National Socialism:
I once managed to read a few pages into Mein Kampf, the autobiography of the odious Adolf Hitler.  He started by saying that as a child he raised the question of why all Germans didn’t live together in the same country.  The concept of everyone in a country being members of the same social group is National Socialism, and the proponents were called Nazi’s.  Many people must find them fascinating since television carries a lot of programs about them.

In 1954, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision Brown vs Board of education that declared “separate but equal” was unconstitutional, thus ending legal racial segregation of public schools in the United States.  The phrase was not their own invention.  It goes back at least to 1869.  Notice that the concept was not declared illegal.  It was declared unconstitutional.  That meant that no law creating segregation could be passed no matter how many people might want it.  Building on success, the Civil Right Movement pressed the policy that segregation could not exist in fact any more than it could exist in law. 

Since this is the supreme law of the land, its advantages need no discussion.  But look how odd this is.  Hitler was not ten years sizzling in molten brimstone before a national society was declared for the United States.  I think the issue was the word “but.”  The words “and” and “but” are logically the same.  Their implications are different.  Both mean that two connected statements are true.  The “and” word suggests that there is no expected conflict between the two.  The “but” word suggests that there is an inherent conflict although both statements remain true.  Since just about all of us agree that equality is the intention of American society, that word “but” spells trouble. 

Consider then the phrase “separate and equal.”  That would not imply an inherent problem.  Yet a problem was perceived. 

The only interpretation I can make of the judgment is that separation is as illegal as inequality.  American society cannot be partitioned, cannot be divided, cannot exist as a set of independent components.  In short, alas, we are a national society, we are by law National Socialists.  You can stop worrying about this country being taken over by Nazis.  It happened two generations ago.  You are permitted no significant secular loyalty other than to the state and to the state society. 

Perhaps I should not be surprised.  Other Nazi innovations are accepted among us.  The national free, limited access, fast highway system was their invention with a small fuel efficient car to run on it.  They worked on the atom bomb.  The long endurance submarine was theirs fist.  The ballistic missile was deployed by them.  Their Enigma Cipher Machine was a desktop information processor.  (I wonder if anyone has figured out how to turn it into a general purpose computer.)  Rapid deployment, rapid advance, deception and overwhelming firepower, blitzkrieg in short, was their invention and has been found to work for us.  Close in air support we use.  Extremely accurate aerial bombardment, strategic bombing and the jet fighter we adopted from them.  Their flying wing became our stealth fighter and bomber.  The national society is only one of a number of things they dreamt up that we take as matters of course. 

Our own national society is quite different.  The German regime was replete with horrors.  There were assassinations, storm trooper turned against civilians and death camps.  But if you look closely you may be able to see in our own culture the shadow of the black glove.

There was the tragedy named Ruby Ridge.  You can look it up in Wikipedia.  It involves a man named Randy Weaver who had extreme political views and in effect did not wish to be part of the national society.  This led to a series of events including a government sniper shooting his wife dead in the door of their cabin where she stood with her baby in her arms.  It is now agreed that the government’s actions were excessive. 

There was another tragedy near Waco, Texas.  The pattern looks similar.  People who do not seem to have been happy with being part of the national society were targeted by government agents, and according to the Wikipedia article the government did not look good in the ensuing mayhem. 

A third group that seems to have opted out of American society was the Jonestown congregation.  They described themselves as socialists and communist and were fleeing what they perceived as fascism in the United States when they withdrew to Guyana, about a thousand of them, to open a commune there.  This time the United States government seems to have comported itself as well as possible under the circumstances.  None the less it led to a mass suicide that has been called the biggest loss of civilian American life barring natural disasters before the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001. 

I think the moral is that even if you think we have a National Socialist regime, opting out is not a good strategy.  Unless you do it very tactfully. 

Storm troopers against civilians, what about that?  I am somewhat hard pressed to come up with a German example.  Maybe the SS would qualify.  And in the United States it turns out that it seemed appropriate to President Eisenhower to send paratroopers to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce the Supreme Court judgment.  Perhaps that was the best choice, but when you are looking for traces of Nazi mentality, it does make you a little queasy. 

The Germans had death camps.  I have spoken with survivors.  The camps were every bit as terrible and sadistic as you think.  We used to hear about Jews being burned alive in those camps.  That happened at least once.  There was a camp where people were being forced to work at making fuel for the V2 rocket.  It was terribly dangerous, and when the inevitable fire broke out people burned.  It is not very important that the immediate cause was an American air raid. The fault lay with the people who set it up.  Perhaps it would have been possible to start the bombing in such way that the factory could have been evacuated.  We did not do that during the Gulf War, but the situation was different; they were not slave labor in the Gulf war. 

There have been death camp activities in America.  The Andersonville prison in South Carolina saw captured Union soldiers starving.  It was not intentional, but it happened.  And there was a Union prisoner of war camp where Confederate captives were indeed deliberately starved to death. 

Of course I do not make any suggestion that there is any moral equivalence between the German Nazi crimes and our own national society.  It may be that once you go there, you are under similar pressures however well you manage them.  You can mange them adequately. 

But the problem with a national society is not only the dark events that result from the use of force.  The greater harm is that a social group is more than an economic, legal and psychological phenomenon.  It is a biological reality.  It means that people take mates at random within the nation rather than having as a prime loyalty their own close circle.  And that is where biology strikes unseen.  Silently, slowly the laws of genetics gradually reduce the fertility of any social group as large as a nation.  Other problems arise, but they can be dealt with.  If there are no babies, there is nothing to be done.

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