Wednesday, January 25, 2012

National Socialists Are Keynesian

Sexy Nazi
The title should be no surprise to anybody who knows what National Socialists are or what Keynesian Economics is all about.

Let me qualify that a bit. The Italian and German National Socialists rose to power with the use of Keynesian Economics before John Maynard Keynes finished explaining his vision of the economic world. Of course, as with all massive government programs, the Nazis and Fascists took off in completely different directions from any that resembled what brought them to power. Here is Hitler in his own words via the American Nazi Party:
video
As you can read in the subtitles, Hitler tells corporations that they will be left alone as long as they play along and do as they are told. Don't take my word for it, look for yourself.  Everything in his speech is Keynesian and Socialistic.  If you think the Hitlerian National Socialists of today are any different, guess again.

John Maynard Keynes
As far as the German National Socialists go, what did they do when they took over the country?  They started big public works monuments to government, like the Autobahn.  Here is a WikiPedia passage that highlights a few of them:
Nazis came to power in the midst of the Great Depression. When the Nazis came to power the most pressing issue was an unemployment rate of close to 30%.[18] Before World War II, Hitler appointed Hjalmar Schacht, a former member of the German Democratic Party, as President of the Reichsbank in 1933 and Minister of Economics in 1934. [18]

At first, Schacht continued the economic policies introduced by the government of Kurt von Schleicher in 1932 to combat the effects of the Great Depression. These policies were mostly Keynesian, relying on large public works programs supported by deficit spending — such as the construction of the Autobahn network — to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment. There was major reduction in unemployment over the following years, while price controls prevented the recurrence of inflation. The economic policies of the Third Reich were in the beginning the brainchildren of Schacht, who assumed office as president of the central bank under Hitler in 1933, and became finance minister in the following year. Schacht was one of the few finance ministers to take advantage of the freedom provided by the end of the gold standard to keep interest rates low and government budget deficits high, with massive public works funded by large budget deficits.[18] The consequence was an extremely rapid decline in unemployment—the most rapid decline in unemployment in any country during the Great Depression.[18] Eventually this Keynesian economic policy was supplemented by the boost to demand provided by rearmament and swelling military spending.
The last sentence in that passage is quite misleading.  Military spending is government spending and really is just part of a Keynesian framework, especially in an era where the Left found militarism appealing.

Socialist Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini
So, what of the Italian National Socialists, Mussolini's Fascists?
The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill. (p. 280)  - Mussolini, Benito. My Autobiography. New York: Scribner’s, 1928 (via econlib.org)
Remember, whenever anybody tries to tell you that National Socialists are/were something other than  collectivist socialists, they are lying.


The same folk will try to tell you that it was the 'corporations' dishing out the power to Mussolini and Hitler.  Think for a moment, just who had the police power?  Mussolini or Fiat?

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