The Roman Empire and the Nazis
Hitler was keen reader of history . So was Napoleon , Stalin and Mao . Only the tyrants seem to be determined to learn from the past and not to repeat the same mistakes .
Hitler deliberately set out to recreate elements of the Roman Empire .
He plundered the past for memes that had been proven to work . He let his subordinates take the credit , but his fingerprints were all over the most effective mind-changers .
1. The Salute : the Nazi salute is a straight copy of the Roman salute .
2. The Nazi “Heil” means the same as the Roman “Ave”. (Refer Anglo-Saxon “Hail” )
3. “Fuehrer” and “Imperator” means exactly the same : Commander.
Forcing everybody to address and salute him as Commander seems to have played as an important part in the last-ditch loyalty of the Third Reich as it did in the longevity of the later stages of the Western Roman Empire . The ease whereby later kings accepted being subservient to an Emperor shows how well the meme survived in Western Europe . Hitler tapped into this .
The continual reinforcement of the top hierarchical structure seems to lock humans into an obedience pattern . This is partly equivalent to the continual saluting required by military organizations , as well as the continual genuflecting and bowing in Roman catholic and Muslim religions .
This conditioning really does work . It ties into the deep need to belong to a pack . Like dogs , humans would rather accept the bottom order in a pack than not to belong .
Who doesn’t it work for ?
The optimizors . The survival specialists . You don’t find them at the top or the bottom , or at the 50% mark .
It is like choosing the best option in a time-dependant series (ie the groom has to choose a bride out of 10 sequential girls , but he can’t go back . The optimal probability is 1/e=~0 .37 : a long proven theorem .)
Doing the same analysis for a society means that the real opinion-makers are clustered around 37% between the bottom and top of any question .
In Germany this point was , and still is , occupied by the verreine . The Nazis simply established control of these .
The joker is that this point is not even the maximal population point (which would be around 50% by definition) or that beloved fiction , the opinion-makers (usually defined as the top 5% ) .
Hitler understood this thoroughly .
4. Caesar and Hitler
Hitler deliberately tried to transform his surname into a generic term for ruler . Caesar became “Kaiser” or “Tsar” , for instance . Hence “Heil Hitler” and not “ Heil Adolf “ or the more logical “Heil Fuehrer” . He partly succeeded . Most tyrants are called by their first names (Napoleon , Joe (Stalin) , Mao ) , but Hitler is never called Adolf .
5. The SS was the Praetorian guard.
6. The Nuremburg and other rallies were the equivalent of Roman Triumphs .
7. The Nazi banners were a straight copy of the Roman Legion’s Signifer’s banners .
8. The concentration camps “ Work to death” policies were copies of the Roman mines and other equivalents where recalcitrant slaves (those that could not be tamed ) were worked to death on a deliberate subexistence diet .
9. Genocide as policy . This was standard in Roman times . For instance , Caesar bragged about treacherously massacring about 500 000 Germans crossing the Rhine .
10. Gauleiters were straight copies of Roman provincial governors
Even the territories were the same .
11. The architecture : Forum Romanum to the n’th.
12. Religion: the Roman Catholic church knew exactly what he was doing. They were hoping to outlast him . If he had won , we would have been right back in the Emperor-gods of the late roman empire.
12 nov 2006