Humble Rants 28 March 2012

Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 in Opinion

Humble Rants 28 March 2012

by Robert Skoglund aka The humble Farmer

Ever heard the Nazi slogan, “Throw the rascals out?”  As you know, for years I have studied fascism with the hope that it would enable me to recognize fascism should it ever gain a foothold here in the land of free speech and the home of the brave.

William L. Shirer’s "The Nightmare Years 1930-1940" arrived yesterday and it is such great reading that it was long after midnight when I forced myself to put it down.

When Shirer, a journalist and author, returned to Paris in 1934, he wrote: “I was astounded by the strength of incipient fascism in this democratic republic … they were now prowling the streets in their variously colored shirts, their jackboots echoing on the pavement. … Nearly every day after I arrived in Paris they were rioting in the streets … to get to the Chamber of Deputies to ‘throw the rascals out’ and burn down the House of the Representatives of the People.” 

How “had France come to this? … One reason, of course, was the Depression.”  Fascism thrives when you make the middle class poor enough to grasp at straws.

Shirer, who as a foreign correspondent in Nazi Germany had many meetings with top Nazis, surprised me by his name calling. For example Alfred Rosenberg, head of the Nazi party’s Foreign Affairs Office, was “a crackbrained, doughy-faced dolt.”  Rudolf Hess was “the somewhat dim-witted ‘deputy’ to the Fuhrer.” Ribbentrop, the foreign minister, was “a vain, pompous, incredibly stupid man.”  

And then Shirer mentions the concentration camps in which the Nazis incarcerated Communists, homosexuals, Socialists, liberals, pacifists and Jews. Reading this gave me somewhat of a jolt because I had forgotten that back then Nazis had not yet added women to the list. This is where I smiled and put my book away for the night.

 As I dropped off to sleep, still smiling, I thought to myself that as “incredibly stupid” and “dim-witted” as these old Nazis were, they were more politically astute than their modern counterparts: Today they don’t even know there is a difference between Communism and Socialism.

The humble Farmer can be heard Saturdays at 5 on WERU Blue Hill,  Sundays at 7 on WRFR in Rockland and Tuesdays at 2 on WMPG Portland.

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