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Terry Scambray: Fascism is simply a branch of communism

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Reader Terry Scambray published an op-ed recently in the Fresno Bee (January 19, 2018) and has given us permission to reprint his original text.

Words are like knives; they become dull with use until eventually they can’t dissect and divide reality with any precision. And certainly there is no more overused and abused word than “fascism.”

A Short Explanation

Benito Mussolini, originally a communist, a revolutionary socialist, realized that the communist slogan, “Workers of the world unite” was a myth. For he understood that love of country, patriotism, had more appeal than “international socialism.” So he invented “national socialism,” calling it “fascism” which he defined as: “Everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

When WWI started, Mussolini was validated when the workers fought on the side of their own country, not against their “capitalist oppressors.” Nationalism trumped the “class solidarity” myth of the communists.

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That the communists and fascists have been enemies leads many to think of them as occupying opposite ends of the political spectrum. But this is no more reasonable than believing that since America and Russia were allies in WWII, that they were ideological twins.

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His former comrades, embittered by his flaunting of party doctrine as well as the dreadful causalities Italy suffered in the war, called him “a deviationist,” a fascist. And so it has been since then: anyone disagreeing with the communists and progressives is routinely called a fascist.
Each of us, perhaps, under the pervasive influence of the left has used the word, thinking it a measure of sophistication as well as an effective way to demean opponents by associating them with Hitler, who only in the late 1930’s came to be the despised uber embodiment of fascism.

“Heresy !”

Fascism then is a communist heresy, and heresies, like family feuds, often generate the most destructive hatreds. Thus Hitler, leading his National Socialist German Worker’s Party (i.e. the Nazi Party), railed against the communists because he was pedaling a different brand of the same statist snake oil.

Though Hitler was not really a nationalist, for he was destructively creating a trans-national racist state based on genocide and slavery which was similar to what his communist admirer, Stalin, was doing in the Russian empire. In fact, it was the Allies composed of various peoples with strong national allegiances who crushed the fascist, Axis powers.

That the communists and fascists have been enemies leads many to think of them as occupying opposite ends of the political spectrum. But this is no more reasonable than believing that since America and Russia were allies in WWII, that they were ideological twins.

Besides fascist Germany and communist Russia were allies between 1939 and 1941 in their mutual, rapacious desire to carve up Poland. However, this compact was but a slight cover, masking their geopolitical and tribal antagonisms stretching back into the dim past.

In reality communism, state socialism, and fascism, “state capitalism,” are two sides of the same coin; their common, overriding trait being centralized, totalitarian power. This makes both of them the polar opposite of a constitutional republic in which “the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God,” as President Kennedy said.

Scientism

Since great scientific progress has been made in the last 200 years, certain thinkers decided that similar progress could be made if science was applied to society. But humans aren’t rats in a social experiment. This misapplication of science is sometimes called “scientism.” As the saying goes, when one is devoted to using a hammer then everything resembles a nail.

Nonetheless, misapplying science to society continues to arouse the imaginations of influential people who want to perfect society, as always, at other people’s expense. As columnist William Pfaff, wrote, “The idea of the total transformation of society through political means remains the most influential myth of modern times.”
For example, the renowned engineer, Herbert Hoover, as President Hoover, thought he could engineer America into prosperity after the 1929 Crash. FDR, unfortunately, doubled down on such policies. As the celebrated, liberal journalist Walter Lippmann noted, Hoover’s policies were continued by FDR though on a larger scale, extending the depression another eight years.

Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel, Brave New World, is a funny and scary satire on a futuristic, over-organized society based on scientism; he even has a character named, “Benito Hoover!” As the equally unsubtle Clint Eastwood reminds us, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Governments, as essential as they are, also have limitations.

Terry Scambray taught English at Fresno City College and has published in The New Oxford Review, Commonweal, Touchstone, The Chesterton Review, American Thinker and elsewhere.

See also: Terry Scambray on Nicholas Wade, Darwin on race, expanded

61 Replies to “Terry Scambray: Fascism is simply a branch of communism

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Food for thought, cf here. KF

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    Um, I have read DEEPLY on this very subject, and Scambray gets a couple things right. He then gets a BUNCH of things wrong.

    To UNDERSTAND the issues, start with “Fire in the Minds of Men” by James Billington. He takes you from the background of the French Revolution through the Bolsheviks in “Leningrad”. You then need to read about Socialist thought in the 20th century to understand how and why and when the various Socialists realized they were wrong. There is some suggestion that even Karl Marx knew HE had been ALWAYS been wrong. But, hey, he made a decent living selling hooey.

    An interesting bit of absurdity was (is?) the Egalitarians. As in “Liberte, egalite, fraternite”. The Egalitarians were (are?) convinced that everyone must be EXACTLY equal. And so ALL houses must be DESTROYED and then replaced with new houses, ALL of EXACTLY the same design. And EVERYONE must wear EXACTLY the same clothes, etc., etc. There would of course be exceptions for the Leaders…

    But the most impossible obstacle to overcome, even in theory, was the appearance of The New Class at the end of the 19th century. The New Class was neither Workers nor Capitalists. It was Managers, who understood the new science of Management. And although the Managers did not own the factories, they made all the decisions about how the factories would operate. And, most critically, they didn’t care at all about the politics of the Masses or the politics of Capitalism. They lived (and still live) in a world of Local Optimization, where whatever makes the MANAGERS more powerful is “good” and any threat to interfere with how a Manager runs things is “bad”. The mess a couple years back where it turned out that the IRS simply does not respond to ANYONE is a great example.

    Etc., etc., etc.

    Trotsky was a prolific writer. I’m just started on his stuff. But what Trotsky was documenting in the 1920s and ’30s was the failure of Communist/Socialist Theory. The collapse of Russian Communism makes most of his theoretical discussions pointless.

    But in modern usage, “Fascist” simply means “all those guys I don’t like.” Stalin was as much a National Socialist as Hitler and Mussolini ever were.

  3. 3
    Jul3s says:

    As usual, the writers at UD can’t help themselves but promote their political agenda even (especially) when it has nothing to do with ID.

    Getting into debates as to which side of the political spectrum (which is an overly simplistic and misleading way of describing politics) can be smeared with the charge that they are on the same side as Hitler is childish and pointless. It is a stupid game that both leftists and right-wingers love to play for some reason.

    It is also completely wrong. Nazism isn’t merely about a big powerful government. That definition is so broad that it’s useless. Nazism and Fascism were ‘third positionist’. They were philosophically opposed to both left and right. They don’t belong on the political spectrum at all. Cherry picking facts doesn’t change that.

    It is true that Nazi totalitarian control goes against the American right’s ideals of “small government” and individual liberty. But they aren’t leftists.

    “But they’re called the National Socialist German Workers Party! They must be leftist!” you may be thinking. Which would be wrong. “National socialism” was a marketing term intended to attract support. When Hitler got into power, the Nazis who desired wealth redistribution such as the Strasser brothers and Ernst Roehm where all purged or murdered. For Hitler, socialism simply meant that the purpose of accumulating wealth was to strengthen the nation. He was an economic nationalist.

    The Nazis being called socialist is no different to Hitler publicly supporting Christianity (who mostly returned the favor, something the OP wouldn’t want to admit) but privately being anti-Christian and planning for its eventual elimination.

    Hitler considered his lack of a specific economic doctrine the greatest strength of his movement. They nationalized many industries in the early ’30s but by the mid ’30s they re-privatized more industries then most other western capitalist countries. Hitler considered privatizing Germany’s universal healthcare system (which had been established in the 1880s by hardcore conservatives, NOT by leftists or Nazis) but decided not to.

    Although the Nazi doctrine for government was for it to be powerful and intrusive, the goals Nazi government were to achieve were in opposition to everything leftists hold dear. Leftists want a big government to achieve their goals for class warfare, for egalitarian reasons, to enforce equality or to provide a social safety net.

    Hitler created a big government. However, he was anti-egalitarian and anti-class warfare. He wanted national/racial ties to be higher than class ones, which is the opposite of communism. Hitler was also an anti-globalist which was always been a sacred cow to the left. He used a leftist tool for anti-leftist goals.

    Nazism glorified darwinian struggle and competition which is about as anti-leftist as you can possibly get. Although there was welfare such as national vacation programs, the Nazis also murdered people with disabilities for being “useless eaters”.

    Nazism hated communism more than anything with jews being a possible exception. Hitler hated communism for not putting enough value on the individual and he hated Marxism, especially cultural Marxism. He tried unsuccessfully to destroy the influence of cultural Marxism and what he called degenerate art.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Jul3s, no. There is a political spectrum, whether or not we like it. And insofar as it is a reasonable framework, it is appropriate to respond to the common perception that Fascism is the heart of the politics of the despised right. As to your attempt to re-assign the National Socialist German Workers/Labour Party, the very name is a clue from an era where even the most Conservative thought the Socialists would inevitably win. As for, it’s just marketing, the manifesto says different as did policies. Where, converting ownership of firms into a regulatory and cartelisation framework that imposed state control in the name of the people is subtler than Stalin’s policy, but has the same effect. Just ask Prof. Hugo Junkers’ family on why they were so angry at his funeral that they did not want any representation of the Nazi Party. While I am at it, kindly explain to us the Barmen Declaration’s theses and the White Rose martyrs when you suggest the Church became predominantly nazified. Also, kindly discuss the documented attitudes, intent and agenda for the Christian faith. And BTW, Junkers was a Socialist. Going on to the breed standard, Fascism was totalitarian and came directly from the Socialist International by way of a nationalist split-off. Finally, the essential political messianism of a super-man figure emerging in unprecedented crisis [as imagined] and standing above law and morality as he rescues the relevant state/people/nation etc is supremely idolatrous and anti-Christian, as my already linked shows; not least by way of a Nazi poster with a deliberate blasphemous mockery of the baptism of Jesus, with a descending demonic bomber-bird and an army of the deluded following the demonic figure carrying a twisted, broken cross. KF

  5. 5
    Bob O'H says:

    I’m with Jul3s on this:

    Getting into debates as to which side of the political spectrum (which is an overly simplistic and misleading way of describing politics) can be smeared with the charge that they are on the same side as Hitler is childish and pointless. It is a stupid game that both leftists and right-wingers love to play for some reason.

    On scientistm, it’s become clear to anyone who actually works on the interface between science and politics that it’s a lot more complicated than that. It actually turns out that we can use science to help society (it’s what public health is all about, for example), but we have to understand people. And if we are to implement science-based policies, then we also have to respect people.

    The problem with scientism isn’t science, per se, it’s the totalitarian impulses that can get attached to it. Which, I think, is a bit like socialism. Or, indeed, religion.

  6. 6
    Jul3s says:

    @ Kairosfocus
    You obviously didn’t read much of my last post. You just repeat things that I’ve discussed or refuted without contributing much.

    The manifesto is irrelevant to my point. The socialists and those in favor of wealth-redistribution were purged or killed. Nationalism isn’t merely a spin-off of international socialism, it is diametrically opposed to it, in its values and goals. You can’t say that 2 groups are the same or related simply because they both want control of the state when they want control for opposing reasons. That is dishonest and silly.

    As for Christianity, it appears you didn’t notice that I mentioned that Hitler was against Christianity. My point was that in politics, you can’t take labels or rhetoric at face value. The white rose movement and Barmen declaration never came close to being large enough to refute my point.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Jul3s, when you discuss the Barmen Declaration’s theses and can explain to us also what happened to Hugo Junkers, we will have something substantial to deal with. KF

    PS: Start with this for instance:

    8.01 The Confessional Synod of the German Evangelical Church met in Barmen, May 29-31, 1934. Here representatives from all the German Confessional Churches met with one accord in a confession of the one Lord of the one, holy, apostolic Church. In fidelity to their Confession of Faith, members of Lutheran, Reformed, and United Churches sought a common message for the need and temptation of the Church in our day. With gratitude to God they are convinced that they have been given a common word to utter. It was not their intention to found a new Church or to form a union. For nothing was farther from their minds than the abolition of the confessional status of our Churches. Their intention was, rather, to withstand in faith and unanimity the destruction of the Confession of Faith, and thus of the Evangelical Church in Germany. In opposition to attempts to establish the unity of the German Evangelical Church by means of false doctrine, by the use of force and insincere practices, the Confessional Synod insists that the unity of the Evangelical Churches in Germany can come only from the Word of God in faith through the Holy Spirit. [–> Remember, the Gestapo] Thus alone is the Church renewed . . . .

    8.07 We publicly declare before all evangelical Churches in Germany that what they hold in common in this Confession is grievously imperiled, and with it the unity of the German Evangelical Church. It is threatened by the teaching methods and actions of the ruling Church party of the “German Christians” and of the Church administration carried on by them. These have become more and more apparent during the first year of the existence of the German Evangelical Church. This threat consists in the fact that the theological basis, in which the German Evangelical Church is united, has been continually and systematically thwarted and rendered ineffective by alien principles, on the part of the leaders and spokesmen of the “German Christians” as well as on the part of the Church administration. When these principles are held to be valid, then, according to all the Confessions in force among us, the Church ceases to be the Church and the German Evangelical Church, as a federation of Confessional Churches, becomes intrinsically impossible . . . .

    8.22 – 5. “Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:17.)
    Scripture tells us that, in the as yet unredeemed world in which the Church also exists, the State has by divine appointment the task of providing for justice and peace. [It fulfills this task] by means of the threat and exercise of force, according to the measure of human judgment and human ability. The Church acknowledges the benefit of this divine appointment in gratitude and reverence before him. It calls to mind the Kingdom of God, God’s commandment and righteousness, and thereby the responsibility both of rulers and of the ruled. It trusts and obeys the power of the Word by which God upholds all things.
    8.23 We reject the false doctrine, as though the State, over and beyond its special commission, should and could become the single and totalitarian order of human life, thus fulfilling the Church’s vocation as well.
    8.24 We reject the false doctrine, as though the Church, over and beyond its special commission, should and could appropriate the characteristics, the tasks, and the dignity of the State, thus itself becoming an organ of the State.

    if this was happening to the churches, what was happening to other sectors of the society?

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: Scientism is an ideology. It is also self-referentially incoherent and inescapably self-refuting. That does not prevent it from imposing itself as we see. Indeed the amorality of the associated evolutionary materialism leads directly to might and manipulation make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘knowledge’ etc. KF

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Reismann summarises von Mises on the specific Socialist totalitarianism involved, for the National Socialist German Workers/Labour Party (“Labour” was a 1930’s rendering, BTW):

    The basis of the claim that Nazi Germany was capitalist was the fact that most industries in Nazi Germany appeared to be left in private hands.

    What Mises identified was that private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis and that the actual substance of ownership of the means of production resided in the German government. For it was the German government and not the nominal private owners that exercised all of the substantive powers of ownership: it, not the nominal private owners, decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was to be distributed, as well as what prices would be charged and what wages would be paid, and what dividends or other income the nominal private owners would be permitted to receive. The position of the alleged private owners, Mises showed, was reduced essentially to that of government pensioners.

    De facto government ownership of the means of production, as Mises termed it, was logically implied by such fundamental collectivist principles embraced by the Nazis as that the common good comes before the private good and the individual exists as a means to the ends of the State. If the individual is a means to the ends of the State, so too, of course, is his property. Just as he is owned by the State, his property is also owned by the State.

    But what specifically established de facto socialism in Nazi Germany was the introduction of price and wage controls in 1936. These were imposed in response to the inflation of the money supply carried out by the regime from the time of its coming to power in early 1933. The Nazi regime inflated the money supply as the means of financing the vast increase in government spending required by its programs of public works, subsidies, and rearmament. The price and wage controls were imposed in response to the rise in prices that began to result from the inflation.

    The effect of the combination of inflation and price and wage controls is shortages, that is, a situation in which the quantities of goods people attempt to buy exceed the quantities available for sale.

    Shortages, in turn, result in economic chaos. It’s not only that consumers who show up in stores early in the day are in a position to buy up all the stocks of goods and leave customers who arrive later, with nothing — a situation to which governments typically respond by imposing rationing. Shortages result in chaos throughout the economic system. They introduce randomness in the distribution of supplies between geographical areas, in the allocation of a factor of production among its different products, in the allocation of labor and capital among the different branches of the economic system . . . .

    As Mises showed, to cope with such unintended effects of its price controls, the government must either abolish the price controls or add further measures, namely, precisely the control over what is produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it is distributed, which I referred to earlier. The combination of price controls with this further set of controls constitutes the de facto socialization of the economic system. For it means that the government then exercises all of the substantive powers of ownership.

    This was the socialism instituted by the Nazis. And Mises calls it socialism on the German or Nazi pattern, in contrast to the more obvious socialism of the Soviets, which he calls socialism on the Russian or Bolshevik pattern.

    Of course, socialism does not end the chaos caused by the destruction of the price system. It perpetuates it. And if it is introduced without the prior existence of price controls, its effect is to inaugurate that very chaos. This is because socialism is not actually a positive economic system. It is merely the negation of capitalism and its price system. As such, the essential nature of socialism is one and the same as the economic chaos resulting from the destruction of the price system by price and wage controls. (I want to point out that Bolshevik-style socialism’s imposition of a system of production quotas, with incentives everywhere to exceed the quotas, is a sure formula for universal shortages, just as exist under all around price and wage controls.)

    At most, socialism merely changes the direction of the chaos. The government’s control over production may make possible a greater production of some goods of special importance to itself, but it does so only at the expense of wreaking havoc throughout the rest of the economic system. This is because the government has no way of knowing the effects on the rest of the economic system of its securing the production of the goods to which it attaches special importance.

    The requirements of enforcing a system of price and wage controls shed major light on the totalitarian nature of socialism — most obviously, of course, on that of the German or Nazi variant of socialism, but also on that of Soviet-style socialism as well . . . . what is to stop prices from rising and a massive black market from developing?

    The answer is a combination of severe penalties combined with a great likelihood of being caught and then actually suffering those penalties. Mere fines are not likely to provide much of a deterrent. They will be regarded simply as an additional business expense. If the government is serious about its price controls, it is necessary for it to impose penalties comparable to those for a major felony.

    But the mere existence of such penalties is not enough. The government has to make it actually dangerous to conduct black-market transactions. It has to make people fear that in conducting such a transaction they might somehow be discovered by the police, and actually end up in jail. In order to create such fear, the government must develop an army of spies and secret informers. For example, the government must make a storekeeper and his customer fearful that if they engage in a black-market transaction, some other customer in the store will report them.

    Because of the privacy and secrecy in which many black-market transactions can be conducted, the government must also make anyone contemplating a black-market transaction fearful that the other party might turn out to be a police agent trying to entrap him. The government must make people fearful even of their long-time associates, even of their friends and relatives, lest even they turn out to be informers.

    And, finally, in order to obtain convictions, the government must place the decision about innocence or guilt in the case of black-market transactions in the hands of an administrative tribunal or its police agents on the spot. It cannot rely on jury trials, because it is unlikely that many juries can be found willing to bring in guilty verdicts in cases in which a man might have to go to jail for several years for the crime of selling a few pounds of meat or a pair of shoes above the ceiling price.

    In sum, therefore, the requirements merely of enforcing price-control regulations is the adoption of essential features of a totalitarian state, namely, the establishment of the category of “economic crimes,” in which the peaceful pursuit of material self-interest is treated as a criminal offense, and the establishment of a totalitarian police apparatus replete with spies and informers and the power of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.

    Clearly, the enforcement of price controls requires a government similar to that of Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia, in which practically anyone might turn out to be a police spy and in which a secret police exists and has the power to arrest and imprison people. If the government is unwilling to go to such lengths, then, to that extent, its price controls prove unenforceable and simply break down. The black market then assumes major proportions. (Incidentally, none of this is to suggest that price controls were the cause of the reign of terror instituted by the Nazis. The Nazis began their reign of terror well before the enactment of price controls. As a result, they enacted price controls in an environment ready made for their enforcement.) . . . .

    Socialism cannot be ruled for very long except by terror. As soon as the terror is relaxed, resentment and hostility logically begin to well up against the rulers. The stage is thus set for a revolution or civil war. In fact, in the absence of terror, or, more correctly, a sufficient degree of terror, socialism would be characterized by an endless series of revolutions and civil wars, as each new group of rulers proved as incapable of making socialism function successfully as its predecessors before it. The inescapable inference to be drawn is that the terror actually experienced in the socialist countries was not simply the work of evil men, such as Stalin, but springs from the nature of the socialist system. Stalin could come to the fore because his unusual willingness and cunning in the use of terror were the specific characteristics most required by a ruler of socialism in order to remain in power. He rose to the top by a process of socialist natural selection: the selection of the worst.

    I need to anticipate a possible misunderstanding concerning my thesis that socialism is totalitarian by its nature. This concerns the allegedly socialist countries run by Social Democrats, such as Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries, which are clearly not totalitarian dictatorships.

    In such cases, it is necessary to realize that along with these countries not being totalitarian, they are also not socialist. Their governing parties may espouse socialism as their philosophy and their ultimate goal, but socialism is not what they have implemented as their economic system. Their actual economic system is that of a hampered market economy, as Mises termed it. While more hampered than our own in important respects, their economic system is essentially similar to our own, in that the characteristic driving force of production and economic activity is not government decree but the initiative of private owners motivated by the prospect of private profit.

    The reason that Social Democrats do not establish socialism when they come to power, is that they are unwilling to do what would be required. The establishment of socialism as an economic system requires a massive act of theft — the means of production must be seized from their owners and turned over to the state. Such seizure is virtually certain to provoke substantial resistance on the part of the owners, resistance which can be overcome only by use of massive force.

    The Communists were and are willing to apply such force, as evidenced in Soviet Russia. Their character is that of armed robbers prepared to commit murder if that is what is necessary to carry out their robbery . . . .

    As for the Nazis, they generally did not have to kill in order to seize the property of Germans other than Jews. This was because, as we have seen, they established socialism by stealth, through price controls, which served to maintain the outward guise and appearance of private ownership. The private owners were thus deprived of their property without knowing it and thus felt no need to defend it by force.

    I think I have shown that socialism — actual socialism — is totalitarian by its very nature.

    In the United States at the present time, we do not have socialism in any form. And we do not have a dictatorship, let alone a totalitarian dictatorship.

    We also do not yet have Fascism, though we are moving towards it. Among the essential elements that are still lacking are one-party rule and censorship. We still have freedom of speech and press and free elections, though both have been undermined and their continued existence cannot be guaranteed.

    What we have is a hampered market economy that is growing ever more hampered by ever more government intervention, and that is characterized by a growing loss of individual freedom. The growth of the government’s economic intervention is synonymous with a loss of individual freedom because it means increasingly initiating the use of physical force to make people do what they do not voluntarily choose to do or prevent them from doing what they do voluntarily choose to do.

    Points worth pondering.

    Especially when we see how Professor Junkers was robbed of his intellectual property, of his firm (a crucial part of the aviation industry), and then was hounded to death. A specific case that gives flesh and blood details to the sort of clinically detached dissection von Mises long ago gave. Don’t forget he is the man who in the 1920’s analysed that failure of pricing and dislocation of signals of opportunity cost would be the fatal error of Socialist central planning.

    And we now know that the central plans were essentially misleading documents. Central planning of an economy is a futile exercise for reasons tied to the integrity of information and opportunity cost based values.

    KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    10 minutes nominal left and I cannot add emphases!

    Okay, I clip the key section, to be read in context:

    . . . private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis and that the actual substance of ownership of the means of production resided in the German government. For it was the German government and not the nominal private owners that exercised all of the substantive powers of ownership: it, not the nominal private owners, decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was to be distributed, as well as what prices would be charged and what wages would be paid, and what dividends or other income the nominal private owners would be permitted to receive. The position of the alleged private owners, Mises showed, was reduced essentially to that of government pensioners.

    De facto government ownership of the means of production, as Mises termed it, was logically implied by such fundamental collectivist principles embraced by the Nazis as that the common good comes before the private good and the individual exists as a means to the ends of the State. If the individual is a means to the ends of the State, so too, of course, is his property. Just as he is owned by the State, his property is also owned by the State.

    But what specifically established de facto socialism in Nazi Germany was the introduction of price and wage controls in 1936. These were imposed in response to the inflation of the money supply carried out by the regime from the time of its coming to power in early 1933. The Nazi regime inflated the money supply as the means of financing the vast increase in government spending required by its programs of public works, subsidies, and rearmament. The price and wage controls were imposed in response to the rise in prices that began to result from the inflation.

    The effect of the combination of inflation and price and wage controls is shortages, that is, a situation in which the quantities of goods people attempt to buy exceed the quantities available for sale.

    Shortages, in turn, result in economic chaos. It’s not only that consumers who show up in stores early in the day are in a position to buy up all the stocks of goods and leave customers who arrive later, with nothing — a situation to which governments typically respond by imposing rationing. Shortages result in chaos throughout the economic system. They introduce randomness in the distribution of supplies between geographical areas, in the allocation of a factor of production among its different products, in the allocation of labor and capital among the different branches of the economic system . . . .

    As Mises showed, to cope with such unintended effects of its price controls, the government must either abolish the price controls or add further measures, namely, precisely the control over what is produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it is distributed, which I referred to earlier. The combination of price controls with this further set of controls [–> criminalisation of honest and reasonable enterprise] constitutes the de facto socialization of the economic system. For it means that the government then exercises all of the substantive powers of ownership.

    This was the socialism instituted by the Nazis. And Mises calls it socialism on the German or Nazi pattern, in contrast to the more obvious socialism of the Soviets, which he calls socialism on the Russian or Bolshevik pattern.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    It’s hard to tell if Jul3s actually read the OP.

  12. 12
    Molson Bleu says:

    Jul3s@3, I tend to agree with you on this. In my mind, pigeonholing someone into some spot on the political spectrum (right wing vs left wing), or belonging to a specific philosophy (theist vs atheist vs materialist) is often a tactic used by some to marginalize and dismiss the opinions of that person rather than providing a substantive counter-argument.

    “What would you expect from a a materialist.”

    “You can’t take seriously anything said by the Christian right.”

    None of this is very helpful. And, in many respects, is very dishonest. Very few of us could be categorized as always being one thing or another. For example, I would consider myself a fiscal conservative but a social liberal. I have been called a right wing nut job when I comment on my fiscal views, and as a left wing crazy when I comment on my views about homosexuality or gun control.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, that is precisely what we are responding to, the attempt to taint anything “right” of socialism with fascism, something that Stalin was a past master of. What I actually think is that right vs left is materially less useful than a ranking from autocracy to the lawful state to the constitutional democratic state and onward to the repeller pole of anarchy, but that is not what is commonly used. The left has fairly clearly identifiable ideologies, with communists at the extreme, various classes of radical socialists including fascists and cultural marxists, then the social democrats and welfare state social democrats then the more or less centre. Conservatives, euro-sense are maybe left of the American centre, e.g. I have seen that Gore would have been a candidate for a conservative European party. The American style centre-right inclines towards libertarianism and laissez faire more than is typically current policy, emphasising getting away from ever encroaching government regulation and, usually, moving away from keynesian style macro-economy management. Mr Trump is unlikely to have a thought-through ideology but near as I can make out, his sentiments are typically centre-right, US style. Beyond, in current terms we have strong libertarians wanting a minimal state, and some anarchists [dreaming of no state], not Anti-Fa. Fascists and nazis would fit in right of the radical socialists, but left of everyone else, on a ranking that looks mostly at degree of state domination of economic enterprise, viewed as degree of control over life. I would suggest that the US during WW1, some Central and Eastern European Countries and some Latin American ones were closer to fascism than we want to imagine. Japan, China [Kuomintang], Italy, Germany, Egypt [Nasser] and Spain were probably pretty definitely fascist. What is not an intrinsic part of the ranking is racism, which can come up anywhere along the spectrum, indeed there seems to be a thing going between Koreans and Han Chinese on that. Near as I can figure the current pope seems to be a social democrat of sorts. The old right was monarchism, but though such exists still in odd places [including at least one Communist Monarchy and we may see a second, depending on what happens later this year in Cuba], it is mostly a ceremonial figurehead to the modern industrialised and bureaucratic state. KF

    PS: Your self-description would likely be typical of a strongly secularist, somewhat libertarian individual.

  14. 14
    Molson Bleu says:

    “PS: Your self-description would likely be typical of a strongly secularist, somewhat libertarian individual.”

    This is exactly my point. Of what value is there to pigeonhole me or anyone else into some arbitrary category? My experience has been that this is almost always a precursor to dismissing the other person’s arguments rather than addressing them. “He is obviously a secularist, therefore not worth listening to.” Or, “She is obviously a religious nut-job.” Sadly, I have seen these tactics used by conservatives, liberals, IDists, evolutionists, theists, atheists and every other form of “ist.” People of all ideology use this, and it is no more prevalent in one than in the other.

    Rather than pigeonholing those we disagree with into some arbitrary category, why don’t we just concentrate on the actual arguments being made? We should be trying to find common ground, not finding lame excuses to dismiss another’s arguments. Even if those we are debating opt to use this tactic, we should refrain from stooping to their level.

  15. 15
    Bob O'H says:

    MB & kf – what you’re discussing is called “othering” by feminists – you identify someone with another group, that you are not aligned with, and then because they are an “other”, you don’t have to take them so seriously. I agree, we see far too much of it.

    BTW, in some European countries, the Liberals are centre-right. Which does make perfect sense, if you think about it.

  16. 16
    tribune7 says:

    –the Liberals are centre-right. Which does make perfect sense, if you think about it.–

    A classic 19th century liberal would be considered extreme right in the U.S. SJWs would have hated John Locke.

  17. 17
    asauber says:

    tribune7,

    You are correct, sir. Progs who don’t want to be pinned down almost always use a sliding scale when presenting something in the Left-Center-Right arena.

    Andrew

  18. 18
    asauber says:

    Anyway, if anyone sees a Prog/Leftist/Statist/Liberal/A-Mat who actually demonstrates some independent thought, capture him/her/whatevertheyidentifyas, so they can be studied.

    Andrew

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    MB & BO’H: I am simply pointing out that while I think it distinctly second or third best, left vs right, properly addressed, has some meaning [carries some signal amidst the noise] — and when it comes to the totalitarian state or things that undermine liberty through the civil peace of justice, grim meaning at that. I find it interesting that there has been nothing of consequence further on Nazism once I cited von Mises. Discussions about using L/R to anchor ad hominems are secondary, and simple categorisation is not equivalent to it. It does however surface concerns this generation seems ill-informed on, linked to what happens when the state presumes to displace the market as the primary context for solving the resource allocation planning. KF

  20. 20
    Jul3s says:

    Kairisfocus
    This is getting tedious. Instead of refuting anything I wrote, you’re just repeating the same cherry picked facts over and over. Much of it is irrelevant as well since all nations that prepare for or engage in total war establish command economies, it doesn’t help pin down an ideology.

    I guess by your logic, since pro-lifers and Nazis would both tell a healthy German woman not to have an abortion, they must both be conservative even though their philosophy are polar opposites.

    And no, there’s nothing interesting about the absence of certain arguments after you cited von Mises. I was asleep so I couldn’t respond earlier. Citing Mises, the champion of the anarcho-capitalists, who have the most absurdly stupid economic theory ever conceived (even worse than communists) didn’t help this discussion.

  21. 21
    john_a_designer says:

    History tells us that Hitler and Nazis came into power democratically. A number of our interlocutors argue that moral obligations and universal human right are subjective values which ultimately we create. When challenged with the question of how you can create a moral and just society which protects human rights they argue that we have to establish a consensus. Isn’t that what the Nazis had when they came to power in 1933, a consensus? When the Reichstag passed the Nuremberg laws which discriminated against and disenfranchised German Jews in 1935 it passed by an overwhelming majority. So did that make discrimination based on race moral? Did it mean that there was nothing really wrong in denying German Jews their rights? …that it was okay for German society to treat them as subhuman… to exterminate them like rats?

    When Nazi leaders and judges defended themselves at war crimes trials in 1945 and 46 they pled not guilty because they were just following orders or obeying the law. Were allied prosecutors wrong when they argued that there was a law above the law? Were the Nazis only wrong because they lost the war? Logically moral relativism argues that they weren’t really morally wrong, just unlucky.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Jul3s,

    clearly false.

    I have not ever before cited the discussion summarising von Mises’ analysis of how Nazism and similar schemes will strongly trend to toalitarianism through the attempt to control an economy by the state. (And in this context, this has a direct personal echo, as in 1980, I lost a beloved aunt to shooting by a price control vigilante: the von Mises scenario is very realistic.)

    Perhaps, you mean to dismiss the concept that real control is tantamount to ownership? Sorry, that comes from the Romans.

    And war socialism is just that, socialism; with precisely the consequences named; it is NOT irrelevant to note that. That is how in the 30’s – 1940’s, the Keynesians and those to their left took over. Indeed in countries with ideologies nominally far to the right of socialism, war socialism did in fact set the basis for onward drastic macro-economic policy shifts to the left, a trend only really broken when due to the second oil crisis of the 70’s stagflation led to the complete breakdown of the Bretton Woods era, Keynesian consensus and the emergence of the Thatcher-Reagan era.

    Or, have you forgotten the Philips curve debate? [Which is a discussion about saturation of economies and expectations of inflation; thence the onward discussions on rational (but perhaps broken) expectations and issues over things like indexing of wages in major union contracts or even for social welfare provisions and built-in accelerating inflation with fear of the breakout of hyperinflation thence the collective decision to take the turn of the 80’s recession and break the expectations. And, more. BTW, current talk of lowest ever unemployment in typically persistently low employment pockets of the US may turn out to echo this issue.]

    The attempt to drag in a false analogy to opposition to abortion — an issue of self-evident natural human law that even a Nazi can recognise for the in-group — fails.

    Perhaps, you did not learn the typical view of breed-standard socialism: that, the means of production, distribution and exchange (particularly for the “commanding heights” of the economy) are to be taken over and controlled by the state in the name of the working class, proletariat masses. This is von Mises’ grand theft of the economy. Where there was a long-running debate in the Soviet Union as to when the withering away of the transitional socialist state on the way to the idealised golden era of communism, would happen; note, USSR = Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics. This was predicted for the 1980’s on the last serious round IIRC.

    Nazism was a variant form, in which the nominal ownership was not taken over, but control backed by totalitarian power subtly achieved the same end.

    That is what von Mises pointed out AT THE TIME, building on his earlier analysis of the pricing-allocation problem of socialism from the 1920’s. That analysis is what proved right in the 1980’s and 90’s, leading to collapse of the USSR and its satellites as Communist states.

    KF

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, correct. KF

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Richman, pardon in extenso in a comment, as too many are unlikely to click a link:

    In its day (the 1920s and 1930s), fascism was seen as the happy medium between boom-and-bust-prone liberal capitalism, with its alleged class conflict, wasteful competition, and profit-oriented egoism, and revolutionary Marxism, with its violent and socially divisive persecution of the bourgeoisie. Fascism substituted the particularity of nationalism and racialism—“blood and soil”—for the internationalism of both classical liberalism and Marxism.

    Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

    Fascism is to be distinguished from interventionism, or the mixed economy. Interventionism seeks to guide the market process, not eliminate it, as fascism did. Minimum-wage and antitrust laws, though they regulate the free market, are a far cry from multiyear plans from the Ministry of Economics.

    Under fascism, the state, through official cartels, controlled all aspects of manufacturing, commerce, finance, and agriculture. Planning boards set product lines, production levels, prices, wages, working conditions, and the size of firms. Licensing was ubiquitous; no economic activity could be undertaken without government permission. Levels of consumption were dictated by the state, and “excess” incomes had to be surrendered as taxes or “loans.” The consequent burdening of manufacturers gave advantages to foreign firms wishing to export. But since government policy aimed at autarky, or national self-sufficiency, protectionism was necessary: imports were barred or strictly controlled, leaving foreign conquest as the only avenue for access to resources unavailable domestically. Fascism was thus incompatible with peace and the international division of labor—hallmarks of [classical] liberalism.

    Fascism embodied corporatism, in which political representation was based on trade and industry rather than on geography. In this, fascism revealed its roots in syndicalism, a form of socialism originating on the left. The government cartelized firms of the same industry, with representatives of labor and management serving on myriad local, regional, and national boards—subject always to the final authority of the dictator’s economic plan. Corporatism was intended to avert unsettling divisions within the nation, such as lockouts and union strikes. The price of such forced “harmony” was the loss of the ability to bargain and move about freely.

    To maintain high employment and minimize popular discontent, fascist governments also undertook massive public-works projects financed by steep taxes, borrowing, and fiat money creation. While many of these projects were domestic—roads, buildings, stadiums—the largest project of all was militarism, with huge armies and arms production.

    The fascist leaders’ antagonism to communism has been misinterpreted as an affinity for capitalism. In fact, fascists’ anticommunism was motivated by a belief that in the collectivist milieu of early-twentieth-century Europe, communism was its closest rival for people’s allegiance. As with communism, under fascism, every citizen was regarded as an employee and tenant of the totalitarian, party-dominated state. Consequently, it was the state’s prerogative to use force, or the threat of it, to suppress even peaceful opposition.

    If a formal architect of fascism can be identified, it is Benito Mussolini, the onetime Marxist editor who, caught up in nationalist fervor, broke with the left as World War I approached and became Italy’s leader in 1922. Mussolini distinguished fascism from liberal capitalism in his 1928 autobiography:

    The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill. (p. 280)

    Before his foray into imperialism in 1935, Mussolini was often praised by prominent Americans and Britons, including Winston Churchill, for his economic program.

    Similarly, Adolf Hitler, whose National Socialist (Nazi) Party adapted fascism to Germany beginning in 1933, said:

    The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property. (Barkai 1990, pp. 26–27)

    Both nations exhibited elaborate planning schemes for their economies in order to carry out the state’s objectives. Mussolini’s corporate state “consider[ed] private initiative in production the most effective instrument to protect national interests” (Basch 1937, p. 97). But the meaning of “initiative” differed significantly from its meaning in a market economy. Labor and management were organized into twenty-two industry and trade “corporations,” each with Fascist Party members as senior participants. The corporations were consolidated into a National Council of Corporations; however, the real decisions were made by state agencies such as the Instituto per la Ricosstruzione Industriale, which held shares in industrial, agricultural, and real estate enterprises, and the Instituto Mobiliare, which controlled the nation’s credit.

    Hitler’s regime eliminated small corporations and made membership in cartels mandatory.1 The Reich Economic Chamber was at the top of a complicated bureaucracy comprising nearly two hundred organizations organized along industry, commercial, and craft lines, as well as several national councils. The Labor Front, an extension of the Nazi Party, directed all labor matters, including wages and assignment of workers to particular jobs. Labor conscription was inaugurated in 1938. Two years earlier, Hitler had imposed a four-year plan to shift the nation’s economy to a war footing. In Europe during this era, Spain, Portugal, and Greece also instituted fascist economies.

    In the United States, beginning in 1933, the constellation of government interventions known as the New Deal had features suggestive of the corporate state . . .

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: von Mises on ownership and theft:

    Ownership
    1 The Nature of Ownership

    I.1.1

    Regarded as a sociological category ownership appears as the power to use economic goods. An owner is he who disposes of an economic good.
    I.1.2

    Thus the sociological and juristic concepts of ownership are different. This, of course, is natural, and one can only be surprised that the fact is still sometimes overlooked. From the sociological and economic point of view, ownership is the having of the goods which the economic aims of men require.*1 This having may be called the natural or original ownership, as it is purely a physical relationship of man to the goods, independent of social relations between men or of a legal order. The significance of the legal concept of property lies just in this—that it differentiates between the physical has and the legal should have. The Law recognizes owners and possessors who lack this natural having, owners who do not have, but ought to have. In the eyes of the Law ‘he from whom has been stolen’ remains owner, while the thief can never acquire ownership. Economically, however, the natural having alone is relevant, and the economic significance of the legal should have lies only in the support it lends to the acquisition, the maintenance, and the regaining of the natural having.
    I.1.3

    To the Law ownership is a uniform institution. It makes no difference whether goods of the first order or goods of higher order form its subject, or whether it deals with durable consumption goods or non-durable consumption goods. The formalism of the Law, divorced as it is from any economic basis, is clearly expressed in this fact. Of course, the Law cannot isolate itself completely from economic differences which may be relevant. The peculiarity of land as a means of production is, partly, what gives the ownership of real property its special position in the Law. Such economic differences are expressed, more clearly than in the law of property itself, in relationships which are sociologically equivalent to ownership but juristically allied to it only, e.g., in servitudes and, especially, in usufruct. But on the whole, in Law formal equality covers up material differences.

    KF

  26. 26
    Jul3s says:

    You misunderstood my analogy. I can’t say I’m surprised and I won’t clarify it because I doubt that will do any good.

    I never said that Nazism and socialism don’t have any common methods or elements. MB and I have already explained why this whole thread is pointless; banal at best and factually wrong at worst. But you have have ignored all that and instead have decided to double down on the same pointless debating tactics.

  27. 27
    john_a_designer says:

    Here is another opinion that supports the view that Fascism had more in common with Communism than not.

    Popular wisdom holds that Fascism and Communism were diametrical opposites. Actually, the two ideologies were (and are) so similar that they had to define themselves in opposition to each other in order to survive. At the very least, both were socialistic in origin: Mussolini was immersed in socialism by his father, and the name of Hitler’s party – National Socialist German Workers’ Party – speaks for itself.

    These regimes fostered hostility to traditional religious beliefs and morality (both men despised Christianity), “salvation by science” (as shown, for example, in the Nazi’s racist eugenics movement), and state-controlled health and environmental projects (as shown in a Nazi slogan, “Nutrition is not a private matter!”).

    All of these elements grew out of the “scientific” progressivism of the early 20th century. Even the Nazis’ vÖlkisch ideology—with its nationalist and traditionalist overtones – was at heart a secular religion-substitute which enshrined the Will of the People, a concept which Goldberg traces to the French Revolution.

    https://fee.org/articles/fascism-and-communism-were-two-peas-in-a-pod/

    Whether or not fascism was as socialist as communism it should be clear that both were forms of secular progressivism which politically exploited the idea of there being a “greater good” that only a highly centralized state could create and control. The problem under both systems was the rights of the individual were sacrificed for “the good” of the society which was defined by those in power. But there is no real good in a totalitarian state. The so-called good is what those in power decide it is.

    By the way, secular progressives are not shy about exploiting the idea of equal rights but this is a deceptive subterfuge. You can have equal rights if nobody has many rights. Marx of course thought you could achieve equality economically. What suffered under both communism and fascism were rights like freedom of thought, belief and expression (freedom of speech, press, assembly etc.)

  28. 28
    Molson Bleu says:

    Again, the only purpose I see in arguing whether the Nazis were left wing or right wing is for the people making these claims to associate Nazis with the ideologies that they disagree with. Conservatives argue that the Nazis were left wing to demonize liberal views. And liberals argue that the Nazis were right wing to demonize conservative views. Both arguments are dishonest and intended to justify dismissing the views of the other without substantively addressing their arguments.

    This is no different than calling someone a religious nut-job, or a troll, or a secular progressive, in order to avoid having to respond to their arguments. I simply will not engage in a discussion with anyone who uses this tactic.

  29. 29
    john_a_designer says:

    As the following quote illustrates how modern 20th century man abandoned the idea of truth and replaced it with power (might makes right.)

    Before his untimely death in November 1963, C. S. Lewis intended to write the story of a fictional character named Ezekiel Bulver, a boy who learned by listening carefully to his parents quarrel that “refutation is no necessary part of argument.” Bulver’s unique insight was that he could avoid the rigorous demands of intellectual life by simply asserting that his opponent was wrong and then following that assertion with an ad hominem attack as supporting evidence. That, Lewis tells us, was “how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.”

    Refutation requires engagement with ideas, and a striving to understand the truth. From it arise norms of civility, good faith among interlocutors, and a willingness to consider the merits of different arguments. It is easier to denounce without disputation, to assume someone is wrong without bothering to discover whether they are wrong or demonstrating how they are wrong.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....lture-wars

    Someone once said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Fascism and Communism were ideas (or “ideologies”) that went badly wrong. They both claimed to be working for the “greater good” of society but completely rejected a view of human rights that was rooted in western and Judeo-Christian moral teaching. Shouldn’t we be alarmed when we see the same kind of demonization and vilification of western ideas and ideals on modern American university campuses?

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, you are trying to impute motives as though that is THE answer. No, it is not. There is a very legitimate point that National Socialism — as the name outright says! — is a particular form of totalitarian socialism, with certain specific differences from cousin ideologies. Likewise, broader fascism was outright clearly of the same basic character from its founding and stated statist, progressivist mass-based context. And, it is notorious that these experiments were seen at the time as part of the then widely thought to be inevitable socialist future. One key difference from the communists was they found that cartelising was more effective than outright expropriation, and the case of Prof Hugo Junkers sent the clear after the fact message to those who had much to lose and would dare to challenge the state — a case yo0u have studiously avoided. Likewise, you have not engaged Mises on specifics, or the Barmen Declaration, and more. The von Mises analysis — made at the time by the man who from the 1920’s highlighted the fatal flaw of socialist economics — is quite clear, and tellingly accurate. KF

    PS: You picked a very bad example if it was meant to communicate the point you wished to make.

    PPS: Hugo Junkers Timeline from Wiki:

    1888–1893 work with Dessauer Continental-Gasgesellschaft
    1892 Patents calorie meter
    1895 Founds Junkers & Co in Dessau to build gas engines & heaters
    1897–1912 Professor at the RWTH Aachen University in Aachen
    1908 Hans Reissner with Junkers’ help starts work on all-metal aircraft
    1910 Patents Nurflügel concept
    1913/14 uses wind tunnel
    1915 Junkers J 1 all-metal monoplane aircraft flies (world’s first practical all-metal aircraft to fly)
    1916 Junkers J 2 pioneering all metal monoplane fighter aircraft for the Luftstreitkräfte, six built
    20 October 1917 – 1919 Partnership Junkers-Fokkerwerke AG; mass production of 227 J4 aircraft
    1919 Junkers and Fokker part ways, company renamed Junkers Flugzeugwerke AG
    1919 First civilian all-metal aircraft Junkers F.13 flies
    1919 Starts work on “Giant” JG1, to seat passengers within thick wings
    1921 Allied Aeronautical Commission of Control orders JG1 destroyed (exceeds post-war size limit)
    1921 Founds “Abteilung Luftverkehr der Junkerswerke” (later merged into Deutsche Luft Hansa)
    1922 Starts military aircraft production near Moscow, financed by German government loans
    1922 Proposes 100-passenger J-1000 aircraft – never built
    1925 Russian project fails, German government demands repayments
    1926 Legal battles end with Junkers losing several companies
    1927 Awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal
    1928 First east-west transatlantic flight by Köhl, Hünefeld and Fitzmaurice in Junkers W33
    1930 Receives Siemens-Ring for his scientific contributions to combustion engines and metallic airplanes
    1931 Junkers G38 34-passenger airliner delivered – largest in world until Tupolev’s Maksim Gorky in 1934 – only two built
    1932 After great crash, saves Junkers Flugzeugbau and Motorenbau from bankruptcy, by selling virtually all his other assets
    1933 Nazi Government demands control of Junkers patents and companies under threat of high treason charges (see Horst Zoeller’s timeline in external links).
    1934 Junkers placed under house arrest at Bayrischzell and founds Research Institute Prof. Junkers GmbH.
    1935 Dies under house arrest during negotiations to cede remaining stock and interests in Junkers.
    1935 Therese Junkers cedes control of interests to Third Reich at a fraction of their true worth.

    –> What message was sent to other industrialists?

  31. 31
    Molson Bleu says:

    JAD, I can’t disagree with anything said in your excerpt. It makes perfect sense.

    “Shouldn’t we be alarmed when we see the same kind of demonization and vilification of western ideas and ideals on modern American university campuses?”

    I would have to know some specifics before I could comment on this. Do you have some examples of this demonization and villification?

  32. 32
    Molson Bleu says:

    “MB, you are trying to impute motives as though that is THE answer.”

    Of course I am imputing their motives. I thought that I made that very clear.

    I am not talking about comparing modern government actions to the actions that the Nazi government took. These are fair game, and important, to draw these types of comparisons. This is important to make sure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.

    I am talking about people who feel it necessary to lump Nazis in with liberal philosophy, or conservative philosophy. Or those who feel it necessary to claim that Hitler was an atheist, a Christian of a Darwinist. There is only one purpose for taking this tactic. And that is to demonize those who disagree with them so that they don’t have to substantively address their arguments.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, you may need to look at the just linked. KF

  35. 35
    john_a_designer says:

    MB @ 31,

    I am thinking of mainly of the shout-downs of visiting campus speakers…

    Beginning with the Berkeley Milo Yiannopoulos riot of February 2, 2017 and continuing through shout-downs of Charles Murray at Middlebury and Heather Mac Donald at UCLA and Claremont, the second semester of last academic year kicked off the latest phase of the campus free-speech crisis…

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ree-speech

    But the shout-downs are not only directed towards visiting speaker but what also use to be part of our traditional core curriculum.

    August 28: The first lecture of Reed College’s required freshman course on the origins of Western Civilization is cancelled when students protesting its “Eurocentrism” take over the stage.

    The article lists several more examples of speakers, even some on the left, who have had their lectures either interrupted or cancelled.

    Then there are violent tactics of groups like Antifa (a so-called antifascist group which ironically employs fascist tactics.)

    When I was working as a campus minister on a large secular campus in the mid 1980’s shout-downs like we’re seeing now were not only unheard of but would have seemed absurd– this is America. However, look at history. The Nazi’s did actively suppress ideas and speech with which they did not agree. Indeed they took it a step further– book burnings, imprisonment and torture.

    Freedom of thought, conscience and belief and the freedom to express our thoughts and beliefs is fundamental to a free open and democratic society. There is, however, no right to suppress another person’s freedom of expression. Allow that you undermine democracy. That’s the lesson of history.

  36. 36
    Molson Bleu says:

    JAD, thanks for the clarification. I don’t like the shout-downs, especially if they are violent. But I don’t know how you would stop peaceful shout-downs, or even if you should. I could even see situations in which I would try to shout-down certain speakers. I would certainly try to peacefully disrupt anyone trying to preach white supremacy or neo-Nazis. Yes, they have the right to think and say what they like. But so do I. If you prevent me from trying to peacefully shout them down, would you not be violating my right to free speech? Obviously anyone who goes beyond the peaceful protest should be dealt with accordingly.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    MB & JAD, there is no such thing as a “peaceful” shout-down; this is a riot, mob intimidation, bullying by those who cannot answer or don’t care to answer when they can use threat or actual force to get their way, inducing a spiral of silencing. Precisely what I spoke to a year ago with the Anti Fa. KF

  38. 38
    Molson Bleu says:

    “MB & JAD, there is no such thing as a “peaceful” shout-down;“

    Are you saying that people don’t have the right to protest at speaker events? If I heard of a white supremacist giving a speech in my town, I would protest it and make as much noise as I could. If he has the right to spew and incite hatred, why don’t I have the right to use peaceful means to try to make it difficult for him to be heard?

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, right of protest does not extend to right of mob censorship or to — worse — threats or acts of violence to speakers, organisers or audience. Notice, in one case pointed to above, mob tactics were used to disrupt lectures in a duly set up and obviously reasonable course that the mob did not like. Remember, the direct relevant context further includes people being put in hospital due to mayhem, swarming and beating people, spraying suspect chemicals into faces and eyes and more. The smearing of those one does not like and the raising of irrational hostility to the “punch a nazi” level implies that one has by mere accusation rendered targets subhuman or demonic and subject to robbing them of their rights. Perhaps, you have forgotten that such is precisely what the street gangs did. In my own cases, I lost an aunt to a self-appointed price control vigilante spurred on by an irresponsible agit prop operator, I have had a similar operator try to set a crowd on me for fear that I would insist on orderly behaviour out of Robert’s Rules of Order [on a day when students were induced to confront paramilitary police by blocking a major artery road; down which reinforcements would have to come in case of a major disturbance in the city], and I have had attempts to trigger a fight that would likely have been an assassination. You don’t seem to be aware of the matches you are playing with. I again refer you to the already linked from a year ago. If speakers are proposed who are outside the law or riotous assemblies are being entertained, there are proper provisions for such in the law. What we are actually facing is agit prop disruption of normal civil life, in some cases driven by patently anti-democratic mob rule and in others by ruthless determination to push a cause regardless of the general will of the people and the rights of the targetted other. KF

    PS: You should know (it seems you are Canadian from your handle) that US defamation law has long since been gutted by cumulative effects of reckless judicial decisions under colour of freedom of expression. Your innocent reputation and credibility can be trashed, leaving you without recourse, if any sufficiently powerful interest with the media and institutional influence to do it targets you. That should by itself be a major wake-up call on what is going on.

  40. 40
    Molson Bleu says:

    “MB, right of protest does not extend to right of mob censorship or to — worse — threats or acts of violence to speakers, organisers or audience. ”

    Protests are all about peaceful disruption. You mentioning threats of violence is off topic. I have already addressed the issue of violence.

    “Notice, in one case pointed to above, mob tactics were used to disrupt lectures in a duly set up and obviously reasonable course that the mob did not like.”

    If the course was a student course, this was not a public event and the University would have the right to remove the protesters. If it was a speech in which there was an admittance fee or reserved seating, the same would apply. However, if someone stands on a soapbox in the middle of a University square, or any other public space, and spews hatred or racism, then I am well within my rights to attempt to shout him down.

    “The smearing of those one does not like and the raising of irrational hostility to the “punch a nazi” level implies that one has by mere accusation rendered targets subhuman or demonic and subject to robbing them of their rights. Perhaps, you have forgotten that such is precisely what the street gangs did.”

    I have already provided my opinion on people who call others Nazis or fascists. I don’t think that we have to rehash this unless you disagree with me that this is a dishonest tactic.

    “What we are actually facing is agit prop disruption of normal civil life,…”

    What you call agit-prop, I call the right of peaceful protest. Again, assuming that there is no violence. I certainly do not agree with many of these protests, but taking steps to prevent them is a slippery slope. If we are OK with stopping people peacefully protesting a speech by Ann Coulter, where do we draw the line? Stopping protesters at a MLK event? Stopping protesters at a gay rights event ?Stopping protesters at a pro-choice event? Stopping protesters at a right to life event? Stopping protesters outside an abortion clinic? Although I may not like to see protesters at some of these, I would oppose any action taken to stop the protesters.

    “(it seems you are Canadian from your handle)”

    No. I am from Maine. Molson products are sold in the US.

  41. 41
    john_a_designer says:

    Recently in an interview, Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto, was challenged on his politically incorrect use of language when it came to the issue of “transgender rights.”

    British interviewer, Cathy Newman, “questioned Peterson on why he refused to go along with the trendy leftist cause du jour: using pronouns chosen by individuals rather than pronouns that describe their biology.”

    “Why should your freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended?” Newman asked. Peterson, ever the gentleman, answered the question without guffawing: “Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive. I mean, look at the conversation we’re having right now. You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable.”

    Newman misdirected: “Well, I’m very glad I’ve put you on the spot.” But Peterson pursued: “Well, you get my point. You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell is going on. And that is what you should do. But you’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that’s fine. More power to you, as far as I’m concerned.”

    Newman had no answer. Point to Peterson.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ing-people

    The Peterson interview reveals some of the typical ploys that the secular progressive left has been using to shut down the free speech rights of people with which they disagree. They redefine language reflected in traditional moral values as being offensive and then invent a new right, “the right not to be offended.” But if you follow that thinking to its logical conclusion, “the right not to be offended,” shuts down everyone else’s rights and stifles dialogue and debate.

    This is what happens when human being think they are they are the ultimate source of human rights. That’s what we saw in the Nazi era: If humans are the source of universal human rights then they are the ones who can take them away. That was the thinking that led to genocide.

  42. 42
    Molson Bleu says:

    JAD, good point. But where do you stand on Ms. vs Miss and Mrs.? Or when people with PhDs insist on being referred to as Dr.?

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, pardon but we are dealing with realities not idealised peaceful objections. People have been hospitalised after mayhem. A hosting professor was hospitalised. People were sprayed in the face with who knows what witch’s brew of chemicals for the crime of trying to attend a speech and speaking to the press. In one case, someone shot those who attacked him, and this was regarded as a defensive shooting by authorities — implying the seriousness of the threat. The “punch a nazi” tactic is a symptom of dehumanisation and demonisation leading to violence that shows the need to actually correct the common, false impression that Nazism means “right wing” — so, no, your shut discussion down gambit fails. There has been arson and destruction of property, and more. The interrupted course lecture I highlighted was the opening lecture for a compulsory course on Western Civilisation at a College; no it was no Hyde Park soap-box speaker facing hecklers — and even there police would act to prevent riotous behaviour. My own experience of agit-prop makes me very concerned. This is not mere “peaceful” objection we are dealing with, it is mob-censorship and worse. Something has gone seriously wrong and there is need to respond to it across the board. KF

  44. 44
    tribune7 says:

    MB

    –If I heard of a white supremacist giving a speech in my town, I would protest it and make as much noise as I could. —

    What if is was a black supremacist? Or a Muslim supremacist? Would you still have the same courage of conviction?

    No offense, but opposing white supremacy in 2018 would not exactly get you a chapter in Profiles in Courage.

    Further there is a huge distinction in protesting something and shutting down someone’s right to be heard. The problem isn’t that certain people were protested but that they were kept from speaking and, FWIW, these people were not white supremacist.

    If I heard something vile and the vileness was expressed in a legal fashion — a parade with a permit, an invitation to a campus — I would not use or advocate using extra-legal, or even inconsistent, means to shut it down, but respond in accordance with my recognized right to speech and expression of ideas.

  45. 45
    john_a_designer says:

    Jonathan Haidt who is anything but a dyed-in-the-wool conservative (he appears describe himself as a liberal Liberal) said this in an article that was republished recently in the National Review.

    When we look back at the ways our ancestors lived, there’s no getting around it: we are tribal primates. We are exquisitely designed and adapted by evolution for life in small societies with intense, animistic religion and violent intergroup conflict over territory. We love tribal living so much that we invented sports, fraternities, street gangs, fan clubs, and tattoos. Tribalism is in our hearts and minds. We’ll never stamp it out entirely, but we can minimize its effects because we are a behaviorally flexible species. We can live in many different ways, from egalitarian hunter-gatherer groups of 50 individuals to feudal hierarchies binding together millions. And in the last two centuries, a lot of us have lived in large, multi-ethnic secular liberal democracies. So clearly that is possible. But how much margin of error do we have in such societies?

    Here is the fine-tuned liberal democracy hypothesis: As tribal primates, human beings are unsuited for life in large, diverse secular democracies, unless you get certain settings finely adjusted to make possible the development of stable political life. This seems to be what the Founding Fathers believed. Jefferson, Madison, and the rest of those 18th-century deists clearly did think that designing a constitution was like designing a giant clock, a clock that might run forever if they chose the right springs and gears.

    Haidt is alarmed by the way illiberal tribalism has begun to take over our democratic institutions– the media, higher education and government. Can a diverse multi-ethnic culture like we find in the United States survive a resurrected form of tribalism? If the trends continue the way they have been going for the last the last 50 years, the answer, in my opinion, is NO.

    It appears to me that those on the secular progressive left have gone all in with tribal identity politics. Despite claims to the contrary, they really don’t have arguments based on reason, facts, evidence, logic and truth; rather it’s a commitment to group-think– “we are reasonable and right because of who we are.” Again that kind of group-think was/is also typical of Marxists and Fascists. That should be no surprise, much of the secular-progressive left is made up of cultural Marxists. Haidt appears to agree with me:

    Today’s identity politics has another interesting feature: It teaches students to think in a way antithetical to what a liberal-arts education should do. When I was at Yale in the 1980s, I was given so many tools for understanding the world. By the time I graduated, I could think about things as a Utilitarian or a Kantian, as a Freudian or a behaviorist, as a computer scientist or a humanist. I was given many lenses to apply to any one situation. But nowadays, students who liberal major in departments that prioritize social justice over the disinterested pursuit of truth are given just one lens — power — and told to apply it to all situations. Everything is about power.* Every situation is to be analyzed in terms of the bad people acting to preserve their power and privilege over the good people. This is not an education. This is induction into a cult, a fundamentalist religion, a paranoid worldview that separates people from each other and sends them down the road to alienation, anxiety, and intellectual impotence.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ge-outrage

    (*Emphasis added.)

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    To the man whose toolbox only contains a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  47. 47
    Molson Bleu says:

    “MB, pardon but we are dealing with realities not idealised peaceful objections. People have been hospitalised after mayhem. A hosting professor was hospitalised. People were sprayed in the face with who knows what witch’s brew of chemicals for the crime of trying to attend a speech and speaking to the press.”

    And we have laws against these things. Did the police not follow up on any of these things?

    “The “punch a nazi” tactic is a symptom of dehumanisation and demonisation leading to violence that shows the need to actually correct the common, false impression that Nazism means “right wing” — so, no, your shut discussion down gambit fails. ”

    We agree that people who use this sort of tactic, regardless of what end of the spectrum they are from, are acting dishonestly. I don’t know why you keep bringing it up.

    “There has been arson and destruction of property, and more. ”

    People break the law. We know this. That is why we have laws. If none of these violations were being investigated or prosecuted, I would agree that there is a big problem, supported by corruption at the highest levels. But I don’t see that.

    “Something has gone seriously wrong and there is need to respond to it across the board.”

    But how do you propose that we respond? Many of these violent incidents start out as peaceful protests that either get out of hand or are infiltrated by instigators who are intent on violence. The only way I can see that you can prevent any of this from happening is to ban all protests. The only other alternative is to ensure that security is in place for events and that the courts vigorously prosecute any people resorting to violence.

  48. 48
    Molson Bleu says:

    “What if is was a black supremacist? Or a Muslim supremacist? Would you still have the same courage of conviction?”

    Yes.

    “If I heard something vile and the vileness was expressed in a legal fashion — a parade with a permit, an invitation to a campus — I would not use or advocate using extra-legal, or even inconsistent, means to shut it down, but respond in accordance with my recognized right to speech and expression of ideas.”

    I was not suggesting doing anything extra-legal.

  49. 49
    tribune7 says:

    MB

    –I was not suggesting doing anything extra-legal.–

    The concerns expressed about stopping speech involve extra-legal action — including violence and threats of physical violence.

    –Did the police not follow up on any of these things?–

    Well, they let it happen. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/.....079307.php

  50. 50
    Molson Bleu says:

    “The concerns expressed about stopping speech involve extra-legal action — including violence and threats of physical violence.”

    Protesting and out-shouting a speaker in a public venue is not extra-legal. If it goes beyond that, then they are breaking the law and should be treated accordingly.

    “Well, they let it happen. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..079307.php”

    I didn’t flow these events in great depth, but if the police really did sit back and do nothing, then that is definitely wrong and points towards a deeper problem involving corruption. However, if it was a case where they were ill prepared to deal with what happened, and delayed until they had the tools and resources to properly intervene, then it speaks more to bad planning. I would hope that it was the latter.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    MB, at UC Berkeley, police were on ordered stand-down. I have a post up from the time that shows officers, some in riot gear inside the locked student union while chaos was going on outside. Including face-spraying, mayhem and arson as well as destroying store fronts and IIRC at least one ATM machine. Police later escorted out and away the speaker. Others have been like that. The punch a nazi tactic is not a matter of agreement or disagreement that it is wrong, it is where things have been heading. I don’t know if people realise just how dangerous a crowd can be, a 3-inch blade in the wrong place and it’s curtains. A fist may contain a wrench, so a “punch” is hitting with a lethal blunt instrument, and more. Someone was hit in the head IIRC with a bicycle padlock with one of those long steel loops and a metal lock body — a lethal weapon. What has been further happening is a cultivation of street level agitation and violent intimidation, amplified through media and cast to make favoured sides seem acceptable, with a parallel scheme in government and law. The protests we have seen are not initially peaceful and infiltrated, the infiltration is the fish in the sea tactic, where Anti fa especially have obviously been organised for years and trained in identifiable swarm tactics for at least months, e.g. the first confrontation is usually initiated by a physically small woman, who may snatch something of value and lure out, or may distract while a squad encircles to take down and beat; mayhem being part of that game — and that is one “accident” of a head hitting a kerb edge away from murder. A lot of really dangerous stuff has been going on. KF

  52. 52
    tribune7 says:

    –Protesting and out-shouting a speaker in a public venue is not extra-legal.–

    Physical violence is but even if you shout down an invited speaker in auditorium you are crossing an important line.

  53. 53
    Molson Bleu says:

    “Physical violence is but even if you shout down an invited speaker in auditorium you are crossing an important line.”

    What line is that? There is nothing stopping the speaker and the crowd shouting me down. Or security could escort me out if it was a private event. There are also disturbing the peace laws.

  54. 54
    tribune7 says:

    –What line is that? There is nothing stopping the speaker and the crowd shouting me down.–

    The line that leads to violence. The line that leads to your — maybe legitimate ideas — getting shouted down because they are unpopular.

    You really don’t get this?

  55. 55
    Molson Bleu says:

    “You really don’t get this?”

    No, I get it. But I want people to look past the emotional. Many of the improvements in society have been the result of protests that people were initially opposed to at a gut level. And, sadly, some of them resulted in violence. Are we so sure that we know what is “right” today that we want to stifle the protests? I’m not.

    When right to life proponents assemble, it is as sure as clockwork that there will be a pro-choice counter assembly. Each trying to shout each other down. What is wrong with that? Who decides which side has the right to be heard?

    When the KKK marches, there will inevitably be counter protesters trying to disrupt their plans. What would really worry me is if the KKK marched and everyone sat on their hands out of fear of violating their free speech rights. Silence is the enemy, not noise.

  56. 56
    tribune7 says:

    –But I want people to look past the emotional. —

    You mean like someone saying something unpopular and an angry throng trying to lynch them?

    –When the KKK marches, there will inevitably be counter protesters trying to disrupt their plans.–

    When the Civil Rights people march there will inevitable be counter protesters trying to disrupt their plans.

  57. 57
    Molson Bleu says:

    “You mean like someone saying something unpopular and an angry throng trying to lynch them?”

    You and Kairosfocus keep bringing it back to violence. That is not the inevitable outcome of protest. If it gets to violence then those responsible should be prosecuted according to the law. I have been very clear on this.

    “When the Civil Rights people march there will inevitable be counter protesters trying to disrupt their plans.”

    Probably. Should we just prevent this or allowed them to demonstrate their irrationality as long as they do it peacefully? If someone tries to shout down someone else, they quickly lose credibility if they are irrational. Why not let them do so? However, in some circumstances, the protesters (shouters) have the more rational arguments. Why should they be silenced?

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    MB,

    for cause we are NOT talking about legitimate protest within the ambit of the civil peace of justice. There is a reality out there, cultural marxism [often, in academic circles, critical theory]; which comes from the Frankfurt/Columbia school, has had a significant branch-off through Alinsky et al, and which has had enormous and in many ways damaging impact.

    Going back centuries, we have had agit-prop, which was formalised as a system by those kissing cousins, the Bolsheviks and Nazis [who cooperated on a lot of things, including development of modern blitzkrieg type warfare]. This sort of thing actually has ancient roots as Plato’s parable of the mutinous ship of state discusses.

    One of the key features of this is the spiral of silenc[ing] phenomenon, which gives a way to manipulate expressed opinion and its climate through intimidation and worse. This is the context in which Trib and I are pointing out that we have had ugly developments centred on the politically correct agendas on campuses, now spilling out into the streets. And the very same Agit-Prop tactics that I became all too familiar with coming from communists in my uni seeking to foment revolution are now routinely at work.

    The street theatre and bully-boy black-shirt games are one level. They are picked up by frankly enabling or outright complicit media and are sanitised by using demonising tactics and suppressing reporting of pouncing on and committing mayhem against those they swarm down. The media feed the opinion climate of those who are led to imagine they are supporters of progress confronting nazis and it is excusable to see a few punch a nazi cases. Or worse: my aunt was murdered in her shop by a self-appointed price control vigilante incited through a spokeswoman for a communist front group who invited such action. Then, after the murder she went back on air to pretend that she had not incited and enabled cold-blooded murder.

    Running in parallel, lawfare games and abuses of regulatory and policing power are creating precedents that historically have often led to outright police states.

    The predictable onward issue of the chaos is the emergence of the political superman [or these days, woman or some other “gender”] messiah figure who is larger than life and bigger than normal law. Then, we blend in economic chaos and the call for controls, which as von Mises points out both feeds the chaos and seems to be the solution. The totalitarian police state is then only a short few steps away.

    So, the first point is that in any reasonably democratic society or even just a lawful state, riot is without excuse. Mob censorship is incipient riot, where, the shout-down and lockout games are precisely mob censorship. The opportunity to mount a counter demonstration or lecture or investigative splash piece are all there and skills and technologies are readily accessible so WHY shout-down and silence becomes a very serious question indeed on motives and agendas of those pushing the mob. Likewise, as the Town-Clerk of Ephesus [effectively, appointed Mayor] pointed out to the mob stirred up by the silversmith guild, if you have a dispute that rises to the level of tort, the courts are there.

    In my recent experience when slandered in parliament and facing leaders there not willing to exert parliamentary discipline, I paid to air a reply on radio. When I was threatened and responsible leadership of the party in question would not address the matter, I reported to the police who warned the would-be bully-boy. When his friends tried more, I warned them they too would be reported, and they backed off.

    There is never a justification in any responsible polity to shout down, much less mob, beat, commit mayhem, indulge in arson and the like.

    Likewise, playing the game of delegitimising responsible political alternatives through smears and slanders amplified by a complicit media is exceedingly dangerous.

    Worse, is the rising trend of assuming that your side is the only legitimate winner of elections.

    Down THAT road lies civil war.

    And more.

    We are playing ignorantly with exceedingly dangerous matches.

    KF

    PS: Plato’s parable of the ship of state — how the first democracy failed:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

  59. 59
    tribune7 says:

    –You and Kairosfocus keep bringing it back to violence.–

    Because that’s what the extant problem is.

    –However, in some circumstances, the protesters (shouters) have the more rational arguments. Why should they be silenced?–

    Because the one who gets to determine what is a rational argument is the one who gets to control speech.

    You think Nazis and the KKK should not be allowed to express their views. How about communists? People wearing Che shirts? Muslims? Christians? Satanists? Male-hating potty mouths?

    All speech has to be defended. The only stipulation is that it follow protocol for necessary public order, and this limitation must be universal, consistent and non-discriminatory.

    If a group organizes to disrupt public order to stop a speaker who is following the rules, then the group and its organizers are the ones who must be subject to discipline, not the speaker.

  60. 60
    Molson Bleu says:

    “Because the one who gets to determine what is a rational argument is the one who gets to control speech.”

    Of course not. It is up to the people listening who determine the rationality of the argument.

    “All speech has to be defended. The only stipulation is that it follow protocol for necessary public order, and this limitation must be universal, consistent and non-discriminatory.”

    I disagree. All thought is protected, but there are limitations on speech. People are not allowed to slander others. People are not allowed to incite violence. Frankly, I would have no problem making organizations like the KKK, Aryan Nation, Neo-Nazis, etc. illegal and not allowing them to speak in public.

  61. 61
    tribune7 says:

    –Of course not. It is up to the people listening who determine the rationality of the argument.–

    But that means they have to listen which means the speaker gets to speak.

    — People are not allowed to slander others.–

    In the U.S. they are. Slander is not illegal. It’s a civil matter, which for public figures is almost impossible to win a judgement.

    –People are not allowed to incite violence.–

    Inciting violence directly endangers necessary public order and the principle is (should be) agnostic to the beliefs of the one doing the inciting.

    –Frankly, I would have no problem making organizations like the KKK, Aryan Nation, Neo-Nazis, etc. illegal and not allowing them to speak in public.–

    And the communists? Black Lives Matter? Antifa?

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