Originally posted at Liberty Nation by Tim Donner.
For more than seven decades, it has been conventional wisdom that Nazis and fascists are products of far-right extremism. Ever since the rise to power of Hitler and Mussolini in the run-up to World War II, and their subsequent demise, Americans have been taught that these monstrous regimes were the result of a murderous, racist – and right-wing – school of thought.
The election of President Donald Trump has served to breathe fresh life into this assertion, as leftists scream loudly and often that Trump is the heir to Hitler and Mussolini, that he is a full-on white supremacist. Never mind that Trump made a greater effort to appeal to black voters than any Republican candidate in recent history – and won more of the black vote than either Mitt Romney or John McCain, the two previous GOP presidential nominees.
In one obvious sense, the purveyors of conventional wisdom are right: Nazism and fascism are of course the products of deep-seated racism and anti-Semitism. But in an exclusive interview on Liberty Nation Radio about his latest book, The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left, author and conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza explains his exhaustive research and remarkable conclusion that these ideologies are actually a product of the far-left:
LN: Dinesh, how can it be that for all these years, more than 70 since Hitler and Mussolini were vanquished, we’ve been told that Nazism and fascism is a product of the far-right when you claim its genesis was clearly on the far-left?
Mr. D’Souza: Well, the reason it can be that is that after World War II, when American troops liberated the concentration camps and fascism and Nazism became permanently discredited, the progressives who were coming to power in America, in the universities, in the media, in Hollywood, these guys knew about the sordid, intimate connections between the left wing of the Democratic Party in America and the fascists in Mussolini’s Italy, as well as the early Nazis in Germany. They knew about this. But they knew that it would be the end of progressivism and the end of the Democratic Party if young people found it about it, and so this is when the big lie got hatched. The big lie was essentially, “Let’s cover up all the connections between the Left and Nazism, and let’s try to move fascism and Nazism from the left-wing column, where they’ve always belonged, into the right-wing column.” This is not something that started with Trump. As you say, it started 75 years ago, really in 1945 with the end of World War II.
ANTIFA ARE THE FASCISTS
LN: Now, let’s take it into the current time for a moment here. Americans are increasingly being exposed to the fascist tactics and brutality of the so-called anti-fascists, Antifa. Can you draw a straight line from the Nazis in Hitler’s Germany and fascists in Mussolini’s Italy, leading up to and including World War II, to the Antifa of today?
Mr. D’Souza: They’re virtually indistinguishable, and by that I mean, you know … I came of age in the ’80s in America, the Reagan era. It was an era of gentlemen’s politics, and even though Reagan and Tip O’Neill could have it out politically, you could envision them having a beer afterwards. Now, when you see these physical, violent clashes going on, not only on the campus but in major cities and even during the presidential inauguration, you begin to see that this was actually the mood in Italy in the ’20s and in Germany in the early ’30s. Not only does Antifa use fascist tactics, they have a fascist ideology. The fascist ideology is essentially state control of business and state control of the lives of individuals. It’s not just in tactics but also in philosophy that Antifa very closely mirrors the Nazism that they’re supposedly fighting.
LN: Dinesh, at what point in time was the Left able to essentially seal the deal in terms of attaching Nazism to the Right instead of themselves?
Mr. D’Souza: Well, this really happened in the ’40s and ’50s, and it had one massive fact going for it, and that is that in World War II itself, the Soviet Union, i.e., the communists, were on one side, and the fascists and the Germans, the Nazis, were on the other. The Left was able to say, “Look, gee, obviously if Soviet Communism is left-wing, fascism must be right-wing.” But this was in a sense itself a camouflage. Why? Because sometimes ideologies that are very close in belief nevertheless do go to war against each other. A good example would be the Catholics and the Protestants, for example, in the Thirty Years’ War, or the Shia and the Sunni. The Shia and the Sunni are both inside the house of Islam. They agree on about 99% of their theology, but they’ve been fighting for centuries. Why? Not just over fine points of theology but also over converts, over territory, over power. When we look back at the 20th century, we see that fascism and communism were sister ideologies that went to war against each other in World War II.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
LN: Dinesh, you quote a number of progressive historians or scholars in your book, meaning that those who take issue with the book have to answer to historians with a seemingly vested interest in advancing the usual narrative of Nazis being a product of the far-right. Describe to me some of the most notable reaction to this explosive book from the left.
Mr. D’Souza: Well first of all, as you say, I rely heavily on the greatest living scholars of fascism. Some of these are European scholars, like Renzo De Felice of Italy, the scholar at Berkeley, A. James Gregor, Stanley Payne of the University of Wisconsin. I also rely on progressives who are on the left, people like James Whitman of Yale, or Timothy Snyder who’s also at Yale. Now, what’s interesting is at no point do I quote right-wing sources or right-wing historians, and yet there’s a deadly silence about the arguments from the folks from the Left. In fact, to me it’s quite amusing because I’ve been listening to people like Bill Maher, Van Jones, Rachel Maddow, bloviating about fascism ever since Trump’s election, and now finally here’s a book that discusses all this in some exhaustive detail, and they’ve all gone running down the rabbit hole, not a word from them. They won’t have me on their shows. I guess they don’t want me to make them look like fools.
PLAYING THE FASCIST CARD
LN: You also produced an important movie during the 2016 election campaign entitled Hillary’s America, which is all about not just Hillary Clinton but the racist roots of the Democratic Party, revealing to those who weren’t already aware that the Democrats were the party of slavery and the KKK and Jim Crow and segregation and Bull Connor and water hoses and dogs set on black people. Is their attempt to whitewash their own history of racism comparable to their effort to lay off Nazism on the Right?
Mr. D’Souza: That’s beautifully put. That is exactly what they’re doing. They’ve been playing the race card to great effect. I mean, to such great effect that our side was buying into the big lie. This fellow Ken Mehlman, the former head of the RNC, the Republican National Committee, was going around to black churches apologizing for the Republican Party’s racist history. The poor fool obviously didn’t realize that there is no racist history to apologize for, but he has been suckered into buying into the progressive big lie. Now the Left has moved from racism to fascism, and they’re playing the fascist card against Trump, and that is an equally fraudulent card.
I show that Hitler literally got some of his most vicious genocidal schemes directly from American progressives or from the American Democratic Party. The Nuremberg Laws, for example, the notorious laws that turned Jews into second-class citizens and resulted in the confiscation of Jewish property, these were essentially built directly from blueprints supplied by American Democrats – they were just like the Jim Crow laws of the American South. These aren’t similarities; they’re direct causal connections. And yet there’s a stuttering silence about it across this whole swath of the American Left in response to the book.
THE ATTACK ON NATIONALISTS
LN: Well, the most obvious evidence of your book hitting the mark might be in the actual name of the Nazi Party itself, the National Socialist German Workers’ party, correct?
Mr. D’Souza: Yes, this was part of the ingenuity of the big lie, that the Left, after World War II, they sort of got the socialism out of national socialism. They define Nazism in such a way, in such a vague way, that they can now say things like, “Well, you know, Trump is a nationalist because he’s an authoritarian.” Wait a minute. We’ve had authoritarians from the beginning of time going back to perhaps Julius Caesar, and they weren’t obviously all fascists. Or, “Trump is a fascist because he’s a nationalist.” Wait a minute, you know, Gandhi was a nationalist, Mandela was a nationalist in South Africa, all the anti-colonial leaders were nationalists. Obviously, again, those people weren’t fascists. What’s happened is the Left has created a fake fascism so that they can pin the fascist tail on the Republican elephant, whereas what I show is it belongs squarely on the Democratic donkey.
Lincoln united his party and saved America from the Democrats for the first time. Can Trump—and we—come together and save America for the second time?
Death of a Nation is in theaters nationwide August 3! Click here to learn more.