MacShane again

Yes, it\’s Our Dennis:

There is a deeper rightwing revisionism at play. Stalin\’s crimes are being elevated to a par with the exterminations of Jews by those who want to banalise or relativise the Holocaust and reduce its historical centrality to just another example of wartime mass murders. Stalin\’s famines of the 1930s or his deportations in the 1940s are held up as the right creates its own moral equivalence between Nazism and Communism. The latter was foul, evil and those who were Stalin and Trotksy\’s mouthpieces in European democracies have done lasting damage to the democratic left.

But Hitlerism\’s Holocaust converted an entire nation\’s engineers, chemists, railway systems, diplomats as well as the military and the police into an industrially organised network absorbing massive resources as it combed Europe to transport Jews from every remote corner of the continent to be put to death in Nazi extermination camps on Polish soil.

And Stalin\’s efforts converted an entire country into a death camp based upon class not race.

So what?

If you want to say that Tories are bastards for hanging out with dodgy Latvians then that\’s just fine (and yes, the same point is just fine when asserted about UKIP and Lega Nord if that\’s what you want to do). But we really should be taking that biblical injunction to note beams and motes seriously. If a political party having members who attend parades in memory of those fighting for one ghastly dictatorial system means that said political party is beyond the pale then so also is a political party which has members who attend parades in memory of those who fought for another ghastly dictatorial system.

This is as true of Waffen SS veterans as it is of MVD or KGB ones, as true of those who would praise Pol Pot, Cuba, North Korea and, yes, all three of Stalin, Trotsky and Lenin.

As I\’ve said before, we can note the difference between people being killed on the grounds of race and and those being killed on the grounds of class. But it\’s the killing of people which should be bringing the condemnation, not the grounds for the killing. For it\’s the killing of people that\’s wrong, d\’ye see?

And thus there is a moral equivalence between Nazism and Communism.

Indeed, we might even go further….facism existed in various flavours and only in one instance did it become that pit of evil whereas almost everywhere communism has gained power the flavour of the death camps was similar.

11 thoughts on “MacShane again”

  1. Arguably, Communism and Nazism (National Socialism) are both forms of fascism – “group-ism” – the distinction being that fascism as commonly perceived (and characterised as “right-wing”) leaves ownership of property with the original owner (so the state has no responsibility for maintenance) while stealing the proceeds, whereas under “left-wing” collectivism (Communism or Socialism – the cuddly sort, not that evil 1930s German version), the state steals the actual property as well. The result is the same in both cases; enslavement of the population.

    Death camps are not a sine qua non of either scenario; after all, we don’t see them in either UK or USA now, and both are very close to being fascist states.

    Another common form of collectivism – Christianity – is, of course, responsible for an enormous number of deaths, both by its individual followers and by the Church itself, and other religions are equally culpable.

  2. The moral squalor this argument of McShane’s does not merely rest on the moral equivalence of Nazism and Communism.

    We are supposed to revile certain parties in the Baltic Republics because their predecessors were Nazi collaborators between 1941 and 1944. Fine. Let’s accept this standard. But why not apply that same standard to the parties of the global Communist International, because they, between August 1939 and June 1941 were also active and conscious Nazi Collaborators? The Soviet Communist Party signed a secret pact with the Nazis that allowed the USSR to wage war Poland, and 5 other independent countries. The USSR and Nazi Germany shared intelligence and military expertise. The USSR supplied Germany with the food and fuel they needed to wage war on Western Europe. The French Communist Party carried out acts of sabotage on war production. Maurice Thorez, the leader of the Party, actually deserted the French Army in the face of the enemy. After the occupation of Paris, the French Communsit Party asked permission of the occupiers to restart publication of L’Humanite, on the grounds that they were allies. They also informed on Trotskyists to the Gestapo. Worldwide, all Communist Parties went overnight from a position of hostility to Nazi Germany to a position of benevolent neutrality, and instead attacked Britain. The worldwide Communist movement, in short, were Nazi Germany’s first, biggest, and most important group of collaborators.

  3. Clearly in the byzantine depths of the victimhood narrative, race trumps class.
    That is all you need to know.

  4. What Ian Bennett said. Communism and National Socialism / Nazism are two sides of the same Fascist coin, because both have the defining characteristic that the State’s interests trump all else.

    Which highlights an equivalence between Fascism and Socialism, so it’s not surprising that Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot shared a characteristic of seeing mass murder as a simple necessity.

    The socialists scored a strategic victory years ago when they succeeded in labelling Nazism “right wing” – one the Biased Broadcasting Corporation carries on propagating with every reference to the BNP. I can only imagine they’ve never actually read the BNP manifesto, which is about State control on a massive scale.

  5. Why would anyone on the Right want to trivialise the Holcaust or make excuses for the Nazis?

    The Nazis believed in an all-powerful state, big government, public before private interest, the collective before the individual – their basic philosophy was socialist not conservative.

    Nazi Germany had a generous welfare state, socialised medicine and a state monopoly over education. Their economic policies included a 99% top rate of income tax, curbs on dividend pay outs and share dealing, a ban on unearned income, confiscation of inherited wealth, large scale nationalisation, restrictive labour laws and high trade barriers. Their economic ideas were similar to Old Labour, and about as far from the free market as one could imagine.

    The Nazis were devoted Greens. Hitler was a vegetarian, animal-loving tree hugger. The Nazis outlawed vivisection and smoking in public places, and championed organic farming, vegetarianism and alternative medicine.

    Nor were the Nazis Bush/Palin-type “God, gays and guns” social conservatives. They advanced paganism and persecuted Christianity. The Hitler Youth movement was designed to undermine the family unit and allow the state to usurp the role of parents. They also outlawed private gun ownership. Whilst some gays were detained in concentration camps many Nazi activists were gay and there was a strong homoerotic streak in Nazi thought. Nor were they pro-life – abortion and euthanasia was applied to anyone who didn’t tick the right boxes and a party which allowed experiments on fully grown humans would hardly have objected to experiments on embryos.

    The Nazis were vehemently anti-American and anti-Zionist, were close allies of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist predecessors and had close ties to militants Islamists such as the Mufti of Jerusalem. Hitler and the neocons would certainly not have been on the same page.

    There is a baffling double standard that applies to mass murder by Communists compared to the Nazis’ atrocities. Murdering millions of people is just plain evil, whatever the motivation.

  6. I confess that I find Nazi Germany creepier than the USSR under Stalin, in the sense that the way in which the Nazis tried to industrialise murder and provide “scientific” justifications for it is in itself disturbing. Stalin seems more of a common or garden thug, and while everything about communism is wrong, the USSR seems somehow easier the understand. Another way of putting it is that Nazism was so breathtakingly bonkers that it disturbs me that so many people went along with it. The USSR seems somehow more explicable.

    Trying to somehow suggest that one was more evil than the other is silly and offensive, though, as both were about as evil as it is possible to be.

  7. Stalin’s mob was just as happy to kill on the grounds of race when it suited him. There are 30,000 Polish bodies in the Katyn Forest that are testament to that.

  8. It’s good to see somebody raise the ways of the Soviets for that is one mob that you never hear demonised. In fact, one would be forgiven for thinking that only Nazism were murderous bastards yet this is far from true and they did not kill the most.

    Tim adds: No, we’ll not go there thanks. Comment edited for racism.

  9. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    “the Mufti of Jerusalem”

    ‘Spiritual Advisor’ to the 13th SS Division Handschar, bearing the rank of Gruppenfuhrer.

  10. Can we ask Macshane to comment on the number of labour members, eg Jack Jones and his wife, who were also in the pay of the KGB? Is he happy to belong to a party that harboured traitors?

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