These fellas are probably not on their way to the Goethe convention . . .
Time reports that a debate is brewing in Germany over whether to lift the ban on Mein Kampf. Hitler’s screed enters the public domain in 2015, at which point some fear a “flood of new editions” will wash over Germany, inflaming nascent skinheads. The solution? Some “academics and officials” propose releasing an official, annotated version exposing the book’s flaws . . . as if those weren’t manifest.
The Evil finds it almost endearingly naïve—almost—that some academics think far-right, xenophobic nutheads, the kind of people at whom National Socialism was aimed in the first place, are going to dive into a “critical” edition of Hitler’s opus. Because we all know racist, filth-spewing reactionaries look forward to nothing more than reading annotations and footnotes providing the necessary historical and literary context for understanding their hate tracts. How about this line:
The “lack of comprehensive knowledge about the [National Socialist] regime” doesn’t allow German youths to put the book “into context”. A well-annotated edition is both “sensible and important”.
Right-o. If there’s anything angry young people seek, it’s context.
Hey! Here’s a game:
1. Say the words “annotated edition” in a crowd of people. Any crowd—youth rally, plumbers’ convention, mosh pit, Ph.D. mixer.
2. Count how many people don’t shudder with revulsion.
3. See if you need more than the fingers on one hand.
Now try this in a mob of anti-Semitic teenage fucknuts. Have fun with that.
The people to whom Hitler appealed weren’t the kind of people who did a whole mess of reading. And you’d think academics and historians, of all people, would remember that.
What’s more—as is pointed out by some opponents of this plan—this here internet has made this all a bit moot. It’s not as if interested assholes in Germany have lived their entire lives in ignorance of Mein Kampf’s existence. That cat is out of the bag. And has probably been pummeled to death by these same assholes.
This debate does make the Evil wonder, though . . . how many of Hitler’s upper-echelon minions actually ever did sit down to read his sprawling clusterfuck? Evil imagines a perspiring Goering or Himmler grinning unsteadily as some Party mixer, saying, “Liked it? No, I loved it, Führer. Hmm? What was my favorite part? Gosh . . . I mean, there were so many, it’s hard to pinpoint just one . . .”
The Evil doesn’t envy the Bavarian state government, in whose hands the unbanning decision lies. And while Evil doesn’t see how maintaining a ban on a book that—
(a) anyone can get their hands on electronically at this point and
(b) few of its “adherents” would ever actually read
—does any good, the Evil appreciates the seriousness with which German officials take this matter. We can probably all just agree that no good could possibly come of this regardless.