Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
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07-03-2016, 04:12 AM
Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
I would like to know what is your opinion about role of ideology in Nazi movement. Was it important factor or smoke screen and babble used to mobilize the masses? Or maybe it was some combination of both?

Also how concept of rationalism could be tied with Nazism? Were Nazis just irrational and that's all to it, or one can say about rationality in framework of ideology, i.e. killing Jews was rational choice cause they were believed to be enemy standing behind all woes of Reich? Same thing with Aryanization - was it cure for economic woes hidden behind racist language, or thing made true by hatred of Jews where financial matter were secondary? Or maybe truth is somewhere in between?

What about lebensraum? Just age old thirst for more land hidden behind not entirely new ideology, or was it mainly ideological device where land was secondary objective and struggle for it was something that really mattered.

Last thing would be Nazi-Soviet war? Ideological war between disturbingly regimes or war that was brutal cause wars are just that: brutal? Or maybe something else?

If someone is interested my thoughts on the subject could be found here:
http://atheistforums.org/post-1216840.html#pid1216840
http://atheistforums.org/post-1216986.html#pid1216986

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07-03-2016, 04:58 AM
RE: Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
Both. IMHO at least.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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07-03-2016, 05:26 AM
RE: Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
(07-03-2016 04:58 AM)Banjo Wrote:  Both. IMHO at least.

Both seems to be a sensible option but could you elaborate?

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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07-03-2016, 05:30 AM
RE: Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
Mate it is getting late, spent most of the day in hospital and my brain is tired. Best if I do not elaborate at this time.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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07-03-2016, 05:49 AM
RE: Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
(07-03-2016 04:12 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  I would like to know what is your opinion about role of ideology in Nazi movement. Was it important factor or smoke screen and babble used to mobilize the masses? Or maybe it was some combination of both?

Also how concept of rationalism could be tied with Nazism? Were Nazis just irrational and that's all to it, or one can say about rationality in framework of ideology, i.e. killing Jews was rational choice cause they were believed to be enemy standing behind all woes of Reich? Same thing with Aryanization - was it cure for economic woes hidden behind racist language, or thing made true by hatred of Jews where financial matter were secondary? Or maybe truth is somewhere in between?

What about lebensraum? Just age old thirst for more land hidden behind not entirely new ideology, or was it mainly ideological device where land was secondary objective and struggle for it was something that really mattered.

Last thing would be Nazi-Soviet war? Ideological war between disturbingly regimes or war that was brutal cause wars are just that: brutal? Or maybe something else?

If someone is interested my thoughts on the subject could be found here:
http://atheistforums.org/post-1216840.html#pid1216840
http://atheistforums.org/post-1216986.html#pid1216986

I'm sure that many a scholarly paper has been written on the subject so I presume that this is not what you are seeking here.

My father survived Bergen-Belsen - just. He's dead now - bless. The tales that he told me of that camp are horrific. They are beyond.

I visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem some years ago. I defy anyone to visit that place and be unaffected.

Hitler murdered 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews which included Romanis, Poles, Russians, Communists, Homosexuals, Jehova's Witnesses and the physically or mentally disabled.

I've worked in Germany several times. From talking to them, especially the older ones, it seems that they either didn't know, or chose not to know, what Hitler was doing. It's easy, and, in some ways, PC to say that people weren't aware. Some undoubtedly were aware - but most? On the balance of probability, I don't think they did.

If all of this killing was meant to mobilise the masses, then Hitler would have publicised it far more than he did. He didn't.

All this murder therefore can't have been meant to mobilize the masses. It may therefore have been part of his ideology.

It is clear that Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany's financial woes. He therefore decided to punish by exterminating them. Had he wanted to mobilise the masses, he could have stopped there. He didn't. He wanted to create an Aryan super race that was pure and strong. The physically and mentally disabled did not fit this paradigm and so they had to be exterminated too. An so it went on.

I could be wrong but I can't see that Hitler just wanted to mobilise the masses. For me, it was all about his ideology.

Hitler was full of ideologies and visions. He was once criticised for having bad policies. He said that this was impossible. He said that he didn't have any. This was true. He had what he referred to as 'Visions'. For example, he said he had a vision where the people of Germany would be able to get from one part of Germany to any other quickly and cheaply. He left the how to others. He then created a number of Departments with similarly sounding names to make his vision a reality. Often, the head of one department murdered the head of another department to curry favour with Hitler. Autobahns, VW and Lufthansa were the result.

Hitler, for me, was an ideologist. Mobilising the masses was important and he wanted to be idolised but it wasn't what drove him.

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07-03-2016, 06:32 AM
RE: Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
I will try a short, few-liner anser to thsi interesting topic.

I think many (but not all) of the Nazi big guys were serious with the ideology. Yet others (Goering comes to mind) can maybe be characterized for just jumping on the bandwagon. Its a blurry topic. One can argue that was serious, because the joined Adolf very early when it was all but clear that he could profit as much as he did (and he paid for is with a 20y morphine addiction). On the other hand he saved the jewish guy from KZ Dachau who saved his live earlier in 1921. So he clearly did not think that this supposed to be "Untermensch" must be exterminated.
They were serious yet irrational, it was no "scheme for the masses" in general, thats my overall judgement.

My evidence (or lets say indications):

The lenght(s) they were going to "aryanize" science. "Science" about races in terms of facial and body features, etc. A sane person would have known that "garbage in, garbage out" your society will suffer greatly from a decline in scientific acheivement due to corruption of science itself. And indeed the science in germany suffered a LOT after the distinction of "aryan" science and "jewish" science was made.
I think without this, arguably germany would have even been able to make nukes for example.

Look at Heß and what he said during interrogation by the british. Completely deluded.
Himmler and his weird mix of fantasy and german history (but mostly fantasy). "Lebensborn", using of medieval castles for even weirder SS rituals.
too big of a bullshit -if you ask me- to sell to teh masses. If BS is that big, the originator does believe it.
Wannsee protocol and the extermination of all jews. These guys were talking about genocide, and at that time they didnt know yet, that one day they would have to pay for their deeds. They also didnt knew or assume that it would eve be published in the near future. So i am assuming that the participants were honest. Look at the varoius parts of Nazi elite there . There was everything in there, from field general to politician to law expert. There was no indication this was a scheme for the masses, no mentioning of selling that to the masses.
Finally, the way how they geared up genocide after realizing that the war was eventually lost. A sane person (with a scheme) would have focused all efforts on the war, gather all resources, and not burden the railway system with transports to death camps etc..

A few comments directly in response to your post:

Quote:killing Jews was rational choice cause they were believed to be enemy standing behind all woes of Reich
One can be irrational in his general belief, but be rational and consistent within that bubble. It was irrational to blame jews, but completely rational to exterminate them, once you believe they are responsible.

Quote:Just age old thirst for more land hidden behind not entirely new ideology, or was it mainly ideological device where land was secondary objective and struggle for it was something that really mattered

I think it was the latter. The lost war (WWI) after a short period of prosperity (1871-1918) and importance, which again followed a long period of humiliation by France, the arch enemy. Once the HRE (holy roman empire) was becoming a farce somewhere in the 16th ot 17th century, and germany becoming a punching ball for predominantly french kings, or fell apart by itself, there was a good portion of national pride to be restord. At least for many germans i think.
The struggle for survival -and importance even- of germany, being in the very center of (western) europe has/had a very long (probably thousand year long) tradition.

Oops, more than a few lines. Will read your thoughts later/at home.

Quote:Same thing with Aryanization - was it cure for economic woes hidden behind racist language, or thing made true by hatred of Jews where financial matter were secondary
There is imho every indication that they were racist. From the first day on It was about exterminationg jews, not about "milking" them. They didnt priorize making money out of jews, but of course they took the money once the jews were dead.

Jewish slave labour: it was very inefficient to kill jews by labour by hard work so rapidly, particularly in the context of a total war. Having them as (traditional) slaves, like the romans did in ancient times, would have been more efficient(?)!

Lets try a differnet approach: if you dont actually believe this, but are scheming. Wouldnt you profit more from jews by continuing to "milk" them instead of killing them or driving them abroad? Even in medieval times, some dukes or bishops were always threre to offer to save jews from pogroms in exchange for money. If you look especially at the later years (of teh dozen-year-old reich)......it was about genocide (and Lebensraum) not about $ or economy or anything else.
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07-03-2016, 06:43 AM
RE: Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
Excellent post by god (has no twitter account.

Imho a lot of germans kew what was going on with the jews, and or/many looked away. Looking away doesnt make you innocent!
I never bought this "we didnt know anything" wholesale. Applies for some, but certainly not for a lot. There was too much happening and it was too obvious.
Im saying this being german myself!

Back to Adolf: he certainly was 100% driven by ideology.
What about the other big brass, or medium brass Nazis? I think thats where the (immoral) oppotrunists come in partially, where its hard to see where conviction stops and opportunism starts. Once again, Göring: seemed to be a hard corer Nazi, but was completely immoral and abusing his position to gain personal wealth. Otehrs maybe did this for power (some sick KZ SS guards come to my mind who were hanged later, who seemed to beobsessed with one thing only: power over other humans).
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07-03-2016, 06:57 AM
RE: Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
(07-03-2016 05:30 AM)Banjo Wrote:  Mate it is getting late, spent most of the day in hospital and my brain is tired. Best if I do not elaborate at this time.

Sure. I was just interested in your train of thoughts.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  I'm sure that many a scholarly paper has been written on the subject so I presume that this is not what you are seeking here.

I know. I'm quite aware of subject literature but what I'm looking for is posts like yours; I could always read another book, but it still be understood in light of my biases so I would like to know opinions of others.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  My father survived Bergen-Belsen - just. He's dead now - bless. The tales that he told me of that camp are horrific. They are beyond.

My family experienced both Soviet and Nazis regimes camps. As you can guess their tales weren't uplifting ones.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  Hitler murdered 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews which included Romanis, Poles, Russians, Communists, Homosexuals, Jehova's Witnesses and the physically or mentally disabled.

6 million is a more of common knowledge number than reality - Raul Hilberg in his magnum opus The Destruction of the European Jews claims that 5.1 million is right number. But it don't really matters - crime would be a monstrous one when numbers of dead would be numbered in thousands.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  I've worked in Germany several times. From talking to them, especially the older ones, it seems that they either didn't know, or chose not to know, what Hitler was doing.

Peter Fritzsche in Life and Death in the Third Reich paints different picture. Germans knew - such amount of death can not be hidden.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  It's easy, and, in some ways, PC to say that people weren't aware. Some undoubtedly were aware - but most? On the balance of probability, I don't think they did.

I would say that most were aware, maybe not full extent but claiming lack of knowledge rings untrue to me. From top of my head I would present Ian Kershaw Hitler, The Germans and The Final Solution as something to back my claim.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  If all of this killing was meant to mobilise the masses, then Hitler would have publicised it far more than he did. He didn't.

Good point. But knowledge of the regime crimes still could play a role in course of war. One can say that Wehrmacht will to fight was in part result of fear about Russian revenge; soldier knew what they done in USSR and feared the same.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  All this murder therefore can't have been meant to mobilize the masses. It may therefore have been part of his ideology.

Good point.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  It is clear that Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany's financial woes. He therefore decided to punish by exterminating them. Had he wanted to mobilise the masses, he could have stopped there. He didn't.

But if rhetoric about extermination was used could it be stopped from being more than rhetoric? Wouldn't speaking about killing force him to make real steps?

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  He wanted to create an Aryan super race that was pure and strong. The physically and mentally disabled did not fit this paradigm and so they had to be exterminated too. An so it went on.

According to Snyder Black Earth he was serious about all that struggle nonsense. It was his nationalism that was just smoke screen if I remember right.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  I could be wrong but I can't see that Hitler just wanted to mobilise the masses. For me, it was all about his ideology.

I think you're right or at least more right than wrong.

And what about people - how you would judge their reactions to ideology? Was it deemed true? Terror held people from speaking what they thought? They agreed with some and rejected rest?

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  Hitler was full of ideologies and visions. He was once criticised for having bad policies. He said that this was impossible. He said that he didn't have any. This was true. He had what he referred to as 'Visions'. For example, he said he had a vision where the people of Germany would be able to get from one part of Germany to any other quickly and cheaply. He left the how to others. He then created a number of Departments with similarly sounding names to make his vision a reality. Often, the head of one department murdered the head of another department to curry favour with Hitler. Autobahns, VW and Lufthansa were the result.

He was. Pragmatism though wasn't alien to him as evidenced by Munich agreement or his other successes.

As for murders I don't think it was common - Night of the Long Knives. What else murders you speak of?

Rivalization though was endemic to regime - it's called working for the Fuhrer I believe. Some historians go as far as calling Hitler weak dictator unable to end fights among his underlings. For me such infighting fits with regime social darwinism style.

(07-03-2016 05:49 AM)god has no twitter account Wrote:  Hitler, for me, was an ideologist. Mobilising the masses was important and he wanted to be idolised but it wasn't what drove him.

I too think that he was.

What would you say about imperialism? Was it result of ideology or rather ideology was convenient excuse?

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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07-03-2016, 07:20 AM
RE: Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
Deesse23 - Excellent post.

There are two things that I do not agree with but, you are German and therefore may know better than I.

I've spent quite some time in Germany on and off over the years. I've also lived on the borders of Germany. Based upon my informal chats, it did seem that a lot of Germans really didn't know what was happening with the Jews. Don't forget, none of the death camps were located in Germany. That was an indication of how little Hitler wanted the German people to know about his work.

As for the science of Germany suffering because of its 'Aryanation', I'm not sure that's true either. The fact that damn fine Jewish scientists were excluded may have caused the 'Aryran' scientists to excel beyond their presupposed abilities.

Let's take the following:

Tabun
Sarin
Soman
V1
V2
Messerschmitt 262 A-1a
Die Glocke?

The latter has a question mark for obvious reasons.

Ignoring the obvious implications of Tabun, Sarin and Soman and concentrating purely on the science, these things alone are impressive.

Would German scientists have got any further with the help of Jewish scientists? It's impossible to say but, I don't think that one can automatically claim that they would.

Would the Germans have developed nuclear weapons with Jewish help?

Probably not given how much effort was involved in the Manhattan Project

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07-03-2016, 07:30 AM
RE: Nazism - primacy of ideology or thirst for power in disguise?
(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  I think many (but not all) of the Nazi big guys were serious with the ideology. Yet others (Goering comes to mind) can maybe be characterized for just jumping on the bandwagon. Its a blurry topic. One can argue that was serious, because the joined Adolf very early when it was all but clear that he could profit as much as he did (and he paid for is with a 20y morphine addiction). On the other hand he saved the jewish guy from KZ Dachau who saved his live earlier in 1921. So he clearly did not think that this supposed to be "Untermensch" must be exterminated.
They were serious yet irrational, it was no "scheme for the masses" in general, thats my overall judgement.

Goering saving one guy could not be example of lacking the commitment to the ideology I think. Himmler spoke about such in his Posen speech. Every German has his decent Jew. They say: all the others are swine, but here is a first-class Jew. . So why Goering should be any different?

Also wasn't it Erich Koch who had nothing against killing Ostjuden and sparing those from Germany in light of them being better?

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  My evidence (or lets say indications):

The lenght(s) they were going to "aryanize" science. "Science" about races in terms of facial and body features, etc. A sane person would have known that "garbage in, garbage out" your society will suffer greatly from a decline in scientific acheivement due to corruption of science itself. And indeed the science in germany suffered a LOT after the distinction of "aryan" science and "jewish" science was made.
I think without this, arguably germany would have even been able to make nukes for example.

I think it could be example of being rational in context of one ideological framework.

Also as per Richard Evans Coming of the Third Reich we should not discard popularity of antisemitism back then.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Himmler and his weird mix of fantasy and german history (but mostly fantasy). "Lebensborn", using of medieval castles for even weirder SS rituals.
too big of a bullshit -if you ask me- to sell to teh masses. If BS is that big, the originator does believe it.

Himmler I think was true believer. But I also think that one could disbelieve whatever bullshit one says when it is useful; Reichsfuhrer isn't such case though.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Wannsee protocol and the extermination of all jews. These guys were talking about genocide, and at that time they didnt know yet, that one day they would have to pay for their deeds. They also didnt knew or assume that it would eve be published in the near future. So i am assuming that the participants were honest. Look at the varoius parts of Nazi elite there . There was everything in there, from field general to politician to law expert. There was no indication this was a scheme for the masses, no mentioning of selling that to the masses.
Finally, the way how they geared up genocide after realizing that the war was eventually lost. A sane person (with a scheme) would have focused all efforts on the war, gather all resources, and not burden the railway system with transports to death camps etc..

Good points. Only little tidbit from me: according to Gotz Aly Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State exterminating the Jews wasn't so big burden to railways as it can seem to us. It wasn't model of rationality but it wasn't deed of fanatics. Same with Aryanisation which helped Reich to get through financial problems of it's own making.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  One can be irrational in his general belief, but be rational and consistent within that bubble. It was irrational to blame jews, but completely rational to exterminate them, once you believe they are responsible.

Hence my saying of said killing being rational in framework of Nazi ideology.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  I think it was the latter. The lost war (WWI) after a short period of prosperity (1871-1918) and importance, which again followed a long period of humiliation by France, the arch enemy. Once the HRE (holy roman empire) was becoming a farce somewhere in the 16th ot 17th century, and germany becoming a punching ball for predominantly french kings, or fell apart by itself, there was a good portion of national pride to be restord. At least for many germans i think.
The struggle for survival -and importance even- of germany, being in the very center of (western) europe has/had a very long (probably thousand year long) tradition.

I agree.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Oops, more than a few lines. Will read your thoughts later/at home.

No problem.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  There is imho every indication that they were racist. From the first day on It was about exterminationg jews, not about "milking" them. They didnt priorize making money out of jews, but of course they took the money once the jews were dead.

I too think it was ideology first, economy later approach.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Jewish slave labour: it was very inefficient to kill jews by labour by hard work so rapidly, particularly in the context of a total war. Having them as (traditional) slaves, like the romans did in ancient times, would have been more efficient(?)!

I would not be sure about it being very inefficient.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  If you look especially at the later years (of teh dozen-year-old reich)......it was about genocide (and Lebensraum) not about $ or economy or anything else.

I think money played a role secondary to ideology, though rather on national scale than on personal level.

(07-03-2016 06:43 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Excellent post by god (has no twitter account.

Hard to disagree.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Imho a lot of germans kew what was going on with the jews, and or/many looked away. Looking away doesnt make you innocent!

It's a view supported by literature.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  I never bought this "we didnt know anything" wholesale. Applies for some, but certainly not for a lot. There was too much happening and it was too obvious.
Im saying this being german myself!

I would wish that Poles wouldn't buy innocence of Poland myth. Number of trees in Yad Vashem isn't all that is to it.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Back to Adolf: he certainly was 100% driven by ideology.
What about the other big brass, or medium brass Nazis? I think thats where the (immoral) oppotrunists come in partially, where its hard to see where conviction stops and opportunism starts. Once again, Göring: seemed to be a hard corer Nazi, but was completely immoral and abusing his position to gain personal wealth.

Immorality was firmly woven in fabric of Nazi ideology I would say and even though Himmler claimed that mass killings weren't done to enrich oneself I don't see corruption as sign of being unfaithful to ideology.

(07-03-2016 06:32 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Otehrs maybe did this for power (some sick KZ SS guards come to my mind who were hanged later, who seemed to beobsessed with one thing only: power over other humans).

I think here it was about doing a "good job", peer pressure and dehumanization. When you don't see another being as a human it isn't so hard to harm him.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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