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My Weimar Culture Presentation

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I didn't really follow any of that.  What are you saying?

My account is based on my memory of reading history books on the coming to power of the Nazis in the Weimar republic several years ago.  If parts of the account are historically wrong, then I will admit so when confronted with historical data.  I have never had a high opinion of Peikoff (a low opinion which I derived from reading "Ominous Parallels" actually), so I don't really consider that a source.

From what little I think I understood of your post though, it seems like you are trying to get theory to trump actual data, and when data disagrees with theory, to throw data out.

The burden of proof falls on the person making a proposition. The question here is whether there is any truth in the assertion that Communists in Germany were "under orders" to vote for the Nazis. So where is this "actual data" you speak of?

Given 1) the absence of any evidence of such orders, 2) that the Nazi's S.A. thugs were butchering Communist organizers at a horrific rate, and 3) that the Communist Party was the third largest in the Weimar Republic and in 1932 was growing faster than the Nazis or the Social Democrats, the claim that the Communists (or some Communists) were secretly trying to get the Nazis in power appears not only to to be entirely without merit but also downright silly.

Support for 2) and 3) above can be found in William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and online at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany#Weimar_Republic and

http://www.barnsdle.demon.co.uk/hist/tyra.html

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Here is a link to election results:

http://facultystaff.vwc.edu/~dgraf/weim.htm

Between the second to last and last election the net is:

total deputies go up by 63 (to 647)

KPD deputies go down by 19 (to 81)

NSDAP deputies go up by 92 (to 288)

DVP deputies go down by 9 (to 2)

Everywhere else the changes are smaller.

The number of deputies is based on a formula of a party getting one deputy for every 60 000 votes received.

KPD still has heavy support, though it has lost a number of votes (consistent with my memory of parts of the KPD calling for a boycott). NSDAP has gained many votes but is still short of a majority. DVP was another right wing party so its loss of deputies is consistent with voters switching from them to NSDAP.

NSDAP appears to have gained most of the votes of new voters who didn't vote in the previous election.

I would say this is consistent with a partial boycott by KPD voters.

I haven't seen any historical evidence for calls by KPD for its voters to vote NSDAP, so I still dont think that is true. There was too much bad blood and violence between KPD and NSDAP members. Also the KPD knew full well that one reason the establishment was making common cause with NSDAP was to counter the power of KPD.

I still go with the scenario of one wing of KPD calling for a boycott, the rest continuing to vote KPD.

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I haven't "blanked out" my reference as to the Communists voting for the Nazis. But I, being only a proletarian supporter of Capitalism, do not always have access to a computer. Sorry.

Well, I thought it was in _Ominous Parallels_, but it's actually from Ayn Rand's _Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal_. The reference comes from chapter 17: "'Extremism,' Or the Art Of Smearing." Ayn Rand's statement is as follows:

"It is a matter of record that in the German election of 1933, the Communist Party was ordered by its leaders to vote for the Nazis-- with the explanation that they could later fight the Nazis for power, but first they had to help destroy their common enemy: capitalism and its parliamentary form of government."

Unfortunately, a reference to the exact "record" from which this information was obtained is not included.

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I have never had a high opinion of Peikoff (a low opinion which I derived from reading "Ominous Parallels" actually), so I don't really consider that a source.

You have said here that you have a "low opinion" of Leonard Peikoff. You "derived" that low opinion from reading Ominous Parallels.

Leonard Peikoff worked closely under Ayn Rand's editorship through most of that project. She offered public support for the content of the book because it presents her philosophy of history.

Now, punk, I have two main questions:

(1) What are your reasons, based on your reading of OP, for having a "low opinion" of Leonard Peikoff? You might elaborate on what you mean by "low opinion" -- his personality, his morals, his intellect, his knowledge? Does your low opinion extend to his editor as well?

(2) Do you agree with the philosophy of history which OP presents? If not, where do you disagree? You might, for background, describe your overall evaluation of Objectivism. With how much of it do you disagree? This information will help set a context for your opinions, low or otherwise.

P. S. -- I note that you say you have "never had a high opinion of Peikoff." What was your opinion before you read OP? On what evidence did you base your opinion?

Edited by BurgessLau
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I started a new thread about the specific issue of the Communists voting for the Nazis in the 1933 election here.

Punk, Peikoff's style of writing took a little getting used to for me, but now I love his works (while we're stating our unsupported subjective opinions on the issue.) I also think he's an excellent public speaker. You should try downloading some of his speeches from ARI sometime. If there aren't any there, there is at least a link to his webpage where some can be downloaded.

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I've looked into this....

I can find no evidence for my recollection of a boycott, nor for any instruction from KPD leadership for its base to vote NSDAP.

What I did find was that the KPD and NSDAP deputies did vote together on several issues before the parliament (Reichstag) that can be construed as destructive to the Weimar Republic, and they may have coordinated in regards to a strike.

It looks to me like Ms. Rand confused parliamentary votes by KPD deputies with electoral votes by the KPD base.

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I've looked into this....

I can find no evidence for my recollection of a boycott, nor for any instruction from KPD leadership for its base to vote NSDAP.

What I did find was that the KPD and NSDAP deputies did vote together on several issues before the parliament (Reichstag) that can be construed as destructive to the Weimar Republic, and they may have coordinated in regards to a strike.

It looks to me like Ms. Rand confused parliamentary votes by KPD deputies with electoral votes by the KPD base.

Thank you for taking the trouble to clear this up. Your statement above is a testament to your integrity and intellectual good faith.

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