Equality Confusion

February 20, 2013

Political Theory

There is something on my mind that needs to be either corrected or justified or explained or all of the above. So starting in 1776 in the United States, there were whites and then there we slaves and perhaps occasionally, a free person of color. The racism at that point did not even have a widely accepted name; what was widely accepted was that whites thought blacks were inferior, a mere fact in their minds that fueled racism in that respect for arguable two centuries. The perceived difference between whites and blacks however did grow smaller and smaller year by year. Racism was between whites and blacks gradually faded away from society. This same pattern seems to me consistent throughout all other societies I have ever studied, experienced or even just heard about. Except one. I just do not understand the move of racism in Weimar Germany.

In Weimar Germany there were political parties being smoked out of pipes. One in particular, the SPD, seemed to be the move popular among German citizens. Supported by many Jews and women, the party wished for complete equality between both races and sexes. (I will not dive into the argument of “Jewish” being a race or what not)  Surrounded by economy destroying inflation and the embarrassment of losing WWI, the Germans still seemed united in the sense of race. There was not this hatred in the air for another race as we saw in the United States at the same time. Then came the Nazi Party. In Hitler’s Mein Kampf he shockingly stated that the Aryan race, when genetically mixed with anyone else would be ruined. As he understood, there should have been one race in the entire world. Ridiculous, yes, but with the manipulative propaganda efforts by the Nazis, German citizens bought into the Nazi Party as whole. (Perhaps not the beliefs about race) Nevertheless, this country that in terms of racism, seemed like the children on Barney compared to the United States, was now allowing a party to take over that wished to wipe out entire races. In a matter of only a few years, German citizens moved directionally from the equality seeking SPD to the nearly impossibly racist Nazis. This increased racism over time was something that to my knowledge, seemed unprecedented. That is why I am reaching out to all of you, for something, something at all that can make any more sense of this movement than my head seems to be able to.  


About Jack

A student at the University of Michigan.

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