Hitler: Reply to an anonymous critic
It has become pretty well known now among conservative commentators that Hitler was a socialist. The old Soviet disinformation that Hitler was a Rightist is slowly losing its grip. The plain fact is that the ideas Hitler is most famous for -- eugenics and antisemitism -- were mainstream Leftist ideas in the 1920s and 1930s. Leftism is a many-headed beast so not all Leftists subscribed to such ideas but many did. August Bebel summarized it well when he said that antisemitism is der Sozialismus des bloeden Mannes. Leftist intellectuals sometimes rejected it but it was popular among ordinary Leftists. Antisemitism was even a common belief among the Russian Communists of Lenin's day.
I have set out the evidence for all that in my monograph on Hitler but others, such as Jonah Goldberg, have made the same point. Even Louder with Crowder has had a swipe at it
And there is of course online now a large number of articles furiously denying that Hitler was a Leftist, none of which is of any scholarly worth that I can see. A curious exception, however, is a temporary blog from 2011 which is genuinely well informed. It is anonymous and almost entirely devoted to going through my article on Hitler and questioning it detail by detail.
I must say that I am fascinated by by its anonymity. And how come that it is in such an obscure source? I was unaware of it and came across it only by chance a couple of days ago. And if I was unaware of it for 8 years, who else would be aware of it? The author has obviously put a lot of work into it. It took him several months to put it all up. What is the point of that if nobody knows of it? The fact that it is a blogspot blog means that Google knew of it but nobody else seems to. Google owns Blogspot and all Blogspot posts appear to be held on Google's main servers.
From the level of detailed historical knowledge displayed, it seems very likely that the writer is a historian of some standing so the best I can make of it is that he is aware that his opus is little more than a series of quibbles but wants to record his quibbles without anybody being able to hold him responsible for them. His modus operandi is to admit that I am right about something but then to expand the point so as to weaken it in his view. I suppose his admissions that I am right in various ways might be another reason why he wants to remain anonymous
To reply to each and every one of his quibbles would be a book-length enterprise and I have neither the time nor the energy to do that. At age 76 my energies are low so I have to reserve them for what I see as important things. So I will go straight to what I see as his central objection to my thesis. It is in his post of 5 June, 2011
I won't quote any of it as the link leads you straight to it but his objection is to the Nazis being called "brown Bolsheviks", an expression that was commonly applied to them in Germany in the pre-war era. I explained that expression by saying that "Marxism was class-based and Nazism was nationally based but otherwise they were very similar". That is of course the headline point of my article on Hitler: That the Nazis were socialists, nearly as Leftist as the Communists
How well our erudite author gets around that is surely central to his whole argument that Hitler was not a Leftist so he needs a very strong comeback to keep his argument afloat. His comeback is pathetic. He says that the Nazi party had "wings" and Hitler did not belong to the most extreme wing.
So what? All political parties have wings to my knowledge but they also have important things in common or they would not be one party. And the policies they fought elections on in the 1930s were very reminiscent of the U.S. Democratic party in the Soviet era: Slogans such as: "With Hitler against the armaments madness of the world" and "The Marshall and the corporal fight alongside us for peace and equal rights". Regardless of what Hitler personally believed, he campaigned as a strong socialist. The Nazi party won power as a Leftist party. It also had other appeals, such as its nationalism, but its Leftist identity was unmistakeable. How is equality not a Leftist shibboleth?
I can't resist quoting something further from our opinionated author:
First, a quote from what I wrote:
In German, not only the word "Socialism" (Sozialismus) but also the word "Victory" (Sieg) begins with an "S". So he said that the two letters "S" in the hooked-cross (swastika) also stood for the victory of Aryan man and the victory of the idea that the "worker" was a creative force: Nationalism plus socialism again, in other words.
Our erudite author's comment on that:
No evidence for this at all, The only SS one can find stood for "Schutzstaffel", Not "Sieg Sozialismus" or whatever.
Now that's a real lulu. I was quoting Hitler himself -- in Mein Kampf -- as to what the Swastika stood for and our author says: "no evidence for this at all." So Hitler himself didn't know what the swastika stood for???
I don't think I need to go on. That's the most egregious example but his accuracy of statement is at many points very poor.
I have observed people from my country active on Twitter and the leftists have easily quelled any arguments about Hitler being a socialist. I lump national socialism, socialism (pre-communism) and communism in the same pile, liberty hating totalitarians.ReplyDelete
How interesting that he put in all that work but did not try to make it more widely known, and did not tell you about it either. Yes, quibbling over little points and thereby narrowing the perspective of the argument is what lefties do. And many conservatives fall into that trap and get caught up in arguing over little points. I have fallen for that. Its alright to argue the odd point, but choose them well, as you did with the SS point and Hitler's own words in his book, but we should keep the biggest picture in view. Socialism, communism and fascism are all authoritarian and left of libertarianism and conservatism.ReplyDelete