November 25, 2007
The Nazis Were MarxistsBy Bruce Walker
The Nazis were Marxists, no matter what our tainted academia and corrupt media wishes us to believe. Nazis, Bolsheviks, the Ku Klux Klan, Maoists, radical Islam and Facists -- all are on the Left, something that should be increasingly apparent to decent, honorable people in our times. The Big Lie which places Nazis on some mythical Far Right was created specifically so that there would be a bogeyman manacled on the wrists of those who wish us to move "too far" in the direction of Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater.
The truth about the Nazis was that they were the antithesis of Reagan and Goldwater. Let us consider the original Nazi movement and its evolution. The National Socialist movement began in Austria with Walter Riehl, Rudolf Jung and Hans Knirsch, who were, as M.W. Fodor relates in his book South of Hitler, the three men who founded the National Socialist Party in Austria, and hence indirectly in Germany. In November, 1910, these men launched what they called the Deutschsoziale Arbeiterpartei. That party was successful politically. It established its program at Inglau in 1914.
What was this program? It was against social and political reaction, for the working class, against the church and against the capitalist classes. This party eventually adopted the name Deutsche Nationalsozialistche Arbeiter Partei, which, except for the order of the words, is the same name as "Nazi." In May 1918, the German National Socialist Workers Party selected the Harkendruez, or swastika, as its symbol. Both Hitler and Anton Drexler, the nominal founder of the Nazi Party, corresponded with this earlier, anti-capitalistic and anti-church party.
Hitler, before the First World War, was highly sympathetic to socialism. Emile Lorimer, in his 1939 book, What Hitler Wants, writes about Hitler during these Vienna years that Hitler already had felt great sympathy for the trade unions and antipathy toward employers. He attended sessions of the Austrian Parliament. Hitler was not, as many have portrayed him, a political neophyte in 1914.
The very term "National Socialist" was not invented by Hitler nor was it unique to Germany. Eduard Benes, President of Czechoslovakia at the time of the Munich Conference, was a leader of the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party. Ironically, at the time of the Munich Conference, out of the fourteen political parties in the Snemovna (the lower chamber of the Czechoslovakian legislature) the party most opposed to Hitler was the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party. The Fascist Party in Czechoslovakia was also anti-Nazi.
The first and only platform of the National Socialist German Workers Party called for very Leftist economic policies. Among other things, this platform called for the death penalty for war profiteering, the confiscation of all income unearned by work, the acquisition of a controlling interest by the people in all big business organizations and so on. Otto Strasser, the brother and fellow Nazi of Gregor Strasser, who was the second leading Nazi for much of the Nazi Party's existence, in his 1940 book, Hitler and I revealed his ideology before he found a home in the Nazi Party. In his own words Otto Strasser wrote: "I was a young student of law and economics, a Left Wing student leader."
Consider the following text from that platform adopted in Munich on February 20, 1920 and ask yourself whether it sounds like the notional Right or the very real Left:
In his 1939 indictment of Nazism, Germany Rampant, Hambloch has an entire chapter on political parties under the German Empire before the First World War and political parties under the Weimar Republic. Hambloch lists parts of the "Left," "Right" and "Centre" in the German Empire pre-1914, but there are no "Left," "Right" or "Centre" parties in the Weimar Republic, but rather "Weimar Parties, i.e. those who supported the republican constitution," "National Reactionary Parties" and "Revolutionary Parties." The Nazis are listed, along with the Communist Party of Germany, as the two "Revolutionary Parties." Pointedly, the Nazis were not considered a "National Reactionary Party."
Consider these remarks of Nazi leaders. Hitler on May 1, 1927:
Goebbels, who was the only major Nazi leader who stayed with Hitler to the very end, wrote in Der Angriff in 1928:
That image sounds almost identical to what Charlie Chaplin, a Marxist, was portraying in his caricature of industrial society, Modern Times. In 1930, Hitler tasked Hans Buchner to clarify what Nazi economic policies were. What did Buchner elect to call the economic policies of the Nazis? "State socialism."
As the Nazis began to become a serious political party, in the 1930s, the Nazi deputies introduced a flurry of proposals: (1) to ban trading in stocks and bonds; (2) to nationalize all large banks; (3) to require registration of stock ownership with a state agency; (4) to limit interest by law to five percent; (5) to confiscate all profits acquired by inflation. These measures were not hidden; they were trumpeted on the front pages of Nazi periodicals to ensure that party members knew what the Nazi Party in the Reichstag was doing. Some Nazi proposals sound eerily modern. The Nazis, for example, proposed that old age and disability benefits (Social Security) be paid out of general revenue, rather than from the contributions of the individual recipient, and that the benefits be indexed to the cost of living.
In 1932, months before the Nazis actually took power, a leading opponent of Nazism writing under the pseudonym Nordicus, in his the book, Hitlerism: The Iron Fist in Germany, notes what Josef Goebbels, leading propagandist for the Nazis, was writing: "War against profiteers, peace with workers! Destruction of all capitalistic influences on the political system of the country." The same author notes the economic principles of Nazism included support for the general welfare, and that this included old age pensions, the confiscation of war profits, and opposition to capitalism.
The Nazis simply did not ride to power on the backs of wealthy industrialists. In fact, after the Nazis had acquired power and when it would have been very advantageous to have "backed the right horse," Ernst von Borsig, the prominent Berlin industrialist, said that he and his colleagues provided very little support to the Nazis. As early as 1921, Paul Reush, the leading industrialist in the Ruhr, actively insisted that his company officers not support the Nazis. The Krupp family, famous for producing arms for Germany, opposed Hitler in the 1932 presidential election. Nazis received very little support even from industrialists who would benefit from rearmament until 1930.
Hendrik Willem van Loon, in his 1938 book, Our Battle, written before the Nazi-Bolshevik non-aggression pact and while Nazis were presenting themselves to the world as sworn enemies of Bolshevism, wrote that Big Business mistrusted a political program which made a point of denouncing with bitterness all those who made profits by loaning out money at interest, and that because Hitler "pretended" to be the enemy of Communists, industrialists would occasionally give him some money, but they were careful not to take sides.
The putative connection between Nazis and industrialists was invented simply for convenience by Communists. Opponents of the Nazis in 1923 claimed that Hugo Stinnes, the leading industrialist in Germany, was providing support to the Nazis. At this very point in history, not only was Nazi propaganda attacking Stinnes, but Hitler himself specifically attacked Stinnes in his speeches. The Weimar Republic, like the Third Republic of France had no Right in the way that Americans would conceive of it.
Hitler, for example, loathed the Kaiser and Imperial Germany. The Tat Circle, that enigmatic group which influenced Nazism, was profoundly anti-capitalist. The title of Tat Circle member Ferdinand Freid's 1931 bestseller was The End of Capitalism, which asserts that capitalism not only was doomed, but also that it was unjust. The Tat Circle is an example of what passes for the Far Right in the Weimar Republic, and if an anti-capitalism and anti-Christian movement is the Right, one must wonder what the Left in Weimar Germany believed. Germany never had "capitalism," and in his 1938 book, Germany Puts the Clock Back, Edgar Mower writes that when in April 1931 a number of German industrialists visited Soviet Russia they were enthusiastic about the unlimited authority of the Bolsheviks over the workmen, which was what many of them dreamed about for Germany, noting that German owners long since ceased to believe in anything so vigorous as Western capitalism and competition.
While Nazi rhetoric consistently attacked the rich, the well born, the war profiteers, and the industrialists and while Nazi rhetoric consistently championed the working poor, the old, and the unemployed, how did the Nazis act once they had acquired actual power? If anything, Nazis in power were more hostile to business and to the "rich" when they ran Germany as when they were seeking power through democratic means. In 1937, four years after the Nazis gained power, Freund wrote of Hitler in Zero Hour that "Only in domestic affairs did Hitler follow his original plan to the letter." Graf von der Golz, the Deputy Commissar in the Ministry of Economics in a speech to businessmen reported in the Nazi periodical Völkischer Beobachter on July 15, 1934: "Any organization that represents the interests of the employer will be regarded as illegal and disbanded and the guilty parties will be prosecuted." Fritz Thyssen, one of the industrialists who did help bring the Nazis to power, said in 1940: "Soon Germany will not be any different from Bolshevik Russia; the heads of enterprises who do not fulfill the conditions which the ‘Plan' prescribes will be accused of treason against the German people, and shot."
The Nazis on October 16, 1934 raised the highest income tax rate from 40% to 50%, and on February 17, 1939 raised that highest rate again to 55%. A decree of September 9, 1939 again increased income taxes, but exempted incomes of 2,400 Reichmarks a year or less. Comparative Major European Governments, a 1937 book, notes that through several new laws on December 4, 1934 banking, credits, and stock exchanges passed under complete government control and that the Loan-Stock Law limited stock company dividends to six percent in some cases and to eight percent in others, with profits over that required to be transferred to the Gold Discount Bank, which was in turn required to invest them in government loans or municipal debt service bonds.
Nazi hostility to individual wealth was matched by its hostility to big business. The same act of October 16, 1934 removed the exemption on business taxes for many types of businesses and it increased the progressivity of the business taxes; an act of August 27, 1936 raised the general business tax rate from 20% to 25% and to 30% for each year thereafter; then on July 25, 1938 corporate profits of more than 100,000 Reichmarks per year were subjected to an additional tax of 35% with that rising to 40% for each year thereafter; and on March 20, 1939, the Nazis imposed an excess profits tax. In four years, Nazis had raised taxes to approximately one fourth of the national income.
Stephen Roberts, in his 1937 book, The House That Hitler Built, noted that compulsory loans had been extracted from banks and insurance companies, and that these grew to such an extent that armament firms complained that they no longer could bear this in addition to all the other assessments like the eight percent Labor Front charges assessed. Dr. Schacht, an economist who worked for the German government after the Nazis took power, had been compelled to fight with the Leftist economists within the Nazi Party, and that he had refused to join the Nazi Party for a long time. Dr. Schacht had also opposed the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazis as economically unsound.
The Loan Stock Law of December 4, 1934 virtually confiscated all dividends of six percent or, in some cases, eight percent by ordering the beneficiaries of stock dividends to invest those monies in state bonds. Even this was deemed to be too generous to the rich. The original promise to pay these stockholders in cash or other bonds was revoked in 1937 through the issuance of tax certificates which bore no interest at all, and beyond that, the owners of these tax certificates could not use them to pay their income taxes or their capital profits tax -- they could only use them beginning in April 1952, and then only in installments. In January 1935, all mortgage banks and similar institutions were authorized to "offer" to owners of obligations issued by them a cut to 4.5% per cent in annual interest, for which the owner was to be compensated through a special payment corresponding to two percent of the face value of the obligation and this was "deemed" accepted unless the owner rejected it "in writing" and "within ten days"; in the latter case he also was forced to deposit the obligation with the credit-giving institution.
David Shoenbaum states in his book, Hitler's Social Revolution, that business was frustrated by the failures of the Nazis and soon began simply reading official scripts. And from the 1937 book, The House That Hitler Built, Roberts dismisses as "fantastic" the stories that Hitler came to power as the nominee of the Thyssen group, noting that Hitler received little money from industrialists until 1930, and the Krupp group, a major armaments builder, opposed Hitler as late as 1932. Once in power, the Nazis checked the industrialists, grabbed for the state dividends above six percent, forced employers to keep unnecessary workers, made them scrap modern labor-saving machinery, and coerced contributions for all kinds of Party purposes.
The Nazis passed legislation to make it difficult to form or maintain corporations and to limit the authority of directors of corporations or of stockholders in corporations. Directors of corporations, for example, were allowed to grant bonuses only upon condition that they were directly tied to profit and upon condition that the board of directors authorize "voluntary social contributions" to employees, granting employees effectively an automatic share in corporate profits. Later, the tax on directors' fees was increased from 10% in March 1933 to 20% in February 1939. The capital market in Germany was almost completely closed to private issues and banks were subject to a succession of compulsory levies, confiscated reserves and increasingly high taxes. In March 1939, a decree liquidated virtually all holdings of foreign securities.
The Nazis also simply expropriated, with or without compensation to the business owners, canals, dams, roads and other private enterprises if ownership was deemed in the interest of the Reich. Even if some compensation was given to the owners, the owners themselves could not request compensation for virtual seizure of their businesses when the government wished to seize them. The same year, the Reich Supreme Court for Finance and Taxation invalidated claims for tax deductions for two spinning mills in Saxony, noting that prior law could be ignored and that tax laws had to be interpreted according to a "National - Socialistic" perspective, to the great detriment of business. Even when private property rights were suspended by the Nazis in the interests of the "people's community," if there was any compensation to the property owners, "speculative gains" were taxed away.
Vera Micheles Dean in her 1939 book, Europe in Retreat, written before the Second World War began, said that the Nazis had introduced into Germany a form of graduated Bolshevism, focusing first upon Jewish bankers, industrialists and businessmen, but then upon other businesses, noting that the Nazi goal, from which it had not deviated, was to establish an egalitarian society in which everyone is equal and subordinate to the state. The same year Time Magazine wrote that the "most cruel joke of all" has been how Hitler treated those capitalists and small businessmen who thought National Socialism would save them from radicalism. Some businesses had been expropriated; some were subjected to a capital tax; all had profits strictly controlled; and all were subjected to intense government regulation.
The Nazi regime also had taken over big estates and in many instances collectivized agriculture, a procedure fundamentally similar to Russian Communism. The same year Dorothy Thompson wrote that, having robbed the Jews, the Nazis were beginning to rob the Church, and later will almost certainly expropriate the property of the bourgeoisie. Rauschning in 1938 wrote of Nazi economic policies, "The expropriation of property will inevitably follow, as well as the complete abolition of private enterprise."
Lunn noted the very same year that the decline of economic conditions in Germany was because of socialism and bureaucracy which was leading Germany toward foreign adventures. Two years later, in 1941, Karl Lowenstein wrote that even if industry and big business had helped Hitler into power, these men found a much sterner master in National Socialism. The Nazis regulated business to death and they were completely indifferent to the effect this had upon businessmen, who the Left often had presented as the secret masters of Nazism. The Anatomy of Nazism, published by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in 1961, noted that many industrialists who had supported Hitler found out that the Nazis were their masters, not servants, and that an enormous amount of private correspondence was simply new bureaucratic red tape imposed by a vast, new Nazi system of controls.
Fodor the following year wrote that now there was no doubt that the National Socialist regime truly justified the second part of its name, which a few years ago probably was only "window-dressing." In 1941, former Nazi boss of Danzig, Hermann Rauschning, wrote that the last part of the German Revolution was Nazism, which was just as much a realization of Marxist as of nationalist ideas, and he notes that the only ones who refuse to admit this are supporters of Marxist theories and Nazis themselves. Rauschning also writes in his book that Marxism itself was part of a single great revolutionary movement which included Marxist Socialism, Nazism, Communist Bolshevism, Fascism and nihilism. Rauschning knew Hitler well and repudiated him and his movement at great risk before the rest of the world recognized the full danger of Nazism.
Karl Lowenstein in the 1940 book, Governments of Continental Europe, writes that there was a convergence in Bolshevism and National Socialism regarding private property, and that this was clear long before Hitler and Stalin became allies. Such things as freedom of contract, inviolability of private property, and the right to dispose of one's estate were cited as examples of the deep-reaching restrictions in both totalitarian states. National Socialists were socialists. They had nothing but contempt for what socialists call "capitalism" or what normal people call economic freedom. While it is convenient to portray Nazis as beholden to industrialists and militarists, even from the earliest days Nazis loathed not only industrialists in general but armament makers in particular. The Nazis raised taxes, punished profits, reduced the power of owners, of managers, and of directors and championed the right of the state or the party to "protect" Germany and German workers from abuses of "capitalists
Nazis were Marxists, through and through. Although Nazi condemned Bolshevism, the particular incarnation of Marx in Russia, and although the Nazis often bickered and fought with Fascism, the particular incarnation of Marx in Italy, Hitler and his ghastly accomplices were always and forever absolutely committed to that which we have come to call the "Far Left." Nazis were Marxists.