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Hitlerian demagoguery

Posted March. 21, 2023 07:46,   

Updated March. 21, 2023 07:46


On Sept. 12, 1919, a German Workers’ Party rally took place in a beer hall in Munich, Germany. Despite the party’s grandiose name, it was a small group, and there were spies in attendance, sent by the military to monitor its activities. One of them was Adolf Hitler.

Hitler wasn’t just any spy. Captain Karl Meyer, head of military intelligence, wanted to train agents who could not only gather intelligence but who could join organizations as competent members and even incite the masses. Meyer sent selected agents to the University of Munich to teach them basic social science and public speaking. Hitler was the one who excelled in the program.

The speaker that day was a professor who had taught Hitler at the University of Munich. The audience was indifferent. Hitler was even more aloof and felt stifled. When he was just about to leave, another professor came up to make a point. Hitler was furious, and he ran out and went on a rant. A representative of the Workers’ Party, who had heard his speech, immediately approached Hitler and asked him to join the party. Thus began Hitler’s life as a politician.

As a middle school dropout, Hitler began to establish himself as an orator. His speeches in the beer hall soon became famous and later drew thousands of people. With the support of his followers, Hitler gained control of the party and, in 1934, the country. Five years later, he began a war to control Europe and the Soviet Union.

What made Hitler’s speech so special? He lays out several principles. “Read the wishes in the hearts of the people and speak in their language,” and “If a leader shows conviction, the people will follow.” Hitler proved this frightening theory himself. For example, he explained that the two ideologies that divided the world, capitalism and communism, were both Jewish conspiracies.

If only the Jews were gone, there would be no more wars, no more conflict between the rich and the poor, no more licentiousness, no more unscrupulousness.” Would people believe this? Many did. They still do. Substitute any other world for “Jew,” and the effect is immediate. This kind of demagoguery is not unique to Hitler. It’s all over history, all over the world. Hitler is just one of the success stories.