I've been rereading Albert Speer's book "Inside the Third Reich" it is a fascinating historical document. It is an illustration of a totally dysfunctional government. As the Reich's industrial base collapsed all around from Allied bombing and invasions, Hitler planned a scorched earth defense of Germany, simply to extend the life of the regime, a few more days.
Speer's job as armaments minister required he submit production reports to Hitler and by January 1945, the outlook was bleak. The Fuehrer accepted his reports without comment, but took exception to Speer's conclusion that the war was lost. Military conferences went on and despite the advancing Allied armies on all fronts; the talk was still of ultimate victory. In February of 1945, less than ninety days from a total German defeat, a military conference was held to discuss plans for a new four engine jet bomber.
No fuel for the tanks or air planes already available, with little or no ammunition at the front. Military units consisting of recently rounded up untrained boys and old men. The ministers were living inside of a fantasy. Outside the conference room some were more circumspect, but inside, they still played along with the game, because it was all they knew. All of their work and plans had ended in the unnecessary deaths of over 80 million people and the destruction of Europe. None of them, not one, had the courage to say, "We have been wrong and must change our policies."
Wedded to their positions, prestige and power, they were willing to look away from their crimes and hold themselves blameless. Imagine shouldering that burden, your policies in a criminal regime, caused a suffering which would never be forgotten. Your policies had helped to destroy a vibrant and educated nation. Modern pop culture holds that Hitler was a mad man, but that's too easy. Such thinking erases the crimes of the ministers, department heads and business executives or were they all mad?
The era draws into sharp focus the responsibilities of the people to government and of government to their people. Obviously, killing your own people to prolong your regime is wrong, but Hitler's scorched earth policy required the wholesale destruction of rail lines, factories and power stations. The German people would be allowed to starve or freeze to death in the cold. Inside their fantasy there would be no postwar Germany, because admitting to a postwar world was admitting defeat.
How is their delusion any different from that of our own government? In December, extended unemployment benefits ended for 1.8 MILLION Americans. They've been turned loose to starve or freeze to death in an economic scorched earth policy. This after, and in addition to, cuts to the SNAP (Food stamp) program, unemployment benefits are subsistence wages designed to keep people from falling into destitution. On average, 72,000 Americans lose their unemployment benefits each week, how will they live and where will they live?
How can government live in such a fantasy, as to simply ignore the people's suffering?
"An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil." ~ Barack Obama
Hello? The American auto industry, once responsible for one in ten jobs in this country is gone! And when our new four engine jet bombers reach the front, we can turn things around!
The German public was force-fed a steady diet of positive propaganda, but you can only convince the cold they're warm for so long and here we are. Wal-mart has begun a new ad campaign with a sixty-second commercial entitled "I am a Factory."
Reuters USA: "UN Human Rights Commissioner urges prosecution of North Korean Crimes"
"In a statement on Monday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said Washington looked forward "to thoroughly reviewing the report and discussing its recommendations with our partners, who share our deep concern about the human rights situation" in North Korea.
The report "provides compelling evidence of widespread and systematic human rights violations" by North Korea, where the rights situation was "among the world's worst," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said."
Obviously the North Korean's aren't saints, but are their crimes so compelling, have they invaded other nations setting up puppet regimes? Are they jailing political dissidents, without charge? Did they outsource their workers jobs to enrich the ruling clique? Have they forced millions of their own people into destitution for private personal gain?
We have no such similar "deep concerns" for the workers inside sweat shop factories in China, India or Latin America. Wedded to their positions, prestige and power, they are willing to look away from their crimes and hold themselves blameless. In his last hours, Hitler complained, the German people had failed him, rather than the other way around.
Bloomberg: Teenagers Spurn Working as School in US takes Priority