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.

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