How U.S. foreign policy is like 1930s Germany’s

I am careful about using the words “fascist,” “Nazi” and “Hitler,” and I do not think that what’s left of American freedom and democracy is equivalent to Nazi Germany’s totalitarianism.

But there are good reasons why other nations view the USA as the same kind of threat to international order as the Axis powers posed in the 1930s.  We Americans need to try to see ourselves as others see us.

I recommend you click on the links below.


On Rogues and Rogue States: Old, New and Improved by Fred Reed.

Reclaiming Your Inner Fascist by C.J. Hopkins for Consent Factory.


7 Responses to “How U.S. foreign policy is like 1930s Germany’s”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    The one saving grace is that Trump is term limited and may even be gone in a few months. We can return to a subdued version of the same thing once he is gone.

    I honestly believe the world benefits from having us as a *slightly* roguish state. Predictability and stability in policy is important for world relations but you need a little bit of an edge to keep bad actors from misjudging you as a pushover. Our perceived weakness was a major factor prior to WWII and then the Korean conflict.

    I cheered when Britain took back the Falklands. It probably prevented other conflicts later down the line. It gave them some street cred.

    “Those American are fat land lazy and if we draw blood they’ll back down from a fight.” I swear that is the mantra of every tinpot dictator – until he tangles with us. This does not mean we have to be World Cop or go around invading/destabilizing everyone who ticks us off or assassinating bad guys. OTOH, having a big stick is useless if nobody believes you’ll use it.


  2. philebersole Says:

    My first draft of this post included a list of ways in which the USA resembled the fascist dictators of the 1930s in its behavior to the rest of the world

    But Fred Reed and C.J. Hopkins put things so much better that I did that I contented myself with linking to their writing instead.

    Suffice it to say that rogue behavior did not begin with the Trump administration and won’t necessarily end when Trump administration ends.


  3. philebersole Says:

    I should know by now that I can’t expect viewers to click on links just because I put them in a post.

    I have five “likes” for this post (thanks), but, according to WordPress, only one click on one link. I do not criticize viewers for this. It’s up to you to decide whether to spend time reading a linked article or not.

    So here are the ways in which United States behavior toward foreign nations resembles that of European fascist countries before World War Two.

    1. Unprovoked military aggression.
    2. Lying propaganda.
    3. Disregard of international law.
    4. Rejection of universal moral standards (“moral equivalency”).
    5. Indifference to atrocities against others.
    6. Diplomacy based on threats and ultimatums.
    7. Dissent equated with disloyalty.
    8. World military and economic supremacy as the goal.

    I wish all Republicans who view this article would click on the Fred Reed article and all Democrats would click on the C.J. Hopkins article.

    To repeat, I don’t think the USA is a fascist country in all respects, We do have some respect for human rights internally.

    I really do recommended the linked articles, especially the Fred Reed article if you’re a Republican and the C.J. Hopkins article if you’re a Democrat.

    And unlike the subjects of Nazi Germany and Fascist Itality, we Americans have enough left of our democracy to change things—if we understand and really want to.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    Your points describe every great power that has ever existed. Most of those points describe the US for most of its history. Especially if you modify point 8 to continental supremacy instead of world supremacy. Doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do but it certainly means it feels like the standard pattern for any great power.

    The Reed article is just one take on an extremely complex issue and one could write an equally impressive article on how we aren’t like Nazi Germany.


  5. whungerford Says:

    The two articles cited are a kind I don’t relate to. I do appreciate Phil’s list of eight items most of which I agree are faults of ours. I am ambivalent about the first and eighth–militarism, yes; unprovoked aggression and quest for world economic supremacy? I can certainly think of examples which may not reflect a consistent policy. I don’t think either is consistent with American values.


  6. philebersole Says:

    A frog once asked a fish, “How’s the water?”
    The fish replied, “What’s water?”

    We Americans have gotten so used to thinking our government is the world’s rightful judge, jury and executioner that most of us don’t even think about it, any more than a fish thinks about water.

    Our government decides a government needs to be regime changed, and it orders an invasion, or arms rebels, or imposes economic sanctions to drive its people to the brink of starvation and rebellion.

    Our government decides an individual is a threat or suspected threat or likely threat, and orders the person’s death.

    Our government breaks treaties and violates international law at will.

    Such behavior is not acceptable among civilized nations. Such behavior was the reason that citizens of democratic nations thought 1930s Nazi Germany and Fascist was a threat to the international order.

    (Please notice that I have not stated that the United States is the same as Nazi Germany. I am only referring to one aspect of Nazi Germany, its foreign policy, during once specific period, the 1930s.)

    We Americans mobilized to avenge the 3,000 people killed by Al Qaeda terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Since then our forces have killed hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and the wars we instigated in Libya and Syria have killed hundreds of thousands more. That’s not counting the excess deaths due to economic sanctions against Venezuela and Iran.

    That more more than 1 million people—equivalent to more then 333 World Trade Centers. Do we think the rest of the world ignores this?

    What would we say if Vladimir Putin had a worldwide network of agents and flying killer drones and ordered the killing of enemies and suspected enemies on a routine basis?

    What would we say if Xi Jinping had divided the world, including North America, into military commands and stated that China’s goal was “full spectrum dominance” in every region of the world?

    You may say: We Americans do not need to care about this because we are invincible. That’s what the Nazis thought about themselves. That’s what the rulers of every empire thought about themselves until they learned they weren’t.

    A Quaker journalist named Milton Mayer visited Germany in the 1930s, hoping to Interview Hitler. When that didn’t work out, he decided to interview ordinary Germans instead.

    He was surprised at how much small-town Germans resembled the small-town Midwestern Americans he’d grown up with. He reflected that if he had been German, and if he hadn’t been of Jewish ancestry, he might well have become a Nazi himself.

    After the war, he looked up his old friends. They remembered 1933-1939 as the best years of their lives, and looked back on it with nostalgia. He told them about Nazi mass killings. They agreed such things were terrible “if they were as you say.”

    Mayer wrote about this in a book They Thought They Were Free,

    The majority of Germans in the 1930s and 1940s were no worse than other peoples. Neither are we Americans. But the Germans faced a terrible retribution. I hope the retribution we Americans will face will not be as terrible.


    • whungerford Says:

      I believe regime change, and assassinations are inconsistent with American values. When others invade their neighbors, assassinate enemies, or violate international law we object; when we do the same we make excuses. Even cruelty to children is tolerated, There must be something wrong with our government which permits it to do what it does with impunity.

      Liked by 1 person

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