I recently found a discussion in which someone had mentioned the American Nazi party and was asking for opinions about what the consequences would be if the Nazis came to power in America. The scenario struck me as being a very typical product of the mind-set of the American mainstream and so I decided to respond directly but with emphasis on what I think is a much wider misconception that people have about power struggles in general, which unfortunatley makes them suceptable to the same traps that the German people fell into during Hitler’s rise to power.

First of all, people need to understand that today’s Nazis, just like todays Communists are holding onto dead relics that will never be anything more than an amusement. The reason why Nazis rose to power in Germany was because it was new – as a new entity it had the power of promise and illusion. It wasn’t tainted by historical blemishes like it is now.

The political forces to watch out for today are the neo-conservatives, for the same reason… It’s a new entity, not yet proven, not yet failed and still able to promise and misinform.

I’m not saying the political or economic theories of neo-cons and Nazis are anything alike but people place way too much emphasis on these theories. Theories are the stuff of academics and idealists. They never get past the papers and discussions until they get picked up by a power struggle and the power struggles are always the same. I think Stalin for instance, picked up communism because it was convenient – if capitalism was the new revolutionary idea at the time, I’m sure he would have used that – it wouldn’t have mattered to him as long as he attained the power he was looking for.

Hilter was one of the few dictators that actually created a theory (well, he wrote a book) but his ideas were essentially modifications of pre-exisiting ideas. He took advantage of the discontent of the German people to attain power by presenting a theoretical alternative. If the discontent wasn’t strong enough to initiate political movement, he used propaganda to amplify it until it was.

The neo-cons today are doing the same thing – amplifying our perceptions of failed social liberalism because it’s social liberalism from which they are taking power away and adopting the theories of market liberalism as the new meaning of freedom and democracy. But when you notice how the Bush administration breaks the rules of their own theories by protecting certain industries such as pharmaceuticals from free trade, you start to realize that it really isn’t the theories that matter as much as it is the power that they seek. After all, a power struggle is a power struggle. Like the thousands of times before the motives hidden behind the labels always the same.

…and like the thousands of times before, the people in general, fall for the illusions of a new and unfamiliar power grab as they concentrate their efforts on guarding themselves from the power grabs that have already expired.

Just read an article in the Washington Post about the new rules issued by the Bush administration last Wednesday for managing the national forests –

New Rules Issued for National Forests
. The article states that this new set of rules creates the biggest change in forest-use policies in nearly three decades and effects all 192 million acres of the countries 155 national forests.

The central feature of these rules is that a bureaucratic planning process will be replaced by a more corporate management approach… Hmmm, well I guess people haven’t figured out yet, after all the recent corporate scandals and failures…

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Google Search = “corporate scandals”

…that the corporate approach isn’t always such a great thing. The other problem with the “corporate approach” is that it’s always profit driven, in fact we could say, in most cases, that it’s profit obsessed. So how can we expect them to care about anything else such as the health of our environment or ourselves? Take a deep breath right now. Go ahead and do it. Now ask yourself where that oxygen came from. It came from trees, not just the one in your back yard, but from enough trees to make a difference, from vast forests. Yeah, lets put that in the hands of corporate management.

Sally Collins, associate chief of the U.S. Forest Service says that the new rules give economic activity equal priority with preserving the ecological health of the forests in making management decisions and in potentially liberalizing caps on how much timber can be taken from a forest. Well, first of all, don’t assume that just because a person works for the U.S. Forest Service that person is in favor of preserving the environment. You may have noticed the Bush administration has been very busy making staff changes in government departments. Secondly, there is something seriously wrong with the idea of putting economic and environmental concerns on the same level. Economy is a made-made cycle that roughly operates in 10-year cycles, you can totally screw an economy up and in a few years recover it. Not the same with the environment where the cycle is more like a million years. If we screw up the environment there is no going back, in fact if we screw it up enough we can permanently screw up our own ability to lead healthy lives although I’m sure corporations would love to profit from selling oxygen tanks to people who would like to live. Don’t laugh – it’s not as far-fetched as you think. People 100 years ago would not have believed that corporations would be profiting by selling water to people in third world countries that have no other source despite the fact they have a natural abundance of water. Pollution really changes things.

Collins also said the administration sought to update the rules to address new challenges, such as invasive species and forest fires, and to give the public input on how to manage the forests rather than commenting on individual projects. Oh yeah, how can I forget the much applauded pseudo-science that Bush has ushered in, where established science is overturned by bullshit popularity science.

(remember that post about Lysenkoism?)

The idea that forests have to be thinned is a perfect example… ridiculous; unbelievable how people actually buy that crap.

Washington Post says Forest Service officials estimated the changes will cut its planning costs by 30 percent and will allow managers to finish what amount to zoning requirements for forest users in two to three years, instead of the nine or 10 years they sometimes take now.
Ah yes, the economic cycles are too short to be patient, just like the quarterly stock reports don’t allow corporations to make short term sacrifices for long term gains anymore. Day traders want their instant gratifications immediately. So this makes sense. Thank you Bush for putting the long-term environment in the hands of short-term profit seekers. I mean, really now, when it comes to the environment, what was so bad about a 10 year process?

The government will no longer require that its managers prepare an environmental impact analysis with each forest’s management plan, or use numerical counts to ensure there are “viable populations” of fish and wildlife. Of course… Why let things like pollution or extinction or any ill-effect for that matter get in the way of a short-sighted economic need? Hell, if this is the way things are going to be done, then why do I need to get a permit from my city to build my deck? Why should I let things like building and safety codes get in the way of building an addition to my house if I’m in a hurry?

Rep. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a member of the House Resources Committee who tried twice unsuccessfully to block the proposed rules, said “With Bush’s anti-environmental forest policy, you can’t blame him for trying to hide behind other news, but not even Scrooge would unveil these regulations,” Udall said. “These regulations, being offered two days before Christmas, cut the public out of the forest planning process, will inspire many more lawsuits and provide less protection for wildlife. It’s a radical overhaul of forest policy.” …No shit.

Chris West, vice president of the American Forest Resource Council, called the new rules “a step in the right direction” that will allow forest managers to make “better, more informed and quicker decisions” about timber sales. “This will get the Forest Service caring about the land and caring about the people, instead of caring about the process and serving the bureaucracy,” said West, who represents lumber and paper companies as well as landowners in 13 western states… A word of wisdom from a representative of the lumber and paper industry… Perfect.

OK, I think I’m going to hurl now.

I watched Bush this morning talk during the press conference about the partial privatization of Social Security. He keeps saying it’s our money and we should be able to invest it in our own private accounts. That may sound like a nice thing to say and it fits that whole “take control back from the government” rhetoric but really it’s a pretty stupid thing to say when you think about it.

The money was always ours, we never put money in without the promise that we would get it out. What the government did was provide a service for pooling the money together from which payments to retired people can be made. Now Bush is telling us to look at private accounts… In other words, the government will be downgrading it’s service, shirking it’s responsibility and yet… “our money” as Bush calls it, will be subjected to very strict guidelines for investment. Bush laughed and said, you can’t invest it in the horse races or the lottery. Well, what I want to know is why not? If it’s our money, what the hell does it matter to him? So let’s cut through the bull crap here. What is the Bush administration really saying? It’s seems to me like what they are saying is that they want to cut the government service, but they still want to control what we do with our money.

Screw that shit, if the government isn’t going to take responsibility for my money then what gives them the right to tell me what to do with it?