29 thoughts on “Schadenfreude

  1. Pro Libertate

    Another good German word for the occasion is backpfeifengesicht, which means “a face that cries out for a fist in it.”

  2. Pete Zaitcev

    Rall is a pretty unpleasant individuall, but I would not worry about his future. The Obama’s propaganda machine will find a way to employ him. All those Dear Leader, Hope, and Change posters won’t draw themselves, you know.

  3. Brian Dunbar

    I hear that, in this down economy, the Army will take any-and-I-mean anyone. Warm bodies, we’re talking about. People with no future. Guys with no where else to go and no talent or salable skills.

    It would be kind of like ‘Stripes’ with Rall as Bill Murray.

  4. Rand Simberg Post author

    I hear that, in this down economy, the Army will take any-and-I-mean anyone. Warm bodies, we’re talking about.

    That doesn’t make any sense, economically. In a down economy, the military can be a lot more picky. Rall wouldn’t have a chance, even in the unlikely event he got that desperate.

  5. Tom DeGisi

    Yes, Rand is correct about the military. They are pickier in down times and less picky in boom times.

    Tom DeGisi, aka Wince and Nod

  6. K

    Rall has served his purpose and I imagine that there’s a nice government arts bureaucracy job for him someplace. As can been seen from the Obama administration, the left is paying it’s debts.

  7. Michael S. Kelly

    I owe Ted Rall a small debt of gratitude. It was he who made me realize the difference between left-wing and non-left wing talk radio hosts. He (briefly) had a show on KFI, and I tuned in in the middle. I couldn’t tell from the first few words what he was all about, but then he mentioned Bill Gates. As an aside completely unrelated to the rest of what he said, Rall interjected: “And Bill Gates should be killed, his body thrown in the ocean, and his money given to the poor.” At that moment, I realized that every left-wing talk show host I had ever heard always advocates *killing* those he/she disliked. No one else does. Thanks, Ted!

  8. Brian Dunbar

    That doesn’t make any sense, economically.

    I know that. You know that.

    But guys like Rall (or Rall himself) felt free to repeat that very line just a year or three ago.

  9. MG

    You mean.. Ted Rall was actually getting paid for his work? Or was he laid off from a “pro bono” job?

    Hmph. I figured a true believer like him wouldn’t soil himself with filthy lucre.

  10. Trimegistus

    Let’s all send him letters expressing our sympathy.

    “Dear Mr. Rall,

    I’m sorry you are a lying, evil little bastard. On the other hand, I’m glad you lost your job. Sincerely, Trimegistus.”

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  12. Anon

    Michael Kelly wrote :

    “At that moment, I realized that every left-wing talk show host I had ever heard always advocates *killing* those he/she disliked. ”

    Indeed. That is why virtually all genocides are done by left-wing dictators. Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam, Milosevic, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-Sung, etc. You need to kill 1 million just to enter this club.

    Yes, Hilter was LEFT-WING.

    Right-wing dictators, like Pinochet and Franco, were bad dudes, but killed orders of magnitude fewer people than the above list.

    Genocide is an exclusively left-wing instrument.

  13. Indomitable Konstantinovich

    Please expand on your argument that Hitler was left-wing. I’m interested in the answer, not asking this to be difficult. My knowledge of dictators centers primarily on Stalin (I don’t consider him a genocidal guy as much as a panicidal guy (sorry for the made up word)). My thinking on Hitler is that although he used the Socialist label, his regime allowed individual wealth in sort of a capitalist-corporatist-statist way, but I think his wing was as right as left.

    So, I’d be interested in your thoughts–but beyond simply stating the “Socialist” in “Nazi.”


  14. Rand Simberg Post author

    My thinking on Hitler is that although he used the Socialist label, his regime allowed individual wealth in sort of a capitalist-corporatist-statist way, but I think his wing was as right as left.

    What is it about Hitler that you think is “right wing”?

  15. Indomitable Konstantinovich

    Given the totality of my post, it should be clear that I am asking why he is left-wing, beyond the name of his party, and don’t consider myself especially knowledgable about his regime beyond reading Shirer long ago.

    I think the right and left wings converge at absolute authoritarianism, and I didn’t actually say he was right wing, I said he was as right as left–admittedly, I could have formulated it more precisely. I don’t find Soviet Bolshevism and German Nazism to be opposed wings, though they did seem to have contrasting degrees of private ownership (but again, I’m interested in why Hitler was left wing).

    I hope that is a sufficient answer.

    But how about someone answer my question?

  16. Billy Bob

    Indomitable K –

    Flush out your headgear dude.

    Do you not understands that the continuum of human government is a circle?

    The attitudes and behavior of radical right and radical left totalitarian states meet at the juncture directly opposite from democracy/freedom?

    Billy Bob

  17. Rand Simberg Post author

    But how about someone answer my question?

    I don’t know how to answer your question, because I can’t think of anything about him that isn’t left wing. He was a racist, and believed in eugenics, like most “progressives” of the era. He was a socialist, he believed in government control of the economy, he believe in universal health care, he demanded a regimented life and “national service,” he opposed smoking, he was a vegetarian, he advocated censorship of incorrect thoughts, the Nazi Party platform strongly resembles the Democrats’ in many aspects… Even the leftists didn’t have anything against him until he turned on Stalin.

    That’s why I asked my question. What is it about him that you think is right wing (assuming by that you mean a classical liberal, in favor of the enlightenment values of free thoughts, free markets, and individual liberty)?

  18. Anon

    Left-wing : Hitler’s anti-religion, anti-Semitic stance, his socialized healthcare, and domination of the private sector and religion by the state.

    Right-wing : Well….nothing.

  19. Foobarista

    Basically, the only “heretical” attitude that Hitler had with respect to leftism was his nationalism and mystical belief in “volkish” Germanism. Everything else was extreme statism, with the more state-run, the better. Hitler was smart enough to not attempt to nationalize non-Jewish small businesses, so there was a veneer of capitalism in Germany, but pretty much everything that mattered was run by the State.

  20. Kevin R.C. O'Brien

    There are several books on the lefty social engineering that was, along with race-eugenics (a lefty objective in the USA before WWII also), a key to Hitler’s ideology. A key Nazi goal was a classless society; they affirmed the Weimar-era elimination of titles and prequisites. What is that, if not “progressive”?

    One is called “Hitler’s Social Revolution,” although it is written by a lefty himself so he goes to pains to make points that Hitler’s revolutionariness is a mere shadow of the real 100-proof Leninist kind, but an informed reader will see it’s a distinction without a distance.

    The Nazi economy appeared more like crony capitalism, but then, so did the Soviet economy.

    George Watson’s “The Lost Literature of Socialism” notes that Hitler claimed (Hitler, mind you, not me, or Rand, or Watson) that National Socialism was entirely based on Marx. Watson’s book digs into forgotten socialist lit of the early 20th Century and two chapters cover the Nazis. You can read an excerpt here:


    That excerpt will probably go far to answer the “why do you say Hitler was a man of the left?” question. Watson is also a lefty. And the book is here — you can also read the preface.


    You can get these books from Amazon or B&N or what have you. Also, Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” is a very good exposition of the socialist roots of fascism in general, including the Nazi movement. Goldberg, of course, is a righty so I’m giving you access to the same concepts from both sides of the aisle.

    There are also many books on particular specifics of Nazi policy; too many to list here. Begin with the ideology, though, and you will see the common totalitarianism of Hitler and Stalin has some common antecedents. Hope this helps.

  21. Andy Freeman

    Let’s be fair – Nazi Germany was more stylish than standard leftist fare.

    Also, he is now recognized as being bad. Since modern leftists believe that they’re good, Hitler can’t be a leftist.

  22. Skeptic

    >>>>>Another good German word for the occasion is backpfeifengesicht, which means “a face that cries out for a fist in it.”

    The exact same expression exists in the Israeli Army (PaDaM, the Hebrew initials of “Partzuf Doresh Makot”, “a face that demands a beating”). Now I know where it’s from…

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  24. Jack Okie

    Kevin R.C. O’Brien –

    Thanks much for the link to Watson’s piece. That is by far the most compelling argument I’ve ever seen that Nazism was a form of socialism (I haven’t get gotten around to reading Goldberg’s book, so I’m not sure what I’m missing there).

  25. Reformed Trombonist

    The whole circular model, “right and left meet”, is simply not an accurate depiction of the way the world works.

    In every single regard, except one, Hitler’s National Socialism and Mussolini’s Fascism look like any other leftist dictatorship, including the militarism and aggression against everyone, including one’s own countrymen.

    That single regard is that Naziism and Fascism were national movements, and as such are best described not as the opposite of communism, but (in Jonah Goldberg’s term) heresies of communism.

    Communism, after all, is “International Socialism”. Marx’s idea was that a factory laborer in Russia and a factory laborer in the U.S. had more in common with each other than either had with their own management, or corporate ownership. So, a hundred years ago, leftists were still waiting for the “Greater Day” when workers would “rise up from their chains” and “seize the means of production.”

    French philosopher Sorel noted that it wasn’t likely to happen like this, but that it was a “useful myth.” Mussolini just took it one step further and said, “If we’re going to use ‘useful myths’, let’s use a really useful one.” So he made nationalism the lynchpin of his socialism, and broke with the socialists when he advocated Italy enter World War I. (To a socialist, war between nations makes no sense, for the reason already given: they should be fighting the propertied classes, not workers of other nations.)

    If you look at the agenda of Communists and Fascists, there is a shocking similarity. Again, the only difference was that Fascism was sold as an “Italian solution.”

    How did Naziism and Fascism come to be viewed as “left-wing”? Western journalists took the cue from Stalin, who denounced anyone he didn’t like as “right-wing”, including Trotsky. It’s as if Wesleyans were to denounce Calvinists as “atheists”.

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