Friday, 5 August 2011

JJ Ray: Hitler was a socialist debunked. Part 13, "So how did Hitler gain so much influence"

So how did Hitler gain so much influence?

I will submit the radically simple thesis that Hitler's appeal to Germans was much as the name of his political party would suggest -- a heady brew of rather extreme Leftism (socialism) combined with equally extreme nationalism -- with Hitler's obsession with the Jews being a relatively minor aspect of Nazism's popular appeal, as Dietrich (1988) shows.

That point on it's own, actually is a valid one if one remembers that the socialistic elements of his propaganda, was just propaganda to win over the masses and nothing more.

"like all demagouges, Hitler appealed to the masses. Unlike other demagouges who sought to carry out Left policies, Hitler dominated the masses by leftwing methods in order to deliver them to the Right. This is why the Right let him in." - AJP Taylor, "The origins of the second world war", p23.
Now here's a radically simple way to look at the politics of the 20's and 30's. The divisions at the time did not concern traditional party-political or left/right boundries like in the way they may do in the USA today, but rather the division was between those who wanted to look forward, those who wanted a more organised and efficient world in which things like unemployment and perhaps other percieved social ills could be banished via this means. Versus those who wanted to look back, often with a sense of nostalgia, those who wanted to take the nation-state back to a "more golden time" in order to solve the said percieved social ills of the day, the ones who were stuck with some old ideas. And touted solutions to the supposed social ills such as Eugenics to get rid of those Society didn't need, or those who wanted a more efficent state very much darted across traditional party-political or left/right boundries. To show you what i mean, George Bernard Shaw was an admirer of dictators on the grounds that he felt "they got things done" right?. well here then is an interesting quote by conservative peer "Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry. [Lord Londonderry for short]" 

"Whatever the regime, if it creates efficient organisation, I feel a certain amount of admiration for it, and that is why I respect Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin [However, i wouldn't] like to live under those regimes myself."
In this way we can see the whole "progressive" thing he spouts in this segment into a better context and it can help explain why Hitler ended up with both left and right wing admirers, from G.B Shaw to Henry Ford. It being the way he presented himself.

So his "Ein Volk" dogma in effect very cleverly substituted the usual leftist dogma with "All GERMANS are equal" -- and also, of course, superior to non-Germans.

Haha no, that is not what his Ein Volk dogma entailed. Although he makes it clear in Mein Kampf that some races are better than others, but also that some individuals are superior to others WITHIN THE SAME RACE. 

"It would be absurd to appraise a man's worth by the race to which he belongs and at the same time to make war against the Marxist principle, that all men are equal, without being determined to pursue our own principle to its ultimate consequences. If we admit the significance of blood, that is to say, if we recognize the race as the fundamental element on which all life is based, we shall have to apply to the individual the logical consequences of this principle. In general I must estimate the worth of nations differently, on the basis of the different races from which they spring, and I must also differentiate in estimating the worth of the individual within his own race. The principle, that one people is not the same as another, applies also to the individual members of a national community. No one brain, for instance, is equal to another; because the constituent elements belonging to the same blood vary in a thousand subtle details, though they are fundamentally of the same quality." - Mein Kampf, Vol 2, Chapter 4.
Now as to welfare?
...the loyalty of Germans to Hitler cannot have been primarily economic. Hitler's socialist provisions for ordinary Germans were important but primarily functioned as evidence to them of how much Hitler cared for his Volk. It was primarily emotional satisfaction that Hitler gave to Germans.
Strangely enough this would be another valid point, if it didn't miss the point of why Hitler enacted certain programmes in the first place. ultimately Nazi ideology did not favour a Welfare state and indeed as documented by Richard Evans in his book "The Third Reich in power" they ended up cutting back on welfare. The programes that the Nazis did enact were merely something in order to win over the masses

"Faced with ten million people in receipt of welfare assistance at the height of the Depression, however, it would have been political suicide for the Nazis to have written off the mass of the unemployed and destitute as not worth helping." - Evans, "The Third Reich in power", p484

So their programmes were politically driven -- politically necessary -- not ideologically driven. And given the motives of why the Nazis enacted some programmes, is it any little surprise that the Nazis were returned back with "love"?

Moving on...

horrible and massive though the Nazi crimes were, they were anything but unique. For a start, government by tyranny is, if anything, normal in human history. And both antisemitism and eugenic theories were normal in prewar Europe. Further back in history, even Martin Luther wrote a most vicious and well-known attack on the Jews.

First of all, if govt by tyranny is normal how can it be inherently leftist? Secondly, Well we finally get him to acknowledge both antisemitism and eugenic theories were normal in prewar Europe, but it's a terribly weak admission as i have demonstrated that both existed on the left AND on the  right. Of course he'll never admit that it was.

As to Luther, see here for how his ideas helped influence Nazi ones! though of course, Hitler's Anti-semitism was bound up with German Nationalism too.

"A line of anti-Semitic descent from Martin Luther to Adolf Hitler is easy to draw. Both Luther and Hitler were obsessed by a demonologized universe inhabited by Jews. 'Know, Christian,' wrote Luther, 'that next to the devil thou hast no enemy more cruel, more venomous and violent than a true Jew .' Hitler himself, in that early dialogue with Dietrich Eckhart, asserted that the later Luther - that is, the violently anti-Semitic Luther - was the genuine Luther. Luther's protective authority was invoked by the Nazis when they came to power, and his anti-Semitic writings enjoyed a revival of popularity. To be sure, the similarities of Luther's anti-Jewish exhortations with modern racial anti-Semitism and even with Hitler's racial policies are not merely coincidental. They all derive from a common historic tradition of Jew-hatred, whose provenance can be traced back to Haman's advice to Ahasuerus. But modern German anti-Semitism had more recent roots than Luther and grew out of a different soil - not that German anti-Semitism was new; it drew part of its sustenance from Christian anti-Semitism, whose foundation had been laid by the Catholic Church and upon which Luther built. It was equally a product of German nationalism. Modern German anti-Semitism was the bastard child of the union of Christian anti-Semitism with German nationalism." - Lucy Dawidowicz, "The war against the jews", p23.
and Nazi theories of German racial superiority differed from then-customary British beliefs in British racial superiority mainly in that the British views were implemented with typical conservative moderation whereas the Nazi views were implemented with typical Leftist fanaticism and brutality

Er no, the fact that Hitler managed to carry out what some of the more millitant conservatives before him could only dream of doing is testament to his Rightism, not any leftism

And another aspect of Hitler's "normality" is that, as he came closer to power, he did reject the outright nationalization of industry as too Marxist. As long as the State could enforce its policies on industry, Hitler considered it wisest to leave the nominal ownership and day to day running of industry in the hands of those who had already shown themselves as capable of running and controlling it. This policy is broadly similar to the once much acclaimed Swedish model of socialism in more recent times so it is amusing that it has often been this policy which has underpinned the common claim that Hitler was Rightist. What is Leftist in Sweden was apparently Rightist in Hitler! There are of course many differences between postwar Sweden and Hitler's Germany but the point remains that Hitler's perfectly reasonable skepticism about the virtues of nationalizing all industry is far from sufficient to disqualify him as a Leftist.

Differences? The post war Swedish model,was built on Free unions bargaining on wages, not preparing for a full out war via militaristic planning programs as was the case in Nazi Germany. It is not in anyway leftist to propare for imperial war.The Swedish model was a peacuful way to create jobs and rise wages to keep up aggregate demand in depression and implement modest democracy at workplace etc. Not build a military for the purposes of imperialistic wars and putting people in horror camps. So no, Post war Sweden saw a political economy partially geared towards the betterment of the lower classes through democratic means. A centre-left political economy. Nazi germany was none of that and all the evidence therfore still points to it having an extreme Right wing political economy. So all we see from Ray here is just superficial nonsense.

Now as to hegel, what exactly was this "conservative liberal's" stance on Christianity?

"Hegel is a Christian, but not an orthodox one by the Nicene Creed. He denies the precedence of the Father, from whom the Son and the Spirit proceed. He denies that lordship is the meaning of divinity, so that Christ manifests divinity only as the risen Lord. The true definition of divinity is Spirit. But Hegel is not an ancient Gnostic like Marcion or Valentinus. He does not denigrate the body as the kingdom of the devil. He affirms the incarnation and construes natures as the logos made flesh, as spirit, i.e., the infinite Christ. He is a modern, Joachimite Gnostic: world history is the story of the logos making itself flesh in the rational state and human rights... [Hegelian philosophy] is still Christian even if not orthodox. To be a heretic one must after all first be a Christian" - Clark Butler in "New Perspectives on Hegel's Philosophy of Religion" ed by David Kolb, p139-141.
So more meaningless nonsense by Ray, as to his document, well it's been refuted by richard steigmann-gall's book "The Holy reich", and given the arguments in there, if one wishes to make the argument that Hitler was a socialist, than one has to accept that he was a Christian. Period!

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