starvation of the Ukraine. That of “ladies and gentlemen ofnso-called independent means” is already almost complete,n16 years after the October Revolution; and Shaw fantasizesnhappily about exterminations already under official considerationnin Britain and the United States. He calls urgentlynfor the killing of incurables, which is where Hider’s programnwas to begin six years later, and goes on to praise the worknand purpose of the Cheka and OGPU in Stalin’s Russia:nAre you pulling your weight in the social boat? arenyou giving more trouble than you are worth? havenyou earned the privilege of living in a civilizedncommunity? That is why the Russians were forcednto set up the Inquisition or Star Chamber, called atnfirst the Cheka and now the Gay Pay Oo (OGPU)nto go into these questions and “liquidate” personsnwho could not answer them satisfactorilyn. . . the security against abuse being that “the Cheka hadnno interest in liquidating anybody who could be madenpublicly useful, all its interests being in the oppositendirection.” So Shaw believed that indolence should be ancapital offense. Rightly considered, in fact, liquidation bynthe OGPU is not punishment at all — as the victims and itsnrelatives should try to understand: it is merely “weeding thengarden.”nAt about the time Shaw was penning these prefatorialnwords, Hitler was remarking to a friend and colleague,nHermann Rauschning: “I have learnt a great deal fromnMarxism, as I do not hesitate to admit.” In fact, as he wentnIn the forthcoming issue of Chronicles:nMasculinenFemininenNeutern”But when you get one old political prisoner alone withnanother, they exchange tales of a quite different nature, ofnnervous exhaustion, uncontrollable sobbing in solitude,nthe wages of fear, and the feelings of inadequacy, of guilt.nIt doesn’t do to discuss these matters with strangers; theynput you down as some kind of wacko.”n301 CHRONICLESn— from “Learning Goodness”nby Vice Admiral James B. Stockdalennnon in Hitler Speaks (1939), “the whole of NationalnSocialism is based on it.” Years later, in 1972, UlrikenMeinhof of the West German “Red Army Faction” announcedna similar point from the dock at her judicialnhearing:nHow was Auschwitz possible, what wasnanti-semitism? People should have explained allnthat, instead of accepting Auschwitz collectively asnan expression of evil. The worst of it is that we arenall agreed about it, Communists included.nIn fact, as she had come to realize in her days as a Marxistnguerrilla-fighter, anti-Semitism was essentially virtuous,nbeing anticapitalist. Auschwitz, she told the court,nmeant that six million Jews were killed and thrownnon the waste-heap of Europe for what they were:nmoney-Jews. Finance-capital and banks, the hardncore of the system of imperialism and capitalism,nhad turned the hatred of men against money andnexploitation—and against the Jews. The failure ofnthe Left—of the Communists — had lain in notnmaking these connections plain.nSeveral years ago, in The Idea of Liberalism (1985), Insummarized the evidence of Hitler’s debt to socialistndoctrines of genocide in a chapter there called “Hitler’snMarxism.” I was told then—and should have believednit—that modern socialists would offer no argument in thenmatter: least of all Marxists, whose knowledge of thenwritings of Marx and Engels is studiously limited. Thatnprophecy has proved correct. Tell a Marxist that Marx andnEngels publicly advocated genocide, and he will look blanknand change the subject. But the struggle, it is good to report,nhas now reawakened in Germany, where it began in 1849.nIt is known as the Battle of the Historians — and it promisesnto rage for no litde time, not least in the columns of thatnlively London monthly Encounter. Ernst Nolte of the FreenUniversity in West Berlin challenged a Harvard audiencensome years ago, after quoting Hitler’s exterminatory program:n”Where have we seen this before?”; and to cries ofnunbelief he answered his own question: “In the writings ofnKarl Marx.” Marx’s own Ethnological Notebooks have justnbeen published in Holland for the first time, in 1972; andnMarx’s own racism, it is to be expected, will become morenand more widely known — not to mention Stalin’s applause,nand Hitler’s, for Marx’s dogma of genocidal terror. But thenneo-Marxist principle of self-defense through silence stillnprevails. If a text is inconvenient, do not read it. If it isnproclaimed by dictators, forget it. And if dictators act on it,npretend they must have had something else in mind.nMeanwhile the Battle of the Historians, like the escalatorsnat Harrod’s, rolls on, and what began in 1849 is movingnonwards still. The history of England since that year couldnbe written in terms of that struggle—hedonistic consumerismnversus the intellectual dream of a mankind purified ofnselfish ambition and the racial defilement of tainted blood.nNo need to ask which of the two contenders has won innEngland, or which will go on winning. This is a nationneternally dedicated to the creative delights of rationalnpleasure. Long may that dedication last. But as for the woridnbeyond, that is anybody’s guess.n