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writing for godot

Hitler and Mussolini: Pseudo Socialists

Written by David Starr   
Saturday, 26 November 2016 05:20

On the Internet you'll find a selection of sources, or so-called sources, like libertarians, claiming that Hitler and Mussolini were either Marxists or socialists, giving the false impression that Marxism and socialism were connected to or related to Nazism and fascism. But there are omissions in these claims; and they are taken out of context.

Nazism, or National Socialism, differed with Marxist socialism where the former emphasized myths of Aryan superiority while the latter promoted internationalism and class struggle. The focus on the Jews being hirelings of the Devil and the attempts at exterminating them, being obviously evident in Nazism, wasn't evident in Marxist socialism or any other types of socialism. The latter, as with other groupings, had tendencies or factions. Oddly enough, there are even libertarian Marxists and libertarian socialists. (Despite obvious contradictions.)

Although Hitler called himself a National Socialist, or just plain socialist, the word was used by the Nazis for its appeal to German workers, many of whom were socialists. Joachim Fest once said that "Hitler's party was socialist only to take advantage of the emotional value of the word...the socialist slogans were merely movable ideological props."

National Socialism also emphasized pseudo science, similar to Eugenics, which provided "proof" that whites, particularly Aryans, were at the top of what Hitler and the Nazis believed was a racial hierarchy. They rejected class struggle and cosmopolitanism. And they were of course ultra-nationalist. All of this is the opposite of Marxist socialism.

Hitler, in fact, had stern words toward Marxism. The following passages are from Mein Kampf:

"The destructive work of Marxism, its poisoning propaganda, dupes people."

"Marxism should be destroyed."

"Democracy, as practiced in Western Europe today, is the forerunner of Marxism. In fact, the latter would be inconceivable without the former."

"How the future of the German nation can be secured is the problem of how Marxism can be exterminated."

"The Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and replaces the eternal privilege of power and strength by the mass of numbers and their dead weight."

Paradoxically, Hitler is quoted as saying "What Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish, we shall be in a position to achieve." ("Memoirs of a Confidante," by Otto Wagener, pg. 149. Yale University Press, 1985) The objectives, however, are different, which is alluded to in the descriptions of National Socialism and Marxist socialism above. Hitler, however, was all over the map, e.g., he came off sounding like a Christian in his speeches.

Like Hitler, Mussolini called himself a socialist. He was a leader of the Italian Socialist Party until there was a falling out between Mussolini and the socialists. Mussolini was pro-war, wanting Italy to participate in World War I, while the socialists were neutral. According to a police report by the Inspector-General of of Public Security, G. Gasti, "[Mussolini] always wanted to give the appearance of still being a socialist, and he fooled himself into thinking that this was the case."

But in December 1914, Mussolini radically changed. He denounced socialism and its emphasis on class struggle, rather than emphasizing national identity:

"The class struggle is a vain formula, without effect and consequence wherever one finds a people that has integrated itself into its proper linguistic and racial confines-where the national problem has not been resolved."

He also asserted that socialism (and Marxism) was outdated and a failure. Mussolini is quoted as saying that "Socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, and blackmail." And that it was "already dead; it continued to exist only as a grudge."

Mussolini formed the political movement known as fascism. He was influenced by the ideas of Plato, Georges Sorel and Nietzche and incorporated their ideas into the movement. There was a strong emphasis on Italian nationalism, to the point where it became ultra-nationalism, fascist Italy invading, e.g., Ethiopia. Also, participating in the invasion of the Soviet Union. Above all, Mussolini set out to try a create a second Roman empire.

Some remarks by Hitler and Mussolini give the mistaken impression that they supported socialism and Marxism, respectively. But it is important to see that they went through a metamorphosis. Therefore, the nature of their objectives put them on the right side of the political spectrum, no matter what certain sources claim. your social media marketing partner


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+1 # Doubledee 2016-11-26 17:44
Those who conflate Nazi ideology with socialism are either unlettered, lacking in knowledge or tools of the far right.
Socialism is, in fact, the polar opposite of Fascism.
0 # David Starr 2016-11-29 10:17
Can't argue with that.
0 # John Escher 2016-12-06 12:28
Quoting Doubledee:
Those who conflate Nazi ideology with socialism are either unlettered, lacking in knowledge or tools of the far right.
Socialism is, in fact, the polar opposite of Fascism.

Okay, but Stalin got from one to the other pretty fast.
0 # JSRaleigh 2016-12-12 22:50
Quoting John Escher:
Quoting Doubledee:
Those who conflate Nazi ideology with socialism are either unlettered, lacking in knowledge or tools of the far right.
Socialism is, in fact, the polar opposite of Fascism.

Okay, but Stalin got from one to the other pretty fast.

Whatever the Soviets claimed, the Bolsheviks were no more socialists than were the National-Social ists.

Both claimed to be socialist, but neither actually was. They were both totalitarian systems subjugating the people to the will of a "leader" - one from the far right & the other from the far left.
+1 # sjtpj 2016-11-28 18:12
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
Here is a comprehensive definition of fascism that I have developed time from a variety of sources that supports Mr. Carr's position. Note especially the last element in it: “A politico-econom ic system in which there is: total executive branch control of both the legislative and administrative powers of government; no independent judiciary; no Constitution that embodies the Rule of Law standing above the people who run the government; no inherent personal rights or liberties; a single national ideology that first demonizes and then criminalizes all political, religious, and ideological opposition to it; the massive and regular use of hate, fear, racial and religious prejudice, the Big Lie technique, mob psychology, mob actions and ultimately individual and collective violence to achieve political and economic ends; a capitalist/corp orate economy; with the ruling economic class’ domination of economic, fiscal, and regulatory policy.”
0 # David Starr 2016-11-29 10:19
Thanks for a detailed description of fascism.
+2 # willsud24 2016-11-29 17:12
Popular WWII era Nazi propaganda posters often showed German soldiers slaying the "Three-headed dragon". The three heads of the three-headed dragon represented:

1. Western liberals
2. Communists
3. Jews

Whatever Nazism was, it was not socialism. The first thing the Nazis did was go after the unions and give business owners absolute rights. You cannot have individual business owners barking orders to workers under true socialism, because true socialism calls for workers to BE owners.

Neither the mainstream media nor most educated citizens understand exactly what Karl Marx stood for. Stalinism was not Marxism, Leninism was not Marxism, Maoism was not Marxism. Furthermore, Castro, Chavez, Pol Pot and every other dictator that claimed to be a Marxist, really never understood Marxist ideology. You cannot have an authoritarian state or authoritarian dictator and call yourself Marxist.

Marx was a left-wing libertarian or libertarian socialist. Marx believed that communism would eventually lead to a non-monetary, classless, stateless society. Marx essentially was an anarchist, but he felt it was a long process, so he argued for an organized intelligentsia to bring such change through state mechanisms. Marx's belief that the state needed to initially exist is the reason he clashed with Bukunin, who rejected the state outright.

Marxism advocates for the workers to own the means of production, not the state. The U.S.S.R. was simply state capitalism, not Marxism.

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