Skip to comments.Hitler was a socialist
Posted on 08/25/2007 9:37:52 AM PDT by Renfield
There is surely no doubt that the man Feser describes sounds very much like a mainstream Leftist by current standards. But who is the man concerned? It is a historically accurate description of Adolf Hitler. Hitler was not only a socialist in his own day but he would even be a mainstream socialist in MOST ways today. Feser does not mention Hitler's antisemitism above, of course, but that too seems once again to have become mainstream among the Western-world Left in the early years of the 21st century. See here for more on that.
One way in which Hitler was unlike modern American Leftist political leaders, however, is that he was to a considerable extent a genuine man of culture. The photo below shows him in white tie and tails attending the Wagner opera festival at Bayreuth in 1939. There is no doubt of his real devotion to opera -- and indeed to classical music generally. Any claim that a devotion to high culture is especially virtuous does therefore tend to be undermined by Hitler's example -- if that is not too ad hominem.
(Excerpt) Read more at jonjayray.tripod.com ...
Before we answer that question, however, let us look at what the Left and Right in politics consist of at present. Consider this description by Edward Feser of someone who would have been a pretty good Presidential candidate for the modern-day U.S. Democratic party:
He had been something of a bohemian in his youth, and always regarded young people and their idealism as the key to progress and the overcoming of outmoded prejudices. And he was widely admired by the young people of his country, many of whom belonged to organizations devoted to practicing and propagating his teachings. He had a lifelong passion for music, art, and architecture, and was even something of a painter. He rejected what he regarded as petty bourgeois moral hang-ups, and he and his girlfriend "lived together" for years. He counted a number of homosexuals as friends and collaborators, and took the view that a man's personal morals were none of his business; some scholars of his life believe that he himself may have been homosexual or bisexual. He was ahead of his time where a number of contemporary progressive causes are concerned: he disliked smoking, regarding it as a serious danger to public health, and took steps to combat it; he was a vegetarian and animal lover; he enacted tough gun control laws; and he advocated euthanasia for the incurably ill.
He championed the rights of workers, regarded capitalist society as brutal and unjust, and sought a third way between communism and the free market. In this regard, he and his associates greatly admired the strong steps taken by President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal to take large-scale economic decision-making out of private hands and put it into those of government planning agencies. His aim was to institute a brand of socialism that avoided the inefficiencies that plagued the Soviet variety, and many former communists found his program highly congenial. He deplored the selfish individualism he took to be endemic to modern Western society, and wanted to replace it with an ethic of self-sacrifice: "As Christ proclaimed 'love one another'," he said, "so our call -- 'people's community,' 'public need before private greed,' 'communally-minded social consciousness' -- rings out.! This call will echo throughout the world!"
The reference to Christ notwithstanding, he was not personally a Christian, regarding the Catholicism he was baptized into as an irrational superstition. In fact he admired Islam more than Christianity, and he and his policies were highly respected by many of the Muslims of his day. He and his associates had a special distaste for the Catholic Church and, given a choice, preferred modern liberalized Protestantism, taking the view that the best form of Christianity would be one that forsook the traditional other-worldly focus on personal salvation and accommodated itself to the requirements of a program for social justice to be implemented by the state. They also considered the possibility that Christianity might eventually have to be abandoned altogether in favor of a return to paganism, a worldview many of them saw as more humane and truer to the heritage of their people. For he and his associates believed strongly that a people's ethnic and racial heritage was what mattered most. Some endorsed a kind of cultural relativism according to which what is true or false and right or wrong in some sense depends on one's ethnic worldview, and especially on what best promotes the well-being of one's ethnic group...."
Interesting article, and a good one to show to acquaintances who think Hitler was a “right-wing Fascist”....
“Na zi” = “National Socialist”
I never understood why so many idiots couldn't grasp that. It's not rocket science. After the destruction of Germany in WW1, it was quite natural for socialism to be adopted.
When the Nazis came to power in 1933 one of the first acts Hitler did was to legalize abortion. By 1935 Germany with 65 million people was the place where over 500,000 abortions were being performed each year.
Getting harder and harder to distinguish this place from KOS.
If a nation is going to disregard Human Rights and disregard Property Rights (different sides of the same coin) they do not have any God given legitimacy.
Sounds like the U.S. today. Kill a baby in the womb (you have THAT CHOICE), but don’t dare light a tobacco product (especially with the signs literally littering some states asking to report your fellow citizen). Hmmm...
NASDP (Nationalsocialistiche Deutsche Arbeiter Patei) may have been the official name of the party but it’s workings were not.
1937: “The Jews”
2007: “Religious Right”
“Everything must be different!” or “Alles muss anders sein!” was a slogan of the Nazi Party. It is also the heart’s desire of every Leftist since Karl Marx.”
Now doesn’t that sound familiar when considering Hillary? She doesn’t like anything about our way of life and is always saying it all has to change.
But he got the trains to run on time.
I'm not going to give a knee jerk reaction to the point you are making (though I could) but I do want to emphasize what you seem to be saying in that last sentence. It is inevitable that the more power a government seizes unto itself the greater that governments desire to marginalize the individual. Sooner or later billboards WILL crop up with nice slogans like, "YOU MUST WORK HARDER FOR THE FATHERLAND".
And built superhighways (like Algore), too!
Every leftists aka socialist aka democrat aka liberal I`ve ever debated go ballistic when I tell them Hitler was a national socialist and prove it.
They go absolutely nuts trying to disprove all the similarities by pointing to one or two dissimilarities and then attempt to use their miniscule points to argue it disporves the preponderance of evidence against them.
I laugh seeing them writhe,twist and try squirm their way out and just end up telling them the major difference is that hitler was a national socialist and they, democrats,liberals,etc, are international socialists.
So, where does that leave Stalin? (Leader of the Union Soviet Socialist Republics) The Hegelian, “dictatorship of the proletariat”. The object of the Reich (after Hitler and ethnic cleansing) was to develop a socialist society made up of “Aryans”. When you swing the social pendulum far enough it comes all the way around.
Franco, Mussolini and Austria before the Nazis were fascist.
National Socialism WAS a brand of Socialism. But instead of the internationalist, “border-less” socialism propagated by the communists, it had a nationalist, racist approach.
Real Fascism is based on traditions, nationalism, class and often religion. National-Socialism resembled the Soviet-Union in most aspects more than it did resemble the other European Fascist states.
Mussolini was a socialist.
Abortion wouldn’t have been as much as a human rights issue then, but power of the government, reasoning if a individual could chose to have an abortion the government could choose who could have one as well.
Hitler was a piker compared to Stalin when it came to butchering his own people. He is estimated to have murdered between 20 and 50 million and that doesn’t count his abandoning Georgia and Ukraine during the war so the Nazis could slaughter/quell the uprising.
Pray for W and Our Troops
Sort of. But Italy under Mussolini wasn’t nearly as socialist as Germany under Hitler. A key aspect of National-Socialism was a break with traditions and a “cultural revolution”. Italian Facism and Spanish Francoism differed profoundly in this aspect.
Hitler, truly progressive.
“But he got the trains to run on time.”
Wasn’t that Benito Mussolini?
“Hitler was not a socialist, he was a fascist. “
We are Socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, with its injustice in wages, with its immoral evaluation of individuals according to wealth and money instead of responsibility and achievement, and we are determined under all circumstances to abolish this system!
Guess where the quote came from...
Democrats and “liberals”, these days, act more like Nazis all the time.
When is the last time you heard any Democrat in America, advocate any policy, position or program, which did not involve either government force, or some variant of the original German order: “Verbotten”?
Seriously. Even one. There aren’t any.
Nazi=NSDAP=national socialist German workers’ party
That doesn’t sound very right wing to me, but then again, in leftspeak, up is down, old is new, and black is white. The left uses definitions as they best suit them, the facts be darned.
I think Hitler was a little bit of both, personally. He wanted a “perfect” world with no Jews. In other words, he wanted his cake and eat it to. He nearly got what he wished for.
People Hitler had deported/locked up/killed:
Sounds list a list of all the socialist’s friends to me
The second quote on my FR home page:
Although our modern socialists' promise of greater freedom is genuine and sincere, in recent years observer after observer has been impressed by the unforeseen consequences of socialism, the extraordinary similarity in many respects of the conditions under "communism" and "fascism." As the writer Peter Drucker expressed it in 1939, "the complete collapse of the belief in the attainability of freedom and equality through Marxism has forced Russia to travel the same road toward a totalitarian society of un-freedom and inequality which Germany has been following. Not that communism and fascism are essentially the same. Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion, and it has proved as much an illusion in Russia as in pre-Hitler Germany."
No less significant is the intellectual outlook of the rank and file in the communist and fascist movements in Germany before 1933. The relative ease with which a young communist could be converted into a Nazi or vice versa was well known, best of all to the propagandists of the two parties. The communists and Nazis clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties simply because they competed for the same type of mind and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic. Their practice showed how closely they are related. To both, the real enemy, the man with whom they had nothing in common, was the liberal of the old type. While to the Nazi the communist and to the communist the Nazi, and to both the socialist, are potential recruits made of the right timber, they both know that there can be no compromise between them and those who really believe in individual freedom.
-- F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom
See my previous post.
Para-Ord.45 gets it.
“sitting through a history class in high school and the teacher was writing the differences between National Socialism and Soviet-type Communism. The differences were few.”
Actually, the differences were many, but not so much ideologicly.
The forced spread of Leninist-style International Communism was stopped during the Polish Wars of the 20’s at great expense in Ethnic German lives, some estimates say 2 Million.
This left a lasting impression on the German People, especially since the formerly downtrodden jews, victims undr the tsars, were leading the Communist Revolution...
That was Mussolini,Hitler built the Autobahn.
The Communists were competition. That is the reason Hitler jailed communists.
As for the others on your list, please point to any communist regime, past or present, with:
Trade unions (not controlled by the government)
Non-governmental trade unions, immigration and free lifestyle choices (whether we agree with them or not) are in fact some of the characteristics of messy, noisy, chaotic, pluralistic, free and democratic societies.
You don’t find much immigration to any communist country. Nobody wants to move there! The Berlin Wall faced inward.
You don’t find (any) organizations with power to challenge authority. That is a crime called “counter-revolution”.
And homosexuality (again, not taking a position here) has in fact been suppressed in every communist and totalitarian regime of every stripe, this poster can think of, past or present.
The opposite of socialist is not nazi.
The opposite of nazi is not socialist.
They are for all purposes identical. The opposite of (both) of those philosophies, is freedom. Libertarianism, really.
Homosexuals were a WELCOMED part of National Socialism in the Early Days. Ernst Rohm, head of the SA was a raging flamer...
It wasn’t until Rohm became an embarrassment, (and a threat to Hitler’s power) that they were purged from the Party..
Are you talking about the real world or books? In practice, they come out almost the same.
Read most of the article. Verry long.
I think the author’s primary problem is with definitions.
For instance, he appears to define the “right,: conservatism, as roughly equivalent to libertarianism; while the “left” is defined as socialism and authoritarianism.
To understand why such a definition is inaccurate, you have to look at the origin of the Left/Right spectrum, which originated in the French Revolutionary assemblies. Those who were most conservative, supporters of King, Church and aristocracy, sat on the right of the hall. Those who were most anxious to overthrow the existing system and replace it with one of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity sat on the left. The wishy-washy guys sat in the middle.
This points out an immediate problem with applying the spectrum to American, and for that matter most other modern, political controversies. America never had a Right, in the sense of organized groups campaigning for King and established Church. The closest we came were the early Federalists, who had aristocratic tendencies. Had the South won the WBTS, it would probably have wound up with a pretty right-wing government. OTOH, in Europe true Rightists, in the original sense of the word, hung on till WWI and perhaps later.
The Left, meanwhile, in the original sense of the term, was focused primarily on Equality. This was originally political and social equality, but when these goals were largely achieved they started chasing the impossible dream of economic equality.
In the general use of the term, Socialist or Leftist today means Marxist, of one variety or another. The three primary distinguishing characteristics of Marxism are its obsession with economic equality, its opposition to nationalism and other dividers of people, and its belief that the State will eventually “wither away.”
The Nazis denied all three.
While they ran a massive welfare state, the had no particular problem with economic inequality as such, and even intended to impose it by force, with Aryans to be given much more economic power than inferior races.
The “Fraternity” the Nazis wanted glorified nationalism, with all Germans lined up together in opposition to the internationalist “Fraternity” of the socialist working class. In essence, the fraternity of the Nazis was divided vertically. (All Germans against everybody else). The “Fraternity” of the socialists was divided horizontally. (All members of the working class worldwide against everybody else.)
The Nazi ideal was a world dominated by Aryans, with all others enslaved and perhaps eventually exterminated. The socialist ideal was a world of peace, freedom, and equality; with little thought given (in pre-Revolution days) to what might be necessary to get there. What would happen to all those people who weren’t “class-concious proletatians” wasn’t discussed much. The Nazis, OTOH, gloried in the pain, blood and suffering they would inflict on their inferiors.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Nazis and socialists was their attitude towards the state. Before the Bolshevik Revolution socialist assumed the State would rapidly “wither away.” After the Rev it became obvious that this wasn’t going to happen anytime soon and the ideal got moved to the distant future, as the State got more powerful and oppressive. But the ideal never went away.
The Nazis, OTOH, glorified the State and intended for it to last forever.
To sum it up, the Nazis and socialists/communists shared many methods, and were both unalterably opposed to the liberal (original sense of the word), middle-class capitalism on which America has been built, but their goals were about as opposite as any two groups can be.
I've said many times that modern China most resembles a Fascist state. This quote is an interesting take that I hadn't considered before.
WRT your very last paragraph:
This is precisely the point.
“Liberalism” is no longer about liberty. It is about government, regulations and laws.
Libertarians are now the true liberals. And the opposite, of Socialists, Nazis, and ... “liberals”.
That is a common misconception, but Hitler wasn't a fascist. A good example of fascism would be Mussolini. Hitler's brand of socialism (national, rather than international) is often confused with fascism because it shares a common national focus (with the "volk" in the case of Nazism).
Other reasons for the confusion is due to the simplistic way most people describe the political spectrum. On the so-called "far right" they place the Nazis (national socialists), in the center they place the "social democrat" moderates, and on the far left they place the communists. The only problem with this model is that every point of the spectrum is some form of authoritarian socialism.
But probably the biggest reason for the confusion is that there really isn't that much difference between socialism and fascism. Both are fundamentally authoritarian systems. When you start following down the path that government is supposed to control the population (whether it be via a complex legal system, gun control, complex tax codes, or some other means) rather than the other way around, you will inevitably arrive at some form of tyrannical government.
The only important difference between Nazi-ism, Fascism, Communism, Socialism and Liberalism is the spelling, and that the last group hasn’t got the brains to figure it out.
- Bill Vance
'Socialism' is by traditional definition 'government ownership of the means of production', with a traditional example typically being the Soviet Union. Similarly, 'fascism' is by definition 'government control of the means of production', with a typical example being Nazi Germany or Italy under Mussolini.
Hitler was indeed a fascist, but fascism is merely socialism-light in economic terms, and is usually cojoined with a strong component of nationalism.
On 1 May 1927, at the Nazi party congress, Hitler specifically declared that he and the party were socialist. Indeed, he said as much in many speeches, quite a few of which are available on line. As he put it, ''we do not care who may own a factory or a shop; our socialism goes much deeper than simple ownership.'' Definitionally illiterate, of course, but his intent is unmistakable.