Moral conservatism and Nazism
I wrote the post below as an update to my big article on Hitler but I think it has a place here too
Nazis preached tradition and particularly traditional morality in a number of ways. A well-known example was the role of women, with the traditional German conception of Kinder, Kueche, Kirche (children kitchen, church) being honoured. And as is equally well-known, the Nazis persecuted homosexuals.
Their artistic taste was also conservative. Rather ironically they organized the most visited art exhibition ever seen: The exhibition of Entartete Kunst (degenerate art.) They put up an exhibition of modern German art which they saw as disgusting, in the belief that most other Germans would also see it as disgusting. We will never know, however, how many of the viewers actually liked what they saw. Below is one of the exhibits:
So how can we reconcile that with their being Leftist? In answering that I once again have to stress that the Nazis were Leftist BY THE STANDARDS OF THEIR DAY. Most Leftists of the time were conservative in the ways I have mentioned. With the exception of the role of women, even the Soviets were fairly conservative morally. Right up to the implosion of the Soviet Union, Soviet representatives claimed that there was no such thing as homosexuality in Russia: "That was before the revolution"
But there is no doubt that the Nazis preached the "conservative" elements of their doctrine more vigorously than other Leftists of the day. And again, context explains that. Weimar Germany of the 1920s was a time in which social, artistic, and philosophical revolutions took root and flourished. It was extraordinarily "progressive" and contemptuous of all traditional rules. The surreal became commonplace in German cinema. The cultural atmosphere at that time was in fact startlingly similar to modern times. There was open homosexuality and sexual promiscuity generally and traditional mores were mocked. So the Nazis had a lot to react against. They were just conventional Leftists, not avant garde Leftists.
What is Leftist in any era changes. The focus can be on many things. But what abidingly defines the Left is their wish to "fundamentally transform" their society (To quote Mr. Obama). In Hitler's case, he wanted to fundamentally transform the world -- JR
The Collapse of the Left: A Marxist view
His characterization of the Democrats is pretty spot-on
The Left is not just in disarray--it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left's betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power.
The source of the angry angst rippling through the Democratic Party's progressive camp is not President Trump--it's the complete collapse of the Left globally. To understand this collapse, we turn (once again) to Marx's profound understanding of the state and capitalism.
We turn not to the cultural Marxism that is passingly familiar to Americans, but to Marx's core economic analysis, which as Sartre noted, is only taught to discredit it.
Cultural Marxism draws as much from Engels as Marx. In today's use, cultural Marxism describes the overt erosion of traditional values--the family, community, religious faith, property rights and limited central government--in favor of rootless Cosmopolitanism and an expansive, all-powerful central state that replaces community, faith and property rights with statist control mechanisms that enforce dependence on the state and a mindset that the individual is guilty of anti-state thinking until proven innocent by the state's own rules.
Marx's critique of capitalism is economic: capital and labor are in eternal conflict. In Marx's analysis, capital has the upper hand until the internal contradictions of capitalism consume capital's control from the inside.
Capital not only dominates labor, it also dominates the state. Thus the state-cartel version of capitalism that is dominant globally is not a coincidence or an outlier--it is the the only possible outcome of a system in which capital is the dominant force.
To counter this dominance of capital, social democratic political movements arose to wrest some measure of control out of the hands of capital in favor of labor. Social democratic movements were greatly aided by the near-collapse of the first version of cartel-capitalism in The Great Depression, when writing down the bad debt would have brought down the entire banking system and crippled capitalism's core function of growing capital via expansion of debt.
The decimated owners of capital realized that they faced a bleak choice: either resist and be toppled by anarchism or Communism, or cede some of their wealth and power to the social democratic parties in exchange for social, political and economic stability.
Broadly speaking, the Left favored labor (whose rights were protected by the state) and the Right favored capital (also protected by the state).
But over the past 25 years of globalized neoliberalism, social democratic movements have abandoned labor to embrace the self-serving wealth and power offered by capital. The essence of globalization is: labor is commoditized as mobile capital is free to roam the globe for the lowest cost labor. In contrast, labor is far less mobile, and unable to shift as fluidly and frictionlessly as capital to exploit scarcities and opportunities.
Neoliberalism--the opening of markets and borders--enables capital to effortlessly crush labor. The social democrats, in embracing open borders, have institutionalized an open immigration that shreds the scarcity value of domestic labor in favor of lower cost immigrant labor that serves capital's desire for lower costs.
Globalization and neoliberal financial / immigration policies signify the collapse of the Left and the victory of capital. Now capital completely dominates the state and its cronyist structures--political parties, lobbying, campaign contributions, charitable foundations operating as pay-for-play cash vacuums, and all the other features of cartel-state capitalism.
To mask the collapse of the Left's economic defense of labor, the Left's apologists and PR machine have substituted social justice movements for economic opportunities to acquire economic security and capital. This has succeeded brilliantly, as tens of millions of self-described "progressives" completely bought the left's Great Con that "social justice" campaigns on behalf of marginalized social groups were the defining feature of Progressive Social Democratic movements.
This diversionary sleight-of-hand embrace of economically neutered "social justice" campaigns masked the fact that social democratic parties everywhere have thrown labor into the churning propellers of globalization, open immigration and neoliberal financial policies--all of which benefit mobile capital, which has engorged itself on the abandonment of labor by the Left.
Meanwhile, the fat-cats of the Left have engorged themselves on capital's largesse in exchange for their treachery. Bill and Hillary Clinton's $200 million in "earnings" come to mind, as do countless other examples of personal aggrandizement by self-proclaimed "defenders" of labor.
Please examine this chart, which depicts labor's share of GDP (economic output), and tell me the Left hasn't abandoned labor in favor of personal wealth and power.
The Left is not just in disarray--it is in complete collapse because the working class has awakened to the Left's betrayal and abandonment of the working class in favor of building personal wealth and power. Anyone who denies this is still in the fatal grip of the Left's Great Con.
Conservatives Must Stand Up to Fascist Bullies
The real haters
Inauguration Day was turned into Retribution Day as hordes of angry leftists set fires, smashed windows and clashed with police to protest President Donald Trump. Rampaging mobs caused mayhem across the fruited plain, but especially in our nation's capital. In several instances, conservatives were attacked outside Inaugural balls. Some were left bloodied and battered. Police were pelted with rocks and batteries. Many businesses were vandalized. Car windows were smashed and a limo was set ablaze.
It's all part of an effort to destabilize the nation and delegitimize President Trump's victory. The following day scores of self-described "nasty" women held profane gatherings across the country to protest the new president. Madonna told a crowd of protesters dressed in pink hats and Birkenstocks that she dreamed of blowing up the White House. "Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know this won't change anything," she told a crowd of adoring feminists. She later walked back the threat.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Madonna should've been arrested. "What you have is an emerging left-wing fascism," he told Fox & Friends. "She's part of it and I think we have to be prepared to protect ourselves. Frankly, the truth is she ought to be arrested for saying she has thought about blowing up the White House." I concur with Speaker Newt.
Our public universities have been turned into training camps for intolerant thugs hell-bent on silencing any speech they disagree with. And as they demonstrated on Inauguration Day, they will use any means necessary to accomplish that task. We are facing a clear and present danger to our families and the Republic. And we must prepare now to protect ourselves and our loved ones against these violent street thugs. Conservatives are a peaceful and law-abiding people. But we will not be intimidated. We will not be bullied. And we will not be silenced.
Trump shows that economic efficiency is not everything
The interrelated complex of ideology, identity, solidarity, and collective action form the ground level in fruitful social analysis. Leaving out this complex, as both mainstream and Austrian economists usually do, means that one sacrifices the opportunity to understand what otherwise seems inexplicable or gets explained only by bizarrely twisting the standard model.
At least, so I have argued since the early 1980s, most fully in chapter 3 of Crisis and Leviathan, but with some elaboration and many applications in later works. I sometimes forget this lesson myself, lapsing into a too vulgar reliance on "following the money," but Elizabeth always calls me back to it. For just such correction, I suppose, God gives wives to husbands.
The events of U.S. politics during the past year present as glaring an example of my vision as anything I know. It's comfortable for many of us, especially those trained in mainstream economics, to suppose that economic self-interest is the bedrock of political and other collective action, but clearly-in my view, at least-it is not.
Ideology tells a person what is "in his interest"; he shapes and maintains his identity accordingly; and by acting publicly in conformity with the ideology's tenets, the person enjoys the psychological satisfaction of solidarity among the ideologically defined "good guys." As Sam Bowles once noted, people act for two distinct reasons: to get things, and to be someone. We would do well to remember the second motive, which plays a central role especially in relation to people's participation in large-group collective action.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.
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