F.A. Hayek

The Connection Between George Orwell and Friedrich Hayek

A tale of two anti-authoritarians

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I'm inclined to think of George Orwell and F. A. Hayek at the same time. Both showed great courage in writing the truth, undaunted by the consequences awaiting them. Both valued freedom, though they understood it differently.

Orwell, a man of the "left," could not remain silent in the face of the horrors of Stalinism. Twice—during the Spanish Civil War and again at the dawn of the Cold War—he refused to permit his comrades to blind themselves to where their collectivism had led and could lead again. For his favor he was called a conscious tool of fascism, a stinging accusation considering he had gone to Spain to fight fascism. (But for a few inches, the bullet that penetrated Orwell's neck in Spain would have denied us the latter warnings, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. We would have never known what the fascists had cost us.)

Hayek, a man of the "right," risked ostracism and worse in 1944 by publishing The Road to Serfdom, in which this Austrian-turned-Briton, writing in England at the height of World War II, warned that central economic planning would, if pursued seriously, end in a totalitarianism indistinguishable from the Nazi enemy. That couldn't have been easy to write at that time and place—central planning was much in vogue among the intelligentsia. While a good deal of the reception was serious and respectful, a good deal of it was not. Herbert Finer, in Road to Reaction, called Hayek's book "the most sinister offensive against democracy to emerge from a democratic country for many decades"; it expressed "the thoroughly Hitlerian contempt for the democratic man."

Orwell's Review

Not surprisingly, it was The Road to Serfdom that brought Orwell and Hayek together in print. Orwell briefly reviewed the book along with Konni Zilliacus's The Mirror of the Past in the April 9, 1944 issue of The Observer. The man who would publish Animal Farm a year later and Nineteen Eighty-Four five years later found much to agree with in Hayek's work. He wrote:

Shortly, Professor Hayek's thesis is that Socialism inevitably leads to despotism, and that in Germany the Nazis were able to succeed because the Socialists had already done most of their work for them, especially the intellectual work of weakening the desire for liberty. By bringing the whole of life under the control of the State, Socialism necessarily gives power to an inner ring of bureaucrats, who in almost every case will be men who want power for its own sake and will stick at nothing in order to retain it. Britain, he says, is now going the same road as Germany, with the left-wing intelligentsia in the van and the Tory Party a good second. The only salvation lies in returning to an unplanned economy, free competition, and emphasis on liberty rather than on security. In the negative part of Professor Hayek's thesis there is a great deal of truth. It cannot be said too often — at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough — that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamed of.

This is a significant endorsement, for no one understood totalitarianism as well as Orwell. Indeed, in Why Orwell Matters, Christopher Hitchens points out that Nineteen Eighty-Four impressed Communist Party members behind the Iron Curtain. He quotes Czeslaw Milosz, the Polish poet and Nobel laureate, who before defecting to the West was a cultural attachéfor the Polish communist government: "Orwell fascinates them [members of the Inner Party] through his insight to the details they know well…. Even those who know Orwell only by hearsay are amazed that a writer who never lived in Russia should have so keen a perception into its life." (An audio interview with Hitchens about Orwell is here.)

But true to his left state-socialism, Orwell could not endorse Hayek's positive program:

Professor Hayek is also probably right in saying that in this country the intellectuals are more totalitarian-minded than the common people. But he does not see, or will not admit, that a return to "free" competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the State. The trouble with competitions is that somebody wins them. Professor Hayek denies that free capitalism necessarily leads to monopoly, but in practice that is where it has led, and since the vast majority of people would far rather have State regimentation than slumps and unemployment, the drift towards collectivism is bound to continue if popular opinion has any say in the matter.

…Capitalism leads to dole queues, the scramble for markets, and war. Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader worship, and war. There is no way out of this unless a planned economy can somehow be combined with the freedom of the intellect, which can only happen if the concept of right and wrong is restored to politics.

Short Shrift

It's disappointing to see Orwell give such short shrift to Hayek's positive thesis. He is glib and dogmatic, which is unbecoming a serious intellectual such as Orwell. His ignorance of economics leaps from the page.

"[A] return to 'free' competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the State." It's hard to believe that someone so familiar with Stalinism could have written that. Even without knowing much economics, could he really have thought that what goes on in market-oriented societies, even during depressions, could be worse than the famine Stalin inflicted on the Ukrainians, the show trials and executions, or the labor camps in Siberia?

"The trouble with competitions is that somebody wins them." In a market producers compete to better serve consumers. The losers in that competition are not exiled or executed. They find other ways to serve consumers, just as producers are trying to serve them.

"Professor Hayek denies that free capitalism necessarily leads to monopoly, but in practice that is where it has led…." Where has monopoly arisen without the aid of the State? We find no market-generated monopoly in England or the United States. There, major business interests actively promoted protectionism and other interventions precisely to tamp down competition and protect their market shares. Of course, for many people, Orwell presumably among them, that is capitalism, a topic I return to below. (I should note that Hayek forswore laissez faire in his book, but that is a topic for another day.)

"[T]he vast majority of people would far rather have State regimentation than slumps and unemployment…." But that's a false choice. Slumps and unemployment, as Hayek and his mentor Ludwig von Mises taught, are products of central-bank manipulation of money and interest rates, that is, of government not of the free market. The Great Depression, which must have been on Orwell's mind, was no exception. The real choice is between freedom and security (including mutual aid) on the one hand, and State "regimentation," slumps, and unemployment on the other.

I must pause here to focus on Orwell's disgraceful use of the word "regimentation." I say "disgraceful" because he committed the sin he himself so eloquently condemned in his justly famous essay "Politics and the English Language": the sin of euphemism. In that great essay he wrote:

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, "I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so". Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:

"While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement."

Regimentation is the least of what goes on under a totalitarian regime.

Capitalism versus the Free Market

"Capitalism leads to dole queues, the scramble for markets, and war." I think that part of the problem for Orwell is that a truly free market is not among the possible options. For him and many others, the choice is between a system run for employers and one run for workers. (The preferable alternative is not obvious.) In this view, the former is capitalism, sometimes dressed up as "the free market," and the latter is socialism. We shouldn't be too hard on Orwell for thinking this way, for many defenders of the market are just as careless when they write about mixed economies such as the one in the United States. Despite pervasive government intervention, we often hear business conduct defended because "under capitalism" consumers have the power to punish firms that ill-serve them. Tell that to consumers who chose not to buy GM and Chrysler cars. Tell that to people who lost land through eminent domain so that a big-box chain might prosper. Generations of business-inspired intervention to some extent must have rigged the market against consumers and workers. If not, what are the economists complaining about?

As for his inclusion of war in his list, let it be said that the scramble for markets and other economic objectives cannot be a sufficient condition for war. War requires the State, that is, the socialization of costs through taxation and conscription.

One wonders how Orwell avoided despair. He couldn't accept (state) capitalism, and he saw the totalitarian tendencies of socialism up close. Yet he could write, "There is no way out of this unless a planned economy can somehow be combined with the freedom of the intellect, which can only happen if the concept of right and wrong is restored to politics." (Emphasis added.)

Hadn't he just read Hayek's Chapter 11, "The End of Truth," in which Hayek described how a serious commitment to central planning must produce "contempt for intellectual liberty"?

The word "truth" itself ceases to have its old meaning. It describes no longer something to be found, with the individual conscience as the sole arbiter of whether in any particular instance the evidence (or the standing of those proclaiming it) warrants a belief; it becomes something to be laid down by authority, which has to be believed in the interest of unity of the organized effort and which may have to be altered as the exigencies of this organized effort require it.

The general intellectual climate which this produces, the spirit of complete cynicism as regards truth which it engenders, the loss of the sense of even the meaning of truth, the disappearance of the spirit of independent inquiry and of the belief in the power of rational conviction, the way in which differences of opinion in every branch of knowledge become political issues to be decided by authority, are all things which one must personally experience — no short description can convey their extent.

But of course Orwell had experienced those things in Spain and knew how it was in Russia. He certainly put a heavy burden on that word "somehow." How restoring the concept of right and wrong to politics would make central planning either decent or practical is a mystery no one has solved. (Of course, Mises had long before shown that socialism could not be practical because without prices arising out of the exchange of privately owned means of production, the socialist planner could not make rational calculations with respect to what should be produced, in what manner, and in what quantities.)

To end on a partly optimistic note, though Orwell presumably would not agree, central economic planning is not on the modern agenda. The threat today is not state socialism. It's bureaucratic corporatism dressed up as progressive democracy.

Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, where this article originally appeared.

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  1. “The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”

    —-George Orwell

  2. Orwell really had a confused and dark view of the world. He admits that Hayek is right that socialism leads to despotism. But then says socialism is still superior to the despotism of the market.

    1. Einstein was a socialists.

      I guess that means that being a brilliant physicist does not necessarily translate into economics.

    2. And here lies the fundamental difference between an Austrian and everyone else. All decisions are economic decisions to an Austrian, while everyone else seems to think that monetary value changes the decision making process. Value is value, regardless of how it’s measured.

    3. I think the argument for class struggle probably resonates more thoroughly for someone in a society with rigid class structures.

      Here in the U.S., we’ve seen financial achievement as the ticket to the upper class for centuries, but wealth and prestige weren’t the same thing in Orwell’s Britain.

      What if no matter how hard you worked or how successful you were, John, people still thought of you as a hillbilly? And if people thought of you as a hillbilly, that meant your chances of being successful and wealthy were very small?

      You might find class struggle a pretty compelling argument in a society like that.

      I’ve sometimes wondered if the term nouveau riche had to be imported into the English language from French because people going from the working class to wealth just didn’t happen often enough in England for there to be an English word for it.

      1. Orwell’s time in Paris certainly did not help either.

      2. What if no matter how hard you worked or how successful you were, John, people still thought of you as a hillbilly? And if people thought of you as a hillbilly, that meant your chances of being successful and wealthy were very small?

        And historically free markets have been the solution to that type of situation. Socialism, as practiced in Europe, only changed the theory of upper class control and solidified that control.

    4. Ya, I’ve always been wierded out that one of the best anti-socialist writers was a socialist. Still don’t really get it.

      1. Technically he was more an anti-Stalinist than an anti-socialist. Don’t forget during the post-war period there were a significant group of socialists who rejected Stalinism b/c they thought it was a perversion of true socialism.

        They embraced Mao then Khruschev then Castro. One of them was Hitchens; another, oddly enough, was LH Oswald.

      2. Vonnegut is another great example of this.

    5. Two serious questions for you:

      a) were these two comments close in time or was there a change in thinking?

      b) how much did the despair of the 1930s (i.e. “Road to Wigan Pier”) influence Orwell’s view of the market’s depotism?

    6. Perhaps he felt that with the right government, we could hold ourselves in the middle — not going to far to despotism/totalitarianism, and not going to the ruthless dog-eat-dog capitalism.

      Maybe the book 1984 is truly great because it surpasses its author’s intellect.

  3. Capitalism leads to dole queues, the scramble for markets, and war. Collectivism leads to concentration camps, leader worship, and war. There is no way out of this unless a planned economy can somehow be combined with the freedom of the intellect, which can only happen if the concept of right and wrong is restored to politics.

    So, after all that, he was a fascist?

    1. I think more of an enlightened oligarch. Kind of like Solzhenitsyn without the Christianity.

      1. “It’s the Duke of Death.”

        “Duck, I says.”

        1. You know, he don’t have a straight angle in that whole goddamned porch, or the whole house for that matter.

          1. I don’t deserve this.

  4. So, with all due respect to Orwell, his bottom line is that it would all work out if the right people were in charge.

    1. Pretty much. And I can’t see how anyone could read his novels and essays and come to that conclusion. But he wrote said novels and essays and did just that. I have never gotten it.

      1. Strangley this seems to be the reaction of the vast majority of people when given the choice between limiting power or change who have power.

      2. Read “Down and Out in London and Paris.” Orwell underwent such horrific experiences (albeit experiences that were thoroughly the consequences of his poor judgment) that it soured him forever on free markets, instead of him recognizing that what happened to him was his own fault, not the fault of some system.

        But, he also saw the ruthless side of socialism, which lead to him writing 1984.

        I was amazed when I first read that the author of 1984 was a life-long socialist, who only rejected the “wrong kind” of socialism because the “wrong” people had inexplicably seized power. He somehow failed to see that the wrong people would almost invariably claw their way to the top in politics.

        1. I always thought that books was nothing but rich kid poverty porn. Orwell left a comfortable job, got money from his aunt and got to live the writers life in 1920s Paris. Cry me a river for how horrible life was. His only real misfortune was bringing home the wrong gay trick who stole a bunch of his money.

          1. Somewhere in his writings, Orwell says he learned more about the alleged merits of socialism from one incident of watching, while on the boat to India in civil service days, the low class helmsman stealing a pie from a posh muckety -muck party onboard. And he thought of an injustice, here was the guy who had our life and destiny in his hands, and he had to steal just to get pie.

            A simplistic approach that avoids looking at whether or not the helmsman was not a thief by practice or addiciton, or had a carte blanche to take, or whether or not a global empire, and maritime protectionisms, didn’t distort some costs, benefits, and incentives.

            PS — I dont think Orwell was gay.

            1. Gay? I don’t know about that.

              But I’ve heard he liked to indulge in a little “surprise sex” on occasion.

              http://www.littlebrownbooks.ne…..ge-orwell/

          2. You are a fool. Please don’t comment again, or if you do, think before you post. Go back and read “Down & Out”, “The Road to Wigan Pier”, etc. “Comfortable” or not, he left it, and did MUCH good, while undergoing misery you would not tolerate for a minute. Unless you are ready to experience deeply (as Orwell did) the poverty and misery he writes about, and then do something to cure the problem, just keep your “thoughts” to yourself.

        2. “Down & Out” was a great book, and, though I am in NO way a socialist, one could see his point, at least about the restaurant work he describes. It made me want to throw up just reading it. Let us not forget that no human, socialist, libertarian, etc., is free of evil, so there will always be trouble in our lives, but I think the democratic system provides a better chance at good for all than any other on the planet.

          Try reading “The Road to Wigan Pier” also, and you will see why Orwell thought as he did. He was wrong about socialism, but in all honesty, we must admit that the free market (if GB at that time can be called that) allowed suffering that it should not have.

    2. The “right people” and this is the key to progressivism, mainly fascism (but socialism is also very keen on the right people).
      Why don’t people realize the right people don’t exists and even a close to right person dies or loses power.

      1. even a close to right person dies or loses power

        Many people are unable to think that far ahead.

  5. So did everyone read his War-Time Diary?

    1. I started back when he lived through September 1939. He made some passing comments about the politics and war, and then, endless, detailed, repetitive notes on his farming efforts! “Just two potatoes today. Rain announced tomorrow.”

  6. Herbert Finer, in Road to Reaction, called Hayek’s book “the most sinister offensive against democracy to emerge from a democratic country for many decades”; it expressed “the thoroughly Hitlerian contempt for the democratic man.”

    Man, they were Godwin-ing each other when Hitler was still alive.

    1. Nevermind, that was published in 1946.

      Also, is there a damn page that has the code for italicizing and other commentery tricks? I always forget.

      1. HTML tags.

      2. Google Chrome with the Reasonable extension. It’s awesome.

      3. It is good to know that people have been using the Hitler insult on libertarians since the very second Hitler was a somebody. Because nothing says libertarian like central planning, state ownership, militarism, cronyism, genocide, and national-socialism.

        1. Calling someone Hitler was a compliment in liberal circles until June 22nd 1940.

          1. True, true, they only objected to the militarism and genocide, not the rest of it that led to someone that crazy having that much power. Which I guess goes back to your other post about the average person’s cognitive dissonance about Top Men

            1. “True, true, they only objected to the militarism and genocide”

              Considering the rabid support many of those people had (and still have) for Lenin/Trotsky/Stalin, that doesn’t quite seem to be what their beef was about.

          2. C’mon. Lets not retroactively fuck up the use of the word “liberal”.

    2. I am trying to wrap my mind around how a book critical of Hitler’s economic policies and how the contemporary British government emulated those policies can be described as “Hitlerian”.

      Was Finer Tony’s dad?

  7. The striking thing to me is how Orwell was able to critique the ideas of Hayek without resorting to the, “OMG old people dying in the streets while Libertarians light cigars on piles of burning children!!!!” hysterics so common in public discourse today. Of course Orwell was completely wrong in his thinking. His entire thesis comes back to the Top Men fallacy.

    1. Wait, wait… libertarians DON’T light cigars on piles of burning children??

      1. Children are too wet to ignite. We use their tattered greasy clothes as torches and make them watch us some while the slowly starve or freeze to death, because that’s meaner.

      2. You have to bend over to do that, so you monocle is prone to falling off. Best avoided.

        1. Obviously you use the monocle to concentrate the rays of the sun and ignite them that way.

    2. Well I cant completely fault him (Orwell). Being a Libertarian I have to admit that our philosophy rests on the Top Men idea in a small way. By that I don’t mean that our ideology is not sound, rather, it is unrealistic to expect that goverment would ever be populated by individuals who would remain unbribable and uncorruptable. And that is what you would need to maintain a true free market society and not have it devolve into what we have today. Still, knowing that, I’d rather pick a philosophy that positvely reflects on the abilities of the common man rather than the elites.

      1. … I have to admit that our philosophy rests on the Top Men idea in a small way.

        From a libertarian standpoint, each individual is their own Top Man.

        1. At least he’s not a BOTTOM.

      2. our philosophy rests on the Top Men idea in a small way.

        Not really. We don’t fall for the “if only the right people were in charge” thing because we don’t think anyone should be in charge.

        1. Unless they’re wearing black robes.

        2. Agreed but that is an ideal/academic setting and we all know this. I am talking about the real world here. There will always be people in charge, whether we like it or not, and since that is the case we will always have to contend with individuals abusing their position of power. A true libertarian society will never exist because of that, but we can damn well work to make a society as libertarian as possible.

      3. i agree but we also feel and know there are far less top men in free markets oddly. Or at least the bottom man is always closer than in other systems.

        1. My sentiments exactly and thats why I find libertarianism such an attractive philosophy. It isn’t going to work wholesale simply because of human nature, but it is a leagues and miles away better than any other ideology I have seen to date.

      4. Really? I thought the entire “devolve authority and maintain checks and balances” thing was intended to deal with the fact that those with authority will always be prone to abuse it.

        1. Yes, but even that relies on the assumption that you have principled men upholding those checks in balances. Look. I’m not arguing against libertarianism, I am a libertarian. I am simply point out there there are aspects that are unrealistic. We have those checks and balances yet there is a general consensous amongst libertarians that we are less free now than we have been in quite some time. It’s a never ending battle.

  8. The threat today is not state socialism. It’s bureaucratic corporatism dressed up as progressive democracy.

    The state bureaucracy is thoroughly socialist. They do not completely kill off their host by eliminating all vestiges of a free market, but giving favors to political allies and harming their competitors is still socialism. Calling that socialism “corporatism” in an attempt to smear corporations that do not rely overmuch on political connections does not make it not-socialism.

    1. The state bureaucracy is thoroughly socialist. They do not completely kill off their host by eliminating all vestiges of a free market, but giving favors to political allies and harming their competitors is still socialism. Calling that socialism “corporatism” in an attempt to smear corporations that do not rely overmuch on political connections does not make it not-socialism.

      Why exactly are you so attached to the word “socialism” over “corporatism”? Especially since, IMHO, “corporatism” better describes America’s current problems then “socialism”.

  9. A little context.

    At the time of these writings, the only communist country was Russia. The East Bloc would not be consolidated for some time yet. Communism had “failed” only once, under Stalin, and that was in the context of a global economic depression followed by a world war that had been instigated by the most “anti-communist” governments on earth.

    “Capitalist” countries consisted of colonizing Imperial and/or Jim Crow openly racist governments. Britian held as one giant colony what today we know of as India, Pakistan, Bangaladesh (sp?), and Burma. France still denied women the vote. People were flogged in our prisons. It was illegal to sell condoms. Lynching was still a big problem.

    Most of the successful reforms in Western societies we value today had not taken place. Most of the Communist atrocities we remember today had not taken place. We know more with hindsight than Orwell or Hayek could know.

    1. A very keen insight “We,” the fact that the cronyism of today is minuscule when compared with the blatant corruption and graft of the late 19th and early 20th century, it is not surprising that various incarnations of collectivism had the foothold it did during that period.

    2. Orwell wrote well after the worst horrors of Stalinism and during the horrors of Maoism. They knew plenty.

      1. No. You have your facts wrong. Mao took over China in 1949. The Great Leap Forward, the Five Year Plan, the Cultural Revolution — that was all many years in the future.

        Stalin was hated and reviled by many strands of stalwart communists all over the world, including Trotskyites. There was no equivalence between “Stalinism” and “Communism” in 1944-1946.

    3. It was illegal to sell condoms. Lynching was still a big problem.

      It’s hard to say what was worse.

    4. ” Communism had “failed” only once, under Stalin”

      Apparently, that depends on your definition of “failed”.

      Seeing as how the Bolsheviks “failed” to implement anything except absolute power for themselves while the populace starved, slaved and gulaged away even worse off than under Tsarist oppression.

      1. By 1944-1946, Russia was in bad enough shape economically that it could be called a failure, although wartime destruction may have obscured the causality some.

  10. Communism had “failed” only once, under Stalin, and that was in the context of a global economic depression

    You mean the collapse of the Moscow Stock Exchange caused the Holodomor & The Great Purge?

    followed by a world war that had been instigated by the most “anti-communist” governments on earth

    Mussolini was a socialist before becoming a fascist and the NSDAP was a national-socialist revolutionary party.

    Most of the Communist atrocities we remember today had not taken place.

    See above; by 1946, Stalin & his cronies did most of their murdering.

    1. Calling Mussolini and the Nazis “socialist” because socialism was in their party names is like asserting that a Christian Scientist is an actual “scientist.”

      Also, see my comment above. There was no settled equivalence between Stalinism and Communism in 1944-1946. There were, and would be, many non-Stalinist communists in the mix. Mostly as bad or worse than Stalin, but not such that you could say Stalin = Communism.

      1. Calling Mussolini and the Nazis “socialist” because socialism was in their party names is like asserting that a Christian Scientist is an actual “scientist.”

        No it isn’t; just because they weren’t Marxists/Leninists/Bolsheviks, they were still (a variety of) socialists.

        1. Then we are all “socialists.” “Socialist” just becomes anything and everything that falls outside the silhouette of von Mises. Or maybe just everything you don’t like and want to call a bad word.

          A socialist — if the word is to mean anything specific — at least believes that the public, through the state, should own the means of production (factories, railroads, oilfields), and not private industrialists. I don’t think that ever happened under Hitler or El Duce. Private industrialists continued to own the means of production across Fascist Europe throughout the WWII era.

          Fascists were totalitarian, and industrialists, like everybody else, was subject to their totalitarianism, but that does not make fascism the same thing as socialism.

          1. Then we are all “socialists.”

            Who is “we”, especially in light of your handle?

            A quote from Wikipedia:

            The radical Nazi Joseph Goebbels hated capitalism, viewing it has having Jews at its core and stressed the need for the party to emphasize a both a proletarian and national character, these views were shared by Otto Strasser who later left the Nazi Party in the belief that Hitler had betrayed the party’s socialist goals by endorsing capitalism. Large segments of the Party staunchly supported its official socialist, revolutionary, and anti-capitalist positions and expected both a social and economic revolution upon the Party gaining power in Germany in 1933. The leader of the Party’s paramilitary organization the SA, Ernst R?hm supported a “second revolution” (the “first revolution” being the Nazis’ seizure of power) that would entrench the Party’s official socialist program and demanded the replacement of the nonpolitical German army with a Nazi-led army. Of the million members of the SA, many were committed to the Party’s official socialist program.

            I deleted the references, but they’re accessible in the article.

            1. Is this meant as a rebuttal? Because it leaves me feeling confirmed, not rebutted.

              1. How so? The NSDAP was a socialist party in name; a socialist party in program; and a socialist party in practice as long as it helped it to power.

                1. I don’t see the socialism. I see BMW. I see Mercedes. I see Mauser. I see Krupp. All owned by wealthy industrialists — not by the government, or the party, or the workers, or their unions — even at the apex of “total war”.

                  Can you just be “pro-socialist” by saying so, like you’re “pro-marriage” or “pro-family” or “pro-growth” or “pro-gun”?

                  1. Of course you don’t: from your post below, it is apparent that you count yourself as the only and absolute authority on what constitutes the True Faith(tm), in case of Christianity or socialism.

                    1. Point, taken, neoteny. If you can be a bona fide “Christian” by proposing that only Aryans have souls and that the Nordic peoples are the true Israelites, then, yes, Christian Identity is a bona fide part of Christianity.

                      And if a bunch of wealthy industrialists, racist cranks, ultra-nationalists and Great-War revanchists can work together to put a “Furher” in absolute control of a country and launch a war of extermination against every adherent of the socialist international, then, yes, National Socialism is just another snug little niche in the cubby of socialism.

                      Real nice talking with ya, neoteny.
                      Check please!

                    2. Silly neoteny. You forget that No True Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.

                    3. Not sure about that, but no true Scotsman was born in Japan to Japanese parents and lived his whole life in Japan without ever setting foot in Scotland, or flying through Scottish airspace. Even if he called himself a “Scotsman”; even if he called himself a “true Scotsman.”

                    4. A variation on the “false consciousness” meme, combined with the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.

                      Nice rant, though.

                    5. Neoteny, you’re gay.

                      Maybe you’ve never had sex with another person of the same sex, and maybe you’ve never wanted to. Maybe you’ve only had sex with people of the opposite sex, and maybe those are the only people you want to have sex with.

                      But still, you’re gay. You’re gay because I think you are part of what “gay” is. You use the word ‘fallacy’ which, to me, means you’re gay. So you’re gay.

                      And don’t deny it, because you have called yourself “happy” at some time in your life, and “happy” and “gay” mean the same thing. Ergo, you are clearly gay.

                      And don’t deny it, because you are not the sole authority on what is “gay.”

                    6. Yeah, but is socialism gay?

                    7. Except in the cases of both Nazism and Fascism, we had the proponents publicly announcing that they were, in fact, gay (socialist). They were really turned on by guys (had socialist roots in their ideological arguments). And really got off on man-on-man action (implemented policies consistent with socialism). At a certain point, just because they aren’t members of the local LGBT Alliance (supportive of Marxian socialism), doesn’t mean they aren’t gay.

                    8. No. It was more like a guy claiming to be “a lesbian inside the body of a man” while he boinks women with his woodpipe.

                      The Nazis used the term “National Socialism” as contradistinct from the “socialist international” (First International, Second International, Third International) which was what, up to that point, people understood by “socialism.”

                      National Socialists were (ultra)-nationalists, and not really socialists, and very hostile to true socialism, much as Christian Scientists are (super-religious) Christians, but not really scientists, and actually very hostile towards medical science.

                    9. The Nazis used the term “National Socialism” as contradistinct from the “socialist international” (First International, Second International, Third International) which was what, up to that point, people understood by “socialism.”

                      So, you really do believe that, if they weren’t a member of the local LGBT Alliance (First International, Second International, Third International) they aren’t really gay.

                      Well, I guess that clears up our difference. I consider them socialists because they held an ideology with (pre-Marxian) socialist roots, had the government take control of the means of production and self-identified as socialists. That doesn’t qualify as socialist in your book unless they’re a member of the club.

                    10. Your LGBT analogy is a straw man you erect because you can’t deal with the real argument.

                      The Fascists “took control of the means of production” during wartime in the same sense that many dictatorial governments have “taken control” of key industries in wartime. That makes them no more socialist than the Kaiser’s government in the earlier World War. Oh, wait: the Kaiser was socialist, too. As is Obama. As was ancient Sparta. As was Pharoah’s Egypt.

                      Thank you for contributing exactly nothing of value to this conversation after more than a dozen posts.

                    11. Your LGBT analogy is a straw man you erect because you can’t deal with the real argument.

                      Oh really? I thought the real argument was whether Nazism or Fascism should be considered a form of socialism. Your argument that they shouldn’t because they weren’t part of the First, Second, or Third International is akin to saying that a guy who has sex with guys and is turned on only by guys isn’t gay because he isn’t a member of the LGBT Alliance. It’s a mockable argument and I was mocking you.

                      The Fascists “took control of the means of production” during wartime in the same sense that many dictatorial governments have “taken control” of key industries in wartime.

                      Except they advocated taking control of the means of production before they were even in power! It was part of their expressed political program! Neither Kaiser Wilhelm nor any of the pharaohs to my knowledge advocated state management of the means of production as an ongoing policy.
                      I can only conclude, at this point, you’re evading the facts and conclusions of this argument because you don’t like them.

                    12. Not even the Pharoahs?

                      History. Learn some.

                  2. I see BMW. I see Mercedes. I see Mauser. I see Krupp.
                    And let me guess, you consider Fannie and Freddie purely private companies operating in a free market, right?

                    1. The only thing “socialized” about Fannie and Freddie were the losses — those went to the taxpayer. Everything else was private profit. I think “Lemon Socialism” is the technical term.

                    2. Why was it created by FDR’s “New Deal”, then?

                    3. I guess FDR did not anticipate the losses. He only paid attention to the up side.

                    4. That implies that there was an up side… and that was “socialized”, too.

                    5. I think the “upside” was (purportedly) cheaper credit, which went to lenders and borrowers in some proportion (in quantities which I don’t know).

                    6. I think the “upside” was (purportedly) cheaper credit, which went to lenders and borrowers in some proportion (in quantities which I don’t know).

                      You do realize that this completely contradicts your original response that “only the losses were socialized”.

                    7. Credit was subsidized, not “socialized.” The ownership stake, and the profit, from the entities was in the hands of private parties.

                    8. The credit was only available due to the government guarantee. Fannie & Freddie merely acted as (exceedingly well) paid agent of state policy.

                    9. That doesn’t make F& F any more socialist than Lockheed Martin.

          2. There is no difference between Socialism, Facism, or Communism other than semantics and the rhetoric involved. In the end it results in an elite that runs the lives of the masses via the state.

            1. Then there is “no difference” between those things and theocracy, or feudal monarchy, or shogunate imperialism, or Shaka tribal militarism.

              There are actually a lot of differences, even among very evil things.

              Unless you are going to argue that there is “no difference” in the human suffering under Tito’s Yugoslavia in 1975 and Pol Pot’s Year Zero, then you must acknowledge vast differences even within the rubric of confirmed and dogmatic capital-C Communism.

              1. Unless you are going to argue that there is “no difference” in the human suffering under Tito’s Yugoslavia in 1975 and Pol Pot’s Year Zero, then you must acknowledge vast differences even within the rubric of confirmed and dogmatic capital-C Communism.

                A quantitative difference =/= a qualitative difference.

                1. “Quantity has a quality all its own.”

                  Oh, you asked for it, b!tch. Don’t act like you didn’t set me up on purpose.

                  Anyway, the differences in human suffering was highly qualitative. There was nothing remotely like Tuol Sleng in Tito’s Yugoslavia.

                  1. Were there political prisoners in Yugoslavia? Why, yes, yes there were.

                    Again, a quantitative difference =/= a qualitative difference.

                    1. Yes, there were political prisoners in Yugoslavia.

                      Were they forced to eat their own feces before being beaten to death with iron pipes? No.

                      Qualitative difference.

                      History. Learn some.

      2. Calling Mussolini and the Nazis “socialist” because socialism was in their party names is like asserting that a Christian Scientist is an actual “scientist.”

        Mussolini was one of those rare socialists who could think for himself, not that he was right. Look up his history sometime. However, you might learn something so be careful.

        1. Members of the “Christian Identity” movement may think they are Christians and call themselves Christians. They aren’t.

          If you don’t support socialism — specifically, governmental non-private ownership of the means of production — then you are not a socialist, no matter how much you like the label and how proudly you try to apply it to yourself.

          1. Serious question. Say you own a factory and the government takes possion of said factory. They give you a piece of paper saying that although they are in possession of the factory, you are the owner. They make all of the decisions about the operation and management of that factory, including through pricing and wage setting, how much you’ll take home as profit.
            Do you own the factory? Is that arrangement socialistic?

            1. Is this “serious question” a prelude to saying this is how private industry was run under the Reich?

              If the profit goes to the private owners, then it is not quite socialism. It’s a “command economy” and maybe totalitarian, but it isn’t socialism if the public at large is cut out of the ownership of the profits.

              There was a lot of “command economy” during both World Wars. It made the private owners fabulously wealthy, even as it defied the conventional arrangements of capitalism.

              I’m not sure what I would call an economic system in which government runs industry, but does so for the private profit of a few owners, not for the public’s coffers.

              If it’s a four-box matrix, and “capitalism” is private ownership for private benefit, and “socialism” is public ownership for public benefit, and “philanthropy” is private ownership for public benefit, then what is public ownership for private benefit? “Cronyism,” maybe?

              1. Thats wrong we. Even if profit goes to the owners it still is socialism simply because said profits are allowed to go to you. IF the goverment changes its mind you will no longer recieve said profits. That does not happen in a society that actually adheres to free market ideals. Socialism doesn’t mean people don’t get rich.

                1. You are conflating constitutional anchoring with market freedom.

                  ‘Free market’ rules can exist indefinitely at the mere whim of a democratic or a non-democratic government, even with no effective constitutional protections whatsoever. E.g., Singapore.

                  On the flip side, socialism, or some pseudo-socialist corporate cronyism, could be constitutionally entrenched with supermajority requirements analogous to those in the U.S. Constitution.

                  The “power” of the government to “change its mind” by democratic or non-democratic means is not what separates socialism from capitalism. Either system can be chosen, sustained, and discarded by politically democratic means or by politically non-democratic means.

              2. Is this “serious question” a prelude to saying this is how private industry was run under the Reich?

                Well, yes, because that is how “private” industry was run under the Reich.

                If the profit goes to the private owners, then it is not quite socialism. It’s a “command economy” and maybe totalitarian, but it isn’t socialism if the public at large is cut out of the ownership of the profits

                “Profit”, under such a scheme is whatever the government says it is. The real economic returns are free to be distributed by the state however they see fit. Just the fact that they’ve distributed those profits as non-market wages or overproduction of some uneconomic goods doesn’t make it not socialism. Nor is the fact that they choose to distribute benefits to one group rather than another. The Soviets were masters of rent-seeking through various state enterprises. Are you going to try to tell us that they weren’t really socialist?

                There was a lot of “command economy” during both World Wars.

                So what? That doesn’t mean said policies weren’t socialist.

                It made the private owners fabulously wealthy,

                Only as a by-product. The central focus of said policies were to advance certain socially desired goals
                even as it defied the conventional arrangements of capitalism
                Only to a statist can non-capitalist policies be considered capitalist. They “defied conventional notions of capitalism” because they weren’t capitalist. Those notions of capitalism are what defines capitalism.

                I’m not sure what I would call an economic system in which government runs industry,

                Well, I can’t speak for you. But, the rest of the known world calls it socialism.

                but does so for the private profit of a few owners, not for the public’s coffers.

                Still socialism. Ignoring, again, the fact that profit is a meaningless concept under such circumstances, socialist societies have pretty much always been characterized by the central Party providing economic benefits to itself.

                If it’s a four-box matrix, and “capitalism” is private ownership for private benefit, and “socialism” is public ownership for public benefit, and “philanthropy” is private ownership for public benefit, then what is public ownership for private benefit? “Cronyism,” maybe?

                You’re missing the point. Outside of real, rather than simply nominal, private ownership, who benefits is largely irrelevant. Everyone is simply one facet of “the public”.

                1. “Everyone is simply one facet of ‘the public’.”

                  Oh, puh-leeze. Under your scheme, Saudi Arabia is “socialist.” So was Elizabethean England. So was the Mayan Empire. So was the Golden Horde. I mean, duh! Duhduhduhduhduh!

                  What’s the point? Maybe true under the terms as you are defining them in your own weird and idiosyncratic way, but utterly unhelpful analytically.

                  It’s like a scientist saying that gases, liquids, and solids are all “the same” and there is “no difference” because all three are “matter.”

                  If the word “socialism” is going to be of any use to anybody, it has to have a meaning — a meaning beyond “not-capitalism.”

                  I’ve offered my notion of what socialism “means” as a word, a term, a category for operative thought. I’ve offered a conventional, widely-accepted definition. You have ranted. Why don’t you check back in when you have clarified your thinking well enough to offer a dictionary-definition of the word “socialism” that can actually be used in meaningful discourse?

                  1. Actually, your definition of socialism is, by far, more idiosyncratic than mine. The long-standing distinction of socialism has been public control, not ownership, of the means of production. Whether private owners retain nominal ownership has long been recognized as an irrelevancy. But your attempt to redefine socialism such that Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy wouldn’t count leaves you in the position that you wind up with states like Stalinist Russia or Maoist China able to evade the designation of communist by passing out pieces of paper.

                    1. “… public control, not ownership…”

                      Citation, please.

                      In the meantime, instead of calling Nazis socialist, why don’t we just call Communists fascist? Your simple-minded reductionism leads to either result equally.

                    2. No, that wouldn’t make sense. Communism Fascism and National Socialism are types of socialism. The fact that each is a different type of socialism doesn’t make them any less types of the same thing.
                      As for citation, one need only look here http://encyclopedia2.thefreedi…..list+party

                    3. I thought it was weird that you linked to “socialist party.”

                      So I looked up “socialism” in the searchbox.

                      I’d tell you that you should do the same, but you already did, and it disproved your contention, so that’s why you linked to “socialist party” instead.

                      You are beneath contempt. If we put “tendentious” in the searchbox, by all rights, a picture of you should come up.

                    4. So, I guess you don’t have much in the way of a substantive response. Here’s the bottom line. I’ve responded to you with evidence logic and reason. You respond by demanding more yet providing none of your own. I don’t particularly care if you hold me in esteem or contempt. Bluntly, I’ve had enough entertainment discrediting you and showing your rampant contradictions.

                    5. The “substantive response” is to put “socialism” in the searchbox on that website you linked to and see what an ugly, witless fraud you are.

  11. Oh my god. How amazing. A journalist with a brain and an organization that supports the full use of it. Congratulations on the best ‘story’ I have read this entire year!

    Ron Paul 2012

  12. She is the perfect example of a fresh and delicious Japanese girl in a school uniform.

    Stunningly beautiful, Mayuko can also be so incredibly cute! Famous as a hip-hop dancer, she has a background in classical dance and performs striptease at VIP events when not acting at a local theatre. Did we mention how flexible she is?

    Despite a petite frame, she has gorgeous puffy nipples, which she doesn’t mind showing off for our camera, and for you.

    Mayuko from Tokyo, a unique treasure discovered in an exotic land ? and a perfect Hegre-Girl.

    1. Pics or your a liar

  13. “[T]he vast majority of people would far rather have State regimentation than slumps and unemployment?.” But that’s a false choice. Slumps and unemployment, as Hayek and his mentor Ludwig von Mises taught, are products of central-bank manipulation of money and interest rates, that is, of government not of the free market.

    This article of faith among libertarians has always puzzled the hell out of me. Are they trying to seriously suggest that bank panics and their attending downturns and the like did not exist prior to the creation of the Fed?

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