National Socialists Against Capitalism

“Down with the slavery of capitalism!” Articles by Gregor Strasser, Rudolf Jung, Otto Strasser, Joseph Goebbels, and Alfred Krebs on the “malignant, materialist spirit of capitalism”

The question of National Socialism’s exact relationship with socialism is a contentious one. It is also a longstanding one. In 1911, Austrian Social-Democrat Julius Deutsch was already asserting that the “deutschsozial” ideology professed by the Austro-Hungarian German Workers’ Party was merely a propagandistic smokescreen covering strikebreaking, embezzlement, and clandestine funding from “the dirtiest, most exploitative” employers. Deutsch’s arguments are still commonplace today, in one form or another – the assertion that any socialistic elements in National Socialism (right down to the name) were simply part of a premeditated rhetorical trick used to fool gullible workers into serving reactionary interests has changed little over the past century, with actions such as the NSDAP’s treatment of Germany’s unions in 1933 or its privatization of certain industries put forward as evidence for National Socialism’s underlying capitalist nature. By contrast, there are others who like to claim as close a relationship between Marxism and ‘Nazism’ as possible, alleging that the latter grew directly out of the former and that the two share the same basic ideological precepts – usually these allegations come from conservatives, presented as part of an attempt to tar the modern Left with the brush of Hitler and the Holocaust. The position of many National Socialists themselves was that their movement comprised a legitimate (indeed the most legitimate) branch of Germany’s historical socialist tradition, representing the most vital aspect of the broader ‘national wing’ of German socialism. NS theoretician Rudolf Jung makes this argument directly in his ideological work Der nationale Sozialismus when he observes that, “Marxists constantly maintain that there is only one form of socialism, the Marxist, and that everything else is mere fraud and deception… [but] socialism has always existed, both before Marxism and alongside it… [Marxists] represent only one of socialism’s orientations, the avowedly Jewish one.” National Socialism’s origins in the Austrian labor movement, its professed commitment to far-reaching economic reform (profit-sharing, land reform, nationalization of trusts, greater economic equality), its hostility towards the traditional Right, and its seemingly earnest efforts to appeal to the German worker were all taken at face value by many within the movement, viewed as evidence that they were affiliated with a revolutionary ideal which stood against the capitalist system and which sought to establish in its place a new form of truly German Socialism. The five articles translated below comprise a general cross-section of views from representatives of the ‘left wing’ of the National Socialist movement, with each article representing an attempt by its author to address the issue of capitalism from a National Socialist perspective: to describe its deficiencies, identify its driving forces, and to present the National Socialist economic worldview as an authentic and distinct alternative. Theoretical argumentation of this type was not at all uncommon within National Socialist propaganda and publications, which placed a great deal of emphasis on trying to outline a coherent anticapitalist economic doctrine. Whether or not such formulations are convincing ultimately depends upon one’s own personal beliefs and biases, but there is little doubt that the sentiments expressed here were taken very seriously by many within the NSDAP, who professed to be fighting for a Germany which was to be equally as socialist as it was nationalist.

The Slave-Market of Capitalism
By Gregor Strasser
First published 23 August, 1926


This article was translated from the 2nd edition of Gregor Strasser’s book Kampf um Deutschland (1932), a collection of speeches and essays by Strasser which he felt best demonstrated “the directness and the uncompromising nature of our struggle.” Strasser gives no indication in his book where this article originally appeared, but considering its intended audience (workers) and its largely polemical style, a likely answer would be his newspaper Der nationale Sozialist or one of its regional editions, which were intended for a more ‘general’ readership than were some of the NSDAP’s theoretical publications. It represents probably the most overtly propagandistic of the five articles included here, luridly describing the symptoms of capitalism without offering much in-depth analysis. – Bogumil

“Long live freedom! Long live Germany! Long live the accomplishments of the Revolution!” Are you familiar with these cries, German worker? Do you not recognize them from your newspapers, which – particularly in these days of so-called “constitutional celebration”1 – print them in the largest type, in order that they might rouse you and rally you like the sound of fanfare?

Yes indeed, in the comfortable chambers of the Jewish gentlemen editors, in the large rooms of your trade-union bigwigs – there is the environment right for dispensing such slogans, there is it so easy to speak of democracy and freedom, and there are the accomplishments of the Revolution demonstrated so vividly by the occupants.

Yet I wish to show you another picture, a picture which most of you already know, which you are aware of through shameful experience, which you know from fearful apprehension: the objective evidence of unemployment! – There they stand in their hundreds and thousands, German women and men in wretched, tattered garments, pale, haggard, hungry, torpid, hateful, tormented; they stand in winding queues, hour after hour, only to hear the bleak answer “No” from across a cold counter before taking delivery of a paltry handout, too little to live on and too much to starve on. There they stand, members of every age group, of every profession, in every stage of physical and mental distress, and want for nothing but work, nothing but a meagre income in order to be able to buy bread for themselves and for their children at home, want for nothing but employment in order to be able to rid themselves of the ghastly soul- and body-crushing hardship of months and years of forced inactivity – ah, they are so tired, so deathly tired, so weary and worn down to the bone, that they no longer even think at all of finding a high wage, a comfortable occupation; they no longer even think of themselves as human beings, as whole, complete human beings who have an inalienable right to live and to let their children live, to have happiness and sunshine and to bestow happiness and sunshine upon their children; instead they want for nothing but work, nothing but meagre earnings and to finally attain employment again – something which they cannot find! This is a slave-market a thousand times worse than those markets of antiquity, of barbarism, for there every slave found work, every slave had bread and clothing and lodging for himself and for his family, he was an object of value for his master – but here he can keel over without anyone giving a damn for him, here his family can starve and live in holes in the ground – and all of this in the name of freedom, all of this in the name of democracy, all of this under the flag of the accomplishments of the Revolution!!

Unemployed, why do you put up with this?! Workers who are still employed today; employees who have not yet been terminated this month; civil servants who for the time being have not yet been dismissed – why do you put up with the fact that more than two million German sisters and brothers have to peddle themselves on the slave-market day after day, that more than five million elderly parents, careworn women, and joyless children languish in degrading pens, wracked by hunger, spiritually defeated through hopelessness and eternal hardship?! Why do you put up with the fact that millions have been employed solely upon an hourly basis for months and years, so that their earnings are only sufficient enough to keep the blackest misery at bay and to delay their physical and emotional loss of strength?!

Why do you put up with the fact that all of you, you fifteen million German workers who together with your dependents make up 85 per cent of the German Volk, spend every moment of your lives, every hour of your existence, in harrowing anxiety over the coming day, your hearts and souls filled with agonizing worry over whether tomorrow, or the next payday, or the first of the next month, you will still be able to buy bread, still be able to afford clothing, will still possess lodging?!

Why do you put up with the dreadful fear of old age plaguing you every year of your life, tormenting you with the question: “What will happen to me when I can no longer work?!” Why do you put up with all of life’s greatest joys – starting a family, raising happy, healthy children – being poisoned by the tyranny of an exploitative system which treats you like slaves, and why do you put up with all of life’s smallest joys – quiet daydreams in the forest, tinkering with a toy for your little ones – being rendered unreachable for you through the power of money?!

Why do you put up with this existence of slavery, which strips you of all human dignity, which bars you from all of life’s joys, and which transforms your life – which should be and ought to be a song of praise to God, in accordance with the eternal laws of Nature and the immortal rights of all men – into a song of hatred in praise of the Devil, a wicked hymn of suffering and despair, of misery and horror and death?

Why do you put up with this, brothers and sisters?!

Because you are lied to and deceived, and your vision clouded so that you do not recognize the true enemy who is to blame for all of your misery! Because your minds and hearts are poisoned so that you lash out against one another in wretched blindness: the unemployed against those who are still in work; the laborer against the white-collar employee; the city-dweller against the peasant; the peasant against the civil servant, and so on! Because you are being incited against one another: Communists against Social-Democrats, both against the “bourgeoisie”; Reichsbanner against Stahlhelm; Red Front against the völkisch!2 – Why? Are they not your folk-comrades, comrades who also share the same misfortunes, the same slavery? Is not the same whip wielded over all of you, the same scourge of misery? Are your lives not equally unhappy, and are not all of you being cheated of your human rights?!

Why do you put up with being lied to and deceived? Or is it not lies and deceit to speak of “freedom,” to prattle about “democracy,” and to rejoice in the “accomplishments of the Revolution” when, at the same time and under these same slogans, the German Volk are a Volk of slaves who crowd the slave-markets by the millions, the broad masses of whom perceive of life as a torment and the world as Hell?!

Why do you put up with being lied to and deceived like this?! – Because you are blind and wish to remain blind! Because you do not want to see what we show you, and do not want to hear what we tell you – what we show you in words and in pictures, what we tell you in speeches and in articles and in a thousand meetings!

Once you have recognized that you are slaves; once you have realized that “freedom” and “democracy” and “the accomplishments of the Revolution” are merely brazen Jewish lies intended to dissuade you from revolting against your state of slavery; once you have understood that it is again the lies and deceit of this same Judaism which set you against one another –  then will your vision gradually clear and recognize the enemy, then will your hearts be freed from the crust which decades of falsehood, of perpetual vile deceit, have set around them, and at last you will feel and will understand that we are a Volk of brothers, bound in fetters by the same power, enslaved by the same power!

Only together will we break our chains, together under the slogan:

Down with the slavery of capitalism! Down with bloodsucking international world finance! Down with their leaders, their spokesmen, their henchmen: nationally-poisonous Judaism!

Long live the National Revolution! Long live the Social Revolution! Long live their common goal:

The common front of productive national labor as the community of all productive German folk-comrades, united in the coming, salvation-bringing National Socialist state.

“Comrade! For a better future!”


Capitalism and Judaism
Rudolf Jung

Sudeten politician Rudolf Jung, one of the most prominent early theoreticians of National Socialism, was well-known among his peers for his ‘leftist’ commitment to labor activism and far-reaching socio-economic reform. Those associated with National Socialism’s variegated left wing were not always as strident on the subject of the Jewish question as others in the movement, with their anti-Semitism forming more of a general prejudice rather than a core aspect of their worldview, but this was not the case with Jung. Jung’s anti-capitalism and anti-Semitism were thoroughly intertwined; for Jung, one could not combat capitalism without also combating “Jewry,” since the Jews were the archetypal bearers and transmitters of the living spirit of capitalism. The following article by Jung, translated from the 1926 book Die Weltfront (a collection of anti-Semitic essays written by various authors from around the world), provides an overview of this racially-grounded form of National Socialist anti-capitalism, in which capitalism is depicted as a corrupting force whose alien influence cannot be broken without first addressing the materialist worldview and its alleged wellspring, Judaism. – Bogumil

Judaism and capitalism are identical, says Werner Sombart in his work The Jews and Economic Life.3 That the person using such weighty words definitively cannot be counted among the ranks of the anti-Semites makes them doubly significant – for it is generally advisable, when dealing with the Jewish question, to cite the often thoroughly disparaging verdicts which Jew-lovers4 and even the Jews themselves have rendered about Judaism. In this regard, it is worth making reference to Prof. Rudolf Birchow, Prof. Theodor Mommsen, and the Jews Walter Rathenau, Otto Weininger, Ferdinand Lassalle, Karl Marx, Heinrich Heine, and Conrad Alberti, among others.5 To validate the words of Sombart which we have quoted above, incidentally, one need only consult the Old Testament, in which the nature of the Jewish Volk is reflected better and more openly than anywhere else. Just consider the following prophecies from a single source, the book of Deuteronomy: “You shall consume every nation” – “To a foreigner you may charge interest” – “Thus you will lend to many nations [Völkern], but will need to borrow from none” – and finally: “When the Lord your God has brought you into the land which he swore to your ancestors, and has given you great and goodly cities which you did not build; and also houses full of all kinds of riches which you did not fill, and water wells which you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be satisfied…”

The nature of the Jewish Volk as a ‘chosen’ race of parasites [Schmarotzervolkes] and as the representatives of rapacious finance-capitalism could hardly be characterized more aptly. What a profound contrast there is between these – and many other – promises from the ‘holy book’ and that German adage: “Whoever does not work, should also not eat!” “Producers on one side, moochers on the other!” Capitalism and Judaism are one.

For anyone who has the eyes to see, it is clear that with the end of the World War the era of unfettered rule by money dawned in every state of the Western cultural circle, and that this is at the same time a rule by Jews. One need only look at the budgets of states, municipalities, and the larger corporations to ascertain that the interest amounts and repayments on loans are everywhere the largest item of expenditure. Our enslavement under the power of finance-capital finds its clearest expression here. What humiliating begging trips must our so-called statesmen have to make, in order to obtain a few million in loans? And when doing so – and this is the crux of the matter – they regularly have to solemnly pledge to grant all sorts of benefits to their cherished Jews. Why else are Zionist congresses welcomed and protected, and opponents of the Jews beaten down with the power of the state?

Arguably the most obvious contemporary examples of the enslavement of entire states are provided by German-Austria, which was ‘redeveloped’ with the help of the League of Nations, and even more so by the German Reich, which placed the noose of the Dawes Plan around its own neck. Two short pamphlets by Senior Financial Officer Dr. Bang, probably the best authority on this subject,6 and an outstanding article by my fellow-thinker Gregor Strasser (member of the German Reichstag) in issue 21 of the monthly journal Der Weltkampf (Deutscher Volksverlag, Munich)7 help shed light upon this matter, which is of the utmost importance considering New York’s Wall Street has turned its gaze not only upon the German Reich but also upon other states, and considering also that the Dawes Pact by no means represents the last attempt at ‘redevelopment’ for the greater glory of the Jewish moneybag.

If, in spite of everything, there are still people who do not believe in the reality of the (Jewish) rule of money, they are mostly to be found among the Marxists and the ‘statesmen’ who, as is well-known, generally rank among the most childishly innocent of people. The view of today’s streetscape helps enlighten the common man as to where our path is headed: banks are sprouting out of the ground like mushrooms. And what are they, other than the intake pumps of finance-capital?

We thus live in the very heart of the era of monetary rule. It is an era founded upon the interest-slavery of all producers. And it is – we repeat – at the same time the era of the rule of the rapacious little Jewish Volk, who through the sinister power of money triumph over productive labor and thus over their numerically much stronger host society, whose senses they cloud via their press, whose trade and commerce they dominate, whose governments and representative bodies they hold in their hands, whose art and science they have made subservient, whose sons and daughters they seduce, whose customs they destroy. The tragedy of the Götterdämmerung, which Richard Wagner’s genius conjured up for us upon the stage, is played out a thousandfold upon the stage of life: Alberich, Mime, Siegfried, Hagen, the deceived Brunhilde, and the gleaming gold which bewitches Æsir, Elves, and humans, everything is present!

Ford, in the 2nd volume of his book The International Jew,8 has shown us how things stand in the United States of North America. A small statistical pamphlet9 lists the thoroughly bleak figures for the German Reich. We can see from it how comparatively few Jews there are active in those professions which require strenuous physical labor (and even then only as owners or managers), as they are proportionally much more strongly represented in large and small businesses (again as owners or managers) than are Germans (52 out of a thousand against 32; conversely, only 34 out of a thousand are workers and journeymen, as against 138); and further, how in trade the ratio shifts even more in their favor (133 per thousand are owners or managers, as against 9.7; 110 out of a thousand are mid-level employees, as against 14); and how they also ultimately predominate within the financial system, because here they – who make up only one hundredth of the population – hold 44.5 times as many board of supervisor positions and 24 times as many directorships than do the 99 times more numerous Germans. It is here, in the most authentic realms of capitalism, that the accuracy of Sombart’s assertion that capitalism and Judaism are one and the same proves itself most clearly.

Sombart quite rightly speaks of Judaism, and not only of Judaism! For the Jewish Volk, a people numbering a mere 15 million who already worshipped the golden calf thousands of years ago, have always understood how to recruit auxiliary forces from other camps. The Barmat affair is by no means a contemporary phenomenon.10 Jewry’s gold was at work in the past, too, and alongside it their lighter conscience, their words, and their women. According to the Bible, Abraham was known to use his [wife] Sarah in order to gain commercial advantages; Jacob, taking advantage of hardship, bought Esau’s birthright; and the Canaanites and Amorites, the inhabitants of Kitron and Nahalol, and those also of Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath, were made into “tributaries,”11 according to the Bible.

Why does the Jew come by money so easily, and why is he able to use it so brilliantly? Because his entire being is soulless, because he is attuned purely towards the acquisition of money. Prof. Wahrmund12 provides us with the answer in his outstanding book The Law of Nomadism: The Jew is no tiller of the soil, never was – which is incidentally why the Palästinawerk13 is also doomed to fail – but always was and is a nomad, and always will remain so. Our inner life is alien to him, hence – as Sombart quite rightly points out – his caste-like isolation from his host societies, hence the creation of the ghetto as the prerogative of the ‘chosen people’. The Jew Otto Weininger (in Sex and Character) flatly denies the soul of the Jewish Volk, and declares that, “Jewish monotheism has nothing to do with genuine belief in God.” Karl Marx answers the question concerning the secular basis of Jewry by saying that it is “practical need, self-interest”; according to him, the Jew’s worldly god is “money.”14 Thus I am not at all mistaken when in my book National Socialism I describe the Jewish spirit as “the spirit of the most flagrant selfishness and the most despicable self-interest.” I also warn there against the threat of “Judaization,” something which Richard Wagner also once referred to when he characterized the Jew as “the plastic demon of man’s decline,” and to which Oswald Spengler devoted, albeit unconsciously, his now-famous work The Decline of the West. For how is the decline of Western culture to be brought about, a decline whose first indications are surfacing everywhere as a warning? Through the same process which arose in all past cultures, and which is identified by the overgrowth of the principle of pure utilitarianism. The rule of money has always and everywhere been the harbinger of decay! Hence the problem of capitalism is by no means a purely economic one, and hence it cannot be solved by purely economic means. Like all important issues it is primarily spiritual and psychological. I can think as a capitalist quite well enough without having to own a single brass button, i.e., be a materialist of the purest water or be possessed by the ‘Jewish spirit’.

Economic reform plans alone will not deliver the productive and struggling peoples [Völker] of the Western cultural circle – all of whom emerged out of tillers of the soil – from the evil of capitalism, which entails mental and physical slavery, psychological corruption, and the degeneration and degradation of the Volk, but instead only a complete renunciation of the capitalist – or in other words Jewish – spirit. Thus idealism instead of materialism is the great objective, doing a thing for its own sake and not for the expected benefit. Only a new worldview – or, more precisely, a return to the worldview of our forebears – is able to solve this problem. It is represented by National Socialism, its symbol is the ancient Aryan swastika! Through this symbol alone is productive mankind capable of triumphing over the rapacious nomads!

“Comrades! Workers! If you still wish to – as you have so far – remain tethered to the leash of Jewish world capital, if you wish to continue playing the role which you see in the adjacent picture, then this time also vote Social-Democratic or Communist!”


On the Nature of Capitalism
By Otto Strasser (“Ulrich von Hutten”)
First published July 1927

In contrast to the previous piece by Jung, this article by Otto Strasser (originally published under the pseudonym “Ulrich von Hutten”) makes no mention of Jews or Judaism. This is not to say that Otto was opposed to anti-Semitism, as it is not difficult to find negative aspersions against Jews and “Jewish influence” in his writings; rather, anti-Semitism was simply not an all-encompassing concern for him, especially when it came to economic issues. The arguments Otto makes in this article are instead formulated on a largely material basis, containing certain conceits common to National Socialist economic doctrine: in particular, a strong advocacy for autarchy over economic interdependence, and the call for an economy oriented around the fulfillment of demand rather than profit growth for individuals. Otto’s article first appeared in the July 1927 issue of the Nationalsozialistische Briefe, a formally independent (i.e. non-party affiliated) National Socialist theoretical journal which was associated with the left wing of the NS movement. Otto was still an NSDAP member at the time of its publication – he would not leave the party until July 1930.  – Bogumil

It is a perhaps inevitable – and therefore doubly regrettable – fact that terms become all the more ambiguous the more frequently they are used and the more people that use them, just as coins become worn out the more hands that they pass through. It is also the case that anyone who makes use of a term can only convey this term within the conception of his own intellect, virtually always  with the words, “as I understand it,” stated afterwards; equally valid is the fact that as terms acquire popularity their accuracy naturally also suffers, and that this becomes all the more true the larger the circle to which they become known.

There are few terms in which this deterioration of value, this variegation of perception, is quite so evident as with the terms ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism’, which are intended to designate two mutually hostile systems. What isn’t called ‘socialist’ these days? First and foremost, there are the Marxists of both persuasions, Social-Democrats and Social-Dictators (known as ‘Communists’). Alongside these, there is also ‘Front-Socialism’, ‘Young-Socialism’,15 and above all there is our ‘National Socialism’!

This addiction to appending the name ‘socialist’ to oneself expresses the feeling, whether consciously or unconsciously, that here there is something new, something momentous, in which emotion and reason alike both deem it necessary to have a share, at least when it comes to the name. (In the course of the following we shall see how little these various currents, and their organizational representatives in particular, have anything to do with ‘socialism’).

On the other hand, the term ‘capitalism’ is no less blurred, although here more out of a need to obscure the terrible odium which clings to it – and this is also significant as a yardstick of its general attitude towards life, through which the present state of spiritual currents becomes evident –  as well as to give proof of its harmlessness, its necessity, and its salutary effects. An entire science (already demonstrating its duplicity through the name “national-economy”) is at work here, falsifying the term ‘capitalism’ and equating it with personal ability, with vital expansion, and with natural ‘development’, making out the transition from individual enterprise, to market economy, to national economy, to world economy, as being the only possible and purely quintessentially perfect consummation of every economic form. One almost has a sense that the excessive number of so-called ‘definitions’ is intended to distract from the truth of the matter, in order not to allow the essence of capitalism to be revealed.

For this very reason, it is vitally important that we National Socialists clearly recognize and delineate this essence of capitalism, in order to then set out with compelling arguments that we are and why we are – and why we must be – the mortal enemies of the capitalist economic system if we truly wish to carry out our national, our ‘völkisch’ task.

Thus far I have become acquainted with two very good definitions of the capitalist economic system from the theoreticians of National Socialism, which, in spite of their brevity, give expression to the essence of capitalism; these are Dr. Rosikat’s16 formulation: “Capitalism is the rule of property over labour,” and Gregor Strasser’s formula: “Capitalism is the organization of scarcity in order to achieve the greatest possible profit.”

Tempting as it may be to opt for a similarly concise formulation, one which likewise expresses part of the essence (albeit only a part of it), I have not opted for this route in order to ensure that the essence of capitalism is made clear. Instead I will single out some of its typical, characteristic features and make them recognizable as being essential to the concept of ‘capitalism’; in this way the essence of capitalism will become much more clearly discernible than it would through a brief and thereby inadequate definition.

For decades it has been part of the deepest wisdom of all ‘politicians’ and ‘economists’, from the far-left to the far-right, from communist Marxists (and, of course, democratic Marxists as well) to high-finance and high-capitalist heavy industry, to profess that the increase of exports is the primary task of the economy. And, particularly in Germany after the War and the Revolution, the expression “only an increase in exports can save us” became the guiding principle for every economist and politician, above all for Marxists and the trade-unions.

The rearrangement of a national economy around exports, the drive to increase exports, the preference for developing one’s own export industry even at the expense of domestic industry – this is one of the most distinctive features of capitalism!

Today’s generation, who for decades have been reared in the purely capitalist spirit, are no longer aware of how completely unnatural is the idea that the purpose of a national economy [Volkswirtschaft] should lie in laboring for others, especially when the expression ‘national economy’ itself must in general make it clear that the economy of a Volk can have and must have only one specific task, only one single meaning: to guarantee the life of this Volk. Nothing else!

The nationally-destructive nature of this drive towards exports becomes immediately apparent when one examines the consequences of such an export economy: exports make up an ever-larger part of the national economy, and thus directly make an ever-larger portion of the country’s population dependent upon factors which lie outside the influence of the Volk, upon developments in foreign nations to which either the export is intended to go, or which pursue the same exports in competition. This induces a dependency upon foreign countries to an ever-greater degree, a dependency which becomes so strong that the entire economic and political life of the exporting people can be paralyzed; not to mention there is also the tremendous danger of being drawn into serious entanglements which are not of vital necessity to life, but which are the product of a false system – false from the perspective of the Volk’s welfare, though conversely correct from the standpoint of profit.

And this brings us to the second essential characteristic of capitalism: its only goal is profit, and the greatest possible profit at that! In the capitalist system it is not only understandable but inevitable that movie palaces are built at a cost of millions, promising a profit opportunity of perhaps 30%, instead of the same millions being spent upon the draining of marshlands, which promise only a meagre interest rate (meaning profits) of 3 or 4%! In the capitalist system it is not only understandable but inevitable that the large landowner should take on Polish migrant workers, who receive poor food and paltry wages, instead of employing German workers to whom he must give better food and higher wages! All of this is, as I have said, rooted in an essential characteristic of capitalism, namely the characteristic which recognizes profit as its only duty and goal.

It is therefore capitalist to the highest degree to demand surplus labor for the purpose of increasing production and reducing production costs. For production volume has only one ‘natural’, determining factor: the needs of one’s own national economy; and production costs have only one yardstick: the balance of expenditure and revenue throughout the entire national economy, though without capitalist profit requirements and dividends. And the working hours of a Volk should, accordingly, be determined solely by the fulfillment of the demands of the Volk through the balancing of expenditure and revenue! And if this balanced fulfillment of demand can be provided through a 5 hour workday, then 5 hours of work will suffice; and if in times of hardship this balanced fulfillment of demand is only possible with a 10 hour day, then 10 hours should be worked! But always and only in service of meeting the needs of one’s own Volk. Capitalism, however, imposes long working hours without consideration for the national welfare and public health of the Volk, exclusively in the interest of increased profits. Another sacred expression of the capitalist national economy is the term “economic crisis”! One sees it used daily, with enigmatic vagueness but also taboo untouchability, in both the papers of the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’, and economists of all stripes declare that such crises – industry crises, European crises, global crises – always have existed and always must exist. And they are right – in the capitalist system!

For what is a crisis? A crisis is scarcity! A scarcity of supply (and therefore an excess of demand), or a scarcity of demand (and therefore an excess of supply), and in both cases uncertainty and tremendous differences in prices. The reason? The price differences are the reason! For these crises are man-made! They are consciously, deliberately induced ‘economic phenomena’; such scarcity is organized – organized for the sake of profit opportunity! For the capitalist system considers it a matter of course that grain is bought up by large conglomerates and held back until the outsized demand produces a corresponding increase in prices, i.e. elicits large profits! And this capitalist system takes it as a matter of course that an international iron cartel would criminalize the production of iron, thereby creating an artificial shortage which allows for ‘good prices’ – just as this capitalist system considers it entirely natural when cheap Argentine meat is dumped onto the German market in order to wreck German agriculture, or when said iron cartel sells at half price in unaffiliated Czechoslovakia in order to kill off the local competition, or at least to grind it down. All of this is the essence of capitalism, because it is all in service to ‘making money’, acquiring profit, producing dividends.

The hunger for money is thus the motor of the capitalist system. Money is the great ruler, money is the measure of all things, the possession of money or valuables the measure of every man! – And this leads me to the ‘soul of capitalism’, to the fundamental source of its being! Every person who places money at the center of his thinking, who sees possessions as the object of his endeavors, who views profit as the proof of his abilities, everyone who appraises the value of his fellow human beings according to their ownership of money or valuables – he is a capitalist and is our enemy!

For we know – and all the essential characteristics of capitalism cited here demonstrate this with striking clarity – that the essence of the capitalist system is inevitably the enemy of the life of a Volk, because it is in the nature of this life, this will to live, to always in grandiose self-interest keep its eye upon the welfare of the whole, to always fulfill the great law of the preservation of the species, as nature herself directs: “Freedom and bread”; not, as is the essence of capitalism: “Exploitation and profit!”

“Economic Stimulus: It will be given to them / It will be taken from them.”


By Dr. Joseph Goebbels
First published 15 July, 1929

When Joseph Goebbels first joined the NSDAP in 1925 he was a passionately ideological young man with overt National Bolshevist leanings. Originally a disciple of Gregor Strasser, Goebbels later carved out his own niche as a factional leader, becoming Gauleiter of the NSDAP’s Berlin branch in 1926 and rapidly transforming it from a moribund political club crippled by infighting into a vitally influential sector of the party. This article originally appeared in Goebbels’s Berlin newspaper Der Angriff, and was later reprinted in his 1935 book of the same name (from where this translation was made). Der Angriff was very consciously targeted towards a working-class audience (the slogan “For the oppressed! Against the exploiters!” was a part of its masthead), and the paper placed a strong emphasis upon economic arguments. One notable feature of this particular article is Goebbels’s reference to the concept of ‘national capital’, a core element of National Socialist economic ideology and one much derided by Marxists. – Bogumil

Capitalism is not a thing, but the relationship to a thing. It is not mines, factories, home and land ownership, railway infrastructure, money, and share packages which are the cause of our social misery, but the misuse of these goods of the Volk.  Capitalism is thus nothing other than the misuse of national capital,17 although this definition is by no means limited purely to economic matters. It has a general validity in all areas of public life. It represents a principle. Capitalism is the improper use of the heritage of the Volk in general, and the man who misuses it is a capitalist.

A mine exists to provide the Volk with coal so that they may have light and warmth. Factories, houses, land, money, and share packages are intended be of service to the Volk, not to make slaves of a Volk. Possession of these goods does not impart rights so much as duties. Property means responsibility, not to one’s own pocketbook but rather to the Volk and to their common good. Originally mines were meant to serve production, and production existed to serve the Volk. It was not money which invented men, but rather men who invented money, in order that it would be subservient to them, not that it might subjugate them.

If I misuse economic goods in order to thereby torment and torture my Volk, then I am not worthy of possessing these goods. I then twist the meaning of life around into its opposite; I am an economic capitalist. If I engage in the misuse of cultural assets [Kulturgütern], e.g. if I exploit religion for economic or political ends, then I am a poor administrator of the assets entrusted to me: a cultural capitalist. Capitalism assumes unbearable forms the moment that the personal ends it serves run counter to the interests of the Volk as a whole. It then takes things as its starting point, not people. Money becomes the axis around which everything revolves.

It is the reverse with socialism. The socialist worldview begins with the Volk and then moves on to things. Things are subordinated to the Volk; the socialist places the Volk above everything, and things are only a means to an end.

If we apply these principles to economic life, then the following picture emerges:

In a capitalist system the Volk serve production, which in turn is dependent upon the powers of money. The phantom money triumphs over the living entity, the Volk. In a socialist system money is in service to production, and production serves the Volk. The phantom money is subordinate to the blood-organic community of the Volk. The state can only have a regulatory role in all these things. It divests the eternal conflicts between capital and labor of their nationally-destructive character. It is the adjudicator between the two, but one which intervenes relentlessly when the Volk are threatened. There is only one clear decision for it either way. If in economic struggles it places itself on the side of those who are hostile to the Volk – no matter how nationalist they might purport to be – then it is capitalist. If, on the other hand, it serves justice and that which is synonymous with it, state necessity, then it is socialist.

As simple and transparent as these principles may appear in theory, they are difficult and complicated in political practice. There they are made contingent upon a thousand specific issues, issues of technical and commercial considerations, of global economic conditions and international political constraints. But all of these problems are insoluble for a Volk who are inwardly characterless and outwardly enslaved. That is the case with Germany today. For us, the question of whether socialism or capitalism is not open for debate. We have to toil and slave for our oppressors and have no time to think about socialism, let alone whether we have the opportunity, however modest, of putting it into practice.

That was the fateful error of the German proletariat on that unfortunate day of 9 November, 1918: that one could lose a war, allow oneself to be cheated out of a revolution, and nonetheless could still overthrow a capitalist state and set a socialist one in its place. This would only have been possible with weapons. Never in history has a new worldview – and socialism is such – prevailed through capitulation, always only via resistance and attack. In 1918 the German socialist had only one task: to remain armed and to defend German socialism. This was not done. People talked and passed resolutions, and the German worker did not even notice that in the process he was merely providing a leg-up to his most bitter enemy, world finance.18

The result of this folly is the non-state19 of today. A social democracy in words, a plantation of world capital in practice. We take a stand against this. Because we are socialists who want money to serve the Volk, we therefore rebel against this state of affairs, priming the will to break an intolerable system so that, from the ruins of the democratic money-province, there shall someday arise the socialist German national state.

“The thinking worker comes to Hitler.”


Against Capitalism
By Dr. Albert Krebs
First published 5 January, 1930

The final article in this collection is by Dr. Albert Krebs, arguably the least-known of the five authors represented here. Krebs served as the leader (first as Ortsgruppenleiter, then Gauleiter) of the NSDAP’s Hamburg branch from 1926-28, and was known within the party for his left-leaning sympathies and for being a supporter and admirer of Gregor Strasser. Krebs also worked as an official in the Deutschnationaler Handlungsgehilfen-Verband (DHV), Germany’s most significant white-collar workers’ union, and from 1930-31 took on the leadership of the Hamburg NSBO (Nationalsozialistische Betriebszellenorganisation, the NSDAP’s trade-union). He was forced out of the party in 1932, after an argument with Hitler in which Krebs called the Führer an “oriental despot” to his face. Krebs’s article, which first appeared in the Berliner Arbeiter-Zeitung (the Berlin edition of Gregor’s Der nationale Sozialist newspaper), deals with popular perceptions of National Socialism from the Left (“servants of capitalism!”) and from the Right (“National Marxists!”), attempting to dispel both as misconceptions while in the process proving National Socialism’s anticapitalist credentials. – Bogumil

If it wasn’t such a serious thing, it would be laughable. The so very clever Herr Professor von Freytag-Loringhoven20 stands up and declares in all earnestness that the socialist programme of the National Socialists gives serious cause for concern. The Deutsche Tageszeitung, Kreuzzeitung, and other nationalist newspapers then grant him – he who they truly cannot stand when it comes to tactical issues – their full support by once more traumatizing their pompous21 readership with the fairytale of the “National Marxists.” And from the left side, meanwhile, there comes the howling and ranting of: “Servants of capitalism, hirelings of the entrepreneurs. You only fight against the black Jew in order that the white Jew can better exploit the working masses.22 You accursed traitors of the proletariat, you deserve to be beaten to death wherever you are found.”

Now, who among these rowdy accusers is correct? Are we then the enemies of “sacred property,” or are we its servants; we cannot possibly be both at the same time? But we are neither one nor the other.

You, dear friend from the Left, curse capitalism and understand it as that mysterious power which deprives you of your just wages, which allows you to live in dark holes and lets your children gradually grow into withered and weary creatures from youth. You rail against a system which, in spite of all your industry and hard work, allows you to slide into your grave at the end of your life with a laughable pension and the bitter words: “What was the point of all that hardship and toil?” When you grope wearily home through the wet, dark streets, your fists clench with indignation at the sight of luxurious foyers and lavish storefronts: “Our labor, our diligence – and those others, the loafers and the cunning and the sly, enjoy the pleasure and the benefit of it.” That is how you think, and when one considers the pointless lives of you and your brothers who work and don’t know why, who cannot see a future for themselves and for their children, then we can well understand your hatred and your longing, and you are right when you say: “Capitalism is to blame for our misery and must therefore be destroyed.” But you are wrong when you seek to understand and explain the nature of capitalism on the basis of things, i.e. in terms of capital or property and its distribution. It is not things which matter, but the intellectual attitude and ethos which stand behind them and which regulate their use.

Capital in itself is neither good nor evil. It depends solely upon those administering it whether or not it becomes a blessing or a curse. Capital can and should be a means towards a higher end – the fulfillment of demand, even the culture of a Volk. Today, however, it has become an end in itself, or has become an instrument for the raw, lustful indulgence of a purely materialistic craving for pleasure. Hence why people accumulate meaningless treasures; produce and manufacture things which can only be sold through senseless advertisements; build factories where peasants should settle; forget that the Earth is the first asset, and the last. Interest is their battle cry, and annuity [Rente] their idol. Now you come along from the Left and seek to change all this and make it better. But how curiously you begin this. You desire to take capital away from the individual and to let it be administered by the community through the means of so-called ‘democracy’. Thus do you hope to be able to guarantee everyone possible, i.e. every individual, the maximum potential earthly happiness. For you, too, pleasure is the greatest good and labor is the greatest evil. Yes, have you not noticed that this doctrine of your holy Marx is dominated by the same malignant capitalist spirit which dominates the praxis of the “stock-exchange princes and smokestack barons?”23 Do you truly imagine that you can destroy capitalism with an alternative system if the sponsors of that system are themselves dyed-in-the-wool capitalists? Look at them, your ‘leaders’, in politics and in business, look how ‘comfortably’ they have all integrated themselves into the system of capitalism.

Capitalism and Marxism are the positive and negative economic forms of the materialist worldview. One form requires the other; neither can ever win, and both bring impoverishment and misery for the masses while bestowing every kind of wealth and pleasure upon a select chosen few. It is thus completely irrelevant whether these chosen ones are born as masters of the economy, or whether they have been ‘democratically elected’ by the exploited masses.

But this is exactly how things are it comes to your affairs too, dear contemporary from the bourgeois side. You rhapsodize about the “sacredness of private property” and demand its unconditional protection, since it is the foundation of all culture and morality. What humbug! Please take a look around at this gratifying world of today and show me the property which begets culture and morality. The greater the property – the greater the lack of genuine morality and living culture.

No, dear friend, you are just as wrong in your opinion on the sacredness of private property as your opponent is with his view of property as the root of all evil. Everything depends upon the individual and his attitude. Property becomes a blessing when it is a responsibility and when every folk-comrade has something of his own. But it is an outrageous provocation to speak of the sacredness of private property when around 70 per cent of the Volk have to live without it. It is also thoroughly un-German, nationalist gentleman, to place the emphasis upon the first word – ‘private’. That is in conformity with the Roman conception of the law. We National Socialists regard all property as hereditary fiefs of the nation, which the respective owner has to administer out of a sense of responsibility towards the community. He has a right to profit, but this profit must never come through the exploitation of other folk-comrades. The fulfillment of demand is the watchword of National Socialist economic policy, not annuity or interest. We do not believe in the necessity of an absolute equality of property, but we are convinced that every able-bodied person must be guaranteed the right to property and to advancement. Hence why we are categorically opposed to all those uncontrollable, monolithic economic conglomerates which today have turned around 80 per cent of our folk-comrades into dependent employees, for whom even the trade-unions can no longer safeguard the just demand for bread and freedom. The path to achieving our goal involves the conquest of the state. But that alone is not enough. The decisive factor is the creation of a type of human being who is capable of overcoming the malignant, materialist spirit of capitalism through the living spirit of service to the nation. The power of gold is broken only by those who scorn it.


Translator’s Notes

1. A reference to “Constitution Day” (Verfassungstag), which was officially celebrated in Weimar Germany on 11 August, the day of the constitution’s signing by President Ebert in 1919. Although intended to help unite the fractured German population and to foster a sense of identification with the Republic, public celebration remained inconsistent (the holiday was given only token acknowledgement by governments in some states, such as Bavaria) and Constitution Day never became particularly popular. Participation in festivities throughout August was largely limited to supporters of the Social-Democrats and the more liberal-leaning parties (the Centre and the DDP), which only served to highlight the ideological division within the German population and the general lack of loyalty felt to the Republic and its symbols.

2. The word Strasser uses here in the original German is is “Hakenkreuzler” rather than “völkisch.” Hakenkreuzler was a term employed, often derogatorily, to describe adherents of völkisch politics; the German word for swastika is “das Hakenkreuz.” The term is sometimes translated into English as “swastikers” (i.e., “He is a swastiker”), but the word “völkisch” is a more comprehensible alternative for modern audiences.

3. Werner Sombart (b.1863 – d.1941) was an influential German sociologist and economist. His book The Jews and Economic Life (Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben) was first published in 1911. Although Sombart was considered a Marxist at the time Jung’s article was written (1926), he was also an unconventional one, with his writings occasionally expressing views that have been interpreted as nationalist or anti-Semitic today. Ironically, Sombart would become a prominent convert to National Socialism by the early 1930s, although he never became a dogmatic supporter of Hitler or the NSDAP. Sombart’s hope was that his own left-leaning interpretation of National Socialist ideology might help Germany “take the obviously strong forces which are striving to achieve the fulfilment of the national socialistic idea on its socialistic side, and turn them into paths in which they shall not become destructive but shall enrich themselves and all life.” He was never entirely accepted by the NS regime, however, and occasionally experienced difficulties pursuing his occupation after 1933.

4. “Jew-lovers” – in German, “Judenfreunde,” lit. “Jew-friends” or “friends of the Jews.”

5. In the original German text, Jung includes a footnote here which reads:

Very good compilations of such verdicts are included in: Theodor Fritsch’s Handbook of the Jewish Question, Hammer-Verlag, Leipzig; Ottokar Stauf von der March’s The Jews in the Judgement of the Times, Deutscher Volksverlag, Munich.

The German titles of these works are Handbuch der Judenfrage (Fritsch) and Die Juden im Urteil der Zeiten (von der March). Fritsch’s Handbook in particular was very widely-read within the völkisch movement.

6. In the original text, Jung includes a footnote here which clarifies that the “two short pamphlets” he is referring to are titled “The Experts’ Reports” and “The End of Experts?” (“Die Sachverständigen-Berichte” and “Sachverständiges Ende?”). They were written by Dr. Paul Bang, a former state official (Bang left the civil service in 1919 for political reasons) and an influential member of the bourgeois-nationalist German National People’s Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei, DNVP). Bang, who had strong völkisch inclinations, was also a member of the right-wing Pan-German League, as well as a supporter of business magnate and later DNVP chairman Alfred Hugenberg. Bang wrote extensively on economic issues (he was regarded as the Pan-Germans’ economics expert) and in 1932 he would help draft the DNVP’s ‘Freedom Programme’, which strongly emphasized the DNVP’s firm opposition to socialism and its commitment to private property and free enterprise, partly in order to better highlight the party’s differences with the NSDAP.

7. Der Weltkampf was a semi-independent monthly journal first published in 1924 by Alfred Rosenberg, who served as its original chief editor. The editorship would later pass to other figures (Ernst Boepple, Count Reventlow, among others), with Rosenberg only providing general ideological guidance. Der Weltkampf was an academically-oriented publication which sought to address the Jewish question from a more intellectual, theoretical perspective. In March 1941 the journal was acquired by the Hoheneichen-Verlag (since 1929 an affiliate of the Franz Eher Nachfolger, the NSDAP’s central publishing house) and became the official organ for the Institute for Research into the Jewish Question..

8. In the original text, Jung includes a footnote here indicating that the copy of The International Jew he was working from when writing this article was “a German translation published by the Hammer-Verlag, Leipzig.” The Hammer-Verlag was the publishing house of völkisch writer Theodor Fritsch.

9. Jung includes another footnote here in the original text, clarifying that the “small statistical pamphlet” he is referring to is titled “The Jewish Influence in Germany in a Statistical Overview” by Bernhard Funck (“Der jüdische Einfluß in Deutschland in statistischer Darstellung,” Sickingen-Verlag, Munich).

10. “The Barmat affair” was a notorious financial scandal in Weimar Germany which involved Jewish entrepreneurs of Ukrainian background: Julius Barmat and his siblings. The Barmats had initially made their fortune through trading in Amsterdam, where Julius also joined the Social-Democratic Party. After the War they moved to Germany and established a thriving food import business, using Julius’s contacts with high-ranking Social-Democrats (as well as countless bribes and ‘donations’ to the party and its affiliates) to curry favor in exchange for preference in state contracts. The money gained from these food-supply ventures was added to with massive loans secured from state institutions like the Prussian State Bank and Reichspost – by December 1923 the Barmats had received a total of 38 million marks in credit, again largely through a mixture of bribery and nepotism. The credit obtained in this fashion was then employed in speculation, with the Barmats buying up industrial and manufacturing enterprises which had been rendered unprofitable during the period of hyperinflation. When the economy began to stabilize towards the end of 1923, the Barmats suddenly found themselves unable to repay the staggering debts they had been accruing, and the result was the financial collapse of their companies and a loss of millions of marks from the state coffers. A huge public uproar ensued when the affair came to light, pulling the Barmats and many members of the Social-Democratic Party into a sprawling criminal investigation, one which tarnished the SPD’s reputation and which validated many Germans’ skeptical views about capitalism, democracy, and the Jews, particularly since there had already been several similar financial scandals which had also involved unscrupulous Jewish businessmen – the Sklarz and Kutisker affairs. The following quote is from historian Martin H. Geyer’s article “Contested Narratives of the Weimar Republic: Case of the ‘Kutisker-Barmat Scandal'”:

The issue that excited the public in 1925 was Barmat’s seemingly unlimited access to the credit he needed to finance these ventures… How could men like Kutisker or Barmat obtain credit during an extreme credit crunch when interest rates soared to astronomical heights? Bribery and corruption seemed the answer, with Socialists providing the key to the public coffers… Viewed as particularly scandalous was the fact that the Barmat enterprise, like Kutisker, lent the money to private persons as well as to businesses… and thereby cashed in on the difference between the ‘cheap’ loans it procured and the exorbitant monetary market rate. This occurred at a time when businesses were going bankrupt by the thousands because they lacked credit and when the shortage of money in state coffers even led to layoffs of state officials. Time and again, farmers, artisans, and government officials returned to this image of the archetypal Jewish usurer, usurping the property of producers.

11. “Tributaries” – the word used here in German is “zinsbar,” which can also be translated as “interest-bearing” or “subject to interest.” Jung goes into more detail on some of these Biblical topics in the chapter “The Jewish Spirit: The Jewish Pursuit of World Supremacy” of his book National Socialism.

12. Adolf Wahrmund (b.1827 – d.1913) was a German academic and an expert in orientalism. His 1887 work The Law of Nomadism (Das Gesetz des Nomandentums, republished in 1919 by the Deutscher Volksverlag, Munich) was popular with the völkisch movement, as it argued that Jews were an inherently “nomadic” people whose transient nature compelled them to parasitize other “culture-bearing” races.

13. The Jüdisches Palästinawerk was a Zionist fundraising association established in Germany in 1922. Its stated purpose was to raise money for projects directed towards building and expanding the Jewish presence in Palestine. Its early activities involved helping to fund Jewish farming settlements in the Middle East, as well as organizing agricultural training for Jewish-German pioneers.

14. Jung is quoting here from Karl Marx’s article “On the Jewish Question” (cited by Jung as Der Judenfrage, Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, 1844). It is available to read online.

15. “Front-Socialism” (“Frontsozialismus”) was a term associated with the national-revolutionary movements outside the NSDAP, in particular with the nationalist paramilitary Stahlhelm. An appreciation for elements of socialism had been inculcated in many nationalists through their military service in WWI, in which German ranks and uniforms had acted as something of a social leveler (“the brotherhood of the trenches,” in which class and political differences had allegedly been wiped away), and in which the state had provided for all their care, food, and basic amenities (interpreted by some as an example of socialism in action). Within the Stahlhelm this experience developed into the idea of Frontsozialismus – originally a form of practical, grass-roots social welfare, which later evolved into the theoretical concept of an organic corporate state. “Young-Socialism” (“Jungsozialismus”) was a dynamic, youthful reinterpretation of Social-Democracy whose name came from the Jungsozialisten, the youth group of the Social-Democrats which had formed in the aftermath of the First World War. The Jungsozialisten sought to break away from what they saw as the overly materialistic, liberal, and rationalistic socialism of the older socialist generation, pursuing the development of a new form of socialism which drew from outside the heritage of the traditional workers’ movement. The Jungsozialisten were a very diverse group, ranging from religious socialists to market-socialists to left-wing nationalists, but a central concern for many was the reconciliation of the proletariat with the German state and nation.

16. During the mid-1920s, Dr. Erich Rosikat was the NSDAP’s expert on agricultural issues. He also served as the Deputy Gauleiter of Silesia, as a local leader in Breslau, and was known for his political organization of the Silesian peasantry. Rosikat was associated with the NSDAP’s left wing, and left the party in 1927 out of dissatisfaction with Hitler’s leadership, arguing that Hitler had transformed National Socialism from a socialist into a “fascist” movement. After 1930 he was involved with Otto Strasser’s Black Front.

17. “National capital” – “Volkskapital” in the original German text. Also called “working capital” (“tätigen Kapital”) or “productive capital” (“schaffendes kapital”) in National Socialist writings, each term essentially meaning the same thing. National Socialist economic theory drew a distinction between “productive” forms of capital (labor and certain forms of industry and agriculture, i.e. capital bound to German territory, made up largely of immobile assets, providing work and wages to the Volk as a collective whole) and “rapacious” capital (chiefly stock-market-capital, finance-capital, and loan-capital, i.e. capital with an ‘international’ basis, mobile assets which produce nothing material but which generate large profits for a small clique through exploitative money manipulation, rather than through expenditure of effort). National Socialists acknowledged that productive capital under the capitalist system had been allowed to develop in a deleterious way, but argued that on the whole it still had advantageous properties for the Volk which necessitated it be left relatively intact, so long as exploitative forces were kept in check through a raft of regulative economic measures: nationalization of financial institutions, labor regulation, land redistribution, mixed ownership of industry, price and wage controls, etc.

18. “World finance” – In German, “Weltgeld,” lit. “world money.”

19. “Non-state” – In German, “Unstaat.” Sometimes also translated as “anti-state” or “state of chaos.”

20. Axel von Freytag-Loringhoven (b.1878 – d.1942) was a prominent German lawyer, academic, writer, and politician. He was an influential figure in the DNVP and served as a member of the Reichstag from 1924 until his death. Freytag-Loringhoven also sat on the executive committee of the Pan-German League, and in 1922 had helped found the DNVP’s ‘National Völkisch Committee’, part of an attempt to promote a völkisch perspective within the party and to prevent the DNVP from splitting over the issue (this failed). Freytag-Loringhoven was considered a pre-eminent representative of the arch-conservative, bourgeois variant of German nationalism which had its roots in the Imperial era and which came to dominate the DNVP via the influence of the Pan-German League; his position on the hard right of the DNVP made him a strong opponent of ‘socialism’ in any form, to the extent that (like many in the DNVP) he viewed the NSDAP’s economic ideology as being suspiciously close to Marxism. In spite of this aversion to National Socialism, on 26 June 1933 Freytag-Loringhoven was chosen by DNVP chairman Alfred Hugenberg to represent the German Nationals in negotiations with the Hitler government over the party’s future within an NS Germany. He was thus instrumental in helping to shape the agreement which led to the DNVP’s absorption by the NSDAP – but which also provided protection for former DNVP members and which allowed German National civil servants and Reichstag members to maintain their positions and their pensions, despite their potentially questionable political loyalty.

21. “Pompous” – In German, “spießbürgerlichen.” The word “spießbürgerlich” is also frequently translated as “philistine,” “bourgeois,” or “petty-bourgeois.” In general it denotes someone who is stuffy, old-fashioned, and thoroughly middle-class.

22. The words “white” and “black” are not intended as racial (skin-color) terms. More likely this is a reference to the National Socialists’ ideological opposition towards “rapacious capital” (the “black Jew”) and their defense of “productive capital” (the “white Jew”). In essence, the allegation here is that the socialist language and formulations employed by the National Socialists are simply a ruse camouflaging the fact that their actions are, in reality, only of benefit to the forces of Reaction.

23. “Smokestack barons” (“Schlotbarone”) was a derogatory term for Germany’s powerful industrialists, particularly those who dominated the Ruhr.

First article translated from Gregor Strasser’s Kampf um Deutschland (1932), Verlag Franz Eher Nachfolger GmbH.
Second article translated from Hans Krebs’s & Otto Prager’s (eds.) Die Weltfront: Eine Sammlung von Aufsätzen antisemitischer Führer aller Völker (1926), Weltfrontverlag.
Third article translated from Markus März’s Nationale Sozialisten in der NSDAP: Strukturen, Ideologie, Publizistik, und Biographien des national-sozialistischen Straßer-Kreises von der AG Nordwest bis zum Kampf-Verlag 1925-1930 (2011), Ares Verlag.
Fourth article translated from Joseph Goebbels’s Der Angriff: Aufsätze aus der Kampfzeit (1935), Zentralverlag der NSDAP, Franz Eher Nachfolgen.
Fifth article translated from Markus März’s Nationale Sozialisten in der NSDAP (2011), Ares Verlag.

10 thoughts on “National Socialists Against Capitalism

  1. Bogumil,

    These five articles, aside from providing a general overview of Pan-Germanic Socialism’s anti-Capitalist tendencies, outlines the known contradictions that you mentioned within your own notations. In order to grasp the crux of my arguments here, I need to break them down into segments, seeing how all five articles were not written by the same person. Due to the sheer length of this ARPLAN post, I have had to break down my response comment into two parts.

    To begin, despite its own inherent flaws, Pan-Germanic Socialism (PGS) can still be considered as a “Pure Socialism.” A Pure Socialism, to borrow the terminology of The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.), denotes any ideology whose outward “Label” and inward “Essence” is capable of developing Socialistic characteristics. Even if the Label does not openly declare its Socialistic qualities, the Essence will determine whether it is a “Scientific Socialism” (aligned with Marxist Theory) or an “Artistic Socialism” (unaligned with Marxist Theory). Behind the Essence of any Pure Socialism lies a Weltanschauung (Worldview) and a Gestalt (Form). The Weltanschauung sets the parameters of the ideology’s values and premises, its Gestalt defining the content and style that is to be expected of those adhering to it.

    I have found the theoretical methodology to be extremely helpful in understanding a vast multitude of different Pure Socialisms, self-proclaimed or otherwise, whose Essences do not conform neatly with Marxist Theory. Having internalized the “Scientific/Artistic Socialism Distinction”, it does not take long for me to criticize notions of defining all Socialisms in relation to Marxist Theory. To cite Pan-Germanic Socialism as an example:

    -Those who call it a “premeditated rhetorical trick used to fool gullible workers into serving reactionary interests” are focusing on its Label.

    -Conversely, those who claim it “grew directly out of [Marxist Theory] and that the two share the same basic ideological precepts” are focusing on its Essence.

    In both cases, everyone is assuming that all Socialisms must be Scientific, as if there is no room whatsoever for the Artistic ones that blaze their own paths with its own interpretations. Must all Socialisms be defined solely in Marxist terms? The sooner we grasp the meanings of Pure Socialism and the Scientific/Artistic Distinction, the better someone is at comprehending the crux of my upcoming arguments.

    To summarize the five articles, each one is a personal interpretation of Pan-Germanic Socialism that seeks to articulate its stances on a particular area: Property and Currency (A. Krebs); variants of Kapital (J. Goebbels); Socialist economic governance and international trade (O. Strasser); banking and monetary policy (R. Jung); and employment and labor policy (G. Strasser). There was a reason why the second half of my response comment was done in reverse chronological order. After reading through all five articles, I was able to determine how their views on Socialist economics and finance are aligned with the Work-Standard.


    PS: You should be able to see the second half of my comment as soon as I post this one.

  2. Bogumil,

    Continuing from the first half, I will be delving into the five articles of this ARPLAN post. Each one, upon reading between the lines and going past their aforementioned prejudices, contains kernels of information that correlate with topics covered in The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.). This is significant as the overarching topic that unites the articles are related to Socialist economics and finance in general. The similarities with other Socialisms are there if one knows where to look.

    In “Against Capitalism,” Dr. Albert Krebs maintained that Pan-Germanic Socialism’s stances on Kapital, as a conception of Currency, is more nuanced. The language in his writing suggested an attempt at demystifying Kapital, as if to deconstruction its meaning as defined by Liberal Capitalists. Krebs was correct to inform the reader that when we think of Kapital, the first thing that should never come to mind are coins and banknotes. Instead, we need to view Kapital as a conception of Currency paired with Schuld (Debt/Guilt) and tied to a specific Command and Control (C2) mechanism. Whether we are talking about Bimetallism (gold and silver), Chartalism (fiat currencies and Modern Monetary Theory), LCFIs (Liberal Capitalist Financial Instruments), or Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, they all rely on the same C2 mechanism.

    That C2 mechanism is the Incentives of Supply and Demand, which dictates the “greatest Quantity of Kapital for the least Quantity of Schuld” as overriding purpose of economic life under Liberal Capitalist ideology. When Krebs wrote about treating Kapital as a “end in itself,” why commercial firms and governments often cut corners and tolerate underemployment or unemployment, or why people engage in petty strikes and collective bargaining, that is what he was referring to.

    As for Property Rights, Dr. Krebs was criticizing Private/Common Property-as-Wealth without fully condemning it, as if implying that there is another conception of Property Rights. He had to have been alluding to “Productive/Personal Property-as-Power.” While a person owns their household and a business, not to mention generating Geld from it, the Arbeit their business contributes from its everyday economic activities are subordinate to a higher economic authority. No trade union, however, has ever been in any real position to wield economic authority like a Council or Corporative State could.

    Second, Goebbels in “Capitalism” argued that the concept of Kapital needs to be further distinguished into two distinct categories. The Kapital generated from the Primary (Natural Sector), Secondary (Manufacturing Sector), and Tertiary (Services Sector) Sectors, the “Volkskapital” is not the same as the “Rapacious Kapital” created at most Liberal Capitalist financial markets and central banks. Going back to what was mentioned by Dr. Krebs, the specific language chosen to describe Volkskapital are in actuality the same aforementioned Arbeit and Geld described earlier. There is in fact a point in which Kapital cease being Kapital and becomes “Actual Geld” (created from the national economy), “Digital Geld” (created from fully-automated machinery), or “Military Geld” (created from the military-industrial capabilities of the armed forces). Where we find those three forms of Geld, we also find “Actual Arbeit,” “Digital Arbeit,” and “Military Arbeit.”

    The example cited by Goebbels is that of a coal mine. The Actual Arbeit from harvesting the coal can be converted into Actual Geld for the miners. That coal, as an “Equipmentality,” can be used to create electrical power, which then be harnessed by factories to create finished goods. Thus, with Arbeit and Geld in mind, we can then proceed to articulate a C2 mechanism entirely distinct from Kapital and Schuld. This would have to be the Intents of Command and Obedience, which advocates the “greatest Quality of Arbeit for the least Quality of Geld.”

    Prices for everyday goods and services can be adjusted periodically with entirely distinctive Theories of Value and Money. They do not have to be literally frozen into place by Price Controls. We can even determine, through political discourse and enacted laws, which Professions, Enterprises, Industries, and Economic Sectors create more or less Arbeit and their approximate valuations in Geld. A Socialistic competition will be able to emerge as the domestic market becomes a sort of “Tournament,” where the Enterprises of whole Industries compete for the greatest Quality of Arbeit. Human talent, expertise, creativity, potentiality, and experience can be allowed to flourish to their fullest potential through Arbeit.

    Third, Otto Strasser’s “On the Nature of Capitalism” should be seen as build up to what Dr. Krebs and Goebbels had alluded to. Once efforts are made to replace Kapital and Schuld with Arbeit and Geld, it will become possible to articulate macroeconomic policies on economic governance and international trade. Liberal Capitalism’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are an extension of Kapital and Schuld: somebody earns more Kapital than Schuld and somebody else gets more Schuld than Kapital. Being dependent on exports is just as bad as being dependent on imports. An export-dependent economy becomes unable to diversify beyond the ones which generates the highest Quantity of Kapital to the detriment of those which are deemed ‘unprofitable’. An import-dependent economy, meanwhile, will struggle to avoid living beyond its own means, forced to constantly devalue its currency to compete. In both cases, a Balance of Trades and Payments is absent between the importer and exporter, and opportunities to promote cultural understanding and good trade relations squandered.

    And in terms of economic governance, Otto Strasser was interested in ascertaining how a Socialistic government will carry out its taxation, investment, and labor policies. The central government should be the highest economic authority to determine the length of the work-week, in addition to setting taxation rates on Geld generated from Arbeit and allocating Geld toward creating more Arbeit. This includes the ability of the central government to balance its own budget, how much Geld should go toward the State’s organizations, ministries, and so forth.

    Fourth, when Rudolf Jung was not being a Sectarian by searching for the so-called “Jewish spirit” in “Capitalism and Judaism,” he was addressing the problems of Liberal Capitalist financial institutions and monetary policies from a Socialistic perspective. The parts which I know are the most relevant is where he described the problems of Kapital, in its Liberal Capitalist conception, never being bound to any national or cultural identity. It is essentially scathing condemnation of the Fractional-Reserve Banking System, the financial markets and commercial banks that generate Kapital without doing any Meaningful Work, the Floating Exchange Rates (having currency exchanges valued by Supply and Demand), and the Economic Liberalization imposed by international institutions like the IMF and World Bank. The charging of Interest Rates to control the Inflation/Deflation Rate only makes things even more absurd.

    The central argument to be posited here is whether Currency Depreciation/Appreciation, with respect to Arbeit and Geld, can be measured through different metrics and controlled without devolving into “Interest-slavery.” I am instantly reminded of Jung’s advocacy for Currency to have a national identity, an idea rooted in his critiques of Silvio Gesell’s Freigeld from “Der nationale Sozialismus.” I am also reminded of the need for a “Reciprocal-Reserve Banking System” and its own financial instruments as well as the need for conventional lending and borrowing to revolve around Arbeit and Geld. Doing so will limit the predatory tendencies of the banks and set the stage for a different set of financial institutions that have the interests of the Volksgemeinschaft at heart.

    Moreover, an entirely new and mathematical sound set of equations and formulas by which to gauge the Arbeit and Geld is ripe for the development of a distinct method of accounting. After all, if Cryptocurrencies–arguably the epitome of what Jung found detestable in Kapital–can come up with “Triple-Entry Account Bookkeeping” for Blockchain technology applications, why not Arbeit and Geld?

    And fifth, Gregor Strasser in “The Slave-Market of Capitalism” deplores the constant cycle of involuntary unemployment and underemployment that is so common in Liberal Capitalism. It does not always happen from Recessions or even Depressions. Similar effects can also be found where there are disruptive introductions of Technologies that inadvertently cause unemployment and underemployment. Even more problematic is the fact that Liberal Capitalism abhors the dignity of Arbeit when it promotes Producerism and Consumerism. Together with the annoyances of advertising things which people neither needed nor wanted, the need to constantly judge oneself and others based on how much they can afford with Kapital can lead to low self-esteem, unrealistic expectations of one’s place within the nation. Environmental degradation and resource depletion can arise from letting Technology develop without any concern for the environment or the nation.

    At the heart of these issues lie the exaltation of Meaningless Work by Liberal Capitalism. Meaningless Work is condoned as a means to achieve Kapital Accumulation. So much of one’s everyday efforts is poured into always making sure that they will “make ends meet” (as the American saying goes) that not enough attention is given to the finer things in Life, like family and friends, fulfillment of one’s Vocation, or the realization of lifetime ambitions. Worse, the proliferation of Meaningless Work has gone in tandem with the uncontrolled advancement of Technology, a problem which has been exacerbated by Globalization after the 1970s and the World Wide Web (WWW) since the 1990s.

    Those are all of the areas where I found stark parallels that Pan-Germanic Socialism has with other Pure Socialisms as far as the Work-Standard is concerned. As I have learned from my own research, the qualification of any ideology to be designated as a Pure Socialism, before being further classified as “Scientific” or “Artistic” is dependent on their relation to Arbeit.


      • I am glad that you were still able to approve them, so thanks for letting me know. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon.

      • No prob, not sure what happened… thought I’d approved them already, but logged on yesterday and saw them still sitting in the queue! WordPress plays up occasionally.

    • Good question. It’s kind of hard to determine if there was anything truly definitive, since the party had such a broad range of perspectives, especially on economic issues (which is kind of why party bodies like the RWR and WPA were established in the first place). I had a look through a few different publications and found this in Hans Buchner’s Grundriß einer nationalsozialistischen Volkswirtschaftstheorie (“Outline of a National Socialist Economic Theory”), published as part of the NSDAP’s Nationalsozialistische Bibliothek booklet series. Buchner was the economics editor of the Völkischer Beobachter and the Grundriß was supposed to serve as a general catechism of the party’s economic worldview:

      In contrast to Marxism, whose theory is just about good enough for a party-political façade, Bismarckian ‘state socialism’ already lays claims to being not merely the state-organized solution to the stomach question [Magenfrage] of an artificially-classified segment of the population, but to being a fundamental, state-political philosophy which does away with Marxism’s worm’s-eye view of examining the entire theory of value solely from the perspective of stamped, finished products and heated steam boilers. Against labor performed with a machine, which in itself represents only a small link in the complex process from production to consumption, Marx summarily characterizes the entrepreneur, the farmer, the artisan, and in particular the merchant and his employees as “capitalist predators.” The stream of economic existence, which springs from the sources of leadership, invention, organization, methodology, systematics, is artificially dammed up by him; only mechanical work drives the turbine of economic life! Only a small part of the total operation shall be made clear! Out of this theory he then attempts to erect an organically-separated structure of the same type by means of a mosaic-like, senseless concatenation!

      This thoroughly political system of classification, quite poorly draped in the mantle of social policy, whose ultimate goal is intended to be the destruction of the ideas of the Volksgemeinschaft, is also theoretically untenable. Value is not “frozen manual labor,” it is “not at all materially objective, not mechanical,” but is intrinsically tied to a striving, to something desired, something spiritual, to a goal and a purpose. The economy is not a mechanical assembly of working hours, but consists, to put it succinctly, of “a living nexus of the validity of resources, derived from the broader context of its goals.” Commodity value, exchange value, is not “a mere coagulum of homogeneous human labor”; the creation of value lies not only in the historical origin of commodities, in their past. Use value, the future of commodities, cannot – as Marx wishes – be swept into the rubbish pile, just as all the contributions of the specific entrepreneur, the management, the turnover, the distribution, must be recognized as independent, co-productive elements in the economic process and must be included in the theory of value. The outrageous assumption in the theory of exploitation that only physical labor at a machine produces value, incidentally refuted by Marx’s own concentration theory and theory of surplus value, has long since been removed from its hitherto bashfully avoided ‘scientific’ pedestal. As a demagogic slogan of everyday political practice, however, it still proves itself powerful enough. Much as, moreover, the entire previously sketched-out Marxist doctrinal system, which appears far too complex for the simple worker to ever digest, is nowadays primarily the concern of the commercial editors of class-struggle journals. For they must not admit that the Marxist concept of ‘class’ is false. This is supposed to be explained by an “economic summation concept,” the idea that so-called “capitalist society” still has to be divided into a “proletarian class” and a “capitalist class.” Here Marx’s atomistic rationalism reveals itself from the sociological side of things, consciously and antagonistically opposing the bloodbound, organically-separated concept of the Volksgemeinschaft. Class [for us] is to be understood “only as an organic segment of society, as estate [Stand], but not as an arbitrary summarization.” For as far as the purely economic and social formation of class is concerned, the most diverse groupings have also asserted themselves as being part of the “working class.” The “class-conscious” worker wants nothing to do with the so-called lumpenproletariat; meanwhile, the unskilled, skilled, and highly-qualified workers, the agricultural workers, peasantry, and small artisans, the medium and more highly-intellectual workers, they all form such a host of intersecting and overlapping stratifications that a structure in accordance with the so-called “principles of class-struggle” seems completely impossible.

      Not very detail-oriented, admittedly. In regards to Klagges, I’m guessing your mention of him is a reference to some of the commentary in Avraham Barkai’s book? I had another look at that today and ended up ordering copies of a couple of the books Barkai references, one of which (based on the seller’s description of the contents page) seems to consist of Klagges covering theory of value & similar topics almost exclusively. I’ll put up some of the content when it arrives.

      • Thanks for the reply. Regarding Klagges, I extracted it from a 1933 Spanish book by Vicente G. Forner. Forner cites Klagges’s “Reichtum und soziale gerechtigkeit”, but unfortunately I don’t know German to corroborate it.

      • Yes, that’s it – Barkai cites the exact same book, and that’s one I ordered. I’ll translate some of the content when I get it🙂

  3. I have to agree with Kai, Bogumil, because I too am curious about whether there was an attempt at proposing a Socialistic alternative to the Labor Theory of Value (LTV) and the Liberal Capitalists’ Utility Theory of Value (UTV). Its significance serves as an important detail in understanding how the concurring proposals for distinct conceptions of economic and monetary systems came together.

    Just by looking at that brief excerpt from Hans Buchner, we can assume that LTV was already known and rejected due to its inherent limitations, such as the difficulty of making value-judgments based on units of time and what can be considered as Meaningful Work under Pure Socialism. If you do get a chance to read what Dietrich Klagge had to write regarding a Theory of Value and manage to post the relevant information on ARPLAN, I might be able to outline its specifications and determine how it differs from other competing Theories of Value.

    In general, a Theory of Value will provide us with the philosophical basis from which we can make value-judgments about how much certain goods and services are worth, what is considered “wealth” or “growth,” the economic activities which create it, and how the incomes from those activities are distributed. It also outlines why the Price of one item might differ from that of another and vice versa, thereby laying the foundations for a corresponding “Theory of Money.” Once I deduced the Theory of Money, I can then make empirical observations and informed arguments about different national economies and financial institutions.

    But until we have enough information about Klagge’s proposed Theory of Value, I will have to save my discussions for later.

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