Tuesday, February 07, 2017

"Hitler's disdain for the complacency of the 'old' bourgeoisie was life-long. But he honoured thrusting meritocrats. Notably, one of Hitler's early and long-standing heroes was the United States automobile magnate, Henry Ford, whom he lauded for his entrepreneurial brilliance and rabid anti-Semitism. Indeed, the Führer celebrated the entrepreneur as a bearer of racial superiority in any national population, and had nothing but contempt for democ­racy in the economy. For example, Hitler rebuked Otto Strasser, an anti-free-market Nazi, in 1930: 'The capitalists have worked their way to the top through their capacity, and on the basis of this selection, which again only proves their higher race, they have a right to lead.'
Faced with the prospect of social turmoil or even Communist revolution, the German middle classes were willing to be cajoled by Hitler. The Protestant theolo­gian, Paul Tillich, writing in 1933, anxiously observed the bourgeoisie readying 'to betray its past and its principle to National Socialism, so long as the latter appeared to guarantee to the bourgeoisie its class rule'. Nazism was no front for 'monopoly capitalism', however. Half of Hitler's votes came from villages, and while German big business did make contributions to Nazi coffers, the party appears to have been mostly self-financing from members' contributions. The most fervent Nazis came from the prosperous middle classes; small businessmen, civil servants and profes­sionals. Both the 'old middle class' (master artisans, farmers, shopkeepers), and the 'new' middle class (professionals, civil servants, innovative businessmen) voted very heavily for the Nazis, particularly the former……" [Italics is my emphasis, N. M.]
— Marc Mulholland 

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