Control

A commentator at reddit leaned on my post that carried an excerpt from Rauschning’s book in support of his (I presume) anti-socialism position. The reply he got-

The article you present fails to mention that the book is considered plagiarized and fabricated. According to Wikipedia, “Historians generally regard this book as discredited.” It’s plausible that the author would want to discredit Socialism with his book due to his Conservative views.

But let me humor you for a moment and assume that the book is completely genuine. I fail to see an endorsement of the idea that people ought to democratically operate the means of production, which is what Socialism is. I doubt Adolph Hitler subscribed to that idea…

I have no intention of arguing over trifles. I only wish to say that to maintain that only an economy wherein the state nationalizes the “means of production” can be said to be a socialist one is to intentionally ignore the big picture. In the end, it all boils down to control

If “ownership” means the right to determine the use and disposal of material goods, then Nazism endowed the state with every real prerogative of ownership. What the individual retained was merely a formal deed, a contentless deed, which conferred no rights on its holder. Under communism, there is collective ownership of property de jure. Under Nazism, there is the same collective ownership de facto.

This is what Peikoff writes in his book. And, if one believes Rauschning, Hitler says something very similar-

“Why bother with such half-measures when I have far more important matters in hand, such as the people themselves?” he exclaimed. “The masses always cling to extremes. After all, what is meant by nationalization, by socialization? What has been changed by the fact that a factory is now owned by the State instead of by a Mr. Smith? But once directors and employees alike have been subjected to a universal discipline, there will be a new order for which all expressions used hitherto will be quite inadequate.”

…They themselves are changed. What are ownership and income to that? Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.”

Even if all this is fabricated, I doubt if anyone would argue that Nazi Germany was a country where businessmen were free to take any business decision they wanted without worrying about what the State would do to them.

Control is key.

To wrap this post up, here’s a Rand quote from the comments to the “control” post-

I have stated repeatedly that the trend in this country is toward a fascist system with communist slogans. But what all of today’s pressure groups are busy evading is the fact that neither business nor labor nor anyone else, except the ruling clique, gains anything under fascism or communism or any form of statism—that all become victims of an impartial, egalitarian destruction.

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