Sheriff Arpaio’s Freikorps

The German term “Freikorps” (Free Corps) applies historically to volunteer armies raised to defend the homeland, generally in a garrison role or other minor duties. During the 19th Century, a period known for it’s poisonous levels of Nationalism, the idea of the freikorps was glorified and their members seen as heroes. This myth was firmly in place at the end of the First World War, when new paramilitary freikorps rose up amid the ruins of the defeated German empire. During this period they were composed of disgruntled Germans eager to get revenge on one enemy or another, including especially communists. Unsurprisingly, many of these men wanted permanent have been described as

[men who] have found in nihilism their final confession of faith. Incapable of any true co-operation, with a desire to oppose all order, filled with hatred against every authority, their unrest and disquietude can find satisfaction only in some conspiratorial activity of the mind perpetually plotting the disintegration of whatever at any moment may exist.

Sound familiar? Full of hate, hating authority, nihilistic?

The man describing them was Adolf Hitler, addressing the Reichstag on July 13, 1934. These men had supported his rise to power. He had harnessed their rage and their hate (sound like anyone you know?). And now he had no need of them. Their rage and hate was an obstacle now that he was in power, a liability, and he had done away with them in the Night of the Long Knives.

The Republican and Tea Party fascination with firearms and militias and “Second Amendment remedies” seem to have a lot in common with these freikorps volunteers. Just as the German freikorps saw themselves as the final line of defense of the Fatherland, so too these American conservatives see themselves as the true defenders of the Constitution (ironically, a Constitution they have neither read nor understand).

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who styles himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” is typical. Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio has run his domain like a private fief, much as would one of those post-First World War freikorps leaders. He is a law unto himself and likes to charge with crimes anyone who raises an eyebrow at his activities. As with Palin’s protege Joe Miller, it is illegal to ask questions. As with Bush, the law is anything Arpaio says it is.  He would probably arrest me for writing this if his jurisdiction reached into the Heartland.

As a result, it is not surprising that he has raised his own little freikorps. FOX News reports that on Wednesday he “swore in 56 members of a new volunteer sheriff’s posse group that includes “The Incredible Hulk” star Lou Ferrigno.”

Other prominent Arpaio Freikorps members are actors Steven Seagal and Peter Lupus of TV’s Mission Impossible, though Arpaio says they weren’t among those sworn in on Wednesday. Arpaio says “They will wear the same uniforms, so you can’t tell the difference.” I don’t know, I think Lou Ferrigno in particular might stand out:

Lou Ferrigno

Yes, the posse is armed, and yes, they wear uniforms. Like the freikorps.

The Freikorps already numbers some 3,000 members. Truly a private army to enforce Arpaio’s totalitarian regime.

Their duties? Fox News reports that,

The new posse group will specialize in helping deputies crack down on illegal immigration.

The sheriff says the volunteers’ duties will include bringing arrestees to jail and handling demonstrators who interfere with immigration patrols.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office website describes the posse thusly:

The posse, whose ranks have increased to 3,000 members under Arpaio, is the nation’s largest volunteer posse. Posse men and women help in search and rescue and other traditional police work as well as in special operations like rounding up deadbeat parents, fighting prostitution, patrolling malls during holidays, and investigating animal cruelty complaints. The posse’s contributions are invaluable and essentially free to taxpayers.

It is important to remember that after being officially disbanded many Freikorps joined the attempted Kapp Putsch in March 1920. That is, attempted to overthrow the government. These men also had guns and they didn’t want to give them up. Sound familiar?

Here is something else that will sound familiar:

Freikorps Poster - Protect your home

The caption on the above Freikorps poster? Should sound familiar to you. We are hearing it everyday. We hear it from Arpaio himself: “Protect your home.”

It’s interesting that the more the Republicans accuse liberals and Obama of being Nazis, the more Nazi they themselves look and act.

A little misdirection? Food for thought.

9 Replies to “Sheriff Arpaio’s Freikorps”

  1. Great article Hrafnkell. As a liberal that is into preparedness, I see this almost on a daily basis on some of the forums I browse to learn new things. They are packed with right-wing, teaparty, militia-types that cry for less government intrusion and more freedom but wouldn’t think twice about taking away the freedoms of folks that don’t agree with their ideology.

    It’s sickening the amount of disinformation that is spread as truth in those circles, sometimes to point of comedy. Here is an example Scroll down to the political section and see what I mean, it’s laughable. If these people think the Republican congress is going to fix this country, they are in for a huge shock. You’ll see more debt added, earmarks, erosion of freedoms (after all who gave us the patriot act?), more corporate control over our daily lives.

    You folks here at Politicususa keep up the good fight, we are in for a pretty bleak couple of years.

  2. Thank you, Irukandji, and thanks for posting that link. I’m sure others besides myself will go there to visit the lunatic asylum.

    I agree that the next two years are likely to be bleak. I think we have to look at them as a preparation for 2012. We know what their spiel is, their spin, we know what kind of argument they are going to try to build and we have to build our own, one that puts them in the proper (that is, real world) perspective, free of spin and propaganda.

    The big media outlets apparently feel it’s not their business to actually analyze the news. This would be like a historian who does not interpret history but simply states the events. We wouldn’t learn much from that; we wouldn’t understand much. The media has fallen down on the job so it’s left to the rest of us.

  3. I totally agree on your take about the media. I watch about an hour of various news programs from different sources last night. The top two stories on all of them: Bristol Palin & dancing with the stars and the royal wedding. Do you think most Americans actually care about this stuff when they are losing their homes, jobs and their investments are spiraling down the toilet?

    It’s to the point where I don’t even bother to turn on MSM news anymore because I know what’s coming. I have friends that are in Afghanistan currently and I hardly ever hear what is happening over there. It’s pretty sickening when you think about all that is happening in this country at the moment and celebrities, royal marriages rank above wars, the economy, jobs, etc.

  4. It was funny, that difference between what the media thinks and what WE think: I saw a CNN headline the other day about America’s fascination with “the royals” but a poll lower down on the page showed that most of us weren’t going to watch the royal wedding. What they think we think is so clearly out of touch with reality that it makes most of their conclusions suspect.

  5. Perhaps we should give some thought to what type of badge we want to have to wear.

    I’m thinking perhaps a green fist with middle finger raised. At least we can be a bit defiant as they lead us to the gas chambers.

  6. The information available out there on Sheriff Arpaio is truly chilling, and the Right holds this guy up as a hero. Human rights mean nothing to him; civil rights mean less. All we need is a bunch of gun-toting civilian fanatics in uniforms storming into our homes without search warrants. I think a middle finger would be appropriate, Maxine.

  7. Hellloooo! The United States is being INVADED from foreign nationals of Mexico with no concern for the welfare of America. Every baby dropped out of an ILLEGAL is supported by me for 18 years! FACT: $53 Million spent on babies alone IN ONE MONTH! I know you guys are happily opening your wallets to pay for this so I don’t have to, right? I live in Los Angeles, and everyone is feeling the effects of uncontrolled migration of poor catholics. Wait till THEY take over, screw womens rights, abortion rights, etc. You guys are dummies, Arpaio is sounding the alarm for Americans. Go to France you P—ys

  8. And exactly who is pissing his britches over this invasion of eggs? Passing the dairy case in the grocery store must be an ordeal for you. I never saw such an oophobe since the last time I read The Road to Oz. I’m not about to accuse you of being the Gnome King, but before you accuse anyone of felinity, bear in mind that the average cat far excels you in courage, heart, and honesty. As for the suggestion that anyone who disagrees with you should go to France, c’est un plaisir, espece de cretin.

  9. I grew up in Pacoima, so f u libral, you can live with the tijuana invasion. I have seen guns in my face, freinds murdered, people rot with drugs, starving children because mom is making more kids somewhere else, I thought it was a dog crapping in my alley, all the while they are collecting welfare and working under the table. You probably think I’m lying. I would have traded you places, Mecha lover.

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