That’s my embriefening of Daniel Hannan’s title from February: Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism.
Short version of this post: Hannan is awesome, so why not go read it?
Long version: I’ll tease his article for you, then add my comments.
On 16 June 1941, as Hitler readied his forces for Operation Barbarossa, Josef Goebbels looked forward to the new order that the Nazis would impose on a conquered Russia. There would be no come-back, he wrote, for capitalists nor priests nor Tsars. Rather, in the place of debased, Jewish Bolshevism, the Wehrmacht would deliver “der echte Sozialismus”: real socialism.
Goebbels never doubted that he was a socialist. He understood Nazism to be a better and more plausible form of socialism than that propagated by Lenin. Instead of spreading itself across different nations, it would operate within the unit of the Volk.
And now you get interested and read the rest of Hannan’s points 😉
But I must disagree with his conclusion:
Are contemporary Leftist critics of Israel secretly anti-Semitic? No, not in the vast majority of cases. Are modern socialists inwardly yearning to put global warming sceptics in prison camps? Nope. Do Keynesians want the whole apparatus of corporatism, expressed by Mussolini as “everything in the state, nothing outside the state”? Again, no. There are idiots who discredit every cause, of course, but most people on the Left are sincere in their stated commitment to human rights, personal dignity and pluralism.
My beef with many (not all) Leftists is a simpler one. By refusing to return the compliment, by assuming a moral superiority, they make political dialogue almost impossible. Using the soubriquet “Right-wing” to mean “something undesirable” is a small but important example.
I disagree because, in my experience, the Left’s “idiots” (as Hannan just termed them) have taken over. Thus:
- Most left-wing critics of Israel are irrational and (at least covertly) anti-Semitic;
- Modern socialists do equate global warming sceptics to Holocaust deniers and call for their imprisonment;
- Neo-Keynesians do always propose expansions of government to solve any problem, real or imagined;
- For which reasons, the stated commitment of many people on the Left to human rights, personal dignity and pluralism is superficial, if not cynical.
As for the larger topic – that fascism is in fact a phenomenon of the Left, not the Right – here’s my own list of points that I like to remind people about:
- “Nazi” is short for the National SOCIALIST German WORKERS’ Party.
- The typical Nazi election platform called for greater welfare spending and benefits, more government mandates and regulation on the economy, more scientific and/or governmental checks on religion, and national unity under a beloved Leader. As such, it was not far from the platform of today’s Obama party (except, of course, that Nazi racism called for eugenics and was Aryan or pro-white, rather than anti-white).
- Modern U.S. neo-nazis consider themselves to be pro-worker socialists and in 2008, many of them preferred Obama over McCain.
- Much of Roosevelt’s New Deal platform was inspired by the Italian and German fascists.
- It all makes sense, because the key underpinning of both fascism and communism is the idea that the individual must live for the State and is the property of the State. And, at the 2012 Democratic convention, one of their actual slogans was “The government is the only thing we all belong to”.
- Meanwhile Hillary Clinton, in unguarded moments, says things like “We’re going to take things away from you for the common good” – an idea that Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin and Mao would all approve heartily.
- In 1924, Hitler stated that “basically, National Socialism and Marxism are the same.”
- In 1927, Hitler said “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries… we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”
- In 1932, Goebbels said that the Nazi Party was a “workers’ party”, “on the side of labour, and against finance.”
- In 1932, Goebbels wrote in his diary that if he were to pick between Bolshevism and capitalism, “it would be better for us to go down with Bolshevism than live in eternal slavery under capitalism.”
Let me know if I missed any!