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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Assessing Mikael Nilsson’s critique of Jordan Peterson

Exposing Jordan Peterson’s Barrage of Revisionist Falsehoods About Hitler and Nazism

By Mikael Nilsson
Mr. Nilsson is a Swedish historian. His latest book Hitler Redux: The Incredible History of Hitler’s So-Called Table Talks, will be out from Routledge in the fall of this year
My assessments follow quotes from Mr. Nilsson's article published in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz
—Michael Hoffman

Nilsson: "Peterson’s endless barrage of falsehoods includes the outrageous claim that “Hitler was elected” and “by a large majority too. It was a landslide vote; the kind of vote that no modern democratic leader ever gets.” Hitler was not elected, and the NSDAP never received more than 37.27 percent in a free election (in July 1932). A small camarilla of conservative politicians, led by Franz von Papen, convinced President Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in a coalition cabinet."


Nilsson:"Hitler’s Table Talk - 1941–1944 insects are only mentioned twice, once in relation to the Russian people. Furthermore, Hitler’s Table Talk  does not contain Hitler’s words verbatim. It is a collection of edited notes made largely from memory and it has to be treated with the critical skepticism that such a source demands."


Nilsson: "Peterson has repeatedly claimed that Hitler was just 'the mouthpiece of the collective unconscious of the German people.' He says Hitler developed his ideology through a trial-and-error process whereby he kept saying what caused a good response as he was, partly unwittingly, “being molded by the crowd”; he acted out 'the dark desire of the mob.' There is no evidence that supports any of this. And it, too, comes dangerously close to Hitler apologetics." 


Nilsson: "And it is mirrored in his equally misinformed idea that basically all Germans participated in the Holocaust, and that almost every human being has the potential to be a Nazi or even a Hitler. Why is this so pernicious? Because blame placed everywhere is blame placed nowhere."


Nilsson: "And Peterson’s claim ignores the inconvenient truth that many Germans – not least many Jews and Marxists – resisted Hitler. The fact that Peterson systematically ignores those heroes and ordinary people of conscience (who often died fighting the Nazis) is problematic. It suggests some kind of collective rather than individual agency, which ends up flattening Hitler’s own agency and responsibility." 


Nilsson:"Most Germans were not fervent card-carrying Nazis. Any serious historian would state that without Hitler there would have been no Holocaust."

Only partly true. If Goebbels had led Germany, Judaic people would have been mass murdered, and perhaps in even greater numbers than Hitler perpetrated. The same would have probably been true if Heydrich or Alfred Rosenberg had been in charge. A tiny Nazi clique shared Hitler’s criminal eliminationist views of Judaic people. Beyond that handful, mass murder would have been unlikely.  

Read my book, Adolf Hitler: Enemy of the German People.

Nilsson:"Peterson has a long history of equivocating between Nazism and Communism, and suggesting an absolute equivalence between Nazi death camps and, for instance, the Soviet gulag camps. He seems unable to really see the very crucial differences, perhaps blinded by his equally manifest hostile obsession with what he calls “cultural Marxism” or the “postmodern neo-Marxists.”   The railing against “cultural Marxism” (a phrase with a long antisemitic history) is of course something that Peterson, unfortunately, has in common with Hitler and the Nazis. It is his blind spot, and to what degree this hatred of Marxism has influenced his analysis and understanding of Hitler and National Socialism is unknown. 

(End quote. Read more at www.haaretz.com)

The last paragraph quoted from Nilsson is nearly totally false. This is Communist dogma: if you’re a critic of Marxism or Soviet mass murder it is alleged that you have something in common with Hitler, who was also a (sometime) critic. (Hitler briefly served in a Marxist government in Munich).

If you dissent from cultural Marxism, i.e. the anti-family dictatorship exerted by radical feminism, you’re "anti-semitic.” 

And according to Nilsson, "hatred of Marxism" is a "blind spot.” 

All of the preceding statements are absurd. 

Many anti-Nazis, particularly Polish Catholics who valiantly fought Hitler and the Nazis, detested Marxism and rightly so, as do even those honest Leftists who are disgusted by Karl Marx’s underhanded deprecation and libels against, for example, Pierre Proudhon. 

Mr. Nilsson makes some valid points concerning Hitler’s record and Jordan Peterson’s sloppy disregard for certain facts, but Nilsson is in danger of seriously detracting from his credibility with his doctrinaire Marxism. Nothing feeds the alt-right narrative like a double-standard. Defeating neo-Nazism requires the avoidance of any appearance of biased political partisanship.

There is the whiff of the thought cop in Nilsson’s writing. For instance, he turns the phrase “revisionist history” into a pejorative. Why is that? Moreover, he regards the failure to sufficiently employ the “Holocaust” neologism as a sign of sinister thinking. 

Yet he makes no protest over the fact that holocausts that meet the dictionary definition (death by fire), such as occurred in the bombing of Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, as well as Hamburg, Dresden and nearly every major German city, are almost never termed a holocaust.

Hitler’s reign of evil was a disaster for not only Judaic and other targeted people, but for Germans and Germany, and one can find unbiased, reliable evidence for these facts in Adolf Hitler: Enemy of the German People.

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