“The claim isn’t that Germany would have been perfectly fine, and would never have started a war or done anything else extreme. And the claim is not that Hitler trashed a country that was ticking along happily.
The claim is that the history of the twentieth century would have gone substantially differently. World War II might not have happened. The tremendous role that Hitler’s idiosyncrasies played in directing events, doesn’t seem to leave much rational room for determinism here.”
I disagree. Hitler did not departure very far from the general beliefs of the time. The brand of socialism and nationalism that became what Hitler preached had been growing in prominence for decades in academia and in the middle class consciousness. The alliance between the socialists and the conservatives against the liberals probably would have happened whether Hitler was at the top or not.