Hitler? He Got Things Done.

(cross posted at kickin it with cg and motley moose)

Yesterday Bernie Ecclestone, the head of Formula One, in an interview with London's The Times newspaper, said that he preferred totalitarian regimes to democracies and praised Adolf Hitler for his ability to "get things done"

"In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done.

In the end he got lost, so he wasn't a very good dictator because either he had all these things and knew what was going on and insisted, or he just went along with it . . . so either way he wasn't a dictator." He also rounded on democracy, claiming that "it hasn't done a lot of good for many countries -- including this one [Britain]".

Ecclestone later praised the concept of a government based on tyranny.

Politicians are too worried about elections," he said. "We did a terrible thing when we supported the idea of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He was the only one who could control that country. It was the same [with the Taleban]. We move into countries and we have no idea of the culture. The Americans probably thought Bosnia was a town in Miami. There are people starving in Africa and we sit back and do nothing but we get involved in things we should leave alone."

Ecclestone, who owns F1's commercial rights, is no stranger to controversial remarks. He once said women should dress in white "like all other domestic appliances." In The Times interview, Ecclestone claimed that had been a joke, adding "I would love to have a good lady race driver and preferably black and Jewish too, but they might take maternity leave."

Tags: ecclestone, formula 1, Hitler, the times, tyranny (all tags)

Comments

12 Comments

Re: Hitler? He Got Things Done.

I saw this in The Guardian. Hard to believe.

by Charles Lemos 2009-07-04 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Hitler? He Got Things Done.

It's not hard for me to believe. I think most wealthy people have this mindset. He simply has the guts - or the raw stupidity - to actually say it out loud.

by Spiffarino 2009-07-06 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Hitler? He Got Things Done.

I don't think it's hard to believe either, but it's less a symptom of wealth than a symptom of the corporate structure.  He's used to top-down command structures, and wonders why the government doesn't work the same way.

Although the thing about Hitler being led astray by Svengalis is on another level of stupid.

by Jess81 2009-07-06 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Hitler? He Got Things Done.

"Although the thing about Hitler being led astray by Svengalis is on another level of stupid."

Yeah, that one totally pegged my WTF meter.

by Spiffarino 2009-07-06 12:38PM | 0 recs
What!?

Seriously?  In the 21st century?  Who says this?

by psychodrew 2009-07-04 09:15PM | 0 recs
bernie ecclestone apparently.

by canadian gal 2009-07-04 09:22PM | 0 recs
maybe he's Pat Buchanan's

long lost twin or something.

by Lakrosse 2009-07-04 10:51PM | 0 recs
I agree with one of the commenters

from the original article. The fact that this guy is part of the elite should scare us all.

by SocialDem 2009-07-05 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Hitler? He Got Things Done.

Verbose as I can be, I'm really at a loss; not just about this comment, but others along similar thought lines, though some more outlandish and shocking than others.

It simply stuns me beyond description how so many people (not a pervasive number nor anywhere near a majority, but a shockingly-large minority) can honestly come to such conclusions and hold these as considered beliefs during this day and age, given the broad-based understanding about their validity.

And btw, based on recent history, I double-checked for the existence of a snark tag before finishing up this comment.

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-07-05 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Hitler? He Got Things Done.

This is not Bernie's first time experience with foot in mouth disease.

It's a common thing with F1's "ruling elite".  However, in Europe someone who rakes in over $100M/yr., frankly doesn't care, and they are either friends with enough other influential people or those who "own" other influential people, that they can and do get away with these things.

by TxDem08 2009-07-05 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Hitler? He Got Things Done.

Some interesting tidbits:

Hitler was the first leader in Europe to insist that everyone receive at least a week's vacation a year regardless of social standing.

And then there's the car for everyone, the Volkswagon.

A common mis-perception is that Germany was this hugely efficient state. Not true. As an example, Britain produced more fighters per month than Germany.

As to the main theme of this thread that anyone could be so insensitive and ignorant of history as to compare Hitler with Larry (Git 'er Done) the Cable Guy -- what was he thinking.  

by Bob Miller 2009-07-05 05:44PM | 0 recs
He is right about one thing

As ignorant and banal as he obviously is, Ecclestone is right about Hitler in one sense; he did "get things done" more effectively than a democratically elected leader could have. That kind of "crisp" decision making gives wealthy elites a real boner.

And that, friends, is precisely why we deplore and reject dictators. Thinking people don't want their leaders to be able to get things done with a wave of a hand or the stroke of a pen. We need healthy debate and checks on power to hammer out important decisions before they're made. Dictators' decisions tend to end in disaster, as history has time and again shown.

by Spiffarino 2009-07-06 05:48AM | 0 recs

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