Is there a similarity between 9/11 and the USA PATRIOT act and the Reichstag Fire in 1933, after Hitler used democracy to seize absolute power (although 67% didn't vote for him)?

After 9/11 the Patriot act came into being. It was said the citizens of the U.S.A. were accepting of their liberties being lessened as this was for their own good: protection against the enemy, the Muslims.

This seems similar to what was done in the Nazi era: after the Reichstag was completely destroyed by a fire, the Nazis blamed a Dutchman, Marinus van der Lubbe, an alleged communist, for the fire. This was followed by an emergency decree which constrained the people's liberty, similarly to what happened after the Patriot Act was issued.

In how far are they similar. In howfar not?

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    I would like to see where this question stands on the Truther bit. Because 2 things are for sure: the Reichstag was a false flag op. And lots of people believe 9/11 was so that is a massive, massive, point of comparison, depending on where one stands on Truthers. As as M. Moore goes, though I could not find his position on Truthers, Slate has a nice op ed on this documentary. – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Sep 15 at 15:42
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica At least someone who agrees with me!? What's the Truther bit? – Deschele Schilder Sep 15 at 15:44
  • I find it odd you wouldn't know. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_Truth_movement – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Sep 15 at 15:45
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    Ahm: The linked Q is was posted by 'you' and into the same direction? Instead of just linking to that, perhaps explain what would be different between those? If you do not do that, I am inclined to vote for dupe closure quite soon? – LаngLаngС Sep 15 at 21:27
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    @LangLangC as far as I'm aware, there is no rule prohibiting duplicates on different SE sites... – Danila Smirnov Sep 22 at 3:21

As Mark Twain once quipped: "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes." There are obvious parallels between the Reichstag fire and the 9/11 attacks — as well as between the resulting Reichstag Fire Decree and the Patriot Act — but there are obvious differences as well:

  • The Reichstag Fire was ostensibly the act of a 'lone wolf' that the Nazi Party built into a broad communist conspiracy; the 9/11 attacks were actually committed by an organized conspiracy (i.e., the people who undertook the attacks were recruited, funded, and organized by Al-Qaeda, operating in secret to do maximal damage).
  • The Nazi Party used the Fire as a pretext to secure domestic political control; The W Bush administration mainly used 9/11 as a pretext to change foreign policy (uprooting international conventions, engaging in unilateral 'preemptive' war, and generally pulling the US away from the UN and other international constraints).

Historically speaking, the 1933 events are best seen as the beginnings of a coup d'état in which the Nazi Party had the explicit goal of creating a regime change that would leave them in perpetual power. The 2001 events, by contrast, appear more as a shift towards militarism within the existing regime, arguably because the GOP felt that renewing America's military posture — the posture that had made the USA preeminent from WWII through the end of the Cold War — would serve them well at the polls. W Bush (or more accurately, people in his administration, such as Cheney) had the opening to try and create regime change in 2007: protracted foreign wars, a flailing economy, domestic strife; all time-tested justifications for exerting authoritarian control. Instead, the GOP allowed the democratic process to play out, and stepped down from power when they lost.

Of course, the GOP 'stepping down' was perceived as failure by the more Rightist components of the party, and inflamed a nationalist movement that led to Trumpism. We can expect 2020 to rhyme more soundly with 1933 (even if Trumpists have to conjure an 'October Surprise' domestic attack out of whole cloth, to boost their fear-mongering campaign). Hopefully this bit of historical doggerel will have a decidedly different outcome.

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  • Hopefully this bit of historical doggerel will have a decidedly different outcome. I hope so too. Is it possible that a dictatorship gets a grip on the U.S.A.? Can constitutional laws prevent this? – Deschele Schilder Sep 15 at 17:30
  • @DescheleSchilder: As I've said before, government is built on institutions, not laws, meaning that governments only function well when there is a near-universal tacit 'understanding' about the rules the government operates under. Any government (and democratic governments in particular) are vulnerable to someone willing to subvert and abuse those tacit understandings, for pretty much the same reason that any individual can get taken in by a grift or scam. We don't expect sneaky rule-breakers, and don't adjust quickly or well when we're confronted by one. – Ted Wrigley Sep 15 at 19:42
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    The Reichstag-fire was in terms of 911 conspiracy explanations most probably a MIHOP event. Van der Lubbe just a scape goat, brought to the scene when it was already aflame. (If you don't want to build your argument on that specific historical point, in either way, perhaps leave that still slightly controversial point slightly open? But you may as well trust me on that, or ask on HistorySE for more details on it… ;) Reliance on 'sole arsonist' isn't necessary here imo anyway. A crisis is a chance. The outcome is what matters more.) – LаngLаngС Sep 15 at 19:43
  • @DescheleSchilder: A constitution is nothing except a document that spells out some basic institutions. If someone refuses to respect the institutions, the document isn't worth the paper it's printed on. But on the other hand, the institutions spelled out in the US constitution are deeply embedded in US political culture. Someone might pull the wool over our eyes for a while, but uprooting the institutional norms entirely would be difficult. My estimation is that Trump would need much more support than he actually has to pull that rabbit out of the hat. Not that he might not try... – Ted Wrigley Sep 15 at 19:46
  • @LаngLаngС: Your last point is where I'm at as well. How an event is used demonstrates the character and nature of the movement, regardless of the factual details of the event itself. But I can throw in the word 'ostensibly' to loosen it up a little, if you like. – Ted Wrigley Sep 15 at 19:53

Differences in the events themselves

There is some doubt about the origins of the Reichstagsbrand among historians & a false flag operation is a legitimate theory.

No reliable source attribute 9/11 to a false flag operation.

Differences in impact

The Reichstagsbrand was used to persecute political opponents - including elected representatives -, which was a central step in cementing Hitlers power.

From your wikipedia link:

After the decree was issued, the government instituted mass arrests of communists, including all of the Communist Party's parliamentary delegates. With their bitter rival communists gone and their seats empty, the Nazi Party went from having a plurality to a majority, thus enabling Hitler to consolidate his power.

Till Mai '33, 100,000 political opponents where arrested and sent to concentration camps. Additionally, freedom of the press & freedom of speech were severely restricted.

On the other hand, the Patriot Act did not substantially or directly impact the opposition. No democratic senators were sent to concentration camps.

Differences in the laws

The most impactful part of the Verordnung des Reichspräsidentenzum Schutz von Volk und Staat is the annulation of paragraphs 114 (freedom of the person; nobody can be arrested without cause), 115 (protecting personal accommodations from unreasonable search), 117 (secrecy of correspondence), 118 (freedom of speech & freedom of the press), 123 (freedom of assembly), 124 (freedom of association) and 153 (right to property) of the constitution.

The (objectionable part of the) Partiot Act on the other hand focus mainly on surveillance & border security. If a comparison is to be made, the closest equivalent would be the annulation of §117 (secrecy of correspondence).

While there was a significant impact to the right to privacy, the Patriot Act does not really compare to the destruction of liberties in the aftermath of the Reichstagsbrand.

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  • Comments deleted. This is not a place to debate 9/11 conspiracy theories. – Philipp Sep 16 at 9:25
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    I think you live in a fantasy world. You do not see what's really going on in the U.S.A. Just take a good look around you for yourself. I can't, because I'm not living in a country where there are fewer weapons per citizen than in Canada, while the murder rate is kinda higher! – Deschele Schilder Sep 22 at 4:56

It's not. The Reichstag event was either a false flag operation or the act of one person, willfully misrepresented as a Communist plot. In any case, we know the Nazi penchant for false flag operations, such as pretending Poland had attacked them.

  • There is no doubt the Nazis were not being honest about the actual danger to their state.

The WTC attack was an actual attack, with large loss of life, by Al-Quaeda, who explicitly claimed responsibility.

  • The US government had ample justifications to take measures of some sort, although opinions about the measures that ended up being taken may differ. I am not arguing on the merits of what the Bush administration did.

Now, we could debate Patriot Act vs Nazi power grab, if this question really was about the legal measures taken by both governments, rather than casting doubt on the circumstances of the WTC attack by associating it with a known false flag incident or at least often perceived as such.

There is a whole industry of conspiracy theorists who claim that the WTC attack was not, in fact, an actual external attack, but rather somehow organized by shadowy actors in the US government or at least US-based. Like the Nazis, those conspirators would then be able to manipulate legislation having fooled the gullible into supporting them.

That is the comparison that is being made in this question: equating a possible false flag, and certainly misrepresented, Reichstag to a claimed false flag WTC. The OP denies doing so, but then goes right into 9/11 Truther mode on Tim's answer:

OP: What about the WTC building #7?

Conveniently, that sentence can be looked right up.

Furthermore, when challenged about his position on the Truther movement, the OP innocently claims not to know anything about it, but then is able to recite usual Truther talking points perfectly.

While engaging very little on the actual political analysis of legislative changes in either answer.

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    the OP innocently claims not to know anything about it, but then is able to recite usual Truther talking points perfectly do you really think I'm that innocent? I'm very happy for your deserved rep. and totally disagree with your answer. – Deschele Schilder Sep 22 at 4:51
  • @DescheleSchilder Well, easy enough to set the record straight, niet waar? "Do you believe that the WTC collapses of 3 buildings were ONLY the result of impacts by 2 airplanes? And the Pentagon was hit by another plane. And that the Al-Quaeda perpetrators were NOT assisted by members of the US government or people close to it? Not assisted means no intentional help - failure-to-recognize-threat is not assistance ". Yes or No? – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Sep 22 at 16:50
  • E vero! 1)No 2)No 3)No E chiaro? – Deschele Schilder Sep 22 at 18:40
  • Wat een lap text over WTC gebouw zeven! Ik denk echter dat de schrijvers behoorlijk bevooroordeeld zijn. Maybe the conventionalistic point of view is the conspiracy theory. Non ti sembri? – Deschele Schilder Sep 22 at 22:02
  • Beter om te zeggen wat U echt bedoelt, eh? Well, FWIW, I asked a question about confirmed conspiracy theories on Stack History and it was... not much. – Italian Philosophers 4 Monica Sep 23 at 4:31

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