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I'm reading a book right now about Nazi Germany: Hitler's empire : how the Nazis ruled Europe by Mark Mazower. I would say its fascinating, but its actually fairly tedious and hard to read. I read a few pages and it puts me to sleep. One idea is interesting, however. In Western Europe, the pre-existing economic system and rule of law allowed the Nazis to very easily leverage the existing population into their war machine. In the East, by contrast, they just killed everyone -- or everyone they could. A lesson I haven't heard people draw from WWII is how modern society prepares people to be enslaved: once people are entirely dependent upon "the system", whoever controls the system can trivially direct its fruits to whatever ends they want. As long as the system provides what people need, they mostly don't seem to mind if the fruits of their labor are being used to overturn democratically elected governments in Austria or Poland or Chile or Nicaragua or Haiti. Once people have become dependent upon the system, it perhaps becomes much harder to get them to organize against its misuse. Scary.