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Monday, October 17, 2005

Leftwinger again trying to deny fascists were... leftwingers

Joe Hendren's argument that fascists (and he lumps Nazis and the Italian fascists into one group) are right-wing is because they aren't "socialists". Hendren's definition of a socialist for the purposes of this argument appears to approach what the rest of us would call a "communist", ie what "socialism" meant about 80 years ago.

So who said the definition of left-wing hinges on whether someone exactly follows the concepts of Marx et al.?

Here's a quote from Mussolini appearing in a post Hendren references:
The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State--a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values--interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people. (p. 14)
Rightwingers believe in the voluntary actions of the individual as the first line of attack for a given problem. The fascist movement was about absorbing all individuals into some kind of fatherland super-state. Fascism and communism are both collectivist systems, and both belong on the left-wing side of the political spectrum.

Now there are certainly moral authoritarian right-wingers who use the State to punish individuals who commit "moral crimes". But that's a big step away from "interpreting, developing, and potentiating the whole life of a people". Just typing that previous sentence makes me horrified. Eck.

The title of Hendren's post: "Nazis: Well established baggage of the far right". No. Rather the fascists were left-wingers with a strong moral authoritarian streak.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 10/17/2005 08:34:00 AM

15 Comments:

Blogger Whaleoil said...

Don't forget their Green heritage

10/17/2005 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger RightWingDeathBeast said...

There's a formatting error in the first link. :)

10/17/2005 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these labels are soooo yesterday The futures going be between Free and Anti Free Could spend a long time explaining but its simply down to those who want to control their destiny and those who want the state to wipe their arses for them
gd

10/17/2005 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger BruceH said...

I think that Mussolini quote is straight Plato

10/17/2005 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

So Hendren's definition of a socialist is all the socialists he wants to call socialists and not those he doesn't want to be associated with. Neat and tidy for him, but ignores the history of Germany from the 1870s and all the Marxist theory behind fascism and Nazism. Still, it is the only way he can foist the bad "right wing", aka fascism and/or Nazism, on liberal/free market ideas. But then he is a great Chomsky fan so it is par for the course.

10/18/2005 03:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, what an anti-intellectual piece of revisionism.

Let’s look at the crucial German elections of 1932 and 1933. You have the left-wing Communists (KPD) and social democratic parties (SPD) gaining a combined total of 30%-37% and the “left-wing” NSDAP gaining 33%-44%. And you have the conservative German National Party (DNVP) gaining between 6%-8%, but since they coalesced with the Nazis and handed Hilter power, they must be “left-wing” too. All that’s left is the Catholic Zentrum party with 14%-16% and they supported the NSDAP/DNVP coalition on issues of Constitutional change. Those damn “left-wingers”!

So by 1933, there is virtually no right-wing force in German politics. Wow, I bet the left-wing architects of the Weimar Republic must have been thrilled: the complete abolition of the political right in a mere 14 years. All those borgeois shopkeepers and middle class white collar workers voting "left wing." When the Republic was crumbling down and swastikas flew over Berlin, I bet they were jumping for joy.

Or maybe you’re taking a more abstract, cross-historical approach. Maybe you’re defining “right wing” as classic liberal/libertarian and everything else in the history of ever as necessarily collectivistic and “left-wing” by default. Well, fuck, that makes most of the National Party “left-wing” (“JUST LIKE HITLER!!!”); Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford were “left wing”; all the leaders of the allies who defeated Hitler were “left-wing.” (Why were they fighting if they had so much in common?) Yep, that’s highly sensible and intuitive. When your convenient little definition of "left-wing" is so all-encompassing, *of course* it's going to be "factionalised".

10/18/2005 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So because the Nazis were going up against other left wing parties, they are obviously right wing? And it is completely unheard of that a country could take a left wing lurch politically. Oh wait, no it isnt.

Kimble

10/18/2005 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

God anonymous, what a piece of sophist crap. So by looking at *one* election where the parties were desperately fighting for control you decide the Nazis were not leftist. Very conveniently ignoring things like, oh, Nazi ideology and rhetoric... pure Marxism pitched at the German middle class. Not to mention Hitler's rabid anti-capitalism and his despising of "western" philosophies. And of course the Nazis most fertile recruiting ground was the communists, and vice versa.

Talk about anti-intellectual anon and revisionist anon, it looks like you wrote the book.

10/18/2005 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

No, it would seem AL is trying to write the book though it's hard to see why. Let's just all accept that left wingers are really fascists and then get back to planet earth.

BTW Stratfor has an interesting piece on the Plame Affair but then again that's just a beat up and EVERYBODY knew she was an NOC so really all they were doing was a public service for the rest of us.....

10/18/2005 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

No ackers, fascists are leftwing not vice versa. Surely even your mighty intellect can figure it out.

10/18/2005 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

OK Chefen, for once we can agree. If that's what I said it must be true.

I would post the Stratfor article but it's off topic and I now realise the importance of blog ettiquette so best not.

10/18/2005 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Hendren said...

I would first like to point out I made no such "argument" - I was talking about a post made by David Neiwert, which I agree with. Unlike other 'baggage of the right' such as the maxium institute, I don't attempt to take credit for the ideas of others. Or is AL simply attempting to shoot the messenger rather than the message?

It also amuses me that AL accuses me of using a definition based on "what socialism meant 80 years ago" when I am talking about history, ie. things that happened in the past. But it would be the worst kind of revisionism to insist on using a very narrow and insufficent definition of "right wing" from 2005 that excludes everything but neo-liberal/free market views. But this appears to be exactly what AL is doing.

While he links to David's post, and takes a quote from his post, he does not mention the fact the linked post actually disagrees with ALs own position (dishonest IMHO). He also fails to engage with the argument David makes that people who claim that the "Nazi's were socialists" are, in fact, falling for (and repeating) Nazi propaganda from the 1920s.

Mussolini writing in the The Doctrine of Fascism: "Granted that the XIXth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the XXth century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the 'right', a Fascist century.".

It also must be noted that in practice, fascist movements gravitate and ally themselves with the right, as happened in both Germany and Italy.

And Chefen, if you want to look for the philosophical history of Fascism more is to be found in "right wing or traditional Hegelianism" (right-wing Hegelianism is actually what it is widely refered to as). Marx, as one of the 'left-wing Hegelians' was a response to Hegel, just as many of those philosophers sypathetic to fascism attacked Marx's ideas. Fascism rejected class struggle, a key Marxist idea, in favour of corporatism. They may have adopted some of the techniques of party organisation from the Marxists, but to say fascism was "pure Marxism" is just utter rubbish.

10/19/2005 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger Chefen said...

So Mussolini fell out with Lenin and the communists and favoured corporatism. Big deal, so he didn't believe class warfare would deliver his beloved Italian working class what failed in Russia. Talking about left and right Hegelianism isn't very helpful, since the common idea of "right" is not what people would associate with reaction to Hegel. If you are restricting socialism to a narrow range of philosophies that must necessarily involve class struggle etc then every modern social democratic state is pretty much soft fascist and not socialist and "right" doesn't mean anything at all. Jeez, I don't know if I am on the right or not, I'm a social and economic liberal but I am most definitely not a socialist or leftist.

10/19/2005 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger Chefen said...

OK,
Joe I just read your comment at your own blog. Your definition of socialism admits only some sorts of syndicalism, so it is no wonder no one agrees on anything. God, you almost make Hitler out to be a capitalist and virtually call Stalin a rightist. If we are only going to read from the book of Noam then I'm sorry, there isn't going to be a sensible discussion.

10/19/2005 01:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My definition of socialism is there's a defined group to be a victim (socialism has the financially succesful, national socialism has the jews etc & communism has the "owners") and no indiviudal liberty (a deliberate attempt to destroy the importance of the individual).

10/19/2005 03:08:00 AM  

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