i realize that this is most probably a waste of time. your type, are
almost un-educational. as mussolini stated, fascism should be renamed
What Fascism Is & Isn't
No other word causes so much misunderstanding, confusion, and heated
debate in politics than fascism. The term has been applied to many
individuals such as McCarthy, Hoover, and others. It is frequently
used to describe government policies and government themselves, often
incorrectly. What then is fascism exactly? Webster's Dictionary
defines it as: "A government system marked by a centralized
dictatorship, stringent socioeconomic controls and belligerent
nationalism." But the author takes exception with that definition. At
best, the definition is vague and abstract. Nor does the definition
seem capable of taking into all forms of fascism.
There is a resurgent, widespread attempt by the far right to label
fascism as a form of socialism. Fredrick von Hayek was the first to
attempt labeling the Nazis as socialists in his book The Road to
Serfdom published in 1944.70 The hard right quickly adopted it, as it
allowed the hard right to escape the charges that they had much in
common with the Nazis.2 Such endeavors are not only silly, but
dishonest as well and represent an attempt by the far right to
distance themselves for their earlier support of Hitler.
Hayek's book is based on two erroneous assumptions from the very
beginning. He first assumes that fascism and communism are one and the
same, as they are both totalitarian systems. This makes about as much
sense as calling a maple tree a pine tree because both are trees. His
second erroneous assumption lays in his belief that only socialism or
liberalism leads to totalitarian systems. In fact, all political
systems can lead to totalitarian systems and all political systems are
inherently unstable, as is any system created by man.
From there, Hayek takes severe liberties with history. For instance,
he goes on to claim that by deliberate policy the United States by
allowed the growth of cartels and syndicates after 1878.71 Indeed this
date and time period is significant, but not for a move towards
socialism or liberalism. Rather, it's the opposite a move towards
fascism and corporate rule. Even a reader with a rudimentary knowledge
of American history would recognize this time frame as the beginning
of the robber baron era and laissez faire economics, precisely the
type of economic policy Hayek holds in utmost esteem.
Hayek offers little proof to support his conclusions; in fact the
book is devoid of any proof or even examples to support his findings.
The book degenerates into an argument based upon unsubstantiated
assertion. He argues against the nation state and proposes a
supernational authority or world federation made up of the financial
elite. In essence, Hayek proposes a world made up of sovereign
corporations accountable to no one. Not only did Hayek take severe
liberties with American history, he ignored the very nature of fascism
in Germany and Italy.
In various speeches made shortly after the March on Rome, Mussolini
stated, "We must take from state authority those functions for which
it is incompetent and which it performs badly... I believe the state
should renounce its economic functions, especially those carried out
through monopolies, because the state is incompetent in such
matters... We must put an end to state railways, state postal service
and state insurance." The state returned large monopolies to the
private sector after returning them to profitability such as the
Consortium of Match Manufactures, privatized the insurance system in
1923, the telephone system in 1925, and many of the public works.
In Germany the Nazis announced they would end nationalization of
private industries when they seized power. In 1932, Hitler returned
control of the Gelsenkirhen company to private hands and in 1936
returned the stock of "United Steel" to private hands. Throughout
1933-1936, the Nazi returned to private hands the control of several
banks: Dresdner, Danat, Commerz and Privatbank, the Deutsche Bank, and
several others. In 1936, the steamship company Deutcher Schiff and
Maschinenbau was returned to the private sector. In 1934, Dr. Schacht,
the Nazi Minister of Economy, gave instructions to hasten the
privatization of municipal enterprises. These enterprises were
especially coveted by the rich industrialists, as they had been
prosperous even during the depression.
Both in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the tax system was changed to
one favoring business and the wealthy. The Nazis allowed industries to
deduct from their taxable income all sums used to purchase new
equipment. Rich families employing a maid were allowed to count the
maid as a dependent child and reap the tax benefit. In Italy, the
Minister of Finance stated: "We have broken with the practice of
Such programs, catering to big business and the rich elite, are more
akin to the policies of the Reagan Administration than it is to any
liberal administration including FDR's. Likewise, it was the rich
industrialists that were behind the fascist movement in the United
States during the 1930s. Thus it is no surprise that the right wing
attempts to try and label fascism as socialism in trying to distance
themselves from their previous support of fascism.
Perhaps the only redeeming feature in Hayek's book is his
acknowledgement of environmental problems.72 Indeed this is
significant, considering the book was first published in the 1940s,
long before the birth of the environmental movement. Hayek readily
acknowledges the problem of industrial pollution and the harmful
effects of deforestation, yet he stops short of any meaningful
solution. Instead of offering a viable solution Hayek condemns
government regulation and would allow market forces to provide the
solution. However, it was these same market forces that produced the
problem. We have plenty of proof of such a fool hearty approach both
here and globally. As late as the 1970s rivers caught fire in the
United States, cities were smog stricken and harmful pollutants were
damaging the environment world wide. Today we face the problems of
global warming and ozone depletion, and the problem of environmental
estrogens, which has the potential of being even more threatening than
both global warming and ozone depletion.
But perhaps the most damning of all evidence that Hayek was dead wrong
comes from the implementation of an economic system based on his
beliefs. Hayek later taught at the University of Chicago, the same
university that trained the "Boys from Chicago" who were the economic
brains behind the fascist regime of Pinochet in Chile. There is no
question in the matter that under Pinochet, Chile was indeed fascist.
More alarming, Hayek is an idol to several top-level officials in the
George W. Bush administration. They are dangerous close to imposing a
fascist style economy on the United States.
In order to dispel the myth of the Nazis being socialists we need to
first define socialism. Socialism is rigidly defined as an economic
system in which the workers own the means of production and
distribution of goods. A more relaxed definition would be simply that
the workers maintain political control over the production and
distribution of goods. Even using the more relaxed definition of
socialism, the Nazis can not be labeled as socialists as there simply
was no worker control over the production or distribution of goods in
Nazi Germany. In fact, the Nazis outlawed legitimate labor unions. In
place of the original unions, the Nazis implemented quasi-like unions
that were controlled by the industrialists. In a déjà vu manner, the
Republican Party has recently tried to enact a similar measure,
conferring legal status on worker groups controlled by corporations.
Some writers and historians have argued that you cannot have fascism
without corporatism, as the corporate power structure has much in
common with fascism. During the period preceding the outbreak of WWII
it was common to refer to fascism as corporatism in polite English
More recently others have tried to define fascism as the "Third Way",
in the sense that it borrowed ideas from both capitalism and
socialism. The basic philosophy behind the "Third Way" incorrectly
labels any regulations or government controls over businesses as
socialism; essentially it's just a restatement of syndicalism. Such
nonsense should be rejected whole heartily. It again represents an
attempt to distance the right from their support of Hitler in the
1930s and ignores that the basis of the German economy under Hitler
was a capitalist system where the means of production remained in
private hands. Further, following the logic of the "Third Way," one
would have to label all capitalistic systems as "Third Way," for
throughout history there has never been a pure capitalistic system. A
pure capitalist economy is so inherently and fatally flawed that it's
never even been tried. But that is to be expected for any system that
awards the winner with all the eggs. Nor has there been a pure
socialistic system. Human greed simply prevents it.
The dangers of such nonsense can be illustrated with the following
quote taken from a Baptists fundamentalist's web page in their
labeling of the Japanese economy as fascist: However, Fascism is an
economic term, denoting the type of economy where the Means of
Production [factories, companies] and the ownership of raw materials
[mines, oil wells] remains in the hands of private individuals, but
where the government intervenes to determine how many competitors will
be allowed to produce the same thing, how much is produced, and what
prices may be charged.1
Here it can be seen that the term fascism has been clearly misapplied.
This description could past for the economic theory of the fascist
philosopher George Sorel. This is a description of syndicalism; it was
the economic model of fascist Italy and Nazi Germany to a large
extent. Syndicalism does draw some aspects from socialism, but the
system is still a capitalistic system as ownership of the means of
production and distribution of goods remain in private hands. It is no
more socialism than the conclusion of the Robber Barons and the
corrupt politicians of Tammy Hall. The only difference between this
example of syndicalism is that the government participation is open
versus the backroom corruption of politicians in Tammy Hall.
Not only Japan invoke syndicalism, but almost all the Pacific Rim
nations do, to some extent. These are the same nations that the hard
right has held up in the past as darlings of capitalism and free
enterprise. Yet these are precisely the same economic policies of the
Nazis that they have tried to foist off as socialism. The key
distinction here is the means of production still remains in private
hands, just as it did in Nazi Germany. No capitalistic society has
ever existed without some form of syndicalism or government control
over the economy. The closest America came to an entirely capitalistic
system was either the 1890s and the Robber Barons or the laissez faire
policies of Herbert Hoover, and as we all know, that didn't end too
well in the Great Depression of the 1930s.
No where does the quote above refer to totalitarian control or extreme
nationalism. In fact, they have tried to define fascism in strictly
economic terms for their own purposes. But it does serve to point out
the dangers of inventing the "Third Way" or the use of syndicalism in
an attempt to label the Nazis. The problem here is determining where
syndicalism ends and capitalism begins. Is the trading of pollution
credits a form of syndicalism or is it free enterprise? In America
today, the hard right would attempt to label it as socialism, as they
try to do with any laws or regulations of business. In fact, the past
laws regulating corporations were much more severe and restrictive in
the 1800s than today. One could argue that it was through syndicalism
that the power elite and corporations gradually eroded those laws
until corporations now enjoy more freedoms than what an individual
enjoys. This is precisely what has happened in America.
But environmental and labor laws are not socialism. They are in fact
nothing more than an attempt to bring an out of control system hell
bent on exploitation of the environment and labor back to order. No
labor law or environment law was ever passed in a vacuum. All of these
laws were brought about by a need to correct an unhealthy or unsafe
situation. While there are some corporations that strive to provide a
clean and safe workplace, there are many whose only concern is the
bottom line and they turn a blind eye towards safety and view their
employees as expendable commodities.
Regulation of businesses or corporations by itself is not socialism. A
business entity such as a corporation has no rights other than what
privileges a society wishes to grant it. People have rights; a paper
creation of a society such as a corporation has no inherent rights.
Business entities such as corporations only have conditional
privileges based upon providing for the common good of the society,
which granted the charter. All such paper creations have an obligation
to serve the society, which created it. Failing to perform that
obligation, it loses any right for its continuing existence. It the
obligation of that society to restrict the rights of such entities to
promote equality for all and to prevent a ruling aristocracy from
developing. This view is hardly socialism or even radical, unless one
wishes to label Thomas Jefferson as a radical socialist as he more
eloquently stated it:
"I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in
its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare
already to challenge our Government to trial, and bid defiance to the
laws of our country."3
Perhaps one of the better definitions of fascism comes from Heywood
Broun, a noted American columnist in the 1930s:
"Fascism, is a dictatorship from the extreme right or to put it a
little more closely into our local idiom, a government which is run by
a small group of large industrialists and financial lords...I think it
is not unfair to say that any businessman in America, or public
leader, who goes out to break unions is laying the foundations for
A definitive definition of fascism is a totalitarian government with
extreme nationalist tendencies in which the government is controlled
and operated for the benefit of a few elite. However, it should be
noted that an all-encompassing definition of a complex system can not
be simply stated. Such simple definitions undoubtedly fail in time. A
caveat to the above definition would be anytime the government places
the rights of corporations or the elite above the rights of the
citizens, it represents a step towards fascism. A better insight into
what fascism is can be obtained by listing the traits that are common
to the classical fascist states of Franco's Spain, Nazi Germany and
fascist Italy. A list of traits of fascism is presented below. Note
that the first two are the two most defining traits, obviously many of
the others can be applied to many other social-political systems as
one moves down the list.
2. Extreme nationalism
3. Top down revolution or movement
4. Destructive divisionism such as racism and class warfare
5. Extreme anti-communism, anti socialism, and anti-liberal views
6. Extreme exploitation
7. Opportunistic ideology lacking in consistency as a means to grab
8. Unbridled Corporatism
10. The use of violence and terror to attain and maintain power
11. Cult-like figurehead
12. The expounding of mysticism or religious beliefs
Not all fascists need exhibit all of the traits once again it should
be emphasized that all fascist states will exhibit a totalitarian
view. Most fascist states will have an extreme nationalism policy.
However, extreme nationalism is not mandatory. States such as Spain
under Franco and Chile under Pinochet were indeed fascist states, but
they could hardly be described as having a policy of extreme
A brief look at the above traits and how they relate to fascism will
convey a better understanding of what fascism really is, using Nazi
Germany as an example. First, because it was undisputedly fascist and
secondly because there is more literature available on the Nazis than
on either fascist Italy or Franco's Spain. Moreover, the use of the
Nazi's as an example is closer to the focus of this book, which is
creeping fascism in America.
Creeping fascism is the gradual lost of freedoms of the masses to the
power elite. Full-blown fascism has never appeared all at once. The
Nazis took several years to reach the final state of full-blown
fascism. It took the Nazis five years before Kristallnacht, which
marks the beginning of the "Final Solution." The Nazis gradually took
away the freedoms of the citizens of Germany until they were able to
launch the Holocaust. This was the reason for including the caveat in
the definition of fascism above, "Any action taken by the government
that places the rights of the elites and corporations above the
citizens is a step towards fascism."
Such actions will not look like fascism some may even appear to be
reasonable. Its only when the summation of many such actions ends in a
fascist state that such actions can be seen as a step towards fascism.
Make no mistake in understanding that the power elite, those that own
and run America's corporations, are fascist. They have forced war on
this country to protect their assets, they have over-exploited their
employees, they have used violence to bust unions, and they rely on
divisionist policies such as racism and class warfare to maintain
The erosion of our freedoms in the United States was prolonged by our
constitution. Nevertheless, over time the lost of freedoms has left
America at the edge of a chasm. Any further loss of freedoms and
America will begin an irreversible slide into the deep abyss of
Before looking at the traits of fascism a brief review of the history
of fascism and its roots in modern philosophy is needed. By looking at
the roots of fascism in philosophy, we can gain an understanding why
fascism is often described as reactionary. By looking at the various
philosophers that have come to be associated with fascism, we will be
able to see that many of these traits come directly from fascism's
roots in philosophy. In that way, we can then see how some of these
traits that can be applied to other social-political system are
central to fascism.
Many writers have assumed that fascism has no intellectual or
philosophical roots due to its lack of a consistent ideology. But such
views are incorrect; the roots of fascism extend back to the French
Revolution. The French Revolution is one of those landmark events in
the history of Europe marking the beginning of a major shift in
European culture and governments. In essence, fascism was a reaction
to the French revolution. It was a reaction particularly to the slogan
of the revolution of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" that was hated
The concept of liberty from oppressive regimes in the daily lives of
the citizens, including forced religious values, and the concept of
voting and majority rule where the minority still retained a set of
inalienable rights, incensed the early philosophers of fascism. Such a
concept was a direct threat to the kings and nobles of the time, as
well as to the church. Remember this was a time for debtor's prisons,
indentured servants, and vassal states.
Equality, in the eyes of the law, was unspeakable. How could a mere
peasant have the same rights under the law as the kings, nobles, and
merchants? This was the time when the king's word was the law. Rights
were based on the social standing of one's birth. The only rights a
person had at the time were the rights that the king was willing to
extend, and they could be withdrawn at any moment.
Fraternity, in the sense that all men and women shared humanity was
considered heresy. It was a time when slaves were still considered and
treated as animals and women were considered property, and not part of
a greater humanity that needed to be shared.
All three terms meant a loss in power and control by those in power.
But, this is exactly what the philosophers that have come to be
associated with fascism were reacting to and rejecting. The period
following the French Revolution produced a virtual intellectual stew
of various philosophies, including those of Marx and Engels. A brief
look at some of the major philosophers of fascism will show how they
relate to the traits listed early, and how they were a reaction to the
French Revolution. This list of philosophers is by no means complete,
but it will suffice to show that many of the traits attributed to
fascism above have roots going back as far as the French Revolution.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was a German philosopher perhaps best
known for his The World as Will and Representation.4 His beliefs held
that the will is the underlying and ultimate reality. The whole
phenomenal world was only the expression of will. Individuals have
free will only in the sense that everyone is an expression of a will.
Thus we are not authors of our own destiny, character, or behavior,
according to Schopenhauer. His views parallel the development of
relativistic physics that came a century later. His views were
influential on Nietzche, among others.
Georg Hegel (1770-1831), a German philosopher held pantheism as the
heart of his beliefs. The Phenomenology of Spirit and Science of Logic
are two of his better-known works. He viewed that all existence and
all history was divine and that nature was sacred. He viewed God as an
absolute spirit that also manifested itself in material things and
individuals. He believed God acted through humans and embodied himself
first in nature, then in the rising stages of human consciousness and
civilization. He also had an ethnocentric and egocentric view. He
maintained that the German nation was the highest carrier of the wave
of God's development. He believed that the bureaucratic monarchy of
Prussia was the highest form of state. These later views were
certainly manifested in the Nazi's view of the Aryan race, as shown in
the following quote.
"Thus the highest purpose of the folkish state is concern for the
preservation of those original racial elements which bestow culture
and create the beauty and dignity of a higher mankind. We, as Aryans,
can conceive of the state only as the living organism of a nationality
which not only assures the preservation of this nationality, but by
the development of its spiritual and ideal abilities leads it to the
Fredrich Nietzche (1844-1900), also a German philosopher was best
known for his work Thus Spake Zarathustra.5 Hitler liked to be
photographed staring at a bust of Nietzche. Nietzche theorized two
sets of morals, one for the ruling class and another for the slave
class. Nietzche viewed that ancient empires grew out of the ruling
class and that religions arose out of the slave classes, (which
denigrates the rich, the powerful, rationalism, and sexuality.) He
developed a concept of an "overman," a superhuman, which symbolized
man at his most creative and highest intellectual development.
Obviously, the "overman" was manifested in the Nazi's view of the
Aryan race. He suffered a mental break down, most likely from the
advances of syphilis, and was cared for by his mother and later his
sister, Elisabeth. His sister painstakingly gathered his notes to
publish his latter works. However, she was active in the rising anti-
Semitic movement at the time and may have tainted his later work with
her views. From time to time, Nietzsche enjoys a rebirth of
popularity. Today is one such rebirth, fitting in well with the
unmitigated greed and corporatism of today's hard right. Nietzsche's
connection to the Nazis is obvious, as shown by the following
"with satanic joy in his face, the black haired Jewish youth lurks in
wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood, thus
stealing her from her people. With every means he tries to destroy the
racial foundations of the people he has set out to subjugate. Just as
he himself systematically ruins women and girls, he does not shrink
back from pulling down the blood barriers for others, even on a large
scale. It was and it is Jews who bring Negroes into the Rhineland,
always with the same secret thought and clear aim of ruining the hated
white race by necessarily resulting bastardization, throwing it down
from its culture and political height, and himself rising to be
Notice the similarity in this passage and the Council of Conservative
Citizens that Senator Lott and representative Barr supported before
becoming embroiled in the resulting scandal in late 1998.10 The web
site for this white supremacist group described interracial marriage
to the mixing of chocolate milk with plain milk, and labeled it as a
path to racial extinction. They also described Lincoln as a communist.
Henri Bergson (1859-1941) was a French philosopher with a Jewish
father and an English mother. He was the winner of the Nobel Prize for
literature in 1927. He rejected the idea that scientific principles
could explain all existence. He was a promoter of what has become
known as Social Darwinism.6 Perhaps one of his better known works was
Time and Free Will. He was also a believer in pantheism. Once again,
we see the obvious connection with the Nazis of a master race in the
following quote concerning the Nazi's euthanasia program:
"...a secret circular went out from the Reich interior Ministry which
marked the beginning of a programme of euthanasia for mentally ill or
deformed children up to three years old. Doctors would be required to
report all such cases to the health authority on special forms; the
forms would then be forwarded to a panel of three medical assessors
who would adjucate over life or death by appending "-" or "+." Should
all three place a "+", a euthanasia warrant would be issued, signed by
the Reichsleiter Philipp Bouhler of the Fuhrer's Chancellery or
SS_Oberfuhrer Dr Viktor Brack, head of the Chancellery's Euthanasia
Department II. And so it happened: infants marked for death were
transferred to what were referred to as Children's Special Departments
in political reliable clinics, there to be given a "mercy death" by
injection or in one institution at Eglfing-Haar simply starved by a
progressive reduction of diet."7
Geroge Sorel (1847-1922) was a French philosopher who had considerable
influence on Mussolini. His writings promoted an economic model based
on syndicalism. He also believed in the degeneration of societies and
believed that social decay could only be delayed by idealists who were
willing to use violence to obtain power. His views were extremely anti-
democratic and anti-liberal.
With this very brief review of philosophy has shown that the fascist
traits of nationalism, totalitarian, racist, violence, unbridled
corporatism, reactionary, and the top down nature of fascism all are
grounded in the works of past philosophers.
A totalitarian government is one that seeks to maintain control over
all aspects of public and private life by using propaganda, terror,
and technology. Totalitarian regimes seek control over political,
social, and the culture. However, economic control is left in the
hands of a few elites in the fascist state. While the means of
economic control is left in the private hands of a few elites, this
same group controls the government. In essence the government becomes
the tool by which the rich and the corporations maintain control. The
distinction is important to note as it separates communism from
fascism. In a communist state the control over the economy moves to
the inside of government, while in the fascist state it remains in
private hands. Dictatorships differ in seeking only limited control
over the political environment of a society.
There was only limited government ownership under the Nazis. Prior to
the Nazi take over, the German governments took over failing
businesses and continued to operate them. When the Nazis took over the
government already owned a large number of enterprises. When the Nazis
took over they began to privatize many of these businesses, especially
the ones that had remained profitable during the depression like the
Once Hitler assured big business that they would be free to continue
to operate, they failed to raise any further objections to the Nazis.
The large German steel and coal industries especially welcomed the
Nazis. Hitler's plans for rearmament meant large contracts for new
ships, tanks, etc. Later during the war when a labor shortage
appeared, it was Krupp from the German steel industry that first
raised the question of using slave labor from the concentration camps.
At first the Nazis were reluctant to allow the inmates to be used as
slaves as it would slow the progress of the "final solution." However,
once Krupp offered to pay for the slaves the Nazis readily agreed and
soon there was no shortage of companies seeking slaves.
What is less understood about the totalitarian power Hitler achieved
was the path he took to obtain that power. There never has been
totalitarian regime that gained instant total control. Such a sudden
change would spawn sudden revolutions. Mussolini took three years
before consolidating his power in Italy. In case of the Nazis, it took
even longer. Nor did the path to totalitarian Nazi state start with
the elevation of Hitler to the position of chancellor. Some historians
trace the roots of the path all the way back into the 1800s. A
complete analysis of German history from the time of the monarchy to
the seating of Hitler is beyond the scope of this book, if not beyond
the scope of any single book, as volumes could be written. What
follows is a very brief look at the slow erosion of freedom and the
concentration of power as it relates to the final totalitarian state.
For the most part, the period following WWI was a period dominated by
raucous politics and a series of crisis in Germany. The two periods in
which the Nazis gained the most strength was the early 1920s, during
the hyper inflationary period, culminating with the Beer Hall Putsch
and the depression of 1929-1931. There is little need to examine the
raucous politics of that period, everyone is well aware of Hitler's SA
thugs breaking up political rallies of other parties which also
resorted to the same tactics. It would not be untrue to describe many
political rallies of the time as ending in brawls.
Hitler and the Nazis were extremists, and mostly rejected by the
German voters during the good economic times of the 1920s. For
example, in 1928 they only polled 2.6 percent of the vote, gaining
just 14 seats out of the 491 seats in the Reichstag by virtue of the
republic's proportional representation. By 1930 and the start of the
depression, the Nazis had increased their seats to 107 out of 577
seats in the Reichstag. In the July 1932 election, at the height of
the depression, the Nazis polled 37.4 percent of the vote winning 230
seats in the Reichstag, becoming Germany's largest party.13 In the Nov
1932 election, they only won 196 seats as an anemic economic recovery
was already underway, the people began rejecting the Nazis and their
radical views and actions.
Germany's plunge into a totalitarian state began before the Nazis took
over. It was as much a result of a lack of a strong leadership as
anything else. For the first eleven years of the German Republic there
had been seventeen cabinets headed by nine different chancellors.12
Undoubtedly, the country faced grave crisis in this period such as
hyperinflation, but the lack of strong leadership and an increased
polarization was readily apparent. The Nazis were the most notorious
radicals unwilling to compromise, but the other parties have to share
some of the blame for this polarization as well. The blame can be
extended beyond the parties to the vested interests behind each party,
including that of big businesses. Fracturing the electorate by
polarization was playing right into the divisionist character of the
Nazis, whose radical program lacked a broad base of support as the
election results from 1928 showed.
The policies of the German governments during the 1920s inadvertently
aided the rise of the Nazis. Throughout the 1920s the government
arrested many of the leaders from the left. It would not be unfair to
term these arrests as purges. The arrest of any strong leaders
emerging from the left only served to further polarize the country by
creating a vacuum on the left that was only filled with the more
radical communists. A similar situation is emerging in the United
States, throughout this century the United States has conducted purges
of the left: the Great Red Scare of 1919, McCartyism of the 1950s, and
COINTELPRO operations during the sixties. Without the voices from the
left to moderate policy, the political center in the United States has
shifted to the hard right.
The immediate result in the lack of strong leadership is frequent
chances in government, which only lead to more instability and chaos.
An ideal parallel is the long string one term Presidents ending with
Lincoln and the Civil War. The polarization of the Unite States
gradually increased from about 1820 on resulting in one term
presidents. Another string of one term Presidents ended with the
election of Roosevelt in the middle of the Great Depression. In both
U.S. case the ending result was not pleasant: a civil war and a
Such frequent change in government does not allow businesses to make
long range plans, nor does it allow for enough to time for programs
enacted by a government to work. These effects then act as negative
feedback, further increasing the polarization and the resulting chaos.
Additionally, the German constitution was flawed and did not account
for a negative parliament. Power in Germany was concentrated in the
office of the president, headed by Hindenburg, who initially had been
elected by conservatives and reactionary rightists. He was a member of
the aristocratics from the Junker class and had been a war hero; he
likewise held sentiments for the monarchy. The president had the power
to appoint cabinets and chancellors. Beginning in 1930, Hindenburg
began the practice of appointing chancellors of his choice that were
not beholding to the parliament. To allow the chancellors to
circumvent parliament, he granted these chancellors emergency powers
that had been given to the president by the constitution. Starting in
1930, almost all national laws, including the power to tax, were
enacted by presidential decrees and not by the parliament. Such
presidential decrees would be similar to the executive orders in the
Hence, even before Hitler was appointed to the chancellor position,
power was being concentrated into the two offices of the chancellor
and the president. At least twice before appointing Hitler as
chancellor, Hindenburg entertained ideas of violating the constitution
by not holding elections within the sixty days as required by the
Hindenburg had also avoided appoint Hitler as chancellor twice before
January 1933. Even with the support of big business Hindeburg failed
to appoint Hitler when the Nazis held more seats in the Reichstag than
any other party.
It wasn't until after Hitler met in secret with von Pappen at the
Cologne home of Baron Kurt von Schroder that Hindenburg would relent
and appoint Hitler chancellor. The baron was the head of the
international Schroder banking empire and had previously raised funds
to pay off the Nazi's debt.
The secret meeting on January 4, 1933 allowed Hitler and von Pappen to
work out their differences and to agree to a new cabinet under the
direction of both. This secret meeting was the birthplace of the Third
However, there were two Americans that also were in attendance: John
Foster Dulles and his brother Allen. The Dulles brothers were there as
legal representatives for Kuhn Loeb Company, which had extended large
short term credits to Germany. Their presence was to secure a
guarantee of repayment from Hitler.
Moreover, Kurt von Schroder had extensive financial contacts in New
York and London. He was a co-director of Thyssen foundry along with
Johann Groeninger, Prescott Bush's New York bank partner. Schroeder
was also the vice president and director of the Hamburg-Amerika Line,
the same shipping line seized from Prescott Bush for trading with the
Throughout 1932, actions taken by the Bush-Harriman shipping line were
directly responsible for bringing Hitler to power. The constitutional
government tried to disarm the Nazi Brown Shirts to stop the mad
election melees and murders. The U.S. embassy in Berlin reported:
" Hamburg-Amerika Line was purchasing and distributing propaganda
attacks against the German government, for attempting this last-minute
crackdown on Hitler's forces."
During 1932, Hitler's thugs murdered thousands of Germans. Arms for
Hitler were shipped to Germany aboard Hamburg-Amerika Line. They were
transferred to river barges before reaching Antwerp and then
transported across Holland freely. Samuel Pryor, founder of Union Bank
and a partner in the Hamburg-America Line was also executive committee
chairman of Remington Arms. Hitler's Brown Shirts were armed primarily
with Remington arms and Thompson submachine guns. A Senate
investigation of Remington concluded that all of the political
factions in Germany were armed with mostly American made guns.
Once Hitler and von Pappen had reached an agreement on their future
course of actions. Pappen pressured Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as
chancellor. The success of the meeting was recorded in Goebbels. On
January 5, 1933 Goebbels wrote in his diary "If this coup succeeds, we
are not far from power. . . . Our finances have suddenly improved."
Hindenburg appointed Hitler, as chancellor with the understanding
Hitler would be a parliamentary rather than a presidential chancellor.
Hitler immediately set about sabotaging the efforts to from a
parliamentary majority. Here is one of the first examples of fascism
On February 1, 1933 the German parliament was dissolved and new
elections were scheduled for early March. Using his henchmen, Hilter
had the Reichstag building burnt. The fire was blamed on the
communist, his main revivals. Using the fire as an excuse, Hitler
banned the communist from the upcoming election. Additionally, Goring
deputized his storm troopers to harass any political opposition from
his position in the cabinet; even then the Nazis could not achieve a
majority in parliament as they polled only 43.9 votes.14 By summer,
all political parties except the Nazis had been dissolved. On the
death of Hindenburg in 1934, Hitler assumed the office of president
and further consolidated his gripe on power, but it would take a
couple of additional years before Hitler was a true totalitarian. He
purged the justice system of judges with adverse views, appointing
rabid Nazis in their place, and the storm troopers were given police
powers. Justice was now the Nazi party line.
One does not need to expound upon the extreme nationalism of the
fascist. The history of their invasion in a quest for world dominion
is well known. Mussolini turned his attention to Ethiopia and North
Africa; Hitler first to Austria, then Czechoslovakia, followed by
Western Europe and later to Norway and the east.
Hilter had left a blueprint for his extreme nationalism and the quest
for lebensraum in Mien Kampf as shown by the quote below.
"If the National Socialist movement really wants to be consecrated by
history with a great mission for our nation, it must be permeated by
knowledge and filled with pain at our true situation in this world;
boldly and conscious of its goal, it must take up the struggle against
the aimlessness and incompetence which have hitherto guided our German
nation in the line of foreign affairs. Then without consideration of
traditions and prejudices it must find the courage to gather our
people and their strength for an advance along the road that will lead
this people from its present restricted living space to new land and
soil; and hence also free it from danger of vanishing from the earth
or of serving others as a slave nation.
The Nationalist Socialist movement must strive to eliminate the
disproportion between our population and our area-viewing this later
as a source of food as well as a basis for power politics---between
our historical past and the helplessness of our present impotence."15
The third trait of fascism is that it consists of a top down
revolution or movement. It is becoming more accepted today that the
Nazis drew support from all classes. Indeed, this seems a reasonable
assumption when looking at all of the evidence. The storm troopers for
the most part drew their numbers from the lower and middle classes.
They were typically were unemployed laborers, inept middle management,
or failed businessmen. Likewise, given the vote tally of over thirty
percent in the 1932 elections, the Nazis had to have drawn votes from
all social classes. But this has no bearing on who controlled the
direction of the party. Control of the party rested solely with Hitler
and whom he allied with. He chose to ally with the upper class and big
business as borne out by his policies after gaining power. There is
little controversy over the considerable support Hitler drew from the
aristocrats, the military, or the Junkers.
Telltale signs forewarning of the elite control was evident from the
very formation of the party until the final days before gaining power.
A brief look at those that financed the Nazis rise to power will
reveal the real support behind Hitler. This is becoming an increasing
issue of contention as American hard right tries to distance
themselves from the similarities of their policies with fascism.
Hitler himself did not form the Nazi party initially. He joined an
existing party and then molded it according to his wishes. In fact,
his company commander had ordered him to attend a meeting of what was
the German Workers Party. Here was Hitler's initial reaction to the
"My impression was neither good or bad; a new organization like so many others. This was the time in which anyone who was not satisfied with developments and no longer had confidence in the existing parties felt called upon to found a new party. Everywhere these organizations sprang from the ground, only to vanish silently after a time. The founders for the most part had no idea what it means to make a party---let alone a movement---out of a club. And so these organizations nearly always stifle automatically in their absurd phillistinism."16
The order from his company commander provides the first evidence that
the elite backed Hitler from the very beginning. At any point from
this date the German military could have withdrawn its support of
Hitler and disbanded the Nazi party
Hitler was a good orator by all reports, as well as an astute
political observer. He knew how to motivate the masses in his name and
how to sustain a movement. Someone once remarked recently that you
needed only gain control of the 3Ms to gain power. The three "Ms" are
the military, media, and money. Hitler had all three behind him. As
shown by the passage from Mein Kampf, Hitler started with the blessing
of the military. The military, as well as big business, played a
behind the scenes role in the appointment of Hitler as chancellor.
It's the last of the 3Ms where much confusion and debate arise,
Hitler's source of funds or money.
Big business likewise had a large hand in bringing down Bruning in
1930. In a large part, it was the constant bickering by special
interest groups that led to the falling of Bruning's cabinet. Big
1. The government must take steps to lower the cost of production and widen the profit margin.
2. Lower taxes
3. Reduce the size of government.
4. Lower unemployment insurance benefit
5. The government must allow wages to progress to lower levels, by
voiding labor contracts and binding arbitration.26
If these demands from the business community seem familiar to the
reader, it's because in a large part they are the same policies that
the Republican Party has been advocating for the last twenty years.
Throughout the 1920s and up until Hitler was appointed chancellor the
Nazi party was plagued with a shortage of money. After release for
prison for the failed Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler's only known source of
income was from the sale of Mein Kampf and fees for newspaper articles
he would write. The first edition of Mein Kampf was published July 18,
1925 in an edition of 10,000 copies selling for 12 marks. By the end
of the year almost all copies had been sold. A new edition was printed
but sales in the following year plummeted.
Nevertheless, almost immediately after being pardoned he bought a new
super-charged Mercedes-Benz for 28,000 marks.17 Additionally, Hitler
did not drive, so he had the additional expense of a chauffeur.
Likewise, from 1925 until his appointment as chancellor in 1933,
Hitler lived in increasing comforts, if not outright lavishness for
the times. Certainly, the royalties from Mein Kampf and fees for his
other writings were insufficient to cover even his living expenses,
not to mention the party's expenses.
Also, the funding for an ever-increasing number of SA troopers (many
of which were unemployed) had to be secured. Turner has suggested that
the Nazis were self sufficient from dues, speaker's fees, and
donations at rallies. However, this seems almost improbable looking at
the numbers from 1930. In 1930 there were about 100,000 storm troopers
that had to be fed, housed and otherwise supported. Additionally there
were 15,000 in the SS. Nazi membership at the beginning of 1931 was
only 389,000.18 Thus it seems very reasonable that outside sources of
funding was needed to maintain the SA and SS, as well as the ever
increasing lifestyle of Hitler. Membership fees in the Nazi party
started at a mark per month, non-paying members were quickly dropped
from the party.
From the very beginning of the Nazi party Hitler showed a knack for
obtaining funding from the more privileged members of German society.
For instance, everyone is well aware of the trial following the Beer
Hall Putsch, but less well known was a secondary trial following the
putsch. In the secondary trial, several businessmen that had donated
money or other support for Hitler were put on trial. Some have
attributed much of this early funding of the Nazis to the secret Thule
Society.19 Another early source of funds in the early 20s came from
the efforts of Scheubner-Richter, who was adept at gaining funds from
Bavarian aristocrats, big businessmen, bankers, and leaders of heavy
industry.20 Another source of early funds came indirectly from Fritz
Thyssen. Henry Ford also exerted a considerable influence over Hitler
in the early 1920s, as well as money. Some passages from Ford's
International Jew are nearly identical to passages in Mein Kampf.
Ford's book is reported to have had a large effect on many of the
school children of the time that were suffering through hyperinflation
and economic hard times while reading a book written by the world's
The extent of Ford's financial donations to Hitler still remains a mystery. The U. S. ambassador to Germany, William Dodd, was quoted saying "certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy."21 The extent of corporate America's collaboration with the Nazis before the war and even during the war, in some cases, is not fully known. However, as time goes by and more information becomes available, the collaboration begins to appear significant, as shown in the following article.
"Bernd Greiner said 26 of the top 100 US companies in the 1930s
collaborated to some degree with the Nazis before, and in some cases
after, Hitler declared war on the United States in December 1941.
Company headquarters in the US have denied they knew what was going on
in Germany, but there is evidence to suggest they knew their German
subsidiaries used slave labor, tolerated it and in some cases were
actively involved, Greiner said.
Greiner confirmed a report in the newspaper Die Zeit, based on his
findings of US corporate involvement in Nazi Germany. The findings
went beyond allegations of US lawyers and historians last year that
automakers General Motors and Ford collaborated with the Nazi
One of the more historically accurate, but shamefully apologetic to
big business sources is the book, German Big Business and the Rise of
Hitler by Turner.23 Turner does a good job in detailing the extensive
participation of the leaders of business with the Nazis. However, he
reaches the conclusion that big business did not support Hitler with a
rather contrived definition of what big business is. He based his
definition on the value of the float of stock on the market. His
definition limited the number of companies that he would classify as
big business to only 14 companies in the Ruhr industrial area and a
smattering of companies located elsewhere. Essentially, his definition
would be the equivalent of saying that only the Dow 30 companies in
the U. S. could truly be called big business. This of course is
nonsense. The majority of people would certainly consider Chrysler,
Texas Instruments, Hewitt Packard, John Deere and Chase Manhattan Bank
to be big business, but according to Turner's book they are not. It is
from this group of second and third tier businesses (in keeping with
Turner's definition) that provided the most help and support for
Hitler. Furthermore, Turner neglects the effect of cartel agreements
as well as subsidiaries in his analysis. Many of these second and
third tier corporations were owned and controlled by the 14
corporations, he considered to be big business.
Secondly, Turner focuses much of his attention on the period of
1920-1928, when the Nazis were at best a minor noisy party. During
this time, the Nazis were lucky to poll more than three percent of the
vote. Yet Turner tries to use this as proof that big business did not
support Hitler's rise to power, although he does admit that Fritz
Thyssen and Kirdolf were supporters of the Nazis during this time. An
equivalent situation would be today's Libertarian Party, a party that
draws support from Koch, head of Koch refinery (a second tier company
by Turner's reasoning). But no one is rushing to fund the Libertarians
today when they cannot even poll five percent of the vote.
Finally, when the source of funds were unquestionably from big
business Turner attempts to discredit them by claiming the source of
the funds was a junior level executive that couldn't be responsible
for overall company policy. Or he attempts to say they were given to
an individual Nazi. In one shameful passage Turner attempts to
discredit the funds given to Nazi fund-raiser Walther Funk by claiming
they were not a donation to the party as they may have been spent by
Funk for entertainment. Turner describes a particular drunken binge
across town by Funk in which he passed out some rather large tips and
then draws the conclusion that perhaps none of the funds given Funk
ever reached the Nazis.24 This is not the work of a historian, as
Turner claims to be. This is nothing more than conjecture by a
propagandist. There is also one other speculative conclusion one could
draw from this passage, and that is that the amount of money Funk was
receiving was so enormous that it permitted such behavior.
Turner does a good job in showing that it was those second and third
tier businesses that supported the Nazis. In Duren, a Rhenish
manufacturing town, the Nazis received considerable support from local
industrialists such as the millionaire dynasties (a term in use from
the 1820s in describing these two families) of the Schoellers and the
Schulls. Another area in which the Nazis received broad support from
businesses was Solingen, an industrial town.25 Overall, Turner
documents the participation of business leaders and their support for
the Nazis, leaving no question in the reader's mind that business
leaders exerted a considerable influence on the Nazis. Unfortunately,
he ends his study just as the Nazis seize power.
Many businesses chose to align with and support the Nazis after they
gained power. Krupp and I.G. Faben were both executors' of Goring's
Four-Year Plan to make Germany militarily self-sufficient by 1940. One
can view the details of Krupp's involvement and support for the Nazis
after March 1933 in the documents from the War Crimes Tribunal at
Nuremberg.31 The full set of available documents from Nuremberg is
also available on the Internet.32 By 1939, I.G. Faben provided the
Nazis with 90 percent of their foreign exchange, 95 percent of
imports, and 85 percent of all military and commercial goods. In 1932,
Hermann Schmitz Faben's joint chairman joined forces with Kurt von
Schroder, director of a wealthy private bank. Schroder was a fanatical
Nazi, often times dressed in his black SS uniform. Schroder is the man
that is closely linked with Chase Bank, Standard Oil and William
Teagle, and ITT. In 1932, Schroder and Wilhelm Keppler formed the
group known as "The Fraternity." This group guaranteed a source of
money to the Gestapo. Members agreed to contribute an average of one
million marks a year to Himmler's personally marked "S" account and
the transferable secret "R" account of the Gestapo.27
In April of 1933, Gustav Krupp sought out a private meeting with
Hitler. Krupp agreed to become Hitler's chief fundraiser and chairman
of the Adolf Hitler Fund. In return Hitler promised to appoint Krupp
as the fuehrer of Germany industry. Over the years, Krupp contributed
over six million marks of his own money to the Nazis, and his
correspondence shows that he truly enjoyed his job as chairman.28
Likewise, it is common knowledge that after Hitler was appointed
chancellor Krupp greeted people cheerfully with the Heil Hitler
Schirer writes that in 1931, when Hitler decided to cultivate
relationships between influential industrial leaders, he kept their
identity a secret.
"The party still had to play both sides of the tracks. The party had
to allow Strasser, Goebbels and Feder to beguile the masses with
socialist talk and denigrating the industrial magnates."
Some of the meetings were so secretive that they were held in forest
Further proof of the industrialist involvement and support of the
Nazis comes from the testimony of Funk at Nuremberg. The entire list
implicated by Funk is far too long to reproduce here, but besides
Thyssen and Krupp it included Georg von Schnitzler-I.G. Farben, August
Rosterg and August Diehn of the potash industry, Cuno of the Hamburg
Amerika Line, Otto Wolf, Kurt von Schroder, and many other wealthy
On May 2, 1933, the Nazis raided and occupied all trade union
headquarters. The leaders were beaten and arrested; some were placed
in the concentration camps. Union funds were confiscated and the
unions were dissolved. Members of the communist party and the social
democrats had already been arrested. On June 20, 1934, in what has
become known as the Night of Long Knifes, Hitler purged the socialists
within the Nazi party, chief among them Roehm.
With the broad financial support from the leaders of the business
community as well as from the military leaders and aristocrats, the
Nazis were truly a top down organization, while the Nazis used the
lower class as foot soldiers to gain power. They did so in a deceiving
manner, and once in power, immediately set about betraying the lower
We have already shown one example of divisionism by the Nazis in their
rise to power. But what sets fascist divisionism apart from the
ordinary divisionism of any other political ideology? Certainly any
politician in a democracy appeals to some sort of divisionism, as he
is fully aware that he can not possibly appeal to the entire
electorate. The difference lies in the fact that divisionism is always
destructive in fascism and serves only as a means to gain and maintain
power. Even after gaining power, Hitler went to great pains in
dividing power, playing one follower against another, creating
rivalries in the party in the process. In short, Hitler kept the Nazi
party divided as if it was a set of small fiefdoms. One of the biggest
myths about the Nazis is that they were a single unit, when in fact
they were a conglomeration of various fractured parts. Eatwell states
the paradox within Hitler's power structure as: "because the party was
so divided that he had power and in turn the party was divided from
other key centers of power such as the army." 47 In other ideologies,
the divisionism is not inherently destructive. Rather, it's based on
differing approaches coming together to reach an equable solution to a
problem. In his rise to power, Hitler had no intention of compromising
with the other parties to form a parliamentary president. His moves
were calculated to destroy any chance of that.
A couple of examples from the present can further delineate the
difference between the two. Certainly many of the tax proposals coming
from the Republican party today could be classed as divisionism as
they favor the upper income earners over the lower income groups.
While the measures are divisive they can hardly be labeled as
destructive divisionism. They are more a reflection of difference in
However, an example of an act that could be termed a fascist
divisionism was the Republican caused shut down of the government in
November 1995 after Clinton vetoed the budget bill. Clinton had
previously warned Congress that unless changes were made in the budget
he would veto the bill. Members of the hard right Council for National
Policy and many of their Republican members openly had declared they
would shut down the government. In essence, the Republicans adopted
the same policy that Hitler had in his bid to dismiss parliament; they
refused to negotiate honorably.
Just as Hitler had taken a position to subvert democracy, so had the
Republicans, led by Gingrich. The constitution defines the passing of
the budget in detail. The spending bills originate in the House after
passage by both the House and the Senate. It is then sent to the
President, who may either veto it or sign it. If the bill is vetoed,
it is up to Congress and the President to reach a compromise bill.
Otherwise, Congress must pass a bill with a two-thirds majority. The
failure of Congress to pass a bill to advert a government shutdown was
a dereliction of their constitutional duty. Fortunately, the outrage
coming from the general public forced the Republicans back to the
negotiation table. The point to be made is the only difference between
the two events---the Republicans feared the wrath of the people and
capitulated, Hitler had no such fear and parliament was dismissed.
The Republican shut down of the government also serves to point out a
flaw in our constitution, just as there was a flaw in the German
constitution. In the case of the U. S. constitution there is no other
mechanism other than shutting down the government if Congress fails to
pass a budget. If the fascists in America can be successful in
polarizing American politics to such an extent that the public, or at
least a considerable portion of it, tolerates a government shut down,
then the entire budget process becomes a fracas. And after observing
the behavior of the Republicans in their ill fated attempt to impeach
Clinton such a possibility does not appear so remote.
Another example of divisionism that is solely destructive that is not
based on racism or class warfare was the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
It served no purpose other than to smear the president, the articles
of impeachment fell far short of what the founding fathers had defined
in the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors." That phrase refers back
to the misuse of offices in England under the king. Additionally, the
investigation of Ken Starr has been plagued by civil rights abuse and
possible criminal action by Starr himself. It resembles a coup headed
by the multi millionaire Scaife with the aid of the religious right,
more than it resembled a justified impeachment.
But perhaps, the greatest illustration of the divisionism was seeing
support for the impeachment evaporate like rain on hot pavement in the
Senate following the State of the Union address and a thorough defense
of the charges by Clinton's legal team. The House prosecutors with the
conclusion of Ken Starr questioned Monica Lewinsky further in secret.
This single action by the House Republicans invoked criticism from
even members of their own party in the Senate. It was conducted
against the agreed upon rules, and it was unconstitutional in that the
power of investigation is delegated to the Senate. Likewise, it is
against the statute of the Independent Council. It served no purpose
other than to further divide and disgust the country. In short, it is
nothing but an attempt at a power play.
Often times, this divisionism takes the form of racism or class
warfare. It is often stated that Mussolini tried to eliminate class
distinctions in fascist Italy. But the reality is that he only
reinforced those distinctions. Certainly the Nazis practiced racism in
an outrageous manner, ending in the Holocaust. On the other hand,
fascist Italy was not racist in nature until after Mussolini adopted
Hitler's Jewish solution. Fascism doesn't necessary have to be racist
in nature, but racism is often used to divide the citizens, as their
radical platform isn't appealing to the broad masses. In addition,
racism is violent in nature and the resulting chaos from the violence
serves to further divide the masses. Whether or not a fascist state is
racist seems to depend more upon the culture of the society in which
it arises. Before fascism, Italy had a long history of generally
equable racial relationships, going all the way back to the old Roman
Empire. For instance, even the slaves were eventually given full
rights in Rome. However, the roots of anti-Semitism goes back much
further in Germany as shown in the following quote.
"This is a good month to reflect on the toxicity of words meant to
kill. Nov. 9 marks the 60th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the 1938
'Night of Shattered Glass' unleashed by the Nazis to terrorize
Germany's Jews. The date was chosen specially by Josef Goebbels,
Hitler's propagandist, to honor the birthday of Martin Luther, the
16th century monk who was a father of the protestant Reformation and
the founder of what became the Lutheran church.
Hitler greatly admired Luther: "He saw the Jew as we are only
beginning to see him today." Indeed. Luther saw the Jews as 'hopeless,
wicked, venomous, and devilish... our pest, torment, and misfortune.'
Initially, certain that his version of Christianity would appeal to
Jews, he expected large numbers of them to covert. When that failed to
happen, he turned violently against them. In 1543, Luther Published
"On the Jews and Their Lies," a work that would become known
throughout Germany, perhaps the most widely disseminated work of anti-
Semitism by a German until the rise of the Nazis 400, years later.
"What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of
Jews?" Luther asked.
"First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not
burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt, so that no one may
ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it...
Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed...
Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer books and Talmuds, in
which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught.
Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to
teach any more...
Fifthly, passports and traveling privileges should be absolutely
forbidden to the Jews...
Sixthly, I advise that...all cash and treasure of silver and gold be
taken from them...
Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier,
force them to work, and deal harshly with them... If this does not
help we must drive them out like mad dogs, so we do not become
partakers of their abominable blasphemy and all their other vices. I
have done my duty. Now let everyone see to his."
This is hate speech.
< Sixty years ago next Monday on the night of Luther's birthday, Nazi
gangs rampaged across Germany. In every Jewish neighborhood, windows
were smashed and buildings were torched. All told, 101 synagogues were
destroyed, and nearly 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses were demolished.
On that night, 91 Jews were murdered; 26,000 were rounded up and sent
to concentration camps. It was the greatest pogrom in history. And it
was nothing compared with what was to come."33
The question then remains whether the fascism in America can be
considered racist or not. The past history of racism in the United
States would tend to support such. As a nation, we was one of the last
industrial nations to allow slavery, and it took the Civil War to end
slavery. It has been less than fifty years since "separate but equal"
was the rule of the land. It's only been sixty years since Japanese
citizens and immigrants were interred in camps following the bombing
of Pearl Harbor. The Rosewood incident happened less than a hundred
years ago, and lynching of blacks was common well into the 20th
century. This country has had a long, incredulous history of bigotry
and even genocide. There is no question of the genocide of Native
Americans in the efforts of the U. S. Army in passing out blankets
infected with small pox, or the slaughter of the Plains Indian's
primary source of food, the buffalo. Then there was the Trail of
Tears, as well. The Irish immigrants, following the potato famine,
were greeted by the Know Nothings, a party that based its support on
the hate of Catholics.
All of the hard right groups are racist, although more than one tries
to play their racism down or to hide it, such as the John Birch
Society and some of the various militia groups. Others are openly
racists, such as the Klan, the Nazis and the skinheads. The great
unifier of the far right, the Identity religion, links many of the
hard right groups. The Identity religion is based on anti-Semitic
belief that the true followers of Jesus immigrated to Britain and
northern Europe, that today's Jews are the descendents of Satan. It's
the mainstay religion among the militias, the Posse Comitatus, and
even among some of the Klan groups.
Besides the normal hate groups based on racism or anti-Semitism. the
religious right has emerged in the 1990s as a venomous hate group
basing their hate on gays and abortion. Abortion clinics increasingly
are becoming targets of bombings, arson, and vandalism. Late in 1998,
Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming after being tie to a fence and
then pistol whipped, for being gay. Below are some quotes about gays
from one of the leaders of the religious right, Pat Robertson.
"This conduct [homosexuality] is anti-social, and it is a pathology.
It is a sickness, and it needs to be treated. It doesn't need to be
taught in the classroom as a preferred way of life..." - 700 Club,
"...the acceptance of homosexuality is the last step in the decline of
Gentile civilization." --Pat Robertson, of the Christian Broadcasting
Network, warned that hurricanes could hit Orlando, Fla., because of
gay events there. Time magazine, Oct 26, 1998
"If the world accepts homosexuality as its norm and if it moves the
entire world in that regard, the whole world is then going to be
sitting like Sodom and Gomorrah before a Holy God. And when the wrath
of God comes on this earth, we will all be guilty and we will all
suffer for it." - 700 Club, 9-6-9534
Compare that last quote of Robertson's to the following quote of
Hitler on syphilis.
"...they speak of this whole field as if it were a great sin, and
above all express their profound indignation against every sinner
caught in the act, then close their eyes in pious horror to this
godless plague and pray God to let sulfur and brimstone preferably
after their own death rain down on this Sodom and Gomorrah, thus once
making an instructive example of this shameless humanity."39
Such evidence, as Robertson's words, abounds that they would persecute
gays, it abounds in the numerous ballot measures in various states
that would deny gays their civil rights. Such a measure passed in
Colorado, only to be overturned by the Supreme Court. Another measure,
led by Lon Mabon in Oregon failed state wide, but was reintroduced on
local ballots in the following election. Mabon has also led ballot
measures to limit the concept of a family and limiting abortions to
only the first trimester. The first was another attempt to limit the
rights of gays.
In June 1998, near Jasper, Texas a black man named James Byrd was
dragged behind a pickup. Body parts were found over a two mile length
of the roadway.35 It is too early for trends in hate crimes to emerge,
as the FBI only began tracking hate crimes in 1991. The one trend that
does seem to be emerging is the hate crimes are becoming increasingly
violent as evident from the murders of Shepard and Byrd. The real
danger of these two murders is they serve to desensitize us, leading
to more numerous and increasing levels of violence, just as the Nazis
used increasing levels of violence against the Jews.
Racism is reemerging in various forms in the 1990s in political issues
and in the Republican Party. "English only" laws are being promoted
with increasing frequency by various Republican candidates, including
Robert Dole, and have even appeared on some ballot measures such as
California Prop 187. The obvious targets are immigrants from Mexico.
In effect, its nothing more than the reemergence of nativism. Other
forms of nativism have appeared, such as denying immigrants access to
welfare and the school system for children of immigrants. Nativism is
also behind various immigration bills and the increasing efforts
directed at illegals.
Perhaps the most dangerous form of racism to emerge has been the
Republican efforts to 'monitor' the polls. And videotape those
leaving. Cases have arisen in the 1998 election in North Carolina,
Georgia, Michigan, Maryland, Kentucky, Texas and Maine. The efforts
are directed primarily at districts in which have a high percentage of
minorities. Such efforts serve no useful purpose and do constitute a
violation of the Voting Rights Act.36 More disturbing is the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court, William Rehnquist, served as the
director of Republican 'ballot security' in the poor areas of Phoenix,
Arizona between 1958-1962.37 He likewise wrote a pro separate but
equal memo as a law clerk for Justice Robert Jackson. All of which was
brought out in his confirmation hearings.
An even more subtle effort on the part of Republicans in denying votes
to the minorities and the poor is centered on the debate to allow a
statistical correction to the 2000 census. Such effort on the part of
the Republicans goes far beyond the election of 2000. The census will
be used to reapportionment of the congressional districts for the
decade. Thus, by denying the correction, they in effect are
perpetuating their power to 2010 by undercounting groups that
historically vote for Democrats
n Dec 1998, Republican House member Bob Barr and Senator Trent Lott
were exposed as keynote speakers before the Council of Conservative
Citizens, a racist organization. Lott was later determined to have
been an honorary member and had written several articles for their
paper dating back to the early 1990s. In January, Republican National
Chairman, Jim Nicholson asked members to dissociate themselves from
this group and directly appealed to national committee member Buddy
Witherspoon from South Carolina to resign. The request was refused.38
Once before, the Republicans were asked to denounce the radical John
Birch Society at their National Convention in the early 1960s.
Moderate members such as the former President Jerry Ford, did so.
However the measure failed.
Another Republican that deserves mention here is Pat Buchanan and his anti-Semitic views. Buchanan has opposed virtually all civil rights bills and favorable court decisions; he has supported apartheid in South Africa; he has spewed forth views of Holocaust denial; he has called fascists such as Franco and Pinochet soldier-patriots. And Buchanan was a key figure in urging Reagan to visit the SS cemetery in Bitburg.40
Thus as we prepare to enter a new century, the Republican Party has
adopted racism as a divisionist tool to divide the electorate in an
attempt to maintain power and enact their extremist agenda. Not all
members of the Republican Party are racist, but many of the members
from the hard right that controls the party are racists. There are
honorable members of the party, but they are being forced into lesser
and lesser roles. The extremists have gained control. It is the burden
of those honorable members to take back control of their party and
denounce the extremist before it becomes too late.
Perhaps the best assessment of the use of destructive divisionism by
fascist in the United States comes from a 1945 War department
"Three Ways to Spot U.S. Fascists.
Fascists in America may differ slightly from fascists in other
countries, but there are a number of attitudes and practices that they
have in common. Following are three. Every person who has one of them
is not necessarily a fascist. But he is in a mental state that lends
itself to the acceptance of fascist aims.
1.Pitting religion, racial, and economic groups against one another in
order to break down the national unity is a device of the divide and
conquer technique used by Hitler to gain power in Germany and in other
countries. With slight variations, to suit local conditions, fascists
everywhere have used this Hitler method. In many countries, anti-
Semitism is a dominant devise of fascism. In the United States native
fascists have often been anti-Catholic, anti-Jew, anti-Negro, anti-
Labor and anti-foreign born. In South America native fascists use the
same scapegoats except that they substitute anti-Protestantism for
Interwoven with the master race theory of fascism is a well planned
hate campaign against minority races, religions, and other groups. To
suit their particular needs and aims, fascists will use any one or a
combination of such groups as a convenient scapegoat.
2. Fascism cannot tolerate such religious and ethical concepts as the
brotherhood of man. Fascists deny the need for international
cooperation. These ideas contradict the fascist theory of the master
race. The color, race, creed or nationality-have rights. International
cooperation, as expressed in the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, run counter
to the fascist program of war and world domination. Right now our
native fascists are spreading anti-British, anti-Soviet, anti-French
and anti-United nations propaganda.
3. It is accurate to call a member of a communist party a communist.
For short, he is often called a Red. Indiscriminate pinning of the
label Red on people and proposals which one opposes is a common
political device. It is a favorite trick of native as well as foreign
Many fascists make the spurious claim that the world has but two
choices---either fascism or communism and they label as communist
everyone who refuses to support them. By attacking our free
enterprise, capitalist democracy and by deny the effectiveness of our
way of life they hope to trap many people."74
The extreme anti-communism and anti-socialism stance of the fascist is
beyond dispute among honest historians. Both communists and socialists
were the first to enter the concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Both
Mussolini and Franco fought against communist influence. From the
brief survey of the fascist philosophers and extreme anti-liberal
stance has been a factor in fascism from the beginning. The Nazi used
socialism as a ruse to gain power, but once in power they purged the
socialists within their party. The following quotes taken from Mein
Kampf will illuminate the anti-communism, anti-parliamentary
democracy, and the social darwinism of Hitler.
"Just as in 1918 we paid with our blood for the fact that in 1914 and
1915 we did not proceed to trample the head of Marxist serpent once
and for all, we would have to pay most catastrophically if in the
spring of 1923 we did not avail ourselves of the opportunity to halt
the activity of the Marist traitors and murders of the nation for
"As regards the possibility of putting these ideas into practice, I
beg you not to forget that the parliamentary principle of democratic
majority rule has by no means always dominated mankind, but to the
contrary is to be found only in brief periods of history, which are
always epochs of decay of peoples and states."42
"The best state constitution and state form is that which, with the
most unquestioned certainty, raises the best minds in the national
community to leading position and leading influence.
But as in economic life, the able men cannot be appointed from above,
but must struggle through for themselves,..."43
The second quote certainly is anti-liberal as it shows Hitler's
contempt for the democratic process. The last quote reveals Hitler as
a social Darwinist of which Turner makes the point in several places
in his book.44 Social Darwinism runs counter to the aims of socialism.
In fact it is the antithesis. It allows the elite to gain further
power, it willingly discards the poor and the weak as expendables.
With the anti-communism stance and social Darwinism character of
Hitler, it is not surprising that the fascist in America would come
from the extreme right. The United States was right in opposing
communism. But to what links? As with anything else moderation is an
admirable quality, excesses of any nature are damaging. Truman or
Eisenhower were not fascists for their anti-communism actions.
However, Tail Gunner Joe was either a fascist or a willing dupe of
fascists. The type of anti-communism of McCarthy served no other
purpose than to further his political career. He openly violated the
right to free speech and assembly of his victims. His aim was to
destroy them with out any regard to the evidence.
The social Darwinism as initiated by Reagan and his attacks on the
poor, and the dismantling of the welfare program led by Newt Gingrich
will also be labeled as examples of creeping fascism. Throwing people
into the streets arbitrarily to fend for themselves is destructive; it
is social Darwinism at its worst. Forcing them to except wages below
the minimum wage law is denying them their equal rights. But it was
precisely the economic woes of Germany that allowed the Nazis to rise
to power. Currently America is enjoying good economic times, but when
the economy takes a turn to the south the full impact of the lack of a
social safety net is going to be felt hard.
The next trait of fascism, extreme exploitation, is a direct result of
one of the primary traits of fascism, extreme nationalism. The form of
nationalism promoted by fascism not only concerns the standing in the
world but also applies to the sacrifices that are expected of
citizens. In short, the fascist state reigns supreme while the
individuals are subordinate to the state. The subordination of
individuals to the state is the antithesis of liberalism. Once again
some quotes from Mein Kampf will suffice.
"Since for us the state as such is the only form, but the essential is
its content, the nation, the people, it is clear that everything else
must be subordinated to its sovereign interests."45
"a peace, supported not by the palm branches of tearful, pacifist
female mourners, but based on the victorious sword of a master people,
putting the world into the service of a higher culture."46
Certainly from those two quotes there can be no question of the
subordination of individuals as practiced under the Nazis or to any
limits short of world domination by the Nazis. It is often stated that
Hitler left a road map to his future goals in Mein Kampf. There is no
greater evidence of that than in the last quote. How then did he rise
to power? The problem was nobody was listening. Nobody challenged his
aggressive views toward war, or at best they believed that they could
control or contain him. Only later did they find out the errors of
that false assumption.
This writer can find only two instances of this extreme exploitation
in America. Thanks to the efforts of CBS 60 Minutes and Evening News,
the story broke about the Tomb of the Unknown and how the Reagan White
House pressured the military to find an unknown to bury on Memorial
Day 1984. Turns out that in their haste to respond to the pressure
coming from the White House, they deliberately buried a fallen soldier
that wasn't so unknown. The unknown was Michael Bassie. This man had
given everything to his country except for his name. And the lowlife
filth occupying the White House had that stripped from him so he could
have a photo op on Memorial Day in an election year. This writer can
think of no other action that is more despicable; it's unforgivable.
Of course Reagan made sure he was the star of this photo op and used
it to promote and build support for his extremist military agenda.
The second instance comes at the hands of Newt Gingrich and the
Republicans of the 104th and 105th Congress. They have stripped the
rights of welfare recipients and required that they participate in
workfare. The problem comes in that these poor souls are not even
entitled to be paid the minimum wage or the right to unionize in some
cases. In other words, the Republican's answer to the poor is to force
the to work in perpetual slavery with no chance of ever breaking out
But this event is much more dangerous and goes much further than it
appears. The danger here lies in the suspension of the constitutional
equality under the eyes of the law. The Republicans have in effect
created a sub-class in which one of the very fundamental tenets of our
constitution, equality under the eyes of the law was ignored and
thrown out the window. Nor is this the only example of unequal
treatment of the poor at the hands of the Republicans. They also have
advocated cut backs in the budget for the public defender's office.
The Republicans have been very successful in their propaganda in
demonizing the poor. There seems to be an almost gutter level hatred
of the poor and any aid to assist them. Instead of reaching out a
compassionate helping hand towards the poor, the Republicans have
adopted a mean spirited social Darwinist view.
This brings us to the trait of opportunistic ideology of fascism. It
is perhaps one of the more confusing aspects of fascism. Mussolini
appears to have been indeed a socialist before founding the fascist
party. Mussolini likewise went from a pacifist to a rabid warmonger.
Clearly such dramatic changes in ideology could only be based in an
opportunistic grab for power. Mussolini started supporting a
syndicalism economy, but by 1923, with clear objections from business
leaders, he concluded the Palazzo Chigi Pact. This pact's main intent
was to simplify business relations by making the fascist the sole
representative of labor. In 1925, the Plazzo Vidoni agreement was
signed. This agreement made Rossoni's union the sole representative of
labor. It likewise prohibited the challenging of factory management.
By the close of the year, the grateful employer's federation publicly
announced adherence to the fascist regime.48 Such transformations
illistrate the opportunistic ideology present in fascism or is it a
lack of ideology, as well as further dispeling the myth that fascism
is another form of socialism.
Part of the problem with the ever-changing ideology of fascism arises
from the divisionism. Strasser was a socialist and it seems that
Goebbels was a Marxist. Both were allowed almost free reign in
promoting their own economic views as long as it gathered more support
of serve Hitler's purpose. But once their views failed to serve
Hitler, they were then brow beaten severely. An example of such
reversal in party ideology of the Nazis occurred on February 14,1926.
Prior to this date, both Strasser and Goebbels had approved of a
plebiscite campaign to deprive former royalty of their possessions, a
measure, that was popular with the common citizens. On the given date,
Hitler summoned both men to a meeting in Bamberg. Before those
gathered, Hitler forced both to capitulate and abandon the program.49
Similar events have already been given, in which various Nazis were
initially allowed to promote socialism in efforts to appease the lower
classes in an effort to gain their support.
Examples abound throughout the history of the Nazis where they adopted
their ideology to suit the audience. In October 1932, Strasser
announced a new program that was a stark reversal of the program the
Nazis had advocated in July. Higher taxes on the rich had been
replaced with a general reduction of taxes, instead of price controls
it centered on freeing prices. Instead of protectionism trade policy,
export and global trade was now promoted. Likewise, much of the
inflammatory rhetoric had been dropped.50
Hitler seems to have sensed the explosive nature of economics and
tried to avoid the subject both publicly and within the party. From
all indications, he was dissatisfied with the party planks on economic
matters. The only official stance on economic matters was the 1920
twenty-five point program. However, he only referred to this policy
document disparagingly in Mein Kampf and distanced himself from the
document.51 Likewise Hitler would never take an aggressive stance on
minor issues, he played to his audience to win their support.
Perhaps the most dramatic evidence of the opportunistic character of
the Nazis is illustrated by the actions of thirty-nine businessmen in
November 1932. The group contained such notables as Krupp, Thyssen,
Bosch, Siemens, and others. In a signed letter to Hindenburg they
urged him to appoint Hitler as chancellor. In essence they were
placing a bet that the socialism ideology was a fraud and that once in
power he would be a tool of capitalist.52
The only other reversal in policy that could rival the bet that the
leaders of big business made was Hitler's writings. In the first part
of Mein Kampf he argued that France was the sworn and greater enemy of
Germany. However, the second part to Mein Kampf he reversed course and
argued that Russia was the enemy as opposed to the first book in which
he proposed an alliance with Russia.53 This was a complete change in
his foreign policy. One can only speculate as to the reasons behind
such a switch.
Many writers have tried to label the Nazis as socialists in a folly to
distance themselves from fascist theory. They are quick to point to
the syndicalism policy as proof of socialist regulation of business.
They are in error, of course. Syndicalism is neither left nor right in
itself. It can be either, depending upon the political structure.
Syndicalism with labor groups or consumers dominating the issues would
indeed be socialistic in nature. On the other hand, syndicalism with
only industry or business groups dominating is certainly from the
right wing of the political spectrum. The issuing of controls or goals
over the production of war material by the government in a syndicalism
system is neither left nor right, it's simply self-preservation. The
goals and controls, including the 4-Year Plan issued by Goring, were
nothing more than gearing the economy up for war time production. In
essence, they were merely self-preservation measures.
Secondly, they will point toward many of the public works projects
that were implemented under the Nazis as examples of socialism. An
example of this is the construction of the autobahn, a project that
had been planned by previous governments, as were many of the public
work projects. They likewise forget that the Nazis took over at the
bottom of an economic depression, public work projects were enacted
not only in Germany, but in the U. S. as well as a means to end the
depression. Many of those projects in the U. S. were the construction
of useful infrastructure, such as the building of the high school in
New Ulm, Minnesota. Others had a definite commercialism bent to them,
such as the construction of Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon.
Labeling the construction of a facility for a commercial business as
socialism is simply fools folly. The same applies to many of the
public works projects that were implemented under the Nazis.
Labeling such programs as socialism would be the same as labeling the
construction of the interstate highway system as socialism. If the
Eisenhower administration had one shinning moment, it was his support
for the construction of the freeway system. For those that are silly
enough to label such work as socialism, let them be reminded that no
other single event, other than the construction of the cross
continental railroad aided the development of business. Besides the
obvious advantage to shippers, the interstate highway system has
spawned many new businesses. Think of the number of motels/hotels as
well as the tourist traps, service stations, and others that have
grown up along the freeway system. The same applies to Germany and the
Finally, the same writers that label fascism as socialism would like
their readers to believe that these government regulations and
bureaucratic offices held ultimate power. Failure to comply would
result in the owners being shot. Nothing could be further from the
truth. The Nazis for a large part lived in fear of the leaders of big
business. They were aware that they had no comprehensive economic plan
and would defer to the judgement of the business leaders.
This point can be driven home with one simple example. Goering was one
of the Nazis that had little economic knowledge, but harbored some of
the more radical economic ideas and was fond of using regulatory
offices. Goering tried first to persuade the steel industry, both the
smelters and miners, to use low-grade German ore as opposed to the
high-grade Swedish ore. Importation of ore from Sweden would use up
precious foreign currency, as well as being a less reliable source in
the event of war. The invasions of Denmark and Norway were conducted
solely to protect the Nazis shipping routes for the Swedish ore. Most
of the industrialists politely refused Goering's request; even under
threats of arrest for sabotage, they still declined.54 None were
arrested for refusal. Instead Goering formed the Herman Goering Works
to take on the task. By the time of the outbreak of the war it had
evolved to be one of the largest companies in Germany.
Farben is another example of the Nazis bowing to the expertise of
leading corporations. With the advent of the first 4-Year Plan, they
realized they needed the cooperation of business leadership in order
to achieve self-sufficiency in a series of raw materials and finished
products. Most of which were items would be crucial to wartime
production. By the end of the war Farben, had a series of factories
around concentration camps, were major users of slave labor, along
with Krupp and many other corporations.
But the most damning evidence of the Nazi's unbridled corporatism was
evident shortly after passage of the Enabling Act, when Hjalmar
Schacht was appointed president of the Reichsbank. Schacht was a
brilliant financier who helped negotiate the Dawes Plan and was
largely responsible for stabilizing the currency in 1923; he also
detested democracy and parliamentarianism. His first official act was
the creation of Metall-Forschungsgesellschaft A.G. (Mefo), a dummy
corporation of four armament firms. The state assumed the liability
for their debts. The Mefo bills were not unlike promissory notes, they
were issued to government contractors and could be extended to five
years.55 Such favoritism of business is certainly not socialism. Today
in America such corporate aid is labeled as corporate welfare. Note
the similarity here not only to the present corporate welfare that's
being doled out, but also to Eisenhower's warning of the military-
industrial complex. The American military-industrial complex didn't
need to invent a new plan, they were simply free to follow the example
the Nazis used. In fact fascism is inseparatable from corporatism. You
simply cannot have a fascist government without corporations and a
Schacht was later appointed to minister of economics in 1934, a post
he retained until he resigned in 1937 over policy disputes. He was not
an anti-Semitic and was conscious of the negative aspects of the
takeover of Jewish business on both the economy and world opinion. By
1936, he was advocating slowing down the rearmament program, fearing
the return of inflation.56 The return of inflation dispenses with the
myths that the Nazis maintained strict control of corporations and the
prices of goods in short order. In effect, such controls were non-
existent. It should also be pointed out here that the economy at this
time had taken on considerable shades of a consumer economy.
Italy used their form of syndicalism to eliminate labor unions; the
Nazis followed a similar path. The workers benefited little from this
unbridled corporatism. Unemployment went from an official figure of
six million unemployed in 1933, to 2.7 million in 1937, and by the
time of the outbreak of war there was a serious shortage of workers.
But growth in wages was far less spectacular, real wages rose only
sparingly. The index of wages rose from 92.5 in 1933 to 103 in 1937,
an increase of a meager eleven-percent.57 Much of the increase in
wages was achieved only from working longer hours. The only real
increases in the plight of the workers came with more unpaid leave.
Many of the other benefits produced no real benefits to the worker,
such as the factory beautification program.
From looking at the philosophers of fascism, it was revealed that
fascism was a reactionary movement. What then was the fascist reacting
to that led to the rise of Mussolini and Hitler? Many people
responding to the question would simply answer the Treaty of
Versailles. But such an answer is only partially correct. It doesn't
account for the widespread rise of fascism in many European countries
following WWI. In fact, during the period between the two world wars,
every government from the Rhine to the Pacific underwent drastic
changes. In many of those fascism had ample support but in the end was
rejected. Some of the problem can be laid to the beginning dissolution
of the British Empire and the arbitrary way in which maps were redrawn
following WWI without regard to ethnic or natural barriers. An example
would be the cobbled mess of ethnic groups that formed the former
republic of Yugoslavia, an area that remains a hot spot today.
Britain and the United States were about the only two governments that
did not undergo a major change during the period between the wars.
However, neither was immune to the rise of fascism. The U. S. saw a
rise of a great many fascist groups and groups closely aligned with
the fascist in the period between the wars. The German Bund, the
Silver Shirts and the mother's movement were all aligned closely with
fascism. It was also this period that seen the greatest membership in
the Ku Klux Klan.
The United States avoided full-blown fascism by essentially adopting
fascist methods on a milder scale. This was a shameful period in the
history of America. The infamous Palmer raids rounded up those with
communist connections. The I.W.W was harassed constantly by Hoover and
the FBI. In short, only those with non-approved political beliefs
would be prosecuted. This suppression of liberty had actually begun
around 1900. At the turn of the century, both conservative and liberal
elements combined to pass a blizzard of new laws. This effort aimed at
curbing lawless quickly became dominated by conservative elements and
evolved in a tool for the right wing for the remainder of the century.
As head of the FBI, Hoover quickly targeted the leaders of the left
for prosecution, ignoring the criminal actions of the hard right
groups. This has left the United States without any noticeable left
wing compared to the rest of the industrial world.
Perhaps one of the first and most notable events was the trial of
Sacco and Vanzetti, two immigrants charged with murder in
Massachusetts. They were found guilty more on their political beliefs
than on evidence. They were anarchists, atheists, and reportedly draft
dodgers, beliefs that threatened the industrialists of the time.64
Both were executed after considerable protest. Their trial set a
dangerous standard that people could be prosecuted for their political
beliefs. The inclusion of this trial here is to serve as a reminder of
a new problem that is emerging to confront the hard right, jury
nullification. Today there is considerable debate from both sides of
the political spectrum on jury nullification arising in death penalty
and drug cases. It warrants close observation. If the public becomes
too polarized, it could spell the end to the trial by jury system,
which has served admirably for over 200 years.
Various members of the right wing are now using this as an issue in
another attempt to polarize the electorate for their own selfish
purposes. These members of the right wing are promoting a system of
justice backed by mob or vigilante justice. Essentially, it's a system
backed by violence that is not unlike the tactics used by the Posse
Comitatus, the Freemen, or various militias to corrupt the justice
The first example of political repression came in Minnesota. The then
Republican Governor Burnquist used the newly created Minnesota
Commission of Public Safety to suspend New Ulm's Mayor Fritsche and
City Attorney Pfaender for their pacifist views after war had been
declared on Germany in 1917. The following quote details some of the
shameful actions taken by the commission and its connection to the
In April 1917, soon after America declared war on Germany, the
Minnesota Legislature, following ferocious debate, created the
Minnesota Commission of Public Safety. This remarkable body, chaired
and appointed by the governor, was given "all necessary power" to
maintain order and enhance Minnesota's contribution to the war effort.
Technically limited by the state and federal constitutions, the
commission essentially wielded all the authority of state government
during the 18 months of its active existence. >
The commission came to be dominated by representatives of the Twin
Cities business community. It used its sweeping authority with gusto,
not only to root out ``disloyalty'' but to combat labor unionism and
agrarian activism as well.
The commission dispatched detectives throughout Minnesota to
investigate people and organizations suspected of disloyalty. It
regulated food prices and the liquor trade, imposing prohibition in
some parts of the state. It banned union organizing and intervened on
the side of management in a bitter Twin Cities streetcar strike. It
created a ``Home Guard'' of some 8,000 troops to back up its decrees.
The commission served as a virtual campaign committee for Republican
Gov. Joseph Burnquist in his 1918 re-election bid. It turned a blind
eye toward frequent mob harassment of his opponents. It interrogated
and intimidated Minnesotans who declined to purchase Liberty Bonds to
finance the war effort.63
Nor was such action confined to just Minnesota, many states set up
similar commissions. State sponsored violence against leaders from the
left was common place. One group that suffered immeasurably was the
I.W.W, the Wobblies. On Nov 5, 1916, Washington State suffered its
bloodiest labor battle of all time. The resulting carnage between a
local sheriff and the Wobblies left seven dead and over fifty wounded
in the city of Everett.65
All three of these events illustrate that the United States repressed
those with radical ideas in the time period of WWI and immediately
thereafter. Pacifist, labor leaders, and leftist political leaders
were all prosecuted with equal zeal. Remember, this was the time
period of the Rosewood incident and other atrocities. The prosecution
was lead by the hard right and business leaders.
But the real answer to the question is that fascism following WWI was
a reaction to the Bolshevik revolution and the rise of liberalism
ideals. Up until the Russian revolution, the only economic system was
capitalism. Communism was a new revolutionary system. It threatened
the power elite directly and gave way to a rise not only in communism
but socialism and liberalism as well. It was no accident that fascism
arose first in Italy, where in the period of 1919-1922, socialists
ruled in many localities. Here fascism arose in the countryside were
old practices such as sharecropping were giving way to new methods. In
1920, the largest strike in Italian agriculture ever was settled when
the landowners capitulated. Elsewhere, unions were wringing out
concessions from the owners through strikes and boycotts.58
The real appeal of European fascism was the protection it afforded
against working class movements, socialism, and communism.59 Hobsbawm
states it even more forcefully in claiming that without the October
revolution and Leninism there would have been no need for fascism. For
up until that time, the demagogic right, although politically active
and noisy in many countries, had been kept in check.60 The entire Nazi
movement was a reactionary movement. The reaction to the Treaty of
Versailles is well known and needs no further comment, as is the
opposition of fascism to liberalism, socialism and communism. Rather,
the following quote will show how complete the reaction was to the
events of the time.
"Today Christians... stand at the head of Germany... I pledge that I
never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity...We
want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit... We want to
burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the
theater, and in the press- in short, we want to burn out the poison of
immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a
result of liberal excess during the past...few years."61 <
The quote above was taken from a speech delivered by Hitler. It
provides the illustration that the Nazi movement was completely a
reactionary movement, reacting not only to global power politics and
the rise of the left, but also to the changes in arts and culture of
the time. It also provides the link to demonstrate that today's hard
right movement in the U. S. is equally reactionary, in particular, the
element of the so-called religious right. Contrast it with the quote
by Pat Robertson below.
"The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous
document for self-governmentby Christian people. But the minute you
turn the document into the hands of non-Christian and atheistic people
they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society."-Pat
Robertson (The 700 Club, Dec. 30, 1981)62
Apparently, Robertson is under the impression that the constitution
applies to only those he chooses and is null and void for the rest of
us. Hitler held a similar contempt for democracy. However, the point
that the Nazis were reactionary has been established beyond any doubt.
The reaction was not just confined to the global political scene or
economic conditions, but extended into the very roots of the culture.
Starting around 1980, fascism reared its ugly head globally. Unlike
the rise of fascism in the 1920s, this time the Reagan administration
embraced it. The administration openly promoted class warfare, allowed
the LaRocuhians access to security and intelligence agencies, filled
the EPA with Coor's lackeys, and openly supported none but the elite.
In essence, the Reagan administration was the American equivalent of
the passage of the Enabling Act.
There is no need to expand on the violent behavior of the Nazis or
fascists, as there is no dispute of their long history of violence.
Instead, the violence of various groups in the United States will be
explored. Many readers will immediately think of the violence that
arose in the 60s during the war protests. In fact, that is the great
illusion of the media. The truth is that little violence was directly
attributed to war protestors. In fact much of the violence that did
come out of the war protests was the work of the FBI.
The real story of violence in the 60s was the violence inflicted upon
the civil rights workers by the Klan. The early part of the 60s was
marred by violence, inspired by the Klan and racial hatred of right
wing groups. Eisenhower had to use National Guards to integrate the
Little Rock school system. Kennedy had to use federal marshals to
integrate Old Miss. When the Supreme Court order that busing was to be
used as a tool for integration, the violence spread nationally. The
Klan burnt school busses in Michigan to prevent integration.
Since 1980, right wing groups such as the Order, which murdered the
Denver talk show host, Berg, likewise have dominated the violence. The
leader of the Order was killed in a shoot out with law enforcement.
Another right wing group, the Posse Comitatus became a household word
only after the Kahl shoot out with law enforcement in North Dakota.
And of course there was the bombing of the Oklahoma federal building
by the right winger McVeigh. Perhaps the greatest widespread use of
violence since the Klan has been the bombing and violence directed
against abortion clinics by members of the religious right.
Violence has been the hallmark of the hard right in America dating
back at least as far as the Know Nothing Party in the 1800s and their
hatred of Catholics. It was business leaders that hired Pinkertons to
murder union organizers in earlier times. Yet there is relatively
little in the way to support that left wing groups were equally
violent. Groups like the Weathermen were violent, but the group was
never more than a small fringe group. Its extremely small size limited
the extent of its violence. One of the reasons for the lack of
widespread violence from leftist groups has already been mentioned,
the suppression of left wing groups by the FBI.
The last two traits of fascism will be explored together, as they are
related by an underlying use of symbols and the inseparable nature of
cults and religions. There is no doubt that both Hitler and Mussolini
were in effect leaders of a cult. Their extremist views would rule out
a major following otherwise. In fact, both promoted imagines
consistent with cults. Both chose to use propaganda to promote larger
than life imagines of themselves. Both Hitler and Mussolini were
Catholics; neither appeared to be particularly active members of the
church. Hitler referred to Christianity throughout Mein Kampf, as
already shown by quotes of which a few more will be included here.
"The sword will become our plow, and from the tears of war the daily
bread of future generations will grow."
"The more the linguistic Babel corroded and disorganized parliament,
the closer drew the inevitable hour of the disintegration of this
Babylonian Empire and with it the hour of freedom for my German-
< " the Lord's grace smiled on his ungrateful children." >
Officially, the Nazis were a Christian group, if one can assign a
religion to the group by the public policies they enacted. In this
case, the assignment is based on the following prayer that the Nazis
required to be recited in all public schools.
"Almighty God, dear heavenly Father. In Thy name let us now, in pious
spirit, begin our instruction. Enlighten us, teach us all truth,
strengthen us in all that is good, lead us not into temptation,
deliver us from all evil in order that, as good human beings, we may
faithfully perform our duties and thereby, in time and eternity, be
made truly happy. Amen."67
It is also true that the Nazis dabbled in mysticism as well. Certainly
some of the philosophers were pantheistic. But what really underlies
both the religious and mysticism aspects of the Nazis is the symbolism
buried underneath. In fact, one follower of fascism believed that the
masses were unable to understand anything other than mere slogans.
From Mein Kampf the following quote concerns the symbolism hidden
behind the Nazi flag.
" Not only that the unique colors, which all of us so passionately
love and which once won so much honor for the German people, attest
our veneration for the past; they were also the best embodiment of the
movement's will. As National Socialists, we see our program in our
flag. In red we see the social idea of the movement, in white the
nationalistic idea, in the swastika the mission of the struggle for
victory of the Aryan man, and by the same token, the victory of the
idea of creative work, which as such always has been and always will
At first in the quote above, Hitler is referring to the old flag of
Germany. The choice of red was based on stealing from the communists
and was chosen deliberately to enflame the Marxists. Throughout Mein
Kampf, Hitler refers to the value of propaganda and made extensive use
of symbols to convene a subtle message of hatred.
The similarities to the right wing in America is seen. The Republicans
have introduced a flag desecration amendment to protect their
symbolism. Even more revealing was the letter Newt Gingrich
distributed to members of GOPAC. In this letter, members were to use
the following words to impart a negative image: decay, failure, sick,
liberal, unionized, welfare, corrupt, greed and intolerant. The
following words were to impart a positive imagine: share, legacy,
control, truth, and courage.68
Cults are inherently fascist in nature. The leader demands total
submersion into the cult. America today has seen far too many examples
of cults and cult behavior. A recent example, would be the Waco
incident that ended badly. However, there are several right wing
groups that do exhibit cult behavior besides the religious groups; the
LaRouchians, many of the militias, and the Order would all qualify as
cults. In addition, much of the hard right inside the Republican Party
has taken on a cult like behavior in their idolizing Reagan. The 105th
Congress renamed the Washington airport after him. In the present
Congress Congressman Matt Salmmon of Arizona has introduced a bill to
deface Mt Rushmore by adding Reagan's imagine to the monument.69
It has been shown beyond any reasonable doubt that Hitler and the
Nazis were right wing extremists best described as social darwinists,
the antithesis of socialism. It was showed that the Nazis were best
described by syndicalism model and that syndicalism is neither
socialistic nor capitalistic, inherently. Syndicalism can be either
depending upon the makeup; the Nazis were definitely capitalists in
that there was no input from labor. All input was reserved for the
industrialist. Further, it was shown that the industrialists openly
defied Nazi desires in the case of the use of low-grade ores. It was
also shown that many of the businesses that was government owned were
taken over by the government prior to the Nazis, some dating all the
way from the monarchy. Likewise, it was shown that many of the Nazi
programs would be classified as corporate welfare today. And it was
shown that the real power behind the Nazi movement was the top
elitist. This should be sufficient for anyone to dispel the myth that
the Nazis were socialist, when in fact they were capitalistic
In defining fascism, three traits stand above all others,
totalitarian, nationalism, and extreme corporatism. In fact, one can
not have fascism without corporatism. Other traits of fascism, such as
destructive divisionism and the use of violence are secondary. As
fascist ideology evolved in the later half of the 20th Century, a
happy face was put on fascism by its leaders as they down played the
violence and racism. This can be seen best in the far right wing
extremist groups currently active in the United States.
Additionally, there is one fact that absolutely places the Nazis and
fascism in the extreme right wing portion of the political spectrum,
and not the left. No one disputes that a communist revolution attacks
the ruling elite of a country. Similarly, socialism and liberalism
also attacks the same ruling elite, but the right wing extremists try
to claim the opposite. In reality these systems merely seek methods to
ease the burden and allow the lower classes to prosper rather than
attacking the elite. The Nazis, on the other hand, did not attack the
ruling elite of Germany. The rich industrialists were allowed to
continue their ways, eased by laws that the Nazis enacted for their
benefit. Likewise, the nobility of Germany was supported by the Nazis.
In short, the Nazis adopted the ruling elite in Germany and supported
them, the exact opposite of what a left leaning political ideology
There is no better proof of the Nazi support for the ruling elite than
looking at who supported Hitler in the 1930s in America. Granted, many
lower class people were involved in the pro-Hitler movement just as in
Germany. But like Germany, it was the rich industrialists that funded
these groups. Hearst ordered his newspapers to print pro-Nazi
articles. In fact, he had them print the Nazi propaganda directly from
Gobbels. Irenee du Pont funded several pro-fascist groups. Henry Ford
was well known for his praise of Hitler and funded many pro-Nazis in
the 30s. Andrew Mellon and John D. Rockefeller were supporters of
Hitler as well. No one is foolish enough to argue that these men were
not part of the ruling elite or rich industrialists in America at the
time. In fact, support for Hitler among the rich industrialists was
The continued propagation of such nonsense by the present right wing
is nothing short of propaganda. It fits closely with the Nazis' use of
propaganda and the symbolism proposed by Gingrich and his negative
words. nor will it change the history of the right wing support of the
2. Why Americans Hate Politics, E. J. Dionne, Touchstone, 1991,
3. Thomas Jefferson: In his Own Words, Maureen Harrison & Steve
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7. Himmler, Peter Padfield, MJF books,1990, p260.
8. Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Houghton Mifflin, 1971, p 394.
9. Mein Kampf, p325.
< 10. Lott renounces White Racialist Group He praised in 1992, Thomas
Edsell, Washington Post, Dec 16,1998.
12. Thirty Days, Henry Ashby Turner, Addison-Welsey, 1996, p5.
13. Thirty Days, p9-15.
14. Thirty Days, p164.
15. Mein Kampf, p645-646.<
16. Mein Kampf, p218.
17. Adolf Hitler, Robert Payne, Barnes & Noble,1995, p213.
18. Adolf Hitler, p237
19. Who Financed Hitler, James Pool, Pocket Books, 1997, p11.
< 20. Who Financed Hitler, p45
21. Who Financed Hitler, p83.<
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Appeared in Boston Globe of same date
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Oxford University Press, 1985.
24. German Big Business, p151-152.
25. German Big Business, p198-200.
26. German Big Business, p159.
27. Trading with the Enemy, Charles Higham, Barnes & Noble,
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29. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Schirer, Fawcett,
30.The Rise and Fall, p203.
33. What Real Hate Speech Sounds Like, Jeff Jacony, Boston Globe, 11,
35. A Trial of Alleged hate to Begin in Texas, AP wire, Boston Globe,
1, 24, 1999 .
36. Minority Voter Intimidation Becomes election Eve Issue, AP wire,
11, 3, 1998.
37. Quite and Odd Couple to Sit in Judgement, Jim Dwyer, New York
Daily news, 1, 7, 1999.
38. RNC Chiarman Urges Party Member to Leave Conservative Group, Glen
Johnson, AP wire, Boston Globe, 1, 19, 1999.
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41. Mein Kampf, p678.
42. Mein Kampf, p651.
43. Mein Kampf, p449.
44. Big Business &
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46. Mein Kampf, p396.
47. Fascism, Roger Eatwell, Penguin, 1995, p149.
48. >Fascism, p77.
49. The Rise and Fall, p181. <
50. Big Business, p288.
51. Big Business, p 81
52. Hitler, John Toland, Doubleday, 1976, p276.<
53. Hitler, p221.
54. Fascism, p156.
56. Fascism, p155.
57. Fascism, p160.
58. Fascism, p53-54.
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66. Mein Kampf, p498-499.
69. Reagan Wanted on Mt Rushmore, Rueters wire appearing in the 2/2/99
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1994, Fiftieth Anniversary Edition.
71. The Road to Serfdom, p52.
72. The Road to Serfdom, p44. <
73. Fascism and Big Business, Daniel Guerin, Pathfinder, 1973,
74. Time Bomb, E.A. Piller, Arco Publishing, 1945, p13-14.
75. Southern Exposure, Stetson Kennedy, DoubleDay, 1946, p189