standard The Socialist origins of Fascism and Nazism

One of the greatest political myths that arose in latter half of the 20th century and persists into the 21st is the myth that fascism is a doctrine of the political right and that Conservatives are really just proto-fascists who might, at the slightest provocation, slip on the brown shirts and jack boots and start rounding people up. The political left use this great myth as a blunt instrument to bludgeon into silence those who take a stand against: immigration, the preservation of culture, identity and heritage in the West by accusing them of being racist, fascist and/or Nazis.

This brief article will put forward evidence that will prove beyond reasonable doubt that fascism is in fact a product of socialism, specifically the socialist-right and has nothing to do with the political right or ‘right-wing’ at all. I have provided references and recommended further reading on this subject for those who want to learn more.

SOCIALIST

A brief background of the political ‘left’ and ‘right’

The terms ‘the left’ and ‘the right’ in the political sense arose out of the fairly arbitrary arrangement of sitting members in the parliament of France during the period of the French revolution (1789-1799) [1]. Those who held power and therefore the status quo sat on the right side of the chamber, and those sitting on the left, the ‘progressives’, wanted change. They opposed the status quo and advocated ideals such as the ‘universal rights of man’.

Since that time those arbitrary positions have hardened into formal political ‘wings’, so in Australia, for example, the Labor party represents the ‘left wing’ (socialist) and the Liberal party (conservative) represents the ‘right wing’ of mainstream politics.

So what is fascism?

Briefly, fascism [2] is generally a totalitarian one-party state that incorporates socialist ideals, allows, to varying degrees, private property and private enterprise in a state-directed economy and promotes nationalism as a binding force for the community. One of the most widely known derivatives of fascism is National Socialism, as practised by the National Socialist (Nazi) regime in Germany just prior to and during World War Two.

So what is Marxism?

Marxism [3] is named after its primary theorist Karl Marx who postulated an economic theory where the worker is the owner of the product of his labor (not the so-called ‘capitalists’ who employ them) and where private property is ‘collectivised’. This led to the development of Communism, which consisted of a totalitarian one-party state, not dissimilar to a national socialist state. The main difference is that communist states have command economies that are tightly controlled and promote their ‘internationalism’ and the unity of workers (solidarity) worldwide. They can be said to be ‘international socialists’ as opposed to the ‘national socialists’.

Isn’t fascism a ‘far-right’ ideology?

Prior to World War Two, fascism was the cause célèbre amongst leading socialist intellectuals of the time. Indeed, the most prominent fascist theorist was Benito Mussolini of Italy. Mussolini was also the leading Socialist of Italy at the time and also the editor of their prominent socialist newspaper “L’Avanti”. A split developed in Italian socialism over Italy’s involvement in World War One, causing Mussolini to break away and start his own socialist newspaper “Il Popolo D’Italia” (‘The people of Italy’). Like modern-day socialists, he railed against the bourgeoisie, democracy and capitalism. Even his Fascist Manifesto contained many general socialist ideals:

  • The nationalization of all the arms and explosives factories.
  • A strong progressive tax on capital that will truly expropriate a portion of all wealth.
  • The seizure of all the possessions of the religious congregations and the abolition of all the bishoprics, which constitute an enormous liability on the Nation and on the privileges of the poor.
  • The formation of National Council of experts for labour, for industry, for transportation, for the public health, for communications, etc. Selections to be made from the collective professionals or of tradesmen with legislative powers, and elected directly to a General Commission with ministerial powers.
  • A minimum wage.
  • The participation of workers’ representatives in the functions of industry commissions. [4]

Oswald Mosley was another leading socialist, before he went on to become Britain’s main promoter of the cause of fascism. Mosley even fell out with his father, a staunch conservative, over the fact that Mosley had become a socialist:

“My relationship with my father remained good until I joined the Labour Party in 1924. Our tranquil relations exploded when in his view I entered the devil’s service by becoming a socialist.” [5]

Much is made of the fact that Mosley entered the British parliament as a Conservative (or Tory) MP, therefore he was classed as ‘right-wing’. However, as Mosley admitted in his memoirs, he only became involved in the Conservative Party as it represented the easiest way for him to get into parliament. Soon after he was elected, he formally switched to the Labour Party and continued to champion the socialist cause:

“During this period I spoke frequently in university debates and I believe I was responsible for carrying the first motion in favour of socialism by twenty votes at one of them and just lost by four votes at about the same time in the other.” [6]

Mosley was also a Fabian socialist [7] and his name was published in annual reports. He was well acquainted with the founders of the ‘London School of Economics’, also so known as ‘The Fabian Society’. So two prominent fascists have been shown to be have been socialists of one stripe or another. That leaves us to consider another prominent fascist of the same era.

Hitler was a socialist [8]

Hitler of course is considered the epitome of right-wing extremism and leftists will often charge that Hitler was right-wing – and they are partly right as, like Mussolini and Mosley, Hitler represented the socialist right. Just as the Australian Labor Party has ‘left’ and ‘right’ factions, so too does socialism (and conservatism for that matter). Essentially Marxism represents the socialist left and fascism represents the socialist right.

chart

Socialists today do not want to, and in some cases cannot, admit that fascism is a socialist doctrine. The idea that fascism is a ‘right-wing’ political creed is firmly rooted in popular culture and is one of the biggest lies of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Despite the name of Hitler’s party, The National Socialist German Workers Party (in German, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) – socialists insist that the word ‘Socialist’ in the name was not genuinely meant to mean ‘socialist’, but what they fail to realise was that the Nazis were genuinely socialist but of the ‘right-wing’ variety. In fact, there were varying shades of socialism within the Nazi Party, from extreme socialists to moderate socialists. No doubt there are some modern-day socialists who recognise that fascism is a species of socialism but who recoil from the political and social ramifications of publicly admitting it. We turn to Hitler’s own words as evidence that he was in fact a right-wing socialist:

“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.” [10]

“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.” [11]

One of the objections typically raised by socialists against the idea that Hitler was in fact one of them is their belief that Communism and National Socialism differed over who owned ‘the means of production’. Their objection is trivial however, since the Nazi government extended controls over so many German private enterprises that it, in essence, made businesses part of its National Socialist structure. The bureaucracy created enormous employment guilds and dictated to business that they could and could not employ. If a business did not ‘toe the line’, it would find itself under the control of Nazi bureaucrats. Leonard Peikoff [11] exposes the hollowness of their arguments:

“Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation’s economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of CONTROL. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property — so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.”

The Nazi’s anti-Jewish stance was also a product of socialist thought of the day. Anti-Semitism is deeply embedded in Marxism. The early German socialist parties of the day published anti-Semitic tracts, which clearly had an influence on Hitler’s thinking. It no surprise that now we are seeing a rise in anti-Semitic and anti-white thinking within socialist groups around the world and in Australia today. It is also one of the reasons that the socialists are so supportive of Islam.

The genocidal actions of the Soviet Socialists against the Ukrainians, of the NKVD and Katyn Forest, of the National Socialists against the Jews, of the Khmer Rouge against the Communists of Cham, of the Vietnamese Communists against the Montagnards and Hmong, and of the Chinese Stephane Courtois has said of Soviet Socialism and National Socialism, they are deemed “a part of humanity unworthy of existence”.

Indeed, Jonah Goldberg has pointed out the similarity:

“Many of the left talk of destroying “whiteness” in a way that is more than superficially reminiscent of the National Socialist effort to ‘de-Judaize” German society.”

Ultimately much of the carnage in the last one hundred plus years has been caused by socialism in one form or another: Consider the millions killed by the Soviet Socialist regime (Russia/USSR) including the gulags, the National Socialist regime (Germany/WW2) including the concentration camps, the Polish Communists’ mass relocation of German ethnics, the Communist Party of China including during the “Great Leap Forward”, the Khmer Rouge (Cambodia), the Communists in Vietnam, the first KKK (Klu Klux Klan) which served the interests of the Democratic Party (19th Century America) and others.

The distinction between socialism and fascism is not one of opposites attacking each other, but rather of two siblings fighting over common ground. The hatred between two people close to each other can be more virulent than that between two strangers, such as can occur with a nasty ending to a previously close relationship. The relationship between socialism and fascism was a close one, with a shared origin and even shared personnel. The widespread ignoring of the socialist origins of fascism, and their shared socialist ideals, is one of the greatest political misrepresentations of our time. However, it is the modern era of the new style of fascism that is of most concern.

As we all know, politics is not a static situation, with many changes occurring over time. Modern fascism is not to be found with the antics of goose-stepping Hollywood-style characters, but with the new version of those who seek ever-increasing control over our daily lives. It is no coincidence that modern-day socialists have been the driving force behind mountains of new rules and regulations that control even minute actions of citizens. The so-called “Nanny State” has been imposing more controls over our daily lives than the early fascists could have imagined. “Political correctness” has also become so all-pervasive, that it too has control over our lives to a large extent: controlling what we read or hear in the mass media, sacking workers for words spoken, and even giving the power to heavily fine or jail “heretics” – again, even just for words spoken or printed. And the truth is no defence in such trials.

The politically correct radical socialists of today have fooled many with a great confidence trick, by telling the public that they are there to promote freedom and fight fascism – when, in fact, the opposite is the case. The symbol of the Fabian Socialists is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and it was chosen for a good reason, because their aim is to fool the people as to their intentions.

This article has exposed some of the deep connections between fascism and socialism. However, this is not for academic reasons alone. If we are to have a more democratic society, then we must be prepared to fight the all-pervading reach of fascism and to do this we must recognize who the fascists of today are – the Nanny State socialists, radical leftists, and those of all shades who would impose political correctness by force.

Recommended Reading:

References:

  1. French Revolution ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution
  2. Fascism ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism
  3. Marxism ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism
  4. Modern leftism as recycled Fascism ~ John J. Ray (http://jonjayray.tripod.com/musso.html)
  5. My Life ~ Oswald Mosley.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Fabian Society Annual Report 1929-31.
  8. Hitler was a Socialist, John J. Ray (http://jonjayray.tripod.com/hitler.html)
  9. Hitler Speaks ~ T. Butterworth
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  • Greg Deane

    At school in 1968 I wrote in an essay that Hitler’s Party was a socialist party with wealth distribution policies. Brother Paul scoffed with a superior snigger at my naivete or ignorance. But he couldn’t explain why the word socialist, or its German equivalent, was part of the name from which the acronym NAZI was derived. Of course, the lame-brained commentators and leftist arbiters of right thinking, those like Brother Paul, still can’t explain this riddle.

    But I always could.

  • Pete West

    Well said. I have always thought along these lines, but haven’t done the research. Nice article, I’ll keep for future reference!

  • High Treason

    Hitler was once asked why he, as a socialist, was close to the likes of Siemens and Krups. The answer- when the time comes, they too will be made to comply. He was going to double cross them after he got what he wanted. The Norwegian Qisling regime was double crossed very quickly-promises of land and power in exchange for support-the Nazis just went in and plundered the place. It was a miracle that the gold in treasury was able to be hidden.
    Even more disturbing, after WW2, ex Nazis and Communists joined the Green movement. The Greens have heavily infiltrated the UN, who were formed at the behest of the Fabians. Perhaps the correct name for the UN is “United Nazis.” World wide Nazism by stealth. Shudder.

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  • Walter Zimmerman

    This is a good article if your purpose is rhetorically and polemically to overcome the reigning confusion in North America about the concept “right-wing”. In North America, “right-wing” properly means “liberal conservative” or “conservative liberal”: to be for free markets, individual liberties, parliamentary democracy or the Constitutional republic, natural rights, etc. Rhetorically and polemically, social-democrats and communists identify the American Right with the “far” right or radical right, with Fascists and Nazis, in order to discredit them. Hence, for the American right, it makes good sense to re-categorize the Nazi or Fascist right as socialist, in order to protect the name of the liberal-conservative right.

    However, I urge you and your readers to reconsider your arguments, if your purpose is analytical clarity and philosophical precision. The best book I am aware of on this topic is Johannes Fritsche’s “Historical Destiny and National Socialism in Heidegger’s Being and Time” (1999). Fritsche shows in Chapter 3 of that book that Hitler’s concept of history (like Heidegger’s) has nothing in common with the liberal or leftist concepts of history, which he reviews in Chapter 4.

    I want to give one example of the way the distinction helps keep analytically apart something I believe you have collapsed. The anti-semitism of the Right follows the logic of expulsion of a foreign element from the body politic, according to the Right-wing logic of a Widerruf, negation, or disavowal of whatever does not belong to the Gemeinschaft (community) – in the example of Hitler’s Nazism, the community of the people (Volksgemeinschaft). The anti-semitism of the Left, however, stems from the fact that the Jews “cling stubbornly to their particularity” and are an obstacle to the overcoming of all differences in a universal and homogenous society of the free and equal. Here’s how Slavoj Zizek phrased it when characterizing the views of the French anti-Zionist left: “To put it succinctly, the only true solution to the ‘Jewish question’ is the ‘final solution’ (their annihilation), because Jews qua objet a are the ultimate obstacle to the ‘final solution’ of History itself, to the overcoming of divisions in all-encompassing unity and flexibility” (In Defense of Lost Causes, 2002: p. 5). So you see, Left (Socialists) and Right (Nazis) have different reasons to have Jews, which correspond to their different and incompatible views of history. In no way can we characterize the Nazi view of history as aiming at “all-encompassing unity and flexibility”.

    So again, while I applaud your effort to fight the Left in smearing the liberal-conservative right as fascists on the level of rhetoric and polemic, on the philosophical level, I must disagree with your categorization.

    In addition to Fritsche’s book, those interested might also wish to consult Alexander Dugin’s “The Fourth Political Theory” (Arktos, 2002), especially the chapters on conservatism, which separate traditional conservatism (what we might call religious fundamentalisms), liberal conservatism (what you are representing), and the conservative-revolution conservatism (Heidegger et. al.). It is impossible to have a clear picture of the political alternatives without a more precisely vocabulary then we North Americans currently possess when it comes to these questions. In order not to multiply confusions, it is necessary to do as I have done: to allow the confusion strategically (rhetorically, polemically), but to resist it philosophically and analytically.

    In short, Nazism and Socialism differ absolutely in their concept of history, of the relevant subject of history (people versus class), of the goal of history (Volksgemeinschaft versus universal, homogeneous society of equals), of its logic (rejection versus sublation), its direction (progress versus return), its master (Reason/economics versus Fate/Destiny). To collapse them as you have done is to risk deep and dangerous misunderstanding.

  • Greg

    I will concede your point in relation to the sweeping generalistions that occur when people want to make points at the expense of, or to persuade others. There is no political party innocent of that crime. However, trying to associate the modern political left with the NAZI and Stalinist crimes of WW2 and to disasociate radical right wing politics from the evils of racism and ethno/cultural superiority is hypocritical in the extreme.

    It may be laziness, but the reason I would lump Party for Freedom, and any group standing on a platform of bigotry “Facist”, is to highlight the parallels and dangers of allowing nasty ignorant self interest groups from using the resentment of disadvantaged members of society, ala Hitler and the NAZI movement in depression torn germany, to be channeled into a racist blaming of other ethnic groups for the ills that cause their own hardships.

    Disguising racism in quasi intellectual arguments about the nature and origins of Fascism is very clever. I am often dumfounded as to how seemingly intelligent humans, especially ones with all there basic needs being met, are so driven to alienate and persecute humans in need and seemingly incapable of basic empathy towards others.

  • Walter Zimmerman

    Greg, to say that those who follow different and ultimately incompatible ways of life are best kept separate is not necessarily to claim “cultural superiority”. And anyways, by insisting that your notion of the best way of life (the open society) must trump any other way (the closed society), and by calling those you disagree with “racists”, even if race is not the important issue, you yourself are, paradoxically, engaging in a kind of “cultural superiority” or “cultural racism”.

    You’re insisting on the superiority of the open society to the closed one. That is an unavoidable paradox of liberal and left-wing political thought, which justified the claim that liberals and leftists often do act as and follow the logic of “fascists”. Those who defend the “open society” want to close it off to those who defend, and are willing to fight for and to produce, the “closed society”. Thus, it should not be surprising that the anti-Fascist leagues in Britain and elsewhere constantly seek to limit the free speech to their “racist, fascist” opponents. Witness the treatment Farage received recently, when he was barricaded in a barroom.

    Do not pretend that throwing the label “racist” out against your opponents gives you any high ground. The high ground does not yield itself so easily, nor sell itself so cheap. “Racism” is but a word-bomb in the propaganda war against the proponents of the closed society, when tossed out as you have done. The real issue concerns neither race nor ethnos but incompatible ways of life and the political right to want to defend a certain way against another, adversarial one, which masks itself with the language of humanitarianism and inclusivity, but which wars to the death no less on that account.

  • paul

    Good article. Best part about party for freedom is that it is clean. No members have previous bad history with scandal or associating with neo Nazis. Can’t say the same with the libs

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  • http://partyforfreedom.com.au Reijo

    Greg spreads around words like quasi intellectual and racist. These are nothing but ad hominem logical fallacies that tell the reader only that you are short on facts and critical thought.

    Here’s a suggestion “Greg”.

    Get a good book on formal logic and steep yourself in all the pitfalls that people fall into (like your good self) who do not follow a logical train of thought.

    Then do yourself another favour and enroll in a course on Argumentation.

    What you learn will make you a better and more humble person.

  • jeremy

    Studies by Larson and Knotts (2006) demonstrate that most green politicians have similar type pathological tendency to Nazis.

  • paul

    Is the party for freedom planning any protest against Qantas for their Muslim alliance?

  • http://www.regwatson.com reg

    Excellent article. Long ag, even Donald Horne in his book, “Lucky Country” (1963-4) came to the same conclusion.

  • mcguigan

    Those who support multiculturalism support Nazism.

  • Rodge

    Far right parties are a danger to society. Party for freedom represents the average working class Aussie and has no extremist elements.

  • Ben

    ‘Briefly, fascism [2] is generally a totalitarian one-party state that incorporates socialist ideals, allows, to varying degrees, private property and private enterprise in a state-directed economy and promotes nationalism as a binding force for the community.’

    If this is the crux of your argument, then it is circular and self-contradictory at the same time. You argue essentially that fascism is socialist because it’s socialist, which is circular, and that it’s socialist and left wing while incorporating private property. Either it incorporates private property or it doesn’t, and if it does how can it be socialist? Well, it can’t, but never let the facts get in the way of a good story I always say.

    The site at http://www.politicalcompass.org gives us a much more sophisticated understanding of the differences and similarities between these two dictators, but to ascribe socialism to both of them is not only to ignore the mountains of evidence to the contrary but also to give them power they don’t deserve to the extent that both claimed to be socialist insofar as it gave them credibility amongst the many people who adhered to ideals of freedom and social justice to be a good thing while trampling all over them.

    To understand how both Hitler and Stalin used socialism as a propaganda weapon while hating and fearing the challenge to social and economic privilege it represented is to understand the true meaning of twentieth century totalitarianism, and the fact that this seems to escape the author of this piece suggests to me its goal is not to educate and persuade but to propagandise. The things that Hitler and Stalin both had in common in fact were not that they were socalists but that they were both statists. Since this party is likewise statist and clearly authoritarian in substance, its form notwithstanding, it would apppear to be concerned with distancing itself from Hitler and Stalin primarily in order to avoid having to learn the lessons of history and be held accountable otherwise for perpetuating the same kind of bigotry, fear-mongering and scapegoating of minorities in defense of social and economic privilege for which they are likewise infamous.

  • Steve Mills

    Very informative and Thought provoking article, I had not previously considered the concepts of Right and Left wing Political allegiances in this way. particularly, but not limited to the origins of right and left wing being associated with an historical concept of the French Revolutionary History.