At the recommendation of Jordan Peterson I read two books: Panzram, A Journal of Murder and Hitler’s Table Talk.
Hitler’s table talk was interesting, for the first 20 pages or so. After that I got bored and stopped reading. Hitler has excellent cadence and word choice, exactly what you’d expect from a renowned orator, but boy he is repetitious. Typical syndrome of a man in power surrounded by yes-nodders; he does not understand that what he says is exactly what he said the day before, thus less interesting with each consecutive day.
The takeaway is that the reactionary analysis of Hitler as a 50s leftist is accurate. Hitler was into renewable energy, into hydrogen gas, into nature, into turning ze Ukrainian plains into a flourishing farmland for ze German people! He said some interesting things, he said more nonsense. He was pretty obsessed with Russia.
In the end Hitler promised escape from a degenerate Weimar republic, but his escape plans were white socialist figments of his own imagination. Wish I had more to say about him but I really don’t.
On the bright side, with help of the book I have been able to pull off a decent Hitler impression. My girl absolutely
loathes loves it.
Panzram was a good book, because Carl Panzram is an interesting character. As it says on the cover: ‘Panzram is one of those people who doesn’t exist in your mind until you come across him in life or, as here, in a book, and then he never leaves it.’ True.
Carl Panzram, born 1891 in Minnesota, hated everyone and everything. He murdered twenty-something people, sodomized many more, stole everything he could get his hands on and set fire to every church he crossed. He did not care about the consequences of his actions. Every time he was disciplined (which was a lot) he’d react by spitting in the face of those that disciplined him. He spent most of his time in prison, and of that time spent most of his time in solitary confinement. In his thirties he murdered a prison guard and demanded the death penalty for it, because he wanted to die. He eventually received it and was hung in Kansas, 1930. His last infamous words to the hangman: “hurry it up, you Hoosier bastard! I could kill a dozen men while you’re screwing around!”
The book, being a 20th century book, not so subtly puts the blame for Panzram’s hatred on Christianity, since in his early teens he was sent to a Chistian correctional school. ‘If only Panzram weren’t treated so cruelly by fundamentalist Christians, perhaps he’d have grown up with love in his heart!’ Seem like leftist nonsense to me. Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy had relatively tranquil childhoods and murdered a bunch of people anyway. Conversely some people are abused and mistreated when they’re young but turn out fine anyway. Which is not to say abusing young Panzram and apparently also raping him did not leave its marks on him, just that Panzram would have been stealing, lying and killing regardless, was in fact shown to be stealing and lying before he was sent to correctional school (hence, why he was sent to correctional school in the first place).
Some people are born with hatred in their hearts, or hatred in their genes if you prefer scientific over poetic accuracy. That’s just the way it is. Panzram was one of those people.
Question is, how do you deal with a guy like Panzram, a guy who just wants to see the world burn?
Panzram received a lot of corporal punishment. Though I have no problem with a bit of corporal punishment, the amount Panzram received seemed to me needless violence doled out by sadistic men. Counterproductive.
Panzram received re-education. This seems to me a leftist device to decriminalize criminals. Consider Panzram’s re-education: he was rewarded for good behavior, he was allowed to carry the flag for the prison marching band and in the end, he was allowed some modicum of freedom so as to rebuild his trust with society. So, what happened? Well, Panzram escaped, stole a gun and almost killed someone before he was recaptured. Counterproductive.
The reason leftists obsess with re-education is because criminals make a potentially good ally against law and order. The point of re-education is not to change criminals, the point is to decriminalize criminal behavior: your bike was stolen? How dare you complain, don’t you know the thief had a rough childhood!
The punishment of criminals is the act of being in prison. You can add some amount of corporal punishment, and a very minor amount of re-education, but being confined to prison is the punishment. If a man does not accept punishment and, like Panzram, continues to murder people even in prison, the death penalty seems to me perfectly appropriate. Similarly, if an ex-convict continues to murder people outside prison, the death penalty also seems to me perfectly appropriate. That is how I think you should deal with a guy like Panzram.