tion of the otherwise inexplicable. Accordingrnto Watson, because no onernnowadays actually reads what the socialistsrnwrote, by a collective act of amnesiarnwe have forgotten what they actuallyrnstood for. Returning to the founders,rnWatson has traced the origins ot socialismrnto an intensely reactionary fear of therndestabilizing effects of industrial capitalismrnand its attendant liberalism:rnLike conservatism, socialismrnsought to justify the state anew andrnto reinstate in democratic and industrialrnsocieties the vital and vanishingrnprinciple of subordinationrnthrough regulation and planning.rnAs John Stuart Mill said, there arernthose who think it is good for arnman to be ruled.rnAs Watson points out later in his book,rnMill also prophetically feared the socialists’rnarrogance:rnThose who would play this gamernon the strength of their own privaternopinion, unconfirmed as yet by anyrnexperimental verification . . . mustrnhave a serene confidence in theirrnown wisdom, on the one hand, andrnrecklessness of other people’s sufferingrnon the other.rnAt its root, socialism, like all centralizing,rnabsolutist political systems, hasrnno respect for private-property rights, andrnone of Watson’s most interesting chapters,rn”The Forgotten French of 1848,”rnshows that two long-forgotten French opponentsrnof socialism, Adolphe Thiersrnand Alfred Siidre, understood the movement’srndangerous potentialities very well.rnSudre, a young lawyer, wrote the first historyrnof socialism in the summer of 1848rnbefore Marx’s Manifesto was available inrnFrench. He traced socialism’s origins tornGreek utopianism and argued that, sincernprivate property protects the poor, its abo-rnHtion must favor the powerful and thernrich and prove conservative in its effects.rnThiers, too, in his Rights ofPropert}’, alsornwritten in 1848, argued that socialismrnwoidd not only destroy liberty’ by abolishingrnrights of ownership but that its inflationaryrntendency, always more dangerousrnto the poor than to the rich, would depressrnliving standards as well as destroyrncivil liberty.rnHow right they were. The elitism implicitrnin socialism from the start goes arnlong way to explain its later popularityrnamong the upper and intellectual classes,rnsidelined by industrial and technologicalrnchange and deprived ot their traditionalrnauthority over their inferiors. But thernmost startling and disturbing consequencesrnof socialist elitism are to bernfound in Watson’s seventh and eighthrnchapters on Hitler, Marx, and the holocaust,rnwhere he minces no words on thernsocialism of the Nazis and introduces usrnto the nightmarish fantasies of socialistrncontrol that became all too real in ourrncentury.rnWhy, for instance, did John Ruskin,rnthe art critic and self-announced socialistrnwho called himself a Tory, write in supportrnof Governor Eyre’s atrocious suppressionrnof a Negro revolt in Jamaica inrn1865? Bernard Shaw, the doyen of socialistrnpopularizers in his day, and never arnman to evade plain speech, gave the answerrnto an audience in 1921. All socialistsrnare Tories in Ruskin’s sense, he said,rnand Ruskin’s true heirs were the RussianrnBolsheviks:rnThe Tory is a man who believesrnthat those who are qualified by naturernand training for public work,rnand who are naturalK’ a minority,rnhave to govern the mass of the people.rnThat is Toryism. That is alsornBolshevism. I’he Russian massesrnelected a National Assembly: Leninrnand the Bolshevists ruthlesslyrnshoved it out of the way, and indeedrnshot it out of the \a’ as far asrnit refused to be shoved.rnWhen Shaw himself in old age praisedrnStalin for exterminating his enemies andrncalled for a “humane gas that will kill instantlyrnand painlessK,” these were not thernmaunderings of an elderly crank. In thernpreface to Major Barbara, written beforernWorld War I, Shaw had already cheerfullyrnrecommended that social undesirablesrnbe sent to the extermination chamber.rnNor was Shaw’s an eccentric or a lonelyrnvoice. To quote Watson again:rnThe Marxist theory’ of histon- requiredrnand demanded genocide forrnreasons implicit in its claim thatrnfeudalism, which in advanced nationsrnwas already giving place torncapitalism, must in its turn be supersededrnby socialism. Entire racesrnwould be left behind after a workers’rnrevolution, feudal remnants inrna socialist age; and since they couldrnnot advance two steps at a time.rnthey would have to be killed. Theyrnwere racial trash, as Engels calledrnthem, and fit only for the dungheaprnof historv.rnThe list of names and quotations Watsonrnproduces in support of this policy is as impressivernas it is appalling: Marx, Engels,rnand Lenin, rraturally, but also Wells,rnShaw, Havelock Ellis, Sidney and BeatricernWebb, Jack London, and, of course,rnthose maverick socialists, Goebbels andrnHitler, who told one of his followers thatrn”the whole of National Socialism” wasrnbased on Marx. The list of exterminables,rnequally appalling, includesrnanyone to whom some socialist administratorrnof history’s examination systemrnmight give a failing grade: blacks andrnbrowns, Gypsies, Poles, Bohemians,rnCarinthians, Dalmatians, Scottish Highlanders,rnBasques —the list is virtuallyrnendless. Nor is it limited to categories ofrnrace. All whom socialism could not assimilatern—whether old, young, rich,rnpoor, sick, retarded, or insane—were dispensable.rnThese chapters make nonsense of therncommon apologia for murderous socialistrnregimes: that their killings were anrnaberration, a mistake, or a departure fromrntrue socialism. Here is Watson’s summarizingrnsentence:rnIn the European century that beganrnin the 1840s, from Engels’ articlernof 1849 down to the death ofrnHitler, everyone who advocatedrngenocide called himself a socialist,rnand no exception has been found.rnWatson concludes this fascinating,rnvery readable book, filled with deeply satisfyingrnquotations from the perpetratorsrnthemselves and their publicists, rather inconclusivelyrnwith a chapter on GeorgernOrwell as a writer who, like ArthurrnKoestier, exposed the socialist fantasy onrnthe basis of his own experience. Then, inrna brief coda, “The Great Anmesia,” Watsonrnsuggests that the truth about socialistrntheory and experiment has been completelyrnforgotten because it is so imcomfortablernto contemplate:rnWlio wants to be told that Hiflerrnand Goebbels believed they werernsocialists, and that there were socialistsrnoutside Germany who reluctantlyrnaccepted their claim? Orrnthat there were capitalists who profitedrnfrom Lenin’s rule? There arern28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn