Lessons to Be Learned From Past Mob Rules

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," March 26, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Before we let our own government and their henchmen sow the seeds of mob rule, I want to look past France, look past England, and look to the past. I personally think a brief history lesson is in order.

Joining me now is Robert Gellately. He's a history professor at Florida State University, author of a great book, "Lenin, Stalin and Hitler."

Robert, I have to tell you, I read your book. When did it come out, about a year and a half ago?


BECK: Yes. I read your book.

GELLATELY: That's right.

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BECK: And for the last couple of weeks, I keep seeing these scenes and I'm like, gosh, I've seen these scenes before and I couldn't remember where it was.

This morning, I'm in a meeting and I remember and I said to the staff, "Lenin, Stalin and Hitler." I am not comparing — and I doubt you are, too — I'm not comparing what's currently going on in our administration or in Washington on either side with these guys, but I see echoes of the past that frighten me.

We are — let me start — let me start you off on this one: Didn't the mobs under Lenin go in and kill all the farmers? And so you didn't have anybody that could actually run farms or run businesses.

And that's kind of what we're doing with AIG. We're going in after these people. We're not killing them, thank God, but we're going in after them and we won't have anybody left in our financial industry to help us.

True or false, Robert?

GELLATELY: Well, that's true. In fact, the Russian Revolution took a full-scale attack on the — on the banks and on the economic system, on civil service, on everything that kept the country going at all. It went into complete collapse very quickly.

The government thought of banning money. Then, of course, they went out into the countryside and took people's property away and redistributed it. And it was, of course, a catastrophe, which ended in 1920. Well, it ended in civil war, and in 1920, led to a horrible famine, which — thanks to the United States which intervened and saved many lives — but it was a dreadful business.

And there is no doubt about it that this full-scale, any kind of a full-scale assault on the best and the people who can run the economy and take care of agriculture, it's bound to lead to a horrible conclusion.


GELLATELY: And has historically.

BECK: I mean — Robert, is it — is it too crazy to say — well, no, I mean, wasn't it Churchill, "Those who — those who haven't read history are destined to repeat it," who was it that said that?

But these things are — it's with Mussolini, it's with Lenin, it's with Stalin, it's with Hitler — the same kinds of things happen, and I'm seeing a lot of the same kinds of things where manufactured crowds like here in the United States, these unions, are stepping to the plate and putting on shows, but the American people are like — oh, wow, look, the average person is protesting and they're demonizing the rich.

I mean, the rich industrialists were the cause and the problem in Germany. They were the cause of the problem in Russia, and then they had to be eliminated.

GELLATELY: You're absolutely right. I mean, this was a road to disaster.

There is no doubt about it that at a time of social anxiety such as we have now, where a lot of people are worried about how they're going to keep their lives together, where they see their savings going down the drain, where they feel cheated by the economic system, where they're looking at the stock market every single day, not one — you know, not having even any money invested in it perhaps but thinking about it as a barometer for how — for their own wellbeing and how they're doing.

There's no doubt that a lot of people can play on those emotions and sentiments...

BECK: Yes.

GELLATELY: And it's not a helpful thing. It really is not helpful. I mean...

BECK: And real quickly, there was a legal revolution in Germany. And that's the one I think I see before it got nasty. The big guys, all the big companies and everything else, just like here, they were all for it. They were like, "Yes, yes," because they thought it was going to help them and then it was too late to pull out.

And it was more of a legal revolution, right?

GELLATELY: And that is absolutely correct. And compared to the Russian Revolution, which was unbelievably violent and bloody...

BECK: Right.

GELLATELY: The Nazi revolution was "legal," and you have to put it in quotation marks, but basically he was appointed as the chancellor of Germany, gradually made himself — made his way into a position of a dictator. He was voted in all the way. He reduced the civil service all through laws or pseudo-laws or, you know, what passed for laws.

BECK: Right.

GELLATELY: And really, there was almost no resistance and was made incredibly difficult to resist because everything looked so legal. And one morning, people woke up and, you know, months — only months had passed and the whole thing had — it was already too late.

BECK: Robert, thank you very much. And I'd love to have you on and spend some more time with you.

America, the book is "Lenin, Stalin and Hitler." This is a — I think it's out in soft cover now. It's about a year, a year and a half old. Please read this book. I read it when it first came out. And it's — all of a sudden, it came to me here in the last couple of days, because it's all happening again. I'm not saying that these people are in our horizon. But let me tell you something, it's spooky, the similarities on how it's used.

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