One of my pet peeves is when I am accused of being a fascist or a nazi because of my integrist, reactionary politics. Years ago, in university, I had a very good friend from England. He was a Labourite, with sympathies for the Militant, a trotskyite communist entryist movement infiltrating the Labour Party. At the time, I was a member of Prag, a ginger group in the Conservative and Unionist Party that essentially wanted to restore the Stuart Constitution under the House of Windsor (a goal I still support).
In a political discussion, I was expounding on my views when someone said, “You’re a fascist!” My friend, Ron, leapt to my defense, retorting, “If England is saved from fascism, it will be by men of Weismiller’s stripe.”
Of course, in the liberal, “progressive,” i.e. marxist, dominated milieu of political discourse today, anyone who does not accept the marxist position explicitly, or implicitly by acquiescence, is automatically a ‘”fascist.” I often joke, ironically, that “fascism” is any opinion the fashionable left disagrees with. “Fascist pig” became popular in the anti-Vietnam War movement and has remained popular on the left.
In reality however, both Marxism and fascism/nazism are left-wing, revolutionary philosophies, as is explained at length by Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn in his seminal work Leftism: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse, and its revised edition, Leftism Revisited: From De Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot. He explains that both are Hegelian in origin, Marxism being Left Hegelian and fascism/nazism being Right Hegelian.
He points out that the two are like a pair of shoemakers in a village, vigourously competing for the custom of the villagers, and that the true conservative, who currently must be a reactionary to restore order and sanity to society, is the fellow who suddenly says that everybody should go barefoot, thus becoming the enemy of both revolutionary parties.
So, while everyone is in agreement that Marxism is definitely a left-wing movement, let’s look at some evidence about the other two.
In the”‘Doctrine of Fascism” written by Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile, they said that fascism “is not reactionary but revolutionary.” Further, they wrote, “History doesn’t travel backwards. The fascist doctrine has not taken De Maistre as its prophet. Monarchical absolutism is of the past, and so is ecclesiolatry.”
It is instructive that while Mussolini tolerated the monarchy, as soon as he was rescued by his nazi pals after being overthrown, he sat up the Italian Social Republic in Northern Italy, and his ‘reformed’ National Fascist Party was explicitly anti-monarchist. In this way, he returned to the revolutionary republicanism that he had held as a socialist.
Of the Nazis, their “Party Anthem” the Horst Wessel Lied opens with this verse:
Flag high, ranks closed,The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.Comrades shot by the red front and reaction march in spirit with us in our ranks.
Not exactly reactionary!
Their “clone” in Austria, the Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei, declared in their program:
the German National Socialist Workers’ Party is not a party exclusively for labourers; it stands for the interests of every decent and honest enterprise. It is a liberal (freiheitlich) and strictly folkish party fighting against all reactionary efforts, clerical, feudal and capitalistic privileges . . .
In the 25 Points of the program of the National Socialist German Workers Party points 13 and 14 are:
We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts),
We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
Sounds like a left-wing, revolutionary position to me. Point 17 goes on to say:
We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
This doesn’t sound like any reactionary or conservative I’ve ever read or heard of.
Point 19 says:
We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.
While I have no idea what “German common law” might be, it is definitely not a reactionary point to abolish the law system which has been around for a thousand years. Did they want to return to the Law Codes of the Tribes, the Burgundian Law, the Salic Law, etc?
Point 20 deals with education in a way to make any reactionary, traditionalist shudder (my emphasis).
The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the state must be striven for by the school [Staatsbürgerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the state of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
The traditional view of the “reactionary,” traditional monarchist is summed up in Article Five of the Charter of the Rights of the Family, Presented by the Holy See to all persons, institutions and authorities concerned with the mission of the family in today’s world, in 1983 (again, my emphasis).
Since they have conferred life on their children, parents have the original, primary and inalienable right to educate them; hence they must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children.
a) Parents have the right to educate their children in conformity with their moral and religious convictions, taking into account the cultural traditions of the family which favor the good and the dignity of the child; they should also receive from society the necessary aid and assistance to perform their educational role properly.
b) Parents have the right to freely choose schools or other means necessary to educate their children in keeping with their convictions. Public authorities must ensure that public subsidies are so allocated that parents are truly free to exercise this right without incurring unjust burdens. Parents should not have to sustain, directly or indirectly, extra charges which would deny or unjustly limit the exercise of this freedom.
c) Parents have the right to ensure that their children are not compelled to attend classes which are not in agreement with their own moral and religious convictions. In particular, sex education is a basic right of the parents and must always be carried out under their close supervision, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them.
d) The rights of parents are violated when a compulsory system of education is imposed by the State from which all religious formation is excluded.
e) The primary right of parents to educate their children must be upheld in all forms of collaboration between parents, teachers and school authorities, and particularly in forms of participation designed to give citizens a voice in the functioning of schools and in the formulation and implementation of educational policies.
f) The family has the right to expect that the means of social communication will be positive instruments for the building up of society, and will reinforce the fundamental values of the family. At the same time the family has the right to be adequately protected, especially with regard to its youngest members, from the negative effects and misuse of the mass media.
I can think of no two philosophies of education more opposed to each other than these. Point 24 deals with religious “freedom”:
We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination.
Of course, since the moral law of Christianity is at odds with nazi “morality,” this was a dead letter ab origine. What was “positive Christianity”? In 1937, Hans Kerrl, the Nazi Minister for Church Affairs, explained that “Positive Christianity” was not “dependent upon the Apostle’s Creed,” nor was it dependent on “faith in Christ as the son of God,” upon which Christianity relied, rather, it was represented by the Nazi Party: “The Führer is the herald of a new revelation,” he said. To accord with Nazi antisemitism, Positive Christianity advocates also sought to deny the Semitic origins of Christ and the Bible. In such elements Positive Christianity separated itself from Nicene Christianity and is considered apostate by all of the historical Trinitarian Christian churches, whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant.
These “positive Christians” formed a “church” called the Deutsche Christen, German Christians, to align German protestantism as a whole towards the principles of Naziism. Their advocacy of these principles led to a schism within 23 of the initially 28 regional church bodies (Landeskirchen) in Germany and the attendant foundation of the opposing Confessing Church in 1934. Their flag, which was the red Nazi banner, with a cross defaced by the swastika, indicates their insanity.
The Catholic Church, of course, had no such schism, since no believing Catholic could be a Nazi, especially after the issuance of Mit Brennender Sorge, On the Church and the German Reich by His Holiness Pope Pius XI in 1937, denouncing Naziism.
Point 25 includes this gem:
For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general.
One of the major demands of all “reactionaries” is decentralisation. The Royalist Counter-Revolutionaries in France fought to destroy the Revolutionary Départements and the restoration of the historic provinces. The Carlists in Spain fought for the restoration of ‘the Spains’ against the centralised Alfonsist State. The Catholics who opposed the Revolutionary, Freemasonic ‘Kingdom of Italy’ fought to preserve a decentralised Italy.
This point is in direct opposition to the Catholic doctrine of subsidiarity as defined by His Holiness Pope Pius XI in his great Encyclical, Quadragesimo Anno:
As history abundantly proves, it is true that on account of changed conditions many things which were done by small associations in former times cannot be done now save by large associations. Still, that most weighty principle, which cannot be set aside or changed, remains fixed and unshaken in social philosophy: Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.
When Hitler took power in 1933, the very first people he and his thugs went after were the ‘reactionary’ monarchists. One was Herman Borchardt, whose story is related by Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. He was a ‘reactionary’ monarchist who stayed in Germany. He was arrested and sent to the camps. He managed to escape and he came to the US. He was invited by the ’emigres’, mostly left wing cowards who had fled at the earliest opportunity, to give a speech at Cooper Union in NYC. He opened his speech with the words, ‘I regret that Hitler allowed you, the grave diggers of Germany, to escape’. Of course, the audience began to boo, but he couldn’t hear them. He was deaf from the beatings he had received at the hands of Hitler’s goons.
Finally, two small points. When Hitler took power in 1933, his first Partei Ordnung was that any member of the Communist Party was to be admitted immediately into the National Socialist Party upon surrender of his Communist Party card. The second, which illustrates this, is that in those early months of Nazi power, many Swastika Flags, if they got wet in the rain, showed the red of the communist/socialist flag through the white roundel bearing the swastika.
My conclusion is that whatever the left tries to foist on the political discourse, fascism and naziism are in no way “right-wing” movements. They are extreme left-wing ideas and are blood brothers to the socialists, anarchists, and communists.