People Versus Plutocrats: Hitler's Anti-Capitalist Legacy
Ahab Apr 20, 2020
Today marks 131 years since the birth of Adolf Hitler the man whose life and legacy form a stark outline, the shape of which the entire present world order was constructed against.
Within the dissident right, there is a perceptible reassessment of Hitler under way. For years, Hitler was seen by many as simply a meme a kind of shorthand for the most radical defiance to oppressive PC culture. Some within white nationalist circles, reacting to the omnipresent specter of Hitler as psychological weapon of the mass media, have sought to minimize his importance, dismissing him as a figure of German history whose relevance is long past. A few have gone to the other extreme, elevating Hitler to a figure of esoteric religious veneration.
What seems to be changing is a more serious political assessment of Hitler as leader of a revolutionary party, as head of a real government with real policies, and as founder of a definite ideology with vast implications for our own time. Confronting the political issues and problems of the 21st century, there is a new interest in taking the politics of Hitler seriously. This trend is being driven by study and discovery of Hitlers actual words and deeds, separated from popular myth and propaganda, partly made possible because of the increasing availability of accurate historical information.
Slowly but surely, the mountain of lies piled onto history by the victorious Allied powers is eroding down to nothing. One sure sign of this trend is the subtle, yet unmistakable ongoing revision of Hitler scholarship by mainstream historians. One of the most recent examples is the new book by Cambridge professor Brendan Simms, titled Hitler: A Global Biography, published by Basic Books in late 2019.
Simms biography of Hitler is far from perfect. He discounts critical biographical sources such as the memoirs of August Kubizek, and Hitlers own autobiography, apparently only because they portray Hitler in a positive light. And in spite of the authors generally unbiased tone, free from moralizing, he repeats some of the more outlandish propaganda horror stories about the Third Reich with an intellectual laziness unworthy of the rigorous revisionism he applies to other subjects. As a Cambridge professor, he has his career to protect. He also projects a bit too much of his own Anglocentrism onto Hitler. The Fuhrer certainly admired many aspects of both the British and American cultures, but it would be foolish to suggest his first love wasnt only and always for his own German people.
Crucially, the book quietly drops or revises dozens of long-standing propaganda myths. Among them are the lies that Hitler was a lazy dictator, that he was a mad rug-chewer, that he set out with the intention to exterminate the Jews, that he deliberately encouraged polycratic chaos within the Reich to enhance his own power, that he was driven by megalomania or narcissism, that he ever issued a Nero order against his own people, and significantly that he never went after or desired world domination.
Most thoroughly demolished by this book is the myth that Hitler viewed Soviet communism as a greater threat than Anglo-American plutocracy.
The following passages speak for themselves:
While the connection between Hitlers anti-Semitism and his anti- capitalism is often noted, and has been the subject of some individual studies, its centrality to his world view, and the extent to which he was fighting a war against international high finance and plutocracy from start to finish, has not been understood at all.
From the start of Hitlers political career in the early 1920s:
It was the international Jewish newspaper corporations, Hitler claimed, who had prevented a Russo-German rapprochement. It was they who owned the large American companies supplying the Allied war effort and who tricked the peaceful American people into [WW1] with Germany against their better natures and best interests. It was the Jews who tried to manipulate Germanys food supply and who precipitated the [communist] revolution through hunger. All this happened because the New York Stock Exchange the Headquarters of World Jewry was determined to crush Germany, the last remaining Nationalstaat which was not yet completely ruled by stock exchanges. In short, Hitler remained firmly wedded to the idea of a deadly synthesis between world Jewry, international capitalism and Anglo-America as Germanys nemesis.
As Germany suffered under the enemy blockade which starved hundreds of thousands, even after they laid down their weapons in November 1918, Hitler came to the following conclusions:
Moreover, in Hitlers view the war was by no means over. Germany was still the victim of international capitalism, whose continuing power he repeatedly attacked. He spoke of international stock exchange and loan capital as the main beneficiaries of the peace treaty [of Versailles]. Ever since the collapse of the Reich, Hitler claimed, the country had fallen under the rule of international, fatherlandless capital, independent of person, place and Nation. International conferences such as Genoa in April 1922 were simply condemned as stock exchange conferences. Hitler saw Jewish international capitalism and western democracy as linked. International Jewish stock exchange capital, he believed, was the driving force of these western-democratic states. He set up the equation of democracy-capitalism-Jew. For all these reasons, he argued, National Socialism was a new force whose aim could always only be anti-capitalist.
The distinction is made between productive national and destructive international capital:
Hitler was not completely opposed to all forms of capitalism, though he sometimes gave that impression. He contrasted the blanket hostility of Social Democrats and Marxists to capitalism in general with his own distinction between allegedly pernicious and largely Jewish international loan capitalism and nationally oriented productive industrial capitalism. Factories and industrial capital, he told an audience of SA, is national and the capital of every country remains national. For clarity, he stressed that National Socialism struggled against every form of big capital, irrespective of whether it is German or Jewish, if it is grounded not in productive work, but in the principle of interest, of income without work or toil. .. In Hitlers view it was the determination of international capitalism to subjugate independent national economies which had led to the world war and the brutal peace settlement.
In the period immediately before and after the 1923 Munich Putsch:
The main danger of Germanys internal weakness was that it made her vulnerable to external attack, especially from the enemies that Hitler feared most: international capitalism, Anglo-America and the associated forces of world Jewry. Hitler critiqued the economics of inequality and exploitation, the jarring juxtaposition of poor and rich so close to each other, the role of money, in which money [became] God and the false God of Mammon was offered incense. He became increasingly convinced that the heaviest battle to be fought was no longer against enemy peoples but against international capital. Here Hitler insisted more than ever on his earlier distinction between national capital, which the state could control, and pernicious international capital, which controlled states or sought to do so. One of its principal instruments of subjugation was revolutionary Marxism, which undermined national economies, societies and governments. Others were economic immiseration and racial contamination, both of which also reduced the capacity of nations to resist international takeover. For Hitler, maintaining an independent national economy was therefore absolutely central to the defense of national identity, sovereignty and racial purity.
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Germany under Hitler was indeed a tyranny.
But racial purity is America's security.