Wisebites Episode 21: Nazi Authority

One of the most common accusations made by critics of Meritocracy, is that Meritocrats are merely representatives of some new brand of fascism. This is of course, total nonsense. The accusation arises from the fact that we criticise the few super rich Jewish families who have an iron hold upon the governments of the Western world such as the Rothschilds. But deflecting the criticisms of those wannabe fascist spotters is not the goal of this week’s Contra Mundum. What the Gnostic Heretic wishes to explain to you, is the power of authority and how the words of that authority are accepted as the absolute truth by those under their power. So let’s revisit this day, December 12th in the year 1939. The beginning of the end of German Jewry.

 

Hitler stood up in front of the Reichsleiter and the Gauleiter and reiterated one of his most controversial statements. “If the world of international financial Jewry, both in and outside of Europe, should succeed in plunging the Nations into another world war, the result will not be the Bolshevisation of the world and this a victory for Judaism. The result will be the extermination of the Jewish race in Europe.”

 

Upon the outbreak of World War 2, this plan was put into action in the form of the Holocaust. Germany then carried out Hitler’s orders to the letter. Why? Surely an inkling of critical thinking would have fatally punctured the Fuhrer’s ideology? Unfortunately, the soundness of his ideas was neither here nor there. The important thing was the authority he wielded. Authority, in a legal sense is a legitimate position of power. While the holder of power may not be legitimate such as an invasion or an angry mob who have power in a given situation. But the question has been since the days of Plato, what makes an authority legitimate? In modern democratic countries, there is a continual discussion about the State and how much authority it has and over what and who.

 

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What is authority?

 

In order to try and figure out the general types of authority that have become accepted throughout the world, Sociologist Max Weber came up with a three tier system. The first is known as Rational-legal authority. This is an authority which claims its legitimacy from its ability to create and enforce formal, logical laws which serve a societal purpose. These legal codes often quickly grow and become very complicated, requiring qualified lawyers to make sense of them. This is the type of authority that most governments claim to have. The second type is known as traditional authority. This authority comes from the perceived wisdom of the past. Such as hereditary monarchs, ancestor worship and so on. The shape and form this takes depends very much on the society in question. The final type is known as charismatic authority. This is when someone of immense charisma comes forward and sways the public to their way of viewing the world. The seemingly divine spirit in the charismatic is felt by his followers to be the legitimising factor of authority. Adolf Hitler was of this ilk.

 

If we were to do a very thorough study of the authority in any modern democracy, we would discover that authority is derived from all three of these types. Indeed, one type often results from the other. It usually begins with a charismatic. This charismatic comes forward and unites those people who best understands him. These people then have the leader in common and as a result, they form a society based on their shared beliefs. The charismatic sets the major traditions of that culture, which is then emulated and promoted by the leaders who come after him. This is then traditional authority in which a leader’s authority is derived from the past, namely the founder of the nation, the charismatic. Once this tradition has grown old enough and sophisticated enough, traditions start to become defined law. These laws are then collected and put into a thorough legal system. This is now an example of rational-legal authority.

 

This is more profound than it looks. It means that no matter how complex or legitimate a legal system looks, it is irrevocably descended from the views of the charismatic founder of the culture. It has no rational basis, rather it was psychology, which then stuck and was passed down the generations. Adolf Hitler was notable for his ability to make sure that Nazi Germany got to the third phase ridiculously quickly. With his personality and powerful rhetoric, he captured the hearts of the people. This was his charismatic authority. He then used Nazi mythology to create an imagined ancient history of the Germans, to which they were the heirs. This made the German people feel like Nazism was their destiny, as such it stood in for traditional authority. Hitler then used this to create laws, even such extreme ones as the extermination of the Jews which was carried out on his authority. His official status allowed him to wield rational-legal authority. The only reason why the Nazis did not become a long lasting nation, was that the Allied powers and Soviet Russia won the war and stomped Nazism out of existence.

 

How did Hitler make us of the psychology of authority?

 

But here is the disturbing thing, Hitler knew all about authority. When he was shipping the Jews off to the death camps, the Eintzensgrupen, the Nazi secret police in charge of Jewry, did not govern the Jews, but rather appointed local Jewish leaders to be in charge of the ghettos. These traditional leaders were the ones who kept the peace and arranged for the Jews to be organised and swept off to the gas chambers in ordered, regular amounts. The Jews knew rightly that the Nazis were going to do something awful to them, but because their own leaders reassured them, they obeyed and they behaved. They would not have done so if a German gave the orders. This understanding of authority literally caused the Jews to walk to their own doom at the behest of the leaders of their own community. With this in mind, we may wish to consider, the next time we are mindlessly obeying a law. What does it mean? Who made it? Who does it benefit and where did they get their legitimacy from? You may just uncover an unnerving answer.

 

The Gnostic Heretic writing for the Apollo Institute of Reason AIR Review©

 

 

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