Monstrous Double Standard

Ignorance and machismo are more likely explanations for the Prince Harry Nazi costume fiasco than malice, but it's still not clear how someone as well educated as the freakin' Prince of England could fail to predict the outrage. Maybe inbreeding truly is as bad as they've been telling us.

And, like clockwork, comes calls for a government ban:

Liberal group vice-president Silvana Koch-Merin said: "All of Europe has suffered in the past because of the crimes of the Nazis, therefore it would be logical for Nazi symbols to be banned all over Europe."

The terms "liberal" and "logical" have acquired strange new meanings in Europe.

But while we're on the topic of crimes against humanity and European suffering, it's worth pondering the social acceptability of the hammer and sickle in contrast to the swastika. Had the Prince worn a Che t-shirt instead, would we be hearing calls to ban Communist symbols all over Europe?

The vice-president of the parliamentary Social Democratic group, Michael Mueller, said a study was needed to find out how a German-style anti-Nazi law could be applied to the rest of Europe.

In a continent where "Social Democracy" reigns, where being openly socialist is not only permitted but actively encouraged, how can anyone have the sheer chutzpa to call for a ban on Nazi symbols?

Nobody says it better than Alan Charles Kors:

No cause, ever, in the history of all mankind, has produced more cold-blooded tyrants, more slaughtered innocents, and more orphans than socialism with power. It surpassed, exponentially, all other systems of production in turning out the dead. The bodies are all around us. And here is the problem: No one talks about them. No one honors them. No one does penance for them. No one has committed suicide for having been an apologist for those who did this to them. No one pays for them. No one is hunted down to account for them. It is exactly what Solzhenitsyn foresaw in The Gulag Archipelago: "No, no one would have to answer. No one would be looked into." ...

The West accepts an epochal, monstrous, unforgivable double standard. We rehearse the crimes of Nazism almost daily, we teach them to our children as ultimate historical and moral lessons, and we bear witness to every victim. We are, with so few exceptions, almost silent on the crimes of Communism. So the bodies lie among us, unnoticed, everywhere. We insisted upon "de-Nazification," and we excoriate those who tempered it in the name of new or emerging political realities. There never has been and never will be a similar "de-Communization," although the slaughter of innocents was exponentially greater, and although those who signed the orders and ran the camps remain. In the case of Nazism, we hunt down ninety-year-old men because "the bones cry out" for justice. In the case of Communism, we insisted on "no witch hunts"—let the dead bury the living. But the dead can bury no one.

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The trouble is the right

The trouble is the right let, or didn't counter, the left's assertion that the Nazi were far-right. You notice a leftist never uses the Nazis proper name ie: National Socialist. We have to continually remind the left of the horrors that were committed under communism and the fact that far more people were killed under the Hammer & Sickle than the angled Swastika. Communism is just as evil as Nazism... :wall:

Allan Charles Kors (whom you

Allan Charles Kors (whom you quote) unfortunately uses hyperbole to make his point. The slaughter by Communists was not "exponentially" greater than that of the Nazis. That would imply that Communists killed at least ten times as many as Nazis did, if not more orders of magnitude greater. Moreover, the Nazis did their killing over 12 years, whereas Communist regimes did theirs over a period of nearly 70 years. It is true that both were horrific. In sheer numbers, the Communists killed far more. However, there is a qualitative difference in that the Communists never developed a mechanized killing apparatus that targeted a single ethnic/religious group with such efficiency, kiling so many over a short period of time.

Andrew Lodge's comment is also rather loose with the term "Socialist." Despite the Nazi's use of that term, they were most definitely not socialist. They were far closer to fascism than Socialism. (Even Kors didn't claim Nazi-ism was "leftist," as far as I can tell). In fact, one of the main planks of Nazi-ism was fanatical anti-Communism. Central to Nazi ideology and propaganda was not the rights of workers or the need for socialism but rather fanatical opposition to Marxism and Bolshevism. The Nazis equated Jews with Socialism and lumped them all together as their enemies, using the term Judeo-Bolshevism. (Indeed, Communists were number two on the Nazi list of enemies, after Jews.) According to the Nazi world view Marxism was part of a Jewish conspiracy. It is that fanatical anti-Marxism and equating Bolshevism with his greatest enemy, the Jews, that led Hitler to the decision that ultimately caused the downfall of Germany: To invade the USSR.

Hitler himself said in Mein Kampf: "The suspicion was whispered in German Nationalist circles that we also were merely another variety of Marxism, perhaps even Marxists suitably disguised, or better still, Socialists... We used to roar with laughter at these silly faint-hearted bourgeoisie and their efforts to puzzle out our origin, our intentions and our aims. "

As for your opinion that banning symbols of Nazi-ism would be a bad idea, I agree whole-heartedly. It would not decrease the appeal of neo-Nazi-ism but would be yet another restriction on free speech. Harry was an idiot for dressing up in Nazi regalia, but 20 year old men will occasionally do idiotic things. If he doesn't learn from his mistake, then he will truly prove himself an ass.

Anyways, little Harry was an

Anyways, little Harry was an ass for showing up in public dressed like that.

-Diana

Here Here!!! Bravo, worth

Here Here!!! Bravo, worth tuning in for! i love reading logical thought. its like music, Mr Ghertner. keep em coming.

(introduction) You seem like

(introduction) You seem like intelligent persons since you posted a position on "law versus morality" which is something that must be done. How that known polarity applies to the Austrian school of economics will be decided in hearts and minds, as the powers say. (/introduction)

I am not read on Karl Marx and that strand of history until it gets to Stalin. Stalin and his coven of murderers and psychopaths turned away the few solitary attempts to forcibly show them media from the deaths in the coutryside. Stalin detested all the Bolshevik revolutionaries unless they were serious students of the Marxist canon.

My question is this: What did Marx claim as the milestones in global communism? Did he write that there would be Terror under pretend communism? Such is what my reading informs me that the leaders of the U.S.S.R. thought was required.

Perhaps you could address this in a future blog entry.

Orac makes some fine points,

Orac makes some fine points, but he is also off the mark on some aspects. Nazism WAS socialistic, and highly so. It was very much as its name suggested, Nationalist socialism. The Nazi system actually has far more in common with the modern socialist welfare states then the old communist regimes. workers rights legislation, smoking laws, state control/intervention in the high economy, environmental protection agencies, myriads of soft socialist regulations, etc. You name it and the Nazis and the modern soft socialist welfare state have it in common. Even the strange racial paranoia exists, only now its been reversed. In fact the main differences consist of a hard stream of nationalism that many of the modern welfare states lack, and the very much glaring defferences in enforcement severity. Nazi Germany was much of that the modern EuroUnion Governments embrace only with an added edge of monstrous severity in its application.
I've missed much out here and I know that anyone who cares to comment will point out that none of the modern states ever set up death camps. All true, yet also beside the point. That was just where Nazism seriously deviated from the modern norm. Something like two equally smothering nannies, one of which has a vicious psychopathic streak. This streak aside, Hitler would have made a wonderful modern liberal.

The only really big

The only really big difference between national socialism and international socialism (communism) is their focus. One looks inwardly the other looks outwardly.

Orac, Allan Charles Kors

Orac,

Allan Charles Kors (whom you quote) unfortunately uses hyperbole to make his point. The slaughter by Communists was not “exponentially” greater than that of the Nazis. That would imply that Communists killed at least ten times as many as Nazis did, if not more orders of magnitude greater.

Communism did indeed kill more than ten times the number of people killed by Nazis. We are talking about nearly 100 million people killed by Communism. This is not hyperbole. It is the sad truth.

Moreover, the Nazis did their killing over 12 years, whereas Communist regimes did theirs over a period of nearly 70 years.

True, Communism existed for longer than Nazism, if only because the former was more socially acceptable than the latter among otherwise intelligent and well-intentioned people. But that doesn't mean Nazism killed more people per year. If you read the original Kors' article, he writes:

If we count those who died of starvation during Communists' experiments with human interactions—twenty to forty million in three years in China alone

However, there is a qualitative difference in that the Communists never developed a mechanized killing apparatus that targeted a single ethnic/religious group with such efficiency, kiling so many over a short period of time.

I'm not so sure there is a qualitative difference between targeting people based on ethnicity and religion, and targeting people based on class and political beliefs.

Andrew Lodge’s comment is also rather loose with the term “Socialist.” Despite the Nazi’s use of that term, they were most definitely not socialist. They were far closer to fascism than Socialism.

Fascism is a form of socialism, as Bryan Caplan makes clear in his article on the subject. A few excerpts:

The Extremism Model Versus the Totalitarian Model

The most popular interpretation of fascism is that it is "right-wing extremism," standing in diametric opposition to the "left-wing extremism" of communism. This is not only the leading theory among political moderates. It was also the official position of the Communist International, which in 1935 defined fascism as the "overt, terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinist and imperialist elements of finance capital." (Gregor 2000, p.31) The problem with the extremism model is that fascism and communism are very similar. Most tellingly, both advocated and imposed a significantly larger role for government in the economy, almost always seen as a "left-wing" position. This is frankly admitted by thoughtful socialists like Carl Landauer:

In a history of socialism, fascism deserves a place not only as the opponent which, for a time, threatened to obliterate the socialist movement. Fascism is connected with socialism by many crosscurrents, and the two movements have some roots in common, especially the dissatisfaction with the capitalist economy of the pre-1918 type... [F]ascism was ready to use forms of economic organization first suggested by socialists - and very likely that use of socialistic forms would have increased if fascism had not all but destroyed itself in causing the Second World War... (Landauer 1959, p.873)

The leading alternative account is that both fascism and communism are forms of "totalitarianism." The greater the power of the state, the more totalitarian it is. Pipes provides the canonical inventory: "an official, all-embracing ideology; a single party of the elect headed by a 'leader' and dominating the state; police terror; the ruling party's command of the means of communication and the armed forces; central command of the economy." (Pipes 1994, p.245) The Soviet Union under Stalin approximates the totalitarian pole, a pole that Hitler's Germany neared by the end of the war. The laissez-faire minimal state stands at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Fascism as National Socialism

The most substantive objection to the totalitarian model is that fascists and communists have usually been violent enemies. How can they be ideological neighbors? What this question forgets is the old saying that "the heretic is worse than the infidel." Mussolini, Hitler, and other fascist leaders broadly accepted the economic outlook of their socialist rivals. But they split on the question of nationalism. Orthodox Marxism insisted that the fate of the nation was of no interest to workers. Socialists were therefore obliged to oppose their own country's war efforts, and scorn the false god of patriotism.

The fascists took the opposite view. Only a deluded zealot could deny that the fate of Italy mattered for Italian workers. Just as members of the same economic class have interests in common, so do inhabitants of the same country. More importantly, ordinary people are highly patriotic. Any political movement that hopes to succeed must embrace such feelings, not belittle them. Fascists accordingly replaced veneration of "the workers" with equally fanatical devotion to "the nation," and concluded that Marxists were traitors.

Mussolini's transition from orthodox Marxism to fascism is a matter of public record. He rose to the highest level of the Italian Socialist Party, becoming the editor of its newspaper in 1912. By April 1914 he was, "in the judgment of sympathizers and opponents alike, the dictator of the Socialist Party." (Gregor 1979, pp.136-7) Lenin himself publicly praised his radicalism. Yet Mussolini chaffed under his colleagues' internationalist scruples. He broke party discipline by advocating war against the Central Powers, and was expelled from the Socialist Party. Mussolini then opened a new newspaper, the People of Italy, to promote a synthesis of nationalism and socialism:

Mussolini insisted that the only socialism that would be viable in the twentieth century would be a socialism prepared to identify itself with the nation... The commitment to national tasks involved fundamental common interests uniting all the special economic and parochial interests of the nation... Mussolini's argument effectively identified traditional socialism as both antinational and antisocialist. (Gregor 1979, p.218)

Hitler, in contrast, was never a Marxist; their unpatriotic outlook repelled him from the start. Yet he eagerly accepted the socialist label, even though it raised suspicions that "we were nothing but a species of Marxism... For to this very day these scatterbrains have not understood the difference between socialism and Marxism." (Hitler 1971, p.483) That difference is nationalism. Hitler hates the Marxists not for their economics, but because they "stabbed Germany in the back" during World War I with their revolutionary activities. Indeed, he repeatedly claims that Marxism is pro-capitalist; it seeks "only to break the people's national and patriotic backbone and make them ripe for the slave's yoke of international capital and its masters, the Jews." (ibid, p.243) For Hitler, preserving "the economic independence of the nation" from "the international stock exchange" is of paramount importance.

Fascist economic policies involved extensive government regulation, expansive public works, and generous social programs. Such policies had clear precedents in socialist legislation, but the fascists gave them a nationalist rationale: to heal internal class divisions, move towards economic autarchy, and prepare for war. As Hitler explained:

[T]he task of the state toward capital was comparatively simple and clear: it only had to make certain that capital remain the handmaiden of the state and not fancy itself the mistress of the nation. This point of view could then be defined between two restrictive limits: preservation of a solvent, national, and independent economy on the one hand, assurance of the social rights of workers on the other. (ibid, p.209)

Fascists avoided the radical socialist policies of economy-wide nationalization of industry and collectivization of agriculture. But this deviation from orthodox Marxism was hardly unique to fascism: given these policies' devastating effect in the Soviet Union, every socialist with a modicum of common sense wanted to avoid them. As Hitler explained:

He had no intention, like Russia, of "liquidating" the possessing class. On the contrary, he would compel it to contribute by its abilities towards the building up of the new order. He could not afford to allow Germany to vegetate for years, as Russia had done, in famine and misery. Besides, the present owners of property would be grateful that their lives had been spared. They would be dependent and in a condition of permanent fear of worse things to come. (Rauschning 1940, p.161)

Its certainly incredible

Its certainly incredible that people can attempt to rationalize thoughts like that. wheww!:neutral:

I don't have a lot of time

I don't have a lot of time to respond to all the points, but I'll try.

This is an argument that has gone back and forth for a long time. No one denies that fascism and communism/socialism share many characteristics, but that does not necessarily make one a subtype of the other. That they are both subtypes of totalitarian regimes is generally agreed and that National Socialism borrowed some aspects of socialism is clear. In fact, Caplan's article supports this view in many ways. He argues that fascism is a Marxist heresy. He argues that National Socialism is a fusion of elements of fascism and elements of socialism. If that is true, then one must ask: Which ideology does National Socialism resemble more, Marxism or fascism? I stand by my contention that National Socialism contains far more elements of fascism than of socialism and, thus, as an ideology, resembles fascism far more overall than it does socialism.

The most notable difference between a socialist/Communist system and a fascist system is nationalism. Fascist systems tend to be rabidly nationialistic and exclusive, wherease Communist systems tend to be internationalist (as Caplan himself agrees).Those outside the ethnic/national background in power are targets for persecution on the basis of that alone, rather than on their ideology. In Communist regimes, certainly ethnic groups can be targeted, but that is not an inherent trait of the system. Communists do at times represent the bourgeoisie as an alien class, but this does not mean the aim is to kill them as people, but only their class. That is, communists aim to expropriate capitalists and convert members of the bourgeoisie into wage-earners. In a Communist revolution, you don't attack people for what they intrinsically are (their culture or race), but for their social role, which can change without destroying the person. If they are willing to give up their social role and join the new system there is no need ot kill them. Thus, in Communist regimes, in theory at least, anyone can become part of the accepted group by simply embracing Communism and proving their devotion. Not so in a fascist or Nazi regime, where, for example, a Jew could never be accepted, no matter how willing he was to embrace National Socialism. (This is the qualitative difference I was talking about between the slaughters perpetrated by the Nazi regime and various Communist regimes.)

Another fundamental difference between the systems is the base from which power is derived and how they view class. Communist systems derived their power (at least initially) from the proletariat, the working class. Fascism rejects the concept of class struggle, that workers must appopropriate the means of production from those who own those means. Nazi-ism like fascism, derived its power more from the middle and upper classes than from the working class, particularly business and bankers, and sought to unify all classes under one banner, that of the state, particularly true "Aryans," whose would make up the nucleus of the future rulers. Indeed, during the rise of the Nazi Party in the late 1920's and early 1930's, there was tension in the Nazi Party between a faction that wanted to be more socialist and others that wanted to preserve and coopt business interests. Hitler came down strongly on the side of allying himself with business interests, and even rewarded these business interests by letting them take over the businesses taken away from the Jews. In return, businessmen and bankers accepted the increased state control as a path towards higher profits. Corporate power was fused to and allied with government power. Communism seeks to supplant the power of business and banking.

There are more major differences, but I'm out of time. A lot of this is academic, anyway, because, as totalitarian ideologies, it is hard to argue that fascism and Communism share many elements. That does not make them the same thing or one necessarily a subset of the other.

But back to the numbers. I also still stand by my contention that the use of the word "exponentionally" greater in describing the numbers killed by Communists compared to Nazis was sloppy. Even if the numbers used are accurate.

The reason the West is

The reason the West is ambivalent about Communism is that Communism is simply democracy taken to it's logical conclusion. Communism is fully implicit in democracy, there is really nothing to vote on unless you assume we're all each other's property.

Nazi Germany had a more exotic pathology, not all of it was implicit in democracy, thus it's far easier for defenders of democracy to renounce.

Orac, He argues that fascism

Orac,

He argues that fascism is a Marxist heresy. He argues that National Socialism is a fusion of elements of fascism and elements of socialism. If that is true, then one must ask: Which ideology does National Socialism resemble more, Marxism or fascism? I stand by my contention that National Socialism contains far more elements of fascism than of socialism and, thus, as an ideology, resembles fascism far more overall than it does socialism.

National Socialism simply is fascism. The question is not whether Nazism is a form of fascism; everyone already agrees that it is. The question is whether fascism is a form of socialism. Yes, fascism is a Marxist heresy, because Marxism is internationalist in nature. But Marxism is not the only form of socialism. Lots of socialists disagreed with Marx, and vice versa. You have Fabian socialists, anarchist socialists, libertarian socialists, utopian socialists, scientific socialists - more socialists than you can throw a stick at. Caplan's argument - one with which I entirely agree - is that fascism is a nationalistic form of socialism, with public ownership of the means of production, but where "public" is identified more by the state and its political leaders and less by the common people, in contrast to Marxism (in theory if not practice).

The biological vs. sociological differences you mention are interesting and important, but I am not sure if there is an important moral difference between killing someone because of their inborn characteristics and killing someone because of their chosen status or beliefs. Further, in practice if not in theory, Communist countries killed people born into the wrong class or who were believed to hold the wrong political beliefs rather than try to convert them (although they tried "reeducation" brainwashing as well).

But back to the numbers. I also still stand by my contention that the use of the word “exponentionally” greater in describing the numbers killed by Communists compared to Nazis was sloppy. Even if the numbers used are accurate.

If the numbers used are accurate, how is the term used to describe them sloppy?

You know, people can make a

You know, people can make a mild statement on this by helping to get the memorial to the victims built. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has needed about $155,000 to complete this for a while now.

Just wanted to add this

Just wanted to add this quote that I have up on my website:

"Most of the people buying the Soviet paraphernalia were Americans and West Europeans. All would be sickened by the thought of wearing a swastika. None objected, however, to wearing the hammer and sickle on a T-shirt or a hat. It was a minor observation, but sometimes, it is through just such minor observations that a cultural mood is best observed. For here, the lesson could not have been clearer: while the symbol of one mass murder fills us with horror, the symbol of another mass murder makes us laugh."

- Anne Applebaum, columnist and member of the editorial board of The Washington Post, in her book Gulag

The truth is sloppy,

The truth is sloppy, apparently. :dead:

Why is the swastika so much

Why is the swastika so much more reviled than the hammer and sickle? I think there are a number of factors.

One of these is that socialism still has a certain cachet with folks, and most don't understand the discussions such as these in the commentaries about how Nazism was not much different than Communism.

I think the biggest factor, though, is the concentration camps were well-documented and publicized, via pictures, survivors' stories (my father was a survivor of the camps, my grandparents were killed in Auschwitz in 1944), movies etc. And there is something particularly awful about the mechanization and orchestration of death on such a large scale...in a country that was supposed to epitomize "civilization".

Russia's gulag, and those of other communist country's, was mainly documented in books. The millions died anonymously, even more so than the victims of the Holocaust. (Today, I can find my father's name and many other family members who were in the camps, on the Internet, via the Yad Vashem website out of Israel...I am not sure there is anything remotely similar for the millions who died in just the Soviet Union alone). How many perished in Siberia or in the thousands of prisons scattered around Russia?

I read "One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich" as a teenager...and I remember for many years that it was my only exposure to the Gulag. There were few newspaper articles...certainly no pictures of stacked bodies or bodies being shoveled in pits, as one saw with the Holocaust.

Those pictures made more of an impact than any words could. One can still visit the death camps, as has been suggested to Prince Harry. I don't know that there is anything similar for the Gulag. Dauchau is not very far away from Munich, though, whereas not many American tourists are running to Siberia, as far as I know.

I think, too, that Russia and other communist bloc countries were more mysterious and hidden away. Russia was an ally, during WW2, and even though we had a Cold War with them, we hever had a hot war of our soldiers shooting at their soldiers. We did in Korea and Vietnam, but we never engaged with China either. While we feared Russia, I don't think we ever developed the visceral hatred we had for the Nazis, after the horrors visible to our troops and our reporters after the war.

I know these are more emotional reasons, but I do believe that has a lot to do with the hatred for the swastika. Then, there is of course, the continuing romance many still have with old-fashioned socialism, still associated with Russia and not with the Nazis, and there are far too many who still do not comprehend how socialism is the "Road to Serfdom" that it inevitably became...there is still this hope that there is some kind of scheme to make it work, with its lovely slogans and messages to the "oppressed" masses.

It is all sickening. That Man could figure out how to kill millions at a time for no other reason than ideology, ethnic group or any other characteristic. To try and have a contest, which was worse...well, the important thing is to remember the roots of both these movements, how the "People" can be led into mass homicide, and yes, that as John T. Kennedy mentioned, this can be what "democracy" degenerates into. And so it is useful to keep on reminding ourselves what can happen if we just ignore both Harry's stupid gesture (which, even as a hypersensitive "2nd Generation" offspring, I believe was just truly STUPID vs. heinous) AND also let go the veneration of the hammer and sickle. Great work pointing out the hypocrisy involved.

Yes, Maurice, those are all

Yes, Maurice, those are all good explanations. Most of them, though, are proximate causes, which can be attributed to the ultimate cause of unwillingness to reject Marxism. There are no pictures, movies, and articles precisely because the world did not then and has not now come to grips with what that ideology has wrought.