May 4, 2009

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“HOW SHOULD WE JUDGE THE POTPOURRI OF XENOPHOBIC, RACIST, AND HYPERNATIONALIST MOVEMENTS NOW IN THE NEWS?” William Brustein

“Could another racist, xenophobic party come to power today? The logic of the argument presented here leads me to answer yes: evil may be the horrifying outcome of rational politics. If average Germans had known in 1932 what they new in 1945 about the consequences, of Nazism, the Nazi Party would never have attracted a mass following. The Nazi Party skillfully cloaked its aims until it had achieved power. Many present and future demagogues may similarly masque their message of hate. It is unlikely that we can always detect evil before it reveals itself. How should we judge the potpourri of xenophobic, racist, and hypernationalist movements and parties that are now in the news?”

William Brustein, The Social Origins Of The Nazi Party, 1925-1933 (Yale University: New Haven 1996) pp 182

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