Refutations: The Myths Espoused by Steve Kangas
By: Michael Miller
Kangas Myth: "Many conservatives accuse Hitler of being a leftist, on the grounds that his party was named "National Socialist." But socialism requires worker ownership and control of the means of production."
Reality: Websters Dictionary defines so·cial·ism as: "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."
Webster's Dictionary also defines national socialism or Na·zi·ism as: "the body of political and economic doctrines held and put into effect by the National Socialist German Workers' party in the Third German Reich including the totalitarian principle of government, state control of all industry, predominance of groups assumed to be racially superior, and supremacy of the fuhrer."
Simple definitions of Socialism and National Socialism prove that Kangas' faulty, subjective defining of Socialism doesnt refute Hitler being leftist.
Kangas Myth: "In Nazi Germany, private capitalist individuals owned the means of production, and they in turn were frequently controlled by the Nazi party and state. True socialism does not advocate such economic dictatorship -- it can only be democratic."
Reality: Time Magazine in 1939, "The Nazi credo that the individual belongs to the state also applies to business. Some businesses have been confiscated outright, on other what amounts to a capital tax has been levied. Profits have been strictly controlled. Some idea of the increasing Governmental control and interference in business could be deduced from the fact that 80% of all building and 50% of all industrial orders in Germany originated last year with the Government. Hard-pressed for food- stuffs as well as funds, the Nazi regime has taken over large estates and in many instances collectivized agriculture, a procedure fundamentally similar to Russian Communism."
The above definition of Socialism in Websters Dictionary serves to refute his skewed definitions of Socialism.
Also, take something like Guild Socialism, which was an early 20th century English socialistic theory advocating state ownership of industry with control and management by guilds of workers.
Kangas Myth: "Hitler's other political beliefs place him almost always on the far right. He advocated racism over racial tolerance, eugenics over freedom of reproduction, merit over equality, competition over cooperation, power politics and militarism over pacifism, dictatorship over democracy, capitalism over Marxism, realism over idealism, nationalism over internationalism, exclusiveness over inclusiveness, common sense over theory or science, pragmatism over principle, and even held friendly relations with the Church, even though he was an atheist."
Reality: This is a prime example of circular reasoning and the criteria used to make distinctions are wholly subjective - fallacy of composition.
The American Left has for decades advocated Affirmative Action, which is racial discrimination based solely on race and it contradicts his whole notion that he can call Hitler a rightist by highlighting his racial aspirations. Incidentally, the founders of liberal abortion groups like Planned Parenthood were advent supporters of Eugenics. So by his own logic - if Hitler's racism indicates where he is on the political spectrum - to the Left he goes?
Aside from the mentioning of Eugenics above, it in fact would parallel more along the lines of where Left is regarding the current issue of human cloning and so forth. Abortion is clearly a means of population control courtesy of social elites. Left Wing governments in China force women to have abortions and are in no way protective of "freedom of reproduction," which is a conservative ideal.
Merit is synonymous with virtue. I mean, this whole criterion being used to indicate location on the linear political spectrum is just oversimplification - ultimately absurdity in the extreme that entirely belittles the entire essay. Nevertheless, the second plank of the Nazi Party Platform says, "We demand equality of rights for the German people in its dealings with other nations, and the revocation of the peace treaties of Versailles and Saint-Germain." The ninth one says, "All citizens shall have equal rights and duties."
He tries to say Hitler favors competition? Try the tenth plank of the Nazi Party Platform, "It must be the first duty of every citizen to perform physical or mental work. The activities of the individual must not clash with the general interest, but must proceed within the framework of the community and be for the general good."
Andre Fladell, a liberal democrat, one of three legal challengers of the butterfly ballot, told New Times Broward-Palm Beach Online in December 1999: "Politics is the greatest challenge. Its where the best and the worst in people comes out. You get the adrenaline of war without having to physically hurt anyone." The publication observed, advising candidates and elected officials in Palm Beach County, mostly Democrats, on how to crush their election foes and steer government decisions their way." So power politics isn't simply some rightist concept and left wing militarism can be pointed out in China, the former Soviet Union, etc.
Hitler opposed capitalism saying in part, "We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions." The Nazi Party Platform also refutes the claim. Refer to above quote from Time Magazine and for more on Hitler's anti-capitalist policies, go here. Part of Marxism included dictatorship of the proletariat.
Realism over idealism? Does Kangas mean 'Socialist Realism' - a Marxist aesthetic theory calling for the didactic use of literature, art, and music to develop social consciousness in an evolving socialist state. Conversely take this ploy and match it up with various leftist attitudes towards religion.
Yet again, there are examples of left wing nationalism in China today, but go back to the old Soviet Union that even though working for an Internationalist goal was promoting nationalistic qualities that it was superior to the West. Also, Hitler's "nationalism" has been challenged and possibly to a degree refuted in an article by Robert Locke for Front Page Magazine. Seel also: Hitler was a Socialist!
The use of inclusiveness and exclusiveness is again just criteria that hardly distinguishes nor realistically points to location on the linear political spectrum. I can go on and on about how people like Kangas and other leftists arent inclusive of religion, but whatd be the point of even bothering?
Hitler was took his beliefs to a more theoretical realm rather than being someone of common sense - just look at his Eugenics - all sorts of ridiculous notions of a master race and racial theories that cant be mistaken with common sense.
The pragmatism over principle is just another example of criterion that hardly needs refuting because it is so apparent. Principle is a key part of religion and you can clearly see what Kangas claims using religion, which would be contradictory to this criterion. It doesnt prove what the premise asserts by any means.
Finally, it is a myth - a lie of the largest magnitude to suggest Hitler was friendly with the Churches, but at least Kangas did admit Hitler was atheistic. Click here to see just how unfriendly Hitler was toward the churches that OSS prepared documents to try the nazi persecution of churches as a war crime.
If this isn't 'begging the question - I dont know what is!
Kangas Myth: 'For example, most conservatives believe in patriotism and a strong military; carry these beliefs far enough, and you arrive at Hitler's warring nationalism."
Reality: Patriotism is simply a love for one's country and devotion to it. Generally all citizens fall under such categories. Using this criteria as determination is ridiculous. Besides that, it is hardly similar to Hitler's warring genocide and plans for conquering and dominating the world.
Kangas Myth: "The primary basis for this claim is that Hitler was a National Socialist. The word "National" evokes the state, and the word "Socialist" openly identifies itself as such. However, there is no academic controversy over the status of this term: it was a misnomer."
Reality: Aside from this unsubstantiated of being on the side of academia, National Socialism is a form of Socialism. See above for definitions and Kangas' mutilation of such terms in a subjective manner.
Kangas Myth: "In fact, socialism has never been tried at the national level anywhere in the world. This may surprise some people -- after all, wasn't the Soviet Union socialist? The answer is no. Many nations and political parties have called themselves "socialist," but none have actually tried socialism."
Reality: We explained earlier that Kangas was using a false definition for the term Socialism. He is now This is subjectivism, pure and simple. Socialism is, "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods." It has been tried in the Soviet Union and alse where.
Kangas Myth: "Many conservatives argue that Hitler was a leftist because he subjugated the individual to the state. However, this characterization is wrong, for several reasons. The first error is in assuming that this is exclusively a liberal trait. Actually, U.S. conservatives take considerable pride in being patriotic Americans, and they deeply honor those who have sacrificed their lives for their country. The Marine Corps is a classic example: as every Marine knows, all sense of individuality is obliterated in the Marines Corps, and one is subject first, foremost and always to the group."
Reality: Again, I defer to the Nazi Party Platform that clearly clarify Hitlers anti-individualistic attitude. I also note that Kangas foolishly forgets that collectivism is, "a political or economic theory advocate collective control especially over production and distribution." People teaming up to play basketball aren't any more collective than the Marine Corp. Someone should mail Kangas a dictionary.
Kangas Myth: "Political scientists therefore do not label people "liberal" or "conservative" on the basis of their individualism or collectivism."
Reality: He must have never attend a college or university - maybe he just hasnt taken a course in the area he is espousing to know so well. George Washington University offers "PHIL 778 Left and Right in Philosophy and Politics" - describes it as "A fundamental inquiry into the concept of the state in terms of entrenched oppositions: individualism/collectivism, equality/liberty, liberalism/conservatism, socialism/free enterprise, communism/capitalism. Emphasis on the present need to find a constructive transcendence of these oppositions. For graduate students; open to undergraduates." Let's get him enrolled A.S.A.P.
Kangas Myth: "Liberals believe in majority rule. Hitler practiced one-person rule. Thus, there is no comparison."
Reality: No, liberals primarily believe in government rule and they certainly believed in rule by one man (FDR or Clinton). So there is some comparison on that level despite his pitiful denials.
Kangas Myth: "And on that score, conservatives might feel that they are off the hook, too, because they claim to prefer self-rule to one-person rule. But their actions say otherwise. Many of the institutions that conservatives favor are really quite dictatorial: the military, the church, the patriarchal family, the business firm."
Reality: He's just elaborating on his ignorance of collectivism being solely within the realm of the state collectively owning and controlling production. Further look at his blurring the line here and extenuate to the topic at hand - his premise Hitler isn't a leftist and is on the far right - clearly he isn't showing that with these remarks.
Kangas Myth: "But the main point is that Hitler's political philosophy was not really based on "statism" as we know it today. It was actually based on racism -- again, a subject that hits uncomfortably closer to home for conservatives, not liberals."
Reality: Of course Hitler's economy was based on statism - shown briefly above with the quote from Time Magazine - that is just one example. I have a whole page proving that is a lie. I also explained simply how racism hits home with liberals who want discriminatory, racist policies like affirmative action at work while conservatives oppose such things - and now weigh his - closer than home remark.