I heard about Jeff Weise’s shooting spree in Minnesota from the radio the other night, and the next day found out that he was some sort of Neo-Nazi from this article. He associated himself with a group called the Libertarian National Socialist Green party, whose internet forums he’d post on under the name Todesangel.
Here’s a paragraph from the article, excerpting from one of his posts:
“When I was growing up, I was taught (like others) that Nazi’s were (are) evil and that Hitler was a very evil man, ect,” wrote Todesengel, in a quote not corrected for spelling and grammar. “Of course, not for a second did I believe this. Upon reading up on his actions, the ideals and issues the German Third Reich adressed, I began to see how much of a lie had been painted about them. They truly were doing it for the better.”
If the Nazis didn’t like your racial makeup or the job you worked, they would ship you off to a slave camp and work you until you died. Then they’d shave your hair off and stuff pillows with it. Then they’d skin you to make lampshades. Then they’d burn or bury the rest en masse. The Nazis were evil, and so was Jeff Weise–both for his beliefs and his murderous, suicidal rampage.
And another thing… where do people get off referring to Nazis as “extreme rightwing.” I’ve never understood that. I first learned political theory in a sophomore year history course in high school. The teacher was Tip-Toe Joe and he explained the political spectrum as it’s commonly known, with Commies on the left and Nazis on the right. It didn’t make sense to me, since Nazis were big government, worker-party socialists too, and moving further away from communism should mean less socialism, less government, and more individual responsibility and freedom. Moving to the extreme right, you don’t get Nazism, you get anarchy. I pointed this out, and he said some nonsense about the spectrum being circular, that the extremes end up being the same. True in the traditional sense, I guess, but the traditional understanding is clearly using obfuscatory language and doesn’t mean much of anything. It’s little more than a parable the lesson of which is to strive for moderation. The left-right spectrum, understood as I do, is this: moving to the right means more individual freedom and responsibility, moving to the left means more social freedom and responsibility. Right-wing politics empowers the individual, left-wing politics empowers the elite caretakers of society–whether they be technocrats or religious fanatics.
I imagine the confusion about what is right-wing comes from Europe, where political parties are right-wing if they are openly religious. To stereotype Germans, for example, George W. Bush is “extreme right wing” because he’s a born again Christian. Consider this, from Medien Kritik, as an example of Germans viewing American politics through the prism of German domestic politics. Another example would be when my former German exchange student visited me a year or so ago. He’d just finished up his “American Studies” degree, in which they learned about the moral equivalence between Hiroshima and the Holocaust. He capped off his studies with a road trip across America, in which he developed an even deeper disgust for the average American. By the time he got here, he had all sorts of stories to tell about the yahoos out West. The most confusing was when he was telling me about the “extreme conservative talk radio.” I assumed he’d meant Rush Limbaugh or something politically oriented, but he really meant the Gospel stations in the Southwest. But this explanation defies Nazism, since Hitler refuted Christianity.