyone who engaged in Leftist judicial activism, is ethnic, or a woman—unless, of course, Republican appointed.

  14. Promotion* based on party loyalty/race/whatnot:

    *Not limited to the “get a better job” sense.

    Again very common on the Left. The issue of party loyalty (and similar traits) might be a little misleading, as there is likely to be a widespread wish to favor the “in group” even outside the Left.* However, in some cases, like with Nazi-Germany and many Communist dictatorships, there has been an official or unofficial policy of near-mandatory party-belonging for higher (even nominally unpolitical) offices, a successful career, whatnot.**

    *If in doubt, there might be who-knows-whom and you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-your-back effects.

    **Having joined the right organizations at the right time might even be seen as an early form of “social credit”.

    Issues like race-based promotion were likely not very common on the Old Left (or might have represented more general societal sentiments), but are rampant on the New Left. Witness the massive “affirmative action” and other benefits awarded to e.g. U.S. Blacks and women or Swedish and German women.* Similarly, there are massive issues with checks for the right opinions, including that academics have to assert in writing their support for Leftist DIE ideals in order to be hired, and that e.g. “diversity” work is an important part of of the qualifications for applicants. At the other, those who make non-PC claims might be fired—and I know of at least one case of someone being fired for statements made by his wife!

    *If you believe the opposite—look at the actual numbers, not the Leftist claims on the matter.

  15. Hitlerjugend and similar organizations:

    Again a common tactic of Communist dictatorships, including East Germany, where the similarity between e.g. Hitlerjugend and Freie Deutsche Jugend was of little concern. (On the contrary, there are great reasons to suspect that the success of the one was a motivator to promote the other.)

    I have next to no knowledge of similar organizations outside of dictatorships,* and outside the harmless or harmless seeming,** and would need more research to make a wider comparison. A “dishonorable mention” goes to the perfidious and despicable Swedish Unga Örnar (“Young Eagles”), which pretends to be a pure pro-children/children’s rights organization, accepting members as young as 0*** years old, but which is actually strongly Left-leaning and with strong associations with various “official” Leftist groupings, including SSU, the farther-Left-than-its-parent youth organization of the Swedish Social-Democrats. As I do some brief checking I find that they seem**** to be part of an international problem: International Falcon Movement – Socialist Educational International.

    *With some reservations for the Scout movement, which, at least in its original incarnation, had a somewhat military and “rule Britannia” attitude. (And a Christian angle to boot, but that is unlikely to be very harmful.)

    **Not every youth organization aims at totalitarian political, religious, whatnot indoctrination, and not every participation by a youth, especially an older one, is a sign of something sinister. Germany does have a long tradition of youth organizations with a focus on e.g. interaction with nature and/or physical training, but which of these might have had some sinister aspect is hard to judge—and chances are that it is a small minority.

    ***According to an own claim in Swedish. Note that far greater restrictions, e.g. “teenager” or “15 or above”, seem to be common for political youth organizations.

    ****I have not done any further checking beyond the linked-to page and I cannot guarantee that the corresponding organizations in other countries use the same type of misrepresentation, target an equally young group of children, etc.

  16. Use of schools for indoctrination:

    Again a Leftist staple. This might typically have been worse in the Communist dictatorships, but the current U.S. seems to be up with the worst. (If without the typical personality cult.) Looking back at my own school years (Sweden, 1980s), I was long deeply annoyed over things that seem harmless in comparison, including strong messages of “we should be proud of the Swedish well-fare state” and “we should be proud that Sweden is the first country to abolish nuclear power”.* Another annoyance was a fixation with the U.N., although I am not certain whether this fixation was the school system’s or my first teacher’s. For instance, the name of Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (then general secretary of the U.N.) fell more often than those of Olof Palme (Swedish Premier), Ronald Reagan (President of the world’s most powerful country), and whoever** was currently in charge of the Soviet Union—all put together.

    *Which Sweden, interestingly, still has not. The abolishment was supposed to be completed by 2010, based on the expected life-time of existing and under-construction reactors, and the political winds changed repeatedly up till then. Still, the old capacity has been reduced, new capacity has not been added, and new research has been artificially hampered (also see excursion)—much to the detriment of both Sweden and the environment.

    **I am not being derisive: visiting Wikipedia on Soviet leaders, I find Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, and Gorbachev between 1982 and 1985 or the timespan covered by this one teacher.

  17. Use of fiction for systematic manipulation/indoctrination:

    And again a Leftist staple.

    Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell where to draw the line, especially without knowledge of the intentions of the individual author. For instance, I suspect that much or most of the Swedish proletarian literature was written with intentions that went no further than to call attention to A, inform about B, give a new perspective on C, document D for future readers, or similar. (And if the author might not have been entirely objective, neutral, or factual this might be due to human limits, as I can attest from my own experiences with writing novels. The difference comes when he deliberately distorts, tries to deceive, defames, whatnot, to further a cause.) Similarly, it might often simply have been personal interests and priorities shining through.

    Strong signs, however, include a focus on those young, naive, stupid, whatnot enough to be easily influenced, as well as a common inclusion as recommended or mandatory school reading. Here there are very disturbing signals from the current U.S., including attempts to expose young schoolchildren to propaganda works for e.g. transgender or LGBT-etc.-etc. ideologies. (Note the difference between ideology pushing and e.g. a “X is gay. So what?”.)

    What increasingly has come out of Netflix, Disney, and other panderers to the “woke” borders on the ridiculous, and it is hard to avoid the conclusion of manipulation attempts. (Unless the cause is attempts to continually “outbid” the competitors in who is the most “woke” or most provocative*, which have gotten out of hand.)

    *The affliction of wanting to be provocative usually does more harm than good, as it is based on assumptions about the audience that are by-and-large faulty. Brecht might to some degree have had a point, but even he is likely to have overestimated himself relative the audience, and the typical “provoker” is no Brecht. For instance, seeing an actor do something disgusting on stage will not make me question my worldview, but will simply disgust me. For that matter, chances are that my worldview is better developed than that of the actor, director, and playwright put together. The simple truth is that most “creatives” and a great many “intellectuals” are not very intellectually impressive—contrary to what they seem to believe.

  18. Indoctrination by X, Y, and Z:

    I suspect that the reader has already gotten my point, so I will just mention that various other forms of indoctrination exist.

  19. Control of “private” decisions, including family life, through e.g. punishments and rewards:

    And again something quite common on the Left. (In all fairness, this is an area where the non-Left is increasingly doing the same. Examples that are likely found almost as often on the non-Left include control of various climate-related behaviors.)

    The most obvious example is likely China’s “one child” policy, although unusual, and radically different from the Nazis, in aiming at halting or reversing population growth.

    However, many other examples exist, including e.g forced participation in pension and health insurance schemes. Or consider the German idea of “Riesterrente”: Because the regular, government-run, pension system proved to be failing, the Social-Democrat government decided that the citizens should spend more money on private pension schemes. This was implemented by giving those saving in some pre-approved manners extra money from the government (a reward for complying), while those who do not must still contribute to the financing* (a punishment for not complying). The true winners? The for-profit businesses who provide the savings schemes…

    *One way or the other, the project needs financing, be it over taxes, money printing (inflation), government borrowing (postponing and worsening the issue), or whatever means can be found. One way or the other, the people pays.

    Or consider various COVID-related manipulations, enforcements, whatnot, e.g. in the U.S. The Social-Democrats in Sweden were a surprising exception, actually having a more Libertarian than Leftist policy, and I had some hopes that the German Social-Democrats might do better than Merkel* et co. after their recent election win. No such luck: one of the first things that they tried to pull was forced** vaccinations for the entire adult population—failing at the resistance of the non-Left. This while the new minister of health, Karl Lauterbach, has rapidly proven to be a COVID fanatic.***

    *Disgusting: unlike almost all other world leaders, she was supposed to be a scientist and actually have the brains and integrity to follow the science—not the “science” of Fauci, Ferguson, and other panic mongers.

    **With the additional, utterly demented and contemptuous, attitude of: No! No! No! These are not forced vaccinations! It is all voluntary. You see, either the citizens voluntarily take the vaccination to begin with, or they will run out of money after all the punitive fees and then voluntarily take the vaccination. All voluntary!!!

    ***And might well have done so earlier. As the recurring reader might have noticed, I have had a strong focus on the U.S. in recent years, and might not have followed the who-is-who and who-thinks-what within Germany as carefully as I should have.

Excursion on items left out:
There are at least two items that should be represented, but are not:

Firstly, totalitarianism, which I deliberately left out, because a discussion of that topic would likely either be extremely trivial (“The Nazis and the Soviets were totalitarian!”) or so long that it would take another few thousand words. (Not to mention the risk of hours of research for a more detailed comparison.)

Secondly, the use and abuse of language, especially with an eye on controlling opinion. This, I outright forgot until proof-reading, and the text is long enough as is. I might or might not revisit this later.

Excursion on indirect control of media:
My first draft of the item “Government and/or party control of media” contained:

[…] the situation in the current U.S. (and large parts of the rest of the world),* […]

*Most journalists are Left or far Left. Social-media companies censor very discriminatorily based on whether a statement comes from someone on the Left or the non-Left, respectively agrees or dissents with the Leftist agenda. Fact-checkers are typically unqualified nitwits, who judge the correctness of a claim by how it fits the Leftist agenda—not whether it is actually true. (And it seems as if many Leftists have become fact-checkers exactly in order to distort in that manner.)

This is strictly speaking off-topic, assuming that there have been no or little attempts at manipulation by the Democrats (or some related group), and I saw myself forced to remove it from the item. The general point is of some value, however.

It is also worth keeping in mind that if the Democrats have not caused the situation in the U.S. media, a Leftist party somewhere else might well have. (Ditto, e.g. the situation in higher education.) This is a topic that would require more research, but I do note that there are means to do so and that such means have been attempted in individual cases, e.g. by threatening or attacking journalist who write the wrong thing. (Note e.g. “Charlie Hebdo”.) Other potential means include manipulation of who is or is not hired to teach at journalist schools and who is or is not given printing paper during a paper deficit.

Excursion on COVID experts:
A particularly depressing aspect is that there are many who on paper are extremely well qualified, including Karl Lauterbach (amazing—on paper), yet seem unable to put two and two together. In some cases, this might be caused by some kind of tunnel vision, e.g. in that a medical expert fails to consider non-medical effects of countermeasures, or that an expert on, say, virology is too focused on stopping the virus and fails to consider the overall health effects of various actions. However, often it borders on the incomprehensible: For instance, even the informed layman now (and often for quite some time) positively knows that younger individuals without prior complicating issues are unlikely to have non-trivial problems from COVID, positively knows that natural immunity trumps the vaccine immunity, and positively knows that the vaccines have* a rapidly diminishing effect. These are not matters for discussion or “expert A says this and expert B that”—these are as non-negotiable facts as that homeopathy does not work. Moreover, there are strong signs that lockdowns and masks have very little positive effect, that the side-effects of the vaccines can increase the net risk of death and poor health for those not in risk groups, that the vaccines have “original antigenic sin” problems, etc. Nevertheless, there are experts-on-paper who still, for instance, push for vaccination of everyone, renewed mask wearing, renewed lockdowns, …

*Strictly speaking, “have had” but it would be highly unexpected for this to suddenly change, until an entirely new set of vaccines arrive and bring an entirely different ballgame. Somewhat similar disclaimers apply for the other cases, e.g. in that a new mutation that, unlike all the prior, hits children hard could happen—but there is no particular reason to expect this and the same issue is present with e.g. the regular influenza.

Excursion on the U.S.:
The very many references to the U.S. are not accidental; and only partially rooted in my own interest in the U.S. and the expectation that many readers will be from the U.S. (or otherwise be far more familiar with the U.S. than with e.g. Sweden). A more important point is that the U.S. is currently straddling the border to a Leftist dictatorship and has a great many parallels with Germany in the late phases of the Weimar Republic and/or early phases of Nazi-Germany. (In the slight defense of Biden, the senile president, he might be more Hindenburg, the senile president, than Hitler.)

Excursion on nuclear power and forbidden thoughts:
A good example of how wrong the Left can go, and an interesting aspect of Sweden’s continual rejection (and continual acceptance) of nuclear power, is Tankeförbudet (Swedish link; “Tankeförbudet” is roughly “Ban of thought”). This horrible and horribly far-going Social-Democrat law stated* “Ingen får utarbeta konstruktionsritningar, beräkna kostnader, beställa utrustning eller vidta andra sådana förberedande åtgärder i syfte att inom landet uppföra en kärnkraftsreaktor.” (“No-one is allowed to make construction plans, calculate costs, order equipment or perform other preparatory measures for the purpose of building a nuclear reactor within the country [i.e. Sweden].”).

*Re-quoted from the linked-to page. Translation by me. The law has since been repealed.

Given that actually building a new reactor already was illegal, what does this matter? I see at least three issues:

Firstly, many hoped for a reversal of course on nuclear power, and given how long the run-up phase can be, a speculative planning might have been a very legitimate business decision—if and when the ban on new reactors changes, we can get to work right away, instead of in a few years.*

*Note that a comparison with planning e.g. a bank robbery, with the intent to perform the robbery, misses the point—the bank robbery would be virtually bound to remain illegal at the time of execution. This is more like planning a currently banned-due-to-COVID visit to a foreign country, to be performed if and when the ban is eventually lifted.

Secondly, there is an enormous scope for abuse of such laws. Consider e.g. that a promising young engineer might have been doing such work as an exercise, turned regime critic, and then been (metaphorically) hanged over his plans—despite never having any intent to actually build resp. allow his plans to be used by someone with the resources to build. (A key point of the Rechtsstaat is that laws must not be written under the assumption that we do have a functioning Rechtsstaat when the law eventually is applied—even if we do have one when the law is written.)

Thirdly, someone might have wanted to make such plans to show politicians a new cost–benefit and/or risk analysis in order to push for a removal of the ban. If he did, he could probably not build it, even if the ban was removed, as this could be seen as proof of prior intent to build. Moreover, he would make himself vulnerable to attacks in a manner similar to the student in “Secondly”.

Indeed, according to the above Wikipedia page, quoting the government, the law might have done more harm than foreseeable through reducing even legal research on nuclear power.

We might even add a “fourthly”, but to the disadvantage of the law makers, namely that a “But I never planned to build!” excuse would often provide reasonable doubt and make the law toothless (assuming that due process was sufficiently applied).

For that matter, even the original ban on new nuclear power might be seen as anti-democratic or otherwise worthy of condemnation. It drew its justification from a referendum where the people were given three choices—all of which amounted to “abolish nuclear power”. The choice was basically “how fast”, not “whether”.


Written by michaeleriksson

June 5, 2022 at 6:29 pm

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  1. […] some manner. However, there have been a few mentions at other places in this text series, including Nazis XIb ([1]) (notably, invasions), that (depending on definitions) might be relevant. Some other aspects are […]

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