"Reductio ad Hitlerum" as a Social Evil

Published: 2013-07-01

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Third Reich “scholarship” is measured against a de facto axiom that it must be centered around the Holocaust, with concomitant discussions on medical experiments, and other aspects of a supposedly uniquely “Nazi” brutality. Anything less is branded by watchdog “scholars” such as Deborah Lipstadt as “relativizing the Holocaust,” which is apparently even worse than “Holocaust revisionism.”[1]

Reductio ad Hitlerum is the technique of undermining a debate by accusing the opponent of being a Nazi. Leo Strauss, Jewish philosopher, coined the term in 1951, explaining in 1953:

“Unfortunately, it does not go without saying that in our examination we must avoid the fallacy that in the last decades has frequently been used as a substitute for the reductio ad absurdum: the reductio ad Hitlerum. A view is not refuted by the fact that it happens to have been shared by Hitler.”[2]

The informative resource “The Fallacy Files”[3] gives an example of reductio ad Hitlerum:

“[T]he ideas of ecologists about invasive species—alien species as they are often called—sound…similar to anti-immigration rhetoric. Green themes like scarcity and purity and invasion and protection all have right-wing echoes. Hitler’s ideas about environmentalism came out of purity, after all.”[4]

The above quote by a “radical feminist,” Betsy Hartmann, is part of a lament on the supposed “right-wing takeover” of the ecology movement, some of whose proponents have apparently been advocating immigration restrictions, which is akin to Nazism for those who reflexively employ reductio ad Hitlerum in their intellectual discourse. As evidence of this, Hartmann cites the editorship of the academic journal Population and Environment by Professor Kevin MacDonald, along with the late J. Philip Rushton who sat on the editorial board, both regarded as “racists.”[5]

“The Fallacy Files” explains reductio ad Hitlerum:

Adolf Hitler accepted idea x.
Therefore, x must be wrong.
The Nazis accepted idea x.
Therefore, x must be wrong.


Hitler was in favor of euthanasia.
Therefore, euthanasia is wrong.
The Nazis favored eugenics.
Therefore, eugenics is wrong.


Hitler was a vegetarian.
Therefore, vegetarianism is wrong.
The Nazis were conservationists.
Therefore, conservationism is wrong.

Although the term reductio ad Hitlerum was coined by Strauss as far back as 1951 in the Spring issue of the journal Measure,[6] it is invaluable. Dr. Thomas Fleming, the American Catholic Conservative, president of the Rockford Institute, and editor of Chronicles, cogently stated of reductio ad Hitlerum:

“Leo Strauss called it the reductio ad Hitlerum. If Hitler liked neoclassical art, that means that classicism in every form is Nazi; if Hitler wanted to strengthen the German family, that makes the traditional family (and its defenders) Nazi; if Hitler spoke of the “nation” or the “folk,” then any invocation of nationality, ethnicity, or even folkishness is Nazi ...”[7]

For example among the “pro-gun” lobby which assumes that Hitler – as a dictator – inaugurated the mass confiscation of private firearms in the Third Reich and therefore proponents of “gun control” are adopting a Hitler-like stance.[8] This, like much else that passes for fact even in academia, is tenuous at best. However, indicating to what extent reductio ad Hitlerum can be contorted every which way, another argument being that it is the pro-gun lobby that is more Hitleresque, one liberal commentator, Chris Miles, pointing out that when Hitler assumed power the provisions on gun ownership were those imposed in 1919 under the Versailles Diktat. Quoting Professor Bernard Harcourt of the University of Chicago on the 1938 German Weapons Act, which pro-gun anti-Nazis also quote to prove that Hitler sought to disarm his people, “The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition.” Strictures that were maintained only involved handguns, which reliable persons could own if they could show they had good reason.[9] Miles continues:

“The groups of people who were exempt from the acquisition permit requirement expanded. Holders of annual hunting permits, government workers, and NSDAP party members were no longer subject to gun ownership restrictions. Prior to the 1938 law, only officials of the central government, the states, and employees of the German Reichsbahn were exempted. The age at which persons could own guns was lowered from 20 to 18. The firearms carry permit was valid for three years instead of one year. Under both the 1928 and 1938 acts, gun manufacturers and dealers were required to maintain records with information about who purchased guns and the guns' serial numbers. These records were to be delivered to a police authority for inspection at the end of each year.”[10]

It was under the Allied Occupation regime that Germans were completely disarmed from 1945-1956.

Adolf Hitler and Austrian Autobahn

Adolf Hitler begins work on the first motorway of Austria at the Walser mountain with Salzburg. 7 April 1938
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H04560 / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Social Achievements in Third Reich Suppressed

It is against this background that the “horrors of Nazism” have been used to obscure and suppress the achievements of that regime on a range of issues that gravely afflict the world today. Because of the one-eyed dogma on all things Hitlerian, some vital discoveries and achievements have been buried under a pile of figurative corpses which prevents the world from a sober, scholarly assessment of achievements in such areas a health, ecology and banking, or alternatively, as mentioned, puts serious alternatives on the defensive by comparing them with “Nazism.”

It is notable that some achievements of the Third Reich were embraced and developed – where it has served powerful interests. The most apparent example is in the realm of rocketry and other advanced weaponry pioneered by the Third Reich, when there was a scramble between the USSR and USA to grab “Nazi scientists” directly after the war. Details of this are incontestable, although still obscure:

“Operation Paperclip was the codename under which the US intelligence and military services extricated scientists from Germany during and after the final stages of World War II. The project was originally called Operation Overcast, and is sometimes also known as Project Paperclip.

“Of particular interest were scientists specialising in aerodynamics and rocketry (such as those involved in the V-1 and V-2 projects), chemical weapons, chemical reaction technology and medicine. These scientists and their families were secretly brought to the United States, without State Department review and approval; their service for Hitler’s Third Reich, NSDAP and SS memberships as well as the classification of many as war criminals or security threats also disqualified them from officially obtaining visas. An aim of the operation was capturing equipment before the Soviets came in. The US Army destroyed some of the German equipment to prevent it from being captured by the advancing Soviet Army.

“The majority of the scientists, numbering almost 500, were deployed at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico, Fort Bliss, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama to work on guided missile and ballistic missile technology. This in turn led to the foundation of NASA and the US ICBM program.

“Much of the information surrounding Operation Paperclip is still classified.

“Separate from Paperclip was an even-more-secret effort to capture German nuclear secrets, equipment and personnel (Operation Alsos). Another American project (TICOM) gathered German experts in cryptography.

“The United States Bureau of Mines employed seven German synthetic fuel scientists in a Fischer-Tropsch chemical plant in Louisiana, Missouri in 1946.”[11]

Suppression of Cancer Research

Hitlerian Germany pioneered many programs in social health and welfare and the study of disease prevention, the relationship between tobacco and cancer, etc. Hence, the regime was decades ahead of today’s democratic states that pride themselves on being “progressive.”

The suppression of German health research is one of the major tragedies of the way by which reductio ad Hitlerum has impacted many lives. With such a mentality, Peter Dunne, the sole Member of Parliament in New Zealand for his United Future Party, described the lobbyists for tobacco restrictions in 2003 as “health nazis.” A news item stated of this:

The head of the Smokefree Coalition is questioning just how family-friendly United Future is. Party leader Peter Dunne has attacked supporters of the smoke-free bill as “health Nazis” and beady-eyed zealots. Leigh Sturgiss says such language is inappropriate and appalling. She says proponents of tobacco control want to SAVE lives, not destroy them. She says Peter Dunne has a history of voting against tobacco control, which flies in the face of his party’s values.[12]

At the time I wrote to Dunne:

“Dear Mr Dunne

“I was interested in your use of the term ‘health Nazis’ to describe those who seek to legislate for the control of smoking in public places.

“You are probably unaware as to how apt this description is. National Socialist Germany did indeed legislate to control smoking in public places as a social health issue.

“The same regime was also responsible for other “tyrannical” health measures such as compulsory breast testing, testing for TB among workers, the promotion of naturopathic medicine, occupational safety laws, the banning of certain types of pesticide, the promotion of nutritional food and the discouraging of additives, campaigns against alcohol and against butter dyes, restrictions on tobacco advertising. …

“As for ‘health Nazis’ and public smoking, it is because of the type of banal propaganda that has made the Hitler regime synonymous with evil that the link between tobacco and cancer discovered by the 'health Nazi' medical authorities has been suppressed. I wonder how many lives could have been saved if a balanced assessment of the regime had been permitted?

“Also of relevance on this point is that the leader of the “lowest form of humanity”,[13] Hitler, donated the royalties from the sale of Mein Kampf to cancer research. Have you ever undertaken anything as worthy, Mr Dunne?”[14]

Returning to matters of more direct relevance, however, it is notable that among those who were secured by the USA under Operation Paperclip was cancer researcher Dr. Kurt Blome, deputy Reich Health Leader (Reichsgesundheitsführer) and Plenipotentiary for Cancer Research in the Reich Research Council. Dr. Blome was captured and renditioned to the U.S.A., a document stating of his relevance,

“In 1943 Blome was studying bacteriological warfare, although officially he was involved in cancer research, which was however only a camouflage. Blome additionally served as deputy health minister of the Reich. Would you like to send investigators?”[15]

Note that the interest in Dr. Blome was not as a cancer researcher but as a researcher in biological warfare, and the American report refers to the cancer research only incidentally as a cover for Nazi research into bacteriological warfare. The implication is that cancer research in the Reich did not really exist; it was a façade to hide nefarious medical experiments in the pursuit of biological weapons.

National Socialist anti-smoking advertisement

National Socialists led the first anti-smoking campaign in modern history. The link between lung cancer and smoking was first proven in Hitler's Germany. "Mothers avoid alchohol and nicotine."

Dr. Blome, it is stated, was saved from the gallows, having been charged with experimenting on Dachau inmates with vaccinations by the Americans, and “In 1951, he was hired by the US Army Chemical Corps to work on chemical warfare.”[16]

What this indicates is that it was the USA that had the particular interest in German findings on chemical warfare, and had no interest in German research on cancer, giving the impression that there was no real German research on cancer. It should by now be sufficiently known that the USA has itself engaged in medical experiments, and outright psychological torture,[17] on its own citizens, that cannot even be mitigated by the USA having at the time been under direct assault from enemy forces (as Germany was). Pointing out such matters is described as “relativizing the Holocaust,” which is allegedly “worse than Holocaust denial.” One might ask whether such “relativity;’ is so abhorred because it implies that Gentile suffering is as serious as Jewish suffering, violating the Talmudic axiom that Gentiles are inferior?[18] Therefore it was enough for veteran French politician Jean-Marie LePen to have said, “The Holocaust was a detail of Second World War history,” to have him pilloried for “hate crimes,” despite his not having “denied” the reality of the “Holocaust,” nor even apparently the sacrosanct 6,000,000 figure. LePen’s thoughtcrime was that he had “relativized the Holocaust,” or what in Germany is called “minimising the Holocaust,”[19] rather than accepting that it must remain the central tragedy of the entirety of human history.

Such controversies serve to obscure achievements under National Socialism in Germany. Scholarship necessitates objectivity, and this is not possible when studies on the Third Reich must a priori be based on moral absolutism as a form of Zoroastrian duality that necessarily equates anything and everything to do with the Third Reich as inherently evil, including cancer research, ecology, Autobahns and banking reform.

Hence what Professor Robert N. Proctor reports in his book, The Nazi War on Cancer,[20] can only be examined through the war-fever-distorted lens of such pioneering social medicine being undertaken with evil intentions. The same may be said for the Autobahn public works program, its purpose routinely being ascribed to Hitler’s goal of building a road network that would enable Germany’s rapid military mobilization. Occasionally the truth emerges in an incidental manner from out of orthodox academia: In this instance, Dr. Frederic Spotts, in his Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics, writes casually of the Autobahn that at the time it was admired throughout the world as an “innovative, successful and enlightened achievement.”

“Their divided roadways, generous width, superb engineering, environmental sensitivity, harmony with the countryside, tasteful landscaping, cloverleaf entries and exits, sleek bridges and overpasses, Modernist service stations, restaurants and rest facilities were in advance of road systems anywhere else and presented a model for the world.”[21]

While the Autobahn is conventionally represented as an example of Germany’s military preparations, Dr. Spotts has the fortitude to see it another way: “What is not widely appreciated is that Hitler regarded these highways above all else as aesthetic monuments.” For the first time roads were not primarily utilitarian, but enduring art-works comparable to the pyramids.”[22] Dr. Spotts continues:

“The autobahns were therefore intended not so much to facilitate cars going from one place to another as to show off the natural and architectural beauty of the country. Routes were chosen to go through attractive areas without disturbing the harmony of the hills, valleys and forests. Lay-bys were created for travellers to stop and admire the panorama. In some causes the roadway itself made a detour, despite additional costs, to offer a particularly impressive view. Great effort went into construction so as to minimize damage to the environment. …”[23]

The way Dr. Spotts gets away with what at first seems a glowing account of the Reich’s ecological and technical achievements is to describe Hitler’s aesthetic as just “another example of megalomaniac self-indulgence.”[24] Hence, even with this remarkable achievement, as with other major advances in the Third Reich, we must be reminded that ultimately it all rests on the pervasive evil of one man. Be that as it may, regardless of Hitler’s motives, such reductionism prevents a rational and objective consideration of such achievements. Had Dr. Spotts been describing the achievements of highway construction in the USA or England during the 1930s, for example, the reader would be left with an enduring impression of a state that had achieved much that needs reconsidering today. However, since such a remarkable achievement was undertaken under Hitler, it is reduced even by Dr. Spotts to just another example of the megalomania of a uniquely evil person. But Dr. Spotts dispels one of the great myths about the era, that the Autobahn was primarily for the purposes of militarization. Commenting on Todt, head of the project, Spotts states that while Todt’s arguments for the Autobahn included its potential for military purposes,

“Hitler was never taken by this notion. In fact the routes did not run to likely front lines, the surfaces were too thin to support tanks and so on. Far from being helpful to the Wehrmacht, the roads, with their shiny white surfaces, proved so useful to enemy aircraft by providing points of orientation that they had to be camouflaged with paint.”[25]

Hence, while the Autobahn, as much a triumph of ecology as of engineering, can be relegated to the realm of megalomania, the lesson drawn from Professor Proctor’s book on Third Reich cancer and other medical research is, according to the reviewer for The Washington Post, “a concept nearly as unsettling [as Hannah Arendt’s ‘banality of evil’] – the ‘banality of good.’”[26]

Third Reich research into the links between tobacco and cancer therefore becomes trite, dull, trivial, and other such words associated with “banality.” Had the USA been as interested in such research as they were on what the Germans had developed in terms of weapons, then there would be many millions of people who would have been thankful for that research, regardless of the regime under whose auspices it was conducted. That the USA was only interested in German technical and military achievements says more about the character of the US regime than about the Third Reich. However, where the general public hears anything about German medical experiments, it is in regard to alleged abuses on prisoners and “racial inferiors” (sic), by such individuals as Dr. Joseph Mengele, who is described as performing some very unscientific medical experiments despite his eminence as a geneticist. Hence lurid stories like this:

“… Mengele had an added project: that of actually changing eye color in an Aryan direction. Dr. Abraham C. wondered why Mengele was devoting so much attention to a few seven-year-old boys who seemed unremarkable and then realized that “those children had one odd characteristic: they were blond and had brown eyes, so Mengele was trying to find a way to color their eyes blue.” Mengele actually injected methylene blue into their eyes, causing severe pain and inflammation, but ‘their eyes of course did not change.’”[27]

As the last sentence states, “but their eyes of course did not change.” Yet it is expected, or rather demanded, of everyone that a highly qualified geneticist, Dr. Mengele, who apparently believed also in National Socialist racial doctrine, tried to turn non-Aryans into Aryans by artificial means. Could anything be less “racist”? But these tales obscure whatever real achievements, of which there were many, were made under the Third Reich in medicine and public welfare. While the lurid tales continued decades after the war that Mengele created a crop of blue-eyed Brazilians in a remote town, National Geographic finally exposed it in 2009 as a “myth.”[28]

What this “banality of good” – in the words of the Washington Post reviewer of Proctor’s book - included was a pervasive effort to establish a healthy population. Naturally, the motives for this would be said to create a “Master Race” to conquer the world, but regardless of the motives, the results could have benefited mankind had it not been for the suppression of anything of a positive character connected with the Third Reich.

Proctor states that more than a thousand medical doctoral dissertations examined cancer in the twelve years of National Socialist rule. For the first time cancer registries were established, preventive pubic health measures were strengthened, there were laws against the adulteration of food and drugs, bans on smoking, and campaigns warning against the use of cancer-forming cosmetics. Proctor asks the question whether these and other public health measures resulted in the lower incidence of cancer among Germans since the 1950s? This poses a moral dilemma because it means that “one of the most murderous regimes in history” might have succeeded in lowering cancer rates.[29] Other campaigns that have only in recent years become a factor of Western states were the urging of women to have annual or biennial cancer examinations, and women were instructed on breast self-examinations, Germany apparently being the first to undertake such steps.[30] The effects of dust and asbestos on health were studied with a strong emphasis.[31] Proctor states that Germany became the leader in documenting the “asbestos-lung cancer link.” In 1943 the regime became the first to recognize asbestos-induced mesothelioma and lung cancer as “compensable occupational diseases.” American attorneys later drew on this Nazi-era research in litigation. [32]

With the defeat of Germany, Karl Astel, head of the Institute of Tobacco Hazards Research, who had enacted bans on public smoking – something undertaken in New Zealand a few years ago – committed suicide. Reich Health Leader Leonardo Conti hanged himself with his shirt while in Allied detention. Reich Health Office president Hans Reiter served several years in jail, after which he worked at a health clinic, but never returned to public life. Fritz Sauckel, in charge of foreign labor, and the drafter of Astel’s anti-tobacco legislation, was executed in 1946. Proctor comments: “It is hardly surprising that much of the wind was taken out of the sails of Germany’s anti-tobacco movement.”[33] Yet, other scientists were dragooned by the USA into the Cold War weapons projects. Proctor gets to the very point I am making:

Even today, the German anti-tobacco movement has not surpassed the activism and seriousness of the climax years 1939-1941. Tobacco health research is muted, and it is not hard to imagine that memories of the earlier generation’s activism must have helped to perpetuate the silence. Popular memory of Nazi tobacco temperance may well have handicapped the postwar German anti-tobacco movement… It does seem to have shaped how we regard the history of the science involved: the myth that English and American scientists were first to show that smoking causes lung cancer, was a convenient one – both for scholars in the victorious nations and for Germans trying to forget the immediate past. The hoary spectre of fascism is perhaps healthier than we are willing to admit.[34]

Proctor also refers to the method of reductio ad Hitlerum in suppressing anti-tobacco initiatives, an example of this already having been seen in New Zealand with Hon. Peter Dunne’s 2003 comments. Proctor states, “Pro-tobacco advocates have begun to play the Nazi card,”[35] with talk of “Nico-Nazis” and “tobacco fascism.” Proctor refers to Philip Morris of Europe running an advertising offensive in magazines, which identified smokers with ghettoized Jews and anti-smokers with Nazis.[36]

Oddly, Proctor rejects the idea that if Nazi medical research had not been suppressed lives might have been saved. He states that the Allies did indeed take much interest in Nazi scientific research, but proceeds to focus briefly on the military technology.[37] Where were Nazi health researchers sequestered after the war to assist the victor states in researching the causes of cancer, the effects of asbestos, the benefits of healthy diet, etc.? As described previously, they were dead, in jail or relegated to obscurity, while the “rocket scientists” were working diligently on Cold War missiles, before being denounced in their old age. [38]

That public health initiatives being undertaken decades after the Germans undertook the same programs are now being heralded as “new” is a piece of opportunistic flim-flammery. The same can be said also for German ecological measures,[39] with Communists in recent years jumping aboard the Green movement to proclaim themselves in the vanguard of what they now call “Eco-Socialism,” and the Anarchist-Punk enthusiasm for “animal liberation” which was pre-empted decades ago by the Reich provisions on animal welfare.[40]

Opposition to Usury Intrinsically “Nazi”?

Reductio ad Hitlerum is being used to suppress and smear another important issue: that of alternatives to the debt-banking system. Little is understood about the system of Nazi and Fascist finances, and it is generally assumed that Germany in particular achieved economic recovery by armaments spending. Even if we accept that assumption, it explains little. Indeed one of the original aims of the embryonic National Socialist Party when it was still known as the German Workers’ Party, and prior to Hitler’s membership, was the “breaking of the bondage of interest.” A key ideologue of the nascent Party was also the foremost advocate of banking reform in Germany, Gottfried Feder.[41] Interestingly about the same time (1917) the Scotsman C. H. Douglas, an engineer like Feder, was formulating a broadly similar doctrine, Social Credit, and prior to him the inventor Arthur Kitson[42] was advocating the bypassing of the private banking system with the state issuance of debt-free currency according to the production and consumption requirements of society.

During the early part of the Nineteenth Century Guernsey Island issued its own currency when on the verge of destitution, and continues to do so. Lincoln issued Greenbacks, and the Confederacy issued Graybacks based on a cotton standard. President John F Kennedy issued US Treasury Notes. Communities in Germany, Austria and the USA during the Great Depression issued local currencies, which brought them prosperity in the midst of destitution. Australia issued its own credit through the state’s Commonwealth Bank for decades, and New Zealand issued state credit at 1% interest in 1936 through its Reserve Bank to fund the iconic state housing programs, which found work for 75% of the unemployed. Despite the obstructive efforts of the judicial system, a Social Credit Government, in Alberta, Canada, issued “Prosperity Certificates.”[43]

Nationalist Socialist Germany, Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy undertook similar measures in issuing state credit and redeemable work certificates. The remarkable economic achievements of those states in the midst of the Great Depression have been consigned to the Memory Hole.[44] Yet the need to understand the banking system and alternatives to it is as dire now, in the midst of the “global debt crisis” as it was during the Great Depression. A significant difference between then and now is that in the aftermath of World War I many people understood the need to change the banking system and great reform movements such as Social Credit in Alberta and the Labour Party in New Zealand swept to power on the platform of banking reform. Because the three major Axis states also issued state credit, undertook control of banking and brought their nations to prosperity, this important issue has now also been subjected to reductio ad Hitlerum.

A significant victim of this tactic is Stephen M. Goodson, a South African economist who served for several years (2003-2012) as an elected director on the Board of the South African Reserve Bank. Goodson is also an ardent advocate of banking reform and founder of the Abolition of Income Tax and Usury Party. Worse still, he does not shrink from describing the banking systems of Axis Japan and Germany as significant examples of major states that achieved revival by breaking free of usury.[45] For this a campaign of vilification was heaped upon Goodson a few months prior to the end of his twelve-year tenure as a Reserve Bank director. Goodson resigned presumably to pre-empt his removal at the behest of the smear-mongers. While Goodson was labelled a “Holocaust denier” it was his mentioning of the Axis banking systems that was the cause of his predicament.

Goodson came to the Reserve Bank board under provisions that allowed investors to elect a member to represent them. Although Goodson’s nine-year term was due to expire in July 2012, just several months before then a campaign was launched against him , presumably to assure that he could not end his position with good grace. A columnist wrote of him:

“Goodson, who earned R360,000 last year for his services to the bank, more than R70,000 for each of the five meetings he attended, holds contentious views that include admiring the economic policies pursued by Hitler in Nazi Germany, a belief that international bankers financed and manipulated the war against Hitler because they saw his model of state capitalism as a threat to their usurious ways, and that the Holocaust was a fiction invented to extract vast amounts of compensation from the defeated Germans.

“He has argued that similar reasons underpinned the support of the United Nations for the uprising in Libya. Muammar Gaddafi’s usury-free banking system was a threat to global capitalism and had to be destroyed, according to Goodson.”[46]

That the opposition to Goodson came about because he stated some facts on National Socialist Germany’s banking policies is indicated by Steyn:

“But Goodson appears to be pushing pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic views on the internet. In a radio interview last year with American talk show host Deanna Spingola, author of The Ruling Elite: A Study in Imperialism, Genocide and Emancipation, Goodson expressed his admiration for the social achievements during the Third Reich.”[47]

It appears that a sympathetic treatment of Third Reich social and economic policies, a consideration of the era that does not focus on the Holocaust, is synonymous with being “pro-Nazi” and “anti-Semitic.” It therefore becomes impossible to express views on one or two admirable and workable aspects of a regime without being associated with all the other policies and actions of that regime, both real and imagined. To be consistent, defenders of the status quo in the USA should ipso facto be regarded as avid supporters of any and every action undertaken by the USA, including segregation, the injecting of syphilis into Negro prisoners, the My Lai Massacre, ad infinitum.

According to Steyn, the incriminating statements by Goodson on the Spingola radio interview in 2010 were that

“ ‘Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 and in six short years he transformed Germany and reduced unemployment from 30% to zero.

“ ‘He provided everyone with debt-free and decent housing, excellent labour relations and restored respect and honour to all Germans.

“ ‘In these six years, a worker’s paradise was created. There was zero inflation and Germany became the most prosperous and powerful country in the history of Europe.’

“Goodson also said the real reason for World War II was Germany’s progressive economic system.

“ ‘That was the whole basis of World War II. It had nothing to do with human rights or protecting Poland or any of the other reasons that they advance in the history books.

“ ‘Germany — could only be admitted to the family of nations if they abided by the rules of the international bankers.’ ”[48]

After Spingola made a reference to the “Holocaust” and its use by Jewish interests, Steyn remarks that “Goodson appeared to agree.”

“Yes, well, they’ve [Jews] been expelled from over 70 countries, some of them several times. But unfortunately they have such a tight control of the media. Well, there is a small window of hope in that the internet can provide alternative views, but even there they are trying to exercise supervision.”[49]

A secondary and passing reference to the historical phenomenon of Jewish expulsions became a focus for what in fact was Goodson’s long-standing opposition to usury and his comments on Germany and Japan’s banking systems as examples of successful use of state credit.

That Goodson has been cited by “a number of extreme right-wing websites,” is also sufficient to have Goodson associated with anything else posted on those sites. The one example given by Steyn is something called “Incog Man,” presumably because this is probably the most strident of such sites she could find that also quotes Goodson, Incog Man providing Steyn with some very quotable quotes in reference to “nation-wrecking Khazar Jews and Israel-Firster HasbaRATs, braindead White Multicults and Marxists, sicko Sodomites and Lezbos, perverted Paedophile Molesters, freaky Gender-benders, greasy Illegal Mestizos, cocaine-crazed and criminal Negroes”.[50] The implication is that these are also the views of Goodson.

Steyn proceeds with a lengthy discussion on Goodson being related to the (in)famous Mitford family, which has included Marxists and of course Fascists Diana (Mosley) and Unity Mitford.

But the articles that Steyn cites that Goodson has actually written are those concerned with usury and with banking reform:

“Goodson has written many articles that are readily found on the internet. They are often critical of debt finance and ‘the exploitative fractional reserve banking system of the West’, in which private banks are licensed to create money out of nothing.

“In one article, Goodson proposes a Cape Town municipal bank that could fund all infrastructure programmes at zero interest and ratepayers could enjoy a permanent reduction of at least 15% on annual property rates, a drop in the home-loan rate and nominal rates for student loans.

“In two other articles, ‘The truth about Syria” and ‘The truth about Libya”, he praises the economies of both countries, which employed state banks.”[51]

When the Mail and Guardian interviewed a Reserve Bank shareholder on amendments to the Reserve Bank which appear to block the future election of shareholder representatives, “ ‘It was an extraordinary blip on the horizon,’ said shareholder Mario Pretorius. ‘In 2010 the South African Reserve Bank Act was amended to slam every possible door. [Now] there will never be another [Stephen] Goodson or anyone else it doesn’t like.’” Another shareholder said, “Goodson is an odd character. But he did good because he put a lot of pressure on the bank.”[52]

Despite the impending end of Goodson’s tenure within two months, the pressure was applied to get him fired. The South African Israel Public Affairs Committee (SAIPAC) called for Goodson’s immediate sacking or forced “resignation.”[53] SAIPAC Chairman David Hersch stated:

“It is simply not good enough for the Reserve Bank to state that his directorship ends in July and he will not be reappointed. They should be ashamed to have someone like this on their board of directors and now that he has been exposed, they should act immediately.”[54]

South Africa’s Sunday Times then reported that Goodson had resigned in May. Again we see that the main point of objection concerned his praise of the German banking system: “Last month, the Mail & Guardian (M&G) reported that Goodson held contentious views that included admiring the economic policies pursued by Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.”[55]

David Hersch boasted that it was “international pressure” that resulted in Goodson resigning less than two months before the end of his tenure.[56] Had anyone other than Hersch suggested that Jewish pressure was the cause of the outcome, they would have been labelled “anti-Semitic.” However, it was seen by Hersch et al., as a Jewish victory of which to be proud.

The Chinese economist, chairman of the New York-based Liu Investment Group, Henry C. K. Liu,[57] who has written extensively on Third Reich economic policies, has so far been spared the association with white supremacists, and is still able to write columns for The Huffington Post and Asia Times, etc. Liu wrote in Asia Times a detailed article on Third Reich banking policy, stating

“… In fact, German economic recovery preceded and later enabled German rearmament, in contrast to the US economy, where constitutional roadblocks placed by the US Supreme Court on the New Deal delayed economic recovery until US entry to World War II put the US market economy on a war footing. While this observation is not an endorsement for Nazi philosophy, the effectiveness of German economic policy in this period, some of which had been started during the last phase of the Weimar Republic, is undeniable.”[58]

Note that Liu repudiates any notion that the “undeniable” success of Reich economic policy is an “endorsement for Nazi philosophy,” and that he disposes of the cliché of Germany’s economic recovery being based around rearmament. Liu describes “Work Creation Bills” issued by the Reich, commenting: “But the principle of WCBs can be applied to the US or China or any other country today to combat unacceptably high levels of unemployment. Alas, this common-sense approach is faced with firm opposition rationalized by obscure theories of inflation in most countries.”[59]

Dr. Ellen Brown, head of the Public Banking Institute in the USA, cites Liu’s articles.[60] While Liu has been spared the tactic of reductio ad Hitlerum, perhaps because he has secured as respected position for himself as an Asian economist, Dr. Brown is subjected to smears for stating the same. Hence a free-market website, The Daily Bell, triumphantly proclaims that it has proven the evil intent behind banking reform, in a “bombshell” report. The article warns that “the fiat money hoax” is “one of the biggest conspiracies of the modern age.” This conspiracy involves the shock victory of Beppe Grillo and his Five Star movement in the recent Italian elections. Dr. Brown has stated that Grillo has attacked usury and proposed a Social Credit-type national dividend, and state credit. The Daily Bell contends that a conspiratorial apparatus has sought to undermine precious metals and free trade, and that advocacy of “fiat money” is part of this conspiracy. This “conspiracy” is of a “fascist” or “National Socialist” character:

“This contradicts most everything monetary history tells us – as do arguments that the REAL solution to the current financial difficulties of the West involve National Socialist nostrums such as turning over central banking functions to the "people" via governments. This is a fascist solution, and that it has been so widely promoted obviously gives rise to the idea that it is a dominant social theme of the sort we regularly analyze.”[61]

Hence accusations of National Socialism and Fascism become tools of an elitist conspiracy, free-market advocates objecting to these as basically the same forms of collectivism as other types of “socialism.”

“While we never found a ‘smoking gun’ regarding this promotion, it seemed obvious to us that if one turned fiat-money central banking functions over to governments alone (instead of the current joint functionality) things would get even worse, not better. More importantly, Money Power would simply seek to control government banking, as it now controls the current private/public paradigm. Nothing would change. And, of course, that is the point of the exercise.”[62]

Money Power already controls central banking, because the central banks, regardless of whether they are nationalized or have private bondholders, are still merely mechanisms through which the private international debt system operates. It is not central banking per se that banking reformers are promoting, but the use of state or social credit through banks, and this need not be based upon a central bank. Social Credit insists upon a Credit Authority separate from the state, for example, while local currencies have been used many times through history to overcome destitution, without causing inflation or dictatorship, and eliminating the power of these “conspirators” which The Daily Bellers claim to be opposing. They write:

“We tracked this meme back many years and observed numerous individuals promoting it. As we tracked it, we received tremendous pushback from those who did not want this scheme exposed. But we have persevered because it is our brief. We analyze dominant social themes and attempt to unravel their contexts from a cultural and, more importantly, investment point of view.”[63]

Dr. Brown is a front-woman for this “conspiracy,” The Daily Bellers stating:

“Now it appears that Ellen Brown, one of the foremost proponents of the ‘transparency in government meme’ … and the national socialist idea of government controlled central banking has made a definitive connection between Italy’s Beppe Grillo and her own movement. She explains Grillo’s program thusly:

“• unilateral default on the public debt;

“• nationalization of the banks; and

“• a guaranteed "citizenship" income of 1000 euros a month.[64]

“This is beyond shocking. Conservative economist Gary North had it right. Those who back controlling the money via government fiat/central banking are seriously intent on implementing the entire schematic of national socialist economics – as was contemplated before World War II.”[65]

This is seen as a manoeuvre by globalists such as George Soros to raise the spectre of Fascism and frighten people back into supporting the European Union. While I can sympathize with The Daily Bell for suspecting the Five Star movement that suddenly appears from nowhere and commands such immediate support as suspiciously being like Soros jack-ups[66] such as the “color revolutions ” and the “Arab Spring,” which I have exposed many times in detail, something more persuasive is required than The Daily Bell’s tenuous analysis, especially when it smears real opponents of the globalist elite, such as Dr. Brown.

Hence, The Daily Bell proceeds with its own conspiracy theory of how the globalists could really be backing the only people who are effectively seeking to root out the foundation of globalist power: usury:

“This is indeed the proverbial smoking gun. Brown and all the others are part of a chain of events leading to this dénouement. This is how such campaigns work – gradually building to climax, incorporating more and more paid actors to set up blogs, write articles – and even books – to create plausible deniability. The goal has always been to create an upsurge for the kind of economics that Money Power can easily control.”[67]

Again I am very familiar with the type of dialectics The Daily Bellers are suggesting is operating here.[68] However, one could just as easily claim that the free-marketeers of The Daily Bell type are serving globalist interests by attacking those who are offering real alternatives to globalism. It is precisely the doctrines of the free market and usury that maintain the globalist system. If we were to use a semantic device which we shall call reductio ad Marxum it can be argued that free-market capitalism serves the Marxist dialectic. We do not need conjecture, but can cite Marx himself:

“Generally speaking, the protectionist system today is conservative, whereas the Free Trade system has a destructive effect. It destroys the former nationalities and renders the contrast between proletariat and bourgeois more acute. In a word, the Free Trade system is precipitating the social revolution. And only in this revolutionary sense do I vote for Free Trade.”[69]

As I have written elsewhere in detail, the free market is seen as part of the Marxist dialectic.[70] Conversely, there are globalists who see Marxism as part of a capitalist dialectic, described most cogently in Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Between Two Ages.[71] Both regard each as useful in undermining the common enemy: tradition, which Marx condemned most vigorously as “reactionism.” Conservatives of the traditional type, such as Oswald Spengler, as distinct from Whig Liberals who are today misidentified as “Conservatives,” saw the kinship between Capitalism and Free Trade and repudiated both as deriving from the same Nineteenth Century economic zeitgeist. Repudiation of usury remains the means by which the rule of Mammon has been overcome and can be again.


Reductio ad Hitlerum is a piece of semantic jugglery which has been used by the conventionally named Left, Right and Center. The methodology has been used to label proponents of public health as “health Nazis” and “Nico-Nazis.” Ecologists have been called “eco-Nazis.”[72] One blogsite called “The Climate Scum,” “proves” that ecology is “Nazi” by showing an aerial view of a forest planted during the Third Reich, in which certain trees were planted out in the shape of a swastika.[73] The cases of those who are skeptical about anything relating to the Holocaust, or who raise objections to Zionism and Israel being called “Neo-Nazis” are too common to merit specific citations here. Enoch Powell’s prescient “Rivers of blood” speech in 1968 about New Commonwealth immigration into Britain was condemned with allusions to Auschwitz, and the spectre of Neo-Nazism and is still invoked should anyone question Third World immigration. Labour Party luminary Tony Benn at the time said of Powell’s speech: “‘The flag of racialism which has been hoisted in Wolverhampton is beginning to look like the one that fluttered 25 years ago over Dachau and Belsen,”[74] and so it remains…

Now, in the midst of a global debt crisis, where there is a glimmer – albeit even this still far too dim – of resurgence of interest in alternatives to usury and debt, reductio ad Hitlerum is unleashed upon banking-reform advocates. The method is a social evil that obfuscates solutions for the challenges of today, by denying the legitimacy of policies that have been tried and proven.


[1] K R Bolton, “Historical Revisionism and 'Relativising the Holocaust,’” Inconvenient History, http://inconvenienthistory.com/archive/2012/volume_4/number_2/
[2] Leo Strauss (1953), Natural Right and History (University of Chicago Press, 1973), pp. 42-43.
[3] “The Hitler Card,” The Fallacy Files, online: http://www.fallacyfiles.org/adnazium.html
[4] Interview of Betsy Hartmann by Fred Pearce, “The Greening of Hate,” New Scientist, February 20, 2003, online: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/25b/027.html
[5] Ibid.
[6] Leo Strauss, Measure: A Critical Journal (Indiana: Henry Regnery), Vol. 2, 1951.
[7] Thomas Fleming, Chronicles (Rockford, Illinois), May 2000, p. 11.
[8] For example: John J Ray, “Hilter was a Leftist: Nazi gun control,”http://constitutionalistnc.tripod.com/hitler-leftist/id14.html
[9] Chris Miles, “Hitler Gun Control Facts: U.S. Pro-Gun Advocates Have More in Common With Hitler Than They Think,” PolicyMic, http://www.policymic.com/articles/22692/hitler-gun-control-facts-u-s-pro-gun-advocates-have-more-in-common-with-hitler-than-they-think
[10] Ibid.
[11] “Operation Paperclip,” online: http://www.operationpaperclip.info/
[12] “Anti-smoking lobby denies being ‘health nazis’,” Newstalk ZB News, September 18, 2003.
[13] As Dunne described the “Nazis.”
[14] K R Bolton to Hon. Peter Dunne, 19 September 19 2003, online: http://www.adelaideinstitute.org/Dissenters/bolton4.htm


That this letter appeared on the website of the Australian “holocaust denial” website of the Adelaide Institute, founded by Dr. Frederick Toben (a Kantian who studied in New Zealand under Karl Popper, and when I knew him, evinced no interest in National Socialism) is more than sufficient to have this writer branded as “a close associate of Toben’s” and “New Zealand’s leading holocaust denier,” by Marxist smear-mongers.

[15] Operation Paperclip: “Kurt Blome,” http://www.operationpaperclip.info/kurt-blome.php
[16] Ibid.
[17] See: Gordon Thomas, Journey into Madness: Medical Torture and the Mind Controllers (London: Corgi Books 1989).
[18] See: Israel Shahak: Jewish History, Jewish Religion (London: Pluto Press, 1994).
[19] Jean-Marie Le Pen repeats Holocaust comments in European Parliament,” The Telegraph, 25 March 2009, online: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/5050338/Jean-Marie-Le-Pen-repeats-Holocaust-comments-in-European-Parliament.html
[20] Robert N Proctor, The Nazi War on Cancer (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1999).
[21] Frederic Spotts, in his Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics (London: Hutchison, 2002), p. 386.
[22] Ibid.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Ibid., p. 387.
[25] Ibid., p. 394.
[26] Blurb on the back cover of The Nazi War on Cancer, op. cit.
[27] Dr.Robert J Lifton, Nazi Doctors: Medical killing and the Psychology of Genocide, online: http://www.holocaust-history.org/lifton/LiftonT362.shtml
[28] Brian Handwerk, “’Nazi Twins’ a Myth: Mengele not behind Brazil Boom?,” National Geographic News, November 25, 2009, online: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/11/091125-nazi-twins-brazil-mengele.html
[29] Proctor, op. cit., p. 19.
[30] Ibid., p. 29.
[31] Ibid., p. 107.
[32] Ibid., p. 111.
[33] Ibid., p. 227.
[34] Ibid., p. 228.
[35] “The Nazi Card” is another term for reductio ad Hitlerum; see “The Fallacy Files,” op. cit.
[36] Ibid., p. 271.
[37] Ibid., p. 273.
[38] See for example: Thomas Franklin, An American in Exile: The Story of Arthur Rudolf (Huntsville, Alabama: Christopher Kaylor Company, 1987)
[39] Anna Bramwell, Blood and Soil: Walther Darré & Hitler’s “Green Party” (Buckinghamshire: The Kensal Press, 1985).
[40] “Reich Law on Animal Protection,” 24 November 1933, online: http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/Germany/Nazianimalrights.htm
[41] See: G Feder (1918), Manifesto for the Breaking of the Financial Slavery to Interest, English translation and introduction by Dr. Alexander Jacob (Surrey: Historical Review Press, 2013); G. Feder (1923) The German State on a National and Socialist Foundation (Surrey: Historical Review Press, 2013).
[42] “Arthur Kitson,” http://www.yamaguchy.com/library/kitson/kitson_index.html
[43] K R Bolton, The Banking Swindle: Money Creation and the State (London: Black House Publishing, 2013), pp. 79-123.
[44] Ibid., pp. 103-120.
[45] K R Bolton, The Banking Swindle, op. cit., p. 116. Goodson wrote a “Foreword” to this book.
[46] Lisa Steyn, “Reserve Banks Holocaust Denier,” Mail and Guardian, April 13, 2012, online: http://mg.co.za/article/2012-04-13-reserve-banks-holocaust-denier
[47] Ibid.
[48] Ibid.
[49] Ibid.
[50] Ibid.
[51] Ibid.
[52] Ibid.
[53] Boruch Shubert, “South African Jews Call for Dismissal of Pro-Nazi Banker,” The Jewish Voice, May 2, 2012, online: http://jewishvoiceny.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1034:south-african-jews-call-for-dismissal-of-pro-nazi-banker&catid=106:international&Itemid=289
[54] Elad Bernari, “South African Bank director Expresses Support for Nazis,” Arutz Sheva, April 20, 2012 online: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/154943#.UUTd-Dcr3T4
[55] “SARB Director Quits After Hitler Claims,” TimesLive, May 4, 2012 online: http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2012/05/04/sarb-director-quits-after-hitler-claims
[56] Lisa Steyn, “Goodson Quits after Article,” Mail and Guardian, May 17, 2012, http://mg.co.za/article/2012-05-17-goodson-quits-after-article
[57] Henry C K Liu, http://henryckliu.com/
[58] Henry C K Liu, “Global Economy Part 10: Nazism and the German economic miracle,” Asia Times Online, May 24, 2005, online: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/GE24Dj01.html
[59] Ibid.
[60] Ellen Brown, “Thinking outside the box: how a bankrupt Germany solved its infrastructure problems,” The Web of Debt, August 9, 2007, online: http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/bankrupt-germany.php
[61] “Bombshell Confirmation the Paper Money Hoax Is Real,,” The Daily Bell – Home of the Internet Reformation and of Free-Market Thinking, March 15, 2013, online: http://www.thedailybell.com/28834/Bombshell-Confirmation-the-Paper-Money-Hoax-Is-Real
[62] Ibid.
[63] Ibid.
[64] Ibid.
[65] Ibid.
[66] “Italy’s top Pol Grillo Being Groomed for Disruption by Soros?,” The Daily Bell, 12 March 2013, http://www.thedailybell.com/28812/Italys-Top-Pol-Beppe-Grillo-Being-Groomed-for-Disruption-by-Soros
[67] “Bombshell Confirmation the Paper Money Hoax Is Real,” op. cit.
[68] K R Bolton, Revolution from Above (London: Arktos Media Ltd., 2011), pp. 213-244.
[69] Karl Marx, Appendix to Elend der Philosophie, 1847.Cited in: K R Bolton, The Banking Swindle, op. cit., p. 161.
[70] K R Bolton, The Banking Swindle, ibid., “The Real Right’s Answer to Socialism & Capitalism,” pp. 152-174.
[71] K R Bolton, Revolution from Above, op. cit., “Capitalist and Marxist Dialectics,” pp. 9-14.
[72] “Eco Nazism,” The Atheist Libertarian, February 16, 2013, online: http://www.theatheistlibertarian.com/eco-nazism/
[73] “Eco-nazis – yes that is what they are!,” The Climate Scum, February 26, 2011, online: http://theclimatescum.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/eco-nazis-yes-that-is-what-they-are.html
[74] James Cotton, “Enoch Powell – Voice of the Nation,” Traditional Britain Group, 9 May 2012, online: http://www.traditionalbritain.org/content/enoch-powell-voice-nation-ludwig-james

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Kerry R. Bolton
Title: "Reductio ad Hitlerum" as a Social Evil
Sources: Inconvenient History, 5(2) (2013)
Published: 2013-07-01
First posted on CODOH: Feb. 19, 2014, 6 p.m.
Last revision:
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