Monday, 27 June 2011

JJ Ray: Hitler was a socialist debunked. Part Nine, "Discussing so called 'Objections' to his theory part 2"

Objection 2


This is the essay he's talking about. And if you haven't read it yet, it's best to do so before reading the rest of this post.

Modern day Leftists of course hate it when you point out to them that Hitler was one of them. They deny it furiously -- even though in Hitler's own day both the orthodox Leftists who represented the German labor unions (the SPD) and the Communists (KPD) voted WITH the Nazis in the Reichstag (German Parliament) on various important occasions -- though not on all occasions.

As explained elsewhere, Any Nazi/communist collaboration had machiavellian justifications, especialy against the Weimar democracy that they both detested. The Nazi voted against it from the Right, and the Communists voted against from the Left; It still remains that there were two entirely different sides and reasons behind it. And additionally the Nazis also marched lock step with the other right-wing parties like the Nationalists and the Stahlhelm. And the Nazis went against the expropriation referendum of 25/26. So when they had a chance to act in a real socialist manner, They actualy failed to do so. Both the SPD and the KDP supported passage of that referendum, the Nazis did not.

"Although the SPD and KDP both supported the referendum, the communists failed to create United Front committees, and the two parties conducted entirely separate campaigns." - Bernhard Fulda "Press and politics in the Weimar Republic", p121-122.

Anyway, lets talk about the main point here.

As part of that denial, an essay by the late Steve Kangas is much reproduced on the internet. Entering the search phrase "Hitler was a Leftist" will bring up multiple copies of it. Kangas however reveals where he is coming from in his very first sentence: "Many conservatives accuse Hitler of being a leftist, on the grounds that his party was named "National Socialist." But socialism requires worker ownership and control of the means of production". It does? Only to Marxists.

Er. Sorry, Socialism at it's most basic is indeed an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources, How you achieve this is of course, another matter. But the means of production in nazi Germany, ideologically consisted of Private property, and their economy made capitalism an adjunct of the state, as Ian Kershaw told us earlier.

"Whatever level of state intervention, it could be argued quite forcefully that belief in private property was central to fascist ideology, as [Roger] Eatwell states: the sympathetic reference to socialism did not mean that fascists accepted the abolition of private property. This was seen as a law of nature." - "The Routledge Companion to Fascism and the Far Right" p141.

Plus The Nazis never interfered with the profits made by such large German firms as Krupp, Siemens AG, and IG Farben. In fact...

"Nazi planning left business intact, from the great firms like IG Farben all the way down to small retailers and backstreet artisanal workshops" - Richard Evans, "The Third Reich in Power", p371.

Before anyone brings up dictionaries, one does not use a dictionary to find the meaning of important concepts and ideas, it's really only for spelling. we look for answers to rather complex concepts, in real academic books.

But let's have a look at the Dictionary definition for socialism anyway shall we?



[mass noun]

a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole

. Policy or practice based on this theory

. (In Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism

The term ‘socialism’ has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state Communism, and social democracy; however , it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammelled workings of the economic market. The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late 19th century have generally tended towards social democracy.

Contrast this to what Zeev Sternhell says on p7-8 in his "The Birth of Fascist Ideology", which i have already quoted from. Any intervention in the Nazi economy was only for its military ends and had nothing to do with socialism. Nazi Germany; private ownership, private profits. Not socialism!

And perhaps one could consider Richard Overy, who never calls the Nazis socialist. He refers to Germany as having a dirigisme economy which is a form of capitalism, and Hitler a "reluctant dirigiste" at that because again he only wanted to control the parts of the economy that were related to war. See his book "War and Economy in the Third Reich", p2.

So Kangas is saying only that Hitler was less Leftist than the Communists -- and that would not be hard. Surely a "democratic" Leftist should see that as faintly to Hitler's credit, in fact.

No, Kangas is not saying that at all

At any event, Leonard Peikoff makes clear the triviality of the difference:

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.

Which sounds just like the Leftists of today.

And the German owner was still the master of his property, the system of regulation did not take over total control as Peikoff suggests. It's Just more of the same superficial Bullshit. If anything, the Nazi economy resembles more the modern day Japanese economy rather than anything else inherently modern leftist, as even a certain "Robert Locke" reminds us. Both Nazi Germany and Japan are Dirigisme capitalist economies, neither socialist.

Japan is something that is virtually impossible by definition within the frame of reference of neoliberal economics: a non-socialist state-directed system.  To over-simplify a bit, it is a centrally-planned capitalist economy.

Neoliberal economists are dimly aware of the fact that fascist and Nazi economics were centrally-planned but not socialist, but they tend to dismiss these economic systems because of the attendant political horrors and have made precious little effort to develop rigorous theoretical accounts of how they worked.  As we shall see, the Japanese [economic] system has achieved many of the things the fascists wanted.

But it must be stressed, just because they share economic similarities does not mean that modern day Japan is a Fascist or a Nazi state. It clearly isn't Totalitarian for one thing!

As to Peikoff himself, You'd think it be hard to make Bill O'Reilly look sane and rational, but he actualy manages to achieve just that

And just for the lols, Here's part of an amusing Conservative critique of him

"Peikoff, deriving all his intellectual inspiration from the corrupted sources of Rand's quasi-leftist view of human nature, is not fit to give advice on any important question of social policy [or History for that matter. My addition.]. Lacking any knowledge of the fundamentals of realpolitik, his proposals can only serve to distract the individual from confronting the real problems at issue. Randian idealism about human nature and morality is incapable of providing guidance in a world that is far different than either Rand or Peikoff imagines it to be. By following it in their own lives, Rand and Peikoff have brought ignominy and ruin upon themselves and their cause. We should all be wary of taking advice from anyone inspired by such polluted intellectual currents"

Some other points made by Kangas are highly misleading. He says for instance that Hitler favoured "competition over co-operation". Hitler in fact rejected Marxist notions of class struggle and had as his great slogan: "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer" (One People, One State, one leader). He ultimately wanted Germans to be a single, unified, co-operating whole under him. 

The nazi regime operated a Working Towards the Führer concept, Nazi Germany was both a monocracy (rule of one) and polycracy (rule of many). Hitler held absolute power but did not choose to exercise it very much; the rival fiefdoms of the Nazi state fought each other and attempted to carry out Hitler's vaguely worded wishes and dimly defined orders by "Working Towards the Führer". and if that's not competition over co-operation, then i do not know what is. for more details, see Ian kershaw here, but i think the following quote sums up the idea well...

"Fritz Wiedemann, one of Hitler's adjutants, wrote that Hitler 'disliked the study of documents. I have sometimes secured decisions from him, even ones about important matters, without his ever asking to see the relevant files. He took the view that many things sorted themselves out on their own if one did not interfere.' The result was, in the words of Otto Dietrich, Hitler's press chief, that 'in the twelve years of his rule in Germany Hitler produced the biggest confusion in government that has ever existed in a civilized state.'

Nor does Hitler's daily routine at this time sound like that of a political workaholic. Fritz Wiedemann wrote, 'Hitler would appear shortly before lunch, read through the press cuttings prepared by Reich press chief Dietrich, and then go into lunch. When Hitler stayed at the Obersalzberg [the mountain in southern Bavaria on whose slopes Hitler built his house - the Berghof], it was even worse. There he never left his room before 2.00 p.m. Then he went to lunch. He spent most afternoons taking a walk; in the evening straight after dinner, there were films.'

Albert Speer, the architect who was to become the Nazi armaments minister, tells how, when Hitler was staying in Munich, there would be only 'an hour or two' a day available for conferences: 'Most of his time he spent marching about building sites, relaxing in studios, cafés and restaurants, or hurling long monologues at his associates, who were already amply familiar with the unchanging themes and painfully tried to conceal their boredom.' The fact that Hitler 'squandered' his working time was anathema to Speer, a man who threw himself into his work. 'When,' Speer often asked himself, 'did he really work?' The conclusion was inescapable: 'In the eyes of the people Hitler was the leader who watched over the nation day and night. This was hardly so.'

Hitler was not a dictator like Stalin who sent countless letters and orders interfering with policy, yet he exercised as much or more ultimate authority over the state and was at least as secure as a dictator. How was this possible? How could a modern state function with a leader who spent a great deal of time in his bedroom or in a café?

One answer has been provided by Professor Ian Kershaw in a careful study of a seemingly unimportant speech given by Werner Willikens, State Secretary in the Ministry of Food, on 21 February 1934. Willikens said:

"Everyone who has the opportunity to observe it knows that the Führer can hardly dictate from above everything he intends to realise sooner or later. On the contrary, up til now everyone with a post in the new germany has worked best when he has, so to speak, worked towards the Führer ... in fact it is the duty of everybody to try to work towards the Führer along the lines he would wish. Anyone who makes mistakes will notice it soon enough. But anyone who really works towards the Führer along his lines and towards his goal will certainly both now and in the future one day have the finest reward in the form of the sudden legal confirmation of his work." - Werner Willikens [State Secretary in the ministry of food], speech. 21 feb 1934.

'Working towards the Führer' suggests a strange kind of political structure. Not one in which those in power issue orders but one in which those at the lower end of the hierarchy initiate policies themselves within what they take to be the spirit of the regime and carry on implementing them until corrected. Perhaps the nearest example we have in British history occurred when Henry II is supposed to have said, 'Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?' and the barons rushed to Canterbury to murder Thomas à Becket. No direct order was given, but the courtiers sensed what would please their liege lord.

Professor Kershaw believes that the practice of 'working towards the Führer' is a key insight into understanding how the Nazi state functioned, not just in the 1930s, but also during the war, and is particularly relevant when examining the provenance of many of the administrative decisions taken in the occupied territories. It gives the lie to the excuse offered by some Nazis that they were just 'acting under orders'. Often, in fact, they were creating their own orders within the spirit of what they believed was required of them.

Nor does the idea of 'working towards the Führer' excuse Hitler from blame. The reason Nazi functionaries acted as they did was because they were trying to make an informed judgment about what Hitler wanted of them and, more often than not, the substance of their actions was retrospectively legitimized. The system could not have functioned without Hitler or without those subordinates who initiated what they believed were desired policies.
'Working towards the Führer' can be used to explain the decision-making process in many of those areas of domestic policy that Hitler, through temperament, neglected. Most political parties, for example, have a carefully conceived economic policy at the core of their manifesto. The Nazis did not. Indeed, one academic joked to me that the question, 'What was Hitler's economic policy?' was easy to answer -'He hadn't got one.' Perhaps that is unfair in one respect, for despite a lack of policy, Hitler always had economic aims. He promised to rid Germany of unemployment, and, less publicly trumpeted but, in his eyes, more important, to bring about rearmament. Initially he had only one idea how to achieve this and that was to ask Hjalmar Schacht, a former president of the Reichsbank and a brilliant economist, to 'sort it out'. Apart from rearmament and strengthening the army, Hitler had little detailed interest in domestic policies.
Surprisingly, for those who believe that a successful economy has to be guided by a political leader, in the short term Hitler's delegation of the economy to Schacht seemed to work. Schacht pursued a policy of reflation financed on credit, and alongside this implemented a work-creation programme based on compulsory work service for the unemployed." - Laurence Rees,"The Nazis: A Warning from History", p52 -55.

See also, Richard Evans...
"The Darwinian principles that animated the regime dictated that competition between companies and individuals would remain the guiding principle of the economy, just as competition between different agencies of state and party were the guiding principles of politics and administration." - Richard Evans, "The Third Reich in Power", p410.

Other claims made by Kangas are simply laughable: He says that Hitler cannot have been a Leftist because he favoured: "politics and militarism over pacifism, dictatorship over democracy". Phew! So Stalin was not political, not a militarist and not a dictator? Enough said.

He was, he was, he was which is why Kangas claims Stalin NOT to be a socialist! Notice how Ray doesn't actualy refute his arguments but instead repeats them?

In summary, then, Kangas starts out by defining socialism in such a way that only Communists can be socialists and he then defines socialism in a way that would exclude Stalin from being one! So is ANYBODY a socialist according to Kangas? Only Mr Brain-dead Kangas himself, I guess.

See last comment. Well me and Ray can agree Stalin exhibited a Totalitarian varient of Socialism, but where we disagree is that it doesn't mean Socialism itself is inherently totalitarian. As Kangas states...

"Socialism has been proposed in many forms. The most common is social democracy, where workers vote for their supervisors, as well as their industry representatives to regional or national congresses. Another proposed form is anarcho-socialism, where workers own companies that would operate on a free market, without any central government at all. As you can see, a central planning committee is hardly a necessary feature of socialism. The primary feature is worker ownership of production."

If you're interested, this by the way is what Kangas wrote about Soviet Union's supposed "socialist credentials"...

"The Soviet Union failed to qualify as socialist because it was a dictatorship over workers -- that is, a type of aristocracy, with a ruling elite in Moscow calling all the shots. Workers cannot own or control anything under a totalitarian government. In variants of socialism that call for a central government, that government is always a strong or even direct democracy… never a dictatorship. It doesn't matter if the dictator claims to be carrying out the will of the people, or calls himself a "socialist" or a "democrat." If the people themselves are not in control, then the system is, by definition, non-democratic and non-socialist."

So does Ray do a good job refuting Kangas? Not really!

Monday, 20 June 2011

JJ Ray: Hitler was a socialist debunked. Part Eight, "Discussing so called 'Objections' to his theory part 1"

At this stage, Ray begins to attempt to rebut so-called objections to his theory [and he doesn't do it very well.] So lets examine what he has to say

Objection 1

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.

As i stated elsewhere, "The person's position on the political compass may be blurred by their stances on things like personal freedom, social policy, et cetera and the connections between them. That's where the complexities lie." This does not impact upon the political economy, which is the Real Main determiner for left and right.

They deny that Hitler was Leftist by denying that ANYBODY is simply Leftist.

I'll let cenk uygur, of TheYoungTurks put this strawman to bed

Yes of course it's quite idiotic to deny that Lenin, Stalin, Mao etc were mass murdering socialist fuckwits. This however doesn't mean that Hitler belongs in the same club.

It is commonly said that Nazism and Communism were both "authoritarian" or "totalitarian" -- which is undoubtedly true -- but what I show here is that there were far greater affinities than that. Basic doctrines, ideas and preachments of Nazis and Communists were similar as well as their method of government.

Although both Stalin and Hitler were totalitarians, something that can exist on either side of the left/right spectrum  and that is where most of the superficial similarities lie. As we shall see Hitler even exhibited a different kind of dictatorship than to what the one that Stalin offered.

But, as it happens, the Left/Right division of politics is not just some silly scheme put out by people who are too simple to think of anything better. There is a long history of attempts to devise better schemes but they all founder on how people in general actually vote and think. Most people DO organize their views in a recognizably Left/Right way. For a brief introduction to the research and thinking on the dimensionality of political attitudes, see here.

Or rather, His take on the political spectrum, Here's something to bear in Mind, and it comes from Wiki, on right wing authoritarianism (so how reliable it is, I'll leave it to you.)

Altemeyer's research on authoritarianism has been challenged by psychologist John J. Ray, who questions the sampling methods used and the ability of the RWA Scale to predict authoritarian behavior and provides evidence that the RWA scale measures conservatism rather than "directiveness", a construct that John J. Ray invented and that he relates to authoritarianism. [17][18] Ray's approach is, however, a minority position among researchers [19] and other psychologists have found that both the RWA Scale and the original F-Scale are good predictors of both attitudes and behavior.[20]

And just to be clear on "Directiveness", an earlier edition of the same article stated

Part of the controversy in this area may be due to Ray's unique conceptual interpretation of authoritarianism as "directiveness," a construct that is unrelated to other theoretical approaches."

The Key source [19] is "Stone, W. F., Lederer, G., & Christie, R. (1993). Strengths and weaknesses: The authoritarian personality today. New York: Springer-Verlag." What i am about to quote doesn't mention Ray by name, But this certainly implies that he is in a minority position over this issue if Wiki is reliable.

"The general conclusion of this study is that the F scale is more strongly related to right-wing extremism than has hitherto been assumed. From the 1940s on into the 1980s, a number of groups consisting of activists as well as of supports of ideologies associated with Nazism, fascism, apartheid, racism, and extreme nationalism have been shown to score higher on the F scale or close F-scale derivatives. Their group scores are much higher than those of the general population, whereas clearly antifascist and antiauthoritarian groups tend to score lower than the general population. This adds considerably to the validity of the F scale as a potential fascism scale.

Whether the F scale is an authoritarianism scale as well may be a separate issue. This mainly depends on how authoritarianism is defined. The content of F scale clearly addresses a right-wing authoritarian, hierarchical mentality in Western Europe and North America. At the time of the work of the Berkeley group, fascist regimes openly advocated and endorsed authoritarian state systems, and the association between fascism and authoritarianism was almost self-evident. If it can be shown that authoritarianism scales also predict support for former or existing authoritarian communist systems (as dealt with in another chapter), this would add a strong argument for the F scale's being an authoritarianism scale, one that is also independent of socioeconomic (capitalist or communist) ideology. In that case, Adorno et al. (1950) may indeed have produced the blueprint of a general authoritarianism scale. However, more evidence may be necessary.

Conservatives seem to define authoritarianism as the dominating behavior of left wingers. Yet the operationalization of this definition in the directiveness scale is not empirically associated with extremely high scores on this scale of right-wing (or left-wing) extremist groups to my knowledge, whereas the F scale has been shown repeatedly to be associated with such groups. In this respect, the F scale has full advantage over alternatives for which no extreme scores have yet been reported for extremist groups. The only exception may be the Dogmatism scale, which has been shown to be associated with right-wing extremism (DiRenzo, 1967b; Knutson, 1974; Altemeyer, 1988a, p. 261), but not with left-wing extremism, as Rokeach (1960) hypothesized. The Dogmatism scale has been shown to be highly correlated with the F scale. This also seems to be the case with Altemeyer's RWA scale so that similar results in general can be expected from the RWA and F scale. [7]

Most of the research findings discussed here were known or could have been known to major mainstream reviewers, such as Wrightsman (1977), Byrne (1974), Cherry and Byrne (1977), Dillehay (1978), and Goldstein and Blackman (1978). But the discussion about authoritarianism has ignored key information that has been available for decades and has subsequently deteriorated in quantity and quality, especially in the 1980s. The Steiner and Fahrenberg (1970a, 1970b) investigation had not been quoted until it was rediscovered by this author, nor has any major reviewer ever attempted a systemic search such as has been performed here. One is tempted to conclude either that no fascism is present in North America or that American investigators could have done a much better job to prove its existence with the F scale. The student sample syndrome of much research would tend to suggest the latter, although it is clear that both classical fascism and neofascism may be more European social and political phenomena than North American.

One may wonder about the amount of support provided by the present analysis for the authoritarian personality theory. Strictly speaking, this report shows that only the F scale has greater validity for measuring potential and actual fascism than is often assumed. Whether the original theory is satisfactory is another question. If Altemeyer (1981, 1988a) is even partly correct, it may be possible that other theories will prove more effective in explaining the empirical phenomena and that the RWA scale may be more efficient. However, his reduction of the authoritarianism concept seems historically questionable and ignores much that was already predicted by the F scale he so thoroughly "discredited," almost throwing away the baby with the bath water.

In the light of the reappearance of ethnocentric and authoritarian attitudes in the 1980s (Meloen et al., 1988), this research is too important for petty quarrels about the kind of insignificant side issues that have dominated the debate on authoritarianism for too long. Psychologists have contributed most of the studies in this field, mainly because many sociologists had political scientists do not give much credit to personal motivation and reasoning that can enhance the understanding of political phenomena. The study of authoritarianism, however, cannot be limited to psychology. Further analyses on social, political, economic, and historical levels are beyond the scope of this report, but suggestions for a more comprehensive, dynamic and multidisciplinary approach have been made elsewhere (Meloen, 1983, 1984, 1991a, 1991c; Meloen & Middendorp, 1991).

The relevance of authoritarianism research has been assessed in this analysis. It indicates that the results of authoritarianism research have been strongly underestimated.

[7] In the sample of 131 Dutch psychology students the correlation between a 10-item original F scale and the 30-item RWA scale (no item overlap) was .62; the correlation of the F scale with the authoritarian half of the RWA scale (no item overlap) was even .71 (Meloen, 1991b). "

Friday, 10 June 2011

JJ Ray: Hitler was a socialist debunked. Part seven, "more Leftist than Racist"

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?

If Ray knew anything, he would have known that Hitler had a bizarre reasoning that the Japanese were the "Aryans of the east."

Lets have a look at the Generalplan-Ost shall we? It laid down that persons belonging to those ethnic groups who lived in geographical areas that were identified for grman settlement (these included Ingermanland [the area around Leningrad], parts of Belorussia, parts of West Ukraine, Crimea, and the Dnepr bend) would be germanised if suitable, or else expelled from those areas. Approximately one-eighth of ethnic Poles were considered suitable for germanisation. The remainder were to be expelled, most likely to Siberia. It should be noted that the criteria by which suitability for germanisation was to be judged were not solely anthropological, ie physical features, but also cultural, social and economic, eg for a Polish family to be considered suitable for germanisation, it had to exhibit a superior level of initiative, cleanliness, economic efficiency and various other qualities.

Since the Baltic States were scheduled for German settlement, the Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians were also to be selected for germanisation. The German demographic experts estimated that about half of the Baltic peoples would be suitable for germanisation; those considered unsuitable would be resettled in European Russia where they would form a class of middle-level administrators assisting the German overlords, ie a role they had taken during the Tsarist period.

With regard to the South Slavic peoples, there were no plans for these, except for the Slovenes, who were to be germanised or deported to Serbia, since Slovenia was scheduled for German settlement. There were no plans for Croats, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgars et, since the areas they inhabited wre not designated as areas of German settlement (indeed, the ethnic Germans who already lived there were to be repatriated to the German settlement areas. The future of those countries was to be as German satellites, providing raw materials to German industry.

Now, it is true that The people that were in the Slavic regions that met the Nazi criteria were attempted to be recruited to the Nazi side. Even babies in the conquered regions that the Nazis felt were of Aryan heritage and had Aryan characteristics were taken and given to German families. "Folker Heinecke" is but one example of this. Of course, all the historical writers recognize the Nazi conception of 'race' as being somewhat inconsistent at times, almost all racists are. And the Nazis inconsistencies had much to do with their trying to make racism into a 'science' which it could never be, because it had no real scientific basis and they had to make it up as they went along. It should also be noted that even having Blonde hair and blue eyes, and even being an aryan did not save you from the concentration camps.

"Tall and thin, with penetrating blue eyes, Jan Kazimierz Bokus, at 90, is the [Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors] association's oldest surviving founding member." - article

"Her fair skin and bright blue eyes marked her out instantly as an Aryan, a non-Jew. She had been transported from a holding camp east of Budapest to Auschwitz where she was murdered in the gas chambers within a matter of weeks. The missionary Jane Haining died for helping Jewish children in her care survive the Nazi regime." - article on Jane Haining.

"But I was 20, I had blond hair, blue eyes and spoke perfect German." - Tale of a survivor from auschwitz

And the reason why he attacked the Dutch, the Danes, the French and the British and Norway (Ray missed those out) etc was purely militaristic, not for racial reasons.

And it is also true that Austria/Germany is only one part of Hitler's "Aryan Race", but can you guess which "Aryan nation-state" he considered ought to lead the other ones?

So the Nazis weren't good nationalists eh? what a laugh, and not surprisingly Ray ends up contridicting himself on this statement as we shall see.

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:

"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.

Most anthropologists have come to the conclusion that "race" is not a useful term, not because of their Political leanings, But because of the Scientific method, which last time i checked, Science is not "leftist"

"Interpretation of the word 'race' as it applies to groups of persons is inconsistent, and the definition of this term depends on the motive of the person using it. The Oxford English Dictionary acknowledges the imprecision of delimiting race, and it lists five definitions that range from a group as small as a family to a group as large as a species.

Most anthropologists have come to the conclusion that 'race' is not a useful term:

The term race, as applied to human types, is vague. It can have a biological significance only when a race represents a uniform, closely inbred group, in which all family lines are alike—as in pure breeds of domesticated animals. These conditions are never realized in human types and impossible in large populations. As a folk concept, race is employed to attribute not only physical characteristics but also psychological and moral ones to members of given categories, thus justifying or naturalizing a discriminatory system.

Race is therefore an unscientific social construct; that is, the concept of race is created from prevailing social perceptions and is without scientific foundation. The last definition given alludes to the destructive idea of race, which has fueled racist and eugenic movements with allegedly scientific claims of racial superiority and inferiority.

Anywhere from 30 to several hundred human races, defined using anthropologic criteria, have been proposed. Although this complex classification system is not commonly used in the media or in medicine, many persons have intuitively adopted the anthropologic definition of race; in the 1990 U.S. Census, nearly 300 'races' were volunteered. Indeed, this broader interpretation of race conforms more to the definition of an ethnic group, which is a group 'of people within a cultural system who desire or are given special status based on traits such as religion, culture, language, or appearance'." - Ritchie Witzig, "The Medicalization of Race: Scientific Legitimization of a Flawed Social Construct", Annals of Internal Medicine (Vol. 125, 1996).
No, in actuality, the Nazi idea of race embraced pseudo-science, they didn't reject biology they perverted it like Ray perverts reality.

And anyways it is just Wrong to mix Chamberlain and the Left, we know Chamberlain was something of a Rightist himself who married the even more Right-wing daughter of Richard Wagner (That nationalist composer) And among his admirers numbered Churchill and senator Albert J. Beveridge, a republican, neither being left wing.

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?

we as in the present tense?

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.

No, being on one side of the political spectrum, explained elsewhere, does not in and of itself explain a love of War.

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")?

The following two quotes, properly put's his revolutionary credentials in context

"Fascist revolution sought to change the nature of relationships between the individual and the collectivity WITHOUT destroying the impetus of economic activity - The profit motive or its foundation - private property or its necessary framework - the market economy. this was one aspect of the novelty of fascism; the fascist revolution was supported by an economy determined by the laws of the market. ... If fascism wished to reap all the benefits of the modern age, to exploit all the achievements of capitalism, if it never questioned the idea of market forces and private property were the natural order of things, it had a horror of so called bourgeois, or as Nietzsche called them, modern values: universalism, individualism, progress, natural rights and equality. thus fascism adopted the economic aspect of liberalism but completely denied its philosophical principles and the intellectual and moral heritage of modernity ... In essence fascist thought was a rejection of the value known in the culture of the time as materialism... Thus anti-materialism [was] a direct assault on liberalism and Marxism.",- Zeev Sternhell, "The Birth of Fascist Ideology", p7-8.

"on 21 may [1930], Hitler invited otto strasser to his hotel for lengthy discussions. .... the key points were leadership and socialism. ... strasser accused Hitler of trying to destroy the kampfverlag because he wanted to "strangle" the "social revolution" through a strategy of legality and the borgeois right. Hitler angrily denounced strasser's socialism as "nothing but marxism". The mass of the working class", he went on, wanted only bread and circuses, and would never understand the meaning of an ideal. "there was only one possible kind of revolution, and it is not economic or political or social, but racial," he avowed. Pushed on his attitude towards Big buisness, Hitler made plain that there could be NO QUESTION for him of socialization or worker control. The only priority was for a strong state to ensure that production was carried out in the national interest" - Ian kershaw, "Hitler (abridged)", p201.

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:

"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.


Because you see, i rather distinctly remember the Tories offering "Change, novelty and excitement" in the run up to the 2010 general election. Does this make them leftist/Nazis? Only in Ray's superficial world....

And what this proves is that these tactics are not exclusive to the left or right for that matter. It's just nothing more than propaganda!

And how about another direct quote from Hitler himself?

"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.

I have no idea which edition of toland he quotes from, But mine can be found here and in my edition, the quote appears on p224, But the point is all the same.

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.


"Americans both before and after the second world war casualy and deliberately articulated distorted similarities between nazi and communist ideologies, german and soviet foreiign policies, authoritarian controls and trade practices , and Hitler and Stalin. This popular analogy was a potent and pervasive notion that significantly shaped American of world events in the cold war. Once russia was designated the "enemy" by american leaders, americans transferred their hatred of Hitler's germany to Stalin's russia with considerable ease and persuasion." - les K. Adler and Thomas G. Paterson. "Red Fascism: The merger of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in the american image of totalitarianism." from The American Historical review, vol 75, no4 (apr., 1970).

Sorry, Nope. to deny Hitler's rightism is to fall for american (esp, Cold war) propaganda. Or I suppose every qualified scholar i have at my disposial is wrong then.

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:

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.

Antony Flew? He is not a historian but in fact a deist philosopher, (as far as im aware.) and this Prof Watson should be discredited. Here's a handful of quotations to ponder. 

"I believe that the nation as such should be annihilated, or, if this was not possible by tactical measures, have to be expelled from the country...This will be possible if the water-holes from Grootfontein to Gobabis are occupied. The constant movement of our troops will enable us to find the small groups of nation who have moved backwards and destroy them gradually."

"I, the great general of the German soldiers, send this letter to the Hereros. The Hereros are German subjects no longer. They have killed, stolen, cut off the ears and other parts of the body of wounded soldiers, and now are too cowardly to want to fight any longer. I announce to the people that whoever hands me one of the chiefs shall receive 1,000 marks, and 5,000 marks for Samuel Maherero. The Herero nation must now leave the country. If it refuses, I shall compel it to do so with the 'long tube' (cannon). any Herero found inside the German frontier, with or without a gun or cattle, will be executed. I shall spare neither women nor children. I shall give the order to drive them away and fire on them. Such are my words to the Herero people."

"The waterless Omaheke was to complete the work of the German arms: the annihilation of the Herero people"

"I destroy the African tribes with streams of blood...Only following this cleansing can something new emerge, which will remain."

It's clear that the author is openly advocating a Genocide, but who is the author you may ask? He was Not a socialist but a conservative general by the name of Lothar von Trotha, and he didn't just merely advocate Genocide, But actualy carried one out (and isnt that more important?). More info on the Genocide of the Herero and Namaqua peoples here. He even gave Germany their first concentration Camps.

also see, "The Kaiser's Holocaust. Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism" by David Olusoga and Casper W Erichsen, for the links between This action and Hitler's own genocidal programmes. Oh and did you know that the Kaiser became quite the Genocidal Antisemite after his abdication? He even advocated use of 'Gas' as a way to get rid of the 'Jews and mosquitoes' as he put it.

"In the bitterness of exile Kaiser Wilhelm II made the final dreadful leap into the anti-semitism of extermination. 'The hebrew race', he wrote in english to an american friend 'are my most inveterate enemies at home and abroad; they remain what they are and always were: the forgers of lies and the masterminds governing unrest, revolution, upheaval by spreading infamy with the help of their poisoned, caustic, satyrical [sic] spirit. If the world wakes up it should mete out to them the punishment in store for them, which they deserve.' On 2 dec 1919, he wrote "Manu Proprio" to General August von Mackensen, referring to his own abdication; 'The deepest, most disguisting shame ever perpetrated by a people in history, the Germans have ever done onto themselves. Egged on and misled by the Tribe of Juda whom they hated, who were guests among them! That was their thanks! Let no German ever forget this, nor rest until these parasites have been destroyed and exterminated [vertilgt und ausgerottet] from German soil! This poisonous mushroom on the German Oak tree'. He called for a 'regular international all-worlds pogrom à la Russe' as 'the best cure'. 'Jews and mosquitoes' were 'a nuisence that humanity must get rid of in some way or other,' he proclaimed, and added again in his own hand: 'i believe the best would be Gas!'" - John C. G. Röhl, "The Kaiser and his court: Wilhelm II and the government of Germany", p210-211.

Also, we have to remember that the "everyone who advocated genocide called themselves socialist" line is further complicated by the fact that those who called themselves "Christian socialist" in German politics anyway tended also to be Conservative, as was Adolf Stocker for example. 

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:

"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.

let us put to Bed this "two peas in a pod" strawman with, and if they're not leftist, No-one is.

"Fascism has many different forms: the Italian fascism of Mussolini was often against Hitler’s Fascism, calling it “one hundred percent racism: Against everything and everyone: Yesterday against Christian civilization, today against Latin civilization, tomorrow, who knows, against the civilization of the whole world.” When Hitler began achieving impressive military conquests, which Mussolini had started in Ethiopia in 1935, the two formed an axis of power in June of 1940. The birth of fascism in Germany was aided by Western governments, who for two decades viewed it as the ideology that would successfully crush the Soviet Union. Not until Germany’s tanks were on the borders of England and France did those governments ‘switch’ sides: now it was their imperialist domination being threatened."

i would say the "two peas in a pod" is more a case of general ignorance than anything else, And general ignorance is not leftist or rightist, last time i checked.

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

"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

Already debunked arguments, Does anyone notice a trend here? Ray is Repeating the same debunked arguments over and over again

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:

"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"
Now, let's have a look at where he got this from shall we?

Background: This widely distributed Nazi pamphlet first appeared in 1929. I am working from a 1932 copy, and have not compared it with the first version, but it does not look as if significant changes were made as it was reissued. The title, loosely translated, is “Those Damned Nazis.” Literally, it translates as something like “those cursed swastika lads,” but that does not really work in English. At least several hundred thousand copies were printed. It is a good summary of the basic lines of Nazi propaganda just before Hitler’s takeover in 1933. The booklet included five cartoons by Mjölnir, Goebbels’ cartoonist, three of which I include here. Mjölnir also produced some of the most familiar Nazi posters.

The source: Joseph Goebbels and Mjölnir, Die verfluchten Hakenkreuzler. Etwas zum Nachdenken (Munich: Verlag Frz. Eher, 1932).

Yes, Ray is so stupid, he failed to notice that he's repeating propaganda from a propagandist, Which of course, proves Nothing. And repeating propaganda is what the rest of this segment consists of.  It seems pretty clear Ray has no idea how to analyze words. Hitler also said he had no further territorial ambitions after Munich, and has also allegedly stated:

"I don't want to force National Socialism on anybody" - Table Talk, p22
Yes, Hitler said a lot of BS. Trying to use Hitler's words like how Ray does is meaningless as he is just a propagandist who said many different things to different people. It is only when his words match his deeds like his racist words that are backed by his corresponding deeds that we can put any weight on them whatsoever.", Which is why we can state for certain that Hitler was not in any way, shape or form a peacenik. WW2 certainly proves that he wasn't.

But here's a question: Why is it Ray is using a long debuned talking-point dreamt up by Hitler apologetics and Neo-Nazis? I mean for those simple-minded thugs it was the "Jews" or "Commies" or the "Polish" that started ww2, not peace-loving Hitler!

And furthermore i fnd it rather amusing that Ray believes Hitler to be the "original peacenik"

"Peaceniks" before the 20th century include the historic peace churches. Also there was "Bernard Bolzano" (1781–1848), who taught about the social waste of militarism and the needlessness of war. He urged a total reform of the educational, social, and economic systems that would direct the nation's interests toward peace rather than toward armed conflict between nations. and i guess we could mention "Leo Tolstoy" (1828-1910), whose work "The Kingdom of God Is Within You" is a defence of pacifism.

Hitler the original "peacenik"? What a laugh. I'll leave this segment with this,

"Is there any criticism of the regime?" My Quaker friend laughed. "Plenty! Many of the younger men want less Nationalism and more Socialism. But there is no criticism of Hitler, whose sincerity and will for the well-being of the German people are unquestioned by them." - Ordeal in England by Philip Gibbs (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc., 1937)

This implies that the nazis are more nationalist than socialist (contridicting Ray.), and also describing the effect of propaganda, in a single swoop!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

JJ Ray: Hitler was a socialist debunked. Part six, "Lebensraum and the population "problem"", "Gun-nut?" and "Wal-Mart hatred"

Lebensraum and the population "problem"

Here, i shall only be dealing with the main points of this little segment.

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.

Sorry but this "Nazi/Green" comparison is just Superficial nonsense, Lebensraum was born out of Right wing thinking, regardless of how much the German Right of the 20's and 30's may superficialy share with today's leftists. Let's introduce this segment with these two quotes.

"To understand later German history one must pay special attention to a consequence of the Eastern situation in the autumn of 1918 that has often been overlooked: the widely shared and strangely irrational misconceptions concerning the end of the war that found such currency in the Weimar period. These ideas were not informed, as they should have been, by an appreciation of the enemy's superiority in the West and the inevitable step-by-step retreat of the German Western Front before the massive influx of the Americans. Nor did they indicate any understanding of the catastrophic consequences for the Central Powers following the collapse of the Balkan front after Bulgaria's withdrawal from the war. They were instead largely determined by the fact that German troops, as "victors" held vast strategically and economically important areas of Russia.

At the moment of the November 1918 ceasefire in the West, newspaper maps of the military situation showed German troops in Finland, holding a line from the Finnish fjords near Narva, down through Pskov-Orsha-Mogilev and the area south of Kursk, to the Don east of Rostov. Germany had thus secured the Ukraine. The Russian recognition of the Ukraine's separation exacted at Brest-Litovsk repesented the key element in German efforts to keep Russia perpetually subservient. In addition, German troops held the Crimea and were stationed in smaller numbers in Transcaucasia. Even the unoccupied "rump" Russia appeared—with the conclusion of the German-Soviet Supplementary Treaty on August 28, 1918—to be in firm though indirect dependency on the Reich. Thus, Hitler's long-range aim, fixed in the 1920s, of erecting a German Eastern Imperium on the ruins of the Soviet Union was not simply a vision emanating from an abstract wish. In the Eastern sphere established in 1918, this goal had a concrete point of departure. The German Eastern Imperium had already been—if only for a short time—a reality." - Andreas Hillgruber, "Germany and the Two World Wars", p46-47.

"It is equally obvious that Lebensraum always appeared as one element in these blueprints. This was not an original idea of Hitler's. It was commonplace at the time. Volk ohne Raum (People Without Space) for instance, by Hans Grimm sold much better than Mein Kampf when it was published in 1928. For that matter, plans for acquiring new territory were much aired in Germany during the First World War. It used to be thought that these were the plans of a few crack-pot theorisers or of extremist organisations. Now we know better. In 1961 a German professor [Fritz Fischer] reported the results of his investigations into German war aims. These were indeed a "blueprint for aggression" or as the professor called them "a grasp at world power": Belgium under German control, the French iron fields annexed to Germany, and, what is more, Poland and the Ukraine to be cleared of their inhabitants and resettled with Germans. These plans were not merely the work of the German General Staff. They were endorsed by the German Foreign Office and by the "good German", Bethmann Hollweg." - A.J.P. Taylor, "The Origins of the Second World War". p23.

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

"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:

"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).

And Hitler's only concern here is the nation, not overpopulation in general. He wanted a self-sufficient nation that wouldn't suffer the same food shortages that it did in WWI so he could carry on his wars. And the concern for over population in general is not a Left issue, or a Right issue for that matter, it is a real issue in science and sociology. Again, Hitler was NOT concerned with the over population of the world, he only cared for Germans and this quote proves that. His so called concern for overpopulation in Germany is nothing more than an excuse for his wars. and anyways Lebensraum was not an exclusively leftist thing.
"from the early 1920's Radical conservatives assembled popular support by demanding an expansion of Germany's Lebensraum" - German Studies Review, Vol. 3, no. 1. Feb 1980.

That paper is highly recommended reading, if you wish to study the origins of lebensraum. If you wish to see the full mein Kampf quote. Go here. Vol.1- ch.4

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!

Typical half history by Ray, What he doesn't mention is that alot of professors, and quite alot of the university students too, were Right-wingers and ardent nationalists. Karl Haushofer, the acedemic he cites, is actualy one example of that.

"By 1914 many teachers were nationalist, conservative and monarchist in outlook, while textbooks pursued very much the same political line." - Richard Evans, "The Coming of the third Reich", p130.
All he is doing is trying to transfer by innuendo the situation of today onto the past. e.g. "the teachers today are 'liberal' so therefore the teachers in the past in Germany must also have to be liberals so therefore the Nazis were liberals. But reality doesn't work like that, and nor does the honest study of history. While there were of course some liberal teachers in Germany those weren't the ones backing Hitler, it was the conservative majority of them that did.

"By the beginning of the academic year 1933-34, 313 full professors had been dismissed, part of a total of 1,145 out of 7,758 established university teachers, or 15 percent of the whole. In Berlin and Frankfurt the proportion reached nearly a third. By 1934, some 1,600 out of 5,000 university teachers were dismissed lost their posts for political reasons; about a third were sacked because they were classified as Jewish. A mass exodus of academics took place; 15.5 percent of university physics teachers emigrated, and at Gottingen University so many physicists and mathematicians left or were expelled that teaching was seriously disrupted." - Ibid, p423.


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

This quote sums it up quite well:

"The Nazi Party did not ride to power confiscating guns. They rode to power on the inability of the Weimar Republic to confiscate their guns. They did not consolidate their power confiscating guns either. There is no historical evidence that Nazis ever went door to door in Germany confiscating guns. The Germans had a fetish about paperwork and documented everything. These searches and confiscations would have been carefully recorded. If the documents are there, let them be presented as evidence." - Firearms Policy Journal (January 1997)

A little known fact, In 1945 Eisenhower ordered all privately owned firearms in the American occupation zone of Germany confiscated, and Germans were required to hand in their guns. At the end of the WWII, American GIs were shocked to find how many German civilians owned private firearms. Tens of thousands of pistols looted from German homes by GIs were brought back to the United States after the war.

But even so, I do not see how this affects Hitler's position on the political compass either way.

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.

I don't know about his perceptions of the 2006 mid-terms, but im inclined to agree to his point's in the paragraph above in general. Why? Because Penn and Teller also highlighted them out, and Bullshit is generally an awesome show!

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.

The "25 point's" nonsense has already been covered.

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:

"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."

Ray truly is an idiot. Do you know WHY the department stores were attacked? They were owned by Jews, that's why! That was not really economic policy and was just part of the racial policy. And as a matter of fact once the stores changed ownership, the attacks on them stopped and they were left intact. And the supposed Evans' quote is another lie and is false. But I will tell what Evans DID write.
"The economic history of the Third Reich is indeed inseparable from the history of the Regime's expropriation of the Jews, a vast campaign of plunder with few parallels in modern history. In keeping with these ideological imperatives, one of the prime targets of Nazi propaganda before 1933 had been the department store."- Richard Evans, "The Third Reich in Power", p378.

And i suppose Ray has no idea what the German concept of 'Mittelstrand' is. They are not working class.
"The peasantry were generally assigned in German political discourse in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to that peculiar and amorphous group known by the untranslatable German appellation of 'Mittlestand'. This term expressed in the first place the aspirations of RIGHT-WING propagandists that the people who were neither bourgeois or proletarian should have a recognized place in society. Roughly equivalent to the French 'petite bourgeoisie'...The Nazi Party programme of 1920 was indeed among other things a typical product of the FAR-RIGHT politics of the German 'Mittelstrand'" - Ibid, p435.
So The Department stores were not dismantled and just changed to "Ayran" owners and left in place. And they very term "Mittelstarnd" has Rightist connotations and meanings.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

JJ Ray: Hitler was a socialist debunked. Part five, "Other examples of Hitler's Leftism" and "Hitler the Greenie"

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).

This is one of those little quirks of the German language. The word "Volk" in German can also mean "Race" or "Nation" depending on context. Meaning it can have racial or national connotations as much as the meaning Ray is trying to give it.

You can easily read "Das Volk" as "My race" or "My nation" as in "Volkgemeinshaft" which is the "Racial/National community".

Oh and Hitler had Racial Justifications for what he did.

The Nazi State was, like the Soviet State, all-powerful

Totalitarianism can occur at any end of the political spectrum, and Totalitarianism is not inherent to socialism.

and the Nazi party, in good socialist fashion, instituted pervasive supervision of German industry

In good dirigisme capitalist fashion, see the Ian Kershaw quote i've already given.

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.

I have already Explained this and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in my Beck Critique.

And then Ray talks about the propaganda slogan "Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz", but i've covered that already. As to Eugenics and "Progressivism", which forms the rest of his segment. There were many adherents to eugenics that were Right Wing, Such as Prescott Bush, Henry Ford, and the republican congressman Albert Johnson who was the head of 'The Eugenics Research Association', a group which opposed interracial marriage and supported forced sterilization of the mentally disabled. In the UK. Churchill was in favour of eugenics, Arthur Balfour was also in favour of eugenics, and even Neville Chamberlain had some pro-eugenic thoughts, both of the last two were members of the Eugenics education society. In 1926 it became the British eugenics society. One of the major differences is though that those on the left were of the 'positive' type that looked to breeding and excluded race, while the Right usually made it a 'negative' issue and more drastic measures and used it as a racial tool. One of the first benefactors of eugenics in the United States was the Carnegie Institute. [which can hardly be considered leftist] Following an infusion of bonds and other assets totaling $14 million from the founder in 1901, the Institute was re-chartered by a special act of congress in 1904. The institute soon added a new science to their principal areas of investigations, "negative eugenics". Is was what it was, a wrong turn in science that was unfortunately picked up by many before it was found to be false and discarded.

And as groups like the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada show, A degree of right wing politics/Conservativism is possible with progressivism, so even if we were to call Hitler a "Progressive", It would still mean absolutely nothing to his argument. At any rate, the differences between the Fascists and American progressives are laid out In a 1936 letter William Dodd, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany at the time, sent to President Roosevelt. It stated....

"A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime. On (the ship) a fellow passenger, who is a prominent executive
of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies.

Certain American industrialist had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there. Propagandists for the fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare. We should be aware of the symptoms. When industrialists ignore laws designed for social and economic progress they will seek recourse to a fascist state when the institutions of our government compel them to comply with the provisions."

So not only does Dodd recognize the fascists as Rightists and captialists backed by the capitalist industrialists, he also points out that it is in direct opposition to progressive politics.

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:

Andrew Bolt? The well known Climate change denier? Hardly a reliable source.

Here's a more fair and balanced look at it, courtesy of H-Net.

Franz-Josef Brüggemeier, Mark Cioc, Thomas Zeller. How Green Were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2006. 283 S. $49.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8214-1646-4; $22.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-8214-1647-1.

Marc Cioc Franz-Josef Brueggemeier, and Thomas Zeller, eds. How Green Were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005. viii + 283 pp.

Reviewed by Wilko Graf von Hardenberg (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy)
Published on H-Environment (October, 2006)

Hitler's Nature: Environmental Policies in Nazi Germany

The topic of the alleged "greenness" of the German Nazi regime has been widely debated over the last twenty years.[1] This book, edited jointly by Franz-Josef Brueggemeier, Marc Cioc, and Thomas Zeller, attempts to give an overview of the most recent research in the area, from environmental policymaking, to the life and deeds of some outstanding personalities in so-called Nazi environmentalism, to philosophical and ideological issues. How Green Were the Nazis? is a must for those who want to be introduced to the controversial relationship of Hitler's regime with the natural world.

The editors claim in the introduction that actually no linear relationship may be traced between "today's Greens" and "yesterday's environmentalists" (p. 2) within or outside the Nazi party. They stress how, in opposition to the current Green slogan, "think globally," before World War II the dimension of the nation-state represented the psychological limit of environmentalism. With the most powerful conservationist movement of the early twentieth century, the German case offers particularly fertile ground for exploring the links between modernity, its aberrations, and its links to the natural world. The editors rightfully call for a value-free analysis of Nazi environmental policies that considers both positive and negative aspects: "to miss the positive features of National Socialism is to miss why it appealed so many people" (p. 4). A most important aspect in understanding the links between the Nazi regime and the conservation movement is the history of German conservationism, briefly but effectively sketched by the editors in the introduction, as it may show us whether Nazism represented continuity or discontinuity with the history of German environmental policies. As the editors suggest, it is possible that even without Hitler's rise to power similar policies would have been drafted and the landscape subjected to similar changes. In my view this is a central point in the actual understanding of Nazism's tangential relationship with the environment.

Moreover, what is stressed well in this book is the tangled web of warring bureaucracies and rival personalities that characterized the Nazi regime, that is, its inherently polycratic nature. Diverse essays deal with this issue and approach the analysis of some important personalities, and of the most important political bodies within the Nazi system. Furthermore the authors stress the sometimes uneasy relationship between Nazi ideology and policy, and "green" ideas. In fact, while in many cases there were opportunities for cooperation, in others, such as the Nazi rearmament policy, there were unbearable frictions. "For some green-leaning Nazis, however, that was acceptable. For them the war and destruction were necessary evils since they would bring about a new order that would finally allow the establishment of a better and greener Germany" (p. 14). This book promises to be one of the most important reference books for understanding the links between violence and green thought and the need to look at environmentalism as a value-laden enterprise.[2]

The book may, for the purpose of analysis, be tentatively split into three parts, addressing different aspects of the links between "nature, environment, and nation in the Third Reich." The first four chapters focus on issues related to Nazi environmental law-making and the actual impact of the implemented policies, while the two central chapters are dedicated to the analysis of the life and deeds of two very important, if debated, personalities in Nazi environmentalism. Finally, the last three chapters concentrate on the effects of philosophical, academic, and ideological debates on the construction of the Nazi concept of nature.

Charles Closmann in chapter 1 and Thomas Lekan in chapter 3 analyze the real impact of the much-praised Reichsnaturschutzgesetz (RNG, Reich Nature Protection Law) on the German environment. Closmann contests both the view that the RNG was the symptom of an actual interest of the Nazi regime in the preservation of the natural world [3] and the widespread idea that the RNG was not a Nazi law at all, but rather the nonideological expression of previous ideas.[4] What Closmann attempts to demonstrate in his essay, indeed rather successfully, is that the RNG reflected instead key elements of both progressive preservationism of the 1930s, such as the concepts of natural monuments and nature protection areas, and of Nazism, such as racialism and nationalism. Moreover, he rightfully notes how the RNG was the logical offspring of the polycratic nature of the Nazi regime, and as such it was subject to the effects of confrontation between diverse competing power centers. In chapter 3, Lekan looks instead at the RNG from a case study perspective and gives a detailed account of the law's impact, limits, and acceptance at the regional level in Westphalia, concluding that, after their initial enthusiasm for Nazism, most conservationists were disappointed and disillusioned by the regime's actual policies in the field of nature preservation.

In chapter 2, Michael Imort gives an intriguing account of the ideological contradictions of Nazi forestry policies, in particular with respect to the implementation of the Dauerwald concept and the ambiguous role of Goering as both Reichsforstmeister (Reich Master of Forestry) and plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan. However, what I deem to be probably the most interesting part of the whole book is the discussion by Frank Uekoetter in chapter 4 of the evolution of air pollution control in Nazi Germany and of the effects of polycracy on environmental policy-making. In this chapter, through an analysis of the debate between diverse bodies of the regime on how to approach air pollution, Uekoetter gives us insight into the ways Nazi polycracy actually worked and shows us how, at the end of the line and notwithstanding the claims of propaganda, pragmatism and continuity with the Weimar period characterized Nazi environmental policy-making.

Chapters 5 and 6 by Gesine Gerhard and Thomas Zeller are dedicated to two outstanding personages in the fields of agrarian policies, and of landscape planning and Autobahn construction, respectively: Richard Walther Darre and Alwin Seifert. Gerhard, in particular, is very effective in producing a valuable critique of Bramwell's hagiographic account of Darre as a "green Nazi" [5] and in explaining how his agrarian policies and ideas were tightly bound to a racist vision of the world. Zeller's account of Seifert's political biography tackles another scholarly myth regarding the relationship of the Nazis with the natural world: that the Autobahn had been planned on the ground of some sort of "ecological consciousness." Actually, Zeller highlights how the impact of Seifert's ideas on the planning process was less pronounced and his position within the regime less important than previously supposed. Seifert's role as the Reich's gardener and the up and downs of his career depended principally on his ability to use the polycratic structures of the regime to his benefit, rather than from an actual Nazi interest in nature conservation.

In chapter 7 Thomas Rohkraemer tackles Martin Heidegger's conflicted relationship with both National Socialism and environmentalism, giving an insightful view into the intellectual biography of the philosopher. In particular, Rohkraemer stresses that "Heidegger's serious environmental thought was not positively connected with his political involvement in the Third Reich" (p. 194). In fact, it is not possible to state, as has often been done, that Heidegger's peculiar environmentalism, fully developed only after the end of World War II, represented an integral part of Nazi ideology. As Rohkraemer affirms, in fact, it was precisely Heidegger's disillusionment with National Socialism, to which he had initially been attracted in the hope that it would set in place a pseudo-romantic national and voelkisch awakening, that pushed him towards an interest in environmental issues. In chapter 8 Mark Bassin discusses the influence of so-called Geopolitik on voelkisch and Nazi interpretations of the natural world and of foreign politics, explaining, however, that Geopolitik was a scientific theory only partially incorporated within the political ideology of Blut und Boden. In the conclusive chapter 9 Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn faces the role of violence in the ideological construction of landscape planning under National Socialist rule, with particular respect to the physical "Germanization" of annexed western Poland. German landscape architects enthusiastically participated in the transformation of the Eastern Areas, ideologically considered a void and empty area, into a new homeland for Germans. They were thrilled by the opportunity to use their professional abilities and impose their ideals of landscape with total freedom of action: "By obliterating the visual structures of Polish culture, they participated in their own unique way in the implementation of the 'final solution'" (p. 245).

Despite the different styles and attitudes of the contributors, this edited book has the capacity to summarize effectively the patent contradictions of the relationship of the Nazi regime with the natural world and with early environmentalism.


[1]. Some of the most significant contributions to the debate are Anna Bramwell, Blood and Soil: Richard Walther Darre and Hitler's "Green Party" (Bourne End: Kensal, 1985); Anna Bramwell, Ecology in the 20th century: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989); Karl Ditt, "Nature Conservation in England and Germany: Forerunner of Environmental Protection," Contemporary European History 5, no. 1 (1996): 1-28; Karl Ditt, "The Perception and Conservation of Nature in the Third Reich," Planning Perspectives 15 (2000): 161-187; Raymond Dominick, "The Nazis and the Nature Conservationists," Historian 49 (1987): 508-538; Jost Hermand, Gruene Utopien in Deutschland. Zur Geschichte des Oekologischen Bewusstseins (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1991); Paul Josephson and Thomas Zeller, "The Transformation of Nature under Hitler and Stalin," Science and Ideology: A Comparative History, ed. Mark Walker (London: Routledge, 2003); Joachim Radkau and Frank Uekoetter, eds., Naturschutz und Nationalsozialismus (Frankfurt and New York: Campus, 2003); Simon Schama, Landscape and Memory (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1995). More titles are given in the book's exhaustive selected bibliography, which is a very useful introduction to secondary literature on the topic.

[2]. Douglas Weiner, "Demythologizing Environmentalism," Journal of the History of Biology 25, no. 3 (1992): 385-411.

[3]. Bramwell, Blood and Soil; and Schama, Landscape and Memory.

[4]. See, for example, Raymond Dominick, The Environmental Movement in Germany: Prophets and Pioneers, 1871-1971 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992); and Edeltraud Klueting, "Die gesetzlichen Regelungen der nationalsozialistischen Reichsregierung fuer den Tierschutz, den Naturschutz und den Umweltschutz;" and Karl Ditt, "Die Anfaenge der Naturschutzbewegung in Deutschland und England," both in Naturschutz und Nationalsozialismus, ed. Joachim Radkau and Frank Uekoetter (Frankfurt: Campus 2003).

[5]. Bramwell, Blood and Soil.

Even if we were to give him this one, just for argument's sake. it would still be important to remember that a quick check up of the green movement reveals that Greens today have a different mindset to the one Hitler had. And to label Modern Green's as Nazis is invoking Godwins Law. And does nothing to affect the science of Global Warming, Just as hitler's psuedo-darwinist views do not discredit Darwin and Evolution by means of natural selection. The only question is whether the science behind the theory is valid. Even if Hitler had been the first to present evolution or Global warming or environmentalism, we would have to accept it on the basis of evidence and reason. It's Only the brainwashed right wingers that try to discredit evolution and such ideas by bringing up any dirt they can on Darwin and environmentalists