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Hitler's IQ Was 125
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hitler-reading-book One interesting approach that has nothing to do with Pumpkin Person’s z factors: People tend to associate most closely with people of similar IQs.

Fortunately, uniquely for the elites of a major state, we have some detailed data on the IQs of the Nazi leadership (with the exception of a few important guys like Goebbels, Himmler, Bormann, and the Fuhrer himself) thanks to the US psychometrists attached to Nuremberg.

1 Hjalmar Schacht 143
2 Arthur Seyss-Inquart 141
3 Hermann Goering 138
4 Karl Doenitz 138
5 Franz von Papen 134
6 Eric Raeder 134
7 Dr. Hans Frank 130
8 Hans Fritsche 130
9 Baldur von Schirach 130
10 Joachim von Ribbentrop 129
11 Wilhelm Keitel 129
12 Albert Speer 128
13 Alfred Jodl 127
14 Alfred Rosenberg 127
15 Constantin von Neurath 125
16 Walther Funk 124
17 Wilhelm Frick 124
18 Rudolf Hess 120
19 Fritz Sauckel 118
20 Ernst Kaltenbrunner 113
21 Julius Streicher 106

As I recall from what I’ve read on Hitler and internal Nazi politics, of the above list, particularly “close associates” of Hitler would include: Goering; Ribbentrop; Speer; and until his “betrayal,” Hess. Their average IQ is 129.

While there was never much love lost between Hitler and the German military establishment, the closest military connection to Hitler from that list would be Keitel, who was infamous for his toadying behavior towards the Fuhrer. His IQ also happened to be precisely 129.

(Incidentally, while Jodl is regarded as far more competent than Keitel – he is the guy who actually made OKW command structure run – it’s interesting to note his IQ was actually lower than that of his boss, if marginally so).

In practice, Goering’s IQ during his time as Nazi bigwig might have actually been lower, due to his morphine addiction. On the other hand, there are suspicions that Speer was in fact considerably cleverer than his test scores indicated, because he was playing the “dumb dreamer architect” type so as to pretend ignorance of the death camps and avoid execution (if so he was successful). So these two factors might cancel out.

Adjusting for the Flynn effect – but only modestly, since the most useful (not rules-dependent) forms of intelligence haven’t improved all that radically, and we have an IQ of around 125 for Hitler normed to today’s Greenwich standards.

I think this is essentially accurate. He was a high school dropout and failed to get into the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts. He was a brilliant orator, but oratory skills have low g loadings.

Hitler did write a famous book. But Mein Kampf is a very badly written book, even ideology outside. Here is one particularly egregious example that I still recall reading a dozen years later by virtue of just how bad it was:

THE EXTENT of the fall of a body is always measured by the distance between its momentary position and the one it originally occupied. The same is true of nations and states. A decisive significance must be ascribed to their previous position or rather elevation. Only what is accustomed to rise above the common limit can fall and crash to a manifest low This is what makes the collapse of the Reich so hard and terrible for every thinking and feeling man, since it brought a crash from heights which today, in view of the depths of our present degradation, are scarcely conceivable.

And this was after Hess – with an IQ of 120 – had labored on Mein Kampf long and hard to make it at least minimally suitable for publication.

On the other hand, Hitler was always near the top of his class academically, which puts a lower limit of about 120 on his IQ. Here is is a quote from a book b y a childhood friend of Hitler’s via Pumpkin Person:

From school sources there is abundant authentic material describing his school performance. In primary school he was always near the top of the class. He learned quickly and made good progress without much effort.

He was also a good but not brilliant artist. On the basis of this, Pumpkin Person estimates his Performance IQ at 133 (Flynn-adjusted).

Hitler has some major geopolitical successes early on, but these were probably more a result of aggression and blind luck than intelligence (had France decisively reacted anytime at Munich or beforehand, the Nazis would have been finished. Not even necessarily due to the allies. The generals were interminably planning a coup throughout the 1930s, to be put into action should Hitler’s plans have blown up).

These geopolitical victories were in any case completely reversed later on – thanks in significant part to Hitler refusing to listen to and heed the advice of his generals (in contrast, Stalin realized he was hopeless on military matters after 1941, and with a few costly exceptions like the Third Battle of Kharkov, largely left the technical details to his generals thereafter).

Against that, it should be admitted that the Nazi leadership was more or less uniformly of the opinion that Hitler had a very high intellect, and was possibly a genius. Apparently, this included Hjalmar Schacht, the brightest of them all:

He read an enormous amount and acquired a wide knowledge. He juggled with that knowledge in a masterly manner in all debates, discussions and speeches. He was undoubtedly a man of genius in certain respects. He had sudden ideas of which nobody else had thought and which were at times useful in solving great difficulties, sometimes with astounding simplicity, sometimes, however, with equally astounding brutality. He was a mass psychologist of really diabolical genius…

However, there are two potential confounds here. First of all, Hitler was a brilliant orator, which expressed itself not only in his speeches but his casual “table talk.” Even very intelligent people can easily mistake this for genius, especially if they are lacking in the rhetorical/charismatic department themselves. Second, the Nazis at Nuremburg had a vested interest in presenting Hitler as a “diabolical genius” type of character in order to diminish their own share of responsibility for war crimes (and their risk of being hanged).

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My (very rough) impressions/recollections from reading Nazi histories is that Hitler was certainly a step above the likes of feckless-schoolboy type Hess or the infamously callous Kaltenbrunner, but decidedly below Franz von Papen, Doenitz, and Schacht. To the contrary, his intellectual ability seems to fit right in besides that of Speer and Ribbentrop (also personal friends), and of Rosenberg (the Nazi “philosopher”).

Finally, the 125 estimate for Hitler’s IQ broadly tallies with Pumpkin Person’s estimates of a verbal IQ of 120 and a Performance IQ of 133. Hence, I think it is credible.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Germany, Hitler, Intelligence 
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  1. AK, has it never happened to you that you have known two individuals, A and B, of whom A scored higher on an IQ test than B, but B was in your opinion clearly more intelligent than A?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It must have. Because, of course, AK's idiosyncratic, arbitrary notions of 'intelligence' must by any reasonable expectation be superior to that of a standardized test. Some people have even mistaken me for an intelligent person, although probably not our esteemed AK.
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  2. Schacht was more of a technocrat, not really a believer.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Ohlendorf The best educated Nazi.

    John Gotti had an IQ of around 140. I am confident Hitler was at that level before taking power. Ernst Hanfstaengl said no one who heard Hitler speak in his later years could have any idea of his gifts. He was suffering from heart disease and probably had lost a bit by the end. Everyone who dealt with Hitler was amazed by his incredibly powerful and retentive memory, according to ‘The psychopathic god: Adolf Hitler’ (Waite)

    He had sudden ideas of which nobody else had thought and which were at times useful in solving great difficulties, sometimes with astounding simplicity, sometimes, however, with equally astounding brutality

    . He came very close to making Germany the most powerful state in the world. through the effectiveness of the combination of his decisiveness and the German army’s fighting power.

    Hitler has some major geopolitical successes early on, but these were probably more a result of aggression and blind luck than intelligence (had France decisively reacted anytime at Munich or beforehand, the Nazis would have been finished

    You need to read some John Mearshiemer or Brendan Simms to understand how Hitler almost alone put Germany in a position to win WW2 and lay the basis for it to become the most powerful state on Earth.

    The edgiest parts of Tragedy are when Mearsheimer presents full-bore rationales for the aggression of Wilhelmine Germany, Nazi Germany, and imperial Japan.

    The German decision to push for war in 1914 was not a case of wacky strategic ideas pushing a state to start a war it was sure to lose. It was … a calculated risk motivated in large part by Germany’s desire to break its encirclement by the Triple Entente, prevent the growth of Russian power, and become Europe’s hegemon.

    As for Hitler, he “did indeed learn from World War I.” Hitler learned that Germany could not fight on two fronts at the same time, and he would have to win quick, successive victories, which, in fact, he achieved early in World War II.

    Hitler performed a calculus as complex as any algebra to play the West and Soviets off against on another

    CIA official site review of What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa” Murphy reprints two secret letters from Hitler to Stalin that he found in the published Russian sources, hitherto unknown in the West. In these, the Führer seeks to reassure the Soviet dictator about the scarcely concealable German military buildup in eastern Europe. Hitler confides to Stalin that troops were being moved east to protect them from British bombing and to conceal the preparations for the invasion of the British Isles. He concludes with an assurance “on my honor as a head of state” that Germany would not attack the Soviet Union.[2] Some may question the authenticity of these letters, but they are difficult to dismiss out of hand. Assuming they are genuine, they add to what is perhaps the most bewildering paradox of the Soviet-German war: Stalin, the man who trusted no one, trusted Hitler.”

    Stalin understood that he was freeing Hitler to strike in the west by making a pact with Hitler. In effect he facilitated it. The British considered the Soviet Union to be the real problem, Stalin had already grabbed the Baltic states plus parts of Finland and Rumania. The British were mobilizing against the USSR over the war with Finland even after declaring war with Germany. The British guarantee to Poland originally covered only their independence; the British thought allowing Germany to take Polish land was acceptable and it would make war between Germany and the USSR quite likely (Chamberlain’s strategy). Only after the Nazi-Soviet Pact was announced was the guarantee extended to Polands territory because at that point the British decided war was necessary; Germany and the USSR being friendly was not acceptable.

    Clearly Stalin wanted to sit the war between the capitalists out and reap the rewards. Neville Chamberlain wanted to see the fighting done by the Germans and Bolshies, we know he thought that because he said so to a meeting of important Tories.With the the Nazi-Soviet pact the powerful Soviet deterent to any aggression was out of the equation and the British realized the balance of power had moved against them, which was unacceptable in a way that war between the Nazis and Soviets was not. If Hitler didn’t have to worry about the Soviets at his back that suddenly made all the previous calculations obsolete.

    Although Stalin may have anticipated territorial demands or military pressure such as border incidents he was astounded when Hitler subjected the USSR to an all out attack with the promethean goal of conquering the soiet state. Everybody underestimated the effectiveness of the combination of Hitler decisiveness and the German army’s fighting power. There was nothing Stalin could do at that point because his forces were out of position, being in an offensive posture for they were too far forward. Stalin’s orders, when they came, were to stand and fight. That played into the Germans hands and allowed then to cut off and destroy much of the huge Soviet forces that Stalin had so foolishly concentrated along the border, especially in the south opposite Romania.

    It was only because Hitler – against the advice of every military professional – decided to halt the drive to Moscow that the Soviet state was not overthrown in 1941.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    It was only because Hitler – against the advice of every military professional – decided to halt the drive to Moscow that the Soviet state was not overthrown in 1941.
     
    Utter idiocy.
  3. Blind luck did not take an friendless Austrian with no connections to the leadership of Germany.

    Hitler was always near the top of his class academically, which puts a lower limit of about 120 on his IQ.

    Five points seems a little parsimonious for what he did after leaving school.

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  4. Since when is artistic ability a proxy for IQ? I doubt, at any rate, that Herr Hitler’s famous art-school rejection was based on a too-low SAT score….

    My father (b. 1921) dropped out of school, in central Illinois, in the eighth grade, during the Great Depression, because he had to go to work, helping his father tar roofs. (His father had lost his job as a coal miner, which was his family’s traditional line of work, there, because of the economic downturn.) When my father joined the United States Coast Guard, at age 19, his IQ was tested at 140. “Boy, that’s almost a genius!” the sailor in charge told him. After the war, my father merely got occupational training, in electronics, and got married, instead of getting a GED and going to college. Despite that, he rose to be assistant general foreman in the Electrical Department of the steel mill run by now-Chief Justice John Roberts’ father, in my native Northwest Indiana. Two of my father’s brothers became high-ranking executives, with Lever Brothers, in the Chicago area.

    Many, and presumably most, of those who drop out of secondary school, when they reach 16, do so because they are bad at doing academic work. That was far less so, however, back in the day. I have a nephew who is extremely bright, yet who dropped out of high school. Even today, in his early 30s, he has only an associate’s degree, in Accounting, or some such, and no inclination to earn a living with it. He has a mental problem, of some strange sort, yes, but it is certainly not a low or modest IQ. I suspect that his IQ is close to what my father’s was, two generations earlier.

    I read a book, decades ago, that stated that Herr Hitler probably had an IQ in the low 140s. I do not even remember which book that was, but the claim sounded plausible to me, back then, and it still seems plausible to me, today. I doubt that he could have achieved what he did, in that chaotic environment, with an IQ insufficient to gain Mensa membership. Yes, he lost the war, against two great powers, and a recently great power, but M. Bonaparte had lost, eventually, too– twice!– and my sense is that he was a truly brilliant man, and not merely a brilliant military leader.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I might estimate as high as 125 but AK is probably right. It was because of environmental factors including the chaotic environment that a cunning (though not brilliant) man with ideas that resonated with the people, and incredible oratory/marketing skills, could come to power.
    , @Stan D Mute

    with an IQ insufficient to gain Mensa membership.
     
    If you ever want to be disabused of the notion that high IQ scores = intelligent rational people, attend a Mensa meeting or peruse the Bulletin and/or some SIGs. Part of that no doubt is Mensa's explicitly PC nature with a ferocious zeal to crush any dissent. It is really a club for people who love puzzles, cats, and Barry Obama.
  5. […] [Update: Nov 3/2015–For a followup discussion on Hitler’s IQ, check out Anatoly Karlin’s recent post on the topic.] […]

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  6. As an aside,

    This is an exchange between Gustave Gilbert (the American chief psychologist who tested the defendants) and Hermann Göring, taken from Nuremberg Diary:

    Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

    Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

    Which of them was smarter, Gilbert or Göering?

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  7. You would expect Albert Speer to be at the top of the list. Yet he’s not even in the top ten! Very strange.

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  8. If Hitler was a bad writer it doesn’t necessarily mean his IQ was lower. I’ve had very smart teachers who were abysmal at simply and clearly explaining things.

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  9. hitler was 100% charisma. his speeches made the other leaders of his time to be full on retards.

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  10. @D. K.
    Since when is artistic ability a proxy for IQ? I doubt, at any rate, that Herr Hitler's famous art-school rejection was based on a too-low SAT score....

    My father (b. 1921) dropped out of school, in central Illinois, in the eighth grade, during the Great Depression, because he had to go to work, helping his father tar roofs. (His father had lost his job as a coal miner, which was his family's traditional line of work, there, because of the economic downturn.) When my father joined the United States Coast Guard, at age 19, his IQ was tested at 140. "Boy, that's almost a genius!" the sailor in charge told him. After the war, my father merely got occupational training, in electronics, and got married, instead of getting a GED and going to college. Despite that, he rose to be assistant general foreman in the Electrical Department of the steel mill run by now-Chief Justice John Roberts' father, in my native Northwest Indiana. Two of my father's brothers became high-ranking executives, with Lever Brothers, in the Chicago area.

    Many, and presumably most, of those who drop out of secondary school, when they reach 16, do so because they are bad at doing academic work. That was far less so, however, back in the day. I have a nephew who is extremely bright, yet who dropped out of high school. Even today, in his early 30s, he has only an associate's degree, in Accounting, or some such, and no inclination to earn a living with it. He has a mental problem, of some strange sort, yes, but it is certainly not a low or modest IQ. I suspect that his IQ is close to what my father's was, two generations earlier.

    I read a book, decades ago, that stated that Herr Hitler probably had an IQ in the low 140s. I do not even remember which book that was, but the claim sounded plausible to me, back then, and it still seems plausible to me, today. I doubt that he could have achieved what he did, in that chaotic environment, with an IQ insufficient to gain Mensa membership. Yes, he lost the war, against two great powers, and a recently great power, but M. Bonaparte had lost, eventually, too-- twice!-- and my sense is that he was a truly brilliant man, and not merely a brilliant military leader.

    I might estimate as high as 125 but AK is probably right. It was because of environmental factors including the chaotic environment that a cunning (though not brilliant) man with ideas that resonated with the people, and incredible oratory/marketing skills, could come to power.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    I would not call my late father, with a tested IQ of 140, as a young adult, "brilliant." I would not even necessarily call my two older brothers, whose childhood IQs were revealed to them by their teachers, back in the late 1950s, to be 156 and 148, respectively, "brilliant." (I think that my eldest brother, with the genius-level IQ, as an adolescent, benefitted from his being hyper-mature, along with the fact that childhood IQs naturally conflate g with maturation, pushing an undue number of young students into both tails of the IQ distribution!?!)

    Herr Hitler did not manage merely to get himself appointed as the new Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933; he also managed to be a hands-on activist leader, once in power, who largely stabilized and reinvigorated the German nation. By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler' infamous Third Reich?

    I think that il Duce, Benito Mussolini, is another world leader whose intelligence has been much maligned, and his character reduced to the image of a clown, because he was on "the wrong side of history." I think that national leaders who rise to power, and then make something of the mere opportunity, in a Western nation, during a violent and chaotic era, tend to be far more intelligent than the kinds of men who are delivered up by democratic party politics in peaceful countries, like the United States, to date. Their morality is a separate issue....
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    incredible oratory/marketing skills
     
    I don't know about marketing skills: was marketing not delegated? Hitler was above all else (by universal acclaim, as it were) an extraordinary orator. His oratorical power was presumably fundamental. We should ask: on what cognitive (and personality) factors does oratory rest?
  11. Sounds about right–great leaders (for good or evil, and that usually depends on who you ask–Hitler would be considered the way Churchill or FDR are now had he won) usually tend not to be brilliant, or they can’t relate to ordinary people.

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  12. @AP
    I might estimate as high as 125 but AK is probably right. It was because of environmental factors including the chaotic environment that a cunning (though not brilliant) man with ideas that resonated with the people, and incredible oratory/marketing skills, could come to power.

    I would not call my late father, with a tested IQ of 140, as a young adult, “brilliant.” I would not even necessarily call my two older brothers, whose childhood IQs were revealed to them by their teachers, back in the late 1950s, to be 156 and 148, respectively, “brilliant.” (I think that my eldest brother, with the genius-level IQ, as an adolescent, benefitted from his being hyper-mature, along with the fact that childhood IQs naturally conflate g with maturation, pushing an undue number of young students into both tails of the IQ distribution!?!)

    Herr Hitler did not manage merely to get himself appointed as the new Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933; he also managed to be a hands-on activist leader, once in power, who largely stabilized and reinvigorated the German nation. By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?

    I think that il Duce, Benito Mussolini, is another world leader whose intelligence has been much maligned, and his character reduced to the image of a clown, because he was on “the wrong side of history.” I think that national leaders who rise to power, and then make something of the mere opportunity, in a Western nation, during a violent and chaotic era, tend to be far more intelligent than the kinds of men who are delivered up by democratic party politics in peaceful countries, like the United States, to date. Their morality is a separate issue….

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    • Replies: @AP
    I revise my estimate of Hitler's IQ to around 130, after I reread Sailer's estimate of Bush's IQ - by memory I had thought 120, but I checked and it was mid 120s. Bush's IQ is underestimated because he is a terrible public speaker, but I have trouble believing Bush and Hitler's IQs were basically the same.

    By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?
     
    Germans are intelligent, industrious people. I don't think Hitler gets credit for their country's economic improvements. And Russia was under a very dysfunctional Communist system. Even smart managers wouldn't make it thrive.

    Keep in mind that Hitler came to power through democratic means - his base seems to have been lower middle class Protestants. He benefited from being "misunderestimated" by smarter men such as Papen. By a combination of cunning, luck, excellent marketing skills (essential in a democracy) and being in tune with Germans' bitterness and other feelings, he came to power. But as AK pointed out, many of his decisions once in power were not those of a brilliant man. Stalin seems to have been much more intelligent, despite his roughness.
  13. Somewhat OT:

    Many years ago I read Konstantin Simonov’s reminiscences about his meetings with Stalin. Stalin read a large amount of the literary fiction of his time, and then had authors over to talk about what they were doing wrong, who was good, who was terrible, what writers shoud write about instead, etc. Long conversations like that.

    The fascinating thing is that he didn’t delegate this task. I think that subsequent Soviet leaders did. Think of all the things he could have done with his time instead.

    I’m guessing that he just liked to read.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I had already read a lot of books about both Stalin and Hitler when I learned - to my great surprise - that both were bookish. Somehow it is never mentioned.
  14. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @5371
    AK, has it never happened to you that you have known two individuals, A and B, of whom A scored higher on an IQ test than B, but B was in your opinion clearly more intelligent than A?

    It must have. Because, of course, AK’s idiosyncratic, arbitrary notions of ‘intelligence’ must by any reasonable expectation be superior to that of a standardized test. Some people have even mistaken me for an intelligent person, although probably not our esteemed AK.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Interesting. So does this power and accuracy of a standardized test extend over other qualities of the human mind? Is there a way to prove with equal ease that AK's literary or musical taste are incorrect, as there is for his judgement of intelligence? What about artistic achievements (like sculpture, Glossy at 20)? Can they be ranged effortlessly on a scale? And are you training a bot to take the Turing test, that you want to forbid people to exercise most of their mental faculties?
  15. The selection from Mein Kampf provides some insight into Hitler’s abstractive abilities. He can construct a more or less coherent analogy but it’s superficial and ultimately trivial. I think 125 is probably a little generous.

    People wonder how Hitler could have gotten so far if his intelligence were so limited. Consider that revolutionary leaders, like Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Robespierre, and and Jefferson, were found to average (in a retrospective study) an IQ of 150.

    The difference is that Hitler was no revolutionary leader. He was a tool of German corporate interests, such as the Krupp Corporation.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    No, he was not a tool. German corporate leaders tried to influence him, but then had the recordings the Gestapo made of their meetings played back at them, and many later had to flee Germany (like Franz Thyssen).
  16. @D. K.
    I would not call my late father, with a tested IQ of 140, as a young adult, "brilliant." I would not even necessarily call my two older brothers, whose childhood IQs were revealed to them by their teachers, back in the late 1950s, to be 156 and 148, respectively, "brilliant." (I think that my eldest brother, with the genius-level IQ, as an adolescent, benefitted from his being hyper-mature, along with the fact that childhood IQs naturally conflate g with maturation, pushing an undue number of young students into both tails of the IQ distribution!?!)

    Herr Hitler did not manage merely to get himself appointed as the new Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933; he also managed to be a hands-on activist leader, once in power, who largely stabilized and reinvigorated the German nation. By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler' infamous Third Reich?

    I think that il Duce, Benito Mussolini, is another world leader whose intelligence has been much maligned, and his character reduced to the image of a clown, because he was on "the wrong side of history." I think that national leaders who rise to power, and then make something of the mere opportunity, in a Western nation, during a violent and chaotic era, tend to be far more intelligent than the kinds of men who are delivered up by democratic party politics in peaceful countries, like the United States, to date. Their morality is a separate issue....

    I revise my estimate of Hitler’s IQ to around 130, after I reread Sailer’s estimate of Bush’s IQ – by memory I had thought 120, but I checked and it was mid 120s. Bush’s IQ is underestimated because he is a terrible public speaker, but I have trouble believing Bush and Hitler’s IQs were basically the same.

    By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?

    Germans are intelligent, industrious people. I don’t think Hitler gets credit for their country’s economic improvements. And Russia was under a very dysfunctional Communist system. Even smart managers wouldn’t make it thrive.

    Keep in mind that Hitler came to power through democratic means – his base seems to have been lower middle class Protestants. He benefited from being “misunderestimated” by smarter men such as Papen. By a combination of cunning, luck, excellent marketing skills (essential in a democracy) and being in tune with Germans’ bitterness and other feelings, he came to power. But as AK pointed out, many of his decisions once in power were not those of a brilliant man. Stalin seems to have been much more intelligent, despite his roughness.

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    • Disagree: Stephen R. Diamond
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Steve Sailer dug up an old military test that showed W having an IQ of 125 in his youth. But we've all seen him talk on TV. 125 is the upper end of the MD range I think. Doctors don't talk like that, ever. And he didn't seem to know a lot either.

    I'm thinking that past drug abuse had a role. There were rumors of a cocaine addiction and he acknowledged alcoholism. He got sober at 40. I'm guessing that by that time his mind was already seriously degraded.

    And Russia was under a very dysfunctional Communist system. Even smart managers wouldn’t make it thrive.

    The early Bolsheviks only knew how to loot and destroy. They were a lot like 1990s oligarchs. Stalin directed the quickest industrialization campaign in history. Post-Mao China is the only thing that compares to that. Germany was defeated by, among other things, Soviet industrial might.
    , @German_reader
    " Stalin seems to have been much more intelligent, despite his roughness."

    He also worked much harder. Hitler was pretty lazy when he was dictator and often slept until noon; he also delegated many tasks to his underlings who competed with each other (that's the reason why "revisionists" like David Irving can claim Hitler didn't know about the Holocaust, though that's obviously nonsensical). And when he did intervene, it often had disastrous consequences for the German war effort (like in the case of the Me 262).
    Stalin also made disastrous mistakes, but in the end he probably was a lot more competent than Hitler (also probably more educated...didn't he know all the classic Russian novels? Hitler's favourite author by contrast was Karl May, who wrote adventure stories about the American west and is hardly known outside of Germany).
  17. @AP
    I revise my estimate of Hitler's IQ to around 130, after I reread Sailer's estimate of Bush's IQ - by memory I had thought 120, but I checked and it was mid 120s. Bush's IQ is underestimated because he is a terrible public speaker, but I have trouble believing Bush and Hitler's IQs were basically the same.

    By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?
     
    Germans are intelligent, industrious people. I don't think Hitler gets credit for their country's economic improvements. And Russia was under a very dysfunctional Communist system. Even smart managers wouldn't make it thrive.

    Keep in mind that Hitler came to power through democratic means - his base seems to have been lower middle class Protestants. He benefited from being "misunderestimated" by smarter men such as Papen. By a combination of cunning, luck, excellent marketing skills (essential in a democracy) and being in tune with Germans' bitterness and other feelings, he came to power. But as AK pointed out, many of his decisions once in power were not those of a brilliant man. Stalin seems to have been much more intelligent, despite his roughness.

    Steve Sailer dug up an old military test that showed W having an IQ of 125 in his youth. But we’ve all seen him talk on TV. 125 is the upper end of the MD range I think. Doctors don’t talk like that, ever. And he didn’t seem to know a lot either.

    I’m thinking that past drug abuse had a role. There were rumors of a cocaine addiction and he acknowledged alcoholism. He got sober at 40. I’m guessing that by that time his mind was already seriously degraded.

    And Russia was under a very dysfunctional Communist system. Even smart managers wouldn’t make it thrive.

    The early Bolsheviks only knew how to loot and destroy. They were a lot like 1990s oligarchs. Stalin directed the quickest industrialization campaign in history. Post-Mao China is the only thing that compares to that. Germany was defeated by, among other things, Soviet industrial might.

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  18. Many people here seem to be under the impression that Hitler was some kind of economic genius. That couldn’t be further from the truth. He was self-admittedly ignorant of economic matters (and proud of it). Yes, he did restore pre-Depression GDP and at a faster rate than in the US or France, through a narrow focus on military Keynesianism that left consumption levels below their peaks under Weimar and was likely unsustainable in the long-run (according to Adam Tooze anyway). Regardless, during the critical years 1940-41, Germany was outmatched by the British in aircraft production, dooming them to lose the Battle of Britain and make Sealion unfeasible.

    This in turn was linked to the most catastrophic decision of them all: The refusal to fully mobilize the German economy for war production before 1943, when the situation had suddenly turned critical for them (unlike the case in the USSR or Britain). Had he done this, it is difficult to see how he could have ended up losing to the Soviet Union. As it was, Hitler staked nigh everything on the sheer skill and elan of the Wehrmacht, massively discounting the value of war production and logistics to the horror of his generals. In military affairs as in economics and virtually everything else he involved himself with, Hitler was the classical example of a dilettante.

    @BB375,

    You would expect Albert Speer to be at the top of the list. Yet he’s not even in the top ten! Very strange.

    As I said, it’s plausible that Speer intentionally passed himself off as dumber than he really was as part of his efforts to save his neck. (From what we now know it’s clear he should have been one of those hanged at Nuremburg).

    @DK,

    What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?

    I’m no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy – especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector – exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and “lost decade,” and thus this “catch-up” growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that’s a separate point).

    @AP,

    I revise my estimate of Hitler’s IQ to around 130, after I reread Sailer’s estimate of Bush’s IQ – by memory I had thought 120, but I checked and it was mid 120s. Bush’s IQ is underestimated because he is a terrible public speaker, but I have trouble believing Bush and Hitler’s IQs were basically the same.

    On the other hand, Bush became an alcoholic for a time after college, which might have killed off a few brain cells and made his IQ during his Presidency lower than his academic record would otherwise indicate. :)

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    • Replies: @5371
    So Germany's economic policies were at the same time totally military-centric (Adam "Lunchtime O'" Tooze) and not nearly military-centric enough (AK, in the next paragraph).
    , @D. K.
    ***

    I’m no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy – especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector – exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and “lost decade,” and thus this “catch-up” growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that’s a separate point).

    ***

    I was referring to what Hitler's Germany had accomplished, between late January 1933 and the first half of August 1936, versus what the Bolsheviks and Communists had accomplished, under Lenin and Stalin, between November 1917 and the first half of August 1936, despite their killing millions of their subject populations. I was not comparing pre-World War I Germany or Russia with mid-World War II Germany or the Soviet Union. I did not say that Herr Hitler was either "brilliant" or "a genius," in terms of either economics or his military leadership per se, nor as a general characteristic; I was referring to the rebound of German industry and social order that had occurred, in under three and a half years of his political leadership.

    In the Soviet Union, the first Moscow "show trial" commenced only three days after the close of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. "The Great Terror" was commenced by Stalin and his goons because, after nearly twenty years of Bolshevik and Communist rule, by Lenin and Stalin, Soviet society was still in utter turmoil. When Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933, the Soviet Union was in the middle of a government-caused famine that was killing millions of its unfortunate subjects. "The Great Terror" itself was but a continuation of Stalin's genocidal version of social engineering, in the name of International Communism.

    If we could send you back, in a time machine, Mr. Karlin, to Monday, August 17, 1936, would you rather wake up to find yourself (a) either a typical peasant farmer or an unskilled laborer in Adolf Hitler's Germany, or (b) one of the same in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union? Choose wisely....

    The notion that Adolf Hitler ever planned to fight a "global war" is total and utter nonsense.
    , @Sean

    The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914.
     
    Brendan Simms says Wilhelmine Germany was hamstrung by inability to heavily tax for military purposes, and the Weimar constitution was deliberately designed to make Germany better able to exert its strength, which it did. Hitler can hardly be called incompetent for a non-sustainable increase in armaments spending, if I remember rightly he got quite a bit of bang for his timely buck. It wasn't military Keynesianism, because all along he was planning on using the armaments.

    Germany was outmatched by the British in aircraft production, dooming them to lose the Battle of Britain and make Sealion unfeasible.
     
    The idea that the capitalist powers would fight each other to the finish (ie that Hitler would try to invade a neutralised Britain) was Stalin's delusion, and Hitler's grand deception. During the 'Battle' of Britain most RAF pilot losses were on cross channel coastal strikes against the invasion barges.

    Had he done this, it is difficult to see how he could have ended up losing to the Soviet Union.
     
    So sneaky of Hitler to try and end the war 4 years early by winning it in 1941.

    I repeat, in the sixties John Gotti's IQ was measured in prison and he tested at 140. By the way, the FBI listened in on Gotti holding court and found him a "funny guy"; they had to admit he was a good storyteller. Norman Mailer had an IQ of 170. To think Hitler only had 4 IQ points on Charles Manson is to say IQ is not much of a guide to anything. Hitler came much closer to total success than Napoleon.

    The dilettante accusation is reminiscent of Ernst Topitsch's pointing out that Hitler had not established himself in any profession before joining the German Army. (He had to petition the German cabinet to be granted this privilege). His WW1 feat of impressing his officers as an exemplary soldier in years of dedication to duty in extreme danger as a messenger makes this quite unsustainable (he was one of the very few private soldiers to be awarded an Iron Cross 1st class).

    It's true Hitler had Bohemian habits (Speer said he often wondered when Hitler actually worked) but staying up all night or very very late was something Stalin and Churchill did as well. Hitler had an efficient civil service and could devote himself to his architectural scheme for Linz, and plans for conquering Russia. When he needed to Hitler came up with truly brilliant ideas all on his own such as the "military masterpiece" (according to Stolfi) assault on Fort Eben-Emael, he also accepted (as coinciding with his own intuitions) the Manstein plan for the battle of France, and alone asked Guderian what he would do one breaking through, and authorised the driving for the coast. Add up his clever father who rose as high as possible in the customs for one with his lack of education, ability to impress very clever people in conversation, his speech-writing/making ability and ability to play Britain and Russia off against one another, and finally choosing the right moment to strike; I think Hitler's IQ can't have been under 140.

    , @reiner Tor

    The refusal to fully mobilize the German economy for war production before 1943
     
    According to Tooze and others (Overy, Evans) the German economy was already almost fully mobilized by 1940. He simply couldn't mobilize it much more after that. The late mobilization was a myth spread by Speer and one of his minions.
  19. The smartest Nazi I’m aware of was the sculptor Arno Breker. Just judging from his work, I’d guess that he would have topped out any IQ test that’s ever been devised.

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  20. @AP
    I might estimate as high as 125 but AK is probably right. It was because of environmental factors including the chaotic environment that a cunning (though not brilliant) man with ideas that resonated with the people, and incredible oratory/marketing skills, could come to power.

    incredible oratory/marketing skills

    I don’t know about marketing skills: was marketing not delegated? Hitler was above all else (by universal acclaim, as it were) an extraordinary orator. His oratorical power was presumably fundamental. We should ask: on what cognitive (and personality) factors does oratory rest?

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    • Replies: @AP

    I don’t know about marketing skills: was marketing not delegated?
     
    By this I meant the ability to manipulate others to sell something. Successful politicians in democracies are good at selling themselves as prospective leaders to their voters. It takes some intelligence to do this. Nowadays politicians hire experts, use focus groups; I suspect such techniques were much less developed in the 1930s and Hitler' success depended on his own intuitions and skills to a large extent.

    He seems to have always possessed such skills. Accounts of Hitler in Vienna portray him as being a "star" and taking a leadership role among the impoverished misfits with whom he lived. Throughout his life he was able to successfully move onto ever larger stages.


    We should ask: on what cognitive (and personality) factors does oratory rest?
     
    It's not the same as pure oratory, but being able to manipulate others is often, though of course not exclusively, associated with psychopathy (while Hitler clearly had psychopathic traits I'm not entirely convinced that he would be diagnosed as a psychopath, at least as measured by the Hare checklist, for example).

    Another point: psych testing suggested that Rosenberg (IQ 127) and/or Shirach (IQ 130) were infatuated with Hitler. Would Hitler have had such an effect on one or the other of them if his IQ were considerably lower than theirs?

  21. @Anatoly Karlin
    Many people here seem to be under the impression that Hitler was some kind of economic genius. That couldn't be further from the truth. He was self-admittedly ignorant of economic matters (and proud of it). Yes, he did restore pre-Depression GDP and at a faster rate than in the US or France, through a narrow focus on military Keynesianism that left consumption levels below their peaks under Weimar and was likely unsustainable in the long-run (according to Adam Tooze anyway). Regardless, during the critical years 1940-41, Germany was outmatched by the British in aircraft production, dooming them to lose the Battle of Britain and make Sealion unfeasible.

    This in turn was linked to the most catastrophic decision of them all: The refusal to fully mobilize the German economy for war production before 1943, when the situation had suddenly turned critical for them (unlike the case in the USSR or Britain). Had he done this, it is difficult to see how he could have ended up losing to the Soviet Union. As it was, Hitler staked nigh everything on the sheer skill and elan of the Wehrmacht, massively discounting the value of war production and logistics to the horror of his generals. In military affairs as in economics and virtually everything else he involved himself with, Hitler was the classical example of a dilettante.

    @BB375,

    You would expect Albert Speer to be at the top of the list. Yet he’s not even in the top ten! Very strange.
     
    As I said, it's plausible that Speer intentionally passed himself off as dumber than he really was as part of his efforts to save his neck. (From what we now know it's clear he should have been one of those hanged at Nuremburg).

    @DK,

    What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?
     
    I'm no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy - especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector - exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and "lost decade," and thus this "catch-up" growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that's a separate point).

    @AP,

    I revise my estimate of Hitler’s IQ to around 130, after I reread Sailer’s estimate of Bush’s IQ – by memory I had thought 120, but I checked and it was mid 120s. Bush’s IQ is underestimated because he is a terrible public speaker, but I have trouble believing Bush and Hitler’s IQs were basically the same.
     
    On the other hand, Bush became an alcoholic for a time after college, which might have killed off a few brain cells and made his IQ during his Presidency lower than his academic record would otherwise indicate. :)

    So Germany’s economic policies were at the same time totally military-centric (Adam “Lunchtime O’” Tooze) and not nearly military-centric enough (AK, in the next paragraph).

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    (1) Pre-war: Was addressing more the idea that the recovery of the German economy under Hitler was somehow miraculous and attributable to his economic genius. Of course military Keynesianism was rational for a dictator who was planning to fight a global war by 1942 at the latest.

    (2) Post-1939: For a country that had begun to fight a global war, waiting until 1943 to move towards full mobilization was a blunder of the first order - and one for which Hitler was primarily responsible for.
  22. @Anonymous
    It must have. Because, of course, AK's idiosyncratic, arbitrary notions of 'intelligence' must by any reasonable expectation be superior to that of a standardized test. Some people have even mistaken me for an intelligent person, although probably not our esteemed AK.

    Interesting. So does this power and accuracy of a standardized test extend over other qualities of the human mind? Is there a way to prove with equal ease that AK’s literary or musical taste are incorrect, as there is for his judgement of intelligence? What about artistic achievements (like sculpture, Glossy at 20)? Can they be ranged effortlessly on a scale? And are you training a bot to take the Turing test, that you want to forbid people to exercise most of their mental faculties?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Performance on IQ tests is positively correlated with success in life: personal income, staying out of jail, nations' GDPs, etc. It's also correlated with brain size and reaction times. The above implies that IQ tests measure something real and important.

    As for art, it usually takes a smart person to amuse and entertain smart people. This is less true in music than in literature or the visual arts. If a lot of smart people are entertained by a piece of art (or a book or a joke or a blog), then the author of this piece is likely to be smart himself. Stuff that's much above or much below one's own level is usually perceived as boring.

    Why do you comment at the Unz Review and not on TMZ.com or Perez Hilton's blog? Because the Unz Review writers are closer to your intellectual level than Perez Hilton is. It's like that with art.
    , @Glossy
    A few years ago someone wrote a script that scoured Facebook profiles (if I remember correctly) for people's favorite authors, musicians, etc. And he tabulated that against the colleges that these people attended. And he ranked the colleges by the average SAT score of their students.

    If I remember correctly, the smartest author, as per that method, turned out to be Nabokov. "Urban fiction" was at the bottom of the list. Obviously Nabokov WAS smarter than Sista Souljah.
  23. @5371
    Interesting. So does this power and accuracy of a standardized test extend over other qualities of the human mind? Is there a way to prove with equal ease that AK's literary or musical taste are incorrect, as there is for his judgement of intelligence? What about artistic achievements (like sculpture, Glossy at 20)? Can they be ranged effortlessly on a scale? And are you training a bot to take the Turing test, that you want to forbid people to exercise most of their mental faculties?

    Performance on IQ tests is positively correlated with success in life: personal income, staying out of jail, nations’ GDPs, etc. It’s also correlated with brain size and reaction times. The above implies that IQ tests measure something real and important.

    As for art, it usually takes a smart person to amuse and entertain smart people. This is less true in music than in literature or the visual arts. If a lot of smart people are entertained by a piece of art (or a book or a joke or a blog), then the author of this piece is likely to be smart himself. Stuff that’s much above or much below one’s own level is usually perceived as boring.

    Why do you comment at the Unz Review and not on TMZ.com or Perez Hilton’s blog? Because the Unz Review writers are closer to your intellectual level than Perez Hilton is. It’s like that with art.

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    • Replies: @5371
    So have you never had the experience I asked AK about at 1?
  24. @5371
    Interesting. So does this power and accuracy of a standardized test extend over other qualities of the human mind? Is there a way to prove with equal ease that AK's literary or musical taste are incorrect, as there is for his judgement of intelligence? What about artistic achievements (like sculpture, Glossy at 20)? Can they be ranged effortlessly on a scale? And are you training a bot to take the Turing test, that you want to forbid people to exercise most of their mental faculties?

    A few years ago someone wrote a script that scoured Facebook profiles (if I remember correctly) for people’s favorite authors, musicians, etc. And he tabulated that against the colleges that these people attended. And he ranked the colleges by the average SAT score of their students.

    If I remember correctly, the smartest author, as per that method, turned out to be Nabokov. “Urban fiction” was at the bottom of the list. Obviously Nabokov WAS smarter than Sista Souljah.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Worth noting that Nabokov is pretty unique in being a highly eminent writer not just in one but in TWO languages.

    Although I am sorry not to have read any of his novels to date, this alone implies that he had an absolutely stellar intellect.

    There were many smart Nazis. This guy might have been the smartest of them all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Teichm%C3%BCller But 30%-40% of the German population were Nazis, so I don't see how this fact is all that remarkable. What's of greater interest are the IQs of the leadership.
    , @Glossy
    I found the lists I was talking about:

    http://booksthatmakeyoudumb.virgil.gr
    http://musicthatmakesyoudumb.virgil.gr

    Done by a guy from Caltech! He ranked favorite books, not authors (as I remembered). The top three are Lolita, 100 Years of Solitude and Crime and Punishment. I read most of Crime and Punishment in school. Would have to read it again as an adult to acquire a proper opinion of it. Zane is last - I think that's "urban fiction".

    The alpha and omega of music on US college campuses are Beethoven and Lil' Wayne, which is both predictable and hilarious. When I first saw that list years ago, it made me check out Sufjan Stevens, who was ranked very high. Some of his stuff is pretty good.
  25. @5371
    So Germany's economic policies were at the same time totally military-centric (Adam "Lunchtime O'" Tooze) and not nearly military-centric enough (AK, in the next paragraph).

    (1) Pre-war: Was addressing more the idea that the recovery of the German economy under Hitler was somehow miraculous and attributable to his economic genius. Of course military Keynesianism was rational for a dictator who was planning to fight a global war by 1942 at the latest.

    (2) Post-1939: For a country that had begun to fight a global war, waiting until 1943 to move towards full mobilization was a blunder of the first order – and one for which Hitler was primarily responsible for.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Occam's razor would suggest that (1) and (2) both fail in the same way. Hitler was not planning to fight a global war by 1942 at the latest, or in fact ever, and when unexpectedly at war with the western powers he continued to believe he could avoid one by tackling his various opponents separately. Total mobilisation was a counsel of despair when that hope had been finally extinguished.
  26. @Glossy
    A few years ago someone wrote a script that scoured Facebook profiles (if I remember correctly) for people's favorite authors, musicians, etc. And he tabulated that against the colleges that these people attended. And he ranked the colleges by the average SAT score of their students.

    If I remember correctly, the smartest author, as per that method, turned out to be Nabokov. "Urban fiction" was at the bottom of the list. Obviously Nabokov WAS smarter than Sista Souljah.

    Worth noting that Nabokov is pretty unique in being a highly eminent writer not just in one but in TWO languages.

    Although I am sorry not to have read any of his novels to date, this alone implies that he had an absolutely stellar intellect.

    There were many smart Nazis. This guy might have been the smartest of them all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Teichm%C3%BCller But 30%-40% of the German population were Nazis, so I don’t see how this fact is all that remarkable. What’s of greater interest are the IQs of the leadership.

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    • Replies: @SWSpires
    Samuel Beckett is another (English/French). His biography is similar to Nabokov's: grew up in one country (Ireland), settled permanently in another (France), studied languages at university.

    There is also the peculiar case of Joseph Conrad. His native language was Polish, but all his works are in English, a language he didn't learn properly until he was a young adult. His occasionally clumsy style reflects this.
    , @silviosilver

    Although I am sorry not to have read any of his novels to date, this alone implies that he had an absolutely stellar intellect.
     
    The fact that you haven't read any of his novels implies that he had a stellar intellect? Or the fact that you're sorry you haven't yet read them? Either way, that's some highly unusual reasoning.
  27. @Stephen R. Diamond

    incredible oratory/marketing skills
     
    I don't know about marketing skills: was marketing not delegated? Hitler was above all else (by universal acclaim, as it were) an extraordinary orator. His oratorical power was presumably fundamental. We should ask: on what cognitive (and personality) factors does oratory rest?

    I don’t know about marketing skills: was marketing not delegated?

    By this I meant the ability to manipulate others to sell something. Successful politicians in democracies are good at selling themselves as prospective leaders to their voters. It takes some intelligence to do this. Nowadays politicians hire experts, use focus groups; I suspect such techniques were much less developed in the 1930s and Hitler’ success depended on his own intuitions and skills to a large extent.

    He seems to have always possessed such skills. Accounts of Hitler in Vienna portray him as being a “star” and taking a leadership role among the impoverished misfits with whom he lived. Throughout his life he was able to successfully move onto ever larger stages.

    We should ask: on what cognitive (and personality) factors does oratory rest?

    It’s not the same as pure oratory, but being able to manipulate others is often, though of course not exclusively, associated with psychopathy (while Hitler clearly had psychopathic traits I’m not entirely convinced that he would be diagnosed as a psychopath, at least as measured by the Hare checklist, for example).

    Another point: psych testing suggested that Rosenberg (IQ 127) and/or Shirach (IQ 130) were infatuated with Hitler. Would Hitler have had such an effect on one or the other of them if his IQ were considerably lower than theirs?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Hitler was no psychopath. In 1943 his secretary's husband was killed on the front. He got very nervous and depressed when he heard that, because he had to break the news to the secretary. When others proposed that he could delegate the task to one of his minions, he insisted that this - obviously highly unpleasant - task was his duty, but tried to avoid meeting his secretary for several hours before finally gathering the strength to tell her. Were he a psychopath, 1) he wouldn't have found telling this so unpleasant and 2) in any event would have avoided it altogether. I don't think psychopaths have such strong feelings of personal duty towards a secretary when they are all-powerful dictators and so no social pressure could have any effect on them.

    Another story is that in February 1945 he complained to his doctor of insomnia. He said the moment he closed his eyes he could see the map with the battalions around Stalingrad. It's obvious he felt he had made some terrible and irreversible mistake at Stalingrad for which he alone was responsible. Not a psychopathic trait.

    Hitler was a non-psychopathic mass murderer.
  28. @Anatoly Karlin
    (1) Pre-war: Was addressing more the idea that the recovery of the German economy under Hitler was somehow miraculous and attributable to his economic genius. Of course military Keynesianism was rational for a dictator who was planning to fight a global war by 1942 at the latest.

    (2) Post-1939: For a country that had begun to fight a global war, waiting until 1943 to move towards full mobilization was a blunder of the first order - and one for which Hitler was primarily responsible for.

    Occam’s razor would suggest that (1) and (2) both fail in the same way. Hitler was not planning to fight a global war by 1942 at the latest, or in fact ever, and when unexpectedly at war with the western powers he continued to believe he could avoid one by tackling his various opponents separately. Total mobilisation was a counsel of despair when that hope had been finally extinguished.

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  29. @Glossy
    Performance on IQ tests is positively correlated with success in life: personal income, staying out of jail, nations' GDPs, etc. It's also correlated with brain size and reaction times. The above implies that IQ tests measure something real and important.

    As for art, it usually takes a smart person to amuse and entertain smart people. This is less true in music than in literature or the visual arts. If a lot of smart people are entertained by a piece of art (or a book or a joke or a blog), then the author of this piece is likely to be smart himself. Stuff that's much above or much below one's own level is usually perceived as boring.

    Why do you comment at the Unz Review and not on TMZ.com or Perez Hilton's blog? Because the Unz Review writers are closer to your intellectual level than Perez Hilton is. It's like that with art.

    So have you never had the experience I asked AK about at 1?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    I've been a member of several high IQ societies. There is a hierarchy of them - one is for people with IQs above 132, several are for people with IQs above 150, one is for people with IQs above 160, etc. These are just the main ones. There are lots of others. There are mailing lists, IRC channels, real-life meetings. I've participated in many of them.

    In these forums I've interacted with lots of people who belonged to several societies at once, including ones that I will never be admitted to because they are above my IQ level. All such people struck me as being smarter than I am.

    I think I remember reading about studies where people were asked to rank others' IQ by looking at their faces or after hearing them speak. The guesses were compared to actual IQ results. If I remember correctly, the correlations were good. If you want, I could look for these online.
  30. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sean
    Schacht was more of a technocrat, not really a believer.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Ohlendorf The best educated Nazi.

    John Gotti had an IQ of around 140. I am confident Hitler was at that level before taking power. Ernst Hanfstaengl said no one who heard Hitler speak in his later years could have any idea of his gifts. He was suffering from heart disease and probably had lost a bit by the end. Everyone who dealt with Hitler was amazed by his incredibly powerful and retentive memory, according to ‘The psychopathic god: Adolf Hitler’ (Waite)

    He had sudden ideas of which nobody else had thought and which were at times useful in solving great difficulties, sometimes with astounding simplicity, sometimes, however, with equally astounding brutality
     
    . He came very close to making Germany the most powerful state in the world. through the effectiveness of the combination of his decisiveness and the German army’s fighting power.

    Hitler has some major geopolitical successes early on, but these were probably more a result of aggression and blind luck than intelligence (had France decisively reacted anytime at Munich or beforehand, the Nazis would have been finished
     
    You need to read some John Mearshiemer or Brendan Simms to understand how Hitler almost alone put Germany in a position to win WW2 and lay the basis for it to become the most powerful state on Earth.

    The edgiest parts of Tragedy are when Mearsheimer presents full-bore rationales for the aggression of Wilhelmine Germany, Nazi Germany, and imperial Japan.

    The German decision to push for war in 1914 was not a case of wacky strategic ideas pushing a state to start a war it was sure to lose. It was … a calculated risk motivated in large part by Germany’s desire to break its encirclement by the Triple Entente, prevent the growth of Russian power, and become Europe’s hegemon.

    As for Hitler, he “did indeed learn from World War I.” Hitler learned that Germany could not fight on two fronts at the same time, and he would have to win quick, successive victories, which, in fact, he achieved early in World War II.
     
    Hitler performed a calculus as complex as any algebra to play the West and Soviets off against on another

    CIA official site review of What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa” Murphy reprints two secret letters from Hitler to Stalin that he found in the published Russian sources, hitherto unknown in the West. In these, the Führer seeks to reassure the Soviet dictator about the scarcely concealable German military buildup in eastern Europe. Hitler confides to Stalin that troops were being moved east to protect them from British bombing and to conceal the preparations for the invasion of the British Isles. He concludes with an assurance “on my honor as a head of state” that Germany would not attack the Soviet Union.[2] Some may question the authenticity of these letters, but they are difficult to dismiss out of hand. Assuming they are genuine, they add to what is perhaps the most bewildering paradox of the Soviet-German war: Stalin, the man who trusted no one, trusted Hitler.”
     
    Stalin understood that he was freeing Hitler to strike in the west by making a pact with Hitler. In effect he facilitated it. The British considered the Soviet Union to be the real problem, Stalin had already grabbed the Baltic states plus parts of Finland and Rumania. The British were mobilizing against the USSR over the war with Finland even after declaring war with Germany. The British guarantee to Poland originally covered only their independence; the British thought allowing Germany to take Polish land was acceptable and it would make war between Germany and the USSR quite likely (Chamberlain’s strategy). Only after the Nazi-Soviet Pact was announced was the guarantee extended to Polands territory because at that point the British decided war was necessary; Germany and the USSR being friendly was not acceptable.

    Clearly Stalin wanted to sit the war between the capitalists out and reap the rewards. Neville Chamberlain wanted to see the fighting done by the Germans and Bolshies, we know he thought that because he said so to a meeting of important Tories.With the the Nazi-Soviet pact the powerful Soviet deterent to any aggression was out of the equation and the British realized the balance of power had moved against them, which was unacceptable in a way that war between the Nazis and Soviets was not. If Hitler didn’t have to worry about the Soviets at his back that suddenly made all the previous calculations obsolete.

    Although Stalin may have anticipated territorial demands or military pressure such as border incidents he was astounded when Hitler subjected the USSR to an all out attack with the promethean goal of conquering the soiet state. Everybody underestimated the effectiveness of the combination of Hitler decisiveness and the German army’s fighting power. There was nothing Stalin could do at that point because his forces were out of position, being in an offensive posture for they were too far forward. Stalin’s orders, when they came, were to stand and fight. That played into the Germans hands and allowed then to cut off and destroy much of the huge Soviet forces that Stalin had so foolishly concentrated along the border, especially in the south opposite Romania.

    It was only because Hitler – against the advice of every military professional – decided to halt the drive to Moscow that the Soviet state was not overthrown in 1941.

    It was only because Hitler – against the advice of every military professional – decided to halt the drive to Moscow that the Soviet state was not overthrown in 1941.

    Utter idiocy.

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  31. @AP
    I revise my estimate of Hitler's IQ to around 130, after I reread Sailer's estimate of Bush's IQ - by memory I had thought 120, but I checked and it was mid 120s. Bush's IQ is underestimated because he is a terrible public speaker, but I have trouble believing Bush and Hitler's IQs were basically the same.

    By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?
     
    Germans are intelligent, industrious people. I don't think Hitler gets credit for their country's economic improvements. And Russia was under a very dysfunctional Communist system. Even smart managers wouldn't make it thrive.

    Keep in mind that Hitler came to power through democratic means - his base seems to have been lower middle class Protestants. He benefited from being "misunderestimated" by smarter men such as Papen. By a combination of cunning, luck, excellent marketing skills (essential in a democracy) and being in tune with Germans' bitterness and other feelings, he came to power. But as AK pointed out, many of his decisions once in power were not those of a brilliant man. Stalin seems to have been much more intelligent, despite his roughness.

    ” Stalin seems to have been much more intelligent, despite his roughness.”

    He also worked much harder. Hitler was pretty lazy when he was dictator and often slept until noon; he also delegated many tasks to his underlings who competed with each other (that’s the reason why “revisionists” like David Irving can claim Hitler didn’t know about the Holocaust, though that’s obviously nonsensical). And when he did intervene, it often had disastrous consequences for the German war effort (like in the case of the Me 262).
    Stalin also made disastrous mistakes, but in the end he probably was a lot more competent than Hitler (also probably more educated…didn’t he know all the classic Russian novels? Hitler’s favourite author by contrast was Karl May, who wrote adventure stories about the American west and is hardly known outside of Germany).

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    • Replies: @AP
    This may be apocryphal, but apparently Stalin was passionate about chess and when he stayed in Vienna he was unbeatable; Trotsky among others was no match for him.

    Stalin seems to have had more psychopathic traits than did Hitler, though neither one would probably be diagnosable as a psychopath (psychopathy includes traits that limit long-term success in life). In essence Stalin was a brilliant and ruthless Caucasian gangster who had embedded himself within a revolutionary movement that took over a nascent superpower, who was able to outmaneuver a lot of other scheming, intelligent and ruthless people to become absolute ruler. This required much more intelligence than what was required of Hitler.
    , @reiner Tor
    Karl May is well known and popular in Hungary as well, but my main issue with your comment is that I don't know the source for him being Hitler's favorite author. (I have read it myself in Hungary, but not in a good source.) Hitler did read philosophers like Schopenhauer and frequently discussed it with his once-admirer Ernst Hanfstaengl, who got a degree in philosophy at one of the best German universities. Hanfstaengl fell out with him in the 1930s and emigrated to America to write a lot to denounce him, but he never stated Hitler didn't read Schopenhauer for example, although he must have noticed it if it really had been so.

    As to his laziness, he did start to work regularly in 1941, but arguably this hardworking style didn't suit him.
  32. @German_reader
    " Stalin seems to have been much more intelligent, despite his roughness."

    He also worked much harder. Hitler was pretty lazy when he was dictator and often slept until noon; he also delegated many tasks to his underlings who competed with each other (that's the reason why "revisionists" like David Irving can claim Hitler didn't know about the Holocaust, though that's obviously nonsensical). And when he did intervene, it often had disastrous consequences for the German war effort (like in the case of the Me 262).
    Stalin also made disastrous mistakes, but in the end he probably was a lot more competent than Hitler (also probably more educated...didn't he know all the classic Russian novels? Hitler's favourite author by contrast was Karl May, who wrote adventure stories about the American west and is hardly known outside of Germany).

    This may be apocryphal, but apparently Stalin was passionate about chess and when he stayed in Vienna he was unbeatable; Trotsky among others was no match for him.

    Stalin seems to have had more psychopathic traits than did Hitler, though neither one would probably be diagnosable as a psychopath (psychopathy includes traits that limit long-term success in life). In essence Stalin was a brilliant and ruthless Caucasian gangster who had embedded himself within a revolutionary movement that took over a nascent superpower, who was able to outmaneuver a lot of other scheming, intelligent and ruthless people to become absolute ruler. This required much more intelligence than what was required of Hitler.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Lenin gave Stalin a position appointing national delegates, which handed him the allegiance of the delegates and an impregnable position.

    So brilliant that it took him four years to win back what Hitler took in four months.

  33. @5371
    So have you never had the experience I asked AK about at 1?

    I’ve been a member of several high IQ societies. There is a hierarchy of them – one is for people with IQs above 132, several are for people with IQs above 150, one is for people with IQs above 160, etc. These are just the main ones. There are lots of others. There are mailing lists, IRC channels, real-life meetings. I’ve participated in many of them.

    In these forums I’ve interacted with lots of people who belonged to several societies at once, including ones that I will never be admitted to because they are above my IQ level. All such people struck me as being smarter than I am.

    I think I remember reading about studies where people were asked to rank others’ IQ by looking at their faces or after hearing them speak. The guesses were compared to actual IQ results. If I remember correctly, the correlations were good. If you want, I could look for these online.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Well, let me say what I have heavily hinted, that I myself have had that experience, more than once and in a very marked form. And no, I don't mean that I have thought I myself was more intelligent than someone who scored higher than me))
    How do they decide which group you get to be in, by your best score or some kind of average of more than one?
  34. @Glossy
    A few years ago someone wrote a script that scoured Facebook profiles (if I remember correctly) for people's favorite authors, musicians, etc. And he tabulated that against the colleges that these people attended. And he ranked the colleges by the average SAT score of their students.

    If I remember correctly, the smartest author, as per that method, turned out to be Nabokov. "Urban fiction" was at the bottom of the list. Obviously Nabokov WAS smarter than Sista Souljah.

    I found the lists I was talking about:

    http://booksthatmakeyoudumb.virgil.gr

    http://musicthatmakesyoudumb.virgil.gr

    Done by a guy from Caltech! He ranked favorite books, not authors (as I remembered). The top three are Lolita, 100 Years of Solitude and Crime and Punishment. I read most of Crime and Punishment in school. Would have to read it again as an adult to acquire a proper opinion of it. Zane is last – I think that’s “urban fiction”.

    The alpha and omega of music on US college campuses are Beethoven and Lil’ Wayne, which is both predictable and hilarious. When I first saw that list years ago, it made me check out Sufjan Stevens, who was ranked very high. Some of his stuff is pretty good.

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  35. @Anatoly Karlin
    Many people here seem to be under the impression that Hitler was some kind of economic genius. That couldn't be further from the truth. He was self-admittedly ignorant of economic matters (and proud of it). Yes, he did restore pre-Depression GDP and at a faster rate than in the US or France, through a narrow focus on military Keynesianism that left consumption levels below their peaks under Weimar and was likely unsustainable in the long-run (according to Adam Tooze anyway). Regardless, during the critical years 1940-41, Germany was outmatched by the British in aircraft production, dooming them to lose the Battle of Britain and make Sealion unfeasible.

    This in turn was linked to the most catastrophic decision of them all: The refusal to fully mobilize the German economy for war production before 1943, when the situation had suddenly turned critical for them (unlike the case in the USSR or Britain). Had he done this, it is difficult to see how he could have ended up losing to the Soviet Union. As it was, Hitler staked nigh everything on the sheer skill and elan of the Wehrmacht, massively discounting the value of war production and logistics to the horror of his generals. In military affairs as in economics and virtually everything else he involved himself with, Hitler was the classical example of a dilettante.

    @BB375,

    You would expect Albert Speer to be at the top of the list. Yet he’s not even in the top ten! Very strange.
     
    As I said, it's plausible that Speer intentionally passed himself off as dumber than he really was as part of his efforts to save his neck. (From what we now know it's clear he should have been one of those hanged at Nuremburg).

    @DK,

    What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?
     
    I'm no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy - especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector - exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and "lost decade," and thus this "catch-up" growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that's a separate point).

    @AP,

    I revise my estimate of Hitler’s IQ to around 130, after I reread Sailer’s estimate of Bush’s IQ – by memory I had thought 120, but I checked and it was mid 120s. Bush’s IQ is underestimated because he is a terrible public speaker, but I have trouble believing Bush and Hitler’s IQs were basically the same.
     
    On the other hand, Bush became an alcoholic for a time after college, which might have killed off a few brain cells and made his IQ during his Presidency lower than his academic record would otherwise indicate. :)

    ***

    I’m no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy – especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector – exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and “lost decade,” and thus this “catch-up” growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that’s a separate point).

    ***

    I was referring to what Hitler’s Germany had accomplished, between late January 1933 and the first half of August 1936, versus what the Bolsheviks and Communists had accomplished, under Lenin and Stalin, between November 1917 and the first half of August 1936, despite their killing millions of their subject populations. I was not comparing pre-World War I Germany or Russia with mid-World War II Germany or the Soviet Union. I did not say that Herr Hitler was either “brilliant” or “a genius,” in terms of either economics or his military leadership per se, nor as a general characteristic; I was referring to the rebound of German industry and social order that had occurred, in under three and a half years of his political leadership.

    In the Soviet Union, the first Moscow “show trial” commenced only three days after the close of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. “The Great Terror” was commenced by Stalin and his goons because, after nearly twenty years of Bolshevik and Communist rule, by Lenin and Stalin, Soviet society was still in utter turmoil. When Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933, the Soviet Union was in the middle of a government-caused famine that was killing millions of its unfortunate subjects. “The Great Terror” itself was but a continuation of Stalin’s genocidal version of social engineering, in the name of International Communism.

    If we could send you back, in a time machine, Mr. Karlin, to Monday, August 17, 1936, would you rather wake up to find yourself (a) either a typical peasant farmer or an unskilled laborer in Adolf Hitler’s Germany, or (b) one of the same in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union? Choose wisely….

    The notion that Adolf Hitler ever planned to fight a “global war” is total and utter nonsense.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    You're conflating Stalin and the early Bolsheviks in a typical American way. They were opposites and enemies. The modern neocons are the intellectual descendents of Trotskyists, who were a subset of the early Bolsheviks whom Stalin defeated. The trials and executions that began in late 1936 and ended in 1938 were the final stage of his struggle against them. While the early Bolsheviks held power, they destroyed Russia's economy. As Stalin began to wrench power from them, he began to build up the economy. His industrialization campaign started in the late 1920s and really went to high gear in the 1930s. Without it the USSR would not have been able to defeat Germany.

    Stalin and the early Bolsheviks were as much enemies as the USSR and the US during the Cold War, and their confrontation had the same nature: left (early Bolsheviks, the US) vs. right (Stalin, post-WWII USSR). The Cold War was just a new phase of that fight, with Trotskyists trying to regain from across the Atlantic what they lost to Stalin before and during those trials.
    , @Glossy
    To summarize:

    Stalin was a builder - look up Soviet industrialization. The high-profile defendants from the show trials that you mentioned and whom US Cold War propaganda told you to pity and identify with - they were destroyers. And not just of the economy, of civilization in general. Bad folks.

    , @Anatoly Karlin

    If we could send you back, in a time machine, Mr. Karlin, to Monday, August 17, 1936, would you rather wake up to find yourself (a) either a typical peasant farmer or an unskilled laborer in Adolf Hitler’s Germany, or (b) one of the same in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union? Choose wisely….
     
    Completely bizarre and irrelevant question.

    Of course I would choose Germany since I'd have a higher chance of surviving the coming war and would then get to live in relative comfort from the 1950s.

    Stalin was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Soviet subjects, let alone foreigners.
     
    I strongly recommend you check out the post-1991 historical research on Stalinism. No serious scholar talks about "tens of millions" these days.
  36. @Glossy
    I found the lists I was talking about:

    http://booksthatmakeyoudumb.virgil.gr
    http://musicthatmakesyoudumb.virgil.gr

    Done by a guy from Caltech! He ranked favorite books, not authors (as I remembered). The top three are Lolita, 100 Years of Solitude and Crime and Punishment. I read most of Crime and Punishment in school. Would have to read it again as an adult to acquire a proper opinion of it. Zane is last - I think that's "urban fiction".

    The alpha and omega of music on US college campuses are Beethoven and Lil' Wayne, which is both predictable and hilarious. When I first saw that list years ago, it made me check out Sufjan Stevens, who was ranked very high. Some of his stuff is pretty good.

    Wow! Great finds.

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  37. @Anatoly Karlin
    Worth noting that Nabokov is pretty unique in being a highly eminent writer not just in one but in TWO languages.

    Although I am sorry not to have read any of his novels to date, this alone implies that he had an absolutely stellar intellect.

    There were many smart Nazis. This guy might have been the smartest of them all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Teichm%C3%BCller But 30%-40% of the German population were Nazis, so I don't see how this fact is all that remarkable. What's of greater interest are the IQs of the leadership.

    Samuel Beckett is another (English/French). His biography is similar to Nabokov’s: grew up in one country (Ireland), settled permanently in another (France), studied languages at university.

    There is also the peculiar case of Joseph Conrad. His native language was Polish, but all his works are in English, a language he didn’t learn properly until he was a young adult. His occasionally clumsy style reflects this.

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  38. @D. K.
    ***

    I’m no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy – especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector – exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and “lost decade,” and thus this “catch-up” growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that’s a separate point).

    ***

    I was referring to what Hitler's Germany had accomplished, between late January 1933 and the first half of August 1936, versus what the Bolsheviks and Communists had accomplished, under Lenin and Stalin, between November 1917 and the first half of August 1936, despite their killing millions of their subject populations. I was not comparing pre-World War I Germany or Russia with mid-World War II Germany or the Soviet Union. I did not say that Herr Hitler was either "brilliant" or "a genius," in terms of either economics or his military leadership per se, nor as a general characteristic; I was referring to the rebound of German industry and social order that had occurred, in under three and a half years of his political leadership.

    In the Soviet Union, the first Moscow "show trial" commenced only three days after the close of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. "The Great Terror" was commenced by Stalin and his goons because, after nearly twenty years of Bolshevik and Communist rule, by Lenin and Stalin, Soviet society was still in utter turmoil. When Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933, the Soviet Union was in the middle of a government-caused famine that was killing millions of its unfortunate subjects. "The Great Terror" itself was but a continuation of Stalin's genocidal version of social engineering, in the name of International Communism.

    If we could send you back, in a time machine, Mr. Karlin, to Monday, August 17, 1936, would you rather wake up to find yourself (a) either a typical peasant farmer or an unskilled laborer in Adolf Hitler's Germany, or (b) one of the same in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union? Choose wisely....

    The notion that Adolf Hitler ever planned to fight a "global war" is total and utter nonsense.

    You’re conflating Stalin and the early Bolsheviks in a typical American way. They were opposites and enemies. The modern neocons are the intellectual descendents of Trotskyists, who were a subset of the early Bolsheviks whom Stalin defeated. The trials and executions that began in late 1936 and ended in 1938 were the final stage of his struggle against them. While the early Bolsheviks held power, they destroyed Russia’s economy. As Stalin began to wrench power from them, he began to build up the economy. His industrialization campaign started in the late 1920s and really went to high gear in the 1930s. Without it the USSR would not have been able to defeat Germany.

    Stalin and the early Bolsheviks were as much enemies as the USSR and the US during the Cold War, and their confrontation had the same nature: left (early Bolsheviks, the US) vs. right (Stalin, post-WWII USSR). The Cold War was just a new phase of that fight, with Trotskyists trying to regain from across the Atlantic what they lost to Stalin before and during those trials.

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    • Replies: @Sean

    His industrialization campaign started in the late 1920s and really went to high gear in the 1930s. Without it the USSR would not have been able to defeat Germany.
     
    I think it is well established that Russia under communism was continuing a growth trajectory began deades before.
  39. @D. K.
    ***

    I’m no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy – especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector – exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and “lost decade,” and thus this “catch-up” growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that’s a separate point).

    ***

    I was referring to what Hitler's Germany had accomplished, between late January 1933 and the first half of August 1936, versus what the Bolsheviks and Communists had accomplished, under Lenin and Stalin, between November 1917 and the first half of August 1936, despite their killing millions of their subject populations. I was not comparing pre-World War I Germany or Russia with mid-World War II Germany or the Soviet Union. I did not say that Herr Hitler was either "brilliant" or "a genius," in terms of either economics or his military leadership per se, nor as a general characteristic; I was referring to the rebound of German industry and social order that had occurred, in under three and a half years of his political leadership.

    In the Soviet Union, the first Moscow "show trial" commenced only three days after the close of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. "The Great Terror" was commenced by Stalin and his goons because, after nearly twenty years of Bolshevik and Communist rule, by Lenin and Stalin, Soviet society was still in utter turmoil. When Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933, the Soviet Union was in the middle of a government-caused famine that was killing millions of its unfortunate subjects. "The Great Terror" itself was but a continuation of Stalin's genocidal version of social engineering, in the name of International Communism.

    If we could send you back, in a time machine, Mr. Karlin, to Monday, August 17, 1936, would you rather wake up to find yourself (a) either a typical peasant farmer or an unskilled laborer in Adolf Hitler's Germany, or (b) one of the same in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union? Choose wisely....

    The notion that Adolf Hitler ever planned to fight a "global war" is total and utter nonsense.

    To summarize:

    Stalin was a builder – look up Soviet industrialization. The high-profile defendants from the show trials that you mentioned and whom US Cold War propaganda told you to pity and identify with – they were destroyers. And not just of the economy, of civilization in general. Bad folks.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    I was simply comparing what the Communists had achieved, in Russia and the Soviet Union, as of Sunday, August 16, 1936 (when the Berlin Olympic Games concluded), after the better part of two decades in power, since the "October Revolution" in Russia, versus what the National Socialists had accomplished, in Germany, between Monday, January 30, 1933, when Adolf Hitler had been named Chancellor, and that aforementioned August Sunday, after barely three and a half years in power. Which country would you have preferred living in, as a run-of-the-mill patriotic citizen, in August 1936? As a fan of Joe Stalin, would you have trusted him not to have you killed or sent off to the gulag, comrade?
  40. @Glossy
    I've been a member of several high IQ societies. There is a hierarchy of them - one is for people with IQs above 132, several are for people with IQs above 150, one is for people with IQs above 160, etc. These are just the main ones. There are lots of others. There are mailing lists, IRC channels, real-life meetings. I've participated in many of them.

    In these forums I've interacted with lots of people who belonged to several societies at once, including ones that I will never be admitted to because they are above my IQ level. All such people struck me as being smarter than I am.

    I think I remember reading about studies where people were asked to rank others' IQ by looking at their faces or after hearing them speak. The guesses were compared to actual IQ results. If I remember correctly, the correlations were good. If you want, I could look for these online.

    Well, let me say what I have heavily hinted, that I myself have had that experience, more than once and in a very marked form. And no, I don’t mean that I have thought I myself was more intelligent than someone who scored higher than me))
    How do they decide which group you get to be in, by your best score or some kind of average of more than one?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    By your best score. For example, I think that 472 on the Miller Analogies Test is enough for TNS. If you take that test 3 times and get 465, 470 and 475, they'll admit you. You only have to get over the threshold once.

    Old SAT, GRE, etc. results are accepted. The newer ones are not. A lot of these tests were dumbed down in the 1990s and 2000s. The MAT wasn't though.

  41. @D. K.
    Since when is artistic ability a proxy for IQ? I doubt, at any rate, that Herr Hitler's famous art-school rejection was based on a too-low SAT score....

    My father (b. 1921) dropped out of school, in central Illinois, in the eighth grade, during the Great Depression, because he had to go to work, helping his father tar roofs. (His father had lost his job as a coal miner, which was his family's traditional line of work, there, because of the economic downturn.) When my father joined the United States Coast Guard, at age 19, his IQ was tested at 140. "Boy, that's almost a genius!" the sailor in charge told him. After the war, my father merely got occupational training, in electronics, and got married, instead of getting a GED and going to college. Despite that, he rose to be assistant general foreman in the Electrical Department of the steel mill run by now-Chief Justice John Roberts' father, in my native Northwest Indiana. Two of my father's brothers became high-ranking executives, with Lever Brothers, in the Chicago area.

    Many, and presumably most, of those who drop out of secondary school, when they reach 16, do so because they are bad at doing academic work. That was far less so, however, back in the day. I have a nephew who is extremely bright, yet who dropped out of high school. Even today, in his early 30s, he has only an associate's degree, in Accounting, or some such, and no inclination to earn a living with it. He has a mental problem, of some strange sort, yes, but it is certainly not a low or modest IQ. I suspect that his IQ is close to what my father's was, two generations earlier.

    I read a book, decades ago, that stated that Herr Hitler probably had an IQ in the low 140s. I do not even remember which book that was, but the claim sounded plausible to me, back then, and it still seems plausible to me, today. I doubt that he could have achieved what he did, in that chaotic environment, with an IQ insufficient to gain Mensa membership. Yes, he lost the war, against two great powers, and a recently great power, but M. Bonaparte had lost, eventually, too-- twice!-- and my sense is that he was a truly brilliant man, and not merely a brilliant military leader.

    with an IQ insufficient to gain Mensa membership.

    If you ever want to be disabused of the notion that high IQ scores = intelligent rational people, attend a Mensa meeting or peruse the Bulletin and/or some SIGs. Part of that no doubt is Mensa’s explicitly PC nature with a ferocious zeal to crush any dissent. It is really a club for people who love puzzles, cats, and Barry Obama.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    The Mensa Bulletin is stunningly boring. I've been to a few local general meetings. The average age is very high. Retired people who need to do something with their time. They ARE smart though. I've never participated in any SIGs.

    The mailing lists of the higher societies aren't boring at all. Brilliant old guys arguing about politics. Pure hatred on every side that sometimes spills into real life. Over-the-top invective. Really, really un-PC.

    In general, high-IQ people aren't any more (or less) rational or honest than average-IQ people.
    , @D. K.
    Intelligence and rationality are not the same mental traits. Mensa members are self-selected from those eligible. I do not belong to any such group.
  42. @5371
    Well, let me say what I have heavily hinted, that I myself have had that experience, more than once and in a very marked form. And no, I don't mean that I have thought I myself was more intelligent than someone who scored higher than me))
    How do they decide which group you get to be in, by your best score or some kind of average of more than one?

    By your best score. For example, I think that 472 on the Miller Analogies Test is enough for TNS. If you take that test 3 times and get 465, 470 and 475, they’ll admit you. You only have to get over the threshold once.

    Old SAT, GRE, etc. results are accepted. The newer ones are not. A lot of these tests were dumbed down in the 1990s and 2000s. The MAT wasn’t though.

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  43. Since g factor is quite genetic, family background and close relatives can also provide important references.

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  44. @Stan D Mute

    with an IQ insufficient to gain Mensa membership.
     
    If you ever want to be disabused of the notion that high IQ scores = intelligent rational people, attend a Mensa meeting or peruse the Bulletin and/or some SIGs. Part of that no doubt is Mensa's explicitly PC nature with a ferocious zeal to crush any dissent. It is really a club for people who love puzzles, cats, and Barry Obama.

    The Mensa Bulletin is stunningly boring. I’ve been to a few local general meetings. The average age is very high. Retired people who need to do something with their time. They ARE smart though. I’ve never participated in any SIGs.

    The mailing lists of the higher societies aren’t boring at all. Brilliant old guys arguing about politics. Pure hatred on every side that sometimes spills into real life. Over-the-top invective. Really, really un-PC.

    In general, high-IQ people aren’t any more (or less) rational or honest than average-IQ people.

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    • Replies: @Stan D Mute

    The Mensa Bulletin is stunningly boring. I’ve been to a few local general meetings. The average age is very high. Retired people who need to do something with their time. They ARE smart though. I’ve never participated in any SIGs.
     
    What amuses me most is that a group which has IQ score as sole qualification for membership is terrified of appearing elitist. For a brief time some anti-PC activism appeared until all involved were threatened with expulsion under the "acts inimical to Mensa" clause. One must never ever notice the paucity of yellow map pins on African lapels. And "smart" is no proof of rational. My dad was smart and mom brilliant, but mom could get herself lost driving around the block and was a committed egalitarian despite a master's in chemistry and a medical doctorate. Father in law published several engineering texts, but was certain that if we just spend a few trillion more dollars the Africans will catch up. Mensa is the same except they will use communist party tactics to destroy any dissent from PC orthodoxy. That this discourages younger members is hardly surprising. After experiencing Mensa, I have no interest in any of the other groups. The level of dialog here at Unz is vastly better and more honest (perhaps due to the anonymity).
    , @ion

    The mailing lists of the higher societies aren’t boring at all. Brilliant old guys arguing about politics. Pure hatred on every side that sometimes spills into real life. Over-the-top invective. Really, really un-PC.
     
    Can you give some examples?
  45. @AP
    This may be apocryphal, but apparently Stalin was passionate about chess and when he stayed in Vienna he was unbeatable; Trotsky among others was no match for him.

    Stalin seems to have had more psychopathic traits than did Hitler, though neither one would probably be diagnosable as a psychopath (psychopathy includes traits that limit long-term success in life). In essence Stalin was a brilliant and ruthless Caucasian gangster who had embedded himself within a revolutionary movement that took over a nascent superpower, who was able to outmaneuver a lot of other scheming, intelligent and ruthless people to become absolute ruler. This required much more intelligence than what was required of Hitler.

    Lenin gave Stalin a position appointing national delegates, which handed him the allegiance of the delegates and an impregnable position.

    So brilliant that it took him four years to win back what Hitler took in four months.

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  46. @Glossy
    To summarize:

    Stalin was a builder - look up Soviet industrialization. The high-profile defendants from the show trials that you mentioned and whom US Cold War propaganda told you to pity and identify with - they were destroyers. And not just of the economy, of civilization in general. Bad folks.

    I was simply comparing what the Communists had achieved, in Russia and the Soviet Union, as of Sunday, August 16, 1936 (when the Berlin Olympic Games concluded), after the better part of two decades in power, since the “October Revolution” in Russia, versus what the National Socialists had accomplished, in Germany, between Monday, January 30, 1933, when Adolf Hitler had been named Chancellor, and that aforementioned August Sunday, after barely three and a half years in power. Which country would you have preferred living in, as a run-of-the-mill patriotic citizen, in August 1936? As a fan of Joe Stalin, would you have trusted him not to have you killed or sent off to the gulag, comrade?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    These aren't hypotheticals for me. None of my relatives had any trouble with the law during the Stalinist period. Having grown up in the USSR, I do not know anyone who knows anyone who had any member of their family shot or imprisoned under Stalin.

    One great-great-grandmother was killed by bandits (neither reds not whites) in 1921, during the Civil War. A husband of one of my great-aunts died during the Civil War as well.

    Two great-grandparents were killed by the Germans during WWII. They were quite old then. Missed the chance to evacuate and were killed during the occupation of their town.

    Maternal grandfather fought through the whole war, was wounded twice, came home alive. Paternal grandfather lost a foot in a train accident and had the other one mangled some years before the war, so he wasn't called up.

    Most of my grandparents' brothers fought, some were seriously wounded.

    Don't get me wrong, lots of people were killed by the state under Stalin. Many times fewer than during WWII and a lot fewer than during the Civil War, but it was still a lot of people. No one in my family tree though.

    , @Glossy
    If the average German of 1936 knew that Hitler was going to start a war that Germany was going to lose with apocalyptic consequences for itself, he'd want to get as far away from Germany and its future adversaries (including the USSR) as possible.

    And as I explained before, Stalin was a complete opposite of the early Bolsheviks. It's difficult to pinpoint when exactly he "came to power". Obviously, it wasn't anywhere close to " two decades" before 1936 - that's just comical ignorance. The amount of power he had increased gradually through the 1920s and 1930s, reaching a plateau in 1937 and then staying there until his death. Some would name 1929 as an important milestone.
  47. @Stan D Mute

    with an IQ insufficient to gain Mensa membership.
     
    If you ever want to be disabused of the notion that high IQ scores = intelligent rational people, attend a Mensa meeting or peruse the Bulletin and/or some SIGs. Part of that no doubt is Mensa's explicitly PC nature with a ferocious zeal to crush any dissent. It is really a club for people who love puzzles, cats, and Barry Obama.

    Intelligence and rationality are not the same mental traits. Mensa members are self-selected from those eligible. I do not belong to any such group.

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    • Replies: @Stan D Mute

    Mensa members are self-selected from those eligible.
     
    Just so, yes. And would you expect folks who scored well on IQ test and thought so much of the result that they joined a club founded by a eugenicist to then vehemently disavow and purge anyone who expressed the mildest hint of HBD realism? Why, exactly, did they subject themselves to the testing and then join the club?

    The cognitive dissonance is palpable in such a crowd. Despite their high IQ, they're mentally defective.
  48. @Glossy
    You're conflating Stalin and the early Bolsheviks in a typical American way. They were opposites and enemies. The modern neocons are the intellectual descendents of Trotskyists, who were a subset of the early Bolsheviks whom Stalin defeated. The trials and executions that began in late 1936 and ended in 1938 were the final stage of his struggle against them. While the early Bolsheviks held power, they destroyed Russia's economy. As Stalin began to wrench power from them, he began to build up the economy. His industrialization campaign started in the late 1920s and really went to high gear in the 1930s. Without it the USSR would not have been able to defeat Germany.

    Stalin and the early Bolsheviks were as much enemies as the USSR and the US during the Cold War, and their confrontation had the same nature: left (early Bolsheviks, the US) vs. right (Stalin, post-WWII USSR). The Cold War was just a new phase of that fight, with Trotskyists trying to regain from across the Atlantic what they lost to Stalin before and during those trials.

    His industrialization campaign started in the late 1920s and really went to high gear in the 1930s. Without it the USSR would not have been able to defeat Germany.

    I think it is well established that Russia under communism was continuing a growth trajectory began deades before.

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  49. @Glossy
    The Mensa Bulletin is stunningly boring. I've been to a few local general meetings. The average age is very high. Retired people who need to do something with their time. They ARE smart though. I've never participated in any SIGs.

    The mailing lists of the higher societies aren't boring at all. Brilliant old guys arguing about politics. Pure hatred on every side that sometimes spills into real life. Over-the-top invective. Really, really un-PC.

    In general, high-IQ people aren't any more (or less) rational or honest than average-IQ people.

    The Mensa Bulletin is stunningly boring. I’ve been to a few local general meetings. The average age is very high. Retired people who need to do something with their time. They ARE smart though. I’ve never participated in any SIGs.

    What amuses me most is that a group which has IQ score as sole qualification for membership is terrified of appearing elitist. For a brief time some anti-PC activism appeared until all involved were threatened with expulsion under the “acts inimical to Mensa” clause. One must never ever notice the paucity of yellow map pins on African lapels. And “smart” is no proof of rational. My dad was smart and mom brilliant, but mom could get herself lost driving around the block and was a committed egalitarian despite a master’s in chemistry and a medical doctorate. Father in law published several engineering texts, but was certain that if we just spend a few trillion more dollars the Africans will catch up. Mensa is the same except they will use communist party tactics to destroy any dissent from PC orthodoxy. That this discourages younger members is hardly surprising. After experiencing Mensa, I have no interest in any of the other groups. The level of dialog here at Unz is vastly better and more honest (perhaps due to the anonymity).

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  50. He was a brilliant orator, but oratory skills have low g loadings.

    This is most likely truth. As a kid growing up in urban poor ghetto, my observation is that underclass kids are extremely verbal and social. They spent most their enery on social relationship with complicated gang or gang like structure. Using their words to manipulate each other is the core of their activities plus constant physical violence as part of game. They are less interested in figuring out natural truth/knowlage.

    Poor people tend to live in close proximity due to reduced personal space (personal space reflecting size of property/wealth). Three generations living in the same room and single wall seperating neighbours are very much common in poor ghetto. Constant dealing with other people become necessary and unavoidable. Also poor people need supporting each other to survive. So dependency is sign of poverty. Self-actualizers style of isolation (few friends) and aloofness are truely luxury only avaible for the rich. So called top out of sight class.

    Almost universally any gain in wealth often leads to increased personal space (your own private bedroom, more space in room, larger size of property, distance from neighbor ect). With higher g associated with more wealth over generations, characters associated with self-actualizer behavior might become genetically fixed. Especially during feudal time, the social status is inherited. After thousands years, the personality might be genetically fixed due to confortable fitting of such self-actualizer personality (enjoying being alone/intravert). All they need is to have intelligence to gain and control large amount of wealth which can be used to control hired army and police to protect the rule or laws efforcement.

    People develop their unique (genetic)skills to fit their enviroment.

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  51. @D. K.
    I was simply comparing what the Communists had achieved, in Russia and the Soviet Union, as of Sunday, August 16, 1936 (when the Berlin Olympic Games concluded), after the better part of two decades in power, since the "October Revolution" in Russia, versus what the National Socialists had accomplished, in Germany, between Monday, January 30, 1933, when Adolf Hitler had been named Chancellor, and that aforementioned August Sunday, after barely three and a half years in power. Which country would you have preferred living in, as a run-of-the-mill patriotic citizen, in August 1936? As a fan of Joe Stalin, would you have trusted him not to have you killed or sent off to the gulag, comrade?

    These aren’t hypotheticals for me. None of my relatives had any trouble with the law during the Stalinist period. Having grown up in the USSR, I do not know anyone who knows anyone who had any member of their family shot or imprisoned under Stalin.

    One great-great-grandmother was killed by bandits (neither reds not whites) in 1921, during the Civil War. A husband of one of my great-aunts died during the Civil War as well.

    Two great-grandparents were killed by the Germans during WWII. They were quite old then. Missed the chance to evacuate and were killed during the occupation of their town.

    Maternal grandfather fought through the whole war, was wounded twice, came home alive. Paternal grandfather lost a foot in a train accident and had the other one mangled some years before the war, so he wasn’t called up.

    Most of my grandparents’ brothers fought, some were seriously wounded.

    Don’t get me wrong, lots of people were killed by the state under Stalin. Many times fewer than during WWII and a lot fewer than during the Civil War, but it was still a lot of people. No one in my family tree though.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    Stalin was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Soviet subjects, let alone foreigners. That is not counting the soldiers who died in the wars that he helped to start. At least until Mao got rolling, in China, Stalin was the greatest mass murderer in modern history.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/how-many-people-did-joseph-stalin-kill-1111789

    , @szopen
    Few my family members were deported to Syberia under Soviets. My grandfather stayed due to combination of bribes, help from local Belorussian peasants and some luck.

    I am Polish, though.

    In addition I think it was quite common that if your brother was shot, then you became suspected and had higher probability of being shot of deported. Without husband/father your chances to thrive (find a spouse) were much smaller. Hence I would guess much higher concentration of family members being shot/deported in some family lines.

  52. @D. K.
    Intelligence and rationality are not the same mental traits. Mensa members are self-selected from those eligible. I do not belong to any such group.

    Mensa members are self-selected from those eligible.

    Just so, yes. And would you expect folks who scored well on IQ test and thought so much of the result that they joined a club founded by a eugenicist to then vehemently disavow and purge anyone who expressed the mildest hint of HBD realism? Why, exactly, did they subject themselves to the testing and then join the club?

    The cognitive dissonance is palpable in such a crowd. Despite their high IQ, they’re mentally defective.

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  53. @D. K.
    I was simply comparing what the Communists had achieved, in Russia and the Soviet Union, as of Sunday, August 16, 1936 (when the Berlin Olympic Games concluded), after the better part of two decades in power, since the "October Revolution" in Russia, versus what the National Socialists had accomplished, in Germany, between Monday, January 30, 1933, when Adolf Hitler had been named Chancellor, and that aforementioned August Sunday, after barely three and a half years in power. Which country would you have preferred living in, as a run-of-the-mill patriotic citizen, in August 1936? As a fan of Joe Stalin, would you have trusted him not to have you killed or sent off to the gulag, comrade?

    If the average German of 1936 knew that Hitler was going to start a war that Germany was going to lose with apocalyptic consequences for itself, he’d want to get as far away from Germany and its future adversaries (including the USSR) as possible.

    And as I explained before, Stalin was a complete opposite of the early Bolsheviks. It’s difficult to pinpoint when exactly he “came to power”. Obviously, it wasn’t anywhere close to ” two decades” before 1936 – that’s just comical ignorance. The amount of power he had increased gradually through the 1920s and 1930s, reaching a plateau in 1937 and then staying there until his death. Some would name 1929 as an important milestone.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    Do I need to find someone to translate my English prose into Russian for you, comrade? I was not comparing Joseph Stalin himself to Adolf Hitler; I was comparing what Germany accomplished, under Hitler's leadership, in barely three and a half years, to what Russia / the Soviet Union had accomplished, under the Communists, from November 1917 to August 1936. What happened from September 1, 1939, through May 8, 1945, was not at all obvious, let alone inevitable, back in August 1936. The average German citizen was much more secure, both economically and socially, in August 1936, than was the average Soviet subject. I understand that you have a man-crush on the Man of Steel. Some of us are less easily impressed than others, comrade. I dare say, the average Russian would not have chosen to stick around, in the summer of 1917, just to suffer through almost seventy-five years of bloody Communist rule!
    , @D. K.
    P.S. If the invasion of Poland started World War II, then your hero Joe Stalin and his Soviets were equally to blame for that, and what followed-- because invading Poland, and dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union, was secretly agreed to at the time of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, just days before the Germans invaded, on September 1, 1939! Stalin invaded several other countries, into the bargain.
  54. @Glossy
    If the average German of 1936 knew that Hitler was going to start a war that Germany was going to lose with apocalyptic consequences for itself, he'd want to get as far away from Germany and its future adversaries (including the USSR) as possible.

    And as I explained before, Stalin was a complete opposite of the early Bolsheviks. It's difficult to pinpoint when exactly he "came to power". Obviously, it wasn't anywhere close to " two decades" before 1936 - that's just comical ignorance. The amount of power he had increased gradually through the 1920s and 1930s, reaching a plateau in 1937 and then staying there until his death. Some would name 1929 as an important milestone.

    Do I need to find someone to translate my English prose into Russian for you, comrade? I was not comparing Joseph Stalin himself to Adolf Hitler; I was comparing what Germany accomplished, under Hitler’s leadership, in barely three and a half years, to what Russia / the Soviet Union had accomplished, under the Communists, from November 1917 to August 1936. What happened from September 1, 1939, through May 8, 1945, was not at all obvious, let alone inevitable, back in August 1936. The average German citizen was much more secure, both economically and socially, in August 1936, than was the average Soviet subject. I understand that you have a man-crush on the Man of Steel. Some of us are less easily impressed than others, comrade. I dare say, the average Russian would not have chosen to stick around, in the summer of 1917, just to suffer through almost seventy-five years of bloody Communist rule!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    The people who ran the USSR in 1936 had nothing to do with the people who ran it in 1918 or 1925. They had opposite goals and values. You keep lumping Stalin and the old Bolsheviks together, but doing this will not make it true.

    The buildup of the economy that Stalin achieved from the late 1920s to 1941 was more impressive because the USSR was starting from a much lower base and because it won. The Soviet economy passed the ultimate test by defeating the industrial might of all of continental Europe in a total war.

  55. @Glossy
    If the average German of 1936 knew that Hitler was going to start a war that Germany was going to lose with apocalyptic consequences for itself, he'd want to get as far away from Germany and its future adversaries (including the USSR) as possible.

    And as I explained before, Stalin was a complete opposite of the early Bolsheviks. It's difficult to pinpoint when exactly he "came to power". Obviously, it wasn't anywhere close to " two decades" before 1936 - that's just comical ignorance. The amount of power he had increased gradually through the 1920s and 1930s, reaching a plateau in 1937 and then staying there until his death. Some would name 1929 as an important milestone.

    P.S. If the invasion of Poland started World War II, then your hero Joe Stalin and his Soviets were equally to blame for that, and what followed– because invading Poland, and dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union, was secretly agreed to at the time of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, just days before the Germans invaded, on September 1, 1939! Stalin invaded several other countries, into the bargain.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    If we set aside the war in the Far East, then the remaining, European portion of WWII was mostly the war between Germany and USSR. "Mostly" implies more than 50%, but it was actually much more than that. It was the main event and the great bulk of the European war. And Hitler started it by invading the Soviet Union. The M-R pact expressly prohibited him from doing that, which is why it was called a non-agression treaty.
  56. @D. K.
    Do I need to find someone to translate my English prose into Russian for you, comrade? I was not comparing Joseph Stalin himself to Adolf Hitler; I was comparing what Germany accomplished, under Hitler's leadership, in barely three and a half years, to what Russia / the Soviet Union had accomplished, under the Communists, from November 1917 to August 1936. What happened from September 1, 1939, through May 8, 1945, was not at all obvious, let alone inevitable, back in August 1936. The average German citizen was much more secure, both economically and socially, in August 1936, than was the average Soviet subject. I understand that you have a man-crush on the Man of Steel. Some of us are less easily impressed than others, comrade. I dare say, the average Russian would not have chosen to stick around, in the summer of 1917, just to suffer through almost seventy-five years of bloody Communist rule!

    The people who ran the USSR in 1936 had nothing to do with the people who ran it in 1918 or 1925. They had opposite goals and values. You keep lumping Stalin and the old Bolsheviks together, but doing this will not make it true.

    The buildup of the economy that Stalin achieved from the late 1920s to 1941 was more impressive because the USSR was starting from a much lower base and because it won. The Soviet economy passed the ultimate test by defeating the industrial might of all of continental Europe in a total war.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    The old Bolsheviks wanted collectivization and heavy industrialization, just as Stalin had done after 1929. In the 1920s Stalin was opposed to this "leftist opposition" but then later started its program anyway. Some Trotskyites were given high positions after 1929 (they were killed later during the terror nevertheless) for that exact reason. (I forgot his name and am lazy to google it but Ordzhonikidze's deputy at the heavy industry ppl's commissariat was a prime example.)
  57. @Glossy
    These aren't hypotheticals for me. None of my relatives had any trouble with the law during the Stalinist period. Having grown up in the USSR, I do not know anyone who knows anyone who had any member of their family shot or imprisoned under Stalin.

    One great-great-grandmother was killed by bandits (neither reds not whites) in 1921, during the Civil War. A husband of one of my great-aunts died during the Civil War as well.

    Two great-grandparents were killed by the Germans during WWII. They were quite old then. Missed the chance to evacuate and were killed during the occupation of their town.

    Maternal grandfather fought through the whole war, was wounded twice, came home alive. Paternal grandfather lost a foot in a train accident and had the other one mangled some years before the war, so he wasn't called up.

    Most of my grandparents' brothers fought, some were seriously wounded.

    Don't get me wrong, lots of people were killed by the state under Stalin. Many times fewer than during WWII and a lot fewer than during the Civil War, but it was still a lot of people. No one in my family tree though.

    Stalin was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Soviet subjects, let alone foreigners. That is not counting the soldiers who died in the wars that he helped to start. At least until Mao got rolling, in China, Stalin was the greatest mass murderer in modern history.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/how-many-people-did-joseph-stalin-kill-1111789

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    The Trotskyists whom he defeated say that to this day, but saying things won't make them true. The "tens of millions" thing is a total fantasy. It implies that Stalin killed about as many Soviet citisens as Hitler. Everyone in Russia had family members die in WWII, yet few can name any relatives who were shot or imprisoned during the Stalinist period. I think that my family history is pretty typical in this regard.
  58. @D. K.
    P.S. If the invasion of Poland started World War II, then your hero Joe Stalin and his Soviets were equally to blame for that, and what followed-- because invading Poland, and dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union, was secretly agreed to at the time of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, just days before the Germans invaded, on September 1, 1939! Stalin invaded several other countries, into the bargain.

    If we set aside the war in the Far East, then the remaining, European portion of WWII was mostly the war between Germany and USSR. “Mostly” implies more than 50%, but it was actually much more than that. It was the main event and the great bulk of the European war. And Hitler started it by invading the Soviet Union. The M-R pact expressly prohibited him from doing that, which is why it was called a non-agression treaty.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    Why were the Germans able to overrun the Soviets so decisively, in the summer of 1941, and wind up on the outskirts of Moscow, by early December? Because the Soviet forces had been deployed in a forward positioning, rather than in a defensive posture. Why was that, comrade? To repeat, if World War II started with the invasion and permanent occupation of Poland, in September 1939, then your hero, Joe Stalin, is equally guilty with the infamous Adolf Hitler-- period! (Personally, I consider the twin declarations of war against Germany, issued on September 3, 1939, to be the more plausible starting point of World War II, because both Britain and France, then, lorded over worldwide empires.)
  59. @D. K.
    Stalin was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Soviet subjects, let alone foreigners. That is not counting the soldiers who died in the wars that he helped to start. At least until Mao got rolling, in China, Stalin was the greatest mass murderer in modern history.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/how-many-people-did-joseph-stalin-kill-1111789

    The Trotskyists whom he defeated say that to this day, but saying things won’t make them true. The “tens of millions” thing is a total fantasy. It implies that Stalin killed about as many Soviet citisens as Hitler. Everyone in Russia had family members die in WWII, yet few can name any relatives who were shot or imprisoned during the Stalinist period. I think that my family history is pretty typical in this regard.

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    For some bizarre reason, I, as a former History major (B.A., Purdue, 1978), put less faith in the partisan familial lore of an anonymous on-line commenter, who happens to be a fan of dictator Joseph Stalin (if down on his rival Trotyskites), than I do in, say, the late Robert Conquest:

    ***

    George Robert Acworth Conquest, CMG, OBE, FBA, FAAAS, FRSL, FBIS (15 July 1917 – 3 August 2015) was a British-American historian and poet, notable for his influential works on Soviet history including The Great Terror: Stalin's Purges of the 1930s (1968). He was a longtime research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He wrote more than a dozen books on the Soviet Union and he was a traditional conservative.[1]

    [Wikipedia.org]

    ***

    From the previously cited article:

    ***

    In his acclaimed book “The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties,” Anglo-American historian Robert Conquest said: “We get a figure of 20 million dead [under Stalin], which is almost certainly too low and might require an increase of 50 percent or so.”

    ***

    Go figure!
    , @ion

    It implies that Stalin killed about as many Soviet citisens as Hitler.
     
    Even that useless fuckstump Timothy Snyder doesn't dare take it that far: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/mar/10/hitler-vs-stalin-who-killed-more/
    , @Stephen R. Diamond
    I wonder whether you will go so far as to agree that Trotsky was the continuator of the Old Bolsheviks.

    Trotskyites whom I know don't agree with the anticommunists that Stalin killed as many as Hitler. Real Trotskyites defended the Soviet Union against the Yeltsin counterrevolution.
  60. @Glossy
    The Mensa Bulletin is stunningly boring. I've been to a few local general meetings. The average age is very high. Retired people who need to do something with their time. They ARE smart though. I've never participated in any SIGs.

    The mailing lists of the higher societies aren't boring at all. Brilliant old guys arguing about politics. Pure hatred on every side that sometimes spills into real life. Over-the-top invective. Really, really un-PC.

    In general, high-IQ people aren't any more (or less) rational or honest than average-IQ people.

    The mailing lists of the higher societies aren’t boring at all. Brilliant old guys arguing about politics. Pure hatred on every side that sometimes spills into real life. Over-the-top invective. Really, really un-PC.

    Can you give some examples?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    The lists I was talking about are only open to the members of the societies. TNS maintained a list like that when I was active there. ISPE as well.
  61. @Glossy
    If we set aside the war in the Far East, then the remaining, European portion of WWII was mostly the war between Germany and USSR. "Mostly" implies more than 50%, but it was actually much more than that. It was the main event and the great bulk of the European war. And Hitler started it by invading the Soviet Union. The M-R pact expressly prohibited him from doing that, which is why it was called a non-agression treaty.

    Why were the Germans able to overrun the Soviets so decisively, in the summer of 1941, and wind up on the outskirts of Moscow, by early December? Because the Soviet forces had been deployed in a forward positioning, rather than in a defensive posture. Why was that, comrade? To repeat, if World War II started with the invasion and permanent occupation of Poland, in September 1939, then your hero, Joe Stalin, is equally guilty with the infamous Adolf Hitler– period! (Personally, I consider the twin declarations of war against Germany, issued on September 3, 1939, to be the more plausible starting point of World War II, because both Britain and France, then, lorded over worldwide empires.)

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Why were the Germans able to overrun the Soviets so decisively, in the summer of 1941,

    Because they had the surprise factor on their side. Duh! In most fights the attacker benefits from the surpise.
  62. @ion

    The mailing lists of the higher societies aren’t boring at all. Brilliant old guys arguing about politics. Pure hatred on every side that sometimes spills into real life. Over-the-top invective. Really, really un-PC.
     
    Can you give some examples?

    The lists I was talking about are only open to the members of the societies. TNS maintained a list like that when I was active there. ISPE as well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ion
    I realized those lists would be restricted to members; I was actually asking for some examples of the type of "un-PC" discussions they had. Any real talk™ ?
  63. @Anatoly Karlin
    Many people here seem to be under the impression that Hitler was some kind of economic genius. That couldn't be further from the truth. He was self-admittedly ignorant of economic matters (and proud of it). Yes, he did restore pre-Depression GDP and at a faster rate than in the US or France, through a narrow focus on military Keynesianism that left consumption levels below their peaks under Weimar and was likely unsustainable in the long-run (according to Adam Tooze anyway). Regardless, during the critical years 1940-41, Germany was outmatched by the British in aircraft production, dooming them to lose the Battle of Britain and make Sealion unfeasible.

    This in turn was linked to the most catastrophic decision of them all: The refusal to fully mobilize the German economy for war production before 1943, when the situation had suddenly turned critical for them (unlike the case in the USSR or Britain). Had he done this, it is difficult to see how he could have ended up losing to the Soviet Union. As it was, Hitler staked nigh everything on the sheer skill and elan of the Wehrmacht, massively discounting the value of war production and logistics to the horror of his generals. In military affairs as in economics and virtually everything else he involved himself with, Hitler was the classical example of a dilettante.

    @BB375,

    You would expect Albert Speer to be at the top of the list. Yet he’s not even in the top ten! Very strange.
     
    As I said, it's plausible that Speer intentionally passed himself off as dumber than he really was as part of his efforts to save his neck. (From what we now know it's clear he should have been one of those hanged at Nuremburg).

    @DK,

    What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?
     
    I'm no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy - especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector - exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and "lost decade," and thus this "catch-up" growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that's a separate point).

    @AP,

    I revise my estimate of Hitler’s IQ to around 130, after I reread Sailer’s estimate of Bush’s IQ – by memory I had thought 120, but I checked and it was mid 120s. Bush’s IQ is underestimated because he is a terrible public speaker, but I have trouble believing Bush and Hitler’s IQs were basically the same.
     
    On the other hand, Bush became an alcoholic for a time after college, which might have killed off a few brain cells and made his IQ during his Presidency lower than his academic record would otherwise indicate. :)

    The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914.

    Brendan Simms says Wilhelmine Germany was hamstrung by inability to heavily tax for military purposes, and the Weimar constitution was deliberately designed to make Germany better able to exert its strength, which it did. Hitler can hardly be called incompetent for a non-sustainable increase in armaments spending, if I remember rightly he got quite a bit of bang for his timely buck. It wasn’t military Keynesianism, because all along he was planning on using the armaments.

    Germany was outmatched by the British in aircraft production, dooming them to lose the Battle of Britain and make Sealion unfeasible.

    The idea that the capitalist powers would fight each other to the finish (ie that Hitler would try to invade a neutralised Britain) was Stalin’s delusion, and Hitler’s grand deception. During the ‘Battle’ of Britain most RAF pilot losses were on cross channel coastal strikes against the invasion barges.

    Had he done this, it is difficult to see how he could have ended up losing to the Soviet Union.

    So sneaky of Hitler to try and end the war 4 years early by winning it in 1941.

    I repeat, in the sixties John Gotti’s IQ was measured in prison and he tested at 140. By the way, the FBI listened in on Gotti holding court and found him a “funny guy”; they had to admit he was a good storyteller. Norman Mailer had an IQ of 170. To think Hitler only had 4 IQ points on Charles Manson is to say IQ is not much of a guide to anything. Hitler came much closer to total success than Napoleon.

    The dilettante accusation is reminiscent of Ernst Topitsch’s pointing out that Hitler had not established himself in any profession before joining the German Army. (He had to petition the German cabinet to be granted this privilege). His WW1 feat of impressing his officers as an exemplary soldier in years of dedication to duty in extreme danger as a messenger makes this quite unsustainable (he was one of the very few private soldiers to be awarded an Iron Cross 1st class).

    It’s true Hitler had Bohemian habits (Speer said he often wondered when Hitler actually worked) but staying up all night or very very late was something Stalin and Churchill did as well. Hitler had an efficient civil service and could devote himself to his architectural scheme for Linz, and plans for conquering Russia. When he needed to Hitler came up with truly brilliant ideas all on his own such as the “military masterpiece” (according to Stolfi) assault on Fort Eben-Emael, he also accepted (as coinciding with his own intuitions) the Manstein plan for the battle of France, and alone asked Guderian what he would do one breaking through, and authorised the driving for the coast. Add up his clever father who rose as high as possible in the customs for one with his lack of education, ability to impress very clever people in conversation, his speech-writing/making ability and ability to play Britain and Russia off against one another, and finally choosing the right moment to strike; I think Hitler’s IQ can’t have been under 140.

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  64. @D. K.
    Why were the Germans able to overrun the Soviets so decisively, in the summer of 1941, and wind up on the outskirts of Moscow, by early December? Because the Soviet forces had been deployed in a forward positioning, rather than in a defensive posture. Why was that, comrade? To repeat, if World War II started with the invasion and permanent occupation of Poland, in September 1939, then your hero, Joe Stalin, is equally guilty with the infamous Adolf Hitler-- period! (Personally, I consider the twin declarations of war against Germany, issued on September 3, 1939, to be the more plausible starting point of World War II, because both Britain and France, then, lorded over worldwide empires.)

    Why were the Germans able to overrun the Soviets so decisively, in the summer of 1941,

    Because they had the surprise factor on their side. Duh! In most fights the attacker benefits from the surpise.

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  65. @Glossy
    The lists I was talking about are only open to the members of the societies. TNS maintained a list like that when I was active there. ISPE as well.

    I realized those lists would be restricted to members; I was actually asking for some examples of the type of “un-PC” discussions they had. Any real talk™ ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Any real talk™

    Lots. My introduction to some parts of what you called real talk occurred there in the early oughts. I was introduced to other parts of it on IRC. I did eventually get to politically incorrect books, but only after a long exposure to this stuff online, at first arguing against it. If not for the Internet, I'd still have very conventional political views.
  66. @D. K.
    ***

    I’m no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy – especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector – exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and “lost decade,” and thus this “catch-up” growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that’s a separate point).

    ***

    I was referring to what Hitler's Germany had accomplished, between late January 1933 and the first half of August 1936, versus what the Bolsheviks and Communists had accomplished, under Lenin and Stalin, between November 1917 and the first half of August 1936, despite their killing millions of their subject populations. I was not comparing pre-World War I Germany or Russia with mid-World War II Germany or the Soviet Union. I did not say that Herr Hitler was either "brilliant" or "a genius," in terms of either economics or his military leadership per se, nor as a general characteristic; I was referring to the rebound of German industry and social order that had occurred, in under three and a half years of his political leadership.

    In the Soviet Union, the first Moscow "show trial" commenced only three days after the close of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. "The Great Terror" was commenced by Stalin and his goons because, after nearly twenty years of Bolshevik and Communist rule, by Lenin and Stalin, Soviet society was still in utter turmoil. When Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933, the Soviet Union was in the middle of a government-caused famine that was killing millions of its unfortunate subjects. "The Great Terror" itself was but a continuation of Stalin's genocidal version of social engineering, in the name of International Communism.

    If we could send you back, in a time machine, Mr. Karlin, to Monday, August 17, 1936, would you rather wake up to find yourself (a) either a typical peasant farmer or an unskilled laborer in Adolf Hitler's Germany, or (b) one of the same in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union? Choose wisely....

    The notion that Adolf Hitler ever planned to fight a "global war" is total and utter nonsense.

    If we could send you back, in a time machine, Mr. Karlin, to Monday, August 17, 1936, would you rather wake up to find yourself (a) either a typical peasant farmer or an unskilled laborer in Adolf Hitler’s Germany, or (b) one of the same in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union? Choose wisely….

    Completely bizarre and irrelevant question.

    Of course I would choose Germany since I’d have a higher chance of surviving the coming war and would then get to live in relative comfort from the 1950s.

    Stalin was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Soviet subjects, let alone foreigners.

    I strongly recommend you check out the post-1991 historical research on Stalinism. No serious scholar talks about “tens of millions” these days.

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    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
    • Replies: @D. K.
    How is my asking, in essence, which was a better country in which to be an average citizen, at that time, a "bizarre and irrelevant question," Mr. Karlin?

    As for the recently deceased Robert Conquest's work:

    ***

    In fact, the figures of Stalin’s victims which Conquest had given, and for which he had once been derided, have been steadily revised upwards by younger Russian historians to at least 25 million. Most of their deaths were not ordered by the dictator in person, but plenty were. Conquest described how one day in 1937 Stalin and Molotov personally approved 3,167 death sentences, and then went to watch a film.

    [ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11782719/Robert-Conquest-historian-obituary.html ]

    ***
  67. @Glossy
    The Trotskyists whom he defeated say that to this day, but saying things won't make them true. The "tens of millions" thing is a total fantasy. It implies that Stalin killed about as many Soviet citisens as Hitler. Everyone in Russia had family members die in WWII, yet few can name any relatives who were shot or imprisoned during the Stalinist period. I think that my family history is pretty typical in this regard.

    For some bizarre reason, I, as a former History major (B.A., Purdue, 1978), put less faith in the partisan familial lore of an anonymous on-line commenter, who happens to be a fan of dictator Joseph Stalin (if down on his rival Trotyskites), than I do in, say, the late Robert Conquest:

    ***

    George Robert Acworth Conquest, CMG, OBE, FBA, FAAAS, FRSL, FBIS (15 July 1917 – 3 August 2015) was a British-American historian and poet, notable for his influential works on Soviet history including The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purges of the 1930s (1968). He was a longtime research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He wrote more than a dozen books on the Soviet Union and he was a traditional conservative.[1]

    [Wikipedia.org]

    ***

    From the previously cited article:

    ***

    In his acclaimed book “The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties,” Anglo-American historian Robert Conquest said: “We get a figure of 20 million dead [under Stalin], which is almost certainly too low and might require an increase of 50 percent or so.”

    ***

    Go figure!

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    What can I tell you, Conquest was a partisan, and I try to look at things objectively.
  68. @ion
    I realized those lists would be restricted to members; I was actually asking for some examples of the type of "un-PC" discussions they had. Any real talk™ ?

    Any real talk™

    Lots. My introduction to some parts of what you called real talk occurred there in the early oughts. I was introduced to other parts of it on IRC. I did eventually get to politically incorrect books, but only after a long exposure to this stuff online, at first arguing against it. If not for the Internet, I’d still have very conventional political views.

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  69. @D. K.
    For some bizarre reason, I, as a former History major (B.A., Purdue, 1978), put less faith in the partisan familial lore of an anonymous on-line commenter, who happens to be a fan of dictator Joseph Stalin (if down on his rival Trotyskites), than I do in, say, the late Robert Conquest:

    ***

    George Robert Acworth Conquest, CMG, OBE, FBA, FAAAS, FRSL, FBIS (15 July 1917 – 3 August 2015) was a British-American historian and poet, notable for his influential works on Soviet history including The Great Terror: Stalin's Purges of the 1930s (1968). He was a longtime research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He wrote more than a dozen books on the Soviet Union and he was a traditional conservative.[1]

    [Wikipedia.org]

    ***

    From the previously cited article:

    ***

    In his acclaimed book “The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties,” Anglo-American historian Robert Conquest said: “We get a figure of 20 million dead [under Stalin], which is almost certainly too low and might require an increase of 50 percent or so.”

    ***

    Go figure!

    What can I tell you, Conquest was a partisan, and I try to look at things objectively.

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  70. @Glossy
    The Trotskyists whom he defeated say that to this day, but saying things won't make them true. The "tens of millions" thing is a total fantasy. It implies that Stalin killed about as many Soviet citisens as Hitler. Everyone in Russia had family members die in WWII, yet few can name any relatives who were shot or imprisoned during the Stalinist period. I think that my family history is pretty typical in this regard.

    It implies that Stalin killed about as many Soviet citisens as Hitler.

    Even that useless fuckstump Timothy Snyder doesn’t dare take it that far: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/mar/10/hitler-vs-stalin-who-killed-more/

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  71. @Glossy
    The Trotskyists whom he defeated say that to this day, but saying things won't make them true. The "tens of millions" thing is a total fantasy. It implies that Stalin killed about as many Soviet citisens as Hitler. Everyone in Russia had family members die in WWII, yet few can name any relatives who were shot or imprisoned during the Stalinist period. I think that my family history is pretty typical in this regard.

    I wonder whether you will go so far as to agree that Trotsky was the continuator of the Old Bolsheviks.

    Trotskyites whom I know don’t agree with the anticommunists that Stalin killed as many as Hitler. Real Trotskyites defended the Soviet Union against the Yeltsin counterrevolution.

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  72. @Anatoly Karlin

    If we could send you back, in a time machine, Mr. Karlin, to Monday, August 17, 1936, would you rather wake up to find yourself (a) either a typical peasant farmer or an unskilled laborer in Adolf Hitler’s Germany, or (b) one of the same in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union? Choose wisely….
     
    Completely bizarre and irrelevant question.

    Of course I would choose Germany since I'd have a higher chance of surviving the coming war and would then get to live in relative comfort from the 1950s.

    Stalin was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Soviet subjects, let alone foreigners.
     
    I strongly recommend you check out the post-1991 historical research on Stalinism. No serious scholar talks about "tens of millions" these days.

    How is my asking, in essence, which was a better country in which to be an average citizen, at that time, a “bizarre and irrelevant question,” Mr. Karlin?

    As for the recently deceased Robert Conquest’s work:

    ***

    In fact, the figures of Stalin’s victims which Conquest had given, and for which he had once been derided, have been steadily revised upwards by younger Russian historians to at least 25 million. Most of their deaths were not ordered by the dictator in person, but plenty were. Conquest described how one day in 1937 Stalin and Molotov personally approved 3,167 death sentences, and then went to watch a film.

    [ Read More

    • Replies: @German_reader
    "In fact, the figures of Stalin’s victims which Conquest had given, and for which he had once been derided, have been steadily revised upwards by younger Russian historians to at least 25 million. "

    ? As far as I know, the opposite is actually the case and estimates of the numbers of victims of Stalinism have been revised downwards since the archives have been at least partially opened..."at least 25 million" seems like a massive exaggeration. What's the basis for that estimate?
  73. @D. K.
    How is my asking, in essence, which was a better country in which to be an average citizen, at that time, a "bizarre and irrelevant question," Mr. Karlin?

    As for the recently deceased Robert Conquest's work:

    ***

    In fact, the figures of Stalin’s victims which Conquest had given, and for which he had once been derided, have been steadily revised upwards by younger Russian historians to at least 25 million. Most of their deaths were not ordered by the dictator in person, but plenty were. Conquest described how one day in 1937 Stalin and Molotov personally approved 3,167 death sentences, and then went to watch a film.

    [ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11782719/Robert-Conquest-historian-obituary.html ]

    ***

    “In fact, the figures of Stalin’s victims which Conquest had given, and for which he had once been derided, have been steadily revised upwards by younger Russian historians to at least 25 million. ”

    ? As far as I know, the opposite is actually the case and estimates of the numbers of victims of Stalinism have been revised downwards since the archives have been at least partially opened…”at least 25 million” seems like a massive exaggeration. What’s the basis for that estimate?

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    You would have to ask the appropriate folks at that particular newspaper for their ultimate source for that claim. I am waiting for citations in support of the counter-claims....
  74. @German_reader
    "In fact, the figures of Stalin’s victims which Conquest had given, and for which he had once been derided, have been steadily revised upwards by younger Russian historians to at least 25 million. "

    ? As far as I know, the opposite is actually the case and estimates of the numbers of victims of Stalinism have been revised downwards since the archives have been at least partially opened..."at least 25 million" seems like a massive exaggeration. What's the basis for that estimate?

    You would have to ask the appropriate folks at that particular newspaper for their ultimate source for that claim. I am waiting for citations in support of the counter-claims….

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    If you're referring to the Telegraph, I don't regard that newspaper as trustworthy...nowadays it just peddles Guardian-like political correctness mixed with demented war-mongering by lunatics like Con Coughlin. I'm not a Russophile, but any statement by them about Russia is suspect.
    I'm hardly an expert on Soviet history and I don't understand Russian, but I've read a bit of the new academic literature (notably that volume http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/beyond-totalitarianism-stalinism-and-nazism-compared )...seems to me, estimates like "at least 25 million dead" have been debunked. Of course Stalinism was still a criminal system, but it's important to get facts right.
    Also I don't understand your positive remarks about Hitler...the man wasn't as stupid as he is often portrayed nowadays, but he was a gambler, who only got as far as he did because of the incompetence of his enemies...he most certainly wasn't some sort of economic genius.
    , @silviosilver
    The most relevant section of J. Arch Getty's study based on data from Soviet archives states the following:

    Of course, aside from executions in the terror of 1937-1938, many others died in the regime's custody in the decade of the 1930s. If we add the figure we have for executions up to 1940 to the number of persons who died in GULAG camps and the few figures we have found so far on mortality in prisons and labor colonies,29 then add to this the number of peasants known to have died in exile, we reach the figure of 1,473,424. [...] Turning to executions and custodial deaths in the entire Stalin period, we know that, between 1934 and 1953, 1,053,829 persons died in the camps of the GULAG. We have data to the effect that some 86,582 people perished in prisons between 1939 and 1951.31 [...] Adding these figures together would produce a total of a little more than 2.3 million, but this can in no way be taken as an exact number. First of all, there is a possible overlap between the numbers given for GULAG camp deaths and "political" executions as well as between the latter and other victims of the 1937-1938 mass purges and perhaps also other categories falling under police jurisdiction. Double-counting would deflate the 2.3 million figure.
     
    Cited passage is on page 1024 of the following link http://www.cercec.fr/materiaux/doc_membres/Gabor%20RITTERSPORN/Victims%20of%20the%20Gulag.pdf
  75. @D. K.
    You would have to ask the appropriate folks at that particular newspaper for their ultimate source for that claim. I am waiting for citations in support of the counter-claims....

    If you’re referring to the Telegraph, I don’t regard that newspaper as trustworthy…nowadays it just peddles Guardian-like political correctness mixed with demented war-mongering by lunatics like Con Coughlin. I’m not a Russophile, but any statement by them about Russia is suspect.
    I’m hardly an expert on Soviet history and I don’t understand Russian, but I’ve read a bit of the new academic literature (notably that volume http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/beyond-totalitarianism-stalinism-and-nazism-compared )…seems to me, estimates like “at least 25 million dead” have been debunked. Of course Stalinism was still a criminal system, but it’s important to get facts right.
    Also I don’t understand your positive remarks about Hitler…the man wasn’t as stupid as he is often portrayed nowadays, but he was a gambler, who only got as far as he did because of the incompetence of his enemies…he most certainly wasn’t some sort of economic genius.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    I have explained my remarks about Hitler, over and over-- including my explicitly stating that I was not calling him either "brilliant" or "a genius," whether as a general characteristic of the man or as to some specific trait or ability, like his economic management or military leadership. The fact remains, in just a few years' time, his regime turned around both the German economy and the German mindset-- and that was not the result of his enemies' stupidity. In the same amount of time in office, the lauded, nearly deified, Franklin Roosevelt, in my own country, did nothing but flail about, and generally waste unprecedented amounts of borrowed money. In 1937, as he was starting his second term, the unemployment rate was back up around 17%, after four years of Keynesian-style deficit spending-- which he himself had run against, back in 1932. In order to counter deflation, his administration actually went around killing lifestock and destroying goods! If Hitler was merely luckier than Roosevelt, than luck indeed favors a prepared mind. At the end of the day, as someone trained in History, Psychology and Business Administration, inter alia, I simply find it very hard to believe that Herr Hitler was no smarter than, say, George W. Bush or O. J. Simpson!?!
    , @Sean

    Also I don’t understand your positive remarks about Hitler…the man wasn’t as stupid as he is often portrayed nowadays, but he was a gambler, who only got as far as he did because of the incompetence of his enemies…he most certainly wasn’t some sort of economic genius
     
    That is nonsense. or you are using words like gambler and incompetent in special senses. Hitler established himself as a leader and outmanoeuvred his many rivals on the right. On him becoming leader when Germany took (as it had a generation previously) what Mearsheimer calls a calculated risk. Countries react to enemies like a billiard ball (doesn't matter what politics are ) it did something that was simply logical

    Do people bother reading my comments or do they think it is all mere personal opinion? The enemies in the thirties were simple passing the buck (Stalin and Chamberlain were both trying to get THE OTHER TO GO TO WAR WITH GERMANY) but they never thought for one minute that Germany could do what it did (ie take neutralise the Western powers and then turn east). PREDICTIONS of THE FUTURE THINKS ARE BASED ON THE PREMISE IT WILL BE LIKE THE LAST TIME. But wars like next year's interest rates can not be predicted.

    Getting ready to fight the last war, Germany's enemies thought is would be a slow attrition of Germany like ww1, a futile war which no one involved would benefit from and Germany could never win. Read Carrol Quigley The Ango-American Establishment, John Mearshiemer The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.

    On how close Hitler came to success, and how his decision to halt the drive to Moscow RHS Stolfi is the world authority his the briefest account of the military possibilities is in Hitler: beyond evil and tyranny,but this may suffice http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/Articles/99spring/hooker.htm .

    Conquest was always an outlier in academia, and now he is again. There is a book Architects of Annihilation which says that the Nazis say d Soviet liquidation of useless eaters of the surplus in ruaral areas as the logical outcome of a correct economic analysis of rural overpopulation. What would the population of Russia be now if there had been no 20th century German attempt to move into living space in the east? Without the War and the revolution the Russian population would be vast. Ireland was an example of rural overpopulation, and famine was seen as an inevitable result, just like the Bengal famine during WW2 (. The Ukrainian famine was entirely deliberate and designed to kill off those who were eating up the surplus. The Nazis thought the Soviets had shown the way to cure the ‘rural overpopulation’ which the Nazis saw as the real problem holding back economic development in Eastern Europe.

    Last week, Russia’s lower house of parliament passed a resolution insisting that Josef Stalin’s man-made 1932-33 famine — called the Holodomor in Ukrainian — wasn’t genocide. Not even the Russians dispute that the Soviet government deliberately starved millions. But the Russian resolution indignantly states: “There is no historical proof that the famine was organized along ethnic lines.” It notes that victims included “different peoples and nationalities living largely in agricultural areas of the country.” Translation: We didn’t kill millions of farmers because they were Ukrainians; we killed millions of Ukrainians because they were farmers. And that’s all it takes to be acquitted of genocide. The United Nations defines genocide as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Left out of this definition are “modern” political labels for people: the poor, religious people, the middle class, etc. ADVERTISING The oversight was deliberate. The word “genocide” was coined by a Polish Jew, Raphael Lemkin, who was responding to Winston Churchill’s 1941 lament that “we are in the presence of a crime without a name.” Lemkin, a champion of human rights who lost 49 relatives in the Holocaust, gave it a name a few years later. But to get the U.N. to recognize genocide as a specific crime, he made compromises. Pressured by the Soviets, Lemkin supported excluding efforts to murder “political” groups from the U.N.’s 1948 resolution on genocide. Under the more narrow official definition, it’s genocide to try to wipe out Roma (formerly known as Gypsies), but it’s not necessarily genocide to liquidate, say, people without permanent addresses. You can’t slaughter “Catholics,” but you can wipe out “religious people” and dodge the genocide charge. Political scientist Gerard Alexander decries that type of absurdity as “Enlightenment bias.” Reviewing Samantha Power’s moving 2003 book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Alexander observed that this bias leaves the greatest mass murderers of the 20th century — self-described Marxist-Leninists — somewhat off the hook. In Power’s book, the most influential writing on genocide in a generation, she scolds — often justly — the U.S. for not doing more to stop systematized slaughter. But by focusing so narrowly on the U.N.-style definition of genocide, she implicitly upholds a moral hierarchy of evil, which in effect renders mass murder a second-tier crime if it’s done in the name of social progress, modernization, or other Enlightenment ideals. This is dangerous thinking; people perceived to be blocking progress — farmers, aristocrats, reactionaries — can be more forgivably slaughtered than ethnic groups because they’re allegedly part of the problem, not the solution. After all, you’ve got to break some eggs to make an omelet. For many, the Soviets and the Red Chinese elude the genocide charge because Communists were omelet-makers. Ukrainian kulaks, or independent farmers, opposed Stalin’s plan for collectivization, so they were murdered for that “greater good.” Today, Mao and Stalin aren’t in Hitler’s class of evil because Hitler wasn’t a “modernizer,” he was a racist. Note how the Russians have no problem copping to the charge of mass murder but recoil at suggestions it was racially motivated. It’s a wrongheaded distinction. Murder is murder, whether the motive is bigotry or the pursuit of allegedly enlightened social planning. It’s also a false distinction. Racial genocide is often rationalized as a form of progress by those responsible. Under the Holodomor, Ukrainian culture was systematically erased by the Russian Soviets, who saw it as expendable. No doubt the Sudanese janjaweed in Darfur and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Tibet believe they are “modernizers,” too. Or consider the ultimate racially motivated genocide, the Holocaust. Gotz Aly and Susanne Heim demonstrate in their brilliant book, Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the Logic of Destruction, that the Final Solution, particularly in Lemkin’s own Poland, was perceived by the young economists overseeing it as a “modernizing project that would transform society.” In Germany, the effort to crush Jewry was intertwined with the effort to nationalize the economy and eliminate small and independent businesses. For German social engineers, the Jews were convenient guinea pigs for their economic experiments. The first test cases were not the Jews but the mentally ill, who were classified as an economic liability — “useless bread-gobblers” — in Germany’s 1936 Four-Year Plan of economic modernization. The climate of anti-Semitism made the Holocaust possible, but so did Enlightenment bias, which holds that almost anything can be justified in the name of progress.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/224131/genocide-loophole-jonah-goldberg
     
  76. @German_reader
    If you're referring to the Telegraph, I don't regard that newspaper as trustworthy...nowadays it just peddles Guardian-like political correctness mixed with demented war-mongering by lunatics like Con Coughlin. I'm not a Russophile, but any statement by them about Russia is suspect.
    I'm hardly an expert on Soviet history and I don't understand Russian, but I've read a bit of the new academic literature (notably that volume http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/beyond-totalitarianism-stalinism-and-nazism-compared )...seems to me, estimates like "at least 25 million dead" have been debunked. Of course Stalinism was still a criminal system, but it's important to get facts right.
    Also I don't understand your positive remarks about Hitler...the man wasn't as stupid as he is often portrayed nowadays, but he was a gambler, who only got as far as he did because of the incompetence of his enemies...he most certainly wasn't some sort of economic genius.

    I have explained my remarks about Hitler, over and over– including my explicitly stating that I was not calling him either “brilliant” or “a genius,” whether as a general characteristic of the man or as to some specific trait or ability, like his economic management or military leadership. The fact remains, in just a few years’ time, his regime turned around both the German economy and the German mindset– and that was not the result of his enemies’ stupidity. In the same amount of time in office, the lauded, nearly deified, Franklin Roosevelt, in my own country, did nothing but flail about, and generally waste unprecedented amounts of borrowed money. In 1937, as he was starting his second term, the unemployment rate was back up around 17%, after four years of Keynesian-style deficit spending– which he himself had run against, back in 1932. In order to counter deflation, his administration actually went around killing lifestock and destroying goods! If Hitler was merely luckier than Roosevelt, than luck indeed favors a prepared mind. At the end of the day, as someone trained in History, Psychology and Business Administration, inter alia, I simply find it very hard to believe that Herr Hitler was no smarter than, say, George W. Bush or O. J. Simpson!?!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    You keep stressing what Germany had accomplished from 1933 to 1936 as if that was going to prove your point (your comments #13, #36, #47, #55), but you have provided exactly zero data to back it up. To make it even sillier, you picked specific dates (1/30/33 to 8/16/36), as if those dates, and not a week or month before or after, made any difference.

    I obtained some historical GDP data from World Economics (Maddison Historical GDP). You have to download an Excel file and do some calculations, which I did for Germany and USSR from 1900 to 1940 (data labels it USSR even before USSR was in existence). I can't make a table here, but here are per capita GDP figures for the two countries (year/GDP per capita in USD):
    Germany: 1900/2985; 1933/3556; 1936/4451; 1940/5403
    USSR: 1900/1237; 1933/1493; 1936/1991; 1940/2144

    Percentage growth (year 1/year 2: % total growth during the time period in question)
    Germany 1933/1936: 25%; 1900/1940: 81%
    USSR 1933/1936: 33%; 1900/1940: 73%

    So USSR grew faster than Germany from 1933 to 1936, even though Germany grew faster from 1900 to 1940.

    Btw, it's silly to pick such a short time period as 1933 to 1936; that's not even a whole economic cycle. But it's your pick, so you can keep it.

    Comparing USSR performance from 1917 to 1936 to German performance from 1933 to 1936 would also be silly, as those are different time periods. Even annualizing performance over those periods wouldn't make sense, since averaging over roughly two ten-year business cycles for USSR is not comparable to averaging over less than half of a business cycle for Germany. No mutual fund would ever present data that way.

    If you meant to prove that Germany was an economic miracle under Hitler's leadership compared to USSR and over a comparable time period (i.e. the only way it would make sense), you failed.

    As to your questions to Anatoly Karlin and Glossy, which country would they rather have lived in, Germany or USSR, I believe a normal, patriotic person would answer 'I would rather live in my country'. GDP isn't the only criterion by which one should pick where to live. You may disagree, in which case you can inform us when you plan to move to Monaco or Liechtenstein, depending on if you prefer beaches or ski slopes.

  77. @Glossy
    These aren't hypotheticals for me. None of my relatives had any trouble with the law during the Stalinist period. Having grown up in the USSR, I do not know anyone who knows anyone who had any member of their family shot or imprisoned under Stalin.

    One great-great-grandmother was killed by bandits (neither reds not whites) in 1921, during the Civil War. A husband of one of my great-aunts died during the Civil War as well.

    Two great-grandparents were killed by the Germans during WWII. They were quite old then. Missed the chance to evacuate and were killed during the occupation of their town.

    Maternal grandfather fought through the whole war, was wounded twice, came home alive. Paternal grandfather lost a foot in a train accident and had the other one mangled some years before the war, so he wasn't called up.

    Most of my grandparents' brothers fought, some were seriously wounded.

    Don't get me wrong, lots of people were killed by the state under Stalin. Many times fewer than during WWII and a lot fewer than during the Civil War, but it was still a lot of people. No one in my family tree though.

    Few my family members were deported to Syberia under Soviets. My grandfather stayed due to combination of bribes, help from local Belorussian peasants and some luck.

    I am Polish, though.

    In addition I think it was quite common that if your brother was shot, then you became suspected and had higher probability of being shot of deported. Without husband/father your chances to thrive (find a spouse) were much smaller. Hence I would guess much higher concentration of family members being shot/deported in some family lines.

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  78. @D. K.
    I have explained my remarks about Hitler, over and over-- including my explicitly stating that I was not calling him either "brilliant" or "a genius," whether as a general characteristic of the man or as to some specific trait or ability, like his economic management or military leadership. The fact remains, in just a few years' time, his regime turned around both the German economy and the German mindset-- and that was not the result of his enemies' stupidity. In the same amount of time in office, the lauded, nearly deified, Franklin Roosevelt, in my own country, did nothing but flail about, and generally waste unprecedented amounts of borrowed money. In 1937, as he was starting his second term, the unemployment rate was back up around 17%, after four years of Keynesian-style deficit spending-- which he himself had run against, back in 1932. In order to counter deflation, his administration actually went around killing lifestock and destroying goods! If Hitler was merely luckier than Roosevelt, than luck indeed favors a prepared mind. At the end of the day, as someone trained in History, Psychology and Business Administration, inter alia, I simply find it very hard to believe that Herr Hitler was no smarter than, say, George W. Bush or O. J. Simpson!?!

    You keep stressing what Germany had accomplished from 1933 to 1936 as if that was going to prove your point (your comments #13, #36, #47, #55), but you have provided exactly zero data to back it up. To make it even sillier, you picked specific dates (1/30/33 to 8/16/36), as if those dates, and not a week or month before or after, made any difference.

    I obtained some historical GDP data from World Economics (Maddison Historical GDP). You have to download an Excel file and do some calculations, which I did for Germany and USSR from 1900 to 1940 (data labels it USSR even before USSR was in existence). I can’t make a table here, but here are per capita GDP figures for the two countries (year/GDP per capita in USD):
    Germany: 1900/2985; 1933/3556; 1936/4451; 1940/5403
    USSR: 1900/1237; 1933/1493; 1936/1991; 1940/2144

    Percentage growth (year 1/year 2: % total growth during the time period in question)
    Germany 1933/1936: 25%; 1900/1940: 81%
    USSR 1933/1936: 33%; 1900/1940: 73%

    So USSR grew faster than Germany from 1933 to 1936, even though Germany grew faster from 1900 to 1940.

    Btw, it’s silly to pick such a short time period as 1933 to 1936; that’s not even a whole economic cycle. But it’s your pick, so you can keep it.

    Comparing USSR performance from 1917 to 1936 to German performance from 1933 to 1936 would also be silly, as those are different time periods. Even annualizing performance over those periods wouldn’t make sense, since averaging over roughly two ten-year business cycles for USSR is not comparable to averaging over less than half of a business cycle for Germany. No mutual fund would ever present data that way.

    If you meant to prove that Germany was an economic miracle under Hitler’s leadership compared to USSR and over a comparable time period (i.e. the only way it would make sense), you failed.

    As to your questions to Anatoly Karlin and Glossy, which country would they rather have lived in, Germany or USSR, I believe a normal, patriotic person would answer ‘I would rather live in my country’. GDP isn’t the only criterion by which one should pick where to live. You may disagree, in which case you can inform us when you plan to move to Monaco or Liechtenstein, depending on if you prefer beaches or ski slopes.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    I picked the dates because the former was when Adolf Hitler actually was appointed Chancellor of Germany, and the latter was when the Berlin Olympic Games of 1936 concluded, which the Third Reich had used to demonstrate to the visiting world the glory of the new Germany, under Hitler's rule. As someone with a basic university degree in History, that struck me as a reasonable way of framing the German rebound from the economic and social chaos of the late Weimar Republic. After nearly twenty years of Bolshevik and Communist rule, by that latter date, Russia / the Soviet Union was still an impoverished and backward society, ruled by wanton terror, and typified by terrifying want. Hitler's Germany still had its best days ahead of it, before World War II was to break out, while the Soviet Union was at the beginning of a new Reign of Terror.

    As everyone knows, the primary trick to outsize growth is to start from a low baseline. That is a trick that the Russian Communists-- like the Chinese of these past forty years-- had down pat. Despite their overwhelming advantage of starting out quite poor, compared to the Germans, the Soviets managed only marginally higher growth during those few years-- leaving them, still, quite poor, in 1936, in both nominal and comparable terms. They also kept their per capita GDP up by exterminating millions of their hapless subjects. What were the respective birthrates in the two countries, during those few years? What was the inflation rate, in Germany, in 1936? What had it been in 1932? How about in the Soviet Union? Whose masses were more economically secure and optimistic, in August 1936, the Germans' or the Soviets'? How about in August 1939? Which country's citizens overwhelming supported their government, in 1936 and 1939, and which country's subjects would have preferred another choice, if not denied one altogether?

    I most heartily agree that GDP is not the sole-- nor even the best-- criterion for choosing where to live, let alone to which country one ought to give one's allegiance. That is why many, if not most, immigrants to the United States, in the current tsunami wave, come here for economic reasons, yet feel that their primary, if not sole, allegiance lies elsewhere. That is why I am a paleoliberal American nationalist, rather than a neoliberal Globalist, and why I oppose mass immigration, to or from anywhere, on principle. I was not asking, above, whether a German or Russian, of that era, should want to live in his own country or an alien, often hostile, one. I was asking whether any one of us would rather have been a patriotic German, living in Hitler's Germany, or, instead, a patriotic Russian, living in Stalin's Soviet Union. I think one's answer to that is very revealing....
  79. @German_reader
    If you're referring to the Telegraph, I don't regard that newspaper as trustworthy...nowadays it just peddles Guardian-like political correctness mixed with demented war-mongering by lunatics like Con Coughlin. I'm not a Russophile, but any statement by them about Russia is suspect.
    I'm hardly an expert on Soviet history and I don't understand Russian, but I've read a bit of the new academic literature (notably that volume http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/beyond-totalitarianism-stalinism-and-nazism-compared )...seems to me, estimates like "at least 25 million dead" have been debunked. Of course Stalinism was still a criminal system, but it's important to get facts right.
    Also I don't understand your positive remarks about Hitler...the man wasn't as stupid as he is often portrayed nowadays, but he was a gambler, who only got as far as he did because of the incompetence of his enemies...he most certainly wasn't some sort of economic genius.

    Also I don’t understand your positive remarks about Hitler…the man wasn’t as stupid as he is often portrayed nowadays, but he was a gambler, who only got as far as he did because of the incompetence of his enemies…he most certainly wasn’t some sort of economic genius

    That is nonsense. or you are using words like gambler and incompetent in special senses. Hitler established himself as a leader and outmanoeuvred his many rivals on the right. On him becoming leader when Germany took (as it had a generation previously) what Mearsheimer calls a calculated risk. Countries react to enemies like a billiard ball (doesn’t matter what politics are ) it did something that was simply logical

    Do people bother reading my comments or do they think it is all mere personal opinion? The enemies in the thirties were simple passing the buck (Stalin and Chamberlain were both trying to get THE OTHER TO GO TO WAR WITH GERMANY) but they never thought for one minute that Germany could do what it did (ie take neutralise the Western powers and then turn east). PREDICTIONS of THE FUTURE THINKS ARE BASED ON THE PREMISE IT WILL BE LIKE THE LAST TIME. But wars like next year’s interest rates can not be predicted.

    Getting ready to fight the last war, Germany’s enemies thought is would be a slow attrition of Germany like ww1, a futile war which no one involved would benefit from and Germany could never win. Read Carrol Quigley The Ango-American Establishment, John Mearshiemer The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.

    On how close Hitler came to success, and how his decision to halt the drive to Moscow RHS Stolfi is the world authority his the briefest account of the military possibilities is in Hitler: beyond evil and tyranny,but this may suffice http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/Articles/99spring/hooker.htm .

    Conquest was always an outlier in academia, and now he is again. There is a book Architects of Annihilation which says that the Nazis say d Soviet liquidation of useless eaters of the surplus in ruaral areas as the logical outcome of a correct economic analysis of rural overpopulation. What would the population of Russia be now if there had been no 20th century German attempt to move into living space in the east? Without the War and the revolution the Russian population would be vast. Ireland was an example of rural overpopulation, and famine was seen as an inevitable result, just like the Bengal famine during WW2 (. The Ukrainian famine was entirely deliberate and designed to kill off those who were eating up the surplus. The Nazis thought the Soviets had shown the way to cure the ‘rural overpopulation’ which the Nazis saw as the real problem holding back economic development in Eastern Europe.

    Last week, Russia’s lower house of parliament passed a resolution insisting that Josef Stalin’s man-made 1932-33 famine — called the Holodomor in Ukrainian — wasn’t genocide. Not even the Russians dispute that the Soviet government deliberately starved millions. But the Russian resolution indignantly states: “There is no historical proof that the famine was organized along ethnic lines.” It notes that victims included “different peoples and nationalities living largely in agricultural areas of the country.” Translation: We didn’t kill millions of farmers because they were Ukrainians; we killed millions of Ukrainians because they were farmers. And that’s all it takes to be acquitted of genocide. The United Nations defines genocide as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Left out of this definition are “modern” political labels for people: the poor, religious people, the middle class, etc. ADVERTISING The oversight was deliberate. The word “genocide” was coined by a Polish Jew, Raphael Lemkin, who was responding to Winston Churchill’s 1941 lament that “we are in the presence of a crime without a name.” Lemkin, a champion of human rights who lost 49 relatives in the Holocaust, gave it a name a few years later. But to get the U.N. to recognize genocide as a specific crime, he made compromises. Pressured by the Soviets, Lemkin supported excluding efforts to murder “political” groups from the U.N.’s 1948 resolution on genocide. Under the more narrow official definition, it’s genocide to try to wipe out Roma (formerly known as Gypsies), but it’s not necessarily genocide to liquidate, say, people without permanent addresses. You can’t slaughter “Catholics,” but you can wipe out “religious people” and dodge the genocide charge. Political scientist Gerard Alexander decries that type of absurdity as “Enlightenment bias.” Reviewing Samantha Power’s moving 2003 book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Alexander observed that this bias leaves the greatest mass murderers of the 20th century — self-described Marxist-Leninists — somewhat off the hook. In Power’s book, the most influential writing on genocide in a generation, she scolds — often justly — the U.S. for not doing more to stop systematized slaughter. But by focusing so narrowly on the U.N.-style definition of genocide, she implicitly upholds a moral hierarchy of evil, which in effect renders mass murder a second-tier crime if it’s done in the name of social progress, modernization, or other Enlightenment ideals. This is dangerous thinking; people perceived to be blocking progress — farmers, aristocrats, reactionaries — can be more forgivably slaughtered than ethnic groups because they’re allegedly part of the problem, not the solution. After all, you’ve got to break some eggs to make an omelet. For many, the Soviets and the Red Chinese elude the genocide charge because Communists were omelet-makers. Ukrainian kulaks, or independent farmers, opposed Stalin’s plan for collectivization, so they were murdered for that “greater good.” Today, Mao and Stalin aren’t in Hitler’s class of evil because Hitler wasn’t a “modernizer,” he was a racist. Note how the Russians have no problem copping to the charge of mass murder but recoil at suggestions it was racially motivated. It’s a wrongheaded distinction. Murder is murder, whether the motive is bigotry or the pursuit of allegedly enlightened social planning. It’s also a false distinction. Racial genocide is often rationalized as a form of progress by those responsible. Under the Holodomor, Ukrainian culture was systematically erased by the Russian Soviets, who saw it as expendable. No doubt the Sudanese janjaweed in Darfur and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Tibet believe they are “modernizers,” too. Or consider the ultimate racially motivated genocide, the Holocaust. Gotz Aly and Susanne Heim demonstrate in their brilliant book, Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the Logic of Destruction, that the Final Solution, particularly in Lemkin’s own Poland, was perceived by the young economists overseeing it as a “modernizing project that would transform society.” In Germany, the effort to crush Jewry was intertwined with the effort to nationalize the economy and eliminate small and independent businesses. For German social engineers, the Jews were convenient guinea pigs for their economic experiments. The first test cases were not the Jews but the mentally ill, who were classified as an economic liability — “useless bread-gobblers” — in Germany’s 1936 Four-Year Plan of economic modernization. The climate of anti-Semitism made the Holocaust possible, but so did Enlightenment bias, which holds that almost anything can be justified in the name of progress.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/224131/genocide-loophole-jonah-goldberg

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    • Replies: @iffen
    Killing people because of what they think is some sort of progress over killing people because of their race, religion, ethnicity, etc.
  80. Otto Ohlendorf

    At the end of 1943, Ohlendorf, in addition to his other jobs, became deputy secretary of state in the Reichsministerium für Wirtschaft (Reichs-Ministry for Economics). He coordinated plans to rebuild the German economy after the war, a war he and others believed to be lost. Such planning for the post-war time was strictly forbidden, on one side. {…] , Heinrich Himmler, who detested the state interventionist regime of Albert Speer as “totally bolshevik” … [Himmler] protected the working group around Ohlendorf and Ludwig Erhard and other experts, who planned how to introduce the new German currency Deutsche Mark, among other things. Ohlendorf himself spoke out for “active and courageous entrepreneurship (aktives und wagemutiges Unternehmertum)”, which was intended to replace bureaucratic state planning of the economy after the war.

    .

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  81. @Anatoly Karlin
    Worth noting that Nabokov is pretty unique in being a highly eminent writer not just in one but in TWO languages.

    Although I am sorry not to have read any of his novels to date, this alone implies that he had an absolutely stellar intellect.

    There were many smart Nazis. This guy might have been the smartest of them all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Teichm%C3%BCller But 30%-40% of the German population were Nazis, so I don't see how this fact is all that remarkable. What's of greater interest are the IQs of the leadership.

    Although I am sorry not to have read any of his novels to date, this alone implies that he had an absolutely stellar intellect.

    The fact that you haven’t read any of his novels implies that he had a stellar intellect? Or the fact that you’re sorry you haven’t yet read them? Either way, that’s some highly unusual reasoning.

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  82. @Sean

    Also I don’t understand your positive remarks about Hitler…the man wasn’t as stupid as he is often portrayed nowadays, but he was a gambler, who only got as far as he did because of the incompetence of his enemies…he most certainly wasn’t some sort of economic genius
     
    That is nonsense. or you are using words like gambler and incompetent in special senses. Hitler established himself as a leader and outmanoeuvred his many rivals on the right. On him becoming leader when Germany took (as it had a generation previously) what Mearsheimer calls a calculated risk. Countries react to enemies like a billiard ball (doesn't matter what politics are ) it did something that was simply logical

    Do people bother reading my comments or do they think it is all mere personal opinion? The enemies in the thirties were simple passing the buck (Stalin and Chamberlain were both trying to get THE OTHER TO GO TO WAR WITH GERMANY) but they never thought for one minute that Germany could do what it did (ie take neutralise the Western powers and then turn east). PREDICTIONS of THE FUTURE THINKS ARE BASED ON THE PREMISE IT WILL BE LIKE THE LAST TIME. But wars like next year's interest rates can not be predicted.

    Getting ready to fight the last war, Germany's enemies thought is would be a slow attrition of Germany like ww1, a futile war which no one involved would benefit from and Germany could never win. Read Carrol Quigley The Ango-American Establishment, John Mearshiemer The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.

    On how close Hitler came to success, and how his decision to halt the drive to Moscow RHS Stolfi is the world authority his the briefest account of the military possibilities is in Hitler: beyond evil and tyranny,but this may suffice http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/Articles/99spring/hooker.htm .

    Conquest was always an outlier in academia, and now he is again. There is a book Architects of Annihilation which says that the Nazis say d Soviet liquidation of useless eaters of the surplus in ruaral areas as the logical outcome of a correct economic analysis of rural overpopulation. What would the population of Russia be now if there had been no 20th century German attempt to move into living space in the east? Without the War and the revolution the Russian population would be vast. Ireland was an example of rural overpopulation, and famine was seen as an inevitable result, just like the Bengal famine during WW2 (. The Ukrainian famine was entirely deliberate and designed to kill off those who were eating up the surplus. The Nazis thought the Soviets had shown the way to cure the ‘rural overpopulation’ which the Nazis saw as the real problem holding back economic development in Eastern Europe.

    Last week, Russia’s lower house of parliament passed a resolution insisting that Josef Stalin’s man-made 1932-33 famine — called the Holodomor in Ukrainian — wasn’t genocide. Not even the Russians dispute that the Soviet government deliberately starved millions. But the Russian resolution indignantly states: “There is no historical proof that the famine was organized along ethnic lines.” It notes that victims included “different peoples and nationalities living largely in agricultural areas of the country.” Translation: We didn’t kill millions of farmers because they were Ukrainians; we killed millions of Ukrainians because they were farmers. And that’s all it takes to be acquitted of genocide. The United Nations defines genocide as the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Left out of this definition are “modern” political labels for people: the poor, religious people, the middle class, etc. ADVERTISING The oversight was deliberate. The word “genocide” was coined by a Polish Jew, Raphael Lemkin, who was responding to Winston Churchill’s 1941 lament that “we are in the presence of a crime without a name.” Lemkin, a champion of human rights who lost 49 relatives in the Holocaust, gave it a name a few years later. But to get the U.N. to recognize genocide as a specific crime, he made compromises. Pressured by the Soviets, Lemkin supported excluding efforts to murder “political” groups from the U.N.’s 1948 resolution on genocide. Under the more narrow official definition, it’s genocide to try to wipe out Roma (formerly known as Gypsies), but it’s not necessarily genocide to liquidate, say, people without permanent addresses. You can’t slaughter “Catholics,” but you can wipe out “religious people” and dodge the genocide charge. Political scientist Gerard Alexander decries that type of absurdity as “Enlightenment bias.” Reviewing Samantha Power’s moving 2003 book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Alexander observed that this bias leaves the greatest mass murderers of the 20th century — self-described Marxist-Leninists — somewhat off the hook. In Power’s book, the most influential writing on genocide in a generation, she scolds — often justly — the U.S. for not doing more to stop systematized slaughter. But by focusing so narrowly on the U.N.-style definition of genocide, she implicitly upholds a moral hierarchy of evil, which in effect renders mass murder a second-tier crime if it’s done in the name of social progress, modernization, or other Enlightenment ideals. This is dangerous thinking; people perceived to be blocking progress — farmers, aristocrats, reactionaries — can be more forgivably slaughtered than ethnic groups because they’re allegedly part of the problem, not the solution. After all, you’ve got to break some eggs to make an omelet. For many, the Soviets and the Red Chinese elude the genocide charge because Communists were omelet-makers. Ukrainian kulaks, or independent farmers, opposed Stalin’s plan for collectivization, so they were murdered for that “greater good.” Today, Mao and Stalin aren’t in Hitler’s class of evil because Hitler wasn’t a “modernizer,” he was a racist. Note how the Russians have no problem copping to the charge of mass murder but recoil at suggestions it was racially motivated. It’s a wrongheaded distinction. Murder is murder, whether the motive is bigotry or the pursuit of allegedly enlightened social planning. It’s also a false distinction. Racial genocide is often rationalized as a form of progress by those responsible. Under the Holodomor, Ukrainian culture was systematically erased by the Russian Soviets, who saw it as expendable. No doubt the Sudanese janjaweed in Darfur and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Tibet believe they are “modernizers,” too. Or consider the ultimate racially motivated genocide, the Holocaust. Gotz Aly and Susanne Heim demonstrate in their brilliant book, Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the Logic of Destruction, that the Final Solution, particularly in Lemkin’s own Poland, was perceived by the young economists overseeing it as a “modernizing project that would transform society.” In Germany, the effort to crush Jewry was intertwined with the effort to nationalize the economy and eliminate small and independent businesses. For German social engineers, the Jews were convenient guinea pigs for their economic experiments. The first test cases were not the Jews but the mentally ill, who were classified as an economic liability — “useless bread-gobblers” — in Germany’s 1936 Four-Year Plan of economic modernization. The climate of anti-Semitism made the Holocaust possible, but so did Enlightenment bias, which holds that almost anything can be justified in the name of progress.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/224131/genocide-loophole-jonah-goldberg
     

    Killing people because of what they think is some sort of progress over killing people because of their race, religion, ethnicity, etc.

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  83. @D. K.
    You would have to ask the appropriate folks at that particular newspaper for their ultimate source for that claim. I am waiting for citations in support of the counter-claims....

    The most relevant section of J. Arch Getty’s study based on data from Soviet archives states the following:

    Of course, aside from executions in the terror of 1937-1938, many others died in the regime’s custody in the decade of the 1930s. If we add the figure we have for executions up to 1940 to the number of persons who died in GULAG camps and the few figures we have found so far on mortality in prisons and labor colonies,29 then add to this the number of peasants known to have died in exile, we reach the figure of 1,473,424. [...] Turning to executions and custodial deaths in the entire Stalin period, we know that, between 1934 and 1953, 1,053,829 persons died in the camps of the GULAG. We have data to the effect that some 86,582 people perished in prisons between 1939 and 1951.31 [...] Adding these figures together would produce a total of a little more than 2.3 million, but this can in no way be taken as an exact number. First of all, there is a possible overlap between the numbers given for GULAG camp deaths and “political” executions as well as between the latter and other victims of the 1937-1938 mass purges and perhaps also other categories falling under police jurisdiction. Double-counting would deflate the 2.3 million figure.

    Cited passage is on page 1024 of the following link http://www.cercec.fr/materiaux/doc_membres/Gabor%20RITTERSPORN/Victims%20of%20the%20Gulag.pdf

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    • Replies: @silviosilver
    Let's try that again. Here.
    , @D. K.
    You think that all summary executions were duly recorded, during Stalin's reign? You think that the millions of Soviet subjects who died of starvation, and other forms of government-contrived deprivation, during the Stalin era, were not victims of his dictatorial rule? Funny, because every Jew, Gypsy, Communist, Socialist, trade unionist, homosexual, handicapped / differently abled person, or political dissenter, of whatever stripe, who died in Germany, or in German-occupied territory, during the twelve-plus years of the Third Reich, seems to be designated, these days, as having been "murdered" by Adolf Hitler!?!
  84. @silviosilver
    The most relevant section of J. Arch Getty's study based on data from Soviet archives states the following:

    Of course, aside from executions in the terror of 1937-1938, many others died in the regime's custody in the decade of the 1930s. If we add the figure we have for executions up to 1940 to the number of persons who died in GULAG camps and the few figures we have found so far on mortality in prisons and labor colonies,29 then add to this the number of peasants known to have died in exile, we reach the figure of 1,473,424. [...] Turning to executions and custodial deaths in the entire Stalin period, we know that, between 1934 and 1953, 1,053,829 persons died in the camps of the GULAG. We have data to the effect that some 86,582 people perished in prisons between 1939 and 1951.31 [...] Adding these figures together would produce a total of a little more than 2.3 million, but this can in no way be taken as an exact number. First of all, there is a possible overlap between the numbers given for GULAG camp deaths and "political" executions as well as between the latter and other victims of the 1937-1938 mass purges and perhaps also other categories falling under police jurisdiction. Double-counting would deflate the 2.3 million figure.
     
    Cited passage is on page 1024 of the following link http://www.cercec.fr/materiaux/doc_membres/Gabor%20RITTERSPORN/Victims%20of%20the%20Gulag.pdf

    Let’s try that again. Here.

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  85. He was by mid WWII also a meth-addict who had to use sleeping pills. His quack doctor prescribed it to him.

    His judgment going to shit was probably not just victory disease…

    We’re lucky the Nazis didn’t have a health-nut in charge.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    He had fought his way into a position where his one mistake altered world history An IQ of 125 would be a lower limit, but possible, because Hitler flunked four years in junior high, scraping through with resits.

    BTW, Julius Streicher was tested in prison and probably while not at his best. He was an elementary school teacher (like his father), and a lieutenant in WW1. Streicher established a personal following (he doubled the early Hitler movement when joined with his men) and seems to have been a reasonably competent writer and journal editor in his subgenre of one. Nothing about him suggests he had was exceeded by Charles Manson, who scored 121 on an IQ test.

  86. @B.R.
    He was by mid WWII also a meth-addict who had to use sleeping pills. His quack doctor prescribed it to him.

    His judgment going to shit was probably not just victory disease...

    We're lucky the Nazis didn't have a health-nut in charge.

    He had fought his way into a position where his one mistake altered world history An IQ of 125 would be a lower limit, but possible, because Hitler flunked four years in junior high, scraping through with resits.

    BTW, Julius Streicher was tested in prison and probably while not at his best. He was an elementary school teacher (like his father), and a lieutenant in WW1. Streicher established a personal following (he doubled the early Hitler movement when joined with his men) and seems to have been a reasonably competent writer and journal editor in his subgenre of one. Nothing about him suggests he had was exceeded by Charles Manson, who scored 121 on an IQ test.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    He had fought his way into a position where his one mistake altered world history
     
    But (speaking in general) winning power struggles is not highly g-loaded. It isn't perhaps so much that IQ doesn't make a difference but rather that it can make an adverse difference. If you've ever had the misfortune to work in a large organization, you'll know there are always alliances and power struggles, and the winner is often a dimwit. This is partly because dimwits can assemble alliances because their intellects challenge no one.

    Consider the pre-Stalin power struggle between Stalin, Bukharin, and Trotsky. Bukharin was smart; Trotsky brilliant; Stalin (almost) universally recognized as a mediocrity. If you read their works, the intellectual difference is enormous.

    Yet Bukharin was got a bullet and Trotsky the ice pick.

  87. @Mark Eugenikos
    You keep stressing what Germany had accomplished from 1933 to 1936 as if that was going to prove your point (your comments #13, #36, #47, #55), but you have provided exactly zero data to back it up. To make it even sillier, you picked specific dates (1/30/33 to 8/16/36), as if those dates, and not a week or month before or after, made any difference.

    I obtained some historical GDP data from World Economics (Maddison Historical GDP). You have to download an Excel file and do some calculations, which I did for Germany and USSR from 1900 to 1940 (data labels it USSR even before USSR was in existence). I can't make a table here, but here are per capita GDP figures for the two countries (year/GDP per capita in USD):
    Germany: 1900/2985; 1933/3556; 1936/4451; 1940/5403
    USSR: 1900/1237; 1933/1493; 1936/1991; 1940/2144

    Percentage growth (year 1/year 2: % total growth during the time period in question)
    Germany 1933/1936: 25%; 1900/1940: 81%
    USSR 1933/1936: 33%; 1900/1940: 73%

    So USSR grew faster than Germany from 1933 to 1936, even though Germany grew faster from 1900 to 1940.

    Btw, it's silly to pick such a short time period as 1933 to 1936; that's not even a whole economic cycle. But it's your pick, so you can keep it.

    Comparing USSR performance from 1917 to 1936 to German performance from 1933 to 1936 would also be silly, as those are different time periods. Even annualizing performance over those periods wouldn't make sense, since averaging over roughly two ten-year business cycles for USSR is not comparable to averaging over less than half of a business cycle for Germany. No mutual fund would ever present data that way.

    If you meant to prove that Germany was an economic miracle under Hitler's leadership compared to USSR and over a comparable time period (i.e. the only way it would make sense), you failed.

    As to your questions to Anatoly Karlin and Glossy, which country would they rather have lived in, Germany or USSR, I believe a normal, patriotic person would answer 'I would rather live in my country'. GDP isn't the only criterion by which one should pick where to live. You may disagree, in which case you can inform us when you plan to move to Monaco or Liechtenstein, depending on if you prefer beaches or ski slopes.

    I picked the dates because the former was when Adolf Hitler actually was appointed Chancellor of Germany, and the latter was when the Berlin Olympic Games of 1936 concluded, which the Third Reich had used to demonstrate to the visiting world the glory of the new Germany, under Hitler’s rule. As someone with a basic university degree in History, that struck me as a reasonable way of framing the German rebound from the economic and social chaos of the late Weimar Republic. After nearly twenty years of Bolshevik and Communist rule, by that latter date, Russia / the Soviet Union was still an impoverished and backward society, ruled by wanton terror, and typified by terrifying want. Hitler’s Germany still had its best days ahead of it, before World War II was to break out, while the Soviet Union was at the beginning of a new Reign of Terror.

    As everyone knows, the primary trick to outsize growth is to start from a low baseline. That is a trick that the Russian Communists– like the Chinese of these past forty years– had down pat. Despite their overwhelming advantage of starting out quite poor, compared to the Germans, the Soviets managed only marginally higher growth during those few years– leaving them, still, quite poor, in 1936, in both nominal and comparable terms. They also kept their per capita GDP up by exterminating millions of their hapless subjects. What were the respective birthrates in the two countries, during those few years? What was the inflation rate, in Germany, in 1936? What had it been in 1932? How about in the Soviet Union? Whose masses were more economically secure and optimistic, in August 1936, the Germans’ or the Soviets’? How about in August 1939? Which country’s citizens overwhelming supported their government, in 1936 and 1939, and which country’s subjects would have preferred another choice, if not denied one altogether?

    I most heartily agree that GDP is not the sole– nor even the best– criterion for choosing where to live, let alone to which country one ought to give one’s allegiance. That is why many, if not most, immigrants to the United States, in the current tsunami wave, come here for economic reasons, yet feel that their primary, if not sole, allegiance lies elsewhere. That is why I am a paleoliberal American nationalist, rather than a neoliberal Globalist, and why I oppose mass immigration, to or from anywhere, on principle. I was not asking, above, whether a German or Russian, of that era, should want to live in his own country or an alien, often hostile, one. I was asking whether any one of us would rather have been a patriotic German, living in Hitler’s Germany, or, instead, a patriotic Russian, living in Stalin’s Soviet Union. I think one’s answer to that is very revealing….

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    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos

    What were the respective birthrates in the two countries, during those few years? What was the inflation rate, in Germany, in 1936? What had it been in 1932? How about in the Soviet Union? Whose masses were more economically secure and optimistic, in August 1936, the Germans’ or the Soviets’? How about in August 1939? Which country’s citizens overwhelming supported their government, in 1936 and 1939, and which country’s subjects would have preferred another choice, if not denied one altogether?
     
    I don't know, and apparently you don't either. You have decided what the answer should be without any facts, so I don't expect you to spend the effort to find the facts to prove or disprove your choice.

    You have decided that 25% economic growth under brilliant management of Herr Hitler is more impressive than 33% economic growth under incompetent management of that monster Stalin, because... because... because you like Hitler's mustache better.

    You know what they say about lawyers: if you have the law, pound the law; if you have the facts, pound the facts; if you have neither, pound the table. In this discussion the law is not relevant and I have the facts, so you're pounding the table.
  88. @silviosilver
    The most relevant section of J. Arch Getty's study based on data from Soviet archives states the following:

    Of course, aside from executions in the terror of 1937-1938, many others died in the regime's custody in the decade of the 1930s. If we add the figure we have for executions up to 1940 to the number of persons who died in GULAG camps and the few figures we have found so far on mortality in prisons and labor colonies,29 then add to this the number of peasants known to have died in exile, we reach the figure of 1,473,424. [...] Turning to executions and custodial deaths in the entire Stalin period, we know that, between 1934 and 1953, 1,053,829 persons died in the camps of the GULAG. We have data to the effect that some 86,582 people perished in prisons between 1939 and 1951.31 [...] Adding these figures together would produce a total of a little more than 2.3 million, but this can in no way be taken as an exact number. First of all, there is a possible overlap between the numbers given for GULAG camp deaths and "political" executions as well as between the latter and other victims of the 1937-1938 mass purges and perhaps also other categories falling under police jurisdiction. Double-counting would deflate the 2.3 million figure.
     
    Cited passage is on page 1024 of the following link http://www.cercec.fr/materiaux/doc_membres/Gabor%20RITTERSPORN/Victims%20of%20the%20Gulag.pdf

    You think that all summary executions were duly recorded, during Stalin’s reign? You think that the millions of Soviet subjects who died of starvation, and other forms of government-contrived deprivation, during the Stalin era, were not victims of his dictatorial rule? Funny, because every Jew, Gypsy, Communist, Socialist, trade unionist, homosexual, handicapped / differently abled person, or political dissenter, of whatever stripe, who died in Germany, or in German-occupied territory, during the twelve-plus years of the Third Reich, seems to be designated, these days, as having been “murdered” by Adolf Hitler!?!

    Read More
    • Replies: @silviosilver

    You think that all summary executions were duly recorded, during Stalin’s reign? You think that the millions of Soviet subjects who died of starvation, and other forms of government-contrived deprivation, during the Stalin era, were not victims of his dictatorial rule?
     
    I obviously have no way of knowing how many executions may have gone unrecorded, but then I fail to see how anyone else does either. Basing my opinion on what the existing evidence demonstrates seems a more reasonable approach to me than proclaiming Robert Conquest says 20 million victims, so 20 million victims it is.

    I don't think the millions of famine victims can be laid at Stalin's feet, no. I'm not convinced by claims of a 'terror famine' in the Ukraine. These people died as a result of the fantastically irrational economic policies, and the fantastically irrational mindset that upheld them, common to communist rule everywhere.
  89. @D. K.
    I picked the dates because the former was when Adolf Hitler actually was appointed Chancellor of Germany, and the latter was when the Berlin Olympic Games of 1936 concluded, which the Third Reich had used to demonstrate to the visiting world the glory of the new Germany, under Hitler's rule. As someone with a basic university degree in History, that struck me as a reasonable way of framing the German rebound from the economic and social chaos of the late Weimar Republic. After nearly twenty years of Bolshevik and Communist rule, by that latter date, Russia / the Soviet Union was still an impoverished and backward society, ruled by wanton terror, and typified by terrifying want. Hitler's Germany still had its best days ahead of it, before World War II was to break out, while the Soviet Union was at the beginning of a new Reign of Terror.

    As everyone knows, the primary trick to outsize growth is to start from a low baseline. That is a trick that the Russian Communists-- like the Chinese of these past forty years-- had down pat. Despite their overwhelming advantage of starting out quite poor, compared to the Germans, the Soviets managed only marginally higher growth during those few years-- leaving them, still, quite poor, in 1936, in both nominal and comparable terms. They also kept their per capita GDP up by exterminating millions of their hapless subjects. What were the respective birthrates in the two countries, during those few years? What was the inflation rate, in Germany, in 1936? What had it been in 1932? How about in the Soviet Union? Whose masses were more economically secure and optimistic, in August 1936, the Germans' or the Soviets'? How about in August 1939? Which country's citizens overwhelming supported their government, in 1936 and 1939, and which country's subjects would have preferred another choice, if not denied one altogether?

    I most heartily agree that GDP is not the sole-- nor even the best-- criterion for choosing where to live, let alone to which country one ought to give one's allegiance. That is why many, if not most, immigrants to the United States, in the current tsunami wave, come here for economic reasons, yet feel that their primary, if not sole, allegiance lies elsewhere. That is why I am a paleoliberal American nationalist, rather than a neoliberal Globalist, and why I oppose mass immigration, to or from anywhere, on principle. I was not asking, above, whether a German or Russian, of that era, should want to live in his own country or an alien, often hostile, one. I was asking whether any one of us would rather have been a patriotic German, living in Hitler's Germany, or, instead, a patriotic Russian, living in Stalin's Soviet Union. I think one's answer to that is very revealing....

    What were the respective birthrates in the two countries, during those few years? What was the inflation rate, in Germany, in 1936? What had it been in 1932? How about in the Soviet Union? Whose masses were more economically secure and optimistic, in August 1936, the Germans’ or the Soviets’? How about in August 1939? Which country’s citizens overwhelming supported their government, in 1936 and 1939, and which country’s subjects would have preferred another choice, if not denied one altogether?

    I don’t know, and apparently you don’t either. You have decided what the answer should be without any facts, so I don’t expect you to spend the effort to find the facts to prove or disprove your choice.

    You have decided that 25% economic growth under brilliant management of Herr Hitler is more impressive than 33% economic growth under incompetent management of that monster Stalin, because… because… because you like Hitler’s mustache better.

    You know what they say about lawyers: if you have the law, pound the law; if you have the facts, pound the facts; if you have neither, pound the table. In this discussion the law is not relevant and I have the facts, so you’re pounding the table.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    ...because… because… because you like Hitler’s mustache better.
     

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ocr.12055/ For example, at the same time the overall face increased in relative breadth, the philtrum became both narrower and longer as 2D:4D decreased. This suggests that prenatal androgens may influence facial development in a modular manner, with discrete effects on different anatomical components of the face.
     
    , @D. K.
    My asking pertinent questions, to put your asserted figures of +25% versus +33% into meaningful economic perspective, is the equivalent of an attorney's literally pounding the table, in a court of law, in lieu of his presenting either admissible evidence or a reasoned argument, before the court? You will forgive me, as a retired attorney, with an M.B.A., inter alia, for having overlooked that obvious analogy....

    Try this:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/BSPDRWeltkriseEngl.PNG

  90. @Mark Eugenikos

    What were the respective birthrates in the two countries, during those few years? What was the inflation rate, in Germany, in 1936? What had it been in 1932? How about in the Soviet Union? Whose masses were more economically secure and optimistic, in August 1936, the Germans’ or the Soviets’? How about in August 1939? Which country’s citizens overwhelming supported their government, in 1936 and 1939, and which country’s subjects would have preferred another choice, if not denied one altogether?
     
    I don't know, and apparently you don't either. You have decided what the answer should be without any facts, so I don't expect you to spend the effort to find the facts to prove or disprove your choice.

    You have decided that 25% economic growth under brilliant management of Herr Hitler is more impressive than 33% economic growth under incompetent management of that monster Stalin, because... because... because you like Hitler's mustache better.

    You know what they say about lawyers: if you have the law, pound the law; if you have the facts, pound the facts; if you have neither, pound the table. In this discussion the law is not relevant and I have the facts, so you're pounding the table.

    …because… because… because you like Hitler’s mustache better.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ocr.12055/ For example, at the same time the overall face increased in relative breadth, the philtrum became both narrower and longer as 2D:4D decreased. This suggests that prenatal androgens may influence facial development in a modular manner, with discrete effects on different anatomical components of the face.

    Read More
  91. @Mark Eugenikos

    What were the respective birthrates in the two countries, during those few years? What was the inflation rate, in Germany, in 1936? What had it been in 1932? How about in the Soviet Union? Whose masses were more economically secure and optimistic, in August 1936, the Germans’ or the Soviets’? How about in August 1939? Which country’s citizens overwhelming supported their government, in 1936 and 1939, and which country’s subjects would have preferred another choice, if not denied one altogether?
     
    I don't know, and apparently you don't either. You have decided what the answer should be without any facts, so I don't expect you to spend the effort to find the facts to prove or disprove your choice.

    You have decided that 25% economic growth under brilliant management of Herr Hitler is more impressive than 33% economic growth under incompetent management of that monster Stalin, because... because... because you like Hitler's mustache better.

    You know what they say about lawyers: if you have the law, pound the law; if you have the facts, pound the facts; if you have neither, pound the table. In this discussion the law is not relevant and I have the facts, so you're pounding the table.

    My asking pertinent questions, to put your asserted figures of +25% versus +33% into meaningful economic perspective, is the equivalent of an attorney’s literally pounding the table, in a court of law, in lieu of his presenting either admissible evidence or a reasoned argument, before the court? You will forgive me, as a retired attorney, with an M.B.A., inter alia, for having overlooked that obvious analogy….

    Try this:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/BSPDRWeltkriseEngl.PNG

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    There's also this, of course:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Arbeitslosenquote_1928_bis_1935.png
    , @Mark Eugenikos
    Your questions are not pertinent at present; you are asking those questions to divert attention, not to inform. If you find data to back up the assertions posited in those questions, then they may become pertinent.

    My asserted figures are based on publicly available data. If you find a different data source that contains GDP figures for both Germany and USSR so that they can be compared, please post the link. The graphs you linked are not admissible; the second one doesn't say what it's about, and the first one shows GDP for Germany only. I am sure you understand that, in order to make a comparison between A and B, you need data for both, preferably from the same source using the same methodology. You can't make a comparison without having something to compare against.

    is the equivalent of an attorney’s literally pounding the table,
     
    No, it's the equivalent of an attorney figuratively pounding the table.
  92. @D. K.
    My asking pertinent questions, to put your asserted figures of +25% versus +33% into meaningful economic perspective, is the equivalent of an attorney's literally pounding the table, in a court of law, in lieu of his presenting either admissible evidence or a reasoned argument, before the court? You will forgive me, as a retired attorney, with an M.B.A., inter alia, for having overlooked that obvious analogy....

    Try this:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/BSPDRWeltkriseEngl.PNG

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    Sorry, that comes up, as is, unlabeled: the annual unemployment rates, in Germany, from 1928 through 1935.
  93. @Sean

    ...because… because… because you like Hitler’s mustache better.
     

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ocr.12055/ For example, at the same time the overall face increased in relative breadth, the philtrum became both narrower and longer as 2D:4D decreased. This suggests that prenatal androgens may influence facial development in a modular manner, with discrete effects on different anatomical components of the face.
     

    I didn’t make the connection, sorry.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    http://racehist.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/testosterone-miscellany.html As summarized by Bass, numerous studies have correlated leadership with 'ambition, initiative and persistence' (opposite of passivity), 'speed and accuracy of thought', 'finality of decision,' or decisiveness (the opposite of ambivalence), 'mood control, optimism and sense of humor' (opposite of anhedonia), etc.. The cognitive styles, including a proficiency to quickly shift attention, of several famous leaders are used as examples of this contrasting model. Julius Caesar and Napoleon, for instance, could dictate to up to six secretaries simultaneously, using their exceptional working memories, and proficiency in quickly and effortlessly shifting attention while flawlessly gating irrelevant external and internal stimuli. [...] Gray et al noted positive correlations between 'dominance', an important leadership trait, and serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone (T),
     

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ocr.12055/ For example, at the same time the overall face increased in relative breadth, the philtrum became both narrower and longer as 2D:4D decreased. This suggests that prenatal androgens may influence facial development in a modular manner, with discrete effects on different anatomical components of the face
     
    Under Hitler's moustache was his philtrum.
  94. @D. K.
    There's also this, of course:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Arbeitslosenquote_1928_bis_1935.png

    Sorry, that comes up, as is, unlabeled: the annual unemployment rates, in Germany, from 1928 through 1935.

    Read More
  95. @D. K.
    My asking pertinent questions, to put your asserted figures of +25% versus +33% into meaningful economic perspective, is the equivalent of an attorney's literally pounding the table, in a court of law, in lieu of his presenting either admissible evidence or a reasoned argument, before the court? You will forgive me, as a retired attorney, with an M.B.A., inter alia, for having overlooked that obvious analogy....

    Try this:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/BSPDRWeltkriseEngl.PNG

    Your questions are not pertinent at present; you are asking those questions to divert attention, not to inform. If you find data to back up the assertions posited in those questions, then they may become pertinent.

    My asserted figures are based on publicly available data. If you find a different data source that contains GDP figures for both Germany and USSR so that they can be compared, please post the link. The graphs you linked are not admissible; the second one doesn’t say what it’s about, and the first one shows GDP for Germany only. I am sure you understand that, in order to make a comparison between A and B, you need data for both, preferably from the same source using the same methodology. You can’t make a comparison without having something to compare against.

    is the equivalent of an attorney’s literally pounding the table,

    No, it’s the equivalent of an attorney figuratively pounding the table.

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    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
    • Replies: @D. K.
    It's harder than you might think:

    "Unemployment stopped to exist 83 years ago. It happened only in one country and only in official reports, but the story about was still preserved. On March 13, 1930, the last Labor Exchange in the Soviet Union closed (in Moscow). After that, the Soviet Union declared itself the world's first country that finally put an end to unemployment."

    [ http://english.pravda.ru/russia/economics/14-03-2013/124070-ussr_unemployment-0/ ]

    As for Soviet economic growth, it rather depends upon whom you ask-- or, more to the point, upon whom you trust:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Graph_of_Soviet_National_Income_Growth.png

    Regardless, I think that the German Gross National Product chart that I linked to, above, in combination with the (unlabeled) unemployment chart that I then appended, is reasonably sufficient to demonstrate that the German economy rebounded dramatically during the first couple of years of the Hitler regime. The comparison between the Soviets and the Germans, generally, or between Stalin and Hitler, specifically, is a side issue, since it is the IQ of Adolf Hitler, irrespective of that of Joseph Stalin, that is the contentious issue of this particular blog post. The performance of the German economy, in the mid-1930s, under Hitler, compared to its performance in the early-1930s, during the Weimar Republic, does not dissuade me from my belief that Adolf Hitler was smarter than George W. Bush or O. J. Simpson.
    , @D. K.
    By the way, how does an actual attorney, in an actual courtroom, figuratively pound the table, and still match the well-known legal advice that you yourself recited, above?

    "You know what they say about lawyers: if you have the law, pound the law; if you have the facts, pound the facts; if you have neither, pound the table."
  96. @Sean
    He had fought his way into a position where his one mistake altered world history An IQ of 125 would be a lower limit, but possible, because Hitler flunked four years in junior high, scraping through with resits.

    BTW, Julius Streicher was tested in prison and probably while not at his best. He was an elementary school teacher (like his father), and a lieutenant in WW1. Streicher established a personal following (he doubled the early Hitler movement when joined with his men) and seems to have been a reasonably competent writer and journal editor in his subgenre of one. Nothing about him suggests he had was exceeded by Charles Manson, who scored 121 on an IQ test.

    He had fought his way into a position where his one mistake altered world history

    But (speaking in general) winning power struggles is not highly g-loaded. It isn’t perhaps so much that IQ doesn’t make a difference but rather that it can make an adverse difference. If you’ve ever had the misfortune to work in a large organization, you’ll know there are always alliances and power struggles, and the winner is often a dimwit. This is partly because dimwits can assemble alliances because their intellects challenge no one.

    Consider the pre-Stalin power struggle between Stalin, Bukharin, and Trotsky. Bukharin was smart; Trotsky brilliant; Stalin (almost) universally recognized as a mediocrity. If you read their works, the intellectual difference is enormous.

    Yet Bukharin was got a bullet and Trotsky the ice pick.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    When a furious Lenin (wanted, so disguised in a in a wig) went to see why his cells in the city had not risen in revolt, he was stopped by one of the last police patrols of Kerensky, who had already fled the winter palace.

    Trotsky spent most of early career mocking the Bolshevik mainstream's ideas and they never forgave him. Stalin was unwittingly handed a key position by Lenin that gave Stalin the allegiance of the national party delegates (he gave them their jobs so he was the one they supported), which was an catastrophic blunder by Lenin. Trotsky and Lenin were theoreticians (backed by Germany) they had the most fantastic ideas about society.

    Hitler was very lucky to survive the war, and had many rivals in the early days. He had combat and political skill far beyond the ordinary person . Of course he was lucky but he was also very good at what he did. He made really smart decisions like not joining the national campaign against the French occupation along with the rest of the far right and the communists which was supported by the government. The communists were Hitler's enemy, and his greatest asset. Anti-Semitism and played a much smaller role in his rhetoric coming to power than most historian have allowed. He downplayed it and the demand for war until he got in then the Germans who voted for him got a lot more than they had bargained for

    http://racehist.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/testosterone-miscellany.html Associational loosening, slow and faulty information processing, poor gating of irrelevant stimuli, poor ability to shift attention, poor working memory, passivity, ambivalence, anhedonia, and impaired motor coordination are cardinal features of schizophrenia but, unlike delusions and hallucinations, they are related more to negative/deficit symptoms. As summarized by Bass, numerous studies have correlated leadership with 'ambition, initiative and persistence' (opposite of passivity), 'speed and accuracy of thought', 'finality of decision,' or decisiveness (the opposite of ambivalence), 'mood control, optimism and sense of humor' (opposite of anhedonia), etc. Andreasen et al postulate that a disruption in the circuitry among nodes located in the prefrontal regions, the thalamic nuclei, and the cerebellum produces 'cognitive dysmetria', meaning difficulty in prioritizing, coordinating, and responding to information, and that it can account for the broad diversity of symptoms of schizophrenia. A relationship between cognitive processes and cerebellar and basal ganglia functions, and a role of neocerebellum in rapidly shifting attention, have been demonstrated. The cognitive styles, including a proficiency to quickly shift attention, of several famous leaders are used as examples of this contrasting model. Julius Caesar and Napoleon, for instance, could dictate to up to six secretaries simultaneously, using their exceptional working memories, and proficiency in quickly and effortlessly shifting attention while flawlessly gating irrelevant external and internal stimuli. It is suggested that specific brain imaging studies could illustrate this contrast. Gray et al noted positive correlations between 'dominance', an important leadership trait, and serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone (T),
     

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ocr.12055/ For example, at the same time the overall face increased in relative breadth, the philtrum became both narrower and longer as 2D:4D decreased. This suggests that prenatal androgens may influence facial development in a modular manner, with discrete effects on different anatomical components of the face
     
    Hitler's moustache hid a long narrow philtrum. If people had seen it they would have thought 'I would not put anything past this man'.
  97. @Mark Eugenikos
    Your questions are not pertinent at present; you are asking those questions to divert attention, not to inform. If you find data to back up the assertions posited in those questions, then they may become pertinent.

    My asserted figures are based on publicly available data. If you find a different data source that contains GDP figures for both Germany and USSR so that they can be compared, please post the link. The graphs you linked are not admissible; the second one doesn't say what it's about, and the first one shows GDP for Germany only. I am sure you understand that, in order to make a comparison between A and B, you need data for both, preferably from the same source using the same methodology. You can't make a comparison without having something to compare against.

    is the equivalent of an attorney’s literally pounding the table,
     
    No, it's the equivalent of an attorney figuratively pounding the table.

    It’s harder than you might think:

    “Unemployment stopped to exist 83 years ago. It happened only in one country and only in official reports, but the story about was still preserved. On March 13, 1930, the last Labor Exchange in the Soviet Union closed (in Moscow). After that, the Soviet Union declared itself the world’s first country that finally put an end to unemployment.”

    [ https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Graph_of_Soviet_National_Income_Growth.png

    Regardless, I think that the German Gross National Product chart that I linked to, above, in combination with the (unlabeled) unemployment chart that I then appended, is reasonably sufficient to demonstrate that the German economy rebounded dramatically during the first couple of years of the Hitler regime. The comparison between the Soviets and the Germans, generally, or between Stalin and Hitler, specifically, is a side issue, since it is the IQ of Adolf Hitler, irrespective of that of Joseph Stalin, that is the contentious issue of this particular blog post. The performance of the German economy, in the mid-1930s, under Hitler, compared to its performance in the early-1930s, during the Weimar Republic, does not dissuade me from my belief that Adolf Hitler was smarter than George W. Bush or O. J. Simpson.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos

    It’s harder than you might think:
     
    Why should I care? You're the one who chose to make that comparison.

    The comparison between the Soviets and the Germans, generally, or between Stalin and Hitler, specifically, is a side issue, since it is the IQ of Adolf Hitler, irrespective of that of Joseph Stalin, that is the contentious issue of this particular blog post.
     
    Yet you kept insisting, in multiple comments, how Hitler's brilliant economic leadership resulted in superior German economic performance. When you thought you had a winning argument you kept pushing it and praising Hitler's leadership, but when you realized the data didn't support your assertion then it became a side issue.

    Hey look, a squirrel!
  98. @D. K.
    It's harder than you might think:

    "Unemployment stopped to exist 83 years ago. It happened only in one country and only in official reports, but the story about was still preserved. On March 13, 1930, the last Labor Exchange in the Soviet Union closed (in Moscow). After that, the Soviet Union declared itself the world's first country that finally put an end to unemployment."

    [ http://english.pravda.ru/russia/economics/14-03-2013/124070-ussr_unemployment-0/ ]

    As for Soviet economic growth, it rather depends upon whom you ask-- or, more to the point, upon whom you trust:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Graph_of_Soviet_National_Income_Growth.png

    Regardless, I think that the German Gross National Product chart that I linked to, above, in combination with the (unlabeled) unemployment chart that I then appended, is reasonably sufficient to demonstrate that the German economy rebounded dramatically during the first couple of years of the Hitler regime. The comparison between the Soviets and the Germans, generally, or between Stalin and Hitler, specifically, is a side issue, since it is the IQ of Adolf Hitler, irrespective of that of Joseph Stalin, that is the contentious issue of this particular blog post. The performance of the German economy, in the mid-1930s, under Hitler, compared to its performance in the early-1930s, during the Weimar Republic, does not dissuade me from my belief that Adolf Hitler was smarter than George W. Bush or O. J. Simpson.

    It’s harder than you might think:

    Why should I care? You’re the one who chose to make that comparison.

    The comparison between the Soviets and the Germans, generally, or between Stalin and Hitler, specifically, is a side issue, since it is the IQ of Adolf Hitler, irrespective of that of Joseph Stalin, that is the contentious issue of this particular blog post.

    Yet you kept insisting, in multiple comments, how Hitler’s brilliant economic leadership resulted in superior German economic performance. When you thought you had a winning argument you kept pushing it and praising Hitler’s leadership, but when you realized the data didn’t support your assertion then it became a side issue.

    Hey look, a squirrel!

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    I kept insisting, in multiple comments, that I was not calling Hitler "brilliant," either as a general comment on his intellect, or as a specific comment on any particular trait, such as his economic management or his military leadership. I have provided data demonstrating the obvious success of the German economy, in the early years of the Hitler regime. I also have provided data calling into question the actual performance of the Soviet economy, showing its growing, according to non-Soviet sources, at only a minor fraction of the rates claimed by Stalin's own government (which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    "Hey look, Mark Eugenikos!"
  99. @Mark Eugenikos
    Your questions are not pertinent at present; you are asking those questions to divert attention, not to inform. If you find data to back up the assertions posited in those questions, then they may become pertinent.

    My asserted figures are based on publicly available data. If you find a different data source that contains GDP figures for both Germany and USSR so that they can be compared, please post the link. The graphs you linked are not admissible; the second one doesn't say what it's about, and the first one shows GDP for Germany only. I am sure you understand that, in order to make a comparison between A and B, you need data for both, preferably from the same source using the same methodology. You can't make a comparison without having something to compare against.

    is the equivalent of an attorney’s literally pounding the table,
     
    No, it's the equivalent of an attorney figuratively pounding the table.

    By the way, how does an actual attorney, in an actual courtroom, figuratively pound the table, and still match the well-known legal advice that you yourself recited, above?

    “You know what they say about lawyers: if you have the law, pound the law; if you have the facts, pound the facts; if you have neither, pound the table.”

    Read More
  100. @Mark Eugenikos

    It’s harder than you might think:
     
    Why should I care? You're the one who chose to make that comparison.

    The comparison between the Soviets and the Germans, generally, or between Stalin and Hitler, specifically, is a side issue, since it is the IQ of Adolf Hitler, irrespective of that of Joseph Stalin, that is the contentious issue of this particular blog post.
     
    Yet you kept insisting, in multiple comments, how Hitler's brilliant economic leadership resulted in superior German economic performance. When you thought you had a winning argument you kept pushing it and praising Hitler's leadership, but when you realized the data didn't support your assertion then it became a side issue.

    Hey look, a squirrel!

    I kept insisting, in multiple comments, that I was not calling Hitler “brilliant,” either as a general comment on his intellect, or as a specific comment on any particular trait, such as his economic management or his military leadership. I have provided data demonstrating the obvious success of the German economy, in the early years of the Hitler regime. I also have provided data calling into question the actual performance of the Soviet economy, showing its growing, according to non-Soviet sources, at only a minor fraction of the rates claimed by Stalin’s own government (which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    “Hey look, Mark Eugenikos!”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    Hey look, ad hominem!
    , @Glossy
    which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    There was no unemployment in the post-WWII USSR at all. I was there. Also no homelessness, advertising, prostitution, gambling or drugs. If you don't know THAT (and the exclamation point a the end of the quoted sentence implies that you really, really don't know it), then why are you discussing this subject at all? You have close to zero information about it.
  101. @D. K.
    I kept insisting, in multiple comments, that I was not calling Hitler "brilliant," either as a general comment on his intellect, or as a specific comment on any particular trait, such as his economic management or his military leadership. I have provided data demonstrating the obvious success of the German economy, in the early years of the Hitler regime. I also have provided data calling into question the actual performance of the Soviet economy, showing its growing, according to non-Soviet sources, at only a minor fraction of the rates claimed by Stalin's own government (which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    "Hey look, Mark Eugenikos!"

    Hey look, ad hominem!

    Read More
  102. @D. K.
    You think that all summary executions were duly recorded, during Stalin's reign? You think that the millions of Soviet subjects who died of starvation, and other forms of government-contrived deprivation, during the Stalin era, were not victims of his dictatorial rule? Funny, because every Jew, Gypsy, Communist, Socialist, trade unionist, homosexual, handicapped / differently abled person, or political dissenter, of whatever stripe, who died in Germany, or in German-occupied territory, during the twelve-plus years of the Third Reich, seems to be designated, these days, as having been "murdered" by Adolf Hitler!?!

    You think that all summary executions were duly recorded, during Stalin’s reign? You think that the millions of Soviet subjects who died of starvation, and other forms of government-contrived deprivation, during the Stalin era, were not victims of his dictatorial rule?

    I obviously have no way of knowing how many executions may have gone unrecorded, but then I fail to see how anyone else does either. Basing my opinion on what the existing evidence demonstrates seems a more reasonable approach to me than proclaiming Robert Conquest says 20 million victims, so 20 million victims it is.

    I don’t think the millions of famine victims can be laid at Stalin’s feet, no. I’m not convinced by claims of a ‘terror famine’ in the Ukraine. These people died as a result of the fantastically irrational economic policies, and the fantastically irrational mindset that upheld them, common to communist rule everywhere.

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    From "across the pond" from us Americans, just last week:

    "An estimated 20 million people died during Stalin's reign of terror. At the height of the terror, in the 1930s, victims accused of plotting against Soviet power were executed en masse."

    [ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34675413 ]

    Take your pick: the recently deceased, conservative, Anglo-American historian, Robert Conquest; or, a straight-news story from the politically correct, left-wing British Broadcasting Corporation-- the public-service broadcaster for the nation whose then-empire allied itself with Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union, et al., against the nations of Germany, Italy, Japan, et al., back in the 1940s.
    , @reiner Tor
    OTOH I'd think that you cannot say that the victims of the fantastically irrational policy were not the victims of the dictator who devised and implemented those very same fantastically irrational policies.

    Moreover, it was also several deliberate decisions on the part of the Soviet leadership, e.g. when people started fleeing the famine-stricken areas they made a political decision to prevent the trains from stopping in rural or small town stations there, and started employing armed guards to stop people from boarding those trains. They also organized large police actions in big cities to find and deport back to the famine-stricken areas the people who nevertheless managed to get into the cities. To say that victims of the famine were not victims of Stalin seems just bizarre to me.

    The 1921 famine was maybe less political in nature, but 1) it was still caused by some fantastically irrational economic policies devised and implemented by the Bolshevik leadership and 2) it also had more deliberate elements e.g. when the government deliberatley confiscated all available grains from certain areas because they noticed that wherever famine struck, the "green" (peasant) uprising subsided.
    , @reiner Tor
    Another point is that the last great famine in Czarist Russia (in the 1890s) took roughly half a million victims. This is dwarfed by both big Soviet famines (1921 and 1933) which also highlights the abnormality of these famines.
  103. @Stephen R. Diamond

    He had fought his way into a position where his one mistake altered world history
     
    But (speaking in general) winning power struggles is not highly g-loaded. It isn't perhaps so much that IQ doesn't make a difference but rather that it can make an adverse difference. If you've ever had the misfortune to work in a large organization, you'll know there are always alliances and power struggles, and the winner is often a dimwit. This is partly because dimwits can assemble alliances because their intellects challenge no one.

    Consider the pre-Stalin power struggle between Stalin, Bukharin, and Trotsky. Bukharin was smart; Trotsky brilliant; Stalin (almost) universally recognized as a mediocrity. If you read their works, the intellectual difference is enormous.

    Yet Bukharin was got a bullet and Trotsky the ice pick.

    When a furious Lenin (wanted, so disguised in a in a wig) went to see why his cells in the city had not risen in revolt, he was stopped by one of the last police patrols of Kerensky, who had already fled the winter palace.

    Trotsky spent most of early career mocking the Bolshevik mainstream’s ideas and they never forgave him. Stalin was unwittingly handed a key position by Lenin that gave Stalin the allegiance of the national party delegates (he gave them their jobs so he was the one they supported), which was an catastrophic blunder by Lenin. Trotsky and Lenin were theoreticians (backed by Germany) they had the most fantastic ideas about society.

    Hitler was very lucky to survive the war, and had many rivals in the early days. He had combat and political skill far beyond the ordinary person . Of course he was lucky but he was also very good at what he did. He made really smart decisions like not joining the national campaign against the French occupation along with the rest of the far right and the communists which was supported by the government. The communists were Hitler’s enemy, and his greatest asset. Anti-Semitism and played a much smaller role in his rhetoric coming to power than most historian have allowed. He downplayed it and the demand for war until he got in then the Germans who voted for him got a lot more than they had bargained for

    http://racehist.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/testosterone-miscellany.html Associational loosening, slow and faulty information processing, poor gating of irrelevant stimuli, poor ability to shift attention, poor working memory, passivity, ambivalence, anhedonia, and impaired motor coordination are cardinal features of schizophrenia but, unlike delusions and hallucinations, they are related more to negative/deficit symptoms. As summarized by Bass, numerous studies have correlated leadership with ‘ambition, initiative and persistence’ (opposite of passivity), ‘speed and accuracy of thought’, ‘finality of decision,’ or decisiveness (the opposite of ambivalence), ‘mood control, optimism and sense of humor’ (opposite of anhedonia), etc. Andreasen et al postulate that a disruption in the circuitry among nodes located in the prefrontal regions, the thalamic nuclei, and the cerebellum produces ‘cognitive dysmetria’, meaning difficulty in prioritizing, coordinating, and responding to information, and that it can account for the broad diversity of symptoms of schizophrenia. A relationship between cognitive processes and cerebellar and basal ganglia functions, and a role of neocerebellum in rapidly shifting attention, have been demonstrated. The cognitive styles, including a proficiency to quickly shift attention, of several famous leaders are used as examples of this contrasting model. Julius Caesar and Napoleon, for instance, could dictate to up to six secretaries simultaneously, using their exceptional working memories, and proficiency in quickly and effortlessly shifting attention while flawlessly gating irrelevant external and internal stimuli. It is suggested that specific brain imaging studies could illustrate this contrast. Gray et al noted positive correlations between ‘dominance’, an important leadership trait, and serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone (T),

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ocr.12055/ For example, at the same time the overall face increased in relative breadth, the philtrum became both narrower and longer as 2D:4D decreased. This suggests that prenatal androgens may influence facial development in a modular manner, with discrete effects on different anatomical components of the face

    Hitler’s moustache hid a long narrow philtrum. If people had seen it they would have thought ‘I would not put anything past this man’.

    Read More
  104. @Mark Eugenikos
    I didn't make the connection, sorry.

    http://racehist.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/testosterone-miscellany.html As summarized by Bass, numerous studies have correlated leadership with ‘ambition, initiative and persistence’ (opposite of passivity), ‘speed and accuracy of thought’, ‘finality of decision,’ or decisiveness (the opposite of ambivalence), ‘mood control, optimism and sense of humor’ (opposite of anhedonia), etc.. The cognitive styles, including a proficiency to quickly shift attention, of several famous leaders are used as examples of this contrasting model. Julius Caesar and Napoleon, for instance, could dictate to up to six secretaries simultaneously, using their exceptional working memories, and proficiency in quickly and effortlessly shifting attention while flawlessly gating irrelevant external and internal stimuli. [...] Gray et al noted positive correlations between ‘dominance’, an important leadership trait, and serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone (T),

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ocr.12055/ For example, at the same time the overall face increased in relative breadth, the philtrum became both narrower and longer as 2D:4D decreased. This suggests that prenatal androgens may influence facial development in a modular manner, with discrete effects on different anatomical components of the face

    Under Hitler’s moustache was his philtrum.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    Thank you for explaining that.

    Hitler’s moustache hid a long narrow philtrum. If people had seen it they would have thought ‘I would not put anything past this man’.
     
    I don't think I am able to analyze faces that way, at least not rationally. I have no idea, without looking at pictures, what my family's and friends' philtrums look like. I have horrible time even remembering people's eye color. But I do remember faces in their totalities, not as individual elements put together.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    When a furious Lenin (wanted, so disguised in a in a wig) went to see why his cells in the city had not risen in revolt, he was stopped by one of the last police patrols of Kerensky, who had already fled the winter palace.
     
    You've lost me as to the relevance of this anecdote.
  105. @D. K.
    I kept insisting, in multiple comments, that I was not calling Hitler "brilliant," either as a general comment on his intellect, or as a specific comment on any particular trait, such as his economic management or his military leadership. I have provided data demonstrating the obvious success of the German economy, in the early years of the Hitler regime. I also have provided data calling into question the actual performance of the Soviet economy, showing its growing, according to non-Soviet sources, at only a minor fraction of the rates claimed by Stalin's own government (which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    "Hey look, Mark Eugenikos!"

    which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    There was no unemployment in the post-WWII USSR at all. I was there. Also no homelessness, advertising, prostitution, gambling or drugs. If you don’t know THAT (and the exclamation point a the end of the quoted sentence implies that you really, really don’t know it), then why are you discussing this subject at all? You have close to zero information about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    Did "Uncle Joe" chip in any kopeks for your botched lobotomy, comrade?
    , @Mark Eugenikos
    Glossy, you are wasting your time arguing with D.K. He has already decided what the "reality" is. Providing him with facts that contradict his "reality" is not going to change his opinion; he's just going to get angrier with you and come up with even more convoluted reasoning as to why he is correct and you are not. He reminds me, in that regard, to the person who used to post under the alias "HA". I wonder if it is the same person. Same manner, same obliviousness to facts and reason and absolute lack of ability to ever admit he's not correct about something.
    , @Mark Eugenikos
    Uh, now that we are apparently allies (see #112), I need to ask for some favors. Can you get me a good deal on a case of Русский стандарт Imperia? Maybe some diamonds too. I'll be sending you a longer list just as soon as I get my act together. In return I can offer strategically located land somewhere in Europe for... you know that thing we talked about.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond
    When did they introduce advertising? [I always wondered how a supposedly socialist regime justified the practice.]
  106. @silviosilver

    You think that all summary executions were duly recorded, during Stalin’s reign? You think that the millions of Soviet subjects who died of starvation, and other forms of government-contrived deprivation, during the Stalin era, were not victims of his dictatorial rule?
     
    I obviously have no way of knowing how many executions may have gone unrecorded, but then I fail to see how anyone else does either. Basing my opinion on what the existing evidence demonstrates seems a more reasonable approach to me than proclaiming Robert Conquest says 20 million victims, so 20 million victims it is.

    I don't think the millions of famine victims can be laid at Stalin's feet, no. I'm not convinced by claims of a 'terror famine' in the Ukraine. These people died as a result of the fantastically irrational economic policies, and the fantastically irrational mindset that upheld them, common to communist rule everywhere.

    From “across the pond” from us Americans, just last week:

    “An estimated 20 million people died during Stalin’s reign of terror. At the height of the terror, in the 1930s, victims accused of plotting against Soviet power were executed en masse.”

    [ Read More

  107. @Glossy
    which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    There was no unemployment in the post-WWII USSR at all. I was there. Also no homelessness, advertising, prostitution, gambling or drugs. If you don't know THAT (and the exclamation point a the end of the quoted sentence implies that you really, really don't know it), then why are you discussing this subject at all? You have close to zero information about it.

    Did “Uncle Joe” chip in any kopeks for your botched lobotomy, comrade?

    Read More
  108. @Sean

    http://racehist.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/testosterone-miscellany.html As summarized by Bass, numerous studies have correlated leadership with 'ambition, initiative and persistence' (opposite of passivity), 'speed and accuracy of thought', 'finality of decision,' or decisiveness (the opposite of ambivalence), 'mood control, optimism and sense of humor' (opposite of anhedonia), etc.. The cognitive styles, including a proficiency to quickly shift attention, of several famous leaders are used as examples of this contrasting model. Julius Caesar and Napoleon, for instance, could dictate to up to six secretaries simultaneously, using their exceptional working memories, and proficiency in quickly and effortlessly shifting attention while flawlessly gating irrelevant external and internal stimuli. [...] Gray et al noted positive correlations between 'dominance', an important leadership trait, and serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone (T),
     

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ocr.12055/ For example, at the same time the overall face increased in relative breadth, the philtrum became both narrower and longer as 2D:4D decreased. This suggests that prenatal androgens may influence facial development in a modular manner, with discrete effects on different anatomical components of the face
     
    Under Hitler's moustache was his philtrum.

    Thank you for explaining that.

    Hitler’s moustache hid a long narrow philtrum. If people had seen it they would have thought ‘I would not put anything past this man’.

    I don’t think I am able to analyze faces that way, at least not rationally. I have no idea, without looking at pictures, what my family’s and friends’ philtrums look like. I have horrible time even remembering people’s eye color. But I do remember faces in their totalities, not as individual elements put together.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    'Twas not I who brought up the moustache. Anyway, most people instinctively know certain features mark the bearer as a man to be feared.
  109. @Glossy
    which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    There was no unemployment in the post-WWII USSR at all. I was there. Also no homelessness, advertising, prostitution, gambling or drugs. If you don't know THAT (and the exclamation point a the end of the quoted sentence implies that you really, really don't know it), then why are you discussing this subject at all? You have close to zero information about it.

    Glossy, you are wasting your time arguing with D.K. He has already decided what the “reality” is. Providing him with facts that contradict his “reality” is not going to change his opinion; he’s just going to get angrier with you and come up with even more convoluted reasoning as to why he is correct and you are not. He reminds me, in that regard, to the person who used to post under the alias “HA”. I wonder if it is the same person. Same manner, same obliviousness to facts and reason and absolute lack of ability to ever admit he’s not correct about something.

    Read More
    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
    • Replies: @D. K.
    Are you now agreeing with your ally's most recent claims, too, Mr. Eugenikos?

    "There was no unemployment in the post-WWII USSR at all. I was there. Also no homelessness, advertising, prostitution, gambling or drugs."

    If so, then you are apparently as mentally defective as the superannuated Stalinist himself!?! (That is merely a semi-professional opinion, on my part, of course, since I only earned a Master of Science degree, not a doctorate, in Personality and Social Psychology, before my heading off to law school, back in the early 1980s....)

    As for my supposedly "convoluted reasoning," I have provided two publicly available charts that clearly demonstrate the German economy's dramatic rebound, in the first few years of the Hitler regime, along with another chart showing how specious the Soviet government's own economic figures are believed to have been, both by the American C.I.A., and by a still-living Russian economist, G. I. Khanin ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigorii_Khanin ). You and your allies have provided zero evidence, whether statistical or historical, to disprove, or even to challenge, my own (historically orthodox) claims about the German economic recovery of the mid-1930s, under the newly installed Hitler regime.

    Your evidence, on the side issue of the Soviet Union's economy-- kept alive, from an off-hand comment of mine, by the same Stalinist ally to whom you just responded-- has consisted of only your own claim to having made calculations, of your own, in a spreadsheet, of your own, using data, of an unknown origin, contained in a .pdf document found at a site of your own choosing. You have not responded, to date, to the aforementioned chart showing that the C.I.A. believed that the Soviet government's claimed growth of nearly 14%, from 1928 through 1940, was more than double the C.I.A.'s own estimate of about 6% growth, over that entire twelve-year period, let alone of the Khanin recalculations, from 1987, that placed the Soviet Union's actual economic growth, during that entire twelve-year period, at only about 3%-- barely over one-fifth of what the Soviets themselves had originally claimed! So, whose economic figures went into your own spreadsheet, to come out with your original claim of 33% growth in per capita GDP, in the Soviet Union, from 1933 through 1936, versus only 25% growth, in Germany, during the same time period? Again, it is a side issue, kept alive only by you and your superannuated Stalinist ally; but, I see no reason, as of yet, to concede even that much to you.

    As for the number of Stalin's victims, I have already posted links to three recent news articles, all listing figures of twenty million or more victims.
  110. @Mark Eugenikos
    Thank you for explaining that.

    Hitler’s moustache hid a long narrow philtrum. If people had seen it they would have thought ‘I would not put anything past this man’.
     
    I don't think I am able to analyze faces that way, at least not rationally. I have no idea, without looking at pictures, what my family's and friends' philtrums look like. I have horrible time even remembering people's eye color. But I do remember faces in their totalities, not as individual elements put together.

    ‘Twas not I who brought up the moustache. Anyway, most people instinctively know certain features mark the bearer as a man to be feared.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    I brought up the mustache, I guess, but you brought up the science about it.
  111. @Mark Eugenikos
    Glossy, you are wasting your time arguing with D.K. He has already decided what the "reality" is. Providing him with facts that contradict his "reality" is not going to change his opinion; he's just going to get angrier with you and come up with even more convoluted reasoning as to why he is correct and you are not. He reminds me, in that regard, to the person who used to post under the alias "HA". I wonder if it is the same person. Same manner, same obliviousness to facts and reason and absolute lack of ability to ever admit he's not correct about something.

    Are you now agreeing with your ally’s most recent claims, too, Mr. Eugenikos?

    “There was no unemployment in the post-WWII USSR at all. I was there. Also no homelessness, advertising, prostitution, gambling or drugs.”

    If so, then you are apparently as mentally defective as the superannuated Stalinist himself!?! (That is merely a semi-professional opinion, on my part, of course, since I only earned a Master of Science degree, not a doctorate, in Personality and Social Psychology, before my heading off to law school, back in the early 1980s….)

    As for my supposedly “convoluted reasoning,” I have provided two publicly available charts that clearly demonstrate the German economy’s dramatic rebound, in the first few years of the Hitler regime, along with another chart showing how specious the Soviet government’s own economic figures are believed to have been, both by the American C.I.A., and by a still-living Russian economist, G. I. Khanin ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigorii_Khanin ). You and your allies have provided zero evidence, whether statistical or historical, to disprove, or even to challenge, my own (historically orthodox) claims about the German economic recovery of the mid-1930s, under the newly installed Hitler regime.

    Your evidence, on the side issue of the Soviet Union’s economy– kept alive, from an off-hand comment of mine, by the same Stalinist ally to whom you just responded– has consisted of only your own claim to having made calculations, of your own, in a spreadsheet, of your own, using data, of an unknown origin, contained in a .pdf document found at a site of your own choosing. You have not responded, to date, to the aforementioned chart showing that the C.I.A. believed that the Soviet government’s claimed growth of nearly 14%, from 1928 through 1940, was more than double the C.I.A.’s own estimate of about 6% growth, over that entire twelve-year period, let alone of the Khanin recalculations, from 1987, that placed the Soviet Union’s actual economic growth, during that entire twelve-year period, at only about 3%– barely over one-fifth of what the Soviets themselves had originally claimed! So, whose economic figures went into your own spreadsheet, to come out with your original claim of 33% growth in per capita GDP, in the Soviet Union, from 1933 through 1936, versus only 25% growth, in Germany, during the same time period? Again, it is a side issue, kept alive only by you and your superannuated Stalinist ally; but, I see no reason, as of yet, to concede even that much to you.

    As for the number of Stalin’s victims, I have already posted links to three recent news articles, all listing figures of twenty million or more victims.

    Read More
    • Replies: @silviosilver

    As for the number of Stalin’s victims, I have already posted links to three recent news articles, all listing figures of twenty million or more victims.
     
    If you think "news" articles trump academic studies on this issue, I guess there's little point in discussing anything with you.
  112. @Sean

    http://racehist.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/testosterone-miscellany.html As summarized by Bass, numerous studies have correlated leadership with 'ambition, initiative and persistence' (opposite of passivity), 'speed and accuracy of thought', 'finality of decision,' or decisiveness (the opposite of ambivalence), 'mood control, optimism and sense of humor' (opposite of anhedonia), etc.. The cognitive styles, including a proficiency to quickly shift attention, of several famous leaders are used as examples of this contrasting model. Julius Caesar and Napoleon, for instance, could dictate to up to six secretaries simultaneously, using their exceptional working memories, and proficiency in quickly and effortlessly shifting attention while flawlessly gating irrelevant external and internal stimuli. [...] Gray et al noted positive correlations between 'dominance', an important leadership trait, and serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone (T),
     

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ocr.12055/ For example, at the same time the overall face increased in relative breadth, the philtrum became both narrower and longer as 2D:4D decreased. This suggests that prenatal androgens may influence facial development in a modular manner, with discrete effects on different anatomical components of the face
     
    Under Hitler's moustache was his philtrum.

    When a furious Lenin (wanted, so disguised in a in a wig) went to see why his cells in the city had not risen in revolt, he was stopped by one of the last police patrols of Kerensky, who had already fled the winter palace.

    You’ve lost me as to the relevance of this anecdote.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    The police did not recognise him, but if they had history would have been very different. So Lenin was lucky as well as good. Still, it would be silly to say Lenin was not highly intelligent, just because with hindsight he was very vulnerable at certain points in his career. A competent war gamer can win Gettysburg for the Confederacy; Lee was not a brilliant general?
  113. @Glossy
    which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    There was no unemployment in the post-WWII USSR at all. I was there. Also no homelessness, advertising, prostitution, gambling or drugs. If you don't know THAT (and the exclamation point a the end of the quoted sentence implies that you really, really don't know it), then why are you discussing this subject at all? You have close to zero information about it.

    Uh, now that we are apparently allies (see #112), I need to ask for some favors. Can you get me a good deal on a case of Русский стандарт Imperia? Maybe some diamonds too. I’ll be sending you a longer list just as soon as I get my act together. In return I can offer strategically located land somewhere in Europe for… you know that thing we talked about.

    Read More
  114. @Sean
    'Twas not I who brought up the moustache. Anyway, most people instinctively know certain features mark the bearer as a man to be feared.

    I brought up the mustache, I guess, but you brought up the science about it.

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  115. @D. K.
    Are you now agreeing with your ally's most recent claims, too, Mr. Eugenikos?

    "There was no unemployment in the post-WWII USSR at all. I was there. Also no homelessness, advertising, prostitution, gambling or drugs."

    If so, then you are apparently as mentally defective as the superannuated Stalinist himself!?! (That is merely a semi-professional opinion, on my part, of course, since I only earned a Master of Science degree, not a doctorate, in Personality and Social Psychology, before my heading off to law school, back in the early 1980s....)

    As for my supposedly "convoluted reasoning," I have provided two publicly available charts that clearly demonstrate the German economy's dramatic rebound, in the first few years of the Hitler regime, along with another chart showing how specious the Soviet government's own economic figures are believed to have been, both by the American C.I.A., and by a still-living Russian economist, G. I. Khanin ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigorii_Khanin ). You and your allies have provided zero evidence, whether statistical or historical, to disprove, or even to challenge, my own (historically orthodox) claims about the German economic recovery of the mid-1930s, under the newly installed Hitler regime.

    Your evidence, on the side issue of the Soviet Union's economy-- kept alive, from an off-hand comment of mine, by the same Stalinist ally to whom you just responded-- has consisted of only your own claim to having made calculations, of your own, in a spreadsheet, of your own, using data, of an unknown origin, contained in a .pdf document found at a site of your own choosing. You have not responded, to date, to the aforementioned chart showing that the C.I.A. believed that the Soviet government's claimed growth of nearly 14%, from 1928 through 1940, was more than double the C.I.A.'s own estimate of about 6% growth, over that entire twelve-year period, let alone of the Khanin recalculations, from 1987, that placed the Soviet Union's actual economic growth, during that entire twelve-year period, at only about 3%-- barely over one-fifth of what the Soviets themselves had originally claimed! So, whose economic figures went into your own spreadsheet, to come out with your original claim of 33% growth in per capita GDP, in the Soviet Union, from 1933 through 1936, versus only 25% growth, in Germany, during the same time period? Again, it is a side issue, kept alive only by you and your superannuated Stalinist ally; but, I see no reason, as of yet, to concede even that much to you.

    As for the number of Stalin's victims, I have already posted links to three recent news articles, all listing figures of twenty million or more victims.

    As for the number of Stalin’s victims, I have already posted links to three recent news articles, all listing figures of twenty million or more victims.

    If you think “news” articles trump academic studies on this issue, I guess there’s little point in discussing anything with you.

    Read More
    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
    • Replies: @D. K.
    If you think that the lone academic article, from 1993, that you cited, above, trumps the lifework of Dr. Robert Conquest, including his fortieth-anniversary edition of "The Great Terror" (2008), then your conclusion is inarguably sound, even though your reasoning is typically otherwise.

    Here is a 2003 profile of Dr. Conquest, from the on-line site of the United Kingdom's infamously right-wing "The Guardian" newspaper:

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/feb/15/featuresreviews.guardianreview23

    [From the very consistency of his conspicuous agreeableness, in this particular comment thread, it almost would appear that a certain party is still fuming from his own inability, a fortnight or so ago, to induce Mr. Unz to ban another commenter from ever commenting on the aforementioned host's eponymous Web site!?! "Oh, lo siento! Ojala que se mejore pronto."]
  116. @Stephen R. Diamond

    When a furious Lenin (wanted, so disguised in a in a wig) went to see why his cells in the city had not risen in revolt, he was stopped by one of the last police patrols of Kerensky, who had already fled the winter palace.
     
    You've lost me as to the relevance of this anecdote.

    The police did not recognise him, but if they had history would have been very different. So Lenin was lucky as well as good. Still, it would be silly to say Lenin was not highly intelligent, just because with hindsight he was very vulnerable at certain points in his career. A competent war gamer can win Gettysburg for the Confederacy; Lee was not a brilliant general?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    I never said anything about luck.

    My reasons for thinking Hitler had a low IQ are limited. I don't know enough to evaluate his maneuvering. My reasons are:

    1. The observed quality of his thought as expressed in his writing. (Not his style.)

    2. My supposition that someone more than 20 IQ points higher than the average of those he was orating to could not have established so visceral a connection with his listeners.

    3. pumpkin person's estimate of his Verbal IQ, which provides a better indication of Hitler's relevant capacities than Full Scale IQ.
  117. @Glossy
    Somewhat OT:

    Many years ago I read Konstantin Simonov's reminiscences about his meetings with Stalin. Stalin read a large amount of the literary fiction of his time, and then had authors over to talk about what they were doing wrong, who was good, who was terrible, what writers shoud write about instead, etc. Long conversations like that.

    The fascinating thing is that he didn't delegate this task. I think that subsequent Soviet leaders did. Think of all the things he could have done with his time instead.

    I'm guessing that he just liked to read.

    I had already read a lot of books about both Stalin and Hitler when I learned – to my great surprise – that both were bookish. Somehow it is never mentioned.

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  118. @Stephen R. Diamond
    The selection from Mein Kampf provides some insight into Hitler's abstractive abilities. He can construct a more or less coherent analogy but it's superficial and ultimately trivial. I think 125 is probably a little generous.

    People wonder how Hitler could have gotten so far if his intelligence were so limited. Consider that revolutionary leaders, like Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Robespierre, and and Jefferson, were found to average (in a retrospective study) an IQ of 150.

    The difference is that Hitler was no revolutionary leader. He was a tool of German corporate interests, such as the Krupp Corporation.

    No, he was not a tool. German corporate leaders tried to influence him, but then had the recordings the Gestapo made of their meetings played back at them, and many later had to flee Germany (like Franz Thyssen).

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    Thyssen contributed as much as a million marks to the Nazis; whereas revolutionaries (who thus needed higher IQs) had no comparable benefactors. (Unless you believe the lies about "German gold" to the Bolsheviks.)

    Perhaps "tool" wasn't precise. He was entirely capable of turning against individual benefactors. But he rose because he was supported by a section of capital: mainly to suppress the Communists and Social Democrats.
  119. @Anatoly Karlin
    Many people here seem to be under the impression that Hitler was some kind of economic genius. That couldn't be further from the truth. He was self-admittedly ignorant of economic matters (and proud of it). Yes, he did restore pre-Depression GDP and at a faster rate than in the US or France, through a narrow focus on military Keynesianism that left consumption levels below their peaks under Weimar and was likely unsustainable in the long-run (according to Adam Tooze anyway). Regardless, during the critical years 1940-41, Germany was outmatched by the British in aircraft production, dooming them to lose the Battle of Britain and make Sealion unfeasible.

    This in turn was linked to the most catastrophic decision of them all: The refusal to fully mobilize the German economy for war production before 1943, when the situation had suddenly turned critical for them (unlike the case in the USSR or Britain). Had he done this, it is difficult to see how he could have ended up losing to the Soviet Union. As it was, Hitler staked nigh everything on the sheer skill and elan of the Wehrmacht, massively discounting the value of war production and logistics to the horror of his generals. In military affairs as in economics and virtually everything else he involved himself with, Hitler was the classical example of a dilettante.

    @BB375,

    You would expect Albert Speer to be at the top of the list. Yet he’s not even in the top ten! Very strange.
     
    As I said, it's plausible that Speer intentionally passed himself off as dumber than he really was as part of his efforts to save his neck. (From what we now know it's clear he should have been one of those hanged at Nuremburg).

    @DK,

    What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?
     
    I'm no fan of the Stalinist economy but come on. This is textbook stuff. The Soviet economy - especially the vitally important steel/energy/armaments sector - exploded during the 1930s. The USSR in 1941 was far more powerful relative to Tsarist Russia in 1914 than Nazi Germany in 1941 was relative to the German Empire in 1914. (Of course there are good reasons to believe that the increase in Russian power would have been even more impressive had there been no Revolution and "lost decade," and thus this "catch-up" growth was in no way thanks to the Bolsheviks, but that's a separate point).

    @AP,

    I revise my estimate of Hitler’s IQ to around 130, after I reread Sailer’s estimate of Bush’s IQ – by memory I had thought 120, but I checked and it was mid 120s. Bush’s IQ is underestimated because he is a terrible public speaker, but I have trouble believing Bush and Hitler’s IQs were basically the same.
     
    On the other hand, Bush became an alcoholic for a time after college, which might have killed off a few brain cells and made his IQ during his Presidency lower than his academic record would otherwise indicate. :)

    The refusal to fully mobilize the German economy for war production before 1943

    According to Tooze and others (Overy, Evans) the German economy was already almost fully mobilized by 1940. He simply couldn’t mobilize it much more after that. The late mobilization was a myth spread by Speer and one of his minions.

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    • Replies: @5371
    That fails to explain the sharp increases in production achieved just when the air campaign against German industry had become markedly more effective.
  120. @AP

    I don’t know about marketing skills: was marketing not delegated?
     
    By this I meant the ability to manipulate others to sell something. Successful politicians in democracies are good at selling themselves as prospective leaders to their voters. It takes some intelligence to do this. Nowadays politicians hire experts, use focus groups; I suspect such techniques were much less developed in the 1930s and Hitler' success depended on his own intuitions and skills to a large extent.

    He seems to have always possessed such skills. Accounts of Hitler in Vienna portray him as being a "star" and taking a leadership role among the impoverished misfits with whom he lived. Throughout his life he was able to successfully move onto ever larger stages.


    We should ask: on what cognitive (and personality) factors does oratory rest?
     
    It's not the same as pure oratory, but being able to manipulate others is often, though of course not exclusively, associated with psychopathy (while Hitler clearly had psychopathic traits I'm not entirely convinced that he would be diagnosed as a psychopath, at least as measured by the Hare checklist, for example).

    Another point: psych testing suggested that Rosenberg (IQ 127) and/or Shirach (IQ 130) were infatuated with Hitler. Would Hitler have had such an effect on one or the other of them if his IQ were considerably lower than theirs?

    Hitler was no psychopath. In 1943 his secretary’s husband was killed on the front. He got very nervous and depressed when he heard that, because he had to break the news to the secretary. When others proposed that he could delegate the task to one of his minions, he insisted that this – obviously highly unpleasant – task was his duty, but tried to avoid meeting his secretary for several hours before finally gathering the strength to tell her. Were he a psychopath, 1) he wouldn’t have found telling this so unpleasant and 2) in any event would have avoided it altogether. I don’t think psychopaths have such strong feelings of personal duty towards a secretary when they are all-powerful dictators and so no social pressure could have any effect on them.

    Another story is that in February 1945 he complained to his doctor of insomnia. He said the moment he closed his eyes he could see the map with the battalions around Stalingrad. It’s obvious he felt he had made some terrible and irreversible mistake at Stalingrad for which he alone was responsible. Not a psychopathic trait.

    Hitler was a non-psychopathic mass murderer.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Correct. Hitler also seemed to have genuine affection for animals, something that would not be true of psychopaths. This is why I stated that although Hitler certainly had psychopathic traits he would probably not be diagnosable as a "pure" psychopath.

    As I had written, psychopathy involves traits that make it very difficult to succeed in life long-term. Psychopaths usually eventually slip up and fail.
  121. […] noreply@blogger.com (VD) It’s rather remarkable to see that the entire Nazi leadership was nearly a standard deviation more intelligent than the average Ashkenazi Jew, especially when we are so often informed that the reason for Jewish […]

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  122. @German_reader
    " Stalin seems to have been much more intelligent, despite his roughness."

    He also worked much harder. Hitler was pretty lazy when he was dictator and often slept until noon; he also delegated many tasks to his underlings who competed with each other (that's the reason why "revisionists" like David Irving can claim Hitler didn't know about the Holocaust, though that's obviously nonsensical). And when he did intervene, it often had disastrous consequences for the German war effort (like in the case of the Me 262).
    Stalin also made disastrous mistakes, but in the end he probably was a lot more competent than Hitler (also probably more educated...didn't he know all the classic Russian novels? Hitler's favourite author by contrast was Karl May, who wrote adventure stories about the American west and is hardly known outside of Germany).

    Karl May is well known and popular in Hungary as well, but my main issue with your comment is that I don’t know the source for him being Hitler’s favorite author. (I have read it myself in Hungary, but not in a good source.) Hitler did read philosophers like Schopenhauer and frequently discussed it with his once-admirer Ernst Hanfstaengl, who got a degree in philosophy at one of the best German universities. Hanfstaengl fell out with him in the 1930s and emigrated to America to write a lot to denounce him, but he never stated Hitler didn’t read Schopenhauer for example, although he must have noticed it if it really had been so.

    As to his laziness, he did start to work regularly in 1941, but arguably this hardworking style didn’t suit him.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    As a boy Hitler liked May, but as an adult he never read novels. Hitler was familiar with German philosophers being enthusiastic about Schopenhauer and later Nietzsche. He could quote Clausewitz by the yard.
    , @German_reader
    "Karl May is well known and popular in Hungary as well, but my main issue with your comment is that I don’t know the source for him being Hitler’s favorite author. "

    I can't really give you a source but it was well-known even at the time (Victor Klemperer mentioned it in his diaries).
    The Wikipedia article on Karl May has a lengthy subsection about Hitler's admiration for May's works ("Influence"):
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_May
    Interesting though that Karl May is popular in Hungary, I didn't know that.
  123. @reiner Tor

    The refusal to fully mobilize the German economy for war production before 1943
     
    According to Tooze and others (Overy, Evans) the German economy was already almost fully mobilized by 1940. He simply couldn't mobilize it much more after that. The late mobilization was a myth spread by Speer and one of his minions.

    That fails to explain the sharp increases in production achieved just when the air campaign against German industry had become markedly more effective.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    There were no sharp increases in production, but a gradual growth throughout the war until the bombing campaign and the loss of the occupied territories started to take its toll in the summer of 1944.

    (Parenthetically, battle tank production is often used in earlier studies. Forget them, totally unrepresentative of the war economy as a whole.)

    There were multiple factors. One is the learning curve. When a factory which had hitherto been producing tractors starts producing battle tanks, at first it will produce very little very inefficiently. Later on, with more experience, production will take off.

    Another factor is that when you start converting an industry with diverse factory sizes to war production, there will be smaller factories with low productivity. But, since your goal is to maximize overall production, you will allow these smaller factories to exist as well. Later on, as bigger factories' production grows as a result of the learning curves, you can shut down these inefficient factories and allocate more resources to the bigger ones which can produce more.

    Another factor was that until 1942 Germany still had a number of huge investment projects, Overy and Tooze both give specific examples. Many of these investments were scaled down (i.e. the finished factories were smaller than originally intended so that they could finish them earlier) and many finished by the middle of the war, with the result that German war production capacity increased considerably by 1943 (and also resources which had hitherto been diverted to investment projects could now be allocated to war production). One project which wasn't finished was the Buna plant in Auschwitz which only started production in the 1950s under the Polish communist regime.

    Without those investment projects German war production could have been higher until maybe 1942 but would have plateaued after that. (Had the Germans won in the USSR, they'd still needed that capacity for the ongoing war against the British Empire and the anticipated war against America.) You could argue whether it was smart to invest in new production capacities which only came online after 1942 when the war was probably already lost (with hindsight we know that, but at the time that was not yet people's impression until Stalingrad), but you cannot say that investment into synthetic fuel plants and the likes was not part of the war economy.
  124. @reiner Tor
    Karl May is well known and popular in Hungary as well, but my main issue with your comment is that I don't know the source for him being Hitler's favorite author. (I have read it myself in Hungary, but not in a good source.) Hitler did read philosophers like Schopenhauer and frequently discussed it with his once-admirer Ernst Hanfstaengl, who got a degree in philosophy at one of the best German universities. Hanfstaengl fell out with him in the 1930s and emigrated to America to write a lot to denounce him, but he never stated Hitler didn't read Schopenhauer for example, although he must have noticed it if it really had been so.

    As to his laziness, he did start to work regularly in 1941, but arguably this hardworking style didn't suit him.

    As a boy Hitler liked May, but as an adult he never read novels. Hitler was familiar with German philosophers being enthusiastic about Schopenhauer and later Nietzsche. He could quote Clausewitz by the yard.

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  125. @Glossy
    The people who ran the USSR in 1936 had nothing to do with the people who ran it in 1918 or 1925. They had opposite goals and values. You keep lumping Stalin and the old Bolsheviks together, but doing this will not make it true.

    The buildup of the economy that Stalin achieved from the late 1920s to 1941 was more impressive because the USSR was starting from a much lower base and because it won. The Soviet economy passed the ultimate test by defeating the industrial might of all of continental Europe in a total war.

    The old Bolsheviks wanted collectivization and heavy industrialization, just as Stalin had done after 1929. In the 1920s Stalin was opposed to this “leftist opposition” but then later started its program anyway. Some Trotskyites were given high positions after 1929 (they were killed later during the terror nevertheless) for that exact reason. (I forgot his name and am lazy to google it but Ordzhonikidze’s deputy at the heavy industry ppl’s commissariat was a prime example.)

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    The old Bolsheviks wanted collectivization and heavy industrialization, just as Stalin had done after 1929.
     
    Not really "just as." The Stalinist program was more rapid and brutal than the Left Opposition's program. The Trotskyites didn't advocate forced collectivization of the middle and poor peasants, for example.
  126. @reiner Tor
    Hitler was no psychopath. In 1943 his secretary's husband was killed on the front. He got very nervous and depressed when he heard that, because he had to break the news to the secretary. When others proposed that he could delegate the task to one of his minions, he insisted that this - obviously highly unpleasant - task was his duty, but tried to avoid meeting his secretary for several hours before finally gathering the strength to tell her. Were he a psychopath, 1) he wouldn't have found telling this so unpleasant and 2) in any event would have avoided it altogether. I don't think psychopaths have such strong feelings of personal duty towards a secretary when they are all-powerful dictators and so no social pressure could have any effect on them.

    Another story is that in February 1945 he complained to his doctor of insomnia. He said the moment he closed his eyes he could see the map with the battalions around Stalingrad. It's obvious he felt he had made some terrible and irreversible mistake at Stalingrad for which he alone was responsible. Not a psychopathic trait.

    Hitler was a non-psychopathic mass murderer.

    Correct. Hitler also seemed to have genuine affection for animals, something that would not be true of psychopaths. This is why I stated that although Hitler certainly had psychopathic traits he would probably not be diagnosable as a “pure” psychopath.

    As I had written, psychopathy involves traits that make it very difficult to succeed in life long-term. Psychopaths usually eventually slip up and fail.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I agree. BTW I only saw your later comment after I wrote my reply. I think I can also agree with you assessment regarding Stalin (i.e. more psychopathic traits than Stalin but overall not a psychopath either), regardless of the fact that Hitler might have killed more people.
  127. @silviosilver

    You think that all summary executions were duly recorded, during Stalin’s reign? You think that the millions of Soviet subjects who died of starvation, and other forms of government-contrived deprivation, during the Stalin era, were not victims of his dictatorial rule?
     
    I obviously have no way of knowing how many executions may have gone unrecorded, but then I fail to see how anyone else does either. Basing my opinion on what the existing evidence demonstrates seems a more reasonable approach to me than proclaiming Robert Conquest says 20 million victims, so 20 million victims it is.

    I don't think the millions of famine victims can be laid at Stalin's feet, no. I'm not convinced by claims of a 'terror famine' in the Ukraine. These people died as a result of the fantastically irrational economic policies, and the fantastically irrational mindset that upheld them, common to communist rule everywhere.

    OTOH I’d think that you cannot say that the victims of the fantastically irrational policy were not the victims of the dictator who devised and implemented those very same fantastically irrational policies.

    Moreover, it was also several deliberate decisions on the part of the Soviet leadership, e.g. when people started fleeing the famine-stricken areas they made a political decision to prevent the trains from stopping in rural or small town stations there, and started employing armed guards to stop people from boarding those trains. They also organized large police actions in big cities to find and deport back to the famine-stricken areas the people who nevertheless managed to get into the cities. To say that victims of the famine were not victims of Stalin seems just bizarre to me.

    The 1921 famine was maybe less political in nature, but 1) it was still caused by some fantastically irrational economic policies devised and implemented by the Bolshevik leadership and 2) it also had more deliberate elements e.g. when the government deliberatley confiscated all available grains from certain areas because they noticed that wherever famine struck, the “green” (peasant) uprising subsided.

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    • Replies: @silviosilver
    Just to get a couple of things straight, I do blame communism for those famines. To way of thinking, those unfortunates can unambiguously be deemed 'victims of communism.' Victims of Stalinism, on the other hand, must be treated separately.

    Think of it this way. It's easy to imagine any other communist ruler of the period pursuing the same policies of brutal agricultural collectivization. Why? Because every communist ruler did so, whether Soviet or not. On the other hand, it's not so easy to imagine any other communist ruler sending millions to concentration camps and executing vast numbers of people. Why? Because most communist rulers, aside from some notable exceptions, simply didn't do that.
  128. @5371
    That fails to explain the sharp increases in production achieved just when the air campaign against German industry had become markedly more effective.

    There were no sharp increases in production, but a gradual growth throughout the war until the bombing campaign and the loss of the occupied territories started to take its toll in the summer of 1944.

    (Parenthetically, battle tank production is often used in earlier studies. Forget them, totally unrepresentative of the war economy as a whole.)

    There were multiple factors. One is the learning curve. When a factory which had hitherto been producing tractors starts producing battle tanks, at first it will produce very little very inefficiently. Later on, with more experience, production will take off.

    Another factor is that when you start converting an industry with diverse factory sizes to war production, there will be smaller factories with low productivity. But, since your goal is to maximize overall production, you will allow these smaller factories to exist as well. Later on, as bigger factories’ production grows as a result of the learning curves, you can shut down these inefficient factories and allocate more resources to the bigger ones which can produce more.

    Another factor was that until 1942 Germany still had a number of huge investment projects, Overy and Tooze both give specific examples. Many of these investments were scaled down (i.e. the finished factories were smaller than originally intended so that they could finish them earlier) and many finished by the middle of the war, with the result that German war production capacity increased considerably by 1943 (and also resources which had hitherto been diverted to investment projects could now be allocated to war production). One project which wasn’t finished was the Buna plant in Auschwitz which only started production in the 1950s under the Polish communist regime.

    Without those investment projects German war production could have been higher until maybe 1942 but would have plateaued after that. (Had the Germans won in the USSR, they’d still needed that capacity for the ongoing war against the British Empire and the anticipated war against America.) You could argue whether it was smart to invest in new production capacities which only came online after 1942 when the war was probably already lost (with hindsight we know that, but at the time that was not yet people’s impression until Stalingrad), but you cannot say that investment into synthetic fuel plants and the likes was not part of the war economy.

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    • Replies: @5371
    I don't think one can seriously claim the civilian economy was cut down to the bone even in 1942, let alone in 1939. My impression is that Evans, Overy and Tooze have perpetrated mindless revisionism and political correctness.
  129. @AP
    Correct. Hitler also seemed to have genuine affection for animals, something that would not be true of psychopaths. This is why I stated that although Hitler certainly had psychopathic traits he would probably not be diagnosable as a "pure" psychopath.

    As I had written, psychopathy involves traits that make it very difficult to succeed in life long-term. Psychopaths usually eventually slip up and fail.

    I agree. BTW I only saw your later comment after I wrote my reply. I think I can also agree with you assessment regarding Stalin (i.e. more psychopathic traits than Stalin but overall not a psychopath either), regardless of the fact that Hitler might have killed more people.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    more psychopathic traits than Stalin
     
    Should be read:

    more psychopathic traits than Hitler
     
  130. @reiner Tor
    I agree. BTW I only saw your later comment after I wrote my reply. I think I can also agree with you assessment regarding Stalin (i.e. more psychopathic traits than Stalin but overall not a psychopath either), regardless of the fact that Hitler might have killed more people.

    more psychopathic traits than Stalin

    Should be read:

    more psychopathic traits than Hitler

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  131. @silviosilver

    You think that all summary executions were duly recorded, during Stalin’s reign? You think that the millions of Soviet subjects who died of starvation, and other forms of government-contrived deprivation, during the Stalin era, were not victims of his dictatorial rule?
     
    I obviously have no way of knowing how many executions may have gone unrecorded, but then I fail to see how anyone else does either. Basing my opinion on what the existing evidence demonstrates seems a more reasonable approach to me than proclaiming Robert Conquest says 20 million victims, so 20 million victims it is.

    I don't think the millions of famine victims can be laid at Stalin's feet, no. I'm not convinced by claims of a 'terror famine' in the Ukraine. These people died as a result of the fantastically irrational economic policies, and the fantastically irrational mindset that upheld them, common to communist rule everywhere.

    Another point is that the last great famine in Czarist Russia (in the 1890s) took roughly half a million victims. This is dwarfed by both big Soviet famines (1921 and 1933) which also highlights the abnormality of these famines.

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  132. @reiner Tor
    There were no sharp increases in production, but a gradual growth throughout the war until the bombing campaign and the loss of the occupied territories started to take its toll in the summer of 1944.

    (Parenthetically, battle tank production is often used in earlier studies. Forget them, totally unrepresentative of the war economy as a whole.)

    There were multiple factors. One is the learning curve. When a factory which had hitherto been producing tractors starts producing battle tanks, at first it will produce very little very inefficiently. Later on, with more experience, production will take off.

    Another factor is that when you start converting an industry with diverse factory sizes to war production, there will be smaller factories with low productivity. But, since your goal is to maximize overall production, you will allow these smaller factories to exist as well. Later on, as bigger factories' production grows as a result of the learning curves, you can shut down these inefficient factories and allocate more resources to the bigger ones which can produce more.

    Another factor was that until 1942 Germany still had a number of huge investment projects, Overy and Tooze both give specific examples. Many of these investments were scaled down (i.e. the finished factories were smaller than originally intended so that they could finish them earlier) and many finished by the middle of the war, with the result that German war production capacity increased considerably by 1943 (and also resources which had hitherto been diverted to investment projects could now be allocated to war production). One project which wasn't finished was the Buna plant in Auschwitz which only started production in the 1950s under the Polish communist regime.

    Without those investment projects German war production could have been higher until maybe 1942 but would have plateaued after that. (Had the Germans won in the USSR, they'd still needed that capacity for the ongoing war against the British Empire and the anticipated war against America.) You could argue whether it was smart to invest in new production capacities which only came online after 1942 when the war was probably already lost (with hindsight we know that, but at the time that was not yet people's impression until Stalingrad), but you cannot say that investment into synthetic fuel plants and the likes was not part of the war economy.

    I don’t think one can seriously claim the civilian economy was cut down to the bone even in 1942, let alone in 1939. My impression is that Evans, Overy and Tooze have perpetrated mindless revisionism and political correctness.

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  133. @reiner Tor
    OTOH I'd think that you cannot say that the victims of the fantastically irrational policy were not the victims of the dictator who devised and implemented those very same fantastically irrational policies.

    Moreover, it was also several deliberate decisions on the part of the Soviet leadership, e.g. when people started fleeing the famine-stricken areas they made a political decision to prevent the trains from stopping in rural or small town stations there, and started employing armed guards to stop people from boarding those trains. They also organized large police actions in big cities to find and deport back to the famine-stricken areas the people who nevertheless managed to get into the cities. To say that victims of the famine were not victims of Stalin seems just bizarre to me.

    The 1921 famine was maybe less political in nature, but 1) it was still caused by some fantastically irrational economic policies devised and implemented by the Bolshevik leadership and 2) it also had more deliberate elements e.g. when the government deliberatley confiscated all available grains from certain areas because they noticed that wherever famine struck, the "green" (peasant) uprising subsided.

    Just to get a couple of things straight, I do blame communism for those famines. To way of thinking, those unfortunates can unambiguously be deemed ‘victims of communism.’ Victims of Stalinism, on the other hand, must be treated separately.

    Think of it this way. It’s easy to imagine any other communist ruler of the period pursuing the same policies of brutal agricultural collectivization. Why? Because every communist ruler did so, whether Soviet or not. On the other hand, it’s not so easy to imagine any other communist ruler sending millions to concentration camps and executing vast numbers of people. Why? Because most communist rulers, aside from some notable exceptions, simply didn’t do that.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Stalin fought the "leftist opposition" which wanted collectivization and industrialization in the 1920s, and won. I.e. he had a clear mandate to continue the NEP (which of course wouldn't have led to mass famine but might have led to too little industrialization to fight Hitler), so collectivization was Stalin's discretionary decision. Soviet leaders 1917-33 were just inventing what it meant to be a communist leader, just as Hitler was inventing on the fly what scale of mass murder the imagined Nazi Thousand Year Empire would have required, and I think Lenin and Stalin should get full credit for their inventions much like how Hitler is getting full credit for his one.
  134. @silviosilver
    Just to get a couple of things straight, I do blame communism for those famines. To way of thinking, those unfortunates can unambiguously be deemed 'victims of communism.' Victims of Stalinism, on the other hand, must be treated separately.

    Think of it this way. It's easy to imagine any other communist ruler of the period pursuing the same policies of brutal agricultural collectivization. Why? Because every communist ruler did so, whether Soviet or not. On the other hand, it's not so easy to imagine any other communist ruler sending millions to concentration camps and executing vast numbers of people. Why? Because most communist rulers, aside from some notable exceptions, simply didn't do that.

    Stalin fought the “leftist opposition” which wanted collectivization and industrialization in the 1920s, and won. I.e. he had a clear mandate to continue the NEP (which of course wouldn’t have led to mass famine but might have led to too little industrialization to fight Hitler), so collectivization was Stalin’s discretionary decision. Soviet leaders 1917-33 were just inventing what it meant to be a communist leader, just as Hitler was inventing on the fly what scale of mass murder the imagined Nazi Thousand Year Empire would have required, and I think Lenin and Stalin should get full credit for their inventions much like how Hitler is getting full credit for his one.

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    • Replies: @silviosilver
    I agree that Lenin and Stalin were inventing what being a "communist leader" meant, but total economic control and the agricultural collectivization required to achieve it is central to communist ideology, therefore I'm less inclined to attribute the brutality associated with it to any one particular leader's implementation of it.

    Pragmatically, if one despises communism, it's more convenient to attribute its failures to the ideology itself than to the shortcomings of a particular communist leader. I certainly despise communism, so it's possible this bias influences my view of the issue.
  135. @reiner Tor
    No, he was not a tool. German corporate leaders tried to influence him, but then had the recordings the Gestapo made of their meetings played back at them, and many later had to flee Germany (like Franz Thyssen).

    Thyssen contributed as much as a million marks to the Nazis; whereas revolutionaries (who thus needed higher IQs) had no comparable benefactors. (Unless you believe the lies about “German gold” to the Bolsheviks.)

    Perhaps “tool” wasn’t precise. He was entirely capable of turning against individual benefactors. But he rose because he was supported by a section of capital: mainly to suppress the Communists and Social Democrats.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Robert Service mentions wealthy benefactors, for example a Russian businessman who in exchange was promised the chance to leave Russia if the revolution won.

    Then there was Jacob Schiff, who may or may not have given the Bolsheviks money. He certainly had both the resources and the motivation to do so, but I haven't found conclusive evidence that he did.

    In any event, I fail to see how receiving small sums of money (the DNVP got more, for example) would obviate the need for a high IQ.
  136. @reiner Tor
    The old Bolsheviks wanted collectivization and heavy industrialization, just as Stalin had done after 1929. In the 1920s Stalin was opposed to this "leftist opposition" but then later started its program anyway. Some Trotskyites were given high positions after 1929 (they were killed later during the terror nevertheless) for that exact reason. (I forgot his name and am lazy to google it but Ordzhonikidze's deputy at the heavy industry ppl's commissariat was a prime example.)

    The old Bolsheviks wanted collectivization and heavy industrialization, just as Stalin had done after 1929.

    Not really “just as.” The Stalinist program was more rapid and brutal than the Left Opposition’s program. The Trotskyites didn’t advocate forced collectivization of the middle and poor peasants, for example.

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  137. @Sean
    The police did not recognise him, but if they had history would have been very different. So Lenin was lucky as well as good. Still, it would be silly to say Lenin was not highly intelligent, just because with hindsight he was very vulnerable at certain points in his career. A competent war gamer can win Gettysburg for the Confederacy; Lee was not a brilliant general?

    I never said anything about luck.

    My reasons for thinking Hitler had a low IQ are limited. I don’t know enough to evaluate his maneuvering. My reasons are:

    1. The observed quality of his thought as expressed in his writing. (Not his style.)

    2. My supposition that someone more than 20 IQ points higher than the average of those he was orating to could not have established so visceral a connection with his listeners.

    3. pumpkin person’s estimate of his Verbal IQ, which provides a better indication of Hitler’s relevant capacities than Full Scale IQ.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    1. Hitler was a highly effective man of action, he was incredibly lucky or very clever.
    2. Fairly high IQ people thought Hitler the greatest orator they had ever heard, and he was trying to convince people using everyday language all could grasp, not impress aesthetes.
    3. The best indication of Hitler's relevant capacities is what he actually did.
  138. @reiner Tor
    Karl May is well known and popular in Hungary as well, but my main issue with your comment is that I don't know the source for him being Hitler's favorite author. (I have read it myself in Hungary, but not in a good source.) Hitler did read philosophers like Schopenhauer and frequently discussed it with his once-admirer Ernst Hanfstaengl, who got a degree in philosophy at one of the best German universities. Hanfstaengl fell out with him in the 1930s and emigrated to America to write a lot to denounce him, but he never stated Hitler didn't read Schopenhauer for example, although he must have noticed it if it really had been so.

    As to his laziness, he did start to work regularly in 1941, but arguably this hardworking style didn't suit him.

    “Karl May is well known and popular in Hungary as well, but my main issue with your comment is that I don’t know the source for him being Hitler’s favorite author. ”

    I can’t really give you a source but it was well-known even at the time (Victor Klemperer mentioned it in his diaries).
    The Wikipedia article on Karl May has a lengthy subsection about Hitler’s admiration for May’s works (“Influence”):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_May

    Interesting though that Karl May is popular in Hungary, I didn’t know that.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Hitler certainly liked May (Einstein, too), but what does "favorite author" mean in that context? Did he frequently read Winnetou as an adult (when he was also reading Schopenhauer and the likes), or did he simply have fond memories of having read it as a boy or maybe a teenager? I'd think it was the latter.
  139. @Stephen R. Diamond
    I never said anything about luck.

    My reasons for thinking Hitler had a low IQ are limited. I don't know enough to evaluate his maneuvering. My reasons are:

    1. The observed quality of his thought as expressed in his writing. (Not his style.)

    2. My supposition that someone more than 20 IQ points higher than the average of those he was orating to could not have established so visceral a connection with his listeners.

    3. pumpkin person's estimate of his Verbal IQ, which provides a better indication of Hitler's relevant capacities than Full Scale IQ.

    1. Hitler was a highly effective man of action, he was incredibly lucky or very clever.
    2. Fairly high IQ people thought Hitler the greatest orator they had ever heard, and he was trying to convince people using everyday language all could grasp, not impress aesthetes.
    3. The best indication of Hitler’s relevant capacities is what he actually did.

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    The best indication of Hitler’s relevant capacities is what he actually did.
     
    It seems to make sense, but it is really crudely unscientific. It's like saying that the best indication of a person's IQ is his income. (Everyone would like a higher one.) Usually, the best indication of an IQ is an IQ test. (Will you offer to revise the tested scores of Hitler's confederates?)

    Perhaps what you underestimate is the importance of single-minded focus and sheer willpower. Lenin had both, too, but he was a lot smarter than Hitler. Again, you can tell by their writing. [To National Socialist theory, did Hitler make a single contribution? Lenin was a "man of action" too. That didn't stop him from being good with ideas.]
  140. @silviosilver

    As for the number of Stalin’s victims, I have already posted links to three recent news articles, all listing figures of twenty million or more victims.
     
    If you think "news" articles trump academic studies on this issue, I guess there's little point in discussing anything with you.

    If you think that the lone academic article, from 1993, that you cited, above, trumps the lifework of Dr. Robert Conquest, including his fortieth-anniversary edition of “The Great Terror” (2008), then your conclusion is inarguably sound, even though your reasoning is typically otherwise.

    Here is a 2003 profile of Dr. Conquest, from the on-line site of the United Kingdom’s infamously right-wing “The Guardian” newspaper:

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/feb/15/featuresreviews.guardianreview23

    [From the very consistency of his conspicuous agreeableness, in this particular comment thread, it almost would appear that a certain party is still fuming from his own inability, a fortnight or so ago, to induce Mr. Unz to ban another commenter from ever commenting on the aforementioned host's eponymous Web site!?! "Oh, lo siento! Ojala que se mejore pronto."]

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Why don't you read the book I mentioned earlier in the thread:
    http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/beyond-totalitarianism-stalinism-and-nazism-compared

    Brings out differences and commonalities of Nazism and Stalinism quite clearly in my opinion, and convinced me that Nazism was in some ways definitely "worse" (even though as a non-self-hating German I'd obviously like to think different).
    Or read that "Bloodlands" book from Snyder (can't stand the guy and his book is neither original nor very good, but as a synthesis of the research of better historians is has some use).
    I don't think any serious historian today still gives estimates of "at least 20 or 25 million killed by Stalinism"...but unless you're at least trying to engage with more recent academic literature, there's no point to any discussion.

  141. @Sean
    1. Hitler was a highly effective man of action, he was incredibly lucky or very clever.
    2. Fairly high IQ people thought Hitler the greatest orator they had ever heard, and he was trying to convince people using everyday language all could grasp, not impress aesthetes.
    3. The best indication of Hitler's relevant capacities is what he actually did.

    The best indication of Hitler’s relevant capacities is what he actually did.

    It seems to make sense, but it is really crudely unscientific. It’s like saying that the best indication of a person’s IQ is his income. (Everyone would like a higher one.) Usually, the best indication of an IQ is an IQ test. (Will you offer to revise the tested scores of Hitler’s confederates?)

    Perhaps what you underestimate is the importance of single-minded focus and sheer willpower. Lenin had both, too, but he was a lot smarter than Hitler. Again, you can tell by their writing. [To National Socialist theory, did Hitler make a single contribution? Lenin was a "man of action" too. That didn't stop him from being good with ideas.]

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    "Hitler's IQ Was 125" strikes you as a scientifically valid and reliable blog post, on the part of Mr. Karlin, does it, Mr. Diamond?
    , @Sean
    Lenin's theories had little relation to real life, in practice he was a fool who handed a key position to Stalin, Hitler outmaneuvered everyone. It seems the type of IQ that copes best with real life difficulties is accounted worthless. Hitler identified the source of communist power as street intimidators not theoretical dialectic. I have already said that the figure for Streicher seems to0 low. Gotti sometimes tested low when in prison and one would wonder what the incentive is for a person on trial for their life to seem highly intelligent. An IQ of 125 is possible for Hitler but it would be rock bottom, and you could give that figure for Mozart too. Neither could be properly assessed by an IQ test, they had a highly specialised type of intelligence. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-imprinted-brain/200908/the-symmetry-savantism
  142. @D. K.
    If you think that the lone academic article, from 1993, that you cited, above, trumps the lifework of Dr. Robert Conquest, including his fortieth-anniversary edition of "The Great Terror" (2008), then your conclusion is inarguably sound, even though your reasoning is typically otherwise.

    Here is a 2003 profile of Dr. Conquest, from the on-line site of the United Kingdom's infamously right-wing "The Guardian" newspaper:

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/feb/15/featuresreviews.guardianreview23

    [From the very consistency of his conspicuous agreeableness, in this particular comment thread, it almost would appear that a certain party is still fuming from his own inability, a fortnight or so ago, to induce Mr. Unz to ban another commenter from ever commenting on the aforementioned host's eponymous Web site!?! "Oh, lo siento! Ojala que se mejore pronto."]

    Why don’t you read the book I mentioned earlier in the thread:

    http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/beyond-totalitarianism-stalinism-and-nazism-compared

    Brings out differences and commonalities of Nazism and Stalinism quite clearly in my opinion, and convinced me that Nazism was in some ways definitely “worse” (even though as a non-self-hating German I’d obviously like to think different).
    Or read that “Bloodlands” book from Snyder (can’t stand the guy and his book is neither original nor very good, but as a synthesis of the research of better historians is has some use).
    I don’t think any serious historian today still gives estimates of “at least 20 or 25 million killed by Stalinism”…but unless you’re at least trying to engage with more recent academic literature, there’s no point to any discussion.

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    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    If you don't mind, I'll offer the same piece of advice I offered to Glossy (see #110): ...you are wasting your time arguing with D.K. He has already decided what the “reality” is. Providing him with facts that contradict his “reality” is not going to change his opinion; he’s just going to get angrier with you and come up with even more convoluted reasoning as to why he is correct and you are not.
    , @D. K.
    Thank you for the book recommendation! As a paleoliberal American nationalist, whose father's ship, the U.S.C.G.C. Ingham, sank your own nation's submarine, U-626, on Tuesday, December 15, 1942, while the latter was out on its maiden patrol, I do have something of a rooting interest, albeit retrospectively, in the outcome of World War II. (My father's ship, after relocating to the Pacific Theater, also hosted General Douglas MacArthur, before the entire affair was settled, short of an amphibious invasion.) Nonetheless, as someone once schooled in European History, at the undergraduate level, I personally agree with the assessment attributed, rightly or wrongly, to Sir Winson Churchill himself: "We killed the wrong pig!"
    , @reiner Tor
    On the other hand, while Fitzpatrick's works are often worth to read (I've read a couple myself), she's a well-known revisionist who thinks things like the Great Terror just emerged from factors like social mobility and turmoil, and not devised and implemented by a few people with Stalin at the top, who started and then stopped the whole thing when decided it fit his purpose.
  143. @German_reader
    Why don't you read the book I mentioned earlier in the thread:
    http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/beyond-totalitarianism-stalinism-and-nazism-compared

    Brings out differences and commonalities of Nazism and Stalinism quite clearly in my opinion, and convinced me that Nazism was in some ways definitely "worse" (even though as a non-self-hating German I'd obviously like to think different).
    Or read that "Bloodlands" book from Snyder (can't stand the guy and his book is neither original nor very good, but as a synthesis of the research of better historians is has some use).
    I don't think any serious historian today still gives estimates of "at least 20 or 25 million killed by Stalinism"...but unless you're at least trying to engage with more recent academic literature, there's no point to any discussion.

    If you don’t mind, I’ll offer the same piece of advice I offered to Glossy (see #110): …you are wasting your time arguing with D.K. He has already decided what the “reality” is. Providing him with facts that contradict his “reality” is not going to change his opinion; he’s just going to get angrier with you and come up with even more convoluted reasoning as to why he is correct and you are not.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    No doubt it is easier for you to regurgitate your sage advice, Mr. Eugenikos, than it is for you to debunk any of the evidence that I linked to, above, or to answer any of the many questions that I have posed to you, to date, that you have so studiously avoided answering.
    , @German_reader
    Maybe you're right...but still, my book recommendation might be of use to someone else.
  144. @Stephen R. Diamond

    The best indication of Hitler’s relevant capacities is what he actually did.
     
    It seems to make sense, but it is really crudely unscientific. It's like saying that the best indication of a person's IQ is his income. (Everyone would like a higher one.) Usually, the best indication of an IQ is an IQ test. (Will you offer to revise the tested scores of Hitler's confederates?)

    Perhaps what you underestimate is the importance of single-minded focus and sheer willpower. Lenin had both, too, but he was a lot smarter than Hitler. Again, you can tell by their writing. [To National Socialist theory, did Hitler make a single contribution? Lenin was a "man of action" too. That didn't stop him from being good with ideas.]

    “Hitler’s IQ Was 125″ strikes you as a scientifically valid and reliable blog post, on the part of Mr. Karlin, does it, Mr. Diamond?

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    Hitler’s IQ Was 125″ strikes you as a scientifically valid and reliable blog post, on the part of Mr. Karlin...
     
    I wouldn't call it "scientific"; I would call it rational, hence not "crudely unscientific."

    My point isn't scientific puritanism. It's a matter of eschewing demonstrably false premises, such as the premise that status and power are strong proxies for IQ. On the other hand, the IQ of one's associates is a strong proxy, at least there's reason to think so. And writing quality is a strong proxy for verbal intelligence.

  145. @Mark Eugenikos
    If you don't mind, I'll offer the same piece of advice I offered to Glossy (see #110): ...you are wasting your time arguing with D.K. He has already decided what the “reality” is. Providing him with facts that contradict his “reality” is not going to change his opinion; he’s just going to get angrier with you and come up with even more convoluted reasoning as to why he is correct and you are not.

    No doubt it is easier for you to regurgitate your sage advice, Mr. Eugenikos, than it is for you to debunk any of the evidence that I linked to, above, or to answer any of the many questions that I have posed to you, to date, that you have so studiously avoided answering.

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    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    If you want to be taken seriously, start by taking others seriously. You trashed my analysis from comment #79 in your comment #112 without apparently bothering to even check it. You said:

    Your evidence ... has consisted of only your own claim to having made calculations, of your own, in a spreadsheet, of your own, using data, of an unknown origin, contained in a .pdf document found at a site of your own choosing.
     
    You didn't like the result of the analysis I provided so you tired to dismiss it with some ambulance-chasing blabber. The data on historical GDP by country I used (and linked) comes from World Economics Journal, published in London. Their advisory board consists of prominent economists from the Bank of England, Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, MIT, LSE, and includes even Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England. The data is easily downloadable in Excel. I explained what I did: calculated economic growth based on GDP data from year X to year Y. Anyone who can do arithmetic could have reproduced my calculations in 5 minutes. If that is not something you are capable of doing, why are trying to argue with people who can?

    What you still haven't done: found a different source of comparative data and disputed my analysis with a better analysis. Which I still don't expect you to do.
  146. @German_reader
    Why don't you read the book I mentioned earlier in the thread:
    http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/beyond-totalitarianism-stalinism-and-nazism-compared

    Brings out differences and commonalities of Nazism and Stalinism quite clearly in my opinion, and convinced me that Nazism was in some ways definitely "worse" (even though as a non-self-hating German I'd obviously like to think different).
    Or read that "Bloodlands" book from Snyder (can't stand the guy and his book is neither original nor very good, but as a synthesis of the research of better historians is has some use).
    I don't think any serious historian today still gives estimates of "at least 20 or 25 million killed by Stalinism"...but unless you're at least trying to engage with more recent academic literature, there's no point to any discussion.

    Thank you for the book recommendation! As a paleoliberal American nationalist, whose father’s ship, the U.S.C.G.C. Ingham, sank your own nation’s submarine, U-626, on Tuesday, December 15, 1942, while the latter was out on its maiden patrol, I do have something of a rooting interest, albeit retrospectively, in the outcome of World War II. (My father’s ship, after relocating to the Pacific Theater, also hosted General Douglas MacArthur, before the entire affair was settled, short of an amphibious invasion.) Nonetheless, as someone once schooled in European History, at the undergraduate level, I personally agree with the assessment attributed, rightly or wrongly, to Sir Winson Churchill himself: “We killed the wrong pig!”

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Interesting bit about that cutter Ingham (didn't know the US sent out Coast guard vessels to patrol duty in the Atlantic...and that ship apparently is now a museum piece). But I can't agree about the "wrong pig"-part...anyway, aren't you getting a bit too agitated about this? The Soviet Union is long gone, it's all a matter of mostly historical interest now.
  147. @Mark Eugenikos
    If you don't mind, I'll offer the same piece of advice I offered to Glossy (see #110): ...you are wasting your time arguing with D.K. He has already decided what the “reality” is. Providing him with facts that contradict his “reality” is not going to change his opinion; he’s just going to get angrier with you and come up with even more convoluted reasoning as to why he is correct and you are not.

    Maybe you’re right…but still, my book recommendation might be of use to someone else.

    Read More
  148. @D. K.
    Thank you for the book recommendation! As a paleoliberal American nationalist, whose father's ship, the U.S.C.G.C. Ingham, sank your own nation's submarine, U-626, on Tuesday, December 15, 1942, while the latter was out on its maiden patrol, I do have something of a rooting interest, albeit retrospectively, in the outcome of World War II. (My father's ship, after relocating to the Pacific Theater, also hosted General Douglas MacArthur, before the entire affair was settled, short of an amphibious invasion.) Nonetheless, as someone once schooled in European History, at the undergraduate level, I personally agree with the assessment attributed, rightly or wrongly, to Sir Winson Churchill himself: "We killed the wrong pig!"

    Interesting bit about that cutter Ingham (didn’t know the US sent out Coast guard vessels to patrol duty in the Atlantic…and that ship apparently is now a museum piece). But I can’t agree about the “wrong pig”-part…anyway, aren’t you getting a bit too agitated about this? The Soviet Union is long gone, it’s all a matter of mostly historical interest now.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    The Third Reich itself has been gone for over seventy years, by now, after lasting barely a dozen years, in total. Do feel free to advise Mr. Karlin and his ilk, here and elsewhere, of that historical reality. Perhaps they could move on to calculating, with equally scientific validity and reliability, the IQ of, say, Abram, back in Ur!?!

    My father's old ship is, indeed, a floating museum exhibit, down in Florida, these days. One of its two sister ships is serving similarly, in Baltimore's Inner Harbor-- or, at least, it was, back when I lived there, in 2009-2010. My father spent a couple of years fighting in the Battle of the Atlantic, before shifting to the Pacific Theater.
  149. @German_reader
    Interesting bit about that cutter Ingham (didn't know the US sent out Coast guard vessels to patrol duty in the Atlantic...and that ship apparently is now a museum piece). But I can't agree about the "wrong pig"-part...anyway, aren't you getting a bit too agitated about this? The Soviet Union is long gone, it's all a matter of mostly historical interest now.

    The Third Reich itself has been gone for over seventy years, by now, after lasting barely a dozen years, in total. Do feel free to advise Mr. Karlin and his ilk, here and elsewhere, of that historical reality. Perhaps they could move on to calculating, with equally scientific validity and reliability, the IQ of, say, Abram, back in Ur!?!

    My father’s old ship is, indeed, a floating museum exhibit, down in Florida, these days. One of its two sister ships is serving similarly, in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor– or, at least, it was, back when I lived there, in 2009-2010. My father spent a couple of years fighting in the Battle of the Atlantic, before shifting to the Pacific Theater.

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  150. @reiner Tor
    Stalin fought the "leftist opposition" which wanted collectivization and industrialization in the 1920s, and won. I.e. he had a clear mandate to continue the NEP (which of course wouldn't have led to mass famine but might have led to too little industrialization to fight Hitler), so collectivization was Stalin's discretionary decision. Soviet leaders 1917-33 were just inventing what it meant to be a communist leader, just as Hitler was inventing on the fly what scale of mass murder the imagined Nazi Thousand Year Empire would have required, and I think Lenin and Stalin should get full credit for their inventions much like how Hitler is getting full credit for his one.

    I agree that Lenin and Stalin were inventing what being a “communist leader” meant, but total economic control and the agricultural collectivization required to achieve it is central to communist ideology, therefore I’m less inclined to attribute the brutality associated with it to any one particular leader’s implementation of it.

    Pragmatically, if one despises communism, it’s more convenient to attribute its failures to the ideology itself than to the shortcomings of a particular communist leader. I certainly despise communism, so it’s possible this bias influences my view of the issue.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Lenin invented the ideology itself. And if Stalin didn't do the collectivization, no communist leader after him would have done so. (Especially since all later communist regimes received his support to grab power.)

    It's like saying you can't blame Hitler for exterminating the Jews, because that's an inherent part of Nazi ideology, that's what Nazi dictators do.
  151. @D. K.
    No doubt it is easier for you to regurgitate your sage advice, Mr. Eugenikos, than it is for you to debunk any of the evidence that I linked to, above, or to answer any of the many questions that I have posed to you, to date, that you have so studiously avoided answering.

    If you want to be taken seriously, start by taking others seriously. You trashed my analysis from comment #79 in your comment #112 without apparently bothering to even check it. You said:

    Your evidence … has consisted of only your own claim to having made calculations, of your own, in a spreadsheet, of your own, using data, of an unknown origin, contained in a .pdf document found at a site of your own choosing.

    You didn’t like the result of the analysis I provided so you tired to dismiss it with some ambulance-chasing blabber. The data on historical GDP by country I used (and linked) comes from World Economics Journal, published in London. Their advisory board consists of prominent economists from the Bank of England, Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, MIT, LSE, and includes even Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England. The data is easily downloadable in Excel. I explained what I did: calculated economic growth based on GDP data from year X to year Y. Anyone who can do arithmetic could have reproduced my calculations in 5 minutes. If that is not something you are capable of doing, why are trying to argue with people who can?

    What you still haven’t done: found a different source of comparative data and disputed my analysis with a better analysis. Which I still don’t expect you to do.

    Read More
    • Replies: @silviosilver
    Regarding those numbers, I really think you should have pointed out that they demonstrated that per capita growth in Germany from 1933-1940 was indeed greater than in the Soviet Union over the same period. Although, moving the calculation back just one year to 1939 sees the Soviets enjoying higher growth. In terms of comparing per capita growth rates then, it's much of a muchness, and in any case the starting year of 1933 was pivotal for Germany (Hitler, but also the worst of the global depression being over) but rather arbitrary for the USSR, meaning that this particular analysis is of extremely limited value.
    , @D. K.
    I have presented evidence, in the form of a chart to which I linked, with the estimates of both the C.I.A. and Dr. G. I. Khanin contrasted with the claims of Stalin's own government. You have yet to comment on that evidence, whereas I wrote an immediate comment, accepting your own calculations, for the sake of argument. Your ignoring my evidence does not make it go away, Mr. Eugenikos. I do not trust your evidence, because I do not know whose data the Web site that you utilized was using; and, I do not believe your evidence, because both the C.I.A. and Dr. Khanin believe that the Soviet figures, under Stalin, were grossly inflated. The whole issue is, at any rate, immaterial, since the Soviet Union's having outperformed Germany, economically, during those few years, would tell us virtually nothing meaningful about Adolf Hitler's intellect.

    Your original comment-- which was utterly unresponsive to the comment of mine to which you actually replied-- began:

    "You keep stressing what Germany had accomplished from 1933 to 1936 as if that was going to prove your point (your comments #13, #36, #47, #55), but you have provided exactly zero data to back it up. To make it even sillier, you picked specific dates (1/30/33 to 8/16/36), as if those dates, and not a week or month before or after, made any difference."

    Here, in full, was the comment to which you replied:

    "I have explained my remarks about Hitler, over and over– including my explicitly stating that I was not calling him either 'brilliant' or 'a genius,' whether as a general characteristic of the man or as to some specific trait or ability, like his economic management or military leadership. The fact remains, in just a few years’ time, his regime turned around both the German economy and the German mindset– and that was not the result of his enemies’ stupidity. In the same amount of time in office, the lauded, nearly deified, Franklin Roosevelt, in my own country, did nothing but flail about, and generally waste unprecedented amounts of borrowed money. In 1937, as he was starting his second term, the unemployment rate was back up around 17%, after four years of Keynesian-style deficit spending– which he himself had run against, back in 1932. In order to counter deflation, his administration actually went around killing lifestock and destroying goods! If Hitler was merely luckier than Roosevelt, than luck indeed favors a prepared mind. At the end of the day, as someone trained in History, Psychology and Business Administration, inter alia, I simply find it very hard to believe that Herr Hitler was no smarter than, say, George W. Bush or O. J. Simpson!?!"

    Do you see any mention of Joseph Stalin or the Soviet Union, there, Mr. Eugenikos? Did you run a spreadsheet to see how FDR's America compared, economically, to Hitler's Germany, from March 4, 1933, through the closing of the Berlin Olympic Games, on August 16, 1936? Would the results, if you had, prove which one, FDR or Hitler, was actually smarter than the other, and by just how many IQ points?

    The economic recovery of Germany under the Hitler regime, prior to World War II, is an historical fact. I presented links to two basic charts-- one showing economic growth, and the other the annual unemployment rates, before and after Hitler's appointment as Chancellor-- demonstrating what everyone other than you knows. You have provided zero evidence, let alone credible evidence, to the contrary, because there is no credible evidence to the contrary. Hitler's ability as the leader of Germany is evidence of his intellect. Nowhere have I implied what you originally claimed that I did-- that it was proof in itself of some particular IQ level.

    Do you see, yet, why I do not take you serious, Mr. Eugenikos?
  152. @Mark Eugenikos
    If you want to be taken seriously, start by taking others seriously. You trashed my analysis from comment #79 in your comment #112 without apparently bothering to even check it. You said:

    Your evidence ... has consisted of only your own claim to having made calculations, of your own, in a spreadsheet, of your own, using data, of an unknown origin, contained in a .pdf document found at a site of your own choosing.
     
    You didn't like the result of the analysis I provided so you tired to dismiss it with some ambulance-chasing blabber. The data on historical GDP by country I used (and linked) comes from World Economics Journal, published in London. Their advisory board consists of prominent economists from the Bank of England, Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, MIT, LSE, and includes even Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England. The data is easily downloadable in Excel. I explained what I did: calculated economic growth based on GDP data from year X to year Y. Anyone who can do arithmetic could have reproduced my calculations in 5 minutes. If that is not something you are capable of doing, why are trying to argue with people who can?

    What you still haven't done: found a different source of comparative data and disputed my analysis with a better analysis. Which I still don't expect you to do.

    Regarding those numbers, I really think you should have pointed out that they demonstrated that per capita growth in Germany from 1933-1940 was indeed greater than in the Soviet Union over the same period. Although, moving the calculation back just one year to 1939 sees the Soviets enjoying higher growth. In terms of comparing per capita growth rates then, it’s much of a muchness, and in any case the starting year of 1933 was pivotal for Germany (Hitler, but also the worst of the global depression being over) but rather arbitrary for the USSR, meaning that this particular analysis is of extremely limited value.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos
    All valid points. I picked '33-'36 because DK insisted on those particular years and I let him cook in the stew of his own choosing. Otherwise I wouldn't have cared if it was '36 or '39 or '40. But that's also why I calculated growth from 1900 to 1940 as a better representation of long-term trends, which indeed shows Germany growing a bit more than Russia/USSR, which I also stated.

    But hey, I pointed to the data source and explained what I did, so anyone could have picked a different starting and ending point and replicated what I did. The main point was, if one wants to argue something, find some reliable data and then try to construct one's argument on that foundation, not the other way round - baseless conclusions first, and then let's try to paint ourselves out of a corner.
  153. @silviosilver
    Regarding those numbers, I really think you should have pointed out that they demonstrated that per capita growth in Germany from 1933-1940 was indeed greater than in the Soviet Union over the same period. Although, moving the calculation back just one year to 1939 sees the Soviets enjoying higher growth. In terms of comparing per capita growth rates then, it's much of a muchness, and in any case the starting year of 1933 was pivotal for Germany (Hitler, but also the worst of the global depression being over) but rather arbitrary for the USSR, meaning that this particular analysis is of extremely limited value.

    All valid points. I picked ’33-’36 because DK insisted on those particular years and I let him cook in the stew of his own choosing. Otherwise I wouldn’t have cared if it was ’36 or ’39 or ’40. But that’s also why I calculated growth from 1900 to 1940 as a better representation of long-term trends, which indeed shows Germany growing a bit more than Russia/USSR, which I also stated.

    But hey, I pointed to the data source and explained what I did, so anyone could have picked a different starting and ending point and replicated what I did. The main point was, if one wants to argue something, find some reliable data and then try to construct one’s argument on that foundation, not the other way round – baseless conclusions first, and then let’s try to paint ourselves out of a corner.

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  154. @D. K.
    "Hitler's IQ Was 125" strikes you as a scientifically valid and reliable blog post, on the part of Mr. Karlin, does it, Mr. Diamond?

    Hitler’s IQ Was 125″ strikes you as a scientifically valid and reliable blog post, on the part of Mr. Karlin…

    I wouldn’t call it “scientific”; I would call it rational, hence not “crudely unscientific.”

    My point isn’t scientific puritanism. It’s a matter of eschewing demonstrably false premises, such as the premise that status and power are strong proxies for IQ. On the other hand, the IQ of one’s associates is a strong proxy, at least there’s reason to think so. And writing quality is a strong proxy for verbal intelligence.

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  155. Here’s another argument for 125, one related to Karlin’s but not identical.

    There’s a theory (I wish I could track it down) that seems plausible to me. It holds that the IQ level of a movement leader and the next level of followers won’t exceed 18. That sounds about right, although of course I can’t be confident about the exact number. After 18, communication breaks down. (What was communication between Streicher and Schacht like.) I think we can reasonably expand the theory to say that the members of the leader’s circle will neither be exceeded nor exceed the leader by more than 18 points. (A skillful leader can tolerate someone smarter than he, but not someone beyond his comprehension.)

    It’s a tight fit, and IQ 124 or 125 comes very close. (I had said 120, but let’s remember, even a good IQ test has a standard error of 5.)

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    I wonder if so wide an IQ spread within a national leadership is typical. My guess is that it isn't. It would seem that one of Hitler's abilities was in using people much smarter than he.
  156. @Stephen R. Diamond
    Thyssen contributed as much as a million marks to the Nazis; whereas revolutionaries (who thus needed higher IQs) had no comparable benefactors. (Unless you believe the lies about "German gold" to the Bolsheviks.)

    Perhaps "tool" wasn't precise. He was entirely capable of turning against individual benefactors. But he rose because he was supported by a section of capital: mainly to suppress the Communists and Social Democrats.

    Robert Service mentions wealthy benefactors, for example a Russian businessman who in exchange was promised the chance to leave Russia if the revolution won.

    Then there was Jacob Schiff, who may or may not have given the Bolsheviks money. He certainly had both the resources and the motivation to do so, but I haven’t found conclusive evidence that he did.

    In any event, I fail to see how receiving small sums of money (the DNVP got more, for example) would obviate the need for a high IQ.

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    In any event, I fail to see how receiving small sums of money (the DNVP got more, for example) would obviate the need for a high IQ.
     
    A whole section of capital financed Hitler. (I say this without any expertise on the subject. It seems common knowledge.)

    Generally, I understand, in the 30s it was the multinational firms, for example, I.G. Farben, A.E.G., DAPAG.

    I don't think there's any comparable support from corporate capital for the Communists. For them, it was only a few errant individuals.

    Or so I'm led to believe.
  157. @Stephen R. Diamond
    Here's another argument for 125, one related to Karlin's but not identical.

    There's a theory (I wish I could track it down) that seems plausible to me. It holds that the IQ level of a movement leader and the next level of followers won't exceed 18. That sounds about right, although of course I can't be confident about the exact number. After 18, communication breaks down. (What was communication between Streicher and Schacht like.) I think we can reasonably expand the theory to say that the members of the leader's circle will neither be exceeded nor exceed the leader by more than 18 points. (A skillful leader can tolerate someone smarter than he, but not someone beyond his comprehension.)

    It's a tight fit, and IQ 124 or 125 comes very close. (I had said 120, but let's remember, even a good IQ test has a standard error of 5.)

    I wonder if so wide an IQ spread within a national leadership is typical. My guess is that it isn’t. It would seem that one of Hitler’s abilities was in using people much smarter than he.

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  158. @German_reader
    "Karl May is well known and popular in Hungary as well, but my main issue with your comment is that I don’t know the source for him being Hitler’s favorite author. "

    I can't really give you a source but it was well-known even at the time (Victor Klemperer mentioned it in his diaries).
    The Wikipedia article on Karl May has a lengthy subsection about Hitler's admiration for May's works ("Influence"):
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_May
    Interesting though that Karl May is popular in Hungary, I didn't know that.

    Hitler certainly liked May (Einstein, too), but what does “favorite author” mean in that context? Did he frequently read Winnetou as an adult (when he was also reading Schopenhauer and the likes), or did he simply have fond memories of having read it as a boy or maybe a teenager? I’d think it was the latter.

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  159. @Mark Eugenikos
    If you want to be taken seriously, start by taking others seriously. You trashed my analysis from comment #79 in your comment #112 without apparently bothering to even check it. You said:

    Your evidence ... has consisted of only your own claim to having made calculations, of your own, in a spreadsheet, of your own, using data, of an unknown origin, contained in a .pdf document found at a site of your own choosing.
     
    You didn't like the result of the analysis I provided so you tired to dismiss it with some ambulance-chasing blabber. The data on historical GDP by country I used (and linked) comes from World Economics Journal, published in London. Their advisory board consists of prominent economists from the Bank of England, Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, MIT, LSE, and includes even Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England. The data is easily downloadable in Excel. I explained what I did: calculated economic growth based on GDP data from year X to year Y. Anyone who can do arithmetic could have reproduced my calculations in 5 minutes. If that is not something you are capable of doing, why are trying to argue with people who can?

    What you still haven't done: found a different source of comparative data and disputed my analysis with a better analysis. Which I still don't expect you to do.

    I have presented evidence, in the form of a chart to which I linked, with the estimates of both the C.I.A. and Dr. G. I. Khanin contrasted with the claims of Stalin’s own government. You have yet to comment on that evidence, whereas I wrote an immediate comment, accepting your own calculations, for the sake of argument. Your ignoring my evidence does not make it go away, Mr. Eugenikos. I do not trust your evidence, because I do not know whose data the Web site that you utilized was using; and, I do not believe your evidence, because both the C.I.A. and Dr. Khanin believe that the Soviet figures, under Stalin, were grossly inflated. The whole issue is, at any rate, immaterial, since the Soviet Union’s having outperformed Germany, economically, during those few years, would tell us virtually nothing meaningful about Adolf Hitler’s intellect.

    Your original comment– which was utterly unresponsive to the comment of mine to which you actually replied– began:

    “You keep stressing what Germany had accomplished from 1933 to 1936 as if that was going to prove your point (your comments #13, #36, #47, #55), but you have provided exactly zero data to back it up. To make it even sillier, you picked specific dates (1/30/33 to 8/16/36), as if those dates, and not a week or month before or after, made any difference.”

    Here, in full, was the comment to which you replied:

    “I have explained my remarks about Hitler, over and over– including my explicitly stating that I was not calling him either ‘brilliant’ or ‘a genius,’ whether as a general characteristic of the man or as to some specific trait or ability, like his economic management or military leadership. The fact remains, in just a few years’ time, his regime turned around both the German economy and the German mindset– and that was not the result of his enemies’ stupidity. In the same amount of time in office, the lauded, nearly deified, Franklin Roosevelt, in my own country, did nothing but flail about, and generally waste unprecedented amounts of borrowed money. In 1937, as he was starting his second term, the unemployment rate was back up around 17%, after four years of Keynesian-style deficit spending– which he himself had run against, back in 1932. In order to counter deflation, his administration actually went around killing lifestock and destroying goods! If Hitler was merely luckier than Roosevelt, than luck indeed favors a prepared mind. At the end of the day, as someone trained in History, Psychology and Business Administration, inter alia, I simply find it very hard to believe that Herr Hitler was no smarter than, say, George W. Bush or O. J. Simpson!?!”

    Do you see any mention of Joseph Stalin or the Soviet Union, there, Mr. Eugenikos? Did you run a spreadsheet to see how FDR’s America compared, economically, to Hitler’s Germany, from March 4, 1933, through the closing of the Berlin Olympic Games, on August 16, 1936? Would the results, if you had, prove which one, FDR or Hitler, was actually smarter than the other, and by just how many IQ points?

    The economic recovery of Germany under the Hitler regime, prior to World War II, is an historical fact. I presented links to two basic charts– one showing economic growth, and the other the annual unemployment rates, before and after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor– demonstrating what everyone other than you knows. You have provided zero evidence, let alone credible evidence, to the contrary, because there is no credible evidence to the contrary. Hitler’s ability as the leader of Germany is evidence of his intellect. Nowhere have I implied what you originally claimed that I did– that it was proof in itself of some particular IQ level.

    Do you see, yet, why I do not take you serious, Mr. Eugenikos?

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    • Replies: @Mark Eugenikos

    I have presented evidence, in the form of a chart to which I linked, with the estimates of both the C.I.A. and Dr. G. I. Khanin contrasted with the claims of Stalin’s own government. You have yet to comment on that evidence...
     
    You have presented one chart showing only German economic growth. That chart does not a comparison to USSR make. You haven't presented any data from CIA or Khanin; you just claimed that such data exist and expected everyone to trust your word that the alleged data supports your story. Is that what passes for admissible evidence?

    Tally so far: Mark Eugenikos 1, D.K. zero


    Do you see any mention of Joseph Stalin or the Soviet Union, there, Mr. Eugenikos?
     
    Of course I do, in your comment #13, as I stated initially:

    Herr Hitler did not manage merely to get himself appointed as the new Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933; he also managed to be a hands-on activist leader, once in power, who largely stabilized and reinvigorated the German nation. By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?
     
    Tally so far: Mark Eugenikos 2, D.K. zero

    I was referring to what Hitler’s Germany had accomplished, between late January 1933 and the first half of August 1936, versus what the Bolsheviks and Communists had accomplished, under Lenin and Stalin, between November 1917 and the first half of August 1936...
     
    I am not disputing that German economy grew during that period; I am disputing that it grew more than the Soviet economy during the same period (the only way two economies can be compared; your comparison of Germany '33-'36 vs. USSR '17-'36 is apples and oranges comparison), because available data (which I found but you haven't) shows that the Soviet economy grew faster during the period that you selected, i.e. the period that you chose as best representing Hitler's able leadership.

    Tally so far: Mark Eugenikos 3, D.K. zero

    Look, if you want to rationalize and convince yourself why you should admire Hitler, fine with me. Just don't try to present bogus economic data as evidence.

  160. @Glossy
    which also claimed to have done away with unemployment, in the Soviet Union, altogether!).

    There was no unemployment in the post-WWII USSR at all. I was there. Also no homelessness, advertising, prostitution, gambling or drugs. If you don't know THAT (and the exclamation point a the end of the quoted sentence implies that you really, really don't know it), then why are you discussing this subject at all? You have close to zero information about it.

    When did they introduce advertising? [I always wondered how a supposedly socialist regime justified the practice.]

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    When I said "in the post-WWII USSR" I meant "in the 1945 - 1990 period". As far as I remember, advertising appeared around 1990. Maybe 1989? When did it disappear? Harder to say. There may have been some advertising in the 1920s, during the NEP years.
  161. @German_reader
    Why don't you read the book I mentioned earlier in the thread:
    http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-european-history/beyond-totalitarianism-stalinism-and-nazism-compared

    Brings out differences and commonalities of Nazism and Stalinism quite clearly in my opinion, and convinced me that Nazism was in some ways definitely "worse" (even though as a non-self-hating German I'd obviously like to think different).
    Or read that "Bloodlands" book from Snyder (can't stand the guy and his book is neither original nor very good, but as a synthesis of the research of better historians is has some use).
    I don't think any serious historian today still gives estimates of "at least 20 or 25 million killed by Stalinism"...but unless you're at least trying to engage with more recent academic literature, there's no point to any discussion.

    On the other hand, while Fitzpatrick’s works are often worth to read (I’ve read a couple myself), she’s a well-known revisionist who thinks things like the Great Terror just emerged from factors like social mobility and turmoil, and not devised and implemented by a few people with Stalin at the top, who started and then stopped the whole thing when decided it fit his purpose.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Yes, but she's only editor of that volume, it's a collection of essays by different authors, not all of whom share exactly the same perspective. I didn't get the impression that there was any attempt to whitewash Stalinism, there was plenty of attention to such subjects as the "national operations" in 1937/38 which some scholars regard as borderline genocidal in intent.
  162. @silviosilver
    I agree that Lenin and Stalin were inventing what being a "communist leader" meant, but total economic control and the agricultural collectivization required to achieve it is central to communist ideology, therefore I'm less inclined to attribute the brutality associated with it to any one particular leader's implementation of it.

    Pragmatically, if one despises communism, it's more convenient to attribute its failures to the ideology itself than to the shortcomings of a particular communist leader. I certainly despise communism, so it's possible this bias influences my view of the issue.

    Lenin invented the ideology itself. And if Stalin didn’t do the collectivization, no communist leader after him would have done so. (Especially since all later communist regimes received his support to grab power.)

    It’s like saying you can’t blame Hitler for exterminating the Jews, because that’s an inherent part of Nazi ideology, that’s what Nazi dictators do.

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    • Replies: @silviosilver
    I must disagree. You're giving Lenin and Stalin too much credit for what was a very obvious measure. Communist(ic) thought predated Lenin's emergence by several decades, and central to it was complete state command of the economy. Any communist regime would have no choice but to take some step towards collectivization at some point (the timing itself perhaps dictated by various political factors) because to fail to would result in something significantly less than complete economic command; it's very difficult to imagine a communist economy that foregoes it. On the other hand, it surely doesn't require much effort to imagine a "Nazi" country - say, a regime that takes racial existence seriously - that doesn't exterminate anybody, or even war on or persecute anybody.
  163. @reiner Tor
    Lenin invented the ideology itself. And if Stalin didn't do the collectivization, no communist leader after him would have done so. (Especially since all later communist regimes received his support to grab power.)

    It's like saying you can't blame Hitler for exterminating the Jews, because that's an inherent part of Nazi ideology, that's what Nazi dictators do.

    I must disagree. You’re giving Lenin and Stalin too much credit for what was a very obvious measure. Communist(ic) thought predated Lenin’s emergence by several decades, and central to it was complete state command of the economy. Any communist regime would have no choice but to take some step towards collectivization at some point (the timing itself perhaps dictated by various political factors) because to fail to would result in something significantly less than complete economic command; it’s very difficult to imagine a communist economy that foregoes it. On the other hand, it surely doesn’t require much effort to imagine a “Nazi” country – say, a regime that takes racial existence seriously – that doesn’t exterminate anybody, or even war on or persecute anybody.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Again. Communism wasn't separate from other Marxist movements until 1917 or maybe later. Other Marxist parties slowly changed their minds and became reformist, so much so that the still revolutionist Lenin by 1919 decided he needed a new name to differentiate himself from other Social Democrats (the most usual name for Marxists of any stripes before 1917), and so in a sense he personally decided to go fully radical. And then after several million people dead, he retreated and started the NEP. It was intended as a temporary measure, but as it often happens, after a few years people started to think it was to stay forever.

    There were political struggles between those wanted to go back to war communism (Trotsky and the "leftist opposition") and Stalin and his allies (who included Bukharin, an old Bolshevik who seemed to be the proponent of a permanent NEP). So Stalin again made a discretionary decision to start collectivization, which greatly surprised Bukharin. If you can easily imagine a Nazi government without mass murder or war, I can also easily imagine a communist government with permanent NEP. In fact some communist governments (like Yugoslavia and Poland) never collectivized their agricultural sectors.

    While collectivization seems logical to you in retrospect, it wouldn't, had Stalin (and/or Lenin) chosen something else in the 1920s.
  164. @D. K.
    I have presented evidence, in the form of a chart to which I linked, with the estimates of both the C.I.A. and Dr. G. I. Khanin contrasted with the claims of Stalin's own government. You have yet to comment on that evidence, whereas I wrote an immediate comment, accepting your own calculations, for the sake of argument. Your ignoring my evidence does not make it go away, Mr. Eugenikos. I do not trust your evidence, because I do not know whose data the Web site that you utilized was using; and, I do not believe your evidence, because both the C.I.A. and Dr. Khanin believe that the Soviet figures, under Stalin, were grossly inflated. The whole issue is, at any rate, immaterial, since the Soviet Union's having outperformed Germany, economically, during those few years, would tell us virtually nothing meaningful about Adolf Hitler's intellect.

    Your original comment-- which was utterly unresponsive to the comment of mine to which you actually replied-- began:

    "You keep stressing what Germany had accomplished from 1933 to 1936 as if that was going to prove your point (your comments #13, #36, #47, #55), but you have provided exactly zero data to back it up. To make it even sillier, you picked specific dates (1/30/33 to 8/16/36), as if those dates, and not a week or month before or after, made any difference."

    Here, in full, was the comment to which you replied:

    "I have explained my remarks about Hitler, over and over– including my explicitly stating that I was not calling him either 'brilliant' or 'a genius,' whether as a general characteristic of the man or as to some specific trait or ability, like his economic management or military leadership. The fact remains, in just a few years’ time, his regime turned around both the German economy and the German mindset– and that was not the result of his enemies’ stupidity. In the same amount of time in office, the lauded, nearly deified, Franklin Roosevelt, in my own country, did nothing but flail about, and generally waste unprecedented amounts of borrowed money. In 1937, as he was starting his second term, the unemployment rate was back up around 17%, after four years of Keynesian-style deficit spending– which he himself had run against, back in 1932. In order to counter deflation, his administration actually went around killing lifestock and destroying goods! If Hitler was merely luckier than Roosevelt, than luck indeed favors a prepared mind. At the end of the day, as someone trained in History, Psychology and Business Administration, inter alia, I simply find it very hard to believe that Herr Hitler was no smarter than, say, George W. Bush or O. J. Simpson!?!"

    Do you see any mention of Joseph Stalin or the Soviet Union, there, Mr. Eugenikos? Did you run a spreadsheet to see how FDR's America compared, economically, to Hitler's Germany, from March 4, 1933, through the closing of the Berlin Olympic Games, on August 16, 1936? Would the results, if you had, prove which one, FDR or Hitler, was actually smarter than the other, and by just how many IQ points?

    The economic recovery of Germany under the Hitler regime, prior to World War II, is an historical fact. I presented links to two basic charts-- one showing economic growth, and the other the annual unemployment rates, before and after Hitler's appointment as Chancellor-- demonstrating what everyone other than you knows. You have provided zero evidence, let alone credible evidence, to the contrary, because there is no credible evidence to the contrary. Hitler's ability as the leader of Germany is evidence of his intellect. Nowhere have I implied what you originally claimed that I did-- that it was proof in itself of some particular IQ level.

    Do you see, yet, why I do not take you serious, Mr. Eugenikos?

    I have presented evidence, in the form of a chart to which I linked, with the estimates of both the C.I.A. and Dr. G. I. Khanin contrasted with the claims of Stalin’s own government. You have yet to comment on that evidence…

    You have presented one chart showing only German economic growth. That chart does not a comparison to USSR make. You haven’t presented any data from CIA or Khanin; you just claimed that such data exist and expected everyone to trust your word that the alleged data supports your story. Is that what passes for admissible evidence?

    Tally so far: Mark Eugenikos 1, D.K. zero

    Do you see any mention of Joseph Stalin or the Soviet Union, there, Mr. Eugenikos?

    Of course I do, in your comment #13, as I stated initially:

    Herr Hitler did not manage merely to get himself appointed as the new Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933; he also managed to be a hands-on activist leader, once in power, who largely stabilized and reinvigorated the German nation. By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?

    Tally so far: Mark Eugenikos 2, D.K. zero

    I was referring to what Hitler’s Germany had accomplished, between late January 1933 and the first half of August 1936, versus what the Bolsheviks and Communists had accomplished, under Lenin and Stalin, between November 1917 and the first half of August 1936…

    I am not disputing that German economy grew during that period; I am disputing that it grew more than the Soviet economy during the same period (the only way two economies can be compared; your comparison of Germany ’33-’36 vs. USSR ’17-’36 is apples and oranges comparison), because available data (which I found but you haven’t) shows that the Soviet economy grew faster during the period that you selected, i.e. the period that you chose as best representing Hitler’s able leadership.

    Tally so far: Mark Eugenikos 3, D.K. zero

    Look, if you want to rationalize and convince yourself why you should admire Hitler, fine with me. Just don’t try to present bogus economic data as evidence.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    In your initial comment, in this thread, you did not choose to reply to my comment that you now quote at length; you chose to reply, instead, to a reply by me to our German friend, here, which I quoted in full, in my immediately preceding message. Do you not even know how to be topical, by actually responding to the actual contents of the message to which you actually have pressed the "REPLY" button, Mr. Eugenikos? The bulk and thrust of that initial comment of yours was about comparing the Soviet and German economies, on the lone measure of per capita GDP, for the lone period of 1933-1936, as if my own rhetorical question, in the comment that you now belatedly see fit to quote, was actually the sum and substance of my entire argument, earlier-- not only about how well the German nation itself performed, during the first few years of the Hitler regime, but about what that actually tells us about Adolf Hitler's own (presumably mythical) IQ score!?!

    You even evinced astonishment that I should have chosen such "random" dates, when talking about Hitler's performance, as January 30, 1933, and August 16, 1936, although I had explained, before and after, what should be apparent to everyone else but you: the first date was the day that Hitler was appointed as Chancellor of Germany, and the second date was the day that the Berlin Olympic Games concluded, which Hitler had used to showcase the new Germany, under National Socialism, to the rest of the world. Pray tell, Mr. Eugenikos, where did you earn your university degree(s) in History, such that they taught you that my picking such dates was utterly "random" and historically inscrutable on my part?

    Regardless, I had made no claim, in the comment that you now belatedly quote, that Germany had outperformed the Soviet Union, economically, during those few years; I instead stated that the new German regime, under National Socialism, had performed better, in its first few years, in transforming its nation, than had the Bolsheviks and Communists, in nearly twenty years, in transforming their own, in terms of stabilizing and reinvigorating their respective nations, for the benefit of their respective populations. As I pointed out, long ago, as Hitler came to power, early in 1933, the Soviets were suffering through a government-contrived famine, in which millions of Stalin's hapless subjects died, and otherwise suffered; three days after the Berlin Olympics closed, in August 1936, the infamous show trials began in Moscow, as the Great Terror got under way, in earnest. For anyone to claim that the Soviet Union was in better shape, let alone in better hands, during the mid-to-late 1930s, than was Germany, tells us all we need to know about the person making that claim....

    Furthermore, I did not state that the given time period best represented the performance of the Hitler regime; in fact, I explicitly stated that Germany's best days, under that regime, were still ahead of it, prior to World War II-- while Soviet subjects could look forward only to the Great Terror's being played out before them! You are the only one claiming that an "apples to apples" comparison, limited to those few years, and based upon only your own (highly dubious) data choice, and spreadsheet calculations, on per capita GDP, tells us which regime performed better, on behalf of its own population-- let alone making the ludicrous claim that such a determination could have even the slightest material bearing upon the issue of Adolf Hitler's own intelligence!?!

    Finally, as to the opening claim of your latest reply to me, I posted a link to a chart on the Soviet Union's historic economic growth, in terms of national income, from 1928 forward, nearly three full days ago! I have referred you back to that link, and also discussed the issue of the validity and reliability of Soviet economic statistics, several times, since then. For you to claim that I have not provided that data, after all that notice, suggests that you are either clinically psychotic or a bald-faced liar. Which is it, Mr. Eugenides?

    From that earlier comment of mine, in reply to you, (currently listed as) #98:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Graph_of_Soviet_National_Income_Growth.png

    Your own scorekeeping is about as aboveboard as Bill Clinton's duly signed golf card....
  165. @silviosilver
    I must disagree. You're giving Lenin and Stalin too much credit for what was a very obvious measure. Communist(ic) thought predated Lenin's emergence by several decades, and central to it was complete state command of the economy. Any communist regime would have no choice but to take some step towards collectivization at some point (the timing itself perhaps dictated by various political factors) because to fail to would result in something significantly less than complete economic command; it's very difficult to imagine a communist economy that foregoes it. On the other hand, it surely doesn't require much effort to imagine a "Nazi" country - say, a regime that takes racial existence seriously - that doesn't exterminate anybody, or even war on or persecute anybody.

    Again. Communism wasn’t separate from other Marxist movements until 1917 or maybe later. Other Marxist parties slowly changed their minds and became reformist, so much so that the still revolutionist Lenin by 1919 decided he needed a new name to differentiate himself from other Social Democrats (the most usual name for Marxists of any stripes before 1917), and so in a sense he personally decided to go fully radical. And then after several million people dead, he retreated and started the NEP. It was intended as a temporary measure, but as it often happens, after a few years people started to think it was to stay forever.

    There were political struggles between those wanted to go back to war communism (Trotsky and the “leftist opposition”) and Stalin and his allies (who included Bukharin, an old Bolshevik who seemed to be the proponent of a permanent NEP). So Stalin again made a discretionary decision to start collectivization, which greatly surprised Bukharin. If you can easily imagine a Nazi government without mass murder or war, I can also easily imagine a communist government with permanent NEP. In fact some communist governments (like Yugoslavia and Poland) never collectivized their agricultural sectors.

    While collectivization seems logical to you in retrospect, it wouldn’t, had Stalin (and/or Lenin) chosen something else in the 1920s.

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  166. @Stephen R. Diamond
    When did they introduce advertising? [I always wondered how a supposedly socialist regime justified the practice.]

    When I said “in the post-WWII USSR” I meant “in the 1945 – 1990 period”. As far as I remember, advertising appeared around 1990. Maybe 1989? When did it disappear? Harder to say. There may have been some advertising in the 1920s, during the NEP years.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    In Hungary there was already advertising in the 1960s, maybe earlier. It was getting more prominent by the 1980s, but still not nearly as prominent as after 1989.

    The 1980s tv commercials were extremely lame by later standards (and so often seem charming in retrospect).
  167. @Glossy
    When I said "in the post-WWII USSR" I meant "in the 1945 - 1990 period". As far as I remember, advertising appeared around 1990. Maybe 1989? When did it disappear? Harder to say. There may have been some advertising in the 1920s, during the NEP years.

    In Hungary there was already advertising in the 1960s, maybe earlier. It was getting more prominent by the 1980s, but still not nearly as prominent as after 1989.

    The 1980s tv commercials were extremely lame by later standards (and so often seem charming in retrospect).

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  168. @reiner Tor
    On the other hand, while Fitzpatrick's works are often worth to read (I've read a couple myself), she's a well-known revisionist who thinks things like the Great Terror just emerged from factors like social mobility and turmoil, and not devised and implemented by a few people with Stalin at the top, who started and then stopped the whole thing when decided it fit his purpose.

    Yes, but she’s only editor of that volume, it’s a collection of essays by different authors, not all of whom share exactly the same perspective. I didn’t get the impression that there was any attempt to whitewash Stalinism, there was plenty of attention to such subjects as the “national operations” in 1937/38 which some scholars regard as borderline genocidal in intent.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I might try that volume, as well as Snyder's book.

    I have a problem with the following types of whitewashing:

    - role of specific persons' personal decisions minimized (as you can see with my conversation with Silviosilver), when in fact people did make decisions, it's the same thing with 'structuralists' in the case of Nazism: while there were local excesses and local SS commanders often escalated (and/or proposed Berlin how to escalate) the originally modest orders, long term only the decisions made in the center (personally by Hitler) were the ones that counted, as Hitler's will always prevailed when he wanted to (and it must be noted that most ordinary Nazis never wanted to exterminate all Jews, but many were willing to go along with some central policy to that effect, and those unwilling self-selected themselves out of the machinery of extermination)
    - famine deaths are counted as "well, just a famine", when in fact all Soviet famines in the 20th century claimed more (in the case of 1921 and 1933, way way more) lives, than the last Czarist famines, and there were disturbing deliberate actions by the central government which can only be seen as government action to induce the deaths of the famine victims (in 1921 confiscating grain with the calculated effect of causing a famine and thereby putting an end to the peasant guerrilla movement, in 1933 deporting back people who had fled famine-stricken areas to the very same famine-stricken areas, or preventing them to leave in the first place); famine in the Warsaw ghetto was always counted as part of the holocaust, so famine victims can be victims of mass murder anyway
    - splitting the Soviet totals 1917-39 based on "Stalin wasn't in power before 1925" and giving only the 1925-39 totals, when he was part of the earlier regime, did participate in its mass murder (and in fact was among the more ruthless) and approved of all the murderous policies of the regime (yes, you can give a 1917-24 total for Lenin and a 1924-39 or 1924-53 total for Stalin, but always add that Stalin was a very high ranking official of Lenin's regime already, and always give the total for the two added together)

    There might be more, these are what I don't like.

    I thought about which one was 'worse' or 'better', but I think there's no good answer. The Soviet regime "only" wanted to kill maybe 5% (according to Zinoviev in 1918, maybe 10%) of the population it conquered (wherever it took power), and in the end it only killed a few thousand people in most Eastern European (non-Soviet) countries (but they did kill the 5% in China and I think in Vietnam, too), and they wanted to conquer the whole world, not just a however huge part of it, so the intended body count (for which they never had a chance to reach) might be 100 million (if we calculate with the 2 billion population in the 1940s). Hitler of course wanted to get rid of most of the Slavic (and all of the Jewish) population where he conquered (that could be 100 million, too), and not only did he have realistic chances of conquering that area but also it's possible he would have wanted to conquer even more, had he won. A total Nazi conquest of the Earth would have resulted in the death of 90% of humanity (had the Nazis followed up on Hitler's theories after expanding so much his original goals). On the other hand, a total Stalinist conquest of the Earth would have killed off probably only 5% of the population, but it would have been disproportionately from among the most worthy 5% capable of creating arts and sciences. Moreover, Nazi Germany was freer (from the point of view of a German) than the USSR (from the point of view of a Soviet citizen, be it a Politburo member or an average Ivan Ivanovich) and so probably life for the future humanity would have been better.

    It must also be kept in mind that the Nazis were conscious of the fact that they had to hurry up with their genocide because after the war (and they were counting on a victory) they wouldn't be able to do that any more. In other words, probably after a victory the genocide would have stopped or at least slowed down. Same thing after Hitler's death - who knows what his successors would have done? I also sometimes think that even if for example my ancestors would have been exterminated by Hitler, I have German ancestors as well, and Germans are closely related to Slavs and other non-Southern Europeans, so if the present Eurabia scenario turns reality, maybe even Polish etc. genetic interests would be better served by their extermination at the hands of close genetic relatives (the Germans) as opposed to distant peoples (MENA and SSA peoples). Also the Nazi vision was based on human nature. The Communist vision was based on a false view of human nature. This kind of honesty might have been better after the system cooled down and stopped mass murder.

    But yes, the Nazis were probably worse from a purely humanitarian point of view. It's a question how much worse. The 60 million victims of Mao might have been spared (no Soviet victory, no Maoist victory in China), same thing for Pol Pot's victims, etc. The Japanese might have killed several millions, though. I don't know.

    Both were pretty bad regimes.
  169. @Stephen R. Diamond

    The best indication of Hitler’s relevant capacities is what he actually did.
     
    It seems to make sense, but it is really crudely unscientific. It's like saying that the best indication of a person's IQ is his income. (Everyone would like a higher one.) Usually, the best indication of an IQ is an IQ test. (Will you offer to revise the tested scores of Hitler's confederates?)

    Perhaps what you underestimate is the importance of single-minded focus and sheer willpower. Lenin had both, too, but he was a lot smarter than Hitler. Again, you can tell by their writing. [To National Socialist theory, did Hitler make a single contribution? Lenin was a "man of action" too. That didn't stop him from being good with ideas.]

    Lenin’s theories had little relation to real life, in practice he was a fool who handed a key position to Stalin, Hitler outmaneuvered everyone. It seems the type of IQ that copes best with real life difficulties is accounted worthless. Hitler identified the source of communist power as street intimidators not theoretical dialectic. I have already said that the figure for Streicher seems to0 low. Gotti sometimes tested low when in prison and one would wonder what the incentive is for a person on trial for their life to seem highly intelligent. An IQ of 125 is possible for Hitler but it would be rock bottom, and you could give that figure for Mozart too. Neither could be properly assessed by an IQ test, they had a highly specialised type of intelligence. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-imprinted-brain/200908/the-symmetry-savantism

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Stalin's key position didn't mean automatic power for him, though. He needed to outmaneuver the other Politburo members.

    In the Soviet 'democratic centralism' the Politburo could remove Stalin from his position and expel him from the party. Then they could replace most people below them, and then get their acts retroactively approved at a new party congress. So Stalin what needed to avoid was Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev getting together. He managed to split them (because all three of them underestimated him), and only then was he finally safe.

    I agree that Hitler had special talents for some things. I think he could have been a great architect (according to Spotts in Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics basically all Nazi public structures could be considered his personal creations, almost all of them were based on his sketches, and he kept modifying the plans until they were exactly how he imagined them), and he definitely had an aesthetic sense (see those cool Nazi uniforms that were all designed based on his sketches and then modified... or his Parteitagen... you get the point), I'm not sure if it would show up in his IQ.

    He had a very good memory, and I think there's a good correlation between memory and IQ. But savants also have very good long-term memory (but low IQ and also bad short-term memory), and I'm not sure how good his short-term memory was.

    I'd think AK's 125 estimate is within the bounds of what I'd think right, but my guess would be at least 5 points higher. (Maybe even 10-15 points higher.) It's also my impression that he liked to listen to his own voice a lot, and most of the people he surrounded himself with had to be good listeners. This might mean that he surrounded himself with lower-IQ types who worshipped him for being a genius because he told them things they could never have come up with themselves.

    Of course it's all just idle speculation.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    Lenin’s theories had little relation to real life, in practice he was a fool who handed a key position to Stalin, Hitler outmaneuvered everyone.
     
    Here's where we disagree. You think being a "fool" (without conceding the point about Lenin) is a marker of low IQ (or at least not superior IQ). There are many highly intelligent fools. On the other hand, you deny that the ability to handle ideas has much to do with IQ, unless the ideas correctly describe "real life" (by your lights).

    Recognized philosophers are high IQ individuals. Famed Harvard philosopher Hilary Putnam included Lenin's "Materialism and Empirio-Criticism" as a main text for his graduate level epistemology course. Lenin was smart.

    You have a distorted concept of intelligence, warped into some vulgar notion of practical effectiveness. This is further shown by your response to my question about the IQ tests of Hitler's confederates. You said Hitler had a kind of intelligence that tests would not capture. Here you concede the substantive point, just to sustain your philistine and unscientific view of intelligence. Everyone will agree that Hitler's success was at least partly due to some exceptional personal qualities. But it's not IQ.
  170. @German_reader
    Yes, but she's only editor of that volume, it's a collection of essays by different authors, not all of whom share exactly the same perspective. I didn't get the impression that there was any attempt to whitewash Stalinism, there was plenty of attention to such subjects as the "national operations" in 1937/38 which some scholars regard as borderline genocidal in intent.

    I might try that volume, as well as Snyder’s book.

    I have a problem with the following types of whitewashing:

    - role of specific persons’ personal decisions minimized (as you can see with my conversation with Silviosilver), when in fact people did make decisions, it’s the same thing with ‘structuralists’ in the case of Nazism: while there were local excesses and local SS commanders often escalated (and/or proposed Berlin how to escalate) the originally modest orders, long term only the decisions made in the center (personally by Hitler) were the ones that counted, as Hitler’s will always prevailed when he wanted to (and it must be noted that most ordinary Nazis never wanted to exterminate all Jews, but many were willing to go along with some central policy to that effect, and those unwilling self-selected themselves out of the machinery of extermination)
    - famine deaths are counted as “well, just a famine”, when in fact all Soviet famines in the 20th century claimed more (in the case of 1921 and 1933, way way more) lives, than the last Czarist famines, and there were disturbing deliberate actions by the central government which can only be seen as government action to induce the deaths of the famine victims (in 1921 confiscating grain with the calculated effect of causing a famine and thereby putting an end to the peasant guerrilla movement, in 1933 deporting back people who had fled famine-stricken areas to the very same famine-stricken areas, or preventing them to leave in the first place); famine in the Warsaw ghetto was always counted as part of the holocaust, so famine victims can be victims of mass murder anyway
    - splitting the Soviet totals 1917-39 based on “Stalin wasn’t in power before 1925″ and giving only the 1925-39 totals, when he was part of the earlier regime, did participate in its mass murder (and in fact was among the more ruthless) and approved of all the murderous policies of the regime (yes, you can give a 1917-24 total for Lenin and a 1924-39 or 1924-53 total for Stalin, but always add that Stalin was a very high ranking official of Lenin’s regime already, and always give the total for the two added together)

    There might be more, these are what I don’t like.

    I thought about which one was ‘worse’ or ‘better’, but I think there’s no good answer. The Soviet regime “only” wanted to kill maybe 5% (according to Zinoviev in 1918, maybe 10%) of the population it conquered (wherever it took power), and in the end it only killed a few thousand people in most Eastern European (non-Soviet) countries (but they did kill the 5% in China and I think in Vietnam, too), and they wanted to conquer the whole world, not just a however huge part of it, so the intended body count (for which they never had a chance to reach) might be 100 million (if we calculate with the 2 billion population in the 1940s). Hitler of course wanted to get rid of most of the Slavic (and all of the Jewish) population where he conquered (that could be 100 million, too), and not only did he have realistic chances of conquering that area but also it’s possible he would have wanted to conquer even more, had he won. A total Nazi conquest of the Earth would have resulted in the death of 90% of humanity (had the Nazis followed up on Hitler’s theories after expanding so much his original goals). On the other hand, a total Stalinist conquest of the Earth would have killed off probably only 5% of the population, but it would have been disproportionately from among the most worthy 5% capable of creating arts and sciences. Moreover, Nazi Germany was freer (from the point of view of a German) than the USSR (from the point of view of a Soviet citizen, be it a Politburo member or an average Ivan Ivanovich) and so probably life for the future humanity would have been better.

    It must also be kept in mind that the Nazis were conscious of the fact that they had to hurry up with their genocide because after the war (and they were counting on a victory) they wouldn’t be able to do that any more. In other words, probably after a victory the genocide would have stopped or at least slowed down. Same thing after Hitler’s death – who knows what his successors would have done? I also sometimes think that even if for example my ancestors would have been exterminated by Hitler, I have German ancestors as well, and Germans are closely related to Slavs and other non-Southern Europeans, so if the present Eurabia scenario turns reality, maybe even Polish etc. genetic interests would be better served by their extermination at the hands of close genetic relatives (the Germans) as opposed to distant peoples (MENA and SSA peoples). Also the Nazi vision was based on human nature. The Communist vision was based on a false view of human nature. This kind of honesty might have been better after the system cooled down and stopped mass murder.

    But yes, the Nazis were probably worse from a purely humanitarian point of view. It’s a question how much worse. The 60 million victims of Mao might have been spared (no Soviet victory, no Maoist victory in China), same thing for Pol Pot’s victims, etc. The Japanese might have killed several millions, though. I don’t know.

    Both were pretty bad regimes.

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  171. @Sean
    Lenin's theories had little relation to real life, in practice he was a fool who handed a key position to Stalin, Hitler outmaneuvered everyone. It seems the type of IQ that copes best with real life difficulties is accounted worthless. Hitler identified the source of communist power as street intimidators not theoretical dialectic. I have already said that the figure for Streicher seems to0 low. Gotti sometimes tested low when in prison and one would wonder what the incentive is for a person on trial for their life to seem highly intelligent. An IQ of 125 is possible for Hitler but it would be rock bottom, and you could give that figure for Mozart too. Neither could be properly assessed by an IQ test, they had a highly specialised type of intelligence. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-imprinted-brain/200908/the-symmetry-savantism

    Stalin’s key position didn’t mean automatic power for him, though. He needed to outmaneuver the other Politburo members.

    In the Soviet ‘democratic centralism’ the Politburo could remove Stalin from his position and expel him from the party. Then they could replace most people below them, and then get their acts retroactively approved at a new party congress. So Stalin what needed to avoid was Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev getting together. He managed to split them (because all three of them underestimated him), and only then was he finally safe.

    I agree that Hitler had special talents for some things. I think he could have been a great architect (according to Spotts in Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics basically all Nazi public structures could be considered his personal creations, almost all of them were based on his sketches, and he kept modifying the plans until they were exactly how he imagined them), and he definitely had an aesthetic sense (see those cool Nazi uniforms that were all designed based on his sketches and then modified… or his Parteitagen… you get the point), I’m not sure if it would show up in his IQ.

    He had a very good memory, and I think there’s a good correlation between memory and IQ. But savants also have very good long-term memory (but low IQ and also bad short-term memory), and I’m not sure how good his short-term memory was.

    I’d think AK’s 125 estimate is within the bounds of what I’d think right, but my guess would be at least 5 points higher. (Maybe even 10-15 points higher.) It’s also my impression that he liked to listen to his own voice a lot, and most of the people he surrounded himself with had to be good listeners. This might mean that he surrounded himself with lower-IQ types who worshipped him for being a genius because he told them things they could never have come up with themselves.

    Of course it’s all just idle speculation.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Trotsky was widely loathed as an outsider guilty of mocking of the Bolsheviks before the revolution (when Trotsky was not in the Bolsheviks) and while he may have had the highest IQ he never actually got close to the leadership, though he was seen as a possible contender. Stalin had the allegiance of the grassroots party delegates because Lenin (his mind on abstruse theoretical matters) appointed him to a job that let him build that power base. Stalin was impregnable after that, and he was the main figure in the troika. Stalin was handed his power base.

    AK's floor for Hitler's IQ is based on his school results, yet Hitler had an astonishingly good memory and with an IQ of 125 and minimal effort he should have been able to pass exams with ease. In fact he flunked every year of junior high. Either Hitler was not trying, or he was getting by on memory and thus had an IQ well below 125, which is not credible.

  172. @reiner Tor
    Stalin's key position didn't mean automatic power for him, though. He needed to outmaneuver the other Politburo members.

    In the Soviet 'democratic centralism' the Politburo could remove Stalin from his position and expel him from the party. Then they could replace most people below them, and then get their acts retroactively approved at a new party congress. So Stalin what needed to avoid was Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev getting together. He managed to split them (because all three of them underestimated him), and only then was he finally safe.

    I agree that Hitler had special talents for some things. I think he could have been a great architect (according to Spotts in Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics basically all Nazi public structures could be considered his personal creations, almost all of them were based on his sketches, and he kept modifying the plans until they were exactly how he imagined them), and he definitely had an aesthetic sense (see those cool Nazi uniforms that were all designed based on his sketches and then modified... or his Parteitagen... you get the point), I'm not sure if it would show up in his IQ.

    He had a very good memory, and I think there's a good correlation between memory and IQ. But savants also have very good long-term memory (but low IQ and also bad short-term memory), and I'm not sure how good his short-term memory was.

    I'd think AK's 125 estimate is within the bounds of what I'd think right, but my guess would be at least 5 points higher. (Maybe even 10-15 points higher.) It's also my impression that he liked to listen to his own voice a lot, and most of the people he surrounded himself with had to be good listeners. This might mean that he surrounded himself with lower-IQ types who worshipped him for being a genius because he told them things they could never have come up with themselves.

    Of course it's all just idle speculation.

    Trotsky was widely loathed as an outsider guilty of mocking of the Bolsheviks before the revolution (when Trotsky was not in the Bolsheviks) and while he may have had the highest IQ he never actually got close to the leadership, though he was seen as a possible contender. Stalin had the allegiance of the grassroots party delegates because Lenin (his mind on abstruse theoretical matters) appointed him to a job that let him build that power base. Stalin was impregnable after that, and he was the main figure in the troika. Stalin was handed his power base.

    AK’s floor for Hitler’s IQ is based on his school results, yet Hitler had an astonishingly good memory and with an IQ of 125 and minimal effort he should have been able to pass exams with ease. In fact he flunked every year of junior high. Either Hitler was not trying, or he was getting by on memory and thus had an IQ well below 125, which is not credible.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Trotsky actually had the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army all for himself, and while some of his subordinates disliked him, it didn't seem impossible that he could have used it in the manner of Bonaparte. Trotsky's sister was also married to Kamenev, so however much bad blood there could have been before 1917, a way could have been found (e.g. putting Zinoviev on the top), if there ever was a will. There wasn't, and the reason for that is because none of the three (or maybe only Trotsky) took Stalin seriously.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    Trotsky was widely loathed as an outsider guilty of mocking of the Bolsheviks before the revolution (when Trotsky was not in the Bolsheviks) and while he may have had the highest IQ he never actually got close to the leadership, though he was seen as a possible contender.
     
    Never got close to the leadership? He built and controlled the Red Army on which the revolution utterly depended. The party press referred to the leadership of the revolution as Lenin-Trotsky. Lenin publicly stated that after Trotsky recognized his error on the party question, there was "no better Bolshevik." (What had divided him from the Bolsheviks was his belief in a party of the entire working class as opposed to a vanguard party, Lenin's most distinctive contribution.)

    It's true that Stalin successfully used Trotsky's semi-Menshevik past against him. But you overestimate this factor because you don't understand the far left mindset, which tolerates even welcomes the most fervid, even abusive, polemics, without holding grudges.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    Either Hitler was not trying, or he was getting by on memory and thus had an IQ well below 125, which is not credible.
     
    Why is it prima facie incredible that the person most individually responsible for inflicting the greatest disaster ever on Germany and humanity as a whole was none too bright?

    You know much more about his maneuvers than I. If you know them so well that you can say something like you have the kind of direct understanding of Hitler's abilities that you might of a long-time associate, I'll admit I have no answer and might defer to you - or at least not argue the point. But if you're saying that you have an intuitive sense of what IQ is required for particular distal achievements, I don't know that anyone has that kind of understanding.
  173. @Sean
    Trotsky was widely loathed as an outsider guilty of mocking of the Bolsheviks before the revolution (when Trotsky was not in the Bolsheviks) and while he may have had the highest IQ he never actually got close to the leadership, though he was seen as a possible contender. Stalin had the allegiance of the grassroots party delegates because Lenin (his mind on abstruse theoretical matters) appointed him to a job that let him build that power base. Stalin was impregnable after that, and he was the main figure in the troika. Stalin was handed his power base.

    AK's floor for Hitler's IQ is based on his school results, yet Hitler had an astonishingly good memory and with an IQ of 125 and minimal effort he should have been able to pass exams with ease. In fact he flunked every year of junior high. Either Hitler was not trying, or he was getting by on memory and thus had an IQ well below 125, which is not credible.

    Trotsky actually had the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army all for himself, and while some of his subordinates disliked him, it didn’t seem impossible that he could have used it in the manner of Bonaparte. Trotsky’s sister was also married to Kamenev, so however much bad blood there could have been before 1917, a way could have been found (e.g. putting Zinoviev on the top), if there ever was a will. There wasn’t, and the reason for that is because none of the three (or maybe only Trotsky) took Stalin seriously.

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    • Replies: @Sean

    Trotsky actually had the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army all for himself, and while some of his subordinates disliked him, it didn’t seem impossible that he could have used it in the manner of Bonaparte.
     
    "Seem". If he could have, he would have.
  174. @Mark Eugenikos

    I have presented evidence, in the form of a chart to which I linked, with the estimates of both the C.I.A. and Dr. G. I. Khanin contrasted with the claims of Stalin’s own government. You have yet to comment on that evidence...
     
    You have presented one chart showing only German economic growth. That chart does not a comparison to USSR make. You haven't presented any data from CIA or Khanin; you just claimed that such data exist and expected everyone to trust your word that the alleged data supports your story. Is that what passes for admissible evidence?

    Tally so far: Mark Eugenikos 1, D.K. zero


    Do you see any mention of Joseph Stalin or the Soviet Union, there, Mr. Eugenikos?
     
    Of course I do, in your comment #13, as I stated initially:

    Herr Hitler did not manage merely to get himself appointed as the new Chancellor of Germany, in early 1933; he also managed to be a hands-on activist leader, once in power, who largely stabilized and reinvigorated the German nation. By the time that Germany hosted the 1936 Olympic Games, three and a half years into his reign, it was basically the economic wonder of the Western World, for its rebound to functionality and productivity. What had Russia and the Soviet Union, in nearly twenty years of revolutionary furor, under Mssrs. Lenin and Stalin, managed that was remotely comparable, despite their utilizing totalitarian coercion and violence that dwarfed what had been employed in Germany under Hitler’ infamous Third Reich?
     
    Tally so far: Mark Eugenikos 2, D.K. zero

    I was referring to what Hitler’s Germany had accomplished, between late January 1933 and the first half of August 1936, versus what the Bolsheviks and Communists had accomplished, under Lenin and Stalin, between November 1917 and the first half of August 1936...
     
    I am not disputing that German economy grew during that period; I am disputing that it grew more than the Soviet economy during the same period (the only way two economies can be compared; your comparison of Germany '33-'36 vs. USSR '17-'36 is apples and oranges comparison), because available data (which I found but you haven't) shows that the Soviet economy grew faster during the period that you selected, i.e. the period that you chose as best representing Hitler's able leadership.

    Tally so far: Mark Eugenikos 3, D.K. zero

    Look, if you want to rationalize and convince yourself why you should admire Hitler, fine with me. Just don't try to present bogus economic data as evidence.

    In your initial comment, in this thread, you did not choose to reply to my comment that you now quote at length; you chose to reply, instead, to a reply by me to our German friend, here, which I quoted in full, in my immediately preceding message. Do you not even know how to be topical, by actually responding to the actual contents of the message to which you actually have pressed the “REPLY” button, Mr. Eugenikos? The bulk and thrust of that initial comment of yours was about comparing the Soviet and German economies, on the lone measure of per capita GDP, for the lone period of 1933-1936, as if my own rhetorical question, in the comment that you now belatedly see fit to quote, was actually the sum and substance of my entire argument, earlier– not only about how well the German nation itself performed, during the first few years of the Hitler regime, but about what that actually tells us about Adolf Hitler’s own (presumably mythical) IQ score!?!

    You even evinced astonishment that I should have chosen such “random” dates, when talking about Hitler’s performance, as January 30, 1933, and August 16, 1936, although I had explained, before and after, what should be apparent to everyone else but you: the first date was the day that Hitler was appointed as Chancellor of Germany, and the second date was the day that the Berlin Olympic Games concluded, which Hitler had used to showcase the new Germany, under National Socialism, to the rest of the world. Pray tell, Mr. Eugenikos, where did you earn your university degree(s) in History, such that they taught you that my picking such dates was utterly “random” and historically inscrutable on my part?

    Regardless, I had made no claim, in the comment that you now belatedly quote, that Germany had outperformed the Soviet Union, economically, during those few years; I instead stated that the new German regime, under National Socialism, had performed better, in its first few years, in transforming its nation, than had the Bolsheviks and Communists, in nearly twenty years, in transforming their own, in terms of stabilizing and reinvigorating their respective nations, for the benefit of their respective populations. As I pointed out, long ago, as Hitler came to power, early in 1933, the Soviets were suffering through a government-contrived famine, in which millions of Stalin’s hapless subjects died, and otherwise suffered; three days after the Berlin Olympics closed, in August 1936, the infamous show trials began in Moscow, as the Great Terror got under way, in earnest. For anyone to claim that the Soviet Union was in better shape, let alone in better hands, during the mid-to-late 1930s, than was Germany, tells us all we need to know about the person making that claim….

    Furthermore, I did not state that the given time period best represented the performance of the Hitler regime; in fact, I explicitly stated that Germany’s best days, under that regime, were still ahead of it, prior to World War II– while Soviet subjects could look forward only to the Great Terror’s being played out before them! You are the only one claiming that an “apples to apples” comparison, limited to those few years, and based upon only your own (highly dubious) data choice, and spreadsheet calculations, on per capita GDP, tells us which regime performed better, on behalf of its own population– let alone making the ludicrous claim that such a determination could have even the slightest material bearing upon the issue of Adolf Hitler’s own intelligence!?!

    Finally, as to the opening claim of your latest reply to me, I posted a link to a chart on the Soviet Union’s historic economic growth, in terms of national income, from 1928 forward, nearly three full days ago! I have referred you back to that link, and also discussed the issue of the validity and reliability of Soviet economic statistics, several times, since then. For you to claim that I have not provided that data, after all that notice, suggests that you are either clinically psychotic or a bald-faced liar. Which is it, Mr. Eugenides?

    From that earlier comment of mine, in reply to you, (currently listed as) #98:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Graph_of_Soviet_National_Income_Growth.png

    Your own scorekeeping is about as aboveboard as Bill Clinton’s duly signed golf card….

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  175. @reiner Tor
    Trotsky actually had the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army all for himself, and while some of his subordinates disliked him, it didn't seem impossible that he could have used it in the manner of Bonaparte. Trotsky's sister was also married to Kamenev, so however much bad blood there could have been before 1917, a way could have been found (e.g. putting Zinoviev on the top), if there ever was a will. There wasn't, and the reason for that is because none of the three (or maybe only Trotsky) took Stalin seriously.

    Trotsky actually had the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army all for himself, and while some of his subordinates disliked him, it didn’t seem impossible that he could have used it in the manner of Bonaparte.

    “Seem”. If he could have, he would have.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    He probably couldn't. He was alone, and the commissars (and officers) wouldn't have risked moving against the Party.

    But he could have moved supporting Zinoviev and Kamenev with the backing of a clear Politburo majority.

    Of course these people were not as smart as Stalin. Which is my point. Stalin needed some skills. Also he needed to be able to appoint loyalists: he needed to be able to size them up and guess which - if any - of them was going to stab him in the back at the first opportunity and which of them was to be trusted.
  176. @Sean

    Trotsky actually had the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army all for himself, and while some of his subordinates disliked him, it didn’t seem impossible that he could have used it in the manner of Bonaparte.
     
    "Seem". If he could have, he would have.

    He probably couldn’t. He was alone, and the commissars (and officers) wouldn’t have risked moving against the Party.

    But he could have moved supporting Zinoviev and Kamenev with the backing of a clear Politburo majority.

    Of course these people were not as smart as Stalin. Which is my point. Stalin needed some skills. Also he needed to be able to appoint loyalists: he needed to be able to size them up and guess which – if any – of them was going to stab him in the back at the first opportunity and which of them was to be trusted.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    I see no reason to think Hitler was up against fools to a greater extent than Stalin, or that Hitler mid career was in a stronger position than Stalin. Until he became Chancellor Hitler had to convince the political class in a democracy and was under far greater scrutiny than Stalin, who was already an elite official of a murderous totalitarian state that brooked no criticism. Stalin called Lenin's wife a syphilitic whore.
    , @Stephen R. Diamond

    Of course these people were not as smart as Stalin.
     
    You actually think Stalin was smarter than Trotsky?

    Trotsky was at a disadvantage because he, unlike Stalin, actually had some principles. He would have ruled out bonapartism because he was concerned with the long-term.

    To Sean: How was Hitler's project of exterminating the Jews compatible with high intelligence? Was it strategically wise? Didn't he thereby totally concede the humanitarian ground to the Allies? [Precluding any serious antiwar movement in the Allied countries.]

    Hitler was so fundamentally irrational that it's hard to see how a high IQ would help him.

  177. @reiner Tor
    He probably couldn't. He was alone, and the commissars (and officers) wouldn't have risked moving against the Party.

    But he could have moved supporting Zinoviev and Kamenev with the backing of a clear Politburo majority.

    Of course these people were not as smart as Stalin. Which is my point. Stalin needed some skills. Also he needed to be able to appoint loyalists: he needed to be able to size them up and guess which - if any - of them was going to stab him in the back at the first opportunity and which of them was to be trusted.

    I see no reason to think Hitler was up against fools to a greater extent than Stalin, or that Hitler mid career was in a stronger position than Stalin. Until he became Chancellor Hitler had to convince the political class in a democracy and was under far greater scrutiny than Stalin, who was already an elite official of a murderous totalitarian state that brooked no criticism. Stalin called Lenin’s wife a syphilitic whore.

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    I see no reason to think Hitler was up against fools to a greater extent than Stalin
     
    Who among the Nazi leadership was intellectually in the league of Bukharin and Trotsky?
  178. @reiner Tor
    He probably couldn't. He was alone, and the commissars (and officers) wouldn't have risked moving against the Party.

    But he could have moved supporting Zinoviev and Kamenev with the backing of a clear Politburo majority.

    Of course these people were not as smart as Stalin. Which is my point. Stalin needed some skills. Also he needed to be able to appoint loyalists: he needed to be able to size them up and guess which - if any - of them was going to stab him in the back at the first opportunity and which of them was to be trusted.

    Of course these people were not as smart as Stalin.

    You actually think Stalin was smarter than Trotsky?

    Trotsky was at a disadvantage because he, unlike Stalin, actually had some principles. He would have ruled out bonapartism because he was concerned with the long-term.

    To Sean: How was Hitler’s project of exterminating the Jews compatible with high intelligence? Was it strategically wise? Didn’t he thereby totally concede the humanitarian ground to the Allies? [Precluding any serious antiwar movement in the Allied countries.]

    Hitler was so fundamentally irrational that it’s hard to see how a high IQ would help him.

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    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    The effect of IQ on political leadership is curvilinear. Perhaps this is what the proponents of the brilliant Hitler miss. The most effective leaders (I think this is from Emil Kirkegard) are within 30 points of the population mean.

    Trotsky's brilliance, for another example, might have been a deficit in winning the power struggle. Stalin's mediocrity was the reason no one saw him as a threat. [Lenin actually saw it first, if that's an IQ test. He was too ill to do much about it by then.]

    , @AP

    You actually think Stalin was smarter than Trotsky
     
    Supposedly Stalin consistently beat Trotsky at chess, which means something. The two were very different. Of course Stalin was much less educated, less polished, less eloquent. He may not have been quite as intelligent, but I doubt there was a large gap between the two.
    , @reiner Tor

    How was Hitler’s project of exterminating the Jews compatible with high intelligence?
     
    Not necessarily incompatible. First, I guess you're familiar with how Jews were way more likely to be at the forefront of anti-nationalist movements than majority gentiles. In other words, it doesn't seem totally irrational to me that nationalistic gentiles like Hitler would want to get rid of Jews. Hitler was quite correct that you don't need many Jews for some of them to be prominent in the country (especially in cultural matters and the media) - Sweden's Bonnier family is a good example. (Hitler used Sweden as an explicit example in his table talks, I'm not sure if the Bonnier family was already dominating the media back then, but if not, at least it was prophetic on the part of Hitler.)

    The organized mass murder of Jews only started in the summer of 1941 in the territories captured from the USSR. Most holocaust historians now accept that the decision to kill all Soviet Jews only came at the earliest in August 1941 (but possibly sometime later), and the decision to kill all Jews was probably made later (according to Christian Gerlach, only in December 1941).

    It is well known that Hitler openly threatened that "if international Jewry once more starts a world war", then the result will be the end of European Jewry. According to Jewish historian Jeffrey Herf (in The Jewish Enemy) this meant that Hitler essentially tried to use European Jews as hostages against the Americans whom he believed to be under control of a Jewish cabal. Now America was definitely not under the control of a tightly knit Jewish cabal, but contrary to what Herf tries to prove, Jews were definitely influential there.

    Sorry for the distraction, but let me cite a few examples of how Herf tries to make the Nazi viewpoint more irrational than it was. Herf for example mentions that the Nazi propaganda "irrationally" painted New York mayor LaGuardia as Jewish, when in fact he was raised a Catholic and born to a Catholic Italian father. He fails to mention that his mother was Jewish, so many Jews, including the secular leaders of present-day Israel, would consider him Jewish. Similarly, he mentions how Nazi propaganda "irrationally" mentioned that all Hollywood studios were under Jewish control, when in fact not all of those studios were controlled by Jews. Herf, again, fails to mention what percentage of Hollywood studios were Jewish. (The vast majority, maybe 75%.)

    So contrary to Herf, Jews really were influential. They just weren't a closely knit cabal who could make decisions - it was simply many Jews in influential positions, and all of them making decisions based on both their emotions and rational analysis (as all other humans do). Obviously they hated Hitler already in the 1930s (and with good reason - while I don't deny it wasn't irrational of Hitler to try to get rid of Jews, I cannot deny that it was with reason that the Jews hated Hitler after he started his anti-Jewish policies in the 1930s).

    This is why Hitler's policy of trying to blackmail Americans (American Jews) into not pushing for war with him became irrational: by his declarations of how European Jewry will get exterminated, he only made those American Jews hate him even more, so they kept pushing for war just as they had before. (I think since they had been pushing for war with him already in 1939-40, it's difficult to see how it worsened Hitler's position, but it didn't help him either.)

    And so once the Americans started to get even more involved in the war against him (by sending free weapons to the USSR) and got into a shooting war with him (already in late summer of 1941), he started executing his hostages. And once it became irreversible (after December 1941), he went on to enhance it to a thorough extermination program.

    Since anti-war movements had little chances anyway, I fail to see how it made his position worse. He spent probably less than 1% of his resources on the holocaust, and for example according to John Keegan the fact that most people in Europe knew or suspected that all or most Jews might be killed simply because they are Jews helped keep the (largely nonexistent) resistance movements' heads down. When you're ruling very large populations who hate you a lot, it helps if you keep advertising how ruthless you are.

    But as I said, probably it didn't do anything either way. And now it's your turn to explain how Lenin's program was in any way rational: he alienated basically the whole population by a needlessly radical and anarchic program, and then exterminated large portions of his own subjects in the resulting civil war, so that he could start rebuilding the country from scratch...
  179. @Stephen R. Diamond

    Of course these people were not as smart as Stalin.
     
    You actually think Stalin was smarter than Trotsky?

    Trotsky was at a disadvantage because he, unlike Stalin, actually had some principles. He would have ruled out bonapartism because he was concerned with the long-term.

    To Sean: How was Hitler's project of exterminating the Jews compatible with high intelligence? Was it strategically wise? Didn't he thereby totally concede the humanitarian ground to the Allies? [Precluding any serious antiwar movement in the Allied countries.]

    Hitler was so fundamentally irrational that it's hard to see how a high IQ would help him.

    The effect of IQ on political leadership is curvilinear. Perhaps this is what the proponents of the brilliant Hitler miss. The most effective leaders (I think this is from Emil Kirkegard) are within 30 points of the population mean.

    Trotsky’s brilliance, for another example, might have been a deficit in winning the power struggle. Stalin’s mediocrity was the reason no one saw him as a threat. [Lenin actually saw it first, if that's an IQ test. He was too ill to do much about it by then.]

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  180. @Sean
    I see no reason to think Hitler was up against fools to a greater extent than Stalin, or that Hitler mid career was in a stronger position than Stalin. Until he became Chancellor Hitler had to convince the political class in a democracy and was under far greater scrutiny than Stalin, who was already an elite official of a murderous totalitarian state that brooked no criticism. Stalin called Lenin's wife a syphilitic whore.

    I see no reason to think Hitler was up against fools to a greater extent than Stalin

    Who among the Nazi leadership was intellectually in the league of Bukharin and Trotsky?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Neither Bukharin nor Trotsky were intellectual heavyweights, but the Strasser brothers and Goebbels did have a few university degrees in between them (including a Ph.D. for Goebbels), and Hitler first impressed Goebbels so much that he gave up his socialistic (and pro-Strasser) views and became an unconditionally loyal Hitler supporter, then Hitler got rid of the Strasser brothers, one after the other. Then there was Röhm.

    But obviously these were minor struggles for Hitler. The main opponents or dubious allies he had to outmaneuvre were people like Papen, Schleicher, Hugenberg and the like.
  181. @Sean
    Trotsky was widely loathed as an outsider guilty of mocking of the Bolsheviks before the revolution (when Trotsky was not in the Bolsheviks) and while he may have had the highest IQ he never actually got close to the leadership, though he was seen as a possible contender. Stalin had the allegiance of the grassroots party delegates because Lenin (his mind on abstruse theoretical matters) appointed him to a job that let him build that power base. Stalin was impregnable after that, and he was the main figure in the troika. Stalin was handed his power base.

    AK's floor for Hitler's IQ is based on his school results, yet Hitler had an astonishingly good memory and with an IQ of 125 and minimal effort he should have been able to pass exams with ease. In fact he flunked every year of junior high. Either Hitler was not trying, or he was getting by on memory and thus had an IQ well below 125, which is not credible.

    Trotsky was widely loathed as an outsider guilty of mocking of the Bolsheviks before the revolution (when Trotsky was not in the Bolsheviks) and while he may have had the highest IQ he never actually got close to the leadership, though he was seen as a possible contender.

    Never got close to the leadership? He built and controlled the Red Army on which the revolution utterly depended. The party press referred to the leadership of the revolution as Lenin-Trotsky. Lenin publicly stated that after Trotsky recognized his error on the party question, there was “no better Bolshevik.” (What had divided him from the Bolsheviks was his belief in a party of the entire working class as opposed to a vanguard party, Lenin’s most distinctive contribution.)

    It’s true that Stalin successfully used Trotsky’s semi-Menshevik past against him. But you overestimate this factor because you don’t understand the far left mindset, which tolerates even welcomes the most fervid, even abusive, polemics, without holding grudges.

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  182. @Sean
    Trotsky was widely loathed as an outsider guilty of mocking of the Bolsheviks before the revolution (when Trotsky was not in the Bolsheviks) and while he may have had the highest IQ he never actually got close to the leadership, though he was seen as a possible contender. Stalin had the allegiance of the grassroots party delegates because Lenin (his mind on abstruse theoretical matters) appointed him to a job that let him build that power base. Stalin was impregnable after that, and he was the main figure in the troika. Stalin was handed his power base.

    AK's floor for Hitler's IQ is based on his school results, yet Hitler had an astonishingly good memory and with an IQ of 125 and minimal effort he should have been able to pass exams with ease. In fact he flunked every year of junior high. Either Hitler was not trying, or he was getting by on memory and thus had an IQ well below 125, which is not credible.

    Either Hitler was not trying, or he was getting by on memory and thus had an IQ well below 125, which is not credible.

    Why is it prima facie incredible that the person most individually responsible for inflicting the greatest disaster ever on Germany and humanity as a whole was none too bright?

    You know much more about his maneuvers than I. If you know them so well that you can say something like you have the kind of direct understanding of Hitler’s abilities that you might of a long-time associate, I’ll admit I have no answer and might defer to you – or at least not argue the point. But if you’re saying that you have an intuitive sense of what IQ is required for particular distal achievements, I don’t know that anyone has that kind of understanding.

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    • Replies: @Sean

    Why is it prima facie incredible that the person most individually responsible for inflicting the greatest disaster ever on Germany and humanity as a whole was none too bright?
     
    I don't think it is impossible but I would incline to a much higher figure because he made himself leader of Germany, which required a certain intelligence and IQ of 125 is barely out of the average bright. I started by mentioning that John Gotti had an IQ of 140, although there was nothing to support that apart from his test performance, and him becoming the top gangster in New York. Gotti had an unusual career in the Mafia and Hitler was not your usual politician.
  183. @reiner Tor
    Robert Service mentions wealthy benefactors, for example a Russian businessman who in exchange was promised the chance to leave Russia if the revolution won.

    Then there was Jacob Schiff, who may or may not have given the Bolsheviks money. He certainly had both the resources and the motivation to do so, but I haven't found conclusive evidence that he did.

    In any event, I fail to see how receiving small sums of money (the DNVP got more, for example) would obviate the need for a high IQ.

    In any event, I fail to see how receiving small sums of money (the DNVP got more, for example) would obviate the need for a high IQ.

    A whole section of capital financed Hitler. (I say this without any expertise on the subject. It seems common knowledge.)

    Generally, I understand, in the 30s it was the multinational firms, for example, I.G. Farben, A.E.G., DAPAG.

    I don’t think there’s any comparable support from corporate capital for the Communists. For them, it was only a few errant individuals.

    Or so I’m led to believe.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Very few firms supported him enthusiastically, most of the right-wing money went to the DVP and DNVP. (I guess you're not talking about German Communists. They were financed by the USSR - no other major party had such foreign support.) Even in the cases when they did receive money, the very same supporters usually gave more (often ten times more) money to their more established conservative nationalist rivals. I think there were maybe a couple enthusiastic magnates, but they weren't among the very richest and biggest ones and so their support still couldn't be too high. I read somewhere that even Fritz Thyssen (the biggest magnate who supported the Nazis) sent more money to the DNVP than to the NSDAP.

    In any event, it was difficult for Hitler to become the unquestionable Führer: he needed to garner the largest possible share of the vote in open and free elections, and then secure support from his rivals (including Hindenburg who was his electoral opponent less than a year before) for a coalition government, and then use the opportunities to quickly create a totalitarian regime from which he could no longer be toppled, and make the armed forces take an oath on his person. His maneuvering in January 1933 or after January 30 until August next year was quite difficult, involved dozens of important (often ruthless) decisions and required considerable skill. I don't think it was any easier (if anything, quite a bit more difficult) than Stalin's maneuvering after Lenin's death.