The GOP uses deception and fears to try to break the president and his agenda for change. Ultra-right broadcasters even lie about our World War II enemy. Their claims about health care, big business and “socialism” in Nazi Germany are not only untrue, but vicious and ignorant.
Right-wing radio and television propagate the lie that the Nazis supported national health care. Germany’s national health care system was created under Otto von Bismarck in 1883, nearly 40 years before fascism in Italy and nearly 50 years before Nazism. Nazi Germany, like the present Republican Party, opposed the policy but failed to defeat mass sentiment. The right-wing claim is not only a lie, but an insult to our World War II troops. Those troops did not fight against an enemy that supported health care rights; they fought against and saved the world from fascist dictatorship. The Republican Party leadership utters not one word of protest for this monstrous lie. But there are more GOP lies.
When they claim that Hitler and the Nazis hated big business, the right wingers once again ignore and desecrate history. Hitler did nothing to reduce the profits of and exploitation by German and even U.S. corporations. Large firms, including U.S. employers, cut labor costs drastically. According to Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels in “Profits Above All: American Corporations and Hitler,” Ford-Werke reduced labor costs by 25% under the Nazis. Coca-Cola bragged that workers at the Coke plant in Essen were “little more than serfs forbidden not only to strike, but to change jobs.” Workers were driven to work harder and faster while their wages “were deliberately set quite low.” The Nazis murdered workers in the service of corporations like Krupp and I.G. Farben. The Nazis dissolved labor unions and threw anti-fascists into jail and concentration camps. The profits and power of big business increased in Nazi Germany to unprecedented heights.
The claim that the Nazis were socialists is another lie. Socialism was on the agenda for nearly five decades in Germany. German fascists used the term “national socialist” to attract voters, but they were most certainly not socialists. Nazis were and remain violently opposed to socialism. A socialist government sides with trade unions. A socialist government by definition demands health care, public education and all other democratic rights. A socialist government does not wage aggressive wars. A socialist government does not use war economy to avoid crises. A socialist government does not deny workers’ democratic rights. A socialist government certainly does not imprison, torture, and murder anti-fascists. Big business did not support the Nazis in words and deeds to bring about socialism; they turned to fascism to protect wealth and privilege.
The Nazi opposition to health care, the Nazi support for big business, and the Nazi opposition to socialism, trade union and other democratic rights are eerily similar to the GOP compliance of the ultra right in Congress and on the air-waves.