Sunday, 5 June 2011

JJ Ray: Hitler was a socialist debunked. Part three, "Labor Unions" and "A Modern Leftist"

Labor unions

Who said this? A representative of the 21st century U.S. Democratic party, maybe?

"As things stand today, the trade unions in my opinion cannot be dispensed with. On the contrary, they are among the most important institutions of the nation's economic life. Their significance lies not only in the social and political field, but even more in the general field of national politics. A people whose broad masses, through a sound trade-union movement, obtain the satisfaction of their living requirements and at the same time an education, will be tremendously strengthened in its power of resistance in the struggle for existence".

could well be any Leftist speaker of the present time but it is in fact a small excerpt from chapter 12 of Mein Kampf, wherein Hitler goes to great lengths to stress the importance of unions. The association between unions and Leftism is of course historic and, as a Leftist, Hitler made great efforts to enlist unions as supporters of his party.

And in the same chapter, he makes clear that his concept of the Union is not to really represent the Workers but:

"The National Socialist Trades Union is not an instrument for class warfare, but a representative organ of the various occupations and callings."

in other words, to represent the capitalist interests, and by doing that, the state too. To Hitler the unions were only useful if they served their purpose in his racist nationalism.
"It must do this for a further reason, namely because a real National Socialist education for the employer as well as for the employee, in the spirit of a mutual co-operation within the common framework of the national community, cannot be secured by theoretical instruction, appeals and exhortations, but through the struggles of daily life."Mein Kampf, Vol 2- Ch 12.

Now which side of the political spectrum favours the struggles of daily life again? Of course, taking Ray's quote on face value, appealing to the Unions is also something David Cameron did also [in his own way], My Favourite quote from the Daily Telegraph [a conservative leaning broadsheet remember] article just linked
"The strategy is seen as important to the Conservatives who are trying to appeal to voters across the social spectrum." - Daily Telegraph, 15th aug 2008.

Appealing to voters across the social spectrum is exactly what Hitler did! But does this make Cameron a leftist/Nazi now because he too tried to appeal to Unions? Only in Ray's superficial world....

Hitler made great efforts to enlist unions as supporters of his party.

Yes, But Ray doesn't want to tell you why. on the otherhand, Does!
"Labor was courted, although they did not know that one of Hitler's first acts would be to take over the Labor Unions, whom he knew to be one of the few groups who could organize active support against the Nazi agenda." -
A modern Leftist

Erm no!

The place that one takes on the political spectrum is, as i have stated elsewhere determined by the position that one takes on the ownership of the means of production and the distribution of property and wealth in general. It is a political economy position. That is the general academic position, and it has nothing to do with government interference or control and has not changed. There is no such concept as there being a 'modern left' that is different in conception to a 'non-modern or past Left.

So with that in mind, Lets have a look at a few points at Rays Bizarre little source:

He counted a number of homosexuals as friends and collaborators

Really? Who? Oh he doesn't tell us, Its a statement without evidence. But According to studies, (according to Penn and Teller's Bullshit). Between 20-50% of Catholic priests, May be Gay. This of course, says nothing about the Pope's political stance, or the political stance of the priests in question does it?

and took the view that a man's personal morals were none of his business

Adolf Hitler was a Left wing libertarian? LOL!!!

some scholars of his life believe that he himself may have been homosexual or bisexual

Are his so-called "Scholars" Fundamentalist Christians by ay chance? Well, if i google Hitler was Gay, This is The First result.

Despite what the article says, this "Historian" has discredited himself with this book.
"But the biggest problem with Machtan's book (which has been translated by John Brownjohn) isn't the reliability of his sources but his mode of argumentation. He accepts what fits his thesis and rejects what doesn't. One feels, at times, that one is reading an internal F.B.I. report from the J. Edgar Hoover era rather than an evenhanded work of scholarship in which the author is ready to be led by the facts. To interpret evidence his way, Machtan employs innuendo and insinuation" - New York Times Book Review (12/16/01)
In other words, Poor scholarship leads one to bad conclusions.

he enacted tough gun control laws

I'll deal with this later.

He championed the rights of workers, regarded capitalist society as brutal and unjust, and sought a third way between communism and the free market.
Haha, NO!!! Hitler himself may not have been a conservative, but the Nazis certainly had conservative backing. as their interests certainly overlapped. While there are other factors involved such as his extreme nationalism, and the subservience of the social structure to an economic and social elite, the political economy question is the main determiner. And this alone puts the Nazis squarely on the Right, for they, despite their early talk which was only propaganda, did have a capitalist economy, as we shall see that was geared to support and give more power to the wealthy. Also Hitler told alot of lies in his propaganda, as we shall see.

As for that "Third Way".
"More recently others have tried to define fascism as the "Third Way", in the sense that it borrowed ideas from both capitalism and socialism. The basic philosophy behind the "Third Way" incorrectly labels any regulations or government controls over businesses as "socialism"; essentially it's just a restatement of syndicalism. Such nonsense should be rejected whole heartily. It again represents an attempt to distance the right from their support of Hitler in the 1930s and ignores that the basis of the German economy under Hitler was a capitalist system where the means of production remained in private hands. Further, following the logic of the "Third Way," one would have to label all capitalistic systems as "Third Way," for throughout history there has never been a pure capitalistic system. A pure capitalist economy is so inherently and fatally flawed that it's never even been tried. But that is to be expected for any system that awards the winner with all the eggs." - John Hawkins and Glen Yeadon, "The Nazi Hydra"

"even if they did steer the 'Third Way' they claimed to, they were certainly not immunized from the normal [capitalist] economic cycle... Perhaps the last word should be left to Gramsci, who said that fascist economic policy aimed to nationalize losses, but not profits..." - The Routledge companion to fascism and the Far Right, p147.

Sorry but this is not socialism, This is capitalism. using the state for PRIVATE profit.

So even if one were to accept the so called "third way", all it represents is a sort of dirigisme capitalism, something that is quite common in the capitalist world. Nazi Germany was actually more capitalist than some of the modern states that are held out as examples of capitalist success. Such as Hong Kong, where all the land is owned by the gov't!! or South Korea that was built on a planned economy.

There is surely no doubt that the man Feser describes sounds very much like a mainstream Leftist by current standards. But who is the man concerned? It is a historically accurate description of Adolf Hitler. Hitler was not only a socialist in his own day but he would even be a mainstream socialist in MOST ways today. Feser does not mention Hitler's antisemitism above, of course, but that too seems once again to have become mainstream among the Western-world Left in the early years of the 21st century.

There we have it, Ray's idiocy, for all to see, It is NOT an accurate description of Adolf Hitler, which is why he appears so "leftist" in the piece. For some real scholarship, let's read some Ian Kershaw...

"Hitler's Style, as the industrialists expected ... was entirely different from that of his predecessors in the Chancellor's office. His views on the economy were also unconventional. He was wholly ignorant of any formal understanding of economics . For Him, as he stated to the industrialists, economics was of secondary importance, entirely subordinated to politics. His Crude Social Darwinism dictated his approach to the economy, as it did his entire political ''world-view''. Since struggle among nations would be decisive for future survival, Germany's economy had to be subordinated to the preparation, then carrying out of this struggle. That meant that liberal ideas of economic competition had to be replaced by the subjection of the economy to the dictates of the national interest. Similarly, any "socialist" ideas in the nazi programme had to follow the same dictates. Hitler was never a socialist .But although he upheld private property, indivudial entrepeneurship, and economic competition, and dissaproved of trade unions and workers' inteference in the freedom of owners and managers to run their concerns, The State, not the market would determine the shape of economic development. Capitalism was therfore Left in place. But in operation it was turned into an adjunct of the state." -Kershaw. Hitler (abridged) p269-270.

Which offers us a much more fair and balanced view of the economy than Ludwig Von Mises ever does, You know These quotes are taken into consideration when modern Historians write their Books. Mises and his ilk such as Hayek only work from the a priori position that markets can do no bad and are always right. Mises is as much a propagandist hack as Glenn Beck is. Nobody takes him seriously, apart from Beck's "free-market" Libertarians. And Dirigisme capitalism is still capitalism. Period!

Simply put, the Nazis didn't use 'Bolshevik' tactics as whatever that vague statement is meant to mean, Hitler campaigned in the state elections and sought out and got some help of the large capitalists and other Right Wing types (See Adam Tooze). One could draw the same comparisons between many societies he makes, from Bismarck's Right-Wing with its privileges of its ruling elite through the skewed weighing of the vote to the secret police in the Right-Wing and vehemently anti communist Japan. He just lists thing that were common of many states at the time and says this is proof that Germany and socialism were uniquely similar. But none of those things are uniquely similar or exclusive. It is again its nothing more than trying to say: Hitler's bathroom was painted blue... Churchill's bathroom was painted blue... OMG Churchill was a Nazi!

And let us look at the words of someone who was actually in Germany in the 1930s and who thus saw Nazism close up. He said:

"If I'd been German and not a Jew, I could see I might have become a Nazi, a German nationalist. I could see how they'd become passionate about saving the nation. It was a time when you didn't believe there was a future unless the world was fundamentally transformed."
So who said that? It was the famous historian, Eric Hobsbawm (original surname: Obstbaum), who became a Communist instead and who later became known as perhaps Britain's most resolute Communist. Hobsbawn clearly saw only slight differences between Communism and Nazism at that time.

No, Hobsbawn is merely commenting on the power of nationalism. it's Just really meaningless and just as a creationist would do, ie take something entirely out of context and just poor quote mines. The left recognized the Nazis as Right wing straight off, which is why they had the least support from the workers.

And as this summary of a book (by Richard Overy) comparing Hitler and Stalin says:

But the resemblances are inescapable. Both tyrannies relied on a desperate ideology of do-or-die confrontation. Both were obsessed by battle imagery: 'The dictatorships were military metaphors, founded to fight political war.' And despite the rhetoric about a fate-struggle between socialism and capitalism, the two economic systems converged strongly. Stalin's Russia permitted a substantial private sector, while Nazi Germany became rapidly dominated by state direction and state-owned industries.

In a brilliant passage, Overy compares the experience of two economic defectors. Steel magnate Fritz Thyssen fled to Switzerland because he believed that Nazi planning was 'Bolshevising' Germany. Factory manager Victor Kravchenko defected in 1943 because he found that class privilege and the exploitation of labour in Stalinist society were no better than the worst excesses of capitalism.

As Overy says, much that the two men did was pointless. Why camps? Prisons would have held all their dangerous opponents Who really needed slave labour, until the war? What did that colossal surplus of cruelty and terror achieve for the regimes? 'Violence was... regarded as redemptive, saving society from imaginary enemies.'

Just superficial crap all this passage does is pick aspects of totalitarianism, which has nothing to do with socialism itself, and can appear on either side, and compares that and not the political economy. Not much of a surprise as the book itself is just a comparison of two totalitarian regimes. And what's that about Private enterprise? Despite This paper saying "Private enterprise in the Soviet Union is as old as the socialist regime itself." Private property and private profits have no ideological basis in Communism, It most certainly does in Nazism. That's the key difference between the two systems economicaly. Althouh getting Ray to Name the private companies in the soviet union would be fun. Some small Kiosks were allowed from time to time, But that wasn't the means of production and therefore not part of the socialist order, and neither are backyard gardens, small private plots etc. Nazism by ideology is still right wing, Soviet union by ideology is still left wing.

And Thyssen's real motives become clear when we see that he did not take any action against Hitler or leave Germany until right after the war started. It was not the 'interference' as he so loudly and falsely claimed later but the foresight to see that Germany couldn't possibly win the war that Hitler was leading the country in to that made him jump ship. Thyssen's hypocrisy can be seen clearly.

"Like many other's he [Krupp] did not at first see Hitler's appointment as Reich Chancellor on 30, January 1933 as much more than the creation of yet another short lived Weimar government. ... Under pressure from Thyssen and other supporters of the new regime, he was forced to agree to the 'co-ordination' of the Reich Association." - Richard Evans, "The Third Reich in Power", p374.
So here we have the very same Thyssen that was later to so dishonestly cry about interference, not only accepting that interference, but urging it upon his fellow capitalist. No matter what Thyssen later claimed, it was only when he saw he disastrous war coming that he left.

And let us listen to Hitler himself on the matter:

"There is more that binds us to Bolshevism than separates us from it. There is, above all, genuine, revolutionary feeling, which is alive everywhere in Russia except where there are Jewish Marxists. I have always made allowance for this circumstance, and given orders that former Communists are to be admitted to the party at once. The petit bourgeois Social-Democrat and the trade-union boss will never make a National Socialist, but the Communists always will."
Another quote
"Of what importance is all that, if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the Party, is supreme over them regardless of whether they are owners or workers. All that is unessential; our socialism goes far deeper. It establishes a relationship of the individual to the State, the national community. Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings."

(Both quotes above are from Hermann Rauschning in Hitler Speaks, London, T. Butterworth, 1940, also called The Voice of Destruction. See e.g. here.

Because what he records is so inconvenient, many contemporary historians dismiss Rauschning's 1940 book as inaccurate, even though it is perfectly in accord with everything else we now know about Hitler. But no-one disputes that Rauschning was a prominent Nazi for a time. He was however basically a conservative so eventually became disillusioned with the brutalities of Nazism and went into opposition to it. Rauschning's book was in fact prophetic, which certainly tends to indicate that he knew what he was talking about.)

the part about "Because what he records is so inconvenient..." is a strawman. I dismiss Rauschning for a very simple reason: because his supposed conversations with Hitler, and those subsequent quotations Ray Gave, have been proven to be totaly fake, It is Not because what the quotes say are "inconvenient"

Note; This video is best viewed in full screen:

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