As the title of my pieces suggests, this author writing for "The American Spectator" has attempted rather stupidly to compare the Occupy Wall Street protesters to Sturmabteilung or SA of the Nazi Party that arose in the 1920's. The SA or "Brown Shirts" as they were called (for their brown uniforms, and in reference to their Italian counterparts the "Black shirts"), were formed by the early Nazi Party (at the time called the DAP or German Worker's Party) to act as "hall defenders" for the party members. In other words, when Adolf Hitler or other major party members were giving speeches it was their job to remove any hecklers or dissenters in the audience. They also served as bodyguards against the DAP/Nazi party's political enemies, the Social Democrats and Communists. They were by all definitions of the word, thugs who kept political dissenters at a distance from the Nazi Party leadership. They were by modern terms a paramilitary organization (an organisation with military-like characteristics but not active members of the armed forces).
So why exactly does the author think there are parallels to the Brown Shirts and the Occupiers?
He/she believes the Occupiers clashes with police (and occasionally clashing with the media in the case of Occupy Oakland) is equivalent to the actions of the Brown Shirts during those early years of the DAP/Nazi party. He/she also seems to think there are parallels between the message of the Occupy Wall street movement and that of the Brown Shirts.
Now as a graduate of history in college, I was appalled and greatly irritated by the author's rather pathetic and moronic attempt to compare the Occupy movement with the fascist brown shirts of Germany in the 1920's. Sadly, comparing one's political opponents of being Nazis is hardly new in American politics, but it's something that truly makes my blood boil. Such petty and pathetic tactics are reserved solely for small-minded individuals. Of course the author is welcomed to his opinion but that doesn't entitle him/her to distort facts.
The main point of comparison the author seems to make is in reference to the Occupy Iowa protesters claiming they plan to "occupy" the Iowa Caucus. Not quite. The hacker group Anonymous did sent out a video calling on Iowa protesters to occupy the Caucus but the Occupy Iowa movement denounced the video and stated that while they will be protesting that day of the caucus, they have no intention of disrupting those taking part. Based on this erroneous belief, the author is attempting to compare the intimidation tactics of the Brown shirts to people protesting outside Caucus sites here in Iowa. Now even IF the Occupiers here in Iowa decided to more actively protest the Caucus (such as blocking the entrances or conducting a sit-in), such tactics are NOTHING compared to the tactics of the Brown shirts in the 1920's. In addition to keeping political dissenters away from the party leadership, the Brown shirts also harassed and routinely attacked their political rivals with deaths often the result. They also would provoke clashes with their political rivals in hope of either having them arrested and therefore removing them from the streets allowing the Brown shirts to move about more freely.
So what exactly is the author trying to get at? The main point the author seems to be trying to make is the Occupy Wall Street movement preference for "occupying" city parks and other public areas instead of "occupying" politicians offices in D.C. is similar to the actions of the many political factions of post-WWI Germany who took to the streets with their political messages instead of solely relying on the political structure that existed at the time. However his error is the specific reference to the Brown shirts. The Brown shirts were the storm troopers of the Nazi party whose job was keeping dissenters away from the Nazi leadership and attacking its political rivals and no comparison can be made between their tactics and current tactics of the Occupy movement. While both movements choose to operate outside the traditional political system, the Occupy movement has remained large non-violent while the Brown shirt's very start was rooted in violently shutting up those who heckled Adolf Hitler.
So I would strongly suggest the anonymous author this piece to actually pick up and OPEN a history book next time he/she tries to make a historical comparison between political groups because not doing so makes it rather hard to take the article as whole seriously and not just the work of some partisan hack.
The views and opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author and not that of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.