Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hitler Is Not A Liberal Despite Conservative Attempts To Rewrite History

Keeping with the theme of rewriting history, Andrew Marcus, from Big Government, had decided to substitute "Progressive Socialist" for "Nazi" in his article regarding World War II concentration camps. He references a story from the LA Times about an Englishman who sneaked into Nazi death camps.

I think it is interesting that conservatives are attempting to rewrite history, placing Hitler and Nazi Germany on the left, far away from their holy land of Reagan and states' rights. The reason why they believe Hitler should be placed in the camp along with Chairman Mao and Stalin is because of the official name of the Nazi party. Think Progress Watch, a conservative propaganda website designed to combat liberal truth, explained why Hitler was a liberal in an article last year:
Radical Leftwing blogs like Think Progress, Daily Kos, Huffington Post and Little Green Footballs keep claiming that the Nazis were Rightwing/Conservative. However the official name of the Nazis was the National Socialist Workers Party, this name is hardly a “Conservative” term. It is really a Progressive/Marxist name, since Hitler was a man of the Left.
People, like those at Think Progress Watch, fail to recognize the differences between the Nazi regime and the communist regimes of the time, focusing on one single word, not the history of the matter, and there is a great essay out there that debunks the right wing attempt to recreate history for their benefit, and the best thing about this article is that it comes complete with actual sources - not a simple YouTube video proving a complex theory and not a scribbled upon chalk board linking numerous unrelated subjects together.
Many conservatives accuse Hitler of being a leftist, on the grounds that his party was named "National Socialist." But socialism requires worker ownership and control of the means of production. In Nazi Germany, private capitalist individuals owned the means of production, and they in turn were frequently controlled by the Nazi party and state. True socialism does not advocate such economic dictatorship -- it can only be democratic. Hitler's other political beliefs place him almost always on the far right. He advocated racism over racial tolerance, eugenics over freedom of reproduction, merit over equality, competition over cooperation, power politics and militarism over pacifism, dictatorship over democracy, capitalism over Marxism, realism over idealism, nationalism over internationalism, exclusiveness over inclusiveness, common sense over theory or science, pragmatism over principle, and even held friendly relations with the Church, even though he was an atheist.
Basically, the "socialist" in "national socialist" was a misnomer. I can argue that there is no "tea" in the "Tea Party," but that would be silly, yet true. A more accurate comparison would be to mention the Bolsheviks and Menchiviks. The essay goes on to explain this mistaken identity the conservatives seemed to have fallen in love with:
And what of Nazi Germany? The idea that workers controlled the means of production in Nazi Germany is a bitter joke. It was actually a combination of aristocracy and capitalism. Technically, private businessmen owned and controlled the means of production. The Nazi "Charter of Labor" gave employers complete power over their workers. It established the employer as the "leader of the enterprise," and read: "The leader of the enterprise makes the decisions for the employees and laborers in all matters concerning the enterprise."

The employer, however, was subject to the frequent orders of the ruling Nazi elite. After the Nazis took power in 1933, they quickly established a highly controlled war economy under the direction of Dr. Hjalmar Schacht. Like all war economies, it boomed, making Germany the second nation to recover fully from the Great Depression, in 1936. (The first nation was Sweden, in 1934. Following Keynesian-like policies, the Swedish government spent its way out of the Depression, proving that state economic policies can be successful without resorting to dictatorship or war.)

Prior to the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, worker protests had spread all across Germany in response to the Great Depression. During his drive to power, Hitler exploited this social unrest by promising workers to strengthen their labor unions and increase their standard of living. But these were empty promises; privately, he was reassuring wealthy German businessmen that he would crack down on labor once he achieved power. Historian William Shirer describes the Nazi's dual strategy:
"The party had to play both sides of the tracks. It had to allow [Nazi officials] Strasser, Goebbels and the crank Feder to beguile the masses with the cry that the National Socialists were truly 'socialists' and against the money barons. On the other hand, money to keep the party going had to be wheedled out of those who had an ample supply of it."
Once in power, Hitler showed his true colors by promptly breaking all his promises to workers. The Nazis abolished trade unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike. An organization called the "Labor Front" replaced the old trade unions, but it was an instrument of the Nazi party and did not represent workers. According to the law that created it, "Its task is to see that every individual should be able… to perform the maximum of work." Workers would indeed greatly boost their productivity under Nazi rule. But they also became exploited. Between 1932 and 1936, workers wages fell, from 20.4 to 19.5 cents an hour for skilled labor, and from 16.1 to 13 cents an hour for unskilled labor. (3) Yet workers did not protest. This was partly because the Nazis had restored order to the economy, but an even bigger reason was that the Nazis would have cracked down on any protest.
I had added emphasis on a couple things. One was about Sweden spending their way out of the Great Depression, which seems to be the Republican argument against President Obama and the Democrats, and the other was about Nazi abolishment of things the right claims to be socialist, so why would a socialist Hitler get rid of socialist things? This is why historian Glenn Beck should have attended school, because then he would have known the truthful answers to such idiotic hypotheses. Here is a compiliation of right wing tenets from the essay:
Since the far right is trying peg Hitler as a leftist, it's worth reviewing the tenets popularly associated with the right. These include (parentheticals contain my comments) :
* Individualism over collectivism.
* Racism or racial segregation over racial tolerance. (Tea Party slurs?)
* Eugenics over freedom of reproduction. (Reversal of Roe v. Wade?)
* Merit over equality.
* Competition over cooperation. (Competitive markets?)
* Power politics and militarism over pacifism. (Halliburton, Blackwater, etc., etc.)
* One-person rule or self-rule over democracy.
* Capitalism over Marxism. (Attacks against socialism/Marxism/communism/etc.?)
* Realism over idealism. ("How's that hopey changey stuff workin'?)
* Nationalism over internationalism. (Jingoistic language of far-right, unilateralism, etc.?)
* Exclusiveness over inclusiveness.
* Meat-eating over vegetarianism. (Blatant disregard for environment or animal treatment?)
* Gun ownership over gun control. (2nd Amendment>)
* Common sense over theory or science. ("Common Sense" Republicans, global warming, evolution, etc.?)
* Pragmatism over principle.
* Religion over secularism. (Christian nation?)
It doesn't take a genius to correlate these right wing tenets and the rhetoric heard coming from the Tea Party and advantageous Republicans who are playing their base (much like Hitler did). Think of recent news - the tolerance of right wing racism among tea party ranks, the stress of merit over equality (like the Republican push to pass merit pay for teachers in Florida, but in all fairness, this is similar to the Presidents plan as well), support of military while labeling Democrats as weak, placing capitalism on a pedestal, extreme national pride (remember attacks against a certain American flag pin?), constant attacks against environmentalists and vegetarians, and the best for last, the constant push to create America into a Christian nation...

Conservatives need to go to school and take some history courses, because as they are fond of saying that history repeats itself, they are fitting right into that mold, and that mold is none other then Adolf Hitler's.

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