Monday, November 16, 2015

Dangerous

While Adolph Hitler sat in jail in the mid-1920s....he assembled material for his book (Mein Kampf, My Struggle).  Volume one....yeah, there were two volumes, was published in 1925.  Volume two....published roughly a year later.

Most will agree that Rudolph Hess did a fair amount of the assembling of the data and was the editor of both editions.

Volume one would be best described as an introduction to Hitler and his history.....as they desired the story to be told.  It was the baseline to knowing Adolph Hitler.

Volume two was more of the Nationalist Socialist agenda and way ahead.

From both volumes, if you talked to historians....there are generally two things that stand out and are obvious....Hitler has a strong dislike of Jews and of Communists.

Now, one of the lesser known facts about the volumes is that they really weren't conceived for non-Nazis.  These were books developed for members of the party and were to mostly educate them in the ways of Nationalist Socialists values.  After about five years of publication....it was obviously being read far outside of what the original audience was supposed to be.

In fact, so many copies were being sold.....that Hitler by the early 1930s had a tax problem with the German government.  This was fixed only in 1933 as a waiver for taxation was generated from within the German government.

After the war, Mein Kampf was considered 'unsafe'.  It was reading material that the German government felt could not be handled in a safe fashion by the general public.  Ownership of the copyright?  It went to the government of Bavaria and they've forbidden re-printing of the book.   In a few weeks (1 Jan 2016)....this book set will enter public domain and anyone can then print the book.

There's various talk about what may or may not happen with the volumes at that point.  I bring this up because Germans evidently sat down and believed that people could not handle the material of the book, and kept it from public consumption.  You could not find it in a German library.  Unless you owned a copy printed prior to 1945.....that was the only way you could read the book.

A book so dangerous.....that the German government felt it unwise to allow public consumption?  Yeah.

Germans have this thing about analyzing the heck out of a problem and eventually reaching the absolute solution to the problem.  We may laugh about the idea but it's been an accepted way of fixing a problem.

So, this brings me to this topic of dangerous books and naive people.  There are a small collection of people in life who can't handle some reading material.  For various reasons....the term "dangerous books" probably is realistic.

The Catholic Church for decades and going into hundreds of years.....considered the work of Aristotle to be potentially dangerous.  The book "Uncle Tom's Cabin", while a fictional work, became a fairly dangerous book to incite a segment of American population in a certain direction.  There are dozens of books today from around the world....which are deemed dangerous.

I end this essay with the question....if you had a book that could not be handled by one-percent of society.....that was wrapped up in violent suggestions and recommendations....recommending death and misery upon some element of society, and it could not be handled in some safe fashion.....would it not make sense to treat the book in some controlled fashion?

4 comments:

KING SILVER said...

Sounds like you're eluding to the Koran...

R Hammond said...

There are roughly forty-million people dead from the Nazi episode of WW II and can be laid at the foot of Mein Kampf. From the document you describe, there are conservative estimates of 200 million dead since 600 AD. No one as far as I know, ever died from Huckleberry Finn or Tortilla Flat. I would agree millions died from the Bible...but oddly since the 1640s the trend basically collapsed (after the Thirty Years War). If you take statistical tools and look forward...give or take a 1,000 years....somewhere around 8,000 years from now....there will be a billion people dead from one particular religion. It's a statistic that ought to make people sit and ponder.

KING SILVER said...

It's not about being right; it's about doing right.

You go down the road of censoring one aspect of one religion... and down the rabbit whole we go - do you really think it will just end at that one aspect of one religion?

R Hammond said...

I've tired of the media discussion topic of the "good-faith versus bad-faith". It would make sense if there were a good Nazi, a good Racist, a good headhunter, a good cannibal, a good Fascist, good hoodlum, good junkie, or good Mafia guy. It's a bad way of looking at things. So rather than endure another 8,000 years to reach one billion dead people based on 109 verses which dictate a 7th Century behavior problem....I'd like for a second path to exist. The truth is....if you can't handle something, it's best to lay it down and give up on it. If you can't handle booze....it's best to avoid it entirely. If you can't handle pain-killers....avoid at all cost. If you can't handle your money, it's best to hire someone to handle it for you.

Whether right or wrong, the Germans made the decision that a book was too dangerous for people to handle it. Maybe it's time to examine this idea.