Hitler was the Most Consequential Person from 20th Century, Whether We Like It or Not
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how trying to cancel Kanye West validates his worldview. As readers know, I am a free speech absolutist because history consistently shows us that people who want to censor speech, however unpopular and tasteless it might be, never stop until they can control all speech. Censoring is always driven by a desire to obtain and retain power and control than considerations of social welfare. I would rather have Alex Jones freely shouting out his many theories on all social media platforms than have ivy league eunuchs try to decide which speech is appropriate. In any case, Alex has a far better record of being correct than your average network TV talking head. Similarly, Kanye spouting his increasingly elaborate theories about how Jews control the world is far less of a threat to you than the ADL or SPLC conspiring with other institutions to decide how to restrict your ability to express your opinions.
With that in mind, let us talk about another disturbing trend on the rise. This takes the form of “cancelling” all discussion about the influence of controversial and highly problematic figures in human history. Some of you might remember that normies in the MSM lambasted Kanye West for daring to suggest that there might have been something good and worthy of emulation in the life of Hitler. Well.. I have not seen the same reaction to anybody who said something similar about Stalin, Mao, Genghis Khan or Leopold II of Belgium. The last one is especially noteworthy because he ruled over Belgium when that nation perpetrated the worst genocide of the late 19th- early 20th century in Africa that resulted in the death of 10-15 million people. But most of you haven’t heard about it because the victims were black Africans, even though the slavery, robbery, mutilations and killings had a very strong racial component.
My point is that pretending to “cancel” the memory of some consequential but highly problematic person is all about virtue display and achieves less than nothing. Reducing them to 2D cartoons also achieves nothing and greatly reduces our understanding of their impact on the world. Furthermore, none of these fake displays of academic virtue bring any justice to the people who suffered because of their actions. It is, therefore, much better to freely study and accept the role of such people in human history- if only to make sure that their evil does not come back in a similar form. So let us talk about Hitler, specifically why his actions ended up defining the world after WW2- even if the results were completely contrary to his wishes. While we can pretend that funny mustache guy was an outrageous cartoon character, doing so cannot explain his huge impact on the 20th century and beyond.
1] Let us start with one of his most insignificant effects on history- the creation of the modern state of Israel. Yes.. you heard that right- without Nazis and their infamous ‘final solution’, there wouldn’t be anything like Israel around today. While a couple of western colonial powers, especially UK, did make noises about creating a homeland for the Jewish people after WW1, they did not really mean it. And let us be honest about something else, even the least anti-Semitic countries of the pre-WW2 era such as UK and USA were pretty anti-Semitic by the standards of today. The creation of a Jewish state, by any means, became a matter of urgency only after the horror of ‘final solution’ was revealed to the world after WW2. Until then, this idea was not especially popular with other major countries- especially those on the winning side in WW2. To put it bluntly, without Hitler and the Nazis, there would have be no Israel after WW2.
2] While Hitler was a great admirer of western, especially British, colonialism- the war he started ended up destroying the entire system of western colonialism in Asia and Africa. Here is an exercise.. have a look at the maps of various European colonial empires in 1938 and 1958. You might notice that there is a massive shrinkage in the area many European countries claimed in other continents and by the late 1960s, they are all gone. The effects of WW2, specifically the amount of death, destruction and destitution visited on Europe resulted in the complete and irreversible collapse of colonialism- at least its direct form. This is especially ironic since Hitler’s worldview was the ultimate expression of western colonialism. If you don’t believe me, read what he wrote and said about the Slavic people- a group he probably hated more than Jews.
3] A lot of our contemporary technology, institutions and worldview came from WW2. Everything from Jet Engines, Modern Airliners, Space Launchers, Cruise Missiles, Nuclear weapons, Nuclear Reactors, the Antibiotic Resolution, Computers and much more were either first developed during WW2 or a result of that conflict. Similarly the modern university, government funded research in areas from medicine to physics, universal healthcare and much more sprung the response to, and result of, WW2. I would go far as to say that modern western nation state is almost entirely a result of the social, cultural and technological changes which started during WW2. Hitler’s embrace of dumb but previously popular ideas such as Eugenics made them untenable after 1945. While many tens of millions died in WW2, almost everyone who survived ended up much better than before. That war was a net benefit to humanity.
4] The structure of international trade today is an indirect consequence of the second and third order effects of WW2. Let me remind you that Autarky, not transnational trade, was the dominant ideology behind how nations were run between WW1 and WW2. But the way things developed in the aftermath of WW2 made international trade the dominant ideology. We can certainly quibble about whether “free trade” is really free, but there is no denying that the effects of WW2 (specifically who came out on the winning side) had a massive and long-lasting effect on how patterns of trade and immigration developed. While this, once again, was the opposite of what Hitler and Nazis wanted- the outcome was largely due to the downstream effects of the very war they had started. The world where you can go a Thai or Ramen restaurant in USA or get a Pizza or Burger in even the most remote part of Asia, or buy a quality car built in Japan or South Korea and surf the web on a computer built from components made in China and Taiwan is a consequence of WW2.
In summary, Hitler was the most consequential person from the 20th century- but not because most of this ideas and beliefs came to fruition. Instead he set off a chain of events which accidentally ended up creating a world that was totally antithetical to his beliefs. My point is that it is possible to say that somebody was an evil person without neglecting or overlooking their massive impact of human history.
What do you think? Comments?
Pretty much agree with this, of course idiots will assume you're a Nazi for making the argument. its difficult to discuss WW2, Hitler is just a cartoon villain at this point. most people get their history from Hollywood
If you ever want to annoy a English man, tell him Britain was on the losing side in WW2. the average Scots or Welsh man may not really care
And yes of course the Jews were the hidden big winners that nobody should talk about
But if you go around with pictures of chairman mao you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow