I have some thoughts on Toulouse and political miscategorization, over at PJMedia.
I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Baath party?
I’m always amazed when people use NAZI and RIGHT-WING together as if they are interchangeable. But I have had a good time explaining why it’s not so, especially telling them bout National SOCIALISM, blah, blah, blah.
I’ve even had a few tell me I was wrong, that ‘socialism’ meant something different then.
It’s too bad this guy got killed, he’s a martyr to his twisted cause now.
Hitler would never have characterized himself as a product of the left, and to interpret him as such is a deliberate misreading of both the man and history. Furthermore, to define the “right” as “anti-authoritarian” is a misreading of all of European political history. Authoritarianism crosses the political divide, and to say otherwise is to put a simplistic and naively American libertarian filter over the 20th century (anachronistically I might add…)
Hitler would never have characterized himself as a product of the left, and to interpret him as such is a deliberate misreading of both the man and history.
Of course he wouldn’t. He was one of the most famous proponents of “the Big Lie.”
And you one of the many fools to believe it.
The Big Lie as you know has nothing to do with Hitler’s characterization of his own political stance, it was his theory about the lies told (as he saw it) by his political opponents, namely the Jews but also the communists, social democrats, and anyone else who didn’t conform to the Nazi weltanschauung. To say that I “believe it” is just crappy rhetoric on your part. You’re better than that, so please…
What I’m more interested in how you explain that the highly conservative Hindenburg and his right-wing political backers supported such a “socialist” as Hitler. Unless of course you accept that “right” politics means something different than “anti-authoritarian”. In Europe in the 20th century, it certainly was not limited to that.
Hitler wrote in “Mein Kamph” (which could be translated to “My Jihad”) Volume 2, Chapter VII:
In 1919-20 and also in 1921 I attended some of the bourgeois [capitalist] meetings. Invariably I had the same feeling towards these as towards the compulsory dose of castor oil in my boyhood days. . . . And so it is not surprising that the sane and unspoiled masses shun these ‘bourgeois mass meetings’ as the devil shuns holy water.
Doesn’t exactly sound like someone from the Right to me. Further, Gregor Strasser, National Socialist theologian, said:
We National Socialists are enemies, deadly enemies, of the present capitalist system with its exploitation of the economically weak … and we are resolved under all circumstances to destroy this system.
F.A. Hayek in his Road to Serfdom (p. 168) said:
The connection between socialism and nationalism in Germany was close from the beginning. It is significant that the most important ancestors of National Socialism—Fichte, Rodbertus, and Lassalle—are at the same time acknowledged fathers of socialism. …. From 1914 onward there arose from the ranks of Marxist socialism one teacher after another who led, not the conservatives and reactionaries, but the hard-working laborer and idealist youth into the National Socialist fold. It was only thereafter that the tide of nationalist socialism attained major importance and rapidly grew into the Hitlerian doctrine.
See also his chapter 12: “The Socialist Roots of Naziism.”
Dave shoots, Larry J with the in your face block.
The quote from Mein Kampf merely shows that Hitler despised bourgeois liberalism. He viewed the Weimar Republic as soft, weak, and full of moral decay. However, Hitler actively *despised* communism for its collectivism. Private property and private profits have no part in communist ideology. It most certainly does in nazism. That’s the key difference between the two ideologies. Firms like Thyssen and Krupp had no problem with the nazis while the profits were good during rearmament. So in what important ways were the nazis “socialist”? Would it be the way Hitler took control of the Unions as one of his first acts as a dictator, in order to silence a primary source of dissension from the left?
The quote from Hayek is meaningless, as least what’s quoted here. He blindly asserts that they share some kind of ideological ancestors, but doesn’t show in what ways their linked.
So in what important ways were the nazis “socialist”?
Go read the Nazi Party platform. Much of it could hav been written by today’s Democrats.
“We demand that the State shall above all undertake to ensure that every citizen shall have the possibility of living decently and earning a livelihood.”
“Therefore we demand:
11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.
12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.
14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.
15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.”
But don’t call them socialist.
Would it be the way Hitler took control of the Unions as one of his first acts as a dictator, in order to silence a primary source of dissension from the left?
So, how independent were the unions under Stalin? Was he a “right winger” too?
That was a printed party platform developed for propaganda, forgotten as quickly as it was introduced and never implemented. Here’s a more honest quote of Hitler’s real policy in the area of wealth distribution:
“Do you think I’d be so crazy as to destroy German heavy industry? Those producers worked their way to the top by their own merits, and, because of this process of selection, which proves that they are an elite, they have a right to lead!” - Adolf Hitler to Otto Straesser, October 1930. Quoted in Helmut Heiber, “Adolf Hitler, (Berlin, 1960)” p68.
Nazism is intrinsically elitist. Sure, they said some things to try to win over working-class rubes. The key is to look at what they actually implemented or enforced.
Here’s a bonus quote:
“We chose red for our posters after particular and careful deliberation, our intention being to irritate the Left, so as to arouse their attention and tempt them to come to our meetings – if only in order to break them up – so that in this way we got a chance of talking to the people.” – Mein Kampf, Vol 2 – ch 7
Dave seems to be relying on the ever popular “no true Scotsman” defense. He can’t seem to wrap his head around the idea that those of the left could be elitist, racist (eugenics was a product of the progressive movement), or bad in any way. If Nazis used the same rhetoric and advocated the same policies as the liberal left, well by gosh they MUST be lying. Just because progressive and liberal thought involves much state worship, that doesn’t mean it has any connection to the state worship of Nazi Germany (or Stalinist Russia for that matter). Nope, not at all, because liberals are the good guys who are completely incapable of such no goodness.
For a quick look at Nazi domestic policy, check this out.
My Chris, if anything is a No True Scotsman defense, it’s all this right-wing revisionist history that takes the basic understanding of political economy in the 20th century and turns it on its head. Let me ask you this: In your view, were there any right-wing parties in Germany during the Weimar Republic? Could you name them for me? Which parties did the NSDAP march with and form coalitions with during its rise to power?
Dave, as much as the Left would like to think otherwise, the similarities between the Nazis and Communists are stronger than the differences. They are two sides of the same evil coin.
Both instituted secret police forces to spy on their own people.
Both declared major segments of their populations as internal enemies for imprisonment and/or execution.
Both operated large slave labor systems.
Both controled their economies.
Both operated youth programs to try and mold the next generation into the party ideal.
Both committed mass murder on a scale barely comprehensible.
Both started wars of aggression on their neighbors.
Left and right are directions, not political ideology. They are only used as shorthand among those that agree to there meaning.
Socialism is a political ideology. Nazi is a branch of socialism regardless of who supported Hitler. Although he’s been dehumanized by history, he was in fact a very successful human politician. He killed people. Humans do that. He doesn’t have the record, but he was certainly evil. Before WWII many people did not recognize Hitler for the evil he was. That can be said of many politicians today who just haven’t had the circumstances that would allow them to demonstrate their unequivocal evil.
Which is as good a case for limited government as I can imagine. It’s almost as if the Founding Fathers knew that people were capable of monstrous evils (like owning slaves) and thought it would be a really good idea to limit the damage that people can do through the power of the state. That would certainly account for how inefficient the system is and how those who most want to streamline it seem to have totalitarian agendas.
those who most want to streamline it seem to have totalitarian agendas
Control freaks are everywhere and of course they’d like the controls simplified.
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