In the Saturday, August 11, 2012 issue of the Lawton Constitution there was printed an opinion article written by the conservative Walter E. Williams. He is an Economics professor but opines on topics other than economics.
This article seeks to imagine all Liberals, Progressives and Socialists as being of the same ilk with Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. None of whom history accords as progressives, respectively.
Not only does Mr. Williams expose his warped and twisted conservative interpretation of history but he fails to acknowledge the fact that he lives in a Nation that has been developed in large part by the very people he denigrates.
I am Liberal, Progressive and, taking Mr. Williams criteria at face value, some what Socialist. I recognize that individual members of society do not single-handedly create anything beneficial for everyone. Democracy is not an individual contest but rather a team sport where everyone contributes and shares in success. Of course, I would not expect Mr. Williams to have any other opinion – he has been awarded academic honors by the likes of the Koch Brothers.
Since it was Mr. Williams that the path of comparing Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and Mao with those of us he likes to target. I want to suggest he needs to deeper.
Adolf Hitler said: “The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category.” Mr. Williams has set about that task – though he lacks the credentials of being a leader. Hitler also said: “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” Again Mr. Williams has tried to accomplish this task. In his article he states, as if to create a new truth, that Hitler’s Nazi Party was a “form of Socialism’ and then goes on to draw a tenuous connection with Lenin, Stalin and Mao. What Williams does not address is Hitler’s genius at deception. He was not a Socialist but a Fascist with a deep-seated hatred for Communism.
There is no argument that both Fascism and Communism, as manifested in the USSR following the Revolution was cruel and oppressive. Yet that very fact should ring a cautionary note for Mr. Williams. It was Hermann Goering that stated: “Education is dangerous – every educated person is a future enemy.” The rounding up of Academics in Germany points to the threat and Williams has ignored the fact that, at the hands of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin an Mao academics were targeted and silenced, as were clerics of all faiths.
Perhaps the words of Goering’s statement during the Nuremberg Trials are a fitting close for this letter.
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. Herman Goering – The Nuremberg Trials 1946.