Naziphobia is a big problem in the West right now. Irrational fear of Nazis, usually rooted in classism against workers and racism against Germans, is causing large amounts of unnecessary misery in the Western World. This essay will help the reader examine themselves for any signs of prejudice against members of the German National Socialist Worker’s Movement.
The common argument is that Nazism is inherently a hate ideology, and that it inherently calls for the destruction of non-followers. It is true that Mein Kampf does actually contain a plan to invade Eastern Europe and to starve the inhabitants to death to make way for German settlers, and therefore that anyone who supports Nazism is supporting ethnic cleansing and supremacist genocide, but there’s no reason to focus merely on that side of the story.
Some might argue an invasion followed by genocide by starvation is grossly antisocial, and that ideas so grossly antisocial should not be tolerated lest they become more popular. However, against this we can see that the standard for tolerance has been set by the degree shown for Abrahamic religious traditions, whose holy scriptures call for the extermination of non-followers and polytheists (Koran 9:5, Exodus 22:20).
After all, if the standards of tolerance are not exceeded by a holy book that commands its followers to kill polytheists, idolaters or homosexuals, or by an ideology that considers a man who chopped the heads off 600 Jews in one day to be the perfect man, then Nazism is clearly within acceptable bounds. Hitler’s plan merely called for the subjugation of Eastern Europe; Muhammad’s plan calls for the subjugation of the entire planet.
In any case, we cannot blame all Nazis for the actions of a few of their kind. To assume that all Nazis are violent just because many of them are is a form of prejudice and bigotry. Not all Nazis should be tarred with the brush of a violent few, and consideration should be given to the economic circumstances of Nazis before judgment is applied.
People argue that a repeat of a tragedy the size of World War II should be avoided at all costs, but it’s telling that people have to go back over 70 years to find an example of mass-scale Nazi violence. If anything, the fact that there has been no meaningful terrorist action in support of Nazism since 1945 is proof that Nazism has evolved from the barbarism that it’s often portrayed as in mass media.
Not all Nazis are violent. If they were, we’d all be dead by now.
It also has to be considered that some children are born into Nazi families and can’t simply give up the ideology because the rest of us tell them to. Many of these young people already feel like the world is against them, and overt expressions of Naziphobia will only make them less amenable to gentle persuasion.
Some middle-class people who don’t like Nazis ought to challenge themselves for any inner signs of class prejudice. Maybe they don’t really hate Nazis but really just hate working class people, and because working-class people are the most disaffected by the current political arrangement and therefore the most likely to see the appeal in Nazism, are the most likely to become Nazis. Therefore, Nazism is associated with the working class, which explains why so many people are prejudiced against Nazis.
As part of the efforts that need to be made to overcome institutional prejudice against Nazis and children of Nazi families, there is a need for more compassionate portrayals of Nazis in popular culture. The Government ought to fund media that stars Nazi characters and which portrays them as educated, competent and moral people. Perhaps it is even necessary to mandate that a certain percentage of television time be granted to Nazi characters.
Despite this show of compassion, we ought to help people to leave the ideology where possible. There was been success in funding community support groups for anyone willing to leave fundamentalist Abrahamic cults, and the same might be true of Nazism. Nazism is not as rough as Islam, since many Muslim countries still uphold the death penalty for apostasy, but there could still be value in wavering Nazis finding cameraderie in people who have turned their backs on what is really a hate ideology.
Ultimately, the olive branch must be held out to Nazis of all kinds. After all, the more aggressively we display contempt for Nazis, the more that individuals from Nazi families are likely to see us as the enemy and to dig their heels in. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Therefore, treat Nazis as you would wish to be treated yourselves. Part of this involves maintaining solidarity with Nazis and taking action against those who are prejudiced against Nazis. Anyone who insults Nazism or Nazis should be made aware, in no uncertain terms, that they are a bigot and that their prejudice has no place in a world of ideological diversity.
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