Militia/finance capital

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Wed Aug 30 04:51:03 MDT 1995


Bryan suggested:

>An obvious and immediate angle of appeal (or attack) for a left approach
>to the militias is to work with their hatred of finance capital.

In his classic study of fascism Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of
National Socialism, Franz Neumann wrote:

National Socialist anti-capitalism has always exempted productive capital,
that is, industrial capital, from its denunciations and solely concentrated
on 'predatory' (that is, banking) capital...On 14 Oct 1930, the National
Socialist parliamentary group introduced into the democratic parliament a
draft bill demanding the confiscation without indemnity of the 'entire
property of the bank and stock exchange barons, of the eastern Jews, and of
other foreigners who had entered ater 1 August 1914, and of all additional
property acquired thorugh war, revolution, inflations, or deflation after
that date.' When the Communists and Social Democrats declared their
intention of voting for the bill, the National Socialists quickly withdres
their motion.  Still the attack against 'predatory' as opposed to
'productive' capital did not cease;; on the contrary, it increased by leaps
and bounds.  The slogan was no doubt popular--a bank is always a creditor
of the small and little businessman and therefore hated as a creditor
usually is.  Interests on loans are no doubt not the outcome of productive
labor, though they are necessary within the capitalistic system.  Finance
capital as identified with banking capital has always beenthe target of all
pseudo-socialist movements, movements that never dared to touch the
foundations of capitalist society but rather  sought a reform that would
brak the poisonous teeth off the the capitalist system and direct the deep
resentment of the masses against exploitation toward certain concrete
symbols.  Whether the chosen symbol is John Pierpont Morgan or a Jewish
banker is immaterial.

"In singling out predatory capital, National Socialism treads in the
footsteps of Proudhon, who...demanded the liquidation of the Banque de
France and its transformation into a institution of 'public utility'
together with a lowering of interest to one-half or one-fourth of 1
percent.  The Communist Manifesto had already denounced that type of
socialism, the so-called 'True Socialism', as specifically Germanic.  Marx,
in a letter to Engels on 8 August 1851, had, with supreme wit, denounced
Proudhon's fight against banking capital and interest as a sham.  He had
already pointed out that the so-called 'social liquidation' is 'merely the
means of starting afresh the healthy bourgeois society.'  The theory
expresses the longings of every non-industrial capitalist to become an
industrial capitalist-- a quite understandable wish.  The anti-finance
capitalistic propaganda may have had even a certain amount of truth in it
when banking capital was really decisve, when banks could control, merge
and acquire industries, when money alone represented economic power.  But,
as we shall see, that period is far behind  us, and it is important to
realize that Natl Socialist anti-capitalism and its fight against predatory
capital was raised to the rank of the supreme economic priniciple in a
period when banking capital has lost its significance, when the investment
banker has lost his power, when money alone cannot found economic empires,
when, in short, industry has become financially almost self-sufficient,
when it not only finances its own expansion by its own means but even
penetrates into banks and insurance institutions and subjugates them to the
needs of the industrial capitalists." p. 320-321

RB



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