I have published 132 blog posts thus far (this one is number 133). But I have failed to complete or decided not to publish at least 100 others. Sometimes I lose my train of thought, sometimes my research persuades me to disagree with my initial thesis, and sometimes I fear my words could come back to haunt me if ill-intended people come across them. Still other times, I simply can’t find a way to express my thoughts in a way that I feel comfortable sharing with my readers.
In 1914, the stage was set for a world war with European imperialism, growing nationalism, and a web of alliances all coming to a head. The “Powderkeg” of Europe, the Balkans, was set to explode for the third time in two years with the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The German Empire, a key military power of the Central Alliance, lost the war before a shot was even fired. How is this possible? There are several reasons for this, but they fall mainly into seven themes: The German independence of command structure, the mass alteration of the set military plan, the gross misjudgement of French military power, the inability to calculate the size and power of the Russian military, the underestimation of the British field army, overestimation of Austro-Hungarian military strength, and the failure to keep Italy in the Triple Alliance.
An Independent Command Structure
The first major error of the German military was its structure of independence of command. The German officer corps, deeply rooted with origins in the Prussian military dating as far back as 1525, boasted a strong tradition that if an officer was correctly trained he could act independently of orders because he would simply know what to do. This system, although effective when dating back to the set-piece battles of the 1700’s, proved to be disastrous for the German Empire. An example of this is at the Battle of the Marne, occurring September 5th through the 12th, 1914.
The German First and Second Army were attacking towards Paris and were starting to lose momentum. The French commander, General Joffre, quickly counterattacked against German General Bulow’s First Army’s right flank. Due to Bulow lacking direct orders in the field from von Moltke, the German Chief of Staff, Bulow ordered his men from his left flank to reinforce his right. This created a several mile wide gap between his army and the neighboring Second Army under General von Kluck. Joffre recognized the opportunity, seized the initiative, and ordered the British Expeditionary Force forward, directly into the gap. As the gap widened, panic struck the two German generals and, lacking communication, a general collapse of the German armies ensued. Lastly, the head of the German command, von Moltke, was proven to be an incompetent leader due to his belief that once he set a plan in motion, his generals would be able to swiftly execute it without major issues or direct intervention from his headquarters. This is apparent during the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes and the First Battle of the Marne when von Moltke issued a total of two orders, neither directed towards either of the battle zones. This inability to coordinate attacks and failure of the German generals to cooperate cost them the war.
A Modified Plan
Although the German officer corps was plagued with issues in regards to the autonomy of their generals on the field, they also suffered from Moltke’s constant alteration of the original military strategy. The German military plan, originally formed by Schlieffen, called for a strong right-wing thrust through the Netherlands and Belgium and into northern France, where the bulk of the army would be in position to take Paris and strike the rear of the French military, leading to a swift victory and allowing for the Germans to then swing their full military might on Russia. The problem that arose occurred when Moltke ordered 40,000 men, roughly the strength of a corp, away from Third Army, under General Hausen, which served as the center of the swing through Belgium. These men were strategically redeployed to the 8th Army in East Prussia preparing to fight against Russia in the case of a two-front war. This was further an issue when in September of 1914, when the German attack through Belgium was in full swing and was on the verge of ending the war in the west, von Moltke ordered three divisions, roughly 54,000 men, to the east to support von Hindenburg’s Eighth Army, which had recently won a miraculous victory at Tannenberg. Due to Moltke’s meddling with the original plan, roughly 94,000 men were taken away from the main German thrust into northern France, which led to the Germans being forced to switch from their main drive from the West of Paris to the east, leaving a 296 kilometer gap between the German far right flank and the sea.
Underestimations of the Enemy
Furthermore, the Germans grossly underestimated the military power of the French. With the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the Germans believed the French army to be weak, and rightly so. In the German Empire, they had a population of roughly 40 million people, in which they mobilized 1.2 million men. The French Empire, which had a total population of 42 million, only mobilized 900,000 men. The aftermath of the war was roughly 139,000 French killed to roughly 28,000 Germans killed. With such a grand victory over an empire that was larger, the Franco-Prussian War showed the weakness the French army had and led to Germany being the undisputed European superpower on land. Germany also believed that France and its army was lacking in quality due to the French army’s failures abroad in their interventions in Mexico (1862-67), their loss to Korea (1866), and their slow victory over Algeria, taking them 17 years to conquer this small nation lacking in modern military equipment, when the Germans defeated France’s modern army in roughly nine months. This all led to the underestimation of France’s military, which, in 1914, boasted a mobilization strength of 2.1 million men and 4,000 artillery pieces to Germany’s 2.9 million men and 5,700 artillery pieces.
Moreover, the Germans had the inability to calculate the size and power of the Russian military. Although Russia had suffered a string of defeats, it had also seen a vast improvement overall. The Russian Empire had suffered a defeat in the hands of the “Allies”, a united alliance of the French Empire, British Empire, Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia, in the Crimean War of 1853-56. Although the Russian Empire lost the war itself, they had won most of the land battles. They were only forced to surrender when the Tzar ordered a backing out of the war (and the Danube region, giving power back to the Turks) as a result of the need to train the Russian Army. They had sent their men into combat inexperienced and mostly untrained which cost them about half a million men. As a result of this war, Russia was misjudged as weak; however, Russia took from their mistake and started equipping and retraining her army.
The belief that Russia was weak was furthered by a series of 1500 minor mutinies in the Russian ranks up until 1903. At this point, Russia was on the verge of completing its initial reformation policy; however, in 1904 they were at war with Japan in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. Japan had attacked the Russian Empire without a formal declaration of war. The Tzar was totally stunned by this and ordered a mobilization of forces into Siberia. The problem was that there was only one railway into Siberia and the bulk of the Russian Imperial Navy was in the Baltic Sea when it needed to be deployed against the Japanese in the Sea of Japan. It was clear that the Japanese had the clear advantage in the war, and after about a year and a half of fighting the Russians were defeated, Nearly one-third of the Japanese Imperial Army was killed (86,100 men) compared to the Russians dead of 54,400 men.
The Russians, then returning from a “defeat”, were then tossed into a war-torn empire with the outbreak of the Revolution of 1905. After winning the revolution and a constitution put in place, although the Tzar kept his throne, several political, economic, and primarily military changes went underway. From 1856 to 1905 the Russian Imperial defense budget dropped by 12%, coming to only 56% of the German military’s budget, even though the Russian military was nearly 47% larger. Russian mobilization strength went from a million men and 22 artillery batteries to 3.1 million men and 385 artillery batteries. By the time their new policy was implemented and ready to go, the Russian Empire would be able to raise ten armies fully backed by artillery (an estimated 13,400 artillery pieces). This compared to Germany’s mobilization strength of 2.9 million men composed into eight armies supported by 206 artillery batteries (5,700 artillery pieces). This miscalculation would lead to a brutal campaign that would force Germany to move over 100,000 men away from France, which would be crucial in the first campaign.
In addition to this, the German high command seriously underestimated the British Army and disregarded it as an effective force in the field. A key factor in this assumption was the size of the British professional army. It had only 125,000 men composed into six infantry divisions and one cavalry division backed by only 470 artillery guns. The entire British field army had hardly the strength of a German field army; however, they still had a militia reserve of 285,000 men. In addition, they had only 66% of the artillery one German army would have. To further the German’s belief that the British army was inferior was the recent defeats and poor conduct of the British army. While fighting the Zulu African tribe for control of South Africa, they lost most of their battles despite holding superior firepower. Furthermore, in the Boer Wars, the British Empire had to fight South African militia rebels, and the British suffered nearly 22,000 dead to the Boers 9,000. Although the British had won, thousands of British were left dead or seriously injured at the hands of the South African militia. Moreover, the British Empire had a naval focus. The British Navy boasted nearly 160 modern warships and the German navy boasted a strength of only 87. In addition, the French Navy supported the British Navy with an additional 91 warships. By having twice as many warships, the British spent £173,500,000 on their navy (roughly $267,190,000) and the Germans spent ₰986,523,189 on their total military (roughly $573,000,000). This vast difference would be a key premise that lead to a major underestimation of the British military power.
The Overestimation of an Ally
To add to the miscalculations by the German General Staff was the overestimation of the military strength of Austria-Hungary. The first error of this was that Field Marshal von Moltke expected his Austrian counterpart, Field Marshal Conrad von Hotzendorf, to field a modern and effective army. The Austro-Hungarian army fielded about one million men at mobilization, supported by 1,200 artillery pieces. 26% of the Austro-Hungarian army had equipment dated back to 1895. The remaining 74% of the Austro-Hungarian military had mainly 1903 equipment; however, their artillery force used mainly guns dating back to 1908 and even fewer more modern 1911 guns. The main rifle being used by the Austro-Hungarian field armies was the Mannlicher-Schonauer, a rifle that went into production in 1903. The secondary rifle of the Austro-Hungarian field armies was the Steyr-Mannlicher M1895. This army was expected to decisively defeat 420,000 Serbians using generally more modern equipment, notably pre-modern (post-1900 production) rifles and artillery, as well as roughly 2,000,000 Russians, using mainly postmodern rifles and artillery, due to the modernization after the Russian loss in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05). Outnumbered and primarily outgunned, the German high command expected the Austro-Hungarian to perform ably and decisively in the field.
To cause this belief among the German General Staff was a recent string of Austro-Hungarian victories. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had a stunning victory over the Ottoman Empire, where they funded a revolution in Bulgaria. This sparked the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, in which the Austro-Hungarians brought their two greatest rivals against each other, which lead to a serious weakening of the Ottoman Empire when the independence of Bulgaria was established in the postwar treaty. This war further benefited Austria-Hungary, because the Russian Empire was forced to back down when they attempted to make Bulgaria a puppet state and assert their dominance in the Balkans, due to the fact the British Empire stepped in and humiliated the Tzar. This caused a restriction on Russian influence in affairs in the Balkans.
With such a stunning result, and wanting to further their gains, the Austro-Hungarian Empire annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1905 and became the undisputed power in the Balkans. This, however, was a major diplomatic and political victory, and not a military victory, which the Germans were depending on their southern neighbors to make in the next war. The Austro-Hungarian Empire’s military problems were furthered by their Chief of the General Staff, Conrad von Hotzendorf, who proved unsuited for his position. He was fancied a military genius by colleagues when this proved to be nowhere near reality. He simply could not deliver a decisive victory when it was needed. He lost battles in Galicia, got, an entire army enveloped and entrapped around the Fortress of Przemysl, and was forced to abandon his positions around Krakow. Conrad von Hotzendorf proved in his many failures that he could not lead the Austro-Hungarian military, and the defeats were only going to add up as the war prolonged.
The Italy Problem
The final issue that brought the German Empire ruin was their failure to keep Italy in the Triple Alliance. The main reason for this was the Austro-Italian complex. Article Seven of the Amended Triple Alliance, written in 1912, states that:
“Austria-Hungary and Italy, having in mind only the maintenance, so far as possible, of the territorial status quo in the Orient, engage to use their influence to forestall any territorial modification which might be injurious to one or the other of the Powers signatory to the present Treaty.”
Between 1848 and 1866, Italy fought three wars of independence from the Austrian Empire. Although independence was eventually granted, Italy still had claims on the Tyrol Region (Trento), Trieste Region, the Dalmatian Islands, and much of the Austro-Hungarian coast on the Adriatic Sea. This all contributed to strained relations between Italy and Austria-Hungary, which created the Italo-German Complex. After Italy gained independence and Prussia unified Germany and formed the German Empire, they became natural allies, as they were the only new nations in the world power struggle of the era; however, as time went on, it was clear that Germany and Italy had different national goals. Germany planned on taking territory from France and weakening Russia as a European power. Italy had very limited plans about war with France, as they had helped secure Italian independence. Furthermore, Italy had made plans to reclaim their lands from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and form an Empire dominant in the Mediterranean and Africa. These plans would cause the final issue, the Ottoman-Italian complex. The Ottoman Empire had formed a secret alliance with the Germans, which was a problem for the Italian Empire. The Ottoman Empire dominated the eastern Mediterranean which made it a prime rival for the Italians, who proved they were on a warpath with the Ottomans in the Italo-Ottoman War of 1911 in which they seized several Ottoman islands and took Ottoman controlled Libya. These all led to the following message from the German Ambassador at Rome, Baron Ludwig von Flotow, to the German Foreign Office in 1914:
“The Minister, who was in a state of great excitement, said in explanation that the entire Ministerial Council, with the exception of himself, had shown a distinct dislike for Austria. It had been all the more difficult for him to contest this feeling, because Austria, as I myself knew, was continuing so persistently with a recognized injury to Italian interests, as to violate Article 7 of the Triple Alliance treaty, and because she was declining to give a guaranty for the independence and integrity of Serbia.”
This culminated in Italy rejecting the Central Powers offer to join them in their war against Serbia, which violated Article Five of the Amended Triple Alliance of 1912, “They engage henceforward, in all cases of common participation in a war, to conclude neither armistice, nor peace, nor treaty, except by common agreement among themselves.” This then further disconnected Italy from the Central Powers and would eventually cost the German and Austro-Hungarians 1.6 million casualties and forced 66 divisions away from the other main fronts.
The German Empire, through their independence of command structure, the mass alteration of their military strategy, the gross misjudgement of French military power, the inability to calculate the size and power of the Russian military, the underestimation of the British field army, overestimation of Austro-Hungarian military strength, and the failure to keep Italy in the Triple Alliance, lost World War One before even a shot was fired. Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, “The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.” The German Empire failed to do the many calculations needed to wage war, and therefore the First World War was lost to them before it was even fought.
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Comfort breeds apathy. Most people live simply to work to make a living for themselves and their families. We get focused on our career goals and stick to that path. Anything that distracts us from those life objectives (even when it is a major issue) prevents us from possibly feeding our family, providing housing, and all of the daily comforts of life. So, instead of delving into the serious topics of government abuses (lies, thefts, murders, wars, etc.), we prefer answering only to the immediacy of our direct needs and desires rather than a long fought battle against people that are lying to us.
This may also answer why so many people prefer getting their news from social media and comedians, rather than opening books and discussing things that make people uncomfortable. When we get comfortable with our lives, we tend to shield ourselves from things that will disrupt that comfort.
Likeability is at the forefront of most people’s relationships. Being liked by people, especially your family and friends, is important to most people, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, since most are concerned about being agreeable and liked, they tend to shy away from discussions that could lead them to be viewed in a different and bad light. No one wants to be that crazy conspiracy theorist relative, so they accept mainstream political opinion as fact. Some people also just want to continue positive relationships with those they know they will disagree with any non-mainstream thinking in a positive way.
Education also plays a role in turning a blind eye towards government lies. This may have more to do with public schools being the primary source of education for most Americans. It is ingrained in the public school system not to question your government. It teaches you to admire the Presidents as gods that have come to save us while dismissing all of their corruption, abuses, and lies within a generation or two. Furthermore, when public schools are paid for by states and the federal government, as in the US, with every dollar comes a regulation and control of that schooling system. This is because the state has a monopoly on the use of force. So, public schools will paint the State in a positive image, and many continue to believe that without question.
Philosophy is an ongoing battlefield. For many Americans, the idea that government officials are “just doing their job,” is constantly prevalent in their initial responses. Even when the actions of the government go against the Constitution or laws in place, many shun from contesting. This is the ever-pervasive philosophy that helps to destroy the very questioning of government itself.
Many have come to believe that, although an action such as murder or stealing is wrong for the individual, it is collectively permissible if done behind the guise of government. This also echoes throughout political debate where the majority of the political right only questions and badgers the political left, and the political left does the same only to the right, rather than individuals staying philosophically consistent in questioning everyone. These philosophies perpetuate tribalism, identity politics, and collectivism rather than instilling the reason of the individual to rationally and empirically question authority and philosophies themselves.
A systematic benefit is given to the government itself. When people have found lies within government, it turns against the whistleblower. Oftentimes, it may threaten their property, life, and liberty on the grounds of treason or whatever other charges that can be put on the person. Then, if the person goes to court, who will win? When the government is judging the case, the judges, the lawyers, the politicians, those involved in the charges being brought against them by the whistleblower are typically protected from the highest levels down by the government itself. If a state is suing the federal government, we can only hope that the Supreme Court will respond justly, but there is no guarantee.
How well can we actually use the system in place to charge politicians, military personnel, and other government officials for their crimes against God, Nature, and even the Constitution itself?
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Beyond what most politically oriented people think, authoritarian capitalism hasn’t only existed as the offspring of third-positionism meeting reality, in the form of military dictatorships- (ie late stage Francoism, Pinochet’s Chicago boys or Xiaoping Deng’s opening on the world. In fact, the biggest ideological precursor of free market consequentialism in the interwar period was an authoritarian capitalist. Namely, Roman Dmowski, a world-renowned Polish diplomat, head started the biggest nationalist/right-wing movement that supported free market values in Europe.
Aside for his ideological work, he was a signatory of the Versailles treaty. During his first talk with the big 3 (Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin; U.S.President Franklin D. Roosevelt; and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill), Dmowski gave a five-hour entry speech concerning Poland’s bid for independence. In it, he explained how an independent Poland would positively influence the balance of power in Europe. Interestingly, after a few sentences in Polish, his dissatisfaction with the translator’s ability to express his points in English and French, he decided to make his points in said languages himself.
After achieving his goal of creating an independent Poland, he proceeded to pursue a short-lived political career as minister of foreign affairs. Moving out of partisan politics completely, he constructed a political ideology named “National Democracy”, based on a principle of nationally aware masses that knew and understood the interest of their nation. He also coined the term “national egoism”, the idea that a nation-state should only pursue its own interest, not foreign ones. As to not make the state Machiavellian in nature, and ready to undermine all other nations, he was a strong supporter of morals and civic responsibility. What’s more, in an era of blatant global antisemitism, and the support for expulsion/extermination of Jews, he proposed a healthy rivalry- for example, instead of burning down Jewish shops, he promoted natives building their own. As to show how far he was from fascism rhetorically, he said that he doubted that fascism would outlive Mussolini himself (prior to the thought of a world war coming up being blatant).
Economically, he despised the “third way”- he was a supporter of the Krakow school of economics, a precursor to the Austrian school of economics. Its first member, (Prof. Dunajewski) was the teacher of Carl Menger, the founder of the Austrian school. Later on, Heydel and Rybarski, two Polish economists who proposed extreme deregulation of the economy during the time when most of the world was shifting towards Keynesian economic interventionism, lead the economic thought in his nationalist movement.
Dmowski’s line of reasoning was based upon the logical conclusion of taking the following ideas as principles- that his nation had potential, and that regulations slowed down the economy. The conclusion to this is that the members of the said nation should be allowed to freely compete in a free market, and through it, gain the best results. His hard work results in the fact that the biggest nationalist/libertarian party in Poland, Liberty (Wolność), is a market-oriented, pro-free trade movement.
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Fascism is a pejorative in society, but does society truly understand what it means to be a fascist? The socialists have deceived the public into believing that fascism is the most grotesque evolution of capitalism, but this simply is not the case. This article will cut through the societal definitions of the fascists, giving the true meaning of national socialism, paying attention to the philosophical, political, and economic roots of fascism. As the article lays out the totalitarian, anti-property, and subjectivist nature of fascism, it will transition into the development of a true antifascist strategy, which will include advocacy for decentralization, private property, free trade, lower taxes, the right of association and disassociation, the removal of the State from private life and the physical removal of those who would implement such an authoritarian system upon our communities.
What the Nazis have to say about Fascism
On February 24, 1920, the Nazis released their party platform. Among their 25 planks are policies such as old age pensions, the territorial expansion of the State (imperialism), universal employment (public works), the abolition of income without “labor,” the end of interest and rent, the nationalization of industry, wealth redistribution, a dedication to the common good, the provision of free higher education, and the prohibition of child labor.
Looking at the Nazi Party Platform, we can see that capitalism and small government has nothing to do with fascism. To partake in understatement, the free market, personal liberty, and self-ownership does not exist within a national socialist state. The Nazis believed that classical liberalism had failed the world, and that the State was the remedy to whatever illness the world could ever face. As the Nazi Platform shows, adherents to national socialism had no concern for the basic laws of economics (this article will soon show that the Nazis did not even believe in the laws of economics).
Perhaps most damaging is the Nazis’ dedication to the common good. As individuals become just a part of a whole, they become expendable. This dedication to violent, state-sponsored collectivism is exactly what allowed Hitler to demonize the Jews and other minorities so that he could commit the horrific acts of genocide within the Holocaust.
Fascism opposes Economics.
In a 1937 speech, Hitler stated the following:
I am not going to tell you That in place of these economic theories Of the others I am now going to put it a national Socialist economic theory. I would like to avoid the term theory altogether. Yes I would even like to say that what I am going to tell you today Is not intended to be a theory at all. Because if I recognize any dogma at all in the economic sector, then it is only the one dogma that there is no dogma in this sector, no theory at all.
In the statement, Hitler rejects the very concept of economics. He rejects supply and demand, the law of diminishing marginal returns, the socialist calculation problem, and every other insight economics has provided humanity.
This rejection of economics, however, is not original to Hitler. It largely originates from the German Historical School, spear-headed by Gustav von Schmoller. The German Historical School was of the persuasion that economic law was a sham. Rather than looking at economics as a set of universal propositions, advocates of the Historical School saw economics as a series of empirical incidents that will vary across time and place. To these individuals, there are no laws of economics that could hold back an omnipotent government.
In “The Historical Setting of the Austrian School of Economics,” Ludwig von Mises shows how Hitler was largely inspired by the German Historical School. It makes sense that he would be, after all. Economic law inherently limits a dictator. Hitler needed to find a way to get past the basic economic laws which confine humanity, and he found a theory that rejects these limitations in the Historical School. For more information on the German Historical School, please see Dr. David Gordon’s “The Philosphical Origins of Austrian Economics.”
In Human Action, Mises discussed this anti-capitalistic mentality that intoxicated Hitler, and still continue to intoxicate the masses today:
The issue has been obfuscated by the endeavors of governments and powerful pressure groups to disparage economics and to defame the economists. Despots and democratic majorities are drunk with power. They must reluctantly admit that they are subject to the laws of nature. But they reject the very notion of economic law. Are they not the supreme legislators? Don’t they have the power to crush every opponent? No war lord is prone to acknowledge any limits other than those imposed on him by a superior armed force. Servile scribblers are always ready to foster such complacency by expounding the appropriate doctrines. They call their garbled presumptions “historical economics.” In fact, economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics.
It is impossible to understand the history of economic thought if one does not pay attention to the fact that economics as such is a challenge to the conceit of those in power. An economist can never be a favorite of autocrats and demagogues. With them he is always the mischief-maker, and the more they are inwardly convinced that his objections are well founded, the more they hate him.
If one tries to refute the devastating, criticism leveled by economics against the suitability of all these interventionist schemes, one is forced to deny the very existence—not to mention the epistemological claims—of a science of economics, and of praxeology as well. This is what all the champions of authoritarianism, government omnipotence, and “welfare” policies have always done. They blame economics for being “abstract” and advocate a “visualizing” (anschaulich) mode of dealing with the problems involved. They emphasize that matters in this field are too complicated to be described in formulas and theorems. They assert that the various nations and races are so different from one another that their actions cannot be comprehended by a uniform theory; there are as many economic theories required as there are nations and races. Others add that even within the same nation or race, economic action is different in various epochs of history. These and similar objections, often incompatible with one another, are advanced in order to discredit economics as such….
To summarize Mises, it is the ego of a dictator and a democratic mass that endangers the public. Their blatant disregard for economic law sets a society on a path to destruction and ruin, and the history of government resoundingly proves this. Hitler’s deliberate ignorance of economics only adds to the anti-human nature of national socialism.
National Socialism Needs a Centrally Planned Economy
Hitler, when addressing the concept of economic freedom versus state planning, made the following statement:
If Germany intends to live, then it must run its whole economy in a manner that is clear and planned. We cannot manage without a plan. If we were to let things run on according to the principle that everyone may do as he likes, then in a very short time this freedom would end upIn a terrible famine. No, we have to conduct our business and run our economy according to plan. Therefore the National Socialist government cannot be dependent on any individual interests. It cannot be dependent on the city or the country, not on workers and not on employers. It cannot be dependent on industry, on the crafts, on trade or on finance. It can only accept one obligation…. The nation alone is our master, and we serve this nation to the best of our knowledge and belief.
What the following statement demonstrates is that Hitler did not see the market as the means to prosperity. Rather, he believed that the State can plan a society to create prosperity. If it was economic, Hitler believed the government could do it better than the maket could. Simply put, Hitler did not believe in economic freedom. He believed in the State.
The National Socialists Reject Honest Money
In 1939, Hitler gave his position on the gold standard:
Today we smile about a time when our political economists actually did believe that the value of a currency depended on the amount of gold and foreign currency reserves piled up in the safes of the state banks, and that it was guaranteed by these. We have learned instead of of the value of a currency lies in the production capacity of a nation, that increasing production is what holds up a currency, even revalues it under certain circumstances, whereas any declining production results must sooner or later lead to an automatic devaluation of the currency. And at a time when the financial and economic theologists in the other countries prophesied our collapse every 3 to 6 months, the National Socialist state stabilized the value of its currency by increasing production most extraordinarily. An actual relationship was created between increasing German production and the currency in circulation.
Hitler saw fiat currency as an incredible moral virtue. Such a currency would give the State massive influence over the population, which is the true defining characteristic of National Socialism. It is with all this in mind that we can see that Hitler and the Nazis clearly rejected capitalism. They did not see the free market, private property, or self-ownership as a path to prosperity. They only valued omnipotent government.
Fascism: The State Above All Else
While one may simply dismiss Hitler and the Nazis’ economic ignorance as the ramblings of a mad man, but it makes sense when you understand the philosophical aim of fascism: the State having complete and total control. Fascism placed the power of the State above all else, which explains their disregard for economic law, their admiration for central planning, and their dedication to fiat currency.
But the national socialists did not just place the State above economics. They placed the State above you.
Fascism is another Color of Socialism
In Omnipotent Government, Mises pointed out that fascism was a “third way” between capitalism and communism. While the national socialists were not communists, they were socialists. Mises expounds on German National socialism in the following:
The German pattern differs from the Russian one in that it (seemingly and nominally) manintains private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary prices, wages, and markets. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs but only shop managers (Betriebsfuhrer). These shop managers do the buying and selling, pay the workers, the contract debts, and pay interest and amortization. There is no labor market; wages and salaries are fixed by the government. The government tells the shop managers what and how to produce, at what prices and from whom to buy, at what prices and to whom to sell.
So, while the people owned private property according to German Law, the ownership of private property was in name and in name only.
Fascist Rejection of Private Property
Mises was not the only person to identify the lack of private property in Nazi Germany. In fact, the Nazis openly embraced this, and it crippled German Business. Hitler elaborated upon his views on private property here:
Our socialism reaches much deeper. It does not change the external order of things. It orders solely the relationship of man to the state. Then what does property and income count for? Why should we need to socialize the banks and the factories? We are socializing the people.
So, the businesses can have property by decree, but it doesn’t matter. The people are owned by the State in a National Socialist economy. In truth, Hitler’s socialism runs deeper than the socialism of the Soviet Union. It doesn’t matter if you own “private property” in a fascist state (or a state in general), for the State owns you.
Doing Business under Fascism
If the socialist lie that fascism is late stage capitalism was true, then the ease of doing business must certainly be irrefutable. This, however, is not the case. In The Vampire Economy, Gunter Reimann described what it was like to do business under the Nazis. To put it shortly, business owners did not own their businesses. Workers did not own their bargaining rights. No one but the State owned anything.
Things became so bad for the businessman in Nazi Germany, that they were described as “white Jews” in a letter Reimann retrieved from a German businessman. In that same letter, the businessman laments the lack of price flexibility, the increase in regulations, the increase in taxation, the confiscation of private property, and the complete revocation of the right to use your profit as you see fit.
Matters weren’t any better for the German worker either. Whereas the Nazis demanded a “fair wage,” the workers’ hours drastically increased. The workers who worked just six hours per day were forced to work anywhere from eleven to twelve hours per week. The Nazis would also force women and children into employment to make family income look even better.
Just like all socialists, fascists reject private property.
As alluded to before, the fascist’s reverence for the State led to the destruction of private property. Reimann points this out by telling the story of a German landowner known as Herr V, who was forced to even quarter German troops in his home. After having enough, Herr V decided to go to a bank to invest his funds in something the State cannot touch by purchasing a farm in West Africa. The banker informed him that the State will not allow you to leave with your property. One can “own” property in Nazi Germany, but we all know the State is the true owner under fascism.
With businesses, it was just as bad. The State had the authority to go through the books of businesses. Any errors would lead to a fine of millions of Marks. These regulations were just another means of expropriating private property from the people. In fact, the Nazi regime repealed the right to private property on February 28, 1933, with the abolition of article 153 of the Weimar Constitution.
The business owners were replaced with Betriebsführer, or business managers. Since you did not truly own your property, you were just a tenant of this “fiat” property. In other words, in order to keep “your” property, you must not only follow the law. You must be completely servile to the State. In fascism, the State owns you.
The Reality of Fascism in America
This article would seem irrelevant if we believed the only fascist regimes were those of Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Franco’s Spain. But that simply is not the case. We must accept the reality that the United States has become a fascist government.
The US has been a fascist country since FDR ushered in the administrative state through the New Deal. Under Roosevelt’s policies, businesses were directed to produce for “the common good” instead of individual profit. The welfare state grew exponentially to compel dependence upon the State from the people.
Economic law has been entirely rejected. The central banks and the bureaucracy have the authority to regulate as they see fit. Private property is a sham. The government taxes and regulated everything. On top of the welfare state is a massive warfare state. The private sector has been cartelized, production has been heavily subsidized. The people revere the police state as the source of peace. Our rights are denied in the name of security.
Another indicator is the US’s worship of its leaders. Paul Craig Roberts identified this by saying, “Like Brownshirts, the new conservatives take personally any criticism of their leader and his policies. To be a critic is to be an enemy.” the Left has adopted this as well. Any criticism of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is seen as treason. If the people are sensitive of criticisms of Trump and Obama, they are intolerable to criticisms of individuals such as Lincoln or FDR. But if this isn’t enough, consider John Flynn’s Eight Marks of Fascist Policy.
Government is totalitarian because it acknowledges no restraint on its power.
Government is a de facto dictatorship based on the Leadership Principle.
Government administers a “capitalist” system with an immense bureaucracy.
Producers are organized into cartels in the way of syndicalism.
Economic planning based on the principle of Autarky.
Government sustains economic life by spending and borrowing.
Militarism is a mainstay of government spending.
The military has imperialist aims.
Toward an Antifascist Alliance
As Lew Rockwell points out in Fascism vs. Capitalism, the federal government has turned the US into a fascist nation, and therefore we must fight fascism in America. Rockwell did give us a brief word on anti-fascist strategy. In essence, we must be capitalists to fight fascism.
“I can think of no greater priority today than a serious and effective antifascist alliance. In many ways, one is already forming. It is not a formal alliance. It is made up of those who protest the Fed, those who refuse to go along with mainstream fascist politics, those who seek decentralization, those who demand lower taxes and free trade, those who seek the right to associate with anyone they want and buy and sell on terms of their own choosing, those who insist they can educate their children on their own, the investors and savers who make economic growth possible, those who do not want to be felt up at airports, and those who have become expatriates.
It is also made of the millions of independent entrepreneurs who are discovering that the number one threat to their ability to serve others through the commercial marketplace is the institution that claims to be our biggest benefactor: the government.” Lew Rockwell, Fascism vs. Capitalism.
In other words, to fight against fascism, we must fight for freedom. One of the top flaws of fascism is its reactionary nature. It was built to stop communism but ultimately became just as bad, with an even deeper socialism in which the people become socialized. We cannot continue with negative activism. We must have a positive goal. Being in favor of freedom first inherently makes one against communism, fascism, and all other forms of statism. This is how to fight American fascism.