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Nietzsche Schmietzsche

Woof…my brain’s hurting a bit.

I just got done watching the film Nietzsche and the Nazis , made in 2006 by Dr. Stephen Hicks. This sucker’s almost three hours long, which is why my poor RAM-deprived brain was vibrating by its end. It’s pretty good if you like long and thorough explorations of philosophy, and spends much of its length discussing arguments both for and against the proposition that the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche was used by the National Socialists of the Third Reich in formulating and justifying its unique brand of murderous, psychotic policies.

I won’t get into that argument; both viewpoints have merit and I enjoyed the way they were batted back and forth as Dr. Hicks demonstrated how he ended up viewing the question. As usual, my favorite aspect of the film was actually a side issue, the breakdown at its end of what constitutes pro- and anti-Nazi principles. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I fret a lot that modern America is acting in ways that unpleasantly parallel various totalitarian governments, including the National Socialists, and we’re given a nice side-by-side graphical comparison that’s kind of handy for sussing out an opinion of one’s own on that subject.

About my only critique of this aid are the last entries, socialism vs. capitalism.

Both are limited, outdated and in fact rather misleading. ‘Socialism’ is better described as statism allowed to grow in power until it’s got its fingers in everything; if you want an ‘ism’ you’re better off using ‘fascism,’ which isn’t dependent upon the specious left/right paradigm, and simply means a corporatocracy of big government and big business in a cozy ‘partnership’ and is, I regret a pretty accurate statement of what we’re dealing with today in America.

‘Capitalism,’ on the other hand is an even worse description. It has negative connotations for many and was in actuality Karl Marx’ term for the free market he so despised. ‘Free market’ is a better term for the system that was our aim at this country’s founding, even though it never quite got there and is certainly almost the opposite of the crony capitalism/fascism/corporatocracy that’s our reality today. See why my head hurts?

Words are so damnably malleable today. When the supposedly preferable and anti-Nazi principle of ‘capitalism’ is actually perceived by so many to be the obnoxious ‘fascism’ the Nazis were so fond of, it’s time to hang up the Gone Flyin’ sign.

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