Daniel Hannan on the socialist roots of fascism

Many people, mainly from the left wing conveniently ignore the socialist roots of fascism. they wrongly describe fascists as “far right”, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Then again when have the left wing ever bothered with such trivialities as the truth:

‘I am a Socialist,’ Hitler told Otto Strasser in 1930, ‘and a very different kind of Socialist from your rich friend, Count Reventlow’.

No one at the time would have regarded it as a controversial statement. The Nazis could hardly have been more open in their socialism, describing themselves with the same terminology as our own SWP: National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

Almost everyone in those days accepted that fascism had emerged from the revolutionary Left. Its militants marched on May Day under red flags. Its leaders stood for collectivism, state control of industry, high tariffs, workers’ councils. Around Europe, fascists were convinced that, as Hitler told an enthusiastic Mussolini in 1934, ‘capitalism has run its course’.

One of the most stunning achievements of the modern Left is to have created a cultural climate where simply to recite these facts is jarring. History is reinterpreted, and it is taken as axiomatic that fascism must have been Right-wing, the logic seemingly being that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists were nasty. You expect this level of analysis from Twitter mobs; you shouldn’t expect it from mainstream commentators. 

Hannan is referring to the case where a Tory candidate was suspended for daring to link socialism with nazism…with a re-tweet:

Rachel Frosh, who yesterday wrote for this website, has apparently been suspended from the Conservative Party’s candidates list for the next general election, following hysterical coverage of a retweet of hers which linked Nazism to Socialism.

Party sources are reported to have confirmed the suspension in response to the retweet, which mockingly encouraged socialists to embrace their “inner Nazi”.

Though perhaps bluntly made, the point is a widely held belief amongst right-thinking historians and academics, that National Socialism has its roots in Socialism, rather than on the Right.

Frosh told The Commentator that she has an excellent background in combating extremism and human rights abuses, and that Lady Thatcher herself used to link Socialism to their ‘bedfellows’ in Communism. Frosh, it has been argued, has simply juxtaposed another despotic ideology, Nazism, with Socialism.

Sources have been quick to indicate Frosh’s record over the past few years, including her 20 years in the National Health Service, extensive volunteer work and her position as a Tory candidate in Harrow West in 2010.

One high-profile Tory activist told The Commentator, “It’s almost as if Lady Thatcher would fail to get on the candidate’s list in the modern Conservative party. Since when are in the business of barring people for holding perfectly legitimate political views?”

This was her offending re-tweet:

HORRIBLE AND OFFENSIVE? The image of Hitler which quoted a speech from the fledgling Nazi leader

HORRIBLE AND OFFENSIVE? The image of Hitler which quoted a speech from the fledgling Nazi leader

  • http://voakl.net/ Ben Ross

    As Cam has said, Fascism is the extreme form of Socialism and thus occupies the left wing.

    To do a td:lr: go do the political compass test (easy enough to find on Dr Google) shows the Left/Right spectrum is actually a square cut 4 ways [+] not a linear line.————

    The Upper Half of the Square (Social and Neo Conservatism sit here) leans to more authoritarian social attitudes while the lower half of the square (Social and Neo Liberals sit here) lean more to your Libertarian social attitudes.

    Now in economics the left half of the square leans more to collectivism and state intervention. Socialists, Social Liberals, Social Conservatives, Fascists, Communists and in part anarchists all sit on that side of the square. On the right side of the square you lean more to the free market ideology in economic terms (not social terms necessarily). Your Neo Liberals, hard libertarians and Neo Cons occupy this section.

    So Fascism occupies the top left quarter of the square. Socially Conservative, Economically Conservative to boot with the state intervening quite highly to the extremes on both fronts. Fascism folks is in the same quarter as the Social Cons where part of Labour sit, the Greens actually sit, New Zealand First sit, and that muppet Colin Craig sit.

    Hitler was left wing and in the same technical boat as Stalin…

    Just of note, I have no idea where Master Baiter is but if we were to follow her strict Traditional Values based on Fundy Catholicism or to a lesser extent allow Fundy Christians to run Parliament then NZ would be kicked extremely close to the Fascism department rather fast.

    In most cases Fundys are actually Left Wing – not right other wise they would have no problems what so ever with trading on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and malls running 9-6 on a Sunday…

  • http://twitter.com/libertyscott Libertyscott

    Problem solved as regards Rachel Frosh, Conservatives have rightfully reinstated her.

    http://rachelfrosh.com/im-back-on-the-candidates-list-and/

  • johnbronkhorst

    probably the biggest lie of the 20th century…is that fascism is actually a right wing philosophy.

    “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. ”………Joseph Goebels
    “A lie told often enough, becomes the truth”….Vladimer Lenin
    Strikingly similar philosophies, don’t you think.
    “A man with a gun can control 100 men without one”…..V. Lenin
    Scary similarity.

    • Chris

      Sure, but Lenin said it to criticise the capitalists, while Goebels said it to describe part of his own strategy.

      • johnbronkhorst

        bullshit!!!Lenin openly admired hitler and his methods. So much so that he copied him years later. Lenin was absolutely stunned that a kindred spirit (hitler) could actually attack Russia.

        • Alsh

          Lenin died in 1924, long before Hitler came to power.

        • Ururoa

          Hitler was still messing around painting water colours for a living when Lenin died. What a moron.

          • johnbronkhorst

            apolgies, getting lenin and stalin mixed up (must have been a long week). But hitler was by no means “painting with water colours” at lenins death…He was in prison writing Mein Kampf. He had already fought in WW1 and was imprisoned for an attempted coup. However the philosophies of lenin/stalin and hitler were nearly identical. The massacre of white Russians by lenin, paranoid perges in the military by stalin as well as the near forced starvastion of large sections of the USSR (Ukraine in particular, as they were seen by stalin to NOT be in line with his thinking) was considered a large scale version of the getto’s created by hitler.

  • PlanetOrphan

    Left / Right / Center it’s not the ideal , it’s the Knee Jerk emotional reactionary maggots that are “Nazi’s”.

    “FAITH” is an emotion, don’t beleive me ? , just knock someones faith and watch the reaction.

    “RIGHT WING” / “LEFT WING” / “CENTER” are all emotional responses to lack of thought and inability to explain the emotional conclusions someone has made.

    Emotional immature scabbing maggots steal words and sell them as their own, and react violently and emotionally when their falshood is threatened.

    I was commenting on how Gods’ presence on earth was incontrovertible after the lightning strike at the Vatican, what did I induce ?

    Someone asking me to Prove it childishly and petulantly because they had “FAITH” and felt I was threatening it.

    The Pope did say that God told him to leave , I have to wonder why no one believes him.

    • BJ

      If it is not something you can physically touch – then it is not true.

      Truism – being the tangible truth for everybody – anything else is just faith/belief (evokes a certain emotion), but not real. If all humans understood this the world would be a far better place

      • PlanetOrphan

        So true bud :-)

      • nzd.gbp

        emotion not real? Whoever said emotion is tangible? But to say therefore it’s not real? That’s the same as saying ideas are not real. Emotions may not be bankable, but not real?

        “truth” defined as “tangible for everybody”?

        Tangible, ok, but “for everybody”? Every human? Every tall human? Or are the shorties allowed to use ladders? What if there are no tall people and no ladders? The fruit up there’s not true because it’s never been tasted? And if we just understood that it’s not true we’d all be better off? We’d stop saying it’s real and instead say it might be real? And that’d make us better off? That sounds like a philosophy more than a “tangible” truth.
        If short people without ladders are convinced that the fruit is 100% real then they’d be more likely to build ladders. Then sometimes we would actually turn out to be better off. Not always but sometimes. More often than if they never were 100% convinced the fruit was real (even if they turn out to be wrong every time). At least we’d know how to build ladders.

        WRT “tangible” – even physical relationships are measured in probabilities at a certain level so what level of certainty are you prepared to accept before you’d say something is “tangibly” true? If it’s 100% deterministic then what are you going to spend the rest of your time on? Proving it again? Building a temple around that truth? At least you’d learn how to build temples I suppose.

  • cows4me

    Why Frosh would want to stand for that “conservative” party is beyond me. No wonder the dribbling wonders of the left get away with their shit, no one is aloud to challenge them. God what a weak kneed pussy outfit. The party should have been in boots and all, of course fascism and socialism are one in the same, how the lefty pricks can claim otherwise is simply what the left do best, rewrite history. Everyone one knows their politics are eventually evil in the extreme, bullshit artists, every last one of them.

  • Andy

    Jonah Goldberg – “Liberal Fascism” – describes all aspects including National Socialism.
    The Nazis were also quite early adopters of Green ideology

  • Danny-boy

    As much as I hate both fascists and socialists, I think they are different animals, though they are both examples of collectivism, placing society above the individual, like many “conservatives”. (Fascism and Nazism are probably different animals as well. i.e. Italian Fascism wasn’t especially racist.)

    Hitler’s ideology was mercurial and socialism was very trendy in the first half of the 20th century. Sure, they called themselves a “socialist” party, but Mein Kampf rails against the influences of Bolshevism, etc. Left-wing and right-wing are relative terms bound by the political context of the day. If you call Nazism “left wing”, it means there was no “right wing” in Weimar Germany. The Nazis fought Communists and the center-left SDP in the streets, and persecuted them after they came to power, which they did with the help of their Conservative allies in the Reichstag. Hitler conveniently forgot his gripes with Bolshevism in 1939 when they carved up Poland, but conveniently remembered it again after 1941 when it was opportune. In short, Nazism was an incoherent political philosophy and Hitler and others borrowed bits of other philosophies where it suited. Socialism, at least, is relatively coherent.

  • thor42

    Yep – I saw an article somewhere which said that when the Democrats were called “socialist”, Obama didn’t deny it.

    They definitely are.

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