F.A. Hayek on Hitlerian Socialism

The 2007 edition of Nobel laureate F.A.Hayek’s monumental The Road to Serfdom, edited by Bruce Caldwell, includes an appendix entitled “Nazi Socialism.”  The economic policies of the Nazis, wrote Hayek, are “full of ideas resembling those of the early socialists.”  The dominant feature of Nazism was a fierce hatred of anything capitalistic — “individual profit seeking, large-scale enterprise, banks, joint stock companies, department stores, international fiance and loan capital, the system of ‘interest slavery,’ in general.”  Nazi policy, wrote Hayek, was nothing less than “a violent anti-capitalistic attack.”  “It is not even denied, wrote the Nobel Prize-winning economist, that “many of the young men who today [1943] play a prominent part [in the Nazi Party] have previously been communists or socialists.”

The “common trend” of German journalists and others who supported the Nazis “was their anti-liberal and anti-capitalist” beliefs.  The even adopted as their “accepted dogma” the phrase “the end of capitalism.”

The Jews were singled out for special hatred by the Nazis, who viewed them as symbols of capitalism.  “The party . . . combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within and without us,” they wrote in their “25-Point Platform of the Nazi Party.”  And as Nazi apologist Paul Lensch wrote in his book, Three Years of World Revolution (p. 176), the ideas of “freedom and civic right, of constitutionalism and parliamentarianism . . . derived from that individualistic conception of the world,” must be gotten “rid of to assist in the growth of a new conception of State and Society.  In this sphere also Socialism must present a conscious and determined opposition to individualism” (emphasis added).


11:58 am on August 20, 2018