No Comment on Latest ARPLAN Post

Anyone reading this Blog might notice that I did not post anything earlier today. Bogumil posted a follow-up on ARPLAN about the 1920 Salzburg Conference regarding Pan-Germanic Socialism. The Conference was pivotal in the rise of Hitlerism and the Führer Myth behind why most contemporary understandings of Pan-Germanic Socialism continues to be muddled by Hitlerism. The follow-up in question is an English translation of a speech that Hitler himself delivered at the Salzburg Conference.

According to Bogumil, the transcript of the speech that he translated is an attempt at reconstructing what Hitler actually said at the Salzburg Conference. What transpired there has been distorted by the Hitlerists to suit their agenda once they were in power and by Liberal Capitalists writing in hindsight. The West German government did preserve a copy of the original speech, but the text has since faded and is now illegible. An apolitical German historian, realizing the implications of not preserving such a document, did his best at reconstructing the speech based on snippets of text mentioned in other documents.

Bogumil has his reasons for why translating that speech was necessary. The speech was one of those rare moments when Hitler acknowledged that Pan-Germanic Socialism is an ideology entirely different from his own. This particular admission was literally omitted by the Hitlerists, their omissions upheld later by some historians (more on them later). On other occasions, Bogumil found Hitler bending the truth for his own purposes. Hitler was less interested in the socio-economic reforms that the Pan-Germanic Socialists wanted and more in favor of seizing the movement in the pursuit of power.

The apparent contradiction in goals is significant for anyone who thinks that Pan-Germanic Socialism could have amounted to something else, if it were not for Hitlerism. Bogumil and I are convinced that historians of a Liberal Capitalist bent would prefer that information about Pan-Germanic Socialism’s origins are forgotten and that everything about the ideology originated from Hitler, when in reality Hitler essentially hijacked the movement for his own purposes. To recognize that Pan-Germanic Socialism did not begin with Hitler means coming to terms with the uncomfortable truth that the ideology actually sprang from the Social-Democratic forces of the German-speaking world within the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Sectarian and Ethnic animosities, including the Antisemitism, were all indicative of the House of Habsburg’s centuries-long hegemony coming to its political demise. If the Habsburg’s could not keep the Austro-Hungarians together and mitigate these tendencies, their power will collapse in the same manner that it did after World War I.

Nowhere is that more apparent than when one realizes that Social-Democracy in the former Austro-Hungary, unlike the German Reich or Czarist Russia, did not develop in the same manner. There were no fragile alliances between the old nobility and the Proletariat against the Bourgeoisie (like in the German Reich) nor did the Proletariat work with the Bourgeoisie against the old nobility (like in Czarist Russia). Instead, the Proletariat and Bourgeoisie were understood in ethnic and sectarian terms. The “Proletariat” and “Bourgeoisie” were not necessarily members of the same ethnic or religious group and so it became almost fashionable among Austro-Hungarian Social-Democrats to view everything in this manner.

If I had to hazard an educated guess about why the Liberal Capitalists are inclined toward not connecting Pan-Germanic Socialism as originating from Austro-Hungarian Social-Democrats, it would have to be this.

Every political-economic ideology, whenever its adherents pass a certain size and composition, will eventually branch out and form factions centered around opposing interpretations of the ideology. Pan-Germanic Socialism is no exception to this, given the previous ARPLAN post.

Liberal Capitalism is no different. It has adherents with opposing interpretations of the Private Citizen’s relationships with Civil Society and Parliament. The ideology recognizes that every Private Citizen’s freedom (their “Civil Liberties,” if one wishes to call it that) should be protected against the “Civil Liberties” exercised by another Private Citizen, Civil Society, or Parliament. Some of its factions believe that Parliament should be more proactive in, for instance, promoting Economic Security, while others insist that it should emphasize Economic Freedom. This is that infamous “Freedom-Security Dialectic” I mentioned in my Treatises.

The problem is that certain factions within Neoliberalism have recognized how beneficial Social-Democracy is for their ideology. Unlike Pure Socialism, these factions believe that Social-Democracy will enable them to mitigate the worst tendencies of Neoliberalism. Through Production for Utility and Welfare Capitalism, Parliament assumes greater political powers to alleviate the Economic Insecurities of Civil Society. Although these reforms will stay within the trifecta of Parliamentary Democracy, the Market/Mixed Economy and the Fractional-Reserve Banking System, these Liberal Capitalists are convinced that such reforms are necessary in order to dissuade people from entertaining other ideologies. In economic history, we saw the zenith of these initiatives during Bretton Woods between 1945 and 1973.

If everyday people under Neoliberalism were to realize that Pan-Germanic Socialism predates Adolf Hitler and continues to develop both in spite of and even against Hitler, then the political power of those aforementioned factions will come into question. It will become easy for other Liberal Capitalist factions, particularly those critical of Social-Democracy on grounds of fiscal and monetary policies, to discredit them and thus promote their opposing interpretations of Neoliberalism. Since entertaining these implications are unthinkable, let alone damaging to those in favor of Social-Democracy, the Social-Democratic origins of Pan-Germanic Socialism cannot be allowed to see the light of day.

These factions critical of Social-Democracy, more importantly, have other reasons besides promoting their own interpretations of Neoliberalism. If the Soviets and Pan-Germanic Socialists originated from Social-Democratic parties, every decision to go beyond “mitigating the excesses of the ‘Capitalism’ in Liberal Capitalism” will become seen with suspicion. “What are the odds that today’s appeals to Social-Democracy will someday fuel appeals to Pure Socialism?,” this line of thinking goes.

Categories: Philosophy

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