Saturday, 4 June 2011

JJ Ray: Hitler was a socialist debunked. Part one "The context of Nazism"

This and subsequent posts is going to be a critique of This. It is good to know that the writer 'John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)' is NOT a historian and holds no credibility in the field. None of his work concerning the Nazis as socialists is peer reviewed but merely one of his many propaganda posts against everything he sees as Leftist. And he pretty much sees everything as Leftist that he doesn't personally like. (Or at least that's what i gather from his Dissecting leftism blog) If he hates it, It therfore has to be leftist.

degrees or not. Which as mentioned, are not in history but in psychology, and was at one time as his biography admits involved in: "psychological warfare" operations in Vietnam, That's what he tends to be doing here Folks. Anyway, I've decided to skip his little intro seeing as there is nothing of any paticular worth within it, so instead im going to jump straight into the segment titled "The context of Nazism"  His writing shall be in Red, mine shall be in black

The context of Nazism

"True, it is a fixed idea with the French that the Rhine is their property, but to this arrogant demand the only reply worthy of the German nation is Arndt's: "Give back Alsace and Lorraine". For I am of the opinion, perhaps in contrast to many whose standpoint I share in other respects, that the reconquest of the German-speaking left bank of the Rhine is a matter of national honour, and that the Germanisation of a disloyal Holland and of Belgium is a political necessity for us. Shall we let the German nationality be completely suppressed in these countries, while the Slavs are rising ever more powerfully in the East?"
Have a look at the quote immediately above and say who wrote it. It is a typical Hitler rant, is it not? Give it to 100 people who know Hitler's speeches and 100 would identify it as something said by Adolf. The fierce German nationalism and territorial ambition is unmistakeable. And if there is any doubt, have a look at another quote from the same author:

erm no. His misinterpretation is not nearly in reality as nationalistic as Ray's quote mining and inability to understand the philosophical language and type of argument used make it seem. First of all remember that at the time he is writing there was no German nation. In order for the people to be emancipated first a unified nation needs to be formed from the fractured and foreign controlled principalities and native self interested aristocracies. Wanting the formation of a nation, is not akin to Nazi nationalism. The Nazis put their nation above and beyond all others, clearly Engels doesn't do this. And in the Next sentence from the one he quotes Engels states:
"On the other hand, however, we are not worthy of the Alsatians so long as we cannot give them what they now have: a free public life in a great state. Without doubt, there will be another war between us and France, and then we shall see who is worthy of the left bank of the Rhine. Until then we can well leave the question to the development of our nationhood and of the world spirit, until then let us work for a clear, mutual understanding among the European nations and strive for the inner unity which is our prime need and the basis of our future freedom. So long as our Fatherland remains split we shall be politically null, and public life, developed constitutionalism, freedom of the press, and all else that we demand will be mere pious wishes always only half-fulfilled; so let us strive for this and not for the extirpation of the French!"
This is clearly not akin to Nazi expansionism or extreme nationalism, and actually argues against the sentence quoted by Ray. Again he is just quote mining and twisting what is a complicated philosophical style of argumentation.

And if there is any doubt, have a look at another quote from the same author:

This is our calling, that we shall become the templars of this Grail, gird the sword round our loins for its sake and stake our lives joyfully in the last, holy war which will be followed by the thousand-year reign of freedom.
That settles it, doesn't it? Who does not know of Hitler's glorification of military sacrifice and his aim to establish a "thousand-year Reich"?

 It is concerning the Schelling view of god versus the Hegelian and the freedom and power of philosophical ideas. Let's take some time and put it in context and again, Ray's idiotic quote mining should become obvious to you all.

"If we once more review this doctrine in its entirety, in addition to what has already been said we obtain also the following results for the definition of the neo-Schellingian manner of thinking. The confusion of freedom and arbitrariness is in full flower. God is always conceived as acting in a humanly arbitrary fashion. This is indeed necessary so long as God is conceived as single, but it is not philosophical. Only that freedom is genuine which contains necessity, nay, which is only the truth, the reasonableness of necessity. Therefore Hegel’s God cannot now or ever be a single person, since everything arbitrary has been removed from Him. Therefore when he speaks of God, Schelling has to employ “free” thinking, for the necessary thinking of logical inference excludes any kind of divine person. The Hegelian dialectic, this mighty, never resting driving force of thought, is nothing but the consciousness of mankind in pure thinking, the consciousness of the universal, Hegel’s consciousness of God. Where, as with Hegel, everything produces itself, a divine personality is superfluous.

Furthermore, another contradiction is revealed in the division of philosophy. If the negative philosophy is without all reference to existence, “there is no logical necessity” that it should not also contain things which do not occur in the real world. Schelling admits this when he says of it that it is not concerned with the world, and that if the world agrees with its constructions, this is accidental. In this way, however, negative philosophy becomes quite empty and hollow, wandering around in the most arbitrary possibility and flinging its doors wide open to fantasy. On the other hand, however, if it contains only what is real in nature and spirit, it, of course, includes reality and the positive philosophy is superfluous. This is to be seen also from the other side. Nature and spirit are for Schelling all that is rational. God is not rational.. So here also it is shown that the infinite can only rationally exist in reality when it appears as finite, as nature and spirit, and that any other-worldly, extra-mundane existence of the infinite must be relegated to the realm of abstractions. That particular positive philosophy depends entirely on faith, as we have seen, and exists only for faith. If now a Jew or Mohammedan accepts Schelling’s premises in the negative science, he will necessarily also have to fashion for himself a Jewish or Mohammedan positive philosophy. Indeed, it will differ even for Catholicism and for the Anglican Church. All are equally justified, for “it is not dogma that matters, but fact”. And the so beloved “free” thinking allows everything to be construed as absolute. Particularly in Mohammedanism, the facts are far better construed than in Christianity.

So we have come to the end of Schelling’s philosophy and can only regret that such a man should have become so caught in the snares of faith and unfreedom. He was different when he was still young. Then there arose from the ferment of his brain forms as radiant as Pallas, of which many a one forged to the front also in later struggles; then freely and boldly he sailed into the open sea of thought to discover Atlantis, the absolute, whose image he had so often seen rising from the distant horizon of the sea like a dreamily shimmering fata morgana; then all the fire of youth broke from him in flames of enthusiasm; a prophet drunk with God, he foretold a new era; carried away by the spirit which came over him, he often did not know himself the meaning of his words. He tore wide open the doors to philosophising so that the breath of nature wafted freshly through the chambers of abstract thought and the warm rays of spring fell on the seed of the categories and awakened all slumbering forces. But the fire burnt itself out, the courage vanished, the fermenting new wine turned into sour vinegar before it could become clear wine. The old ship dancing joyfully through the waves turned back and entered the shallow haven of faith, ran it& keel so fast into the sand that it is still stuck there. There it lies, and nobody recognises in the old, frail wreck the old ship which went out with all sails spread and flags flying. The sails have long since rotted, the masts are broken, the waves pour in through the gaping planks, and every day the tides pile up more sand around the keel.

Let us turn away from this waste of time. There are finer things for us to contemplate. No one will want to show us this wreck and claim that it alone is a seaworthy vessel while in another port an entire fleet of proud frigates lies at anchor, ready to put out to the high seas. Our salvation, our future, lies elsewhere. Hegel is the man who opened up a new era of consciousness by completing the old. It is curious that just now he is being attacked from two sides, by his predecessor Schelling and by his youngest follower Feuerbach. When the latter charges Hegel with being stuck deeply in the old, he should consider that consciousness of the old is already precisely the new, that the old is relegated to history precisely when it has been brought completely into consciousness. So Hegel is indeed the new as old, the old as new. And so Feuerbach’s critique of Christianity is a necessary complement to the speculative teaching on religion founded by Hegel. This has reached its peak in Strauss, through its own history the dogma dissolves objectively in philosophical thought. At the same time Feuerbach reduces the religious categories to subjective human relations, and thereby does not by any means annul the results achieved by Strauss, but on the contrary puts them to the real test and in fact both come to the same result, that the secret of theology is anthropology.

A fresh morning has dawned, a world-historic morning, like the one in which the bright, free, Hellenic consciousness broke out of the dusk of the Orient. The sun has risen greeted with smiles by sacrificial fires on all the mountain peaks, the sun, whose coming was announced in ringing fanfares from every watch-tower, whose light mankind was anxiously awaiting. We are awakened from long slumber, the nightmare which oppressed us has fled, we rub our eyes and look around us in amazement. Everything has changed. The world that was so alien to us, nature whose hidden forces frightened us like ghosts, how familiar, how homely they now are! The world which appeared to us like a prison now shows itself in its true form, as a magnificent royal palace in which we all go in and out, poor and rich, high and low. Nature opens up before us and calls to us.. Do not flee from me, I am not depraved, I have not fallen away from the truth; come and see, it is your own inmost and truest essence which gives also to me the fullness of life and the beauty of youth! Heaven has come down to earth, its treasures lie scattered like stones on the road-side, whoever desires them has but to pick them up. All confusion, all fear, all division has vanished. The world is again a whole, independent and free; it has burst open the doors of its dank cloister, has thrown off its sackcloth and chosen the free, pure ether to dwell in. No longer does it have to justify itself to unreason, which could not. grasp it; its splendour and glory, its fullness and strength, its life is its justification. He was surely right who eighteen hundred years ago divined that the world, the cosmos, would one day push him aside, and bade his disciples renounce the world.

And man, the dearest child of nature, a free man after the long battles of youth, returning to his mother after the long estrangement, protecting her against all the phantoms of enemies slain in battle, has overcome also the separation from himself, the division in his own breast. After an inconceivably long age of wrestling and striving, the bright day of self-consciousness has risen for him. Free and strong he stands there, confident in himself and proud, for he has fought the battle of battles, he has overcome himself and pressed the crown of freedom on his head. Everything has become revealed to him and nothing had the strength to shut itself up against him. Only now does true life open to him. What formerly he strove towards in obscure presentiment, he now

attains with complete, free will. What seemed to lie outside him, in the hazy distance, he now finds in himself as his own flesh and blood. He does not care that he has bought it dearly, with his heart’s best blood, for the crown was worth the blood; the long time of wooing is not lost to him, for the noble, splendid bride whom he leads into the chamber has only become the clearer to him for it; the jewel, the holy thing he has found after long searching was worth many a fruitless quest. And this crown, this bride, this holy thing is the self-consciousness of mankind, the new Grail round whose throne the nations gather in exultation and which makes kings of all who submit to it, so that all splendour and might, all dominion and power, all the beauty and fullness of this world lie at their feet and must yield themselves up for their glorification. This is our calling ... "

So the poor quote mining propaganda falls totally flat, the quote isn't about establishing a thousand year Reich but about the power and beauty of philosophical thought and it uses highly metaphorical language to do so. But I guess by this stupid method Jesus ends up also being a Nazi who was also trying have a 1000 yr Reich then too huh? But I wouldn't expect Ray to understand a philosophical text even if he did happen to read one.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. -Revelation 20:6

The idea that he got it from the Bible or from a religious source, seems more credibile to me than Ray's idea.

But neither quote is in fact from Hitler. Both quotes were written by Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx's co-author

Because he's so intent on silly quotemines, shall we play his game with Glenn Beck?

The Video uses a similar method to JJ Ray, and it leads us to an equally bizarre conclusion doesn't it?

So let that be an introduction to the idea that Hitler not only called himself a socialist but that he WAS in fact a socialist by the standards of his day.

I have already dealt with the argument by name elsewhere and as we will see, Hitler was not a socialist.

Ideas that are now condemned as Rightist were in Hitler's day perfectly normal ideas among Leftists.

And they were also, in Hitler's day perfectly normal ideas among rightists. Here we have a classic case of the Deception by Omission.

And if Friedrich Engels was not a Leftist, I do not know who would be.

And out of the quotemines comes the "Genetic fallacy", Just because the X comes before the Y, does not mean X caused Y. Ray has done nothing to demonstrate that Hitler got his ideas off Engels and Marx, only to make false connections by quote mining. As has already been demonstrated.

But the most spectacular aspect of Nazism was surely its antisemitism. And that had a grounding in Marx himself. The following passage is from Marx but it could just as well have been from Hitler:
"Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew -- not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday Jew. Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew. What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Jewry, would be the self-emancipation of our time.... We recognize in Jewry, therefore, a general present-time-oriented anti-social element, an element which through historical development -- to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed -- has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily dissolve itself. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Jewry".
Oh dear, just by looking at how Marx's work on the Jewish question was quote mined and then misinterpreted it will take some work to untwist it. But Here's what Stanford has to say
"In this text Marx begins to make clear the distance between himself and his radical liberal colleagues among the Young Hegelians; in particular Bruno Bauer. Bauer had recently written against Jewish emancipation, from an atheist perspective, arguing that the religion of both Jews and Christians was a barrier to emancipation. In responding to Bauer, Marx makes one of the most enduring arguments from his early writings, by means of introducing a distinction between political emancipation — essentially the grant of liberal rights and liberties — and human emancipation. Marx's reply to Bauer is that political emancipation is perfectly compatible with the continued existence of religion, as the contemporary example of the United States demonstrates. However, pushing matters deeper, in an argument reinvented by innumerable critics of liberalism, Marx argues that not only is political emancipation insufficient to bring about human emancipation, it is in some sense also a barrier. Liberal rights and ideas of justice are premised on the idea that each of us needs protection from other human beings. Therefore liberal rights are rights of separation, designed to protect us from such perceived threats. Freedom on such a view, is freedom from interference. What this view overlooks is the possibility — for Marx, the fact — that real freedom is to be found positively in our relations with other people. It is to be found in human community, not in isolation. So insisting on a regime of rights encourages us to view each other in ways which undermine the possibility of the real freedom we may find in human emancipation. Now we should be clear that Marx does not oppose political emancipation, for he sees that liberalism is a great improvement on the systems of prejudice and discrimination which existed in the Germany of his day. Nevertheless, such politically emancipated liberalism must be transcended on the route to genuine human emancipation. Unfortunately, Marx never tells us what human emancipation is, although it is clear that it is closely related to the idea of non-alienated labour, which we will explore below" -

So the language Marx is using is a metaphor and his intent was not to put those qualities upon particularly Judaism. But rather to say that the special privileges and restrictions put upon Jews [and remember that at the time the Jews were living in Ghettos and were restricted in economic activity to lending, (Christianity forbade usury), and other economic activities that were well known at the time and he only needed to describe as hucksterism] being released will not in itself free the Jews because they will still be a separate entity within Christian society. His intent is to impugn all religion as destructive not just Judaism. It goes toward his later notion of the base and superstructure. As long as there is a base of separation, in this case though religion, it will be reflected somehow in the superstructure and hence no true emancipation can result.

"Those critics, who see this as a foretaste of 'Mein Kampf', overlook one, essential point: in spite of the clumsy phraseology and crude stereotyping, the essay was actually written as a defense of the Jews. It was a retort to Bruno Bauer, who had argued that Jews should not be granted full civic rights and freedoms unless they were baptised as Christians" - Francis Wheen. "Karl Marx", p56.

Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, regards application of the term "anti-Semitism" to Marx as an anachronism—because when Marx wrote On the Jewish Question, virtually all major philosophers expressed anti-Semitic tendencies, but the word "anti-Semitism" had not yet been coined, let alone developed a racial component, and little awareness existed of the depths of European prejudice against Jews. "Marx thus simply expressed the commonplace thinking of his era." See his book The Politics of Hope. pp. 98–108.

Note that Marx wanted to "emancipate" (free) mankind from Jewry ("Judentum" in Marx's original German), just as Hitler did and that the title of Marx's essay in German was "Zur Judenfrage", which -- while not necessarily derogatory in itself -- is nonetheless exactly the same expression ("Jewish question") that Hitler used in his famous phrase "Endloesung der Judenfrage" ("Final solution of the Jewish question"). And when Marx speaks of the end of Jewry by saying that Jewish identity must necessarily "dissolve" itself, the word he uses in German is "aufloesen", which is a close relative of Hitler's word "Endloesung" ("final solution"). So all the most condemned features of Nazism can be traced back to Marx and Engels, right down to the language used.

Is he arguing that similar words that are in totally different contexts prove similar ideologies? What a joke and a fine example of Superficial logic. But lets use it anyways shall we? Let's see, Glenn Beck likes to attribute things to "divine providence", Hitler likes to attribute things to "divine providence". OMG It's the very same phrase, I guess That must mean they have similar ideologies and/or the same attitude towards God, Right? Only in Ray's superficial world.....

The thinking of Hitler, Marx and Engels differed mainly in emphasis rather than in content.

Except it did differ in content!! Marx and Engels were for example "For Poland". Hitler was "Against Poland" How obvious does that need to be.

All three were second-rate German intellectuals of their times

Marx for one spoke many languages and did his doctorate work on the works of the ancient Greeks by reading them in the original Greek, although, i would say it is my belief at current Marx in terms of economics has been debunked and discredited. Hitler only absorbed some of what interested him. This comparison of intelect is ridiculous.

Anybody who doubts that practically all Hitler's ideas were also to be found in Marx & Engels should spend a little time reading the quotations from Marx & Engels archived here

More quotemines, which i will come to later in a seperate post.


  1. Thank you for your article. Will be very helpful in debating the Republicans ! But there seem to be some formatting errors, resulting in some sentence beginnings being lost.Eg
    "If he hates it, It therfore has to be leftist.

    ???? degrees or not. Which as mentioned, are not in history but in psychology,"

    Would u please fix this so I can enjoy your article in its entirety ?

  2. Perhaps John J. Ray is not a historian, but George Watson, was. And he wrote a great book on the subject. He studied the work of the nazi's themselves. Their war-tables, their diaries and more and he concluded that nazi's in fact were undeniably, socialists and that other democratic socialists saw them the same way.
    Hitler was undoubtedly a sick individual, but his heart and actions were far-left. The only reason people call him right is because evidently, no one wants this man in their history. Those days, socialists were in power almost everywhere. Socialism and Capitalism were enemies. Where socialism was considered left, capitalism was considered right. And left simply wanted to ensure that people believed that capitalism was the enemy. A trick to increase the fear for this enemy was to put Hitler in the right camp. It's that simple. But in fact, capitalists have never embraced racism or xenophobia as their values. On the contrary, if money could be made by doing business with a black man, than they made money.
    The book is called: The lost literature of socialism by George Watson.

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  4. Very nice refutation of JJ Ray's article. It has been circulating on FB lately, and I don't have the background in history/philosophy to refute it myself, so thank you for this.