The spread of Bolshevik doctrines in the continent of Europe was viewed by Italy and Germany with great apprehension. They had hoped to succeed to political and economic dominance in the world on the decline of the then dominant powers — England, France and the USA. Imagining that these older powers were entering upon a state of decline, these new powers began to cherish dreams of world dominance. Germany, Italy and Spain were in the forefront of those who fancied themselves in this role. To them the spread of Bolshevik doctrines seemed nothing less than the death-knell of their hopes and ambitions. Like vultures they hovered around a dying bullock. Germany and Italy were waiting for the collapse of England, France and the USA hoping they would succeed to a position of dominance and would be able to exploit the world for a long time to come. A movement, which had as its object the upsetting of all States as then conceived and organized, appeared to these new powers a very dangerous one and evoked a strong reaction in these countries. In Italy, it became Fascism under the leadership of Mussolini; in Germany, Hitler laid the foundations of Nazism; and in Spain, Franco became the leader of the Falangists.
All these movements were a challenge to Bolshevism which naturally made a strong appeal to the poorer sections in all countries. They imagined that under the Bolshevik system everybody would be supplied with an abundance of the necessaries of life — food, clothing, medicine; and that all their needs would be readily satisfied. Distance lends charm. So, in this country there are people who favour the Bolshevik system and believe that under that system the agents of the State go from house to house and deliver to the inmates food, clothing and such other articles as they may need. They do not realize that if this movement were to spread, the present economic system will go, and under the new one everybody would have food and clothing, but at the same time the surplus would be taken away by the State to be utilized by it in whatever manner it pleases.
People on the continent of Europe began to be affected by Bolshevik propaganda and began to lend their support to a system which promised to secure a comfortable living for everybody, and to do away all pain and privation.
As I have said, Hitler and Mussolini invented Nazism and Fascism as weapons to fight Bolshevism. They explained that under their systems, too, the State would assume control over industry and commerce and over the wealth of the nation and would bring about a more equitable distribution so as to afford relief to the poorer sections of the population. Under these systems the State became an intermediary between the man of capital and the worker, so as to secure better return and better conditions for the worker. On the other hand it was also stressed that it was necessary to foster the nation’s resources and wealth by means of increased commerce and greater industrialisation, so that more wealth should become available for distribution among the poor. It was pointed out that for the promotion of national prosperity and the raising of the standard of living of the poor it was necessary to foster international commerce by means of which they could exploit other countries and utilize their wealth to relieve poverty and distress at home. For this purpose it was necessary to develop national shipping, national industry and national and international commerce. It was pointed out that big merchants and big industrialists helped increase national wealth and, like the goose that laid the golden egg, should be fed rather than starved. The greater the amount of wealth they produced, the more would it be available for distribution among the poor. It would be more beneficial for the workers and the poor that the industrial and commercial classes should continue to earn and accumulate wealth which could be continuously utilized for the benefit of the poor rather than that their wealth should be confiscated once for all.
It was next pointed out that Bolshevism was opposed to Imperialism and did not favour the domination of one people by another. On the other hand, England, France and the United States of America had for a long time exploited other nations and countries through political or economic domination, and now it was their turn to enrich themselves by similar means. It was no use preaching to them that such a policy was open to objection for this reason or that. They were entitled to do what the other great powers had been doing hitherto. As it was claimed that this policy would relieve the poorer sections of their population, it naturally found favour with these sections.
It was further alleged that England, France and the USA were secretly encouraging the spread of Bolshevism, so that Germany and Italy should not be able to claim their legitimate share in the wealth of the world. This allegation also helped confirm the people of Germany and Italy in their opposition to Bolshevism.
Another aspect to which attention was drawn was that Germany and Italy were economically poor countries as compared with England, France and the USA Even if the whole of their national wealth were distributed at once and equally amongst their people, no general prosperity would result, so that the enforcement of Bolshevik principles would not afford much relief to the poorer sections, nor make them as prosperous as the people of England, France and the USA were without Bolshevism. The introduction of Bolshevism would prove fatal to these countries. On the other hand, the aggressive policy of Fascism and Nazism would result in the collapse of England, France and the USA and would enable Germany and Italy to appropriate the greater part of the wealth of the world, the distribution of which by the National Socialist State would set up a general level of prosperity much higher than could be achieved under the Bolshevik system.
These theories whether well or ill-founded began to attract support in Germany, Italy and Spain, in spite of the fact that Bolshevik propaganda had already had a start in these countries. The people of these countries began to hope that they would be more prosperous under the National Socialist system, than under the Bolshevik system. These countries, therefore, progressively adopted the National Socialist programme under different names with the object of pulling down England, France and the USA so as to be able to appropriate the wealth of these countries as well as of the rest of the world for their own use.
Another doctrine propagated by the National Socialists was that in order to strengthen their national system they had to fight not only Bolshevism but also such religious systems as received their direction and inspiration from outside. These systems were regarded as sources of strife and weakness. It was in pursuance of this theory that Hitler began to persecute the Jewish and Roman Catholic faiths. Afraid lest Jews, who occupied a position of predominance in Russia, should work for the spread of Bolshevism in Germany, Hitler adopted the policy of extermination of the race in Germany, even of those sections of it which had adopted the Christian religion. As the non-Catholic German people owe no spiritual allegiance to any authority outside Germany, he had no fear that they would at any time look for directions or guidance from any quarter outside Germany. He thinks that the Germans ought to have a distinctive faith of their own, however barbaric its doctrines may be. This theory has given rise to religious movements in Germany which seek to lead the German people to their pre-Christian pagan beliefs. One of these movements, for instance, which had the support of General Ludendorf and his wife, sought to restore the ancient worship of the dog in Germany. All this is the result of Hitler’s view that no religion should be encouraged in Germany which has its centre outside the country. Italy has not adopted this doctrine to the same extent as Germany has. One reason for this is that Rome itself is the centre of the Roman Catholic faith. The Fascist Party, therefore, has not started any direct opposition to Roman Catholicism, but they have, to some extent, tried to check its influence, so that the Church should not interfere unduly with the political activities of the party. Later on, under Hitler’s influence, the Fascists also began to adopt an anti-semitic policy, because it was pointed out to them that the Jews not only supported the Bolsheviks, but also tried to strengthen the three capitalist powers. Spain is opposed to Bolshevism and to the capitalist Powers but has not adopted any anti-semitic measures.
Hitler invented another doctrine to consolidate support for himself. He said that the theory of evolution had established that it was only the fittest who went forward and that the progress of the world depended upon the fittest being placed in a position of predominance. In accordance with this theory he contended that as the Aryan race had proved itself to be the best, it ought to occupy the position of the greatest predominance and that this applied more particularly to the Nordic Aryans, that is to say, the Germans. I cannot help observing that in this respect Hitler is a follower of Pandit Dayanand, for, it was Pandit Dayanand who first advocated the theory of the superiority of the Aryan race. Be that as it may, Hitler urged that the right to rule others belonged to the Germans, they being the best part of the great Aryan race. He pointed out that even with regard to animals, people preferred to promote the best breed. And yet so far as the organization of the State was concerned, this principle was being ignored. He claimed that, as the Germans were the most superior race at the moment, they were entitled to rule over other races. He explained that this involved no injustice or unfairness. It was universally admitted that man should rule beast, not beast man. So should a superior race rule and exploit inferior races rather than be subservient to them. The Germans accepted this theory with enthusiasm.