MARX ON MONDAY
Kevin Marx – a view from the left.
It pains me to say it but I’m a lot older than I look. When I was a child my family always used to holiday in Bavaria, and I remember one day, in about 1930, I was wandering around Munich when I bumped into a strange looking man with a funny moustache painting a picture of a house. I stopped to watch him for a while, he was making a pretty good job of it, and I complimented him on his work.
“That’s a nice painting,” I said.
“Thanks,” he replied.
“It must be lovely to be an artist,” I said.
“I’m not really an artist,” the man replied, “I’m a politician, my name is Adolf Hitler.”
“What kind of politician?” I asked.
“A Nazi,” he replied.
“What does that mean?”
“I want to become the leader of Germany,” he said, “and then abuse power by suppressing freedom and ultimately destroying the country.”
“How will you do that?” I was intrigued.
“I’ll make speeches in outdoor arenas,” he said, “and entice the people with the power of my rhetoric, hopefully I’ll create a cult around myself so that my followers won’t realise that most of what I say is drivel.”
“And then what?”
“Next I need to get myself democratically elected,” he replied, “and then ignore the democratic will of the people by circumventing the elected assemblies and ruling by presidential decree – what you might call an executive order.”
“Then what will you do to suppress freedom?” I asked.
“The most important thing will be to take away people’s right to own guns,” he informed me, “to conquer a nation you must first disarm its citizens.”
“And then what?”
“I will introduce universal health care paid for by the state,” he replied, “I’d like to call it Hitlercare. A leader who controls health care not only decides who will live and who will die he controls the whole country.”
“But won’t that be expensive?” I asked.
“It doesn’t matter,” Hitler replied, “we will spend billions of marks in money we don’t have. We’ll massively increase public spending and run the economy on a huge deficit and national debt.”
“What if people complain about it?”
“They wouldn’t dare,” Hitler laughed, “I’m going to massively increase electronic surveillance on everybody, nationally and internationally. If people are watched closely by the state they can’t get up to much mischief.”
“What sort of mischief?” I asked.
“I’m going to regulate freedom in the most dictatorial ways imaginable,” said Hitler, “not only will I ban gun ownership and force taxpayers to fund universal healthcare, not only will I massively increase state spending and electronic surveillance, I’m going to pass an act to stop people from smoking in public places and ban tobacco companies from advertising cigarettes – I’m going to call it the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.”
“So people won’t have any freedom at all?”
“Absolutely none,” Hitler grinned, “I’ll rule Germany as a dictator with a rod of iron.”
“But what if people rebel against you,” I asked, “how will you stop that?”
“I’m going to set up a ministry for propaganda,” he replied, “feeding lies to the German people. For example we will tell them that the German countryside must be preserved under all circumstances, for it is and has forever been the source of strength and greatness of our people.”
“And how will you preserve the German countryside?” I asked.
“By investing taxpayer’s money in renewable energy sources as alternatives to coal, and declaring “water, winds and tides” as the energy path of the future,” Hitler set out his anti-global warming environmentally friendly but costly energy policies, “we can then protect millions of acres of countryside by passing what I will call the Public Lands Management Act.”
“But what if it all goes wrong,” I asked, “who will you blame for it?”
“The Jews,” Hitler replied, “I’m going to surround myself with friends and advisors who are all virulent anti-semites and blame the Jews for everything.”
“And are you going to stick to German politics,” I asked, “or will your country interfere in the affairs of other countries?”
“We’ll interfere in the affairs of many other countries,” a strange gleam came into Hitler’s eye, “for example, if a civil war breaks out in Spain I’ll send the German air force to bomb Guernica back to the stone-age – I’ll call it operation Shock and Awe. And if there is any foreign leader I don’t approve of I’ll use the German military to depose him.”
“Is that all?” I asked for completeness sake.
“No,” Hitler scoffed, “the above policies will give me control of Germany today but I need to control the Germany of tomorrow – that’s why I am setting up a youth brigade to indoctrinate the minds of young people, I’m going to call it the Obama, sorry, Hitler Youth Brigade.”
“And these are all real Nazi policies,” I sought clarification, “your genuine blueprint for a greater Germany?”
“Germany is just the start,” Hitler replied, “one day I hope other world leaders, perhaps even a future President of the United States of America, will adopt my policies.”
“And if you achieve your aims Hitler,” I said, “and create your dream German nation, how do you think it will all end?”
“To be honest with you Kevin,” Hitler replied, “I’ll probably end up causing untold misery to millions of people and destroying the whole German nation.”
“And doesn’t that worry you?” I was appalled.
“Why should I care about Germany? Hitler laughed. “My father was Austrian. If I end up destroying Germany that would bother me, as the son of an Austrian, about as much as destroying America would bother the son of a Kenyan.”