Our Socialist Military?

This is pretty funny.

Socialists actually crave the non-fighting aspects of the military life — the collectivization of people into a single body with one shared purpose. (This feeling of a shared purpose is often craved by those with a religious impulse but who reject actual religion.)

Socialists long to be corporatized — turned into a single cell of a much larger, much grander, much more transcendent body.

Yup.  As Hitler and Mussolini knew all too well.

Erich Fromm and Theodor Adorno were founding members of the Frankfurt School, i.e. rotten commie bastards, but they did get one thing right — there’s a certain, sadly prevalent personality type that longs to knuckle under to a man in a uniform.  Both The Authoritarian Personality and Escape from Freedom are supposed to be about the appeal of Fascism, but — being commies — neither Adorno nor Fromm saw that they were projecting.  Which you’d think would be a pretty big failure coming from professional psychologists, but hey, politics makes lots of smart people stupid.  And so neither of them saw what is obvious to any reich-wing knuckle-dragger, that there’s about a dime’s worth of difference between Fascism and Communism.

Which, again, Hitler understood perfectly, which is why the Nazis put so much effort into converting young communists.  He didn’t hate Bolshevism because it was socialistic — again, Nazi = National Socialist — but because it was Jewish.

Read Escape from Freedom today, and it sounds like he’s describing a typical MSNBC viewer.

 

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4 thoughts on “Our Socialist Military?

  1. Gary

    And so neither of them saw what is obvious to any reich-wing knuckle-dragger, there’s about a dime’s worth of difference between Fascism and Communism.

    Maybe this is nitpicking (and history is not my strong suit), but I’d guess the average person would have a better chance under a Fascist regime than under most Communist ones. I’m thinking about Mussolini’s Italy and various strongman dictatorships versus the mass gulags and slaughter of Mao’s China, Stalin’s USSR (and USSR generally), Pol Pot’s Cambodia, the old Eastern bloc and other commie totalitarian hellholes. I excluded Nazi Germany from the Fascist camp, because (as you say) it was actually “national socialism” and besides, Hitler’s monstrosity was sui generis, utterly unique.

    He didn’t hate Bolshevism because it was socialistic — again, Nazi = National Socialist — but because it was Jewish.

    I’m sure that was a big part of it, but my understanding is the Nazi’s Big Idea was socialism working within a nation-state, as opposed to the international, erase-all-borders socialism of the Bolsheviks. As far as shitty ideas go, it seems like socialism within a specific country might be a bit less shitty than the international, worldwide-revolt-of-the-proletariat kind.

    I think maybe there’s about 14 cents worth of difference–accounting for recent inflation.

    1. Severian

      I’d guess the average person would have a better chance under a Fascist regime than under most Communist ones.

      I’d agree. It’s to Fascism’s, ummmm…..credit? that they understood at least one of the fundamental limitations of politicians: They’re good at politics, not business. Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is really good on this. The “ideal” fascist state would be something like Woodrow Wilson’s “War Socialism” — big businesses operating efficiently within their sphere, with overall direction provided from the top. Indeed, as Goldberg and a lot of others have pointed out, you can take the Nazi Party platform, strip out the references to Jews and Versailles, and you’ve basically got the New Deal.

      As far as shitty ideas go, it seems like socialism within a specific country might be a bit less shitty than the international, worldwide-revolt-of-the-proletariat kind.

      True. And that was one of the big debates within the USSR itself — “socialism in one country” (Stalin) vs. “worldwide proletarian revolution” (Trotsky). All the commie dictators eventually came over to Stalin’s view — Mao went with “socialism with Chinese characteristics;” Kim Il Sung came up with “Juche” (communism for North Korea alone, basically), etc.

      In theory, yes, the commies were committed to the total elimination of private property and a worldwide revolution, and the fascists weren’t, but in practice the nomenklatura / the vanguard of the proletariat ran everything in communist countries, along fascist lines. See Lenin’s New Economic Policy / “war communism” — throw in some stuff about “blood and soil” and you’ve got Goebbels.

      I think the fundamental difference between Mussolini, Peron, and the not-as-horrible dictators, and Mao, Stalin, and the rest, boils down to personal psychology. Mussolini was a bad guy; Lenin was a vile psychopath. It’s degree of psychopathy, not the details of ideology, that matters. That’s my inflation-adjusted 14 cents, anyway.

  2. Gary

    They’re [politicians are] good at politics, not business. Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is really good on this.

    I picked up a copy at the library a few years ago, thinking I’d read 80 or 100 pages, but found it so interesting I finished all 400-something pages (not counting the copious notes). Inviting/forcing large companies to do the government’s bidding seems like a vastly better idea than the commies’ moronic notion of “we’ll do everything ourselves”–since, even with government meddling and corruption, these large companies were capable of producing something, unlike say collectivized agriculture, which produced precious little food, but lots o’ famine. Dragooing Fiat or Krups into making war materiel is clearly more effective than having political hacks try to build similar organizations from scratch.

    Nowadays, “Fascism” is cuss word and “fascist” is just an insult. But for a time after Mussolini took over Italy, it seemed to be working and was popular. In a fascinating section of Liberal Fascism, Goldberg quotes a series of politicians, artists and intellectuals praising Mussolini and Fascism, calling it things like “the wave of the future” (if memory serves). I believe most were Leftists, who saw Fascism as the effective collectivist/statist system. Of course, after Fascism became a dirty word, all these quotes got sucked down the Memory Hole.

    Another interesting thing I recall from the book was how Fascistic this country became during WWI, the Depression and WWII. If I remember correctly, people were imprisoned for long periods during the First World War simply for speaking out against the war. And The Great FDR was not infrequently quite tyrannical himself.

    1. Severian

      I believe most were Leftists, who saw Fascism as the effective collectivist/statist system.

      Exactly. Goldberg himself said somewhere else that the question “minus the militarism, what exactly is wrong with fascism?” is one that a conservative can answer with ease, but absolutely befuddles liberals. Consider, for instance, that “national socialism” is a letter-perfect description of the British economy in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, or the Scandinavian countries right now. Aren’t we supposed to be more like Sweden? Isn’t Denmark the liberal nirvana?

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