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Messages - Peter C

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1
The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 29, 2007, 03:15:28 AM »
Terence claims that the figures in the annual UN Development Report for deaths of children under five are nonsense. I’d like to see him prove his claim.He also hasn’t understood my reference to a historical cut-off date for truth. Rgellately seems to think that books printed in e.g. the 1960s are too old to rely on, if they contradict his own convictions. That’s why I asked for a cut-off date.

Gellately has now moved on, so I won’t continue flogging him. But if you read our exchanges you will see that his replies to questions are simply insults. For example, see replies 80-82.

A few comments on Richard Pipes are in order for the sake of historical accuracy and his links to US and Israeli crimes in the Middle East (I am an atheist Jew and anti-Zionist). Rgellately was horrified when I called Pipes a propagandist. “Your defamation of Richard Pipes is also inexcusable. He does not need me to defend him, but suffice it to say that as the emeritus professor of Russian history at Harvard, with a half-dozen classics to his name, I think it is fair to say that he has forgotten more about Russian history than most people will ever learn.”

A scoundrel like Pipes can’t be defamed. Among other things, he was head of he infamous “Team B” assembled by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush Sr. in 1974, when Gerald Ford was US president. Rumsfeld and Bush believed that  CIA intelligence reports on the USSR were unreliable and underestimated the “Soviet threat”. Team B’s task was to generate alternative, more accurate reports. The team was selected by apprentice criminal Richard Perle and included at least one other other apprentice criminal, i.e. Paul Wolfowitz.
 
In 1974 Richard Pipes’ Team B obediently submitted a report which stated that the CIA was unaware of a new and secret Soviet WMD - nuclear submarines that were undetectable and could penetrate US coastal waters, where they could launch missiles with nuclear warheads that would annihilate the US.

The only problem was that the Pipes team’s entire report was a pure fabrication. As such it was a prototype of the lies which the Bush Jr. administration used to justify the attack on Iraq, which Pipes considers to be correct. This makes him an accessory to war crimes. Although – or perhaps because – the report was a lie, Pipes was appointed to the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan, where he presumably endorsed the criminal attack on Grenada.

Like the other neo-cons, Pipes has always been a fervent supporter of Zionism, which also makes him an accessory to war crimes.

Pipes’ scholarly productions include a history of the Russian revolution that is a travesty. See e.g. Peter Kenez, The Prosecution of Soviet History: A Critique of Richard Pipes’ The Russian Revolution, The Russian Review, 50 (1991). Pipes does not discuss the secret US financing of Cossack terror, for which see America’s Secret War Against Bolshevism, David Foglesong, University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

Pipes also wrote Property and Freedom, an ahistorical quasi-metaphysical work in which he claims that there is an “inseparable connection” between private property and freedom. He does not explain how this connection is reflected in e.g. the slave-trading operations of the US and UK bourgeoisie and the cotton and sugar-cane plantations they owned in the US and the Caribbean.

For a typical evening of rubbish by Richard Pipes, visit http://www.fee.org/publications/notes/notes/property.asp, where he reaches new depths as he states that Plato was “the first communist in intellectual history”.

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The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 21, 2007, 06:07:18 PM »
Hello again rgellately!

I'll be traveling until next week so you'll have to wait for a detailed answer.

I notice that you don't answer any of my questions. Why not?

You write "you still do not cite anything published in this century, by the way, and it shows”. Can't you read? The Medvedev book was published in Russian in 2003 and in English in 2006. Which century are you living in?

Robert Conquest worked for MI6. Dissemination of disinformation has always been his profession. In The Great Terror he wrote that that rumor is the best source of truth. Do you agree? Answer the question and skip the childish insults, also the “all due respect” rubbish. The majority of Conquest’s sources in Harvest of Sorrow are Ukranian or German Nazis. Do you regard them as reliable? Answer the question. Have you read From Hitler to Harvard by Douglas Tottle? Answer the question.

Since you don’t give any evidence that contradicts Neumann, Schweitzer or Mandel we can assume that this particular case is closed.

Montefiore may work hard, but he is still a charlatan. I’ll provide you with an example next week. Curious that you are irritated by criticism of professors in the US and at the same time feel free to denigrate professors in Sweden. Have you read Getty, Manning, Ritterspoor, Zemkov, Tauger, Wheatcroft and others who have refuted Conquest, Pipes et al? Answer the question.

I don’t have any friends at the Swedish Academy of Science. My neighbor is a member. Have you really read Stalin’s article on dialectical and historical materialism? Did you understand it?

“There’s hardly time to provide the better evidence that exists in abundance.” There’s plenty of time, given the length of your posts. Provide it.

Next week I will give you some figures on the capitalist holocaust. In the meantime, have a look at Late Victorian Holocausts, by Mike Davis. “…no need to get into body counts”. Why not? Hasn’t that been a staple argument of Conquest et al?

Here’s a body count for you. In 1990 the first UN Human Development Report indicated that about 10 million children under 5 years would die that year for want of basic medical care. Virtually all of them died in countries controlled by capitalists. Since then the figure has been 10-12 million annually, or at least 170 million over the past 17 years. Who cares? Do you? Answer the question.

As for “my thread” one of the contributors to this site made a comment about fascism.. I made another. You replied. But you continue to evade questions. I have never suggested “No capitalism, no Hitler.” You’re making things up again.

As to Pol Pot, you are surely aware that the US, the UK and other Western nations recognized his one of his underlings as Cambodia’s representative to the UN for years after the Vietnamese drove his forces out of Cambodia. If you’re in doubt, get in touch with John Pilger.

I also suggest that you read The Condition of the English Working Class by Engels. But it’s probably too old for you. What is the cut-off date for historical accuracy?

Yours for more truth in academia.

3
The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 21, 2007, 09:42:52 AM »
Hello again rgellately!

Since you have read everything Stalin wrote (“including Molotov’s later rationalizations” – did Stalin write these?), would you care to comment on his 1938 article on dialectical and historical materialism for the Soviet Encyclopedia? In case you don’t remember, he briefly describes the principal features of Marxist dialectics: a) Things, phenomena and processes cannot be understood in isolation, but only by considering their relations with other things, phenomena and processes. b) Nature is in a state of continuous movement and change. c) Development involves a continuous process of quantitative changes that lead to qualitative changes which often occur rapidly and abruptly. d) Internal contradictions are inherent in all things, phenomena and processes, for they all have negative and positive sides, a past and a future, something dying away and something developing, and the conflict between these opposites constitutes the internal content of the process of development.

I take it that you disagree with statements a-d. Am I correct? If so, you have a problem, because they are part of the foundation of modern particle physics according to my neighbor, who is a member of the Swedish Academy of Science.

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The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 21, 2007, 09:41:39 AM »
Hello again rgellately!

On 16 November you wrote that Stalin asserted “that Hitler was motivated by materialistic considerations and so would never invade the USSR if the Soviets gave him freely in trade what he (and the German capitalists) wanted”. Further, “A German attack made no sense to his way of thinking. Why go to war to gain booty, when the Soviets were giving Hitler everything he asked for?” Why then had the Stalin government spent more than four years trying to cement an alliance with the UK and France against Hitler? Why hadn’t they simply given Hitler everything he asked for? You also wrote that Stalin “failed to listen to those who kept warning of the German invasion – even on the day it took place”.

In July 1940, less than a year after the pact with the Germans was signed, Major General Vasilevsky submitted the draft of a war plan that “assumed an attack by Germany, supported by Italy, Finland, Rumania and possible Hungary and Japan” (When Titans Clashed, : How the Red Army Stopped Hitler, Glantz and House, University of Kansas Press, 1993.). The plan was rather prescient, don’t you think? The draft was modified and reviewed by Stalin and others and approved on 14 October, when it become the basis for Mobilization Plan 41. Were Stalin and the General Staff just kidding around? Colonel Glantz (US Army ret.) was one of the founders of the Army’s Soviet Army Studies Office and is widely regarded as an expert on Eastern-front operations in WW2.

The principal error was that the plan assumed a main German attack in the southwest to secure grain, coal and other minerals in the Ukraine and the Donbas. Glantz:  “Yet Stalin was correct to insist that Hitler was interested in economic resources”. Of course, When Titans Clashed was written way back in 1993, which probably makes it suspect in your eyes.

Zhukov’s memoirs and The Unknown Stalin by Z and R Medvedev also contradict your argument. This book was written in 2003 and published in English in 2006. Is that modern enough for you?

The Medvedevs show that by January 1941 the Soviet government knew the basic details of Operation Barbarossa, originally scheduled for launch in May 1941, “and there is no reason to think that the Soviet leadership questioned this date for the start of the war”. I assume you know that Stalin was part of the Soviet leadership at the time. The Medvedevs claim that the invasion date was changed because the Germans had to subdue Yugoslavia and Greece, which required transferring tanks and planes from the eastern front.
 
On 21 June Stalin ordered the Moscow anti-aircraft defenses to be put on full alert. Does this indicate that he didn’t anticipate an invasion? Later in the day Zhukov told Stalin that according to a German deserter the attack would start the next day. Stalin replied “Come to the Kremlin with the Defense Commissar in 45 minutes”. At about 23.00 that day Stalin, Zhukov and Timoshenko sent a directive ordering all military units to be brought to full preparedness in anticipation of a surprise attack on the following day, 22 June. So much for your fantasy that Stalin disregarded the threat of an invasion “even on the day it took place”.

The Medvedevs have consulted the visitors’ book from Stalin’s Kremlin office, published as Istorichesky Arkhiv in 1994-97. Is that too long ago for you? Stalin was working virtually 24 hours a day from 05.45 June 22 onward. Molotov’s “rationalization” turns out to be true after all. The Medvedevs also show (with support from Marshall Zhukov) that Stalin’s insistence on not committing reserves to the front in late June and early July 1941 and keeping the main forces 200-300 kilometers from the border (as established by the pact) “was absolutely correct” in terms of tactics. The Medvedevs are correct in their statement that “the strategic advantages of the pact (for the Soviets) were all too obvious”. It enabled the USSR to move its borders 200-300 kilometers westward, as Molotov pointed out.

As for Montefiore, he is not a historian, any more than Conquest, Beevor, Pipes and the rest of the propaganda brigade. His book on Stalin is a docu-soap opera, complete with titillating details that have no foundation in reality. At any rate, Stalin was not “fooled so badly about the invasion”, and therefore hypotheses advanced by Montefiore and others are irrelevant. It is clear that Stalin was hoping to be able to postpone a German invasion until 1942, but that was a mistake in judgement, not a lack of imagination.


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The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 21, 2007, 08:43:48 AM »
Hello rgellately!

Let’s start over. Fascism is a capitalist phenomenon. The fascist societies in Italy, Germany and Spain were capitalist, i.e. the production system was owned by a tiny minority of the population, the main goal of production was to maximize the accumulation of capital by the owners, and in order to so the owners aimed at maximizing the surplus value that they could extort from the actual producers, i.e. the working class. Any objections?

The upper class, i.e. the owners, supported the fascist parties because they understood that fascist policies would benefit them. In particular, they appreciated the fascist antagonism to Marxism and therefore to the working class. The interests of the upper class are in conflict with the interests of the working class. Do you disagree?

In Germany, big capital began supporting the NASDP in 1923 (100,000 gold reichsmarks donated by the steel trust) ?? and increased throughout the 1920s. Information on this support is given in Shirer’s book. Do you have any evidence to show that he was wrong?

You write that capitalists in Germany “initially gained with the end of trade unions and so on”, which sounds rather inconsequential. Elimination of trade unions along with the bans on strikes, collective bargaining, mediation, arbitration, worker participation in industrial affairs and collective action by labor organizations “established the principle that organized labor had no place in a state politically dominated by the Nazi party” (Schweizer). Is this statement incorrect? Were the above decrees in the interest of big capital, or not? As for “initial gains”, in the period 1932-38 nominal wages rose by 10%, the cost of living by 7%, and the length of the working day by almost 40%. In other words, the rate of exploitation of the working class intensified dramatically. This translated directly into higher profits by capitalists also rose, from RM 8 billion in 1932 to RM 20 billion in 1938 (Mandel).

Unemployed workers benefited, according to you, but at the same time the Nazi government prohibited job changes that were not approved by employers. This of course removed any possibility of bargaining for higher wages. The regulation of the working class by the Nazis was a captalist’s dream come true.

Ernest Mandel was a Trotskyite, and although I definitely do not share his political opinions his economic analyses are very reliable. If you accept condemnation of authors because of their political opinions, we will be forced to disregard all works produced by people who approve of capitalism, the cruelest and most murderous system in world history.

Hitler was obviously popular with employers, both middle- and upper class. If he was so popular with the working class, why did the regime find it necessary to maintain an enormous apparatus for internal surveillance and suppression that included the Gestapo, the Sicherheitsdienst, concentration camps, press censorship and a very expensive propaganda machine?

You write that Hitler was not motivated by materialist considerations. Why did the 1939 pact stipulate shipment of materials to Germany? You claim that these materials were essential to the German war machine. Essential means absolutely necessary, i.e. indispensable. If the Soviet supplies were indispensable, how did the German war machine keep going without them after 22 June 1941? The value of these shipments June 1940-June 1941 amounted to less than half of 1% of the German GDP.

I never wrote that the Nazis were “the agents of capitalism”. I repeat - capitalists supported fascist governments because it was in their interest to do so. German imperialism could only expand through war, and that is exactly what Hitler aimed at. There are few projects more materialistic than war. Whatever Hitler’s passions may have been, his government advanced the cause of German imperialism. If it hadn’t, the capitalists would have had him removed.
 
You refer several times to me and Adorno. I have neither quoted nor referred to him.

I’m running out of space, so I will deal with your comments on Stalin in another posting.

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The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 17, 2007, 08:46:44 AM »
With refernce to the Soviet prposals for an Anglo_british-Soviet alliance against Hitler, the wisdom of these proposals was later admitted by several Western leaders, e.g.:

"Can anyone doubt that if we had had in 1939 the unity between Russia, this country and the United States that we cemented at Yalta, there would not have been the present war?" - Anthony Eden in the House of Commons, 1945.

“Today, when one rereads the draft for the Anglo-French-Soviet treaty, one may well ask how blind and petty our diplomacy must have been in its approach to this matter, losing the opportunity for concluding a treaty of such crucial significance.” - French General André Beaufre in Le drame de 1940, Plon, 1965. (Beaufre had been a member of the delegation from he Uk and France, sent to Moscow in 1939.)

See also 1939: The Alliance That Never Was and the Coming of World War II, Michael Jabara Carley, Chicago, Ivan R. Dee. 1999.

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The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 17, 2007, 08:21:13 AM »
Hello rgellately!

The Comintern in general made a series of grave tactical misjudgements about the power of the Nazi movement, but as far as I know no one including Stalin identified Nazism with monopoly capitalism. An ideology, even the mishmash that Hitler spouted, cannot be identified with capitalism, which is an economic system. But there is no question that Nazism served the interests of German monopoly capitalism and was supported by it. Nor did anyone in the Soviet government identify democracy with monopoly capitalism. They correctly viewed the US and the UK as examples of bourgeois democracies which were dominated by the representatives of monopoly capitalism. By the way, I did not quote Adorno in my entry.

Nazism did not win over the “great majority in the country”. The Nazi share of the vote peaked in 1932  at about 42% and then declined, which is why – as I wrote – the coup d’etat was organized in 1933. Subsequent to the coup the Nazis ruled by terror, not by consensus.

Neither Stalin nor anyone else in the Soviet government in the 1930s believed that the USSR would not be eventually attacked by Germany. That is why foreign minister Litvinov was in shuttle traffic between the European capitals from 1934-38, trying to establish mutual agreements to block German aggression. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful. The British and French finally sent a delegation to Moscow in 1939 to discuss a Soviet proposal for an alliance. When the Soviets learned that the members of the delegation were not authorized to sign an agreement, they gave up and decided to seek a non-aggression pact with Germany.

For the Stalin government, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was an attempt to buy time. They thought that it might delay the awaited invasion until 1942. According to the pact the USSR supplied Germany with grain and other agricultural produce – not with “goods essential to the German war machine”. Those goods were being supplied by German companies such as Opel, owned by General Motors, and other Western companies such as IBM and Bofors. The Germans supplied the Soviets with machine tools and other badly needed industrial products.

Thus your statement that “A German attack made no sense to (Stalin’s) way of thinking”..because “the Soviets were giving Hitler everything he asked for” is a product of your fantasy and has no relation to the facts. Stalin did not “refuse to believe” that an attack had taken place. As Molotov points out in Molotov Remembers, Felix Chuev,  Ivan R Dee, 1993, reports from the front were very confused on June 22-23 and for some days afterward. It took almost a week before a clear picture of the situation could be determined.

Hitler did not attack the USSR because “with the Soviets out, the British would have no allies and have to sue for peace.” At the time of the attack the UK was not allied with the USSR, and the British had already refused an alliance on several occasions.

You seem to be confused about Nazi ideology and the economic reality of fascist society. Hitler’s ideological pronouncements were intended to rally the population behind his government. But the economic policies of the government were clearly designed to further the interests of German monopoly capital, as Franz Neumann, Ernest Mandel, Arthur Schweizer and others have shown.

The public pronouncements made by political leaders to justify wars of aggression rarely reflect the true motivation. Mystical flimflam designed to mislead the public was an essential part of fascism in the 1930s, as it is today. Naturally, Hitler didn’t tell the German middle-class that they had to go to war to boost profits for monopoly capital, any more than Lyndon Johnson told Americans that Vietnam had to be attacked in order to secure supplies of wolfram and other minerals for large US companies. Nor did George W. Bush publicly motivate the war on Iraq by telling his compatriots that it is in the interests of Halliburton, other big US companies and Israel. Do you really believe that the war in the Middle East is motivated by George Bush’s passion for freedom and democracy, or that WW2 was motivated by Hitler’s “dreams of race and space”?

WW2 was most definitely motivated by capitalist greed and fear of Communism. Not least because Tsarist Russia had been a gold mine for Western capitalists, which is why Winston Churchill said that “Bolshevism must be strangled in its cradle”. The directors of IG Farben, Krupp and other big German companies were determined to expand, particularly in the east. If Hitler’s party hadn’t served their interests, they would have looked for someone else. Without their support the Nazi party would have become irrelevant, as shown in recent decades by bourgeois German historians such as Karl-Dietrich Bracher, Martin Broszat and Ernst Nolte.

8
Western ambassadors were scarely in the thick of things. Please consult Ten Days that Shook the World, by John Reed.

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Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Escaping the Revolution
« on: November 16, 2007, 04:21:56 AM »
Those poor Russian aristocrats!

Before my grandmother emigrated from Russia in the mid-1890s she had borne four children, all of whom died in their first two years as a result of tuberculosis, malnutrition and lack of medical care. My grandmother was typical of many, many millions of poverty-stricken Russian women.

While their infants were dying, the tiny Russian uperclass was living in luxury, drinking themselves under the table, and gambling away fortunes in Monte Carlo.

In the evil Soviet Union, working-class women and everyone else had access to medical care. Those nasty Commies!

10
The basic cause of WW1 was rivalry between the imperialist (capitalist) states of Western Europe, principally the UK, France and Germany. This was reflected in the massive armament race between these countries during the 10-15 years preceding the outbreak of hostilities in 1914. It was also reflected in the redistribution of colonies after 11 November 1918, including so-called mandates from the League of Nations.

Imperialism is a necessary consequence of capitalism, since corporate survival demands continuous expansion of markets and production, which involves continuously increasing needs for raw-material inputs. Western Europe is not self-sufficient in the mineral resources required to sustain large modern industrial societies. They must be obtained elsewhere, and history from 1492 onward shows that the representatives of the West European market economy were and are prepared to use any means at their disposal to acquire what they needed – including genocide on a unique scale.

Those of you who enjoy repeating fantasy figures about deaths in the Soviet Union should consider the fact that the European marketeers exterminated about 90% of the indigenous population of what is now called Latin America in their frenetic search for riches. The figure for North America is around 98%. Who cares?

WW1 could probably have been prevented if the British Labour Party and the German Social Democrats had voted against the huge monetary appropriations that were needed to prosecute the war. But they sold out as usual to their capitalist masters. For some time prior to August 1914 both Lenin and the great Irish socialist James Connolly had warned that the working-class of Western Europe was going to be led to the slaughter in the service of imperialist rivalries, and they were absolutely correct.

WW1 in itself led to nothing but death or misery for most of the participants, but it did not definitively resolve the imperialist conflict, which erupted again in what is called WW2. The other causal factor in WW2 was of course the continuation of the war against the Soviet Union that had begun in 1919. The fear and loathing of socialism was and is shared by capitalists despite their internal conflicts.

The infamous Munich pact signed by the British, the French and the Germans was not appeasement, as represented in the Western media. It was a clear case of collusion. Chamberlain told the Germans that they could have “a free hand” in Central and Eastern Europe if they promised not to attack British international shipping. See In Our Time, Leibovitz and Finkel, Monthly Review Press, New York 1998, and The Drift to War 1922-1939, Richard Lamb, W. H. Allen, 1989. E.g. at meetings between British and French government representatives on November 28, 1938, Chamberlain mentioned the hopes that the Nazi regime embodied for the British upper class, i.e. the destruction of the USSR.

Wars subsequent to 1945have generally resulted from attempts to break out of the imperial grasp. Every country that has attempted to establish independence from imperial domination has been subject to either economic, political or military attack, or all three. For details, see Killing Hope, William Blum, Common Courage Press. 1995.
The Korean War was started by the US – see The Hidden History of the Korean War, I.F. Stone, Monthly Review Press, 1965.

The US war on Vietnam was a continuation of the French imperial war. At the treaty of Paris in 1954 the French, Americans, British and Vietnamese agreed that the French forces would be allowed to withdraw without being attacked, and nation-wide elections would be held in Vietnam within 18 months. But as President Eisenhower wrote, everyone knew that Ho Chi Minh would be elected, and he was a Communist. So that was that.

The reason for US support of the French and US need for domination of Vietnam was given by Eisenhower. In 1953 the Eisenhower government asked the US Congress to allocate 400 million dollars (about USD 2.8 billion in today’s money) to help the French, who were fighting desperately to maintain their colonies in what was then called Indo-China and is now known as Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. For various reasons, there was opposition to this request within the US. Some Congressmen said it was a giveaway that served no purpose.

Eisenhower: “Now let us assume that we lose Indo-China. If Indo-China goes, several things happen right away. The Malayan peninsula, the last bit of land hanging down there (sic!), would scarcely be defensible - and the tin and tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would cease coming . . . . All of that weakening position around there is very ominous for the United States, because finally if we lost all that, how would the free world (sic!) hold the rich empire of Indonesia? . . . So when the United States votes $400 million to help that war, we are not voting a giveaway program. We are voting for the cheapest way that we can to prevent the occurrence of something that would be of the most terrible significance to the United States of America - our security, our power and ability to get certain things we need from the riches of the Indo-Chinese territory and from Southeast Asia.” From Remarks, Governors’ Conference, August 4, 1953, Public Papers of the Presidents, 1953, p. 540.

This is one of the clearest statements of the imperialist imperative on record. And imperialism without war has never and will never exist.

11
The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 15, 2007, 07:18:34 AM »
A few words about Fascism:

"Whoever refuses to discuss capitalism should keep silent about Fascism.” Max Horkheimer: Die Juden und Europe, in Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, Vol. 8 (1939).

Fascism is first and foremost a capitalist phenomenon. Bourgeois historians and the Western mainstream media often refer to Fascism, Communism and capitalism as if they were three different systems. That is a totally false distinction.

Fascism is a specific historical form of capitalism, generated in a specific set of circumstances. Italy, Germany and Spain were capitalist societies throughout the rules
Of Mussolini, Hitler and Franco.

One of the best books about Fascism is Behemoth, the structure and practice of National Socialism 1933-45, Franz Neumann, Harper and Row, New York, 1963.

In turbulent post-WW 1 Italy and Germany, the middle and upper classes were split into fractions with conflicting economic and political interests, e.g. industrialists, landowners, bankers, small manufacturing firms, small farmers. They were unable to form an effective political front against the working class and the Communist parties.

Mussolini realized that one of the few things these fractions had in common was fear and hatred of Communism – i.e. the potential power of the working class, including both social-democrat and Communist-led trade unions. Both Mussolini and Hitler promised each fraction that their demands would be satisfied, but after seizing power they focused on the needs of the upper class, i.e. the capitalist owners of major corporations and banks.

E.g. Himmler responded to demands from small businessmen and farmers for State regulation of banks and big monopoly companies: “It will be business as usual”.

Big business eagerly supported both Mussolini, Hitler and Franco. Hitler's party was receiving considerable sums from large German companies as early as 1923. This support increased throughout the 1920s, as the German Communist Party gained strength.

Details of finance provided by German capitalists from 1923 onward are given in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L. Shirer, Simon and Schuster, 1959. Without this financial support the Nazis would never have come to power.

Over and over again, Hitler announced that the enemy was Bolshevism, and often, but not always, Judeo-Bolshevism.
 
Hitler often said that Jews were the main carriers of the plague of Marxism that was infecting Europe. It was true that there was a dispro¬portionately high number of Jews  in the top levels of the Soviet CP as well as in the Soviet government and civil service. Hitler said that the Jewish Marxists were "using the workers against the bourgeoisie".


The main points of Hitler's announced program in the 1920s were to defeat the Communism movement, expand German rule to the east, which would require a vast rearmament program, smash the organized left (Communists and Social Democrats) in Germany, and release Germany from the restrictions of the Versailles Treaty.

As noted, German capitalists did not support Hitler because he said he wanted to get rid of the Jews. They supported him because he had identified Communism as the main enemy. Capitalists in other Western countries supported him for the same reason.

This explains why discussions of Fascism virtually never include the govern¬ments in Italy and Spain, under Mussolini and Franco. Mussolini was not an anti-Semite, and his long-term mistress was in fact Jewish. How could the Western media account for Fascist movements that did not feature anti-Semitism, without revealing the true nature of Fascism as a capitalist phe¬nomenon?

E.g. Carl Weinberg, a Jew, was Deputy Chairman of the Board of IG Far¬ben. He told visitors from the giant US chemical firm Du Pont that he supported the Nazis wholeheartedly. See The Crime and Punishment of IG Farben, Joseph Borkin, The Free Press, 1978. Another director of IG Farben was in charge of planning the rearmament program that was to lead to Operation Barbarossa.

Weinberg moved to Switzerland in the late 1930s and continued to collect dividends on his shares in IG Farben while the company manufactured Zyklon gas and supplied it to the concentration camps, where it was used to kill inmates.

General Erhard Milch was State Secretary in the German Air Force and Herman Goering's right-hand man. He was also Jewish. Goering prom¬ised to protect Milch, saying "I'm the one who decides who's Jewish and who isn't around here - basta", (quoted in Borkin).

Hitler came to power in what was essentially a coup d'état, engineered in alliance with the German upper class because electoral support for the Nazis was declining. The coup involved the arrest of 81 legally elect¬ed Communist deputies to the Reichstag.

The first major actions of the Nazi government after the seizure of power were directed against Communists, union leaders and the working class. All labor unions were shut down and their financial assets confiscated. Communists were arrested or killed. Revision of German labor-market legislation quickly returned the German worker to the status quo 1840.

The economic outcome of Fascist regimes at the national level was and is a capitalist's dream, as shown in Late Capitalism, Ernest Mandel, Verso, London, 1978. Mandel calculates that real wages for German workers declined by 25% during the 1930s, while profits for big industry and banks reached record levels.


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