In February 1999, I tried to explain something about Hitler to Dan Dugan:
"What has to be understood in this context is
that Adolf Hitler developed a very special
reading technique when he was in prison - a
method of study which in his case proved
remarkably effective. He ensured his readers in
"Mein Kampf" that it was his habit to resort to
books if he wanted to solve a problem. He
insisted that his method of reading, better than
any other, consisted of "remembering the
essential and forgetting the unessential
completely". In practice, this meant defining
what is essential, which in the case of Adolf
Hitler did not entail logical analysis, but an
intuitive and emotional process of comprehension,
which he skillfully united with whatever appealed to his own prejudices.
"From Schopenhauer he took fatalism and the idea
of the will, but he forgot the Buddhism and the
pessimism. From Nietzsche he took the concept of
evolution, the will to power, and the Übermensch,
but he forgot that this Übermensch should not
conquer his fellow man, but himself. He took from
Wagner the racism, heroism, and paganism, but he
forgot the Arianized Christianity. Further, he
took from Helena Blavatsky and other occultists
what he wanted and conveniently forgot everything
that did not harmonize with his own world view."
The problem is that one doesn't have to be a Nazi
or a fascist to apply Hitler's way of thinking.
One could be a philanthrophist. All one needs to
do is to pre-define the ideological picture one
wants to arrive at. For every piece that fits
into this picture, there may be ten pieces that
don't fit, so one conveniently ignores the latter
as though they don't exist. It's what "creation
science" folks do when they study archeology,
geology, or astro-physics in order to "prove"
that the world is only six thousand years old;
they've made up their mind in advance, and yet they call it science.