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The Apprentice’s Sorcerer

29 Jul

The Apprentice’s Sorcerer

I am currently reading this excellent book about the relationship between economic liberalism (and by extension neo-liberalism of today) and fascist politics. It was linked to by the guy who runs the “four winds shotgun” blog on Tumblr.

It is definitely worth a read. It will upset liberals and fash alike but that’s as good as any a reason to give it a read!

It demolishes any idea that Hitler’s philosophy or fascism in general was “Marxist” in any sense, even a warped sense – fascism was concerned ultimately with preserving capital:

Yet with a fascist as important as Hitler, we can see that anti-individualism
could in fact represent a defense of the modern, industrialist order;
drastic limitation of the rights and liberties of individuals could be
motivated not by hostility to capitalism but by the reverse need to
deliver individuals to capitalism, facilitate its workings:
Work of culture is cooperation; yet cooperation requires organization.
What would become of a factory which does not posses a tight organization,

in which every worker comes to work when its suits him, and does only the work which entertains him.

Without organization, without coercion, and so without individual

sacrifices it would not function. Life is a continuous renunciation of
individual liberty (Hitler in Picker 2003: 233).

Even Nazism’s emphasis on “equality” of the German Volk within a capitalist nationalist framework and promoting people of the lower classes to elite positions was aimed at preserving capital:

Hitler did not wish to revive the closed caste society
of the middle ages, but rather to construct society according to the
paramount capitalistic-liberal tenet of equal opportunities, competition and individual merit.

Like the great majority of his right-wing
contemporaries, he endorsed open elitism, which admits into its ranks
and promotes new talent from below.10 Hitler’s “aristocratic principle
of nature” was thus in fact distinctly meritocratic, i.e., bourgeois. The
whole system revolves—again, at least in theory—on “the principle of
achievement.”

[…]

Notice the way, proper for a liberal economic discourse, in which
productive meritocracy is contrasted with pernicious, stagnant protectionism.
A major criticism levelled at the German upper classes is their snobbish complacency and unwillingness to recognize plebeian
merit. This has led some historians to underline the “revolutionary”
impact of National Socialism, its attack on the old elites.11 Yet such
infusion of new blood into the ruling elite was in truth regarded as a
vital pre-condition in preventing social upheaval.

give it a read, seriously

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