Life on Hannan World (Part 11)

The Lyin’ King is as predictable as clockwork: you can always rely on him to produce at least one blog per year in which he repeats the lie that the Nazis were “socialists” or produces a variation on that dishonest theme (The BNP is ‘left-wing’ is one such theme). Today’s blog (the comments thread was originally closed) ploughs the same tedious furrow as his previous efforts. The title is a blatant piece of red-baiting: “Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism”.

He opens his latest smear with this scene-setter:

On 16 June 1941, as Hitler readied his forces for Operation Barbarossa, Josef Goebbels looked forward to the new order that the Nazis would impose on a conquered Russia. There would be no come-back, he wrote, for capitalists nor priests nor Tsars. Rather, in the place of debased, Jewish Bolshevism, the Wehrmacht would deliver “der echte Sozialismus”: real socialism.

Yes, he’s mentioned Hitler in the first sentence. Clever, huh? Nope.  The first sentence of the second paragraph continues the theme.

Goebbels never doubted that he was a socialist. He understood Nazism to be a better and more plausible form of socialism than that propagated by Lenin. Instead of spreading itself across different nations, it would operate within the unit of the Volk.

Goebbels? Yeah, he was a real leftist. A proper Bolshevik.

Let’s skip down a paragraph, where he attempts an early defence of his, er, smear-job.

The clue is in the name. Subsequent generations of Leftists have tried to explain away the awkward nomenclature of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party as either a cynical PR stunt or an embarrassing coincidence. In fact, the name meant what it said.

I don’t know how many times I have to say this: but how ‘liberal’ is the Australian Liberal Party? Come to think of it, how communist is the Moldovan Communist Party? The truth of the matter is that there was no ‘socialism’ in Nazism. The early Nazis may have referred to themselves as socialists, but their brand of ‘socialism’ is known as ‘Strasserism’. It was named after the Strasser brothers, who proposed it as a Nazi response to socialism that was ultra-nationalistic, militaristic and anti-Semitic.  Strasserism’s roots are  in the Catholic form of Distributism that was based on the teachings of Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius XI. Even if the Nazis claimed to be the ‘real’ socialists, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they were actual socialists. Anyone can say stuff like that. The Tories have claimed to be defenders of freedom. We know that isn’t true… unless you’re talking about preserving the freedoms of bosses to exploit workers. Then, yes, the Tories stand for freedom.

But here’s the worst part of this wretched attempt at historical revisionism for dummies.

Hitler told Hermann Rauschning, a Prussian who briefly worked for the Nazis before rejecting them and fleeing the country, that he had admired much of the thinking of the revolutionaries he had known as a young man; but he felt that they had been talkers, not doers. “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun,” he boasted, adding that “the whole of National Socialism” was “based on Marx”.

Laughable. Next, Dan will be telling us the Hitler Diaries weren’t a hoax. National Socialism was the marriage of corporate and state power that was imposed through coercion, fear and intimidation. No workers’ control of the means of production. No workers’ rights at all. Socialists, Communists, anarchists and trade unionists were persecuted. Many died in work camps.

And here’s where The Lyin’ King slips up:

Marx’s error, Hitler believed, had been to foster class war instead of national unity – to set workers against industrialists instead of conscripting both groups into a corporatist order.

Hannan doesn’t understand the nature of class conflict (a necessary component in understanding how socialism works), because he belongs to the dominant class: the bourgeoisie, rather than the dominated or subaltern classes.  It is in his interest and those of his class to refuse the existence of class conflict. Indeed, a war has been waged by the dominant social formation against the subaltern classes for centuries. For example, the Inclosure Acts were used by the ruling classes as a weapon in the war against the so-called ‘lower orders’,  stripping them of the right to agriculture and amusement on common land (the seasonal fairs were also closed down by the end of the 18th century). If it’s one thing that the right hates to be reminded of, it’s social class. Tories like Hannan hate the idea of class consciousness unless its middle class consciousness.

More red-baiting.

Leftist readers may by now be seething. Whenever I touch on this subject, it elicits an almost berserk reaction from people who think of themselves as progressives and see anti-fascism as part of their ideology. Well, chaps, maybe now you know how we conservatives feel when you loosely associate Nazism with “the Right”.

Note the use of language here: a “beserk reaction from people” he says, “who see anti-fascism as part of their ideology”. Hannan’s suggesting there’s some kind of confusion on the part of the Left’s anti-fascism. It’s another way of saying, “Leave those fascists alone. They deserve to be heard”. He closes this paragraph by claiming the Nazis weren’t right-wing and it’s all been an attempt on the part of the Left to smear the Right.  Seriously! I hate to tell you this, Danny, but the Catholic Centre Party – a conservative political party – effectively handed power to Hitler. The Nazis are associated with the Right, not only because of the sympathy of German conservatives, but because their ideology was extremely nationalistic, militaristic and racist. How can I put this to you, Dan? You’re talking crap.

The idea that Nazism is a more extreme form of conservatism has insinuated its way into popular culture. You hear it, not only when spotty students yell “fascist” at Tories, but when pundits talk of revolutionary anti-capitalist parties, such as the BNP and Golden Dawn, as “far Right”.

Notice how The Lyin’ King has moved seamlessly from German Nazism to Italian Fascism. Notice also how he talks of “spotty students” yelling “fascist” at some unnamed Tories, because that’s what this is all about: some people calling the Tories “fascists”. He forgets how his side tends to shout “Communist” at anyone who identifies as a ‘liberal’ or a Labour voter.  But what’s this suggestion that the BNP and Golden Dawn aren’t “far-right”? If they aren’t far-right, then what is to “far-right” of the Tories? Nothing? Laughable. But didn’t Tory treasure, Alan Clark, have Nazi sympathies? I think he did… In fact, he once told a journalist,

I am not a fascist. Fascists are shopkeepers, people of that sort. I am a Nazi.

The analysis in the next paragraph is woeful. If an ‘A’ Level History student included this drivel in an essay, they’d get an “F”. Dan has a degree in Modern History from Oxford University.

What is it based on, this connection? Little beyond a jejune sense that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists are nasty. When written down like that, the notion sounds idiotic, but think of the groups around the world that the BBC, for example, calls “Right-wing”: the Taliban, who want communal ownership of goods; the Iranian revolutionaries, who abolished the monarchy, seized industries and destroyed the middle class; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who pined for Stalinism. The “Nazis-were-far-Right” shtick is a symptom of the wider notion that “Right-wing” is a synonym for “baddie”.

A grown man wrote this and was paid for it? You’re having a laugh. By the way, Vladimir Zhirinovsky is the leader of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party – a party that is neither liberal nor democratic. Dan sort of sidesteps him and his terrible party. Funny how The Lyin’ King kind of forgot that. Poor choice, Dan.

I’ll skip to the final paragraph, because the rest of the blog just gets itself into a terrible tizzy.

Next time you hear Leftists use the word fascist as a general insult, gently point out the difference between what they like to imagine the NSDAP stood for and what it actually proclaimed.

Yeah, I can’t wait for that. In fact, I’m setting the timer. I reckon another one of these blogs will be along in another 8 to 12 months.

Say, didn’t many Tories support the Nazis and didn’t The Daily Mail run the infamous headline “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”? Let’s give those Blackshirts a helping hand.

Then there’s Aidan Burley

Oh and Dan, at the risk of me being tautological: the Nazis were extreme right and reactionary conservatives.

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1 Comment

Filed under Journalism, Media, propaganda, Tory press

One response to “Life on Hannan World (Part 11)

  1. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    This is another tactic against the Left that appears to have come from across the Atlantic. Several of the American and Canadian blogs began running stories, following the lead of the American Conservative press, that the Nazis and the Fascists were really Socialists. The origins of this seem to be in Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism, which took the view that FDR’s ‘New Deal’ was inspired by Italian Fascism. In this respect, Goldberg was only following the assertions of Harold Laski, back in the 1930s and ’40s, who was very much a man of the Left.
    It is actually a serious question how far the Nazis and the Italian Fascists were influenced by socialism and were revolutionary. Noel Sullivan in his book on Fascism takes the view that Fascism is a mixture of nationalism and socialism – syndicalism in the case of Italian Fascism, state socialism in Nazi Germany. However, he states that in the case of Nazi Germany the socialist element of Nazi policies was kept to a minimum. Furthermore, Alex de Jonge in his biography of Stalin states that during the period around the signing of the Nazi-Soviet pact Stalin was negotiating with Axis with the intention of joining them. Other historians of the old dictator have stated that he did briefly consider reforming the USSR on Mussolini’s model of the Corporate state, until it was pointed out to him that this was incompatible with Marxism.
    Despite this, Hitler and Mussolini always allied themselves with Conservatives and reactionaries. When he took power, Musso stated that he stood for the pure laissez-faire capitalism of the Manchester school, while Hitler in a speech to German industrialists in 1933 stated that ‘private industry cannot survive an age of democracy’, and argued that it was only under a personal dictatorship that it could be protected. In Britain too the early Fascist groups up until Oswald Mosely and the BUF, like the British Fascisti, were composed of Die-Hard Tories. The membership of the British Fascisti was composed of middle-class, emancipated ladies and old colonels. It supplied scab labour to break strikes, and disrupted left-wing demonstrations. At some point they seem to have considered merging or allying with Mosely’s BUF, until he told them about his plans to create a Corporate British state on the Italian model. They were shocked and denounced this as ‘Socialism’. This shows you the profoundly Conservative nature of some of the self-described British Fascists.
    Hannan’s attempts to brand Fascism and Nazism as a form of Socialism is, of course, an attempt to position Conservatism as the ideology of freedom. Hence the description of the BNP as ‘Left-wing’. It’s a piece of historiographical revisionism to misdirect people away from the way very many of the Conservative party have in the past allied themselves with Fascist groups like the BNP. During the 1980s one Tory activist turned up at a Conservative meeting with a member of the BNP, who beginning distributing their literature. The other Conservatives were shocked and tried to get them to leave. However, according to the BNP stormtrooper, the Tories’ attitude was very much one of ‘Yes, yes, we agree with everything you say, we just can be seen doing so’.

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