- NOTE: This article was first posted on my old blogsite on August 18, 2012.
If the most abused word in the Webster dictionary is “democracy”, the most defiled, smeared and attacked concept by mindless socialist/statist ideologues and their gullible followers is Capitalism. Since the end of World War II, the socialists refueled their propaganda machine and worked hard to discredit capitalism. The reality is, they can never ‘destroy’, in the strictest sense of the word, capitalism; they can only distort it in man’s consciousness. Reality, which constantly showed that capitalism is the most practical and beneficial system and that socialism is the most destructive scheme ever devised in human history, is independent of man’s consciousness. All they can do is cripple individuals’ capacity to think and ability to apply reason and logic. Like Karl Marx suggested, Reason (translation: the ability to use logic or the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses) is not on the side of the proletarian struggle.
The only way proponents and advocates of socialism would be able to successfully instill in man’s consciousness that idea that every man must live for others and that man is his brother’s keeper is to destroy his view of reality and self-esteem and to disarm him of his ability to think logically and to see himself as a sovereign being. The philosophical base of that idea is that Marxist credo: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises was right in identifying how the socialists or statists think. Mises said that “according to the Marxist conception, one’s social condition determines one’s way of thought.” Such a prescient, eerily accurate evaluation is today expressed or represented by modern-day Marxists or statists who claim that the recent global economic crisis was caused by corporate greed, not by massive government intervention into the economy and the passage of tons of state regulations and welfare laws.
Observe the dishonest methods or propaganda tactics being used by modern-day statists to infect people’s minds. They can destroy individuals’ ability to think properly and logically, but they can never destroy the fact that Capitalism is the most practical, moral and pro-freedom system ever designed by man. Also, observe that these same methods were expertly used by their ideological ancestors: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel, who were actually European aristocrats.
Mises evaluated such methods in the following manner:
“Marxism protects itself against all unwelcome criticism. The enemy is not refuted: enough to unmask him as a bourgeois. Marxism criticizes the achievements of all those who think otherwise by representing them as the venal servants of the bourgeoisie. Marx and Engels never tried to refute their opponents with argument. They insulted, ridiculed, derided, slandered, and traduced them, and in the use of these methods their followers are not less expert. Their polemic is directed never against the argument of the opponent, but always against his person. ”
Again, only by using dishonest methods can the socialists advance and pursue their evil political agenda. Logic and reason are not on the side of socialism or any collectivist system; they are its enemy. This is the main reason why the socialists/statists were determined to peddle downright lies, propaganda, myths and even conspiracy theories to get more people to reject capitalism and support socialism. In preaching the virtue of socialism, the leftists resort to emotionalism and anti-intellectualism. Their propaganda strategy is very simple and not that hard to understand. To get people’s attention and sympathy, the socialists and social propagandists simply focus their screed on emotion-filled issues like social inequality, high income gap versus the poor and the rich, class warfare, the abuses of the moneyed elite and the plight of the peasant poor, corporate monopolies, corporate greed, among others without exerting any effort to explain to their listeners or followers the main cause of these social/economic problems.
When it comes to their political solutions, the socialists simply talk about social cooperation, the value of helping and sacrificing one’s self to others, the practicality of using the services of economic experts and other experts to secure economic and social development, etc. without explicitly identifying their political goals: central planning, redistribution of wealth, punitive progressive taxation, repressive economic policies, massive government regulation and intervention, and abolition of property rights and individual rights and dictatorship, in the case of countries that adopt the highest degree of socialism.
The socialists somehow understand they’re engaged in an intellectual struggle, thus they use propaganda and shamelessly, deliberately peddle lies and myths to protect their ideology. For example, the charge that Fascism is Capitalism was originally concocted and popularized by the radical leftists in the 20th century to discredit the free market system– again, by infecting people’s minds. The first to spread and perpetuate that lie was the Frankfurt School, which argued that on economic level, fascism is the end-result of what the Marxists call “competitive capitalism by monopoly”. But what is this “competitive capitalism by monopoly”? The Frankfurt marxists didn’t elaborate. It was the Frankfurt School that provided strong intellectual and philosophical ammunition to the 20th century socialist movement.
Take for example how Herbert Marcuse explained the alleged connection between fascism and capitalism. The method he used to justify this ‘relation’ appears to be highly crude and simplistic, as he merely argued that fascism and capitalism represent two different phases of the same social formation to which they belong– respectively, monopoly capitalism, and competitive capitalism.
Marcuse’s argument is highly fallacious because of his failure to properly define the concept of capitalism and fascism. What he fails to understand is that the term ‘monopoly capitalism’, which could never take place without massive government intervention and socialistic regulations, is actually ‘crony socialism’. The term ‘monopoly capitalism’ is a contradiction in terms. The proper term is ‘crony socialism’, which implies the mutual connivance between the government and certain protected corporations or businesses.
The modern-day Marxists are determined to finish off the propaganda and intellectual struggle started by the founders of the Frankfurt School. In their book titled Foundations of the Frankfurt School of Social Research, Marcus and Tar declare that “fascism is the highest stage of capitalism.” Relying on the work of Max Horkheimer, Marcus and Tar claim that “fascism was the natural and logical outcome of a capitalist society in its stage of permanent crisis” (pp. 76).
The problem with their thesis is that they did not explicitly offer any proper definitions of fascism and capitalism. Yet, the premise of their assertion is that capitalism, which actually calls for the separation of state and economy while upholding the government’s role as protector of individual rights, is an oppressive system. They believe that the only cure to this oppressive system is socialism, which was repeatedly exposed by history and reality as the true oppressive, cruel, anti-man, anti-freedom political system. The Frankfurt Marxists also introduced new anti-reason concepts like political correctness and ‘critical theory’ to destroy man’s ability to think conceptually and logically.
In a true capitalist society, the only function of government is to protect individual rights. The principle of separation of state and economy prohibits the government from making interventionist, regulative policies designed to control or regulate the economy. The government, through its courts and police agents, may only intervene when certain corporations or businesses committed crimes or breach of rights. Only the government, through protectionism, regulations, subsidies, bailouts and grants, could create cartels and monopolies that the mindless socialists use to discredit capitalism. In the Philippines, the government monopolizes certain industries and sectors such as health, education, public utility sector, among others. It is the Philippine government that created, and continue to perpetuate, state-backed monopolies and cartels through the 60-40 and other forms of protectionism. This corrupt system should be called ‘crony socialism’, not crony capitalism.
Recent history tells us that the so-called crises dishonestly attributed to capitalism were all caused by governments’ socialistic and interventionist policies. For example, the 2008 economic crisis was the result of a series of government intrusion and massive regulations. Some of the government regulations and policies that contributed to the crisis include the Community Reinvestment Act that forced banks to lend money to borrowers regardless of their incapacity to pay, the creation of government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among others. Also, the crisis in Europe was caused, in part, by too much power given to the globalist EU parliament that destroyed the sovereignty of EU’s individual members. The crisis in Greece was not the result of corporate greed, but of massive regulations and unsustainable welfare programs that bankrupted the semi-socialist country’s economy.
One particular example that reveals how the socialists simply resort to lies and propaganda is the following statement by Horkheimer:
“The task in late capitalism is to remodel the population into a collectivity ready for any civilian and military purpose, so that it functions in the hands of the newly restructure ruling class.”
That statement utterly reeks of the Marxist class warfare rhetoric. What is clear is that these Marxist intellectuals simply used strawman arguments to discredit the free market system. The truth is, the United States of America, Great Britain, Japan and Germany are NOT representatives of capitalism. This is what most, if not all, leftists do not understand. These first-world countries are all mixed economies (translation: mixture of socialism and capitalism, or controls and freedom).
Apparently, Horkheimer’s and other Frankfurt Marxists’ works serve as a scrap of litmus paper exposing the intellectual bankruptcy of the entire Marxist, statist camp. Horkheimer’s unintelligible gibberish against capitalism is not surprising since he strongly believed that “logic is not independent of content,” which means that a premise or argument is logical if it seeks to destroy capitalism, and illogical if it supports it.
Here’s also one thing that all socialists or statists do not understand: every political-economic system is categorized by a certain degree of freedom or government control. Capitalism is the freest of all political systems devised by men because 1) it respects and guarantees individual sovereignty through the enforcement of individual rights, 2) it properly defines and delimits government authority– that the only proper role of government is to protect rights.
On the other hand, fascism is actually the next stage of a mixed economy because it characterizes a higher degree of government authority or control. Fascism merely treats ‘property rights’ as a form of state permission or grant, while it strictly limits individual rights. In a fascist society, the government has the power to revoke property rights in the name of the greater good.
The highest stage of government control is socialism wherein all property is owned by the state and where there’s no such thing as individual rights. Thus, socialism is the final stage of fascism. The best example of a socialist society is North Korea.
By definition, China, which compromised its Maoist ideals by embracing certain economic reforms, is a fascist state because it grants permission to individuals and businesses, both local and foreign, to own property. Of all mixed economies, China characterizes a higher degree of government control due to its socialistic political structure.
In regard to this issue, I was engaged in an online debate with a commenter codenamed “Bengtisa”, who made the following comment:
The writer of that article needs to take a few lessons in history. He/she has difficulty distinguishing the difference between right-wing fascism and left wing socialism. Particularly European history about the atrocities the right wing fascist Nazis committed in the name of nationalistic and corporate greed. The writer needs to stop blaming public opinion for the ills of corporate greed.
Greed and corruption are endemic in the fascist right wing business world in the Philippines. Everybody knows that. Big corporate businesses openly engaging in rampant employee and consumer abuse. Not to mention environmental abuse, and the environmental rape of the countryside to build sprawling concrete housing estates and boring generic resorts where ordinary local Filipinos are bought for a pittance and then denied access.
Of course it’s so easy for naive right wing business clowns to attempt to undermine public grievances as being ‘leftist’.
The truth is obvious. when 80% of the Filipinos live in abject poverty and the other 20% privileged classes cocking their noses at them and blaming ‘lefties.
I replied by simply posting a previous blog wherein I argued that fascism and socialism are simply two sides of the same collectivist coin.
Let us define our terms. Fascism is defined as a “radical and authoritarian national political ideology,” while communism is defined as “ a social structure in which classes are abolished and property commonly controlled, as well as a political philosophy and social movement that advocates and aims to create such a society.” On the other hand, capitalism is “an economic system where capital and land, the non-labor factors or production, are privately owned; labor, goods and resources are traded in markets; and profits, is distributed to the owners invested in technologies and industries.” But the correct definition of capitalism is this: it is a social system solely founded on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned. The aforementioned definitions of communism, fascism and capitalism show that these three terms have their own distinct concept or attributes.
Let me establish the following points to demolish the fallacious claim of most stupid advocates of communism in this country:
- Communism, fascism, and capitalism are three terms with distinct meaning, concept, or definition.
- Fascism and capitalism do not have the same meaning and concept. In fact they are opposites.
- Fascism is about “radical and authoritarian” rule of a political despot, while capitalism is a political system that respects individual rights and recognizes the application of objective laws and legal principles.
- Communism is a collectivist political ideology that rejects individual rights, subjugates the individual to the collective, and regards man as the means to the ends of others or the state. Capitalism is the recognition that the individual is an end in himself and not the means to the ends of others.
- Communism and fascism are both a collectivist ideology.
For the benefit of those who embrace reason and who are still willing to think and to use their mind, let me lay down the similarities between Communism and Fascism. They are as follows:
- Both communism and fascism reject the concept of individual rights. Both regard the individual as the means to the ends of others. Capitalism does the opposite.
- Both communism and fascism are collectivist ideologies.
- Both communism and fascism are a form of totalitarian rule or dictatorship. Any individual may be sacrificed or immolated for the sake of common good, public welfare, or whatever the majority or the dictator deems as ‘practical’ or ‘necessary’ for the sake of the good of the majority or the state.
- Both communism and fascism negate the concept of private property. If communism regards private property as nonexistent, fascism regards private property as a political privilege that may only be given to a special class or group of people (e.g., cronies, czars, etc.)
- Both communism and fascism regard that political power may only be achieved through bloody revolution or class struggle.
- Both communism and fascism are racist ideologies. Karl Marx regarded the capitalist people or states as “racial trash”, while Adolf Hitler considered the Jews and ethnic minorities as lower forms of animal.
- Both communism and fascism are enemies of capitalism.
- Both communism and fascism consider the fact that killing is necessary to achieve their respective political or utopian goal.
In his reply, Bengtisa included borrowed statements from online sources like Wikipedia:
I don’t need patronizing history lessons from amateurs. To suggest that the Nazis’ ideology is inspired by Karl Marx is contemptible hogwash. I suggest you read Karl Marx’ writings before you make an utter fool of yourself. Try telling that nonsense to 35 million innocent Russians murdered by Hitlers right wing fascist war machine. Oops sorry, I did it because your famous Russian writer Mr Marx inspired me!!!…
Right wing fascism and it’s corporate proponents are nothing new, but in the Philippines the masses are paid a pittance to accept it. Ultra nationalism and fascism in the Philippines comes under different social and political umbrellas, but in reality it is no different from the flag waving jingoistic krap that the wealthy tax dodging few make us all accept through corporate protectionism and the health, social care and human rights abuses that the impotent masses are forced to have to accept.
Such abuses in the corporate right wing conservative Philippines are well documented under the UN Human Rights charter.
‘Fascists seek elevation of their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people in national identity. They are united by suprapersonal connections of ancestry and culture through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through discipline, indoctrination, physical training, and eugenics.
‘Fascism seeks to eradicate perceived foreign influences that are deemed to be causing degeneration of the nation or of not fitting into the national culture’
The reality is, fascism is a left-wing political ideology, NOT right-wing. Bengtisa and others who share his/her socialist faith only need to answer this: What makes an ideology right-wing or left wing, and what makes fascism a right-wing ideology?
Again, there is no such thing as right-wing fascism. That’s exactly what the Left use to fool themselves and to claim fascism is capitalism. That is utterly fallacious. Fascism is NOT Capitalism, and vice versa. Fascism and Socialism are simply twin totalitarian systems. Both are against Capitalism.
Define what you call right-wing fascism. What makes a political system rightwing? And what makes fascism, which is closer to socialism, a right-wing system. That’s all.
And are you trying to argue that fascism and capitalism are just the same? Do you even know that the fascists and the Nazists were against capitalism?
Thankfully, another commenter joined the discussion to debunk Bengtisa’s leftist arguments.John Brooks made the following informative comment:
A few comments on Bengtista’s assertions:
I read Bengtista’s reply and the blogger’s counter-arguments, and I must say that their kinda heated conversation is not that hard to judge because I consider myself to be very familiar with this issue. Based on what I read, Bengtisa is simply parroting the leftists’ talking points against and about Nazism and Fascism. Also, I somehow think that the alleged “personal abuse” by the blogger is justified considering the empty arrogance of Bengtisa, e.g., his claim that “writer of that article needs to take a few lessons in history” and his statement about “not patronizing history lessons from amateurs” when in reality, it is he (Bengtisa) who is the amateur and who badly needs more history lesson.
Bengtisa said: “Particularly European history about the atrocities the right wing fascist Nazis committed in the name of nationalistic and corporate greed. The writer needs to stop blaming public opinion for the ills of corporate greed.”
That actually shows that he’s simply parroting the Leftist agenda against Capitalism by trying to lump Capitalism and Nazism/Fascism together. Is that what Bengtisa learned in his college history class?
To Bengtista: Capitalism is NOT fascism or Nazism. In fact, both fascism or Nazism, if you try to understand basic concepts and principles, are simply forms of socialism or totalitarianism.
Also, you need to learn something about economics because what you call “corporate greed”, which is another leftist talking point, is the result of socialistic government intervention into the economy. You talked about Europe? You think the EU countries are CAPITALISTS? If that’s your stupid belief then it’s not worth replying to your comment since there’s no use arguing with someone who doesn’t know anything about politics, economics, and history.
First, know the proper concept of Capitalism, Socialism, Nazism and Fascism. The blogger is right in saying that Nazism, socialism, and fascism are all forms of collectivism or totalitarian ideology because they all deny individual rights and individual freedom. Under these three systems, the individual must be subjugated to the state or to a group or collective. That’s why the primary political mantra of the Nazi program was: “THE COMMON INTEREST BEFORE SELF-INTEREST.” You must be very familiar with that slogan if you’re a leftist. That same slogan was also popularly used in Soviet Russia.
That is why the Nazi top propagandist Joseph Goebbels in a 1932 pamphlet said: “The worker in a capitalist state—and that is his deepest misfortune—is no longer a living human being, a creator, a maker. He has become a machine. A number, a cog in the machine without sense or understanding. He is alienated from what he produces.”
And that’s why Ernst Rudolf Huber, official Nazi Party spokesman said: “‘Private property’ as conceived under the liberalistic economic order … represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard for the general interests … German socialism had to overcome this ‘private,’ that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.”
Take note the term “German socialism”. Did you learn any of these things in college or in your leftist indoctrination classes, Bengtisa?
Did you ever forget that NAZI simply means National Socialist Party?
You said something about the “nationalism” of Nazism. FYI, any collectivist system can either be nationalistic or internationalistm or both. Again, Capitalism is NOT Fascism or Nazism. Any system, including socialism, can be nationalistic. In fact, China practiced socialist nationalism instead of internationalism.
Also, here’s what you need to understand since it seems that you don’t know anything. Karl Marx DID NOT INVENT SOCIALISM. He simply conceived or created his own socialist system which can be termed as Marxism. In fact, anybody can conceive his own socialistic ideology. I can create my own socialist system, too. There were socialist systems before Karl Marx’s time. There was the Utopian Socialism many, many years before Marx. This is why I am telling you that in theory and in reality, both Nazism and Fascism are socialist systems. The only difference between Nazism/Fascism and Karl Marx’s socialism is that in the first, private property is granted yet CONTROLLED by the state. All other things are controlled by the state, including media, industries, education, etc. In Nazi Germany, the medical and education sectors were SOCIALIZED. Like in Soviet Russia, the Nazi government provided government-funded education, health care, etc. to their citizens. You only read the Nazi program to educate yourselfhttp://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/naziprog.html.
Bengtisa, I’d like you to tell me/us why you think Nazism or Fascism is a “right-wing” ideology or political system. I’d like to know if you’re really a critical thinker. Is it because that’s what your comrades told you? Is it because that’s what you learned in college? Or is it because Soviet Russia was Nazi Germany’s enemy? But Soviet Russia was also America’s enemy! And America was also Nazi Germany’s enemy. Or do you believe socialist countries cannot be enemies?
Here’s one thing you need to know to further educate you: Nazism and Capitalism are opposites. The Nazis considered capitalism an evil system. They also rejected what you call corporate greed.
Joseph Goebbels, the top propagandist of the Nazi regime, spoke of “the money pigs of capitalist democracy”: “Money has made slaves of us.” “Money is the curse of mankind. It smothers the seed of everything great and good. Every penny is sticky with sweat and blood.”
Goebbels also said: “[S]ocialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.”
Consider the following socialist quotations by several members of the Nazi party:
“The concept of personal liberties of the individual as opposed to the authority of the state had to disappear; it is not to be reconciled with the principle of the nationalistic Reich. There are no personal liberties of the individual which fall outside of the realm of the state and which must be respected by the state. The member of the people, organically connected with the whole community, has replaced the isolated individual; he is included in the totality of the political people and is drawn into the collective action. There can no longer be any question of a private sphere, free of state influence, which is sacred and untouchable before the political unity. The constitution of the nationalistic Reich is therefore not based upon a system of inborn and inalienable rights of the individual.”
—Ernst Rudolf Huber, official spokesman for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, 1939
“THE COMMON INTEREST BEFORE SELF-INTEREST.”
—NDSAP Program, Point 24, 1920
“We must rouse in our people the unanimous wish for power in this sense, together with the determination to sacrifice on the altar of patriotism, not only life and property, but also private views and preferences in the interests of the common welfare.”
—Friedrich von Bernhardi, 1912
“The worker in a capitalist state—and that is his deepest misfortune—is no longer a living human being, a creator, a maker. He has become a machine. A number, a cog in the machine without sense or understanding. He is alienated from what he produces.”
—Joseph Goebbels, 1932 pamphlet
“‘Private property’ as conceived under the liberalistic economic order … represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard for the general interests … German socialism had to overcome this ‘private,’ that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.”
—Ernst Rudolf Huber, official Nazi Party spokesman, 1939
Hitler’s Nazi Party against Capitalism:
“We German National Socialists have recognized that not international solidarity frees the peoples from the ties of international capital, but the organized national force. …The National Socialist German Workers’ Party asks you all to come … to a GIANT DEMONSTRATION against the continued cheating of our people by the Jewish agents of the international world stock-exchange capital.”
—Nazi Poster, 1921
“It is not to save capitalism that we fight in Russia … It is for a revolution of our own. … If Europe were to become once more the Europe of bankers, of fat corrupt bourgeoisies … we should prefer Communism to win and destroy everything. We would rather have it all blow up than see this rottenness resplendent. Europe fights in Russia because it [i.e., Fascist Europe] is Socialist. …what interests us most in the war is the revolution to follow …The war cannot end without the triumph of Socialist revolution.”
—Leon Degrelle, leading National Socialist figure, speaking on behalf of the Nazi SS in occupied Paris, 1943
“[W]e will do what we like with the bourgeoisie. … We give the orders; they do what they are told. Any resistance will be broken ruthlessly.”
—Adolf Hitler, 1931
“The internal and international criminal gang will either be forced to work or simply exterminated.”
—Adolf Hitler, 1931
“Today I will once more be a prophet. If the international Jewish financiers, inside and outside Europe, succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevisation of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!”
—Adolf Hitler, 1939