Derp-seal of the week: WaPo “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler

Whatever your views on Marjorie Taylor Greene, and on whether it is appropriate or trivializing to compare the other major political party to the NSDAP… for an alleged “fact-checker” to give her four Pinocchios for saying the Nazi Party is “National Socialist” is ‘special’ even with such crowded competition. Nick Arama gives a righteous fisking.

The NSDAP’s full name actually was Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, [National Socialist German Workers Party — “Nazi” is a typical German ‘nickronym’, pardon the portmanteau.] And guess what, the “immutable” Twenty-Five Point Programme includes such items as:

10. It must be the first duty of every citizen to perform physical or mental work. The activities of the individual must not clash with the general interest, but must proceed within the framework of the community and be for the general good.

We demand therefore:

11. The abolition of incomes unearned by work.

The breaking of the slavery of interest. [….]

13. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations (trusts).

14. We demand profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises.

15. We demand the extensive development of insurance for old age.

16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, the immediate communalizing of big department stores, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders, and that the utmost consideration shall be shown to all small traders in the placing of State and municipal orders.

17. We demand a land reform suitable to our national requirements, the passing of a law for the expropriation of land for communal purposes without compensation; the abolition of ground rent, and the prohibition of all speculation in land. [….]

20. The State must consider a thorough reconstruction of our national system of education (with the aim of opening up to every able and hard-working German the possibility of higher education and of thus obtaining advancement). [..] We demand the education of gifted children of poor parents, whatever their class or occupation, at the expense of the State.

21. The State must ensure that the nation’s health standards are raised by protecting mothers and infants, by prohibiting child labor, by promoting physical strength through legislation providing for compulsory gymnastics and sports, and by the extensive support of clubs engaged in the physical training of youth.

[…] 24. The common interest before self-interest. [Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz.]

And in fact, here is how Adolf H. [may his name be erased] put it himself in 1920: “Since we are socialists, we must necessarily also be antisemites because we want to fight against the very opposite: materialism and mammonism… How can you not be an antisemite, being a socialist!” 

Heck, just look at the thrice-damned flag of the [bowel] movement, designed by AH his-infinitely-damned self, and AH’s own explanation for it in Mein Kampf. The big red background to indicate socialism, the white for nationalism, and the black swastika for the racial element. [Of course the black-white-red combination also appeared in the Kaiser’s Imperial War Flag (Reichskriegsflagge).]

You can argue MTG is out of line with her comparisons; you can argue that “antisemitism is the socialism of fools” (as the German social democrat August Bebel memorably put it). You could even argue that AH’s socialism was a put-on front, and that the numerous “for Aryans only” welfare programs he introduced were bribes to keep the German population on his side while he had a very different agenda[*], but…

giving a four-pinocchio “whopper” rating to calling a National Socialist party national socialist sets a new benchmark in either wilfull stupidity or intellectual dishonesty — or “embrace the healing power of ‘and'”.

So my Derpseal of the Week, despite the fierce competition for the award, is Glenn Kessler.

Or, to quote a proverb in my mother tongue

What good can specs and candles be / When the owl does not care to see?

[*] Entire Standarten [regiments] of the SA [“brownshirts”], especially in urban industrial areas, were known as “beefsteak regiments” — brown on the outside, red on the inside, you see.

AH’s main rivals for the party leadership, deputy party chief Gregor Strasser and SA [“brownshirts”] leader Ernst Röhm, definitely took the “socialist” part in “national socialist” [even] more seriously. Both were eliminated in the 1934 Night of the Long Knives; Gregor’s brother Otto Strasser fled abroad and later became an inspiration for the so-called “International Third Position” movement that combines elements of European far-“left” and far-“right” ideologies.

7 thoughts on “Derp-seal of the week: WaPo “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler

  1. It’s weird how he does the selective quoting thing and just lists the first 8 points….

  2. European far right is equivalent to the American far left. George Washington was FAR RIGHT WING. I’m on his team.

  3. “European far-“left” and far-“right” ideologies.”

    The European “far right” would be moderate left in the US today, and extreme left in the US as recently as 10 years ago.

    The US “right” has no noticeable political presence in Europe.

  4. The usual objections to the Nazis being a socialist party is usually along the lines of “a party can’t be socialist if it compromises on public ownership of the whole economy” and “no party be socialist if it is nationalistic!”. But given those conditions, all self-described socialist, and communist, parties that have achieved power became non-socialist; since most of them have either not totally eliminated the private sector, or re-privatized parts of the economy at a later date, and none of them became anti-nationalistic. As for the racialism; the Nazis were an outlier compared to other fascist movements who were more concerned with culture than race as such. The main difference between fascists and socialists/communists is that the former prioritized culture over economics, and the latter did the reverse. Which ironically means that the former have this in common with modern-day “wokeists” and “antifa” while the latter have a similiar prioritization with “free-market liberals”.

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