Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I may have to read Mein Kampf at some point....

I was scanning the radio on the way back from my sister's when I came across that rarest of species, a secular-progressive talk station.  I've occasionally caught snippets during past trips to and from my sister's house.  Sometimes I try to listen, get some perspective on how the other half lives, but usually:  no dice.  I'm not certain what it means that I can hear about the same stories and personalities (granted, from widely varying perspectives) when I turn on Rush, FOX News, CNN, or pick up a newspaper; but when I find a liberal talk radio station, it's like I'm hearing about a different country that has the same election schedule and officials with the same names.  Might be fun to speculate, but I don't feel like it right now; gonna try doing that "concise, focused" thing again.
Anyway, they were going on about how the Republicans kind of got power back in the midterm elections and how the House, I think it was they were specifying, was not a representative body but took most of its influence from relatively few big-number donors.  Okay, not an uncommon cynical view in any political camp.  They were talking about how Obama was kind of a political island, having been abandoned by his competent advisors and having found only unfit replacements, or something to that effect.  Again, not something hard to agree with.  I did find it a bit hard to swallow the implied conspiracy that everyone in Congress had fallen a bit under the sway of the same corporate interests; while that itself might not be false, it was too pat of a way to frame Obama as a lonely crusader and martyr.
Then one of radio personalities tried to circumvent Godwin's Law.  I wanted to be fair, especially when he tried to assuage his listeners that he was trying to make a valid comparison to the former German National Socialist party and not a cheap villifying one, and particularly because he was referring to something out of Mein Kampf, which I think he said he read, and which I have not read.  He said Hitler (actually I think he said "they," meaning the Nazis collectively) was very specific in his manifesto about his plan to rise to power.  Allegedly, the idea was to take four major components of the economy--the health care system, I think banking, and two other ones that are in the news in the US so much today I hardly notice anymore--say "The federal regulations on these industries are stifling our economic recovery," and then let them run about lassaiz-faire.
The guy on the radio kind of stopped there, which is part of what confused me.  I can see someone saying "Government restrictions make it harder for businesses to make money, which retards economic growth, and during a recession like the one we're in, the effect is to forestall recovery."  What I can't see is a national socialist, a fascist, making such a claim.  Someone who was interested in centralized control of an industry, or of all industries, would not be willing to relinquish what control he already had.
At least, not without following up any real or trumped-up disaster that resulted with a plea to reign in this out of control company or that one, put a federal leash on some business or other as a permanent solution to the particular sins that a fascist might want to stamp out.
But that's what's already happening.  That's the kind of thing he was saying he wants.  Was he honestly blind to the irony?  Because I was just a little creeped out.

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