I suspect that most self-described “Conservatives” in the United States associate the term “Conservative” with the US Founders. Such American Conservatives want to conserve the ideals of the US Founders.
The problem, however, is that conservatism does not come from the US Founders. The Left/Right split which dominates modern politics came from Europe. In the French Revolution, the Left sought radical social change. The Right sought to preserve the social order of the ancient regime which they saw as the Natural Aristocracy.
The partisan thought that developed in the United States in the early 1800s is equally ugly. In the early nineteenth century America reactionary thinkers sought ways to preserve the peculiar institution of slavery. So, even here in America there was already a great perversion of thought going on as groups sought to preserve unjust social institutions.
The US Founders despised the partisanship of Europe. The Constitution does not mention the Parties.
It is absurd to claim that one party represents the ideals of the US Founders while the other does not simply because the Founders abhorred such partisan nonsense. You, as an individual thinker might support the ideals of the founder. Your party, however, is a souless entity that does not think.
I happen to believe strongly in the American Experiment in self rule and have been trying to find ways to preserve this experiment. I believe that health care is the absolute most important issue of our day, and that if Americans do not act to replace PPACA with free market reform that this experiment will come to an inglorious end.
It just so happens that I live the most conservative section of the United State. One has to travel to Iran to find a more conservative place than Utah. Here in the most Conservative place West of Tehran, I’ve found zero interest in defending health freedom. The arch conservatives that run this state like a dictatorship will not even talk about health care.
It is not just that Conservatives won’t talk to me. In six years of actively looking, I’ve found only one public event specifically addressing health care. This was the national Stand Up For Freedom Rally which was poorly attended (See Photo).
I am not surprised that people ignore me. Being a free-thinker in a Conservative state, I am accustomed to being kicked down at every turn. I would expect nothing less.
What bugs me is that Conservatives, who claim to support the ideals of the Founders, are doing nothing to defend health freedom in this time of great need.
So, for this last year I’ve been reading “conservative” literature to try and figure out just what is wrong with the Conservative movement. My sad conclusion is that Conservatism is as inherently evil as progressivism.
Conservatism and Progressives simply mirror each other. All of the faults of the Left exist on the Right and all the flaws of the Right exist on the left.
As you see, the Left/Right Split is a false dichotomy. Both sides of a false dichotomy are false. It is the nature of partisanship that the parties simply mirror each other. The two sides of a coin are made of the same metal.
The moderate position in a false dichotomy is also false. The proper response to a false dichotomy is to reject the dichotomy itself. This is not as hard to do as we imagine. It does entail challenging both sides of the dichotomy.
So, I’ve been reading Conservative literature with a critical eye and decided to conclude this endeavor by reading on peculiar piece of right wing literature titled “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler.
American Conservatives tend to balk when they see Mein Kampf categorized in with right wing literature. Such conservative have forgotten that the lauded Left/Right split came from Europe. The radical left in Europe sought radical social change. The reactionary right sought to preserve the social order of the ancient regime. Hitler was a reactionary thinker who witnessed the collapse of the Austria-Hungary Empire and the defeat of the German Empire in World War I. Hitler’s dream of a Third Reich was a revival and expansion of these empires.
So, Mein Kempf is not just conservative. It is conservatism on steroids. The book I read was a PDF published by Noontide Press. I have no desire to link to this book.
Before writing this review. I want to emphasize that most people in the US who call themselves “conservatism” are people who want to preserve the ideals of the US Founders and the Western Christian Tradition. Both the Western Christian Tradition and the US Founders came before the modern Progressive/Conservative split.
If you are standing out in the street calling yourself a “conservative,” I beg you to please reconsider your position. Conservatism is not what you think it is. It is an ugly reactionary movement set on preserving a class society. What we need to do in America is defend freedom. Conservatism is the wrong way to do this.
What one finds in Mein Kampf is Conservatism in its rawest form divorced of Christian ethics and void of the common sense of the US Founders. In Mein Kampf, Hitler presents a racially based world view claiming that there is a Natural Aristocracy. His goal is to restore that order through total war and racial genocide.
Hitler, like many Conservative pundits, is a dot-connector. He does strange things like connect the ancient tradition of Judaism with Marxism. Judaism is an ancient religion from the Middle East. Marxism is a modern ideology in the line of Kant and Hegel.
As a youth, Hitler moved through leftist circles learning the dialectics and connecting the dots. He finally concluded that the only solution to the mess made by the Social Democrats was for a great leader to rise and stand opposed to Marxism.
“If Social Democracy is opposed by a doctrine of greater truth, but equal brutality of methods,
the latter will conquer, though this may require the bitterest struggle.”
The idea of using the tools of one’s enemy to destroy the enemy is as old as the hills. This idea is in both Sun-Tsu and Machiavelli. Using the tools of one’s enemy to destroy one’s enemy is the heart and soul of Marxism. Marx spent most of his life penning a tome called “Das Kapital.” The goal of Das Kapital was to create a top heavy version of the free market destined to tumble to a social revolution. Marx’s tactic was to destroy the free market by redefining it in a way that would collapse. Marx sought to use the tools of his enemy to destroy his enemy. The great irony here is that Karl Marx is the father of Modern Capitalism.
Just as Marx sought to use the tools of the capitalist to destroy capitalism, Hitler sought to use the tools of communism to destroy communism.
As a youth Hitler was confronted by Left Wing labor movement. Hitler realized that standing against labor was futile; so he took a more cunning tact of capturing labor and turning it into a nationalist movement.
“In my Viennese years I was forced, whether I liked it or not, to take a position on the trade unions.”
Hitler saw that the anti-labor stand of the bourgeoisie was alienating a vital component of the economy; so he sought to create a right wing alternative to left wing labor.
“For to call the trade-union movement in itself unpatriotic is nonsense and
untrue to boot. Rather the contrary is true. If trade-union activity strives and succeeds in
bettering the lot of a class which is one of the basic supports of the nation, its work is not only
not anti-patriotic or seditious, but ‘national’ in the truest sense of the word.”
Hitler’s strategy was to use the trade unions as a tool to rebuild the empire.
Hitler was a dot connector. He saw that several left wing writers were Jewish. So, he connected dots and framed Marxism a Jewish conspiracy. This dot connecting allowed Hitler to disassociate Marxism from Germany, as Marx was German.
Hitler had a really deep hatred of democracy and the parliamentary process which he saw as an affront to the natural Aristocracy. (Most conservatives I’ve met share disdain for Democracy and repeat the meme that the US is a Republic not a Democracy).
He realized that it is easier to unite people against a foe than to solve problems: “In general the art of all truly great national leaders at all times consists among other things primarily in not dividing the attention of a people, but in concentrating it upon a single foe.” (Of course, both parties in the US are guilty of this flaw.)
/>This next little gem is the anthem of all “dot-connectors”: “It belongs to the genius of a great leader to make even adversaries far removed from one another seem to belong to a single category, because in weak and uncertain characters the knowledge of having different enemies can only too readily lead to the beginning of doubt in their own right.”
Hitler then goes on to say: “Once the wavering mass sees itself in a struggle against too many enemies, objectivity will put in an appearance, throwing open the question whether all others are really wrong and only their own people or their own movement are in the right.”
BTW, I should insert here that I personally am a firm believer in objectivity. The converse of this statement is that one can encourage objectivity in a society by pointing out that there is not one single evil player that we must struggle against but a complex world with good and evil in all people.
Hitler wanted to create a single enemy to fight against; so he created a fantasy in which Marxism and Judaism were some how linked and that he was fighting to save the German people from this two headed monster:
Hitler was not a Left-wing Marxist. In Munich Hitler declared Marxism his enemy (page 117): “In the years 1913 and 1914, I, for the first time in various circles which today in part faithfully support the National Socialist movement, expressed the conviction that the question of the future of the German nation was the question of destroying Marxism.”
Page 127 provides an example of how Hitler combines two of his declared enemies into one: “Marxism, whose goal is and remains the destruction of all non-Jewish national states, was forced to look on in horror as, in the July days of 1914, the German working class it had ensnared, awakened and from hour to hour began to enter the service of the fatherland …”
During World War I, Hitler set out to become a master of propaganda. On page 137 he states: “The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.”
Hitler fought in WWI. He loved the military and disliked cowardly civilians. This is what he wrote of peacenik-liberals on page 144 after his return to Berlin: “Here for the first time I heard a thing that was still unknown at the front; men bragging about their own cowardice! For the cursing and ‘beefing’ you could hear at the front were never an incitement to shirk duty or a glorification of the coward. No! The coward still passed as a coward and as nothing else;”
He also spat out these words: “to be a slacker passed almost as a sign of higher wisdom, while loyal steadfastness was considered a symptom of inner weakness and narrow-mindedness. The offices were filled with Jews. Nearly every clerk was a Jew and nearly every Jew was a clerk.”
The darkest moment of Hitler’s struggles came when the German Monarchy was transitioned from a monarchy to a Republic. He describes this event on page 152: “I, too, was present at the short speech. The dignified old gentleman seemed all a-tremble as he informed us that the House of Hollenzollern should no longer bear the German imperial crown; that the fatherland had become a ‘ republic ‘ [...] everything went black before my eyes; I tottered and groped my way back to the dormitory, threw myself on my bunk, and dug my burning head into my blanket and pillow.”
To Hitler, the transformation from a monarchy to a republic was a moment of great darkness. This brings me back to this stupid ideology called “Conservatism.” People pretend that “conservative” has some sort of universal meaning when the term “conservative” is simply relative to what one is trying to “conserve,” just as progressivism is relative to what one is trying to progress.
Conservatism is such an ugly ideology. Here in Utah, I routinely hear the brown-shirts of the Conservative movement denouncing the moral relativism of progressivism, when conservatism shares the exact same relativism. Conservatism is relative to what one is conserving.
Hitler’s entry into politics was prompted by the transformation of a monarchy into a republic. He launched into his study of political-economics. He realized that he could do so by capturing the labor movement and turn it into a nationalist movement: “I began to study again, and now for the first time really achieved an understanding of the content of the Jew Karl Marx’s life effort. Only now did his Capital become really intelligible to me, and also the struggle of the Social Democracy against the national economy, which aims only to prepare the ground for the domination of truly international finance and stock exchange capital.”
NOTE: Marx was of Jewish lineage but baptized Lutheran. Clearly, Marx was more into Hegelian philosophy than he was into religion.
But back to Hitler’s struggles. The conservative nature of his ideology shines in the section on the collapse of the German Empire (which he called the German Reich). Hitler blames this collapse on Jews, the Parliament weak intellectuals and the press. Here is a little section on education and the press on page 179:
“The state, therefore, has the duty of watching over their education and preventing any mischief. It must particularly exercise strict control over the press; for its influence on these people is by far the strongest and most penetrating, since it is applied, not once in a while, but over and over again. In the uniformity and constant repetition of this instruction lies its tremendous power. If anywhere, therefore, it is here that the state must not forget that all means must serve an end; it must not let itself be confused by the drivel about so-called ‘freedom of the press’ and let itself be talked into neglecting its duty and denying the nation the food which it needs and which is good for it;”
Notice how Hitler ties the Liberal Press, Marxists and Jews into one tight package: “The so-called liberal press was actively engaged in digging the grave of the German people and the German Reich. We can pass by the lying Marxist sheets in silence; to them lying is just as vitally necessary as catching mice for a cat; their function is only to break the people’s national and patriotic backbone and make them ripe for the slave’s yoke of international capital and its masters, the Jews.”
In Mein Kampf, we find numerous bursts of moral outrage such as: “Our whole public life today is like a hothouse for sexual ideas and stimulations. Just look at the bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theaters, and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of food, particularly for the youth.”
One page 196, Hitler shows a strange contempt for religion while promoting religious dogmatism: “Also noteworthy is the increasingly violent struggle against the dogmatic foundations of the various churches without which in this human world the practical existence of a religious faith is not conceivable. The great masses of people do not consist of philosophers; precisely for the masses, faith is often the sole foundation of a moral attitude.” Essentially, because the masses are not philosophical like he is, we need religious dogmatism to keep the masses in check.
Hitler spews forth with a bunch or racist nonsense on page 207. The racism is based on the idea that there is a natural order to things in which the master races must subjugate inferior races for the good of all. He gives warnings to those who deny the natural order of things. It turns out that Jews and Marxists are the ones guilty of denying this natural order. This is the type of garbage spewn: “The man who misjudges and disregards the racial laws actually forfeits the happiness that seems destined to be his. He thwarts the triumphal march of the best race and hence also the precondition for all human progress.”
Progress is dependent on a racial hierarchy with the Aryan race being the bearer of culture. In Hitler’s fantasy, being the bearer of culture is a great altruistic thing. “This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture. From it alone can arise all the great works of mankind, which bring the founder little reward, but the richest blessings to posterity.”
BTW, this idea that there is a natural order to things was fundamental to the ancient regime. This set of ugly ideas in Mein Kampf can be labeled as “conservative.” What he is doing is conserving all of the top-down thinking that dominated Europe during the Dark Ages.
This is why the term “conservative” is so problematic. The effect of “conservatism” is dependent on what is being conserved.
I suspect that most American “conservatives” want to conserve the American Experiment in Self Rule. Unfortunately, I fear, the American conservative movement has undermined these ideals through their methodology. The left/right split came from Europe and the dialectical methods used by both Modern Liberals (progressives) and Modern Conservatives come from the Kantian/Hegelian tradition.
Hegelian dialectics (modern logic) is a paradoxical system of thought in which the two sides of the conflict end up mirroring each other. To be blunt, Stalin is the natural outcome of left wing thinking and Hitler the natural outcome of right wing thinking. Both corrupt methods of thinking end up in brutal dictatorship.
As a society, we cannot get to where we want to be by following this dialectical path. The Left/Right split is a false dichotomy. Both sides of a false dichotomy are false. The middle of a false dichotomy is as irrational as the extremes. The way out of this mess is to recognize the false dichotomy as a failed and to reject the whole ball of wax: left, right and center.
Well, I got to the end of volume one of Mein Kampf. I just can’t take it any more. The right is clearly not the remedy for the left. Fortunately, Americans are blessed with a way out. We have the American Experiment in self rule started by the Founders of this nation coupled with a rich Judeo/Christian heritage. I say we dump this foolish notion that the Right side of the French Parliament of 1787 had the right path to follow and follow this American Experiment in Self Rule instead.
Continue reading Mein Kampf == Conservatism on Steroids
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