Yes, Hitler WAS a socialist

Recently a minor kerfuffle erupted between two well-known bloggers for the Daily Telegraph over the precise ideological nature of the Nazis. On the one side you have Daniel Hannan, who claims that the ideological roots of fascism and Nazism lie well and truly on the Left's side of the ideological divide. On the other side, you have his colleague Tim Stanley, who argues that there is no way Hitler was a socialist.

Dan Hannan's argument starts with the basic facts of what people actually said about socialism, and fascism, during the years leading up to and including the Second World War. He points out that many fashionable leftists and socialists of the time approved entirely and wholeheartedly of the ideas, positions, and methods of both Fascists and Communists. And he goes on to note that the Left has basically whitewashed this unsightly stain from its own internal understanding of its ideology.

How does Tim Stanley respond to this barrage of facts and primary source material? By going off on a completely different tack, starting with the argument that the New Left in Britain once called itself "socialist" too. He then proceeds to get totally mixed up between socialism and Marxism, forgetting (for whatever reason) that Marxism is a mutation of the socialist disease, and that the ideas and positions and methods of Marxism are a subset of the overall socialist approach. He then argues that just because the Nazis were in favour of privatisation from time to time and for certain industries, they cannot possibly be compared with Communism and socialism- and that because Hitler was a no good, very bad, horrible, terrible, nasty racist, he wasn't a socialist. He meanders through a few similarly off-base (and largely incorrect) arguments before finally getting back on track with a set of rather cogent and well-made points about the dangers of power.

Socialists and Fascists Aren't Too Different

Before I get to the specific areas where Stanley went badly wrong, let's address his counterarguments (such as they are):
  • There are many who call themselves socialist but do not embrace the same murderous methods that Hitler used. George Bernard Shaw, George Orwell, John Maynard Keynes (when you could pin him down on the subject, that is- he was a slippery bastard when it came to politics), H. G. Wells, and many, many other luminaries of the Fabian Society that dominated the British intellectual scene in the 1920s and 1930s were happy to call themselves socialists and in several cases were thoroughly in favour of eugenics and the use of government force to achieve their ends.
  • There are also quite a few socialists who openly embrace the methods used by Hitler to achieve their own stated goals- Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and an avowed eugenicist, was perfectly clear about the fact that she viewed abortion as a way of decimating the black population. Unsurprisingly, that is precisely what abortion on demand has actually done.
  • According to Stanley's own "logic", the Communists themselves cannot be called true socialists either. When the utter failure of collectivised agriculture became overwhelmingly clear in the mid-1920s, Lenin instituted the New Economic Plan, restoring private ownership of property among the kulaks (peasants) and temporarily bringing Russia back from the brink of complete economic collapse. The greatest famine in human history was entirely man-made; at least 20 million Chinese died when Red China decided to experiment with collectivised farming, and the death toll was so horrific that even that fat fraud Mao Tse-Tung had to recant, at least temporarily.
  • Conversely, in places where "full" Communism was brought to bear, the death toll was truly hideous- and Communists ended up using the exact same methods to kill those who disagreed with them that the Nazis did, except on a far greater scale. During the Cultural Revolution- again in China- "undesirable elements" were purged from the country in an orgy of bloodshed and terror that made Kristallnacht look tame by comparison. When Pol Pot and Khieu Samphan instituted their godawful Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, they started by executing everyone with glasses- just as the Nazis slaughtered anyone with the intellectual wit and ability to challenge them, regardless of whether they were Jews or not.
  • Socialists are the biggest racists you'll ever meet. So convinced are they of the utter superiority of their own ideas, their own class, and their own moral superiority, that they never stop to think that they might actually be the ones with their heads up their own arses. Back in the day, the most "enlightened" Fabian socialists were, as I have mentioned, also leading proponents of eugenics to weed out "undesirable" races; Hitler was no different than any of them other than in the fact that he took the idea to its most logical (and barbaric) extreme. Today, the most "enlightened" leftists are the types that tend to live in gated communities with 24-hour security and easy access to places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's- or they live in towns like Nyack, with the same set of stupid ideas- so that they never have to be exposed to the ugly realities of the masses that they claim to love so loudly.
  • Furthermore, the early Russian Communists absolutely loathed the Jews. You probably didn't know that Friedrich Engels was a Jew- who hated Jews with a vitriol that is difficult for the modern mind to understand. You probably also didn't know that Leon Trotsky was Jewish- and again, he hated Jews. And it's pretty unlikely that you were ever taught what Stalin did to the Russian Jews. With the (dubious and often sickening) benefit of historical hindsight, it is surely safe to say that three greatest enemies of Judaism in the entirety of human history are, in descending order, Islam, (Russian) Communism, and- in quite distant third place, actually- Nazism.
There are a few other things that Stanley got quite wrong too. Have a look at this abridged version of the original 25 Points of the National Socialist Workers' Party of Germany, published in 1920:
  1. Unification of Greater Germany (Austria + Germany)
  2. Land + expansion
  3. Anti-Versailles - abrogation of the Treaty.
  4. Land and territory - lebensraum.
  5. Only a "member of the race" can be a citizen.
  6. Anti-semitism - No Jew can be a member of the race.
  7. Anti-foreigner - only citizens can live in Germany.
  8. No immigration - ref. to Jews fleeing pograms.
  9. Everyone must work.
  10. Abolition of unearned income - "no rent-slavery".
  11. Nationalisation of industry
  12. Divison of profits
  13. Extension of old age welfare.
  14. Land reform
  15. Death to all criminals
  16. German law, not Roman law (anti- French Rev.)
  17. Education to teach "the German Way"
  18. Education of gifted children
  19. Protection of mother and child by outlawing child labour.
  20. Encouraging gymnastics and swimming
  21. Formation a national army.
  22. Duty of the state to provide for its volk.
  23. Duty of individuals to the state 

Notice anything?

Like, say, how almost every single point after number 3 is basically a reworded version of something to be found in the Communist Manifesto?

This is NOT an accident. You are NOT seeing things. This is the ugly and horrible truth of socialism, hidden in plain sight. Fascists and socialists owe their basic ideology to the same set of corrupt ideas, the same magnificent fraud, the same epic charlatanism that revolutionaries and fools have used since time immemorial to justify all manner of base barbarism.

The True Nature of Socialism

Now, if you have even half a clue about the true roots of the modern Left's ideology*, you will not be the least bit surprised to discover that it is Hannan, and not Stanley, who is closest to the truth here. There are many things that you were not taught in your high school history classes about socialism, as it happens.

Socialism involves the use of government force to redistribute private means of production and consumption in manners and methods that the government- however you define that government- sees fit. That, ultimately, is what socialism really is- a redistributive mechanism that wraps itself in all sorts of silly pseudo-scientific, moral, and economic justifications in order to reconcile its true nature as organised theft with its purported aim of building a better world.

It doesn't matter whether you call it fascism, communism, Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Chinese communism, socialism, or any one of a thousand other names. The basic philosophy is the exact same as the second-oldest idea in the Good Book:
1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Once you understand what socialism is, you'll understand very quickly why Hitler was a socialist. Socialism is nothing more and nothing less than a bankrupt idea- the idea that men can and should have the power to assign themselves the fruits of other men's labours without the slightest sacrifice or virtue shown in earning those fruits.

And you will understand very clearly why those of us who have taken the time and trouble to free our minds from the nonsense and vapidity of what we were taught in school, hate it so much. We hate it because the very idea is evil. We hate it because it denies the basic, God-given, fundamental right that every man has to act to better his own life. We hate it because it enables all manner of other stupidity and fallacy to take root- such as feminism, a perennial bugbear of this writer and many others.

Most of all, we hate it because socialism attempts to hold the moral high ground, preaching to others of its own value and validity, while never once acknowledging the oceans of blood spilled in its name, the mountains of corpses created by the hundreds of millions it has killed, the ruins of once-great and powerful civilisations that it has brought low.

Yes, Hitler was a socialist. There is neither shame nor sorrow in admitting that one of the greatest mass murderers in history believed in an ideology that enabled that very mass murder, in the name of a "god" of its own conception.

* As far as I am concerned, Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism and Amity Shlaes's The Forgotten Man are absolutely required reading for anyone with an interest in the political truths that come with the red pill. If you have not read those books, get thee hence to the nearest bookstore or visit Amazon.com RIGHT BLOODY NOW and get yourself a copy of each.

Comments

  1. Nazism was just as its name implies - national socialism. If you really want to understand it, I recommend you read both 'Mein Kampf" and Hitler's second book (yes, he did write a second book around 1927 or so). Both Mein Kampf and the second book describe in detail Hitler's ideal social-economic system. Its essentially a blend of socialism (modern day European social-democracy) and national traditionalism not too dissimilar to that of Rod Dreher's "crunchy con" world-view.

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    1. Indeed. Hitler's version of socialism wasn't the full-throttle collectivised lunacy of Mao and Pol Pot, but it was socialism nonetheless. His hatred of "bourgeois values" and the Catholic Church were spelled out quite plainly in both his writings and his speeches.

      Another good book on a similar subject is Allan Bullock's doorstopper of a biography, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. Several historians up to that point had commented on the similarities between the two men, but no one had really made those similarities overtly clear. It's a very good book but a very slow read.

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