Nazism and Socialism

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Jan 2001:Nazism and Socialism
By Bob_chong on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 06:26 pm: Edit

Hence the "economic victory" rule in Axis and Allies.

BC

By Anatomist1 on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 05:53 pm: Edit

It's a good thing the Nazis were too confused to recognize the power of capitalism. I've always thought that if they'd just 'annexed' what they could get away with without starting a war, held ground and pursued their economic advantage, we'd all be typing in German right now.

K.

By Pataphysician on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 02:41 pm: Edit

Just being cheeky.

But my point is, "National Socialism" was not supported by socialists (who had no power anyway). But it had enormous support from capitalists (who had all the power) without whom the Third Reich and the Holocaust would have been impossible. They were in control and anything resembling real socialism would have been crushed immediately.

That letter to Hermann Rauschning is interesting. Hitler's use of the term "socialism" was really whacked. That last sentence says it all. Hitler was always twisting words and concepts completely out of shape to suit his needs. Who was Rauschning? I assume Hitler is trying to curry favor or assuage fear with him personally by his weird use of the term "socialism".

I agree that the word "Nazi" is flung around too much. Capitalists are not Nazis. But the Nazis were Capitalists.

By Bob_chong on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 01:25 pm: Edit

Calm down. No one's revising the holocaust.

We agree about the holocaust but disagree about National Socialism.

I guess it depends on what your definition of Socialism is.

As for the Bush rot, what logic are you trying? Isn't there a logician in the house? What is Patalogic? Is it:

Bush's grandfather had dirty Nazi money.
Bob said the Nazis were socialists.
But Bush isn't a socialist.
Therefore, the Nazis weren't socialists. QED.


BC

By Pataphysician on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 11:47 am: Edit

"Pata's burning need to start a whole new thread on the subject."

It's just that I find Revisionist History about the Holocaust to be really dangerous and I feel obliged to stomp it out when I see it.

By Pataphysician on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 11:39 am: Edit

As anecdotal evidence, I'd point out that Prescott Bush's Union Banking Corp was intimately involved with Fritz Thyssen's German Steel Trust company, which was the major backer of Hitler. Thyssen was an early member of the Nazi Party and one of the biggest suppliers to the German war effort. In 1942 (after the U.S. had entered the war, mind you) Prescott Bush's assets in the Nazi-front bank and a related shipping company were finally seized by the U.S. government under Vesting Order 248 of the "Trading with the Enemy Act".

Surely you're not suggesting that President George W. Bush's grandpappy was a socialist or supported socialist regimes?

By Bob_chong on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 11:27 am: Edit

Hob's got it pretty close. What happened was, someone comes along calling a right-wing radio entertainer (Rush) "Goebbels." Thinking that was a bit strong, and happening to have read a good piece by Jonah Goldberg on this whole issue of calling conservatives Nazis, I posted such.

It turned out to be a troll of magnificient proportions, as evinced by Pata's burning need to start a whole new thread on the subject. Sorry.

BC

P.S. The whole, "so I think a conservative would say..." was a cheap shot. Take a closer look, and you'll realize it'd be easy to make a similar statement about liberals.

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 11:14 am: Edit

Pataphysician,

Well said.

Socialism involves taking control of the means of production from Capitalists and putting it into the hands of Labour. Facism as you rightly point out is not interested in this and uses the Working Classes, (usually through stirring up unfounded fear and hatred) to further the interests of the minority that control them and profit from their labour.

However I doubt if Bob really believes that that the Nazis were Socialists, (no more than I believe that the American Republican Party is directly descended from the Nazis). I speak as someone whose relatives took up arms to fight facism in many conflicts in countries other than their own. I reckon Bob was being facetious just to provoke a reaction from those of us on the left.

Hobgoblin

By Pataphysician on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 11:13 am: Edit

"Piling it on"? "Changing history"? What part do take issue with?

What I wrote was from memory, mostly from conversations with Dr. Stephen Feinstein, Professor of History and Director of the Holocaust Studies Center at the University of Minnesota. He and I worked together for two years co-curating a major exhibition about the Holocaust.

If I got the facts wrong or I exaggerated, please correct me.

By Chrysippvs on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 11:09 am: Edit

For what it's worth, the death camps were incredibly inefficient. There were specials councils called on getting the Reichs economics office to measure out a way to efficiently exterminate the Jews. Bullets were too exspensive, and gas was too slow for the numbers being culled in. The Holocaust was grossly inefficient as far as economically, but how can you blame them, what model did they have to go by?

So I think a conservative would have to say, “Other than the slavery and murder, this is a pretty sound plan for a partnership between business and government.”

Other than slavery, murder, (gross corruption, massive taxes, forced Reich intergration, war spiked intentions, drafting of all men, massive embargo and others), this is a pretty sound plan for a partnership between business and government.

The Nazi goverment was more like the Papacy of the 15th century than the Roman Empire if you ask me...

By Bob_chong on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 11:03 am: Edit

"Each activity and each need of the individual will thereby be regulated by the party as the representative of the general good. There will be no license, no free space, in which the individual belongs to himself. This is Socialism--not such trifles as the private possession of the means of production. Of what importance is that if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them then own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the party, is supreme over them, regardless whether they are owners or workers. All that, you see, is unessential. Our Socialism goes far deeper."

"Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings."

Adolf Hitler to Hermann Rauschning
=======

I guess it depends on what your definition of Socialism is.

BC

By Bob_chong on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 10:56 am: Edit

Actually, I didn't write that stuff. It was Jonah Goldberg whom I was quoting. I give credit where credit is due.

Anyway, Pataphysician, it sounds like you're really piling it on and "changing history for a new future..." Blah blah blah.

BC

By Pataphysician on Friday, January 19, 2001 - 07:51 am: Edit

Sorry to drag this out, but I think someone has to address the nonsense that Bob was writing about Nazism and Socialism.

Nazism was not Socialism. As you’re well aware, the Nazis routinely named things for the opposite of what they really were. Nazism was actually a paragon of modern Capitalism. Hitler would not have come to power without the full backing of major industrialists, who in turn profited greatly from the Third Reich. If you don’t think this was obvious even as it was happening, check out the widely published work of the Dada artist John Heartfield (a socialist): http://burn.ucsd.edu/heart.htm

Obviously, the Nazi Party was not supported by socialists. The socialists were the first ones to be rounded up and shot by the Frei Korps, even before Hitler came on the scene.

Take the Death Camps, which is the real issue here. The Death Camps were not funded by the government. They were a business venture. They had to be self-sufficient and balance their budget through their own enterprises. Slave labor was used to run the camps and surplus slave labor was rented out to private industries (I. G. Farben, Krupp, etc, the same ones that put the Nazis in power). This served a dual purpose of raising free revenue (as there was practically no expenditure on the upkeep of the slaves) and the ultimate goal of extermination by working the slaves to death. Additional revenue came from “natural resources” gathered from the exterminated inmates: gold teeth, hair, etc. The Nazis were very proud of the fact that the Jews paid for their own destruction and it cost the government nothing.

So I think a conservative would have to say, “Other than the slavery and murder, this is a pretty sound plan for a partnership between business and government.”

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