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Hitler talked of setting up a United States of Europe, an idea which he borrowed from Napoleon. But whereas Napoleon wanted to unite Europe in peace, prosperity, and intellectual progress, Hitler wanted to unite it in misery, enslavement, and intellectual retrogression. Napoleon sought out the intelligentsia wherever his armies went but Hitler imprisoned, tortured, or killed them wherever his Gestapo could catch them. Napoleon in his heart fought for the extension of democracy whereas Hitler in his materialism fought for the extension of Germany's boundaries. Napoleon's troops marched to the tune of an international ideal of freedom from medieval fetters whereas Hitler marched to the tune of national greed. He spread his brown horror of carnage and corruption all over Europe, whilst Liberty lay dying in a dungeon. He saw truth indeed but only to distort and pervert it. He talked like a sage of "the nothingness and insignificance of the individual human being," but whereas the sage uses this truth to point the way to individual liberation, Hitler used it to point the way to individual enslavement. His self-proclaimed inspiration was spurious, his sociological insight was chimerical, and only he himself knew how much his reiterated pacifism was a fraudulent camouflage. It is true that he first animated the German people into a feverish activity, but instead of directing their prodigious efforts toward worthy ends which could have made millions happier, he directed them toward ignoble ones and made more millions more wretched than any other dominant group had ever done in history. Hitler's talk of a new order meant in his own mind an order under which Germany enslaved feudalistically but exploited modernistically every other nation.


-- Notebooks Category 11: The Negatives > Chapter 3: Their Presence in The World > # 199






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