Adolf Hitler and Nazism

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Cultural Theory and Popular Culture Assignment

Marie-Jeanne Cristea
Student number: 12016225
ES 3 1 A

“Nazi Ideologies and Racism”

Introduction
Adolf Hitler was born on the 20th of April 1889 and died on the 30th of April 1945. Known as one of the most powerful and significant leaders in history he was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of the Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler embodied all of the important functions in the state: Chancellor of Germany, head of the state and of the government, this privilege making him an absolute dictator. He was also a public oratory and an inspiring personal loyalty these two aspects were the most important of his main assets that helped him during his “reign”. The Nazi Ideological Theories are based on Mein Kampf (My Struggle), a book Hitler dictated to his deputy Rudolf Hess whilst being imprisoned for high treason in 1924. Adolf Hitler and his ideologies are highly linked to what we studied in the “Cultural Theory and Popular Culture” elective. This topic is also very relevant and clear example of the distorted image of reality that some ideologies produce, creating a type a ”false consciousness”. In his early adulthood Hitler developed into an active Anti-Semite and later included this into his ideologies. “An ideology is the most important conceptual category in cultural studies” states Graeme Turner, an Australian teacher of Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland, former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Director of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, and Convenor of the ARC Cultural Research Network. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus making this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political or economic tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought. After the defeat in World War I many Germans struggled to accept the idea that their country was defeated and this lead to them blaming the Jews and the Communists. The key idea of Hitler’s Nazi ideology was the idea that the “Aryan race” is the superior race, the master race, sitting above all other races. When referring to the “Aryan race”, we refer to the white, Germanic and Nordic races. Hitler claimed that a nation is the most important creation of a race and that great nations can only be truly created by great races. Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and disabled people were considered unworthy to live, weak, powerless and inferior to the “Aryan race”, prompting Adolf Hitler to consider his nation to be intelligent, aggressive, healthy, and courageous, simply above all others. Using his charismatic orator skills he indoctrinated the Germans with his beliefs and with his unique way of thinking. Nazism, among with fascism, was supported after the First World War due to the threat of Communism. Hitler was considered to be rescuer of Western society and of capitalism against Bolshevism. The Nazi Ideology refused to accept the concept of democracy. They were against Marxism, Communism and Bolshevism, with racism being another very important key concept of their ideology. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Ideology is the extreme opposite of Antonio Gramsci’s Hegemony theory. Gramsci claims that the ruling elites in capitalist society do not need the use of direct coercion, martial law or violence. In his point of view, direct coercion is less effective when desiring to maintain long-term social power. Antonio Gramsci’s Hegemony is the type of power that is not imposed using coercion because people come to accept the inequality in power relationships and consent to their own submission, this strengthening the dominance of the ruling group. Antonio Gramsci states that weak states use coercion and force to rule, while strong states do not need coercion and force because they rule using hegemony. Another very important aspect that links Nazi...
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