–What caused an entire nation to go insane, and can that happen here?

Mitchell’s laws: The more budgets are cut and taxes inceased, the weaker an economy becomes. To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments. Austerity = poverty and leads to civil disorder. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

As I have read about, and listened to, the Tea/Republicans, I wondered to myself, “Would it be possible for our entire nation to go insane?”

During bad economic times, people seek the comfort of “law and order” and they look for someone to blame for their troubles. The Tea/Republican Party, understanding the dementia that comes with human dissatisfaction, has done everything possible to prevent the U.S. from coming out of the recession (remember “the party of ‘No’?”).

It has blocked every initiative that would have helped end the recession and the widening gap between the 1% and the 99% (advocating low taxes for the rich, while demanding cuts in Social Securty, Medicare and Medicaid).

It has claimed stimuli “didn’t work,” based on the reality that though the stimuli helped greatly (without them we would have slipped into depression), the Tea/Republicans made sure the stimuli were not large enough for a cure.

The Tea/Republicans fielded a group of candidates unparalleled for incompetence and pure craziness (Cain, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum and Bachmann) all of whom expressed extreme “solutions” the voters, in desparation, grabbed for.

And finally, the Tea/Republicans settled on Mitt Romney, a candidate having no beliefs whatsoever.

With millions of people prepared to vote Tea/Republican (Indiana just did), it seems clear an entire political party – even our whole nation – can go completely insane. It has happened before.

In the late 1930’s Germany went insane, under much the same circumstances as we have here. See these excerpts from Wikipedia and elsewhere:

During 1921 and 1922, the Nazi Party grew significantly, partly through Hitler’s oratorical skills, partly through the SA’s (brownshirts) appeal to unemployed young men, and partly because there was a backlash against socialist and liberal politics in Bavaria as Germany’s economic problems deepened and the weakness of the Weimar regime became apparent.

The Nazi Party might never have come to power had it not been for the Great Depression and its effects on Germany. By 1930 the German economy was beset with mass unemployment and widespread business failures.

Today in America, we have a backlash against socialism (aka “big government”), unemployment, widespread business failures and the seeming weakness of the Obama regime.

The inability of the democratic parties to form a united front and the continued decline of the economy, all played into Hitler’s hands. Some major business figures such as Fritz Thyssen were Nazi supporters and gave generously.

In the U.S. we have the inability of the two major parties to work together, and major business figures such as Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess, Harold Simmons and the Koch brothers giving generously to right wing causes.

During 1931 and into 1932, Germany’s political crisis deepened. By now the nazi brown shirts had 400,000 members, and its running street battles with the other party paramilitaries (who also fought each other) reduced some German cities to combat zones.

Paradoxically, although the Nazis were among the main instigators of this disorder, part of Hitler’s appeal to a frightened and demoralized middle class was his promise to restore law and order.

The America street battles have just begun. The various protest groups, many loosely united under the “Occupy” banner, plan for bigger demonstrations. Chicago’s NATO summit is a target for even greater demonstrations. If (when?) these demonstrations become violent, our frightened and demoralized middle class will demand a stronger police response, to restore law and order.

Germans voted for Hitler primarily because of his promises to revive the economy (by unspecified means).

The Tea/Republicans never have specified how they would revive the economy. Certainly, their plans to cut Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid would hurt the economy.

In 1933 Adolf Hitler abolished labor unions and political parties, and imprisoned their political opponents, first at improvised camps, then in concentration camps. Nazism had been established.

American right wing attempts to hamstring, then abolish labor unions, already have begun. See:

Scott Walker Told Billionaire That He’d ‘Divide And Conquer’ Unions

A new video has surfaced in which Governor Scott Walker promises a wealthy Koch brothers ally that he will use a “divide and conquer” strategy to turn Wisconsin into a “right to work” state. The video, which was filmed by Brad Lichtenstein on January 18, 2011, directly contradicts Walker’s repeated claims that he has no interest in pushing anti-Union legislation.

In the video, Diane Hendricks — a billionaire roofing-supply magnate who has close ties to the Koch brothers — asks Walker whether he could “work on these unions” and make Wisconsin a “right-to-work state.”

“Oh yeah,” Walker responds. “We’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill. The first step is, we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.

Governor Walker was handsomely rewarded for his promise; since the video was filmed, Hendricks has given Walker’s campaign $510,000. According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, this makes her Walker’s biggest supporter, and the largest known donor to any candidate in Wisconsin history.

Now back to Nazi Germany:

Initially, there was much indifference surrounding anti-Semitism. (But) a denunciation system was put in place, which relied on the people of Germany to turn in Jews and others who were not “suitable” for the German population.

This system offered a great deal of incentive for people – if they turned in others, they eliminated the possibility of being persecuted themselves. The officers who were in charge of monitoring the denunciations became so overwhelmed with the multitude of cases they faced on a daily basis, that they began to take people for their word without looking further into the cases.

Think of the anti-alien laws being passed in the American South, where it has become illegal knowingly to hire an undocumented alien. Citizens are encouraged (required?) to turn them in to the police. The police can detain people whom the police (with no evidence whatsoever) believe are illegal, so accusing someone of being illegal is sufficient for their arrest.

Thus, many people were denounced without just cause, and sent to concentration camps to die. For whatever personal reasons people rapidly began to take to this system, the important fact is that it worked. People liked being in control of who was in their neighborhood. Plus, they were offered financial incentives in many cases. A denunciation, reliable or not, could be worth a great deal of money. And at a time where money was scarce, people did anything they could to get their hands on cash.

So far, no reward system in America, but do not be surprised if that comes soon. (“Receive a reward for turning in an illegal alien.”)

Convinced that a plot was afoot to depose him, Hitler ordered the Schutzstaffel (SS) and the Gestapo to assassinate his political enemies both in and outside the Nazi Party (the “Night of the Long Knives”) which resulted in up to 200 deaths. While some Germans were shocked by the killing, others admired Hitler’s decisive actions to restore order.

When a recession or depression makes people feel they have lost control over their lives, they seek to regain control through law and order, and by taking action against scapegoats.

Thus, has the Tea/Republican party taken advantage of the basest human instincts. We are no better than the Germans. They, like us, were good, honest, hard-working people, trapped in a depressed economy, and searching for some way out.

Partly, it was the “Anything-is-better-than-this syndrome. (Here, it’s “Anybody-is-better-than-Obama.”) And partly, Germans had an urgent need for a scapegoat. In their case it was the Jews; In America, it’s the illegal aliens, gays and the rich.

Those good, honest, hard-working Germans became so emotional, they even overlooked mass murder, in order to improve their lives. That is how crazed good people can become.

The Tea/Republicans have nothing logical to offer America. There is no mechanism by which cutting the deficit or deporting aliens can cure the recession or improve our lives. None. Yet our good, honest, hard-working (unemployed) people are willing to vote for anything, no matter how destructive and irrational, so long as it is different.

And that is the way any nation can become crazed. We are no exception. I see it creeping into Kansas, into Indiana and into the entire South, where those who claim to be most religious also are least tolerant, the most filled with hatred.

All we lack now is a great orator like Hitler was, to turn our entire nation insane. We are living on a razor’s edge.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption + Net exports


6 thoughts on “–What caused an entire nation to go insane, and can that happen here?

  1. So you think it’s impossible in America?

    Virginia Republicans Plan For ‘Armed Revolution’ If Obama Wins Re-election
    May 9th, 2012 4:29 pm
    Henry Decker

    The Greene County, Virginia Republican Committee has sparked outrage by releasing a newsletter which calls for an “armed revolution” if President Obama is re-elected.

    The monthly newsletter, which was first uncovered by Right Wing Watch, tends to be filled with inflammatory right wing rhetoric. But the March edition went a little further than usual.

    “We have before us a challenge to remove an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized,” editor Ponch McPhee wrote. “An elected leader who shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might.”

    From there it only gets crazier:

    The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware ~ that the government, their government is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse [sic] but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November ~ This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.


  2. In some ways the Tea/Republicans are like Hitler. In other ways YOU are like Hitler. Hitler became popular in large part because he greatly improved the German economy by doing exactly what you want to do: deficit spend out of a recession/depression. So I guess you and the Tea/Rebublicans admire Hitler.


  3. Since 9/11 America has lost its collective mind.

    Maybe, it can no longer handle its own success. Like a rock star, or athlete sitting on the top of the world, through their own foolishness throws it all away, or ODs on drugs.


  4. My point was just as you can demonize your opponents by invoking similarities with Hitler, they can do the same to you. It’s not uncommon to hear debt hawks condemn government money creation because Hitler did it and therefore we should not. Why not leave Hitler out of it.


    1. You’re right. In fact, there is a saying that every discussion of economics eventually devolves to Hitler.

      Yet, the subject of this post had to do with a nation going insane. It isn’t often that a whole nation goes nuts. Germany did, and I believe the Tea/Republicans are showing signs of the insanity that can infect the entire country. That was the parallel I was drawing.

      If you know a modern example of national insanity, I’ll use that, too. Roosevelt’s forced encampment of Japanese Americans and Senator Joe McCarthy’s Communist chasing, were two examples, but Germany was a better example.


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