Germany and England
by: Nesta Webster
BOLSHEVISM AND FASCISM
The defence of Czechoslovakia having been only a pretext for the world war into which we have narrowly escaped being plunged, and the destruction of the Dictatorships other of course than Stalins its real object, let us consider the nature of those systems which, at the cost of countless human lives and untold suffering, it was held necessary to destroy.
On this subject most people in our country depended for their information on the Press and especially on the newspapers, which in the main opened their columns freely to anti-Fascist views and firmly closed them on contrary opinions and even on authoritative statements of fact.
England has thus become a gigantic parrot house in which words pass from mouth to mouth without any comprehension of the real issues at stake. The analogy perfectly applies to the methods employed. For in the teaching of a parrot the procedure is, I believe, to place a thick cloth cover over its cage and then to go on clearly enunciating the same phrases over and over again until it has learnt to repeat them of its own accord.
This is precisely what has been done to the British public; it has been kept in the dark as to the truth of world events and misleading statements have been made to it by the press and by that whisper that the secret directors of world events well know how to set in motion so that from the most raucous macaws down to gently twittering budgerigars the same catch-phrases are obediently repeated.
The two most current and the most absurd of these are
(a) that Bolshevism is the outcome of Fascism and
(b) that Bolshevism and Fascism are really the same thing and therefore equally to be fought.
(It will be noted, however, that the people who say this seldom display any inclination to fight Bolshevism.)
Now with regard to the first phrase, that Bolshevism is the outcome of Fascism, history shows exactly the contrary; no Red rising has ever followed on a system for forcibly preserving law and order unless an attack had first been made on that system by subversive forces.
From the French Revolution onwards a White Terror has always been the sequel to a Red.
Fascism under which term for the sake of brevity we must here include Nazi-ism was both in Italy and Germany the reaction to the destructive activities of the Communists.
And if in all such reactions there has been an element of violence, it is because terrorism can only be put down by counter-terrorism and a nation which has been kept in a state of fear and subjection under a tyranny once know as Jacobin and now as Bolshevik, inevitably turns with fury upon its oppressors as soon as its liberty has been restored.
As a French historian has well expressed it:
Nothing is so terrible as those who have been afraid and are afraid no longer!
As to the second phrase, what could be more ludicrous than to bracket Bolshevism and Fascism together? The only point they have in common is that both are autocracies. But the police force is an autocracy, demanding unquestioning obedience from its subordinate ranks; is that then a reason for bracketing it with a band of Chicago gangsters who have to obey the murderous dictates of their leaders?
The difference between the two is no greater than the difference between Bolshevism and Fascism. For Bolshevism is destructive of all that constitutes civilisation whilst Fascism sets out to correct those parts of civilisation which, in common with all sincere social reformers, it regards as defective.
A further and most important difference between the two is that whilst Bolshevism seeks to spread its doctrines all over the world and organises Communist Parties in every country, working under the obedience of Moscow for the overthrow of constitutional government and supplying them freely with funds, Fascism has never sought to proselytise and has never been accused, even by its bitterest enemies, of forming affiliations abroad or of financing any foreign group.
Indeed Mussolini, somewhat egotistically, declared at the onset that Fascism was for Italy alone and that Italians only were capable of comprehending its ideals. The various groups of British Fascists became the butt of his pleasantries.
Hitler expressed himself in much the same way with regard to Nazi-ism and in his insistence on race and the superiority of the German race over any other discouraged imitators. And that is only logical, since the essence of Fascism and Nazi-ism is Nationalism, whilst that of Bolshevism is Internationalism.
This being so why should Fascism be continually denounced as a menace to this country whilst Bolshevism is declared to be innocuous? People who exclaim with an air of heroic determination: We will not have Fascism here! are really making themselves supremely ridiculous they have never been asked to have it. But if the Italians and Germans choose to have it what business is it of ours to interfere? It is this governessing of other nations with regard to their internal arrangements as much as their foreign policy that led Hitler to protest.
What then is this monstrous thing against which we are warned, so repeatedly? In Italy the word Fascism is now seldom used since it signifies only the first point in Mussolinis programme the suppression of Bolshevism in Italy, and that was accomplished long ago. Fascism was thus only a means to an end, and that end was the establishment of the Corporate State.
This took place quite constitutionally; the King remained on his throne, in fact it was he who, after the march on Rome, sent for Mussolini and gave him full discretionary powers. After four years of reconstruction the Corporate State was created in 1926 by an act of legislation.
Its principles are a system built up on Trade Unions of organised labour on the one part, and Capitalism on the other, and its object is to promote peaceful relations between the two. Together they form a corporation or guild and enter into agreements which cannot be infringed without rendering the defaulting party liable to prosecution, so that Capital cannot tyrannise over Labour and Labour cannot hold a pistol at the head of Capital.
Space forbids a fuller exposition of the system, but that it is one which has contented the workers of Italy is clearly apparent; at the same time it has forcibly suppressed the stirring up of class hatred. For the same reason the Press is now not free.
When we observe the mischief-making role of many of our newspapers, we cannot help wishing that Fleet Street could be put under a like control.
In Germany the same ideals inspired Hitler. He himself, like Mussolini, had sprung from the ranks of the workers and felt keenly the misery of their lot at the hands of heartless employers; he felt too, as every thinking man must feel, the injustice between extreme poverty and vast riches acquired by the exploiters of labour. At the same time he realised the wickedness and futility of the class war. For this reason he hated Marxism, which he saw as a world pestilence to be destroyed before any constructive new order could be introduced.
That both in Germany and Italy immense reforms have been effected nobody can deny. Agriculture has been encouraged so as to provide the population with home-grown food in Germany at any rate superior to that which is to be found in Great Britain* - and thus to render the country self-supporting.
*G. Ward Price, I Know These Dictators, p. 115, and confirmed to me on the day of writing this by an English friend just returned from Bavaria who speaks with particular enthusiasm of the marvellous vegetables grown there. Mr. Ward Prices book should be read by everyone who wishes to know the truth about Germany and Italy under Hitler and Mussolini.
The housing problem has been dealt with and slums abolished; the workers conditions of life have been raised, their physique improved; holidays and amusements are provided for them; and their self-respect is stimulated so that each worker feels himself of value to the State.
How far this frame of mind will last we cannot guess; the weakness of all Socialist schemes lies in the fact that they depend on the degree of enthusiasm their originators are able to keep up; all we can say now is that in both these countries the people as a whole seem happy.
Undoubtedly in both, the new order has pressed hardly on the upper classes, but why Socialists should rave against it seems at first inexplicable. The fact that the upper classes are allowed to live in peace, provided they do some useful work for the State, no doubt arouses the fury of the Bolshevik who holds that the hated bourgeois should be liquidated, after perhaps having his eyes gouged out.
The fact that the drawing-room Socialists, who disclaim all ideas of violence and have long preached the doctrines which Hitler and Mussolini have put into practice, not only disapprove but foam at the mouth when the names of the Dictators are mentioned, suggests one or both of two conclusions either that they do not really wish for Socialism but adopt it as a pose, or that Socialism is a camouflage for something else.
If it were not so they would praise the Dictators social reforms, even if they condemned their methods of government. But no, the Dictators and their systems are condemned by them as wholly evil.
It may be that both these conclusions are correct. The vast number of Socialists to be found in drawing-rooms, universities, newspaper offices, etc., or whose ideas are set forth in books well boomed by publishers and Press, are undoubtedly actuated by the primitive instinct of self-preservation. They know that the sort of stuff they talk and write will pay, and that to profess Left views is the only way to a successful career. Of the real doctrines of Socialism many of them know nothing.
But there are those who know. And these are the secret directors of world revolution, who use Socialism and Communism alike in order to achieve their real aim world domination.
For this reason they stir up strife between classes and nations. For this reason they hate the Dictators who have rendered them powerless in the lands that the Dictators control.
In order to judge of the influence the Dictators exercise one has only to compare the effect on the character of the populations rules respectively by Hitler and Mussolini and on the other hand by Stalin: in the first: hope and purpose; in the second: dull despair; in the first: the friendly salute of the raised arm; in the second: the clenched fist of hatred and blood lust.
The great evil of Marxism lies in its appeal to the basest instincts of human nature to self interest, to greed and envy.
The only honest Socialist I have ever talked with who had known Marx personally and for this reason detested him used to say:
We have not got to tell people what they would gain by Socialism but to ask them what they are prepared to lose. True Socialism means sacrifice, self-denial in the common sense".
This is the Socialism that both Hitler and Mussolini have set out to inculcate and because the noblest instinct in human nature is its passion for self-sacrifice, they have met with a tremendous response: in Italy the women brought their wedding rings to help the cause, in Germany families sit down contentedly to their single dish meal once a month in aid of the Winter Relief Fund.
It is natural that the drawing-room Socialists in our country would not enjoy this sort of thing at all. It is one thing to write and talk of the beauties of Socialism, it is quite another to have to buy a cheaper make of car because some people are starving.
Still less can the Italian or German systems please those who are using Socialism merely as a cover to their own scheme of world domination.
Next - Chapter 5: "Hitler"