Posted by politicalpartypooper on December 9, 2008

“Who knows, if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler’s criminal plot would not have succeeded – ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day,” Jean-Marie Gustave (Better known as   J. M. G. Le Clézio, 2008 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature)


One look at this statement from JMG Le Cle’zio, the 2008 Nobel Literature Laureate, made me want to cry.  Not so much that he said it, but that newspapers and blogs from around the country actually published it.  I guess I am now as guitly as they.

The internet, and blogging for that matter, have been credited with many things; such as opening up the information highway, as well as giving both free and oppressed people a source of information about anything.   We love our blogs, and, God, do we love our Google.  The internet can do anything!  It can whisk you to Hawaii in under five seconds!  It can take you to the moon!  It can stop speeding bullets!

Wait…no…it can’t.    Strike that last.

At the top of a list of things the internet cannot do should reside the statement “Internet Would Not Have Deterred Hitler”.

Let’s review the case.

Adolf Hitler, when threatened by both France and Great Britain in the spring of 1939 over Poland, ignored their threat, and invaded Poland anyway,on September 1  of 1939.  No internet or blogosphere was required for the information to be public knowledge.  Also well known at that time was the encampment and beginnings of slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Jews, Poles and Czechs.  Anyone visiting Germany at the time was stricken by the Anti-semitic behavior of the Nazis, as well as the apparent approval of Germany’s citizens.  Let us not forget Kristallnacht, which occured under the very noses of the entire world one year before Hitler invaded Poland.

The Western World was well aware of what was occurring under Nazi rule in Germany.  To be sure, not everything was as well known as we would like to believe it would be today.  Having said that, anyone who spent time reading Hitler’s books, or studying World War Two would likely disagree with JMG LeCle’zio’s statement.

Simply put, there was no stopping Hitler, unless the world went to war with him.  He meant to have Lebensraum, and nothing was going to deter him.  He meant to exact reparations for the harshness of the Versailles Treaty that ended World War 1 but solved nothing.  He meant to eradicate the Jews from Europe.  Finally, he meant to have Germany exalted to the heights of the greatest nation on earth, filled with the greatest race on earth, with himself as its ruler.  Nothing short of this was acceptable to him.

With Hitler, the internet and bloggers would have been just one more source of news, and more than anything, a source of graphic and intense violence and debate.

In our own times, we have the Iraq war as an example.  Our nation, as is the world, remains divided over our invasion and occupation.  We toppled a ruler known to have murdered his own people in the hundreds of thousands.  We destroyed a government that had kept its people oppressed for decades.  We gave freedom and the hope of democracy to a new nation.

Yet, today, we remain divided over the question of the rightness of our actions.

The Internet would not have deterred Hitler, and bloggers would not have helped avoid a Second World War.  I think we tend to give too much power to the blogosphere.  Sure, we’re better informed, but since the blogosphere’s arrival, nothing has deterred our own politicians from becoming more corrupt, and more partisan than ever before.  If we can’t change things in our own country, what would make anyone believe we’d have any effect on a foreign matter?

Hitler and his friends would have laughed openly at bloggers around the world, right before they pulled the gas handle on hundreds of them in Germany.  Think about that.


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