Sunday, March 12, 2006

Calling a Nazi a Nazi

UPDATED, 03/18/06

Steven Pinker (quoted by AnalPhilosopher) says:
The ideological connection between Marxist socialism and National Socialism is not fanciful. Hitler read Marx carefully while living in Munich in 1913, and may have picked up from him a fateful postulate that the two ideologies would share. It is the belief that history is a preordained succession of conflicts between groups of people and that improvement in the human condition can come only from the victory of one group over the others. . . . It doesn't matter whether the groups are thought to be defined by their biology or by their history. Psychologists have found that they can create instant intergroup hostility by sorting people on just about any pretext, including the flip of a coin.
So say I:
Hitler was "conservative." The canard that will not die. Hitler was a statist Leftist who would have been at home in today's Democrat Party.
Do I exaggerate about Nazism's affinity with the Democrat Party? The common ground between Nazism and Democrats spans eugenics (Democrats: abortion and euthanasia), class/race warfare (Dems: reverse racism, "soak the rich"), state control of business (Dems: if it moves, regulate it; if it doesn't move, tax it), the suppression of opposing views (Dems: campus speech codes, disruption of conservative speakers, efforts to muzzle the blogosphere). Those strike me as rather fundamental similarities.

Consider this quotation about the founder of the modern Democrat Party and today's regulatory-welfare state:

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President in 1932. Faced with the Great Depression — a depression which had been caused by government itself — Roosevelt's "solution" was to implement the socialist-fascist economic system under which Americans now suffer. Under the banner of "saving America's free-enterprise system," FDR was directly responsible for the abandonment of America's 150-year history of free enterprise.

Arguing that the American people could no longer be trusted to be charitable to others, FDR claimed that government — the organized means of coercion and compulsion — was needed to help those in need. And to effect this claim, he secured the passage of his New Deal for Americans. Roosevelt used the disastrous results of one governmental intervention — political manipulation of money — to justify another — the socialist ideal of using government to steal from those who have in order to give the loot to those who need. . . .

[I]t was through the income tax and the power to expand money and credit that Roosevelt was able to accomplish effectively his political plundering and looting, not only from the rich but from everyone in all walks of life.

But Roosevelt did more than just enshrine into the American political and economic system the ideas of Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin (the mass murderer FDR affectionately referred to as "Uncle Joe"). Greatly admiring Benito Mussolini's fascist system in Italy, Roosevelt proceeded to implement the same type of economic system in the U.S. For example, his National Recovery Act gave him virtually unlimited dictatorial powers over American business and industry. And any American citizen who did not do his "patriotic" duty by supporting the NRA and its "Blue Eagle" soon found himself at the receiving end of FDR's vengeance and retaliation.

And it was during this period of time that such alien schemes as the Social Security Act, the FDIC, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the Emergency Banking Relief Act the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Federal Securities Act, and the National Labor Relations Act came into existence — all with the aim of taking control of people's lives as well as absolving them from responsibility for errors and foolhardiness by giving them the political loot that had been stolen from others. . . .

And what was the reaction of the American people to the evil, immoral, and tyrannical acts of FDR? Like people in other parts of the world who were suffering under dictatorial rule — Russians, Germans, and Italians — most of them reacted like sheep — meekly going along with their own slaughter and, in many instances, ardently supporting it. . . .

For several years, the U.S. Supreme Court, led by four justices — Sutherland, Butter, Van Devanter, and McReynolds — declared FDR's socialist and fascist New Deal policies in violation of the United States Constitution — in violation of every principle of individual liberty and limited government on which this nation was founded.

But the end came in 1937. In what many judicial scholars say was a result of Roosevelt's disgraceful and pathetic attempt to pack the court with some of his cronies, a fifth justice — Owen J. Roberts, whose vote had helped to invalidate much of the New Deal — shifted his vote in favor of Roosevelt's policies. And with Roosevelt thereafter being able to replace dying and retiring justices with ones who would do his bidding, the era of American economic liberty came to a sad and tragic end.

More than economic liberty came to a sad and tragic end under FDR:
[E]conomic and personal liberty are inseparable: We engage in economic activity to serve our personal values, and our personal values are reflected in our economic activity. When the state restricts economic liberty, it necessarily restricts personal liberty, and vice versa. The state simply cannot make personal and economic decisions more effectively than individuals operating freely within an ever-evolving socio-economic network.
FDR didn't believe that. Neither did Hitler or Stalin. Neither do a lot of Democrats.

I am sick and tired of hearing Leftists (i.e., a lot of Democrats) call conservatives and libertarians "fascists" and "Nazis." It's time to call Democrats what they (or a lot of them) are: Hitler's (and Stalin's) brothers and sisters under the skin. Fascist, Socialist, Communist, Nazi, Leftist -- they're all pretty much the same thing as far as I'm concerned. Different in degree, perhaps, but not in kind.

UPDATE: David N. Mayer says that
those people on the left-side of the traditional left-right political spectrum who call themselves and their policies “progressive” are abusing the word. Progressive, according to most dictionaries, means “favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are,” “making progress toward better conditions, employing or advocating more enlightened ideas,” or “going forward or onward.” Rather than being truly “progressive,” those who label themselves by that word are, in fact, reactionaries: they adhere to, and they advocate a continuation and expansion, of the failed policies of the 20th-century regulatory/welfare state.

There’s nothing “progressive” about the socialist, paternalistic policies that American leftists advocate. The 20th-century regulatory/welfare state they want to expand was itself based on the 19th-century statist policies of Germany’s Otto von Bismarck; and Bismarck’s statism was the old European wine – the paternalism that for centuries had been the dominant public policy of the feudal monarchies of Europe – rebottled in 19th-century packaging. Like the conservatives (those on the right side of the traditional left-right political spectrum) whom they claim to oppose, left-liberal “progressives” are really advocates of paternalism and collectivism. Left-liberals and conservatives differ only in the type of 19th-century paternalism they want to continue or expand. Conservatives (paternalists/collectivists of the right) seek generally to use the coercive power of government to impose Victorian-era morals, while their brethren on the left seek generally to use the coercive power of the government to redistribute wealth. Both sides would willingly sacrifice individual freedom and self-responsibility in order to advance their collectivist agenda, their notion of the so-called “common good” of society.

That's just the beginning. There's a long bill of particulars. I don't agree with all of it, but it's mostly on target. Go read it.