Friedrich List & Franz Neumann

Greg Nowell GN842 at CNSVAX.Albany.Edu
Fri Sep 25 14:37:43 PDT 1998

Neumann's Behemoth is a great work. It is true that List was a major influence on Nazi autarchic policies. List also advocated an getting a colonial empire on the British/French model. But I would not want to put Nazism on List's shoulders, there were a lot of nationalist imperialists who didn't got "quite that far." As for racism, List was race conscious but not of the Nazi variety. He advocated inter-racial breeding on the theory that it made for stronger humans.

List wasn't really an advocate of autarchy to the same extent as the Nazis. He did think industrialization was a good thing, and that tariffs were needed to prevent the emergence of a tradedeficit that would cause the banking system to collapse (and prices along with it).

A more radical autrachic theory was advanced in 1800 by J.G. Fichte, der Handelstaat Geschlossne (the Closed Commercial State) which has not been translated in English but is available in French and Italian as well as German. Fichte thought that self-sufficiency was the best way to avoid the imperialist excesses of international capitalism, and that as such it was a road to peace. Autarchic theory is deeply rooted in German experience and I think the Nazis could have come up with their ideas with or wihtout List.

-- Gregory P. Nowell Associate Professor Department of Political Science, Milne 100 State University of New York 135 Western Ave. Albany, New York 12222

Fax 518-442-5298

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list