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Friday, May 27. 2011
QQQ: Hitler on national collectivism, with a question
"It is thus necessary that the individual should come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole ... that above all the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual. .... This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture .... we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man."
Adolph Hitler, 1933. There is no doubt that the Nazi movement was, at its core, a Socialist movement. The only thing about it that could be construed as at all "rightist" was its ardent nationalism.
My question is this: If the National Socialist Party had left the Jews alone, would the Nazis have been heroes of the Left, as Stalin was?
Posted by Bird Dog in Our Essays, Politics at 16:59 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
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I agree with GDCritter, but from my short research, I'd say it isn't as simple as that. There were some influential liberals like Joseph Kennedy (who supported Hitler while he was invading France), William Randolf Hearst, and Charles Lindbergh who were Hitler supporters, but there were also some not-so liberal supports like Andrew Mellon (who was Secretary of the Treasury for Harding and seemed pretty conservative. I only found a reference that said he had supported European Fascists - possibly not Hitler) and Prescott Bush (I don't think he was terribly conservative - he was a Republican so he probably wasn't a lefty, but he is said to have often agreed with Nelson Rockefeller so he was probably not what we would call a conservative).
I disagree. The Left doesn't dislike the Nazis for their oppression of Jews. After all, other Leftist movements have done all sorts of awful things to Jews without the slightest whisper of complaint.
No, the Nazis' sin was that they were a successful socialist movement which did not recognize the Soviet Union as the font of truth and ideology. Hitler was a heretic to Leftists, and therefore hated with the peculiar intensity fanatics reserve for heretics.
Reasonable people, like most Americans and Britons, would say that the Nazis were evil because of what they did. Leftists don't care about that. They hate them because of why they did it.
The Stalin worshipping Left that remains are a few old Russin babuschkas.
Somebody here wants me to quantify the value the USA gets from backing Israel. I came up with “the obvious contrast between what benefits free and totalitarian states will generate for the general citizenry”, but I cant put a dollar figure to it....
I think Trimegistus is correct. The conflict was between International Socialism (Soviet Communism) & National Socialism/Fascism. When Stalin's faction adopted the "Socialism in one country" (i.e., Russian Fascism) the infamous show trials were held to purge those who held to International Socialsim (Communism) i.e. the anti-Fascists.
German National Socialism and Fascism in general were hated not because of their differences from Communism, but because of their close similarities. The key difference was in the nationalistic aspect. The economics were similar, though the socialism practiced by Communists was much more rapid and extreme; however, the goal--state control of the economy to benefit the elite few--was identical. Social issues were marked by (official) prurience, ideologically-based education, and state control of the individual and all educational, media, and cultural institutions. Officially, Fascism emphasized the traditional family, while Communism was sexually egalitarian, but in reality, this mean that women were still expected to perform all their family obligations as well as have a full-time job.
For intellectuals, the critical difference was that National Socialism and Fascism in general were much less friendly to their ambitions and aspirations than was Communism. A simple look at their modern equivalents will clarify the differences between a fervent nationalist politician and a transnational bureaucrat.
For example, look at the differences in the core constituencies-AND I AM IN NO WAY comparing their political beliefs to those of fascists and communists; this it to show the difference in the TYPE of politician--between Sarah Palin and President Obama, then imagine them transformed into totalitarian socialists, and you can see the difference between Fascism and Communism.
Both were very appealing to Europeans, and Nationalism tends to appeal to more people, except intellectuals of a certain type, than Internationalism, hence the death struggle between the two, until Stalin's faction transformed the Soviet Union from Socialsim to "Socialism in One Country," climaxing with Soviet/Nazi non-agresssion pact (i.e., alliance).
The hatred of Jews by German National Socialism needs no explication, but the Soviets persecuted any Jew who attempted to in any way remain Jewish. Interestingly, not all Fascist movements hated Jews, most famously the Italian Fascists, which had some Jews in very prominent positions. This changed, of course, as Mussolini lost power to Hitler.
There is one circumstance in which the Left would have unreservedly admired the Nazis: if they had won and the Soviet Union had lost. Then the six million we would hear about would have been the Ukranian Holocaust. Put the words "National Socialism"place of "Communism," "Marxism," et al, in modern rhetoric and you'd about have it.
Yes - it was Socialism with a slightly different twist. Instead of chopping up society by class, the Nazis sliced it by race and religion.
The Communists hated them - because they were killing the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
I don't believe Hitler would have ever been looked on as a hero of the left.
My thinking parallels Joe Y.
1) Given the antisemitism prevalent in leftist circles today, I don't believe they really have a problem with the Holocaust. Besides they seem to have no problem with the 10s of millions killed in the name of socialism around the world. I don't believe killing bothers them as long as they control the heavy hand of The State and the little guy can't fight back.
2) Hitler was an ultra-nationalist. Given today's leftist goal of one world government. this would be seen as a flaw in Hitler's ideology.
3)Hitler believed in a super race. That is about as anti-diversity as one can get.
4) Hitler wanted the common Germans to own their own cars. Leftists today would cringe at that thinking. Better to have everyone crammed on the bus to minimize the CO2 foot print.
Only the elite under Stalin had cars and they traveled nearly empty highways as a result. Modern leftists would like that.
5) Hitler's biggest sin would be waging war. This is something the modern anti-war Left could simply not forgive, especially as he made war against Stalin, who was on the True Path to the Workers' Utopia.
Therefore, I think the question would be, Would Hitler be a hero of the Left today (not the biggest hero, but a hero) had he never taken Nazi Germany to war?
I expect Hitler would have appealed to many on the left, but not the hard core communist left. His big mistake was that he didn't win the war. If he had done that many socialists would have blessed him for the simple act of creating a unified, socialist Europe. Instead, they had to wait for the Maastricht treaty to even get a start, and who knows how long that will last.
The left loved Hitler until he declared war on their countries and nationalist feelings made it prudent to hate him.
World leaders like Roosevelt and Chamberlain didn't refer to him as "Herr Hitler" for nothing, they had great respect for the man.
Until it became politically expedient to oppose him, he was also the darling of the communist regime in the USSR, as they were of him.