Friday, December 23, 2005

Dissing the Left

Amongst the nutbars on the right is this particular nasty piece of work; Dissecting the Left who marches out all the old nonsense and stereotypes about the Nazi's being socialists cause they had it in their name. An excellent refutation of this particular odious slander can be found here.

Which is of course the same nonsense unfortunately that some leftists march out about Stalin, that he was a socialist cause Russia was called the Soviet Socialist Republic. Since Soviets (Workers Councils) were already eliminated by 1921, and as Lenin said; 'socialism is state capitalism and electricity', the Bolshevik regime in Russia was state capitalist not socialist.

And so were the later regimes of Mussolini, Hitler and FDR. All were forms of state capitalism, Keyensianism in the Allied nations, fascism in the Axis countries, and Stalinism in Russia. All were historic forms of proping up capitalism. And of course Dissecting the Left has as one of his sources this classic red baiting work;
Friedrich Hayek. The Road to Serfdom: The Socialist Roots of Naziism. Hayek is as bad a historian as he is a political and economic philosopher.

Hitler in his own words defines what he means by National and Social and they have nothing to do with socialism, any more than Mussolini's fascism had anything to do with socialism or his origins in the Anarchist movement in Italy.

'NATIONAL' AND 'SOCIAL' ARE TWO IDENTICAL CONCEPTIONS. It was only the Jew who succeeded, through falsifying the social idea and turning it into Marxism, not only in divorcing the social idea from the national, but in actually representing them as utterly contradictory. That aim he has in fact achieved. At the founding of this Movement we formed the decision that we would give expression to this idea of ours of the identity of the two conceptions: despite all warnings, on the basis of what we had come to believe, on the basis of the sincerity of our will, we christened it ''National Socialist.' We said to ourselves that to be 'national' means above everything to act with a boundless and all-embracing love for the people and, if necessary, even to die for it. And similarly to be 'social' means so to build up the state and the community of the people that every individual acts in the interest of the community of the people and must be to such an extent convinced of the goodness, of the honorable straightforwardness of this community of the people as to be ready to die for it." - Adolf Hitler, Ræða í Munchen, 12. Apríl 1922

Often Karl Marx on the Jewish Question is quoted by these right wing nuts to justify their comparison of the fascist state with socialism. But contrary to the pull quotes they use out of context one should read the whole article.

Political emancipation is, at the same time, the dissolution of the old society on which the state alienated from the people, the sovereign power, is based. What was the character of the old society? It can be described in one word – feudalism. The character of the old civil society was directly political – that is to say, the elements of civil life, for example, property, or the family, or the mode of labor, were raised to the level of elements of political life in the form of seigniory, estates, and corporations. In this form, they determined the relation of the individual to the state as a wholei.e., his political relation, that is, his relation of separation and exclusion from the other components of society. For that organization of national life did not raise property or labor to the level of social elements; on the contrary, it completed their separation from the state as a whole and constituted them as discrete societies within society. Thus, the vital functions and conditions of life of civil society remained, nevertheless, political, although political in the feudal sense – that is to say, they secluded the individual from the state as a whole and they converted the particular relation of his corporation to the state as a whole into his general relation to the life of the nation, just as they converted his particular civil activity and situation into his general activity and situation. As a result of this organization, the unity of the state, and also the consciousness, will, and activity of this unity, the general power of the state, are likewise bound to appear as the particular affair of a ruler isolated from the people, and of his servants.

Fascism and its counter revolution, a reactionary movement against the post WWI revolutionary workers movement, used the terms revolution and socialist, to identify itself with the workers movement, but in reality it was nothing of the kind.

Fascism was a return of fuedalism and the unitary idea of the State as Civil Society and Civil Society as the State. Instead of a King alienated from his people, Hitler and Mussolini used the creation of modern fuedal political state not to emancipate but to return to an earlier form of civil and political society, but with the ruler/Fuerher as the ultimate citizen, a voice of the Volk. In such a unitary state stability was the objective.

Despite the Futurist modernism of Facism, it was always an ideology in search of the past, an architecture of the ancient world, a celebration of the classical, of Rome and the Gothic. After WWI fascism created not a future but a larger than life replication of an idealized fuedal past. A glorious Holy Roman Empire of the Teutonic Knights.

Such a political counter revolution had more in common with Bonaparitism and the election of the French Emperor after the revolution than it had with the modern political state with its contradictions between the individual, the state and civil society.

In this Trotsky was right in defining Stalin and later Mao as Bonapartists, they had more in common with Hitler and Mussolini as Leaderand Soverigns of a new fuedalist movement, where as Luckas points out, the people of the estates have a conciousness of themselves as the state, that the state owes them a living and they owe their living to the state.

Whether these movements will be progressive (as in the French Revolution of 1789 or the Russian Revolution of 1917), or reactionary (as with Napoleon’s coup d’état) will depend on the position of the other classes involved in the conflict, and on the level of consciousness of the parties that lead them. For this reason, too, the ideological form taken by the class consciousness of the peasants changes its content more frequently than that of other classes: this is because it is always borrowed from elsewhere.

And as Marx points out it is the self recognition of ourselves as both individuals and social beings, and the creation of a mutualist society, one that allows for true 'self-government' that is the only way to overcome these contradictions. Not a unitary state which reduces the individual to a social role as citizen, comrade, or the Volk.

The political revolution which overthrew this sovereign power and raised state affairs to become affairs of the people, which constituted the political state as a matter of general concern, that is, as a real state, necessarily smashed all estates, corporations, guilds, and privileges, since they were all manifestations of the separation of the people from the community. The political revolution thereby abolished the political character of civil society. It broke up civil society into its simple component parts; on the one hand, the individuals; on the other hand, the material and spiritual elements constituting the content of the life and social position of these individuals. It set free the political spirit, which had been, as it were, split up, partitioned, and dispersed in the various blind alleys of feudal society. It gathered the dispersed parts of the political spirit, freed it from its intermixture with civil life, and established it as the sphere of the community, the general concern of the nation, ideally independent of those particular elements of civil life. A person’s distinct activity and distinct situation in life were reduced to a merely individual significance. They no longer constituted the general relation of the individual to the state as a whole. Public affairs as such, on the other hand, became the general affair of each individual, and the political function became the individual’s general function.

But, the completion of the idealism of the state was at the same time the completion of the materialism of civil society. Throwing off the political yoke meant at the same time throwing off the bonds which restrained the egoistic spirit of civil society. Political emancipation was, at the same time, the emancipation of civil society from politics, from having even the semblance of a universal content.

Feudal society was resolved into its basic element – man, but man as he really formed its basis – egoistic man.

This man, the member of civil society, is thus the basis, the precondition, of the political state. He is recognized as such by this state in the rights of man.

The liberty of egoistic man and the recognition of this liberty, however, is rather the recognition of the unrestrained movement of the spiritual and material elements which form the content of his life.

Hence, man was not freed from religion, he received religious freedom. He was not freed from property, he received freedom to own property. He was not freed from the egoism of business, he received freedom to engage in business.

The establishment of the political state and the dissolution of civil society into independent individuals – whose relation with one another on law, just as the relations of men in the system of estates and guilds depended on privilege – is accomplished by one and the same act. Man as a member of civil society, unpolitical man, inevitably appears, however, as the natural man. The “rights of man” appears as “natural rights,” because conscious activity is concentrated on the political act. Egoistic man is the passive result of the dissolved society, a result that is simply found in existence, an object of immediate certainty, therefore a natural object. The political revolution resolves civil life into its component parts, without revolutionizing these components themselves or subjecting them to criticism. It regards civil society, the world of needs, labor, private interests, civil law, as the basis of its existence, as a precondition not requiring further substantiation and therefore as its natural basis. Finally, man as a member of civil society is held to be man in his sensuous, individual, immediate existence, whereas political man is only abstract, artificial man, man as an allegorical, juridical person. The real man is recognized only in the shape of the egoistic individual, the true man is recognized only in the shape of the abstract citizen.

Therefore, Rousseau correctly described the abstract idea of political man as follows:

“Whoever dares undertake to establish a people’s institutions must feel himself capable of changing, as it were, human nature, of transforming each individual, who by himself is a complete and solitary whole, into a part of a larger whole, from which, in a sense, the individual receives his life and his being, of substituting a limited and mental existence for the physical and independent existence. He has to take from man his own powers, and give him in exchange alien powers which he cannot employ without the help of other men.”

All emancipation is a reduction of the human world and relationships to man himself.

Political emancipation is the reduction of man, on the one hand, to a member of civil society, to an egoistic, independent individual, and, on the other hand, to a citizen, a juridical person.

Only when the real, individual man re-absorbs in himself the abstract citizen, and as an individual human being has become a species-being in his everyday life, in his particular work, and in his particular situation, only when man has recognized and organized his “own powers” as social powers, and, consequently, no longer separates social power from himself in the shape of political power, only then will human emancipation have been accomplished.



Richard said...

That's cute. Lets simplify it so your average union goon can understand...

A Ford pick-up and a Corvette are two very different objects. However, they share some very common traits that keep them in the same general group. Tires, an engine, a steering wheel and seats are examples. Items that fall within this group based on those common traits are called "motor vehicles".

Nazism and stalinism are also two very different things but, like the vehicles noted above, they share common traits that keep them in the same general group. Emphasis on the collective rather than the individual and power centered with the elitists are some examples. This general group is refered to as socialism.

We'll explain it again for the environmentalists: No matter how you try to spin it, be it a pine tree or an oak, they are still trees. The same stands for the political subgroups of socialism...

On a different note, I notice that you claim to be a Masonic historian. Are you a Mason? If so, how can you also claim to be a heathen? (If you're a Mason you'd know why I ask) If you're not a Mason, how can you credibly claim to be a historian when you don't have access to the Masonic secrets?

Tell me please because there seem to be some contradictions...

eugene plawiuk said...

Masonry is based on deism, and I am a pantheist like Paine and other Masons. And you can be a Masonic historian with out being a Mason check out my website/home page where my articles on masory are published including presentation at Sheffield University centre for Masonic Research. Who will aid the Widows Son?

As for political sub groups of socialism you are confusing the historical momentum of Capitialism to evolve into State Capitalism as being synonomous with socialism, re-read the article, and see my other article on State-less Socialism.

And before you call anybody a union goon remember that one of the hero's in Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress was a syndicalist.