The Book of Job presents us with the common misconception that good people are rewarded with good fortune while wicked people are punished by calamity. Such a notion is similar to Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand.” Then we are shown that in fact the righteous may suffer will the wicked may prosper and gain in strength. Similarly, we have the misconception that a moral victory in history should lead to a better future while the triumph of evil in history must inevitably lead to future disaster. We should realize that it IS possible in theory for a calamitous event to pave the way in some totally unexpected fashion for an auspicious future while a moral victory may unwittingly set the stage for a future catastrophic disaster. Such thinking is similar to what is called “moral luck” where a bad deed ultimately makes possible some good result.
I just had the WEIRDEST thought (DISCLAIMER: I am not a Nazi)… but STOP AND THINK of the following scenario. IMAGINE if Hitler had conquered the world and had eliminated all opposition and had created his so called “master race” under one world order. Now as evil as Hitler was, let us imagine that a world order that eventually emerges from Hitler’s victory lasts for 10,000 years and manages to evolve into a peaceful world of harmony in which all humans cooperate and war and poverty disappear. In our imagined scenario the the Nazi regime is quickly overturned and the emerging polity of world restructuring makes it possible for humanity to evolve into something positive, stable and lasting. Now CONTRAST that scenario (Hitler’s triumph unexpectedly leading ultimately to a lasting peace) with the possible scenario of our post-Hitler world in which (hypothetically) tensions between Islamic and non-Islamic factions increase, Israel, Iran and North Korea ignite the world in a thermonuclear holocaust and human life destroys itself in the next hundred years.
Now google on something called “moral luck” and it will tell you things about Gauguin the artist who abandoned his family but achieves a level of artistic success. In fact lets google on MORAL LUCK GAUGUIN right now http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-luck/ ….
It is possible to envision a positive result from something as hideous as Hitler’s world conquest and it is possible to envision a human doomsday evolving from the seemingly good Allied victory in World War II which leads to the current world situation.
A side note:
I can easily see how Prophet Mohammad’s triumph at Mecca brought about a higher degree of order and humanity compared to life in 4th century Arabia. Even a law of an “eye for an eye” is superior to the justice of a Tubal-Cain who seeks 70 times 7 vengeance. But the order and solidarity of 7th century Mecca/Medina is no longer suitable to the 21st century global order.
The 100 year Pax Romana was the first time that humans realized the benefits of the order imposed by a huge empire. But the emerging orders of East and West clash and produce the evils of the Crusades and the Inquisition. Different types of order and unification clash and produce a greater evil and disorder. Even the good which Darius does for the Jews in the Babylonian captivity ultimately leads Roman oppression, the destruction of the Temple and the diaspora. Things reunite under the Zionist movement but then lead to the powder-keg of instabilty in the Middle East.
What is the final touchstone by which we judge the moral implications of historical events? As Joseph said to his brethren come to Egypt to ask his forgiveness “You intended evil but Hashem G-D transformed your evil into good.” What Joseph is saying is that if his brothers had not thought to slay him but then sold him into Egypt as a slave then Joseph would never have achieved a position of power which enables him to aid his relatives now starving from a famine.
Solomon says “there are ways which seemeth good unto a man but the end thereof is death.”
Benedict Joseph You are assuming what he said in Mein Kampf was the limit of his desire. Although he did try to carry out what he laid down in his book, I don’t see why we should believe he would stop there. Why not invade the Middle East instead of merely restricting its power? Why not attack India, China, and all the others? I don’t see a limit.
He would have had to win in Russia to win the war. I think that would mean Russia and most of Europe would pay tribute to Germany, probably gold every year. They would have been looted for their art, the Air Field Marshall would have most of it. Austria and part of Chekoslovakia would have been annexed to Greater Germany, possibly Switzerland as well, and parts of Poland, and Hungary.
Hitler wanted liebensraum for the Aryan people of Germany. He wanted them to multiply.
That said, it would not have been a Roman type of Empire and Occupation, with provinces and consuls to rule them.
Hitler believed in socialism, for the Aryan people. The economic arrangement was suivant to the volk and its prosperity and consolidation. He was not a Trotsky type who wanted international, or global socialism. He wanted national socialism. And defensible, contiguous compact territory with borders that were as short as possible while containing as much good territory as possible.
He would have taken bits and pieces of a lot of countries, but he had no use for England, France, Russia, Italy as parts of Germany. Tribute sources, art sources, sources of pretty women, but not parts of Germany.
If Hitler won the war, he would surely have had the atom bomb by 1950. He would be the third member of the club. I don’t imagine he would ever use such a bomb unless attacked. He would have had a nuclear Navy, and a very advanced air force, and of course a space program, with Werner Von Braun still onboard. He might have gone to the moon, but not before the Russians. He would have militarized space, but more as a defensive measure than to attack anyone. Hitler had no use for India, China, Japan etc, except to keep them off his back and away from Germany, well, Greater Germany, which would have been approximately circular in shape.
He might have crushed Bolshevism and Communism in Russia, or he might have made peace with it, that’s hard to say. Hitler and Stalin were two peas in a pod, so there’s no reason to hold grudges after the war as long as Russia stayed away from Germany.
The Hitler Youth would have run much of the world from 1945 till around the millenium when the Hitler Teenie Boppers would have taken over. Heel snapping would proabaly have gone out of fashion by now, but not my Mussolni outfit with the stylish military cap and lovely silver Reichsbaton (the portable wall).
Greater Germany would be an enormous tourist draw for Americans, and Japanese, and Chinese. Lots of dancing in the summer. Beer Halls. Yodeling. And really fast trains.
America would have stopped making cars around 1960 at the latest.
Most of Europe’s power would be nuclear.
Israel would not exist.
Aramco would have been Arab-Deutch Co. and would still be in total control of the oilfields, the Saudi Royals would never have been given substantial ownership of the Saudi oil. They would be a much smaller family and far less prominent.
In Iran the descendants of the Shah would be ruling today — the Ali Khan or his sons. Germany would not tolerate any disorder in Europe, or near Europe. Someone like Saddam Hussein would be running Iraq, if not Saddam himself.
The world is too big, my crystal ball is too small, and can’t really see alternative pasts anyhow.
It’s simple. He wanted National Socialism, which to him meant socialism within a single Volk or people — the Aryans. One could imagine an infinite tyrant with world conquest as his hobby. That wasn’t Schicklegrubber, and the German people would not have put up with such nonsense, and he knew it.
There weren’t enough Germans for world conquest and world governance. Today one could imagine the Chinese having such a goal, but not Germany in 1945.
A lot of areas are more trouble than they are worth. Churchill knew that about Iraq, and said it.
There is a natural limit to military conquest. Your periphery becomes too great, your borders too long, your supply lines unmanagable.
Hitler wanted the Sudetenland, he wanted part of Poland, and maybe a few other bits and pieces.
Mostly he wanted the 1000 year Reich. For that kind of stability, you need cohesion not dispersion. And once the Volk is gone, and you get into pluralism and diversity, socialism is gone too. Hitler did not believe in socialism for poly-cultural populations. He thought it would never work, and by the way, it hasn’t.
William: Thanks Fenton and Benedict for great comments. My idea was simply that the force of the Nazi conquest WOULD homogenize the world and the collapse but the surviving world minus various nations might forge a more stable and lasting world government and economy and their way would have been paved by the evil actions of the Nazi world domination. Obviously, things didn’t happen that way so it is simply an academic exercise or thought experiment but it does illustrate how a long range “good” might grow out of a great evil, and correspondingly a seem victory of goodness might pave the way for future world collapse. Everything is an academic exercise because there is little anyone can do to change the tides of political and economic events.