While tyranny is often forced upon a population from the muzzle of a gun, it can also be imposed gradually on a savior‑starved people. The history of socialism and communism is the history of how people prefer slavery — in the name of security — over freedom.
Adolf Hilter certainly understood this.
Hitler’s predecessor, Otto von Bismarck, got the Welfare (slavery) State ball rolling with the creation of a series of social reforms that had a profound influence on the German working class.
William L. Shirer, in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, writes “that it gradually made them value security over political freedom and caused them to see in the State, however conservative, a benefactor and a protector.”
Between 1883 and 1889, Bismarck put through a program for social security far beyond anything known in other countries.
It included compulsory insurance for workers against old age, sickness, accident, and incapacity, and though it was organized by the State it was financed by employers and employees. Bismarck did this, Shirer writes, “to combat socialism.”
Joe Hargrave of Crisis Magazine points out the following:
It might surprise some to learn that the basic idea behind the “welfare state” did not originate with either Marxist revolutionaries or bleeding-heart liberals, but rather with a head of state usually identified with conservatism: Otto von Bismarck. Faced with a growing threat from the German socialist movement, in the 1880s Bismarck established four programs that were essentially the minimum of the socialist program: health insurance, accident insurance (or workmen’s compensation), disability insurance, and a retirement fund for the elderly. By implementing these programs, the German leader hoped to steal some of the thunder from the socialists and prevent a revolutionary uprising.
In the United States, a similar motivation guided the architects of the New Deal, Social Security, and other programs now grouped under the broad heading “welfare state.” One might never know, based on today’s heated political rhetoric, that the idea behind the welfare state was to prevent, not bring about, socialism. Yet since the 2008 campaign, welfare, along with regulation and redistribution, have become synonymous with “socialism” in America.
Hitler took full advantage of the German state of mind and Bismarck’s early progress in turning the nation into a model of socialist reform. Hitler remarks in Mein Kampf, “I studied Bismarck’s socialist legislation in its intention, struggle and success.”
Hitler was not alone in his admiration of Bismarck’s social policies…