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9/21/2005

Hitler Watch: Koizumi

Is Koizuimi Junichiro another Hitler? One former LDP'er thinks so, and Chinese academician Feng Zhaokui agrees [via]:
Feng's FearHistory
They both occurred after a country, defeated on the battlefield, took steps to wipe away national humiliation and rise againHitler was elected, sort of, fourteen years after the end of WWI, in part on the strength of embittered veterans; Koizumi was re-elected sixty years after the end of WWII, after nearly ever veteran of that war has passed on
In both situations, a country shamed in military defeat felt persecuted, giving rise to politics of emotions, especially with regard to neighboring countries; I don't have any idea what this means with regard to Japan, except that people still bring up WWII on a pretty regular basis, which is embarrasing. I guess that must be it.
In both situations, this "public pathos" was tapped to become an essential element in the political contest for votes, in the suppression of rational politics, and in the push toward a hawkish road; When was the last time you saw an election in which an appeal to "rational politics" succeeded? Seriously, though, Japan's desire to rationalize its relations with its neighbors (in other words, to dominate them economically, instead of feeling guilty) was an element in this election, though far from a central one.
In both situations, a banner of reform was flown and the "ultra-appeal" of a party head was used to encourage voters to elect them; that party leader was a crafty, masterful actor during the electoral process; By that standard, there ought to be a lot more Hitlers running around
Both situations used the dissolution of parliament to give the ruling party an overwhelming majority of seats; This one made me laugh out loud: parliamentary systems always have to dissolve to have elections, even scheduled ones. When you have an election, often somebody wins. And the LDP has had bigger majorities than it does now
They both want to revise the constitution to give their leadership and their successors more power, and to normalize the military by resurrect the nation's army.Japan's military doesn't need "resurrect"ion: it's already one of the most powerful on the planet, in technical terms, and one of the best-funded. Hitler's power came through emergency decrees and something a bit more drastic than constitutional "revision." Koizumi is, so far, sticking to the usual amendment process, and is well aware of the likelihood of failure in the referendum approval stage. Plenty of countries have endured stronger executives than Japan's current Prime Ministers without going fascist.
He missed the part about the Great Depression and the recent stagnation.... [crossposted]

One Response to “Hitler Watch: Koizumi”

  1. Joel says:

    It’s depressing to have to counter such nonsense. Feng seems to be engaging in a good deal of irrational projection in his own right. The first two observations, especially, seem to apply as well to current-day China as well as to anyone else. Most of the others fail mostly because China’s political system is far from a parliamentary democracy.

    I’m hoping this blowout gives the DJP and other opposition parties the impetus to get serious about offering realistic new alternatives and building an opposition strong enough to gain a majority from time to time. There seems to be some movement in that direction, but they have a long uphill battle.

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