As in the days of fascism and Nazism, is our age one of irrationality?

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Article by WN.Com Correspondent Dallas Darling

Even by the most primitive norms, the rise of fascist leaders and Nazism that engulfed Europe and the world at the beginning of the 20th century seemed a sign of irrationality.

As a result, the key to understanding the success of Adolf Hitler is the reason why so many Germans and others supported the lies in the Nazi's rejection of a rational, factual world, in what Hitler believed.

The Fuehrer himself, in the words of his biographer Joachim Fest, "was always the unthinkable of thinking, and in his statements invariably an element of bitter refusal to submit to reality emerged."1 This new irrationality was based on the hatred, prejudice and ideology that certain groups of people should rule over others.

Just as in the time of fascism and Nazism, some are now beginning to embrace the unthinkable. In their statements of bitter refusal to submit to reality, their irrational exuberance makes way for the pursuit of a dystopian world. Consider the attempt to call voting rights a "coup d'etat" or a senate that wants to continue to finance its longest and pointless war. In addition to overthrowing more foreign leaders, another billionaire has just announced his possible career for the presidency – something that only late capitalism could achieve. Some leaders also ask their experts on foreign policy: "Why can not we use nuclear weapons?" This includes either bullying or intelligence agencies lying about their assessments.

Justifying the irrational

"In a free society," wrote Ayn Rand, "one does not have to deal with people who are irrational, you are free to avoid them." The only problem is what if the leaders are irrational? Republican leaders have therefore simply denounced a new bill in the Senate to ensure automatic and internet voter registration and early voting, as well as banning states from restricting a voter's ability to post in ballot papers. It would also have meant that voters had to be protected from registration and campaign financing reforms that would block contributions from companies with significant foreign influences. This included enforcing campaigns to uncover donors that provide more than $ 10,000.

The rejection of rationality during the rise of Nazism and fascism was also accompanied by a rejection of the liberal, more reasonable time of the Enlightenment. Indeed, the cynical dishonesty of Nazi propaganda, the dismantling of voting rights and civil liberties, received a significant boost from the cult of irrationality that drove their followers. It consisted of the hatred, prejudice and superstition of which civilized Europeans thought they belonged to a distant past from the Middle Ages. The fascination with irrationality surfaced everywhere, even in disciplines such as law and free speech. So much so that the function of a legal system and speech that liberated people from fear enslaved them.

Irrationality – The Square Root Of Evil

Nothing defines the leaders of a nation more than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of incredibly blunt and deadly corporations. It is no secret that the US is trying to defeat the Venezuelan government. This despite the fact that it has improved the standard of living of the poor of Venezuela. Public health has expanded to more than 60% of the population, making it the UN development program of countries with the highest human development index. It is also a reduction in child mortality, heart disease and HIV / AIDS. More than 1.5 million affordable houses have been built, putting Venezuela in second place because of the lowest homeless rate in Latin America.2

Hitler and Nazism were defined by their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of deadly efforts as well. By bringing together deliberate deception and propaganda, the concern about public irrationality could be seen in the many years of fake news and false stories against certain peoples. It emphasized feelings of hatred and exaltation at the gut level. Their emphasis on race purity and superiority reflects that of American leaders – only in a nationalist sense of exceptionality. Because others are unsuited to rule, let alone determine their own destiny, they must be those who rule. It led to preventive wars followed by military occupations – and enormous amounts of massacre and death.

Driven by irrationality and psychopathology

Today the list of irrationalities is endless. Donald Trump not only stated that Mexico and the southern border of the US were worse than the war in Afghanistan, mainly in defense of his bid for the border wall, 3 but he regularly asks policy experts: "Why can not we use nuclear weapons?"4 The US and Trump – who now has the

core codes – have withdrawn from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, making Vladimir Putin of Russia do the same. And while the Senate has just voted to expand the wars in Syria and Afghanistan – the latter is America's longest and most senseless, Howard Schultz, another billionaire, wants to run for president. It is just like problems to solve the same problems.

Although there is nothing more disastrous than an absurd agenda in an irrational world, a contemporary observer, Peter Drucker, was keenly aware of how the Nazi and fascist movements profited from their attraction to irrationality and the absurd. He thought that Nazi and fascist doctrines had evolved in a general climate of loss of faith – not only in liberalism but also in socialism. Because there were no positive answers to social problems, Nazism could only & # 39; against & # 39; anything, even inconsistent things or things that seemed reasonable and practical. At that time, Nazism was anti-conservative and anti-liberal, anti-capitalist and anti-socialist and, above all, anti-moral and anti-Semitic.5

Irrational beliefs Equal culturally accepted delusions

This kind of anti-everything, including the loss of "total" conviction – even in life itself, was just unveiled when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer jumped from his death on a balcony in the busiest airport in Florida. During the commotion, half of the passengers rushed past the checkpoints. Others took out their phones to take pictures of the horrible and chaotic scene.6 This apparent suicide stems from a report describing how the suicide rate tripled in the US Special Operations Forces in 2018. The Pentagon described it as a disturbing, unexplained phenomenon.7 But it must be clear: repeated dedication in the name of a dilapidated, irrational nation that is always at war. Wars, which are also absurd.

In a particularly sharp remark, Drucker also noted that Nazism did not succeed because people believed the messages, but despite the fact that it was not. Nazi successes, he stressed, had been witnessed by a hostile press, a hostile radio, a hostile film, a hostile church, and a hostile government that tirelessly pointed to the Nazi lies, the inconsistency of the Nazi & # 39; s, the indisputability of their promises and the dangers and foolishness of their course. Nobody should have been a Nazi if a rational belief in the Nazi promises had been a requirement. Consequently, the nazi's sole profession was to accomplish its task through a kind of irrationality, a miracle and superstition.

If this kind of irrationality is known, it should do so. The same can be seen today in the United States and Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, Poland and Austria. Because a loss of – and in – faith is a must for a contempt in truth – and facts, it is good for the politically unskilled who do not know the right things that have to do with the rights and powers that have been granted to them. Just as Aldous Huxley warned: People act in a wide variety of irrational ways, but they all seem capable, if given a fair chance, to make a reasonable choice in light of the available evidence. Democratic institutions can & # 39; only & # 39; be put to work if all those involved do their best to transfer knowledge and promote rationality.

Although history does not repeat itself exactly in the same way, our time can very well be one of irrationality, as in the days of fascism and Nazism.

Dallas Darling (darling@wn.com)

(Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An AZ Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections on Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, and Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: reflections on faith, politics, spirituality, history and peace He is a correspondent for www.WN.com You can read more about the writings of Dallas at www.beverlydarling.com and www.WN.com / dallasdarling.)

1 Hett, Benjamin Carter. The Death of Democracy: Hitler & # 39; s Rise To Power. London, UK: Penguin Random House, 2018, p. 13.

2 www.axisoflogic.com. "MSM will not tell you, but here's a few of the" awful things "about the Maduro government & # 39 ;, by TeleSur, Feb. 2, 2019.

3 www.newsweek.com. "Trump says that Mexico is worse than Afghanistan in defense of the bid for the boundary wall & # 39 ;, by Chantal Da Silva, January 31, 2019.

4 www.thinkprogress.com. "9 Terrifying things Donald Trump has publicly said about nuclear weapons" by Judd Legum, August 4, 2016.

5 Hett, Benjamin Carter. The Death of Democracy: Hitler & # 39; s Rise To Power, p. 197.

6 www.local10.com. "TSA officer commits suicide, flies at Orlando International Airport," by Tim Swift, 2 February 2019.

7 www.Good King News.com. "US Special Ops Suicides Triple in 2018, such as Military Confronts the Issue", by Barbara Starr, February 2, 2019.