Adolf Hitler and the Nazis = revolutionaries?

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bestofyou
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#41
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#41
(Original post by IRSP044)
That's not revolution. That's reform because he didn't destroy the regime and set up something new. He just changed what was there.

As someone else said, much of his electoral success came from the imprisonment and intimidation of political opponents.
he turned it into a one party state, how is that not changing the regime?

The french rev. also included imprisonment and intimidation, the American certainly included that latter if not both and many more did also
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Craig_D
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#42
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(Original post by jesusofsuburbia)
I think judging an individual's success based on their own ambition is inherently flawed because they're completely arbitrary and vary wildly.

It's like saying Hitler wasn't a very good murderer because he didn't fulfil his own ambition of murdering every Jew. No, not really. He was a damn effective murderer nonetheless. The same applies to his revolutionary ambition - he shouldn't be deemed a "failure" based on his own unattainable hubristic goals.

Honestly though I think this whole topic is totally redundant and serves no intellectual or historical purpose. It's just too subjective on how one defines "revolutionary" and even when you come to a definition you haven't really achieved anything except put people in arbitrary boxes.
What I've been assessing though (deliberately) are two different things at the same time. The reason we are likely at cross purposes is because I don't consider Hitler a revolutionary in any sense of the word. What I'm evaluating specifically with Hitler was how successful he was in relation to his aims, and that's something I definitely can do. If Hitler's intention was to kill 4 million Jews then he was successful; as Hitler intended to kill or eradicate every Jew from Germany he failed. As I say, the reason I evaluate Hitler differently was because he was not a revolutionary, he had different aims to a revolutionary. Therefore he must be assessed against those aims.

Evaluating a revolution is much easier. A revolutionary has one defining aim; to topple the existing government and replace it with one that is more to the revolutionary's liking. Hitler never did this. This is evaluated in the way I mentioned earlier, by looking at how successful it ultimately was in establishing a lasting system of government or a new dynasty of rulers (not necessarily related, but united by ideology at least). Cases such as The Glorious Revolution, Wars of the Roses, American Revolution, Lenin, were all successful because they achieved their aims long beyond the lives of the revolutionaries themselves. Examples such as Cromwell and Napoleon were failures because the systems reverted back to the way they were.
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Pn94
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#43
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(Original post by IRSP044)
That's not revolutionary. The way he took power and led the government was reformist. His policy's also led to the destruction of Germany.
I see it is revolutionary.

His policies did destroy Germany in the end, but ultimately it was his decision to invade the USSR which was the biggest factor in Nazi downfall, imo. But the way he originally dragged a withering, crumpled Germany and reinstated it as a global power, then sustained it for quite a few years, was undoubtedly impressive.
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jesusofsuburbia
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#44
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(Original post by Craig_D)
Evaluating a revolution is much easier. A revolutionary has one defining aim; to topple the existing government and replace it with one that is more to the revolutionary's liking. Hitler never did this.
This again is just false. Hitler altered the way Germany was governed almost as much as is humanly possible.

This is evaluated in the way I mentioned earlier, by looking at how successful it ultimately was in establishing a lasting system of government or a new dynasty of rulers (not necessarily related, but united by ideology at least). Cases such as The Glorious Revolution, Wars of the Roses, American Revolution, Lenin, were all successful because they achieved their aims long beyond the lives of the revolutionaries themselves. Examples such as Cromwell and Napoleon were failures because the systems reverted back to the way they were.
The idea that each of the revolutions achieved their aims isn't true. To take the example of Lenin. The April Theses:

Calls for "abolition of the police, the army, and the bureaucracy" and for "the salaries of all officials, all of whom are elective and displaceable at any time, not to exceed the average wage of a competent worker."

If you know the first thing about Stalinism it's clear Lenin failed on one of his key points. I can elucidate further if necessary. The idea that Lenin had succeeded because some *******ised remnants of his political opinion lived on seems pretty silly to me.
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IRSP044
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#45
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#45
(Original post by Pn94)
I see it is revolutionary.

His policies did destroy Germany in the end, but ultimately it was his decision to invade the USSR which was the biggest factor in Nazi downfall, imo. But the way he originally dragged a withering, crumpled Germany and reinstated it as a global power, then sustained it for quite a few years, was undoubtedly impressive.
I still maintain that he wasn't revolutionary.

If you see that as success then it was nothing compared to the USSr which existed for decades and was definitely more successful. I don't think they achieved communism because of Stalin but it was still a success to an extent.
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Craig_D
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#46
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(Original post by Pn94)
I see it is revolutionary.

His policies did destroy Germany in the end, but ultimately it was his decision to invade the USSR which was the biggest factor in Nazi downfall, imo. But the way he originally dragged a withering, crumpled Germany and reinstated it as a global power, then sustained it for quite a few years, was undoubtedly impressive.
The problem is that there are multiple definitions of the word, the OED lists four. The first two are as follows:

Revolution
1 The overthrow of a government or social order by force, in favour of a new system.
2 A great and far-reaching change

I'm assuming that you (and the OP) are using the word in the second sense? Whereas normally I would only refer to a person as a revolutionary strictly in the first sense. The is obviously a cause for people being at cross-purposes.
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jesusofsuburbia
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#47
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(Original post by Pn94)
But the way he originally dragged a withering, crumpled Germany and reinstated it as a global power, then sustained it for quite a few years, was undoubtedly impressive.
You must have a warped definition of sustainability. Nazism inherently needed constant expansionism, constant propaganda opportunities and constant influxes of raw materials to survive. The 4 Year Plan under Goering was an economic plan in which expansion (i.e. plunder other country's resources) was not just likely but absolutely vital to avoid economic collapse.

The Nazi state was like a heroin addict - it just could not function without constant successes to placate an increasingly disillusioned public.
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Craig_D
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#48
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#48
(Original post by jesusofsuburbia)
This again is just false. Hitler altered the way Germany was governed almost as much as is humanly possible.
Yes but Hitler wasn't a revolutionary, I describe the way I use the word in post #46. It may be a cause for confusion.

I said clearly that the defining aim of a revolutionary is to change the government, I never said that they cannot also have supplementary aims. During the Libyan revolution, one particular revolutionary may also have had the aim of going home and eating a chicken sandwich (and in that he may succeed or fail), but it's specifically their aim to topple the government that defines them as a revolutionary. There was nothing in what I said which implied that just because their revolution was successful that means they got absolutely everything that they wanted. Of course not, but in those cases their revolution (i.e., toppling the government) was.

The idea that each of the revolutions achieved their aims isn't true. To take the example of Lenin. The April Theses:

Calls for "abolition of the police, the army, and the bureaucracy" and for "the salaries of all officials, all of whom are elective and displaceable at any time, not to exceed the average wage of a competent worker."

If you know the first thing about Stalinism it's clear Lenin failed on one of his key points. I can elucidate further if necessary. The idea that Lenin had succeeded because some *******ised remnants of his political opinion lived on seems pretty silly to me.
Again, he may have had other aims but that isn't the point. You can sit and go through each of Lenin's aims and in some he will be successful, in others he would have been a failure (just as Hitler would have been), but strictly as a revolutionary Lenin was successful. He changed the government, and after his death (for while at least) it stayed that way. The Emperor has not returned.
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jesusofsuburbia
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#49
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(Original post by Craig_D)
Yes but Hitler wasn't a revolutionary, I describe the way I use the word in post #46. It may be a cause for confusion.

I said clearly that the defining aim of a revolutionary is to change the government, I never said that they cannot also have supplementary aims. During the Libyan revolution, one particular revolutionary may also have had the aim of going home and eating a chicken sandwich (and in that he may suceed or fail), but it's specifically their aim to topple the government that defines them as a revolutionary. There was nothing in what I said which implied that just because their revolution was successful that means they got absolutely everything that they wanted. Of course not, but in those cases their revolution (i.e., toppling the government) was.
What was Hitler's defining aim? How do you rank one aim as more important than another? I can find quotations from Mein Kampf in which he categorically says that he wants to clear out the old system of government and replace it with a new Leader chosen by Providence to lift Germany once again to greatness.

Revolution was his central aim. He wanted a new order. One in which the National Community mattered more than everything else. This National Community meant the removal of Jews, Marxism, etc. To say Hitler came to power with the central focus to murder every Jew on the planet is not true and many different reasons can be given to show that wasn't the case. He came to government to revolutionise the way Germany was governed, to create a new world order.


Again, he may have had other aims but that isn't the point. You can sit and go through each of Lenin's aims and in some he will be successful, in others he would have been a failure (just as Hitler would have been), but strictly as a revolutionary Lenin was successful. He changed the government, and after his death (for while at least) it stayed that way.
You seem to be making uninformed judgements about certain leaders' central focus when it is undefinable. You cannot clearly state X was most important to Lenin, Y was most to Hitler with any accuracy because every single aim is interlinked with another, but boil down to the same central desire: to change the system of government that currently exists.
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Super-Yeti
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#50
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successful? yes.
revolutionary? no. There was no revolution, he got into office fair and square.
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jesusofsuburbia
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#51
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(Original post by Super-Yeti)
There was no revolution, he got into office fair and square.
Wrong.
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Craig_D
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#52
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#52
(Original post by jesusofsuburbia)
What was Hitler's defining aim? How do you rank one aim as more important than another? I can find quotations from Mein Kampf in which he categorically says that he wants to clear out the old system of government and replace it with a new Leader chosen by Providence to lift Germany once again to greatness.

Revolution was his central aim. He wanted a new order. One in which the National Community mattered more than everything else. This National Community meant the removal of Jews, Marxism, etc. To say Hitler came to power with the central focus to murder every Jew on the planet is not true and many different reasons can be given to show that wasn't the case. He came to government to revolutionise the way Germany was governed, to create a new world order.
What I meant by 'the defining aim of a revolutionary' was, the aim which defines them as a revolutionary. Hitler's aims are entirely irrelevant, because he was the legal leader of the country - that is unless you're trying to suggest that Hitler aimed to topple his own government. Well then he would be a revolutionary.

As I said, I defined what I mean by 'revolutionary' in post #46. I keep trying to say, I do not class someone who causes other kinds of massive political change as revolutionary - only those who topple governments. I cannot make it more clear than by saying that I only class people who intend to topple their government as revolutionaries. That is the word's default and original meaning in reference to politics (derived from the French révolutionnaire, and used as long as 400 years ago). Yes, more recently it can also be politically used to mean causing great change of any nature, but the OP didn't say that's what he meant in the OP, so I have no choice but to go the original political meaning. Overthrowing governments.

You seem to be making uninformed judgements about certain leaders' central focus when it is undefinable. You cannot clearly state X was most important to Lenin, Y was most to Hitler with any accuracy because every single aim is interlinked with another, but boil down to the same central desire: to change the system of government that currently exists.
I said nothing of the sort. I have no idea what the most important aim of Lenin or Hitler was, and I wouldn't even want to guess. What I said was (and I've said in the last 3 or 4 posts - forgive my impatience but it's been a long day), it was wanting to topple the government that itself defines Lenin as a revolutionary, because that's the default definition of the word. Hitler may have been a revolutionary as a younger man, but he cannot have been after 1939* because he was in charge, he was elected and it was his government! He wouldn't want to overthrow himself.

Edit: *Meant to be 1933.

Maybe it's my use of 'defined'. To put another way, it's wanting to topple the government that made Lenin a revolutionary. To topple the government was not Hitler's aim during the Third Reich, so he wasn't a revolutionary.
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buchanan700
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#53
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#53
(Original post by jesusofsuburbia)
Erm what? The Nazis were by far the biggest political party in Germany when they took power under completely fair elections.
At first they were popular, yes, until people started to realise what was actually going on. After that he held on to power through propoganda and fear.
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silent ninja
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#54
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Despite being an unpopular topic here on TSR, Muhammad was the greatest revolutionary. Sorry but Adolf pales in comparison. If you try to be a little objective, even the most ardent islamaphobe would have to agree. You could throw Jesus in the mix, but Muhammad had more roles and responsibilies (leader, commander, legislator, diplomat etc) as Michael Hart alludes.

Hitler is more recent but has not left a meaningful legacy-- what he did I would not call a revolution at all.
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Pn94
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#55
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(Original post by IRSP044)
I still maintain that he wasn't revolutionary.

If you see that as success then it was nothing compared to the USSr which existed for decades and was definitely more successful. I don't think they achieved communism because of Stalin but it was still a success to an extent.
Germany after WW1 was a complete and utter mess, his regime fixed this. That's a success in my eyes.
(Original post by Craig_D)
The problem is that there are multiple definitions of the word, the OED lists four. The first two are as follows:

Revolution
1 The overthrow of a government or social order by force, in favour of a new system.
2 A great and far-reaching change

I'm assuming that you (and the OP) are using the word in the second sense? Whereas normally I would only refer to a person as a revolutionary strictly in the first sense. The is obviously a cause for people being at cross-purposes.
The 2nd one, yes. Although he did use a fair amount of violence and intimidation whilst he was Fuhrer, I accept that's different though.
(Original post by jesusofsuburbia)
You must have a warped definition of sustainability. Nazism inherently needed constant expansionism, constant propaganda opportunities and constant influxes of raw materials to survive. The 4 Year Plan under Goering was an economic plan in which expansion (i.e. plunder other country's resources) was not just likely but absolutely vital to avoid economic collapse.

The Nazi state was like a heroin addict - it just could not function without constant successes to placate an increasingly disillusioned public.
I agree it was non-viable to continue the way they were going. But that was a contributor to their downfall. If they'd dealt with the economy a bit more realistially and drawn back on some of their policies and used their *******s, they'd possibly have been ok.
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High VOLTAGE
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#56
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Che Guevara = the worlds most successful revolutionary
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bestofyou
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#57
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#57
(Original post by High VOLTAGE)
Che Guevara = the worlds most successful revolutionary
hardly.

Saying as castro played a bigger role in Cuba and Ernesto was killed in Bolivia when he went there I wouldn't say the greatest. Just cause he is on a bunch of t-shirts doesn't make him the greatest...

also, I need to change the title
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High VOLTAGE
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(Original post by bestofyou)
hardly.

Saying as castro played a bigger role in Cuba and Ernesto was killed in Bolivia when he went there I wouldn't say the greatest. Just cause he is on a bunch of t-shirts doesn't make him the greatest...

also, I need to change the title
well actually his legacy survives till this day, the country he helped to liberate still stands to this day, he even went overseas to try and begin revolutions
Hitler however , well his reign was pretty short lived
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bestofyou
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#59
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(Original post by High VOLTAGE)
well actually his legacy survives till this day, the country he helped to liberate still stands to this day, he even went overseas to try and begin revolutions
Hitler however , well his reign was pretty short lived
yes, but it was castro, not gurvara, just because he is a popular icon doesn't mean he is the greatest, the most popular yes, not that doesn't mean greatest.

Hilters rain may have been short lived yes, but after the Cuban revolution Che went away and was killed not long after. So he didn't even have a reign of power...

Hitlers legacy continues to this day, autobanns, VW's, and Germanys borders also changed (positively) compared to Germany before Hitler got to power.

Hitler too went overseas to export his 'revolution', he failed yes, but Che did also...
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jesusofsuburbia
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#60
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(Original post by Craig_D)
What I meant by 'the defining aim of a revolutionary' was, the aim which defines them as a revolutionary. Hitler's aims are entirely irrelevant, because he was the legal leader of the country - that is unless you're trying to suggest that Hitler aimed to topple his own government. Well then he would be a revolutionary.

As I said, I defined what I mean by 'revolutionary' in post #46. I keep trying to say, I do not class someone who causes other kinds of massive political change as revolutionary - only those who topple governments. I cannot make it more clear than by saying that I only class people who intend to topple their government as revolutionaries. That is the word's default and original meaning in reference to politics (derived from the French révolutionnaire, and used as long as 400 years ago). Yes, more recently it can also be politically used to mean causing great change of any nature, but the OP didn't say that's what he meant in the OP, so I have no choice but to go the original political meaning. Overthrowing governments.
Hitler did not win power legally nor did he maintain the existing form of government beyond propaganda purposes. I have said this over and over and over yet you keep ignoring this central and irrefutable fact.


I said nothing of the sort. I have no idea what the most important aim of Lenin or Hitler was, and I wouldn't even want to guess. What I said was (and I've said in the last 3 or 4 posts - forgive my impatience but it's been a long day), it was wanting to topple the government that itself defines Lenin as a revolutionary, because that's the default definition of the word. Hitler may have been a revolutionary as a younger man, but he cannot have been after 1939* because he was in charge, he was elected and it was his government! He wouldn't want to overthrow himself.

Edit: *Meant to be 1933.

Maybe it's my use of 'defined'. To put another way, it's wanting to topple the government that made Lenin a revolutionary. To topple the government was not Hitler's aim during the Third Reich, so he wasn't a revolutionary.
Hitler did not win power legally nor did he maintain the existing form of government beyond propaganda purposes. I have said this over and over and over yet you keep ignoring this central and irrefutable fact. He was hellbent on destroying the existing system of government and I can give multiple quotes that back this up if his actions when he assumed the chancellory isn't evidence enough.

Please stop saying he was the legal continuation of German government, it's
a) ignorant
b) offensive to both the German people and the Weimar system of government.
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