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June 05, 2014

Comments

Minnow

Oh no, not the silly 'Hitler was a socialist' thing again, as if the appending of 'national' was just decorative. I guess we will all have to accept that the GDR was 'democratic' too, eh?

sk60

If you criticize leftwing political correctness this makes you racist, sexist and homophobic? And these are the clever kids, right?

David

And these are the clever kids, right?

I’m still not sure what it is exactly the UCLU was so incensed about. Apparently, the Union “resolved that the group’s ultimate aim was to promote fascism and racism on campus.” This is what they “believe.” Though I haven’t yet found any actual evidence of this intent. In fact, the article above mentions a lack of such, twice. Presumably the poster about equality being a false god was deemed sufficient proof of unspeakable intent. Again, the modern definition of “radical” seems to be “a person for whom almost everything is scandalous and beyond the pale.”

Anna

From the comments at the Tab article:

"Marxism is the process of reassigning all power and knowledge from the bourgeois to the edgy middle children of the bourgeois."

WTP

Oh no, not the silly 'Hitler was a socialist' thing again, as if the appending of 'national' was just decorative.

So a "national" socialist is not a socialist? And in the swallow a camel but choke on a gnat level, passing to comment on the idea that the root cause of fascism is capitalism?

Minnow

"So a "national" socialist is not a socialist?"

No, a national socialist is a fascist. This is not usually controversial. Its like the German Democratic Republic wasn't really democratic. I know that may be hard to swallow. Like to buy a bridge?

WTP

A National Socialist is a socialist on a national or ethnic scaled as opposed to being internationalist. Which explains why socialism works best in homogeneous societies as in the Scandi countries. This also explains how begins to fall apart in such societies as immigrants from other societies with different cultural assumptions move in.

The GDR was not democratic because they did not practice democracy. National Socialism subjugates the individual for the betterment of the Nation (state). It is socialistic in nature. It just limits the size and scope of its society.

You again passed on your position as to whether the root cause of fascism is capitalism.

Minnow

"A National Socialist is a socialist on a national or ethnic scaled as opposed to being internationalist"

So that will be a socialist that does not adhere to any of the basic positions of any known variety socialism? That kind of socialist?

rjmadden

I was under the impression the student left had been trying to perfect fascist behaviour.

Minnow

"You again passed on your position as to whether the root cause of fascism is capitalism."

Sorry, didn't mean to ignore this challenge, but I am finding it difficult to understand since you do not accept that 'facsim' as a category exists. Do you mean to ask if I think capitalism is the root cause of socialism? Well, I suppose in a sense it is.

David

I was under the impression the student left had been trying to perfect fascist behaviour.

Well, when I see tactics and ambitions that demand conformity and are censorious and bullying, especially among students, they most often come from one part of the political spectrum. From the theft and vandalism of insufficiently leftwing student newspapers and an intolerance of debate and factual challenges to the signature thuggery and mob coercion of Occupy and associated groups. The intellectuals of which tells us that we – thee and me - need “slapping around a little bit.” For our own good.

WTP

I am finding it difficult to understand since you do not accept that 'facsim' as a category exists

I see your difficulty. Please point out where I denied that fascism as a category exists.

Actually, I kind of broadened the term a bit by referencing the Scandi countries as (light) forms of fascism. Not all fascism is of the kill the Jews, invade Poland variety.

Do you mean to ask if I think capitalism is the root cause of socialism? Well, I suppose in a sense it is.

No, I mean to ask the question I asked, per the original post. Capitalism is now the root cause of socialism? Assuming that is what you really meant to say, would this be because capitalism has resulted in the creation of so much wealth as to enable various parasitical political entities to have the time and energy to promote a rehashing of the the economic central-planning that has been the source of misery for most of human history? BTW, you could state in unequivocal terms what you really mean and we won't have to play silly games like this.

Minnow

"I see your difficulty. Please point out where I denied that fascism as a category exists."

I have misunderstood, I thought you were denying that Nazism was fascism but socialism instead. Or perhaps you think that the Nazis were socialists but the Italian (say) fascists were the real deal. I am curious to know what the big differences are, though. I know Mussolini killed fewer Jews but it can't surely be that.

"No, I mean to ask the question I asked, per the original post. "

yes but the students were referring to fascism as in Hitler. I think that is clear. And you don't think Hitler was fascist, so I am still struggling to know what question you want answered.

"Capitalism is now the root cause of socialism?"

In a sense. Marx thought so at any rate.

" Assuming that is what you really meant to say, would this be because capitalism has resulted in the creation of so much wealth "

Yes, in part. Again, that's what Marx thought and why he was such an admirer.

WTP

And you don't think Hitler was fascist, so I am still struggling to know what question you want answered.

I'm sorry...have you suffered some sort of stroke this morning? I can't for the life of me figure out from what I have said here how in the world you come to the conclusion that I "don't think Hitler was fascist".

Yes, in part. Again, that's what Marx thought and why he was such an admirer That would be using the term "admirer" in the Mark David Chapman context, correct?

Can I get a witness here? I gotta get back to work to support the socialists in the midsts.

Minnow

"I'm sorry...have you suffered some sort of stroke this morning? I can't for the life of me figure out from what I have said here how in the world you come to the conclusion that I "don't think Hitler was fascist"."

Well, you said he was a socialist. Do you just use the words interchangeably? I think it would be easier just to settle on one and that one should be 'socialist' to avoid confusion.

present & correct

@WTP
How very evasive & slippery that Minnow person would appear!
I found this comment somewhere re: a LvM quote..

..Luwig von Mises, on the reason German capitalists tended to support the National Socialists (a fact sized upon by communists and fellow travelers as proof of the capitalist roots of fascism):

"German workers are the most reliable supporters of the Hitler regime. Nazism has won them over completely by eliminating unemployment and by reducing the entrepreneurs to the status of shop managers (Betriebsführer) [who must follow Nazi directives if they wish to stay in business]. Big business, shopkeepers, and peasants are disappointed. Labor is well satisfied and will stand by Hitler, unless the war takes a turn which would destroy their hope for a better life after the [Molotov-Ribbentrop] peace treaty. Only military reverses can deprive Hitler of the backing of the German workers.

"The fact that the capitalists and entrepreneurs, faced with the alternative of Communism or Nazism, chose the latter, does not require any further explanation. They preferred to live as shop managers under Hitler than to be "liquidated" as "bourgeois" by Stalin. Capitalists don't like to be killed any more than other people do." Interventionism: An Economic Analysis (1940)

Minnow

"reducing the entrepreneurs to the status of shop managers (Betriebsführer) [who must follow Nazi directives if they wish to stay in business]"

Notice that part about 'staying in business'. Not that Misses is the most reliable historian. Business did have an alternative to supporting Hitler: opposing him.

Markon

Fascism = tyranny. Socialism/Communism = tyranny. They are two sides of the same coin and to the societies they infect the effect is the same, subjugation.

Stop playing Marxist word games insisting that people who call themselves Socialist are actually Fascist - as if there is a difference to those being oppressed by the progressive in charge. The reason socialist/communists call Fascism "right-wing" is so they can confuse the electorate by then linking liberty minded people to an extreme ideology and then play a moderate, thinking, centrist. The left-right construct is just another progressive lie. There is just Liberty (Capitalism) and Tyranny (the rest), and lets face it Tyranny cannot stand Liberty, which is why Progressive leaders continue to attack Capitalism.

Indoctrination, not Education, is the order of the day. Propaganda works.

Minnow

"Stop playing Marxist word games insisting that people who call themselves Socialist are actually Fascist"

Just a reminder that the 'people' we are talking about here are Hitler and Mussolini. Just out of interest, if you don't consider those two fascists, who do you think the term suits? Or are all bad men socialists by definition?

Doubting Rich

Minnow

Let me quote Hitler: "We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."

Please tell me of the free-market policies of national socialists.

Both Hitler and Mussolini took central control of the economy. Hitler also said that his economic philosophy was based on Marx's. Of course he said so in private because he was opposing the communists, rival socialists. However the efficient Germans recorded everything. He said that his only innovation was to realise that an authoritarian government need not own any business to control it.

I am too lazy to find it again, but I read it and he was quite clear in his admiration for the anti-Semitic Marx*. You can use a search engine as easily as I. It is on line.

If you don't want to look that up, please try to address this careful analysis of the socialism of the Nazis https://democraticpeace.wordpress.com/2009/05/23/hitler-was-a-socialist/

* Yes, I know Marx was Jew; he also exploited the workers (not even worker he had given employment; he took money from Engels, who owned a factory or some such) and lived off his quite sizeable private income. He kept a woman a virtual slave, and denied his child from an affair with her. He was a hypocrite as well as lacking in intelligence, a quite disgusting man. He hated Jews because he did not want to pay them back the money he owed let alone interest. Marx seriously overspent even his solid income. Easy to see why Hitler admired him.

Mutterbug

Oh no, not the silly 'Hitler was a socialist' thing again, as if the appending of 'national' was just decorative.


"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”

—Adolf Hitler, [144] 1927 speech"


Hitler was named "Man of the Year" in 1938 by Time Magazine. They noted Hitler's anti-capitalistic economic policies:

"Most cruel joke of all, however, has been played by Hitler & Co. on those German capitalists and small businessmen who once backed National Socialism as a means of saving Germany's bourgeois economic structure from radicalism. The Nazi credo that the individual belongs to the state also applies to business. Some businesses have been confiscated outright, on other what amounts to a capital tax has been levied. Profits have been strictly controlled. Some idea of the increasing Governmental control and interference in business could be deduced from the fact that 80% of all building and 50% of all industrial orders in Germany originated last year with the Government. Hard-pressed for food- stuffs as well as funds, the Nazi regime has taken over large estates and in many instances collectivized agriculture, a procedure fundamentally similar to Russian Communism."

(Source: Time Magazine; January 2, 1939.)


Fascism is socialism.

ajf

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Michael McCallion

The net effect of all centralizing force in civilizations is the eventual control of the economy, therefore ability to exist in a wage based society, into a smaller group of decision makers. This is true of capitalism as it is of all the other (ism).

The real and only possible exception is a nation which recognizes the people (General Population) is the final arbiter. This is very difficult unless the concept of Law, both common law and tort) is the rule even when arcane or as will happen , unjust in a particular circumstance. With a base of Law and a guiding principal such as a Constitution this is possible until the people are bought of by brokerage politics.

There is one nation, a broad demographical based country, which just may avoid the sellout to a diminishing number of people actually at the centre of the consolidating forces of civilization. This is, as being stated by a Canadian, The United States of America. Cheers

John West

These young fools do not know what they are doing. They clearly have no understanding of where freedom comes from and what slavery is and can be in many forms … right now we are tax slaves, if they socialists (or the muslims) win, we will be total physical slaves with no rights and no protections.

You know, the way it was before capitalism and it's need for free enterprise from a free thinking, free people with innovative ideas so that socialists can have iPhones.

Doubting Rich

Minnow

If you want a broader historical analysis from the perspective of an economist, try this link https://mises.org/daily/3274

I have found another good quote from Hitler comparing Nazism with Bolshevism. The link also has the words of Eric Hobsbawm, infamous communist historian who was in Germany in the 1930s, saying he would have been a Nazi had he been a German Gentile. So clearly he saw a close similarity between Nazism and his own philosophy.

http://constitutionalistnc.tripod.com/hitler-leftist/id9.html

David

The spam filter is once again getting ideas above its station. If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me and I’ll shake them loose.

pst314

"And these are the clever kids, right?"

Socialism is stupidity for clever people...and cleverness for stupid people.

John D

And these are the clever kids, right?

The clever kids who say they hate fascists but won't allow other people to say things they disagree with.

John West

Minnow has it all correct.

Rafi

Funny how economic freedom is the root of all evil (even fascism apparently) but no evil can come from socialism.

Dom

Why do so many people resist the notion that a government strong enough to tell people, "you may work, but you may not keep the fruits of your labor" may evolve into a government that believes the citizens only exist for the state?

dicentra

And these are the clever kids, right?

They're not being clever; they're operating from within a cult with its attendant pathologies: lock-step thinking, extreme self-righteousness, sharp in-group/out-group boundaries, extreme intolerance for dissent, obsession with thoughtcrimes, merciless expulsion from the group for heresy, word-salad discourse that can be understood only by the pure in heart, chanting to shut down other voices, public confession/penitence rituals, absolute severing from one's background/history, etc.

Such cults attract those who highly prize social cohesion over messy individuality: it gives them an unambiguous moral hill to stand on, thus sparing them the difficult, painful, and occasionally alienating process of Thinking For Oneself, which might result in mockery from the self-appointed bien pensant class, and we can't have that.

Robert of Ottawa

Minnow, Hitler was many things, but socialist was one of them. He was also justifiably paranoid, a nationalist, a racist, an authoritarian, an enviromentalist [sic] and a vegetarian.

dicentra

The 25 Points of Hitler's Nazi Party is pertinent here.

The first 8 points describe the "National" aspect, whereas 8–25 provide the "Socialism" (with a soupçon of nationalism sprinkled therein).

For left-leaning students to issue blanket condemnations of "fascism" is to condemn a goodly portion of what they themselves accept. Fascism is a heresy of socialism — not its opposite — and differs from socialism only in that the state did not actually seize the means of production but instead put a gun to the heads of the corporate owners and made them dance to the Fascists' tune.

No, the hatred of Jews wasn't exclusive to Hitler's flavor of socialism: the Jews were the very embodiment of capitalism, they being the bankers and merchants, and so exterminating them was a logical measure to purge the society of capitalism's foul stench. Eugenics (for which there was a scientific consensus) was merely a means of cleansing the race quickly instead of waiting for Darwinian Evolution to do its work. Win-win!

Socialists in the West (Fabians, Progressives) objected to Hitler's extermination project only because he was supposed to be exterminating on basis of class, not ethnicity. The extermination (of which George Bernard Shaw was a full-throated supporter) wasn't a problem at all.

Promoting socialism or communism while condemning fascism is as anti-historical and anti-intellectual as it gets.

But then, that's never stopped other university-level movements before; why start now?

Robert of Ottawa

Fascism was specifically co-opting the bourgeois (capitalists) into supporting state political aims for a quid pro quo.

A more menacing Crony Capitalism if you like.

dicentra

Why do so many people resist the notion that a government … may evolve into a government that believes the citizens only exist for the state?

Because for some people it's a feature, not a bug. Those in control like it, of course, but many of the controlled are fine with having a peaceful yet externally regimented life.

The Grand Inquisitor describes it thus, in his accusation of the returned Christ:

So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship. But man seeks to worship what is established beyond dispute, so that all men would agree at once to worship it. … I tell Thee that man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creature is born. But only one who can appease their conscience can take over their freedom. … Didst Thou forget that man prefers peace, and even death, to freedom of choice in the knowledge of good and evil? Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience, but nothing is a greater cause of suffering. … Instead of taking possession of men's freedom, Thou didst increase it, and burdened the spiritual kingdom of mankind with its sufferings for ever. Thou didst desire man's free love, that he should follow Thee freely, enticed and taken captive by Thee. In place of the rigid ancient law, man must hereafter with free heart decide for himself what is good and what is evil, having only Thy image before him as his guide. But didst Thou not know that he would at last reject even Thy image and Thy truth, if he is weighed down with the fearful burden of free choice?
This is the oldest of human dilemmas: Who will bear the burden of the terrible freedom we have — wherein we reap the very consequences of our actions, whether good or ill?

You don't have to believe in Christ or any divine thing to recognize the horror of reaping precisely what one has sown. Who wants such a grave responsibility? Who wants to consider so carefully one's present actions — to discard many pleasant ones and undertake difficult ones — because of a merciless chain of causality?

No, giving one's freedom over to a mob is far more comfortable and far more rewarding — at least in the short term — for most people to pass up. As the Grand Inquisitor claims, that freedom is so burdensome that it's an act of mercy for Better Men to bear that burden for the masses, bless their caring little hearts.

WTP

Why do so many people resist the notion that a government strong enough to tell people, "you may work, but you may not keep the fruits of your labor" may evolve into a government that believes the citizens only exist for the state?

Well we do need the state for some purposes. Defense from foreign and domestic threats, mitigate contract disputes, define boundaries, etc. Along with this must come the general infrastructure, bureaucracy, etc. to pay for and enforce these things. Then there are things that, while not fitting into any of the former categories, are 'nice to haves' that, for better or for worse, enhance or are perceived to enhance the general welfare. Things such as public parks, roads, etc. Once we admit the latter, the camel's nose is under the tent. Given that common sense is not all that common, the line begins to blur and (philosopher's resolutions be damned) a slippery slope develops. I understand how it happens, what infuriates is attempts to discuss with leftists where these lines are result in sophistry and word play.

As for Minnow's inability to comprehend re Well, you said he was a socialist. Do you just use the words interchangeably? Is it so hard to comprehend my position that National Socialism == Nazism == Fascism? As I originally stated, the difference between National Socialism and Socialism is the scope. I don't accepted that Fascism being mutually exclusive to Socialism. The similarities are way too strong. No they're not the same but they're not exclusive either. Must I draw a Venn diagram?

Dom

Dicentra, thanks for the link to the 25 points. Pretty much ends the discussion.

Lancastrian Oik

@dicentra-

"Fascism is a heresy of socialism — not its opposite — and differs from socialism only in that the state did not actually seize the means of production but instead put a gun to the heads of the corporate owners and made them dance to the Fascists' tune".

"Socialists in the West (Fabians, Progressives) objected to Hitler's extermination project only because he was supposed to be exterminating on basis of class, not ethnicity. The extermination (of which George Bernard Shaw was a full-throated supporter) wasn't a problem at all".

That's why I love this blog- I could not have put it better myself, Sir/Ma'am, and I will nick and use your undoubtedly accurate "heresy" analysis from herein onwards.

@David- just rattled the tip jar. Keep it up, please.

dicentra

I got the "heresy" thing from Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism and the bit about "they're killing the wrong peeps" from The Soviet Story and the G.B. Shaw business from Glenn Beck, who used to play this clip rather often.

God Bless the Internet

dicentra

Business did have an alternative to supporting Hitler: opposing him.

Wait wait wait wait wait.

In that great upheaval, the Nazis and the Socialists vied for power. "Opposing Hitler" would have spelled one of two thing: if Hitler wins, be executed as an enemy of the state (Not Being a Nazi); if Stalin wins, be executed as an enemy of the state (Being a Shopkeeper).

Mises said, "They preferred to live as shop managers under Hitler than to be 'liquidated' as 'bourgeois' by Stalin."

SUBMIT OR DIE, in other words. Cripes, that doesn't even come close to indicating that capitalism was the foundation of fascism.

Will you think that through, please?

Just out of interest, if you don't consider those two fascists, who do you think the term suits? Or are all bad men socialists by definition?

SOCIALISTn. Adherent of the doctrine of socialism, which holds that the state ought to own and control the means of production as well as all other aspects of the country's life. Stalin's brand of socialism held that "workers" all over the world had more in common with each other than with the bourgeois of their respective countries.

NAZIn. A member of the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany, whose nickname was "Nazi." Also, a German Fascist.

FASCISTn. Adherent of the doctrine of fascism, a variant of socialism practiced by Mussolini, a die-hard Marxist who, having seized power in Italy, decided he didn't want to answer to Moscow and so declared his regime to be "national" socialism. The term "fascist" arises from the fasces, a symbol of power in ancient societies that consisted of many rods bound together with an axe sticking out. The bundle of rods demonstrated the principle that "apart we are weak but together we are strong." The Italian word "fascio" means "labor union."

From The Doctrine of Fascism by Benito Mussolini:

7. Against individualism, the Fascist conception is for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State, which is the conscience and universal will of man in his historical existence. It is opposed to classical Liberalism, which arose from the necessity of reacting against absolutism, and which brought its historical purpose to an end when the State was transformed into the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual. And if liberty is to be the attribute of the real man, and not of that abstract puppet envisaged by individualistic Liberalism, Fascism is for liberty. And for the only liberty which can be a real thing, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State. Therefore, for the Fascist, everything is in the State, and nothing human or spiritual exists, much less has value, outside the State. In this sense Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State, the synthesis and unity of all values, interprets, develops and gives strength to the whole life of the people.
Note that for Mussolini, a "totalitarian" regime was a good thing.

Similarly, the term "dictator" was held as positive 100 years ago because such a ruler could overcome the corruption of parliaments and special interests and "get things done" such as make the trains run on time. The Progressives and Fabians thought a dictatorship would be perfectly splendid, provided that one of theirs was doing the dictating. Woodrow Wilson fancied himself an Ideal Administrator who would dictate the U.S. into utopian perfection. (Much of the garbage he introduced plagues us to this day.)

Also please note that the free market and private ownership of property is part of Classical Liberalism, which Mussolini and Hitler fervently opposed. If you read the text at that entire link, you'll see that Mussolini's concept of the individual in relation to the state is intensely collectivist. If you can, please indicate which of the points (besides number 8) differs significantly with the socialist concept of the individual/state relationship.

Also please show where in The Doctrine of Fascism is the least glimmer of support for capitalism or the free market.

Anyone who preaches socialism is a socialist. Anyone who preaches fascism is a national socialist. And for my money, anyone fitting into those two categories is indeed bad.

I use words according to their denotative properties, not according to their emotive value. "Fascist" as those college students use it has purely emotive value. The denotation is not something they've been taught, because if they were, they'd never consent to using the term to label their enemies.

pst314

dicentra "Mussolini, a die-hard Marxist who, having seized power in Italy, decided he didn't want to answer to Moscow and so declared his regime to be 'national' socialism."

Another factor in Mussolini's abandonment of international socialism in favor of a nationalist form were his experiences during WWI: Contrary to Marxist predictions, the Italian proletariat did not oppose the war but supported it with fervent nationalist feeling. Mussolini decided that if the workers were going to continue to embrace nationalism then what was needed was a socialism that embraced nationalism.

Curiously, all the leftists I have known who put themselves forward as serious students of the history of the left fail to mention this...and vehemently deny it when pressed, uttering all sorts of obfuscatory garbage in an attempt to confuse the issue. Funny thing, that. I just can't imagine why leftists would tell so many lies. /sarc

dicentra

Funny thing, that. I just can't imagine why leftists would tell so many lies

As I observed to a Twitterlocutor who struggled with the idea that Hitler was a SOCIALIST of type national, "the victor writes the history." The Soviet Union defeated the Nazis, so Stalin's characterization of Nazism/Fascism as "right wing" was preserved amongst the socialists in the universities. Stalin used "right wing" as a standard pejorative to describe all his rivals, and in all fairness, not many movements were to the left of Stalin.

The Twitterlocutor — way in over his head (as per usual) — denied that Stalin OR the Soviet Union had written any history textbooks.

Thereby refuting me so definitively that I was left utterly speechless tweetless.

I mean, how do you counter a fact-set like THAT?

Darleen

“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”
― Robert A. Heinlein

Mike

"Fascist" as those college students use it has purely emotive value. The denotation is not something they've been taught, because if they were, they'd never consent to using the term to label their enemies.

If we can find this stuff easily why can't UCL students?

David

If we can find this stuff easily why can’t UCL students?

I suppose that has quite a lot to do with the kind of students they are. The kind of students, for instance, who tell us that, “While the first workers’ state is no more, Lenin is still very much alive… and today the Marxist theoretical giant and leader of the Russian Revolution celebrates his 144th birthday.”

These, remember, are students - supposed intellectuals - who use the words “comrades” and “Marxist revolution” unironically, as if these terms had no dubious or unflattering historical connotations. And who, not entirely coincidentally, regard a lack of evidence to support their ban as something to be addressed “later, if necessary.”

Vince N

The basic concept of economics is that of voluntary trade for mutual benefit by individuals, based on their respective judgments with regard to the value of the items being traded. Capitalism is the system in which individual judgment is respected, and therefore brings a rising standard of living. It is the normal and proper system for human beings to live under.

Socialism is defined as a system in which government owns the means of production. Fascism is usually thought of as a system in which nominal private ownership is maintained, but in which government makes economic decisions anyway. In practice there is little or no difference between the two. Under capitalism, economic decisions are made by people who have a much greater likelihood of knowing what they're doing.

Fascism usually picks its enemies based on "race" whereas socialism chooses its enemies based on "class". The totalitarian thuggery is the same; only the hatreds are different.

sH2

“While the first workers’ state is no more, Lenin is still very much alive… and today the Marxist theoretical giant and leader of the Russian Revolution celebrates his 144th birthday.”

Holy crap. The real world (and the dole queue) is going to be such a shock to them.

David

The real world (and the dole queue) is going to be such a shock to them.

Oh, these moral titans won’t need jobs. They’ll be much too busy transforming the world.

Minnow

"SOCIALIST — n. Adherent of the doctrine of socialism, which holds that the state ought to own and control the means of production as well as all other aspects of the country's life."

No, it doesn't. You need a better dictionary. There are many forms of socialism, of course, (no such thing as a 'doctine of socialism')but all of them, as far as I am aware, share the goal of liberating the worker from the state as well as capitalist exploitation, not increasing the power of the state. Socialists want (or wanted) the means of production to be owned by the people who produce, the workers, not the state. Fascists, disagreed fundamentally. These were quite major disagreements.

Custard Cream

It's quite sweet really, students thinking they are actually important and can change the World with their anti-establishment, progressive views. It's like being back in the 60s in a way, only without the sex and drugs and rock and roll (well, beer and rock and roll in my case).

I suspect the majority of these clones will be middle-management family men and women in 10 years time.

Minnow

"It's quite sweet really, students thinking they are actually important and can change the World with their anti-establishment, progressive views. It's like being back in the 60s in a way"

Well, thos 'progressives' in the 60s did change the world, didn't they/ I realise that some think it was for the worse, but nonetheless.

Pellegri

Socialists want (or wanted) the means of production to be owned by the people who produce, the workers, not the state.

Let's try the wikiped:

Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy,[1][2] as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.[3][4] "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.

Oh dear. While it looks like some strains of socialism might agree with you, other strains do in fact see the state as the ultimate owner of all property.

I bet there's a political system where it's always the case that the people own the property in common, though!

Communism (from Latin communis – common, universal) is a socioeconomic system structured upon common ownership of the means of production and characterized by the absence of classes, money,[1][2] and the state; as well as a social, political and economic ideology and movement that aims to establish this social order.[3] The movement to develop communism, in its Marxist–Leninist interpretations, significantly influenced the history of the 20th century, which saw intense rivalry between the communist states in the Eastern bloc and the most developed capitalist states of the Western world.

So really you're not in a good position to argue definitions here, since what you're describing as "socialism" where people have nothing to do with the state is actually by definition communism.

Minnow

"Oh dear. While it looks like some strains of socialism might agree with you, other strains do in fact see the state as the ultimate owner of all property."

Wikipedia is not always your friend. Of course in many socialist experiments the state ended up engorged but it was never the original aim of the socialists, who always saw it as a means of devolving power and ownership to the workers. Fascism was different. Fascisms saw the state as the means and the end of social organisation. It was a moral and mystical entity that was identical to the race of the people it encompassed. The two views couldn't be more different.

svh

Of course in many socialist experiments the state ended up engorged

As if Marxist theory could ever play out any other way in the real world.

Minnow

It depends what you mean svh. Most marxist theory is positive, it just tries to describe the world and I think it has had as many positive consequences as negative ones, welfare states and all that. We are going to end up with something like a communist world in the end, although not in our life times I don't think.

Anna

We are going to end up with something like a communist world in the end,

Previous attempts just didn't kill enough people obviously.

WTP

We are going to end up with something like a communist world in the end, although not in our life times I don't think.

Oh, yes. It's simply inevitable. Resistance is futile. Care to inform us from whence this inevitability originates?

Every time socialism fails the excuse is that it wasn't true socialism. It's the no true Scotsman fallacy. Of course any temporary stumbles of capitalism, you know the theory that has proved time and time again to work, becomes proof of the ultimate failure and un sustainability of capitalism. Socialism needs capitalism to provide the other peoples' money for socialism to run out of. The latter meanwhile has little to no use for the former.

Minnow

It's just inevitable Anna, unless disaster strikes and the world starts getting poorer again. Marx was right, eventually there will be such a surplus of wealth that the questions will just be how it should be distributed. It won't involve killing. Europe is already two thirds of the way there anyway. Marx was just wrong about the timescales. The usual problem.

WTP

eventually there will be such a surplus of wealth

It will just be. Well, that answers that.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Most marxist theory is positive, it just tries to describe the world and I think it has had as many positive consequences as negative ones, welfare states and all that.

Marxist theory, when put into practice, inevitably leads to totalitarian collectivism. We have a bizarre and pernicious meta-context in Western culture that totalitarian collectivism that's perceived as coming from the right is so obviously evil, and anybody who suggests it might have done something good like providing full employment is immediately considered beyond polite society.

Totalitarian collectivism that's perceived as coming from the left, however, is something that's supposed to be considered well-intentioned, and how dare you suggest it was a bad thing.

No: Marxist totalitarian collectivism is just as wicked as fascist totalitarian collectivism, and we ned to have the courage to say that the people who make excuses for the former are just as evil as the people who make excuses for the latter.

David

Anna,

Previous attempts just didn’t kill enough people obviously.

Based on my own exchanges with Marxoid cultists, the fact that the Great Experiment repeatedly results in atrocity and institutional sociopathy is hardly the deterrent one might wish. This outcome is often regarded by devotees as somewhere between “justified” (see, for instance, Hobsbawm) and an added bonus (practically every Marxoid thug-in-chief you care to name).

Countless Marxist intellectuals – including Lukacs, Gramsci, Althusser and Hobsbawm – and of course Marx, Engels and Lenin - were pretty sure that their egomaniacal fantasy necessarily required a little unpleasantness. Or as Marx and Engels put it, “When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror.” And if the word ‘terror’ is still a shade too ambiguous, let’s not forget Engels’ eagerness to see “the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples.” A global class genocide – an “extirpation” - that would be, in his words, “a step forward.”

But hey, if you boil those shoes long enough, the soup will be delicious.

Minnow

"Or as Marx and Engels put it, “When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror.” "

You have to bear in mind that at the time of writing that the use of terror to maintain political and economic supremacy was the norm. The British empire at the time killed at will in order to continue its dominance, exterminating and immiserating hundreds and thousands of people to enrich just a few. Marx and Engels were clear that it was a war and it would have to be brutal, but it was a war of slaves against slave owners and you can understand that slaves will not always feel the slave owners merit pity. We know what happened in the 20th century and that the broken eggs contributed to no omelettes, but we should be careful to judge by the standards of the time.

Minnow

"It will just be. Well, that answers that."

At an average 2% growth globally and current projections for population growth? Yes, it will.

Minnow

"But hey, if you boil those shoes long enough, the soup will be delicious."

Five million or so Indians nod their ghostly heads, bwana.

Civilis

"At an average 2% growth globally and current projections for population growth? Yes, it will."

Yes, but that doesn't eliminate scarcity, the central question of economics and the central failure of socialist theory. The fact that the average global peasant today has ready access to luxuries undreamed of by the wealthiest monarch of the 18th century doesn't mean that the questions of wealth has gone away. You could reach the ultimate sci-fi matter replicator future and there will still be things that not everyone can have, which means that there will still be scarce resources to allocate.

And the fact that rather short-sighted sci-fi authors can describe a hypothetical utopian future where socialism works doesn't make socialism a valid theory in the now anyways, and it hasn't stopped present-day socialists from cheering on dictators (of the generic socialist, nationalist socialist, or communist varieties) as they have impoverished and outright murdered millions of people.

Civilis

The problem with the theories of socialism that envision the state withering away is that when dealing with humans (as opposed to a hypothetical new-man with an entirely different psychology) a state-level of control is necessary. A capitalist system can allow a voluntary socialist collective within its system without breaking down or even breaking its own rules. A socialist system cannot allow a bunch of capitalist-minded humans to exist within itself without breaking down.

Within all current human-created socialist systems, you eventually see people reacting to the economic negatives of socialism by forming their own capitalist system, a black market. The socialist system either needs to let the black market exist as a safety valve (which will out-perform and eventually wreck the socialist system (see China)) or needs to use the power of the state to crack down on the market to the extent possible, which requires forcibly 're-educating' or 'removing' (such pleasant terms) the non-conformists.

Minnow

"You could reach the ultimate sci-fi matter replicator future and there will still be things that not everyone can have, which means that there will still be scarce resources to allocate."

But not scarcity in the way it has been understood throughout history. Everybody will be able to have the lifestyle of an upper middle class American of today. So redistribution will be the only real challenge, those people who need status symbols will still compete among themselves of course. The alternative will be to create scarcity in order to maintain the privileges of the capitalists (the story of whisky galore). We can do that now, but it won't be practical at future levels of wealth.

Tim Newman

Everybody will be able to have the lifestyle of an upper middle class American of today.

Hmmm. Those in western Europe are already fabulously wealthy by historical standards, even by pre-war standards (with the exception of a tiny few who are either terribly unlucky or keeping themselves in poverty as a matter of choice). But have the calls for socialism disappeared? No.

So no matter how wealthy society gets, there will always be those who insist that the answer is "socialism" regardless of the question. Because for them, socialism is not about wealth or equality but power, and specifically wielding it over others.

Nikw211

Minnow,

I've previously enjoyed your contributions to this blog as counterpoints usually set up an interesting dynamic in the conversation.

However, on this occasion, in multiple posts in the thread above, I have to say I'm deeply disappointed to find that you have apparently given up any attempt at making sense and gone straight for "click bait".

Not that you're likely to care what I think of course, but I sincerely hope that you don't actually believe in some of the nonsense you've written:

    not the silly 'Hitler was a socialist' thing again,

    There are many forms of socialism, of course, (no such thing as a 'doctine of socialism') but all of them, as far as I am aware, share the goal of liberating the worker from the state as well as capitalist exploitation, not increasing the power of the state.

    Well, those 'progressives' in the 60s did change the world, didn't they?


Tim Newman

There are many forms of socialism, of course, (no such thing as a 'doctine of socialism') but all of them, as far as I am aware, share the goal of liberating the worker from the state as well as capitalist exploitation, not increasing the power of the state.

This is particularly egregious bollocks. The whole raison d'etre of the USSR was that nothing should be outside the scope of the state, and subject to the laws of the state. I'm trying to think of a single aspect of life that was not subject to political scrutiny and approval in the Soviet Union, and not coming up with anything. This was not an accident, it was by very design, and stated so. Nobody, not even the die-hard socialists, believed the state would disappear and communism would replace socialism, the whole system was set up to increase the power of the Soviet states.

Civilis

"But not scarcity in the way it has been understood throughout history. Everybody will be able to have the lifestyle of an upper middle class American of today. So redistribution will be the only real challenge, those people who need status symbols will still compete among themselves of course. The alternative will be to create scarcity in order to maintain the privileges of the capitalists (the story of whisky galore). We can do that now, but it won't be practical at future levels of wealth."

What makes the "lifestyle of an upper-middle-class American of today" the be all and end all? Right now, the average global resident has a lifestyle with luxuries that the royalty of old, or for that matter Marx or Engels themselves, would consider inconceivable, and yet envy still exists, and people who call themselves socialist and are called socialist by most people that identify themselves as socialist still rally those people around envy. And, ironically, that lifestyle has been largely provided by capitalism. Places where the 'communal good is first' tend to be the worst complete and utter hellholes.

While science fiction has a very important place in conceptualizing philosophy and the human condition, it fails when you use a utopian fantasy filled with people that don't act like real humans to understand the behavior of humans in the real world.

Jon Powers

"eventually there will be such a surplus of wealth that the questions will just be how it should be distributed."

It would be distributed at gunpoint - duh.

Minnow

"This is particularly egregious bollocks. The whole raison d'etre of the USSR was that nothing should be outside the scope of the state"

No it wasn't. The raison d'Etre of the USSR was to dismantle the state as it had then been and to devolve power to local councils, soviets, composed of workers. That isn't how it happened, but that was obviously the intention, the clue is in the name.

Auto Guy

There is a problem with your theory, Minnow. Free market capitalism created the middle class. That is historical fact. All that wealth came from capitalistic striving. Yes, there were issues overall - monopolistic behaviour, railroad barons, horrible working conditions, child labour. But overall, hundreds of millions of people all over the world saw a significant rise in their quality of life.
Communistic/socialistic states have not increased overall quality of life. You can actually argue - based on current conditions in Europe that you refer to - that these states consume wealth, they do not create it. The wealth that Europe is consuming right now is the accumulated wealth created in a capitalistic system. Disagree? Check Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, the Baltic states, the Balkans etc. etc. etc...
Socialism fails. Capitalism works. History cannot be denied.
"Socialists will always run out of other people's money to spend." Margaret Thatcher (sorry if I missed a word or two).

Sam

National Socialist German Workers Party. 'The clue is in the name.'

Minnow

"What makes the "lifestyle of an upper-middle-class American of today" the be all and end all? Right now, the average global resident has a lifestyle with luxuries that the royalty of old, or for that matter Marx or Engels themselves, would consider inconceivable, and yet envy still exists"

This isn't the case. It might appear to be if you live in the west but a quick trip to Africa, or China, or even the Favelas of Rio will disabuse you. I do realise that some people, for rhetorical purposes, will want to claim that living in a one-room shack in a Brazilian slum is luxury compared with the lifestyles of the pre-20th century monarchs of Europe because the slum dweller sometimes has TV and the Kings and Queens did not, but it doesn't wash with most of us.

For the poorest people to want to live lives that are not crushed with poverty is not really about 'envy', just desire. When we are able to offer that through a simple redistribution of cash, and we will, it will be interesting to understand the arguments against it.

"And, ironically, that lifestyle has been largely provided by capitalism. "

Capitalism has been the dynamic economic model that has financed it, but that wealth was actually provided by workers digging, dragging, catching and making things.

"Places where the 'communal good is first' tend to be the worst complete and utter hellholes."

Did you have a bad experience in Sweden or something?

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

You have to bear in mind that at the time of writing that the use of terror to maintain political and economic supremacy was the norm.

No, you don't have to bear this in mind. Nobody bears these things in mind when it comes to the terror the Nazsi used to maintain their political and economic supremacy.

This is the sort of shit I mean when I wrote about the difference in the way we look at totalitarian collectivism that's thought to come from the right, and totalitarian collectivism that's thought to come from the left. Making excuses like this for Marxism is repulsive, wicked, and beyond the pale, and people like you deserve to be pilloried by the other commentors just as if you were making apologies for fascism.

(Sorry for the obscenity, David.)

Minnow

Nik, I do care what you think I like arguing around here because there are a lot of of people like you, who can fight their corner without pearl clutching and displays of defensive aggression. And who have a sense of humour. When you are a Marxist you have to get used to a lot of humourlessness.

But I do mean what I said and it really isn't very extreme to claim that:

- no Hitler was not a socialist, he was a fascist and that's a different sort of thing
- the aim of socialism historically has been to liberate workers from the state as well as the capitalist, the state being, as Marx said, a committee for the management of bourgeois affairs
- the progressives of the 60s did change everything. When was the last time you heard of someone becoming a pariah because they had had an abortion, or got pregnant out of marriage, or lived with someone they weren't married to, or had sex with someone of the same sex etc etc

Civilis

"No, a national socialist is a fascist. This is not usually controversial. Its like the German Democratic Republic wasn't really democratic. I know that may be hard to swallow. Like to buy a bridge?"

"No it wasn't. The raison d'Etre of the USSR was to dismantle the state as it had then been and to devolve power to local councils, soviets, composed of workers. That isn't how it happened, but that was obviously the intention, the clue is in the name."

I love seeing the cognitive dissonance in play. The German nationalist socialists were lying about being socialists because they did something so evil we can't deny it, but the Russian nationalist socialists were good intentioned but failed because we can paper over some of the evil stuff they did.

In theory, theory is the same as practice. In practice...

Perhaps there's a reason that while in theory the state withers away under true socialism, that each and every time it is put into practice the state ends up being an all consuming monstrosity?

David

Sorry for the obscenity, David.

Don’t mind me. I’m off for a haircut.

Minnow

"All that wealth came from capitalistic striving. Yes, there were issues overall - monopolistic behaviour, railroad barons, horrible working conditions, child labour."

You missed out 'the slave trade, empire, and genocide (especially in the US)' which were pretty salient features of the period of early capitalism too. You are not the only one, those things generally do get left out but we could make a bit more effort not to forget.

WTP

And you missed the Cultural Revolution in China, amongst others. Along with damn near everything anyone else has said here. Have you ever run a business?

Minnow

"I love seeing the cognitive dissonance in play. The German nationalist socialists were lying about being socialists because they did something so evil we can't deny it, but the Russian nationalist socialists were good intentioned but failed because we can paper over some of the evil stuff they did."

I don't think you can honestly read that in anything I have written. The German Nazi party were national socialists. They meant something very different from what we usually mean when we say 'socialist' and they were quite clear about it, immediately imprisoning all socialists in the country when they came to power. The evil of Nazism is doctrinal, stated, it is the intention of the movement to harm people who are not ethnically 'German'. They weren't 'lying' about being socialists, they never meant the term to have the meaning that it had elsewhere. The 'national' modifier is all important. Just as when left organisations describe themselves as 'democratically centrist' they don't meean democratic in the sense it is used elsewhere nor do they intend that to be understood, they intend to offer a radically different idea of what 'democracy' is.

Auto Guy

Genocide isn't a function of Capitalism. The British Empire WAS a function of Capitalism, because the Brits just wanted to trade with everybody. Did a good job of it, too; just about all Brit colonies prospered and fostered robust middle classes. History tells us what happened when the Brits left, and it wasn't good. Clearly, capitalism as a force for improving the world, was an outcome of the British Empire.
Slavery was clearly a horrible salient feature of early capitalism. We have fixed that. Capitalism has fixed many of its early issues; we now have a good handle on monopolistic behaviour, child labour, unsafe working conditions and others. Socialism/communism continues to make the same mistakes over and over, leading to tyranny of the worst sort.
Winnow, I actually agree with you that Communism is a noble ideal. "From each according to their means, to each according to their needs." VERY noble. The problem is it just doesn't work, in any way. We have lots of data to prove that. We must move away from systems that don't work, or we are dooming people to misery and death because of our own myopia.
A popular definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again in the hopes of a different outcome.

Tim Newman

The raison d'Etre of the USSR was to dismantle the state as it had then been and to devolve power to local councils, soviets, composed of workers. That isn't how it happened, but that was obviously the intention, the clue is in the name.

That would be more convincing if it moved in that direction for even a few seconds after its creation. Instead, it moved in the complete opposite direction right from the beginning. So I think we need to take these "intentions" with a rather large dollop of salt, freshly mined using Gulag labour.

Minnow

"No, you don't have to bear this in mind. Nobody bears these things in mind when it comes to the terror the Nazis used to maintain their political and economic supremacy."

Yes we do. The terror tactics used by allied forces are justified in just those terms. US and UK planes dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives onto women and children throughout Germany during the war, for example. This is a gigantic crime if we do not recognise that the circumstances that the war had created made a differennce. Of course those circumstances don't necessarily exonerate the allied war crews and like many people I think what they did was criminal, but to leave the context out does violence to the argument.

Civilis

"This isn't the case. It might appear to be if you live in the west but a quick trip to Africa, or China, or even the Favelas of Rio will disabuse you."

Seriously? I've been to some of the worst parts of the former Soviet Workers Paradise, and seen the cell-phone ads on the side of every former workers barracks and the satellite dishes springing up from the one-room hovels of what used to be a collective farm, and have seen that virtually every central Asian that had been a serf under the Socialist oligarchy wants and can now afford both.

"For the poorest people to want to live lives that are not crushed with poverty is not really about 'envy', just desire. When we are able to offer that through a simple redistribution of cash, and we will, it will be interesting to understand the arguments against it."

The problem is that their desire is being exploited by the people that take control and redistribute the wealth, and, invariably, the human beings that do the redistribution give themselves the biggest share of the wealth for the 'work' that they do for everyone else. That is the biggest failure of socialist theory, is that the way to get what you want is to be the person doing the redistributing, not the person producing the value (worker, manager, capitalist or inventor). And socialism breaks down as soon as the value producers decide to leave the system and trade amongst themselves, so the system needs the power of the state to keep them in line.

Socialism and fascism and communism are all different variations of the same theme. You can argue that Hitler wasn't socialist according to some ideal definition, but you can't argue that there was any serious difference in economic policies and practice between him and any other self-proclaimed socialist leader before or since that has actually had to try putting their ideals into practice in the real world.

Tim Newman

This isn't the case. It might appear to be if you live in the west but a quick trip to Africa, or China

China, you say? And how are they faring under Capitalism, as compared to the Socialism of yore?

Tom Foster

'Slavery was clearly a horrible salient feature of early capitalism.'

Slavery was actually a salient feature of pretty much every human civilization (just like Minnow's 'empire' and 'genocide', actually) until the capitalist British led the way in trying to abolish it – on the grounds that it was simply morally wrong – in the 19th century.

Minnow

"And you missed the Cultural Revolution in China, amongst others.2

No I didn't, we weren't discussing it. But I am happy to say it was a terrible crime. I am just surprised that so few will admit that the capitalist order was built on crimes of a similar magnitude. The famine in India killed some 5 million for example. The slave trade millions more, the genocide of indiginous Americans millions more etc, etc.

"Have you ever run a business?"

Yes. It isn't difficult in my experience if you have good people working for you

WTP

US and UK planes dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives onto women and children throughout Germany during the war, for example.

And the Germans the same. US and UK were not targeting said women and children however. Some might find that difference rather relevant. The sainted USSR gathered the elites of the Polish society and massacred them in cold blood. Not to mention what they did when they rolled back through Ukraine, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Auto Guy

Tom Foster, you are correct. However, we must understand that amongst the many causes of slavery, the most prominent was capitalism.
OK fine. No system is perfect. Capitalism, however, has shown that it can change and improve. Can somebody show me where communism/socialism has improved at all? Minnow, is there an ideal, socialistic society somewhere on this planet that you can point to as a success?
If one exists I am certainly unaware of it.

Tim Newman

You have to bear in mind that at the time of writing that the use of terror to maintain political and economic supremacy was the norm.

Maybe, but genocide and ethnic cleansing wasn't, at least in Russia. So wrong, in both degree and form.

Civilis

"I don't think you can honestly read that in anything I have written. The German Nazi party were national socialists. They meant something very different from what we usually mean when we say 'socialist' and they were quite clear about it, immediately imprisoning all socialists in the country when they came to power. The evil of Nazism is doctrinal, stated, it is the intention of the movement to harm people who are not ethnically 'German'. They weren't 'lying' about being socialists, they never meant the term to have the meaning that it had elsewhere. The 'national' modifier is all important. Just as when left organizations describe themselves as 'democratically centrist' they don't mean democratic in the sense it is used elsewhere nor do they intend that to be understood, they intend to offer a radically different idea of what 'democracy' is."

Read a history book. All totalitarian systems have punished heretics and rivals of the people in power. The socialists that took power punished rival socialist factions both in Germany (Nazis punishing communists) and in the USSR (Bolsheviks punishing Menshiviks, Stalin punishing Trotsky and anyone else that looked to be a rival). The reason I call the ruling group in the USSR nationalist socialists was that for all practical purposes, the Russians punished non-Russians, especially Jews. Look at how China has pushed to establish a Han hegemony over the Tibetans, the Uighurs, and other ethnic minorities. The Nazis were just stupid enough to be open about what they were doing.

The Nazi and the Fascist party political platforms, as mentioned above and as implemented, is doctrianally socialist economically, and you have yet to say anything in response other than "No, it isn't". Go ahead and cite for me one bit of Nazi economic policy that was implemented that was different from that implemented by any other socialist state.

Minnow

"And the Germans the same. US and UK were not targeting said women and children however. "

Yes they were. The demoralisation of the civilian population was a stated aim of the strategy. Speer said that the allies could have put him out of business in three weeks if they had properly targeted industry. Not that he was a completely reliable witness.

Auto Guy

Minnow, saying that a business isn't hard to run makes those of us who have run businesses question your honesty. You may be telling the truth, but the statement itself is hard to believe. I do agree that good subordinates are a treasure and can make the whole thing much easier.
Your statement is too dismissive and unworthy of you.

Tim Newman

Minnow, is there an ideal, socialistic society somewhere on this planet that you can point to as a success?

Ah, but they were not given time to develop before imperialists and/or counter-revolutionaries derailed the whole process. Given a little more time, and a few million more corpses, and we'd have been there.

Minnow

"China, you say? And how are they faring under Capitalism, as compared to the Socialism of yore?"

You might take a trip to Shenzhen and ask them. Except they are not allowed to speak to you about work conditions. But hang on I am talking about the workers, and you mean the other lot, right?

Minnow

"Go ahead and cite for me one bit of Nazi economic policy that was implemented that was different from that implemented by any other socialist state."

Well, the Nazis didn't nationalise German industry. Which is a pretty major part of what the socialist states did. I really don't know why anyone feels the need to stick up for the Nazis.

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