Everything Old Is New Again

We’re beginning to understand quite well that whatever the far left accuses us of is simply a matter of projection, a creepy look into the dark, rather evil recesses of their minds.  They say there’s a “vast rightwing conspiracy,” that the TEA Party was funded and organized by monied conservatives, that we are RAAAACISTS, that we are violent, that we are unpatriotic, that we don’t love America, that we want to destroy America, that we want minorities living in poverty, that we want grandma and women to die . . . all of which we now know or finally recognize is true of the leftists shrieking these inanities.  So it’s not at all unreasonable to look back at some of the things they accused President Bush of:  he was war criminal, he acted extra-constitutionally and illegally entered the U. S. into foreign wars, he was building a police state, he was a fascist, and last but not least, he was just like Hitler.  Just like him.  

The left (and even many on the right) don’t like Hitler to be invoked in any discussion, at any time, for any reason (unless it’s from the left, revealing what their true intentions are by labeling conservatives as “Hitler”).  Hitler’s rise, and particularly the Holocaust, has become a sort of open secret that everyone sort of knows something about but no one seems to either understand or be willing to talk about: Hitler, his National Socialists, and fascism are all off-limits to conservatives.  Well, I say, “screw that.” For conservatives to shield their eyes from what happened to the Weimar Republic–and very very importantly how that happened, the tactics used–is mind-boggling to me.  One of the rallying cries of the conservative ascendency has been to “know history,” to learn about the past to ensure we never repeat it.  Yet when it comes to the period of time that rather too closely resembles what is happening today, conservatives stick their fingers in their ears and start humming the national anthem. 

I’m sick of everyday leftists, ignorantly–shamefully, embarrassingly so–calling Constitutional conservatives “nazis” and “fascists.”  The fact that–now that a Democrat is in the White House–it’s become some sort of politically-incorrect secular sin to discuss Hitler and his hyper-socialism cum communist fascism is distressing enough, but the fact that conservatives seem to buy into that is, to my mind, further evidence that we’re not really awake.  Not yet. 

In 1933, F. A. Hayek wrote of the then-fledgling anti-capitalist National Socialist movement in Germany:

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 steadily gained 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 the dominant feature [of the National Socialists] 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 “basis 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 many 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.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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. 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 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 weakened, 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.

Hayek might just as well be writing about 2011 America, no?

The fact that Hitler killed or imprisoned most of his political rivals, including other communists and socialists, in no way distances him from either ideology; Hayek called it long before Hitler got going full-steam.  And he was right.  Look at what is happening today in the microcosm of leftist ideology that is the occupy “movement.”  All the players are there, all the same anti-liberal fervor (Hayek means classical liberalism, of course), hatred, resentment, entitlement, vitriol, simmering violence, anti-capitalism, all the same wrong-headed ideas, but the puppet masters of each group don’t intend to share their power should they achieve it.  They will have to eliminate other leftists to amass the totalitarian control they seek.  That’s not just a historically-relevent fact but the only logical outcome.

And as in Germany, it’s looking more and more certain that when violence does occur (and it will) as a result of the “occupier’s” actions, the people will be sufficiently frightened and outraged to call for a crackdown, to ask–even demand–that the government step in.  Martial law would be invoked (as it was in the ’60’s in some cities), and it’s all too likely that all of our constitutional rights will be “suspended” in order to deal with the violent protesters.  And Americans will be glad, happy even, to cheer this crackdown on the reviled lunatics who seek to overthrow our nation.  Just as the Germans were when they cheered Hitler’s exact same actions. 

Whomever comes out on top will (I believe) do exactly what Hitler did to restart the German economy (much of which has been started here in America already):  he (it’s a he, there is no “she” in a position of such power and none rising that I can see) will increase domestic production (including the sort of crony socialism we are seeing today), control all businesses employing X number of people, limit imports, expand export trade agreements, and increase military spending, building up a truly terrifying and global armed force, and will eliminate all public and private unions (some people–who are not me–think unions will come out on top, but if they do, it’s going to be only the union leaders who do so–and the unions themselves will be cast aside, their purpose spent).  This last is the part that worries me most because too many conservatives either don’t know or don’t care about the past and will cheer the increased military spending, the increased military actions (and don’t forget the many armed conflicts that BO is engaging in: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and now Africa.).

One difference this time is that it’s not a “nationalist” goal but a global one.  Forced hegemony is a part of that, of course, as no “one” anything can tolerate diversity of thought, actions, or words.  We live in dangerous times, and dangerous times require us to look at everything, to see patterns, to acknowledge and study the exact things we are being ridiculed for discussing.  I would argue that anything the extreme fringe (who are becoming far less fringe) leftists mock, ridicule, and / or try to shut down is the exact thing we need to focus on.  While this post is specifically about Hitler, there are many similarities to other dictatorships and communist totalitarian regimes (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, et al., and it’s illuminating to look at what happened in Argentina, as well).

But we need to resist the temptation to bow to leftists (and conservative!) pressure to hide our eyes from anything “they” tell us is nonsense, hysterical and/or paranoid tinfoil hat stuff, etc., and that clearly includes Hitler’s National Socialist Party and his rise to totalitarian control and power.  What part of what Hayek wrote, of what Hitler did to legally achieve power, does not resonate today?

That this time the movement is global is frightening, for what world power will be untouched, will resist, will defeat the next Reich or caliphate or New World Order or system of “global governance“?  There will be no America, no allied forces to defeat the next, actually this, grab for global dominance if we don’t start thinking rationally, examining the pieces that are already in place, and questioning the pieces being put in place at this moment.  At all costs, we must remain free, we must not succumb to the same old ploys, the same old machinations, the same old tyranny.


12 thoughts on “Everything Old Is New Again

  1. A most excellent and though-provoking post, Fuzzy!

    I am a Hayek fan (reading The Constitution of Liberty right now), and I did not realize he had written about Hitler's Germany that early on. What prescience!

    Yes, Hitler was a state socialist, whose economic prescriptions the modern-day left would happily apply here if they could.

    They wouldn't march people off to the gas chambers; they would simply tattoo non-conformists with a modern-day version of the star of David, making you a punished outcast unable to make your way in their brave new world.

    I was planning a post on this same subject, but you've done it so much better I may just shelve it…

  2. Thanks, Silverfiddle 🙂 This Hayek memo/letter is in the Bruce Caldwell edition of The Road to Serfdom as an appendix. I'm just finishing The Fatal Conceit and will likely be posting on that at some point. But don't shelve your post, I'd love to read your thoughts.

    I do agree that if we get a garden-variety, somewhat benign socialist/communist regime we won't be herded off to gas chambers. However, let's not forget that BO's buddy Bill Ayers was a big fan of “reeducation” and actually advocated, in the '60's, the murder of up to 25 million Americans who refused to give up capitalism and freedom. That's not some random idea that died with Hitler, and we'd do well to remember that BO's inner circle are also big fans of Mao. That's not even getting into the genocide that would occur if the last group standing were radical Islamists.

  3. Great! And thank you for the Hayek quotes. I have been looking for this piece of the puzzle for a long time.

    Most people will offer Hitler's hatred of communism as proof that Nazism was not truly socialist (despite its name). The excerpt from Hayek provides an excellent counterargument and makes clear why both the American Nazi Party and the Communist Party USA support OWS.

    Hayek's insight that German industrialists signed on to National Socialism (with big checks, often) because they were “mistaken as to the nature of the movement” is a chilling parallel worth remembering, as is the fact that the German powers-that-be (Hindenburg et al.) gave Hitler the Chancellorship largely because they thought they would use him.

    Not so sure about the unions being cast aside, though. Commissars would (I shall not say will be needed), and who would lead the party cells? The competition for such “positions” would be intense.

  4. Finally, a scholarly handling of an ugly subject. We less urbane bloggers have grown weary of being labeled tin hats by our fellow conservatives for expressing views very similar to yours. As you have so corrected point out to us, the parallelism between Hayek's analysis of Germany's National Socialism Movement in the 1930's and what we are seeing in America today is chilling. I fear the we who see and connect the dots have much to do if we are going to wake-up the majority of our conservative colleagues to the danger we all face.

  5. Very good post.

    One of the things that make liberalism so inherently evil and malignant is the damage it does as a byproduct of attacking conservatism/traditionalism. You mentioned the phony claims of racism. The purpose of such claims is to silence those who would interfere with the leftist agenda when they voice certain uncomfortable truths about this or that minority. But this strategy has left the term “racist” so abused by the Left that it has become essentially meaningless, rendering it useless in the event of any real racism.

    The same is true for the terms “Nazi” or “Hitler.” These terms have been so misused by the Left in their purposely dishonest attempts to stigmatize conservatives over policy disagreements that their use is now automatically assumed to be nothing more than a means of smearing one’s political opponents. Once again, the Left’s attempts to win the day through disingenuous means has all but wiped out the usefulness of these terms for important historical comparisons which might have helped a nation better understand the dangers we are now facing. How much of that strategy was by design or just the result of blindful ignorance we may never know for sure.

  6. I think you've hit on something here, just look who benefits from having history swept under the rug… exactly

    Not hard to see why our racially obsessed, narcissist-megalomaniac of a president would like us to steer clear of any Hitler discussions, eh

    NO political or military history ought to be off limits… NEVER

  7. @Kerry, yes, it's chilling to think about, but we need to think about. 😦 Thanks for sharing it, too. 🙂

    @Mrs. AL, thank you!

    @Odie, agreed. On both points.

    @QR, thanks. It's really puzzling to me that leftists don't get that Nazi's were leftists, guess they believe whatever they're told and can't even understand that there can be no fascism with limited government. Fascism, any flavor, including Nazism, requires big government. *Shrug* I no longer care what they think of me/us, though. Heh. Unions will have to be cast aside eventually because communism/socialism/Marxism does not work and cannot support expansive salaries, pensions, etc. Union leaders know this, even if the rank and file doesn't. But we'll see who the puppeteers are and who the puppets in rather short order, I believe.

    @Ron, lol, I removed your post as you requested and then saw you posted it at your blog with same info. 🙂

    @conservativesonfire, thanks! 🙂 I'm not sure what more we can do to wake others up on this. Many are either completely unaware of politics and the occupy movement or are (understandably) too frightened by the implications or think “it can't happen here.” All in all, the ones who are awake now are the only ones who can save the republic.

    @CW, thanks! I'm pretty sure it's been by design. We have quite a bit of evidence of leftist groups not only working together to chip away at our society and culture but to “organize” in Alinsky fashion to attack the right and now Wall Street (Journolist comes to mind here, as well).

    @Trestin, that's something I look forward to, for sure. (As an aside, I still can't read your posts in Reader, they are showing as “summary only”)

    @RR, perfectly-stated.

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