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Say It Loud

Der FUhrer and the Chairman

Pliny the Younger
2008-11-10 13:57:02

I just stumbled on this SIL archive classic first published in June 2001. I have left the writer's name out!

Rawlings and Hitler do share some characteristics, apart from Hitler's attempt to celebrate the anniversary of his Munich Beer Bar Putsch in 1923, as signifying some redeeming quality for Germans; Rawlings' has this obsession in his vain attempt to force June 4 as a 'great date' in the annals of Ghana!

First, mediocrity was the distinguishing characteristic of both men! As Koppel Pinson points out "Modern Germany--Its History and Civilization", it was this mediocrity quality, which in an age of mass appeal, attracted so many to his standard. Similary, in an era of mass appeal, and an era of want, Rawlings seized the occasion to gain public support. Like Germans under Hitler, the average Ghanaian could identify with the populist message of Rawlings, until he turned into a corrupt money-grabbing zealot.

Second, Hitler failed his Art school examination and entered the Army as a result. He then used his rejection as a badge and his mode of operation to turn against the wealthy, the successful, and all those against whom he can ascribe his own failure to. In smilar fashion, Rawlings was semi-educated like Hitler. He failed his GCE exams, and entered the Air Force! Rawlings failed his promotional exam and was on the verge of being dismissed from the Air Force. As a result, he turned his failure into a wider cause against those he perceived as the cause of his failure in Ghana. A senior officer like General Yaw Boakye, the Air Force commander, was killed because Rawlings felt he needed to retaliate for his own abject failure! Like Hitler, Rawlings was semi-educated and sufficiently cultured to make a pretense of profound interest in art and culture. But they were both dimunitive figures in art and culture in spite of trying to be opposite! They were both gibberish and given to immoral references in their speeches.

Third, they were both crude Machiavellians, who played the Prince rather crudely!! Both had tremendous will power and unbending energy; inordinate, and full of mistrust of others including their wives!!!

Fourth, both were pathologiccal liars and prone to exaggeration. Hence Rawlings belief that somehow he brought a 'golden age' to Ghana that cannot be obliterated! And Hitler had his 1000 year Reich!

Fifth, both had absolutely no capacity for appraising moral values. Hence, both were/are incapable of anticipating ultimate public and international reaction to their simplistic but hellish pronouncements and actions.

Both showed a primitive savagery in the manner they delivered speeches; that started from slow tenor sound to a hoarse and rasping passion. Such was Rawlings' speech at the Accra Arts Centre on June 4th. And on and on! The examples are legion!!!

And the rise to power by both men was aided by henchmen who complemented the Fuhrer and the Chairman immensely in various political activities. Hitler had Gregor Strasser; Ernst Rohm; Heinrich Himmler; Herman Goring; Rudolf Hess, etc.,. Fill in the blank with Rawlings adoring stooges!

Both were seen in providential terms by their adoring and ignorant followers. The refrain, "Der Hitler, der sorgt fur uns!" (Hitler, he is our provider), is akin to the ululations that P/NDC stalwarts give to Rawlings. Thus, upon their fall from grace, their followers could not comprehend that times had changed; and could never detach themselves either from discredited ideas and ideals, or from their personality.

The shouts of "Heil Hitler" at Nurnberg in 1945; and the shouts of "We want Rawlings" in 2001; by NDC youth and the general NDC paralysis post-Rawlings, speak to this unwillingness to let their disgraced leader off the cliff. To their followers, the fall of the Fuhrer or the Chairman, was a mere cliff-hanger.

[This is an authentic posting from Pliny the Younger (Registered User)]
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