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Campaign Help Needed: Modern Fascism


MisterVimes
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I did something similar for my game, in my case the super villain recruited the ex-Nazi evil genius, but close enough. Here's my advice. Pick a country that has a government that is already awful, there's an unfortunately large number of countries like that. Avoid ones that are too large, too important, have strong allies, or whatnot. Then, have your Nazi troops pick up new codenames, appearances and whatnot and have them lead a revolution against the rulership of the country. Most important, make sure that things do actually get better, at least in some of the more obvious ways. They don't have to make the people of the country miserable just for kicks, and its easy to see how an oppressive but well-run and reasonably PR-minded fascist regime could be better than a brutal dictatorship or a military-controlled puppet government. Nobody can justify kicking them out of power, since they then have to explain why they didn't take the time to get rid of Mr. Evil Dictator, but they are now going to all this trouble deposing the popular heroes that the people adore for saving them from Mr. Evil Dictator.

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Originally posted by Trebuchet

The fact that you can even say such things as "Nazi Germany was run on behalf of companies like Krupp and Ford" shows me exactly how little you know about actual Nazi ideology. Fascism in it's own way was as radical as communism; it was hardly a friend of the traditional ways. In general the Nazis despised the old school Junkers, industrialists and nobility. Property ownership was a polite fiction under the Nazis; Kruppstahl worked at Hitler's behest not the other way around. Their instructions were to be followed or the result would be...unpleasant. Many business owners, especially of large industrial plants, found themselves little more than well-paid managers. Wars are not profitable when bombs are raining on your factories.

 

Oh boy. Let's see:

Fascism (more than just the Nazis, BTW) was supremely opportunistic. Its ideology was essentially just spin. (This is true for Stalinism, too, of course, but that's another question entirely.)

 

Every essential element of Nazism was present in the pre-WWI German state: statist nationalism, "Church, Kitchen and Children" for women, militarism, anti-semitism, repression of workers' organisations, and so on. In short: Bismarckism.

 

The difference was that the Bismarckian system had collapsed at the end of WWI, was replaced by a weak and chaotic system, and "needed" to be forcibly restored. This was achieved, in the end, by a repressive force that emerged outside the confines of the state apparatus - the Nazi stormtroopers. The "radical" elements of Nazi ideology were essentially suckerbait for these clowns, and was mostly ditched after the Night of the Long Knives. In fact, the latter was precisely a purge of those elements that took this stuff seriously.

 

The "old school Junkers, industrialists and nobility" despised the Nazi upstarts, and this was, to some extent, reciprocated. On the other hand, the Nazis were perfectly willing to suck up to them at every opportunity, like the petty little social wannabes that they were.

 

The Nazi system was perfectly profitable while they were winning - a few bombs didn't change that. It only became a problem when they took on people that could fight back.

 

As for Nazi control of the economy: most of this control was of the labour force. It's true, various Nazi officials wedged themselves into the economic system, trying to make fortunes for themselves. That was because they wanted to become part of the system that they were defending. They were opportunists and parasites. The industrialists were willing to tolerate this as long as they delivered results: new resources, captive markets, the elimination of competitors, and a pacified workforce.

 

Centralised control of industrial production really only emerged late in the war, in response to the prospect of defeat. Prior to that, the German economy was still to a considerable degree operating on a peace-time basis. This wasn't a good thing while fighting a total war!

 

Companies like General Motors, Ford and Krupp make immense fortunes from the Nazi regime. Some of this was lost with the Nazi defeat. If the Nazis had been prevented from taking power, ALL of it would have been lost.

 

Incidentally, check out Spain for what fascist governments become over the long run. Remember: there has been no purge of fascist elements there. The current Prime Minister was a member of Franco's political organisation, or at least its youth wing. His party is one of the successors of Franco's organisation. Radical, my foot.

 

Fascism, generically, is a brand of terrorist dictatorship, that uses massive violence to repress threats to social order. Its ideology typically involves conservative nationalist values. Its governing form is typically dictatorial, although there are not-dissimilar "democratic" forms, where violence is "only" directed against the poorest sections of society and dissidents.

 

Examples of this include: the southern states of the US after the failure of Reconstruction! Yes, the bedsheet brigade were the true American equivalent of fascism, and yes, they did run parts of the USA. And yes, they did so "democratically". And lynchings were excuses for family outings...

 

One of my favourite alternate dimensions in Champions 3-D was Confederate World. :)

 

I'm going to post this, though I probably shouldn't. These boards are usually pretty good at staying on topic, so I'm even more reluctant than usual to post flamebait.

 

Anyway, I can see that I am going to have to consider running a Golden Age campaign. That's a little difficult in my usual Australian setting, which was (a) too small at that time, and (B) too deeply involved in the war from 1939 onwards.

 

Of course, a US based campaign run by me would be a bit odd, since I haven't been to the US for 25 years, and then only for a few weeks. Still, very few of us have ever been to the US in the 1930s and 1940s, so I guess I mightn't be at too much of a disadvantage. Lucky nobody from the US would be able to hear the accents I would be using. :)

 

I've been looking at various golden age Superman and Batman comics that are available on the net recently (Google is your friend), and it's true that the early versions of these characters can be built on very few points. Unfortunately, they both rapidly gained huge power levels, and many of the characters that followed them tended to match their extended, rather than initial levels. On the other hand, there were plenty of low powered characters too, so I can't complain.

 

Anyway, I've digressed wildly from the original topic of the thread, so I will stop here.

 

Alan

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Originally posted by assault

Anyway, I've digressed wildly from the original topic of the thread, so I will stop here.

 

Alan

 

Actually, I think that this has all been fairly on-topic. If someone is seriously interested in running a campaign featuring Nazi elements amoungst the central villains, then a thorough understanding of fascism is requisite. (Unless of course one wanted to run a 4-Color campaign and make all the Nazis into charicature hairy Hun monsters, or alternate between buck-toothed and fanged Japanese...)

 

Along those lines, there is also the fact that fascism was obsessed with mythology, with the past, and with a twisted sort of conventional values. It wasn't revolutionary, it was reactionary. In these ways, it differed from communism.

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Just messing with you...

 

Just for a laugh, consider the following:

 

Many costumed adventurers from the US were fighting fascism BEFORE December 7, 1941. Many were even doing it before September 1939.

 

Have you ever wondered why end of the Golden Age coincided with McCarthyism?

 

Could it be because a significant proportion of the Golden Age "heroes" were: "Premature Anti-fascists"?

 

Just messing with you. :)

 

Oh, why not?

 

Consider the following, too:

Most anti-mutant propaganda comes from the far right. What is the far left's response?

 

How many "Commie Mutant Traitors" are there, out there?

 

:)

 

Alan

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Originally posted by assault

Oh boy. Let's see:

Fascism (more than just the Nazis, BTW) was supremely opportunistic. Its ideology was essentially just spin. (This is true for Stalinism, too, of course, but that's another question entirely.)

 

Every essential element of Nazism was present in the pre-WWI German state: statist nationalism, "Church, Kitchen and Children" for women, militarism, anti-semitism, repression of workers' organisations, and so on. In short: Bismarckism.

That is largely correct, and I have no disagreement with most of what you said here about fascism. Nazi doctrine was essentially trying to recreate a mythological "perfect state" of Aryans; which was the only thing about them that was "conservative," just as Mussolini was trying to recreate the glory of imperial Rome. My problem came with your blanket assertion that "Nazi Germany was run on behalf of companies like Krupp and Ford," which is patently false. That's as absurd as saying that communism is a plot of the Elders of Zion. The Nazis were perfectly willing to use the industrialists (and vice versa), but that doesn't mean they were working at the behest of said industrialists.

 

This thread has wandered a bit off topic, but not much. Most people have no real idea of what Nazism means; their ideas are formed by 60 years of movies and books with Nazi heavies which offer little but a cardboard cutout representation of Nazis (They hate Jews, have cool black uniforms, decorate everything with swastikas, are evil, use advanced technology, etc.) but nothing of the actual meat. There is certainly nothing to admire about the Nazis, but that doesn't mean they aren't worthy of study. Evil is always interesting, at least in the abstract.

 

Two books on the subject I can recommend: The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS by Heinz Höhne, and The 12-Year Reich: A Social History of Nazi Germany 1933-1945 by Richard Grunberger

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(lloking at map, stabs finger downward)

 

I'm going to keep away from the 'what is fascism' debate and try and answer the question. I do find the discussion interesting, but as a teacher sometimes I like to sit back and listen...

Anywho,

I would agree with those folks who say that you have to make sure that there are no known deposits of minerals or nothing would keep the US from barging in and screwing up your story. Thus, I think the former Soviet Republics *might* work from a geo-political standpoint as long as it isn't one that has oil deposits.

But from a game-play aspect, you want to use a country that the players know any have a vision of in their head, no? I mean, how many people in the US even know where Turkmenistan is? I would temper my concern for realism with a concern for this pre-conceived set of ideas.

 

I would suggest Tibet. I think China would probably veto any force from the UN, thinking that the UN would stay until the area is actually liberated. China has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and so can do this with impunity. The Chinese record in Tibet is one that it has been fairly careful to conceal, and the Chinese government has often been slow to react to potential problems owing to closed-door arguments between different factions of its leadership.

 

Besides, wouldn't all those mountains be a great place for a fight? You could have the heroes duke it out on Everest or K2. I know as a player I'd get jazzed about that.

 

Anyway, that's just my 2 cents.

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Originally posted by Trebuchet

The Nazis were perfectly willing to use the industrialists (and vice versa), but that doesn't mean they were working at the behest of said industrialists.

 

It was something of an alliance.

 

The Nazis were a mass movement based on bits of the middle class threatened and terrified by the post-WWI chaos, plus lots of thugs and criminals and general riff-raff.

 

The industrialists (and bankers, generals and whatnot) had resources, but little mass support.

 

The two groups got together to smash the labour movement (Social Democrats, Communists, and so on), who were to one degree or another threatening their interests. This "smashing" involved systematic terror, and the establishment of a dictatorship. Once the dictatorship was established, a lot of the "mass movement" element of the Nazis was eliminated. Not coincidentally, a lot of the "radical" rhetoric of the early Nazi movement was ditched at this time, when it might have been possible for them to have attempted to put it into practice.

 

In this situation, the Jews, Gypsies and so on were just the usual scapegoats targeted by German reactionaries. If it had been the US, different groups would have been the primary targets...

 

In practice, the Nazis were more or less simply a more than usually violent example of a "typical" capitalist dictatorship. The only things that could be called "socialist" about them were their early populist rhetoric - ignored in practice, plus their authoritarian statism - which was the traditional practice and ideology of most early 20th Century European states, and which could only be called socialism by people shaped by the political culture of the USA.

 

In this thread, I've included a couple of nasty comments directed at the US. I apologise to anyone I've offended. The most important point of them, however, is to suggest that fascism picks up characteristics from the society in which it emerges.

 

It makes very little sense to pick up on the "national socialist" tag, and call the Nazis "socialist". In many respects, they had more in common with very individualist, "freedom loving", anti-statist, and Christian groups in the USA - like the KKK.

 

OK, that's it. I'm not posting again on this thread.

 

Alan

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Originally posted by Arthur

Well, the definition of "fascism", IIRC, is simply that the needs of society are more important than individual rights in as many areas as possible. In order to understand fascism, you would have to imagine a country wherein, for example, the rights of citizens to enjoy themselves with recreational drugs in their own homes is outlawed, and the reason given is "for the good of society". I realize that is a horrifying concept, and no country that is even remotely free could ever even consider that level of control of the private lives of its citizens.

 

There would also be numerous regulations, all "for the public good", but really for generating revenue and controlling the populace. For instance, absurdly low speed limits set so that driving without constantly looking at your speedometer is enough for the average person to be ticketed, and the average driver feels fear when a law enforcement officer is in their rear-view mirror.

 

There would be seizure of assets of suspected criminals without trial, merely on accusation, with no proof required.

 

Things that are taken for granted in a free society, such as the right to work for a living, would be subject to stiff taxation. Citizens would routinely have to submit bodily fluid samples in order to be hired, to be sure they weren't using any proscribed substances in their "free" time (I know this sounds scary, but it's just fiction).

 

Etc.

Drugs are bad for you.
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The thing to remember is that any nation with non-Aryan populations is going to bring up the spectre of how the Aryan Elite deals with them. Do you want to go there? If not, Artificial Islands is a wonderful choice. Then there's that "warm zone" at the South Pole...:)

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Originally posted by Agent X

The thing to remember is that any nation with non-Aryan populations is going to bring up the spectre of how the Aryan Elite deals with them. Do you want to go there? If not, Artificial Islands is a wonderful choice. Then there's that "warm zone" at the South Pole...:)

 

Doug... I feel, and this is just a guess, that PERHAPS you are favoring an arternate solution to a real world nation... call it "The Latverian Option":D

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Originally posted by assault

It makes very little sense to pick up on the "national socialist" tag, and call the Nazis "socialist". In many respects, they had more in common with very individualist, "freedom loving", anti-statist, and Christian groups in the USA - like the KKK.

Just how did the Nazis have more in common with these elements? They were anti-individualistic, oppressive (!), statist (they had one of the largest and least efficient bureacracies in Europe) and pagan; the very opposite of what you called them. And it's not like National Socialists was a name assigned to the Nazis by reactionary governments; the very name of the party was the National Socialist Worker's Party. You know, those same workers who supposedly owned everything in the former Soviet Union. Communism and national socialism are two branches of the same tree who were bitter rivals because they each viewed the other as heretics from "true socialism". They are not opposite ends of the political spectrum, but close kin.

 

I can't help but feel that your desire to paint the Nazis as incorporating these elements is an attempt to somehow paint them as some type of conservatives. What I see in Nazism is a violent overturning of traditional values and the creation of a personality cult based on an ideology rather than on heredity, achievement or social position. You know, like Lenin or Mao. I'm sorry if you can't handle the name socialism being attached to the Nazis; but in my book socialism is a bad thing in any manifestation. Some are just worse than others.

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Guest WhammeWhamme
Originally posted by Trebuchet

I'm sorry if you can't handle the name socialism being attached to the Nazis; but in my book socialism is a bad thing in any manifestation. Some are just worse than others.

 

'Socialism is a bad thing in any manifestation'

 

Right....

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Originally posted by Trebuchet

I'm sorry if you can't handle the name socialism being attached to the Nazis; but in my book socialism is a bad thing in any manifestation. Some are just worse than others.

I'm sorry if you can't handle the name nationalism being attached to the Nazis; but in my book nationalism is a bad thing in any manifestation. Some are just worse than others.
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Originally posted by Doug McCrae

I'm sorry if you can't handle the name nationalism being attached to the Nazis; but in my book nationalism is a bad thing in any manifestation. Some are just worse than others.

That's one of the most inane comments I've seen recently on these boards, and that's saying a lot. Of course the Nazis were nationalists; it says so right in their very name. As in N-A-T-I-O-N-A-L S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-T. Duh. What makes you think I can't handle the obvious?

 

Don't like nationalism, do you? I can't help but notice you give your location as "Glasgow, Scotland," not "Glasgow, Europe" or "Glasgow, Earth." So do you consider yourself a good Scotsman, a subject of the United Kingdom, or merely a citizen of Europe?

 

I, on the other hand, am proud to be an ardent nationalist. We Americans are funny that way. :cool:

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Originally posted by Agent X

Especially if you think you have to have the double cheeseburgers every few hours every day and more at each meal just to achieve the flavor of that first double cheeseburger...

 

So what's your point? Either way, outlawing something "because it's bad for you" is about as crystal-clear an example of Big Brother that I can detect. Although, for purposes of this discussion, I was thinking of the common argument I hear about "the damage to society".

 

In a free country, I would be free to make my own decisions about how many cheeseburgers to consume and how much cocaine to snort, etc., as long as I did not harm anyone else. All arguments in favor of The War on Some Drugs are based on either micromanagement of my private life (totalitarianism) or "the good of society trumps personal freedom" (fascism).

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It occurs to me that if *we* can't necessarily agree on what fascism or Nazism is, then probably Ultra and his new cronies might not be able to either.

 

A skilled manipulator PC might be able to play the new government of Aryania against itself due to these philosophical differences.

 

Heck, I seem to recall the real-life Nazis had these kinds of internicene struggles....

 

Crush all Ism,

SKJAM!

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Originally posted by SKJAM!

It occurs to me that if *we* can't necessarily agree on what fascism or Nazism is, then probably Ultra and his new cronies might not be able to either.

 

A skilled manipulator PC might be able to play the new government of Aryania against itself due to these philosophical differences.

 

Heck, I seem to recall the real-life Nazis had these kinds of internicene struggles....

That's quite true, and the "purists" were constantly bickering with the less ideologically pure (read: opportunistic) Nazis. Movements inevitably splinter into factions; that's their nature. The communists did it too (Trotskyites, etc.). The communists were originally a radical socialist faction, as were the fascists (Mussolini was originally a communist before he broke off and formed his own party.).

 

That's a very clever suggestion. :D

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Thanks for all your excellent ideas, I'll let you know how it works out. The team is parallel-world hoping for the next few weeks. After they leave Naziworld, the rift will open that will provide Ultra with his minions. This will give him a few weeks head start. When the heroes get home, they have at least two (maybe three) plotlines to keep them busy while I drop them the weekly "In the News" plothooks. Hopefully by the time they are done with the plotlines dangling, they will notice a new Fascist State on the rise.

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Originally posted by Trebuchet

Just how did the Nazis have more in common with these elements? They were anti-individualistic, oppressive (!), statist (they had one of the largest and least efficient bureacracies in Europe) and pagan; the very opposite of what you called them. And it's not like National Socialists was a name assigned to the Nazis by reactionary governments; the very name of the party was the National Socialist Worker's Party. You know, those same workers who supposedly owned everything in the former Soviet Union. Communism and national socialism are two branches of the same tree who were bitter rivals because they each viewed the other as heretics from "true socialism". They are not opposite ends of the political spectrum, but close kin.

 

I can't help but feel that your desire to paint the Nazis as incorporating these elements is an attempt to somehow paint them as some type of conservatives. What I see in Nazism is a violent overturning of traditional values and the creation of a personality cult based on an ideology rather than on heredity, achievement or social position. You know, like Lenin or Mao. I'm sorry if you can't handle the name socialism being attached to the Nazis; but in my book socialism is a bad thing in any manifestation. Some are just worse than others.

 

First of all, just because the Nazis were named such, does not mean that they were any way Socialist. Hitler and the Nazi party betrayed the ideals of Marx and the Socialist movement in the same manner that Stalin did in Russia.

 

The claim that the Nazis were a pagan group probably makes American conservatives feel better about the recent developments in the US and their simialrities to Hitler's rise to power (Hitler was widely disrespected until a terrorist attack united much of Germany behind him, he passed laws limiting people's civil rights with the excuse of "Homeland Security, etc.) but the fact is that Hitler and the Nazi party used the Christian religion.

 

"I am doing the Lord's work." - Hitler

 

"I am only an instrument on which th old god sings his song." - Goebbels

 

"God is with us." - Hitler

 

Sorry Trebuchet. You are welcome to your opinions but if everything you know about Socialism comes from corporate American media and the likes of Rush Limbaugh, then maybe you shouldn't post about it. I'm sure FOX news (aka GOP propaganda TV) says that any form of Socialism is bad and that it is doomed to fail, but forms of Socialism have had great success all over the world. Universal (Socialized) Healthcare, the worst fear of the pharmaceutical companies that wield so much power in American politics, has had great success in other countries including the USA's neighbor to the north, Canada. American media has widely ignored its success while reporting heavily on its early failures in Canada when the system was first starting up. Meanwhile, corporate television is filled with advertisements paid for by pharmaceutical companies. (Can you watch 20 minutes of American television, outside of the cartoons, without seeing an advertisement for some drug or another?) The television channels serve their advertisers, not the people and their advertisers aren't likely to make much money of socialized health care or any other form of socialism.

 

Even a 100% employment rate (an important cause for Socialists) is something that corporations will resist. Part of the reason a corporation can get away with paying its workers so little while profitting so heavilly and giving millions to political parties (like the US's Democrats and Republicans) because their is unemployment. If there was 100% employment and not the threat of becoming unemployed, workers would demand more instead of being happy with what they have "because at least they have a job." So, would you say, Trebuchet, that 100% employment is a bad thing since Capitalism requires unemployment?

 

What about the eight-hour work day and the forty-hour work week? These changes to American society ended the sweat-shop conditions that were prevalant in the US in the early twentieth century and were fought for by the American Socialists, Communists and Labor parties. If everything socialist is bad, then I guess employers should onceagain be allowed to work their people as much as they want again and if they don't like it, let them join their neighbors in the unemployment lines.

 

A quick search on the web turns up this web page, http://www.sp-usa.org/about/index.html, a Socialist Party in the US. Reading their party platform, I don't see how "everything socialist is bad." They have a lot of excellent ideas. Saying "everything socialist is bad" is as silly as someone arguing that "everything capitalist is bad" or "everything christian is bad." With any type of society, you will have good and bad. Certainly, capitalism has done a lot of good for the US, but it has also contributed to one of the world's most corrupt governments with politicians solidly in the pocket of big business. Does his mean "everything capitalist is bad"?

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Right! A chance to pontificate at last!

 

The National Socialist German Worker's Party was founded in late 1918 by a small group of Bavarians, mostly of the "petit bourgeoisie" and not strictly the by-definition industrial proletariat of the classical Marxian model. The incoherent nature of their political ideology was based on strains of anti-Semitic "Pan-German" movements such as the Thule Society, which in the late 19th Century rejected the traditional conservative societies of Austria-Hungary and Bismarckian Germany. It is important to note that the core constituency of these movements was what we would consider lower-white-collar and upper-blue collar: shop-keepers, clerks, and others who considered themselves above "proletarian" concerns because they owned property (small shops) or had some education, but also disliked "big business" because - wait for it - they considered it part of a upper-class Jewish conspiracy to take away their rights and property.

 

In any analysis of the Nazis and broader Fascist movements one has to understand that they rejected the old conservative order, which in Germany was embodied in the Prussian Nobility and the General Staff mentality. Hitler considered his Generals as having no real experience of war; he trusted Rommel and Model, for instance, because they came from non-noble backgrounds. The truth is far more complicated, of course, but here are some core ideological tenants that Hitler and the Nazis believed:

 

1) All history is based on the struggle between races.

2) The most creative race is the Ayran race.

3) The Jews seek to destroy the Aryan race through racial mixing (intermarriage) and outright destruction.

4) Individualism is poisonous to the harmony of the racial community (Volksgenossen) and communitarianism is the ideal, where one lives for the racial community.

5) The conservative upper classes are poisoned by Jewish intermarriage and a cosmopolitan outlook which prevents them from seeing the interests of the Volksgenossen as primary over other concerns.

6) Marxian Socialism is a Jewish conspiracy to internationalise, and therefore geld, the Aryan race and to lead the good German worker astray.

 

Nazi ideology was in many ways self-contradictory. However, the socialist aspects - the communitarianism, the distrust of "big money" and the upper classes - was a primary feature of Nazi ideology. Goebbels and others were of the "socialist" wing of the Nazi Party, and the Sturmabtielung (the SA, or Stormtroopers) was a haven for the Left Nazis up until 1934, when Hitler had the SS remove Roehm and the SA command (as well as purge other Left Nazis) in order to secure himself as the primary holder of power. However, this was a tactical maneuver that Hitler indulged in in order to gain the trust of the German Army.

 

Hitler was in the last aspect a pragmatist. He believed in most of the "left" aspects of the Nazi program, but chose when and where to implement them in order to complete his personal control over the state. When the General Staff was purged in 1944 after some members of the conservative wing of the Staff (along with many other conservative Germans) attempted to assassinate Hitler, many of the "left" Nazi ideas were implemented; a "people's" army, state control of production, and so forth.

 

Private property was respected by the Nazi Party only insofar as small property ownership was respected. The Nazi ideal was a nation of small farmers and shopkeepers, living in small armed villages throughout Europe which would form colonies that would fight off the remnants of inferior races (such as the Slavs.) The "National" in National Socialism was the nation of the Ayran People. Big business and the concentration of capital and production in the hands of private individuals was distrusted.

 

As far as religious aspects of Nazi ideology, all Nazis were expected to express a belief in a creator, a God, but not necessarily the God of the Christian Church. Himmler required all SS members to be Gottglaubig, or "God-believers," but rejected members who professed membership to the Catholic Church. In sum, religious belief was vague, and Christianity itself was considered a Jew-tainted religion. Attempts by Protestant churches to conform to Nazi ideology failed.

 

The Nazi Bureaucracy was anything but efficient. In contrast, each center of power in Nazi Germany was set against the other in a constant struggle for resources; this meant, for instance, that the German Navy fought with the Army for high-grade armor plate, which meant that the Army didn't have enough tanks and the Navy didn't have enough battleships. Hitler intervened only to secure his hold on the ultimate power of decisionmaking. His policy was to set each of his subordinates against each other vying for his favor, and the end result was a system which was unreliable.

 

Realistically, however, each of these points can and is constantly debated among scholars of Nazi Germany and the broader Fascist movements in Italy and Spain. There is no "right" absolute answer to these issues; and unfortunately Hitler isn't around to ask.

 

I'd welcome further commentary on this. It's chewy stuff for a game background.

 

Thomas Spring, PhD

 

"The Nazi resettlement bureaucracy and the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia" PhD Thesis, U.W. Madison, 1999.

 

(and a Champions GM since 1984.)

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Originally posted by Nuadha

Even a 100% employment rate (an important cause for Socialists) is something that corporations will resist. Part of the reason a corporation can get away with paying its workers so little while profitting so heavilly and giving millions to political parties (like the US's Democrats and Republicans) because their is unemployment. If there was 100% employment and not the threat of becoming unemployed, workers would demand more instead of being happy with what they have "because at least they have a job." So, would you say, Trebuchet, that 100% employment is a bad thing since Capitalism requires unemployment?

 

They have a lot of excellent ideas. Saying "everything socialist is bad" is as silly as someone arguing that "everything capitalist is bad" or "everything christian is bad." With any type of society, you will have good and bad. Certainly, capitalism has done a lot of good for the US, but it has also contributed to one of the world's most corrupt governments with politicians solidly in the pocket of big business. Does his mean "everything capitalist is bad"?

Well, just based on your screed it's not hard to see which end of the political spectrum you come from. :rolleyes:

 

First of all, if you disagree with my arguments that's fine. It's a free country and you can say anything you wish no matter how stupid it makes you sound. But you might at least try quoting me correctly. I said "socialism is a bad thing in any manifestation. Some are just worse than others." There is an important difference between socialist ideas and socialism. One is a group of abstract concepts, the other is a system in power. Socialism may sound good when it's adherents are shouting the slogans in the streets, but it inevitably leads to oppression whenever it tries to run a government (See Nazi Germany, Revolutionary France, Marxist Russia, Maoist China, Fascist Italy). Every socialist government that ever existed has been oppressive, and the more purely socialist it is the more oppressive it is to the people it claims to be representing. That's cold historical fact. Many groups have had seemingly good ideas that ultimately failed the reality test. The Nazis built the autobahns, made the trains run on time, and rebuilt the German economy, but I'm not prepared to call them good guys because they had some "good ideas."

 

Your assertation that socialism provides 100% employment is a fantasy. Not even the Soviet Union and Mao's communist China have ever attained 100% employment. And the heavily socialized advanced nations (Italy, Germany, France, Japan) have unemployment numbers approximately twice that of evil corporate-run America. More capitalistic societies such as Singapore have lower unemployment rates than America. 100% employment could only be achieved in a totally stagnant society where people hold the same job their entire lives without fear of being fired for incompetence or malfeasance. There would be no improving technology, because changes in technology means someone's profession is now outdated. The chariot builders would still have their jobs even though no one has used chariots in 2000 years. "Full employment" leaves no room for innovation, or for someone to quit to find a job they prefer, or to advance. Unemployment is not an unmitigated evil, but also an important incentive to a dynamic economy. At one time 70% of Americans worked on farms; now the number is 2% but we're producing more food than ever. Is that truly the level of technology you want to be at? If so, why are you posting on a computer when you should be living in an Amish township and repairing windmills?"

 

And if you really think "capitalism has done a lot of good for the US, but it has also contributed to one of the world's most corrupt governments with politicians solidly in the pocket of big business," then you need to look around the world a bit more closely. America's political system is one of the least corrupt in human history. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. We probably look bad because unlike most nations we air our dirty linen in public due to our tradition of a free press. In most other countries corruption is seen as "business as usual," whereas in the US we at least try to put corrupt officials in jail. And while corporations do donate large amounts of money to politicians, so do grass roots movements and political action groups. If corporations really ran this country as you seem to be asserting, then why does Congress keep passing anti-business legislation? Why don't corporations simply tell their owned politicians that they should be totally tax exempt?

 

American corporations "pay their workers so little" compared to whom? Lower class Americans have the same standard of living as middle class Europeans. "Poor" Americans own cars, TVs, microwaves, and often have weight problems from overeating. American workers are well paid and have the highest productivity in the entire world. Better than Japan, better even than the vaunted Germans. Capitalism may make money for the business owners, but the biggest benefactors are the consumers who can buy goods at incredibly low prices. I own more clothes and live in greater comfort than Louis XVI of France. Bill Gates may be worth billions, but without him or someone like him I couldn't have afforded this computer. Computers were once toys for government, big corporations and enthusiasts; now everyone in my family owns one including both of my retired parents. So I don't begrudge Bill his dough. Capitalism has made all of our lives better. It's even produced the heart medications my mom uses to deal with her congestive heart failure. Capitalistic American pharmaceutical companies develop over 60% of all new drugs worldwide every year; not government research facilities. So I trust you'll pardon me if my view of the evils of capitalism differs from yours.

 

You may not like my point of view, but before you accuse me of getting my information solely from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News I suggest you try broadening your own sources. Your entire comment reads like a socialist party pamphlet. :rolleyes:

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