Hitler was among those agitating against the Weimar government. He joined the German Workers’ Party that, in February 1920, became the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) — later shortened to Nazi. It offered a witches’ brew of nationalism, socialism, anti-Semitism and anti-capitalism. The German historian Oswald Spengler influenced early Nazis with his idea of “Prussian socialism.”
Hitler’s main talent seemed to be as a speech maker, so he began giving speeches that appealed to Germans embittered and disillusioned by the outcome of the war. He denounced Jews, capitalists and other alleged villains, vowing to rebuild German greatness (Make Germany great again) .
Hitler maintained non-stop agitation for power. He travelled constantly, giving speeches throughout Germany. He wanted his opponents destroyed, so he demonized them. He accused them of being traitors. Two Nazi paramilitary organizations, the S.A. and S.S., launched bloody attacks on his opponents. This attracted more thugs who liked violence and were good at it.
They became the largest political organization in Germany, and by January 30, 1933, with the help of a little blackmail, Hitler emerged as Germany’s chancellor — the head of government. He proceeded to consolidate unlimited power before anybody realized what was happening.
Yet we say; “Hitler was a unique case and he was the worst dictator. We’ve learned from our mistakes”. Surely that means there are no dictators left in the world, right?
Wrong – here’s a list of some.
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh
He was elected as President in 1996; he was re-elected in 2001, 2006, and 2011. He was defeated by Adama Barrow in the 2016 election.Although he initially conceded defeat, on 9 December 2016, he later refused to recognise the results.
“While this is interesting, that’s just one person”
Kim Jong-un (the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea.) He has held the titles of the First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, First Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, and presidium member of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea. He was officially declared the supreme leader following the state funeral for his father on 28 December 2011.
“Tell me one more if you can”
President Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who has governed the Republic of Zimbabwe as it’s President since 1987, having previously governed as its Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he has led the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) party since 1975.although he was re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2013 through campaigns dominated by electoral fraud and nationalistic appeals to his rural Shona voter base. Although Mugabe still remains controversial because he has been praised as a revolutionary hero of the African liberation struggle who helped to free Zimbabwe from British colonialism, imperialism, and white-minority rule. He is also a dictator responsible for economic mismanagement and widespread corruption whose regime has perpetrated anti-white racial discrimination, human rights abuses, and crimes against humanity.
Some argue these are communities fighting for their freedom from the oppression of the western world. Their point is valid but these are still men trying to lead people using a ‘us’ vs ‘them’ mentality.
This is now what is taking widespread acceptance even in the ‘western world’. People with populist ideologies are rising up and creating a fan base from the ‘disconnected’ who aren’t really ‘disconnected’ but are made to feel that way.
Brexit was the beginning
Matteo Renzi’s failure to pass his bill streamlining the senate leading to his resignation was next, followed by the Election of Donald trump regardless of Russian interference because despite his populist rhetoric he was still elected the way he intended to.
Now, in 2017, it’s no different. There are still key elections and events in the world this year that will further the populist agenda.
To begin; the Dutch general election. There has been a heavy focus on Geert Wilders, the hard-right Freedom Party leader who’s called for ‘Dexit’ and a ban on the Quran.
French Presidential election; In France, April 23rd will see the first round of the contest to find France’s President, with the second on May 7. According to the mirror, Republican Francois Fillon will face off with hard-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who wants to come out of the EU and crack down on Islam – that could however be just radical Islamist terrorism.
German elections; Right-wing populists Alternative fur Deutschland have made some symbolic and sustansial gains recently. Just like in the Netherlands and France, they’ll be looking to use anger at open borders to fuel an attack on the ‘establishment’.
Possible Italian referendum; A possible vote could be held in Italy according to Renzi himself who stated “the next elections would presumably be in June but MPs could resist holding them before September”. A vote would let the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and anti-immigrant Northern League test the rise of the right.
“Why do you think these events are significant to dictators?”
These dates and events are significant because as I stated before most definitions of dictators fail to take into account that no single man can rise to prominence without the backing of people who believe in and back his dominating ideology or rhetoric. The problem is the people who put them there fail to see the signs and that’s where dictators begin to feel like they cannot be controlled or feel like Gods in some ways.
You could always argue these people may not feel like Gods and may have the best interest of their countries at heart. You can even argue these individuals just want their countries and economies to be stronger, safer and generally happier. There is a growing problem that cannot being ignored; radical or extremist Islamic terrorism and a rise of radical Islamic terrorist groups like Al queda, Isis etc. but as we’ve seen from the almost large scale replication of the Vietnamese guerrilla tactics, we can’t fight them individually because you cannot fight an enemy who’s tactics are downright unpredictable and come without warning.
There is an obvious growing divide and separation between individuals and nations, that is almost undeniable. Examples include Russian and America (for some reason except Trump), China and Taiwan, Isreal and Palestine, Columbia, Venezuela, U.K. and the EU just to name a few. But as millennials all we can do is pray that our kids grow up in a world where every one doesn’t hate thy neighbor and every individual or nation as portrayed by present day media rhetoric doesn’t feel so divided. As a millennial I just hope leaders today don’t create even worse dictators tomorrow. We sincerely hope they make the choices which lead to a continued rise of people who preach a message of separation so they can dictate.