Economy of Third Reich was a socialist economy

Sep 2019
385
Slovenia
Dr. Friedrich Hayek wrote a book Road to serfdom during WW2. In the book he is talking about National socialism and fascism as forms of socialism and trying to warn also his opponents to rethink their positions about state planned economies which lead to totalitarian regimes even if maybe their proponents at first did not really want that outcome. The definition of socialism is that it is a sistem based on the state ownership of former private property or state controling previous private property.

Economic policy of National socialists started with big public spending ( big public works and re-armament industry ). This caused big inflation and in 1936 Nazis started to control wages and prices of goods, which lead to rationing of the goods by state. State was setting up rents, bank interests, farmland was proclaimed heriditary and should not be sold anymore and mortgages can not be put on it, state was controling what should be produced in factories and where money should be invested etc. German owners lost their rights over property as they are considered in the normal capitalist sistem and democracy. They still owned the property but the state controled it. Many owners were even quite happy with it being blinded by the Nazis because at the same time they also banned worker strikes.
For the Jewish owners it was even much worse because according to racial ideology of National socialists they could not be socialised being corrupt and selfish by their nature. So their property was nationalized 'for the benefit of Aryan socialist society'.

Hitler explained his plan for the elimination of class struggle in a letter to G. Strasser in 1930 where he said that nationalization of the property of German owners would not be needed if they will be put under his strick discipline and thus 'socialised'. For the Germans which were a superior race for Hitler it was not neccessary to have a civil war in the sense like Marx, Lenin or Stalin wanted because by their nature their inclined to work for their nation. According to Hitler that is the greatest racial benefit of Germans.


Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian | George Reisman

Summary from the book Road to serfdom

- Is there a greater tragedy imaginable than that in our endeavour consciously to shape our future in accordance with high ideals we should in fact unwittingly produce the very opposite of what we have been striving for?

- The contention that only the peculiar wickedness of the Germans has produced the Nazi system is likely to become the excuse for forcing on us the very institutions which have produced that wickedness.

- Totalitarianism is the new word we have adopted to describe the unexpected but nevertheless inseparable manifestations of what in theory we call socialism.

- In a planned system we cannot confine collective action to the tasks on which we agree, but are forced to produce agreement on everything in order that any action can be taken at all.

- The more the state ‘plans’ the more diffi cult planning becomes for the individual.

- The economic freedom which is the prerequisite of any other freedom cannot be the freedom from economic care which the socialists promise us and which can be obtained only by relieving the individual at the same time of the necessity and of the power of choice: it must be the freedom of economic activity which, with the right of choice, inevitably also carries the risk and the responsibility of that right.

- What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.

- We shall never prevent the abuse of power if we are not prepared to limit power in a way which occasionally may prevent its use for desirable purposes.

- We shall all be the gainers if we can create a world fi t for small states to live in.

- The first need is to free ourselves of that worst form of contemporary obscurantism which tries to persuade us that what we have done in the recent past was all either wise or unavoidable. We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.


Book road to serfdom in pdf form:

https://mises.org/sites/default/files/Road to serfdom.pdf

Some basic informations about dr. Hayek:

Friedrich Hayek - Wikipedia

W
 
Sep 2019
385
Slovenia
I do not agree. Every economy is connected with ideology but the question is does it really work. And history is teaching us if it does not work where it leads.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,757
I do not agree. Every economy is connected with ideology but the question is does it really work. And history is teaching us if it does not work where it leads.
yeah but when history is viewed through a profondly distorting poliitcal bais it's just junk.

This is some poltical attack of socialism rather than a discussion of the history of third Reich.
 
Oct 2011
508
Croatia
yeah but when history is viewed through a profondly distorting poliitcal bais it's just junk.

This is some poltical attack of socialism rather than a discussion of the history of third Reich.
It is political attack, for sure, but it is not wholly wrong. You see, socialism requires state control. Totalitarianism is defined by state control. I think you can see where I am going.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,366
Italy, Lago Maggiore
There is a similar heterodox theory in Italy about Fascism. Here they start from the correct observation that Mussolini was a Socialist leader and that the Social economy [a kind of third way between Socialism and Communism] with its "corporations" was a form of collectivism [vertical collectivism].

Anyway, like about Germany, this thesis presents some troubles.

I anticipate that I think more to two reactions to the expansion of Socialism [so against Socialism] than to evolutions of parts of the Socialist ideology.

This said, nor Fascism neither Nazism erased the social classes, on the contrary, in both the countries the middle class, the great industry, finance and even the clergy tend to accept, when not to support the two totalitarian systems, sure at the beginning of their "adventure" [in Germany Nazis became a problem for a part of the Church, but the majority of the clergy hadn't all those troubles].

Both the systems [And early Nazism had Italian Fascism among its models] didn't attack private property in its nature and function [since their theoretical approach to market and production was well far from being Socialist] and, moreover, they had a nationalist culture [while Socialism, because of its own nature is "universalist", we can say]. From this racism came [and also Italian Fascism issued racial laws, just to make the German ally happy].
 
Sep 2019
385
Slovenia
About fascism in Italy. Its founder Giovani Gentile made it very clear that it is a form of socialism. But fascism was hindered by monarchy so it could not go so far as Hitler in Germany. So at best fascism in Italy was socialism under the veil of capitalism.
The destruction of capitalism and free market through state control and intervention is rightly called socialism. State becomes the manager of private property. So it is not just about state control in all those cases but also the goals are very similair. Owners lost their rights to manage property and it was managed by totalitarian state like for the good of the society.

State interventions with the goal to sometimes and somewhere correct free market are something else. Because their goal is not to destroy free market/capitalism.
 
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Sep 2019
385
Slovenia
But when fascists were 'liberated from Italian monarchy by Nazis' in Autumn 1943 they became again more radical as they were at their beginning. Now they were republicans and strongly anti-capitalist.

By September of 1943, Mussolini was heading a Nazi puppet state called the Italian Social Republic (RSI) in which he proposed additional “economic socialization.” He began to display a renewed interest in his earlier radicalism. Claiming that he had never abandoned his left-wing ideals “he returned to a type of socialism which once again attacked capitalism,” in an effort to “annihilate the parasitic plutocracies.” In February 1944, Mussolini’s government devised a “socialization law” that called for more nationalization of industry and under which workers would participate in managing factories and businesses, along with land reform. The Italian Social Republic “obsessively emphasized” commitments to socialization and a “variety of fascist equalitarianism and an amplified fascist welfare state.”

The Socialist Economics of Italian Fascism - Econlib
 
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