A provocative quote and commentary on “curing political evils”. Cause to pause, political movements take 2..


I offer the following as grist for those of us thinking about the state of our political system, movements and change dynamics.  I enjoyed the first quote not knowing who said it or when.  To my surprise my historian friend revealed the source and additional commentary.  Cause to pause. I don’t think we are repeating history here but there is something worthwhile about this historical perspective/commentary as we step back and consider the unfolding and changing political landscape.  Enjoy.  Walt 

“The cure of a sickness can only be achieved if its cause is known, and the same is true of curing political evils. To be sure, the outward form of a sickness, its symptom which strikes the eye, is easier to see and discover than the inner cause. And this is the reason why so many people never go beyond the recognition of external effects and even confuse them with the cause, attempting, indeed, to deny the existence of the latter. Thus most of us primarily see the …collapse only in the general economic misery and the consequences arising therefrom. Nearly every one of us must personally suffer these-a cogent ground for every individual to understand the catastrophe. Much less does the great mass see the collapse in its political, cultural, ethical, and moral aspect. In this the feeling and understanding of many fail completely.”

A. Hitler, Mein Kampf, Book 10, Chapter 1

“You know, as I think about it, you  have an opportunity to use this quote as a springboard to a discussion about how evil political mass movements never start by saying “Hello, we are evil and want to oppress you” they always start by actually addressing social problems that have been neglected and offering a solution to them.  Only after you have traveled down the road with them, and after opposition has been silenced or neutralized, does the true nature of the regime begin to show itself.  This is why Hitler only really began to push the anti-Semitic legislation after he had been in power four years, and even Lenin permitted under NEP an eight year period of capitalism and artistic freedom which Stalin terminated.

You could consider how ‘reasonable’ Hitler could appear, and make it a cautionary lesson.  High minedness and idealism often go along with oppression.  Hitler’s criticism of the democracy is evocative of how many people feel with the two parties, both organs of corruption, patronage and privilege, and his solution to this was to promise a government of national renewal.  It was rhetoric like this that made the Nazis so popular in the beginning.  That is the problem.  Once they had achieved power on the basis of populism, they then slowly and gradually took over everything, and four or five years into the regime, it was too late to stop them, and then the real radical agenda was revealed.”

Historian Christopher J. Simer, PhD

Posted via web from Walt Roberts / Generative Change Initiatives

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