Sunday, April 08, 2007

Socialists not socialist

For one reason or another, I've been tracking round Little Green Footballs, and I came across this on an anti-lgf site:

The Nazis pretended to be socialists (hence Hitler's rhetoric) in order to gain the support of the working class, but as the article I posted shows, in practice, the Nazis were not socialist at all. They preserved privately owned businesses, worked hand in glove with the most conservative elements of German society, suppressed union activity and purged real socialists from the Party.

I know that modern-day conservatives wish to brand the left-wing with the Nazi connection, but this is revisionism which ignores the facts.

Fascism and socialism are two different things.
(emphasis added)

Preserved privately owned businesses? Is there a socialist (as opposed to communist) party that hasn't done this? In fact, the British Labour Party is accused of all the things I've highlighted in bold by the more extreme leftists - and even by some of their own members.

There's a lot of truth in the idea that Hitler and his chums hijacked a socialist party and used it for their own ends, and that these ends were incompatible with, and indeed deeply hostile to, international socialism. But they were in large part still recognisable as socialist.

Norman Tebbit was challenged last year by a BBC journalist on Radio 4 when he (Tebbit) suggested the Nazis were socialists.

Tebbit asked: Did they believe in a smaller state? Individual responsibility and freedom?

The journalist was flustered.

Fascism and (international) socialism are, strictly, different things. But not very different.

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