getting grandeur

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell

German Historical Museum… NYTimes story here.

How was Hitler’s rise possible?

The dictatorship rested on mass enthusiasm and approval…

“This is what we call self-mobilization of society.”

How could Hitler and National Socialism, which were responsible for war, crimes and genocide, count on widespread acceptance by German society until the very end?

Why were so many Germans willing to align their conduct with the »Führer« and thus actively support the Nazi dictatorship?

There was nothing about him that seemed to predestine him to rise to power.

Nonetheless he was soon surrounded by devout followers and came to be the most powerful man in Europe. His power can therefore not be explained simply on the basis of his personal characteristics.

More important are the socio-political conditions and the mindset of the German people at this time. He mobilized their social fears and hopes and utilized them for his own purposes.

Francis Ford Coppola:

I guess that I feel, of all the human evils, of which we have thousands of years of record and our own contemporary experiences, the most horrible evil of all is hypocrisy.

It’s this idea that there are those who do bad and there are those who do good, when, in fact, even the people who supposedly do good are saying they do good to mask the fact that they do evil.

Without thinking about it in terms of the things I might be interested in, I’m constantly struck with how do-gooders are, in the end, doing evil, and it’s masked by the fact that they lie about it.

Pro-lifers, people who love life, who believe in the sanctity of the life of a child, they’ll go and murder a man, or that people devoted to religion and goodliness can abuse children, that our politicians who say one thing are really doing another.

So this human aspect of hypocrisy fascinates me because if one could eliminate the lie, and one could eliminate hypocrisy, then you could be on the road to eliminating so many terrible things that plague people.

“I hate the stench of a lie.” – J. Conrad