Readings of “Going Red” (Pt. I of II)


The conversion of Richard Scheringer, culminating with his abandonment of the NSDAP for the KPD, does strike me as being worthy of mention on the latest post of the ARPLAN Blog. We of course know that some of those factions would later go on to form the organizational basis behind National Bolshevism. Yet there is a lot more at stake here than the mere fact that there were various dissenting factions within both parties. And I am not just referring to the expression of disagreements over how they should assume power in the German Reich.

The NSDAP was trying to make compromises to its stances in hopes that doing so would enable them to take over the German Reich and unite the rest of the German-speaking world by extension. While I can understand the justifications, I have every reason to doubt that those compromises would have fulfilled the foundational aims of Pan-Germanic Socialism over the long-term. Thus, I have to agree with Richard Scheringer that those compromises actually deviated from Pan-Germanic Socialism.

For instance, consider the conception of “State Capitalism” as defined by the NSDAP and the KPD. Both are in agreement that there should only be State, Social, and Foreign Enterprises in the German economy, yet Scheringer’s testimonies suggest that they have different ideas on economic organization. The KPD was adamant that State Capitalism in the German-speaking world should only be employed in order to troubleshoot any potential issues that may arise from the transition toward any version of Socialism. The NSDAP, by contrast, had State Capitalism serve as an extension of the Party apparatus in a sort of “Party-State Capitalism.” Of course, this raises the implication of whether such decisions would encourage the Economic Liberalization of the German Reich later in the 20th century, as the Kuomintang did employ a similar strategy that led to them losing their power in Taiwan by the 1980s.

The KPD had to have realize this implication in their own writings at the time. They had to have known that those compromises made certain factions inside the NSDAP receptive to National Bolshevism or outright Marxism-Leninism. This should serve as an indication that there were in fact people genuinely attracted to the “Socialism” in Pan-Germanic Socialism, not the Hitlerism that hijacked the movement several years earlier through the Führerprinzip. The Liberal Capitalists and Social-Democrats caught wind of this and disseminated it in their own propaganda, ostensibly proving to everyone that there were not too many differences between the NSDAP and KPD.

There is something else that we can infer from this ARPLAN post, and I am convinced that it has to do with the fact that Nationalism, like Socialism, has no single definition. Just as there could be Marxist and non-Marxist interpretations of Socialism, Nationalism itself can also be open to dispute among its adherents. After all, what is Nationalism if not a series of claims about the Totality of a particular nation?

The “Nationalism” espoused by the KPD is one that maintains a complementary Proletarian Internationalism. It presupposes that opposition to the Liberal Capitalists in power and support for their war efforts against any Socialist nation are irreconcilable. The factions of the NSDAP that actually cared about the “Socialist” aspects of Pan-Germanic Socialism took a different view. They insisted that such Solidarity can only be limited to the German-speaking world and the German Volksgemeinschaft in particular. Even in a Socialist world order where the Liberal Capitalists have no power on the world stage, nations will always find at least one justification to be in opposition to each other, up to and including military conflict.

These may seem like superficial differences, but they do posit my ongoing argument that the definitions for the Nationalism of any nation is far from universal. One set of claims about a particular Nationalism can be challenged by those from another. That, I contend, is where the limitations of Nationalism become apparent, regardless of whether they in favor of Socialism, opposed to Socialism, or have their own interpretations of what constitutes as Pure Socialism.

I am planning to write a follow up to this comment once I find enough time this week to read the rest of the ARPLAN post. It is arguably among the various ARPLAN posts that tie in with the discussions of my Blog.


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