July 01, 2011

The worse, the better?

Among the books in my current pile is William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I'm only 300 pages into it, which is to say less than a third of the way through. So far it's provided a lot of food for thought.

Here's one: there is a school of thought among political extremists of various stripes that holds that the worse things are, the better they are. For example, such people think it's great when the economy or the political situation is really bad because this will presumably radicalize people and result in major change.

I don't believe there is a lot of historical evidence for this. It often works just the opposite. In the 1930s, for example, some German leftists and communists actually welcomed the Nazi rise to power on the theory that this was a temporary thing that would ultimately catapult them to power. The slogan was, "After Hitler, us." Many of them died in concentration camps.

It is true that sometimes the excesses of one's opponents creates an opening for change, but I tend to hold to the view that it's good when things are good and bad when things are bad.

UPPER BIG BRANCH. Here's an item from The Nation on the disaster fallout. And here's an editorial from the Charleston Gazette about the need for more criminal prosecutions.

A LINE IN THE SAND. Paul Krugman calls on President Obama not to cave (again) in negotiations over the debt ceiling.

TALKING SENSE. WV's senior senator Jay Rockefeller states the obvious here.

LOVE AND PAIN discussed here.


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