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Mein Kampf 
28e-fév-2004 10:32 pm
Vinyl Doll by Zawieruszynski
I found "Mein Kampf" on the Internet, at http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/. It is forbidden in France, and in most European countries, I think, which is why I never had the opportunity to read it. I have not been exposed to much racist propaganda, and reading this is fascinating. His description of his life in Vienna and the formation of his anti-semitism is interesting, especially when he begins with stating his early "cosmopolitan" belief that Jews were like any other, and then, gradually goes into descriptions of the supposed domination of the Jews over the media or of their moral failings and lack of artistic capacity. He also comments in another part about his frustration at Marxist-Jewish (for him, Jews and Marxists were the same) debate tactics.

His writings struck me as those of an incredibly frustrated individual, who would never accept he could be wrong and had a rather limited intellect. BUT he was fascinated with propaganda, and was probably a master at it. I found it interesting how he unapologetically describes the power of propaganda and the way to use it (I must say, I didn't actually yet read much of what he wrote on the topic, but it will probably be a good read).

An interesting question is whether Mein Kampf should be banned. I wonder how I would have reacted to it when I was an adolescent, or even later. I am now quite able to know the true character of this book, spot its failings and the ugliness (truly despicable) character of its author. And in his time too, many people could see his book as the jumble of ignorant ideology it was. Yet, many others adopted his beliefs.

My opinion is that Mein Kampf is a good read (by good, I mean useful, because the writing itself is of poor quality and the ideas are quite absent or weak-minded) if you are well armed to analyze it, or are accompanied through your reading by a knowledgeable person who will provide you with some critical comments. I will even go further, I think some parts should be required reading in school (history), so as to debunk the myths that, anyway, will find their way into the airwaves, newspapers, or the Internet.

For debate: Do you think Mein Kampf should be generally available to the public?

My position: Yes, but it would be preferable that the book be accompanied with commentaries and a good introduction.
Comments 
28e-fév-2004 02:51 pm (UTC)
I think it should. People who are logical and have a strong mind
will not fall for the logical fallacies in "Mein Kampf"

Your idea of accompanying commentaries is great. Perhaps an
addendum of psycho-analysis is good, too.
28e-fév-2004 03:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, an historical background (German nationalism, war, Europe in the 30s) + a psychoanalysis of Hitler + an analysis of anti-semitism through the ages and its motivations.

An analysis of NSDAP ideology and of Marxism/Communism + the main other current of political thoughts of the time would be welcome, notably an analysis of racism as an organized system of thought. That was pretty new at the time, I think (not sure).
28e-fév-2004 04:25 pm (UTC)
You mean it was new in the 30's?

I am wondering if someone has done something similar.
28e-fév-2004 03:41 pm (UTC)
To say Hitler's book should be banned is to subscribe to the very same censorship that ran rampant in Hitler's Nazi Germany.

So no, I don't think it should be banned.
28e-fév-2004 04:39 pm (UTC)
Well, it's freely available through public libraries over here (I live in the United States); I scanned through it when I was fourteen, and I was still struck by how badly everything hung together--or rather, didn't.

I am anti-censorship overall, and only in certain cases (obscenity, etc.) do I believe even in age-related differentiation of access.
29e-fév-2004 09:21 am (UTC) - Sorry
I'm studying to be a children's librarian. Let's just say that there's a wide range of understanding with children even wider than the understanding level for adults. As a result, I am hardly the only person who was encouraged to read book with nude pictures in the 4th grade (Greek Mythology).
28e-fév-2004 08:42 pm (UTC)
I live in Canada, and the book is available in the libraries here, but none of the major bookstores carry it because they are all owned by one woman. This woman is Jewish, and for obvious reasons she chooses not to carry the book in her stores.

I think that the book should be avaiable to the general public, and commentary in the book is a great idea. It has been done. I have a copy of the book that was printed right after germany surrendered and sold to make money for refugees. Anyways, it has a lot of notes that help to explain Hitler's lapse in logic and the reasons behind certain ideas he presents in the book.
29e-fév-2004 09:16 am (UTC) - Absolutely
My sister and husband both read "Mien Kampf," in junior high with no ill effect. In fact, the best way to deal with your opponants is to know their arguments (That's why so many Pagans can quote the Bible.).

To ban is to limit knowledge and to give a thing more power because its obviously got something to say if it id banned, right? This not only punishes the disenfranchised who *might* look it up to confirm their beliefs, but it also causes problems for scholars and the just plain curious.

Along the same vien, Cathar Catholics texts were banned in France as well - because their Order thought women were the equals to men among other things. So were the ludicrous, if entertaining and groundbreaking, works of the Marquis de Sade. If anything, banning those works only made them more popular. And what of his "hero," status when he was freed from the Bastelle simply for being a banned author in the wrong place at the right time?

Oh, and on a related note, I should also say that my least favorite provision in the Patriot Act give the government the right to montior what books I buy and check out of the library. Nothing like limiting thought though intimidation, eh?
7e-avr-2008 05:52 am (UTC) - Re: Absolutely
Well then, I suppose the feds have my name on some little file somewhere since I bought "Mein Kampf" at Barnes and Noble many years ago. But on the subject, banning this book doesn't answer any problems, but I thnk I can see where European governments might be worried about having copies floatng around their countries. I mean, it wasn't all THAT long ago when all of this happened, and there are many people inside Germany and spread around Europe (and of course the ones who came to the US) who remember all too well what happened when that book was released. Alot of those feelings are still there, aside from the older generation you have those who learned from their parents and who are anti-semitic. These governments are worried about a resurgence of German nationalism and anti-semiticism. Also, Mein Kampf may be poorly written and essentially missing it's major premise, but it IS a powerful book. It was designed to be used as a tool of propoganda, and it did it's job remarkably well.
3e-mar-2004 05:23 pm (UTC)
I agree with your position on the subject.
You mentioned Hitler's fascination with propoganda and actually, in Mein Kampf he said that one person in particular helped him to realize that propaganda was the only way to gain the support of the masses. This man was Woodrow Wilson who used propaganda to gain the support of Americans in World War I. Hitler said that the reason Germany lost the first World War was because they lost the battle of propaganda.
12e-oct-2006 04:07 am (UTC) - Just came accros your site...
I read the book some time ago, but I do remember the poor quality of his writing. He didnt ever stay on subject, but it was fasniating to be reading from the mind of one of the most feared men on the planet. I think schools and people around the world should be allowed to read it and in schools it should be looked over. Not only if you wish to prevent this from ever happening agian then you must know how it got started.

My personal opinion on the Jewish religion and Hitlers position isnt a factor in the fact that people should read it.

It kills a lot of myths. And it opens the minds of stupid people. Which is always a good thing.

Not that I'm for mass killings, but I will respect anyones opinions if I can that its logically thought out and has reason.
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