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2 Answers

+3 votes
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Monopoly is an evil, racist plot by the 1 per centers to subvert our socialist youth!

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:D....

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Well...shades of all our childhoods, SFA.

And no I had no idea it was patented (pay-tented) as the Landlord's Game in 1904! Interesting comment, and somewhat puzzling, that part of its lack of persistence in Germany was that it was somehow perceived as associated with Judaism?

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Sure. The Nazis portrayed predatory high finance as a Jewish occupation (e.g., the Rothschilds). At the same time, communism was also portrayed as a Jewish conspiracy, perhaps by different Jews, but Jews nevertheless.

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This propaganda poster can be translated as "Death of the Lie" or "Death to the Lie", and there can be no doubt what the snake represents, with Marxism on one side and High Finance on the other.

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Tink the poster is quite intriguing, do you agree? Its subtlety ... nowhere is Judaism specifically mentioned, targeted, and yet the powerful arm with a swastika badge...choking the snake of high finance...

I am reading (very slowly) VOLTAIRE'S BASTARDS a book by the Canadian political philosopher John Ralston Saul, and he mentions the Nazi slaughter of Jews as the one genocide in history that was entirely gratuitous...the perpetrators not after power or wealth. I am still pondering just what Saul means by that. 

Oh; and I just realized the Rwandan genocide took place in 1994, two years after Saul's 1992 book...so I wonder if he would still say that.

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"....the perpetrators not after power or wealth...."

Hmm... perhaps I shouldn't judge, not having read the book, but the Armenian genocide by the Turks seems to fill Saul's bill. And I agree that the genocide in Rwanda does also.

And about the poster... I think it could afford to not mention Jews explicitly, since there was already tons of propaganda blaming Jews for communism and for high finance. There was a satirical cabaret song (written in 1931), "An allem sind die Juden Schuld", ("It's all the Jews' Fault"), with words to the effect, "if it rains, if it snows, if you freeze or if you sweat, it's all the Jews' fault..."

Needless to say, it was later banned by the Nazis.



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Remarkable, it's the Bizet! 

I looked up the actual quote in Saul's book, here you go: "History is weighed down with repeated massacres of nations, cities, armies and religious, social and political groups. But those earlier massacres were always tied to some relatively concrete political, economic or social ambition -- the seizure of private property or of territory, the increase of one group's power, the extinction of a rival groups beliefs, the erasing of financial debts, or the setting of an example. This was true even of Genghis Khan's Mongol armies. They often began their occupation of a newly won territory by massacring the entire population of one city. This convinced other cities to cooperate with the occupier -- to pay any taxes, to accept slavery for their sons. What Hitler organized was something quite different. It was the first absolutely gratuitous massacre in the history of man. ... There was no practical reason for it. No property was gained, as it had all been expropriated already. No territory was at stake. The killings were a money-losing proposition -- Nazi Germany was destroying a slave population capable of great production at a time when Aryan males had been sent away to fight. Judaism was not in any serious way a rival religion, since it did not proselytize. The power of Germany was not increased by their deaths. And no example was being set for other groups. After all, the whole process was kept secret." Page 73-74, for my own reference.

Do you think the Armenian genocide had any such rationale, or was it truly gratuitous in this sense?

The author is making some kind of point here, but I have not grasped it yet. He is saying that "(the Holocaust was) an act of pure logic carried out in a rational manner" -- and with his book, he seems to be making a case that the faculty of reason has been badly compromised away from its original promise of leading humankind into a kind of enlightened existence, as envisioned by Voltaire and others of his day.

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" What Hitler organized was something quite different. It was the first absolutely gratuitous massacre in the history of man. ... There was no practical reason for it. No property was gained, as it had all been expropriated already."

This is objectively true, but if one accepted the Nazi premise that Jews were the cause of all of Germany's troubles, then their annihilation would insure that no further such troubles would occur, so in their eyes, there was something to be gained.

"The author is making some kind of point here, but I have not grasped it yet. He is saying that "(the Holocaust was) an act of pure logic carried out in a rational manner" -- and with his book, he seems to be making a case that the faculty of reason has been badly compromised away from its original promise of leading humankind into a kind of enlightened existence, as envisioned by Voltaire and others of his day."

It was not an act of pure logic. The premises were false, no matter how rationally the mechanics were carried out.

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Tink it's a good point, there truly was something to be gained in that sense...and I am now wondering if the 'benefit' could be taken back even a step further, the 'value' of identifying a scapegoat, for a dictator to use to unify people for some bizarre psychological need of control, or something? 

From your own studies, do you think Hitler truly might have had the well-being of German people in his mind, what do you think were his motives in seeking power? Or, do you think he himself truly believed the Jews were the cause of Germany's problems?

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"the 'value' of identifying a scapegoat, for a dictator to use to unify people for some bizarre psychological need of control, or something? "

I think there was control 'value' in harnessing anitisemistism politically, especially insofar as it could be used to further the 'stab in the back' myth (aimed at WW1 veteran soldiers), and to make connections of Jews with communism, about which there was great fear in the middle and upper classes.

"From your own studies, do you think Hitler truly might have had the well-being of German people in his mind, what do you think were his motives in seeking power"

I think his motives were power, and insofar as building a great empire was 'good' for the German people in Hitler's eyes, then, yes, he had their good in mind, but I think it was secondary to his own megalomania.

" Or, do you think he himself truly believed the Jews were the cause of Germany's problems"

Hard to say with certainty about Hitler. I think Goebbels was clear-thinking enough to know it was a lie.

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Tink I just want to acknowledge, because I find that often our discussions help me put 2 + 2 together...in some ways, you are more experienced in life than me, plus yourself a good thinker...

Your comment, "The premises were false, no matter how rationally the mechanics were carried out;" I now believe I might grasp more of the point this author is trying to make, with his book. 

The title, VOLTAIRE'S BASTARDS; this author, John Ralston Saul might be constructing an argument that the clear faculty of reason has been bastardized because since Voltaire's time, governments (or powerful people?) have used reason to validate their nefarious motives.

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"...since Voltaire's time, governments (or powerful people?) have used reason to validate their nefarious motives."

But it seems to me that acting on false premises is hardly a use of reason, nor does it validate nefarious motives, it simply advances them.

It's similar to saying that beating people up until they acquiesce validates the nefarious motives of bullies.

And yes, thank you, I probably have more (secondary) life experience with Germany than most Americans. I learned at my grandmother's knee what it was like there, from WW1, through the Weimar Republic, and through the rise of the Nazis.

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Yes -- Tink I am soon going to resume Saul's book, I think. The parts I was understanding seemed very powerful, but I could not really 'get it,' the whole point he was trying to build. I think the book came out 1992, but so much of what I was understanding is valid today, very current. 

"But it seems to me that acting on false premises is hardly a use of reason, nor does it validate nefarious motives, it simply advances them. "

This may be his whole message, that since Voltaire we have been misusing/abusing the gift of reason, even while claiming (falsely) its enlightenment. That dovetails with another book I found very useful, came out in the 1950's and was a watershed for explaining existentialism to Americans. I may read it again -- that author (William Barrett) seemed to be saying that right up until the 1914 assassination in Sarajevo, the empires seemed to have the world so well-ordered, under tight control, based (they thought) on the Age of Reason -- and then a few months later WWI exploded.

And as you already know, all this is of very special interest to me because I think it is important to comprehend as much as possible our present world and national conundrum, recently all exacerbated by coronavirus!

Lessee...you are ~40, which means Grandmother could hardly be younger than 80, probably older since she has understanding of Weimar and Third Reich -- certainly a treasure for you and the whole world...is she still with us?

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"...since Voltaire we have been misusing/abusing the gift of reason, even while claiming (falsely) its enlightenment."

Well, I think abusing reason had been going on long before Voltaire. Maybe Saul is just complaining that the Enlightenment wasn't all it was cracked up to be, especially in government and politics.

"... that author (William Barrett) seemed to be saying that right up until the 1914 assassination in Sarajevo, the empires seemed to have the world so well-ordered, under tight control, based (they thought) on the Age of Reason -- and then a few months later WWI exploded."

Well, there was plenty of turmoil before then. The Napoleonic wars, the revolutions of 1848, the rise of communism, the abortive 1905 Russian revolution....

No, my grandmother is no longer alive... she would have been well over 100. :'(

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Yes, I had somehow missed that 1905 revolution in Russia, learned about it by chance just a few days ago. 

Tink, I am somewhat hesitant to give online friends more homework, but would you be interested in commenting on this? One fascinating Quora friend who has read widely on philosophy and history...he is my age, he recently posted this about Hitler: "The strangest thing about Hitler was that he never had a steady job, didn’t graduate high school, had few friends, no family connections, but at age 43, he became the leader of Germany. His only significant talent was giving histrionic speeches, and yet he was one of the most infamous, powerful, and influential men in the history of the world."

When I asked Lawrence if he had any idea why, he basically said it was a mystery to him. https://www.quora.com/Adolf-Hitler-had-a-son-with-a-French-girl-when-he-served-on-the-Western-front-in-the-first-world-war-What-ever-became-of-him/answer/Lawrence-Bloom-2

...and just to acknowledge your grandmother once more, so glad you were able to spend that time with her, learning so much from her.

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Oh yes, that Hitler question occurred to me many years ago, Virginia. Here was this down-and-out Austrian derelict in Vienna, who within 20 or so years became absolute dictator of Germany. We are fond of saying that anyone might become President of the US, but this was something even more extraordinary.

To be sure, Hitler was extremely lucky in many respects, but his talents went beyond giving "histrionic speeches." Indeed, it is the excerpts featured in film clips and newsreels that give us the histrionic impression. If you watch an entire speech of an hour or so, you can see his more reasoned side. And of course he seemed to be very good at playing off one potential potential rival against another.

The German diarist Victor Klemperer (cousin of Otto Klemperer, the conductor) noted in 1925, "Fascism everywhere. The terrors of the war [WW1] have been forgotten, the Russian terror driving Europe into reaction." It seems Hitler was in that stream of fascism and  was luckier and more innately talented than his competitors.

I saw a filmed speech where Hitler muses about his rise to power, "...ohne Geld, ohne Beziehungen, ohne Bildung, ueberhaupt nichts..." [...without money, without connections, without education, nothing at all...]. Even he seemed a bit surprised.

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It all seems a bit quantum, Tink...someone/something just bubbling up like that, with all the stream dynamics so strangely aligned, just at that moment...tipping points and all. :O

I have read (I think I remember) that Hitler was behind some very progressive laws to prevent animal cruelty!

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