Biden’s Reichstag Fire: How the Left is Using an Unfortunate Event to Erase Liberty
The Reichstag Fire of 1933
In my view, the Reichstag Fire is one of the more misunderstood historical events from the mid-20th Century. People often confuse it with other perfidious acts committed by the Nazis. It wasn’t fake, unlike the supposed Polish attack on a German radio station that started World War II but was really a false flag operation, nor was it instigated by the Nazis like the street-fighting between SA stormtroopers, Freikorps volunteers, and communist street fighters that led to the Nazi rise to power.
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No, the Reichstag was set alight by a disaffected communist named Marinus van der Lubbe who received help from three other Bulgarian communists, Georgi Dimitrov, Vasil Tanev, and Blagoy Popov. Maybe the SA was tangentially involved, maybe it wasn’t. Those four men were the ones responsible. They weren’t acting on orders of Nazis; they wanted to strike a blow against the German government.
The result, as any student of history knows, was an overresponse. The German Reichstag (Weimar Germany’s parliamentary body) responded by blaming a communist conspiracy and passing the Reichstag Fire Decree, which President Hindenburg signed on his own volition. That decree gave the Nazis unprecedented power. With it, they could suspend the civil liberties that we in the West hold dear. Those civil liberties included habeas corpus, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, the right of free association and public assembly, and the secrecy of the post and telephone.
The Nazis duly suspended those once-cherished civil liberties and used the decree’s provisions to ban publications unfriendly to their cause.
They then used inflammatory news releases to isolate the communists, inciting the population against them.
Finally, the Enabling Act was signed, giving Herr Hitler, that evil Austrian corporal, dictatorial powers. The end result, 12 years later, was a broken Germany, tens of millions dead, and an unimaginably horrible host of tragedies.
All of that came about because a few communists attacked Germany’s seat of power.
The Storming of the Capitol: America’s Reichstag Fire
Now, before I begin relating that tragedy to the recent storming of the capitol. I do not think Joe Biden is in any way comparable to Adolf Hitler.
That should go without saying, but, just to be clear, while I disagree with him, I in no way think he wants to implement the horrific policies of the Nazis.
Nor do I think that most of the Americans who stormed the Capitol were as bad as the communist arsonists; Buffalo Headdress Man was nowhere near as destructive as van der Lubbe. In America, we’re fortunate to not have such horrific people in the mainstream of our political process.
The similarity is in the response. How the left, namely the Big Tech giants that I have termed the enemies of freedom, responded to the Capitol Hill riot is somewhat similar to how Germans responded to the Reichstag Fire.
Just think about what has happened since the events of January 6th. Because a few radical Trump supporters broke into the Capitol, Big Tech has blamed a Trumpian conspiracy and launched an unprecedented attack on free speech. They’re using it and unfounded assumptions about it as an excuse to disappear us all, silencing us and banishing us from the public square.
Trump was banned from all mainstream social media platforms, as were many Trump supporters. The Big Tech oligarchs silenced the other side by cracking down on any speech with which they disagreed. Their ostensible goal was to prevent any more riots, but we all know the real reason for that crackdown was to silence dissent and prevent future pro-Trump protests.
Like freedom of the press, freedom of expression, the right of free expression, and the right of free association were banned in Germany, the leftist oligarchs in Silicon Valley placed collective blame on every conservative and purged them from social media platforms. Our right to speak freely and associate with whom we please has been done away with by a few unelected tech CEOs.
Similarly, as the Nazis used those emergency powers to get rid of unfriendly publications, Big Tech has used America’s acceptance of its new censorship policies to ban apps like Parler that are unfriendly to its cause. Parler was booted off the App Store and Google Play store and was purged from Amazon’s servers, which had previously been open to all. Will Fox News be next? Newsmax? Whoever or whatever is next, more purges will follow; the oligarchs are taking full advantage of their new-found emergency powers.
What remains to be seen is what Enabling Act-like powers will be given to the newly installed government. Biden won’t take on dictatorial powers, that contention would be absurd, but his administration might use the outrage from Jan. 6 to further crackdown on conservative thought. Already there is talk of a new bill, similar to the unconstitutional PATRIOT Act, that would be used to root out “extremism.” By extremism, of course, they mean conservative thought.
The Reichstag Fire of 2021 might prove just as transformative as the Reichstag Fire of 1933.
Before that terrorist attack on the Reichstag, few Germans really believed that the Nazis would assume dictatorial powers and do away with civil liberties. Similarly, before Jan. 6, I didn’t believe the tech oligarchs would so obviously and directly censor conservative thought. Now, the only question that remains is how many more individuals they will blacklist, how many more ways they will attack freedom of expression and thought.
Additionally, the powers given to Herr Hitler became long-lasting. A shortsighted overreaction from the Reichstag meant that civil liberties did not exist in Germany again until it was defeated, crushed by the forces of Eisenhower and Zhukov. In East Germany, those liberties did not exist until the wall fell in 1989.
Will the same thing happen in America? Some think this social media censorship and attack on free speech will be short-lasting. I disagree. I think the Rubicon has been crossed and this is the new normal. Conservatives are not welcome on those platforms and should boycott them and boycott every other leftist company that stands against freedom. Why enrich those that hate you and want to make you a serf of the state?
The Capitol Riot was America’s Reichstag Fire. Yes, the two events have their many differences. But they were also not dissimilar. It was undoubtedly a horrific event that never should have taken place in the same way that the arson attack on the Reichstag was. But, in both cases, the response was worse. Fighting terrorism or unrest with tyranny is an evil response and that must be recognized.
The Left, both in Silicon Valley and Washington, seems intent on using it to isolate us and banish us from civil society similarly to how the NSDAP used the Reichstag Fire to banish the opposition to the fringes of society. While the reprisals will not be as severe here, the clouds of tyranny are forming on the horizon and quickly headed in our direction. It’s tech tyranny, not Naziism, but the censorship will prove devastating to the American notion of freedom of speech.
By: Gen Z Conservative
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