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Left wing or Right wing, Hitler wouldn't hesitate to tell you what is.

"Angel left wing right wing broken wing"
A debate is rumbling at The Telegraph as to whether or not Nazism is a socialist ideology. The mistake both sides are making hangs upon the misleading word "is".

On the one hand, Daniel Hannan MEP writes:
Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism
On 16 June 1941, as Hitler readied his forces for Operation Barbarossa, Josef Goebbels looked forward to the new order that the Nazis would impose on a conquered Russia. There would be no come-back, he wrote, for capitalists nor priests nor Tsars. Rather, in the place of debased, Jewish Bolshevism, the Wehrmacht would deliver “der echte Sozialismus”: real socialism.
Hitler's national socialists, or The NAZI party, didn't hide their "left wing" rhetoric. It appears to have been a key part of their ideology and understanding this partly contributed to my breaking free of the left right paradigm. Hanna's full article shows how modern politics is populated by people who may have been seduced by his words but, by categorising him as "right wing", avoid self criticism. Instead they ironically use him as an example of the "right wing" and: "assuming a moral superiority, they make political dialogue almost impossible. Using the soubriquet 'Right-wing' to mean 'something undesirable'".

On the other side of the debate is the historian Tim Stanley who writes:
Hitler wasn't a socialist. Stop saying he was
My colleague Dan Hannan argues that Hitler was a socialist. It's a popular idea among libertarians, often used to shame the opposition – after all the Nazis did call themselves National Socialists. But, then again, Tony Blair once said he was a socialist, too. So labels can be misleading. 
That Hitler wasn't a socialist became apparent within weeks of becoming Chancellor of Germany when he started arresting socialists and communists. He did this, claim some, because they were competing brands of socialism. But that doesn't explain why Hitler defined his politics so absolutely as a war on Bolshevism – a pledge that won him the support of the middle-classes, industrialists and many foreign conservatives.
Liberty or authority?
Stanley argues Hitler's actions do not fit a strict Marxist definition of socialism. He goes on to boil the argument down to one concerning authoritarianism. This cuts to the nub of the issue for most libertarians who oppose the Government getting too involved in people's lives. This is why they are often placed alongside people who are seen as "right wing", as most "left wing" thinkers have ideas which involve increasing the state's excuses to interfere, whether it be through political correctness, global warming, positive discrimination or the anti-smoking laws. This is why a lot of libertarians add a new axis to the "left right paradigm" which includes two additional directions: towards Government control or away from it.

Stanley is correct to identify the misunderstanding some on that side of the debate fall into when embracing opposition to "the left" as a viable ally: "Right-wing authoritarianism most certainly exists. Fascism is the violent use of the state to achieve Right-wing objectives".

The Daily Mail's hatred for free speech is a good example, as is the quick-to-anger-and-insults nature of people who proudly wave their "right wing" flags on Twitter.

My contribution to this debate is likely to confuse even further. Firstly, Pope Bob wrote:
“Is," "is," "is"—the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what anything "is"; I only know how it seems to me at this moment.”
- Robert Anton Wilson, "Nature's God"
It's important to remember that it's impossible to say what socialism "is", you can only say what it appears to be, to you. For many these days it represents another form of authoritarianism, for others it represents the triumph of good over "evil capitalism". However, no one has the authority to say what it "is".

Secondly, for me this debate goes deeper. I believe all the "isms" of political ideology should be questioned because they all incorporate the folly of "is". Capitalism, communism, socialism, rationalism, all these "isms" are misleading if you allow them to trick you into thinking they describe groups who will all act and think in the same way.

Just as a bad workman blames his tools, so too does a bad idea blame those who implement it. People who aspire to define an ideology so precisely it excludes those who advocate it allow ideas to escape criticism by arguing that it is people, rather than their ideas, who are at fault. This is common in politics, communism isn't flawed 'as an idea' because those who have tried it and failed simply weren't "real" communists.

Pope Bob again:
"I have never experienced another human being. I have experienced my impressions of them."
Robert Anton Wilson.
The above observation works equally well for ideas. You don't know "socialism" you only know what it means to you. Those who have joined your "struggle" may well have a very different understanding of the collective's aims once power comes their way. Make no mistake, the type of person Hitler was still exists, he was a politician and his kind use the word "is" to try to control you and tell you what to do. To me his authoritarian leanings appear to be still present in the minds of many who call themselves "the left". What's worrying is the apparent lack of self awareness coming from those who call others a fascists or "right wing" or "Hitler". It appears to prevent them noticing they are advocating authoritarian Government power, The Law Of Projection should give them cause for thought.

Nick Margerrison


Further reading:

Towards the end of his life Pope Bob wrote in a language called E-prime.

Politics and religion share many attributes, I wrote a similar essay regarding religious idealism called Essays For The Discordian Occultist Part 5 which will be the concluding chapter of my forthcoming book. This article here illustrates my point further: Muslim, queer, feminist: it’s as complicated as it sounds where Aaminah Khan writes: "There are as many interpretations of the Qur’an as there are readers of the text". Those who disagree with her can only do so if they claim to know what Islam "is".

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