We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The unhinged Nazi talk discourages reasoned analysis in favour of chasing the cheap thrill of yelling “fascist!” at someone you don’t like. It is profoundly anti-intellectual. But it does something worse than muddy the present and harm rational debate about politics today; it also ravages the past; it relativizes the Nazi experience and, unwittingly no doubt, dilutes the savagery of the Holocaust through comparing that immense crime with what is simply an elected American administration many people don’t like.

This might not be Holocaust denial, but it is certainly Holocaust dilution. It is Holocaust relativism. And as some historians have been pointing out since the 1970s, Holocaust relativism, the treatment of the Nazi era as just a wicked brand of politics that crops up every now and then, including now, is the foundation stone of the vile prejudices that underpin actual Holocaust denial.

Brendan O’Neill discussing the toxic absurdity of the ‘Trump is a Nazi’ notion.

8 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • John B

    It was National Socialism – Nazi was a contraction or insulting term that Hitler and his ghastly clique would never use to describe themselves – which has shared fundamental characteristics of all brands of Socialism, the State above the individual, no private property rights, wealth redistribution, central planning and control of the economy.

    The eugenics aspect and Holocaust is just one feature which is used particularly by the Left to distract from the fact that they, the Left, and ‘the Nazis’ are in other aspects identical.

    Fascism does not have the eugenics/racism element.

    By avoiding ‘National Socialists’, the Left hide the clue in the name to Hitler & Co’s actual politics… Socialism.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course Fascism and National Socialism (racial socialism) are not the same thing – but they are connected, both Fascism and National Socialism allowed notional private ownership of the means of production, whilst having actual state control of the economy, what used to be called “War Socialism” or “German Socialism” (going back before General Ludendorff all the way to the philosopher Fichte and even before him). The idea that Fascism or National Socialism was a “partnership” between “big business capitalists” and the state is an NKVD propaganda lie from the 1930s – although still repeated by Hollywood morons (and university morons). For what these systems were actually like see “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek and (better) “Omnipotent Government” by Ludwig Von Mises.

    As for anti Semitism – the hated of Jews.

    Well General Ludendorff hated Jews, as did Fichte a century before him, and Martin Luther centuries before that – but the modern left are hardly free of hatred of Jews.

    “Palestine shall be free – from the river to the sea” the chant of the university students, i.e. six million dead Jews. Or the demand of “free migration” or “open borders” to the forces of Islam into the West – so they can kill the Jews here.

    Mr Hitler and Mr Himmler were both friends and allies of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem – as they understood that his aim (kill the Jews) was the same as their aim (kill the Jews). And the modern left has allied itself with the movement that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem founded, and which still has his aim – kill-the-Jews.

    Sorry but the modern left can not correctly call itself “anti Nazi” – not in economic policy (they agree with “Social Justice” and the rest of the Fascist and Nazi stuff) and not on the Jews either.

  • JadedLibertarian

    To quote We the internet if you want gun control you can’t call Trump Hitler anymore, because calling for gun control while Hitler’s in the Whitehouse makes you sound suicidal.

  • Tedd

    Not to defend any particular comparison, but it is important (and intellectually valid) to compare political acts and trends to fascism. Fascism is the most* archetypal political folly that is (more or less) within living memory. It’s necessary to see all current political events, policies, and trends in relation to it, to some extent, if we’re to avoid repeating the mistake.

    *Yes, I’m aware there other contenders for that title, but let’s please make that a separate discussion.

  • It was National Socialism – Nazi was a contraction or insulting term that Hitler and his ghastly clique would never use to describe themselves. (John B, January 28, 2018 at 11:51 am))

    The second part of your sentence is mistaken.

    You are of course correct that the ideology was National Socialism and Hitler was the head of the National Socialist German Workers party, not, as the PC would pretend then and now, the head of the National (cough) German (cough) party. But when the foreign left in the 30s wanted to avoid pronouncing the word ‘socialism’ in that party’s name, they called it ‘fascist’. Nazi, when you pronounce ‘z’ as the Germans do, is NAT-SI, short for NATional-SocIalism, and was a ‘clever’ shortening of the phrase National Socialism that the National Socialists themselves invented and proudly used. (In the same period, it was the communists, not their enemies, who shortened ‘Communist International’ to ‘Comintern’ and so on.)

    During the war, Churchill always pronounce the ‘z’ in nazi the way an English-speaker does – because the ordinary people of the UK did. While that spirit – no foreigner tells me how to pronounce a word! – was probably part of what saved us, it has always amused me that the name the German National Socialists quite naturally gave themselves, pronounced their way, sounds in English as if they were not quite calling themselves the NAS-TI party, but very, very close.

    In justly criticising PC deceits, we should avoid imitating them. Hitler was no more the head of the (cough) Socialist (cough) Workers party than he was head of the National (cough) German (cough) party.

  • Sean

    I’ve always thought the kneejerk Republican = Nazi epitaph was a long term plan to rehabilitate another mass murdering SOCIALIST.

  • the other rob

    I like what O’Neill has done with his career. It shows integrity.

    There’s another former Marxist Guardianista who has done something similar, facing facts and all. His name escapes me, though.

  • mila

    Amazing how an article on the spurious and dangerous habit of comparing political opponents to Nazis is followed in the very first comment by:

    they, the Left, and ‘the Nazis’ are in other aspects identical.