Tuesday, February 04, 2003


There has been a vigorous debate on Oxblog recently over whether Communism was in some sense more commendable than Fascism. At the heart of the argument appears to be the old claim that Communism was "well-intentioned".

Both protagonists, however, seemed to be handicapped by a cardboard-cutout view of Fascism. Neither seem to realize that Mussolini (the founder of Fascism) was in fact a Marxist and that Fascism was very Leftist and differed from Communism mainly in being more nationalistic. And Hitler too called himself a socialist and campaigned as a great friend of the worker. BOTH Fascists and Communists claimed good intentions and both tried to lift up "the worker" -- and both failed.

So could it be the nationalism of Fascism and Nazism that makes it particularly bad? Hardly. Nationalism has been around for a very long time and may in fact be universal but it does not normally lead to mass murder of political opponents (or imaginary political opponents). It is not even clear that extreme nationalism is particularly murderous. Mussolini�s Fascism was undoubtedly extreme in its nationalism but -- despite his occasional brutalities -- Mussolini was no mass-murderer. In fact the normal punishment for political opponents in Fascist Italy was simply a forced dose of castor oil! Give me Mussolini�s Italy rather than Stalin�s Russia any day!

What IS clear is that extreme socialism is thoroughly murderous. And James Donald explains very simply why. All four great mass-murderers of the 20th century (Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot) were extreme socialists. The Southern European Fascists were much less thoroughgoing in their socialism (degree of government control over everyday life) so were less murderous. And socialists in a democracy of course lack the power to be mass murderers.

A historically sophisticated comparison of Nazism and Communism can be found in Martin Malia's article "Judging Nazism and Communism". You can access it via this link but you will first have to register for a free subscription here. A few excerpts can also be found here



Tim Gillin writes:

People say Australia's John Howard runs a tough policy on immigration: Not compared to the Ancient Athenians.

And the Swiss seem to be toughening up on immigration too ... and negotiating return deals with asylum-seeker exporting nations



Amazing! The murderous Iraqui regime actually thanking the New York Times for being pro-Iraq. What a Left-wing rag! Looks like Saddam is the new Stalin -- to be defended by Leftists at all costs.

And some appalling antisemitism from a major British Left-wing newspaper here (scroll up). Nazi propaganda also lives on among the Left!

Frank Ellis points out: What we call "political correctness" actually dates back to the Soviet Union of the 1920s (politicheskaya pravil'nost' in Russian), and was the extension of political control to education, psychiatry, ethics, and behavior



There is a good article here showing that Prime Minister Sharon�s victory in the recent Israeli elections was also a resounding victory for conservatism.

And the recent conservative victories in the German State elections seem likely to give Chancellor Schroeder and his Leftist Federal government some big headaches too.

Robert Musil takes on New York! He points out at some length that Freudian psychoanalysis is essentially quackery -- a "medical" procedure that does no good at all. Most psychologists would agree with him.

A rather persuasive argument at Chloe & Pete to the effect that a nation's foreign policy is ALWAYS dictated solely by self-interest -- with morality being no more than an afterthought.

Donald Luskin does a good job of exposing Paul Krugman's latest bout of dishonesty with statistics.

Chris Brand says Hitler betrayed just about everyone and that a lack of checks and balances in the German political system was a major factor in enabling him to do that.

Cronaca notes more strangeness emanating from Britain: Charles Clarke, the British government's education honcho, said education for its own sake was "a bit dodgy"

Michael Darby has a story by a farmer who wishes all the global warming talk was really true.


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