Did you know that Adolph Hitler named his special personal World War II train Amerika?
I ran across this interesting fact while leafing through the British historian Martin Gilbert’s massive history of the Second World War.
Some might find this strange, given the fact that Hitler’s Third Reich was formally at war with the United States between December 8, 1941, and April May 7, 1945.
I did some research on this curious nomenclature and quickly determined that it was exactly as I suspected. As the military enthusiast website We Are the Mighty reports:
“Hitler, oddly enough, seemed obsessed with America in many ways. He admired [fellow anti-Semite] Henry Ford and American industrialization. He liked American films and Mickey Mouse cartoons. And, perhaps most oddly for a man of Hitler’s obsession with perception and propaganda, he even named his rolling fortress of a train after the rival country, calling it ‘Amerika.’”
What was that name about? Precisely what I thought: “it wasn’t out of respect for the American nation or people. Hitler named the train for the destruction of Native Americans by western settlers” (emphasis added).
(Hitler switched to The Brandenburg in 1943, by which time US forces had engaged Third Reich troops in North Africa and Western Europe.)
It’s not so odd, after all. As scholars of German fascism have long known and as is clear from Hitler’s sickening memoir Mein Kampf, the genocidal Nazi dictator drew inspiration and lessons from the “democratic” United States. He admired and envied not only (the United States of) “America’s” near-extermination of its Indigenous peoples but also its long history of Black chattel slavery, its racist Jim Crow segregation laws and practices, its rugged and violent frontier spirit, its breakneck industrialization, its pioneering mass production methods, its vast network of roads and rail lines, and the propagandistic power of its movie and radio industries. Intimately linked to his quest for racist German-imperial Lebensraum (“breathing room”) in Eastern Europe and Russia, Hitler wanted to replicate “America’s” racialized ethnic cleansing campaigns, slave practices, industrialization, and mass transport across Eurasia. The United States was a great role model for his fascist and genocidal vision.
As Third Reich forces marched into the Soviet Union in July of 1941, Hitler “made it clear that he was not contemplating anything resembling a semi-enlightened form of colonialism, which might include a modicum of decent treatment of the conquered people. They would be subjugated mercilessly,” writes Adam Nagorski in his book 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War (2019). The goal, in Hitler’s words, was “to Germanize this country by the immigration of Germans and look upon the natives as redskins…In this business, I shall go ahead cold-bloodedly.”
Yes, you read that correctly: “look upon the natives as redskins” – this said by Hitler as he was riding around in a train named after his national historical exemplar, the United States of Amerika.
For some chilling accounts of cold-blooded native extermination by white “settlers” seeking Lebensraum on the 17th-19th Century North American Frontier, see my November 23, 2022 Paul Street Report, sub-titled “A Little Matter of Genocide.”
(Perhaps young Hitler, a voracious reader, came upon Theodore Roosevelt’s noxious multi-volume celebration of American genocide, The Winning of the West. “American and Indian, Boer and Zulu, Cossack and Tartar, New Zealander and Maori, – in each case the victor,” The Winning of the West instructed, “horrible though many of his deeds are, has laid deep the foundations for the future greatness of a mighty people…It is of incalculable importance,” Roosevelt opined, “that America, Australia, and Siberia should pass out of the hands of their red, black, and yellow aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant world races…The world would have halted had it not been for the Teutonic conquests in alien lands…”)
An Ex-President Dining with Fellow Hitler Fans
Speaking of fascism and the United States, Donald Trump two weeks ago scandalously hosted a Mar a Lago dinner with the Black fascist lunatic “Ye” (the demented rapper formerly known as Kanye West) and the white supremacist Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. Trump, now an open supporter of the neo-Nazi QAnon cult, has offered no apology for this wicked gathering, preposterously claiming not to have known anything about who Fuentes is or his politics. More “mainstream” Republi-fascist Trump-enablers have played along with this ridiculous claim, with the next US House Speaker and slithering reptile Kevin McCarthy (Rf-CA) adding the false assertion that “President Trump came out four times and condemned [Fuentes].”
Here’s some of what Trump’s other dinner partner Ye said to the flummoxed right-wing conspiracy monger Alex Jones last week: “I see good things about Hitler… Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler….Also, Hitler was born Christian.”
Yes, you read that correctly: “especially Hitler.”
We learned in 1990 from his ex-wife Ivana that Trump kept a collection of Hitler’s speeches in his bedside table in the 1980s. Recall also that Trump as president angrily asked his early chief of staff John Kelly why the US military brass didn’t line up in “totally loyal” obedience to him “like the German generals” under the Third Reich.
Perhaps Hitler’s “good things” were topics of discussion during the Trump-Ye-Fuentes supper. If so, it was consistent with his presidency. As I show in my latest book This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America, US capitalism-imperialism shat an actual fascist, however sloppy and narcissistic, into the world’s most dangerous job between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021. (See chapters two and three of This Happened Here, titled “The Fascist Wolf Defined and Foretold,” and “A Fascist in the White House, 2017-21.”)
If you think it – a fascist in the White House – can’t happen here again, very possibly with a different, less clumsy, and younger fascist (Ron DeSantis) in the top job, please see my last Paul Street Report here. By the way, The New York Times reported last week that blatantly anti-Semitic hate speech and references to fascist “Great Replacement Theory” have “soared” on Twitter since the fascist billionaire Elon Musk took that platform over and loosened its restrictions on hate speech. Musk wants Trump to return to the venue. He wants to highlight “view count” on every tweet, something that will mean more attention-grabbing shocking and inflammatory posts.
“The Termination of All Rules…Even Those in the Constitution”
More evidence that the nation’s 45th POTUS was a fascist came last Saturday. In a post on his Orwellian social network Truth Social, Herr Trump for the first time added an explicit call to “set aside the supreme law of the land” (in the Times’ accurate words) to his ludicrous claim that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen.” Demanding that the last election be overturned or re-run, Trump or (more likely) one of his hacks (the language is a bit too complex for Trump’s brain) wrote this: “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”
Read that again. I am not making it up: “the termination of all rules…even those found in the Constitution.” That’s an actual statement from the demented maniac who still qualifies as the post-republican Republikaner Party’s 2024 presidential front runner even if Ron DeSantis is closing fast on Trump.
“Lawlessness in the name of law and order” is a classic calling card of fascism, as the Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley pointed out years ago.
After the media shit-storm this latest wild Trump elicited, the twice-impeached ex-President absurdly declared that he still supported the US Constitution. He did this while standing by his preposterous demand that the 2020-election should be re-run or he be returned to power, both of which would require …termination of the US Constitution.
Perhaps federal prosecutors will at some point next year ask Trump if he has ever called for the end of the nation’s cherished constitution.
Minus some mild criticism from the Christian white nationalist Mike Pence (the guy Donald “Take Down the Metal Detectors” Trump thought should “maybe” be hanged by fascist thugs on January 6, 2021) and the longtime Trump-enabling Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the Republi-fascist establishment has been chillingly quiet in response to Trump’s explicit calls for the end of bourgeois democracy and rule of law. The House Speaker elect McCarthy and the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Rf-KY) have yet to say a single word about Trump’s termination comment.
Where Orange Thing Should but Won’t Spend Its Final Days
Chances are rising that Trump will be indicted for one or more glaring felonies, including perhaps seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government and violation of the Espionage Act. As is rarely if ever noted in the mainstream media, both charges potentially carry the death penalty.
While I’m not a believer in capital punishment, I do think it would be entirely fitting for the deranged putschist Trump to spend his last years (or, preferably, months or weeks or days) on federal Death Row in Terre Haute, cowering in the shadow of the execution chambers that he started up again. The sadistic Trump administration rushed to make sure that a number of federal executions were carried out before he left office.
Among Trump’s many crimes, one is now rarely if ever mentioned: pandemicide, whereby Trump killed well more than a hundred thousand US-Americans through his bizarre and sickening covid denialism and inaction.
The execution of a former US president is of course unimaginable. Even incarceration is inconceivable – a precedent the US ruling class never wants to set for the presidency, whose imperial duties require the regular commission of massive crimes against humanity or at least the ever-present readiness to commit such crimes.
Trump Should Thank the Founders
One among many rich ironies in the “terminate the constitution” story is that Trump owes his initial election to the US presidency, his ability to stay in office, and (perhaps) his right to run again for the White House to the nation’s absurdly venerated 18th Century constitution. It was thanks in great part to the ancient charter’s archaic Electoral College, which overrepresents the nation’s most reactionary states and reduces serious presidential campaigning to a small number of contested states, that the widely hated fascist pig Trump was able to become president after losing the popular vote by three million tallies to the highly unpopular and depressing neoliberal elitist Hillary Clinton. The constitutionally imposed minority rule malapportionment of the US Senate, which grossly overrepresents the nation’s most reactionary regions and voters, prevented Trump from being properly convicted and removed from office after his two US House impeachments. And conviction, richly deserved in both cases, would have blocked him from running again (though here it should be admitted that Trump is now at serious risk of felony convictions that could accomplish this in 2023 or 2024).
We Do Need a New Constitution…After a Revolution
The Democrats have hardly distinguished themselves in their response to the tangerine-tinted tyrant’s terrible termination-ism. They have belched up the usual sanctimonious paeans to the supposed greatness of the nation’s militantly anti-democratic and propertarian 18th Century slaveowners’ charter, whose deeply reactionary nature I have (with no special claim to originality) broken down again, again, again, again, and again some more (I literally lack the time and energy to link all the essays I have published on this topic — here’s a more recent one). . It is unimaginable to them that We the People might want to step outside the killing confines of this antiquated and deeply conservative straight-jacket on democracy, designed by and for slaveowners, landed gentry, merchant capitalists and publicists for whom popular sovereignty was the ultimate nightmare.
Strange as it may sound to say, Trump is on to something in his call for the termination of the Constitution. It is long past time for the transcendence of this charter not by fascist perversion but rather by a socialist constitution that abolishes the soulless and exterminist class rule system that is capitalism-imperialism, the taproot of the four great mutually multiplying and apocalyptic horsemen of our time: ecocide, pandemicide, potentially nuclear global war, and fascism.
And believe it or not, a draft version of the constitution required has already been written by the Revolutionary Communist Party’s leader Bob Avakian. Read it here. Don’t like it? Write a better one. Seriously. It’s important to have an alternative revolutionary socialist charter in place: (a) to construct and guide a genuine people’s revolution built (unlike the socialist revolutions of the last century) to last and to spread to other nations; (b) to answer those who constantly nag Marxist and other radicals with the false allegation that “you’re only against stuff but you offer no alternatives, you’re not for anything.” Here’s an accurate translation of that false charge: “you propose alternatives that threaten us, so we claim they don’t exist.”
Just to be clear, the point of socialist constitution-drafting is not to wave a document around as if it itself is a magical answer to all our problems. A revolutionary charter like the one linked above could only be established after a dedicated, organized, and successful mass popular uprising conducted to liberate humanity from the unelected and eco-cidal class dictatorship of capital and the intimately related oppression structures of race, gender, empire, and theocracy.
“Why You Wanna Walk Around With Me?”
Back to the Democrats, who are deeply complicit in the creeping fascisation of the United States. Like any other actual US “radical Leftist,” I am so T-I-R-E-D of Bernie Sanders (please no emails denying that the “independent” Senator from Vermont is in fact and essence a Democrat). Kudos to CounterPunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair for the following dead-on reflection on how Sanders sickeningly tried to preserve his progressive brand identity while enabling bipartisan ruling class Congressional legislation enlisting the federal government as the pre-emptive breaker of a long- overdue strike by the nation’s badly overworked rail workers:
“The question as always with Bernie Sanders is what was he willing to do about it? Would he filibuster the strikebreaking bill? Or simply initiate a distraction by offering a sick leave bill he knew had no chance of becoming law? The latter, of course. Which he rationalized as a victory, even when it went down to defeat: ‘I’m proud that the House of Representatives passed legislation to guarantee seven days of paid sick leave for all rail workers. While I’m disappointed that we were unable to get the 60 votes we needed in the Senate, we did receive the votes of every Senate Democrat, but one, as well as six Republicans.’”
More from St. Clair, broadening his critique to the entire Democratic Party:
“Here are the EIGHT House Dems who voted against the strike-busting rail worker bill…Rep. Norma Torres (CA-35); Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13); Rep. Mary Peltola (AK-01); Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02); Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ-01); Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02); Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11); Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27)
Has any party ever said ‘Fuck You’ to its base more forcefully (or repeatedly)? I’m reminded of the Ramones song…‘I don’t wanna walk around with you/I don’t wanna walk around with you/I don’t wanna walk around with you/So why you wanna walk around with me?’”
That’s a perfect musical reference for how the dismal, dollar-drenched Dems repeatedly and regularly betray the nation’s working- and lower-class majority in service to their corporate and financial overlords.
Lucy and Charlie Yet Again: “Sleeping Car Joe” and “Socialist” Bernie Know How the Ruling Class Senate “Works”
An equally apt popular cultural reference for the ruling class Dems’ pathological relationship with their base is a bit stodgier. It’s the old Charles Schultz Peanuts cartoon wherein Lucy keeps pulling the football away just as poor Charlie Brown is about to kick it for an imaginary field goal. “Gosh darn,” Charlie lamely says over and over, “she did it again” (my paraphrase).
Did Bernie really think we don’t know that the filibusted, half-Republican US Senate would of course block his and the lame duck Democratic majority House’s sick-leave bill – this even as he would never dare to filibuster the strikebreaking bill? Seriously?
But, then, did “our” strikebreaking president Sleeping Car Joe Biden really think we didn’t know that same filibusted half-Republican body would of course block his absurdly promised bill to codify Roe v. Wade as national law if the Dems’ had kept the House in the midterm elections? How transparently disingenuous was it for him to follow up last month’s mid-term elections by saying that the Democrats wouldn’t have the House votes for him to move on his preposterous pre-election pledge after all? Please. He knows damn well how the Senate “works.” It was all a ruse, straight out of Peanuts.
(Caveat: come to think of it, Biden and his good friend Sanders probably DO know very well that most citizens in “the world’s greatest democracy” do NOT in fact know how “their” government works and are therefore unaware that bills passed by the House can’t become laws without 60 votes in the grossly malapportioned, deeply reactionary, and absurdly powerful Senate.)
“Despicable But Not Surprising”
Some instructive words from Railroad Workers United in a press release after the latest Lucy game was played on the rail unions by Amerikan state capitalism:
“Railroad Workers United (RWU) finds it despicable – but not surprising – that both political parties opted to side with Big Business over working people yesterday and vote against the interests of railroad workers – not once, but twice, within hours. We suffered a one-two punch at the hands of, first the Democratic Party; second the Republicans…First, responding to the wishes of President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House voted to legislate a contract that the majority of U.S. freight rail workers had previously voted to reject. The Senate would quickly follow suit. In effect, their actions simply overrode our voices and desires. Rail workers – like all workers – should have the right to bargain collectively and to freely engage in strike activity if and when the members see fit and when they democratically elect to do so…Within hours of the Senate vote sealing our fate on Thursday afternoon [came]… a second defeat, this at the hands of the other party of Big Business, the Republican Party. That bill – which would have mandated that all railroad workers receive seven days of paid sick leave – would receive just a handful of votes from Republicans in the House and, crucially, in the Senate, where it went down to defeat… ‘This one-two punch from the two political parties is despicable,’ according to RWU General Secretary Jason Doering. ‘Politicians are happy to voice platitudes and heap praise upon us for our heroism throughout the pandemic, the essential nature of our work, the difficult and dangerous and demanding conditions of our jobs. Yet when the steel hits the rail, they back the powerful and wealthy class every time’” (emphasis added).
Indeed. Welcome to the class dictatorship of capital. Strike anyway? (A revolutionary one big rail-workers union would, consistent with the legacies of the great US Socialist Eugene Debs and the IWW.)
Please Raise Your Sights
The liberal celebration over last Tuesday’s Senate run-off election in Georgia is over the top. Listening to liberal and progressive friends the last few days, you’d think some sort of great transformative breakthrough had occurred.
Don’t get me wrong. I get and share their relief that someone as morally and intellectually low as Herschel Walker won’t be a US Senator, to be sure, but: the Congress as a whole (with the Republifascists about to take over the lower chamber) is a stalemated ruling-class clusterf**k; the Supreme Court is a Christian fascist nightmare; millions upon millions of women face the terror and bondage of forced motherhood under the vile Dobbs v. Jackson decision (this even as liberals cynically and/or foolishly claim that the mid-terms were “Roevember” ffs); Sleeping Car Joe and the Dems (including numerous “socialist” Squad members) are state-capitalist strikebreakers (!); there is next to nothing being done to save livable ecology (just the biggest issue of our or any time) or slash the military budget…and..I could go on.
Walker was such an abysmally awful, stupid, and reactionary, CTE-damaged Christian fascist reptile of a candidate that it’s kind of hard to feel all that great about his defeat when one realizes that this open revanchist freak came within 1.6% or 3% of the polished liberal Raphael Warnock. It is horrifying to contemplate how close this moral and intellectual arch-troglodyte came to taking up a seat in the US Senate.
Democrats, including some lovely “progressives” I know, doing cartwheels over Georgia, is symptomatic of how depressed “left” expectations are today.
This lowering of portside sights is depressing and dangerous.
I have seen progressives arguing about the railroad legislation and strike. Biden should have done this, Bernie should have done that. People go on and on after each other about what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did or didn’t do or say.
Let me be blunt: who cares? There are no solutions to the grave existential problems of our time under the systemic death trip that is capitalism-imperialism. None. Repeat after me: This system’s elected officials and politicos Will. Not. Save. Us. Fellow workers, citizens and comrades, listen up: we’ve got maybe a decade to get out from under the insane ecocide, pandemical, fascism-generating and imperialist war-mongering racist sexist capitalist system or we can pretty much stick our collective heads between our collective legs and kiss our collective ass goodbye.
Please think bigger. Think systems. Think radical reconstruction of society as a whole. Think deeply about what it would take to make and keep and spread a many-sided people’s socialist revolution to put humanity on a path to real liberation. What other basic goal is there?
Rail workers: take the lesson from the corporate duopoly and become revolutionary socialists fighting as “tribunes of the people” (The Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin’s excellent phrase) against class rule and against all forms of oppression. Think political strikes, not just economic ones for more under the existing lethal order — many-sided political strikes and much more heading towards a new and better egalitarian social order consciously designed in the real material, social, psychological, cultural, biological, personal, collective, and dare I say spiritual interests of the preponderant majority of humanity — a species that comes to grasp its interdependent relationships and place within the broader web of life.
On this “radical” (ordinary common sense to the present writer since age 19) final note, please listen to this remarkable 24-minute speech by Charlie Kimber, National Secretary of the Socialist Workers Party of the United Kingdom: “Time’s Running Out: Leninism in a Time of Crisis.” “Without revolution,” Kimber says, “we are looking in fairly short order at the strong possibility of the extirpation or the elimination of everything that matters, including the whole of humanity.” He’s right.
(Thank you to Cole Miller for sending me this speech. More on this extraordinary oration in a future Paul Street Report, when time and word count allow.)
- So I argued in real time against scoffing and usually older white male “progressives” and “Marxists.” These insufferable clowns inspired my surprisingly useful invention of the term “Trumpenleft” by foolishly accusing those of us radicals who dared to identify the homegrown Amerikaner fascism staring the nation in the face as fascism of (a) “crying wolf, (b) “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” and (c) alliance with the dismal Democrats, who we were accusing of complicity with the fascisation of US politics. It’s a shame more Germans didn’t develop “Hitler Derangement Syndrome” during the 1930s.