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Conservatives Castigate Public Infrastructure Spending, BP Escrow Fund, as Nazi-Inspired

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Conservatives Castigate Public Infrastructure Spending, BP Escrow Fund, as Nazi-Inspired"

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Dave Weigel catches formerly respected conservative economist Thomas Sowell analogizing the BP escrow fund to the “Enabling Act” that legitimized Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship:

[D]uring the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law “for the relief of the German people.” That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people — indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others. If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.

In addition, I note that yesterday noted fascism scholar and moron Jonah Goldberg observed that there’s a slippery slope from infrastructure projects to Auschwitz:

Jay — Just because you brought up the term. A lot of people don’t know this, but it’s hardly like the Nazis invented the term. It dates back to the 19th century, but was popularized in Germany by the Weimar Republic, which took to inscribing the phrase on many large public-works projects, not just at Auschwitz — which of course was built by the Nazis, who continued the practice. The Orwellian undertones to the phrase are real, and the associations with the Holocaust are horrific, but Arbeit Macht Frei was a popular “progressive” slogan on the road to serfdom.

Note that absent the final sentence this might merely be an asinine offhand observation, but the invocation of the road to serfdom makes it both offensive and absurd.

As an aside, while the Moscow-directed Communist Party of Germany played a role in facilitating Hitler’s rise to power via relentless attacks on the Social Democrats, the main “progressive” German party, then and now, was the Social Democrats who tirelessly and effectively opposed Hitler. Eventually the non-Nazi center-right parties decided that they preferred Hitler to the SPD and turned the reigns over to him once he achieved a large minority of the vote.

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