A class analysis of Nazi "radicalism"

Dhlazare at aol.com Dhlazare at aol.com
Wed Jun 3 07:48:25 PDT 1998

In a message dated 98-06-03 09:58:11 EDT, you write:

<< From 1934 to 1936, every expression of Nazi radicalism was suppressed.

After the working-class was tamed in 1933, the petty-bourgeois supporters

of a "People's Revolution" were purged from the government one by one. The

real economic program of the big bourgeoisie was rearmament. Any pretense

at "rural socialism" was dispensed with and the Third Reich's real goal

became clear: preparation for a new European war. It needed coal, oil and

other resources from Eastern Europe. It also needed to channel all

investment into the armaments industry, which could act as a steam-engine

for general capitalist recovery. In brief, the economic policy of the Nazi

government started to look not that different from Franklin Roosevelt's. It

was World War Two, after all, that brought the United States out of the

Great Depression, not ineffectual public works programs. >>

Interesting parallels with U.S. policy here. Hitler, who supposedly kept a life-size photo of Henry Ford in his office, also embarked on neo-Fordist policies based on de-urbanization, highway construction (the autobahnen), and motorization (the VW). His and Ford's motives were essentially the same: the undercut urban socialism, to reacquaint workers with the rural life, to atomize the old social structure, and also to stimulate middle-class consumerism. The difference is that Ford was an isolationist trying to return to an idealized Midwestern past, whereas Hitler was trying to create a new form of hyper-aggressive nationalism. Their mutual regard suggested that these two strands might have eventually gotten together and merged, but events, as they say, got in the way....

Dan Lazare

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