As the anniversary of his appointment as chancellor of Germany approaches (January 30), it’s notable that Adolf Hitler’s name has cropped up in the faux fisticuffs that characterize the elitist faction’s partisan sham. Thanks to his responsibility for Nazi Germany’s machinery for mass slaughter of innocents, including the Nazi project of genocide against European Jewry, vivid shades of evil overwhelmingly color decent humanity’s memory of Adolph Hitler, prejudicing judgment unalterably against him. This prejudice is both truthful and good for the human soul.
Yet the historic preoccupation with his patronage of evil has the effect of preventing most people from bringing into focus Hitler’s historic role as an icon of the elitist counter-revolution against the rising tide of the egalitarian democratic ethos that the French observer Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of in the 19th century. He observed it, in particular, in countries where Christianity was received, at that time, as the established basis for publicly acceptable ethical standards. (Democracy in America, Introduction.)
Various elitist forces outside of Germany identified with Hitler’s contempt for democratic rule and his idolization of the ‘type” of individuals who embodied Nietzsche’s exaltation of the human will-to-power as the ultimate source of effective, pride-worthy authority in human affairs. They foreshadowed collaborationist governments like the Petain-Laval government in France, and Vidkun Quisling’s collaborationist regime in Norway. They also encompassed some forces in Great Britain (including Audrey Hepburn’s parents as well as King Edward VII and the divorcee for whom he abdicated the British throne.)
In the above referenced Politico article, former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman slams Donald Trump saying: “Trump especially is employing the kind of hateful rhetoric and exploiting the insecurities of this nation, in much the same way that allowed Hitler and Mussolini to rise to power in the lead-up to World War II.” Whitman’s attack blames Hitler’s rise to power on his ability to exploit the fears and hateful passions of the German people. Hitler is the lens, but the unsavory masses are the real culprit. They generate the destructive force he wielded in pursuit of evils their wicked hearts desired.
Whitman’s analysis of Hitler’s rise is a classic case of misdirection. She raises the specter of Adolph Hitler in a way that focuses blame on the masses Hitler manipulated, leading to the mental assumption that they represent the forces responsible for his rise. But in fact Hitler was able to “destroy democracy using the weapons of democracy” on account of the wherewithal he garnered from anti-democratic elitist elements in Germany and in other countries, notable among them, the United States. Whatever conclusion one reaches about the nature of Senator Prescott Bush’s role as a director and shareholder in the Brown, Brothers Harriman (BBH) firm (Prescott Bush was G.W. Bush’s grandfather), it’s clear that the firm itself benefitted the German financial interests that were a mainstay of Hitler’s faction. Though never prosecuted for libel or slander, writers like Anthony Sutton may have been successfully bereft of credibility, but documentary evidence establishes facts about BBH that did result in legal action by the U.S. government.
These ties come to mind because they caution against being drawn into the effort that Whitman’s article exemplifies, which focuses on how Trump’s rhetoric imitates Hitler’s populist style, while forgetting the way everything that has happened in the United States since the 9/11 attacks imitates the substantive course of Hitler’s rise to dictatorial power. But the dictatorship now threatening to overtake America’s constitutional republic is not the dictatorship of an individual personality, per se. Rather it’s what Hitler’s elitist German and other financial and industrial backers thought his would be — the dictatorship of an elitist faction manipulating the susceptible weaknesses of democratic politics to contain, direct and effectively turn back the historically rising tide of sovereignty for the people as a whole.
Even before the Great Depression, elitist elements chafed under the yoke of the democratic, republican forms of government that emerged from what was perceived as the massive crack-up of elite, dynastic government in Europe after WWI. First Mussolini, and then Hitler came in for their hopeful admiration. They held promise as harbingers of a world in which rule by the superior few would re-emerge in a guise that enthralled and subdued the masses.
Though this is often disregarded, their dreams were, in one respect, not that different than the dreams of the communist intellectuals, whose real ambition evoked the name of history, and rejected the existence of God, in order to conjure a future in which, as the “vanguard of history,” people like themselves would assume the privileged position once enjoyed by the old, misnamed “aristocrats.”
Whether as the consequence of the fervent will of the Volk, or the judgment of History, these elitists envisaged a world in which those like themselves, embodying the superior passions of their time, would rule humanity. They would exalt themselves to power claiming to incarnate, worship and idolize humanity, when in fact they heartily despise human nature in most of its particulars (i.e., in every person not a member of their supposedly superior species). These days we too easily take it for granted that these godless delusions of self-construed apotheosis were shattered by the grotesque evidence of inhuman butchery and evil WWII brought to light.
But this facile assumption ignores the possibility that the elitists who were once admirers of Il Duce or der Fuehrer did not see the defeat of these dictators in terms of some transcendent moral perspective. What if, instead, they saw the defeat as the result of the dictators’ failure competently, patiently, to adhere to the Machiavellian strategy of subversive indirectness. That strategy promised success for the elitist counter-revolution, with no need for murderous, destructive war to remove the cancerous growth of democratic pretensions. Advances in technology, barely developed past the point of insemination in the early 20th century, would eventually produce the wherewithal to distract and dissolve the people’s desire to sustain democratic self-government. Its institutions would then dissolve in a chorus of hedonistic whimpers.
Instead of patiently attending to these developments, the mid-20th century dictators chose to hurry history along by igniting the fearsome passions of the masses. True moral conscience must unalterably condemn them as evil monsters. But for the elitist forces that helped lift them to power, impatience was their transgression, for which their names deserved to become a byword for evil. But the focus for good and evil the revulsion against them produced allowed some of the very people who admired and facilitated the dictators to pose as champions of democratic decency and justice. This they did, even as they continued to pursue the subtle courses by which they would prove that the democratic tide was not so irresistible as Tocqueville thought.
With this possibility in mind, it is not Donald Trump’s rhetorical style that conjures the shade of Hitler’s plan to destroy democracy using the weapons of democracy. It is his promised imitation of Barack Obama’s dictatorial conduct. He has promised to extend Obama’s abuse of Executive Orders in order to end gun-free zones throughout the country, and impose the death penalty for convicted cop-killers, regardless of State or local laws to the contrary. Fulfillment of these particular promises may win applause from some conservatives who extol the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, or hate the Obama faction’s encouragement of hostility toward police at the State and local level. But that applause will drown out the protests of others who really cherish Constitutional liberty. They will protest because by then President Trump’s actions will make it clear that, with his election, the true Federalism mandated by the Constitution’s 10th Amendment will not just be ignored; it will be entirely disremembered.
Trump speaks, and promises to act, in a way that tacitly relies on the authority of public passion to empower his unconstitutional abuses. He will move to undo some harm Obama has done. But the methods used will extend and consolidate the greatest harm Obama has inflicted, which is the denigration of the Constitution’s authority. Some may say that the ends justify the means, regardless of Constitutional niceties. But that maxim is inherently opposed to the basis and culture of republican Constitutional self-government. That’s why Americans who care about their liberty have always rejected Marxist/communist doctrines that use the intended outcomes of History to excuse totalitarian abuses.
In this respect, Donald Trump reflects the philosophical assumptions of God-rejecting socialism. It deprecates humanity in favor of the emergence of “the next stage of evolution”: the “new man”, the “superman”; and in derogation of the God-endowed nature envisaged by the Bible and Christianity. That Biblical perspective sees human nature in terms of God’s just and affectionate intention. Accordingly, human beings began at the pinnacle of their God-intended perfection.
They fall away from that perfection precisely on account of abusing their special capacity for deliberate and willful choice, in order to act as if the nature of man’s understanding is perfect. Trusting that general understanding, they disregard the information especially provided to them by God’s will for their particular good. Reaching for perfection beyond themselves they overreach their Creator’s intention. For by His intention they are within themselves already complete, made to conform to the perfection they seek, in every way compatible with their particular existence. Jesus offer show and be the way to reopen this precinct of the Kingdom of God.
The notion that to perfect himself man must reach beyond the intention of God that makes his particular existence possible: This is the self-aggrandizing falsehood that permeates the whole elitist faction offensive against the American republic. It is the reason for the open or tacit rejection of America’s God-revering Declaration principles. It affects every candidate both the so-called major parties are offering in consideration for the Presidency of the United States.
This is the true specter of Hitlerian evil that haunts America’s near future. It is the shade of the elitists’ overweening factional ambition. The good people of the United States will never lay that shade to rest until they step out of its shadow. They must disabuse themselves of the political superstitions that keep them enthralled with partisan delusions that, like Macbeth’s imagined airy dagger (Macbeth Act 2, Scene 1) keep America on the way to the demise of decent, rightful liberty.