Monday, March 7, 2016

George Orwell on Mein Kampf

In 1940, English writer Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell reviewed Adolf Hitler's diatribe Mein Kampf, ("My Struggle"). Orwell expertly dissected the appeal of the Nazis and national socialism in Germany.

Orwell writes:
The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. […] Hitler … knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life.
Orwell despised Hitler. He further wrote, imagining what the world be like under the Nazis:

 What [Hitler] envisages, a hundred years hence, is a continuous state of 250 million Germans with plenty of “living room” (i.e. stretching to Afghanistan or there- abouts), a horrible brainless empire in which, essentially, nothing ever happens except the training of young men for war and the endless breeding of fresh cannon-fodder.
One could see the seeds of his later works Animal Farm and 1984 beginning to sprout.

Via: Open Culture

You can read Orwell's full review of Mein Kampf here.

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