Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)

The Demand for Explanation

Now that more than 60 years have passed since the military defeat of Nazi Germany, one might have thought that the name of its leader would be all but forgotten. This is far from the case, however. Even in the popular press, references to Hitler are incessant and the trickle of TV documentaries on the Germany of his era would seem to be unceasing. Hitler even featured on the cover of a 1995 Time magazine.

This finds its counterpart in the academic literature too. Scholarly works on Hitler's deeds continue to emerge many years after his death (e.g. Feuchtwanger, 1995) and in a survey of the history of Western civilization, Lipson (1993) named Hitlerism and the nuclear bomb as the two great evils of the 20th century. Stalin's tyranny lasted longer, Pol Pot killed a higher proportion of his country's population and Hitler was not the first Fascist but the name of Hitler nonetheless hangs over the entire 20th century as something inescapably and inexplicably malign. It seems doubtful that even the whole of the 21st century will erase from the minds of thinking people the still largely unfulfilled need to understand how and why Hitler became so influential and wrought so much evil.

The fact that so many young Germans (particular from the formerly Communist East) today still salute his name and perpetuate much of his politics is also an amazement and a deep concern to many and what can only be called the resurgence of Nazism among many young Germans at the close of the 20th century and onwards would seem to generate a continuing and pressing need to understand the Hitler phenomenon.

So what was it that made Hitler so influential? What was it that made him (as pre-war histories such as Roberts, 1938, attest) the most popular man in the Germany of his day? Why does he still have many admirers now in the Germany on which he inflicted such disasters? What was (is?) his appeal? And why, of all things, are the young products of an East German Communist upbringing still so susceptible to his message?

The context of Nazism

Quote:"True, it is a fixed idea with the French that the Rhine is their property, but to this arrogant demand the only reply worthy of the German nation is Arndt's: "Give back Alsace and Lorraine". For I am of the opinion, perhaps in contrast to many whose standpoint I share in other respects, that the reconquest of the German-speaking left bank of the Rhine is a matter of national honour, and that the Germanisation of a disloyal Holland and of Belgium is a political necessity for us. Shall we let the German nationality be completely suppressed in these countries, while the Slavs are rising ever more powerfully in the East?"

Have a look at the quote immediately above and say who wrote it. It is a typical Hitler rant, is it not? Give it to 100 people who know Hitler's speeches and 100 would identify it as something said by Adolf. The fierce German nationalism and territorial ambition is unmistakeable. And if there is any doubt, have a look at another quote from the same author:

Quote:This is our calling, that we shall become the templars of this Grail, gird the sword round our loins for its sake and stake our lives joyfully in the last, holy war which will be followed by the thousand-year reign of freedom.

That settles it, doesn't it? Who does not know of Hitler's glorification of military sacrifice and his aim to establish a "thousand-year Reich"?

But neither quote is in fact from Hitler. Both quotes were written by Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx's co-author (See here and here). So let that be an introduction to the idea that Hitler not only called himself a socialist but that he WAS in fact a socialist by the standards of his day. Ideas that are now condemned as Rightist were in Hitler's day perfectly normal ideas among Leftists. And if Friedrich Engels was not a Leftist, I do not know who would be.

But the most spectacular aspect of Nazism was surely its antisemitism. And that had a grounding in Marx himself. The following passage is from Marx but it could just as well have been from Hitler:

Quote:"Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew -- not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday Jew. Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew. What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Jewry, would be the self-emancipation of our time.... We recognize in Jewry, therefore, a general present-time-oriented anti-social element, an element which through historical development -- to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed -- has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily dissolve itself. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Jewry".

Note that Marx wanted to "emancipate" (free) mankind from Jewry ("Judentum" in Marx's original German), just as Hitler did and that the title of Marx's essay in German was "Zur Judenfrage", which -- while not necessarily derogatory in itself -- is nonetheless exactly the same expression ("Jewish question") that Hitler used in his famous phrase "Endloesung der Judenfrage" ("Final solution of the Jewish question"). And when Marx speaks of the end of Jewry by saying that Jewish identity must necessarily "dissolve" itself, the word he uses in German is "aufloesen", which is a close relative of Hitler's word "Endloesung" ("final solution"). So all the most condemned features of Nazism can be traced back to Marx and Engels, right down to the language used. The thinking of Hitler, Marx and Engels differed mainly in emphasis rather than in content. All three were second-rate German intellectuals of their times. Anybody who doubts that practically all Hitler's ideas were also to be found in Marx & Engels should spend a little time reading the quotations from Marx & Engels archived here.

Another point:

Quote:"Everything must be different!" or "Alles muss anders sein!" was a slogan of the Nazi Party. It is also the heart's desire of every Leftist since Karl Marx. Nazism was a deeply revolutionary creed, a fact that is always denied by the Left; but it's true. Hitler and his criminal gang hated the rich, the capitalists, the Jews, the Christian Churches, and "the System".


And now for something that is very rarely mentioned indeed: Have a guess about where the iconography below comes from:

[Image: ussr-socialist-swastika1919-1920cav-red-army-prikaz.jpg]

As you may be able to guess from the Cyrillic writing accompanying it, it was a Soviet Swastika -- used by the Red Army in its early days. It was worn as a shoulder patch by some Soviet troops. The Swastika too was a socialist symbol long before Hitler became influential. Prewar socialists (including some American socialists) used it on the grounds that it has two arms representing two entwined letters "S" (for "Socialist"). So even Hitler's symbolism was Leftist.

Quote:{There is an interesting comment on the graphic above by a Russian speaker. He points out that the shoulder patch above was specifically designed for Kalmyk troops. My understanding that the Swastika was more widely used in the Red Army than among the Kalmyk troops alone but I have yet to find a graphic illustrating that. As Stalin would undoubtedly have done his best to erase all references to Soviet swastikas after the Nazi invasion, such a graphic may not be easily found.}

Hitler did however give the symbol his own twist when he said: "Als nationale Sozialisten sehen wir in unserer Flagge unser Programm. Im Rot sehen wir den sozialen Gedanken der Bewegung, im Weiss den nationalistischen, im Hakenkreuz die Mission des Kampfes fuer den Sieg des arischen Menschen und zugleich mit ihm auch den Sieg des Gedankens der schaffenden Arbeit" ("As National socialists we see our programme in our flag. In red we see the social thoughts of the movement, in white the nationalist thoughts, in the hooked-cross the mission of fighting for the victory of Aryan man and at the same time the victory of the concept of creative work").

In German, not only the word "Socialism" (Sozialismus) but also the word "Victory" (Sieg) begins with an "S". So he said that the two letters "S" in the hooked-cross (swastika) also stood for the victory of Aryan man and the victory of the idea that the "worker" was a creative force: Nationalism plus socialism again, in other words.

Quote:{Technical note: Translating Hitler into English often runs up against the fact that he uses lots of German words that have no exact English equivalent (I comment, for instance, on Volk and Reich here). I have translated "schaffen" above as "create" (as does Ralph Manheim in his widely-used translation of Mein Kampf -- p. 452) but it has the larger meaning of providing and accomplishing things in general. So Hitler was clearly using the word to stress the central importance of the working man. In English, "creative" is often used to refer to artistic activities. That is NOT the meaning of "schaffen"}

And by Hitler's time, antisemitism in particular, as well as racism in general, already had a long history on the Left. August Bebel was the founder of Germany's Social Democratic party (mainstream Leftists) and his best-known saying is that antisemitism is der Sozialismus des bloeden Mannes (usually translated as "the socialism of fools") -- which implicitly recognized the antisemitism then prevalent on the Left. And Lenin himself alluded to the same phenomenon in saying that "it is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people" but "the capitalists of all countries." For more on the socialist roots of antisemitism see Tyler Cowen's detailed survey here

It should be borne in mind, however, that antisemitism was pervasive in Europe of the 19th and early 20th century. Many conservatives were antisemitic too. Leftists were merely the most enthusistic practitioners of it. We have seen how virulent it was in Marx. Antisemitism among conservatives, by contrast, was usually not seen by them as a major concern. British Conservatives made the outspokenly Jewish Benjamin Disraeli their Prime Minister in the 19th century and the man who actually declared war on Hitler -- Neville Chamberlain -- himself had antisemitic views.

And Leftism is notoriously prone to "splits" so there were no doubt some Leftists who disavowed antisemitism on principled grounds. Lenin clearly criticized antisemitism on strategic grounds: It distracted from his class-war objectives. So were there also disinterested objections from Leftists? Such objectors are rather hard to find. The opposition to the persecution of the unfortunate Captain Alfred Dreyfus (who was Jewish) by Emile Zola in France is sometimes quoted but Zola was primarily an advocate of French naturalism, which was a form of physical determinism -- rather at odds with the usual Leftist view of man as a "blank slate". And the man who published Zola's famous challenge to the persecution of Dreyfus was Georges Clemenceau, who is these days most famous for his remark: "If a man is not a socialist in his youth, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 30 he has no head"

But, however you cut it, Hitler's antisemitism was of a piece with his Leftism, not a sign of "Rightism".

One more bit of iconography that may serve to reinforce that point:

[Image: 2cyfq0l.jpg]

The "Roman" salute is generally said to have been invented by Mussolini but Musso was a Marxist who knew Lenin well so it is not surprising that Stalin was influenced by Musso's ideas for a while.

The posters above come via a documentary film called Soviet Story. See here. The film has had a lot of praise from people who should know and it reinforces much that I say above and below here.

Labor unions

Who said this? A representative of the 21st century U.S. Democratic party, maybe?

Quote:"As things stand today, the trade unions in my opinion cannot be dispensed with. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions of the nation's economic life. Their significance lies not only in the social and political field, but even more in the general field of national politics. A people whose broad masses, through a sound trade-union movement, obtain the satisfaction of their living requirements and at the same time an education, will be tremendously strengthened in its power of resistance in the struggle for existence".

It could well be any Leftist speaker of the present time but it is in fact a small excerpt from chapter 12 of Mein Kampf, wherein Hitler goes to great lengths to stress the importance of unions. The association between unions and Leftism is of course historic and, as a Leftist, Hitler made great efforts to enlist unions as supporters of his party.

A modern Leftist

Let us look at what the Left and Right in politics consist of at present. Consider this description by Edward Feser of someone who would have been a pretty good Presidential candidate for the modern-day U.S. Democratic party:

Quote:He had been something of a bohemian in his youth, and always regarded young people and their idealism as the key to progress and the overcoming of outmoded prejudices. And he was widely admired by the young people of his country, many of whom belonged to organizations devoted to practicing and propagating his teachings. He had a lifelong passion for music, art, and architecture, and was even something of a painter. He rejected what he regarded as petty bourgeois moral hang-ups, and he and his girlfriend "lived together" for years. He counted a number of homosexuals as friends and collaborators, and took the view that a man's personal morals were none of his business; some scholars of his life believe that he himself may have been homosexual or bisexual. He was ahead of his time where a number of contemporary progressive causes are concerned: he disliked smoking, regarding it as a serious danger to public health, and took steps to combat it; he was a vegetarian and animal lover; he enacted tough gun control laws; and he advocated euthanasia for the incurably ill.

He championed the rights of workers, regarded capitalist society as brutal and unjust, and sought a third way between communism and the free market. In this regard, he and his associates greatly admired the strong steps taken by President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal to take large-scale economic decision-making out of private hands and put it into those of government planning agencies. His aim was to institute a brand of socialism that avoided the inefficiencies that plagued the Soviet variety, and many former communists found his program highly congenial. He deplored the selfish individualism he took to be endemic to modern Western society, and wanted to replace it with an ethic of self-sacrifice: "As Christ proclaimed 'love one another'," he said, "so our call -- 'people's community,' 'public need before private greed,' 'communally-minded social consciousness' -- rings out.! This call will echo throughout the world!"

The reference to Christ notwithstanding, he was not personally a Christian, regarding the Catholicism he was baptized into as an irrational superstition. In fact he admired Islam more than Christianity, and he and his policies were highly respected by many of the Muslims of his day. He and his associates had a special distaste for the Catholic Church and, given a choice, preferred modern liberalized Protestantism, taking the view that the best form of Christianity would be one that forsook the traditional other-worldly focus on personal salvation and accommodated itself to the requirements of a program for social justice to be implemented by the state. They also considered the possibility that Christianity might eventually have to be abandoned altogether in favor of a return to paganism, a worldview many of them saw as more humane and truer to the heritage of their people. For he and his associates believed strongly that a people's ethnic and racial heritage was what mattered most. Some endorsed a kind of cultural relativism according to which what is true or false and right or wrong in some sense depends on one's ethnic worldview, and especially on what best promotes the well-being of one's ethnic group

There is surely no doubt that the man Feser describes sounds very much like a mainstream Leftist by current standards. But who is the man concerned? It is a historically accurate description of Adolf Hitler. Hitler was not only a socialist in his own day but he would even be a mainstream socialist in MOST ways today. Feser does not mention Hitler's antisemitism above, of course, but that too seems once again to have become mainstream among the Western-world Left in the early years of the 21st century. See here for more on that.

One way in which Hitler was unlike modern American Leftist political leaders, however, is that he was to a considerable extent a genuine man of culture. The photo below shows him in white tie and tails attending the Wagner opera festival at Bayreuth in 1939. There is no doubt of his real devotion to opera -- and indeed to classical music generally. Any claim that a devotion to high culture is especially virtuous does therefore tend to be undermined by Hitler's example -- if that is not too ad hominem.

[Image: hitopera4339420070808214001.jpg]

So there is no claim that Hitler was WHOLLY like modern democratic Leftists. In ways other than those so far mentioned, Hitler was, as has already been detailed to some extent, more like his Communist predecessors. Ludwig von Mises speaks of those similarities. Writing in 1944 he said:

Quote:"The Nazis have not only imitated the Bolshevist tactics of seizing power. They have copied much more. They have imported from Russia the one-party system and the privileged role of this party and its members in public life; the paramount position of the secret police; the organization of affiliated parties abroad which are employed in fighting their domestic governments and in sabotage and espionage, assisted by public funds and the protection of the diplomatic and consular service; the administrative execution and imprisonment of political adversaries; concentration camps; the punishment inflicted on the families of exiles; the methods of propaganda. They have borrowed from the Marxians even such absurdities as the mode of address, party comrade (Parteigenosse), derived from the Marxian comrade (Genosse), and the use of a military terminology for all items of civil and economic life. The question is not in which respects both systems are alike but in which they differ..."

(For those who are unaware of it, Von Mises was an Austrian Jewish intellectual and a remarkably prescient economist. He got out of Vienna just hours ahead of the Gestapo. He did therefore have both every reason and every opportunity to be a close observer of Nazism. So let us also read a bit of what he said about the Nazi economyS1

The Nazis did not, as their foreign admirers contend, enforce price control within a market economy. With them price control was only one device within the frame of an all-around system of central planning. In the Nazi economy there was no question of private initiative and free enterprise. All production activities were directed by the Reichswirtschaftsministerium. No enterprise was free to deviate in the conduct of its operations from the orders issued by the government. Price control was only a device in the complex of innumerable decrees and orders regulating the minutest details of every business activity and precisely fixing every individual's tasks on the one hand and his income and standard of living on the other.

What made it difficult for many people to grasp the very nature of the Nazi economic system was the fact that the Nazis did not expropriate the entrepreneurs and capitalists openly and that they did not adopt the principle of income equality which the Bolshevists espoused in the first years of Soviet rule and discarded only later. Yet the Nazis removed the bourgeois completely from control. Those entrepreneurs who were neither Jewish nor suspect of liberal and pacifist leanings retained their positions in the economic structure. But they were virtually merely salaried civil servants bound to comply unconditionally with the orders of their superiors, the bureaucrats of the Reich and the Nazi party.

And let us look at the words of someone who was actually in Germany in the 1930s and who thus saw Nazism close up. He said:

Quote:"If I'd been German and not a Jew, I could see I might have become a Nazi, a German nationalist. I could see how they'd become passionate about saving the nation. It was a time when you didn't believe there was a future unless the world was fundamentally transformed."

So who said that? It was the famous historian, Eric Hobsbawm (original surname: Obstbaum), who became a Communist instead and who later became known as perhaps Britain's most resolute Communist. Hobsbawn clearly saw only slight differences between Communism and Nazism at that time. And as this summary of a book (by Richard Overy) comparing Hitler and Stalin says:

Quote:"But the resemblances are inescapable. Both tyrannies relied on a desperate ideology of do-or-die confrontation. Both were obsessed by battle imagery: 'The dictatorships were military metaphors, founded to fight political war.' And despite the rhetoric about a fate-struggle between socialism and capitalism, the two economic systems converged strongly. Stalin's Russia permitted a substantial private sector, while Nazi Germany became rapidly dominated by state direction and state-owned industries.

In a brilliant passage, Overy compares the experience of two economic defectors. Steel magnate Fritz Thyssen fled to Switzerland because he believed that Nazi planning was 'Bolshevising' Germany. Factory manager Victor Kravchenko defected in 1943 because he found that class privilege and the exploitation of labour in Stalinist society were no better than the worst excesses of capitalism.

As Overy says, much that the two men did was pointless. Why camps? Prisons would have held all their dangerous opponents Who really needed slave labour, until the war? What did that colossal surplus of cruelty and terror achieve for the regimes? 'Violence was... regarded as redemptive, saving society from imaginary enemies.'"

And let us listen to Hitler himself on the matter:

Quote:"There is more that binds us to Bolshevism than separates us from it. There is, above all, genuine, revolutionary feeling, which is alive everywhere in Russia except where there are Jewish Marxists. I have always made allowance for this circumstance, and given orders that former Communists are to be admitted to the party at once. The petit bourgeois Social-Democrat and the trade-union boss will never make a National Socialist, but the Communists always will."

Another quote:

Quote:"Of what importance is all that, if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the Party, is supreme over them regardless of whether they are owners or workers. All that is unessential; our socialism goes far deeper. It establishes a relationship of the individual to the State, the national community. Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings."

(Both quotes above are from Hermann Rauschning in Hitler Speaks, London, T. Butterworth, 1940, also called The Voice of Destruction. See e.g. here.

Because what he records is so inconvenient, many contemporary historians dismiss Rauschning's 1940 book as inaccurate, even though it is perfectly in accord with everything else we now know about Hitler. But no-one disputes that Rauschning was a prominent Nazi for a time. He was however basically a conservative so eventually became disillusioned with the brutalities of Nazism and went into opposition to it. Rauschning's book was in fact prophetic, which certainly tends to indicate that he knew what he was talking about.)

Party programmes

Let us start by considering political party programmes or "platforms" of Hitler's day:

Take this description of a political programme:

A declaration of war against the order of things which exist, against the state of things which exist, in a word, against the structure of the world which presently exists".

And this description of a political movement as having a 'revolutionary creative will' which had 'no fixed aim, no permanency, only eternal change'

And this policy manifesto:

Quote:9. All citizens of the State shall be equal as regards rights and duties.

10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. The activities of the individual may not clash with the interests of the whole, but must proceed within the frame of the community and be for the general good.

Therefore we demand:

11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in life and property, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as a crime against the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits whether in assets or material.

13. We demand the nationalization of businesses which have been organized into cartels.

14. We demand that all the profits from wholesale trade shall be shared out.

15. We demand extensive development of provision for old age.

16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle-class, the immediate communalization of department stores which will be rented cheaply to small businessmen, and that preference shall be given to small businessmen for provision of supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

17. We demand a land reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to confiscate from the owners without compensation any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

So who put that manifesto forward and who was responsible for the summary quotes given before that? Was it the US Democrats, the British Labour Party, the Canadian Liberals, some European Social Democratic party? No. The manifesto is an extract from the (February 25th., 1920) 25 point plan of the National Socialist German Workers Party and was written by the leader of that party: Adolf Hitler. And the preceding summary quotes were also from him (See Vol. 2 Chap. 5 of Mein Kampf and O'Sullivan, 1983. p. 138).

The rest of Hitler's manifesto was aimed mainly at the Jews but in Hitler's day it was very common for Leftists to be antisemitic. And the increasingly pervasive anti-Israel sentiment among the modern-day Left -- including at times the Canadian government -- shows that modern-day Leftists are not even very different from Hitler in that regard. Modern-day anti-Israel protesters still seem to think that dead Jews are a good thing.

The Nazi election poster below is headed: "We workers are awoken" ("Wir Arbeiter sind erwacht")

[Image: nsdap.jpg]

There is a fuller decipherment and translation of the poster above here

Other examples of Hitler's Leftism

Further, as a good socialist does, Hitler justified everything he did in the name of "the people" (Das Volk). The Nazi State was, like the Soviet State, all-powerful, and the Nazi party, in good socialist fashion, instituted pervasive supervision of German industry. And of course Hitler and Stalin were initially allies. It was only the Nazi-Soviet pact that enabled Hitler's conquest of Western Europe. The fuel in the tanks of Hitler's Panzern as they stormed through France was Soviet fuel.

And a book that was very fashionable worldwide in the '60s was the 1958 book "The Affluent Society" by influential "liberal" Canadian economist J.K. Galbraith -- in which he fulminated about what he saw as our "Private affluence and public squalor". But Hitler preceded him. Hitler shared with the German Left of his day the slogan: "Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz" (Common use before private use). And who preceded Hitler in that? Friedrich Engels at one stage ran a publication called Gemeinnuetziges Wochenblatt ("Common-use Weekly").

And we all know how evil Nazi eugenics were, don't we? How crazy were their efforts to build up the "master race" through selective breeding of SS men with the best of German women -- the "Lebensborn" project? Good Leftists today recoil in horror from all that of course. But who were the great supporters of eugenics in Hitler's day? They were in fact American Leftists -- and eugenics was only one of the ideas that Hitler got from that source. What later came to be known as Fascism was in fact essentially the same as what was known in the USA of the late 19th and early 20th century as "Progressivism", so Fascism is in fact as much an American invention as a European one. The Europeans carried out fully the ideas that American Leftists invented but could only partially implement. America itself resisted the worst of the Fascist virus but much of Europe did not. The American Left have a lot to answer for. I have outlined the largely Leftist roots of eugenics here and the largely American roots of Fascism here.

So even Hitler's eugenics were yet another part of Hitler's LEFTISM! He got his eugenic theories from the Leftists of his day. He was simply being a good Leftist intellectual in subscribing to such theories.

Hitler the Greenie

And Hitler also of course foreshadowed the Red/Green alliance of today. The Nazis were in fact probably the first major political party in the Western world to have a thoroughgoing "Green" agenda. I take the following brief summary from Andrew Bolt:

Quote:Hitler's preaching about German strength and destiny was water in the desert to the millions of Germans who'd been stripped of pride, security and hope by their humiliating defeat in World War I, and the terrible unemployment that followed.

The world was also mad then with the idea that a dictatorial government should run the economy itself and make it "efficient", rather than let people make their own decisions.

The Nazis -- National Socialists -- promised some of that, and their sibling rivals in the Communist Party more.

The theory of eugenics -- breeding only healthy people -- was also in fashion, along with a cult of health.

The Nazis, with their youth camps and praise of strong bodies and a strong people, endorsed all that, and soon were killing the retarded, the gay and the different.

Tribalism was popular, too. People weren't individuals, but members of a class, as the communists argued, or of a race, as the Nazis said. Free from freedom -- what a relief for the scared!

You'd think we'd have learned. But too much of such thinking is back and changing us so fast that we can't say how our society will look by the time we die.

A KIND of eugenics is with us again, along with an obsession for perfect bodies.

Children in the womb are being killed just weeks before birth for the sin of being a dwarf, for instance, and famed animal rights philosopher Peter Singer wants parents free to kill deformed children in their first month of life. Meanwhile support for euthanasia for the sick, tired or incompetent grows.

As for tribalism, that's also back -- and as official policy. We now pay people to bury their individuality in tribes, giving them multicultural grants or even an Aboriginal "parliament".

But most dangerous is that we strip our children of pride, security and even hope. They are taught that God is dead, our institutions corrupt, our people racist, our land ruined, our past evil and our future doomed by global warming.

Many have also watched one of their parents leave the family home, which to some must seem a betrayal.

They are then fed a culture which romanticises violence and worships sex -- telling them there is nothing more to life than the cravings of their bodies.

No one can live like this and be fulfilled. People need to feel part of something bigger and better than ourselves -- a family, or a church, or a tradition or a country. Or, as a devil may whisper, the greens.

The greens. Here's a quote which may sound very familiar -- at least in part. "We recognise that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind's own destruction and to the death of nations. "Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger . .

"This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of National Socialist thought."

That was Ernst Lehmann, a leading biologist under the Nazi regime, in 1934, and he wasn't alone. Hitler, for one, was an avid vegetarian and green, addicted to homoepathic cures. His regime sponsored the creation of organic farming, and SS leader Heinrich Himmler even grew herbs on his own organic farm with which to treat his beloved troops.

HITLER also banned medical experiments on animals, but not, as we know to our grief, on Jewish children. And he created many national parks, particularly for Germany's "sacred" forests.

This isn't a coincidence. The Nazis drew heavily on a romantic, anti-science, nature worshipping, communal and anti-capitalist movement that tied German identity to German forests. In fact, Professor Raymond Dominick notes in his book, The Environmental Movement in Germany, two-thirds of the members of Germany's main nature clubs had joined the Nazi Party by 1939, compared with just 10 per cent of all men.

The Nazis also absorbed the German Youth Movement, the Wandervogel, which talked of our mystical relationship with the earth. Peter Staudenmaier, co-author of Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience, says it was for the Wandervogel that the philosopher Ludwig Klages wrote his influential essay Man and Earth in 1913.

In it, Klages warned of the growing extinction of species, the destruction of forests, the genocide of aboriginal peoples, the disruption of the ecosystem and the killing of whales. People were losing their relationship with nature, he warned.

Heard all that recently? I'm not surprised. This essay by this notorious anti-Semite was republished in 1980 to mark the birth of the German Greens -- the party that inspired the creation of our own Greens party.

Its message is much as Hitler's own in Mein Kampf: "When people attempt to rebel against the iron logic of nature, they come into conflict with the very same principles to which they owe their existence as human beings. Their actions against nature must lead to their own downfall."

Why does this matter now? Because we must learn that people who want animals to be treated like humans really want humans to be treated like animals.

We must realise a movement that stresses "natural order" and the low place of man in a fragile world, is more likely to think man is too insignificant to stand in the way of Mother Earth, or the Fatherland, or some other man-hating god.

We see it already. A Greenpeace co-founder, Paul Watson, called humans the "AIDS of the earth", and one of the three key founders of the German Greens, Herbert Gruhl, said the environmental crisis was so acute the state needed perhaps "dictatorial powers".

And our growing church of nature worshippers insist that science make way for their fundamentalist religion, bringing us closer to a society in which muscle, not minds, must rule.

It's as a former head of Greenpeace International, Patrick Moore, says: "In the name of speaking for the trees and other species, we are faced with a movement that would usher in an era of eco-fascism."

This threat is still small. But if we don't resist it today, who knows where it will sweep us tomorrow?

Lebensraum and the population "problem"

Reading Mein Kampf can be a perverse sort of fun. You can open almost any page of it at random and hear echoes of the modern-day Left and Greens. The points I mention in this present article are just a sampling. I could fill a book with examples showing that Hitler was not only a Leftist in his day but that he was also a pretty good Leftist by modern standards. His antisemitism would certainly pass unremarked by much of the Left today.

Among students of the Nazi period it is well-known that Hitler's most central concern after getting rid of the Jews was Lebensraum for Germany -- i.e. taking over the lands of Eastern Europe for Germans. But WHY did Hitler want Lebensraum (literally, "life-space") for Germans? It was because, like the Greenies of today, he was concerned about overpopulation and scarcity of natural resources.

Greenie Paul Ehrlich wrote in his 1968 book The population bomb:

Quote:The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate..."

Hitler shared Ehrlich's pessimism:

Quote:"Germany has an annual increase in population of nearly nine hundred thousand souls. The difficulty of feeding this army of new citizens must grow greater from year to year and ultimately end in catastrophe, unless ways and means are found to forestall the danger of starvation and misery in time... Without doubt the productivity of the soil can be increased up to a certain limit. But only up to a certain limit, and not continuously without end..... But even with the greatest limitation on the one hand and the utmost industry on other, here again a limit will one day be reached, created by the soil itself. With the utmost toil it will not be possible to obtain any more from it, and then, though postponed for a certain time, catastrophe again manifests itself". (Mein Kampf pp. 121 & 122).

Both Prof. Ehrlich and Hitler were intelligent but overconfident Green/Left ignoramuses who knew nothing of the economics concerned -- as is shown by the almost hilarious wrongness of Ehrlich's predictions -- but Hitler unfortunately had the means to do something about his ill-informed theories. He concluded that rather than let Germans starve, he would grab more land off other people to feed them -- and the rest is indeed history.

It may be noted that Greenie theories (such as "global warming") have strong support in academic circles these days. And so it was in Hitler's day. While he was in Landsberg prison after the "Beer-hall Putsch", Hitler received weekly tutorials from Karl Haushofer, a University of Munich professor of politics and a proponent of Lebensraum. Interesting to see where academic fears of resources "running out" can lead!


But surely Hitler was at least like US conservatives in being a "gun nut"? Far from it. Weimar (pre-Hitler) Germany already had strict limits on private ownership of firearms (limits enacted by a Left-leaning government) and the Nazis continued these for the first five years of their rule. It was not until March 18, 1938 that the Reichstag ("State Assembly" -- i.e. the German Federal Parliament) passed a new Weapons Law (or Waffengesetz). The new law contained a lessening of some restrictions but an increase in others. Essentially, from that point on, only politically reliable people would be issued with permits to own guns. For some details of the very large number of controls in the new law, see here

Wal-Mart hatred

One of the more notable insanities of the U.S. Left in the early 21st centrury was Wal-Mart hatred. Anyone who took Leftist advocacy of "the poor" at face-value might have expected that anything which raises the living standards of the poor (which Wal-Mart undoubtedly did) would be warmly welcomed by the Left. But the converse was the case: Seething hate was what Wal-Mart got from the Left. In the run-up to the 2006 mid-term Federal election, one sometimes got the impression that the Democrats were campaigning against Wal-mart rather than against the Republicans.

Why such extreme fuming? Because Leftists hate anything big and successfuil and Wal-Mart was very big and very successful. And British supermarket chains such as Tesco were also despised by British Leftists -- albeit in a somewhat more restrained way. Confronted with either Wal-Mart or Tesco, Leftists suddenly discovered a love of small business -- the quintessential bourgeoisie whom Leftists had been loudly decrying ever since Marx!

There was of course no Wal-Mart in Hitler's day. But there was something very similar -- large Department stores. And Hitler hated them. Item 16 of the (February 25th., 1920) 25 point plan of the National Socialist German Workers Party (written by Hitler) sought the abolition of big stores and their replacement by small businesses.

One of the British ex-Marxists at "Spiked" has a comprehensive article on the similarities between the Nazis and the British supermarket-haters of the modern era. A useful excerpt:

Quote:"As the Nazi Party attracted considerable numbers of the Mittelstand to its programme, physical attacks, boycotts and discrimination against department and chain stores started to increase. Such street-level chainstore-bashing initiatives "were quickly backed by a Law for the Protection of Individual Trade passed on 12 May 1933", writes Evans. In a similar way to the current recommendations put forward by the [U.K.] Competition Commission, in Nazi Germany "chain stores were forbidden to expand or open new branches". Towards the end of 1933, the Nazi Party introduced further moves along the lines currently outlined by the Competition Commission: "Department and chain stores were prohibited from offering a discount of more than three per cent on prices, a measure also extended to consumer co-operatives."

More Leftist than racist?

Hitler was in fact even more clearly a Leftist than he was a nationalist or a racist. Although in his speeches he undoubtedly appealed to the nationalism of the German people, Locke (2001) makes a strong case that Hitler was not in fact a very good nationalist in that he always emphasized that his primary loyalty was to what he called the Aryan race -- and Germany was only one part of that race. Locke then goes on to point out that Hitler was not even a very consistent racist in that the Dutch, the Danes etc. were clearly Aryan even by Hitler's own eccentric definition yet he attacked them whilst at the same time allying himself with the very non-Aryan Japanese. And the Russians and the Poles (whom Hitler also attacked) are rather more frequently blonde and blue-eyed (Hitler's ideal) than the Germans themselves are! So what DID Hitler believe in?

In his book Der Fuehrer, prewar Leftist writer Konrad Heiden corrects the now almost universal assumption that Hitler's idea of race was biologically-based. The Nazi conception of race traces, as is well-known, to the work of Houston Stewart Chamberlain. But what did Chamberlain say about race? It should not by now be surprising that he said something that sounds thoroughly Leftist. Anthropologist Robert Gayre summarizes Chamberlain's ideas as follows:

Quote:"On the contrary he taught (like many "progressives" today) that racial mixture was desirable, for, according to him, it was only out of racial mixture that the gifted could be created. He considered that the evidence of this was provided by the Prussian, whom he saw as the superman, resulting from a cross between the German (or Anglo-Saxon "German") and the Slav. From this Chamberlain went on to argue that the sum of all these talented people would then form a "race," not of blood but of "affinity."

So the Nazi idea of race rejected biology just as thoroughly as modern Leftist ideas about race do! If that seems all too jarring to believe, Gayre goes on to discuss the matter at length.

So although Hitler made powerful USE of German nationalism, we see from both the considerations put forward by Locke and the intellectual history discussed by Gayre, that Hitler was not in fact much motivated by racial loyalty as we would normally conceive it. So what was he motivated by?

Locke suggests that Hitler's actions are best explained by saying that he simply had a love of war but offers no explanation of WHY Hitler would love war. Hitler's extreme Leftism does explain this however. As the quotations already given show, Hitler shared with other Leftists a love of constant change and excitement --- and what could offer more of that than war (or, in the case of other Leftists, the civil war of "revolution")?

See here for a more extensive treatment of what motivates Leftists generally.

The idea that Nazism was motivated primarily by a typically Leftist hunger for change and excitement and hatred of the status quo is reinforced by the now famous account of life in Nazi Germany given by a young "Aryan" who lived through it. Originally written before World War II, Haffner's (2002) account of why Hitler rose to power stresses the boring nature of ordinary German life and observes that the appeal of the Nazis lay in their offering of relief from that:

Quote:"The great danger of life in Germany has always been emptiness and boredom ... The menace of monotony hangs, as it has always hung, over the great plains of northern and eastern Germany, with their colorless towns and their all too industrious, efficient, and conscientious business and organizations. With it comes a horror vacui and the yearning for 'salvation': through alcohol, through superstition, or, best of all, through a vast, overpowering, cheap mass intoxication."

So he too saw the primary appeal of Nazism as its offering of change, novelty and excitement.

And how about another direct quote from Hitler himself?

Quote:"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions"

(Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, 1976, p. 306)

Clearly, the idea that Hitler was a Rightist is probably the most successful BIG LIE of the 20th Century. He was to the Right of the Communists but that is all. Nazism was nothing more nor less than a racist form of Leftism (rather extreme Leftism at that) and to label it as "Rightist" or anything else is to deny reality.

The word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation of the name of Hitler's political party -- the nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei. In English this translates to "The National Socialist German Worker's Party". So Hitler was a socialist and a champion of the workers -- or at least he identified himself as such and campaigned as such.

There is a great deal of further reading available that extends the points made here about the nature of Nazism and Fascism. There is, for instance, an interesting review by Prof. Antony Flew here of The Lost Literature of Socialism by historian George Watson. Excerpt:

Quote:Many of his findings are astonishing. Perhaps for readers today the most astonishing of all is that "In the European century that began in the 1840s, from Engels' article of 1849 down to the death of Hitler, everyone who advocated genocide called himself a socialist and no conservative, liberal, anarchist or independent did anything of the kind." (The term "genocide" in Watson's usage is not confined to the extermination only of races or of ethnic groups, but embraces also the liquidation of such other complete human categories as "enemies of the people" and "the Kulaks as a class.")

The book seems well worth reading but is not of course available online. An excellent earlier essay by Prof. Watson covering some of the same ground is however available here. He shows in it that even such revered figures in the history of socialism as G.B. Shaw and Beatrice Webb were vocally in favour of genocide.

We do however need to keep in mind that there is no such thing as PURE Leftism. Leftists are notoriously fractious, sectarian and multi-branched. And even the Fascist branch of Leftism was far from united. The modern-day Left always talk as if Italy's Mussolini and Hitler were two peas in a pod but that is far from the truth. Mussolini got pretty unprintable about Hitler at times and did NOT support Hitler's genocide against the Jews (Steinberg, 1990; Herzer, 1989). As it says here:

Quote:"Just as none of the victorious powers went to war with Germany to save the Jews neither did Mussolini go to war with them to exterminate the Jews. Indeed, once the Holocaust was under way he and his fascists refused to deport Jews to the Nazi death camps thus saving thousands of Jewish lives - far more than Oskar Schindler."

"Far more than Oskar Schindler"!. And as late as 1938, Mussolini even asked the Pope to excommunicate Hitler!. Leftists are very good at "fraternal" rivalry.

So unity is not of the Left in any of its forms. They only ever have SOME things in common -- such as claiming to represent "the worker" and seeking a State that controls as much of people's lives as it feasibly can.

Tom Wolfe's biting essay on American intellectuals also summarizes the origins of Fascism and Nazism rather well. Here is one excerpt from it:

Quote:"Fascism" was, in fact, a Marxist coinage. Marxists borrowed the name of Mussolini's Italian party, the Fascisti, and applied it to Hitler's Nazis, adroitly papering over the fact that the Nazis, like Marxism's standard-bearers, the Soviet Communists, were revolutionary socialists. In fact, "Nazi" was (most annoyingly) shorthand for the National Socialist German Workers' Party. European Marxists successfully put over the idea that Nazism was the brutal, decadent last gasp of "capitalism."

{From the essay "In the Land of the Rococo Marxists" originally appearing in the June 2000 Harper's Monthly and reprinted in Wolfe's book Hooking Up}

Other sources on the basic facts about Hitler that history tells us are Roberts (1938), Heiden (1939), Shirer (1964), Bullock (1964), Taylor (1963), Hagan (1966), Feuchtwanger (1995).

The above are however secondary sources and, as every historian will tell you, there is nothing like going back to the original -- which is why much original text is quoted above. For further reading in the original sources, the first stop is of course Mein Kampf. It seems customary to portray Mein Kampf as the ravings of a madman but it is far from that. It is the attempt of an intelligent mind to comprehend the world about it and makes its points in such a personal and passionate way that it might well persuade many people today but for a knowledge of where it led. The best collection of original Nazi documents on the web is however probably here. Perhaps deserving of particular mention among the documents available there is a widely circulated pamphlet by Goebbels here. One excerpt from it:

Quote:The bourgeois is about to leave the historical stage. In its place will come the class of productive workers, the working class, that has been up until today oppressed. It is beginning to fulfill its political mission. It is involved in a hard and bitter struggle for political power as it seeks to become part of the national organism. The battle began in the economic realm; it will finish in the political. It is not merely a matter of pay, not only a matter of the number of hours worked in a day-though we may never forget that these are an essential, perhaps even the most significant part of the socialist platform-but it is much more a matter of incorporating a powerful and responsible class in the state, perhaps even to make it the dominant force in the future politics of the Fatherland

So Hitler was both a fairly typical pre-war Leftist in most respects and would also make a pretty good modern Leftist in most respects. Aside from his nationalism, it is amazing how much he sounds like modern Leftists in fact. And his nationalism was in fact one way in which he was smarter than modern Leftists. Have a look at the 1939 Nazi propaganda placard below (a Wochenspruch for the Gau Weser/Ems). The placard promotes one of Hitler's sayings. The saying is, "Es gibt keinen Sozialismus, der nicht aufgeht im eigenen Volk" -- which I translate as "There is no socialism except what arises within its own people". Hitler spoke a very colloquial German so translating that one was not easy but I think that is about as close to it as you can get.

[Image: nazplak.jpg]

As some modern context for that saying, note that there have now been various psychological studies (e.g. here) showing that people are more willing to share with others whom they see as like themselves. That leads to the view that socialism will find its strongest support among an ethnically homogeneous population -- which the Scandinavian countries notably were until recently. And ethnic diversity therefore will undermine support for socialism (as in the U.S.A.). And from my studies of them, I have noted that the Scots are a very brotherly lot. There is even a line in a famous Harry Lauder song that says: "Where brother Scots foregather ...". And of course the Scots are enormously socialistic. When Margaret Thatcher came to power on a huge swing towards the Conservatives in England, Scotland actually swung away from the conservatives.

So the "diversity at all costs" orientation and open borders policies of the modern Left are actually very inimical to the socialistic aims of the Left. The modern day Left do not see that their promoting of infinite diversity will undermine support for socialism. Hitler did.

Perhaps the most amazing parallel between Hitler and the postwar Left, however, is that for much of the 30s Hitler was actually something of a peacenik. I am putting up below a picture of a Nazi propaganda poster of the 1930s that you won't believe unless you are aware of how readily all Leftists preach one thing and do another. It reads ""Mit Hitler gegen den Ruestungswahnsinn der Welt".

[Image: mithitler.jpg]

And what does that mean? It means "With Hitler against the armaments madness of the world". "Ruestung" could more precisely be translated as "military preparations" but "armaments" is a bit more idiomatic in English.

And how about the poster below? It would be from the March 5, 1933 election when Hitler had become Chancellor but Marshall Hindenburg was still President:

[Image: gefreite.jpg]

Translated, the poster reads: "The Marshall and the corporal fight alongside us for peace and equal rights"

Can you get a more Leftist slogan than that? "Peace and equal rights"? Modern-day Leftists sometimes try to dismiss Hitler's socialism as something from his early days that he later outgrew. But when this poster was promulgated he was already Reichskanzler (Prime Minister) so it was far from early days. Once again we see what a barefaced lie it is when Leftists misrepresent Hitler as a Rightist. We can all have our own views about what Hitler actually believed but he campaigned and gained power as a democratic Leftist. The March 5, 1933 election was the last really democratic election prewar Germany had and, in it, Hitler's appeal was Leftist.

There is here a collection of some of the "peace" talk that Hitler used even after war had begun. Hitler might even be regarded as the original "peacenik", so vocal was he about his wish for peace. So the preaching of both "peace" and "equality" by the bloodthirsty Soviet regime of the cold war period had its parallel with the Nazis too.

It may be worth noting in passing what a clever piece of propaganda the above poster was. Allied spokesmen such as Winston Churchill seemed to deem it a great insult to refer to CORPORAL Hitler. They seemed to think it demeaned him. Yet Hitler himself obviously did not think so. He seems in fact to have used his lowly military status in the first war to identify himself as a man of the people. He used it to his advantage, not to his disadvantage. It was part of his claim to represent the ordinary working man rather than the German establishment.

But Hitler had his cake and ate it too. By drawing a great Prussian Junker like President Hindenburg into his campaign, he also showed that he had the establishment on his side. It helped to portray him as a SAFE choice. Hindenburg was no doubt disgusted by such use of his name but since he had appointed Hitler, he could hardly complain.

For more Nazi "Peace" and other revealing posters see here


At this stage I think I need to consider some objections to the account of Hitler that I have given so far:

[quote][size=13]The Left/Right division is at fault

Faced with the challenge to their preconceptions constituted by the material I have so far presented, some people take refuge in the well-known fact that political attitudes are complex and are seldom fully represented by a simple division of politics into Left and Right. They deny that Hitler was Leftist by denying that ANYBODY is simply Leftist.

I don't think this gets anybody very far, however. What I have shown (and will proceed to show at even greater length) is that Hitler fell squarely w

Removed due to trolling
If I can't read some people's posts and respond to their nonsense then is it fair to ask those people to stop reading my posts and not respond to them?And is it nice for some people to lie and say they don't read my posts? LOL
Removed due to trolling
If I can't read some people's posts and respond to their nonsense then is it fair to ask those people to stop reading my posts and not respond to them?And is it nice for some people to lie and say they don't read my posts? LOL
One thing of note here: The Nazis, formed by Uncle Adolf, were socialists. And socialism is Left Wing.

Nazi stands for National Socialist German Workers Party, or in German, "Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei". There is absolutely nothing Right Wing about being a Socialist, be it Internationalist, or Nationalist. Period! Anyone, who thinks it to be Right Wing, is either Intellectually Lazy, or Intellectually Dishonest.

The same thing with Fascism. It is Statist, and Mussolini, in his own words, condemns himself to being Leftist. Again, anyone who thinks it to be Right Wing,....................................................

One thing of note here: The Nazis, formed by Uncle Adolf, were socialists. And socialism is Left Wing.

Nazi stands for National Socialist German Workers Party, or in German, "Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei". There is absolutely nothing Right Wing about being a Socialist, be it Internationalist, or Nationalist. Period! Anyone, who thinks it to be Right Wing, is either Intellectually Lazy, or Intellectually Dishonest.

The same thing with Fascism. It is Statist, and Mussolini, in his own words, condemns himself to being Leftist. Again, anyone who thinks it to be Right Wing,....................................................


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)