Big Business and the Nazis

William S. Lear rael at
Wed Jun 17 11:06:03 PDT 1998

On Wed, June 17, 1998 at 10:38:24 (-0700) michael at writes:
>Sohn Rethel said that they high tech companies initially opposed the
>Nazis; the old iron, coal and steel industries supported them because they
>would put a stop to competition and suppress labor -- the only way that
>they could see to improve profits.
>How correct was he?

This pretty much jibes with Thomas Ferguson's analysis of party competition. He notes that the industrial structure in Germany brought about a New Order to deal with labor activity, whereas the US got the New Deal. I'm simplifying, but capital-intensive business here was able to foot the bill for Roosevelt, whereas labor-intensive business in Germany preferred a more "direct" approach to labor control. So, I'd say Ferguson adds a bit more detail to the picture. He also analyzes industrial structure and party competition along other dimensions (e.g., "internationalism"), but this one (labor composition) is pretty fundamental.


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