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Hayek: Hitler was a socialist

[COMMENT:  This is a good piece of historical perspective below, but I think that the fact of the matter that the distinction between socialism and fascism, or left vs. right, is mostly irrelevant.  The issue of concern is centralization of government from any quarter or in any direction.   It matters little that a dictator or a party are for or against capitalism, what matters is that they control the coercive power of the state for their own ends.  In any case of centralized government, the people lose out. 

The keeping of government on a constitutional tight tether requires that we, the people, understand ourselves to be under the law and grace of God, and that government is likewise to be so considered.  Only when the people have a strong moral consensus can they be united enough to control the coercive power of government.  And that moral consensus can exist only under the law and grace of God.     E. Fox]
 

October 8th, 2009 LAIGLESFORUM Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Hayek would call Obama a socialist

Before Rene Guerra introduces Hayek’s insightful letter entitled Nazi-Socialism, let me introduce Mr. Guerra.

I have had the privilege of introducing some selected works of Olavo De Carvalho to the Anglo-Saxon world. De Carvalho and Guerra are both Latin Americans and students of Marxism, including theory, practice, psychology, philosophy and history of the movement. They are very well versed in all aspects and deserve our respect and gratitude for their contribution to our understanding.

Both know that Obama is a socialist, as do many Americans by this time. However, they understand better than most of us what to expect of socialists (who currently hide behind the label “progressives”) and why we should not trust the members of the far left, which has been operating on the principle of stealth since the Fabians came up with the idea of a peaceful takeover of the world back in the late 1800s (hardly anyone has noticed since then, and many Republicans still don’t, fatally ignoring the importance of this, believing that these people are marginal when in fact they have successfully infiltrated all major institutions, including education, the media, the universities, big business, Wall Street, etc, and dominate most). Due to the nature of the Left, it is and can only be, the enemy of the human race. It cannot be our ally, it cannot be persuaded to accept our traditional or Christian ways, and no compromise between a free system and a Marxist system can be tolerated (because they work like a ratchet gear, never relinquishing any power once it is gained) – at variance with what we are told by RINOs like John McCain and John Boehner, for example, who are the last people we should be looking to for leadership.

Don Hank

 

Some Say Obama’s “CHANGE” Is Not Socialism, But Fascism…“Not Me,” F.A. Hayek Would Say!
F. A. Hayek (1899 – 1991), Austrian by birth, British by naturalization. Economist and polymath. Gravitas mentor of the Austrian School of economics. Advocate of classical economic liberalism (i.e., free-entrepreneurism) and free-market capitalism. 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics. 1991 U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also wrote The Road to Serfdom, a book that every concerned American should read, particularly now, when Obama is wrecking America.

INTRODUCTION      Rene Guerra         September 21, 2009

Fed up with pundits playing hopscotch all over the political spectrum of authoritarianism and totalitarianism in an attempt to identify the system that –with Obama and the Democrats at the vanguard — undemocratic, collectivist, anti-free-enterprise forces are attempting to impose on America? I am revisiting a memo that Austrian free-entrepreneurism economist and Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek wrote to the head of the London School of Economics, William Henry Beveridge, the Fabian socialist who would become the father of the welfare state and nationalized health care system of post WW II Great Britain.

Hayek wrote his memo Nazi-Socialism to Beveridge in the spring of 1933, when Fascism and its Nazi manifestation were in their puberty, less than two decades after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. Hayek had been an eyewitness to the birth and growth of Nazism in Germany.

Rush Limbaugh has been at the forefront of those stating that what Obama is inflicting on America is not Socialism, but Fascism, without realizing that Fascism — Nazism in Germany, Fascism proper in Italy, and Falangism in Spain — is nothing but socialism behind another façade.

Fascism and Socialism are both siblings, or at worst, first cousins, though dysfunctional ones. That’s all. That’s Hayek’s main message in Nazi-Socialism. He also points out the wishful thinking of some — and the dallying with socialistoid ideas by others — in the German big-business strata of the time, who went along with Nazism and Hitler. The same thing is happening in America, with some representatives of “big-business” going along with Obama’s “CHANGE.”

Orthodox Marxists, Marxist-Leninists (aka Bolsheviks), Western Marxists, Fabians and others ganged up on Fascism — as they did on Trotskyism — for they saw in it a fierce competitor for the same place at the dinner table of socialism.
The caveat must be made here that Fabians stop at Socialism, although many maintain that Fabians do so maliciously, serving as a not-so-reluctant stepping stone to communism.

The Fascists in Italy under Benito Mussolini, and the Nazis under Adolph Hitler in Germany resorted to a transitory symbiotic relationship with the corporative strata of each of the two countries. State capitalism, corporate socialism or corporatism were once named ambiguously by fascists. It was Mussolini who embraced the system the most wholeheartedly. Hitler flirted with it for a few years. The Falangists disliked it.

Hitler was a messianic ideologue with specific goals of territorial expansion, as outlined in Mein Kampf. Mussolini was rather a populist megalomaniac who engendered among the Italian people, and then exploited, a nationalistic sort of nostalgia for the glories and grandeurs of Imperial Rome. They needed time and allies to consolidate power; hence their temporary symbiotic alliance with the corporate strata, the one to build the Third Reich, the other, to re-build Imperial Rome, both under Fascism.

Fascism created the impression of being materially more efficient (i.e., output/input) than Marxism-Leninism in terms of running and ruling societies. Hence also the fury that the rest of the Left unleashed against Fascism.

Obama may be resorting to fascistoid temporary measures, but socialism is definitively his objective, and if he can muster it, probably communism.

Others are opening their eyes to the threat that Obama poses to the world. In Central America, the Panamanians elected a conservative president, businessman Ricardo Martinelli. In Europe, the Germans are opening their eyes and giving continually increasing support to the pro-free-enterprise Free Democratic Party (FDP). This latter development is of a great importance, for Germany is now setting the political-economic tone in Western Europe. Read it for yourself.

Now for Hayek’s memo:

Now for Hayek’s memo:

Nazi-Socialism[1]

 By Friedrich August von Hayek              Spring 1933

Hoover Institution, F. A. Hayek Papers, Box/Folder 105 : 10.

Incomprehensible as the recent events in Germany must seem to anyone who has known that country chiefly in the democratic post-war years, any attempt fully to understand these developments must treat them as the culmination of tendencies which date back to a period long before the Great War.  Nothing could be more superficial than to consider the forces which dominate the Germany of today as reactionary – in the sense that they want a return to the social and economic order of 1914.  The persecution of the Marxists, and of democrats in general, tends to obscure the fundamental fact that National “Socialism” is a genuine socialist movement, whose leading ideas are the final fruit of the anti-liberal tendencies which have been steadily gaining ground in Germany since the later part of the Bismarckian era, and which led the majority of the German intelligentsia first to “socialism of the chair” and later to Marxism in its social-democratic or communist form.

One of the main reasons why the socialist character of National Socialism has been quite generally unrecognized, is, no doubt, its alliance with the nationalist groups which represent the great industries and the great landowners.  But this merely proves that these groups too -as they have since learnt to their bitter disappointment -have, at least partly, been mistaken as to the nature of the movement.  But only partly because -and this is the most characteristic feature of modern Germany – many capitalists are themselves strongly influenced by socialistic ideas, and have not sufficient belief in capitalism to defend it with a clear conscience.  But, in spite of this, the German entrepreneur class have manifested almost incredible short-sightedness in allying themselves with a move movement of whose strong anti-capitalistic tendencies there should never have been any doubt.

A careful observer must always have been aware that the opposition of the Nazis to the established socialist parties, which gained them the sympathy of the entrepreneur, was only to a very small extend directed against their economic policy.  What the Nazis mainly objected to was their internationalism and all the aspects of their cultural programme which were still influenced by liberal ideas.  But the accusations against the social-democrats and the communists which were most effective in their propaganda were not so much directed against their programme as against their supposed practice -their corruption and nepotism, and even their alleged alliance with “the golden International of Jewish Capitalism.”

It would, indeed, hardly have been possible for the Nationalists to advance fundamental objections to the economic policy of the other socialist parties when their own published programme differed from these only in that its socialism was much cruder and less rational.  The famous 25 points drawn up by Herr Feder,[2] one of Hitler’s early allies, repeatedly endorsed by Hitler and recognized by the by-laws of the National-Socialist party as the immutable basis of all its actions, which together with an extensive commentary is circulating throughout Germany in many hundreds of thousands of copies, is full of ideas resembling those of the early socialists.  But the dominant feature is a fierce hatred of anything capitalistic -individualistic profit seeking, large scale enterprise, banks, joint-stock companies, department stores, “international finance and loan capital,” the system of “interest slavery” in general; the abolition of these is described as the “[indecipherable] of the programme, around which everything else turns.”  It was to this programme that the masses of the German people, who were already completely under the influence of collectivist ideas, responded so enthusiastically.

That this violent anti-capitalistic attack is genuine – and not a mere piece of propaganda – becomes as clear from the personal history of the intellectual leaders of the movement as from the general milieu from which it springs.  It is not even denied that man of the young men who today play a prominent part in it have previously been communists or socialists.  And to any observer of the literary tendencies which made the Germans intelligentsia ready to join the ranks of the new party, it must be clear that the common characteristic of all the politically influential writers – in many cases free from definite party affiliations – was their anti-liberal and anti-capitalist trend.  Groups like that formed around the review “Die Tat” have made the phrase “the end of capitalism” an accepted dogma to most young Germans.[3]

That the movement in more anti-liberal than anything else is closely connected with another important aspect of it — the anti -rational, mystical and romantic sentiment, which has been growing for years among the youth of Germany. The protest against “liberal intellectualism”, which was recently so strongly voiced by the students of the University of Berlin, was not an isolated aberration but a true expression of the feeling of great masses of the people.[4] It would be too long a story to go into all the different intellectual sources of the anti-rational tendencies in art and literature which have all converged -often to the amazement and consternation of their originators-in the Nazi movement. But it must be said that here again the main influence which destroyed the belief in the universality and unity of human reason was Marx’s teaching of the class-conditioned nature of our thinking, of the difference between bourgeois and proletarian logic, which needed only to be applied to other social groups such as nation or races to supply the weapon now used against rationalism as such. How completely this Marxian idea has permeated German thought can be seen from the fact that, during the past few years, it has actually been promoted, as “sociology of knowledge”, to the rank of a new branch of learning.[5] It is obvious that, from this intellectual relativism, which denied the existence of truths which could be recognized independently of race, nation, or class, there was only a step to the position which puts sentiment above rational thinking.

That anti-liberalism and anti-rationalism are so intimately bound up with one another is easy to understand, and is, in fact, inevitable. If rule by force by some privileged group is to be justified, its superiority has to be accepted for it cannot be proved. But what is less easily understood – though of immense importance – is the fact illustrated by German and Russian development that the anti-liberalism which, when confined to the economic field, today has the sympathy of almost all the rest of the world, leads inevitably to a reign of universal compulsion, to intolerance and the suppression of intellectual freedom. The inherent logic of collectivism makes it impossible to confine it to a limited sphere. Beyond certain limits, collective action in the interest of all can only be made possible if all can be coerced into accepting as their common interest what those in power take it to be. At that point, coercion must extend to the individuals’ ultimate aims and ideas, and must attempt to bring everyone’s Weltanschauung into line with the ideas of the rulers.

The collectivist and anti-individualistic character of German National Socialism is not much modified by the fact that it is not a proletarian but middle class socialism, and that it is, in consequence, inclined to favour the small artisan and shop keeper and to set the limit up to which it recognizes private property somewhat higher than does communism. In the first instance, it will probably nominally recognise private property in general. But private initiative will probably be hedged about with restrictions on competition so that little freedom will remain. Artisans, shop-keepers and professional men will, in all likelihood, be organized in guilds, like those of the medieval crafts, which will regulate their activities. In the case of the wealthier capitalists, state control and restriction of income will leave little more than the name of property, even while the intention of correcting the undue accumulation of wealth in the hands of individuals has not yet been carried out. Even at the present moment, state commissioners have been put in charge of many important industries and, if the more radical wing of the party has its way, the same is likely to happen in many other cases.[6] At the present time, when the National Socialist party has grown to such an enormous size, and accordingly embraces elements with very divergent views, it is, of course, difficult to say which views on economic policy hold the field, it will mean that the scare of Russian communism has driven German people unaware into something which differs from communism in little but name. Indeed, its more than probable that the real meaning of the German revolution is that the ling dreaded expansion of communism into the heart of Europe has taken place but is not recognised because the fundamental similarity of methods and ideas is hidden behind the difference in the phraseology and the privileged groups. For the present, the German people have reacted against the treatment received from the community of democratic and capitalistic countries by leaving that community.

Nothing, however, would be less justifiable than that the nations of western Europe should look down on the German people because they have fallen victims to which, in this country seems a kind of barbarism. What must be realized is that this only the ultimate and necessary outcome of a process of development in which the other nations have been for a long time steadily following Germany – albeit at a considerable distance. The gradual extensions of the field of state activity, the increase in restrictions on international movements of both men and goods, sympathy with central economic planning and the widespread playing with dictatorship ideas, all tend in this direction. In Germany, where these things had gone furthest, and intellectual reaction, which will now hardly survive, had been definitely under way. The fact that the character of the present movement is so generally misjudged makes it seem likely that the reaction in other countries will speed up, rather than weaken, the operation of these tendencies which lead in the direction in which Germany is now going. So far, there seems little prospect that the reversal of these intellectual tendencies elsewhere will come in time to prevent other countries from following Germany in this last step also.

 


[1] The memorandum may be found in the Hayek Paper, box 105, folder 10, Hoover Institution Archives. In the original memo quotation marks enclose “Nazi” in the German style, and Socialism was originally spelled “Sozialism” but was corrected – Ed.

[2] Gottfried Feder (1883-1941) was an early economic advisor to Hitler. A fundamental element of his economic teaching was the concept of “interest slavery” and his recommendation that interest be abolished. Once he came to power, Hitler abandoned Feder’s program in order better to attract the support of German industrialists. — Ed.

[3] For more of Die Tat, see chapter 12, note 41. — Ed.

[4] The student protests in Berlin culminated in a boo0burning in the Opernplatz on the night of May 10, 1933. –Ed.

[5] Karl Mannheim was one of the leading proponents of “the sociology of knowledge”. See especially his Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge, trans. Louis Wirth and Edward Shils, a volume in the series The International Library of Psychology, Philosophy, and Scientific Method (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1936. -Ed.

[6] In the first few months of Nazi rule, self-appointed Nazi party radicals simply marched into certain enterprises and took them over, usually granting themselves and their accomplices large salaries and other perks. Goering and the other Nazi leaders considered these self-styled Komisars dangerous, and by late 1933 had rooted them out. –Ed

 

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Date Posted -  --/--/2008   -   Date Last Edited - 09/15/2012