Monday, September 18, 2017

Nazis, Fascists, and Commies are All Socialists

Here is a thorough expose of how the word "Nazi" became so popular in modern parlance, and how the Socialism in National Socialism has been hidden from view.

In this 2015 Independent Review article "From 'Nationl Socialists' to 'Nazis'" by University of Memphis historian Andrei Znamenski (whom I had the pleasure to meet and hear lecture this year at Mises University), the author argues that the Socialist aspect of Nazism was covered over by a deliberate linguistic shift from the use of the term "National Socialism" to "Nazism" in the English language, largely at the behest and example of the Communist Frankfurt School.

The typical viewpoint expressed in academia. the media, entertainment, and popular culture is that the Nazis (and other Fascists) were/are a "right-wing" ideology, and are representative of capitalism and conservatism. This represents an Orwellian shift from the reality that the term "Nazi" is a contraction of "National Socialist" - from the party's original name: "Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei" (National Socialist German Workers' Party) - a contraction which conveniently obscures the "Socialist" element of the party and political philosophy.

This is how it is that right-wing, traditionalist, capitalist, conservative or libertarian political leanings (which includes the nearly 63 million people who voted for Donald Trump) are painted with the broad-brush as "Nazis" when in fact, most such people decry Socialism.  This is why we are seeing modern campus Communists violently marching under the "anti-fascist" (Antifa) banner that dates back to the German Communist Party of 1932.  In an Orwellian abuse of language, such totalitarians are setting themselves up as the alternative to "Nazism" - when in fact, they are birds of a feather, kindred spirits divided only by the question of whether their Socialism is national or international in scope.

Whether the concentration camps bear the red and black banner of Stalin or Hitler makes little difference.  Both are the antithesis of liberty.

In fact, the Frankfurt School's linguistic shift represents a Hegelian dialectic that presents us with two opposite alternatives: National Socialism, or International Socialism.  In rejecting "Nazism," we are led into the arms of Communism ("Internazism"?).  In reality, the opposite of both National Socialism and International Socialism is Libertarian Capitalism or Classical Liberalism.

Instead of buying the lie that Socialism is good, and "Nazism" is capitalism run amok, we need to see the reality that Marxism in all of its forms (national and international) is a repudiation of human rights, dignity, private property, and liberty in exchange for central economic planning by boards and bureaucracies, enforced by political and police power to imprison, torture, and kill dissenters.

In his 1947 work entitled Planned Chaos, economist Ludwig von Mises sums up two patterns of Socialism:

There are two different patterns for the realization of socialism.  The one pattern - we may call it the Marxian or Russian pattern - is purely bureaucratic.  All economic enterprises are departments of the government just as the administration of the army and navy or the postal system.  Every single plant, shop or farm, stands in the same relation to the superior central organization as does a post office to the office of the Postmaster-General.  The whole nation forms one single labour army with compulsory service; the commander of this army is the chief of state.

The second pattern - we may call it the German or Zwangswirtschaft system (footnote: Zwang means compulsion, Wirtschaft means economy. The English language equivalent for Zwangswirtschaft is something like compulsory economy) - differs from the first one in that it, seemingly and nominally, maintains private ownership of the means of production, entrepreneurship, and market exchange.  So called entrepreneurs do the buying and selling, pay the workers, contract debts and pay interest and amortization.  But they are no longer entrepreneurs.  In Nazi Germany they were called shop managers or Betriebsfuerer.  The government tells these seeming entrepreneurs what and how to produce, at what prices and from whom to buy, at what prices and to whom to sell.  The government decrees at what wages labourers should work, and to whom and under what terms the capitalists should entrust their funds.  Market exchange is but a sham.  As is all prices, wages, and interest rates are fixed by the authority, they are prices, wages and interest rates in appearance only; in fact they are merely quantitative terms in the authoritarian orders determining each citizen's income, consumption, and standard of living.  The authority, not the consumers, directs production.  The central board of production management is supreme; all citizens are nothing else but civil servants.  This is socialism with the outward appearance of capitalism.  Some labels of the capitalistic market economy are retained, but they signify here something entirely different from what they mean in the market economy.

I don't know if Planned Chaos (which was appended to post-1951 editions of von Mises's 1922 work Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis) was written in German or English.  It would be interesting to see if Mises himself used the word "Nazi" or if English translators overwrote "National Socialist").  It is important to note that the Jewish Ludwig von Mises and his wife fled Austria in 1938 to escape the National Socialist threat - leaving behind his library and papers.

At any rate, von Mises, far from placing Communism and Fascism (or Nazism) on opposite poles, he places them both under the overarching heading of Socialism.  Socialism comes in two varieties: Communism, in which the State owns all of the means of production, and Fascism, in which the State micromanages and regulates the means of production.  Both are variants of Marxism: both are opposed to individual liberty and capitalism, and both rely on central economic planning by state bureaucrats.  The former is international in scope, the latter is national.  Both are ultimately authoritarian and totalitarian.  Both enforce Marxism by fear, intimidation, incarceration, concentration camps, torture, slavery, and genocide.  Both seek a "New Man" in a perverse parody of Christianity, both offering hope of an Edenic Utopia once human nature is itself evolved, goaded, and transformed through the elimination of "undesirables."  Both versions of Socialism oppose the traditional family, champion abortion, and have no scruples about crushing dissent by any means necessary.

I am no longer going to play into the deception by using the term "Nazi."  It may take a second longer to use the term "National Socialist", but that is exactly what they are.  I believe we can more accurately convey the Dirty Little Secret of our modern-day "Antifascists" and "Democratic Socialists" - that they are actually in an incestuous and inbred love/hate relationship to the very ideology that claim to oppose.

They are all Socialists.  We would do well to say so.

1 comment:

jb said...

Fr. Beane+

Just an FYI -

Fr. Baxter+