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Nazi Economics: Ideology, Theory, and Policy Hardcover – November 28, 1990

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"... grapples boldly with some of the most puzzling riddles posed by Nazism." --Henry Ashby Turner, Journal of Modern History
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First edition (November 28, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300044666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300044669
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,575,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This book dissects the ludicrous meme that hoodwinks so many in academia and Hollywood, that Nazism was someone the logical spawn of the free market. The Nazis believed in private property only insofar as it served the state, "The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his people...The 3rd Reich will always retain the right to control the owners of property." This ideology articulated in the Nazi party platform is foreign to and incompatible w/ Capitalism. Then when you look at the specifics of the job creation, unemployment was reduced entirely through public works and Gov't spending, and the price controls put in place in the mid-30s, and the capital punishment of "profiteers", well you get the picture, and there's plenty more in this book.
The Nazis and Communists were both spawned from the late 19th Century ideological crisis outlined by Nietschze, the Death of God by Darwin and Newton and all that jazz. "What is to Be Done?", to quote the Leftist manifesto that inspired Lenin, well the Nazi Party agreed -- something drastic had to be done. The Commies, the fascists, the Nazis had all lost hope in individual liberty and eternal values secured by a just God -- the cornerstones of Anglo-American "conservatism" -- and so a strong Gov't was needed to replace the absentee, dead landlord. Society was to be reorganized from the top according to either nationalist, race, or class lines. The individual was merely a clog in the machine, worthless unless in relation to the group. The differences are cosmetic, the tyrannical results and intellectual structures the same.
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Format: Hardcover
Barkai's book explores an aspect of Nazism that seldom gets serious attention. It is often the case that people assume that Hitler was a supporter of capitalism because he opposed communism and attacked the USSR. Barkai proves that Hitler was an extreme interventionist. Barkai demonstrates that Hitler tolerated private property only so long as private owners used "their" property in ways that served the common good, as defined by Hitler. He shows how Hitler reserved and frequently exercised unlimited power to regulate enterprise and personal behavior in Germany. Barkai also demonstrates the close similarity between the thinking of Nazi economists and the ideas of the founder of demand side economics, John Maynard Keynes. This book is disturbing because it shows a similarity in both economic policies and thinking between western social democracies and one of the two most horrible dictatorships ever. It also renders the notion of Hitler as a pro- free market capitalist absurd. I recommend this book to both Historians and Economists, though I suspect that many will find that it makes comparisons that hit too close to home for comfort.
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Format: Hardcover
In the classic Star Trek series episode, "Patterns of Force," Capt. James T. Kirk finds out that a professor of his had become the leader of a planet which had adopted Nazism. Spock pointed out that Germany had "risen" from a small nation broken by war & economic depression to threaten world domination on Earth.

I became more curious about this upon reading liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith's books & also a book by Norwegian political scientist Ton Notermans's, "Money, Markets, & the State: Social Democratic Economic Policies Since 1918" that covered the 20th century economic histories of 5 European countries up to 1990: Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, & Sweden. I went to my local library in Le Sueur, MN. I got on the computer. I accessed the inter-library loan website that allows you to get books from mostly any public or campus library in Minnesota. I used "nazi economics" as a search term. I found a book titled "Nazi Economics." That seemed to be the best book (if not the only one) that would offer an account about that subject.

The book is by Avraham Barkai. He is a German language scholar (whose books have been translated into English). Born in Berlin in 1921, he lives on a kibbutz in Israel, & researches anti-semitism. Without knowing more, my assumption is that he is Jewish, himself. His readable, relatively short book on Nazi Economics covers a lot of ground. The German original was published years before the English translation of it in 1990. At the time he did research on the book, he was able to interview former officials of the Nazi regime responsible for its financial & economic policies.
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