Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Quibbling with the Hitchens
Hitchens is generally critical too and fair in it, but here's one sentence that caught my attention:
However, in point of fact Germany was governed by an ultra-rightist, homicidal, paranoid maniac who had begun by demolishing democracy in Germany itself, who believed that his fellow countrymen were a superior race and who attributed all the evils in the world to a Jewish conspiracy. (Emphasis added).
Now most people who think the Nazis, the National Socialist and German Workers Party, were on the right, I just write off as ill informed, who do not apparently know that socialism is a lefty thing. I can't do that with Christopher Hitchens; he's too smart and knowledgeable. So he has to think either that the name of the party (and most of its economic actions) were some sort of grand joke, or that something was essentially conservative, that is, on the right, about the Nazis, and apparently in a big way, otherwise why say 'ultra?' As Jonah Goldberg pointed out well, there was nothing conservative about the Fascists and fascism; at least the German and Italian varieties were far lefty socialism (national socialism to be sure, as opposed to the international socialism we call the Communists). The Internationale will be the human race... Sorry, that song popped into my head just them.
Or it's just possible that it's Hitchen's desire to have a counterpoint to the homicidal tendencies in Communist nations in the 20th Century somewhat balanced by attributing the homicidal tendencies of the Nazis to ultra-rightist political philosophy. I know that desire blinded me for a while.
I'll report back if I get any satisfactory answers.