The principal fallacies of Socialism--and of the Left generally--fall into two categories: The first are those that deny the realities of Nature; the realities of God's Creation as they relate to human interaction. The second are corollarial to the first and involve deliberate distortion of issues involved in a debate on policy, or in correctly identifying factions in pursuit of power.
In the first category are the basic lies; these fundamentally false assumptions:
1. That those with whom the particular Socialist movement is concerned, comprise a single entity--if not composed of people with equal abilities, at least with people sufficiently plastic or malleable, that they may be improved by intrusive Government or by intrusive neighbors.
2. That those who succeed under Capitalism or "laissez faire," do so by exploiting the poor: By denying others the fruits of their own labor.
3. That virtue is in the numbers who adhere to a movement, and in technology; that increased population and modern technology (improved communication, transportation and weapons) render traditional social values obsolete.
4. That there is no Deity and no enduring truth that need be considered.
The corollarial propositions include:
5. That human equality (Communism) is a rational ultimate ideal; the issue, whether it is practical or whether it may be made practical.
6. That the poverty and harsh working conditions of labor in the days of the Industrial Revolution were both proof of the exploitation assumption (#2), and evidence that "social justice" requires either collective ownership of the means of production, or such regimentation of relevant operations as will collectivize use of the factors of production--as under the "New Deal" and "Great Society" in America and under National Socialism in Germany;--so that they will serve the utilitarian goals of an egalitarian collective, rather than those of private entrepreneurs who take risks in the hope of individual benefit.
7. That the needs of modern Society require that Education be controlled by central authority, not individual families or neighborhood based communities; and that a prime function of Education must be to prepare youth to accept the Social values of a broader collective, even if those values are totally at variance with familial values held sacred for generations.
8. That all individual rights come from a collective, and are neither Natural nor God given.
9. That (#4 & #8, being assumed) the end basically justifies the means; and an oft repeated lie may be justified if it tends towards that which is considered politically useful or correct.
10. That, despite dependence on the same assumptions and the tactics that flow from them, National Socialists (Adolph Hitler and his followers) were on the far Right--the opposite end of the political spectrum from Communism and other Socialist movements.
Chapter Five, which deals with human differences, is a detailed answer to egalitarian environmentalism (#1 & #5). Obviously, if all have different aptitudes, there is something very wrong--wrong to the point of pathological--in trying to level humanity, or force the pretense of human equality--other than in the very limited sense in which Jefferson used the concept in the Declaration Of Independence: Basically the antithesis of the premise in #8, in its recognition that those rights that we have in common come from a Creator. (The Declaration in its long recital is a repudiation of the very concept of intrusive Government.) Put another way, reducing Mankind to the culture of the worker ant in a colossal international dirt hill is no ideal!
We will return to the exploitation theory (propositions #2 & #6) after we briefly discuss the worship of numbers and technology (#3 & #7), and then those premises involving a secular humanist perspective (#4, #8 & #9). The Introduction to this handbook clearly addresses the third and, by implication, the seventh premise. Some support for the latter may be claimed in the utilitarian argument that the State must control education to prepare youth for the special needs of a new more highly technological age, in a more heavily populated Society. But this is the same basic moral issue raised by the utilitarian approach generally. It is the question raised by placing in juxtaposition the theory of the Declaration Of Independence with Socialist premise #8.
The question is whether the State exists to secure the God-given rights of the individual, or the individual exists for the benefit of the collective. And the fatal flaw in the Socialist argument is that one expendable for secular rather than moral reasons, has no moral duty to cooperate with a collective that recognizes no moral duty to respect his individuality (the opposite to the Jeffersonian compact); and verbal debate itself becomes circular and pointless. It goes without saying that if one values men more than the machines men make, technology can offer little reason to change the moral or legal relationships between man and a collection of his neighbors.
The exposition on the Moral Bases Of A Political Society, found in Chapter Nine of this Handbook (link below), challenges not only the utilitarian argument (#7), but the concept that meaningful "rights" come from a collective (#8). Manifestly, any right purely dependent upon the vagaries of political decision is not a right but a privilege; not a question of birthright but of indulgence. It is the "so long as" theory of human liberty: The one that allows you to sell or refuse to sell your home to whomever you like, so long as you do not refuse to sell to someone for a reason that the Government says is unacceptable; that allows you to hire whom you like so long as you do not discriminate against a member of a class accorded Governmental protection.
It may be argued theologically whether man was created as is or evolved by chance. What cannot be maintained in the context of an American Republic--premised on Rights endowed by God and held against Government--is the acceptability of Socialist decreed rights. Even outside the American context, the idea remains fatally flawed. For Socialism, as a theory of power in the collective, the whole Society, in denying individual moral authority, denies itself any moral basis to command loyalty. When your rights and duty become dependent upon counting your neighbors' noses, or on the whim of a demagogue who controls them at any given moment; might, alone, becomes the ultimate standard. Thus, while the gravamen of a response to proposition #4 is a matter of personal faith rather than verbal argument, the believer has a clear edge over the denier in potential staying power.
The ninth proposition flows from assumptions four and eight, and again contains a seed for ideological self-destruction. Thus while the Communists took deceit to a new level in Soviet Russia, and practiced all of the techniques of mass indoctrination, they eventually lost all credibility with their own population. The Nazis delayed a similar loss of credibility by plunging Germany into total war, where the patriotism of the population interdicted much of the internal reaction to the fallacies of Socialism before the initial "pep rally" aspect had worn off (and when many of the Old Order, still believed that Hitler was different than his followers). Yet there is little doubt but that they would have suffered a similar fate. The proof is in the almost total disillusionment of modern Germany with the Nazi period. (This, even at a time when German voters have chosen a Socialist Government that shares many of the utilitarian assumptions of the Nazis--a phenomenon little understood because of the common acceptance of #10.)
Systems that openly mock other people's sense of honor and commitment, rapidly expend any credibility they accumulate when things are going in their favor. They are left with a very skeptical public when events turn against them. In eschewing traditional ethics and morality, the Socialist abdicates the foundation for continuity. Eventually, he can only rely on naked force.
Turning to the exploitation theory, we encounter the essential kernel of the Socialist Demagogue's success in mob incitation. While it cannot be denied that people are not always kind to one another--a phenomenon that has nothing to do with economic class;--this was not the dominant theme that underlay the initial success of the new Capitalist class in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Industrial Revolutions; nor is it in any sense a peculiarly bourgeoisie characteristic. Indeed, the normal human penchants for self-centered greed and close focused rationalization, seem generally mitigated by increased affluence, ordinarily accompanied by a broadening of perspective; for with affluence usually comes better education, travel and a wider acquaintance with more of humanity.
Although accounts of miserable working conditions and urban squalor, which accompanied the early days of modern Capitalism, are seen generally as an embarrassment to both Capitalists and the "laissez faire" economic and social ethic dominant in the America of the Founding Fathers; this embarrassment is based largely on flawed analysis. If one views social history, not as a series of snap shots or isolated moments, but as an ongoing, pulsating dynamic, a very different picture emerges.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, surplus labor--no longer needed on the land--settled in the cities. The slums of London, for example, were already notorious in Elizabethan times. The coming industrialization did not create them; rather it created the means for people to climb out of them. Since labor, as every other factor of production, is governed by the laws of supply and demand, that process was hardly instantaneous. It involved many factors; but enterprise, the entrepreneurial factor of men with ideas taking risks, only added to the available means of self-improvement and individual advancement. And while surplus labor--then as now--seldom represents the brightest among the population, there were many Horatio Alger success stories, where a bright lad with enterprise rose from abject poverty to great wealth.
Those men with initiative, and the ability to improvise, put the unemployed to work, utilizing whatever useful skills they had, allowing others with less ability to begin a slower upward climb of their own. It was a pulling up, not a tearing down. The higher standard of living for labor in the United States, in the early days of industrialization, reflected less interference in the economy from Government, a less fettered exercise of individual initiative--a truer test of the dynamic involved;--even as the abysmal living standards for labor in the Communist countries gave the ultimate lie to the contention that it was the Capitalists who oppressed workers. The best that Socialism could provide, anywhere, was far inferior to what Capitalism offered.
Of all the lies, the most widely accepted, yet most easily refuted, is the tenth! That the National Socialists were on the far Left is obvious to anyone willing to look beyond a self-serving, if endlessly iterated, misrepresentation:
A. In European politics, the parties of the Right are the Monarchical ones. The very defining terms Left and Right go back to the time of the French Revolution, where the Monarchists sat on the right in the National Assembly and the Republicans on the left. Although claiming to be a party of the Right--largely a political sop to the basic conservatism of the German people--the Nazis repeatedly acted to block attempts to restore Monarchy in both Germany and Austria. Late in the War, they actually engineered a coup d'etat to overthrow the Monarchists in Germany's wartime ally Hungary. It is, then, quite understandable that the old Kaiser died, still in exile in Holland, 8 years after Hitler took over; quite understandable that in 1999, the current Hapsburgs announced that they were at least considering joining in a law suit brought by the relatives of Austrian Jews, who had also had property confiscated by the Nazis.
B. Traditional values and old allegiances are the very essence of Conservatism, the motivation of the Right. In building a New Order immediately after taking power, the Nazis trashed the rights of the traditional German States, and insisted on treating all of the diverse peoples of Germany as one collectivist Society; later forcing Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia into the new monolith.
C. The Rightwing/Conservative value system puts the highest priority on qualities of personal integrity and honor; one's word is supposed to be one's bond! Hitler--who defined National Socialism--repeatedly flaunted a total contempt for the integrity of his own word; indeed, no one but the Communists, themselves, have made such a mockery of promises and truth, of treaties and covenants.
D. The full name of Hitler's party was the National Socialist German Workers' Party. While many blue collar workers are actually more conservative than some of the politically correct sycophants who drift into positions in corporate management, those conservatives do not organize into "Socialist Workers' Parties." Rather they break ranks with those who see manual labor as a class apart demanding a social levelling, and rally around candidates who support the rights of the individual. Blue collar conservatives do not aspire to equality, but to whatever heights they may be able to obtain by honest, dedicated effort. (Many of the so-called "Reagan Democrats" came from this group.) Hitler's nomenclature, on the other hand, suggests--and was intended to suggest--one of the tenets of Communism.
E. No one ever accused FDR of running a "rightwing" Administration. Although he ran
on a conservative platform, he moved sharply left in the famous first "Hundred Days"; continuing to initiate many seemingly novel--yet clearly not Constitutionally authorized--schemes to put people back to work. The principal difference from Hitler's approach was that FDR, in his alphabet soup of projects to make work at the expense of Government, was a bit more moderate. That the Nazis saw close parallels between the New Deal and their own system is evidenced by the fact that before America came into the War, Nazi intelligence attributed FDR's obvious preference for the British (who had a Conservative Government at the time) over the Germans, to jealousy because Hitler had been more successful than Roosevelt in achieving common goals.
F. Both the New Deal and National Socialism were sold to susceptible businessmen as ways to protect Capitalism from the scourge of Communism. Each offered itself as the proponent of painful but essential "reform," necessary to save industry from Communism, seen as otherwise certain to find an army of recruits among the millions of unemployed in a terrible depression. (The Left had made such inroads into both Anglo-American and German academia by the 1930s, that it seemed reasonable to many educated people that the Communists might succeed with the demagoguery inherent in propositions 2 and 6 above.)
G. Hitler's selection of Jews, as the prime scape goat for demonization, was taken directly from Karl Marx, who had employed the same technique eighty years earlier, blaming all of the claimed vices of Capitalism on a Jewish mentality. Hitler used the technique precisely as Marx had recommended, focusing on the Jews as the principal source of every social ill--the single enemy device that Marx had urged on his own followers. While, for tactical reasons, the Marxists had shifted their emphasis in the interim--setting the stage for something akin to the application of the "good-cop/bad-cop" technique in American popular culture--the historic origin for the demonization of Jews, as fall guys for the economic and social woes of Europe, is very clear. The Communist switch from a direct demonization of Jews to a general focus on the bourgeoisie, then provided a convenient opportunity to recruit susceptible Jews by pretending to be the answer to Hitler and the Nazis! That recruitment, in turn, afforded the Nazis "evidence" to support the historically outrageous lie that Communism was a "Jewish plot"; enabling them to recruit middle-class anti-Communists on the pretense that only Nazis really told the truth about Communism! (We shall see in Paragraph L, below, how sincerely either of these extreme Leftwing movements, which ruthlessly crushed any group or individual who dared to question their authority, really cared about this contrived debate or the people either claimed to be protecting.)
H. At the time Hitler came to power, his number two man--his extremely close, long term associate--was a homosexual thug named Ernst Rohm, the man in charge of the SA, the Nazi army of the streets. Rohm and his immediate underlings wanted to follow the original purge of Jews and anti-Nazi democratic elements from positions of influence, with a purge of the German military and the Junker aristocracy (the bastion of German Conservatism) and other large landowners. It would have been the equivalent of a Communist revolution under a different name. However, in the short interval between gaining office and assuming ultimate power, Hitler had found that his hypnotic oratory and charismatic presence could be almost as effective with the upper classes as with the rabble in the streets. (He was able to convince many that he was very different from the Socialist mob around him.) When he had to choose between the SA and the German military establishment, he had his former associates systematically murdered. But to suggest that he did not know the almost Pol Pot like extremism of men with whom he had worked closely for over 10 years, and on whom he would have remained dependent had he not found that he could mesmerize former foes, would be absurd.
I. While Hitler made a peace of sorts with the true Right, he did not deviate from a basic Leftwing Socialist orientation. Thus he put workers into military uniforms, and paraded them at rallies as one of the pillars of the New Germany; the Germany that was as "one" with its Socialist Fuehrer. The fact that the Nazis had better designed uniforms, and paraded the workers in their version of a "Workers' Paradise" in September rather than on May Day with the Communists, does not refute the obvious fact that both were movements of the extreme Left.
J. Hitler's bloody divorce from Rohm in 1933--not unlike the way Stalin handled embarrassing former comrades in the same period--did not prevent Hitler from calling for a "Classless, Casteless" Germany (ie. neither social classes nor racial distinctions) at the 1934 Party Congress in Nuremberg. By then in absolute control, addressing his followers and outlining the future, the rhetoric must be assumed to reflect what he actually believed.
K. At the same Party Congress, Hitler announced to a massed formation of 52,000 of his General Labor Service (in military uniforms holding shovels to their shoulders and addressing one another as "Comrade," as did the Russian Communists in the same era) that he planned to make all Germans go through service in such units as a prerequisite for acceptance into the new German Society. Anyone who could consider that idea "rightwing" would deem Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution "reactionary!"
L. Although Hitler justified his private army of homosexual led thugs as part of the fight against Bolshevism (the Communist Party of Lenin and Stalin ) in Germany; he had no sooner obtained power than he instructed the German foreign service to 'cosy up' to Moscow. While this was explained as necessary for the eventual, and already contemplated, move against Poland, it shows that there was little actual hatred of Communism. Indeed, when Hitler and Stalin finally met in 1939 to conclude the alliance that led to World War II, the pictures of the meeting suggested a more relaxed body language and more spontaneous good will between the two Socialist dictators than either showed in meetings with more conservative leaders. Following that meeting, there was a two year period in which every Communist front in America, even those set up to "fight fascism," enthusiastically endorsed American neutrality in the coming war.
M. In order to appeal to German patriotism, and mask the depth of his actual Socialist ethos, Hitler relied on beautifully choreographed spectacles. These created the subliminal impression of a conservatism they did not actually represent. The Nazis, in fact, used massive ceremony for the same purposes as other Socialist movements: To demonstrate their appeal to numbers--the masses--and the solidarity of their followers. That they were more intelligently staged than those in other Socialist States--to suggest other messages, also--does not alter their fundamental orientation on the Left.
N. Hitler's policy of "Total War," the deliberate savaging of civilian populations, was a radical repudiation of Centuries of effort by the true Right to "civilize" warfare by trying to minimize the effect on innocent civilians. That the Americans and British responded in kind--as in the atrocity committed on Dresden--does not change the Leftwing character of this departure. The traditional American attitude was stated by Jefferson in his indictment of the "Cruelty & perfidy" of the British (in the Declaration) for bringing on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of war-fare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
O. The Nazi indoctrination of young children into a monolithic Statist ideology, with no concession to any traditional family or community idiosyncrasies or values that might differ from imposed norms, was comparable only to the indoctrination imposed under the most rigid of the Communist States.
P. While, for three quarters of a century, rival Leftists have labeled the Nazis "racists"; and have, for over sixty years, used the Nazi cruelty towards their targets as evidence to justify a 'head-in-the-sand' refusal to acknowledge considerable differences in human aptitudes; a closer look at actual Nazi "racial" theory will offer only still more compelling proof of how really far to the Left, the Nazis were:
When a Conservative thinks of race, he thinks of ancient blood lines--of extended family, kith and kin--a definable group with heritable traits, governed by the Laws of Mendel. When a Communist thinks of race, he thinks instead in terms of the preposterous dogma of Lamarck--of the inheritance of acquired characteristics--refined by the Soviet theorist Lysenko, during the early days of Russian Communism, as a rationale for social engineering. While the Nazis would have vigorously denied any reliance on Lysenko, their "racial" dogma was far closer to Lamarck than Mendel. Indeed, it closely paralleled the attitude of Ashley Montagu, the Leftist quack, we discussed in Chapter 5, who called race a "myth." Houston Stewart Chamberlain, the father of the Nazi doctrine of Aryan supremacy, discussed race, not from the standpoint of heredity, but as "airy phantasm"; and proclaimed his actual indifference to blood ties in defining his racial ideal, going on to rationalize, "No relationship creates a closer bond than elective affinity."
While Aryan is a language group comprising members of several distinct Caucasian races; if it has a present day racial presence, it is far more likely to be found in India than Germany. But it was a popular, widely used, term to describe what most people assumed to be the Nordic race, found largely in Scandinavia, Great Britain, Northern Germany and other Northern European areas, and very commonly among original stock Americans--the tall, fair, long-headed type. In that sense it would be a racial concept, used to describe a racial stock that has been very successful in the modern age. But that is not how Chamberlain--or his Socialist German admirers--used the term! In answering the question, "What is an Aryan?" Chamberlain demonstrated very clearly that he was not talking about what traditional ethnologists mean when they discuss race:
One must know nothing of ethnology to venture a definite answer to this question. ...The peoples we learned to combine under the name of Aryan vary greatly from one another; they show the most varied cranial structure, and different colours of skin, eyes and hair; and supposing there had been a common Indo-European mother race, what argument can we offer against the accumulating evidence to the effect that other, totally unrelated, types have from time immemorial been represented in our present so-called Aryan nations? At most we might call individuals, but never a whole people, Aryan.
The British Intelligence operative, who first reported a pact between Hitler and Stalin, was Col. Robert Gayre of Gayre. Dr. Gayre, a distinguished Scot ethnologist, used as his cover a position as a visiting lecturer on anthropology. There he could observe first-hand the distortions in German science. Later, as Founder and Chief Editor of The Mankind Quarterly, he published (April-June, 1978) some notes that he had prepared while teaching Anthropology in India in the mid-1950s. In these he offered this comment on the supposed divergence between Chamberlain and the Marxists:
The fact of the matter is, however, that Chamberlain, as also does Marxist "biology," denied the importance of heredity; and, as such, both arose from Lamarckian foundations and therefore both had common factors in their philosophies, although, as we are now pointing out, owing to other factors, the impact of German nationalism on Chamberlain in Germany, and of Marx's international outlook on Communist philosophy, there arose a schism in the two philosophies of Nazism and Communism, which otherwise came from the common Lamarckian origins.
Gayre goes on to show that the Nazi's own racial philosopher Rosenberg, after trying to bring some semblance of scientific method into the argument for Nazi dogma, basically surrendered to the fantasy world of the Chamberlains [and, by implication, the Montagus]:
We find him, also, talking in the same kind of language: "Racial history is thus at the same time natural history and soul mystique [Gayre's emphasis]." ...Again, speaking of the Dinaric racial type, which is quite distinct from the Nordic, but a very important strain among the Germans, [again, Gayre's emphasis] he pompously intoned the "DINA-ARISCH has often been inwardly formed in a nordic mode."
Elsewhere, Rosenberg made it clear that the foundation of the new aristocracy lay in men who had stood, in a spiritual, political and military sense [Gayre's emphasis] in front of the battle for the coming Reich; and, while he thought 80 per cent of them would be of the Nordic type, nevertheless, he made it clear that lack of Nordic characters would not be a bar to joining... "With the other [ie. non-Nordics] the inheritance, which exhibits itself in action, outweighs the personal appearance."
Gayre discusses the contradictory and confused approaches of the Nazi philosophers in trying to rationalize this totally unscientific approach to the question of race, the same as is employed by Communists and Modern "Liberals," and points out that many of the Jews and Poles, whom the Nazis murdered in great numbers, were far more Nordic than some of the top Nazis--including Himmler, the head of the SS. He also demonstrates that conservative traditional science was not the facilitator of National Socialism, rather the answer to it; concluding: It was the disregard of biological ethnology and not the belief in it, which made the Nazi "racial" ideology possible.
It is in the myth that National Socialism was on the Right that the Left has found both its best tool for middle-class recruiting and a means for smearing the intentions and inclinations of Conservative spokesmen. It is in that myth that you will find an explanation for the constant stream of epithets, seeking to link traditional social and religious values to Nazi or Fascist systems; for a reluctance of many Conservatives to get involved with other Conservatives, who have been so labelled; the answer, to the frequently asked question, as to why hundreds of thousands of affluent American Jews still vote overwhelmingly for extremely "Liberal" Democratic candidates--clearly against their own true interest. It is in that myth that you will find the explanation for Hollywood's sudden switch from a sympathetic, even loving, treatment of the culture of the Old South through the early 1940s, to its almost strident demonization of that most conservative American culture ever since. Thus, it is not surprising that there have been more movies about the World War with the Nazis than on other more uniquely American conflicts, either before or since.
The self-serving fantasy, propounded equally by the Nazis themselves and by their Socialist rivals, that National Socialism was a movement on the Right, is responsible for all the foolish articles, lectures and diagrams of an ideological spectrum, which claim or show a circular interpretation where the far Left and far Right meet in a totalitarian mindset. The idea is to make those who are instinctively conservative, yet ill informed as to how far to the Left we have already drifted, afraid to listen to Conservative spokesmen whom the Left identifies as "extremist"; to turn the instinctive social conservatism of a large segment of the population into a perceived reason to stay in the ideological middle; a middle that, with Conservatives made suspect, gradually drifts in the direction in which the still focused Leftists push: A direction which more and more reflects an actual Nazi-like vision of the role of Government.
It was by use of such ridiculous interpretation of the historic struggle between the Left and Conservative principles, that the media found justification for its vicious portrayal of Barry Goldwater--one of the least Nazi-like men in America in 1964--as an "extremist." They tried the same thing later with Ronald Reagan. He managed to deflect it with a very untotalitarian smile; but he was the rare exception. They have tried it successfully with many others. One of their latest victims was Pat Buchanan.
It is in this fantasy that an American "hate" group, the Anti-Defamation League (set up by Fabian Socialists in 1913 to mislead American Jews), has obtained credibility in repeatedly slandering Conservative spokesmen with the tar brush of "anti-semitism." In their promotion of that fantasy, of course, they demonstrate their continued commitment to the forces of the totalitarian Left. There is no reason why any group, honestly seeking understanding between peoples, would want to give further currency to a gargantuan lie; particularly where that lie masks understanding of the very problem, they claim to be addressing! In distorting the reality in so sensitive an area, the ADL proves itself truly the enemy of American Jews.
It is this same fantasy, which the Left in Europe uses today, to try to crush any movement that seeks to preserve the unique heritage of any Nation. In the guise of fighting those who destroyed the traditional infrastructure of German Society, the social fabric of every Western Society is being systematically undermined.
This Chapter may lack artistic balance. We have focused more on the final premise than on all of the others, because the principles involved in refuting those others are discussed in detail in other Chapters and in related articles. You will find links below.