The Competing Ideologies for the Collectivist Mind

Modern socialists claim that Hitler's Nazi regime was the antithesis of socialism

Image Credits: AOosthuizen / Getty.

Competition creates service from businesses, and competition produces benefits for everyone.

Neither are politics and ideologies exempt from competition, with Republicans and Democrats going door to door for their candidates, having political rallies, or even fighting in the streets. Despite this, these two parties aren’t as different as their supporters may realize. When Ukraine was invaded by Russia, they jumped on the opportunity for possible defense contracts.

Ideologies or parties that may seem completely opposite can be “bipartisan” in many aspects. Fascism, National Socialism, and Marxian socialism are three such ideologies: different enough to compete, but similar enough to attract the same type of person, that person being of the collectivist mindset that the group is more important than the individual.

Frederick Hayek in The Road to Serfdom states:

It is true of course that in Germany before 1933, and in Italy before 1922, communist and Nazis or Fascist clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties. They competed for the same type of mind and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic. But their practice showed how closely they were related.

The person of the collective mindset is more prone to fall into such groups, they may want the well-being of the class or the race over the individual. To ensure the success or domination of either, the state must be used as a tool of power. This is the danger of the collective mind. Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Oswald Mosley, and Karl Marx all fell into these mindsets.

Hitler: The Nazi Competitor

After the end of World War I, the German royal family was dethroned and the November Revolution saw the creation of the People’s State of Bavaria, run by Kurt Eisner, a socialist Jew. It’s worth mentioning there was a split between the communists and socialists at this time, as the communist parties wanted to be connected to the Soviet Comintern, while the socialist parties wanted to be more independent.

Either way, Hitler participated in this new Bavarian state, according to the Holocaust Encyclopedia; Hitler was elected to be a soldier’s council representative to civilian authorities. After Kurt Eisner was assassinated, Hitler attended the funeral. Benjamin Hett in his book Death of Democracy states:

There is film footage and a still photograph showing him [Hitler] marching in a funeral procession of the Bavarian Independent leader Kurt Eisner, wearing a black mourning armband and another red one in support of the Socialist government.

Max Levien, who was a communist, took charge and created a Soviet republic; once again, Hitler was elected to the soviet council for battalion representatives.

A soviet is a workers’ council. The USSR was a union of workers’ councils from all the socialist republics. So, when Hitler abolished private trade unions, the DAF (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, German Labor Front), a large state-run public union, absorbed them just as the USSR did.

In my previous article “How the Nazis Waged War on Private Property,” you will find that economically the Nazis were very similar to their Soviet counterparts (land and business confiscation along with price controls). Socially however, the Nazis were a bit different. the Marxian Socialists were more concerned with class-based conflicts, while the Nazis were more race based.

Hitler’s unreleased Second Book showed his belief in a united race:

I am a socialist. I see no class and no social estate, before me but that community of the folk made up of people who are linked by blood, united by language and subject to the same general fate.

This is where the separation of the Nazis and communists comes to fruition. Both had different immediate priorities, and Hitler considered communism a Jewish ideology; but Hitler also considered capitalism Jewish, as he considered it to be “international Jewish finance.” But one only needs to read Karl Marx’s article “On the Jewish Question” to find out Marx’s beliefs on race; he states:

As soon as society succeeds in abolishing the empirical essence of Judaism—huckstering in its conditions—the Jew becomes impossible because his consciousness no longer has an object. The social emancipation of the Jew, is the emancipation of society from Judaism.

While both often fought and even killed one another, when you’re competing for the mind of an individual to gain power, those things often happen. Fascism is another competitor for both the national and Marxian socialists.

Mussolini and Mosley: The Fascist Competitors

Before the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the communist and socialist parties were more or less united and had one clear goal: to unite the workers of the world through international revolution. But after World War I started, many of these leftist parties actually supported their countries instead of maintaining an antiwar stance, except for the Italian Socialist Party, which maintained the idea of international peace between the workers.

Benito Mussolini, who was at this time head of the socialist newspaper Avanti, saw the appealing effect nationalism had on the masses. Mussolini became a war advocate within the party and was expelled from it the same year. Mussolini, defending himself before his party, said:

I tell you you’re wasting your breath, you will be forced into the war. You can get rid of me, because I am, and will always be, a socialist. You hate me. You hate me because you still love me! What divides me from you is not a small question, it is a big question which divides all socialism.

Mussolini, along with the help of intellectuals such as Gentile Enrico Corradini and Ugo Spirito rebranded and created a new political movement. It was meant to benefit the Italian worker but was made for Italians. This new ideology was called fascism, it was syndicalism or trade unionism that was made to benefit the Italian worker but left out the international worker. In Reflection on Violence, Georges Sorel states that Fascist planning to gain control of the economy would work something like this:

Through strikes it intended to bring capitalism to an end, replacing it not by state socialism, but by a society of producers.

This is the same thing as Karl Marx calling for the workers to unite and seize the means of production, only in this case it is the national (Italian) workers uniting. Oswald Mosley, a British aristocrat and founder of the British Union of Fascists, would try to spread fascism to England. Mosley joined the Independent Labor Party, which was a politically left-leaning party, in 1926 during the general strike; he paid striking miners from his own pocket, he also visited America, where he spent time with Franklin Roosevelt. Mosley also believed in what he called “industrial democracy,” where all workers are stakeholders (co-owners of sorts) in their companies and all profits go to them.

Conclusion

The collective mind, while many consider it noble for its want to improve lives, has caused great suffering in the world. While each ideology discussed, such as national socialism, Marxian socialism, and fascism, each stem from a similar tree and promote economic regimentation, they are different enough socially to compete for someone with a collectivist mindset. But these people will always need the state and its power to wipe out the successful and usher in a utopia.



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