Sunday, 5 July 2009

Bernie Ecclestone wrong about Hitler

I got very cross the other morning listening to reports of Bernie Ecclestone having said that "at least Hitler could get things done". You can read the interview with Ecclestone here.
I suppose Ecclestone won't have had time in his busy life making millions to have actually do something as challenging to his ignorance and boorishness as read, for instance Ian Kershaw's brilliant two volume biography of Hilter.
The Third Reich was not a dictatorship that was particularly efficient, decision-making and power were exercised in a social-Darwinist way, with everyone trying to curry favour with and please the mercurial leader who had a rich, highly industrialised and well-educated country at his disposal. Thirteen years of that way of "getting things done" left the country in ruins, millions systematically annihilated, further millions across Europe killed in war.
We must counter the myth that in difficult times we need "a strong man" to bully us through. Difficult times are crucially times for more democracy not for more dictatorship. Leadership is not always about telling others what to do, it's much more about building alliances, convincing others and saying "together we can make a difference", not "I have all the answers just do as I say".


Hansuli John Gerber said...

I heard that on the Radio as well. Ecclestone, from what I understood, made the statement in speaking against democratization within the Forumula 1 business and maximizing profits cannot tolerate participatory and democratic processes. In times of crisis, there are those who call for "strong men" and simplistic solutions. But the wind is blowing from another direction I believe.

Jane said...

Heinrich Grüber pastor in Germany - through whose Büro Grüber many Jewish Christians were saved - describes in his memoirs how he voted for Hitler because of the country's desire for "a strong man". then he became a key resister to the regime - really very soon after hitler's election.