October 8, 2012

My Cough

After unpacking the rhetoric behind Mein Kamf, it is much easier to understand Adolph Hitler's psychopathic conviction.

The most dominant question then becomes, did he buy it himself, or was the rhetoric performative, meant only to constrict and coerce the "feminine masses?"

Creating an entire system of justifications and rationalizations for such a morally void endeavor leads me to believe Hitler bought his own conviction.

His arguments don't merely appropriate right and wrong designations. Rather, they aim to altering morality and homogenize the enemy. If Hitler only wanted to control the masses, I feel he wouldn't bother creating a manifesto. The extremity of his rhetoric parallels the extremity of his cause. Genocide is a step further than political overthrow.

I don't know his private ambition, but strictly from an analysis of Mein Kamf and Burke, it is hard to believe Hitler's rhetoric was only performative. Is there anything I am missing? Is there evidence to support the idea that Hitler's rhetoric is artificial?

1 comment:

tgraban said...

Zach, I can't speak to your whole question, so this is really just a quasi-comment, but your question reminded me of a book I saw reviewed several years ago, called Ibsen and Hitler. The author (Stephen Sage) made a pretty provocative argument that much of Hitler's enactment of The Third Reich was a result of his earlier interests in dramatistic theater. Sage wrote a brief article about his own book here (http://www.hnn.us/articles/25631.html), and it's an interesting read.

The book itself uses discourse analysis to show -- through side-by-side comparison -- the similarities between Ibsen's plays and Hitler's book. Amazon.com offers a limited preview (http://www.amazon.com/Ibsen-Hitler-Playwright-Plagiarist-Third/dp/0786719354#reader_0786719354), but the book is worth looking at, even briefly, for some answers to your question!

-Dr. Graban

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