Skip to comments.Socialism = NAZI (Hitler was a socialist)
Posted on 06/22/2002 10:38:56 AM PDT by freeforall
Socialism = NAZI or...
Hitler was a socialist.
The nasty little secret they don't want you to know!
THE OMINOUS PARALLELS, by Leonard Peikoff...
A Veritas News Service Book Review - "A magnificent work... it should be required reading for all Americans. This book reveals socialisms nasty little secret." William Cooper
Excerpt from Chapter One.
The Nazis were not a tribe of prehistoric savages. Their crimes were the official, legal acts and policies of modern Germany -- an educated, industrialized, CIVILIZED Western European nation, a nation renowned throughout the world for the luster of its intellectual and cultural achievements. By reason of its long line of famous artists and thinkers, Germany has been called "the land of poets and philosophers."
But its education offered the country no protection against the Sergeant Molls in its ranks. The German university students were among the earliest groups to back Hitler. The intellectuals were among his regime's most ardent supporters. Professors with distinguished academic credentials, eager to pronounce their benediction on the Fuhrer's cause, put their scholarship to work full time; they turned out a library of admiring volumes, adorned with obscure allusions and learned references.
The Nazis did not gain power against the country's wishes. In this respect there was no gulf between the intellectuals and the people. The Nazi party was elected to office by the freely cast ballots of millions of German voters, including men on every social, economic, and educational level. In the national election of July 1932, the Nazis obtained 37% of the vote and a plurality of seats in the Reichstag. On January 30, 1933, in full accordance with the country's legal and constitutional principles, Hitler was appointed Chancellor. Five weeks later, in the last (and semi-free) election of the pre-totalitarian period, the Nazis obtained 17 million votes, 44% of the total.
The voters were aware of the Nazi ideology. Nazi literature, including statements of the Nazi plans for the future, papered the country during the last years of the Weimar Republic. "Mein Kampf" alone sold more than 200,000 copies between 1925 and 1932. The essence of the political system which Hitler intended to establish in Germany was clear.
In 1933, when Hitler did establish the system he had promised, he did not find it necessary to forbid foreign travel. Until World War II, those Germans who wished to flee the country could do so. The overwhelming majority did not. They were satisfied to remain.
The system which Hitler established -- the social reality which so many Germans were so eager to embrace or so willing to endure -- the politics which began in a theory and ended in Auschwitz -- was: the "total state". The term, from which the adjective "totalitarian" derives, was coined by Hitler's mentor, Mussolini.
The state must have absolute power over every man and over every sphere of human activity, the Nazis declared. "The authority of the Fuhrer is not limited by checks and controls, by special autonomous bodies or individual rights, but it is free and independent, all-inclusive and unlimited," said Ernst Huber, an official party spokesman, in 1933.
"The concept of personal liberties of the individual as opposed to the authority of the state had to disappear; it is not to be reconciled with the principle of the nationalistic Reich," said Huber to a country which listened, and nodded. "There are no personal liberties of the individual which fall outside of the realm of the state and which must be respected by the state... The constitution of the nationalistic Reich is therefore not based upon a system of inborn and inalienable rights of the individual."
If the term "statism" designates concentration of power in the state at the expense of individual liberty, then Nazism in politics was a form of statism. In principle, it did not represent a new approach to government; it was a continuation of the political absolutism -- the absolute monarchies, the oligarchies, the theocracies, the random tyrannies -- which has characterized most of human history.
In degree, however, the total state does differ from its predecessors: it represents statism pressed to its limits, in theory and in practice, devouring the last remnants of the individual. Although previous dictators (and many today; e.g., in Latin America) often preached the unlimited power of the state, they were on the whole unable to enforce such power. As a rule, citizens of such countries had a kind of partial "freedom", not a freedom-on-principle, but at least a freedom-by-default.
Even the latter was effectively absent in Nazi Germany. The efficiency of the government in dominating its subjects, the all-encompassing character of its coercion, the complete mass regimentation on a scale involving millions of men -- and, one might add, the enormity of the slaughter, the planned, systematic mass slaughter, in peacetime, initiated by a government against its own citizens -- these are the insignia of twentieth-century totalitarianism (Nazi AND communist), which are without parallel in recorded history. In the totalitarian regimes, as the Germans found out after only a few months of Hitler's rule, every detail of life is prescribed, or proscribed. There is no longer any distinction between private matters and public matters. "There are to be no more private Germans," said Friedrich Sieburg, a Nazi writer; "each is to attain significance only by his service to the state, and to find complete self-fulfillment in his service." "The only person who is still a private individual in Germany," boasted Robert Ley, a member of the Nazi hierarchy, after several years of Nazi rule, "is somebody who is asleep."
In place of the despised "private individuals," the Germans heard daily or hourly about a different kind of entity, a supreme entity, whose will, it was said, is what determines the course and actions of the state: the nation, the whole, the GROUP. Over and over, the Germans heard the idea that underlies the advocacy of omnipotent government, the idea that totalitarians of every kind stress as the justification of their total states: COLLECTIVISM.
Collectivism is the theory that the group (the collective) has primacy over the individual. Collectivism holds that, in human affairs, the collective -- society, the community, the nation, the proletariat, the race, etc. -- is THE UNIT OF REALITY AND THE STANDARD OF VALUE. On this view, the individual has reality only as part of the group, and value only insofar as he serves it; on his own he has no political rights; he is to be sacrificed for the group whenever it -- or its representative, the state -- deems this desirable.
Fascism, said one of its leading spokesmen, Alfredo Rocco, stresses:
...the necessity, for which the older doctrines make little allowance, of sacrifice, even up to the total immolation of individuals, on behalf of society... For Liberalism (i.e., individualism), the individual is the end and society the means; nor is it conceivable that the individual, considered in the dignity of an ultimate finality, be lowered to mere instrumentality. For Fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends.
"The higher interests involved in the life of the whole," said Hitler in a 1933 speech, "must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual." Men, echoed the Nazis, have to "realize that the State is more important than the individual, that individuals must be willing and ready to sacrifice themselves for Nation and Fuhrer." The people, said the Nazis, "form a true organism," a "living unity", whose cells are individual persons. In reality, therefore -- appearances to the contrary notwithstanding -- there is no such thing as an "isolated individual" or an autonomous man.
Just as the individual is to be regarded merely as a fragment of the group, the Nazis said, so his possessions are to be regarded as a fragment of the group's wealth.
"Private property" as conceived under the liberalistic economy order was a reversal of the true concept of property [wrote Huber]. This "private property" represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard for the general interests... German socialism had to overcome this "private", that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.
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 content-less deed, which conferred no rights on its holder. Under communism, there is collective ownership of property DEJURE. Under Nazism, there is the same collective ownership DE FACTO.
During the Hitler years -- in order to finance the party's programs, including the war expenditures -- every social group in Germany was mercilessly exploited and drained. White-collar salaries and the earnings of small businessmen were deliberately held down by government controls, freezes, taxes. Big business was bled by taxes and "special contributions" of every kind, and strangled by the bureaucracy. At the same time the income of the farmers was held down, and there was a desperate flight to the cities -- where the middle class, especially the small tradesmen, were soon in desperate straits, and where the workers were forced to labor at low wages for increasingly longer hours (up to 60 or more per week).
But the Nazis defended their policies, and the country did not rebel; it accepted the Nazi argument. Selfish individuals may be unhappy, the Nazis said, but what we have established in Germany is the ideal system, SOCIALISM. In its Nazi usage this term is not restricted to a theory of economics; it is to be understood in a fundamental sense. "Socialism" for the Nazis denotes the principle of collectivism as such and its corollary, statism -- in every field of human action, including but not limited to economics.
"To be a socialist", says Goebbels, "is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole."
By this definition, the Nazis practiced what they preached. They practiced it at home and then abroad. No one can claim that they did not sacrifice enough individuals.
Excerpted from Chapter 1 of THE OMINOUS PARALLELS, by Leonard Peikoff... most probably the most important book written in modern times. Buy it... read it... study it.
The Nazis had far, far more in common with our Democratic Party than it did with right-wing faction of the GOP.
Who reveres the traditional institutions of America more--the GOP or the left? Whichever does is closer to the Nazi party, however marginally. Who desires to change the traditional institutions of America in the name of combatting racism and promoting pluralism, creating a classless society? Whoever does is closer to the socialists.
But tribune7 wasn't comparing the Democrats to the GOP, he was comparing the Democrats to the right-wing faction of the GOP. If you define the right-wing faction as the individualist, Constitutionalist, cultural traditionalist faction of the GOP, then his point stands, or at least cannot be dismissed without some further arguments.
Consider this example...
Person A is a collectivist and a cultural traditionalist
Person B is a collectivist and a cultural progressive
Person C is an individualist and a cultural traditionalist
Now, who is more similar?
Over at DU and in the political science departments of most universities, they'll say person A and C are more similar because A and C have cultural traditionalism in common.
But lots of Freepers and guys like Peikoff and Hayek would say person A and B are most similar because A and B have collectivism in common.
It all boils down to which variable you choose to look at. To me, this is the key to grokking this subject and the reason why it's easy for people to talk past each other when they're arguing about it.
I think the collectivist variable is the more important, and the one that should be used to determine "similarity", since it tends to determine the status of the other variable in the society at large. If cultural traditionalist collectivists have control, the society will be collectivist and will tend to be preserve cultural traditions. If progressive collectivists have control, the society will be collectivist and tend towards classlessness and egalitarianism and all that. Both types of collectivists will use the power of the government to shape the society according to their idealology.
However, if individualists have control (that almost sounds like an contradiction), the choice of cultural traditionalism or progressivism will not be decided through government coercion but through persuasion, and people (or counties, or states, or whatever entity the decision is devolved down to) can decide for themselves how they'll redistribute their wealth and how they'll relate to people of other races and so forth.
In this case, the one variable does not guarantee the status of the other for the society at large. Nobody's arm will be twisted so that some societal goal is met. That is what sets the individualist right-wingers worlds apart from the Democrats and Nazis, who have collectivism, with its attendant arm twisting, in common (though obviously to differing degrees).
Again, I challenge you to go to the nearest university and find a single professor of political philosophy or science that will agree with you.
I'll just let that statement hang there.
Exactly right. Rick Santorum, Dick Armey, Tom Delay and Ron Paul would be among the first inmates of the Concentration Camps, if they weren't killed outright. Or the Gulags, for that matter..
I believe Marx said as much. The question is how seriously you want to take him or can take him. The idea of the "withering away of the state" looks like a myth, religion or fantasy.
More moderate socialists pretty clearly thought that for the time being there would be more government and more regulation and control of the economy. Perfect freedom might be the eventual goal, but how it would be achieved was unclear. It's likely that the Fabians and Social Democrats didn't think it could be achieved in their lifetime. But understand too, that "freedom" in their lexicon had different meanings than it did in conservative or libertarian ones.
Revolutionary Communists often did have timetables for the arrival of pure communism. But it never seemed to arrive. There was always some enemy, some saboteurs or spies or subversives to be rounded up in order to realize the dream. I think they deluded themselves. Their concepts were vague and elastic enough that even the worst of tyrannies might proclaim that the stateless, utopian future was just around the corner.
What I'm headed to is the idea that socialism was a more complex idea than nationalization of industry in the ostensible pursuit of utopian freedom. Look to pre-Marxian socialists and you'll find their communes organizing people's lives in great detail, for their own good. Marx tied socialism more closely to the philosophical and religious strivings of his own day for freedom and redemption from alienation, but it's not clear that this theoretical emphasis really affected the practiced of democratic socialism or revolutionary socialist dictatorship.
One could make a case that Nazism did have things in common with socialism. Certainly the tiny pre-Hitler party gave greater support to nationalizations and expropriations. The line about the Nazi party in power was that rather than nationalize industry, they nationalized the people. Of course, Hitler kept his hands off the incomes and investments of the industrialists, but there does seem to be some statist overlap or continuity between the Nazis and socialists. Not to say that they were or were only and essentially socialists, but they were both part of a more statist early 20th century atmosphere.
The political atmosphere a century ago was far more statist than what we see today. The Webbs, early fabian socialists divided the political world into "A's" and "B's" -- anarchists and bureaucrats -- and they, like many others at the time were emphatically on the side of the "B's."
Were the Nazi's rivals and competitors, the Bolshevik Communists, "true socialists?" Certainly Democratic Socialists would dispute this.
Was racism the distinguishing factor between left and right? Read George Watson on socialist thought of a century ago. It's always the belief of present-day progressives that their ideological ancestors shared their views on sex, gender, race, ethnicity, class and the rest, but it's not always the case.
Was Nazism devoted to state worship? Emphatically so. And yet, in the world the Nazis would have created, the actual, historical German state and its provinces would have been subsumed or submerged or dissolved in a much greater empire. Their devotion to power and to the New Order was paramount and unquestioned, but the actual state as it had been known would "wither away" in the new racial order.
For the record, I think Peikoff is wrong. He oversimplifies too much, and ignores things like imperialism and the the wars of the era that strengthened a non-socialist, rightist statism. But those who would deny links between socialism or national socialism are also oversimplifying. The horrors of the 20th Century have connections to long standing Western ideologies. Arguing that one side is completely innocent and all the guilt on the other side may please ideologues of one stripe or another, but it makes people ignore some of the lessons that we can learn from the tragedies of the past.
In the atmosphere that existed in the wake of the First World War and the Russian Revolution, even decent people with impeccable ideological origins ended up embracing one form or another of barbarism. The struggles of the age led people to one extreme as a means of defeating another. "Extremes" need not be polar opposites, though there's something in the human mind that leads us to conceive of them in that way when the opposition of each to the other is so strong
What you are discribing is the experience of many socialists in the years surrounding World War I. Mussolini himself, a socialist before the war, went through such an evolution. Gramsci and his other colleagues reviled him for putting nationalism above class-consciousness. Mussolini didn't need Gramsci to tell him what to do. Gramsci and others were commenting on what Mussolini was already doing and there was a rich Italian tradition of Machiavellianism for Mussolini to draw on.
Gramsci and Mussolini came out of a similar enviroment: early 20th century socialists and Marxists read Nietzsche, Bergson, Sorel, and other "new thinkers" and acquired, or at least encountered and explored, an interest in myth, the will and the irrational. Machiavelli also was widely read, analyzed and applied by intellectuals across the political spectrum. The national passions stirred by the war further influenced the thinking of the day. The conclusions drawn varied widely, though. Hitler was influenced by this mix, but at second hand. Later those who wrote about ideologies ignored the common soil of the era in which a variety of ideologies took seed.
Stalin tolerated labor dissent? Brezhnev welcomed Solidarity? Hitler had much more in common with Stalin et al than he did with American free marketers.
An "Anti-Hillary Rodham Clinton HildeBeast" BUMP
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