Nazis

Mein Kampf, E-Readers, and the Power of Nazi Propaganda

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Mein Kampf is the sleeper e-book hit of 2013, with a number of competing digital versions of Hitler's autobiographical manifesto surging at online retailers. According to journalist Chris Faraone, the trend may have much to do with the anonymity digital editions afford readers. 

People might not have wanted to buy Mein Kampf at Borders or have it delivered to their home or displayed on their living room bookshelf, let alone get spotted reading it on a subway, but judging by hundreds of customer comments online, readers like that digital copies can be quietly perused then dropped into a folder or deleted.

Mein Kampf survives as one of the most effective pieces of propaganda created by the Nazis, who knew a lot about using mass media to instill fear and loyalty. In a 2010 Reason TV video, Steve Luckert of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's highlighted some of the artifacts displayed in"State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda." Among them: a braille copy of Mein Kampf.

The original text from the Dec. 2, 2010 video, which was produced by Jim Epstein, is below. 

From radio and film to newspapers and publishing, the Nazi regime controlled every aspect of German culture from 1933-1945. Through Josef Goebbels' Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, the German state tightly controlled political messaging, promoting deification of the leader—the Führerprinzip—and the demonization of the ubiquitous and duplicitous "racial enemy." A new exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., examines "how the Nazi Party used modern techniques as well as new technologies and carefully crafted messages to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany." Reason.tv's Michael C. Moynihan visited with museum historian and curator Steve Luckert to discuss the role and effectiveness of propaganda in the rise of fascism and what lessons can be drawn from the Nazi experiment in mass manipulation

Approximately 6 minutes.

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  1. Homer’s Brain: Don’t tell him you were reading Mein Kampf. But what else can I buy online?

    Homer: It’s a pornography store. I was buying pornography.

    Homer’s Brain: Heh, heh, heh. I would never have thought of that.

  2. If the Tea Party isn’t a bunch of racists and Nazis, then how do you explain this??? HUH???

    1. Darn! Caught in the jaws of carefully crafted logic and found out!

    2. Somewhere in my room is a copy of Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’.

      It really does explain a lot about how the left-wing activist thinks regarding politicizing everything and making it divisive and personal.

      1. Alinsky’s RfR is a very important read. From the righteous posturing to well thought out tactics it a still an important primer for the left. Some tactics are outdated but they still give a person an idea of how to establish a tactic for current days.

        OTOH Mein Kampf is a huge pile or poorly written crap. Even during the National Socialist tenure the book was regarded as something to have seen in your house but do not actually waste time opening it.

        1. In line 4 or = of. Preview, never heard of it.

  3. It is amazing that both the Nazis and their ideological twins the Marxists managed to convince so many people they were complete opposites, while engaging in nearly identical public policy.

    1. Actually I have heard a Friedrich Hayek follower or two say that Hitler said “Nazism is Marxism without all the international BS.” A Professor Peter Boettke video comes to mind on that one. Yet, I have not been able to find a direct source for that. Anybody know if this is for real or just an exaggeration?

      1. Don’t know if Hitler actually said that. However, Hayek wrote in The Road to Serfdom:

        What, then, caused these views held by a reactionary minority finally to gain the support of the great majority of Germans and practically the whole of Germany’s youth? It was not merely the defeat, the suffering, and the wave of nationalism which led to their success. Still less was the cause, as so many people wish to believe, a capitalist reaction against the advance of socialism. On the contrary, the support which brought these ideas to power came precisely from the socialist camp. It was certainly not through the bourgeoisie, but rather through the absence of a strong bourgeoisie, that they were helped to power. The doctrines which had guided the ruling elements in Germany for the past generation were opposed not to the socialism in Marxism but to the liberal elements contained in it, its internationalism and its democracy. And as it became increasingly clear that it was just these elements which formed obstacles to the realization of socialism, the socialists of the Left approached more and more to those of the Right. It was the union of the anticapitalist forces of the Right and of the Left, the fusion of radical and conservative socialism, which drove out from Germany everything that was liberal.

        1. If you read the diaries and speeches of the NSDAP leadership and AH himself it is abundantly clear they saw themselves as a movement of the left. AH frequently stated that the mortal enemy of NS was the German CP because they were fighting for support from the same audience. To see how close they were, read the NSDAP and DCP platforms from the electoral period- it is hard to tell them apart.

          AH was contemptuous of the parties on the right because he saw them as weak and lacking German support.

    2. It seems to me that this is a more recent opinion, or at least only an opinion that is prevalent when there is open ideological warfare.

      When I was in college, during the Clinton administration, I had a hard core Marxist sociology professor explain the political spectrum as an almost connected circle rather than a line, openly admitting that the opposite ends of the spectrum are far more similar than they are different, particularly in regards to their use of totalitarianism. He was clear in his interpretation that communism and fascism are virtually identical in almost every way.

      Perhaps this was the interpretation of one marxist where he differed from the rest, but I doubt it. He and I disagreed often and vehemently, but we certainly had a open respect for one another, particularly when I would use his own interpretation of political similarities and differences in arguments.

      1. The only time I’ve ever heard that circle of BS before is to “prove” that they are opposites, even thought they share “some” common characteristics. Jonah Goldberg talked about it a few times that way on his Liberal Fascism tour.

      2. the political spectrum as an almost connected circle rather than a line, openly admitting that the opposite ends of the spectrum are far more similar than they are different, particularly in regards to their use of totalitarianism. He was clear in his interpretation that communism and fascism are virtually identical in almost every way.

        That’s because it looks like this.

        1. I think I can circle that square.

          1. Circle gets the square.

            I’m sure you can, but there is no sense reinventing the wheel.

            Left, right up and down.

          2. Still does not help me find out if Hitler really said Nazism is Marxism without the international BS.

      3. It seems to me that this is a more recent opinion, or at least only an opinion that is prevalent when there is open ideological warfare.

        It is not at all new. Hayek has an entire chapter in The Road to Serfdom titled “The Socialist Roots of Naziism”. Mises described how Nazism was de facto socialism in Omnipotent Government. Both of those books were published in 1944.

        I had a hard core Marxist sociology professor explain the political spectrum as an almost connected circle rather than a line…

        About which, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn wrote:

        The Communists, the Socialists, and the Anarchists were identified with the left, and the Fascists and the National Socialists with the right. At the same time one discovered a number of similarities between the Nazis on the one side and the Communists on the other. Thus the famous and perfectly idiotic formula arose: “We are opposed to all extremism, be it from the left or the right. And, anyhow, Red and Brown are practically the same: extremes always meet.” All this is the result of very sloppy thinking, because extremes never meet. Extreme cold and extreme heat, extreme distance and extreme nearness, extreme strength and extreme weakness, extreme speed and extreme slowness, none of them ever “meet.” They do not become identical or even alike.

        1. “Extreme cold and extreme heat, extreme distance and extreme nearness, extreme strength and extreme weakness, extreme speed and extreme slowness, none of them ever “meet.” They do not become identical or even alike.”

          But extreme forms of authoritarianism do meet because both National Socialism and International Socialism trample on property rights and individual freedom.

          1. They “meet” because they are on the same extreme end of the spectrum to begin with, not opposites. That was Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s point.

    3. Political platforms are almost incidental, based on popularity and the fashion of the time. The real distinction is between liberal pragmatism (doing what works in service of human well-being) and dogmatism, which can take any form really, from communism to fascism to theocracy to libertarianism.

      1. LOL! Oh yes, those pragmatic programs like when an $800 billion stimulus program makes unemployment 2% higher than it otherwise would have been, or gun control that has no effect on murder rates, or 50 years of a “war on poverty” that accomplishes nothing but halting the historic fall in poverty rates that had proceeded it, or rail projects that fall into bankruptcy because they can’t attract any passengers, etc, etc, etc. Yeah, we need more “pragmatism” like that.

  4. One can be a not racist, or even Jewish, and still want to read it rather than pretending it never existed.

    1. Yes. I read a couple chapters of it once just to see what it was all about. It looked like it could have been written by almost any politician today.

    2. How can you oppose something that you are not familiar with? How can we be critics of Marxism without having read Marx? How can we argue against National Socialism without having read Hitler?

  5. Wenn ist das Nunst?ck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!

    1. Don’t let that 24ahead wacko hear you talking Mexican like that or he’ll have a fit.

        1. I can say without reservation that this is your best work in the last 5 years. Congrats.

          1. I would offer to reward you with this, but I’m going to drink it myself.

  6. You know who else wrote a book?

      1. +1000 intertubz

  7. Mein Kampf is the sleeper e-book hit of 2013, with a number of competing digital versions of Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto surging at online retailers. According to journalist Chris Faraone, the trend may have much to do with the anonymity digital editions afford readers.

    Wow, I did Nazi that coming!

    1. I see what you…

      Oh, just fuck off. You’ll burn in hell for that.

      1. Was that pun out of your kampfert zone?

          1. Sevo seems to like rimming this time of night 🙂

          2. I regret hitting SUBMIT on that comment. I guess you could say I rimshotted myself.

            1. Playa, you blow hard!

  8. Nice slam from the LA Times:Two different digital versions of “Mein Kampf” currently rank third and fourth on the Politics & Current Events on iBooks, outpacing books by modern-day conservative pundits and celebrities such as Sarah Palin, Charles Krauthammer and Glenn Beck.

    1. Nothing intended, I’m sure.

    2. I had an interesting talk with my dad (who is one of the dinosaur print subscribers to the LA Times) earlier this week about their article selection. Front page: the Lee Baca resignation. Below the fold: nothing.

      Every other paper in America that day: The Gates memoirs and related criticism of Obama. Not so much as a whisper in the Times.

    3. I like the poster at 4:22. Look at it and then google images ‘ Obama halo’.

      Two former die- hard supporters of the chief shit weasel refuse to talk to me about him anymore. They are very obviously embarrassed about him.
      I have no mercy. It was always obvious what he is.

      1. Suthen, do you have a quick sec for a Maeng Da question?

        1. Uh, sure.
          I dunno what maeng da is, but sure.
          Googling now

          1. It wasn’t you that recommended Mu Synergetics? My bad…

            1. Wasn’t me, sorry.

              1. Sorry. After 10 minutes of googling, I found that it was Butt Naked. I don’t know why I keep getting you confused…

  9. Comeon man that makes no sense at all dude.

    http://www.AnonGlobal.tk

  10. I can’t speak for the purchasers of Mein Kampf, but personally I buy electronic versions of marginal books for the simple reason they’re cheaper. I might be willing to risk $5 on an electronic book I’d never spend $15 for.

    A good choice in this case. I once tried to read Mein Kampf, and it’s the greatest cure for insomnia ever devised. Didn’t make it through the first two chapters.

  11. My (public!) high school library had a copy of Mein Kampf. I checked it out once and skimmed it, which ended up with the counselor pulling me aside and me having to protest that I’m not a Nazi and was purely interested in it as a piece of history. The giant swastika on the cover as I carried it around campus probably didn’t help, but still, the book was available and nobody raised a stink about it.

  12. I took a look at “Mein Kampf” some time ago, using a FREE online version (you don’t even have to pay for it – but it’s hardly worth the price).

    It looked like any mainstream American politician could have written it. A bunch of stuff about the state ensuring entitlements for the people.

  13. Sounds like a bunch of people are about to find out Mein Kampf is almost unreadable. Its not effective at anything. Hitler even kind of disowned it.

    Funny thing is I read it at the same time as Plato’s Republic and their similarities are uncanny. Egomaniacs who do a very poor job at reasoning why they should be able to tell everyone what to do.

  14. People forget that the first country the Nazis conquered was their own.

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