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CCIZ quote of 1922

Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz

(“The common good before self-interest”)

– Rudolf Jung, Der Nationale Sozialismus (1922). It became Hitler’s favoured slogan for his philosophy.

It’s a measure of the success of the Left in disowning National Socialism that it’s still something of a surprise to come across nuggets like this. It would fit right in at the Occupy protests. In fact, I’m tempted to troll some Lefty sites with it (omitting the title of the book of course) to see how many of them spot who Jung was. Not many, I’d bet.* Part of that success lies in equating the ideology with the madness of its most successful proponent, ignoring the fact that it had an almost-respectable intellectual history (on the Left) before Crazy Adolf had even heard of it.

Dangerous ideas are dangerous ideas, no matter who advocates them.

(There should be a hat-tip to someone here, but I followed so many links on the way to the quote and after finding it that I’ve forgotten where I first saw it. I think the chain started with David Thompson.)

*I wonder how many would mistake him for Carl…


  1. Jim says:

    It is incredibly dangerous that Fascism has become the sine qua non of so called ‘Right wing’ political thinking. Its blatently obvious that such political movements as headed by Hitler and Mussolini fit very well onto the left wing of the political continuum. If anything the ‘Far Right’ should be represented by pure anarchy – no State at all, a survival of the strongest type society. By presenting Fascism as the ultimate direction if we move towards the Right any progress away from collectivism is prevented. Unfortunately this positioning has allowed collectivism to control us for far longer than it otherwise would, given its track record.

  2. Sam,

    Re the positioning of Nazism as a ‘non-leftwing’ phenomenon and the airbrushing of the movement’s overtly socialist themes, this may be of interest, along with quite a few of the comments.

  3. NickM says:

    I have been trying to reclaim “liberal” in the great tradition of the likes of John Locke et al for years with zilch success.

  4. NickM says:

    Excellent stuff David. I wish I’d written that.

  5. RAB says:

    Yes indeed David, and a pukka class of commentors you get at your Gaff too.

    I have often grappled with the “What is Fascism exactly?” question and just as I think I’m getting to grips with it, it vanishes like smoke.

    That’s why the terms left and right have no meaning for me , for in some things I would be considered left and others right. But it is an old lazy cliche that apparently won’t go away, like sticking “Gate” on the end of every scandal and leak.

    Suffice it to say that I have come to the conclusion that Fascism and Marxism are mirror images of each other in terms of the way they treat and affect the individual. The terminology may be different- but the boot stamping on your face forever- exactly the same.

  6. Sam Duncan says:

    That’s partly the point of the post, RAB: the terminology isn’t really different. They called each other “Comrade”. They hated “plutocratic” America. They railed against conservatives holding back their progressive order.

    Thanks, David. I think I saw that at the time, but it’s worth reading again.

  7. RAB says:

    Yeah I understood that Sam, but there is always a way to present the same tenet in two different ways so as to make them seem contradictory or even anti each other. Fascists and marxists are very good at the dialectic, if nothing else. :-)

    My Welsh speaking gramp was an Independent Councillor for Bedwas in S Wales, in the thirties (no mean feat in the land of dead sheep with red rosettes on, win) had many a merry discussion with red hot Little Moscow Commies..

    He always translated “From each according to his ability, to each according to their needs” right back at them as…

    “What’s yours is mine- and what’s mine is my own.”

  8. endivior says:

    Placing the nutz of others before one’s own nutz is, I suspect, a mistake.

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