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Response to mick063 (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 9, 2012, 06:32 PM

40. Apt in some respects, not in others

Germany had been defeated after World War I and placed under heavy war reparations - "austerity" as we would call it today. Financial mismanagement resulted in the massive hyperinflation in the period from about 1921-1924, raising resentment levels among a population that was already used to being under arms. While one could argue that the Reichstagg Fire and 9/11 were similar, the one caused a political regime change (Hitler coming to power in 1931) while the other did not. 1 in 6 adult Germans were in uniform by 1936, while in the United States it's closer to 1 in 100. Germany was politically unified by the early 1930s - the communists were generally incarcerated early, and even in the early 1930s there were Jews that were strongly pro-Nazi, it wasn't until they became targeted as a political class in 1932 that concern among most German Jews began to rise.

The US is divided geographically, politically, and economically, to the extent that two or three states in the Midwest can change the balance of power politically. It's too big for either party to completely politically purge the other without raising so much hue and cry as to send the offending political parties packing. It's a security state, but not really a police state. Police states have one party in such complete political control as to make it feasible to "disappear" people on a wide spread basis. For most people, the Dept of Homeland Security does not really enter their lives, save for either air travel or FEMA during emergencies. Could they morph into something like the Gestapo? Possibly, but keep in mind that the Gestapo emerged primarily from the brown-shirted thugs that helped him get into power, and the SS was created as an elite fighting unit more akin to Army Rangers or Navy Seals or the US Secret Service protecting the president.

It's possible for a charismatic authority to emerge in the next few years a la Hitler, but I think it unlikely. The country is too polarized. Any one person who is revered enough by one faction will be considered the devil by the other. I see the rise of a secessionist leader as a far higher possibility - someone who advocates secession and is able to mobilize half the country behind him.

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