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Thread: "They Thought They Were Free"

  1. #1
    Senior Member BrianW's Avatar
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    Default "They Thought They Were Free"

    "They Thought They Were Free" The Germans, 1933-45

    Milton Mayer


    But Then It Was Too Late

    Has anyone here read this book? I heard it discussed on the Thom Hartmann yesterday where he said it described the Bush WH, PATRIOT Act, (no surprise) but it sounded more like what has happened in the present Congress as well. (And there was NO disussion about that)
    I've got it on order through the library system here but it'll probably take 2 weeks to get it here. This supposed to be a bunch of interviews of "regular" Germans, post WW2, not real party members, but the ones that just went about their lives during the rise/rule of Hitler.

    Excerpt http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html

    What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

    "What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it. (Does "we had to pass the law in order for you to see what was in it" strike a lot too close to home here? )

    "This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter. __________________
    Last edited by BrianW; 10-27-2010 at 08:52 AM.
    "It's not that government is inherently stupid, although that's a debatable question."
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    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791
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    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    More Nazi comparisons.

    Brilliant!
    "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    More Nazi comparisons.

    Brilliant!
    History repeats itself if you do nothing to stop it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BrianW's Avatar
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    Buzz, have you read your own signature quote by Tolstoy recently?
    I thought you were revolted by hypocrisy whatever the source.

    This book was written back in 1955 and imo it does sound a little familiar today from both sides. Does the possibility of learning from history upset you that much?

    I figured some student of history here, (like Jeff ?) might have already read it and be able to give me more info, since as I noted I haven't read it yet.
    There have been studies that show the Gun Control Act of 1968 was lifted almost word for word from the Nazt weapons laws of the 30's, our government has evidently emulated them before.
    "It's not that government is inherently stupid, although that's a debatable question."
    Rand Paul CPAC speech 2011

    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791
    ________________________________________
    Proud partner of (HR) WR SR Brian's 44Magnum Monster
    co-owned by HR Rianne's 2nd Chance Hurricane Rebel

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    Senior Member zeus3925's Avatar
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    Makes you kinda wonder what is going down. News from Afghanistan? Where is it?
    Zeus

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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeus3925 View Post
    Makes you kinda wonder what is going down. News from Afghanistan? Where is it?

    I'm kind of surprised no one has started a thread on the "bags of money" that Karzai has been getting from Iran and our own govt. At first it was denied, but now both Iran and Karzai have admitted that it's true.
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