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(Supremicist photo by Evan Nesterak)

“Goodness” Didn’t Defeat Hitler

The US and the equally oppressive Soviets defeated Hitler

To say the Nazis were defeated because they were wrong makes the mistake of assuming that goodness always wins, and it undermines your argument that we should fight back, even with violence.

The right, the good doesn’t always win. At best, after fifty years to several centuries of oppression (think the Roman Empire) normalcy is restored. We didn’t defeat the Nazis with moral rightness, we defeated them by allying with an equally brutal, equally repressive regime who took the brunt of the damage depleting Hitler’s forces. Hitler defeated his own would-be empire by blindly challenging the geography of Russia and the expendability of its people who were sacrificed by the thousands to prevent Hitler’s advance while our citizens lived relatively normal lives, giving up a few luxuries and thinking that one defeat by surprise attack at an island 2500 miles from the California border constituted invasion.

Christianity may have defeated the Roman Empire with self-sacrifice, but it also won out of political expedience to one emperor. Once it became an empire it lost any moral imperative by consolidating theological power and waging war on heretics and dissenters.

Communism failed in America, not because it was evil and capitalism moral or good, but because enough of Americans lived comfortable lives (unlike the peasants under the Czars) that the mild forms of socialism adopted by the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations pacified those who might otherwise have revolted.

Saul Alinsky wrote that Ghandi’s pacifism only defeated the British Empire because of shared liberal values. Hitler would have mowed through his followers with tanks and gassed them. As a practicing Christian pacifist this alarms me to consider, but I think he’s correct.

Resistance to the Nazis must be absolute, and we don’t have the luxury of comforting ourselves with the belief “the right side wins.”

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Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

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