Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future. [Adolf Hitler]
How interesting that in this day and age, Hitler’s statements of the 1930s would seem to appear accurate of current times.
What am I referring to?
In recent years, the world has been in a constant battle with terrorist groups. These terrorist groups bomb towns and cities with surprise attacks. They create havoc in communities and normal life by using terror; they sabotage whatever they can to increase the terror of an event, and no doubt (at least try to) assassinate world leaders.
While trying to find some answers for a puzzle where Hitler was the subject (unsuccessfully I might add), stumbled across information that seemed to demonstrate parallels of today – some concerning – and it was worth writing about.
While there are significant numbers of quotes by Hitler, I have selected just a few for today’s piece. These quotes seem to correlate with actions, behaviour and atrocities of today.
I am not a scholar of Hitler, nor do I proclaim in depth knowledge of his personality – other than that he was a dictator, a ruthless leader, and one who played a major hand in the death of 50 million people – including genocide.
So, why am I drawing parallels to Hitler.
Often as a society, we use certain behaviour (or speech) to influence, and/or manipulate our community. We see this in every politician in the world; sometimes we call it propaganda, sometimes we call it lies.
It isn’t just politicians who do this, but anyone who wants to exert influence over opinion about a certain situation.
So back to the current world terrorism situation.
As we all know, at the moment, Europe in particular is experiencing the biggest influx of refugees since World War II. While this is understandable considering that Syria is being bombed (and Iraq and Afghanistan have been bombed or are terrorised by terrorists), it has raised cultural tensions within communities and nations.
Hate breeds hate
In Australia, various extremist groups, such as the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia, have risen their hands to claim that ‘refugees’ are a scourge on Australia.
In Europe, I understand that there are similar Nationalist groups appearing, condemning refugees, and blaming them for all manner of problems.
In Mein Kampf (essentially Hitler’s diary/autobiography), Hitler blamed the Jews for all of Germany’s then woes. Fraudulent books such as “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (proven in 1921 to be a fraud) were used to justify Hitler’s false beliefs (and those of his followers) that the Jews were a scourge on the world and needed to be exterminated. Distortions in his own mind fuelled his beliefs, and everything he saw in his current and past life, flamed his delusions that the Jews were a scourge on the world.
What is concerning about this, is that all around the world, there are groups suggesting that the current refugee crisis, is the cause of all of the world’s ills.
Just the other day we had our current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, inflaming the refugee situation, suggesting that terrorists are entering Europe with refugees, and by inference, that refugees could be terrorists. It didn’t help that Belgium had just been bombed by terrorists.
Fortunately, in response to Turnbull’s statement, we had the more intelligent Belgium Chancellor telling the world that, by playing the “hate” card, we are playing right into the hands of the very terrorists who are bombing us.
ISIL (or whatever we are calling them these days) is trying hard to tell hardline Islamists around the world (or those who are easily manipulated – primarily our youth), that the world hates Muslims, and that they should take up arms against the west – along with other propaganda.
Perhaps by hating Muslims, we actually play into their hands?
With regards to Turnbull’s statements, this is not the first time that the “race” card has been played by the Liberal Party (or the Labor Party for that matter). Former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott, created the “turn back the boats” policy, which saw refugees heading to Australia by boat, sent back to sea.
This policy was widely criticized by other Nations as unethical and a breach of the Refugee Convention – of which Australia is a signatory.
However this anti-refugee sentiment is not constrained to Australia. Our media has reported that US Presidential hopefuls have suggested that Muslims are the cause of America’s problems (along with Latin Americans – and likely other migrants), and that they should be kept out of the US.
This level of “hate” was exactly what Hitler used to demonise the Jews – ultimately leading to their genocide!
I am not suggesting that current political leaders are indicating that we should exterminate Muslims, or refugees for that matter, but playing the “hate” card is a very dangerous game.
As Hitler said: “Hate is more lasting than dislike”
The lies of today
In Australia in the early 2000s, our then Prime Minister (again a Liberal), told the people that refugees had thrown babies overboard, in order for them to demand to be sent to Australia. During that election, slogans implying that Australia had a refugee problem were a focus of the two major parties (Liberal and Labor).
From memory, the Liberal Party drummed up racist overtones, and won the election, partly on the back of the refugee crisis.
Perhaps Australia’s involvement in the illegal war in Iraq and Afghanistan, over the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMDs) that didn’t exist, contributed to the refugee crisis? A matter that seems to have escaped the Liberal Party and the Labor Party.
Sadly, sometime after the election, the babies overboard saga, was found to be a lie. What a surprise!
Hitler also wrote: “The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”
WMDs were also a lie
We can also look at international affairs here to show how dangerous and believable big lies are. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars (nearly two decades ago) were started due to a belief that Iraq had “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD). My understanding is that no WMDs have ever been found.
Sadly it would seem that the lie of WMDs justified wars that, on the outset, appeared more about vested interests in those countries than anything else.
So big lies also start wars!
Back to Australia:
In the latter years of the last Labor government (roughly 2007 – 2013), the Liberal Party, led by Tony Abbott, continued to repeat a series of mantras, or election slogans.
These were (not exact words):
- The Carbon Tax was hurting families
- The mining tax was killing jobs
- Australia had an economic crisis (even though Australia was considered to have one of the best economies in the world in relation to debt to GDP – by most world economists!)
Repeating these slogans almost every day (in some form or another), eventually persuaded the majority of voters, to vote Liberal, electing Tony Abbott to lead the country as Prime Minister!
After being elected as PM, Tony’s party erased the Carbon Tax and ended the mining tax. The economy has not improved, in fact it now appears to be much worse. Rising unemployment, and decreasing exports have been just two problems that are worsening – this is partly due to the collapse of the resources sector – a foreseeable collapse, not addressed by either Liberal nor Labor.
For interest sake, calculations that I undertook on my expenses at the time, showed an increase of around $150 per year as a result of the Carbon Tax (I even included an extra percent or so to cover estimated increases in all other goods and services).
Interestingly, when the Labor party introduced the Carbon Tax, they gave every tax payer, a tax reduction of around $2,500 (from memory). This was because the tax-free threshold was raised, which meant that every tax-payer paid significantly less tax. Pensioners, and those on welfare, were also give increases to cover the extra costs associated with the Carbon Tax.
I wonder why the Liberal Party didn’t mention these facts when they kept telling the public that the Carbon Tax was hurting families? I suppose it didn’t suit their interests?
Another quote from Hitler: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
In the 1930s Hitler manipulated sentiments over the fire at the Reichstag, to pass an act (the Enabling Act), that allowed his cabinet full legislative powers to deviate from the constitution. Once he had this, he was able to suppress political opposition and intimidate the them into disbanding. Ultimately only the Nazi party was left.
This is somewhat concerning as, in Australia at least, the Liberal Party has consistently used its powers to try to suppress Labor (the second major political party, and principal opposition to the Liberal Party), by attacking unions and past Labor policies.
Currently (I believe it may still be the case), to be a member of Labor, you must be a member of a union. The Liberal Party (and the media – who are the lap dog of the Liberal Party), have consistently demonised unions and their activities.
The Liberal Party also used their parliamentary powers, to create a Royal Commission (investigative tribunal) to investigate union corruption. The results of which appears to show limited circumstances of corruption by a small number of individuals.
This Royal Commission was designed to drum up negative sentiment towards unions (by inference Labor), and make the incorrect correlation that a harsh building watchdog, the ABCC (Australian Building Corruption Commission) was again required in Australia. The ABCC is a very harsh and brutal legal body, with extreme powers that fall outside a generally accepted legal framework, essentially designed to destroy building unions in particular – unfortunately this is a discussion beyond the scope of this post.
The Liberal Party have also increasingly reduced the powers of unions, which have directly reduced union support, and indirectly reduced Labor’s support. If you break the unions, you break Labor!
During its current government, the Liberal Party have also used their parliamentary powers to attack Labor’s past policies, again with a Royal Commission, trying to demonise what Labor has done in the past. These are just a few of examples, but many others exist.
While corruption is bad in all circumstances, the Royal Commissions that the Liberal Party created, were specifically designed to create a media show; to destabilise Labor, and its supporters – largely unions.
If you destroy your opposition, you have unopposed power!
To add further to these concerns, the Liberal Party have just introduced changes to the electoral act, which changes the voting system – perhaps in the Liberal Party’s favour.
As if we weren’t convinced of their goals, they have now challenged the senate (our house of review) to pass legislation put before them, or else parliament will be disbanded and an election will be held (a double dissolution election).
The election would result in some of those currently in the Senate unable to regain their seats due to the changes that the Liberal Party have introduced.
To be fair, voting rules were changed in agreement with The Greens, which could in effect lose them seats as well!
Hmmm… Isn’t this exactly what Hitler (and every other despot) did?
Destroy your opposition in order to have unfettered power! Exactly what Hitler did!
Democracy can easily be manipulated. Public opinion can be swayed, and propaganda can cause unforeseen consequences – sometimes even war!
Bye for now,