Tag: Hitler

Trump’s power is shakier than American democracy

“As soon as Trump became a serious contender for the presidency, journalists and historians began analogizing him to Hitler. Even the formulator of Godwin’s Law, which was meant to put a check on the reductio ad Hitlerum, said: ‘Go ahead and refer to Hitler when you talk about Trump.’ After Trump’s election, the comparisons mounted, for understandable reasons. “But as we approach the end of Trump’s first year in power, the Hitler analogies seem murky and puzzling, less metaphor than mood…. “There’s little doubt that Trump’s regime is a cause for concern, on multiple grounds, as I and many others have written. But we should not mistake mood for moment. Even one that feels so profoundly alien as ours does now. For that, too, has a history in America. “During […]

The real parallel between Hitler and Trump

I’ve been reading David Cay Johnston’s excellent book The Making of Donald Trump. And without mentioning or even alluding to Hitler or fascism, the book raises an interesting—if unexpected—parallel about Trump’s and Hitler’s rise to power. One of the themes in a lot of the historical scholarship about Germany in the 1920s and 1930s is how Hitler and the Nazis were able to take advantage of the systemic weaknesses of Weimar: the cracks in the political structure, the division among elites, the fissures in the parties, the holes in the Constitution, and so on. What Johnston narrates, in almost nauseating detail, is how Trump’s ascension to wealth and fame and power—long before he makes his 2016 run for the presidency—is dependent […]

Hitler’s Furniture

Tipped off by Adam Tooze’s review in the Wall Street Journal, which I highly recommend, I ordered Martin Kitchen’s new biography of Albert Speer. A few nuggets so far. On Hitler, Speer, and furniture: The style of furniture that was extolled in the professional journals of the day as ‘furniture for the German people’ that reflected ‘the honesty, solidity and directness of a natural lifestyle’ was not to be found in the new chancellery [designed by Speer to Hitler’s specifications]. Aping the style of bygone ages, particularly if foreign and essentially aristocratic, was roundly condemned. Such gaudy luxury and ostentatious grandeur had no place in the new Germany….Speer’s approach was radically different. His was the exact reverse of the Werkbund’s. […]

Protocols of Machismo: On the Fetish of National Security, Part I

As part of my ongoing series of short takes from The Reactionary Mind, I excerpt here chapter 9, “Protocols of Machismo.” This chapter originally appeared as a review essay in the London Review of Books in 2005. Because that piece remains behind the firewall, I’ve decided to reproduce the chapter here in its entirety: Part 1 today, Part 2, I hope, tomorrow. In the last several months, I’ve spent much time defending the state against both libertarians and anarchists. In this chapter, however, I go after the state and one of its most powerful and primary fetishes: the doctrine of national security. I also expand beyond my analysis of conservative intellectuals, taking on prominent liberal theorists like Michael Walzer and, […]