Sunday, November 13, 2011

Who said it VI?

I enjoy playing Who said it? more than watching yet one more endless Republican Party debate. This one focuses on just one person, unlike my usual schtick, one of the many great 20th century men who moved civilization one way or another from Gandhi to Einstein. Are there great men of the 21st century? If you took a poll today, some people would say Steve Jobs. Not me. Anyway, without googling (do you capitalize Googling?), see if you can guess who he is? I'll try and present him in various guises:

1. Here is is on automobile safety, of all things.

It is truly not an art to drive fast and to endanger the lives of others. Rather it is a great art to drive safely, i.e., carefully. Lack of caution coupled with high speed is the most common cause of automobile crashes. And it is discouraging to realize that the majority of those driving could easily spare the extra ten, twenty, or even thirty minutes that, at best, they can hope to save by their insane reckless driving, even on long stretches.

2. A man of his word.
I shall never, as a statesman, put my signature on a treaty that I would never sign as a man of honor in private life, even if it were to mean my ruin! For I would also never want to put my signature on a document knowing the back of my mind that I would never abide by it! I abide by what I sign. What I cannot abide by, I will never sign.

3. Everybody is conceited about something, aren't they?

I have been a prophet so often in my lifetime, and you have not believed but instead ridiculed and mocked me. Once again I will be a prophet and say to you: you will never return!

4. Scholarly discusses Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West and speaking of leadership.

Is this then really the end of our history and hence of our peoples? No! We cannot believe or accept it! It must be call not the “Decline of the West,” but “Resurrection of the Peoples of the Western World”! Only what has become old, rotten, and bad dies. And it should die! But new life will generate. The will shall find the faith. This will lies in leadership, and faith lies in the people!

. . .

It is mankind’s misfortune that its leaders forget all too often that ultimate strength does not lie anchored in divisions and regiments or in cannons and tanks; rather, the greatest strength of any leadership lies in the people themselves, in their unanimity, in their inner unity, and in their idealistic faith. That is the power that, in the end, can move the mountains of resistance.

5. Heroes, history and the immortal future.

Power and the brutal use of force can accomplish much, but in the long run no state of affairs is secure unless it appears logical in and of itself and intellectually irrefutable. Above all: [our movement] must profess its faith in the heroism that prefers any degree of opposition and hardship to even once denying the principles it has recognized as right. It may be filled only by a single fear, namely that one day a time might come when we are accused of insincerity or thoughtlessness. The heroic idea must, however, be constantly willing to renounce the approval of the present if sincerity and truth so require. Just as the hero has renounced his life to live on in the Pantheon of history, so must a truly great movement perceive in the rightness of its concept, in the sincerity of its actions the talisman which will safely lead it from a transient present to an immortal future.

6. A man for all seasons.

May this feeling of solidarity between city and country, between peasants, manual laborers, and intellectual workers continue to sell to become the proud consciousness of a tremendous unity.

7. Sounds like one of the forefathers, for crying out loud.

And I can tell those doubters something else, too, namely, that I am well aware of what a human being can accomplish and where his limits lie, but it is my conviction that the human beings God created also wish to lead their lives modeled after the will of the Almighty. God did not create the peoples so that they might deliver themselves up to foolishness and be pulped soft and ruined by it, but that they might preserve themselves as He created them! Because we support their preservation in their original, God-given form, we believe our actions correspond to the will of the Almighty.

8. God helps him who helps himself.

If we adhere to this path, decent, industrious, and honest, if we do our duty so bravely and loyally, it is my belief that the Lord will help us again and again in the future. He does not abandon decent people for any length of time! While He may sometimes put them to the test or send them trials, in the long run He will always allow His sun to shine upon them and ultimately give them His blessing.

If we all sick together in the city and the country, if each and every person decently does his duty in the place he occupies and thinks not only of himself but of his fellow humans as well, then you can trust that there is nothing that could break us asunder. We shall prevail! In the year to come, and in the decades to come!

We have a magnificent sun today. A year ago, we had pouring rain. What next year will bring is something I do not know. But that we will be standing here over and over again, that is something I do know, no matter what the weather! When we meet here again after a year has passed, we will once more be able to pledge anew: the year is over, and once again everything has gone will. Everything has become even more splendid.

 9. Thank goodness for little girls . . . and Jesus, of course.

Sometimes when I see shabbily dressed girls, shivering with cold themselves, collecting with infinite patience for others who are cold, then I have the feeling that they are all apostles of a certain Christianity! This is a Christianity that can claim for itself as no other other can: this is the Christianity of a sincere profession of faith, because behind it stands not the word, but the deed!

10. Freedom of the spirit.

In this period of the most inward orientation, Christian mysticism demanded an approach to the solution of structural problems and hence to an architecture whose design not only ran contrary to the spirit of the time but also helped produce these material dark forces that made the people increasingly willing to submit themselves to cosmopolitism. The germinating resistance to this violation of the freedom of the spirit and the will of man that lasted for centuries immediately found an outlet in the foreceful expression of a new form of artistic design. The cathedrals’ mystical narrowness and somberness gave way to more generous room and light, reflecting the increasingly free spirit of the time. More and more the mystical twilight gave way to light. The uncertain and probing transition to the twentieth century finally led to the crisis we face today and that will find its resolution in one way or another.

11. He sure sounds like a founder.

Besides that, I believe one thing: there is a Lord God! And this Lord God creates the peoples. And, as a matter of principles, He accords all these peoples the same fundamental rights.

12. Leadership.

Leadership is always based upon the free will and good intentions of those being led.

13. Now, he sounds like a libertarian, for crying out loud.

This is an iron-clad, yet also a just, principle. The earth is not there for cowardly peoples, not for weak ones, not for lazy ones. The earth is there for whim who takes it and who industriously labors upon it and thereby fashions his life. That is the will of Providence. That is why it has placed man upon this earth, along with the other beings, and has paved the way for him, has freed him to make his own decisions, to lead his own struggle for survival.

. . .

On this earth, no Englishman has more rights than a Frenchman, no Frenchman has more tights than a Russion, no Russian has more rights than a German, no German has more rights than an Italian, and so on.

14. Burdens of leadership.

It is one of the most uplifting tasks of leadership to allow one’s followers to mark only the victory, and to take upon oneself the entire responsibility at critical moments, to step in front of one’s followers to shield them against this responsibility.

15. Responsibility and why we live.

In the end, we do not live for ourselves alone; rather, we are responsible for everything that those who lived before us have left behind, and we are responsible for that which we shall one day leave behind to those who must come after us.

16. Don't you hate it when they call you crazy?

The fact is, however, that every act of human progress, seen from a mental and objective point of view, originates with a very few individuals; from a mental viewpoint, because the invention is born only of the imagination of individual s and not of the cross-section of a collective endeavor; objectively because each himan invention, regardless of whether its value is recognized or underestimated, always appears initially to be an additional pleasure in everyday life and thus a luxury article for a more or less limited circle. It is not an isolated incident, but rather unfortunately quite often the case, that this circle is regarded by the amiable collective of fellow mankind as being crazy . . . .

17. And, Mr. Nice Guy.
Please accept my sincere sympathies on the grievous loss with which you have been afflicted  as a result of the cowardly assassination of your son.

18. Such a comedian, I tell you.

This appears to me as though chicken and geese will one day make a solemn declaration to the foxes that they no longer intend to attack them, in the hope that the foxes will then become vegetarians.

19. Mars and Venus.

The more masculine a man is, the more he is undisputed in his sphere of influence from the very start; and the more feminine a woman is, the more her own work and thus her own position is conversely uncontested and undisputed. And the mutual respect of the sexes for each other will ultimately not be achieved by the rules set up by two different communities, i.e., the community of men and the community fo women; instead, it must be acquired day by day in real life. The more a man is faced with a woman who is truly female, the more his arrogance will be disarmed from the very beginning –idneed at times too much so; and conversely, the more a man is a whole man and carries out his work and his life-task in the highest sense of the word, the more the woman will find her natural and self-evident place beside him.

20. And, last, as the art critic.

The fact that something has never existed before is no proof of the quality of an accomplishment; it can just as easily be evidence for an inferiority that has never existed prior thereto. Thus if a so-called artist perceives his sole purpose in life as presenting the most confusing and incomprehensible portrayals of the accomplishment s of the past or the present, the actual accomplishments of the past will nevertheless remain accomplishments, while the artistic stammerings of the painting, music, sculpture, and architecture produced by these types of charlatans will one day be nothing but proof of the magnitude of a nation’s downfall.

And the answer is . . .

I can't help myself. I love to quote Hitler sounding normal. Of course, in culling this out of his speeches, I had to leave out all the references to the Volk and the Reich, the Jews and a bunch of other crazy talk. Whenever I do quote him like this, I notice I also make myself a little sick, as if I'm committing a crime of the soul to make a game of it. Go back and read these brief quotes knowing who it is. It will make you a little sick too. But, last year I started revisiting WWII history, and I keep finding these little quotes by him.


  1. What scares me the most is that you think these quotes sound normal. Put down the books and go outside, Webblefester. Now.

  2. I was once trying a case in which my client spoke only Spanish. The other attorney asked him how he braked when he saw the other car and he answered, through the interpreter, "Normal." At least that was the translation. The other attorney tried his best to make it seem like my client was saying he didn't brake very hard, but the judge actually intruded and said "No, his logic is pure. He means 'normal' for when you see a car suddenly move in front of you." He happened to be right. And, when I use "normal" here, I mean for a 19th century leader of a country, not the 19th century version of you.

    By the way - Webblefester? I found one hit when I googled it.

    Thanks for the comment.


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About Me

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I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .