When I was in grade school I was taught that every one had an active conscience by the age of seven. This begs the question: did Nazi Germany’s Adolph Hitler have a conscience? Most would say Hitler was the avatar of evil and ranks as the most pernicious human being of the 20th century and therefore had a twisted conscience.
I think others may think he did not know right from wrong and therefore was more a sociopath than just an evil man. In his Conversations with Hitler Hermann Rauschning, president of the senate of the Free City of Danzig in the early 1930s revealed that Hitler had told him: I liberate man from the constraint of a spirit…(and) from the filthy and degrading torments inflicted on himself by a chimera called conscience and morality and from the claims of a freedom and personal autonomy that only very few can ever be up to.
According to this statement, Hitler believed, not in freedom of conscience but the next logical step–freedom from conscience. Herman Goring, who considered himself the Vice-Fuhrer, also told Rauschning: I have no conscience. My conscience is… Adolph Hitler.
I submit that everyone has a conscience, including Adolph Hitler. Goring’s contradictory comments prove my point. For most people conscience is that voice of reason, tempered by religious faith, self-interest and human passion. Hitler’s conscience was formed by his early belief in God, his painful experiences in World War II, his early successes as a politician, the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, his short-term in prison, his rhetorical powers and his messianic talent for exciting and attracting millions of disciples.
The Gospels of the religion of his adolescence, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, were summarily replaced by the Gospel according to Darwin, Nietzsche, Wagner and especially Machiavelli during his adult life.
According to historian Lawrence Birken, the intellectual views that fueled Hitler’s conscience were coherent and well grounded in Western thought. Birken believed Hitler’s thinking was firmly rooted in the rationalist and scientific outlook of the 18th-century European Enlightenment.
The most attractive feature of his ideology was its infectious optimism in the German future. It was not merely his excitable and volatile moods but the force of his nationalistic message that aroused the passions of the German people into a fever pitch. Hitler became the secular messiah who proclaimed the good news of German deliverance. Class reconciliation, a national revival and a common enemy whose annihilation would usher in the millennium, excited his audiences into frenzy.
Hitler spoke the raw language of the Enlightenment. His economic worldview, writes Birken, was likewise rational, self-consistent, progressive and entirely in keeping with Western tradition. On the surface his eugenic racial views were comparable to those of Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill and especially Margaret Sanger.
This is a painful truth that the world does not want to hear. Progressives erroneously love to claim Jesus Christ for themselves with regard to gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia. Had Hitler been born in America, it is Hitler, not Christ, who more than likely would have been the liberal.
As a human being Hitler sought only what he perceived as the “good” for Germany. This is consistent with Plato who said that all men seek the true, the good and the beautiful. What was Hitler’s “good?” It was the resurrection of Germany as a respected world power. Is this end evil in itself? Should not all nations seek the good for their citizens? As the philosophers tell us the devil is in the details.
The problem is not with the ends but with the means. Bob Beckel, one of the left’s most argumentative TV agitators was up against four conservative-leaning commentators on The Five on Fox weekdays for many years. A few years ago he said that even though the Obama regime and the Democrats had failed to do much good… our hearts were in the right place. They meant well. Beckel seems clueless or in a state of psychological denial when reminded that his ends have been damaged and perverted by his means. This thinking is pure Machiavellian.
It was the same with Adolph Hitler. He viewed the infirmed, the handicapped, the elderly, the insane and all useless eaters as obstacles to German progress. With such a purity of intention, it was not a quantum leap to use starvation, toxic gas-filled trucks and lethal showers to rid Germany of those unworthy of life. Germany’s return to the racial purity of its past justified Hitler’s lethal means in his mind.
When it comes to conservative complaints about their means, the American left chides them for being too judgmental. The enlightened but unwritten rule of the sixties clearly stated that they had the right to be whatever they wanted to be. Hitler would have been very comfortable with this way of thinking. Winning elections and their humanistic goals excused a multitude of sins.
Just witness how progressives act when they ignore the inhumane treatment unborn babies receive in the left’s medical death centers. Their indifference is comparable to what Josef Stalin did in Ukraine. Just ask any Ukrainian how much of their blood he shed in the 1930s. The Holodomor, which in Ukrainian means killing by hunger, was a Stalin-made famine, which killed several million Ukrainians by mass starvation and disease.
The argument then can easily be made that the collective conscience of the American left was chiseled from the same 18th century rock as Adolph Hitler’s. While Hitler killed six million Jews and several million others who died in the war he initiated, Stalin killed even more. To date the American left is responsible for 58 million dead in its abattoirs that dot all our major cities. Of course Stalin would have said something that holds true for Hitler and all other Machiavellians. This is not a tragedy but merely a statistic.