america

The Nazi Mindset in America

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Note:  Some of this may be hard to take, but we must eliminate all vestiges of outmoded statist ideas in order for us to have true freedom.  This article is as good a place to start as any.

 

 

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The Nazi Mind-Set in America

Copyright by Jacob G. Hornberger,

The Future of Freedom Foundation

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Before the end of World War II, in 1944, Friedrich A. Hayek, who

was later to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science,

startled the Western world with a book entitled “The Road to

Serfdom”. Hayek argued that despite the war against Nazi Germany,

the economic philosophy of the Nazis and communists was becoming

the guiding light for American and British policymakers. In a

later forward to the book, Hayek wrote:

 

“But after the war broke out I felt that this widespread mis-

understanding of the political systems of our enemies, and

soon also of our new ally, Russia, constituted a serious danger

which had to be met by a more systematic effort. Also, it was

already fairly obvious that England herself was likely to ex-

periment after the war with the same kind of policies which I

was convinced had contributed so much to destroy liberty else-

where…

 

Opinion moves fast in the United States, and even now it is

difficult to remember how comparatively a short time it was

before “The Road to Serfdom” appeared that the most extreme

kind of economic planning had been seriously advocated and

the model of Russia held up for imitation by men who were soon

to play an important role in public affairs…Be it enough to

mention that in 1934 the newly established National Planning

Board devoted a good deal of attention to the example of plan-

ning provided by these four countries: Germany, Italy, Russia,

and Japan.”

 

Americans must ask themselves a troubling question: Did Hayek’s

concerns become reality – have Americans, in fact, traveled the

road to serfdom the past fifty years? Or, to put it another way,

did the Nazis lose the military battles but win the war for the

hearts and minds of the American people?

 

Consider, for example, the Nazi economic system. Who can argue

that the American people do not believe in and support most of

its tenets? For example, how many Americans today do not unequi-

vocally support the following planks of the Nationalist (Nazi)

Party of Germany, adopted in Munich on February 24, 1920:

 

“We ask that the government undertake the obligation above all

of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment

and earning a living.”

 

“The activities of the individual must not be allowed to clash

with the interests of the community, but must take place within

its confines and be for the good of all. Therefore, we demand:

…an end to the power of the financial interests.”

 

“We demand profit sharing in big business.”

 

“We demand a broad extension of care for the aged.”

 

“We demand…the greatest possible consideration of small

business in the purchases of the  national, state, and muni-

cipal governments.”

 

“In order to make possible every capable and industrious

[citizen] the attainment of higher education and thus the

achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide

an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public edu-

cation… We demand the education at government expense of gifted

children of poor parents…”

 

“The government must undertake the improvement of public health –

by protecting mother and child, by prohibiting child labor…by

the greatest possible support for all clubs concerned with the

physical education of youth.”

 

“[We] combat the…materialistic spirit within and without us,

and are convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can

only proceed from within on the foundation of The Common Good

Before The Individual Good.”

 

I repeat: How many Americans today do not unequivocally support

most, if not all, of these Nazi economic and political principles?

 

And if there is any doubt whether the Nazi economic philosophy

did, in fact, win the hearts and minds of the American people,

consider the following description of the Nazi economic system

by Leonard Peikoff in his book “The Ominous Parallels:”

 

“Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public

ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the

government oversee and run the nation’s economy. The issue of

legal ownership, they explained, is secondary: what counts is

the issue of control. Private citizens, therefore, may continue

to hold titles to property – so long as the state reserves to

itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.”

 

What American objects to these principles of the Nazi economic

system? Don’t most Americans favor the planned economy, the

regulated economy, the controlled economy? Don’t most Americans

favor the type of economic controls, and the right of government

to institute such controls, that characterized the Nazi society:

wage and price controls, high taxes, government-business partner-

ships, licensing, permits, and a myriad other economic regulations?

 

The truth is that Hayek’s warning was ignored. Having defeated

the Nazis in battle, Americans became ardent supporters and advo-

cates of Nazi economic policies.

 

Why? Part of the answer lies in another feature that was central

to the Nazi way of life: public schooling. “Oh, no! You have gone

too far this time,” the average American will exclaim. “Public

schooling is a distinctively American institution – as American

as apple pie and free enterprise.”

 

The truth? As Sheldon Richman documents so well in his book,

“Separating School & State,” twentieth-century Americans adopted

the idea of a state schooling system in the latter part of the

nineteenth century from – you guessed it – Prussia! And as Mr.

Richman points out, public schooling has proven as successful

in the United States as it did in Germany. Why? Because it has

succeeded in its goal of producing a nation of “good little cit-

izens” – people who pay their taxes on time, follow the rules,

obey orders, condemn and turn in the rule-breakers, and see

themselves as essential cogs in the national wheel. Consider

the words of Richard Ebeling, in his introduction to “Separating

School & State:”

 

“In the hands of the state, compulsory public education becomes

a tool for political control and manipulation – a prime instru-

ment for the thought police of society. And precisely because

every child passes through the same indoctrination process –

learning the same “official history,” the same “civic virtues,”

the same lessons of obedience and loyalty to the state – it

becomes extremely difficult for the independent soul to free

himself from the straight jacket of the ideology and values the

political authorities wish to imprint upon the population under

its jurisdiction. For the communists, it was the class struggle

and obedience to the Party and Comrade Stalin; for the fascists,

it was worship of the nation-state and obedience to the Duce;

for the Nazis, it was race purity and obedience to the Fuhrer.

The content has varied, but the form has remained the same.

Through the institution of compulsory state education, the child

is to be molded like wax into the shape desired by the state and

its educational elite.

 

We should not believe that because ours is a freer, more demo-

cratic society, the same imprinting procedure has not occurred

even here, in America. Every generation of school-age children

has imprinted upon it a politically correct ideology concerning

America‘s past and the sanctity of the role of the state in so-

ciety. Practically every child in the public school system learns

that the “robber barons” of the 19th century exploited the common

working man; that unregulated capitalism needed to be harnessed

by enlightened government regulation beginning in the Progressive

era at the turn of the century; that wild Wall Street speculation

was a primary cause of the Great Depression; that only Franklin

Roosevelt‘s New Deal saved America from catastrophe; and that

American intervention in foreign wars has been necessary and

inevitable, with the United States government required to be a

global leader and an occasional world policeman.”

 

This brings us to the heart of the problem – the core of the Nazi

mind-set: that the interests of the individual must be subordi-

nated to the interests of the nation. This is the principle that

controls the minds of the American people, just as it controlled

the minds of the German people sixty years ago.

 

Each person is viewed as a bee in a hive; his primary role in

life is to serve the hive and the ruler of the hive, and to be

sacrificed when the hive and its rulers consider it necessary.

This is why Americans of our time, unlike their ancestors,

favor such things as income taxation, Social Security, socia-

lized medicine, and drug laws; they believe, as did Germans in

the 1930s, that their bodies, lives, income, and property, in

the final analysis, are subordinate to the interests of the

nation.

 

As you read the following words of Adolf Hitler, ask yourself

which American politician, which American bureaucrat, which

American schoolteacher, which American citizen would disagree

with the principles to which Hitler subscribed:

 

“It is thus necessary that the individual shall finally come

to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison

with the existence of this nation; that the position of the

individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the

nation as a whole; that pride and conceitedness, the feeling

that the individual…is superior, so far from being merely

laughable, involve great dangers for the existence of the

community that is a nation; that above all the unity of a

nation’s spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom

of the spirit and will of an individual; and that the higher

interests involved in the life of the whole must here set

the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the

individual.”

 

Even though the average American enthusiastically supports the

Nazi economic philosophy, he recoils at having his beliefs lab-

eled as “Nazi”. Why? Because, he argues, the Nazi government,

unlike the U.S. government, killed six million people in concen-

tration camps, and this mass murder of millions of people, rather

than economic philosophy, captures the true essence of the Nazi

label.

 

What Americans fail (or refuse) to recognize is that the concen-

tration camps were simply the logical extension of the Nazi mind-

set! It does not matter whether there were six million killed –

or six hundred – or six – or even one. The evil – the terrible,

black evil – is the belief that a government should have the power

to sacrifice even one individual for the good of the nation.

Once this basic philosophical premise and political power are

conceded, innocent people, beginning with a few and inevitably

ending in multitudes, will be killed, because “the good of the

nation” always ends up requiring it.

 

Political killings of innocent people could never happen in

America, our fellow citizens tell us. America is a democracy.

But so was Nazi Germany. Hitler was popularly elected, and his

economic policies were widely favored and acclaimed (by Germans

and Americans).

 

But there is another basic problem with that assertion: it is

happening here in America. And like the German people of the

1930s, Americans either refuse to see it happening, or they

rationalize what is happening so that they do not have to deal

with it. Now, it is true that the killings do not number in the

millions – but they certainly do number, so far, in the thousands.

 

Let’s take some examples. The Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas:

U.S. Army tanks and gas were used against peaceful, religious,

well-armed people. More than eighty Americans, including child-

ren were gassed and burned. And is there any remorse – any re-

gret – any independent governmental investigation into this

massacre? Not on your life. The government officials, just like

their Nazi counterparts, think they did “the right thing” in

killing our fellow citizens. And for those of you who look to

the judiciary for protection, you had better look elsewhere:

the federal judge who presided over the trial of the Waco sur-

vivors declared that he would not permit the government to be

“put on trial,” and then slapped forty-year sentences on the

Branch Davidian survivors.

 

Or take Randy Weaver, his wife, and son, of Idaho. First, they

were set up on an idiotic gun charge. (Weaver sold a shotgun

that was a quarter of an inch too short, at the request of a

U.S. government agent.) Then, they sent Weaver a notice of a

wrong trial date. When he failed to appear, they surrounded his

house and attacked. A government sniper shot his unarmed wife

in the head with a bullet as she was holding her baby. And they

shot Weaver’s son in the back. Then, at Weaver’s trial, they

fabricated evidence and committed perjury. Fortunately, Weaver

was acquitted. But have any criminal charges been brought against

the government agents for the murder of Weaver’s wife and son?

Did the federal judge in the case even cite the agents for con-

tempt for their reprehensible conduct? Well, did the Nazi govern-

ment ever bring charges against the SS? Did Nazi judges ever

punish Nazi officials for killing Jews?

 

Government officials killed Donald Scott, a millionaire rancher

in California. They claimed that they needed to barge into his

house in the middle of the night to look for marijuana. And when

Scott obeyed their order to lay down the gun he had picked up

in his fear of the intruders, they shot him dead. And it later

turned out that they hoped to find marijuana so that they could

confiscate his land and convert it to a national park.

 

But Americans either look the other way, the way the Germans did,

or they rationalize what is happening by saying, “The war on

drugs has gotta be won.”

 

And it is not just killings. Just as the Nazis did, they are

confiscating people’s money, land, boats, cars – anything they

can get their hands on. No longer do they need to depend only on

taxes for their revenues – they just go grab the money and pro-

perty directly and keep it, regardless of the guilt or innocence

of the victims. And, of course, it’s all rationalized because

“the war on drugs has gotta be won.”

 

And it’s not just confiscation. It is also terror – the terror

of the Internal Revenue Service agents barging into people’s

homes, “visiting” them at work, and levying liens on bank acc-

ounts and real estate without notice, hearing, or other semblance

of due process.

 

Yes, it’s true – we are not dealing with the killings and mass

confiscations and infliction of terror on millions of people.

It is happening only to several thousands. But that’s today.

What happens in a crisis? Suppose an American ruler decided he

is not going to get “pushed around” by the ruler of North Korea,

Haiti, Panama, Iraq, or Japan? What happens if a war is not over

in a few weeks, but instead drags out into months, even years,

with higher taxes, more controls, and…conscription? What happ-

ens if Americans, who are already being taxed 50 percent of their

incomes, now find taxes at 70 or 80 percent? What happens if

there is a massive tax strike in which millions refuse to pay

their taxes? What happens if hundreds of thousands of American

students refuse to be drafted by a president who refused to be

drafted?

 

Will the government meekly surrender? Will it simply agree to

lose “international face”? Not on your life. The Internal Revenue

Service, the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the army will

simply turn their massive powers against the leaders of the tax

revolt and as many of its followers as possible. And they will

do whatever is necessary to teach those “draft-dodging cowards”

a lesson. The American people will learn what the German people

learned: that the omnipotent state that loves the poor and the

needy will remove its velvet glove and use its iron fist to smash

those who interfere with the “good of the nation.”

 

Let’s look at some more examples of the Nazi mind-set in America

this time in the Department of the Army. The army conducted nuc-

lear radiation experiments on American soldiers. Why? Because the

good of the nation required it. The army conducted drug experi-

ments on American citizens. Why? Because the good of the nation

required it. The army conducted disease experiments on the

American people. Why? Because the good the nation required it.

The army herded innocent Americans of Japanese descent into

American concentration camps. Why? Because the good of the

nation required it. The army entered into joint ventures with

German Nazis at the end of World War II. Why? Because the good

of the nation required it.

 

In other words, in the past, U.S. government officials have

engaged in evil, Nazi-like conduct for the “good of the nation.”

Would they do so again? You can bet your life they would, if

the “good of the nation required it”, and even if it entailed

the violation of every single restriction on government power

set forth in the U.S. Constitution. There is nothing inevitable

in all this. Through the power of ideas, we can reverse the

trend. If ideas did not matter, governments would not try to

suppress ideas. Ideas do matter; they do have consequences;

they do influence people into acting, into changing, into

reversing course.

 

But the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment – the right

to speak, to write, to disseminate ideas – are not sufficient.

The ultimate safeguard against the ultimate tyranny lies instead

with the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

If this Amendment is destroyed or severely constricted, the rest

of the Constitution becomes worthless, because in a crisis in

which their power base is threatened, and in which there are no

means of forcible resistance, government officials will squash

the things they view as “technicalities” – free speech, habeas

corpus, trial by jury, and the other rights guaranteed in the

Constitution.

 

Combine a crisis with a disarmed, discontented citizenry, and

the concentration camp for hundreds of thousands becomes a real

possibility. But when the citizenry, together with various pat-

riotic sheriffs, police, and members of the armed forces, have

the means to inflict severe casualties on their potential

oppressors, tyrants think twice before they try to oppress their

own citizens too heavily.

 

That is why every single effort to restrict or control or manage

the ownership of guns must be resisted. The ultimate barrier to

the ultimate tyranny lies not with the ballot box. It lies not

with the soapbox. It lies not with the jury box. The ultimate

barrier to the tyranny of one’s own government lies with the

cartridge box.

 

Contrary to everything our rulers tell us, and everything that

our schoolteachers are teaching the children of this nation,

the biggest threat to the lives and well-being of the American

people lies not with some foreign government. The biggest threat

to the American people lies with the United States government.

 

And while gun ownership stands as a barrier to potential, Nazi-

like behavior, the long-term solution is to dismantle, not reform,

the iron fist of the welfare state and the controlled economy.

This includes the end (not the reform) of the IRS, the DEA, the

BATF, the SEC, the FDA, HUD, the departments of HHS, Labor,

Agriculture, and Energy, and every other agency that takes money

from some and gives it to others or interferes with peaceful

behavior. It entails the repeal of all laws that permit such

conduct. And it means the privatization of most of the bureau-

crats who work for the U.S. government.

 

But it also entails the end of potential oppressors, who, in

the past, have shown no reluctance to engage in evil, malicious,

illegal, Nazi-like conduct against American citizens, such as

the CIA and the standing army.

 

Would this mean that the U.S. government would not be permitted

to act as the international Roman emperor? That is exactly what

it should mean. But what about threats of invasion of the United

States? Such threats are virtually nonexistent. But if every sin-

gle citizen if free to arm himself to the teeth, any nation con-

templating invasion would know that attacking the United States

would be like swallowing a porcupine.

 

What about a quick mobilization? There would be no reason why

citizen-soldiers would not quickly mobilize in the event of an

emergency. For example, suppose that the standing army is dis-

banded. The members of the 82nd Airborne Division would not

simply disappear. They would become private, productive citizens,

but ready in times of peril to answer the call. They could be,

and probably would be more than willing to be, at any location

in the country within 24 hours.

 

Moreover, there would be a doubly positive effect in terms of

economic prosperity. No longer would taxes have to be sucked

out of the pockets of private citizens to support the armed

forces. And the members of the armed forces, now privatized,

would now be economically productive members of society.

 

In his book “The Road to Serfdom,” Friedrich Hayek warned Ameri-

cans in 1944 that despite their military war against the Nazis,

they were traveling the philosophical and economic road that the

Nazis and the communists were traveling. Our grandparents and

parents ignored Hayek’s warning. Now, we are left with the

consequences; a government of omnipotent size and power using

its power to kill innocent, peaceful citizens and confiscate

millions of dollars of property to feed its insatiable hunger

for more power. Today, the number of victims is in the thousands.

But at the end of this road lie the concentration camps for the

multitudes.

 

Can the tide be reversed? Can the omnipotent state be dismantled,

rather than simply reformed?

 

Yes. It will take a return to first principles – the principles

on which this nation, not Germany, was founded: principles that

hold that it is the individual, not the collective, that is

supreme; that each individual has been endowed by his creator

with inalienable rights; that among these rights are life,

liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these

rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their

just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever

any government, including the American government, becomes

destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to

alter or abolish it and to institute a new government; and that

no individual – his life, liberty, or property – shall ever be

sacrificed for the good of the nation. As Ayn Rand put it thirty

years ago in her essay, “The Fascist New Frontier”:

 

“If you wish to oppose [statism], you must challenge its basic

premises. You must begin by realizing that there is no such

thing as “the public interest” except as the sum of the inter-

ests of individual men. And the basic, common interest of all

men – all rational men – is freedom. Freedom is the first re-

quirement of “the public interest” – not what men do when they

are free, but that they are free. All their achievements rest

on that foundation – and cannot exist without it.

 

The principles of a free, non-coercive social system are the

only form of “the public interest.” Such principles did and do

exist. Try to project such a system. In today’s cultural atmos-

phere, it might appear to you like a journey into the unknown.

But – like Columbus – what you will discover is America.”