In The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross writes:
The protagonist of Alfred Doblin's novel Berlin Alexanderplatz, Frank Biberkopf, is a stubborn, tough-minded, self-reliant man who finds himself transformed into a Nazi stooge. In much the same way, [the composer Richard] Strauss's philosophy of self--"The laws of my mind determine my life," to quote Guntram--left him defenseless before Hitler's seductions. Nazism was itself the product of egoism, nihilism, cynicism, and amoral aestheticism.
No one is more naive than the cynical man.