Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Courtly Reich --- Westminster Wisdom

Power does not change its forms as much as we think. Whether it is a state which controls vast resources and populations or a state which has shrunk to the level of the city or the village, the means of exercising power and its problems are often similar. A state has to use levers to exert force- the image is exact because the order of a single politician has little to no power, it is the way that that is converted into the actions of hundreds, thousands or millions that is the key to his power. The Third Reich in that sense is an interesting example of what a state can do- insane and destructive policies which led to hideous human rights abuses and the holocaust, not to mention the destruction of Germany and much of Europe in the bloodiest war ever seen. Amongst the central issues anyone has to confront when they look at Hitler's regime is how such insanity- and such unstable clowns- came to govern a civilised and educated state for 12 years and become intensely popular, not merely in Germany but also abroad. How did they exert that influence- what kind of levers did they pull?

Continued at Westminster Wisdom here

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