Repression of free speech is not a new phenomenon. The curbing of freedom to fit politically correct agendas has been done by authoritarian elites before both Cicero and Seneca. The modern version enters the scene after World War II with the neo-Marxist thinking of people like Herbert Marcuse, the father of the student revolution in the 1960s. In “A critique of pure tolerance,” Marcuse speaks of the need to change oppressive conditions the majority population represents – defined as the ideas of the bourgeoisie, the Christians and conservatives. The majority groups became the enemy.
Marcuse’s words reveal the authoritarian pursuit, stating that repressing the worldview of the majority is necessary to achieve the desired goal: to change the value system and revolutionize the culture in the West. An open and free society with respect for difference of opinion represents the kind of tolerance that strengthens the “tyranny of the majority,” he states, “against which authentic liberals protested.” His definition of a liberal is consequently a person who is bent on demolishing the ideas of the majority. In other words, suppression of non-Marxist views was needed to strengthen “liberal progressive” ideas. Marcuse’s words on the need for suppression clearly illustrates the lack of respect for free thinking rooted within critical theory, a tendency that later was to bloom into what we today experience as a regressive, illiberal left. And underlying it all, a strong socialist state and the centralization of power were vital for this radical shift in the West to succeed.
In this ideological environment, the EU was born in Europe as a steel and coal union – funded by the same German capitalists that had dominated Hitler’s Germany – and the work toward a Europe with a strong centralized government began. In many ways, the EU represents a Regional Socialism as opposed to the National Socialism that failed in Germany. Both National Socialism and now Regional Socialism sought to control the European region, both bearing in common a radical dislike toward the traditional and religious European values. The work to feverishly erase the memory that intolerant Nazi Socialism was, in fact, left-wing has been most successful. This has been pointed out by many, among them author Jonah Goldberg in “Liberal Fascism.” The Nazi Party stood for a strong centralization of government and power, a rigid culture of consensus, few individual liberties and strong media indoctrination with heavy use of propaganda.
Few seem to recall that the Nazi Party was a form of socialism. Communism, socialism and National Socialism were all influenced by this root-ideology. At the time, Hitler fought Communist Russia, often referring to its ideology as the enemy, yet pure Marxist thinking influenced both. And Hitler steadily spoke about the importance of the Socialist approach in National Socialism as the solution for Germany.
Hermann Rauschning, who knew Hitler personally, wrote in “Hitler Speaks: A Series of Political Conversations with Adolf Hitler On His Real Aims,” a work first published in 1939 and thoroughly researched since, that Hitler felt profoundly indebted to the Marxist tradition. Hitler said that his differences with Communists were more tactical than ideological.
Hitler also spoke, as stated in the memoirs of his friend Otto Wagener, “Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant,” of the importance of ending the age of individualism and transcending into a socialist state without revolutions such as that of Lenin. The route of revolution quenched the educated bourgeoisie, Hitler felt, thus the need to enforce a strong socialist state without removing the structures of the elite. As pointed out by George Watson in The Independent, this early account of Hitler’s opinions shows that he initially believed in socialism without civil war. Hitler also deviated from Marxism by accentuating the importance of racial and ethnic heritage. He emphasized nationalism – the belief in the fatherland, rather than “the internationalist proletariat,” the classical Marxist ideal of a borderless, “globalist” society.
Eventually, as the advocates of critical theory reached the peak of their own institutional power, they too became infected by the same virus that had plagued the bourgeoisie before them. Power tends to corrupt and “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” as historian Lord Acton put it. The once “oppressed” progressives – socialist underdogs fighting for “justice for the worker” – became the new oppressive bourgeoisie who were just as skillful as the previous generation in securing power and influence at the expense of others. They became the new, illiberal Western elite.