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Thread: Is there anything left of The Left?

  1. #161
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Depends on how one understand the left-right dichotomy. The key distinction is concept of individual liberty - in context of which it becomes increasingly obvious that differences between figures like Hitler, Lenin or Mao were mainly symbolic.
    I think not too many would understand the left-right dichotomy that way. We do not have to consider the Nazis to highlight that. Conservatives are generally considered right wing, yet in terms of individual freedom you would end up classifying them as left wing. It is in those quarters that one typically finds opposition against such things as gay marriage, abortion, legalization of drugs and while they are usually not against the free market, they are not ideologically or practically committed to it either. It seems to me that in your dichotomy, you'd find anarchists on one side and everybody else on the other. While that is not an invalid dimension (see the political compass) it is at the very least confusing to re-define that axis as the left-right one (and what remains of the traditional left right one?).
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  2. #162

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    This is the least complicated way of framing the l/r dichotomy as it is generally applied.



    This is the historical/original way of framing it.

    Last edited by ep1c_fail; November 21, 2019 at 06:35 AM.

  3. #163
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    @Epic, I think that image is instructive, but with a a few caveats: IMHO this is the European way of framing left-right.

    I think the American way has at least one important difference and that is the assumption that the power that constrains people, official or not, is something one can agree to have more or less of, and that this is an important political choice.

    I think Europeans are historically inclined to see power struggles much more as a zero sum game, with the most important political question being who has it, and by consequence who does not

    Perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that during the US' formative years, low power environments could be sustained by occupying new lands and through the remoteness of Europe. Personally I think once you run out of room to escape, a low power environment is inherently unstable. It's not possible to be 'pacifist' about it and hope that unofficial power will not evolve into official power in a way that is not dissimilar to the processes that shaped medieval Europe.
    "Lay these words to heart, Lucilius, that you may scorn the pleasure which comes from the applause of the majority. Many men praise you; but have you any reason for being pleased with yourself, if you are a person whom the many can understand?" - Lucius Annaeus Seneca -

  4. #164

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Muizer View Post
    @Epic, I think that image is instructive, but with a a few caveats: IMHO this is the European way of framing left-right.

    I think the American way has at least one important difference and that is the assumption that the power that constrains people, official or not, is something one can agree to have more or less of, and that this is an important political choice.

    I think Europeans are historically inclined to see power struggles much more as a zero sum game, with the most important political question being who has it, and by consequence who does not

    Perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that during the US' formative years, low power environments could be sustained by occupying new lands and through the remoteness of Europe. Personally I think once you run out of room to escape, a low power environment is inherently unstable. It's not possible to be 'pacifist' about it and hope that unofficial power will not evolve into official power in a way that is not dissimilar to the processes that shaped medieval Europe.
    The issue of authoritarianism is not directly addressed by the left-right dichotomy, but it is assumed that the further to extremes you go the more authoritarianism there will be.

  5. #165
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    The issue of authoritarianism is not directly addressed by the left-right dichotomy, ... .
    Originally, it was defined with the Right. Speaking of Europe, from where the l/r dichotomy comes (i would call it rather spectrum), it first changed post WW1, as radical (leninist/violence and social-democrat/parliament) revolution took over power above the former quasi feudal order.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    , but it is assumed that the further to extremes you go the more authoritarianism there will be.
    In general, yes, can be signed as such.

    Under the line but, it depends on how one defines authoritarianism.

    And further more, which degree is acceptable and/or required to hold up a functional society and states structure and to what degree it is even urgently needed for a survival. And not at last, how and by whom it is controlled, and also examined/consulted.

    I think it is clear, that the proponents of the conservative right historically is the side which aims/ed to keep the status quo*, and the proponents of the progressive left aims/ed to break the status quo.

    Todays rule of law* is a result of that process, which more or less successfully was won by the left. Focusing here again on Europe, the civil society is effectively the result. There is latest since post WW2 no state, that has not socialist elements. It needed but two world wars, that political leaders started to understand, that diplomacy, compromises, conventions, treaties and lots of law changes were/are required to keep piece, inside and outside. These properties require authoritarianism as well.

    * these of course need further definition/elaboration, and is extremely complex.

    Needless to mention, a libertarian and an anarchist will see (acceptable) authoritarianism wholly different to all others. Same for a nationalist or the right-extreme, a fascist and the center guys, a moderate conservative and social-democrat or just the extreme-left, a real-socialist labeled as communist.
    Last edited by DaVinci; November 22, 2019 at 08:17 AM.
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  6. #166
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    If the "norm" is defined as the tradition which has affected the most people, covered the largest geographical area and had the biggest impact on global history, then it is simply a matter of proper categorisation to define the Marxist-Leninist model as the socialist "norm".
    Fascism affected the lives of millions across the world, yet fascism isn’t the conservative norm. The norm for the right is conservatism, just as the norm for the left is socialism (with local variations in labels, for example the moderate right in Germany are Christian Democrats).

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    You have criticised me (and others) for having supposedly conflated socialism and communism. Since communism is a form of socialism, the categorization of communists as socialists is valid.
    Yes, I made this criticism. It’s true that some describe communism as a form of socialism, I can see where this is coming from. If someone claimed that fascism is the normal form of conservatism, conservatives would rightly object. Similarly, it seems reasonable to object when people talk of Communism as socialism while dismissing references to mainstream socialism as if this is a deviation from the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    My comment about the sporadic appearance of socialism in western Europe was a reference to its electoral performances and general subservience to liberalism/market economics, not to its entire political existence.
    If you agree that socialism has existed continuously, it wouldn’t make sense to claim that it was sporadic.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    2. The NSDAP's eradication of independent unions and centralization of labour representation was entirely in keeping with the. This necessarily eliminates your argument that socialist organizations must be committed to autonomous unions.
    You accuse them of following the ‘authoritarian Marxist-Leninist tradition’; the Nazis weren't Communists, at the 1926 Bamberg Conference Hitler made it clear that he wouldn’t tolerate Communism:

    Hitler made a two-hour speech in which he stated where he stood: that expropriation of the estates would push the party along the road of communism and that he could not tolerate anything that would help “communist-inspired movements”. - CN Trueman, The Bamberg Conference of 1926
    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    Firstly, there is no such thing as "ordinary conservatism" or "ordinary socialism". The manifestation of both philosophies is entirely contingent on historical context. An "ordinary conservative" in 18th century Arabia is not the same as an "ordinary conservative" in modern Canada; an "ordinary" socialist in interwar Russia is not the same as an "ordinary" socialist in an English railway union.
    Of course, conservative and socialist policies vary in different times and places, this is part of my argument. For example, usually privatisation is a conservative policy, and nationalisation is a socialist policy – however, after the Great Depression it was normal for governments of both the left and right to own industries. Despite this, the Nazis carried out a privatisation programme. Soon after taking power, they sold over half of their 52% majority stake in United Steel (down to 25%), so they no longer had privileges in company control. In 1936 the Nazi government sold its shares, worth around Rm 100 million, to the United Steel Association. Similarly, the Nazis privatised businesses in mining, banking, local public utilities, shipyards, shipping lines and railways. Public services such as social and labour-related services previously delivered by the government were transferred to the private sector. (source: Germa Bel, Against the mainstream: Nazi privatization in 1930s Germany). By these actions, the Nazis used right-wing economic policies when mainstream conservative leaders weren’t doing so.

    In reply, you might argue that the Nazis only used privatisation because it was useful - and I’ve argued that governments use policies from a different political perspective when they’re popular or useful. It’s true that the Nazis could have sold enterprises to raise money for military spending. If you make this argument, then you’ll be accepting the principle that governments sometimes use policies because they’re popular or useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    You stated that:

    "I've argued for treating both sides in the same way, by distinguishing the normal - socialists and conservatives - from the extremes - Communists and fascists."

    This statement seemed to imply that you believe National Socialism to be a form of extreme conservatism.
    Nazism is fascism; I’d call it extreme right, not extreme conservative. Mainstream conservatives oppose fascism, just as mainstream socialists oppose Communism. Calling it ‘extreme conservative’ would be unfair to conservatives. On the right as well as the left, the extreme is not the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    I responded to it by claiming that "categorising it [Nazism] as a form of extreme conservatism as though it were an expression of Bismarckian autocracy characterised by Lutheranism and an adherence to Prussian monarchism, is wrong."
    You misrepresented my argument, by implying that it was anything like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    The point being made was not that you had compared Bismarckian monarchism (if such a term is allowed to exist) to Nazism, but that extreme conservatism in interwar Germany looked like Bismarckian monarchism/ardent Kaiserism not Nazism.
    The existence of conservative groups doesn’t prevent the Nazis from being fascists. Fascism, not believing in a monarchy, is the usual definition of the extreme right.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    The NSDAP didn't only use "some socialist policies". Their intention of harnessing the German collective to topple the global hierarchy, destroy international capitalism, redistribute Europe's land and resources to the Reich and create an autarkic, spiritually irreproachable society was itself an expression of revolutionary Marxism which had reinvented class as a racial categorization. At its core, Hitlerism was a subcategory of socialism which understood the "people's community" through a prism of ethnonationalism.
    Labelling mobilisation for war as ‘collective’ doesn’t make something Communist. Churchill, a conservative, harnessed the collective power of Britain for war. Both the right and the left used higher public spending to recover from the Great Depression.

    Labelling invasions as ‘redistribution’ doesn’t make the invaders socialists. If redistributing the ‘land and resources’ of other countries to your nation makes you a socialist, then every invader in history was a socialist, which would be absurd.

    With your claim that the Nazis ‘reinvented class', you're hand-waving over the difference between class and race. Wanting decent treatment for workers isn't the same thing as wanting a race-based state.

    You wrote that the Nazis wanted an autarkic society; they did. Wanting self-sufficiency isn’t the same thing as opposing capitalism:
    Even with respect to its own war- and autarky-related investment projects, the state did not normally use power to secure the unconditional support of industry. Rather, freedom of contract was respected. However, the state tried to induce firms to act according to its aims by offering them a number of contract options to choose from - Christoph Buchheim and Jonas Scherner, The Role of Private Property in the Nazi Economy: The Case of Industry, The Journal of Economic History, Vol 66 No 2, June 2006, p. 395
    You claimed that the Nazis wanted to “destroy international capitalism”. They didn’t even destroy capitalism in Germany:

    Private property rights and entrepreneurial autonomy were not abolished during the Third Reich - Christoph Buchheim and Jonas Scherner, p. 403
    They not only didn’t ‘destroy … capitalism’, they sold state enterprises in a decade when state ownership of industries was normal for Western countries.

    Intead of pursuing 'Revolutionary Marxism' as you claimed, the Nazis ran a capitalist economy which was quite similar to the economies of the Western allies:

    … the economies of Germany and the Western Allies still were quite similar, as they all were basically capitalist – Christoph Buchheim and Jonas Scherner, pp 404 -405
    You’re throwing words which people associate with socialism, such as ‘collective’, ‘redistribution’ and ‘class’ at the Nazis - like throwing mud, hoping that some of it will stick. Both conservatives and socialists used public works programmes after the Great Depression. Both conservatives and socialists used the collective strength of their countries in the war. The redistribution of an invaded country’s land to the invader isn’t the sort of redistribution which socialists ask for.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    To reduce the socialist elements of National Socialism down to the Reinhardt schemes and to claim that Churchill's temporary appropriation of a civilian, market economy for war purposes was somehow comparable to the Nazi's centrally-planned, "utopian" fantasy is to misunderstand the essence of German nationalism and its confrontation with the liberal West and Soviet Empire.
    You’re implying that the economies of Nazi Germany and the Western allies were more different than they were.
    Last edited by Alwyn; November 23, 2019 at 06:41 AM.

  7. #167
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Well, to all this, one can still mention, that the NSDAP was financed by industry capital/capitalists almost form the getgo. Without them, Hitler and his propaganda success was not possible.
    But that is not even really the point, while it clearly underlines, where the ideological supporters and stirrup helpers were: A group of national conservative capitalists who ran some panic versus socialism in Weimar, aside to money from outside of Germany as well (shall we go into details here?). Btw., besides the capital support, many aristocratic militarists, originally monarchists, supported Hitler and his movement.

    But even Lenin aka the Bolshevists were financed by the German Kaiserreich during WW1. In other words, there was no bolshevist taking over of the Russian (Zar) regime, without money from the German monarchy.
    This is indeed pretty ironic, almost a funny historical anecdote, but true. Even so, that the German Kaiserreich then gave money to both, the White and the Red army for a period of time. Of course, short later, the Kaiserreich distanced itself from the Bolshevists and closed the support and the relations.
    Last edited by DaVinci; November 23, 2019 at 07:24 AM.
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  8. #168

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    So Lenin wasn't a socialist now? We are diving into "real socialism has never been tried" stupidity lake again. Someone get a periscope.

  9. #169

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Fascism affected the lives of millions across the world, yet fascism isn’t the conservative norm. The norm for the right is conservatism, just as the norm for the left is socialism (with local variations in labels, for example the moderate right in Germany are Christian Democrats).
    National Socialism was not a form of conservatism. The fact that both conservatism and National Socialism can be placed on the political right does not mean that they belong to the same school of thought. This is one of the many reasons why the l/r dichotomy (or spectrum as DaVinci would have it) is a fundamentally unreliable way of thinking about history and politics.

    Yes, I made this criticism. It’s true that some describe communism as a form of socialism, I can see where this is coming from. If someone claimed that fascism is the normal form of conservatism, conservatives would rightly object. Similarly, it seems reasonable to object when people talk of Communism as socialism while dismissing references to mainstream socialism as if this is a deviation from the norm.
    Communism is an expression of socialism. This is not a disputable point. The references you made to "mainstream socialism" are not relevant because no one is arguing that National Socialism followed, or is representative of, the parliamentary/democratic branch of socialism. On the contrary, the claim has been that it belongs to the revolutionary branch of the ideology.



    If you agree that socialism has existed continuously, it wouldn’t make sense to claim that it was sporadic.
    As I've just clarified, I was referring to its time in power as "sporadic". The strands of European socialism which remain electorally relevant are market based and primarily dedicated to welfarism (increasing minimum standards of income, health and education) rather than to redistributing the means of wealth production and seriously competing with the bourgeoisie.

    You accuse them of following the ‘authoritarian Marxist-Leninist tradition’; the Nazis weren't Communists, at the 1926 Bamberg Conference Hitler made it clear that he wouldn’t tolerate Communism
    The NSDAP's adoption of the Leninist approach to union centralization isn't being presented as evidence that the Nazi Party was communist: it is being used to show that the absence of independent unions does not prove an absence of socialsm.
    Of course, conservative and socialist policies vary in different times and places, this is part of my argument.
    Your intent was to show that since National Socialism did not belong to your interpretation of "ordinary" socialism, it could not be considered as socialist at all. That line of reasoning has been rebuked.

    For example, usually privatisation is a conservative policy, and nationalisation is a socialist policy – however, after the Great Depression it was normal for governments of both the left and right to own industries. Despite this, the Nazis carried out a privatisation programme. Soon after taking power, they sold over half of their 52% majority stake in United Steel (down to 25%), so they no longer had privileges in company control. In 1936 the Nazi government sold its shares, worth around Rm 100 million, to the United Steel Association. Similarly, the Nazis privatised businesses in mining, banking, local public utilities, shipyards, shipping lines and railways. Public services such as social and labour-related services previously delivered by the government were transferred to the private sector. (source: Germa Bel, Against the mainstream: Nazi privatization in 1930s Germany). By these actions, the Nazis used right-wing economic policies when mainstream conservative leaders weren’t doing so.

    In reply, you might argue that the Nazis only used privatisation because it was useful - and I’ve argued that governments use policies from a different political perspective when they’re popular or useful. It’s true that the Nazis could have sold enterprises to raise money for military spending. If you make this argument, then you’ll be accepting the principle that governments sometimes use policies because they’re popular or useful.
    I have not claimed that governments don't "sometimes use policies because they're popular or useful", that the NSDAP adopted a rigid ideological approach to the procurement of resources in the 1930s or even that the party's domestic agenda was hostile toward private ownership (with some key caveats) and national markets.

    Your mistake is in assuming that the sale of industrial assets, usually to party loyalists or apologists, put those assets outside of the state's control and within the bounds of the free market. VSt. (United Steel), for instance, donated to the Nazi Party prior to the 1933 takeover and was a key supplier of materials and ordinance during the war. The idea that Hitler's "privatization" schemes followed a Reaganite philosophy of limited government free market expansionism is simply false.

    Nazism is fascism; I’d call it extreme right, not extreme conservative. Mainstream conservatives oppose fascism, just as mainstream socialists oppose Communism. Calling it ‘extreme conservative’ would be unfair to conservatives. On the right as well as the left, the extreme is not the norm.
    Calling it extreme conservatism wouldn't be "unfair", it would be a misnomer.

    You misrepresented my argument, by implying that it was anything like that.
    For Nazism to have resembled extreme conservatism, it would have had to have looked like a form of Bismarckian monarchism - which it most certainly did not.

    The existence of conservative groups doesn’t prevent the Nazis from being fascists. Fascism, not believing in a monarchy, is the usual definition of the extreme right.
    To reiterate: the fact that both Nazism and extreme-conservatism belong to the far-right does not mean that both belong to the same school of thought.

    Labelling mobilisation for war as ‘collective’ doesn’t make something Communist. Churchill, a conservative, harnessed the collective power of Britain for war.
    No one has argued that mobilisation is tantamount to communism. As I stated in my previous reply, Churchill's temporary appropriation of the Empire's market economy for war purposes is not the same as the NSDAP's general appropriation of German society to promote the Nazi revolution. Unlike the English and Americans, the NSDAP were committed collectivists who prioritized group-based solutions and interests over those of the individual.

    Both the right and the left used higher public spending to recover from the Great Depression.
    This is not a question of left and right: it is a question of whether the NSDAP were socialists.

    Labelling invasions as ‘redistribution’ doesn’t make the invaders socialists. If redistributing the ‘land and resources’ of other countries to your nation makes you a socialist, then every invader in history was a socialist, which would be absurd.
    Framing the Second World War as just another aristocratic/imperialist land grab is a mistake. The land and resources which the NSDAP aimed to acquire were not meant to be transferred from one elite to another. The party's economic intentions can be summarized in this way: (1) to reunite the German nation into a single polity; (2) to redistribute eastern lands from Slavic natives to German settlers; (3) to invest the great wealth and assets of Europe into the greater German community with a mind to elevating the German people; (4) to eradicate the so-called "degeneracy" of both international consumerism and international communism; (5) to break free of the external constraints of the international community (autarky) by ensuring the Reich's access to vital strategic resources and arable land.

    With your claim that the Nazis ‘reinvented class', you're hand-waving over the difference between class and race. Wanting decent treatment for workers isn't the same thing as wanting a race-based state.
    1. The idea of "class" is not, and has never been, limited to financial/employment status: racialism and in-group cooperation has been heart of social categorization (aka class) dating back to the Israelites' enslavement in Egypt. The NSDAP applied Aryan race theory within a revolutionary Marxist framework to create German National Socialism.

    2. Socialism cannot be reduced down to milquetoast statements about "wanting decent treatment for workers"; influential social reformers existed in conservative, liberal and independent organizations (and governments) long before labor movements acquired parliamentary representation. Characterizing great 19th century social reformers like Shaftesbury, Wilberforce, Peel, Lincoln, Alexander II Romanov and Bismarck (all of whom belonged to conservative and/or Christian movements) as "socialists" would be inappropriate.

    You wrote that the Nazis wanted an autarkic society; they did. Wanting self-sufficiency isn’t the same thing as opposing capitalism:

    You claimed that the Nazis wanted to “destroy international capitalism”. They didn’t even destroy capitalism in Germany

    They not only didn’t ‘destroy … capitalism’, they sold state enterprises in a decade when state ownership of industries was normal for Western countries.
    The NSDAP - much like market socialists - was not opposed to private property or the exchange of goods for currency so long as such ownership/transactions contributed to the health of the ethnostate. What the party opposed was the bourgeois mentality (that profit should come before community), the influence of so-called "Jewish bankers" (international lenders) and the control that global community was able to exert over the Reich via its monopoly on certain strategic resources and geographic areas.

    Intead of pursuing 'Revolutionary Marxism' as you claimed, the Nazis ran a capitalist economy which was quite similar to the economies of the Western allies
    An economic model planned around, and reliant upon, the idea of an Alexandrian scale conquest which demanded the mobilization of the entire society and insisted on the annihilation/enslavement of entire ethnic groups is not what I would describe as "capitalist". The party's allowance of monetary exchange and the ownership of private property/businesses (again with caveats) within the domestic arena does not mean that they tolerated freedom of enterprise, fair competition or consumer choice. Under no circumstances is it appropriate to argue that the German economy under the NSDAP was guided by free market principles.

    You’re throwing words which people associate with socialism, such as ‘collective’, ‘redistribution’ and ‘class’ at the Nazis - like throwing mud, hoping that some of it will stick. Both conservatives and socialists used public works programmes after the Great Depression. Both conservatives and socialists used the collective strength of their countries in the war. The redistribution of an invaded country’s land to the invader isn’t the sort of redistribution which socialists ask for.
    The ideas of collectivism, redistribution and class warfare (that is racial class) were fundamental aspects of National Socialist theory. We know this because, as I have explained, they sought and fought an all encompassing, revolutionary war on the basis of these ideas. The fact that European (though certainly not American) paleoconservatives accepted collectivist and redistributive solutions in certain areas of policy making does not mean that their general philosophy was driven by these ideas.

    You’re implying that the economies of Nazi Germany and the Western allies were more different than they were.
    National Socialist economic ideology was remarkably different from that of the English and Americans. The fact that Hitler was never in a position to enact most of his fantasies doesn't mean that either he, or his party, were free-market liberals who recognized the power of the individual autonomy in the market place.
    Last edited by ep1c_fail; November 25, 2019 at 10:36 PM.

  10. #170
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    National Socialism was not a form of conservatism. The fact that both conservatism and National Socialism can be placed on the political right does not mean that they belong to the same school of thought. This is one of the many reasons why the l/r dichotomy (or spectrum as DaVinci would have it) is a fundamentally unreliable way of thinking about history and politics.
    We agree that Nazism isn't mainstream conservatism. It’s fascism - extreme right, not conservative.

    Previously, you presented a diagram showing how you see the political spectrum, from revolutionism to monarchism:



    The Cambridge English Dictionary defines monarchism as:

    a person who supports the system of having a king or queen
    Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium are monarchies. European monarchies remain monarchies under left-wing and right-wing governments. If your diagram was accurate, they'd all be extreme right, which would be absurd.

    The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines revolutionism as:
    revolutionary acts or practices: revolutionary doctrines or principles : advocacy of such doctrines or principles
    However, revolutions can be from the right or the left, or not particularly aligned to either. A military coup by right-wing officers is a kind of revolution, it isn't an act of the extreme left. The American Revolution was fought for independence from Britain, it wasn't based on extreme-left politics.

    As I see it, the political spectrum runs from Communism to fascism (I use the German terms Social Democrats and Christian Democrats for the centrist views, since we’re talking about Germany):



    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    Communism is an expression of socialism. This is not a disputable point. The references you made to "mainstream socialism" are not relevant because no one is arguing that National Socialism followed, or is representative of, the parliamentary/democratic branch of socialism. On the contrary, the claim has been that it belongs to the revolutionary branch of the ideology.
    You argued that the Nazis were socialist, I argued that they weren't. You then argued that they followed revolutionary Marxism, the extreme left. I'm arguing that Nazism is fascism, the extreme right.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    The NSDAP's adoption of the Leninist approach to union centralization isn't being presented as evidence that the Nazi Party was communist: it is being used to show that the absence of independent unions does not prove an absence of socialsm.
    Both Communists (extreme left) and fascists (extreme right) didn't allow independent trade unions. I showed that there’s a strong historical association between independent trade unions and socialism. I also showed that the Nazis operated a capitalist, not a Communist system.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    Your intent was to show that since National Socialism did not belong to your interpretation of "ordinary" socialism, it could not be considered as socialist at all. That line of reasoning has been rebuked.
    I showed that the Nazis, through the banning of free trade unions and persecution of trade union members, behaved in a way which conflicts with the idea that they were mainstream socialists. You claimed that they expressed "revolutionary Marxism", I showed that they ran a "basically capitalist" economy - not a Communist one. They weren't mainstream socialists or Communists - and we agree that they weren't mainstream conservatives. That leaves the possibility of the extreme right. They were committed to ethnic nationalism, which is consistent with the view that they were extreme right.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    Your mistake is in assuming that the sale of industrial assets, usually to party loyalists or apologists, put those assets outside of the state's control and within the bounds of the free market. VSt. (United Steel), for instance, donated to the Nazi Party prior to the 1933 takeover and was a key supplier of materials and ordinance during the war. The idea that Hitler's "privatization" schemes followed a Reaganite philosophy of limited government free market expansionism is simply false.
    It’s normal for a private company to sell goods to the government or to donate to a political party. That doesn't change the fact that the Nazi government privatised enterprises which had been state-run, in the post-Great Depression period when such enterprises were routinely state-run. Of course, the Nazis didn't follow a Reaganite philosophy, Ronald Reagan was a student and then a radio announcer in this period, his brand of conservatism appeared decades later. If not Reagan's philosophy, whose thinking might have influenced the Nazis? In the 1920s, before the Nazis engaged in their privatisation programme, another European government privatised a series of state-run enterprises - the National Fascist Party government in Italy.

    Privatization was an important policy in Italy in 1922-1925. The Fascist government was alone in transferring State ownership and services to private firms in the 1920s; no other country in the world would engage in such a policy until Nazi Germany did so between 1934 and 1937. - Germa Bel, From Public to Private: Privatization in 1920s Italy


    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    For Nazism to have resembled extreme conservatism, it would have had to have looked like a form of Bismarckian monarchism - which it most certainly did not.
    You are implying that I said that the Nazis represented "extreme conservatism". I said that they're extreme right, not extreme conservative.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    To reiterate: the fact that both Nazism and extreme-conservatism belong to the far-right does not mean that both belong to the same school of thought.
    Thank you, we agree that Nazism belongs to the far right. We also agree that Nazism isn't the same thing as being on the conservative end of mainstream conservatism. Being a Nazis is diffeerent from being a conservative Republican in the United States, for example, just as being a Communist is different from being on the left of the Democrats. With its ethnic nationalism, Nazism is beyond what’s normal for conservatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    No one has argued that mobilisation is tantamount to communism. As I stated in my previous reply, Churchill's temporary appropriation of the Empire's market economy for war purposes is not the same as the NSDAP's general appropriation of German society to promote the Nazi revolution. Unlike the English and Americans, the NSDAP were committed collectivists who prioritized group-based solutions and interests over those of the individual.
    It doesn’t need to be “the same”. I’ve shown that the Nazis ran their economy in a "basically capitalist" way, similar to that of the Western allies.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    This is not a question of left and right: it is a question of whether the NSDAP were socialists.
    That's a contradiction: socialism corresponds to left wing politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    Framing the Second World War as just another aristocratic/imperialist land grab is a mistake. The land and resources which the NSDAP aimed to acquire were not meant to be transferred from one elite to another. The party's economic intentions can be summarized in this way: (1) to reunite the German nation into a single polity; (2) to redistribute eastern lands from Slavic natives to German settlers; (3) to invest the great wealth and assets of Europe into the greater German community with a mind to elevating the German people; (4) to eradicate the so-called "degeneracy" of both international consumerism and international communism; (5) to break free of the external constraints of the international community (autarky) by ensuring the Reich's access to vital strategic resources and arable land.
    I didn't say that the Second World War was "just another aristocratic/imperialist land grab", I said that it wasn't a "revolutionary Marxist" project. It had some similarities to imperialist land grabs (I'm not saying that they’re the same). The leaders of European colonising powers wanted to unite their peoples behind them, redistribute land from natives to European settlers and invest the “wealth and assets” of the Americas and Africa, India and Australia into their communities with a view to elevating the wealth of their peoples. We agree that the Nazis wanted to end international communism. I'm not sure what you mean by “international consumerism”; if you mean that they wanted Germany to be self-sufficient, we agree on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    1. The idea of "class" is not, and has never been, limited to financial/employment status: racialism and in-group cooperation has been heart of social categorization (aka class) dating back to the Israelites' enslavement in Egypt. The NSDAP applied Aryan race theory within a revolutionary Marxist framework to create German National Socialism.
    We agree that class isn't limited to financial or employment status and that racism is linked to poverty. Race (or racialism) isn’t “aka” class, this is hand-waving. Class isn’t race, socialist redistribution of wealth isn’t an Aryan state. Carrying a sign saying “Bread and Roses” or doing trade union work isn’t chanting “Blood and Soil” or carrying out the industrialised murder of minorities. The Nazis operated a “basically capitalist” society, not a “revolutionary Marxist” one.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    2. Socialism cannot be reduced down to milquetoast statements about "wanting decent treatment for workers"; influential social reformers existed in conservative, liberal and independent organizations (and governments) long before labor movements acquired parliamentary representation. Characterizing great 19th century social reformers like Shaftesbury, Wilberforce, Peel, Lincoln, Alexander II Romanov and Bismarck (all of whom belonged to conservative and/or Christian movements) as "socialists" would be inappropriate.
    It's true that there were individual reformers, some motivated by Christianity, before socialist political parties became contenders for government. I haven't characterised the social reformers you listed as socialists, I argued that socialism emerged from opposition to the exploitation of workers and with strong links to the trade union movement.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    An economic model planned around, and reliant upon, the idea of an Alexandrian scale conquest which demanded the mobilization of the entire society and insisted on the annihilation/enslavement of entire ethnic groups is not what I would describe as "capitalist".
    If you're arguing that the Nazis weren't mainstream conservatives, we agree. Most capitalist societies don’t try to kill or enslave entire ethnic groups, there’s nothing in capitalism which requires this. I’m not suggesting that their capitalism was the cause of their mass murder – that was their authoritarian ethnic nationalism. The Nazis ran a capitalist economy and tried to annihilate/ enslave entire ethnic groups, so they’re not mutually exclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    The ideas of collectivism, redistribution and class warfare (that is racial class) were fundamental aspects of National Socialist theory. We know this because, as I have explained, they sought and fought an all encompassing, revolutionary war on the basis of these ideas.
    Their ‘collectivism’ was the collectivism of a modern country which wanted to win a world war. The use of collectivism doesn't show that a group are revolutionary Marxists:

    Collectivism has found varying degrees of expression in the 20th century in such movements as socialism, communism, and fascism - Encyclopedia Britannica,
    Their ‘redistribution’ was similar to that of other imperialist European countries - they redistributed land and wealth from other countries to their own. This wasn’t similar to the redistribution through taxation and public spending which people on the left advocate.

    Their ethnic nationalism was based on race, Communism is based on class.

    You have presented a political spectrum which doesn't work well, as it leads to absurd results, such as classifying constitutional monarchies as extreme right. You have presented the Nazis as socialists when they persecuted socialists, and as "revolutionary Marxists" when they ran a "basically capitalist" economy, following in the example of the fascist government in Italy by privatising state-run enterprises.

    Despite our disagreements, it's encouraging to see that we agree on some points, in particular that "Nazism [belongs] to the far-right".
    Last edited by Alwyn; November 30, 2019 at 04:53 AM.

  11. #171
    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Alwyn if you can’t see that Communism is a form of socialism then this conversation isn’t gonna go far.
    Patronised by Pontifex Maximus

    Quote Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun View Post
    Nope. There is nothing to suggest dramatically that his heart is giving out. His heart attack is a testament to how well he can recover from something like that.

  12. #172
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Alwyn if you can’t see that Communism is a form of socialism then this conversation isn’t gonna go far.
    I criticised the conflation of Communism with socialism. I acknowledged that Communism is an extreme-left view and that it's responsible for the suffering of millions.

    You can see the difference between wanting better funding for schools and hospitals and wanting a nightmarish Communist dictatorship, can't you?

  13. #173

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I acknowledged that Communism is an extreme-left view and that it's responsible for the suffering of millions.
    What millions is Communism responsible for the suffering of?

  14. #174
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infidel144 View Post
    What millions is Communism responsible for the suffering of?
    Are you not aware of the suffering of the people under Soviet rule in Russia?

  15. #175

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Are you not aware of the suffering of the people under Soviet rule in Russia?
    Are you claiming the USSR was communist?

  16. #176

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infidel144 View Post
    Are you claiming the USSR was communist?
    That "real communism was never tried" BS argument again?

    Besides the fact that the "communist utopia" is, in fact, dystopic scenario, the damage was done by the attempted transition to communism through socialism. It's inherently unstable, self-defeating process that results in rise of the oppressive, oligarchic rule and economic detioration.

  17. #177

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    That "real communism was never tried" BS argument again?
    What argument?
    I asked Alwyn if he was claiming the USSR was communist. Do you comprehend the difference?

  18. #178

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infidel144 View Post
    What argument?
    I asked Alwyn if he was claiming the USSR was communist. Do you comprehend the difference?
    Oh, trying to dodge by taking own quotes out of context. How unoriginal.

    Your question, in context as a response to Alwyn's leading question, can only be interpreted as statement that you do not believe that the inhumane treatment of people in USSR had anything to do with communism. Thus, my response, because that's an old and fallacious argument.

  19. #179

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    Oh, trying to dodge by taking own quotes out of context. How unoriginal.
    I'm taking my own quotes out of context? What a stupidly ignorant claim.

    Your question, in context as a response to Alwyn's leading question, can only be interpreted as statement that you do not believe that the inhumane treatment of people in USSR had anything to do with communism.
    You mean that you are only capable of interpreting it that way. But your opinion is utterly worthless, as well as stupidly ignorant.

    Thus, my response, because that's an old and fallacious argument.
    <yawn>

    Now back to my my question to Alwyn:
    Are you claiming the USSR was communist?

  20. #180

    Default Re: Is there anything left of The Left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infidel144 View Post
    I'm taking my own quotes out of context? What a stupidly ignorant claim.


    You mean that you are only capable of interpreting it that way. But your opinion is utterly worthless, as well as stupidly ignorant.


    <yawn>

    Now back to my my question to Alwyn:
    Are you claiming the USSR was communist?
    Yep, because context suddenly became a problem for you, since I argued straight against the most likely line of reasoning that you were going to use. Especially since you've resorted to ad hominem, showing the lack of real arguments.

    Alwyn's question was nothing more than response to your question, only phrased in a manner that subtly implies your ignorance about the topic. Thus you are left with no recourse but to either attempt to cast doubt to the link between communism and USSR-in short, the old "real communism" argument-or admit the ignorance. Thus you went for a question that will lead to the argument whether communism and USSR are really linked...so I skipped ahead.

    So far, you're all empty talk and no argument.
    Last edited by alhoon; December 02, 2019 at 02:43 AM. Reason: not in good faith part removed

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