Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Never Blame the Left (Were the Nazis Left or Right?)
National Review Via http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/genocide.html ^ | Dec., 1995 | George Watson

Posted on 12/10/2001 10:32:57 AM PST by Ditto

http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/genocide.html

from National Review, 1995-Dec-31, by George Watson:

Never Blame the Left

The Left is perceived as kind and caring,
despite its extensive history of promoting genocide.

When it comes to handing out blame, it is widely assumed that the Right is wicked and the Left incompetent. Or rather, you sometimes begin to feel, any given policy must have been Right if it was wicked, Left if it was incompetent.

Mr. Watson, formerly a professor at New York University and now a fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, is the author of Politics & Literature in Modern Britain and The Idea of Liberalism He is currently completing a history of socialism.

To give an example: I happened recently in Vienna to pass a restaurant that was advertising Jewish food, with two armed policemen standing outside. They were there, one of them explained to me, to guard against right wing radical extremists. There had been no violence against the restaurant then, and I believe there has been none since. But racism, and especially anti-Semitism, is wicked, so it must be right-wing.

That is fairly astounding, when you think about it. The truth is that in modern Europe, genocide has been exclusively a socialist idea, ever since Engels proclaimed it in Marx's journal the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in January-February 1849. Ever since then everyone who has advocated genocide has called himself a socialist, without exception.

The Left has a lot to hide. In the 1890s, for example, French socialists dissociated themselves from the Dreyfus affair, and in January 1898 the French Socialist Party issued a manifesto that called it a power struggle within the ruling classes, and warned the workers against taking sides in the matter. Dreyfus's supporters were Jewish capitalists, they argued, eager to clear themselves of financial scandals. A few years later, in 1902, H. G. Wells in Anticipations repeated the Marxist demand for genocide, but with variations, since the book is a blueprint for a socialist utopia that would be exclusively white.

A generation later Bernard Shaw, another socialist, in a preface to his play On the Rocks (1933), called on scientists to devise a painless way of killing large mulititudes of people, especially the idle and the incurable, which is where Hitler's program began six years later. In a letter to his fellow socialist Beatrice Webb (February 6, 1938) Shaw remarked of Hitler's program to exterminate the Jews that ``we ought to tackle the Jewish question,'' which means admitting ``the right of States to make eugenic experments by weeding out any strains that they think undesirable.'' His only proviso was that it should be done humanely.

Ethnic cleansing was an essential part of the socialist program before Hitler had taken any action in the matter. The Left, for a century, was proud of its ruthlessness, and scornful of the delicacy of its opponents. ``You can't make an omelette,'' Beatrice Webb once told a visitor who had seen cattle cars full of starving people in the Soviet Unions, ``without breaking eggs.''

There is abundant evidence, what is more, that the Nazi leaders believed they were socialists and that anti-Nazi socialists often accepted that claim. In Mein Kampf (1926) Hitler accepted that National Socialism was a derivative of Marxism. The point was more bluntly made in private conversations. ``The whole of National Socialism is based on Marx,'' he told Hermann Rauschning. Rauschning later reported the remark in Hitler Speaks (1939), but by that time the world was at war and too busy to pay much attention to it. Goebbels too thought himself a socialist. Five days before the German invasion of the Soviet Union, in June 1941, he confided in his diary that ``real socialism'' would be established in that country after a Nazi victory, in place of Bolshevism and Czarism.

The evidence that Nazism was part of the socialist tradition continues to accumulate, even if it makes no headlines. In 1978 Otto Wagener's Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant appeared in its original German. Wagener was a lifelong Nazi who had died in 1971. His recollections of Hitler's conversations had been composed from notes in a British prisoner-of-war camp, and they represent Hitler as an extreme socialist utopian, anti-Jewish because ``the Jew is not a socialist.'' Nor are Communists--``basically they are not socialistic, since they create mere herds, as in the Soviet Union, without individual life.'' The real task, Hitler told Wagener, was to realize the socialist dream that mankind over the centuries had forgotten, to liberate labor, and to displace the role of capital. That sounds like a program for the Left, and many parties called socialist have believed in less.

Hitler's allegiance, even before such sources were known, was acknowledged by socialists outside Germany. Julian Huxley, for example, the pro-Soviet British biologist who later became director-general of UNESCO, accepted Hitler's claim to be a socialist in the early 1930s, though without enthusiasm (indeed, with marked embarrassment).

Hitler's program demanded central economic planning, which was at the heart of the socialist cause; and genocide, in the 1930s, was well known to be an aspect of the socialist tradition and of no other. There was, and is, no conservative or liberal tradition of racial extermination. The Nazis, what is more, could call on socialist practice as well as socialist theory when they invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 and began their exterminatory program. That is documented by Rudolf Hoess in his memoir Kommandant in Auschwitz (1958). Detailed reports of the Soviet camp system were circulated to Nazi camp commandants as a model to emulate and an example to follow.

Soviet exterminations under Lenin and Stalin may have totaled 25 to 30 million, which (if the estimate is accepted) would represent about three times the Nazi total of nine million. That seems to matter very little now. My Austrian policeman was still certain that racism is right-wing. As are a lot of people. After a recent bomb outrage against a synogogue in Lübeck, the German press instantly assumed, before anyone was charged with the crime, that the Right was to blame. The fact that there is no non-socialist tradition of genocide in Europe has not even been noticed.

That is an impressive act of suppression. The Left may have lost the political battle, almost everywhere in the world. But it does not seem to have lost the battle of ideas. In intellectual circles, at least, it is still believed that racism and the Left do not mix.

Why is this? How has the evidence of socialist genocide, how has Hitler's acknowledgement of his debt to Marx, been so efficiently suppressed?

The answer, I suspect, lies in the nature of political commitment. Political knowledge is not like botany or physics, and commitment is not usually made by examining evidence. When socialism was fashionable I used to ask those who believed in it why they thought public ownership would favor the poor. What struck me about their responses was not just that they did not know but that they did not think they were under any obligation to know. But if they had really cared about poverty they would have demanded an answer before they signed up, and would have gone on demanding an answer until they got one. In other words, they were hardly interested in solving poverty. What really interested them was looking and sounding as if they did.

When Marxism was fashionable, similarly, I used to ask Marxists what book by Marx or Engels they had read all the way through, and watch them look shifty and change the subject. Or, for a change, I might ask them what they thought of Engels's 1849 program of racial extermination, and watch them lose their temper. Politics, for lots of people, is not evidence based. It is more like showing off a new dress or a new suit.

There are three motives, broadly speaking, for political commitment, of which the third is admirable. I shall leave it till last.

The first is self-definition. You call yourself Left or Right, that is, as a way of proclaiming to the world and to yourself that you are a certain sort of person--kind and caring if you are Left, competent and realistic if you are Right. The reasons for these associations of ideas are far older than our century and matter now only to historians, and even they would usually prefer not to be asked about them. It might be worrying if anyone did. The line between the efficient and the inefficient, after all, is nothing like as simple as the line between the private and the public, and not all public enterprise is caring: Auschwitz was public enterprise. Never mind. If you want to look caring, you will not ask such questions, and if anybody does it is always possible to change the subject.

The second motive is a sense of community. You choose a political side because the people you know, or would like to know, are already there, and you would like them to be like you. There was a time when, in university life, you would not be accepted unless you were Left, and it took enormous courage in that age to speak out on campus against Soviet or Chinese exterminations. That view is not yet dead. There are still those on both sides of the Atlantic who move, and intend to go on moving, in circles that think anti-Americanism a sufficient substitute for connected thought.

The third motive is instrumental. You can hold a political view with the admirable purpose of achieving something specific like constitutional change or a balanced budget, and support those who support it, whatever their party color. A moment's reflection suggests that this is rare. It is hard work, for one thing. It seldom attracts admiration, for another, though it often should. And it is not always easy to believe that this will work. Much more agreeable, on the whole, to use politics as a way of defining yourself or of making and keeping friends.

The Left got away with its crimes, I suggest, because those who form opinion had their own reasons for looking in another direction. They wanted to see themselves in a certain light and to keep the good opinion of the people whose friendship they valued. They had no wish to look at evidence, and they were adept at pretending, when it was produced, that it did not mean what it said. I remember once, ni a controversy in a British journal, being told that Marx, Wells, and Shaw were being whimsical and nothing more when they committed socialists to mass-murder. Couldn't I take a joke? Evidence is seldom as inconvenient as that in the physical sciences, and scientists do not enjoy such convenient excuses for dismissal as whimsy or irony. Most critical theory, in our times, has been a way of pretending that evidence does not, and perhaps cannot, be taken literally.

The effects of that mood are still visible. The history of socialism, above all, is studiously neglected and even, in some aspects, simply taboo. What we need now is a serious and unblinking study of socialism, of what it said and what it did: one that does not judge the evidence; one that is brave enough to tell it as it was.



TOPICS: Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: nazi; socialism; soviet; thesovietstory
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-170 next last
Comments? Is our 'conventional wisdom' about what is left and right wrong? Do we need to correct the political map?
1 posted on 12/10/2001 10:32:57 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Ditto
It is a myth, that I am tired of hearing, that the NAZIs were Socialists. Regardless of their official name, the National Socialist German Workers' Party was one of dozens of political parties extant during the time of the Weimar Republic.

Whatever its platform was initially, Hitler and Ernst Rohm had perverted the political party to their own ends, and those ends were not Lenin, Marx and Engles.

2 posted on 12/10/2001 10:46:00 AM PST by The Shootist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
Where's the link to National Review?
3 posted on 12/10/2001 10:46:37 AM PST by VinnyTex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Shootist
Nazism, facsism and National Socialism are all expressions of the most extreme right wing of political thought. Hitler claimed to be a lot of different things, often lying many times. Why is it then that, just because he selected the term 'Socialist' so as to be more appealing to the political center, some are so willing to take him at his word?
4 posted on 12/10/2001 10:53:52 AM PST by Petronski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Abbalon
Join the fun here
5 posted on 12/10/2001 10:56:53 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Shootist
With all due respect (and anyone named "The Shootist" deserves respect from even other armed persons ;-)) I disagree. The idea of the state setting policy and having control of the culture is an idea of the left and not the right (true conservatives want to be left alone and not told what to do by anyone or anything, incluing the state; and, they don't care about telling others what to do).

In my mind, the central issue of Bolshevik leftism was class; the central issue of Hitlerian leftism was race.

Totalitarians suck, and totalitarianism is of the left, not right, IMO.

6 posted on 12/10/2001 10:57:12 AM PST by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
I agree the Nazi's were really socialists. Hitler's 25 points clearly shows the socialists roots of the National Socialists Party.

The spectrum for state vs. individual rights goes from anarchy (nobody can decide anything for anybody else) to absolute monarchy (one person decides everything for everybody). Socialism, Communism and Monarchy are really quite similar. There is also the function of how the government is selected from democracy to birth-right.

When you start looking at our Constitution in the light of People vs. State, you realize how brilliant the Founding Fathers were.

7 posted on 12/10/2001 10:57:26 AM PST by DrDavid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VinnyTex
I found the article elsewhere. Click the link and scroll about halfway down the page for the article.
8 posted on 12/10/2001 10:58:31 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: The Shootist
"NATIONAL SOCIALISM" //Top Navigational Bar III (By BrotherCake @ cake@brothercake.net) //Permission granted/modified by Dynamicdrive.com to include script in archive //For this and 100's more DHTML scripts, visit http://www.dynamicdrive.com

"The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights; under socialism, the right to property (which is the right of use and disposal) is vested in 'society as a whole,' i.e., in the collective, with production and distribution controlled by the state, i.e., by the government.

"Socialism may be established by force, as in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics--or by vote, as in Nazi (National Socialist) Germany. The degree of socialization may be total, as in Russia--or partial, as in England. Theoretically, the differences are superficial; practically, they are only a matter of time. The basic principle, in all cases, is the same.

"The alleged goals of socialism were: the abolition of poverty, the achievement of general prosperity, progress, peace and human brotherhood. The results have been a terrifying failure--terrifying, that is, if one's motive is men's welfare.

"Instead of prosperity, socialism has brought economic paralysis and/or collapse to every country that tried it. The degree of socialization has been the degree of disaster. The consequences have varied accordingly."

From: "The Monument Builders," from The Virtue of Selfishness, by Ayn Rand, c. 1964

 

"There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism--by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide."

From: "Foreign Policy Drains U.S. of Main Weapon," by Ayn Rand, pub. in Los Angeles Times, 9/9/62 G2

 

"Both 'socialism' and 'fascism' involve the issue of property rights. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Observe the difference in those two theories; socialism negates private property rights altogether, and advocates 'the vesting of ownership and control' in the community as a whole, i.e., in the state; fascism leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals, but transfers control of the property to the government.

"Ownership without control is a contradiction in terms: it means 'property,' without the right to use it or to dispose of it. It means that the citizens retain the responsibility of holding property, without any of its advantages, while the government acquires all the advantages without any of the responsibility."

From: "The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus," from Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand, c.1966

 

"The difference between [socialism and fascism] is superficial and purely formal, but it is significant psychologically: it brings the authoritarian nature of a planned economy crudely into the open.

"The main characteristic of socialism (and of communism) is public ownership of the means of production, and, therefore, the abolition of private property. The right to property is the right of use and disposal."

Quoting Ayn Rand from: The Fascist New Frontier, pamphlet, p. 5

 

[Adolf Hitler on Nazism and socialism:] "Each activity and each need of the individual will thereby be regulated by the party as the representative of the general good. There will be no license, no free space, in which the individual belongs to himself. This is Socialism--not such trifles as the private possession of the means of production. Of what importance is that if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them then own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the party, is supreme over them, regardless whether they are owners or workers. All that, you see, is unessential. Our Socialism goes far deeper."

"Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings."

Adolf Hitler to Hermann Rauschning, quoted in The Ominous Parallels, by Leonard Peikoff C. 1982

________________________________________________________________________

Fascism/Nazism:

"Under fascism, men retain the semblance or pretense of private property, but the government holds total power over its use and disposal.

"The dictionary definition of fascism is: "a governmental system with strong centralized power, permitting no opposition or criticism, controlling all affairs of the nation (industrial, commercial, etc.), emphasizing an aggressive nationalism"[The American College Dictionary, New York: Random House, 1957.]

"Under fascism, citizens retain the responsibilities of owning property, without freedom to act and without any of the advantages of ownership. Under socialism, government officials acquire all the advantages of ownership, without any of the responsibilities, since they do not hold title to the property, but merely the right to use it--at least until the next purge. In either case, the government officials hold the economic, political and legal power of life or death over the citizens.

"Needless to say, under either system, the inequalities of income and standard of living are greater than anything possible under a free economy--and a man's position is determined, not by his productive ability and achievement, but by political pull and force."

Quoting Ayn Rand from: The Fascist New Frontier, pamphlet, p. 5

 

"Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation's economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of control. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property--so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.

"If "ownership" means the right to determine the use and disposal of material goods, then Nazism endowed the state with every real prerogative of ownership. What the individual retained was merely a formal deed, a contentless deed, which conferred no rights on its holder. Under communism, there is collective ownership of property de jure. Under Nazism, there is the same collective ownership de facto."

From: The Ominous Parallels, ch. 9, pb.18, by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, C. 1982


9 posted on 12/10/2001 10:59:28 AM PST by VinnyTex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
The central issue for the Taleban is religion!
10 posted on 12/10/2001 10:59:40 AM PST by DrDavid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
"Right" and "left" are such purely arbitrary designations that I don't think they're either descriptive or particularly useful anymore. Their origin was, after all, lay in the side of the aisle the delegates sat on after the French revolution - and I'm not sure "revolutionary" or "royalist" really captures the current American political scene.

The difference in "socialism" between the economic programs of the Nazis and the Communists lay in whom they'd allow the ownership of the means of production - the Communists wanted the state to own all of them; the Nazis were content to control them and allow the owners (Krupp, e.g.) to maintain nominal ownership. If that's "socialism" then yes, they were socialists too.

11 posted on 12/10/2001 11:00:42 AM PST by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
"Ever since then everyone who has advocated genocide has called himself a socialist, without exception. "

Political demonizing at work. Guess the right(bad) or left(good) depends on who is doing and who is the victim of the genocide. OK for the left but not OK for the right. Then there is the human genocide of birth control and abortion - now is that left or right?

Merry Christmas

12 posted on 12/10/2001 11:01:20 AM PST by ex-snook
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: Petronski; shootist
Then define for me what is left and what is right. If Nazis and Commies are opposites on the political spectrum as we have been taught, what are the defining characteristics that make them so. According to Prof. Watson, before WWII it was generally accepted, even in socialist circles, that the Nazis were on the left. How, after their demise, did they become the far right? If the far left is total government, would not the far right be total anarchy?
14 posted on 12/10/2001 11:05:22 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: Ditto

16 posted on 12/10/2001 11:12:20 AM PST by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
Looks as if someone saw your post and decided to share it with the lefties over at Indymedia. They are not amused. Care to see the first response and to reply to them (no need to register), Click here
17 posted on 12/10/2001 11:12:51 AM PST by LarryLied
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Shootist
It is a myth, that I am tired of hearing, that the NAZIs were Socialists.

If this article can be believed, they - and other socialists - certainly seemed to think they were. How is it that you know better than they, what their political opinions were?

Whatever its platform was initially, Hitler and Ernst Rohm had perverted the political party to their own ends, and those ends were not Lenin, Marx and Engles.

Even if true - this means they were "not socialist"?

I guess you'd better tell us all what your definition of "socialism" is. Here's mine, in the interest of fairness: public ownership and disposal of property.

You can successfully argue that the Nazis were "not socialist", I suppose, but you can't reasonably do so using my definition. And mine comes from the dictionary. So: what's yours? And where does it come from?

thanks in advance,

18 posted on 12/10/2001 11:13:05 AM PST by Dr. Frank fan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
Who is Prof. Watson?
19 posted on 12/10/2001 11:13:52 AM PST by Petronski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Petronski
Nazism, facsism and National Socialism are all expressions of the most extreme right wing of political thought.

How so? Mussolini (who invented "fascism", as such) started out as a Socialist. Can you deny this?

20 posted on 12/10/2001 11:14:00 AM PST by Dr. Frank fan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Billthedrill
"Right" and "left" are such purely arbitrary designations that I don't think they're either descriptive or particularly useful anymore.

Not usefull if we're debating Monarchy vs Democracy, but how many people today base their political identity on the post WWII definition of these terms. Again the question is: If the far left is total government as we had in the Soviet Union, or Mao's China, what is the far right? How could the Nazis be far right is they are so similar to the far left?

21 posted on 12/10/2001 11:14:19 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: VinnyTex
This time, Ayn has got it right.
22 posted on 12/10/2001 11:16:56 AM PST by Aurelius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Petronski
The guy who wrote the article. "Mr. Watson, formerly a professor at New York University and now a fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, is the author of Politics & Literature in Modern Britain and The Idea of Liberalism He is currently completing a history of socialism.
23 posted on 12/10/2001 11:17:30 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: The Shootist
Didn't even read the article, did ya?
24 posted on 12/10/2001 11:18:45 AM PST by Hugh Akston
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Ditto; Dr. Frank
One must imagine a two-dimensional graph, with the farthest left being the communist extreme and the right being the fascist extreme. The top is total government control, or totalitarianism and the bottom is anarchy. Right v. Left is a question of economic outlook, while top v. bottom is a question of personal freedom.
25 posted on 12/10/2001 11:19:02 AM PST by Petronski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
If the far left is total government as we had in the Soviet Union, or Mao's China, what is the far right?

If, we're reading by an aforementioned definition (left = more centralized control, right = less/more distributed/no control), I would venture to say that far-right ("Absolutely no governmental control" === "No government") nations don't exist in the world today, and probably have never existed in history.

Don't mean to throw a monkey-wrench into the cogs of discussion.. Just a little bit of dT theory.

Personally, I think that Left can generally be described as "In favor of centralized Governmental control" and Right can be described as "In favor of less-central or more-distributed Governmental control." -- and that's without taking into account extreme sides. Personally, I honestly believe that this interpretation (a traditional American interpretation, it is!) on left vs. right is still completely valid at present, if perhaps vastly misunderstood by the "centrists" (which, in previous rants/discussions, I've asserted don't exist).

It's no wonder polysci grads don't ever accomplish anything in the private sector... The laws of Politics have no parallel in real life.

;) ttt

26 posted on 12/10/2001 11:22:19 AM PST by detsaoT
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Petronski
with the farthest left being the communist extreme and the right being the fascist extreme. The top is total government control, or totalitarianism

... But if the Communists had TOTAL GOVERNMENT CONTROL (and they _did_), how can the Left be different from the Top?

;) ttt

27 posted on 12/10/2001 11:23:37 AM PST by detsaoT
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Petronski
One must imagine a two-dimensional graph, with the farthest left being the communist extreme and the right being the fascist extreme. The top is total government control, or totalitarianism and the bottom is anarchy. Right v. Left is a question of economic outlook, while top v. bottom is a question of personal freedom.

Is this 2-D graph a Mobius Strip? Right is state control of all economic resources (companies natural resources etc.) and left is state ownership of all economic resources? What is the difference?

28 posted on 12/10/2001 11:25:30 AM PST by DrDavid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Ditto; shootist
How, after their demise, did they become the far right? If the far left is total government, would not the far right be total anarchy?

The two primary events that defined National Socialism as being on the right-wing were the Spanish Civil War and operation Barbarosa during World War II. When Hitler supported the rebels in Spain the first break with the Stalinist USSR occurred. There then came a rapproachmont with the non-agression pact of 1939 between the Third Reich and the USSR. If one reads early accounts of the Second World War Germany and the Soviet Union were considered allies in 1939 and 1940. It was not until 1941 when Germany invaded soviet occupied Poland that the two were at war.

When Hitler first came to power in Germany it was the Soviet Union that provided military training facilities for German paratroops. The original ideaology for Nazism was very much socialists so much so that the bronshirts were often refered to as Beefsteak Nazis. That is they were brown on the outside but red on the inside. The social programs of the Nazi Party were very much socialist. Expansion of national medical insurance and guaranteed employment were part of the Nazi programs. In fact the initial extermination of mentally handicapped was started both as a eugenics concept and a cost saving measure.

Mussolini also got his start as head of the Italian Socialist Party.

Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown

29 posted on 12/10/2001 11:26:22 AM PST by harpseal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: Petronski
Nazism, facsism and National Socialism are all expressions of the most extreme right wing of political thought.

So if Hitler is right wing, and Marx is left wing, where, pray tell, does Thomas Paine fall on your political spectrum.

The difference between National Socialism and Communism is the difference between Vanilla and French Vanilla. To think that they are the defining extremes on a scale that describes all political thought is absolutely delusional.

31 posted on 12/10/2001 11:28:42 AM PST by Maceman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: LarryLied
Looks as if someone saw your post and decided to share it with the lefties over at Indymedia. They are not amused.

I'm not surprised. When you go through life saying 'I'm better than you because I'm not a Nazi" and then someone tells you that what you are is the same as a Nazi.... well, that isn't going to be received too well. I have had this debate going off line for nearly a week with a lefty poster, and he has called me every name in the book. I kept asking him to give me some concrete definition of what is left and what is right. He only responded emotionally. This isn't something that was part of my 'inner core' before, and I had never really done any research on it until now. But from my days in high school 30+ years ago, I never bought into the political spectrum chart that placed the Nazis and Commies on opposite ends. They were different in some ways, but their differences were not all that great while their similarities (genocide, totalitarian, cults of personality, atheistic, central economic planning) had to put them on the same side of any logical political spectrum.

To me we can call them left, right, up or down, but you can not logically call the Nazis and Commies opposites.

32 posted on 12/10/2001 11:33:16 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: harpseal
The two primary events that defined National Socialism as being on the right-wing were the Spanish Civil War and operation Barbarosa during World War II.

So did Al Capone become a 'crime fighter' with the St. Valentine's Day massacre? ;~))

33 posted on 12/10/2001 11:37:26 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Facecriminal
The difference between communism and nazi-ism wasn't what they wanted to do, but how they got there.

I haven't read Mein Kampf but I bet Hitler never wanted to create the Marxist utopia after the totalitarian phase. Although, Hitler did manage to avoid the bloody revolution on his way to power...

34 posted on 12/10/2001 11:38:13 AM PST by DrDavid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: DrDavid; Pharmboy
The word is vanguard. Marxist theory demands that there be a vanguard which will motivate the people to adopt socialism at first, before violent upheaval brings about the communist state.

The vanguard can be class envy. It can be racism. It can be religion.

Originally, Marx and Engels felt that nationalism was an impediment to Marxism. With the failed rebellion in Ireland at the turn of the century, however, it became clear to some Marxists that nationalism itself could be the vanguard. The leftist uprising that led to the Axis and World War II used nationalism as part of its motivating interest. Notice how the radical left that trashed Seattle a few years ago was nationalist in nature.

The Shootist claimed that Hitler was not a socialist because whatever views his were based on, he perverted to his own end. That is just the point; Marxist theory holds that this is precisely what will happen and why the progression from private ownership to a form of socialism and then to communism is inevitable. Men will grab hold of a vanguard and twist it to their own ends, with it resulting in socialism. Whatever it takes. The result is what is important, not what path is chosen.

Heck, if you go to Marxists.org and read their philosophies and current thinking, you will find that now radical Islam is accepted by them as being a tool for "social change". Yes, Marxist theory holds that religion is a crock, but they accept and understand that it can be used to acheive the progression they feel is inevitable.

That is why you have radical leftists like Ramsey Clark stating that "Islam has probably a billion and a half adherents today. It exists. And it is probably the most compelling spiritual  and moral force on earth today. People hate to hear that." Clark is a communist, yet to those who would deny that Hitler was a product of the left would deny that Islam is compatible with Marxism because Marxism states there is no God. It appears as if the communists themselves understand- whatever vanguard it takes.

Notice that the radical Islamics such as Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban all are virulently opposed to capitalism.

35 posted on 12/10/2001 11:39:24 AM PST by Hugh Akston
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Petronski
One must imagine a two-dimensional graph, with the farthest left being the communist extreme and the right being the fascist extreme.

This is called Begging The Question. You are assuming the conclusion of your argument (fascism is on the right) is true in order to prove it. But what justifies putting the word "fascist" on the right side of this graph, in the first place?

Imagine that I am trying to prove to you that 10 is a larger number than 20. You disagree and say "no way", so to "prove" my statement I say, "One must imagine a number-line graph with 20 being on the left, the numbers increasing as you move right, and 10 being on the right."

You would correctly recognize that this is a nonsensical argument and wouldn't "prove" a thing.

Right v. Left is a question of economic outlook

Okay, this is a starting point, then. On the left of your graph we have communists/international socialists who believe that property should be owned and operated by the government, for the "public good" (as the government defines it).

On the right of your graph we have fascists who believe... that property should be owned and operated by the government, for the "public good" (as the government defines it).

Hmmm. What exactly is the difference between these two economic outlooks? (I mean, the Nazis allowed nominal private ownership by government lackeys, but other than that?) Let me know.....

36 posted on 12/10/2001 11:43:14 AM PST by Dr. Frank fan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
Totalitarians suck, and totalitarianism is of the left, not right, IMO.

Correct, half correct, and incorrect. IMO. totalitarianism need not be either, or it may be both. My read is that the totalitarian craves power above all things, and will lean (or lurch) in either social direction to maintain and/or increase power. Therefore, in my very humble opinion totalitarians are inherently

CENTRISTS

37 posted on 12/10/2001 11:45:15 AM PST by sayfer bullets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
Stalin pushed the "Nazi's are right wing" angle. And they were. Right wing socialists. Nothing to do with the American right wing.We are of the tradition of Burke, Locke, Jefferson, Smith, Bastiat and others. Fascism, Nazism, communism and various other strains of socialism arose from the ideas of Rousseau, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche,Heidigger etc..etc.

Two separate worlds. Always in conflict.

38 posted on 12/10/2001 11:45:19 AM PST by LarryLied
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: detsaoT
If, we're reading by an aforementioned definition (left = more centralized control, right = less/more distributed/no control), I would venture to say that far-right ("Absolutely no governmental control" === "No government") nations don't exist in the world today, and probably have never existed in history.

Off the top of my head, I'd say Somolia in 1992, most of China in the 1920s, and parts of Afghanistan as we speak are places where there is 'no government'. It is anarchy. I'm sure there are many other examples. I didn't say it's a good thing, but to me, that would be the far right, not a megga state that managed nearly every aspect of life like Hitler's Germany.

39 posted on 12/10/2001 11:46:23 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
The nazis were a branch of the left wing. What many people fail to realize was that the goals of the left were (and are) global domination. The communists of Hitler's era had the same ultimate goals as Hitler. They were competing for the same hearts and minds. They just didn't want to share the world with him. He was a socialist as are "communists" (in reality, there is no such thing as a communist government -- in true communism there is no government -- socialism is the necessary evil to achieve communism...I can't believe anybody ever fell for this BS).

All genocidal tyrants of the past and current century were/are left-wing/socialists. The left and the right are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. The further left you go, the more "big government" you will find. The further right you go, the lesser "government" you will find. An "extreme right wing" ideology can most accurately be described as libertarian.

40 posted on 12/10/2001 11:46:57 AM PST by Constitutional Patriot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Facecriminal
Right - he was a socialist who railed against communists. Or, a national socialist as opposed to an international socialist. Socialism, as you can see, has many flavors; if conflict between two socialist factions "proves" that one Isn't Really Socialist, then how do you explain the original split between the bolsheviks vs. mensheviks? Which group wasn't socialist, in your opinion?

Ironically, despite Hitler's rhetoric, it was the communists who helped put him in power in the first place by siding with the Nazi party rather than the more moderate social democratic party.

42 posted on 12/10/2001 11:47:43 AM PST by Dr. Frank fan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: LarryLied
We are of the tradition of Burke, Locke, Jefferson, Smith, Bastiat and others...

Ditto that --- Classical Liberals. I call myself a Conservative, but what I am is a Classical Liberal.

This termonology stuff gets confusing. ;~))

43 posted on 12/10/2001 11:48:22 AM PST by Ditto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Petronski
farthest left being the communist extreme and the right being the fascist extreme

You must use a different dictionary than anyone else. Communists and fascists both believe in maximum government control of the economy. They differ on the titular ownership of private property, but the use of that property is always directed by the state. The far right believes in minimum government control of the economy, with the corollary of maximum protection of private property.

44 posted on 12/10/2001 11:48:48 AM PST by m1911
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
So did Al Capone become a 'crime fighter' with the St. Valentine's Day massacre? ;~))

At the time it very much depended upon who was answering that question. Had teh question been asked of certain politicians in say Cicero you would have heard an answer praising al capone as a man of great virtue and a very respected individual.

Stay well - stay safe - Stay armed - yorktown

45 posted on 12/10/2001 11:49:14 AM PST by harpseal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
I'm sure there are many other examples. I didn't say it's a good thing, but to me, that would be the far right, not a megga state that managed nearly every aspect of life like Hitler's Germany.

*Blush*. Of course, you caught my argument with its pants down. I really did mean to attach the qualifier to my argument:

No such government has existed for any reasonable length of time (due to power ALWAYS coalescing into a group/person) in history.

Hope that makes a little bit more sense.

:D ttt

46 posted on 12/10/2001 11:53:54 AM PST by detsaoT
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
If the far left is total government as we had in the Soviet Union, or Mao's China, what is the far right? How could the Nazis be far right is they are so similar to the far left?

Hey, Ditto, mark the calendar, I'm going to agree with you! I think of left as total govt. and right as individual liberty. So, too far to the right would be anarchy (no govt, everyone fending for himself). Going to the left its a short leap from Hillary! to Stalin. Now if you want to talk secession, well...

47 posted on 12/10/2001 11:54:35 AM PST by Leesylvanian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
I call myself a Conservative, but what I am is a Classical Liberal.

This is spooky. I've had the same conversation with several different people. Seems like we have more in common than either of us could have guessed.

48 posted on 12/10/2001 11:56:13 AM PST by Leesylvanian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: boston_liberty
"Both 'socialism' and 'fascism' involve the issue of property rights. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Observe the difference in those two theories; socialism negates private property rights altogether, and advocates 'the vesting of ownership and control' in the community as a whole, i.e., in the state; fascism leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals, but transfers control of the property to the government.

"Ownership without control is a contradiction in terms: it means 'property,' without the right to use it or to dispose of it. It means that the citizens retain the responsibility of holding property, without any of its advantages, while the government acquires all the advantages without any of the responsibility."

From: "The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus," from Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal,
by Ayn Rand, c.1966

This from VinnyTex above. I just couldn't have said it better than Ayn, so I didn't try.

Anyone exercising centralized power to dictate to the people of a country by definition is from the left. People on the right want a relatively weak central gummint, those on the left a strong one. So, in answer to your question, no, there have never been any rightists who were dictators.

49 posted on 12/10/2001 11:58:18 AM PST by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: The Shootist
"It is a myth, that I am tired of hearing, that the NAZIs were Socialists."

So, let me make sure I've got you right on this...you're saying that the Nazi's were *NOT* lousy, low-life, worthless, n'er-do-well scum bags?

Or, rather than using the term socialist as it applies in modern America, are you saying that they didn't advocate the government owning the means of production?

50 posted on 12/10/2001 12:01:34 PM PST by The Duke
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-170 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson