Posted: Oct 01, 2014 9:18 pm
by Calilasseia
Oh look, it's the veiled "Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot was an atheist" trope, and once again, it's time to expose how specious this is.

First of all, these individuals were not practising "atheism", they were enforcing conformity to doctrines. Stalin and Pol Pot were enforcing conformity to their own peculiar interpretations of Marxism, which is a doctrine based upon economic assertions presented as "axioms", as anyone who has actually read Das Kapital is well placed to tell you. Hitler invented his own doctrine, and struggled to enforce conformity to that.

First of all, let's perform a little experiment. Let's see if Darwin is mentioned anywhere in Mein Kampf, shall we? Along with some other key words? Here's the result of the experiment on my searchable electronic copy of Mein Kampf (Unexpurgated edition, original translation into English by James Murphy, available online at the Gutenberg Project website):

Number of occurrences of "Darwin" : ZERO

Number of occurrences of "God" : 37

Number of occurrences of "Almighty" : 6

Number of occurrences of "Creator" : 8

Well that's starting to look as if your poisonous and frankly obscene attempt to follow the arch-charlatan Richard Weikart in pinning the blame for the Holocaust on Darwin is looking shaky right from the start, isn't it? But it gets better. Because Mein Kampf, and indeed several of Hitler's other outpourings, rather make a mockery of your tacky little attempt to poison the well here.

And, since you have erected this specious trope, let's take a look at Mein Kampf in depth, shall we, since I happen to have a searchable electronic version available for this very purpose? I'll refer to the unexpurgated translation available via the Project Gutenberg website.

For example, we have this:

Mein Kampf, page 265 wrote:The religious teaching of the Jews is principally a collection of instructions for maintaining the Jewish blood pure and for regulating intercourse between Jews and the rest of the world: that is to say, their relation with non-Jews. But the Jewish religious teaching is not concerned with moral problems. It is rather concerned with economic problems, and very petty ones at that. In regard to the moral value of the religious teaching of the Jews there exist and always have existed quite exhaustive studies (not from the Jewish side; for whatever the Jews have written on this question has naturally always been of a tendentious character) which show up the kind of religion that the Jews have in a light that makes it look very uncanny to the Aryan mind. The Jew himself is the best example of the kind of product which this religious training evolves. His life is of this world only and his mentality is as foreign to the true spirit of Christianity as his character was foreign to the great Founder of this new creed two thousand years ago. And the Founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of His estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God; because then, as always, they used religion as a means of advancing their commercial interests. But at that time Christ was nailed to the Cross for his attitude towards the Jews; whereas our modern Christians enter into party politics and when elections are being held they debase themselves to beg for Jewish votes. They even enter into political intrigues with the atheistic Jewish parties against the interests of their own Christian nation.

Care to explain how this squares with the "Hitler was an atheist" trope?

You might also want to ask why Hitler signed a concordat with the Vatican, and while you're at it, look at this nice collection of photos which rather makes a mockery of the "Hitler was an atheist" trope, as if his own words in Mein Kampf are insufficient for the purpose.

Speaking of which, here's some more apposite passages ... first of all, one of his monotonous anit-Jewish tirades:

Mein kampf, page 161 wrote:Do the Schwabing [artistic quarter] decadents look upon Germany's lot to-day as 'aesthetic'? Of course, one doesn't discuss such a question with the Jews, because they are the modern inventors of this cultural perfume. Their very existence is an incarnate denial of the beauty of God's image in His creation.

Next, a succinct and fairly chilling encapsulation of observational psychology that, despite its source (whom most people would not consider to be of reliable provenance) is actually fairly astute, and part of which describes Pharisaic religiosity to a tee:

Mein Kampf, pages 216 & 217 wrote:There are many ways of becoming resigned to this unpleasant and terrible fact. Many people go about seeing nothing or, to be more correct, not wanting to see anything. This is by far the simplest and cheapest attitude to adopt. Others cover themselves in the sacred mantle of prudery, as ridiculous as it is false. They describe the whole condition of affairs as sinful and are profoundly indignant when brought face to face with a victim. They close their eyes in reverend abhorrence to this godless scourge and pray to the Almighty that He - if possible after their own death - may rain down fire and brimstone as on Sodom and Gomorrah and so once again make an out standing example of this shameless section of humanity. Finally, there are those who are well aware of the terrible results which this scourge will and must bring about, but they merely shrug their shoulders, fully convinced of their inability to undertake anything against this peril. Hence matters are allowed to take their own course.

Next, a remark following his exhortation to strive to combat syphilis (which, needless to say, he laid at the door of "Jewish controlled" prostitution - some historians have one or two interesting theses about the connection between Hitler and syphilis by the way):

Mein Kampf, page 223 wrote:But if for reasons of indolence or cowardice this fight is not fought to a finish we may imagine what conditions will be like 500 years hence. Little of God's image will be left in human nature, except to mock the Creator.

An insight into his arch-cynicism is provided by:

Mein Kampf, page 323 wrote:And so, internally armed with faith in the goodness of God and the impenetrable stupidity of the electorate, the struggle for what is called 'the reconstruction of the Reich' can now begin.

Later on, when waxing lyrical about the Volk, we have this:

Mein Kampf, page 331 wrote:To undermine the existence of human culture by exterminating its founders and custodians would be an execrable crime in the eyes of those who believe that the folk-idea lies at the basis of human existence. Whoever would dare to raise a profane hand against that highest image of God among His creatures would sin against the bountiful Creator of this marvel and would collaborate in the expulsion from Paradise.

Here is Hitler's version of 'charity begins at home' which provides us with some more insights:

Mein Kampf, page 347 wrote:How devoid of ideals and how ignoble is the whole contemporary system! The fact that the churches join in committing this sin against the image of God, even though they continue to emphasize the dignity of that image, is quite in keeping with their present activities. They talk about the Spirit, but they allow man, as the embodiment of the Spirit, to degenerate to the proletarian level. Then they look on with amazement when they realize how small is the influence of the Christian Faith in their own country and how depraved and ungodly is this riff-raff which is physically degenerate and therefore morally degenerate also. To balance this state of affairs they try to convert the Hottentots and the Zulus and the Kaffirs and to bestow on them the blessings of the Church. While our European people, God be praised and thanked, are left to become the victims of moral depravity, the pious missionary goes out to Central Africa and establishes missionary stations for negroes. Finally, sound and healthy - though primitive and backward - people will be transformed, under the name of our 'higher civilization', into a motley of lazy and brutalized mongrels.

An insight into the old maxim that religion is considered true by the simple, false by the wise, and useful by the leaders, is also thoughtfully provided:

Mein Kampf, page 371 wrote:Here the Catholic Church presents an instructive example. Clerical celibacy forces the Church to recruit its priests not from their own ranks but progressively from the masses of the people. Yet there are not many who recognize the significance of celibacy in this relation. But therein lies the cause of the inexhaustible vigour which characterizes that ancient institution. For by thus unceasingly recruiting the ecclesiastical dignitaries from the lower classes of the people, the Church is enabled not only to maintain the contact of instinctive understanding with the masses of the population but also to assure itself of always being able to draw upon that fund of energy which is present in this form only among the popular masses. Hence the surprising youthfulness of that gigantic organism, its mental flexibility and its iron will-power.

Once again, the vision of destiny rears its head again (along with the usual lament about Mammon, which of course Hitler identifies with nauseating predictability as being "Jewish" in origin):

Mein Kampf, page 374 wrote:It may be that money has become the one power that governs life to-day. Yet a time will come when men will again bow to higher gods. Much that we have to-day owes its existence to the desire for money and property; but there is very little among all this which would leave the world poorer by its lack.

On the subject of conflict with left-wing opponents:

Mein Kampf, page 409 wrote:In 1919-20 and also in 1921 I attended some of the bourgeois meetings. Invariably I had the same feeling towards these as towards the compulsory dose of castor oil in my boyhood days. It just had to be taken because it was good for one: but it certainly tasted unpleasant. If it were possible to tie ropes round the German people and forcibly drag them to these bourgeois meetings, keeping them there behind barred doors and allowing nobody to escape until the meeting closed, then this procedure might prove successful in the course of a few hundred years. For my own part, I must frankly admit that, under such circumstances, I could not find life worth living; and indeed I should no longer wish to be a German. But, thank God, all this is impossible. And so it is not surprising that the sane and unspoilt masses shun these 'bourgeois mass meetings' as the devil shuns holy water.

Then, we have this, in which a crude diatribe on the crude and familiar Hitlerian theme of sexual corruption of young Aryan girls by 'inferior races' is followed by language that seems straight out of the apologetics playbook:

Mein Kampf, page 475 wrote:Look at the ravages from which our people are suffering daily as a result of being contaminated with Jewish blood. Bear in mind the fact that this poisonous contamination can be eliminated from the national body only after centuries, or perhaps never. Think further of how the process of racial decomposition is debasing and in some cases even destroying the fundamental Aryan qualities of our German people, so that our cultural creativeness as a nation is gradually becoming impotent and we are running the danger, at least in our great cities, of falling to the level where Southern Italy is to-day. This pestilential adulteration of the blood, of which hundreds of thousands of our people take no account, is being systematically practised by the Jew to-day. Systematically these negroid parasites in our national body corrupt our innocent fair-haired girls and thus destroy something which can no longer be replaced in this world.

The two Christian denominations look on with indifference at the profanation and destruction of a noble and unique creature who was given to the world as a gift of God's grace. For the future of the world, however, it does not matter which of the two triumphs over the other, the Catholic or the Protestant. But it does matter whether Aryan humanity survives or perishes. And yet the two Christian denominations are not contending against the destroyer of Aryan humanity but are trying to destroy one another. Everybody who has the right kind of feeling for his country is solemnly bound, each within his own denomination, to see to it that he is not constantly talking about the Will of God merely from the lips but that in actual fact he fulfils the Will of God and does not allow God's handiwork to be debased. For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties. Whoever destroys His work wages war against God's Creation and God's Will.

More rhetoric in the same vein (on the subject of asserting a powerful German nationhood and a call to arms against the Versailles Treaty):

Mein Kampf, page 533 wrote:Then, from the child's story-book to the last newspaper in the country, and every theatre and cinema, every pillar where placards are posted and every free space on the hoardings should be utilized in the service of this one great mission, until the faint-hearted cry, "Lord, deliver us," which our patriotic associations send up to Heaven to-day would be transformed into an ardent prayer: "Almighty God, bless our arms when the hour comes. Be just, as Thou hast always been just. Judge now if we deserve our freedom. Lord, bless our struggle."

This little discourse on Lebensraum is also illuminating:

Mein Kampf, page 551 wrote:Against all this we, National Socialists, must stick firmly to the aim that we have set for our foreign policy; namely, that the German people must be assured the territorial area which is necessary for it to exist on this earth. And only for such action as is undertaken to secure those ends can it be lawful in the eyes of God and our German posterity to allow the blood of our people to be shed once again. Before God, because we are sent into this world with the commission to struggle for our daily bread, as creatures to whom nothing is donated and who must be able to win and hold their position as lords of the earth only through their own intelligence and courage.

Meanwhile, on 24th October, 1933, Hitler uttered these words during a speech in Berlin:

We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.

Or how about this, from a speech in 1938:

National Socialism is not a cult-movement—a movement for worship; it is exclusively a 'volkic' political doctrine based upon racial principles. In its purpose there is no mystic cult, only the care and leadership of a people defined by a common blood-relationship.... We will not allow mystically-minded occult folk with a passion for exploring the secrets of the world beyond to steal into our Movement. Such folk are not National Socialists, but something else—in any case something which has nothing to do with us. At the head of our programme there stand no secret surmisings but clear-cut perception and straightforward profession of belief. But since we set as the central point of this perception and of this profession of belief the maintenance and hence the security for the future of a being formed by God, we thus serve the maintenance of a divine work and fulfill a divine will—not in the secret twilight of a new house of worship, but openly before the face of the Lord... Our worship is exclusively the cultivation of the natural, and for that reason, because natural, therefore God-willed. Our humility is the unconditional submission before the divine laws of existence so far as they are known to us men.

Now I've said in the past over at RDF, that Hitler was an arch-cynic, and he was certainly a reprobate of the most thoroughgoing order, but he most certainly believed in a god of some sort, most certainly culled much of the fuel for that belief from contemporary christian culture, and made frequent use of christian imagery in his political and polemical utterances. As I stated above, his own particular species of theism was a peculiar one (though by no means unique) in that he considered that he was, in some sense, the next divinely ordained saviour. Again, a delusion that is not unique to him, but what of course was unique was the single-minded ruthlessness with which he pursued that vision.

Plus, Mein Kampf was written at a time when his mind, though under stress during the authorship of Part One because it took place during his imprisonment for his part in the Munich putsch, was still relatively lucid compared to the state in which it was to descend during World War II, when his doctor was prescribing increasing doses of amphetamines to allow him to remain awake for long periods of time whilst engaged in governance and military planning. His will was written, as has been stated above, at the end of this period, when his mind was almost certainly altered by prolonged exposure to amphetamines (indeed, chronic over-use leads to a condition known as 'amphetamine psychosis') and at a time when his mind was sufficiently unbalanced to be planning suicide. Even so, he refers in his last will and testament to "the closing of my Earthly career", a strange choice of words for someone repeatedly alleged to be an 'atheist', especially in the light of his repeated exhortations to god - exhortations using manifestly christian language - in Mein Kampf.

Indeed, the biggest influence on Hitler was the Ostara, a far-right racist journal written by Josef Lanz von Liebenfels. Hitler acquired this at an early stage in his political career, even writing to Liebenfels himself to acquire additional copies. Liebenfels included as far back as 1904 in his Theozoologie (the full title, translated into English is Theozoology or the Science of the Sodomite Apelings and the Divine Electron) such notions as Aryan supremacy. From this page, which links to a downloadable PDF of the English translation of Liebenfels' Theozoology, the following description is given:

Lanz von Liebenfels, the famous German racial-occult theorist and publisher of "Ostara" wrote this pamphlet in 1904 and this English translation appeared in 2004, published by a group called Europa House. When one looks it up in Nicholas Goodrick-Clarkes "The Occult Roots of Nazism", a seminal work on the subject, we find the work discussed in detail on p. 94 - 98 where Clarke provided his own translations of passages from the text. Cognates of these two passages can be found, albeit in different translation, in the present pamphlet. So I think we can surmise that this is an authentic translation of the German original.

Briefly, Theozoology is a work of biblical exegesis, in keeping with Lanzs background as a Cistercian monk (defrocked in 1899). Lanz displays an impressive familiarity with a range of Biblical and apocryphal texts, as well as the Talmud, the Church Fathers, Koran, and even medieval Arthurian romances, to advance his thesis that many Hebrew and Greek words translated as "wood, water, stones, wind, etc." are actually euphemisms for various, what one might call cryptozoological creatures, "sodomite" appelings, mer-people and birdmen. He postulates that these creatures are the second Adamites, who God created from dust in Genesis 2, and are distinct from the true humans who God created in his own image in Genesis 1. The latter have the "Gotter-Elecktron" or Divine Electron and are pure Aryans; the only reason that "lower" or "dark" races came into being is through acts of bestiality with the non-human creatures created in Genesis 2. Pictures of these creatures in their true form (including dinosaurs) are displayed as an appendix at the end of the text.

The dramatic high point of the book comes with Lanzs radical re-interpretation of the Crucifixion. In Lanzs narrative Christ was held down and brutally raped by hordes of these creatures in revenge from spreading the gospel of the Aryans divine origins.

The program for action at the end makes heady reading. Lanz informs us that the last pure bred monster died out in the 900s and the only trace of them is in the non-Aryan half-breeds known as colored races. He proposes physical separation of the divine and cthonic races and the death penalty for anyone who would make the ultimate sin of mixing Holy Blood with that of the subhumans; the purity of which is supposedly the central tenet of the original teachings of Christ. He notes that women are more prone to do this than men. He also advocates a vigorous sterilization, eugenical and, in some case, euthanasia program for the upliftment of the Aryan race.

So, one of Hitler's prime sources of inspiration was the writings of a man who advanced a pseudo-scientific theory arising from a warped biblical exegesis. Which rather makes a mockery of the idea that his doctrine was "atheistic".

As for Stalin, I wrote some words on this some time ago over at RDF - here's an abridged version thereof:

As for the Soviet system, I would contend that the suppression of religion was more a matter of practical Machiavellian politics and the consolidation of power than a dialectical or philosophical issue - indeed I have written in posts elsewhere that when Marx wrote "religion is the opium of the masses" he was signalling to his would-be dialectical warriors the nature of one of the most powerful enemies to be overcome, and recognised the power of the doctrine centred world view and its insidious capacity to wield power over human minds because he himself deployed it in his own philosophy, which is more a theology than a "scientific" philosophy. Look at what Marxism has in common with religions:

[1] Unsupported assertions presented to adherents as axioms - the Labour Theory of Value and the principle of Surplus Value being the two key 'axioms' of the system;

[2] The existence of a 'holy book' - Das Kapital;

[3] A vision of 'end times' as it were, namely the passages devoted to the 'flowering' of Communism in the future and the 'withering away' of the state, which are in effect a secular religious vision.

So the idea that the Soviet system was founded upon 'atheism' as we would recognise it - namely a non-belief in supernatural entities founded upon the absence of evidence for the existence of such - is somewhat wide of the mark. The Soviet system was founded upon a dialectical philosophy that had its own theological character and was as much a manifestation of the doctrine centred world view as any religion. Any use of the word 'atheism" in Soviet political discourse was almost certainly a piece of political cherry picking for the sake of convenience rather than founded upon any serious metaphysical considerations, being instead an entirely practical (and I would say also cynical) rejection of the idea that there existed any power greater than that of those at the top of the system. Stalin was certainly ruthless in dealing with those who got in his way, but tended to be somewhat more benign toward those who were useful. I'm minded to recall one Trofim Lysenko as a useful sycophant who was elevated to a position of power by Stalin, a sycophant whose own malign influence extended to the extent of ruining Soviet agriculture for decades.

Oh, it's also interesting to note that under Stalin, [b]evolutionary biologists were sent to the Gulags. One notable example being Nikolai Vavilov, who was sentenced to 20 years in the Gulags and died there, which rather conflicts with the hilarious assertion erected above that Stalin purportedly read Darwin's work.

But I'm used to supernaturalists peddling this shit. Which is why I bothered to perform the research documented above, in order to expose this shit AS shit.