Whirr2005-09-08
Bush = Hitler
Many people have attempted to equate George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler, but most of these analogies are worthless, at best. Bush is not a fascist, a military imperialist, an obsessive bigot nor an architect of genocide. Anyone who believes otherwise is merely being hyperbolic and childish (nb. but note the inclusion of the terms "obsessive", "military", and "architect", which are possibly important ones to add). Bush is wildly different from Hitler in a number of ways, and to claim otherwise is demeaning to the victims of Nazi oppression and is also indicative of an irritating strain of disingenuity found mostly in young, immature leftist "radicals" and older, influential right wing pundits.

However, I think that Bush does share several strikingly pertinent qualities with Hitler: they're both powerful, charismatic men who are also recklessly spiritual, messianic and apocalyptic. By "recklessly spiritual" I mean not that they love God (Hitler, apparently, was deeply conflicted about this) but that they both believe that Faith-based reasoning is as good as if not better than hard science (Hitler's bizarre Germanic occultism, Bush with "Intelligent Design", &c.).

More dangerous, however, is their shared apocalypticism. Hitler wrote about "the realization of the Pan-Jewish prophecy that the Jews will one day devour the other nations and become lords of the earth", and claimed that the Nazi power would inevitably win the struggle, bringing a thousand years of peace of prosperity to (a small section of) humanity.

The problem with recklessly spiritual, apocalyptic world views is that almost universally the "peace and prosperity" following the apocalypse only comes after civilization has reached its nadir. This encourages a certain "Devil-may-care" outlook in which the worse things get, the better things will be in the future. I've read that many of Hitler's worst military mistakes were because he didn't believe that he could lose, ultimately, and because he gloried in the destruction even of his own people. The quote (unsourced--does anyone know it?) is that towards the end of the war, "Hitler wanted to punish the German people for their lack of faith". Admittedly, he also suffered from parkinsons disease, syphilis, and a methamphetamine addiction. He could paint a pretty picture, though.

Bush is also a believer in apocalypse: the born-again version of the Christian Book of Revelations, which contains a lot of dogma that Johnny Patmos probably didn't intend, such as the idea that good Christians will instantly be teleported into heaven when the time is right. Tim LaHaye was one of the biggest co÷rdinators of the Christian voting block that got Bush in office, by the way.

This all struck me this morning as I was reading about the disaster that is New Orleans. I had an image of Hitler, in his bunker, saying "So what if we lost another division, good! They probably deserved it, and we're fated to win anyway!". Apparently the Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project requested a total of $89 million this year, and the White House agreed to give them $16.2 million. (From the current New Yorker). It's almost as if he wanted to destroy Louisiana. And of course he didn't, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter very much to him. The war in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the genocide in Darfur, and the destruction of New Orleans all pale in comparison to the coming Rapture.

In fact, the worse things get (often due to Bush's mis-management, disinterest, or bloodthirst) the more quickly Christ will return, and paradise will be given to (a small section of) humanity.
Comments