November 01, 2008

Burkean Conservatives Both

Since I have read detailed attempts to depict Barack Obama as a ?Burkean conservative,? I feel compelled to make a similar case for the misunderstood leader of the Third Reich. For a long time, I hesitated to point this out because of a petty, personal gripe. It seems that Herr Hitler had stuck members of my family into untidy reeducation camps while forcing others to get out of Europe. But after due consideration, I decided to put aside personal considerations for the sake of historical parallel, especially after discovering a side of Senator Obama that neither I nor the media had been aware of until about five minutes ago. So here goes!

Although Hitler showed some annoying tics, like exterminating large numbers of Europeans, he was also, as I learned from reading neoconservative commentaries, the inevitable manifestation of German history, going back at least to the Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and to the land-ravenous German Imperial government after Bismarck. Assuming this is true, and I have no reason to doubt that it is since I read it in American ?conservative? sources, then Hitler as he tried to conquer Europe after 1933 was only following ?tradition.? It was a German tradition of expansion that Hitler took over, but then (what the hell!) that was the German tradition. Adolf also embarked on his map-redrawing project after proper Burkean deliberation, which means, after waiting several years before occupying neighboring countries.
Like Obama and perhaps like Burke (although that has still not been determined), the German chancellor believed in all kinds of embryonic research and he was also quite fond of abortions. Most importantly, he supported women?s rights, and he allowed Aryan women to serve in the German military and to vote for him in elections. Like Obama, another Burkean conservative, Herr Hitler really wowed the gals. And like Obama, he was depicted in popular magazines as a godlike figure, sometimes with dark shadows in the background.

Having noted these similarities, I would also note the most obvious difference. Unlike the current American Burkean conservative, his German counterpart actually gave evidence of extensive reading in philosophy and literature. Both spoke in repetitious banalities but unlike the former (titular) editor of the Harvard Law Review, Hitler came out of a highly literate culture, perhaps the most literate one that ever existed. His classmate in a Gymnasium in Linz had been the brilliant philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and despite his later rabid, anti-Semitism, Hitler as a young man had spent his sparse Groschen on the concerts of Gustav Mahler, whom he then profoundly admired. Putting aside my mask of ridicule, let me note that Hitler was the degenerate product of a high civilization; by contrast, it would be impossible to identify Obama with anything resembling a human culture except for our now fashionable victimology and TV cult of celebrity.

Subscribe to Taki’s Magazine for an ad-free experience and help us stand against political correctness.


Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!


Daily updates with TM’s latest