I have been struggling with something that I am convinced our society needs to face: how do we reform the NAZI ideology? Yes, I’m serious. How do we reform the NAZI ideology? I ask this because of all the ‘good’ NAZIs who helped to save people in WW II. In addition to these ‘good’ NAZIs, there were many more who didn’t agree with Hitler and the NAZI Party. These were the ‘moderates’ who were happy to live their lives without killing Jews, using science to build a master race or going to war to expand the Reich. Wasn’t it just the radicals in the NAZI Party leadership that were misinterpreting what National Socialism is all about who gave NAZI a bad name? So, how do we reform NAZI ideology? Or is the NAZI ideology so beyond redemption that we shouldn’t even try? (This is not what you might be thinking. Keep reading 😉 )
Is it possible to be a ‘good’ NAZI? I mean, if you were a member of the NAZI Party, but you rejected its policies of racism against Jews, the scientific promotion of the master race and military expansionism, were you actually a NAZI? Or were you a ‘righteous’ person who happened to be in the NAZI Party? This question has been bothering me. Because I believe in individual accountability, I cannot see a way to call someone a ‘good’ NAZI. If you were a member of the NAZI Party, you had sought or accepted an invitation to membership in the Party. How could you then claim you disagreed with the Party’s ideology? Isn’t that a contradiction between the things you say and those you do? And actions speak louder than words. To my way of thinking, even those who did things we might consider to be ‘righteous’ by our standards, if they were a member of the NAZI Party, their very presence in the Party supported the Party. And if you support the Party, you support its ideology and its agenda. SO, again I ask, s there such a things as a ‘good’ NAZI?
Now, supposing there is such thing as a ‘good’ NAZI, how do you then reform the NAZI ideology without changing what it means to be a NAZI? This may not make sense at first, so — just in case — let me try to clarify my question. The NAZIs were fascists. There have been many forms of fascism, but they all shared some common traits, such as a government controlled economy, militarism and expansionism. Italy was fascist under Mussolini, but they did not share the NAZI traits of racism and a desire for a master race. Spain was also fascist under Franco, but they did not share the NAZI ideology. NAZIs were a particular breed of fascists defined — most notably — by hatred of Jews and the desire to breed a master race. So, how can we ‘reform’ the part of the NAZI ideology that made them different from the other fascists without changing what makes them NAZIs in the first place? How can we take away the racism and scientific pursuit of a master race and still retain the essence of what it means to be a NAZI?
Now, I am very serious about my questions, only I am not really thinking about NAZIs. I just chose them because they make it easier for us to focus on the point I am trying to make. I want to focus your attention to the principle here. How do you take the ‘bad’ parts out of an ideology while retaining that ideology when those bad points are what define that ideology. It’s sort of like taking away the diamond, bases, gloves, bat and ball and then saying we still have baseball. How do you do that? I do not see how you can do that. I also don not see how we can call someone who willingly joins a group of racists murderers as ‘good.’ Even if they try to save some people, they are still supporting the regime that is murdering in the name of racism. Their very presence in the group supports it, thus making it possible for the group to murder in the name of racism. To keep with my baseball analogy, how could someone join the group that wants to remove the diamond, bases, gloves bat and ball a supporter of baseball? Even if they speak out and say the group should keep the bases and the gloves, are they really supporting baseball? This is the essence of what I am trying to explain: can a person be ‘good’ if they support something like the NAZI ideology, and if so, how can we reform that ideology without changing it into something totally different?
By now, I hope I have gotten you to understand the heart of what is troubling me because — now –it is time to tell you what I am really thinking about. As I have been saying, this is not about reforming the NAZI Party. What I am really asking is:
Is there such thing as a ‘good’ Muslim, and, if so, how do you change Islam without making it into something entirely different from what Muhammad said Islam is?