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Posted on 09/10/2003 3:12:32 PM PDT by Dead Dog



For a long time, notwithstanding the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1939, I accepted the conventional wisdom that Communism and Nazism were opposites — one on the extreme left, the other on the extreme right. Proof could be found in the relentless persecution of each in the realm of the other. Attention under both regimes was successfully focused on the differences, a requirement of conditioning the population for war — hot, cold or permanent. The world at large became involved in their hostilities during the Spanish Civil War of 1936. Since recruitment in America was carried out solely by the Communist Party (CPUSA) under the direction of COMINTERN, Americans found themselves invariably on the side opposite Franco and, consequently, the "Abraham Lincoln Battalion" merged with the Communists of the International Brigades. This was the time when Americans succumbed to the myth that Communists and Fascists ("Nazi" and "Fascist" will be discussed below) are each other's enemies to the end, and the roster of distinguished personalities who made up the North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy — unaware of being skillfully manipulated — left no doubt that Communists were 'on the side of righteousness'.

Rather than enemies, Nazism and Communism were the ultimate competitors. Each wanted to conquer and rule — both over the physical world, as did the Roman Empire, and over the minds of people, as did the Church of Rome or Islam. The reason: In the 20th century, conquest of the physical world proved no longer feasible using conventional armed forces. Total war required participation by the entire citizenry, while the potential ability of civilians to resist government required their neutralization. Thus, methods were developed and implemented for the control of behavior. These took many forms, not all of them obvious or even unpleasant, when dispensed in small doses. Yet they struck at the heart of human relations; they also severed the link between cause and effect, so essential in developing an individual's viability. Analysis of these methods as observed under Nazism and Communism leads one to the recognition of similarities which, as indicated, prove far more significant than differences.

We need to remind ourselves of key words which have, in common usage, taken on different connotations: Fascism, Nazism, Communism. Webster defines Fascism and Nazism in almost identical terms: "a centralized autocratic severely national regime"; "regimentation of industry, commerce and finance"; "rigid censorship, forcible suppression of opposition". The definition of Communism begins with "common ownership of assets". The subheading Bolshevism, however, resembles the wording applied to Fascism and Nazism.

Webster comes remarkably close, but no fully-satisfactory definitions exist. We call German terrorists and bureaucrats under Hitler "Nazis" because a cartoon made fun of the National Socialist German Workers' Party and the joke stuck. These days, the label "Fascist" is applied to persons disagreeing with any aspect of the so-called Liberal agenda, yet the term originally identified members of the Italian political organization, so designated by Mussolini in order to establish a link with the Roman Empire. Although the word "communism" made many appearances before the advent of revolutionary Marxism, for our purposes Marx and Lenin defined it as the final outcome of a three-stage process: Dictatorship of the Proletariat, leading to Socialism (in which distribution of the national product is based on individual performance), leading to Communism (in which distribution of the national product is based on individual need). Of course, anyone who lived through it knows that, of all this pseudo-scholarly nonsense, the word "dictatorship" represented the only, grim, reality.

Initially I tried to distinguish between "National Socialism" (the German and Italian varieties) and "International Socialism" (the Russian model), accepting the difference in agendas as stated by the parties themselves. Reality again gives rhetoric the lie. Albeit without the Nuremberg Laws or prescribed physical characteristics, "The Soviet Man" was made the object of enforced worship just the same as was the Aryan hero — nothing international about that. Not even in the approach to the fundamental Marxian issue of ownership can we observe a substantial difference: The Program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party demands "the nationalization of all business enterprises that have been organized into corporations".

Perhaps enough time has passed to permit examination in realistic terms of these approaches to social organization, concentrating on essential characteristics and demonstrated aspirations as opposed to clichés. Decades of observation, as well as ceaseless consideration given to the core issues, compel me to look upon these seemingly opposite systems as mirror images, aspiring to a similar outcome, applying identical methods, achieving comparable subjugation of people under their control, spreading the same hopelessness in their paths. While such conclusions have certainly been reached by others, it may be less obvious that Fascism (Nazism) and Communism (Bolshevism) all share their philosophical foundations as well.


The agenda underlying all operations calls for unlimited discretionary powers to be concentrated in the hands of a small, self-perpetuating group in which membership is by invitation only. Members of the group typically fall into two categories: One of these purports to know what is best for all people; the other simply wants unchecked power. The synergy is perfect: Ideologues need terrorists to retain physical control; terrorists need ideologues to supply intermittent explanations for the rule they maintain. It is only natural that the objectives include an effort to expand the number of those over whom power is exerted.

Given the ultimate objective of concentrating all power in the hands of a single group, competing formations calling themselves "Fascist", "Nazi", "Communist", "Bolshevik", or "Maoist" must fight it out until only one of them remains operative, hence the insistence on being 'different'.


As well as control of the military and the police, successful exercise of power requires control of key institutions which replace or supplement brute force. The checklist includes news sources — especially of the visual variety — education, the judiciary, labor organizations, arts and entertainment, as well as a parental relationship between government and the governed. Required, also, is the attribution of divine properties to a Hitler, a Lenin, or a Stalin. This has more to do with the need for infallibility at the top than with a particular person. The leader replaces the object of religious worship, just as holiday celebrations of a political nature replace religious ones. While on the subject of replacement, one might recall the renaming of streets, towns, institutions. The double purpose: to do away with reminders of the past — thus discontinuing history — and to provide constant reminders of the present.

The practice of discontinuing history is indispensable. In the first place, successive generations must be prevented from drawing possible parallels between past and present. It also rationalizes revision of the entire academic curriculum, so that no subject would 'accidentally' provide accurate information about history. This leads to the reorientation of the entire educational system. While adults need the threat of punishment in order to 'forget' what they had learned, information can simply be withheld from young people and/or manipulated before it reaches them. Sciences are exact and only useful as such, but the humanities proved to be a propaganda minister's/commissar's dream of a tool. Literature, the arts, sociology and, above all, history provide unlimited opportunities for the omission of selected facts, for the inclusion of trivial or fictitious names and events, for attaching politically motivated interpretations, and to change any of the aforementioned at will.

The framework was provided by creating youth organizations, identical in nature, in which membership was compulsory — except when exclusion was chosen as an instrument of humiliation. These organizations (Hitler Youth, Komsomol, Pioneers) put people in uniform at a young age, ensured their early allegiance to the leader, and placed them under the command of a party appointee whose prerogative superseded that of both the parental home and the school. Finally, traditional faculties were subordinated to operatives of the party organization whose 'higher education' often consisted of six weeks at a party school.

The corruption of education was matched by the corruption of the legal system. In the first instance, this required judges who would subordinate both their natural and learned sense of justice to what happened to be "the higher interest of the community" on a given day. Their marching orders were obtained from Hans Frank, President of the Academy of German Law and of the National Bar Association in the Third Reich:

"The basis for interpreting all legal sources is the National Socialist Philosophy, especially as expressed in the party program..."

Thus was born the activist judge who wore the robe as no less a uniform than the black shirt or the red shirt. For sure, some of them could point to recent laws which they were merely implementing. Precisely for this reason, one cannot overestimate the key role of laws enacted so as to elicit politically, rather than morally and ethically, desirable behavior. Controlling the behavior of the adult population required the most sophisticated approach, if outright terror was to be relaxed to any extent. Although Lenin and Stalin pointed the way and Mao Tse-Tung achieved the ultimate by making one billion people wear the same clothes, it was the Germans — ever the theorists — who supplied the terminology for the first ingredient. They called it "Gleichschaltung", which verbatim means "switching to being the same". The device called for total alignment with the goals of Nazi policies and placed everyone on the same level, made everyone a cog in the giant wheel of the State.

Gleichschaltung operated at once on structural and cultural levels. Structurally, the first victim was federalism: within days of Hitler's accession, the states had to cede authority to the central government. Next, the leadership and membership of every kind of organization had to become politically and racially correct. With the task of implementing structural changes assigned to a variety of agencies, as early as March 1933, a separate Cabinet Department was created for Josef Goebbels to oversee every aspect of the cultural scene, making certain that it was politically correct. Specific terms aside, the reality of all these regimes is the great flattening which is in full progress from day one. Since it is not possible to raise anyone's natural level by fiat, the alternative is to force everyone down.

It is astonishing and frightening how little time it took both in Russia and in Germany to accomplish this task. Indeed, it should be noted that demolishing what centuries had built does not require even a single generation.

The next ingredient had to do with groups. While it may appear contradictory to identify groups in a society having just experienced Gleichschaltung, contradictions do not represent obstacles in a totalitarian structure. The identity of groups was as necessary as the levelling had been in order to maintain positive and negative imaging. This constant dichotomy of egalitarianism and group hatred provided a manipulative tool as simple as it was ingenious. Hitler used race and nationality, Lenin and Stalin mostly class — the outcome was the same.

Resistance based on conscience was neutralized by choosing the loftiest of slogans from the past as cover for government (party) policies, thereby making anyone who would oppose them the object of ridicule. Surely no one but a moron would reject the notion of "Liberty", "Equality", "Social Justice", or "Peace", or attempt to argue against "National Unity", or "International Brotherhood". When necessary, people were publicly shamed into agreement by having their positions twisted until they appeared to fly in the face of 'Social Justice'. The practice of self-criticism was enforced to increase the subjects' 'sensitivity' and awareness of their shortcomings, resulting in 'improved attitudes'. Once humiliated and cleansed, membership in "the master race" (if they were German), or being "the model for all humanity" (if they were Russian) awaited them.

On the subject of words, it is essential to comprehend the position of importance language occupies in the totalitarian state. Words, of course, reflect upon and determine attitudes in every society. (It is no coincidence, for example, that the English word "fair" has no equivalent in any other language. Fairness is an English concept and, in order to refer to it, the original English word is borrowed by every other language.) Totalitarian states depend on demagoguery which requires that formerly innocent words be given a tendentious political charge. Nazism and Bolshevism actually created their own glossaries of terms, many of them coincidental, prescribing with menacing precision which words were and were not be used, until people learned that the safest avenue was to remain silent. It was thus unnecessary to outlaw freedom of speech; the vocabulary was controlled.


It is commonly known that the Gestapo was a state within the State, as was the Cheka/GPU/NKVD/KGB establishment. Their responsibility was not merely control but the maintenance of a permanent state of fear. Yet internal security organs, however large, could not by themselves see to that. Therefore, in one sense or another everyone was recruited to be an agent of fear. In Nazi Germany, as in Soviet Russia, children were encouraged to inform on their parents, neighbors on each other. Very soon it became a matter of reporting someone before someone reported you. It was possible to be reported for virtually anything, so that people grew fearful of doing or saying everyday, ordinary things. One could never be sure about somebody "putting a spin" on the most innocent act or remark.

The dissolution of the family, already well under way as a result of the youth organizations and the reliance on children to monitor their (often less "progressive", even "reactionary") parents, was further accelerated by encouraging the production of infants away from the traditional structure. In Germany this was practiced through the selection of healthy women to be impregnated by pedigreed Aryan, usually SS, soldiers. In Soviet territories glory was conferred upon girls giving birth outside of wedlock. The delineation of duties was best summed up by Makarenko, the leading Soviet expert on education, writing to parents about the way they ought to bring up their (own) children:

"It is not at all a matter of indifference to society what kind of people they will be. In handing over to you a certain measure of social authority, the Soviet state demands from you correct upbringing of future citizens."

Enemies A particularly important place was occupied by those considered to be enemies of the regime. Whereas democracies associate enemies with physical attack or the threat thereof, Nazism and Communism require the existence of enemies, internal and external, at all times. The array of internal enemies would suggest a certain difference between our subjects: Jews under the Nazis, "Class Enemies" under the Bolsheviks. It is worth noting, however, that the Russians had anti-Jewish pogroms long before Hitler and that, later, significant numbers of Jews were exiled or killed as "exploiters". As for class, the aristocracy was looked upon just as much an enemy by the Nazis who were, after all, socialists. When it comes to the Poles, it would be difficult to ascertain which regime incited more hatred toward them. (Prussia and Russia had for centuries claimed Poland under their respective sovereignty.) The Church was regarded as an enemy by both for the obvious reason that it, too, required allegiance and obedience — an attitude reserved exclusively for The Party. "National Socialist and Christian concepts are irreconcilable", so Martin Bormann begins the Third Reich's definitive statement on the subject.

While closer inspection thus points to similarities among internal enemies, it is in the realm of Nazism's and Bolshevism's external enemies that examination proves the most revealing. In fact, recognition of this aspect first alerted me to their common practices, soon leading to the identification of their common root. At the risk of sounding simplistic, experience confirms that the primary enemy in the eyes of both Nazis and Communists is the English-speaking world in all its manifestations.

In my native Hungary, where Soviet occupation followed Nazi occupation, typically the same henchmen jailed the same persons for the same offense: listening to an English-language broadcast — whether in 1944 or in 1952. The reasons are obvious: To all those who would take over the world, Great Britain and the United States have been the main impediment. Philip II of Spain and Napoleon had known that already; Hitler and Stalin had to learn it anew. Neither German technological genius nor Soviet numerical advantage was sufficient to carry the day against Anglo-American resolve, because it was backed by principles, attitudes and traditions which had brought forth stable, productive, peacefully-evolving societies. And since language is the carrier of ideas, English words were perceived to be as menacing as Spitfires or nuclear submarines. The power of seminally English phrases like "My home is my castle" or "Innocent until proven guilty" is awesome.

Hopelessness in the Upside-Down Society

The prohibition of all political activity outside the single ruling party is only a beginning. Next, the internal enemies are identified and 'locked' into their classifications. Just as Nazi ideology held that "a Jew cannot step outside his race", so Bolsheviks maintained that "a shopkeeper cannot transcend his class". Such pronouncements serve to eliminate even lateral mobility for some. Upward mobility for all is then arrested by what I have come to view as the 'upside-down society'. Typically, those who capture positions of power — the term "rise to the top" would be a misnomer — had failed in their original careers. Once in control, they surround themselves with multiple layers of party-loyalist non-achievers, recruited from the bottom of every profession. This new ruling class, not unlike a concrete lid, inhibits everyone else (everyone, that is, who has not fled the country) from rising. While Nazi Germany did not remain in existence long enough to slide into irreversible peace-time decline, the history of the Soviet Union and her satellites provides ample proof of the atrophy which sets in as a result. With the elimination of mobility in any direction, first it is incentive, soon it is hope which disappears altogether. The ultimate irony, of course, is that the regimes in question deride the absence of incentives in previous societies and hold out hope eternal for future gratification. Alas, people sign on to the premise, assisting diligently in their own demise until it becomes too late to forestall.

TOPICS: Philosophy
KEYWORDS: facist; nazi; socialist; theleft
I'm looking for a reference, however, Stalin decreed that international socialist organizations refer to themselves as "Liberal", and that Nazis were not Natnl. Socialist, but "fascist". In reality the definition is blured.

In the US, rightwing is in ref. to conservatism, which is best defined as a constructionist interpretation to the constitution and adherence to the founding principles and values. That is why totalitarianism is opposite to right wing, and therfore leftist in nature.

Nobody has killed more leftists, then other leftist. Simply a statement of fact.

1 posted on 09/10/2003 3:12:32 PM PDT by Dead Dog
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To: Tokhtamish
2 posted on 09/10/2003 3:33:00 PM PDT by Dead Dog
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To: Dead Dog
Bookmarked to read later.

I do agree that Communism and Fascism are similar. Both are forms of "socialism" (big-government dictatorships). Fascism seems to be the opposite - not the equivalent! - of conservatism/libertarianism.
3 posted on 09/10/2003 3:33:55 PM PDT by Tired of Taxes (and tired of this screenname, too.)
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To: Dead Dog
The Soviets used the party-troops at all levels of the military. There was a party-soldier at the grunt level all the way up to a party-general at the top level. Each was assigned to the regular groupings of soldiers. The idea was to keep the military "politically correct". For the unintitiated, the movie "Hunt for Red October" demonstrated this when the Captain had killed the party-officer in order to commandere the boat for his own purposes.

The party and military were at odds, as you might expect. But Stalin added the KGB/GPU to the mix in order to keep each of the three "branches" of governemnt at odds with each other. Stalin always manipulated the outcome of a surgence or insurgence by setting one or two of these branches against the third. Diabolical!

The reason for the Nazis to condemn the Jews was they often were communists or sided with the communists. This little detail seems to be muddled in history. The "race" aspect of killing the Jews was a convenient and clever cover.

4 posted on 09/10/2003 3:52:15 PM PDT by VRW Conspirator (Mao, Stalin, Hitler...the biggest killers of their own people in order.)
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To: Dead Dog
Sorry, don't have that reference, but that's a great item that you posted.

I'd suggest some additional thoughts. Communism and fascism both presuppose a permanent and unchanging stratification of beings while also mandating the elimination of that stratification by eliminating the beings in the offensive classes.

In Communism, middle and "upper classes" could be used for changing the rules of government, but once that was done, it was time to eliminate them. People were capital and the state owned all capital.

Nazism was the state and the state controlled all capital. Wilson's creation of proportional representation in a country with no great experience with democracy was a recipe for disaster. He was unable and perhaps unwilling to expend the effort to curtail the punative fines imposed by France and Britain. Change "fine" to taxation and it's clear why the German economy tanked.

Nazis added members as the economy grew worse. (read AJP Taylor). But they needed Sozi votes. And at the point in which they could arrest SPD leaders they did. Lo the votes.

Angry people wanted money. Where was money hidden?And here is the heart of why the Jews were targeted once the SPD leaders had been arrested. Intolerance included and focused on Jews as they had been restricted to financial trade for centuries as money was dirty (Wow! Sounds like the Progressive Caucus!). Walter Laqueure had a great analysis of the sympathy that the Nazis garnered among liberals in the US, Britain and yes France(such as Ambassador Kennedy. All was forgotten after the war).

Today, our own country has liberals who continue in the tradition of human intolerance. Diversity = looking different but not tolerating dissent. And I don't think that Jews are safe from American liberals today. I don't think that libertarians or conservatives are either, but that goes without saying.
5 posted on 09/10/2003 4:04:41 PM PDT by saveliberty (Liberal= in need of therapy, but would rather ruin lives of those less fortunate to feel good)
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To: Dead Dog
Stalin refered to the International movement as the Comintern1.

The Fascist movement he called the "Right Danger1" or sometimes "the Rights1".

He also, mentions a third group the "Ultra-Left1" which probably refers to the Marxist Revolutionaries of the Narodnik2 bent left over from the 1917 civil war, and before.

Any reference to Liberal would have to have been near the end of his life, along about the time the CPUSA infiltrated the Democratic Party after the Progressive sucesses began to falter.

1The Right Danger in the German Communist Party.


6 posted on 09/10/2003 5:58:49 PM PDT by PeaceBeWithYou (De Oppresso Liber!)
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To: Dead Dog
Funny, a few years ago I was driving in my car and in my mind placing fascism Nazism, and socialism libertariansm, etc in the typical left right continuum. Then I decided it was a circle connected by anarchy. I finally realized that fascism, Nazism and socialism belongd on the left. That shocked me. Now I realize that my conserevatism has permitted me to see the true nature of the left.
7 posted on 09/10/2003 7:13:31 PM PDT by mlmr (Today is the first day of the rest of the pie.)
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To: Dead Dog

bttt...will read later.

8 posted on 11/11/2008 10:30:17 PM PST by abigail2
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