“The line between fascism and Fabian socialism is very thin. Fabian socialism is the dream. Fascism is Fabian socialism plus the inevitable dictator.” John T. Flynn
During the Thirties intellectuals smitten by progressivism considered limited constitutional governance anachronistic. In their minds, the Great Depression had proven capitalism defunct, leaving only a choice between communism and fascism. Infatuated with Marxism, intellectuals considered Hitler about an inch to the right of Stalin so in their minds anyone associated with fascism had to be on the “right.” With the publication of The Authoritarian Personality Theodor Adorno devised the “F” scale to demean conservatives as latent fascists. The label “fascists” has subsequently meant anyone liberals seek to ostracize or discredit.
Hitler may have feigned right, but he and Stalin were natural bedfellows. Despising Marxists, but not their ideology, Hitler mimicked Lenin’s path to totalitarian tyranny, parlaying crises into power, focusing not as the communists on class, but fixated on race as a metaphor to justify their nation’s engagement in an existential struggle.
Very little of Hitler’s domestic activity was remotely on the right. In America, free markets, limited constitutional government, family, church and tradition are the bedrock of the right. Hitler ran a planned economy, eradicated federalism in favor of centralized government, considered church and family as competitors and disavowed religious tradition.
On many issues Hitler agreed with progressives. He strictly enforced gun control making his role as dictator possible. He separated church and state to marginalize religion’s influence. He despised biblical morality and bourgeois (middle class) values. Crosses were ripped from the public square in favor of swastikas. Prayer in schools was abolished and worship confined to churches. Church youth groups were forcibly absorbed into the Hitler Youth.
Hitler extolled public education, even banning private schools and home schooling. He instituted a “fundamental reconstruction of the whole national education program” controlled by Berlin. Similar to liberals’ cradle to career ideal, the Nazis established state administered early childhood development programs; “the comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school as early as the beginning of understanding.”
Foreshadowing Obama, Hitler claimed that the State” is to care for elevating national health. “Nanny State intrusions reflect that persons are not sovereign, but belong to the state.” Hitler even sought to outlaw meat, and blamed Germany’s health problems on the capitalist Jewish food industry. He pushed public service and smothered private charity with public programs.
Hitler’s election platform included an expansion of old age welfare, and universal healthcare which eventually meant death for the seriously ill, the frail, and the disabled. Hitler also devised a jobs program that Obama would relish demanding that “the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood.” Germany became the culmination of Margaret Sanger’s eugenic vision. They were the first to enact environmentalist economic policies promoting sustainable development and regulating pollution. The Nazis bought into Rousseau’s romanticized primitive man fantasies of living authentically in environs unspoiled by capitalist industry.
Hitler imposed top down economic planning and social engineering, predicated on volkisch populism combining a Malthusian struggle for existence with a fetish for the “organic.” Wealth was thought static and “the common good superseded the private good” in a Darwinist search for “applied biology” to boost greater Germany.
The Nazis distrusted markets and abused property rights, advocating for confiscation of war profits and nationalization of associated industries. Although many businesses were nominally private, the state determined what was produced, in what quantities and at what prices. The Nazis unleased massive inflation to finance their prolific spending on public works, welfare and military rearmament. They enforced price and wage controls to mask currency debasement’s harmful impact and rationing to hide shortages.
Our progressive president FDR admired Mussolini because “the trains ran on time” and Stalin’s five year plans, but was jealous of Hitler whose economic tinkering appeared more successful than his New Deal. But America wasn’t ready for FDR’s blatantly fascist Blue Eagle business model and the Supreme Court overturned several other socialist designs. The greatest dissimilarity between FDR and fascists was the fact that he enjoyed less success transforming society because the Constitution obstructed him. Instead of being obstructed by the Constitution, Obama chooses just to ignore it.
After considering all the evidence, fascism (Nazis) could only be considered on the “right” if you are hopelessly falling off the “left” end of the scale, or ascribed to Marxist eschatology perceiving that history marches relentlessly towards the final implementation of socialist Utopia.
Read Obama, Hitler, and Exploding The Biggest Lie in History by Bill Flax