When Two Wrongs Make a Right
When Two Wrongs Make a Right
By David Glenn Cox
So here we are, living on the precipice between dark and light. Between faux prosperity and economic catastrophe. With a government that is both fascist and inept, two parties fighting for control only so that they might hijack the vehicle for their own purposes.
The people want impeachment the government says no, the people want these wars to end the government says no. The people want the end of corporate rule the government says no. All but a handful of our Congressman and Senators are multi millionaires and yet they argue over minimum wage.
So what is the appropriate answer? A letter writing campaign perhaps. Maybe we should make their telephones ring off the hook, which might work if they were ever in that office. We could go to their offices and demand they speak with us, but they would only arrest us and tote us off with trumped up charges about threatening the government or of being terrorists.
The problem being, in a civil society you must remain civil. In a law-abiding society you must abide by the rule of law. This weakness make democracy an easy prey when challenged by those who view those pillars as tools by which to subvert the civil and law abiding. When faced with that challenge civil becomes standing quietly while the noose is placed around your neck and law abiding becomes stepping aside so that the police may taser or beat those who step out of line.
In 1930 Herman Mueller the last Social Democratic Chancellor of Germany at the head of a coalition government was unable to achieve a majority to pass his finance bill. He was then replaced by Heinrich Bruening of the Catholic Center Party. Bruening as well was unable to find a majority so he then called on Chancellor Hindenburg to invoke article 48 of the German constitution where by under emergency powers he could pass the finance bill by decree. Immediately the chamber demanded the removal of Article 48. To the general public it appeared democracy was inept and unable to solve their problems.
These well intentioned civil and law abiding men by demanding that paramilitary rules be strictly followed so that they might continue to make their personal arguments became their own undoing.
The National Socialist hammered at this argument, all the problem faced by Germans were the fault of well meaning idiots. Hitler would make Germany strong again; Itís morning in Germany. In September 1930 the National Socialist claimed 50 seats in the Reichstag up from 18. The communist party also gained up from 54 to 77 the moderate civil and law abiding were the losers. The national Socialists turned their attention to the military and began infiltrating its ranks. In January of 1930 the German minister of defense had sent this comunique, ďThe Nazis were greedy for power. They therefore woo the Wehrmacht. In order to use it for the political aims of their party, they attempt to dazzle us that National Socialists alone represent the truly national power. He requested the soldiers to refrain from politics and serve the state aloof from all party strife.Ē
In the spring three lieutenants were arrested for spreading Nazi doctrines in the Army and for trying to get other officers to agree that in the case of an armed Nazi uprising that they would not fire upon the rebels. This was spreading treason, but General Goerner wishing to cover up the extent of Nazi influence in the Army had them charged with breach of discipline. When one of the Lieutenants smuggled out an inflammatory letter the issue was subverted by Nazi partisan media to the cover up and corruption in the Military.
The trial became a soapbox for the National Socialists much like the impeachment of Bill Clinton. The trail featured Hitler lambasting and deriding the state for its weakness
How these poor young lieutenants intentions had been misunderstood by the Army. ďI can assure you (Hitler replied) that when the National Socialist movement is victorious in this struggle, there will be a National Socialist court of Justice too. The 1918 revolution will be avenged and heads will roll!Ē
The courtroom burst into applause as Hitler had turned the issue from three Lieutenants to a referendum on the state and the treaty of Versailles. Hitler was viewed as a radical patriot striving to save the country from weak-kneed inept democrats. But in the democrats defense they understood that the National Socialists were barroom bullies and thugs. What they didnít understand was the corrosive effect that Hitlerís campaign of defamation was having on the publicís opinion of parliamentary government. They still assumed and expected an attempt to overthrow the government but failed to realize that the plan was to destroy the government by weakening it from within.
The Nazi success in the election began to make some in the Army question whether perhaps they were backing the wrong horse. Very few of the generals liked the Nazis or agreed with their radical policies but as generals and leaders of the Army they felt constrained by the 100,000 man Versailles limit. Moderate politics offered no future what so ever and fear of a communist coup fostered by the Naziís raised the level of tension even more. They were the military caste perhaps they could have their cake and eat it too? The Austrian Corporal promised a large military and huge budget increases and they felt certain they could handle this Austrian upstart.
The generals were of aristocracy or near aristocracy and were connected to the captains of industry and as the talk was spread about the industrialist quickly realized that like the generals the future of moderate politics offered little hope of lucrative military contracts. Soon the money began to flow into Nazi coffers. These cultured and educated men thought they could control the Nazis because they controlled the game. But the Nazis didnít care about the game, the game was politics and diplomacy but the Nazis played a different game a game that didnít give a damn about following rules.
With 50 members in the Riechstag the National Socialist Party could now go to work and prove to the Germany people just how ineffectual democratic governments could be.
They had only to propose great sounding programs that they knew would never be passed. Then to blame the democratic parties and then to remind the electorate that democratic governments where the problem and not the answer.
Nothing too cleaver, just gum up the works and as the situation deteriorates blame your opponents. Much like our own politics today, government is the problem not the answer.
But what could the moderate parties in the Reichstag do? Without the votes of either the Nazis or the Communists nothing could be done. Neither would vote for the programs of the other, which suited the Naziís just fine. Well meaning well-intentioned democratic politicians were undone by those who policies werenít driven by compromise. But to destroy democracy by stalemate.
What the centrist politicians could have done was to have exposed the National Socialists for what they were trying to do to the government. But they where too refined and civilized and it would be considered inappropriate to denounce fellow members. It would have been a breach of parliamentary procedure to throw down the gauntlet and declare that these men were trying to destabilize the government for the purpose of overthrowing it. In short, it would have been considered wrong. The Naziís were quite loud and hardly subtle but the centrist believed they could stay above the fray, to take the high road, the easy road, the road that made them look good. The road that didnít require that they actually confront the Nazis and get down in the mud and fight with them.
Maybe nothing would have changed, maybe it would have all turned out just the same anyway. But in the name of God, if there had been a 1% chance that they could have stopped them. But they were following the rules even if the Naziís were not, yet there comes a time when following rules chains you to a post and liberates your opponent who views their goals higher than playing by your rules. Those trying to do right appear weak while those seeking to achieve their goals by any means look strong and decisive.
In two years all of these Parliamentarians would be out in the street but when it was far too late they took a stand. Three weeks after the Riechstag fire Germanyís 9-11 Hitler proposed the enabling acts giving him unprecedented powers. The Social Democrats rose to oppose him, ďWe Germanyís Social Democrats pledge ourselves solemnly in this historic hour to the principles of humanity and justice, of freedom and socialism. No enabling act can give you the power to destroy ideas which are eternal and indestructible.Ē
But the lion was uncaged now and told them so, thatís the funny thing about sociopaths if you listen closely they will tell you the truth. But by this time that was all they could do was to listen as Hitler responded shouting, ďYou come late, but you come! You are no longer neededÖ The star of Germany will rise and yours will sink. Your death knell has soundedÖ I do not want your vote. Germany will be free, but not through you!Ē
By following the rules and proper etiquette the moderate politicians had given the Naziís free reign. Democracy is as helpless as a fat cow when subverted by the unscrupulous.
Following the rules is always the best course provided all sides follow them. But when they donít you must take a beating to stop them or youíll take the beating anyway.
The people want impeachment the government says no, the people want these wars to end the government says no. The people want the end of corporate rule the government says no. All but a handful of our Congressman and Senators are multi millionaires and they argue over minimum wage.
The hour is late, perhaps even now too late. The shadows of despotism fall across the room as the evening chill of totalitarianism enters our bones, you must take a beating to stop them or youíll take the beating anyway.
The laws passed to hunt down terrorists, to take their assets, to deprive them of legal status are as they are intended, they are pointed directly at you. The lack of jackboots doesnít change a thing Jack.